Caruso G, Distefano DA, Parlascino P, Fresta CG, Lazzarino G, Lunte SM, Nicoletti VG (2017) Mol. Cell. Biochem. 425:85-93.

Pubmed: doi: 10.1007/s11010-016-2864-1


Human amylin (hA1-37) is a polypeptide hormone secreted in conjunction with insulin from the pancreatic β-cells involved in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The shorter fragment hA17-29 than full-length peptide is capable to form amyloids “in vitro”. Here, we monitored the time course of hA17-29 β-amyloid fibril and oligomer formation [without and with copper(II)], cellular toxicity of different amyloid aggregates, and involvement of specific receptors (receptor for advanced glycation end-products, RAGE; low-affinity nerve growth factor receptor, p75-NGFR) in aggregate toxicity. Fibril and oligomer formation of hA17-29 incubated at 37 °C for 0, 48, and 120 h, without or with copper(II), were measured by the thioflavin T fluorescence assay and ELISA, respectively. Toxicity of hA17-29 aggregates and effects of anti-RAGE and anti-p75-NGFR antibodies were evaluated on neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y viability. Fluorescence assay of hA17-29 indicates an initial slow rate of soluble fibril formation (48 h), followed by a slower rate of insoluble aggregate formation (120 h). The highest quantity of oligomers was recorded when hA17-29 was pre-aggregated for 48 h in the presence of copper(II) showing also the maximal cell toxicity (-44% of cell viability, p < 0.01 compared to controls). Anti-RAGE or anti-p75-NGFR antibodies almost abolished cell toxicity of hA17-29 aggregates. These results indicate that copper(II) influences the aggregation process and hA17-29 toxicities are especially attributable to oligomeric aggregates. hA17-29 aggregate toxicity seems to be mediated by RAGE and p75-NGFR receptors which might be potential targets for new drugs in T2DM treatment.