Flavonoids as potential drugs for VPS13-dependent rare neurodegenerative diseases

Piotr Soczewka, Krzysztof Flis, Déborah Tribouillard-Tanvier, Jean Paul Di Rago, Cláudia N. Santos, Regina Menezes, Joanna Kaminska, Teresa Zoladek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


Several rare neurodegenerative diseases, including chorea acanthocytosis, are caused by mutations in the VPS13A–D genes. Only symptomatic treatments for these diseases are available. Saccharomyces cerevisiae contains a unique VPS13 gene and the yeast vps13∆ mutant has been proven as a suitable model for drug tests. A library of drugs and an in-house library of natural compounds and their derivatives were screened for molecules preventing the growth defect of vps13∆ cells on medium with sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS). Seven polyphenols, including the iron-binding flavone luteolin, were identified. The structure–activity relationship and molecular mechanisms underlying the action of luteolin were characterized. The FET4 gene, which encodes an iron transporter, was found to be a multicopy suppressor of vps13∆, pointing out the importance of iron in response to SDS stress. The growth defect of vps13∆ in SDS-supplemented medium was also alleviated by the addition of iron salts. Suppression did not involve cell antioxidant responses, as chemical antioxidants were not active. Our findings support that luteolin and iron may target the same cellular process, possibly the synthesis of sphingolipids. Unveiling the mechanisms of action of chemical and genetic suppressors of vps13∆ may help to better understand VPS13A–D-dependent pathogenesis and to develop novel therapeutic strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number828
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • Csg2∆
  • Drug repurposing
  • FET4 gene
  • Iron
  • Luteolin
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Sphingolipid biosynthesis
  • Tolcapone
  • VPS13 genes
  • Yeast model


Dive into the research topics of 'Flavonoids as potential drugs for VPS13-dependent rare neurodegenerative diseases'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this