The amyloid formation mechanism in human IAPP: Dimers have β-strand monomer-monomer interfaces

Nicholas F. Dupuis, Chun Wu, Joan Emma Shea, Michael T. Bowers

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192 Scopus citations


Early oligomerization of human IAPP (hIAPP) is responsible for β-cell death in the pancreas and is increasingly considered a primary pathological process linked to Type II Diabetes (T2D). Yet, the assembly mechanism remains poorly understood, largely due to the inability of conventional techniques to probe distributions or detailed structures of early oligomeric species. Here, we describe the first experimental data on the isolated and unmodified dimers of human (hIAPP) and nonamyloidogenic rat IAPP (rIAPP). The experiments reveal that the human IAPP dimers are more extended than those formed by rat IAPP and likely descend from extended monomers. Independent all-atom molecular dynamics simulations show that rIAPP forms compact helix and coil rich dimers, whereas hIAPP forms β-strand rich dimers that are generally more extended. Also, the simulations reveal that the monomer-monomer interfaces of the hIAPP dimers are dominated by β-strands and that β-strands can recruit coil or helix structured regions during the dimerization process. Our β-rich interface contrasts with an N-terminal helix-to-helix interface proposed in the literature but is consistent with existing experimental data on the self-interaction pattern of hIAPP, mutation effects, and inhibition effects of the N-methylation in the mutation region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7240-7243
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number19
StatePublished - May 18 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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