ACS chemical neuroscience

Novel Dimer Compounds That Bind α-Synuclein Can Rescue Cell Growth in a Yeast Model Overexpressing α-Synuclein. A Possible Prevention Strategy for Parkinson's Disease.

PMID 27673434


The misfolding of α-synuclein is a critical event in the death of dopaminergic neurons and the progression of Parkinson's disease. Previously, it was suggested that drugs, which bind to α-synuclein and form a loop structure between the N- and C-termini, tend to be neuroprotective, whereas others, which cause a more compact structure, tend to be neurotoxic. To improve the binding to α-synuclein, eight novel compounds were synthesized from a caffeine scaffold attached to (R,S)-1-aminoindan, (R,S)-nicotine, and metformin, and their binding to α-synuclein determined through nanopore analysis and isothermal titration calorimetry. The ability of the dimers to interact with α-synuclein in a cell system was assayed in a yeast model of PD which expresses an AS-GFP (α-synuclein-Green Fluorescent Protein) construct under the control of a galactose promoter. In 5 mM galactose this yeast strain will not grow and large cytoplasmic foci are observed by fluorescent microscopy. Two of the dimers, C