The N-terminal fragment of human islet amyloid polypeptide is non-fibrillogenic in the presence of membranes and does not cause leakage of bilayers of physiologically relevant lipid composition

Human islet amyloid polypeptide (hIAPP) forms amyloid fibrils in pancreatic islets of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM2). The formation of hIAPP fibrils has been shown to cause membrane damage which most likely is responsible for the death of pancreatic islet beta-cells during the pathogenesis of DM2. Previous studies have shown that the N-terminal part of hIAPP, hIAPP(1-19), plays a major role in the initial interaction of hIAPP with lipid membranes. However, the exact role of this N-terminal part of hIAPP in causing membrane damage is unknown. Here we investigate the structure and aggregation properties of hIAPP(1-19) in relation to membrane damage in vitro by using membranes of the zwitterionic lipid phosphatidylcholine (PC), the anionic lipid phosphatidylserine (PS) and mixtures of these lipids to mimic membranes of islet cells. Our data reveal that hIAPP(1-19) is weakly fibrillogenic in solution and not fibrillogenic in the presence of membranes, where it adopts a secondary structure that is dependent on lipid composition and stable in time. Furthermore, hIAPP(1-19) is not able to induce leakage in membranes of PC/PS or PC bilayers, indicating that the membrane interaction of the N-terminal fragment by itself is not responsible for membrane leakage under physiologically relevant conditions. In bilayers of the anionic lipid PS, the peptide does induce membrane damage, but this leakage is not correlated to fibril formation, as it is for mature hIAPP. Hence, membrane permeabilization by the N-terminal fragment of hIAPP in anionic lipids is most likely an aspecific process, occurring via a mechanism that is not relevant for hIAPP-induced membrane damage in vivo.

L. Khemtémourian, M.F. Engel, R.M. Liskamp, J.W.M. Höppener, J.A. Killian
Authors from the NMC: 
2010; 1798 (9): 1805-1811
Published in: 
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta
Date of publication: 
September, 2010
Status of the publication: