Anti-aggregation effects of phenolic compounds on α-synuclein

Kenjiro Ono, Mayumi Tsuji, Tritia R. Yamasaki, Giulio M. Pasinetti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The aggregation and deposition of α-synuclein (αS) are major pathologic features of Parkinson's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, and other α-synucleinopathies. The propagation of αS pathology in the brain plays a key role in the onset and progression of clinical phenotypes. Thus, there is increasing interest in developing strategies that attenuate αS aggregation and propagation. Based on cumulative evidence that αS oligomers are neurotoxic and critical species in the pathogenesis of α-synucleinopathies, we and other groups reported that phenolic compounds inhibit αS aggregation including oligomerization, thereby ameliorating αS oligomer-induced cellular and synaptic toxicities. Heterogeneity in gut microbiota may influence the efficacy of dietary polyphenol metabolism. Our recent studies on the brain-penetrating polyphenolic acids 3-hydroxybenzoic acid (3-HBA), 3,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid (3,4-diHBA), and 3-hydroxyphenylacetic acid (3-HPPA), which are derived from gut microbiota-based metabolism of dietary polyphenols, demonstrated an in vitro ability to inhibit αS oligomerization and mediate aggregated αS-induced neurotoxicity. Additionally, 3-HPPA, 3,4-diHBA, 3-HBA, and 4-hydroxybenzoic acid significantly attenuated intracellular αS seeding aggregation in a cell-based system. This review focuses on recent research developments regarding neuroprotective properties, especially anti-αS aggregation effects, of phenolic compounds and their metabolites by the gut microbiome, including our findings in the pathogenesis of α-synucleinopathies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2444
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 24 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (


  • Gut microbiome
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Phenolic compounds
  • α-synuclein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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