In transthyretin (TTR) amyloidosis TTR variants deposit as amyloid fibrils giving origin, in most cases, to peripheral polyneuropathy, cardiomyopathy, carpal tunnel syndrome and/or amyloid deposition in the eye. More than eighty TTR variants are known, most of them being pathogenic. The mechanism of TTR fibril formation is still not completely elucidated. However it is widely accepted that the amino acid substitutions in the TTR variants contribute to a destabilizing effect on the TTR tetramer molecule, which in particular conditions dissociate into non native monomeric intermediates that aggregate and polymerize in amyloid fibrils that further elongate. Since this is a multi-step process there is the possibility to impair TTR amyloid fibril formation at different stages of the process namely by tetramer stabilization, inhibition of fibril formation or fibril disruption. Till now the only efficient therapy available is liver transplant when performed in an early phase of the onset of the disease symptoms. Since this is a very invasive therapy alternatives are desirable. In that sense, several compounds have been proposed to impair amyloid formation or disruption. Based on the proposed mechanism for TTR amyloid fibril formation we discuss the action of some of the proposed TTR stabilizers such as derivatives of some NSAIDs (diflunisal, diclofenac, flufenamic acid, and derivatives) and the action of amyloid disrupters such as 4-iodo-4-deoxydoxorubicin (I-DOX) and tetracyclines. Among all these compounds, TTR stabilizers seem to be the most interesting since they would impair very early the process of amyloid formation and could also have a prophylactic effect.
Keywords: amyloidosis, fibrillogenesis, neuropathy, transthyretin, nsaids, tetracyclines, therapy
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