Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Faculty Research


Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Low-ordered Alzheimer B-amyloid Oligomers from Dimer to Hexamer on the Self-assembled Monolayers

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2011


Accumulation of small soluble oligomers of amyloid-β (Aβ) in the human brain is thought to play an important pathological role in Alzheimer’s disease. The interaction of these Aβ oligomers with cell membrane and other artificial surfaces is important for the understanding of Aβ aggregation and toxicity mechanisms. Here, we present a series of exploratory molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to study the early adsorption and conformational change of Aβ oligomers from dimer to hexamer on three different self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) terminated with CH3, OH, and COOH groups. Within the time scale of MD simulations, the conformation, orientation, and adsorption of Aβ oligomers on the SAMs is determined by complex interplay among the size of Aβ oligomers, the surface chemistry of the SAMs, and the structure and dynamics of interfacial waters. Energetic analysis of Aβ adsorption on the SAMs reveals that Aβ adsorption on the SAMs is a net outcome of different competitions between dominant hydrophobic Aβ–CH3-SAM interactions and weak CH3-SAM–water interactions, between dominant electrostatic Aβ–COOH-SAM interactions and strong COOH-SAM–water interactions, and between comparable hydrophobic and electrostatic Aβ–OH-SAM interactions and strong OH-SAM–water interactions. Atomic force microscopy images also confirm that all of three SAMs can induce the adsorption and polymerization of Aβ oligomers. Structural analysis of Aβ oligomers on the SAMs shows a dramatic increase in structural stability and β-sheet content from dimer to trimer, suggesting that Aβ trimer could act as seeds for Aβ polymerization on the SAMs. This work provides atomic-level understanding of Aβ peptides at interface.





First Page


Last Page