Introduction: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegeneration characterized by extensive protein aggregation and deposition in the brain, associated with defective proteasomal and autophagic-lysosomal proteolytic pathways. Since current drugs can only reduce specific symptoms, the identification of novel treatments is a major concern in AD research. Among natural compounds, (poly)phenols and their derivatives/metabolites are emerging as candidates in AD prevention due to their multiple beneficial effects. This study aims to investigate the ability of a selection of phenyl-γ-valerolactones, gut microbiota-derived metabolites of flavan-3-ols, to modulate the functionality of cellular proteolytic pathways. Methods and Results: Neuronal SH-SY5Y cells transfected with either the wild-type or the 717 valine-to-glycine amyloid precursor protein mutated gene are used as an AD model and treated with 5-(4ʹ-hydroxyphenyl)-γ-valerolactone, 5-(3ʹ,4ʹ-dihydroxyphenyl)-γ-valerolactone and 5-(3ʹ-hydroxyphenyl)-γ-valerolactone-4ʹ-sulfate. Combining in vitro and in silico studies, it is observed that the phenyl-γ-valerolactones of interest modulated cellular proteolysis via proteasome inhibition and consequent autophagy upregulation and inhibited cathepsin B activity, eventually reducing the amount of intra- and extracellular amyloid-beta (1-42) peptides. Conclusion: The findings of this study establish, for the first time, that these metabolites exert a neuroprotective activity by regulating intracellular proteolysis and confirm the role of autophagy and cathepsin B as possible targets of AD preventive/therapeutic strategies.
Flavan-3-ol Microbial Metabolites Modulate Proteolysis in Neuronal Cells Reducing Amyloid-beta (1-42) Levels / Cecarini, V.; Cuccioloni, M.; Zheng, Y.; Bonfili, L.; Gong, C.; Angeletti, M.; Mena, P.; Del Rio, D.; Eleuteri, A. M.. - In: MOLECULAR NUTRITION & FOOD RESEARCH. - ISSN 1613-4125. - 65:18(2021), p. 2100380.e2100380. [10.1002/mnfr.202100380]
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