Aggregate Interactome Based on Protein Cross-linking Interfaces Predicts Drug Targets to Limit Aggregation in Neurodegenerative Diseases

iScience. 2019 Oct 25;20:248-264. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2019.09.026. Epub 2019 Sep 21.


Diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases hinges on "seed" proteins detected in disease-specific aggregates. These inclusions contain diverse constituents, adhering through aberrant interactions that our prior data indicate are nonrandom. To define preferential protein-protein contacts mediating aggregate coalescence, we created click-chemistry reagents that cross-link neighboring proteins within human, APPSw-driven, neuroblastoma-cell aggregates. These reagents incorporate a biotinyl group to efficiently recover linked tryptic-peptide pairs. Mass-spectroscopy outputs were screened for all possible peptide pairs in the aggregate proteome. These empirical linkages, ranked by abundance, implicate a protein-adherence network termed the "aggregate contactome." Critical hubs and hub-hub interactions were assessed by RNAi-mediated rescue of chemotaxis in aging nematodes, and aggregation-driving properties were inferred by multivariate regression and neural-network approaches. Aspirin, while disrupting aggregation, greatly simplified the aggregate contactome. This approach, and the dynamic model of aggregate accrual it implies, reveals the architecture of insoluble-aggregate networks and may reveal targets susceptible to interventions to ameliorate protein-aggregation diseases.

Keywords: Molecular Neuroscience; Neural Networks; Neuroscience; Proteomics.