Disulfide bridges remain intact while native insulin converts into amyloid fibrils

Dmitry Kurouski, Jacqueline Washington, Mehmet Ozbil, Rajeev Prabhakar, Alexander Shekhtman, Igor K. Lednev

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40 Scopus citations


Amyloid fibrils are β-sheet-rich protein aggregates commonly found in the organs and tissues of patients with various amyloid-associated diseases. Understanding the structural organization of amyloid fibrils can be beneficial for the search of drugs to successfully treat diseases associated with protein misfolding. The structure of insulin fibrils was characterized by deep ultraviolet resonance Raman (DUVRR) and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy combined with hydrogen-deuterium exchange. The compositions of the fibril core and unordered parts were determined at single amino acid residue resolution. All three disulfide bonds of native insulin remained intact during the aggregation process, withstanding scrambling. Three out of four tyrosine residues were packed into the fibril core, and another aromatic amino acid, phenylalanine, was located in the unordered parts of insulin fibrils. In addition, using all-atom MD simulations, the disulfide bonds were confirmed to remain intact in the insulin dimer, which mimics the fibrillar form of insulin.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere36989
JournalPLoS One
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2012


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Kurouski, D., Washington, J., Ozbil, M., Prabhakar, R., Shekhtman, A., & Lednev, I. K. (2012). Disulfide bridges remain intact while native insulin converts into amyloid fibrils. PLoS One, 7(6), [e36989]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0036989