DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by abnormal accumulation of the amyloid ?-protein (A?) in brain regions subserving memory and cognition. In recent years, proteases that degrade A??have been identified as potent and rate-limiting regulators of cerebral A??levels and amyloidogenesis in vivo. Significantly, orally bioavailable compounds that activate A?-degrading proteases have already been identified that are effective in reducing AD-type pathology in animal models and are currently entering clinical trials. Converging lines of evidence strongly implicate insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE) as a particularly important A?-degrading protease. Nonetheless, there is a surprising lack of pharmacological tools targeting IDE, or indeed any member of the unusual zinc-metalloprotease superfamily to which it belongs. Importantly, accumulating evidence shows how IDE activity might be augmented pharmacologically by any of several mechanisms, including the displacement of endogenous inhibitors or modulation of its expression and/or secretion into the extracellular space. Moreover, new crystal structures of IDE show that this protease possesses unorthodox structural features that can be targeted to directly activate the protease as much as 4000 percent. The purpose of this proposal is to utilize our well-characterized fluorescence polarization-based A?-degradation assay (Leissring et al., JBC 2003, Appendix) to search for chemical modulators of IDE within the Small Molecule Library of the MLSCN. We propose a series of secondary assays to confirm discovered hits, to establish their specificity for IDE, and to identify cell-penetrant compounds. Probes suitable for use in cultured cells or in vivo will be used in downstream experiments to resolve several outstanding questions about the role of IDE in AD pathogenesis that can only be addressed via a chemical biology approach. In addition, chemical activators of IDE with suitable properties could serve as pharmacophores for the development of novel AD therapies.
|Effective start/end date||9/1/07 → 8/31/09|
- National Institutes of Health: $25,000.00