Structural insight into the antiprion compound inhibition mechanism of native prion folding over misfolding

Jiwon Choi, Rajiv Gandhi Govindaraj, Jae Wook Hyeon, Kyungro Lee, Song Ling Ma, Su Yeon Kim, Jeongmin Lee, Kyoung Tai No

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Transition of a physiological folded prion (PrPC) into a pathogenic misfolded prion (PrPS c) causes lethal neurodegenerative disorders and prion diseases. Antiprion compounds have been developed to prevent this conversion; however, their mechanism of action remains unclear. Recently, we reported two antiprion compounds, BMD29 and BMD35, identified by in silico and in vitro screening. In this study, we used extensive explicit-solvent molecular dynamics simulations to investigate ligand-binding inhibition by antiprion compounds in prion folding over misfolding behavior at acidic pH. The two antiprion compounds and the previously reported GN8 compound resulted in a remarkably stabilized intermediate by binding to the hotspot region of PrPC, whereas free PrPC and the inactive compound BMD01 destabilized the structure of PrPC leading to the misfolded form. The results uncovered a secondary structural transition of free PrPC and transition suppression by the antiprion compounds. One of the major misfolding processes in PrPC, alternation of hydrophobic core residues, disruption of intramolecular interactions, and the increase in residue solvent exposure were significantly inhibited by both antiprion compounds. These findings provide insights into prion misfolding and inhibition by antiprion compounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)907-917
Number of pages11
JournalChemical Biology and Drug Design
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jun 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy through Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (SI-1304, SI-1404, SI-1505) and an award (2014-NG52003-00) from the Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Organic Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Structural insight into the antiprion compound inhibition mechanism of native prion folding over misfolding'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this