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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(1), 248; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19010248

Can EGCG Alleviate Symptoms of Down Syndrome by Altering Proteolytic Activity?

1
Department of Dental Surgery and Periodontology, Poznań University of Medical Sciences, Bukowska 70, 60-812 Poznań, Poland
2
Department of Social Sciences, Poznań University of Medical Sciences, Fredry 10, 61-710 Poznań, Poland
3
The Chair and Clinic of Maxillofacial Orthopaedics and Orthodontics, Poznań University of Medical Sciences, Bukowska 70, 60-812 Poznań, Poland
4
Urology Research Center, Department of Urology, The University of Toledo-Health Science Campus, 3000 Arlington Ave, Toledo, OH 43614, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 10 January 2018 / Accepted: 10 January 2018 / Published: 15 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Bioactives and Nutraceuticals)
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Abstract

Down syndrome (DS), also known as “trisomy 21”, is a genetic disorder caused by the presence of all or part of a third copy of chromosome 21. Silencing these extra genes is beyond existing technology and seems to be impractical. A number of pharmacologic options have been proposed to change the quality of life and lifespan of individuals with DS. It was reported that treatment with epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) improves cognitive performance in animal models and in humans, suggesting that EGCG may alleviate symptoms of DS. Traditionally, EGCG has been associated with the ability to reduce dual specificity tyrosine phosphorylation regulated kinase 1A activity, which is overexpressed in trisomy 21. Based on the data available in the literature, we propose an additional way in which EGCG might affect trisomy 21—namely by modifying the proteolytic activity of the enzymes involved. It is known that, in Down syndrome, the nerve growth factor (NGF) metabolic pathway is altered: first by downregulating tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) that activates plasminogen to plasmin, an enzyme converting proNGF to mature NGF; secondly, overexpression of metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) further degrades NGF, lowering the amount of mature NGF. EGCG inhibits MMP-9, thus protecting NGF. Urokinase (uPA) and tPA are activators of plasminogen, and uPA is inhibited by EGCG, but regardless of their structural similarity tPA is not inhibited. In this review, we describe mechanisms of proteolytic enzymes (MMP-9 and plasminogen activation system), their role in Down syndrome, their inhibition by EGCG, possible degradation of this polyphenol and the ability of EGCG and its degradation products to cross the blood–brain barrier. We conclude that known data accumulated so far provide promising evidence of MMP-9 inhibition by EGCG in the brain, which could slow down the abnormal degradation of NGF. View Full-Text
Keywords: Down syndrome; epigallocatechin gallate; metalloproteinase 9; plasminogen activator system Down syndrome; epigallocatechin gallate; metalloproteinase 9; plasminogen activator system
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Wyganowska-Świątkowska, M.; Matthews-Kozanecka, M.; Matthews-Brzozowska, T.; Skrzypczak-Jankun, E.; Jankun, J. Can EGCG Alleviate Symptoms of Down Syndrome by Altering Proteolytic Activity? Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 248.

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