Inhibition and Disruption of Amyloid Formation by the Antibiotic Levofloxacin: A New Direction for Antibiotics in an Era of Multi-drug Resistance

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Human Lysozyme, Antibiotic, Amyloid, Disaggregation, Molecular Docking Simulation

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Neurodegenerative diseases are a group of debilitating maladies involving protein aggregation. To this day, all advances in neurodegenerative disease therapeutics have helped symptomatically but have not prevented the root cause of the disease, i.e., the aggregation of involved proteins. Antibiotics are becoming increasingly obsolete due to the rising multidrug resistance strains of bacteria. Thus, antibiotics, if put to different use as therapeutics against other diseases, could pave a new direction to the world of antibiotics. Hence, we studied the antibiotic levofloxacin for its potential anti-amyloidogenic behavior using human lysozyme, a protein involved in non-systemic amyloidosis, as a model system. At the sub-stoichiometric level, levofloxacin was able to inhibit amyloid formation in human lysozyme as observed by various spectroscopic and microscopic methods, with IC50 values as low as 8.8 ± 0.1 μM. Levofloxacin also displayed a retarding effect on seeding phenomena by elongating the lag-phase (from 0 to 88 h) at lower concentration, and arresting lysozyme fibrillation at the lag stage in sub-stoichiometric concentrations. Structural and computational analyses provided mechanistic insight showing that levofloxacin stabilizes the lysozyme in the native state by binding to the aggregation-prone residues, and thereby inhibiting amyloid fibrillation. Levofloxacin also showed the property of disrupting amyloid fibrils into a smaller polymeric form of proteins which were less cytotoxic as confirmed by hemolytic assay. Therefore, we throw new light on levofloxacin as an amyloid inhibitor and disruptor which could pave way to utilization of levofloxacin as a potential therapeutic against non-systemic amyloidosis and neurodegenerative diseases.

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Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, v. 714, issue 15, art. 109077