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Bacterial Inclusion Bodies for Anti-Amyloid Drug Discovery: Current and Future Screening Methods

[ Vol. 20 , Issue. 6 ]

Author(s):

Ana B. Caballero, Alba Espargaró, Caterina Pont, Maria Antònia Busquets, Joan Estelrich, Diego Muñoz-Torrero, Patrick Gamez and Raimon Sabate*   Pages 563 - 576 ( 14 )

Abstract:


Amyloid aggregation is linked to an increasing number of human disorders from nonneurological pathologies such as type-2 diabetes to neurodegenerative ones such as Alzheimer or Parkinson’s diseases. Thirty-six human proteins have shown the capacity to aggregate into pathological amyloid structures. To date, it is widely accepted that amyloid folding/aggregation is a universal process present in eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. In the last decade, several studies have unequivocally demonstrated that bacterial inclusion bodies – insoluble protein aggregates usually formed during heterologous protein overexpression in bacteria – are mainly composed of overexpressed proteins in amyloid conformation. This fact shows that amyloid-prone proteins display a similar aggregation propensity in humans and bacteria, opening the possibility to use bacteria as simple models to study amyloid aggregation process and the potential effect of both anti-amyloid drugs and pro-aggregative compounds. Under these considerations, several in vitro and in cellulo methods, which exploit the amyloid properties of bacterial inclusion bodies, have been proposed in the last few years. Since these new methods are fast, simple, inexpensive, highly reproducible, and tunable, they have aroused great interest as preliminary screening tools in the search for anti-amyloid (beta-blocker) drugs for conformational diseases. The aim of this mini-review is to compile recently developed methods aimed at tracking amyloid aggregation in bacteria, discussing their advantages and limitations, and the future potential applications of inclusion bodies in anti-amyloid drug discovery.

Keywords:

Inclusion bodies, amyloid, anti-amyloid drugs, conformational diseases, drug discovery, beta-blockers.

Affiliation:

Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (IN2UB), University of Barcelona, E-08028 Barcelona, Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (IN2UB), University of Barcelona, E-08028 Barcelona, Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Chemistry (CSIC Associated Unit), Faculty of Pharmacy and Food Sciences, University of Barcelona, E-08028 Barcelona, Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (IN2UB), University of Barcelona, E-08028 Barcelona, Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (IN2UB), University of Barcelona, E-08028 Barcelona, Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Chemistry (CSIC Associated Unit), Faculty of Pharmacy and Food Sciences, University of Barcelona, E-08028 Barcelona, Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (IN2UB), University of Barcelona, E-08028 Barcelona, Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (IN2UB), University of Barcelona, E-08028 Barcelona

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