Carotenoids as Novel Therapeutic Molecules Against Neurodegenerative Disorders: Chemistry and Molecular Docking Analysis
Kumar D., Jagadeesh
Hegde, Muralidhar L
Rao, KS Jagannatha
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Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most devastating neurodegenerative disorder that affects the aging population worldwide. Endogenous and exogenous factors are involved in triggering this complex and multifactorial disease, whose hallmark is Amyloid-β (Aβ), formed by cleavage of amyloid precursor protein by β- and γ-secretase. While there is no definitive cure for AD to date, many neuroprotective natural products, such as polyphenol and carotenoid compounds, have shown promising preventive activity, as well as helping in slowing down disease progression. In this article, we focus on the chemistry as well as structure of carotenoid compounds and their neuroprotective activity against Aβ aggregation using molecular docking analysis. In addition to examining the most prevalent anti-amyloidogenic carotenoid lutein, we studied cryptocapsin, astaxanthin, fucoxanthin, and the apocarotenoid bixin. Our computational structure-based drug design analysis and molecular docking simulation revealed important interactions between carotenoids and Aβ via hydrogen bonding and van der Waals interactions, and shows that carotenoids are powerful anti-amyloidogenic molecules with a potential role in preventing AD, especially since most of them can cross the blood-brain barrier and are considered nutraceutical compounds. Our studies thus illuminate mechanistic insights on how carotenoids inhibit Aβ aggregation. The potential role of carotenoids as novel therapeutic molecules in treating AD and other neurodegenerative disorders are discussed.