Complete phenotypic recovery of an Alzheimer's disease model by a quinone-tryptophan hybrid aggregation inhibitor

TitleComplete phenotypic recovery of an Alzheimer's disease model by a quinone-tryptophan hybrid aggregation inhibitor
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsScherzer-Attali R., Pellarin R., Convertino M., Frydman-Marom A., Egoz-Matia N., Peled S., Levy-Sakin M., Shalev D.E, Caflisch A., Gazit E., Segal D.
JournalPLoS One
Date Published2010
Type of ArticleResearch Article
KeywordsAlzheimer Disease, Circular Dichroism, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Models, Biological, Models, Molecular, Naphthoquinones, Phenotype, Quinones, Tryptophan

The rational design of amyloid oligomer inhibitors is yet an unmet drug development need. Previous studies have identified the role of tryptophan in amyloid recognition, association and inhibition. Furthermore, tryptophan was ranked as the residue with highest amyloidogenic propensity. Other studies have demonstrated that quinones, specifically anthraquinones, can serve as aggregation inhibitors probably due to the dipole interaction of the quinonic ring with aromatic recognition sites within the amyloidogenic proteins. Here, using in vitro, in vivo and in silico tools we describe the synthesis and functional characterization of a rationally designed inhibitor of the Alzheimer's disease-associated β-amyloid. This compound, 1,4-naphthoquinon-2-yl-L-tryptophan (NQTrp), combines the recognition capacities of both quinone and tryptophan moieties and completely inhibited Aβ oligomerization and fibrillization, as well as the cytotoxic effect of Aβ oligomers towards cultured neuronal cell line. Furthermore, when fed to transgenic Alzheimer's disease Drosophila model it prolonged their life span and completely abolished their defective locomotion. Analysis of the brains of these flies showed a significant reduction in oligomeric species of Aβ while immuno-staining of the 3(rd) instar larval brains showed a significant reduction in Aβ accumulation. Computational studies, as well as NMR and CD spectroscopy provide mechanistic insight into the activity of the compound which is most likely mediated by clamping of the aromatic recognition interface in the central segment of Aβ. Our results demonstrate that interfering with the aromatic core of amyloidogenic peptides is a promising approach for inhibiting various pathogenic species associated with amyloidogenic diseases. The compound NQTrp can serve as a lead for developing a new class of disease modifying drugs for Alzheimer's disease.



Alternate JournalPLoS ONE
PubMed ID20559435
PubMed Central IDPMC2885425
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