An integrated chemo-informatics and in vitro experimental approach repurposes acarbose as a post-ischemic neuro-protectant

Jyotirekha Das, Fayaz Shaik Mahammad, Rajanikant Golgodu Krishnamurthy

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The increasing prevalence of ischemic stroke combined with limited therapeutic options highlights the compelling need for continued research into the development of future neuro-therapeutics. Death-Associated Protein Kinase 1 (DAPK1) and p53 protein-protein interaction serve as a signaling point for the convergence of apoptosis and necrosis in cerebral ischemia. In this study, we used an integrated chemo-informatics and in vitro experimental drug repurposing strategy to screen potential small-molecule inhibitors of DAPK1-p53 interaction from the United States of America Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drug database exhibiting post-ischemic neuroprotective and neuro-regenerative efficacy and mechanisms. The computational docking and molecular dynamics simulation of FDA-approved drugs followed by an in vitro experimental validation identified acarbose, an anti-diabetic medication and caloric restriction mimetic as a potential inhibitor of DAPK1-p53 interaction. The evaluation of post-ischemic neuroprotective and regenerative efficacy and mechanisms of action for acarbose was carried out using a set of experimental methods, including cell viability, proliferation and differentiation assays, fluorescence staining, and gene expression analysis. Post-ischemic administration of acarbose conferred significant neuroprotection against ischemia-reperfusion injury in vitro. The reduced fluorescence emission in cells stained with pS 20 supported the potential of acarbose in inhibiting the DAPK1-p53 interaction. Acarbose prevented mitochondrial and lysosomal dysfunction, and favorably modulated gene expression related to cell survival, inflammation, and regeneration. BrdU staining and neurite outgrowth assay showed a significant increase in cell proliferation and differentiation in acarbose-treated group. This is the first study known to provide mechanistic insight into the post-ischemic neuroprotective and neuro-regenerative potential of acarbose. Our results provide a strong basis for preclinical studies to evaluate the safety and neuroprotective efficacy of acarbose against ischemic stroke.

Supplementary Information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s13205-022-03130-5.

Original languageEnglish
Article number71
Pages (from-to)71
Journal3 Biotech
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 03-2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)


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