The aggregation of human islet amyloid polypeptide (hIAPP) plays a major role in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and numerous strategies for controlling hIAPP aggregation have been investigated so far. In particular, several organic and inorganic nanoparticles (NPs) have shown the potential to influence the aggregation of hIAPP and other amyloidogenic proteins and peptides. In addition to conventional NPs, DNA nanostructures are receiving more and more attention from the biomedical field. Therefore, in this work, we investigated the effects of two different DNA origami nanostructures on hIAPP aggregation. To this end, we employed in situ turbidity measurements and ex situ atomic force microscopy (AFM). The turbidity measurements revealed a retarding effect of the DNA nanostructures on hIAPP aggregation, while the AFM results showed the co-aggregation of hIAPP with the DNA origami nanostructures into hybrid peptide–DNA aggregates. We assume that this was caused by strong electrostatic interactions between the negatively charged DNA origami nanostructures and the positively charged peptide. Most intriguingly, the influence of the DNA origami nanostructures on hIAPP aggregation differed from that of genomic double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) and appeared to depend on DNA origami superstructure. DNA origami nanostructures may thus represent a novel route for modulating amyloid aggregation in vivo.
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