Multivalent Polymer-Peptide Conjugates: A General Platform for Inhibiting Amyloid Beta Peptide Aggregation

Xing Jiang, Abigail J. Halmes, Giuseppe Licari, John W. Smith, Yang Song, Edwin G. Moore, Qian Chen, Emad Tajkhorshid, Chad M. Rienstra, Jeffrey S. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Protein aggregation is implicated in multiple deposition diseases including Alzheimer's Disease, which features the formation of toxic aggregates of amyloid beta (Aβ) peptides. Many inhibitors have been developed to impede or reverse Aβ aggregation. Multivalent inhibitors, however, have been largely overlooked despite the promise of high inhibition efficiency endowed by the multivalent nature of Aβ aggregates. In this work, we report the success of multivalent polymer-peptide conjugates (mPPCs) as a general class of inhibitors of the aggregation of Aβ40. Significantly delayed onset of fibril formation was realized using mPPCs prepared with three peptide/peptoid ligands covering a range of polymer molecular weights (MWs) and ligand loadings. Dose dependence studies showed that the nature of the ligands is a key factor in mPPC inhibition potency. The negatively charged ligand LPFFD leads to more efficient mPPCs compared to mPPCs with the neutral ligands, and is most effective at 7% ligand loading across different MWs. Molecular dynamics simulations along with dynamic light scattering experiments suggestâ»that mPPCs form globular structures in solution due to ligand-ligand interactions. Such interactions are key to the spatial proximity of ligands and thus to the multivalency effect of mPPC inhibition. Excess ligand-ligand interactions, however, reduce the accessibility of mPPC ligands to Aβ peptides, and impair the overall inhibition potency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1365-1371
Number of pages7
JournalACS Macro Letters
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 15 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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