Acta Chim. Sinica ›› 2015, Vol. 73 ›› Issue (8): 799-807.DOI: 10.6023/A14120892 Previous Articles     Next Articles



赵德胜a, 陈媚莎a, 吴为辉a, 郭莹a, 陈永湘a, 赵玉芬a, 李艳梅a,b   

  1. a 清华大学化学系 生命有机磷化学及化学生物学教育部重点实验室 北京 100084;
    b 北京脑重大疾病研究院帕金森病研究所 北京 100069
  • 投稿日期:2015-04-16 发布日期:2015-05-13
  • 通讯作者: 李艳梅, 陈永湘;
  • 基金资助:

    项目受国家重点基础研究发展计划(973项目)(Nos. 2013CB910700和2012CB821600)和国家自然科学基金(Nos. 21472109和21261130090)资助.

Investigation on Small Molecules Targeting Cu(I) Preventing Copper-Mediated Neurotoxicity

Zhao Deshenga, Chen Meishaa, Wu Weihuia, Guo Yinga, Chen Yongxianga, Zhao Yufena, Li Yanmeia,b   

  1. a Key Laboratory of Bioorganic Phosphorus Chemistry and Chemical Biology (Ministry of Education), Department of Chemistry, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084;
    b China Beijing Institute for Brain Disorders Center of Parkinson's Disease, Beijing 100069
  • Received:2015-04-16 Published:2015-05-13
  • Supported by:

    Project supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (973 program) (Nos. 2013CB910700 and 2012CB821600) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 21472109 and 21261130090).

In this work, we designed small molecules YG-1 and YG-2 derived from molecule Thioflavin-T (ThT) containing structural moieties targeting Cu(I). To realize the purpose of Cu(I) binding, we eliminate the methyl group of ThT molecule and incorporate a nitrogen atom instead of sulfur atom. The imine in benzimidole is expected to coordinate Cu(I) effectively. This strategy is aiming at inhibiting the toxicity redox cycle and protecting cells. Using UV absorption spectroscopy, we find that YG-1 can interact with Cu(I) effectively, but not with Cu(II). ESI-MS further characterized the interactions between YG-1/2 and Cu(I) in forms of YG-1/2-Cu(I)-YG-1/2 and YG-1/2-Cu(I)-YG-1/2-Cu(I)-YG-1/2. Focusing on the peaks of complexes observed from the ESI-MS results, we calculate the binding motifs of Cu(I) to YG-1/2 by MD simulation. In particular, we study all the five possible symmetric modes of YG-1 and YG-2 respectively, which are supposed to be more stable than asymmetric modes. The simulation results show that the mode with Cu(I) binding to the imine in benzimidole of YG-1/2 in a linear geometry is the most stable structure with the lowest energy (-0.229 and -0.232 Hartree for YG-1 and YG-2 respectively). As reducing the production of ROS is an important pathway to alleviate the copper-induced Aβ1-40 cytotoxicity, we test the effects of YG-1/2 on eliminating ROS production using 3-coumarin carboxylic acid (3-CCA) fluorescence spectroscopy, and find that YG-1/2 can block ROS production almost completely. Finally, we examine the cellular protective effects of YG-1 and YG-2 against the toxicity of Aβ1-40-Cu(I) by 3-(4,5-dimethyl-2-thiaz-oyl)-2,5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide(MTT) assay. Experimental results show that YG-1/2 can alleviate the Cu(I)-induced Aβ1-40 toxicity and increase cell viability. Up until now, researchers have devoted many efforts to prevent copper-mediated ROS toxicity. However, few attempts have been made to treat protein-misfolding diseases by targeting Cu(I) and blocking the copper redox cycle. The designed molecules YG-1/2 in this work are able to capture Cu(I) from participating further reactions in the protein-copper redox cycle and prohibit the generation of ROS. This finding may lead to a new therapeutic strategy for treating copper-mediated protein misfolding diseases.

Key words: Cu(I), β-amyloid, small molecule, reactive oxygen species, neurotoxicity