Functional amyloids

While amyloid fibrils are usually associated with pathological aggregates of proteins and peptides in amyloid diseases, accumulating discoveries start to uncover functional roles of amyloids beyond pathology, known as functional amyloids. For example, amyloid fibrils formed by PMEL17 are a major functional component of the melanosomal compartment as they optimize melanin polymerization, condensation and storage. Beta-endorphin, an endogenous opioid peptide, forms amyloid fibrils in the low pH environment of secretory vesicles for efficient storage. Bacteria secret peptides (e.g., Curli CsgA in E. Coli, FapC in pseudomonas, and PSM in staphylococcus) to form amyloid fibrils important for biofilm formation. Vicilin amyloid accumulation increases during seed maturation and wanes at germination. In addition, amyloid fibrils have been discovered as building blocks for bionanotechnology and used to develop hybrid composite nanomaterials for novel applications. Recently, our lab starts to investigate structures and assembly dynamics of functional amyloids and explore their applications and implications.

5. Y. Xing, Y. Sun, B. Wang, & F. Ding, “Morphological Determinants of Carbon Nanomaterial-Induced Amyloid Peptide Self-Assembly”, Frontiers in Chemistry, 8: 160 (2020) DOI: 10.3389/fchem.2020.00160 PMCID:PMC7076083

4. I Javed,Z Zhang, J Adamcik, N Andrikopoulos, Y Li, DE Otzen, S Lin, R Mezzenga, TP Davis, F Ding* and P Ke*, “Accelerated Amyloid Beta Pathogenesis by Bacterial Amyloid FapC”, Adv Sci, 7, 2001299 (2020) doi:
– Featured as the Cover.

3. Y. Sun, F. Ding, “Thermo- and pH-Responsive Fibrillization of Squid Suckerin A1H1 Peptide”, Nanoscale, 12, 6307 – 6317 (2020) DOI: 10.1039/C9NR09271D

2. Z Huma,I Javed, Z Zhang, H Bilal, Y Sun, SZ Hussain, TP Davis, DE Otzen, CB Landersdorfer, F Ding, I Hussain and PC Ke, “Nano Silver Mitigates Biofilm Formation via FapC Amyloidosis Inhibition”, Small, 1906674-1906683 (2019) DOI: 10.1002/smll.201906674

1. I. Javed, Y. Sun, J. Adamcik, B. Wang, A. Kakinen, E. Pilkington, F. Ding, R. Mezzenga, T. Davis, Thomas; P. Ke, “Co-fibrillization of pathogenic and functional amyloid proteins with gold nanoparticles against amyloidogenesis”, Biomacromolecules, 18, 4316–4322 (2017) DOI: 10.1021/acs.biomac.7b01359