Structural characterization of ß-amyloid oligomer-aggregates by ion mobility mass spectrometry and electron spin resonance spectroscopy

Iuraşcu, Marius Ionuţ; Cozma, Claudia; Tomczyk, Nick; Rontree, John; Desor, Michael; Drescher, Malte; Przybylski, Michael
December 2009
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;Dec2009, Vol. 395 Issue 8, p2509
Academic Journal
Formation and accumulation of fibrillar plaques and aggregates of ß-amyloid peptide (Aß) in brain have been recognized as characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Oligomeric aggregates of Aß are considered critical intermediates leading to progressive neurodegeneration; however, molecular details of the oligomerization and aggregation pathway and the structures of Aß-oligomers are hitherto unclear. Using an in vitro fibril formation procedure of Aß(1–40), ß-amyloid aggregates were prepared and insoluble aggregates separated from soluble products by centrifugation. In this study, ion mobility mass spectrometry (IM-MS) was applied in combination with electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy (EPR) to the identification of the components of Aß-oligomers, and to their structural and topographical characterization. The formation of Aß-oligomers and aggregates was monitored by gel electrophoresis, and Aß-oligomer bands were identified by in-gel tryptic digestion and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization–mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) to consist predominantly of Aß(1–40) peptide. First, ion mobility-MS studies of soluble Aß-aggregates prepared by incubation for 5 days were performed on a quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer and revealed (1) the presence of at least two different conformational states, and (2), the formation of Met-35 oxidized products. For estimation of the size of Aß-aggregates using EPR spectroscopy, a modified Aß(1–40) peptide containing an additional N-terminal cysteine residue was prepared, and a 3-(2-iodoacetamido)-2,2,5,5-tetramethyl-1-pyrrolidinyloxy radical spin label derivative (IPSL) was coupled by S-alkylation. The EPR spectra of the spin-labeled Cys-Aß(1–40) oligomers were matched with spectra simulations using a multi-component simulation strategy, resulting in complete agreement with the gel electrophoresis results.


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