Protective effects of caffeoylquinic acids on the aggregation and neurotoxicity of the 42-residue amyloid β-protein

Bioorg Med Chem. 2012 Oct 1;20(19):5844-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2012.08.001. Epub 2012 Aug 12.


Alzheimer's disease (AD), a neurodegenerative disorder, is characterized by aggregation of 42-mer amyloid β-protein (Aβ42). Aβ42 aggregates through β-sheet formation and induces cytotoxicity against neuronal cells. Aβ42 oligomer, an intermediate of the aggregates, causes memory loss and synaptotoxicity in AD. Inhibition of Aβ42 aggregation by small molecules is thus a promising strategy for the treatment of AD. Caffeoylquinic acid (CQA), a phenylpropanoid found widely in natural sources including foods, shows various biological activities such as anti-oxidative ability. Previously, our group reported that 3,5-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid (3,5-di-CQA) rescued the cognitive impairment in senescence-accelerated-prone mice 8. However, structure-activity relationship of CQA derivatives on the aggregation and neurotoxicity of Aβ42 remains elusive. To evaluate the anti-amyloidogenic property of CQA-related compounds for AD therapy, we examined the effect of CQA and its derivatives on the aggregation and neurotoxicity of Aβ42. In particular, 4,5-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid (4,5-di-CQA) and 3,4,5-tri-O-caffeoylquinic acid (3,4,5-tri-CQA) strongly inhibited the aggregation of Aβ42 in a dose-dependent manner. Structure-activity relationship studies suggested that the caffeoyl group in CQA is essential for the inhibitory activity. These CQAs also suppressed the transformation into β-sheet and cytotoxicity against human neuroblastoma cells of Aβ42. Furthermore, 3,4,5-tri-CQA blocked the formation of Aβ42 oligomer. These results indicate that 3,4,5-tri-CQA could be a potential agent for the prevention of AD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / chemistry*
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / metabolism
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / toxicity*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / drug effects*
  • Peptide Fragments / chemistry*
  • Peptide Fragments / metabolism
  • Peptide Fragments / toxicity*
  • Protein Multimerization / drug effects
  • Protein Structure, Secondary / drug effects
  • Quinic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Quinic Acid / chemistry
  • Quinic Acid / pharmacology
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Peptide Fragments
  • amyloid beta-protein (40-42)
  • caffeoylquinic acid
  • Quinic Acid