Fibril stability in solutions of twisted β-sheet peptides: a new kind of micellization in chiral systems
Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT,
2 Centre for Self-Organising Molecular Systems, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
Revised: 15 February 2000
Published online: 15 October 2000
The problem of fibril (fibre) formation in chiral systems is explored theoretically being supported by experiments on synthetic de novo 11-mer peptide forming self-assembled β-sheet tapes. Experimental data unambiguously indicate that the tapes form fibrils of nearly monodisperse thickness ca. 8-10 nm. Fibril formation and stabilisation are attributed to inter-tape face-to-face attraction and their intrinsic twist, correspondingly. The proposed theory is capable of predicting the fibril aggregation number and its equilibrium twist in terms of molecular parameters of the primary tapes. The suggested novel mechanism of twist stabilisation of finite aggregates (fibrils) is different to the well-known stabilisation of micelles in amphiphilic systems, and it is likely to explain the formation and stability of fibrils in a wide variety of systems including proteinaceous amyloid fibres, sickle-cell hemoglobin fibres responsible for HbS anemia, corkscrew threads found in chromonics in the presence of chiral additives and native cellulose microfibrillar crystallites. The theory also makes it possible to extract the basic molecular parameters of primary tapes (inter-tape attraction energy, helical twist step, elastic moduli) from the experimental data.
PACS: 36.20.Ey – Conformation / 61.46.+w – Clusters, nanoparticles, and nanocrystalline materials / 87.15.-v – Biomolecules: structure and physical properties
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag, 2000