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The Formation of Amyloid-Like Fibrils of α-Chymotrypsin in Different Aqueous Organic Solvents

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The formation of amyloid-like fibrils of α-chymotrypsin was studied in aqueous ethanol, methanol, tertbutanol, dimethylformamide and acetonitrile. Thioflavin T (ThT), Congo red (CR) and 1-anilino-8-naphthalenesulfonic acid (ANS) binding, turbidity, intrinsic fluorescence and far-UV circular dichroism measurements were employed to characterize the amyloid fibril formation. The greatest extent of fibril formation after incubation for 24 h at pH 7.0 and at 24 oC was in ethanol at 55%, in methanol and dimethylformamide (DMF) at 60-70% and in tert-butanol at 60-80%. The ANS binding and intrinsic fluorescence results showed that the hydrophobic residues are more solvent-exposed in the aggregated form of α-chymotrypsin. The ThT, CR binding and far-UV CD measurements indicated that the formation of the cross-β structure of α-chymotrypsin depends on the polarity of the organic solvent. To determine the role of surface charges in the aggregation, chemically modified forms of α-chymotrypsin were prepared. The citraconylated and succinylated enzymes exhibited a higher and the enzyme forms modified with aliphatic aldehydes a lower propensity for aggregation. These results suggest the important role of surface charges in the aggregation of α-chymotrypsin.
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Keywords: Amyloid-like fibril; amyloidogenic proteins; chemical modification; chymotrypsin; cross β-structure; dimethylformamide (DMF); far-UV circular dichroism; organic solvent; succinylated enzymes; α-chymotrypsin

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-05-01

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  • Protein & Peptide Letters publishes short papers in all important aspects of protein and peptide research, including structural studies, recombinant expression, function, synthesis, enzymology, immunology, molecular modeling, drug design etc. Manuscripts must have a significant element of novelty, timeliness and urgency that merit rapid publication. Reports of crystallisation, and preliminary structure determinations of biologically important proteins are acceptable. Purely theoretical papers are also acceptable provided they provide new insight into the principles of protein/peptide structure and function.
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