Tyrosine carbon dots inhibit fibrillation and toxicity of the human islet amyloid polypeptide

Daniel Nir Bloch, Shani Ben Zichri, Sofiya Kolusheva, Raz Jelinek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Misfolding and aggregation of the human islet amyloid polypeptide (hIAPP) are believed to play key roles in the pathophysiology of type-II diabetes. Here, we demonstrate that carbon dots (C-dots) prepared from the amino acid tyrosine inhibit fibrillation of hIAPP, reduce hIAPP-induced cell toxicity and block membrane disruption by the peptide. The pronounced inhibitory effect is traced to the display of ubiquitous aromatic residues upon the C-dots' surface, mimicking the anti-fibril and anti-toxic activity of natural polyphenolic compounds. Notably, spectroscopy and thermodynamics analysis demonstrated different hIAPP interactions and fibril inhibition effects induced by tyrosine-C-dots displaying phenolic residues and C-dots prepared from phenylalanine which exhibited phenyl units on their surface, underscoring the significance of hydrogen bonding mediated by the phenolic hydroxide moieties for the fibril modulation activity. The presented experiments attest to the potential of tyrosine-C-dots as a therapeutic vehicle for protein misfolding diseases, interfering in both π-π interactions as well as hydrogen bonding involving aromatic residues of amyloidogenic peptides.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5866-5873
Number of pages8
JournalNanoscale Advances
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry (all)
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Materials Science (all)
  • Engineering (all)


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