Amyloid aggregation starts with the initial misfolding of peptide/protein precursors, with subsequent structural rearrangement into oligomers and protofibrils; the latter eventually organize into fibrils with shared basic structural features, found deposited in amyloid diseases. Mounting evidence indicates early oligomers as the most toxic amyloid species; accordingly, the search of inhibitors of their growth is considered a promising target to prevent amyloid toxicity. We recently showed that oleuropein aglycon, a polyphenol abundant in the extra virgin olive oil, interferes with the aggregation of amylin (involved in type-2 diabetes), eliminating its cytotoxicity. Here we report that oleuropein aglycon also hinders amyloid aggregation of Aβ(1-42) and its cytotoxicity, suggesting a general effect of such polyphenol. In particular, by using a wide panel of different spectroscopic, immunologic, cell viability and imaging techniques we provide a more detailed description of Aβ(1-42) structural modifications arising in the presence of the inhibitor and the resulting cytotoxicity. We here report that the polyphenol eliminates the appearance of early toxic oligomers favouring the formation of stable harmless protofibrils, structurally different from the typical Aβ(1-42) fibrils. We also show that oleuropein aglycon is maximally effective when is present at the beginning of the aggregation process; furthermore, when added to preformed fibrils, it does not induce the release of toxic oligomers but, rather, neutralizes any residual toxicity possibly arising from the residual presence of traces of soluble oligomers and other toxic aggregates. The possible use of this polyphenol as anti-aggregation molecule is discussed in the light of these data.
Keywords: Aβ(1-42), Aggregation inhibitor, Alzheimer disease, amyloid aggregation and toxicity, extra virgin olive oil, oleuropein aglycon, toxic oligomers, aromatic interactions, amyloid aggregation, ANS Fluorescence, ANS binding
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