The discovery of transcription factor EB (TFEB) as a master regulator of the autophagy–lysosomal pathway (ALP) has triggered increasing numbers of studies that aim to explore the therapeutic potential of targeting TFEB to treat neurodegenerative disorders (NDs) such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. So far, the findings are exciting and promising. Here, we delineate the dysfunction of the TFEB-mediated ALP in NDs, and we summarize small molecules that have been identified as TFEB activators, along with their protective effects in NDs. We discuss the molecular mechanisms and targets, and the pros and cons of these TFEB activators from the perspective of drug development. Specific and potent small-molecule TFEB activators with ideal brain bioavailability could provide a method for treating NDs.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Drug Discovery