Autoxidation Enhances Anti-Amyloid Potential of Flavone Derivatives.
ABSTRACT: The increasing prevalence of amyloid-related disorders, such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease, raises the need for effective anti-amyloid drugs. It has been shown on numerous occasions that flavones, a group of naturally occurring anti-oxidants, can impact the aggregation process of several amyloidogenic proteins and peptides, including amyloid-beta. Due to flavone autoxidation at neutral pH, it is uncertain if the effective inhibitor is the initial molecule or a product of this reaction, as many anti-amyloid assays attempt to mimic physiological conditions. In this work, we examine the aggregation-inhibiting properties of flavones before and after they are oxidized. The oxidation of flavones was monitored by measuring the UV-vis absorbance spectrum change over time. The protein aggregation kinetics were followed by measuring the amyloidophilic dye thioflavin-T (ThT) fluorescence intensity change. Atomic force microscopy was employed to image the aggregates formed with the most prominent inhibitors. We demonstrate that flavones, which undergo autoxidation, have a far greater potency at inhibiting the aggregation of both the disease-related amyloid-beta, as well as a model amyloidogenic protein-insulin. Oxidized 6,2',3'-trihydroxyflavone was the most potent inhibitor affecting both insulin (7-fold inhibition) and amyloid-beta (2-fold inhibition). We also show that this tendency to autoxidize is related to the positions of the flavone hydroxyl groups.
Project description:A range of diseases is associated with amyloid fibril formation. Despite different proteins being responsible for each disease, all of them share similar features including beta-sheet-rich secondary structure and fibril-like protein aggregates. A number of proteins can form amyloid-like fibrils in vitro, resembling structural features of disease-related amyloids. Given these generic structural properties of amyloid and amyloid-like fibrils, generic inhibitors of fibril formation would be of interest for treatment of amyloid diseases. Recently, we identified five outstanding inhibitors of insulin amyloid-like fibril formation among the pool of 265 commercially available flavone derivatives. Here we report testing of these five compounds and of epi-gallocatechine-3-gallate (EGCG) on aggregation of alpha-synuclein and beta-amyloid. We used a Thioflavin T (ThT) fluorescence assay, relying on halftimes of aggregation as the measure of inhibition. This method avoids large numbers of false positive results. Our data indicate that four of the five flavones and EGCG inhibit alpha-synuclein aggregation in a concentration-dependent manner. However none of these derivatives were able to increase halftimes of aggregation of beta-amyloid.
Project description:Aggregation of ?-Synuclein (?S) protein to amyloid fibrils is a neuropathological hallmark of Parkinson's disease (PD). Growing evidence suggests that extracellular ?S aggregation plays a pivotal role in neurodegeneration found in PD in addition to the intracellular ?S aggregates in Lewy bodies (LB). Here, we identified and compared a diverse set of molecules capable of mitigating protein aggregation and exogenous toxicity of ?SA53T, a more aggregation-prone ?S mutant found in familial PD. For the first time, we investigated the ?S anti-amyloid activity of semi-synthetic flavonoid 2', 3', 4' trihydroxyflavone or 2-D08, which was compared with natural flavones myricetin and transilitin, as well as such structurally diverse polyphenols as honokiol and punicalagin. Additionally, two novel synthetic compounds with a dibenzyl imidazolidine scaffold, Compound 1 and Compound 2, were also investigated as they exhibited favorable binding with ?SA53T. All seven compounds inhibited ?SA53T aggregation as demonstrated by Thioflavin T fluorescence assays, with modified fibril morphology observed by transmission electron microscopy. Ion mobility-mass spectrometry (IM-MS) was used to monitor the structural conversion of native ?SA53T into amyloidogenic conformations and all seven compounds preserved the native unfolded conformations of ?SA53T following 48 h incubation. The presence of each test compound in a 1:2 molar ratio was also shown to inhibit the neurotoxicity of preincubated ?SA53T using phaeochromocytoma (PC12) cell viability assays. Among the seven tested compounds 2-D08, honokiol, and the synthetic Compound 2 demonstrated the highest inhibition of aggregation, coupled with neuroprotection from preincubated ?SA53T in vitro. Molecular docking predicted that all compounds bound near the lysine-rich region of the N-terminus of ?SA53T, where the flavonoids and honokiol predominantly interacted with Lys 23. Overall, these findings highlight that (i) restricted vicinal trihydroxylation in the flavone B-ring is more effective in stabilizing the native ?S conformations, thus blocking amyloidogenic aggregation, than dihydroxylation aggregation in both A and B-ring, and (ii) honokiol, punicalagin, and the synthetic imidazolidine Compound 2 also inhibit ?S amyloidogenic aggregation by stabilizing its native conformations. This diverse set of molecules acting on a singular pathological target with predicted binding to ?SA53T in the folding-prone N-terminal region may contribute toward novel drug-design for PD.
Project description:Microcin E492 (MccE492) is a pore-forming bacteriocin produced and exported by Klebsiella pneumoniae RYC492. Besides its antibacterial activity, excreted MccE492 can form amyloid fibrils in vivo as well as in vitro. It has been proposed that bacterial amyloids can be functional playing a biological role, and in the particular case of MccE492 it would control the antibacterial activity. MccE492 amyloid fibril's morphology and formation kinetics in vitro have been well-characterized, however, it is not known which amino acid residues determine its amyloidogenic propensity, nor if it forms intracellular amyloid inclusions as has been reported for other bacterial amyloids. In this work we found the conditions in which MccE492 forms intracellular amyloids in Escherichia coli cells, that were visualized as round-shaped inclusion bodies recognized by two amyloidophilic probes, 2-4'-methylaminophenyl benzothiazole and thioflavin-S. We used this property to perform a flow cytometry-based assay to evaluate the aggregation propensity of MccE492 mutants, that were designed using an in silico prediction of putative aggregation hotspots. We established that the predicted amino acid residues 54-63, effectively act as a pro-amyloidogenic stretch. As in the case of other amyloidogenic proteins, this region presented two gatekeeper residues (P57 and P59), which disfavor both intracellular and in vitro MccE492 amyloid formation, preventing an uncontrolled aggregation. Mutants in each of these gatekeeper residues showed faster in vitro aggregation and bactericidal inactivation kinetics, and the two mutants were accumulated as dense amyloid inclusions in more than 80% of E. coli cells expressing these variants. In contrast, the MccE492 mutant lacking residues 54-63 showed a significantly lower intracellular aggregation propensity and slower in vitro polymerization kinetics. Electron microscopy analysis of the amyloids formed in vitro by these mutants revealed that, although with different efficiency, all formed fibrils morphologically similar to wild-type MccE492. The physiological implication of MccE492 intracellular amyloid formation is probably similar to the inactivation process observed for extracellular amyloids, and could be used as a mean of sequestering potentially toxic species inside the cell when this bacteriocin is produced in large amounts.
Project description:1.?We previously reported that flavone and flavanone interact spectrally with cytochrome P450 (P450 or CYP) 2A6 and 2A13 and other human P450s and inhibit catalytic activities of these P450 enzymes. In this study, we studied abilities of CYP1A1, 1A2, 1B1, 2A6, 2A13, 2C9 and 3A4 to oxidize flavone and flavanone. 2.?Human P450s oxidized flavone to 6- and 5-hydroxylated flavones, seven uncharacterized mono-hydroxylated flavones, and five di-hydroxylated flavones. CYP2A6 was most active in forming 6-hydroxy- and 5-hydroxyflavones and several mono- and di-hydroxylated products. 3.?CYP2A6 was also very active in catalyzing flavanone to form 2'- and 6-hydroxyflavanones, the major products, at turnover rates of 4.8?min-1 and 1.3?min-1, respectively. Other flavanone metabolites were 4'-, 3'- and 7-hydroxyflavanone, three uncharacterized mono-hydroxylated flavanones and five mono-hydroxylated flavones, including 6-hydroxyflavone. CYP2A6 catalyzed flavanone to produce flavone at a turnover rate of 0.72?min-1 that was ?3-fold higher than that catalyzed by CYP2A13 (0.29?min-1). 4.?These results indicate that CYP2A6 and other human P450s have important roles in metabolizing flavone and flavanone, two unsubstituted flavonoids, present in dietary foods. Chemical mechanisms of P450-catalyzed desaturation of flavanone to form flavone are discussed.
Project description:Numerous short peptides have been shown to form beta-sheet amyloid aggregates in vitro. Proteins that contain such sequences are likely to be problematic for a cell, due to their potential to aggregate into toxic structures. We investigated the structures of 30 proteins containing 45 sequences known to form amyloid, to see how the proteins cope with the presence of these potentially toxic sequences, studying secondary structure, hydrogen-bonding, solvent accessible surface area and hydrophobicity. We identified two mechanisms by which proteins avoid aggregation: Firstly, amyloidogenic sequences are often found within helices, despite their inherent preference to form beta structure. Helices may offer a selective advantage, since in order to form amyloid the sequence will presumably have to first unfold and then refold into a beta structure. Secondly, amyloidogenic sequences that are found in beta structure are usually buried within the protein. Surface exposed amyloidogenic sequences are not tolerated in strands, presumably because they lead to protein aggregation via assembly of the amyloidogenic regions. The use of alpha-helices, where amyloidogenic sequences are forced into helix, despite their intrinsic preference for beta structure, is thus a widespread mechanism to avoid protein aggregation.
Project description:Several natural and synthetic flavone derivatives have been reported to inhibit formation of amyloid fibrils or to remodel existing fibrils. These studies suggest that the numbers and positions of hydroxyl groups on the flavone rings determine their effectiveness as amyloid inhibitors. In many studies the primary method for determining the effectiveness of inhibition is measuring Thioflavin T (ThT) fluorescence. This method demonstrably results in a number of false positives for inhibition. We studied the effects of 265 commercially available flavone derivatives on insulin fibril formation. We enhanced the effectiveness of ThT fluorescence measurements by fitting kinetic curves to obtain halftime of aggregation (t50). Maximal values of ThT fluorescence varied two fold or more in one third of all cases, but this did not correlate with changes in t50. Changes in t50 values were more accurate measures of inhibition of amyloid formation. We showed that without a change in an assay, but just by observing complete kinetic curves it is possible to eliminate numbers of false positive and sometimes even false negative results. Examining the data from all 265 flavones we confirmed previous observations that identified the importance of hydroxyl groups for inhibition. Our evidence suggests the importance of hydroxyl groups at locations 5, 6, 7, and 4', and the absence of a hydroxyl group at location 3, for inhibiting amyloid formation. However, the main conclusion is that the positions are not additive. The structures and their effects must be thought of in the context of the whole molecule.
Project description:To examine the role of the enzyme methionine sulfoxide reductase A-1 (MSRA-1) in amyloid-? peptide (A?)-peptide aggregation and toxicity in vivo, using a Caenorhabditis elegans model of the human amyloidogenic disease inclusion body myositis.MSRA-1 specifically reduces oxidized methionines in proteins. Therefore, a deletion of the msra-1 gene was introduced into transgenic C. elegans worms that express the A?-peptide in muscle cells to prevent the reduction of oxidized methionines in proteins. In a constitutive transgenic A? strain that lacks MSRA-1, the number of amyloid aggregates decreases while the number of oligomeric A? species increases. These results correlate with enhanced synaptic dysfunction and mislocalization of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor ACR-16 at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ).This approach aims at modulating the oxidation of A? in vivo indirectly by dismantling the methionine sulfoxide repair system. The evidence presented here shows that the absence of MSRA-1 influences A? aggregation and aggravates locomotor behavior and NMJ dysfunction. The results suggest that therapies which boost the activity of the Msr system could have a beneficial effect in managing amyloidogenic pathologies.The absence of MSRA-1 modulates A?-peptide aggregation and increments its deleterious effects in vivo.
Project description:Human transthyretin (TTR) is an amyloidogenic protein whose mild amyloidogenicity is enhanced by many point mutations affecting considerably the amyloid disease phenotype. To ascertain whether the high amyloidogenic potential of TTR variants may be explained on the basis of the conformational change hypothesis, an aim of this work was to determine structural alterations for five amyloidogenic TTR variants crystallized under native and/or destabilizing (moderately acidic pH) conditions. While at acidic pH structural changes may be more significant because of a higher local protein flexibility, only limited alterations, possibly representing early events associated with protein destabilization, are generally induced by mutations. This study was also aimed at establishing to what extent wild-type TTR and its amyloidogenic variants are intrinsically prone to beta-aggregation. We report the results of a computational analysis predicting that wild-type TTR possesses a very high intrinsic beta-aggregation propensity which is on average not enhanced by amyloidogenic mutations. However, when located in beta-strands, most of these mutations are predicted to destabilize the native beta-structure. The analysis also shows that rat and murine TTR have a lower intrinsic beta-aggregation propensity and a similar native beta-structure stability compared with human TTR. This result is consistent with the lack of in vitro amyloidogenicity found for both murine and rat TTR. Collectively, the results of this study support the notion that the high amyloidogenic potential of human pathogenic TTR variants is determined by the destabilization of their native structures, rather than by a higher intrinsic beta-aggregation propensity.
Project description:The protein beta-lactoglobulin aggregates into two apparently distinct forms under different conditions: amyloid fibrils at pH values away from the isoelectric point, and spherical aggregates near it. To understand this apparent dichotomy in behavior, we studied the internal structure of the spherical aggregates by employing a range of biophysical approaches. Fourier transform infrared studies show the aggregates have a high beta-sheet content that is distinct from the native beta-lactoglobulin structure. The structures also bind the amyloidophilic dye thioflavin-T, and wide-angle x-ray diffraction showed reflections corresponding to spacings typically observed for amyloid fibrils composed of beta-lactoglobulin. Combined with small-angle x-ray scattering data indicating the presence of one-dimensional linear aggregates at the molecular level, these findings indicate strongly that the aggregates contain amyloid-like substructure. Incubation of beta-lactoglobulin at pH values increasingly removed from the isoelectric point resulted in the increasing appearance of fibrillar species, rather than spherical species shown by electron microscopy. Taken together, these results suggest that amyloid-like beta-sheet structures underlie protein aggregation over a much broader range of conditions than previously believed. Furthermore, the results suggest that there is a continuum of beta-sheet structure of varying regularity underlying the aggregate morphology, from very regular amyloid fibrils at high charge to short stretches of amyloid-like fibrils that associate together randomly to form spherical particles at low net charge.
Project description:Protein aggregation into insoluble fibrillar aggregates is linked to several neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease. Commonly used methods to study aggregation inhibition or fibril destabilization by potential drugs include spectroscopic measurements of amyloidophilic dye molecule fluorescence or absorbance changes. In this work we show the cross-interactions of five different dye molecules on the surface of insulin amyloid fibrils, resulting in cooperative binding and fluorescence quenching.