Brazilin Removes Toxic alpha-Synuclein and Seeding Competent Assemblies from Parkinson Brain by Altering Conformational Equilibrium
George R. Nahass,
Richard B Sessions,
Sheena E. Radford,
Posted 01 Oct 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.09.29.318220
Posted 01 Oct 2020
Alpha-synuclein (α-syn) fibrils, a major constituent of the neurotoxic Lewy Bodies in Parkinson’s disease, form via nucleation dependent polymerization and can replicate by a seeding mechanism. Brazilin, a small molecule derived from red cedarwood trees in Brazil, has been shown to inhibit the fibrillogenesis of amyloid-beta (Aβ) and α-syn, prompting our inquiry in its mechanism of action. Here we test the effects of Brazilin on both seeded and unseeded α-syn fibril formation and show that the natural polyphenol inhibits fibrillogenesis of α-syn by a unique mechanism that is distinct from other polyphenols and is also distinct from its effect on Aβ. Brazilin preserves the natively unfolded state of α-syn by stabilizing the compact conformation of the α-syn monomer over the aggregation-competent extended conformation. Molecular docking of Brazilin shows the molecule to interact both with unfolded α-syn monomers and with the cross-β sheet structure of α-syn fibrils. Brazilin eliminates seeding competence of α-syn assemblies from Parkinson’s disease patient brain tissue, and treatment of pre-formed fibril assemblies with Brazilin significantly reduces their toxicity in primary neurons. Our findings suggest that Brazilin has substantial potential as a neuroprotective and therapeutic agent for Parkinson’s Disease. Highlights ![Figure]</img> ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest. : pending:yes
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