Natural polyphenols inhibit different steps of the process of transthyretin (TTR) amyloid fibril formation

FEBS Lett. 2011 Aug 4;585(15):2424-30. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2011.06.030. Epub 2011 Jul 2.


Several natural polyphenols with potent inhibitory effects on amyloid fibril formation have been reported. Herein, we studied modulation of transthyretin (TTR) fibrillogenesis by selected polyphenols. We demonstrate that both curcumin and nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA) bind to TTR and stabilize the TTR tetramer. However, while NDGA slightly reduced TTR aggregation, curcumin strongly suppressed TTR amyloid fibril formation by generating small "off-pathway" oligomers and EGCG maintained most of the protein in a non-aggregated soluble form. This indicates alternative mechanisms of action supported by the occurrence of different non-toxic intermediates. Moreover, EGCG and curcumin efficiently disaggregated pre-formed TTR amyloid fibrils. Our studies, together with the safe toxicological profile of these phytochemicals may guide a novel pharmacotherapy for TTR-related amyloidosis targeting different steps in fibrillogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amyloid / chemistry*
  • Amyloid / metabolism
  • Amyloidosis
  • Catechin / analogs & derivatives
  • Catechin / pharmacology
  • Curcumin / pharmacology
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology*
  • Phenols / pharmacology*
  • Polyphenols
  • Prealbumin / chemistry*
  • Prealbumin / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Multimerization


  • Amyloid
  • Flavonoids
  • Phenols
  • Polyphenols
  • Prealbumin
  • Catechin
  • epigallocatechin gallate
  • Curcumin