Eketjäll S, Janson J, Jeppsson F, Svanhagen A, Kolmodin K, Gustavsson S, Radesäter AC, Eliason K, Briem S, Appelkvist P, Niva C, Berg AL, Karlström S, Swahn BM, Fälting J
J. Neurosci. 33 (24) 10075-10084 [2013-06-12; online 2013-06-14]
Aβ, the product of APP (amyloid precursor protein), has been implicated in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD). β-Site APP cleaving enzyme1 (BACE1) is the enzyme initiating the processing of the APP to Aβ peptides. Small molecule BACE1 inhibitors are expected to decrease Aβ-peptide generation and thereby reduce amyloid plaque formation in the brain, a neuropathological hallmark of AD. BACE1 inhibition thus addresses a key mechanism in AD and its potential as a therapeutic target is currently being addressed in clinical studies. Here, we report the discovery and the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of BACE1 inhibitor AZ-4217, a high potency compound (IC50 160 pM in human SH-SY5Y cells) with an excellent in vivo efficacy. Central efficacy of BACE1 inhibition was observed after a single dose in C57BL/6 mice, guinea pigs, and in an APP transgenic mouse model of cerebral amyloidosis (Tg2576). Furthermore, we demonstrate that in a 1 month treatment paradigm BACE1 inhibition of Aβ production does lower amyloid deposition in 12-month-old Tg2576 mice. These results strongly support BACE1 inhibition as concretely impacting amyloid deposition and therefore potentially an important approach for therapeutic intervention in AD.