Islet amyloid polypeptide: Identification of long-range contacts and local order on the fibrillogenesis pathway

Shae B. Padrick, Andrew D. Miranker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


The pathology of type II diabetes includes deposition of amyloid in the extra cellular space surrounding the β-cells of the endocrine pancreas. The principle component of these deposits is an insoluble fibrillar form of a normally soluble 37 residue peptide hormone, islet amyloid polypeptide. Multiple sequence analysis and peptide synthesis have identified a core set of residues (20 to 29) as intrinsically amyloidogenic. As the fibrillogenesis of the 20-29 peptide often requires conditions that deviate considerably from physiological, residues 20 to 29 may be necessary, but not sufficient, for amyloidosis. We aim to determine the structural role of residues outside this core in the context of in vitro fibrillogenesis of the wild-type peptide at physiological pH and ionic strength. Specifically, we make use of an intrinsic fluorescent probe, tyrosine 37 (Y37), to explore the role of the C terminus in fibrillogenesis. Our protocol permits steady state measurement of the lag phase and fiber conformational states of the protein under identical conditions. These are compared to a non-amyloidogenic variant of islet amyloid polypeptide from rat and N-acetyl-tyrosinamide as models of the unfolded state under matched conditions. Spectral, quenching and anisotropic properties of Y37 in the fiber state indicate that the C terminus is packed in a well-defined environment with near frozen rigidity. The presence of a fluorescence resonance energy transfer pathway shows Y37 is near F15 and F23. The lag-phase conformation, while considerably less ordered than the fiber, is more ordered than unfolded models. Differences in anisotropy between the lag and fiber state were used to monitor fibrillogenesis in real time. Parallel assessment of fiber formation using the histological dye, ThT, indicate that ordering at the C terminus of islet amyloid polypeptide is coincident with, and thus indicative of, fiber formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)783-794
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001


  • Amylin
  • Amyloid
  • IAPP
  • Type II diabetes
  • Tyrosine fluorescence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Islet amyloid polypeptide: Identification of long-range contacts and local order on the fibrillogenesis pathway'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this