Biological applications of designed hairpin peptides: as antimicrobials and as inhibitors of amyloidogenesis
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More than 40 diseases have been associated with the misfolding of peptides (or proteins) that form fibrils with a very specific morphology. These peptides classified as amyloidogenic peptides have been implicated in the development of Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Type II Diabetes, Hungtinton’s Disease etc. To date, these diseases have no cure, only therapies that can ameliorate the symptoms to a degree. Inhibition of the amyloidogenesis of these peptides has been proposed as a possible treatment option. While small molecules have been heavily tested as inhibitors of amyloidogenesis, peptides have emerged as potential inhibitors. In this work, the ability of a set of designed hairpin peptides to inhibit the amyloidogenesis of two different systems, α-synuclein (implicated in Parkinson’s Disease) and human amylin (implicated in Type II Diabetes) is tested. Using circular dichroism and thioflavin T fluorescence, the ability of these peptides to inhibit amyloidogenesis is tested. The binding loci of these inhibitors to α-synuclein are also explored. The use of peptides as antimicrobials on the other hand is not a novel concept. However, most antimicrobial peptides, both natural and designed, rely heavily on covalent stabilizations in order to maintain secondary structure. In this study, non-covalent stabilizations are applied to a couple of natural as well as designed antimicrobials in order to study the effects of secondary structure stabilization on biological activity.
- Chemistry