Michele Francesco Maria Sciacca

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Disruption of cell membranes by Aβ is believed to be one of the key components of Aβ toxicity. However, the mechanism by which this occurs is not fully understood. Here, we demonstrate that membrane disruption by Aβ occurs by a two-step process, with the initial formation of ion-selective pores followed by nonspecific fragmentation of the lipid membrane(More)
The toxicity of amyloid-forming peptides has been hypothesized to reside in the ability of protein oligomers to interact with and disrupt the cell membrane. Much of the evidence for this hypothesis comes from in vitro experiments using model membranes. However, the accuracy of this approach depends on the ability of the model membrane to accurately mimic(More)
Disruption of the integrity of the plasma membrane by amyloidogenic proteins is linked to the pathogenesis of a number of common age-related diseases. Although accumulating evidence suggests that adverse environmental stressors such as unbalanced levels of metal ions may trigger amyloid-mediated membrane damage, many features of the molecular mechanisms(More)
The potency and selectivity of many antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are correlated with their ability to interact with and disrupt the bacterial cell membrane. In vitro experiments using model membranes have been used to determine the mechanism of membrane disruption of AMPs. Because the mechanism of action of an AMP depends on the ability of the model(More)
The aggregation of amyloidogenic proteins is infamous for being highly chaotic, with small variations in conditions sometimes leading to large changes in aggregation rates. Using the amyloidogenic protein IAPP (islet amyloid polypeptide protein, also known as amylin) as an example, we show that a part of this phenomenon may be related to the formation of(More)
The role played by Ca(2+) ions in the interaction of the human islet amyloid polypeptide (hIAPP) with model membranes has been investigated by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and circular dichroism (CD) experiments. In particular, the interaction of hIAPP and its rat isoform (rIAPP) with zwitterionic dipalmitoyl-phosphatidylcholine (DPPC),(More)
Fundamental understanding of ion channel formation by amyloid peptides, which is strongly linked to cell toxicity, is very critical for (pre)clinical treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we combine atomistic simulations and experiments to demonstrate a broad range of conformational states of hIAPP double channels in lipid membranes. All individual(More)
The activity of antimicrobial peptides has been shown to depend on the composition of the target cell membrane. The bacterial selectivity of most antimicrobial peptides has been attributed to the presence of abundant acidic phospholipids and the absence of cholesterol in bacterial membranes. The high amount of cholesterol present in eukaryotic cell(More)
The flexible N-terminal domain of the prion protein (PrP(c)) is believed to play a pivotal role in both trafficking of the protein through the cell membrane and its pathogenic conversion into the β sheet-rich scrapie isoform (PrP(sc)). Unlike mammalian PrP(c), avian prion proteins are not known to undergo any pathogenic conformational conversions.(More)