Monomeric Amyloid Beta Peptide in Hexafluoroisopropanol Detected by Small Angle Neutron Scattering
A critical event in Alzheimer's disease is the transition of Abeta peptides from their soluble forms into disease-associated beta-sheet-rich conformers. Structural analysis of a complete D-amino acid replacement set of Abeta(1-42) enabled us to localize in the full-length 42-mer peptide the region responsible for the conformational switch into a beta-sheet structure. Although NMR spectroscopy of trifluoroethanol-stabilized monomeric Abeta(1-42) delineated two separated helical domains, only the destabilization of helix I, comprising residues 11-24, caused a transition to a beta-sheet structure. This conformational alpha-to-beta switch was directly accompanied by an aggregation process leading to the formation of amyloid fibrils.