Examining the inhibitory actions of copolypeptides against amyloid fibrillogenesis of bovine insulin

Chen Yuan Kao, Jun Kun Lai, Ta Hsien Lin, Yu Jiun Lin, Jeng Shiung Jan*, Steven S.S. Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Amyloid fibrillogenesis has been involved in at least 40 different degenerative diseases. The 51-residue polypeptide hormone insulin, which is associated with type II diabetes, has been demonstrated to fibrillate in vitro. With bovine insulin as a model, the research presented here examines the influence of two simple, unstructured d,l-lysine-co-glycine (d,l-lys-co-gly) and d,l-lysine-co-L-phenylalanine (d,l-lys-co-phe) copolypeptides, on the in vitro fibril formation process of bovine insulin at pH 2.0 and 55. °C. Our results showed that amyloid fibrillogenesis of insulin may be suppressed by both copolypeptides in a concentration-dependent fashion. In addition, the copolypeptides with higher molar fractions of glycine or l-phenylalanine residue, which are considered to possess higher hydrophobic interacting capacities, demonstrated the superior inhibitory potency against insulin fibril formation. Our findings suggest that the association of insulin and copolypeptides, which is likely dominated by hydrophobic interactions and hydrogen bonding, may mitigate the extent of insulin fibrillogenesis. We believe the results from this work may contribute to the understanding of the molecular factors affecting amyloid fibrillation and the molecular mechanism(s) of the interactions between the unstructured polypeptides and amyloid-forming proteins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-188
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical Engineering Journal
StatePublished - 5 Sep 2013


  • Aggregation
  • Amyloid diseases
  • Amyloid fibril
  • Biophysical chemistry
  • Inhibition
  • Insulin
  • Polypeptides
  • Protein


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