Seeding, in the context of amyloid disease, is the sequential transfer of pathogenic protein aggregates from cell-to-cell within affected tissues. The structure of pathogenic seeds provides the molecular basis and enables rapid conversion of soluble protein into fibrils. To date, there are no inhibitors that specifically target seeding of Parkinson’s disease (PD)-associated α-synuclein (α-syn) fibrils, in part, due to lack of information of the structural properties of pathological seeds. Here we design small peptidic inhibitors based on the atomic structure of the core of α-syn fibrils. The inhibitors prevent α-syn aggregation in vitro and in cell culture models with binding affinities of 0.5 μM to α-syn fibril seeds. The inhibitors also show efficacy in preventing seeding by human patient-derived α-syn fibrils. Our results suggest that pathogenic seeds of α-syn contain steric zippers and suggest a therapeutic approach targeted at the spread and progression that may be applicable for PD and related synucleinopathies.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript. A source data file has been provided for Figures 2,3,4,5 and 7.
- David S Eisenberg
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Michael B Eisen, HHMI, University of California, Berkeley, United States
© 2020, Sangwan et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Kinase inhibitors are successful therapeutics in the treatment of cancers and autoimmune diseases and are useful tools in biomedical research. However, the high sequence and structural conservation of the catalytic kinase domain complicates the development of selective kinase inhibitors. Inhibition of off-target kinases makes it difficult to study the mechanism of inhibitors in biological systems. Current efforts focus on the development of inhibitors with improved selectivity. Here, we present an alternative solution to this problem by combining inhibitors with divergent off-target effects. We develop a multicompound-multitarget scoring (MMS) method that combines inhibitors to maximize target inhibition and to minimize off-target inhibition. Additionally, this framework enables optimization of inhibitor combinations for multiple on-targets. Using MMS with published kinase inhibitor datasets we determine potent inhibitor combinations for target kinases with better selectivity than the most selective single inhibitor and validate the predicted effect and selectivity of inhibitor combinations using in vitro and in cellulo techniques. MMS greatly enhances selectivity in rational multitargeting applications. The MMS framework is generalizable to other non-kinase biological targets where compound selectivity is a challenge and diverse compound libraries are available.
An imbalance of the gut microbiota, termed dysbiosis, has a substantial impact on host physiology. However, the mechanism by which host deals with gut dysbiosis to maintain fitness remains largely unknown. In Caenorhabditis elegans, Escherichia coli, which is its bacterial diet, proliferates in its intestinal lumen during aging. Here, we demonstrate that progressive intestinal proliferation of E. coli activates the transcription factor DAF-16, which is required for maintenance of longevity and organismal fitness in worms with age. DAF-16 up-regulates two lysozymes lys-7 and lys-8, thus limiting the bacterial accumulation in the gut of worms during aging. During dysbiosis, the levels of indole produced by E. coli are increased in worms. Indole is involved in the activation of DAF-16 by TRPA-1 in neurons of worms. Our finding demonstrates that indole functions as a microbial signal of gut dysbiosis to promote fitness of the host.