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7,8-dihydroxyflavone, a Small Molecular TrkB Agonist, Is Useful for Treating Various BDNF-implicated Human Disorders

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Review

7,8-dihydroxyflavone, a Small Molecular TrkB Agonist, Is Useful for Treating Various BDNF-implicated Human Disorders

Chaoyang Liu et al. Transl Neurodegener.

Abstract

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) regulates a variety of biological processes predominantly via binding to the transmembrane receptor tyrosine kinase TrkB. It is a potential therapeutic target in numerous neurological, mental and metabolic disorders. However, the lack of efficient means to deliver BDNF into the body imposes an insurmountable hurdle to its clinical application. To address this challenge, we initiated a cell-based drug screening to search for small molecules that act as the TrkB agonist. 7,8-Dihydroxyflavone (7,8-DHF) is our first reported small molecular TrkB agonist, which has now been extensively validated in various biochemical and cellular systems. Though binding to the extracellular domain of TrkB, 7,8-DHF triggers TrkB dimerization to induce the downstream signaling. Notably, 7,8-DHF is orally bioactive that can penetrate the brain blood barrier (BBB) to exert its neurotrophic activities in the central nervous system. Numerous reports suggest 7,8-DHF processes promising therapeutic efficacy in various animal disease models that are related to deficient BDNF signaling. In this review, we summarize our current knowledge on the binding activity and specificity, structure-activity relationship, pharmacokinetic and metabolism, and the pre-clinical efficacy of 7,8-DHF against some human diseases.

Keywords: BDNF; Flavonoids; Mimetic compound; Neurotrophin; Receptor agonistic activity.

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