JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, N.I.H., EXTRAMURAL
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Repositioning tolcapone as a potent inhibitor of transthyretin amyloidogenesis and associated cellular toxicity.

Nature Communications 2016 Februrary 24
Transthyretin (TTR) is a plasma homotetrameric protein implicated in fatal systemic amyloidoses. TTR tetramer dissociation precedes pathological TTR aggregation. Native state stabilizers are promising drugs to treat TTR amyloidoses. Here we repurpose tolcapone, an FDA-approved molecule for Parkinson's disease, as a potent TTR aggregation inhibitor. Tolcapone binds specifically to TTR in human plasma, stabilizes the native tetramer in vivo in mice and humans and inhibits TTR cytotoxicity. Crystal structures of tolcapone bound to wild-type TTR and to the V122I cardiomyopathy-associated variant show that it docks better into the TTR T4 pocket than tafamidis, so far the only drug on the market to treat TTR amyloidoses. These data indicate that tolcapone, already in clinical trials for familial amyloid polyneuropathy, is a strong candidate for therapeutic intervention in these diseases, including those affecting the central nervous system, for which no small-molecule therapy exists.

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