Capping effects on polymorphic Aβ16–21 amyloids depend on their size: A molecular dynamics simulation study

Myeongsang Lee, Hyun Joon Chang, Hyunsung Choi, Sungsoo Na

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Understanding Aβ amyloid oligomers associated with neuro-degenerative diseases is needed due to their toxic characteristics and mediation of amyloid fibril growth. Depending on various physiological circumstances such as ionic strength, metal ion, and point-residue mutation, oligomeric amyloids exhibit polymorphic behavior and structural stabilities, i.e. showing different conformation and stabilities. Specifically, experimental and computational researchers have found that the capping modulates the physical and chemical properties of amyloids by preserving electrostatic energy interactions, which is one of the dominant factors for amyloid stability. Still, there is no detailed knowledge for the polymorphic amyloids with reflecting the terminal capping effects. In the present study, we investigated the role of terminal capping (i.e. N-terminal acetylation and C-terminal amidation) on polymorphic Aβ16–21 amyloid oligomer and protofibrils via molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. We found that the capping effects have differently altered the conformation of polymorphic antiparallel-homo and –hetero Aβ16–21 amyloid oligomer, but not Aβ16–21 amyloid protofibrils. However, regardless of polymorphic composition of the amyloids, the capping induces the thermodynamic instabilities of Aβ16–21 amyloid oligomers, but does not show any distinct affect on Aβ16–21 amyloid protofibrils. Specifically, among the molecular mechanic factors, electrostatic energy dominantly contributes the thermodynamic stability of the Aβ16–21 amyloids. We hope that our computation study about the role of the capping effects on the polymorphic amyloids will facilitate additional efforts to enhance degradation of amyloids and to design a selective drug in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalBiophysical Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program of the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning ( MSIP ) (No. 2014R1A2A1A11052389 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.


  • Amyloids
  • Capping effect
  • Molecular dynamics (MD)
  • Polymorphism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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