Cyclized NDGA modifies dynamic α-synuclein monomers preventing aggregation and toxicity

Academic Article


  • Growing evidence implicates α-synuclein aggregation as a key driver of neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s disease (PD) and other neurodegenerative disorders. Herein, the molecular and structural mechanisms of inhibiting α-synuclein aggregation by novel analogs of nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA), a phenolic dibenzenediol lignan, were explored using an array of biochemical and biophysical methodologies. NDGA analogs induced modest, progressive compaction of monomeric α-synuclein, preventing aggregation into amyloid-like fibrils. This conformational remodeling preserved the dynamic adoption of α-helical conformations, which are essential for physiological membrane interactions. Oxidation-dependent NDGA cyclization was required for the interaction with monomeric α-synuclein. NDGA analog-pretreated α-synuclein did not aggregate even without NDGA-analogs in the aggregation mixture. Strikingly, NDGA-pretreated α-synuclein suppressed aggregation of naïve untreated aggregation-competent monomeric α-synuclein. Further, cyclized NDGA reduced α-synuclein-driven neurodegeneration in Caenorhabditis elegans. The cyclized NDGA analogs may serve as a platform for the development of small molecules that stabilize aggregation-resistant α-synuclein monomers without interfering with functional conformations yielding potential therapies for PD and related disorders.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Scientific Reports  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Daniels MJ; Nourse JB; Kim H; Sainati V; Schiavina M; Murrali MG; Pan B; Ferrie JJ; Haney CM; Moons R
  • Volume

  • 9
  • Issue

  • 1