Inhibitory activities of propolis and its promising component, caffeic acid phenethyl ester, against amyloidogenesis of human transthyretin

J Med Chem. 2014 Nov 13;57(21):8928-35. doi: 10.1021/jm500997m. Epub 2014 Oct 20.


Transthyretin (TTR) is a homotetrameric serum protein associated with amyloidoses such as familial amyloid polyneuropathy and senile systemic amyloidosis. The amyloid fibril formation of TTR can be inhibited through stabilization of the TTR tetramer by the binding of small molecules. In this study, we examined the inhibitory potency of caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) and its derivatives. Thioflavin T assay showed that CAPE suppressed the amyloid fibril formation of TTR. Comparative analysis of the inhibitory potencies revealed that phenethyl ferulate was the most potent among the CAPE derivatives. The binding of phenethyl ferulate and the selected compounds to TTR were confirmed by the 8-anilino-1-naphthalenesulfonic acid displacement and X-ray crystallography. It was also demonstrated that Bio 30, which is a CAPE-rich commercially available New Zealand propolis, inhibited TTR amyloidogenesis and stabilized the TTR tetramer. These results suggested that a propolis may be efficient for preventing TTR amyloidosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amyloid Neuropathies, Familial / prevention & control
  • Amyloidosis / prevention & control*
  • Caffeic Acids / pharmacology*
  • Coumaric Acids / metabolism
  • Coumaric Acids / pharmacology
  • Masoprocol / pharmacology
  • Phenylethyl Alcohol / analogs & derivatives*
  • Phenylethyl Alcohol / pharmacology
  • Prealbumin / drug effects
  • Prealbumin / metabolism*
  • Propolis / pharmacology*


  • Caffeic Acids
  • Coumaric Acids
  • Prealbumin
  • phenethyl ferulate
  • Masoprocol
  • Propolis
  • caffeic acid phenethyl ester
  • Phenylethyl Alcohol

Supplementary concepts

  • Amyloidosis, Hereditary, Transthyretin-Related