Assessment of the effects of transthyretin peptide inhibitors in Drosophila models of neuropathic ATTR

Lorena Saelices, Malgorzata Pokrzywa, Katarzyna Pawelek, David S. Eisenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Transthyretin amyloidosis (ATTR) is a fatal disease caused by the systemic aggregation and deposition of transthyretin (TTR), a blood transporter that is mainly produced in the liver. TTR deposits are made of elongated amyloid fibrils that interfere with normal tissue function leading to organ failure. The current standard care for hereditary neuropathic ATTR is liver transplantation or stabilization of the native form of TTR by tafamidis. In our previous work, we explored an additional strategy to halt protein aggregation by capping pre-existing TTR fibrils with structure-based designed peptide inhibitors. Our best peptide inhibitor TabFH2 has shown to be effective at inhibiting not only TTR aggregation but also amyloid seeding driven by fibrils extracted from ATTR patients. Here we evaluate the effects of peptide inhibitors in two Drosophila models of neuropathic ATTR and compared their efficacy with diflunisal, a protein stabilizer currently used off-label for the treatment of ATTR. Our peptide inhibitor TabFH2 was found the most effective treatment, which resulted in motor improvement and the reduction of TTR deposition. Our in vivo study shows that inhibiting TTR deposition by peptide inhibitors may represent a therapeutic strategy for halting the progression of ATTR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-125
Number of pages8
JournalNeurobiology of Disease
StatePublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Amyloidosis
  • Drosophila
  • Neuropathology
  • Peptide inhibitors
  • Transthyretin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology


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