Lessons learned from protein aggregation: toward technological and biomedical applications
AVILA, CÉSAR L.; CHAVES, SILVINA; SOCIAS, SERGIO B.; VERA-PINGITORE, ESTEBAN; GONZÁLEZ-LIZÁRRAGA, FLORENCIA; VERA, CECILIA; PLOPER, DIEGO; CHEHÍN, ROSANA
Año: 2018 vol. 9 p. 501 - 515
The close relationship between protein aggregation and neurodegenerative diseases has been the driving force behind the renewed interest in a field where biophysics, neurobiology and nanotechnology converge in the study of the aggregate state. On one hand, knowledge of the molecular principles that govern the processes of protein aggregation has a direct impact on the design of new drugs for high-incidence pathologies that currently can only be treated palliatively. On the other hand, exploiting the benefits of protein aggregation in the design of new nanomaterials could have a strong impact on biotechnology. Here we review the contributions of our research group on novel neuroprotective strategies developed using a purely biophysical approach. First, we examine how doxycycline, a well-known and innocuous antibiotic, can reshape α-synuclein oligomers into non-toxic high-molecular-weight species with decreased ability to destabilize biological membranes, affect cell viability and form additional toxic species. This mechanism can be exploited to diminish the toxicity of α-synuclein oligomers in Parkinson´s disease. Second, we discuss a novel function in proteostasis for extracellular glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) in combination with a specific glycosaminoglycan (GAG) present in the extracellular matrix. GAPDH, by changing its quaternary structure from a tetramer to protofibrillar assembly, can kidnap toxic species of α-synuclein, and thereby interfere with the spreading of the disease. Finally, we review a brighter side of protein aggregation, that of exploiting the physicochemical advantages of amyloid aggregates as nanomaterials. For this, we designed a new generation of insoluble biocatalysts based on the binding of photo-immobilized enzymes onto hybrid protein:GAG amyloid nanofibrils. These new nanomaterials can be easily functionalized by attaching different enzymes through dityrosine covalent bonds.