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The α-helical C-terminal domain of full-length recombinant PrP converts to an in-register parallel β-sheet structure in PrP fibrils: evidence from solid state nuclear magnetic resonance.


Tycko RRobert , Savtchenko R Regina , Ostapchenko VG Valeriy G , Makarava N Natallia , Baskakov IV Ilia V . Biochemistry. 2010 11 9; 49(44). 9488-97


We report the results of solid state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) measurements on amyloid fibrils formed by the full-length prion protein PrP (residues 23−231, Syrian hamster sequence). Measurements of intermolecular 13C−13C dipole−dipole couplings in selectively carbonyl-labeled samples indicate that β-sheets in these fibrils have an in-register parallel structure, as previously observed in amyloid fibrils associated with Alzheimer’s disease and type 2 diabetes and in yeast prion fibrils. Two-dimensional 13C−13C and 15N−13C solid state NMR spectra of a uniformly 15N- and 13C-labeled sample indicate that a relatively small fraction of the full sequence, localized to the C-terminal end, forms the structurally ordered, immobilized core. Although unique site-specific assignments of the solid state NMR signals cannot be obtained from these spectra, analysis with a Monte Carlo/simulated annealing algorithm suggests that the core is comprised primarily of residues in the 173−224 range. These results are consistent with earlier electron paramagnetic resonance studies of fibrils formed by residues 90−231 of the human PrP sequence, formed under somewhat different conditions [Cobb, N. J., Sonnichsen, F. D., McHaourab, H., and Surewicz, W. K. (2007) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 104, 18946−18951], suggesting that an in-register parallel β-sheet structure formed by the C-terminal end may be a general feature of PrP fibrils prepared in vitro.