Heptamer Peptide Disassembles Native Amyloid in Human Plasma Through Heat Shock Protein 70

2018 May 30. doi: 10.1089/rej.2017.2049


Proteostasis, which includes the repair and disposal of misfolded proteins, depends, in part, on the activity of heat shock proteins (HSPs), a well-known class of chaperone molecules. When this process fails, abnormally folded proteins may accumulate in cells, tissues, and blood. These species are a hallmark of protein aggregation diseases, but also amass during aging, often in the absence of an identified clinical disorder. We report that a neuroprotective cyclic heptapeptide, CHEC-7, which has been applied systemically as a therapeutic in animal neurodegeneration models, disrupts such aggregates and inhibits amyloidogenesis when added in nanomolar concentrations to human plasma. This effect includes aggregates of amyloid beta (Aβ1-40, 1-42), prominent features of Alzheimer’s disease pathology. The activity of endogenous HSP70, a recently discovered target of the peptide, is required as demonstrated by both antibody blocking and application of pifithrin-μ, an HSP70 inhibitor. CHEC-7 is the first high-affinity compound to stimulate HSP70’s disaggregase activity and therefore enable this endogenous mechanism in a human systemic environment, increasing the likelihood of a convenient therapy for protein aggregate disease, including age-related failures of protein repair.

KEYWORDS Alzheimer’s; CHEC peptide; aggregates; amyloid; heat shock protein 70

PMID: 29651925 DOI: 10.1089/rej.2017.2049

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