Effect of Environmental Factors on The Kinetics of Insulin Fibril Formation:  Elucidation of The Molecular Mechanism

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Kinetic Parameters, Kinetics, Nanofibers, Peptides and Proteins, Ph

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In the search for the molecular mechanism of insulin fibrillation, the kinetics of insulin fibril formation were studied under different conditions using the fluorescent dye thioflavin T (ThT). The effect of insulin concentration, agitation, pH, ionic strength, anions, seeding, and addition of 1-anilinonaphthalene-8-sulfonic acid (ANS), urea, TMAO, sucrose, and ThT on the kinetics of fibrillation was investigated. The kinetics of the fibrillation process could be described by the lag time for formation of stable nuclei (nucleation) and the apparent rate constant for the growth of fibrils (elongation). The addition of seeds eliminated the lag phase. An increase in insulin concentration resulted in shorter lag times and faster growth of fibrils. Shorter lag times and faster growth of fibrils were seen at acidic pH versus neutral pH, whereas an increase in ionic strength resulted in shorter lag times and slower growth of fibrils. There was no clear correlation between the rate of fibril elongation and ionic strength. Agitation during fibril formation attenuated the effects of insulin concentration and ionic strength on both lag times and fibril growth. The addition of ANS increased the lag time and decreased the apparent growth rate for insulin fibril formation. The ANS-induced inhibition appears to reflect the formation of amorphous aggregates. The denaturant, urea, decreased the lag time, whereas the stabilizers, trimethylamine N-oxide dihydrate (TMAO) and sucrose, increased the lag times. The results indicated that both nucleation and fibril growth were controlled by hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions. A kinetic model, involving the association of monomeric partially folded intermediates, whose concentration is stimulated by the air−water interface, leading to formation of the critical nucleus and thence fibrils, is proposed.

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Biochemistry, v. 40, issue 20, p. 6036-6046