At high temperature and low pH, the protein hormone insulin is highly prone to form amyloid fibrils, and for this reason it is widely used as a model system to study fibril formation mechanisms. In this work, we focused on insulin aggregation mechanisms occurring in HCl solutions (pH 1.6) at 60 °C. By means of in situ Thioflavin T (ThT) staining, the kinetics profiles were characterized as a function of the protein concentration, and two concurrent aggregation pathways were pointed out, being concentration dependent. In correspondence to these pathways, different morphologies of self-assembled protein molecules were detected by atomic force microscopy images also evidencing the presence of secondary nucleation processes as a peculiar mechanism for insulinfibrillation. Moreover, combining ThT fluorescence and light scattering, the early stages of the process were analyzed in the low concentration regime, pointing out a pronounced spatial heterogeneity in the formation of the first stable fibrils in solution and the onset of the secondary nucleation pathways.
|Numero di pagine||8|
|Rivista||JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY. B, CONDENSED MATTER, MATERIALS, SURFACES, INTERFACES & BIOPHYSICAL|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2009|
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