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PLOS ONE  2012 

Amyloid-β Peptide Binds to Cytochrome C Oxidase Subunit 1

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0042344

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Extracellular and intraneuronal accumulation of amyloid-beta aggregates has been demonstrated to be involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the precise mechanism of amyloid-beta neurotoxicity is not completely understood. Previous studies suggest that binding of amyloid-beta to a number of macromolecules has deleterious effects on cellular functions. Mitochondria were found to be the target for amyloid-beta, and mitochondrial dysfunction is well documented in AD. In the present study we have shown for the first time that Aβ 1–42 bound to a peptide comprising the amino-terminal region of cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1. Phage clone, selected after screening of a human brain cDNA library expressed on M13 phage and bearing a 61 amino acid fragment of cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1, bound to Aβ 1–42 in ELISA as well as to Aβ aggregates present in AD brain. Aβ 1–42 and cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 co-immunoprecipitated from mitochondrial fraction of differentiated human neuroblastoma cells. Likewise, molecular dynamics simulation of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 and the Aβ 1–42 peptide complex resulted in a reliable helix-helix interaction, supporting the experimental results. The interaction between Aβ 1–42 and cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 may explain, in part, the diminished enzymatic activity of respiratory chain complex IV and subsequent neuronal metabolic dysfunction observed in AD.


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