Monday, June 30, 2014

Phycocyanin against Alzheimer’s?

Could a light-harvesting protein phycocyanin be used as a novel drug against Alzheimer’s disease (AD) [1, 2]?

In the present study, intact hexameric phycocyanin was isolated and crystallized from the cyanobacterium Leptolyngbya sp. N62DM, and the structure was solved to a resolution of 2.6 Å. Molecular docking studies show that the phycocyanin αβ-dimer interacts with the enzyme β-secretase, which catalyzes the proteolysis of the amyloid precursor protein to form plaques. The molecular docking studies suggest that the interaction between phycocyanin and β-secretase is energetically more favorable than previously reported inhibitor-β-secretase interactions. Transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans worms, with a genotype to serve as an AD-model, were significantly protected by phycocyanin. Therefore, the present study provides a novel structure-based molecular mechanism of phycocyanin-mediated therapy against AD.
  1. Singh, N.K., Hasan, S.S., Kumar, J., Raj, I., Pathan, A.A., Parmar, A., Shakil, S., Gourinath, S. and Madamwar D. (2014) Crystal structure and interaction of phycocyanin with β-secretase: A putative therapy for Alzheimer's disease. CNS Neurol. Disord. Drug Targets 13, 691—698.
  2. PDB:4L1E

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