Tetracycline prevents Aβ oligomer toxicity through an atypical supramolecular interaction.
ABSTRACT The antibiotic tetracycline was reported to possess an anti-amyloidogenic activity on a variety of amyloidogenic proteins both in in vitro and in vivo models. To unveil the mechanism of action of tetracycline on Aβ1-40 and Aβ1-42 at both molecular and supramolecular levels, we carried out a series of experiments using NMR spectroscopy, FTIR spectroscopy, dynamic laser light-scattering (DLS) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Firstly we showed that the co-incubation of Aβ1-42 oligomers with tetracycline hinders the toxicity towards N2a cell lines in a dose-dependent manner. Therefore, the nature of the interaction between the drug and Aβ oligomers was investigated. To carry out NMR and FTIR studies we have prepared Aβ peptide solutions containing assemblies ranging from monomers to large oligomers. Saturation transfer difference (STD) NMR experiments have shown that tetracycline did not interact with monomers at variance with oligomers. Noteworthy, in this latter case we observed that this interaction was very peculiar since the transfer of magnetization from Aβ oligomers to tetracycline involved all drug protons. In addition, intermolecular cross-peaks between tetracycline and Aβ were not observed in NOESY spectra, indicating the absence of a specific binding site and suggesting the occurrence of a supramolecular interaction. DLS and AFM studies supported this hypothesis since the co-dissolution of Aβ peptides and tetracycline triggered the immediate formation of new aggregates that improved the solubility of Aβ peptides, preventing in this way the progression of the amyloid cascade. Moreover, competitive NMR binding experiments showed for the first time that tetracycline competes with thioflavin T (ThT) in the binding to Aβ peptides. Our data shed light on a novel mechanism of anti-amyloidogenic activity displayed by tetracycline, governed by hydrophobic and charge multiparticle interactions.
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ABSTRACT: The polyglutamine (polyQ)-containing protein ataxin-3 (AT3) triggers the neurodegenerative disease spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 when its polyQ tract is expanded beyond a critical length. This results in protein aggregation and generation of toxic oligomers and fibrils. Currently, no effective treatment is available for such and other polyQ diseases. Therefore, plenty of investigations are being carried on to assess the mechanism of action and the therapeutic potential of anti-amyloid agents. Tetracycline and the polyphenol compound epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) have been shown to exert some effect in preventing fibrillogenesis of amyloidogenic proteins. Here, we have incubated an expanded AT3 variant with either compound to assess their effects on the aggregation pattern. The process was monitored by atomic force microscopy and FTIR spectroscopy. Whereas in the absence of any treatment AT3 gives rise to amyloid β-rich fibrils, whose hallmark is the typical glutamine side-chain hydrogen bonding, when incubated in the presence of EGCG it generated soluble, SDS-resistant aggregates, much poorer in β-sheets and devoid of any ordered side-chain hydrogen bonding. These are off-pathway species that persist until the latest incubation time and are virtually absent in the control sample. In contrast, tetracycline did not produce major alterations in the structural features of the aggregated species compared to the control, but substantially increased their solubility. Both compounds significantly reduced toxicity, as shown by the MTT assay in COS-7 cell line and in a transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans strain expressing in the nervous system an AT3 expanded variant in fusion with GFP.Human Molecular Genetics 07/2014; · 6.68 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Dye-binding assays that are used to evaluate anti-aggregation ability of small molecule inhibitors towards amyloids are known to be prone to false-positive effects due to spectral overlaps between the dye and the inhibitor. Aza-BODIPY dye, which has both excitation and emission maxima above 600nm, exhibits a significant increase in its fluorescence intensity in the presence of soluble oligomers of Aβ1-42. These results indicate that aza-BODIPY could serve as a near-IR probe for detecting conformational changes of Aβ1-42 soluble oligomers in vitro, and it should eliminate false-positive effects that are associated with currently utilized thioflavin T-based dyes. In addition, a facile synthesis of aza-BODIPY has been developed, which might further expand the applications of this dye.Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters 03/2013; 23(6):1732-5. · 2.65 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Nanoliposomes decorated on their surface with ligands for Aβ-peptides, the key morphological features of Alzheimer's disease (AD), have been synthesized and characterized for their ability to target Aβ-peptide aggregates. A tricyclic benzopyrane-glycofused structure has been exploited as Aβ-peptide ligand, which was linked to liposomes via a copper-free, chemoselective, biocompatible click chemistry reaction. The tricyclic-decorated liposomes presented a mean diameter in the nanomolar range (150-200 nm), a negative z-potential and a good stability, at least up to one month. Integrity studies performed in the presence of serum proteins indicated that these decorated nanoliposomes fulfill the requirements for in vivo applications. NMR experiments carried out with Aβ1-42 oligomers using both surface functionalized and plain (control) liposomes, revealed that the binding ability of the nanoliposomes was mediated by the presence of the tricyclic ligand on their surface. Finally ThT assay carried out with tricyclic-decorated liposomes showed significant decrease in thioflavine T fluorescence after 24 h, suggesting a significant inhibition/delay of Aβ1-42 aggregation.European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 10/2014; 85:43–50.