COVID-19 is caused by SARS-CoV-2. The neurological symptoms of long COVID such as memory loss, severe headaches, and even stroke are reported after the infection is over. The neurological effects of COVID-19 are similar to neurodegenerative diseases with cytotoxic aggregated amyloid protein or peptides. Two peptides from the SARS-CoV-2 proteome were identified to self-assemble into amyloid assemblies. These amyloids were highly toxic to neuronal cells. The cytotoxic aggregates of SARS-CoV-2 peptides may trigger neurological symptoms in COVID-19.
Method on self-assembly of peptides: A fresh stock solution was prepared by dissolving peptides in either PBS or ultrapure H2O at 90 °C, to final concentrations of 0.12 or 0.18 M for up to 5 h to allow the complete dissolution of peptides. Once fully dissolved, overnight gradual cooling of the solution to room temperature allowed for selfassembly to occur.
Hydrogel Formation: A fresh stock solution was prepared by dissolving peptides in either PBS or ultrapure H2O at 90 °C, to a concentration of 0.24 M for up to 5 h to allow for the complete dissolution of the peptides. Once fully dissolved, overnight gradual cooling of the solution to room temperature allowed for gel formation.
Reference: Charnley M, Islam S, Bindra GK, Engwirda J, Ratcliffe J, Zhou J, Mezzenga R, Hulett MD, Han K, Berryman JT, Reynolds NP. Neurotoxic amyloidogenic peptides in the proteome of SARS-COV2: potential implications for neurological symptoms in COVID-19. Nat Commun. 2022 Jun 13;13(1):3387. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-30932-1. PMID: 35697699; PMCID: PMC9189797.