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High-Affinity Binding of Monomeric but Not Oligomeric Amyloid‑β to Ganglioside GM1 Containing Nanodiscs

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journal contribution
posted on 04.11.2016 by Maren Thomaier, Lothar Gremer, Christina Dammers, Judith Fabig, Philipp Neudecker, Dieter Willbold
The interaction of the amyloid-β protein (Aβ) with neuronal cell membranes plays a crucial role in Alzheimer’s disease. Aβ undergoes structural changes upon binding to ganglioside GM1 containing membranes leading to altered molecular characteristics of the protein. The physiological role of the Aβ interaction with the ganglioside GM1 is still unclear. In order to further elucidate the molecular requirements of Aβ membrane binding, we tested different nanodiscs varying in their lipid composition, regarding the charge of the headgroups as well as ganglioside GM1 concentration. Nanodiscs are excellent model membrane systems for studying protein membrane interactions, and we show here their suitability to investigate the membrane interaction of Aβ. In particular, we set out to investigate whether the binding activity of GM1 to Aβ is specific for the assembly state of Aβ and compared the binding affinities of monomeric with oligomeric Aβ. Using fluorescence titration experiments, we demonstrate high-affinity binding of Aβ­(1–40) to GM1 containing nanodiscs, with dissociation constants, KD, in the range from 25 to 41 nM, in a GM1 concentration-dependent manner. Biolayer interferometry experiments confirmed the high-affinity binding of monomeric Aβ(1–40) (KD of 24 nM to 49 nM) as well as of Aβ(1–42) (KD of 30 nM) to GM1 containing nanodiscs, and no binding to phospholipid containing nanodiscs. Interestingly, and in contrast to monomeric Aβ, neither oligomeric Aβ(1–40) nor oligomeric Aβ(1–42) binds to GM1 nanodiscs. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of a loss of function for monomeric Aβ upon aggregation.