The Anti-Amyloidogenic Action of Doxycycline: A Molecular Dynamics Study on the Interaction with Aβ42

Alfonso Gautieri, Marten Beeg, Marco Gobbi, Federica Rigoldi, Laura Colombo, Mario Salmona

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The pathological aggregation of amyloidogenic proteins is a hallmark of many neurological diseases, including Alzheimer's disease and prion diseases. We have shown both in vitro and in vivo that doxycycline can inhibit the aggregation of Aβ42 amyloid fibrils and disassemble mature amyloid fibrils. However, the molecular mechanisms of the drug's anti-amyloidogenic property are not understood. In this study, a series of molecular dynamics simulations were performed to explain the molecular mechanism of the destabilization of Aβ42 fibrils by doxycycline and to compare the action of doxycycline with those of iododoxorubicin (a toxic structural homolog of tetracyclines), curcumin (known to have anti-amyloidogenic activity) and gentamicin (an antibiotic with no experimental evidence of anti-amyloidogenic properties). We found that doxycycline tightly binds the exposed hydrophobic amino acids of the Aβ42 amyloid fibrils, partly leading to destabilization of the fibrillar structure. Clarifying the molecular determinants of doxycycline binding to Aβ42 may help devise further strategies for structure-based drug design for Alzheimer's disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4641
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - Sep 19 2019


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