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Bacterial curli protein promotes the conversion of PAP248-286 into the amyloid SEVI: cross-seeding of dissimilar amyloid sequences

Author(s): Kevin Hartman | Jeffrey R. Brender | Kazuaki Monde | Akira Ono | Margery L. Evans | Nataliya Popovych | Matthew R. Chapman | Ayyalusamy Ramamoorthy

Journal: PeerJ
ISSN 2167-8359

Volume: 1;
Start page: e5;
Date: 2013;
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Keywords: Functional amyloid | Strain | Kinetics | Seeding | HIV

Fragments of prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP248-286) in human semen dramatically increase HIV infection efficiency by increasing virus adhesion to target cells. PAP248-286 only enhances HIV infection in the form of amyloid aggregates termed SEVI (Semen Enhancer of Viral Infection), however monomeric PAP248-286 aggregates very slowly in isolation. It has therefore been suggested that SEVI fiber formation in vivo may be promoted by exogenous factors. We show here that a bacterially-produced extracellular amyloid (curli or Csg) acts as a catalytic agent for SEVI formation from PAP248-286 at low concentrations in vitro, producing fibers that retain the ability to enhance HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) infection. Kinetic analysis of the cross-seeding effect shows an unusual pattern. Cross-seeding PAP248-286 with curli only moderately affects the nucleation rate while significantly enhancing the growth of fibers from existing nuclei. This pattern is in contrast to most previous observations of cross-seeding, which show cross-seeding partially bypasses the nucleation step but has little effect on fiber elongation. Seeding other amyloidogenic proteins (IAPP (islet amyloid polypeptide) and Aβ1−40) with curli showed varied results. Curli cross-seeding decreased the lag-time of IAPP amyloid formation but strongly inhibited IAPP elongation. Curli cross-seeding exerted a complicated concentration dependent effect on Aβ1−40 fibrillogenesis kinetics. Combined, these results suggest that the interaction of amyloidogenic proteins with preformed fibers of a different type can take a variety of forms and is not limited to epitaxial nucleation between proteins of similar sequence. The ability of curli fibers to interact with proteins of dissimilar sequences suggests cross-seeding may be a more general phenomenon than previously supposed.
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