Table of Contents
Journal of Amino Acids
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 265084, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.4061/2011/265084
Review Article

The Aggregation Inhibitor Peptide QBP1 as a Therapeutic Molecule for the Polyglutamine Neurodegenerative Diseases

1Department of Degenerative Neurological Diseases, National Institute of Neuroscience, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, 4-1-1 Ogawa-Higashi, Kodaira, Tokyo 187-8502, Japan
2Department of Medicine (Neurology) and Deane Laboratory, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA
3Department of Bioorganic Medicinal Chemistry, Kyoto University Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan
4Division of Neurology/Molecular Brain Science, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, Kobe 650-0017, Japan
5Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology (CREST), Japan Science and Technology Agency, Saitama 332-0012, Japan

Received 31 January 2011; Accepted 4 May 2011

Academic Editor: Andreas Wyttenbach

Copyright © 2011 H. Akiko Popiel et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Misfolding and abnormal aggregation of proteins in the brain are implicated in the pathogenesis of various neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and the polyglutamine (polyQ) diseases. In the polyQ diseases, an abnormally expanded polyQ stretch triggers misfolding and aggregation of the disease-causing proteins, eventually resulting in neurodegeneration. In this paper, we introduce our therapeutic strategy against the polyQ diseases using polyQ binding peptide 1 (QBP1), a peptide that we identified by phage display screening. We showed that QBP1 specifically binds to the expanded polyQ stretch and inhibits its misfolding and aggregation, resulting in suppression of neurodegeneration in cell culture and animal models of the polyQ diseases. We further demonstrated the potential of protein transduction domains (PTDs) for in vivo delivery of QBP1. We hope that in the near future, chemical analogues of aggregation inhibitor peptides including QBP1 will be developed against protein misfolding-associated neurodegenerative diseases.