The conformation of a model peptide AAKLVFF based on a fragment of the amyloid beta peptide A beta 16-20, KLVFF, is investigated in methanol and water via solution NMR experiments and Molecular dynamics computer simulations. In previous work, we have shown that AAKLVFF forms peptide nanotubes in methanol and twisted fibrils in water. Chemical shift measurements were used to investigate the solubility of the peptide as a function of concentration in methanol and water. This enabled the determination of critical aggregation concentrations, The Solubility was lower in water. In dilute solution, diffusion coefficients revealed the presence of intermediate aggregates in concentrated solution, coexisting with NMR-silent larger aggregates, presumed to be beta-sheets. In water, diffusion coefficients did not change appreciably with concentration, indicating the presence mainly of monomers, coexisting with larger aggregates in more concentrated solution. Concentration-dependent chemical shift measurements indicated a folded conformation for the monomers/intermediate aggregates in dilute methanol, with unfolding at higher concentration. In water, an antiparallel arrangement of strands was indicated by certain ROESY peak correlations. The temperature-dependent solubility of AAKLVFF in methanol was well described by a van't Hoff analysis, providing a solubilization enthalpy and entropy. This pointed to the importance of solvophobic interactions in the self-assembly process. Molecular dynamics Simulations constrained by NOE values from NMR suggested disordered reverse turn structures for the monomer, with an antiparallel twisted conformation for dimers. To model the beta-sheet structures formed at higher concentration, possible model arrangements of strands into beta-sheets with parallel and antiparallel configurations and different stacking sequences were used as the basis for MD simulations; two particular arrangements of antiparallel beta-sheets were found to be stable, one being linear and twisted and the other twisted in two directions. These structures Were used to simulate Circular dichroism spectra. The roles of aromatic stacking interactions and charge transfer effects were also examined. Simulated spectra were found to be similar to those observed experimentally.(in water or methanol) which show a maximum at 215 or 218 nm due to pi-pi* interactions, when allowance is made for a 15-18 nm red-shift that may be due to light scattering effects
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