The development of neuroprotective agents is necessary for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we report PQA-11, a prenylated quinolinecarboxylic acid (PQA) derivative, as a potent neuroprotectant. PQA-11 inhibits glutamate-induced cell death and caspase-3 activation in hippocampal cultures, as well as inhibits N-Methyl-4-phenylpyridinium iodide- and amyloid β1-42-induced cell death in SH-SY5Y cells. PQA-11 also suppresses mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 4 (MKK4) and c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling activated by these neurotoxins. Quartz crystal microbalance analysis and in vitro kinase assay reveal that PQA-11 interacts with MKK4, and inhibits its sphingosine-induced activation. The administration of PQA-11 by intraperitoneal injection alleviates 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine-induced degeneration of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons in mice. These results suggest that PQA-11 is a unique MKK4 inhibitor with potent neuroprotective effects in vitro and in vivo. PQA-11 may be a valuable lead for the development of novel neuroprotectants.
- Neuronal cell death
- PQA-11 (PubChem CID: 74223691)
- PQA-18 (PubChem CID: 73602831)
- Ppc-1 (PubChem CID: 46910769)
- Small molecule
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