Product(s) used in this publication: PepSpots™ Peptides on Cellulose
The islet amyloid polypeptide (hIAPP) is a 37 amino acid residue polypeptide that was found to accumulate as amyloid fibrils in the pancreas of individuals with type II diabetes. Previous studies identified various fragments of hIAPP that can form amyloid fibrils in vitro (e.g. hIAPP(8-20), hIAPP(23-27), and hIAPP(30-37)). However, no comparative and systematic information was available on the role of these structural domains (or others) in the process of molecular recognition that mediates fibrillization, in the context of the full-length polypeptide. To systematically map and compare potential recognition domains, we studied the ability of hIAPP to interact with an array of 28 membrane-spotted overlapping peptides that span the entire sequence of hIAPP (i.e. hIAPP(1-10), hIAPP(2-11...), hIAPP(28-37)). Our study clearly identified a major domain of molecular recognition within hIAPP, as the polypeptide was found to bind with high affinity to a defined linear group of peptides ranging from hIAPP(7-16) to hIAPP(12-21). The maximal binding of the full-length polypeptide was to the hIAPP(11-20) peptide fragment (with the sequence RLANFLVHSS). In order to define the minimal fragment, within this apparent recognition motif, that is capable of self-association and thus may serve as the core molecular recognition motif, we examined the ability of truncated analogs of the recognition sequence to self-assemble into amyloid fibrils. The shortest active fragments capable of self-assembly were found to be the pentapeptides FLVHS and NFLVH. The apparent role of this motif in the process of hIAPP self-assembly is consistent with the profile of the hIAAP-binding distribution to the peptide array. The identification of such short recognition motifs is extremely useful in the attempts to develop means to block amyloid fibril formation by hIAPP. It is worth mentioning that this is only the second time in which peptides as short as a pentapeptide were shown to form amyloid fibrils (the other pentapeptide is FGAIL).