International Journal of Molecular Sciences (2020-11-01)

Aβ Beyond the AD Pathology: Exploring the Structural Response of Membranes Exposed to Nascent Aβ Peptide

  • Valeria Rondelli,
  • Mario Salmona,
  • Laura Colombo,
  • Giovanna Fragneto,
  • Giulia Fadda,
  • Laura Cantu’,
  • Elena Del Favero

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 21, no. 8295
p. 8295


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The physiological and pathological roles of nascent amyloid beta (Aβ) monomers are still debated in the literature. Their involvement in the pathological route of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is currently considered to be the most relevant, triggered by their aggregation into structured oligomers, a toxic species. Recently, it has been suggested that nascent Aβ, out of the amyloidogenic pathway, plays a physiological and protective role, especially in the brain. In this emerging perspective, the study presented in this paper investigated whether the organization of model membranes is affected by contact with Aβ in the nascent state, as monomers. The outcome is that, notably, the rules of engagement and the resulting structural outcome are dictated by the composition and properties of the membrane, rather than by the Aβ variant. Interestingly, Aβ monomers are observed to favor the tightening of adjacent complex membranes, thereby affecting a basic structural event for cell-cell adhesion and cell motility.