Celestrols for Treatment of Neurodegenerative Diseases

Summary

Principal Investigator: Richard Silverman
Abstract: DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The expression of molecular chaperones has been shown to suppress protein misfolding/aggregation and cellular toxicity phenotypes in model systems associated with Huntington's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, and ALS. A feature common to diseases of protein conformation is the appearance of folded intermediates that self-associate to form protein aggregates and inclusions. The molecular chaperones Hsp90 and Hsp70 sequester damaged proteins that appear in cells exposed to physiological and environmental stress. The ability of molecular chaperones to suppress the cellular toxicities associated with expression of these "toxic" proteins may be due to the intrinsic properties of chaperones to capture and suppress the appearance of folded intermediates. Therefore, we propose that the identification of small molecules that elevate the expression of genes encoding heat shock proteins and molecular chaperones should lead to the development of novel therapies beneficial to the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. The rationale for this proposal is based on results obtained by our laboratory and others who participated recently in a screening program organized by the NINDS, Huntington Disease Society of America, Hereditary Disease Foundation, and the ALSA to identify new drugs for treating these diseases. A search was carried out for drugs that activate the heat shock response; the most effective compound identified was the natural product celastrol. Synthetic analogs of celastrol will be prepared to optimize its effectiveness as a regulator of the heat shock response and a suppressor of neurotoxicity and to determine its mechanism of action as an activator of the heat shock response. To probe the function of celastrol as a potential therapy for neurodegenerative diseases, the following Specific Aims will be addressed: (1) Synthesize analogs of celastrol that induce the human heat shock response using a heat shock promoter-reporter assay in human tissue culture cells. (2) Determine the mechanism of action of celastrol (or an analog). The working model is that celastrol activates the heat shock response by inducing heat shock transcription factor HSF1. The mechanism by which HSF1 activity is induced by celastrol will be determined. It also will be determined whether celastrol, by virtue of its ability to activate the expression of chaperones, can reduce the aggregation and neurotoxicity of the Huntington Q64 protein expressed in a human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cell line. (3) Studies will be carried out to identify the binding target for celastrol using molecular biological and biochemical techniques. Identified target(s) will then be cloned and characterized. Results of these studies will aid in the determination of the molecular mechanism of celastrol action and in the further understanding of the heat shock response, identify new targets for therapeutic intervention, and may also lead to new therapies for neurodegeneration.
Funding Period: 2004-07-01 - 2008-12-30
more information: NIH RePORT

Top Publications

  1. pmc Activation of heat shock and antioxidant responses by the natural product celastrol: transcriptional signatures of a thiol-targeted molecule
    Amy Trott
    Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of Texas Medical School, Houston, TX 77030, USA
    Mol Biol Cell 19:1104-12. 2008
  2. pmc Protein aggregation can inhibit clathrin-mediated endocytosis by chaperone competition
    Anan Yu
    Department of Molecular Biosciences, Rice Institute for Biomedical Research, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208
    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 111:E1481-90. 2014
  3. pmc Proteostasis and the aging proteome in health and disease
    Richard I Morimoto
    Department of Molecular Biosciences, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
    J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 69:S33-8. 2014
  4. pmc How the nucleus copes with proteotoxic stress
    Yoko Shibata
    Department of Molecular Biosciences, Rice Institute for Biomedical Research, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA
    Curr Biol 24:R463-74. 2014
  5. pmc Small-molecule proteostasis regulators for protein conformational diseases
    Barbara Calamini
    Department of Molecular Biosciences, Rice Institute for Biomedical Research, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, USA
    Nat Chem Biol 8:185-96. 2012
  6. pmc Celastrol analogues as inducers of the heat shock response. Design and synthesis of affinity probes for the identification of protein targets
    Lada Klaić
    Department of Chemistry, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA
    ACS Chem Biol 7:928-37. 2012
  7. ncbi Biological and chemical approaches to diseases of proteostasis deficiency
    Evan T Powers
    Departments of Chemistry and Molecular and Experimental Medicine and the Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA
    Annu Rev Biochem 78:959-91. 2009

Scientific Experts

  • Evan T Powers
  • Richard I Morimoto
  • Yoko Shibata
  • Barbara Calamini
  • Lada Klaić
  • Anan Yu
  • Richard B Silverman
  • Amy Trott
  • Bijal Shah
  • Donald C Lo
  • Ana Maria Cuervo
  • William E Balch
  • Franck Madoux
  • Shilpi Khanna
  • Dan Garza
  • Darren M Hutt
  • Peter Hodder
  • S Adrian Saldanha
  • Maria Catarina Silva
  • Bradley D Tait
  • Monica A Chalfant
  • Sandy D Westerheide
  • Kevin A Morano
  • James D West

Detail Information

Publications8

  1. pmc Activation of heat shock and antioxidant responses by the natural product celastrol: transcriptional signatures of a thiol-targeted molecule
    Amy Trott
    Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of Texas Medical School, Houston, TX 77030, USA
    Mol Biol Cell 19:1104-12. 2008
    ....
  2. pmc Protein aggregation can inhibit clathrin-mediated endocytosis by chaperone competition
    Anan Yu
    Department of Molecular Biosciences, Rice Institute for Biomedical Research, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208
    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 111:E1481-90. 2014
    ..The inherent properties of chaperones place them at risk, contributing to the complex pathologies of protein conformational diseases. ..
  3. pmc Proteostasis and the aging proteome in health and disease
    Richard I Morimoto
    Department of Molecular Biosciences, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
    J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 69:S33-8. 2014
    ..Here, we discuss some of the unresolved questions on proteostasis that need to be addressed to enhance healthspan and to diminish the pathology associated with persistent protein damage. ..
  4. pmc How the nucleus copes with proteotoxic stress
    Yoko Shibata
    Department of Molecular Biosciences, Rice Institute for Biomedical Research, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA
    Curr Biol 24:R463-74. 2014
    ....
  5. pmc Small-molecule proteostasis regulators for protein conformational diseases
    Barbara Calamini
    Department of Molecular Biosciences, Rice Institute for Biomedical Research, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, USA
    Nat Chem Biol 8:185-96. 2012
    ..We suggest that modulation of the proteostasis network by proteostasis regulators may be a promising therapeutic approach for the treatment of a variety of protein conformational diseases...
  6. pmc Celastrol analogues as inducers of the heat shock response. Design and synthesis of affinity probes for the identification of protein targets
    Lada Klaić
    Department of Chemistry, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA
    ACS Chem Biol 7:928-37. 2012
    ..This led to the synthesis of biotinylated celastrols (23 and 24) that were used as affinity reagents in extracts of human Panc-1 cells to identify Annexin II, eEF1A, and β-tubulin as potential targets of celastrol...
  7. ncbi Biological and chemical approaches to diseases of proteostasis deficiency
    Evan T Powers
    Departments of Chemistry and Molecular and Experimental Medicine and the Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA
    Annu Rev Biochem 78:959-91. 2009
    ..We propose that such therapeutic strategies, including combination therapies, represent a new approach for treating a range of diverse human maladies...