Defining the molecular basis of amyloid inhibitors: Human islet amyloid polypeptide-insulin interactions

Anna C. Susa, Chun Wu, Summer L. Bernstein, Nicholas F. Dupuis, Hui Wang, Daniel P. Raleigh, Joan Emma Shea, Michael T. Bowers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Human islet amyloid polypeptide (hIAPP or Amylin) is a 37 residue hormone that is cosecreted with insulin from the pancreatic islets. The aggregation of hIAPP plays a role in the progression of type 2 diabetes and contributes to the failure of islet cell grafts. Despite considerable effort, little is known about the mode of action of IAPP amyloid inhibitors, and this has limited rational drug design. Insulin is one of the most potent inhibitors of hIAPP fibril formation, but its inhibition mechanism is not understood. In this study, the aggregation of mixtures of hIAPP with insulin, as well as with the separate A and B chains of insulin, were characterized using ion mobility spectrometry-based mass spectrometry and atomic force microscopy. Insulin and the insulin B chain target the hIAPP monomer in its compact isoform and shift the equilibrium away from its extended isoform, an aggregation-prone conformation, and thus inhibit hIAPP from forming β-sheets and subsequently amyloid fibrils. All-atom molecular modeling supports these conclusions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12912-12919
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number37
StatePublished - Sep 17 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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