How do Ferrostatins Prevent Cell Death?
Small molecule inhibitors of cell death are useful as probes to understand biochemical death mechanisms and, potentially, as drugs with which to prevent unwanted cell death clinically. By screening an in silico-optimized small molecule library for inhibitors of ferroptotic death I found a nanomolar-potent inhibitor of this process that we renamed ferrostatin-1 (Fer-1). Fer-1 appears to suppress the formation of toxic lipid reactive oxygen species (ROS) that are formed during ferroptosis, as outlined below. Fer-1 shows promise as an inhibitor of neurodegenerative death, suggesting a role for ferroptosis in this process and potential clinical applications in this area.