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An aggregation inhibitor specific to oligomeric intermediates of Aβ42 derived from phage display libraries of stable, small proteins.

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The self-assembly of amyloid β peptide (Aβ) to fibrillar and oligomeric aggregates is linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Aβ binders may serve as inhibitors of aggregation to prevent the generation of neurotoxic species and for the detection of Aβ species. A particular challenge involves finding binders to on-pathway oligomers given their transient nature. Here we construct two phage–display libraries built on the highly inert and stable protein scaffold S100G, one containing a six-residue variable surface patch and one harboring a seven-residue variable loop insertion. Monomers and fibrils of Aβ40 and Aβ42 were separately coupled to silica nanoparticles, using a coupling strategy leading to the presence of oligomers on the monomer beads, and they were used in three rounds of affinity selection. Next-generation sequencing revealed sequence clusters and candidate binding proteins (SXkmers). Two SXkmers were expressed as soluble proteins and tested in terms of aggregation inhibition via thioflavin T fluorescence. We identified an SXkmer with loop–insertion YLTIRLM as an inhibitor of the secondary nucleation of Aβ42 and binding analyses using surface plasmon resonance technology, Förster resonance energy transfer, and microfluidics diffusional sizing imply an interaction with intermediate oligomeric species. A linear peptide with the YLTIRLM sequence was found inhibitory but at a lower potency than the more constrained SXkmer loop. We identified an SXkmer with side-patch VI-WI-DD as an inhibitor of Aβ40 aggregation. Remarkably, our data imply that SXkmer-YLTIRLM blocks secondary nucleation through an interaction with oligomeric intermediates in solution or at the fibril surface, which is a unique inhibitory mechanism for a library-derived inhibitor.



affinity selection, binder, novel scaffold, reaction intermediates, self-assembly, Alzheimer Disease, Amyloid beta-Peptides, Bacteriophages, Cell Surface Display Techniques, Humans, Peptide Fragments, Plaque, Amyloid

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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences