Identification of a penta- and hexapeptide of islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP) with amyloidogenic and cytotoxic properties

Konstantinos Tenidis, Michaela Waldner, Jürgen Bernhagen, Wolfgang Fischle, Michael Bergmann, Marco Weber, Marie Luise Merkle, Wolfgang Voelter, Herwig Brunner, Aphrodite Kapurniotu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

373 Citations (SciVal)


Pancreatic amyloid is found in more than 95% of type II diabetes patients. Pancreatic amyloid is formed by the aggregation of islet amyloid polypeptide (hIAPP or amylin), which is a 37-residue peptide. Because pancreatic amyloid is cytotoxic, it is believed that its formation is directly associated with the development of the disease. We recently showed that hIAPP amyloid formation follows the nucleation-dependent polymerization mechanism and proceeds via a conformational transition of soluble hIAPP into aggregated β-sheets. Here, we report that the penta- and hexapeptide sequences, hIAPP(23-27) (FGAIL) and hIAPP(22-27) (NFGAIL) of hIAPP are sufficient for the formation of β-sheet-containing amyloid fibrils. Although these two peptides differ by only one amino acid residue, they aggregate into completely different fibrillar assemblies, hIAPP(23-27) (FGAIL) fibrils self-assemble laterally into unusually broad ribbons, whereas hIAPP(22-27) (NFGAIL) fibrils coil around each other in a typical amyloid fibril morphology, hIAPP(20-27) (SNNFGAIL) also aggregates into β-sheet-containing fibrils, whereas no amyloidogenicity is found for hIAPP(24-27) (GAIL), indicating that hIAPP(23-27) (FGAIL) is the shortest fibrillogenic sequence of hIAPP. Insoluble amyloid formation by the partial hIAPP sequences followed kinetics that were consistent with a nucleation-dependent polymerization mechanism, hIAPP(22-27) (NFGAIL), hIAPP(20-27) (SNNFGAIL), and also the known fibrillogenic sequence, hIAPP(20-29) (SNNFGAILSS) exhibited significantly lower kinetic and thermodynamic solubilities than the pentapeptide hIAPP(23-27) (FGAIL). Fibrils formed by all short peptide sequences and also by hIAPP(20-29) were cytotoxic towards the pancreatic cell line RIN5fm, whereas no cytotoxicity was observed for the soluble form of the peptides, a notion that is consistent with hIAPP cytotoxicity. Our results suggest that a penta- and hexapeptide sequence of an appropriate amino acid composition can be sufficient for β-sheet and amyloid fibril formation and cytotoxicity and may assist in the rational design of inhibitors of pancreatic amyloid formation or other amyloidosis-related diseases. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1055-1071
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 28 2000


  • Amyloid fibrils
  • Cytotoxicity
  • Islet amyloid polypeptide
  • Nucleation
  • β-sheet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology


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