EMAIL THIS PAGE TO A FRIEND

Chemical research in toxicology

The butter flavorant, diacetyl, exacerbates β-amyloid cytotoxicity.


PMID 22731744

Abstract

Diacetyl (DA), an ubiquitous butter-flavoring agent, was found to influence several aspects of amyloid-β (Aβ) aggregation--one of the two primary pathologies associated with Alzheimer's disease. Thioflavin T fluorescence and circular dichroism spectroscopic measurements revealed that DA accelerates Aβ¹⁻⁴² aggregation into soluble and ultimately insoluble β-pleated sheet structures. DA was found to covalently bind to Arg⁵ of Aβ¹⁻⁴² through proteolytic digestion-mass spectrometric experiments. These biophysical and chemical effects translated into the potentiation of Aβ¹⁻⁴² cytotoxicity by DA toward SH-SY5Y cells in culture. DA easily traversed through a MDR1-MDCK cell monolayer, an in vitro model of the blood-brain barrier. Additionally, DA was found not only to be resistant to but also inhibitory toward glyoxalase I, the primary initiator of detoxification of amyloid-promoting reactive dicarbonyl species that are generated naturally in large amounts by neuronal tissue. In light of the chronic exposure of industry workers to DA, this study raises the troubling possibility of long-term neurological toxicity mediated by DA.