Identifying Structural Features of Fibrillar Islet Amyloid Polypeptide Using Site-directed Spin Labeling
Pancreatic amyloid deposits, composed primarily of the 37-residue islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP), are a characteristic feature found in more than 90% of patients with type II diabetes. Although IAPP amyloid deposits are associated with areas of pancreatic islet β-cell dysfunction and depletion and are thought to play a role in disease, their structure is unknown. We used electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy to analyze eight spin-labeled derivatives of IAPP in an effort to determine structural features of the peptide. In solution, all eight derivatives gave rise to electron paramagnetic resonance spectra with sharp lines indicative of rapid motion on the sub-nanosecond time scale. These spectra are consistent with a rapidly tumbling and highly dynamic peptide. In contrast, spectra for the fibrillar form exhibit reduced mobility and the presence of strong intermolecular spin-spin interactions. The latter implies that the peptide subunits are ordered and that the same residues from neighboring peptides are in close proximity to one another. Our data are consistent with a parallel arrangement of IAPP peptides within the amyloid fibril. Analysis of spin label mobility indicates a high degree of order throughout the peptide, although the N-terminal region is slightly less ordered. Possible similarities with respect to the domain organization and parallelism of Alzheimer's amyloid β peptide fibrils are discussed.