A Novel Cardenolide Glycoside Isolated from Xysmalobium undulatum Reduces Levels of the Alzheimer's Disease-Associated β-Amyloid Peptides Aβ42 In Vitro.
ABSTRACT: Elevated levels of the amylo β-proteins (Aβ), particularly Aβ42, are associated with a high risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The Aβ proteins are produced from cellular processing of the amyloid precursor proteins (APPs). To identify natural products that block the formation of Aβ-proteins from APPs, we previously screened a library of plant extracts and identified Xysmalobium undulaum (Apocynaceae) as a potential plant for further research. Here, we provide a report on the isolation and identification of the active principles from the plant species using a bioassay-guided fractionation. Fractions and resulting pure compounds from the purification process of the extract of X. undulatum were screened in vitro against APPs transfected HeLa cell lines. Three compounds, acetylated glycosydated crotoxogenin (1), xysmalogenin-3, β-d-glucopyranoside (2), and crotoxigenin 3-O-glucopyranoside (3), were subsequently isolated and their structures elucidated using NMR and mass spectrometry. Compound 1, a novel cardenolide, and 2 significantly decreased the Aβ42 levels in a dose-dependent manner while compound 3 was inactive. In silico investigations identified the AD's β-secretase enzyme, BACE1, as a potential target for these compounds with the glycoside moiety being of significance in binding to the enzyme active site. Our study provides the first report of a novel cardenolide and the potential of cardenolides as chemical scaffolds for developing AD treatment drugs.
Project description:Processing of amyloid-β (Aβ) precursor protein (APP) by γ-secretase produces multiple species of Aβ: Aβ40, short Aβ peptides (Aβ37-39), and longer Aβ peptides (Aβ42-43). γ-Secretase modulators, a class of Alzheimer's disease therapeutics, reduce production of the pathogenic Aβ42 but increase the relative abundance of short Aβ peptides. To evaluate the pathological relevance of these peptides, we expressed Aβ36-40 and Aβ42-43 in Drosophila melanogaster to evaluate inherent toxicity and potential modulatory effects on Aβ42 toxicity. In contrast to Aβ42, the short Aβ peptides were not toxic and, when coexpressed with Aβ42, were protective in a dose-dependent fashion. In parallel, we explored the effects of recombinant adeno-associated virus-mediated expression of Aβ38 and Aβ40 in mice. When expressed in nontransgenic mice at levels sufficient to drive Aβ42 deposition, Aβ38 and Aβ40 did not deposit or cause behavioral alterations. These studies indicate that treatments that lower Aβ42 by raising the levels of short Aβ peptides could attenuate the toxic effects of Aβ42.
Project description:Oligomers of amyloid β-protein (Aβ) are thought to be the proximal toxic agents initiating the neuropathologic process in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Therefore, targeting the self-assembly and oligomerization of Aβ has been an important strategy for designing AD therapeutics. In parallel, research into the metallobiology of AD has shown that Zn<sup>2+</sup> can strongly modulate the aggregation of Aβ in vitro and both promote and inhibit the neurotoxicity of Aβ, depending on the experimental conditions. Thus, successful inhibitors of Aβ self-assembly may have to inhibit the toxicity not only of Aβ oligomers themselves but also of Aβ-Zn<sup>2+</sup> complexes. However, there has been relatively little research investigating the effects of Aβ self-assembly and toxicity inhibitors in the presence of Zn<sup>2+</sup>. Our group has characterized previously a series of Aβ42 C-terminal fragments (CTFs), some of which have been shown to inhibit Aβ oligomerization and neurotoxicity. Here, we asked whether three CTFs shown to be potent inhibitors of Aβ42 toxicity maintained their activity in the presence of Zn<sup>2+</sup>. Biophysical analysis showed that the CTFs had different effects on oligomer, β-sheet, and fibril formation by Aβ42-Zn<sup>2+</sup> complexes. However, cell viability experiments in differentiated PC-12 cells incubated with Aβ42-Zn<sup>2+</sup> complexes in the absence or presence of these CTFs showed that the CTFs completely lost their inhibitory activity in the presence of Zn<sup>2+</sup> even when applied at 10-fold excess relative to Aβ42. In light of these results, we tested another inhibitor, the molecular tweezer CLR01, which coincidentally had been shown to have a high affinity for Zn<sup>2+</sup>, suggesting that it could disrupt both Aβ42 oligomerization and Aβ42-Zn<sup>2+</sup> complexation. Indeed, we found that CLR01 effectively inhibited the toxicity of Aβ42-Zn<sup>2+</sup> complexes. Moreover, it did so at a lower concentration than needed for inhibiting the toxicity of Aβ42 alone. In agreement with these results, CLR01 inhibited β-sheet and fibril formation in Aβ42-Zn<sup>2+</sup> complexes. Our data suggest that, for the development of efficient therapeutic agents, inhibitors of Aβ self-assembly and toxicity should be examined in the presence of relevant metal ions and that molecular tweezers may be particularly attractive candidates for therapy development.
Project description:Increasing evidence shows that Aβ oligomers are key pathogenic molecules in Alzheimer's disease. Among Aβ oligomers, dimer is the smallest aggregate and toxic unit. Therefore, understanding its structural and dynamic properties is quite useful to prevent the formation and toxicity of the Aβ oligomers. In this study, we performed molecular dynamic simulations on four Aβ42 dimers, 2NCb, CNNC, NCNC and NCCN, within the hydrated DPPC membrane. Four Aβ42 dimers differ in the arrangements of two Aβ42 peptides. This study aims to investigate the impact of aggregation pattern of two Aβ peptides on the structural stability of the Aβ42 dimer and its disruption to the biological membrane. The MD results demonstrate that the NCCN, CNNC and NCNC have the larger structural fluctuation at the N-terminus of Aβ42 peptide, where the β-strand structure converts into the coil structure. The loss of the N-terminal β-strand further impairs the aggregate ability of Aβ42 dimer. In addition, inserting Aβ42 dimer into the membrane can considerably decrease the average APL of DPPC membrane. Moreover this decrease effect is largely dependent on the distance to the location of Aβ42 dimer and its secondary structure forms. Based on the results, the 2NCb is considered as a stable dimeric unit for aggregating the larger Aβ42 oligomer, and has a potent ability to disrupt the membrane.
Project description:Interactions between amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) and the cell membrane include interaction with membrane lipids and binding to membrane receptors, both of which are considered to be the toxicity mechanisms of Aβ. However, it is unclear whether both mechanisms lead to cytotoxicity. Thus, we aimed to analyze these two mechanisms of Aβ42 interaction with cell membranes under different Aβ aggregation states. To this end, model membrane experiments were conducted. Quantitative analysis of Aβ42 monomers or oligomers bound to the membrane of neuro-2a cells was also performed, and laser confocal microscopy was employed to assess endocytosis of FITC-Aβ42 monomers or oligomers by neuro-2a cells. We found that the binding capacity of Aβ42 to membrane lipids was weak and that the amount of Aβ42 bound to membrane lipids was low. Moreover, clathrin-mediated endocytosis of Aβ42 oligomers by neuro-2a cells was observed. Endocytosis serves as a key mode of interaction between extracellular Aβ42 and neurons. These findings provide insights into the mechanisms underlying Aβ oligomer metabolism.
Project description:When injected into genetically modified mice, aggregates of the amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide from the brains of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients or transgenic AD mouse models seed cerebral Aβ deposition in a prion-like fashion. Within the brain, Aβ exists as a pool of distinct C-terminal variants with lengths ranging from 37 to 43 amino acids, yet the relative contribution of individual C-terminal Aβ variants to the seeding behavior of Aβ aggregates remains unknown. Here, we have investigated the relative seeding activities of Aβ aggregates composed exclusively of recombinant Aβ38, Aβ40, Aβ42, or Aβ43. Cerebral Aβ42 levels were not increased in App<sup>NL-F</sup> knock-in mice injected with Aβ38 or Aβ40 aggregates and were only increased in a subset of mice injected with Aβ42 aggregates. In contrast, significant accumulation of Aβ42 was observed in the brains of all mice inoculated with Aβ43 aggregates, and the extent of Aβ42 induction was comparable to that in mice injected with brain-derived Aβ seeds. Mice inoculated with Aβ43 aggregates exhibited a distinct pattern of cerebral Aβ pathology compared to mice injected with brain-derived Aβ aggregates, suggesting that recombinant Aβ43 may polymerize into a unique strain. Our results indicate that aggregates containing longer Aβ C-terminal variants are more potent inducers of cerebral Aβ deposition and highlight the potential role of Aβ43 seeds as a crucial factor in the initial stages of Aβ pathology in AD.
Project description:The amyloid cascade hypothesis proposes that amyloid-beta (Aβ) aggregation is the initial triggering event in Alzheimer's disease. Here, we utilize NMR spectroscopy and monitor the structural dynamics of two variants of Aβ, Aβ40 and Aβ42, as a function of temperature. Despite having identical amino acid sequence except for the two additional C-terminal residues, Aβ42 has higher aggregation propensity than Aβ40. As revealed by the NMR data on dynamics, including backbone chemical shifts, intra-methyl cross-correlated relaxation rates and glycine-based singlet-states, the C-terminal region of Aβ, especially the G33-L34-M35 segment, plays a particular role in the early steps of temperature-induced Aβ aggregation. In Aβ42, the distinct dynamical behaviour of C-terminal residues at higher temperatures is accompanied with marked changes in the backbone dynamics of residues V24-K28. The distinctive role of the C-terminal region of Aβ42 in the initiation of aggregation defines a target for the rational design of Aβ42 aggregation inhibitors.
Project description:The coaggregation of the amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) and α-synuclein is commonly observed in a range of neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. The complex interplay between Aβ and α-synuclein has led to seemingly contradictory results on whether α-synuclein promotes or inhibits Aβ aggregation. Here, we show how these conflicts can be rationalized and resolved by demonstrating that different structural forms of α-synuclein exert different effects on Aβ aggregation. Our results demonstrate that whereas monomeric α-synuclein blocks the autocatalytic proliferation of Aβ42 (the 42-residue form of Aβ) fibrils, fibrillar α-synuclein catalyses the heterogeneous nucleation of Aβ42 aggregates. It is thus the specific balance between the concentrations of monomeric and fibrillar α-synuclein that determines the outcome of the Aβ42 aggregation reaction.
Project description:Aβ (amyloid β-peptide) is believed to cause AD (Alzheimer's disease). Aβ42 (Aβ comprising 42 amino acids) is substantially more neurotoxic than Aβ40 (Aβ comprising 40 amino acids), and this increased toxicity correlates with the existence of unique Aβ42 oligomers. Met³⁵ oxidation to sulfoxide or sulfone eliminates the differences in early oligomerization between Aβ40 and Aβ42. Met³⁵ oxidation to sulfoxide has been reported to decrease Aβ assembly kinetics and neurotoxicity, whereas oxidation to sulfone has rarely been studied. Based on these data, we expected that oxidation of Aβ to sulfone would also decrease its toxicity and assembly kinetics. To test this hypothesis, we compared systematically the effect of the wild-type, sulfoxide and sulfone forms of Aβ40 and Aβ42 on neuronal viability, dendritic spine morphology and macroscopic Ca²(+) currents in primary neurons, and correlated the data with assembly kinetics. Surprisingly, we found that, in contrast with Aβ-sulfoxide, Aβ-sulfone was as toxic and aggregated as fast, as wild-type Aβ. Thus, although Aβ-sulfone is similar to Aβ-sulfoxide in its dipole moment and oligomer size distribution, it behaves similarly to wild-type Aβ in its aggregation kinetics and neurotoxicity. These surprising data decouple the toxicity of oxidized Aβ from its initial oligomerization, and suggest that our current understanding of the effect of methionine oxidation in Aβ is limited.
Project description:Impaired brain clearance of amyloid-beta peptides (Aβ) 40 and 42 across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is believed to be one of the pathways responsible for Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathogenesis. Hyperinsulinemia prevalent in type II diabetes was shown to damage cerebral vasculature and increase Aβ accumulation in AD brain. However, there is no clarity on how aberrations in peripheral insulin levels affect Aβ accumulation in the brain. This study describes, for the first time, an intricate relation between plasma insulin and Aβ transport at the BBB. Upon peripheral insulin administration in wild-type mice: the plasma clearance of Aβ40 increased, but Aβ42 clearance reduced; the plasma-to-brain influx of Aβ40 increased, and that of Aβ42 reduced; and the clearance of intracerebrally injected Aβ40 decreased, whereas Aβ42 clearance increased. In hCMEC/D3 monolayers (in vitro BBB model) exposed to insulin, the luminal uptake and luminal-to-abluminal permeability of Aβ40 increased and that of Aβ42 reduced; the abluminal-to-luminal permeability of Aβ40 decreased, whereas Aβ42 permeability increased. Moreover, Aβ cellular trafficking machinery was altered. In summary, Aβ40 and Aβ42 demonstrated distinct distribution kinetics in plasma and brain compartments, and insulin differentially modulated their distribution. Cerebrovascular disease and metabolic disorders may disrupt this intricate homeostasis and aggravate AD pathology.
Project description:Clusterin, also known as apoJ, is a lipoprotein abundantly expressed within the CNS. It regulates Aβ fibril formation and toxicity and facilitates amyloid-β (Aβ) transport across the blood-brain barrier. Genome-wide association studies have shown variations in the clusterin gene (CLU) to influence the risk of developing sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD). To explore whether clusterin modulates the regional deposition of Aβ, we measured levels of soluble (NP40-extracted) and insoluble (guanidine-HCl-extracted) clusterin, Aβ40 and Aβ42 by sandwich ELISA in brain regions with a predilection for amyloid pathology-mid-frontal cortex (MF), cingulate cortex (CC), parahippocampal cortex (PH), and regions with little or no pathology-thalamus (TH) and white matter (WM). Clusterin level was highest in regions with plaque pathology (MF, CC, PH and PC), approximately mirroring the regional distribution of Aβ. It was significantly higher in AD than controls, and correlated positively with Aβ42 and insoluble Aβ40. Soluble clusterin level rose significantly with severity of cerebral amyloid angiopathy, and in MF and PC regions was highest in APOE ɛ4 homozygotes. In the TH and WM (areas with little amyloid pathology) clusterin was unaltered in AD and did not correlate with Aβ level. There was a significant positive correlation between the concentration of clusterin and the regional levels of insoluble Aβ42; however, the molar ratio of clusterin : Aβ42 declined with insoluble Aβ42 level in a region-dependent manner, being lowest in regions with predilection for Aβ plaque pathology. Under physiological conditions, clusterin reduces aggregation and promotes clearance of Aβ. Our findings indicate that in AD, clusterin increases, particularly in regions with most abundant Aβ, but because the increase does not match the rising level of Aβ42, the molar ratio of clusterin : Aβ42 in those regions falls, probably contributing to Aβ deposition within the tissue.