Inhibition of Amyloid β-Induced Lipid Membrane Permeation and Amyloid β Aggregation by K162

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is characterized by progressive neurodegeneration associated with amyloid β (Aβ) peptide aggregation. The aggregation of Aβ monomers (AβMs) leads to the formation of Aβ oligomers (AβOs), the neurotoxic Aβ form, capable of permeating the cell membrane. Here, we investigated the effect of a fluorene-based active drug candidate, named K162, on both Aβ aggregation and AβO toxicity toward the bilayer lipid membrane (BLM). Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and molecular dynamics (MD) were employed to show that K162 inhibits AβOs-induced BLM permeation, thus preserving BLM integrity. In the presence of K162, only shallow defects on the BLM surface were formed. Apparently, K162 modifies Aβ aggregation by bypassing the formation of toxic AβOs, and only nontoxic AβMs, dimers (AβDs), and fibrils (AβFs) are produced. Unlike other Aβ toxicity inhibitors, K162 preserves neurologically beneficial AβMs. This unique K162 inhibition mechanism provides an alternative AD therapeutic strategy that could be explored in the future.
ACS Chem. Neurosci. 2021, 12, 3, 531–541.