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Neurochemistry, Parkinson's disease

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Growing evidence implicates α-synuclein aggregation as a key driver of neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s disease (PD) and other neurodegenerative disorders. Herein, the molecular and structural mechanisms of inhibiting α-synuclein aggregation by novel analogs of nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA), a phenolic dibenzenediol lignan, were explored using an array of biochemical and biophysical methodologies. NDGA analogs induced modest, progressive compaction of monomeric α-synuclein, preventing aggregation into amyloid-like fibrils. This conformational remodeling preserved the dynamic adoption of α-helical conformations, which are essential for physiological membrane interactions. Oxidation-dependent NDGA cyclization was required for the interaction with monomeric α-synuclein. NDGA analog-pretreated α-synuclein did not aggregate even without NDGA-analogs in the aggregation mixture. Strikingly, NDGA-pretreated α-synuclein suppressed aggregation of naïve untreated aggregation-competent monomeric α-synuclein. Further, cyclized NDGA reduced α-synuclein-driven neurodegeneration in Caenorhabditis elegans. The cyclized NDGA analogs may serve as a platform for the development of small molecules that stabilize aggregation-resistant α-synuclein monomers without interfering with functional conformations yielding potential therapies for PD and related disorders.

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Scientific Reports, v. 9, art. 2937

41598_2019_39480_MOESM1_ESM.docx (5333 kB)
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