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J Neurosci Res. 2010 Jul;88(9):1970-84. doi: 10.1002/jnr.22352.

Identification of novel 1,4-benzoxazine compounds that are protective in tissue culture and in vivo models of neurodegeneration.

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Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, TX, USA.


Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and Huntington's disease and conditions such as ischemic stroke affect millions of individuals annually and exert an enormous financial burden on society. A hallmark of these conditions is the abnormal loss of neurons. Currently, there are no effective strategies to prevent neuronal death in these pathologies. We report that several 2-arylidine and 2-hetarylidin derivatives of the 1,4-benzoxazines class of compounds are highly protective in tissue culture models of neurodegeneration. Results obtained using pharmcalogical inhibitors indicate that neuroprotection by these compounds does not involve the Raf-MEK-ERK or PI-3 kinase-Akt signaling pathways nor other survival-promoting molecules such as protein kinase A (PKA), calcium calmodulin kinase A (CaMK), and histone deacetylases (HDACs). We tested one of these compounds, (Z)-6-amino-2-(3',5'-dibromo-4'-hydroxybenzylidene)-2H-benzo[b][1,4]oxazin-3(4H)-one, designated as HSB-13, in the 3-nitropropionic acid (3-NP)-induced mouse model of Huntington's disease. HSB-13 reduced striatal degeneration and improved behavioral performance in mice administered with 3-NP. Furthermore, HSB-13 was protective in a Drosophila model of amyloid precursor protein (APP) toxicity. To understand how HSB-13 and other 1,4-benzoxazines protect neurons, we performed kinase profiling analyses. These analyses showed that HSB-13 inhibits GSK3, p38 MAPK, and cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs). In comparison, another compound, called ASK-2a, that protects cerebellar granule neurons against low-potassium-induced death inhibits GSK3 and p38 MAPK but not CDKs. Despite its structural similarity to HSB-13, however, ASK-2a is incapable of protecting cortical neurons and HT22 cells against homocysteic acid (HCA)-induced or Abeta toxicity, suggesting that protection against HCA and Abeta depends on CDK inhibition. Compounds described in this study represent a novel therapeutic tool in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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