Single Amino Acid Based Self-Assemblies of Cysteine and Methionine

We report for the very first time self-assembly of Cysteine and Methionine to discrenible strucutres under neutral condition. To get insights into the structure formation, thioflavin T and Congo red binding assays were done which revealed that aggregates may not have amyloid like characteristics. The nature of interactions which lead to such self-assemblies was purported by coincubating assemblies in urea and mercaptoethanol. Further interaction of aggregates with short amyloidogenic dipeptide diphenylalanine (FF) was assessed. While cysteine aggregates completely disrupted FF fibres, methionine albeit triggered fibrillation. The cytotoxicity assays of cysteine and methionine structures were performed on Human Neuroblastoma IMR-32 cells which suggested that aggregates are not cytotoxic in nature and thus, may not have amyloid like etiology. The results presented in the manuscript are striking, since to the best of our knowledge,this is the first report which demonstrates that even non-aromatic amino acids (cysteine and methionine) can undergo spontaneous self-assembly to form ordered aggregates.