Biocompatible Inhibitor Based on Chitosan and Amphiphilic Peptide against Mutant Huntingtin Toxicity

Devi Wahyuningtyas, Wen Hao Chen, Chen Han Huang, Yu Jung He, Joseph Jen Tse Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Huntington's disease (HD) is classified as a protein-misfolding disease correlated with the mutant Huntingtin (mHtt) protein with abnormally expanded polyglutamine (polyQ) domains. Because no effective drugs have yet been reported, attempts to develop better therapy to delay the age of onset are in urgent demand. In this study, an amphiphilic peptide consisting of negatively charged hexaglutamic acid and a stretch of decaglutamine (E6Q10) was chemically synthesized as an inhibitor against polyQ and mHtt toxicity. It is found that E6Q10 selfassembles into spherical vesicles, as shown by means of TEM, cryoelectron microscopy, and dynamic light scattering. Assembled E6Q10 prevented the polyQ-rich peptide (KKWQ20AKK) from forming amyloid fibrils. To enable the cell-penetration ability of E6Q10, the E6Q10⋅chitosan complex was generated. It is demonstrated that the complex penetrates cells, interferes with the mHtt oligomerization and aggregation process, and prevents mHtt cytotoxicity. By combining positively charged chitosan and amphiphilic peptides with a negatively charge moiety, a new strategy is provided to develop biocompatible and biodegradable inhibitors against mHtt toxicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2133-2140
Number of pages8
Issue number16
StatePublished - 16 Aug 2019


  • Huntington's disease
  • amphiphiles
  • cytotoxicity
  • inhibitors
  • peptides


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