Abnormal interactions of Cu and Zn ions with the amyloid β (Aβ) peptide are proposed to play an important role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimers disease (AD). Disruption of these metal-peptide interactions using chemical agents holds considerable promise as a therapeutic strategy to combat this incurable disease. Reported herein are two bifunctional compounds (BFCs) L1 and L2 that contain both amyloid-binding and metal-chelating molecular motifs. Both L1 and L2 exhibit high stability constants for Cu 2+ and Zn 2+ and thus are good chelators for these metal ions. In addition, L1 and L2 show strong affinity toward Aβ species. Both compounds are efficient inhibitors of the metal-mediated aggregation of the Aβ 42 peptide and promote disaggregation of amyloid fibrils, as observed by ThT fluorescence, native gel electrophoresis/Western blotting, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Interestingly, the formation of soluble Aβ 42 oligomers in the presence of metal ions and BFCs leads to an increased cellular toxicity. These results suggest that for the Aβ 42 peptide-in contrast to the Aβ 40 peptide-the previously employed strategy of inhibiting Aβ aggregation and promoting amyloid fibril dissagregation may not be optimal for the development of potential AD therapeutics, due to formation of neurotoxic soluble Aβ 42 oligomers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry