Although amyloid fibrils deposit with various proteins, the comprehensive mechanism by which they form remains unclear. We studied the formation of fibrils of human islet amyloid polypeptide associated with type II diabetes in the presence of various concentrations of 1,1,1,3,3,3-hexafluoroisopropanol (HFIP) under acidic and neutral pH conditions using CD, amyloid-specific thioflavin T fluorescence, fluorescence imaging with thioflavin T, and atomic force microscopy. At low pH, the formation of fibrils was promoted by HFIP with an optimum at 5% (v/v). At neutral pH in the absence of HFIP, significant amounts of amorphous aggregates formed in addition to the fibrils. The addition of HFIP suppressed the formation of amorphous aggregates, leading to a predominance of fibrils with an optimum effect at 25% (v/v). Under both conditions, higher concentrations of HFIP dissolved the fibrils and stabilized the α-helical structure. The results indicate that fibrils and amorphous aggregates are different types of precipitates formed by exclusion from water-HFIP mixtures. The exclusion occurs through the combined effects of hydrophobic interactions and electrostatic interactions, both of which are strengthened by low concentrations of HFIP, and a subtle balance between the two types of interactions determines whether the fibrils or amorphous aggregates dominate. We suggest a general view of how the structure of precipitates varies dramatically from single crystals to amyloid fibrils and amorphous aggregates
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