Toxic Amyloid Tape: A Novel Mixed Antiparallel/Parallel β‑Sheet Structure Formed by Amyloid β‑Protein on GM1 Clusters

The abnormal aggregation of amyloid β-protein (Aβ) is considered central in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease. We focused on membrane-mediated amyloidogenesis and found that amyloid fibrils formed on monosialoganglioside GM1 clusters were more toxic than those formed in aqueous solution. In this study, we investigated the structure of the toxic fibrils by Aβ-(1–40) in detail in comparison with less-toxic fibrils formed in aqueous solution. The less-toxic fibrils contain in-resister parallel β-sheets, whereas the structure of the toxic fibrils is unknown. Atomic force microscopy revealed that the toxic fibrils had a flat, tape-like morphology composed of a single β-sheet layer. Isotope-edited infrared spectroscopy indicated that almost the entire sequence of Aβ is included in the β-sheet. Chemical cross-linking experiments using Cys-substituted Aβs suggested that the fibrils mainly contained both in-resister parallel and two-residue-shifted antiparallel β-sheet structures. Solid-state NMR experiments also supported this conclusion. Thus, the toxic fibrils were found to possess a novel unique structure.