Neural expression profile of alpha-synuclein in developing human cortex.
ABSTRACT Alpha-synuclein is a predominantly neuronal presynaptic protein that may play an important role during synaptogenesis and CNS development. In order to elucidate the human developmental expression profile, we used a polyclonal antiserum against the NAC domain of alpha-synuclein. In normal fetal cortex neuroectodermal precursor cells elicited staining in the soma, whereas, in adult cortex, we observed a staining pattern compatible with synaptic function. The same developmental intraneuronal redistribution was found in neurodegenerative disorders, i.e. somatic staining in neuroectodermal precursors in fetal (trisomy 21) and a synaptic pattern in adult (Down's syndrome, Alzheimer's disease) brains. RT-PCR and Western blot analysis revealed expression at all time points studied (4-7.5 months) during human brain development.
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The molecular and cellular mechanisms, which coordinate the critical stages of brain development to reach a normal structural organization with appropriate networks, are progressively being elucidated. Experimental and clinical studies provide evidence of the occurrence of developmental alterations induced by genetic or environmental factors leading to the formation of aberrant networks associated with learning disabilities. Moreover, evidence is accumulating that suggests that also late-onset neurological disorders, even Alzheimer’s disease, might be considered disorders of aberrant neural development with pathological changes that are set up at early stages of development before the appearance of the symptoms. Thus, evaluating proteins and pathways that are important in age-related neurodegeneration in the developing brain together with the characterization of mechanisms important during brain development with relevance to brain aging are of crucial importance. In the present review we focus on (1) aspects of neurogenesis with relevance to aging; (2) neurodegenerative disease (NDD)-associated proteins/pathways in the developing brain; and (3) further pathways of the developing or neurodegenerating brains that show commonalities. Elucidation of complex pathogenetic routes characterizing the earliest stage of the detrimental processes that result in pathological aging represents an essential first step toward a therapeutic intervention which is able to reverse these pathological processes and prevent the onset of the disease. Based on the shared features between pathways, we conclude that prevention of NDDs of the elderly might begin during the fetal and childhood life by providing the mothers and their children a healthy environment for the fetal and childhood development.Neuroscience 06/2014; 269:152–172. DOI:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2014.03.045 · 3.33 Impact Factor
Human Molecular Genetics 01/2002; 11(20):2395-2407. DOI:10.1093/hmg/11.20.2395 · 6.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: α-Synuclein, an abundant and conserved presynaptic brain protein, is implicated as a critical factor in Parkinson's disease (PD). The aggregation of α-synuclein is believed to be a critical event in the disease process. α-Synuclein is characterized by a remarkable conformational plasticity, adopting different conformations depending on the environment. Therefore, it is classified as an "intrinsically disordered protein." Recently, a debate has challenged the view on the intrinsically disordered behavior of α-synuclein in the cell. It has been proposed that α-synuclein is a stable tetramer with a low propensity for aggregation; however, its destabilization leads to protein misfolding and its aggregation kinetics. In our critical analysis, we discussed about major issues: (i) why α-synuclein conformational behavior does not fit into the normal secondary structural characteristics of proteins, (ii) potential amino acids involved in the complexity of misfolding in α-synuclein that leads to aggregation, and (iii) the role of metals in misfolding and aggregation. To evaluate the above critical issues, we developed bioinformatics models related to secondary and tertiary conformations, Ramachandran plot, free energy change, intrinsic disordered prediction, solvent accessibility, and FoldIndex pattern. To the best of our knowledge, this is a novel critical assessment to understand the misfolding biology of synuclein and its relevance to Parkinson's disease.Molecular Neurobiology 08/2014; DOI:10.1007/s12035-014-8818-2 · 5.29 Impact Factor