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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Noncovalent, Electrostatic Interactions Induce Positively Cooperative Binding of Small Molecules to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease-Related Amyloids.

  • Author(s): Cifelli, JL
  • Capule, CC
  • Yang, J
  • et al.

Amyloids are self-assembled protein aggregates that represent a major hallmark of many neurologic and systemic diseases. Among the common features of amyloids is the presence of a high density of multiple binding sites for small molecule ligands, making them an attractive target for design of multimeric binding agents. Here, we demonstrate that noncovalent, intermolecular interactions between a 1:1 mixture of oppositely charged benzothiazole molecules enhances their binding to two different amyloid aggregates: Alzheimer's-related amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides or Parkinson's-related α-synuclein (αS) proteins. We show that this mixture leads to positively cooperative binding to amyloid targets, with up to 10-fold enhancement of binding compared to the uncharged parent compound. The observed enhancement of amyloid binding using noncovalent interactions was similar in magnitude to a benzothiazole dimer to aggregated Aβ. These results represent a novel strategy for designing amyloid-targeting molecules with enhanced affinity, which could aid in the development of new diagnostic or treatment strategies for amyloid-associated diseases.

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