Binding sites for luminescent amyloid biomarkers from non-biased molecular dynamics simulations†
A very stable binding site for the interaction between a pentameric oligothiophene and an amyloid-β(1–42) fibril has been identified by means of non-biased molecular dynamics simulations. In this site, the probe is locked in an all-trans conformation with a Coulombic binding energy of 1200 kJ mol−1 due to the interactions between the anionic carboxyl groups of the probe and the cationic ε-amino groups in the lysine side chain. Upon binding, the conformationally restricted probes show a pronounced increase in molecular planarity. This is in line with the observed changes in luminescence properties that serve as the foundation for their use as biomarkers.