Amyloid fibril formation of alpha-synuclein is accelerated by preformed amyloid seeds of other proteins: implications for the mechanism of transmissible conformational diseases.
ABSTRACT Alpha-synuclein is one of the causative proteins of familial Parkinson disease, which is characterized by neuronal inclusions named Lewy bodies. Lewy bodies include not only alpha-synuclein but also aggregates of other proteins. This fact raises a question as to whether the formation of alpha-synuclein amyloid fibrils in Lewy bodies may occur via interaction with fibrils derived from different proteins. To probe this hypothesis, we investigated in vitro fibril formation of human alpha-synuclein in the presence of preformed fibril seeds of various different proteins. We used three proteins, Escherichia coli chaperonin GroES, hen lysozyme, and bovine insulin, all of which have been shown to form amyloid fibrils. Very surprisingly, the formation of alpha-synuclein amyloid fibril was accelerated markedly in the presence of preformed seeds of GroES, lysozyme, and insulin fibrils. The structural characteristics of the natively unfolded state of alpha-synuclein may allow binding to various protein particles, which in turn triggers the formation (extension) of alpha-synuclein amyloid fibrils. This finding is very important for understanding the molecular mechanism of Parkinson disease and also provides interesting implications into the mechanism of transmissible conformational diseases.
Article: The anti-Parkinsonian drug selegiline delays the nucleation phase of α-synuclein aggregation leading to the formation of nontoxic species.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Parkinson's disease (PD) is a movement disorder characterized by the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra and the formation of intraneuronal inclusions called Lewy bodies, which are composed mainly of α-synuclein (α-syn). Selegiline (Sel) is a noncompetitive monoamino oxidase B inhibitor that has neuroprotective effects and has been administered to PD patients as monotherapy or in combination with l-dopa. Besides its known effect of increasing the level of dopamine (DA) by monoamino oxidase B inhibition, Sel induces other effects that contribute to its action against PD. We evaluated the effects of Sel on the in vitro aggregation of A30P and wild-type α-syn. Sel delays fibril formation by extending the lag phase of aggregation. In the presence of Sel, electron microscopy reveals amorphous heterogeneous aggregates, including large annular species, which are innocuous to a primary culture enriched in dopaminergic neurons, while their age-matched counterparts are toxic. The inhibitory effect displayed by Sel is abolished when seeds (small fibril pieces) are added to the aggregation reaction, reinforcing the hypothesis that Sel interferes with early nuclei formation and, to a lesser extent, with fibril elongation. NMR experiments indicate that Sel does not interact with monomeric α-syn. Interestingly, when added in combination with DA (which favors the formation of toxic protofibrils), Sel overrides the inhibitory effect of DA and favors fibrillation. Additionally, Sel blocks the formation of smaller toxic aggregates by perturbing DA-dependent fibril disaggregation. These effects might be beneficial for PD patients, since the sequestration of protofibrils into fibrils or the inhibition of fibril dissociation could alleviate the toxic effects of protofibrils on dopaminergic neurons. In nondopaminergic neurons, Sel might slow the fibrillation, giving rise to the formation of large nontoxic aggregates.Journal of Molecular Biology 11/2010; 405(1):254-73. · 4.00 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The results of cell and animal model studies demonstrate that molecular chaperones play an important role in controlling the processes of protein misfolding and amyloid formation in vivo. In addition, chaperones are involved in the appearance, propagation and clearance of prion phenotypes in yeast. The effect of chaperones on amyloid formation has been studied in great detail in recent years in order to elucidate the underlying mechanisms. An important approach is the direct study of effects of chaperones on amyloid fibril formation in vitro. This review introduces the methods and techniques that are commonly used to control and monitor the time course of fibril formation, and to detect interactions between chaperones and fibril-forming proteins. The techniques we address include thioflavin T binding fluorescence and filter retardation assays, size-exclusion chromatography, dynamic light scattering, and biosensor assays. Our aim in this review is to provide guidance on how to embark on study of the effect of chaperones on amyloid fibril formation, and how to avoid common problems that may be encountered, using examples and experience from the authors' lab and from the wider literature.Methods 12/2010; 53(3):285-94. · 4.01 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Amyloid proteins constitute a chemically heterogeneous group of proteins, which share some biophysical and biological characteristics, the principal of which are the high propensity to acquire an incorrect folding and the tendency to aggregate. A number of diseases are associated with misfolding and aggregation of proteins, although only in some of them-most notably Alzheimer's disease (AD) and transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs)-a pathogenetic link with misfolded proteins is now widely recognized. Lipid rafts (LRs) have been involved in the pathophysiology of diseases associated with protein misfolding at several levels, including aggregation of misfolded proteins, amyloidogenic processing, and neurotoxicity. Among the pathogenic misfolded proteins, the AD-related protein amyloid β (Aβ) is by far the most studied protein, and a large body of evidence has been gathered on the role played by LRs in Aβ pathogenicity. However, significant amount of data has also been collected for several other amyloid proteins, so that their ability to interact with LRs can be considered an additional, shared feature characterizing the amyloid protein family. In this paper, we will review the evidence on the role of LRs in the neurotoxicity of huntingtin, α-synuclein, prion protein, and calcitonin.International journal of Alzheimer's disease. 01/2011; 2011:906964.