A structural model for Alzheimer's β-amyloid fibrils based on experimental constraints from solid state NMRAneta T. Petkova, Yoshitaka Ishii, John J. Balbach, Oleg N. Antzutkin, Richard D. Leapman, Frank Delaglio, Robert Tycko
We present a structural model for amyloid fibrils formed by the 40-residue β-amyloid peptide associated with Alzheimer's disease (Aβ 1–40 ), based on a set of experimental constraints from solid state NMR spectroscopy. The model additionally incorporates the cross-β structural motif established by x-ray fiber diffraction and satisfies constraints on Aβ 1–40 fibril dimensions and mass-per-length determined from electron microscopy. Approximately the first 10 residues of Aβ 1–40 are structurally disordered in the fibrils. Residues 12–24 and 30–40 adopt β-strand conformations and form parallel β-sheets through intermolecular hydrogen bonding. Residues 25–29 contain a bend of the peptide backbone that brings the two β-sheets in contact through sidechain-sidechain interactions. A single cross-β unit is then a double-layered β-sheet structure with a hydrophobic core and one hydrophobic face. The only charged sidechains in the core are those of D23 and K28, which form salt bridges. Fibrils with minimum mass-per-length and diameter consist of two cross-β units with their hydrophobic faces juxtaposed.