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Small Bifunctional Chelators That Do Not Disaggregate Amyloid β Fibrils Exhibit Reduced Cellular Toxicity

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journal contribution
posted on 17.12.2015, 05:30 by Anuj K. Sharma, Jaekwang Kim, John T. Prior, Nicholas J. Hawco, Nigam P. Rath, Jungsu Kim, Liviu M. Mirica
Multifunctional metal chelators that can modulate the amyloid β (Aβ) peptide aggregation and its interaction with metal ions such as copper and zinc hold considerable promise as therapeutic agents for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, specific rather than systemic metal chelation by these compounds is needed in order to limit any side effects. Reported herein are two novel small bifunctional chelators, 2-[2-hydroxy-4-(diethylamino)­phenyl]­benzothiazole (L1) and 2-(2-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)­benzothiazole (L2), in which the metal-binding donor atoms are integrated within a molecular framework derived from the amyloid-binding fluorescent dye thioflavin T (ThT). The metal-binding properties of L1 and L2 were probed by pH spectrophotometric titrations to determine their pKa values and the corresponding metal complex stability constants, and the isolated metal complexes were structurally characterized. The amyloid-fibril-binding properties of L1 and L2 were investigated by fluorescence titrations and ThT competition assays. Interestingly, L1 and L2 do not lead to the formation of neurotoxic Aβ42 oligomers in the presence or absence of metal ions, as observed by native gel electrophoresis, Western blotting, and transmission electron microscopy. In addition, L1 and L2 were able to reduce the cell toxicity of preformed Aβ42 oligomers and of the copper-stabilized Aβ42 oligomers. Given their ability to reduce the toxicity of soluble Aβ42 and Cu-Aβ42 species, L1 and L2 are promising lead compounds for the development of chemical agents that can control the neurotoxicity of soluble Aβ42 species in AD.

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