Synaptic vesicle mimics affect the aggregation of wild-type and A53T ?-synuclein variants differently albeit similar membrane affinity.
ABSTRACT: ?-Synuclein misfolding results in the accumulation of amyloid fibrils in Parkinson's disease. Missense protein mutations (e.g. A53T) have been linked to early onset disease. Although ?-synuclein interacts with synaptic vesicles in the brain, it is not clear what role they play in the protein aggregation process. Here, we compare the effect of small unilamellar vesicles (lipid composition similar to synaptic vesicles) on wild-type (WT) and A53T ?-synuclein aggregation. Using biophysical techniques, we reveal that binding affinity to the vesicles is similar for the two proteins, and both interact with the helix long axis parallel to the membrane surface. Still, the vesicles affect the aggregation of the variants differently: effects on secondary processes such as fragmentation dominate for WT, whereas for A53T, fibril elongation is mostly affected. We speculate that vesicle interactions with aggregate intermediate species, in addition to monomer binding, vary between WT and A53T, resulting in different consequences for amyloid formation.
Project description:A potential cause of neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease (PD), is protein misfolding and aggregation that in turn leads to neurotoxicity. Targeting Hsp90 is an attractive strategy to halt neurodegenerative diseases, and benzoquinone ansamycin (BQA) Hsp90 inhibitors such as geldanamycin (GA) and 17-(allylamino)-17-demethoxygeldanamycin have been shown to be beneficial in mutant A53T ?-synuclein PD models. However, current BQA inhibitors result in off-target toxicities via redox cycling and/or arylation of nucleophiles at the C19 position. We developed novel 19-substituted BQA (19BQA) as a means to prevent arylation. In this study, our data demonstrated that 19-phenyl-GA, a lead 19BQA in the GA series, was redox stable and exhibited little toxicity relative to its parent quinone GA in human dopaminergic SH-SY5Y cells as examined by oxygen consumption, trypan blue, 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide (MTT), and apoptosis assays. Meanwhile, 19-phenyl-GA retained the ability to induce autophagy and potentially protective heat shock proteins (HSPs) such as Hsp70 and Hsp27. We found that transduction of A53T, but not wild type (WT) ?-synuclein, induced toxicity in SH-SY5Y cells. 19-Phenyl-GA decreased oligomer formation and toxicity of A53T ?-synuclein in transduced cells. Mechanistic studies indicated that mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)/p70 ribosomal S6 kinase signaling was activated by A53T but not WT ?-synuclein, and 19-phenyl-GA decreased mTOR activation that may be associated with A53T ?-synuclein toxicity. In summary, our results indicate that 19BQAs such as 19-phenyl-GA may provide a means to modulate protein-handling systems including HSPs and autophagy, thereby reducing the aggregation and toxicity of proteins such as mutant A53T ?-synuclein.
Project description:Background: Mutations in glucocerebrosidase (GBA), a lysosomal enzyme are the most common genetic risk factor for developing Parkinson's disease (PD). We studied how reduced GCase activity affects ?-synuclein (?-syn) and its mutants (A30P and A53T) aggregation, neurodegeneration, sleep and locomotor behavior in a fly model of PD. Methods: We developed drosophila with GBA gene knockdown (RNAi) (with reduced GCase activity) that simultaneously expresses either wildtype (WT) or mutants such as A30P or A53T ?-syn. Western blot and confocal microscopy were performed to study the ?-syn aggregation and neurodegeneration in these flies. We also studied the sleep and locomotor activity of those flies using Drosophila activity monitor (DAM) system. Results: Western blot analysis showed that GBA RNAi A53T ?-syn flies (30 days old) had an increased level of Triton insoluble synuclein (that corresponds to ?-syn aggregates) compared to corresponding A53T flies without GBA RNAi (control), while mRNA expression of ?-syn remained unchanged. Confocal imaging of whole brain staining of 30 days old drosophila showed a statistically significant decrease in neuron numbers in PPL1 cluster in flies expressing ?-syn WT, A30P and A53T in the presence GBA RNAi compared to corresponding control. Staining with conformation specific antibody for ?-syn aggregates showed an increased number of neurons staining for ?-syn aggregates in A53T fly brain with GBA RNAi compared to control A53T flies, thus confirming our protein analysis finding that under decreased GBA enzyme activity, mutant A53T aggregates more than the control A53T without GBA silencing. Sleep analysis revealed decreased total activity in GBA silenced flies expressing mutant A53T compared to both A53T control flies and GBA RNAi flies without synuclein expression. Conclusion: In A53T flies with reduced GCase activity, there is increased ?-syn aggregation and dopamine (DA) neuronal loss. This study demonstrates that reduced GCase activity both in the context of heterozygous GBA1 mutation associated with PD and in old age, contribute to increased aggregation of mutant ?-syn A53T and exacerbates the phenotype in a fly model of PD.
Project description:The accumulation of misfolded a-synuclein is mechanistically linked to neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease (PD) and other alpha-synucleinopathies. However, how alpha-synuclein causes neurodegeneration is unresolved. Several studies have supported the involvement of dynein, the major motor for retrograde axonal transport in alpha-synuclein-dependent neurodegeneration, especially in the nigrostriatal system. Therefore, we examined the nigrostriatal dyneins in transgenic mice that overexpress human A53T alpha-synuclein and recapitulate key features of a PD-like neuronal synucleinopathy. Age-matched nontransgenic littermates were used as controls. The results demonstrated that the protein level of dynein was decreased in the striatum, whereas it was elevated in the substantia nigra. Double immunostaining results revealed that the reduction in dynein level was associated with aggregation of A53T a-synuclein in the striatum. Furthermore, we performed a quantitative analysis of motor behaviors in A53T alpha-synuclein transgenic mice and controls using a modified open field test. We demonstrated that the protein level of dynein in the striatum was significantly correlated with the motor behaviors. Together, our data indicate that dynein changes in the nigrostriatal system of A53T alpha-synuclein transgenic mice may contribute to their severe movement disorder.
Project description:Alterations in metal ion homeostasis appear coupled to neurodegenerative disorders but mechanisms are unknown. Amyloid formation of the protein ?-synuclein in brain cells is a hallmark of Parkinson's disease. ?-Synuclein can bind several metal ions in vitro and such interactions may affect the assembly process. Here we used biophysical methods to study the effects of micromolar concentrations of Cu2+ and Fe3+ ions on amyloid formation of selected ?-synuclein variants (wild-type and A53T ?-synuclein, in normal and N-terminally acetylated forms). As shown previously, Cu2+ speeds up aggregation of normal wild-type ?-synuclein, but not the acetylated form. However, Cu2+ has a minimal effect on (the faster) aggregation of normal A53T ?-synuclein, despite that Cu2+ binds to this variant. Like Cu2+, Fe3+ speeds up aggregation of non-acetylated wild-type ?-synuclein, but with acetylation, Fe3+ instead slows down aggregation. In contrast, for A53T ?-synuclein, regardless of acetylation, Fe3+ slows down aggregation with the effect being most dramatic for acetylated A53T ?-synuclein. The results presented here suggest a correlation between metal-ion modulation effect and intrinsic aggregation speed of the various ?-synuclein variants.
Project description:Parkinson's disease (PD) is pathologically characterized by the presence of Lewy bodies (LBs) in dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra. These intracellular inclusions are largely composed of misfolded ?-synuclein (AS), a neuronal protein that is abundant in the vertebrate brain. Point mutations in AS are associated with rare, early-onset forms of PD, although aggregation of the wild-type (WT) protein is observed in the more common sporadic forms of the disease. Here, we employed multidimensional solid-state NMR experiments to assess A53T and E46K mutant fibrils, in comparison to our recent description of WT AS fibrils. We made de novo chemical shift assignments for the mutants, and used these chemical shifts to empirically determine secondary structures. We observe significant perturbations in secondary structure throughout the fibril core for the E46K fibril, while the A53T fibril exhibits more localized perturbations near the mutation site. Overall, these results demonstrate that the secondary structure of A53T has some small differences from the WT and the secondary structure of E46K has significant differences, which may alter the overall structural arrangement of the fibrils.
Project description:Parkinson's disease, neuropathologically defined by the aggregation of ?-synuclein, is characterized by neuropsychiatric symptoms such as depression and anxiety preceding the onset of motor symptoms. A loss of serotonergic neurons or their projections into the hippocampus and alterations in serotonin release may be linked to these symptoms. Here, we investigate the effect of human A53T ?-synuclein on serotonergic neurons using 12-months-old transgenic mice. We detected human ?-synuclein in the perikarya of brainstem median and dorsal raphe neurons as well as in serotonergic fibers in the hippocampus. Despite intracellular ?-synuclein accumulation there was no loss of serotonergic neurons in dorsal and median raphe nuclei of A53T ?-synuclein mice. However, serotonin levels were significantly reduced in the brainstem. In addition, serotonergic fiber density in the dorsal dentate gyrus was significantly less dense in transgenic mice. Interestingly, we detected a significantly compromised increase in doublecortin+ neuroblasts after chronic treatment with fluoxetine at the site of reduced serotonergic innervation, the infrapyramidal blade of the dorsal dentate gyrus in A53T ?-synuclein mice. This suggests that ?-synuclein affects serotonergic projections in a spatially distinct pattern within the hippocampus thereby influencing the response to antidepressant treatment.
Project description:Mutations in the genes encoding LRRK2 and ?-synuclein cause autosomal dominant forms of familial Parkinson's disease (PD). Fibrillar forms of ?-synuclein are a major component of Lewy bodies, the intracytoplasmic proteinaceous inclusions that are a pathological hallmark of idiopathic and certain familial forms of PD. LRRK2 mutations cause late-onset familial PD with a clinical, neurochemical and, for the most part, neuropathological phenotype that is indistinguishable from idiopathic PD. Importantly, ?-synuclein-positive Lewy bodies are the most common pathology identified in the brains of PD subjects harboring LRRK2 mutations. These observations may suggest that LRRK2 functions in a common pathway with ?-synuclein to regulate its aggregation. To explore the potential pathophysiological interaction between LRRK2 and ?-synuclein in vivo, we modulated LRRK2 expression in a well-established human A53T ?-synuclein transgenic mouse model with transgene expression driven by the hindbrain-selective prion protein promoter. Deletion of LRRK2 or overexpression of human G2019S-LRRK2 has minimal impact on the lethal neurodegenerative phenotype that develops in A53T ?-synuclein transgenic mice, including premature lethality, pre-symptomatic behavioral deficits and human ?-synuclein or glial neuropathology. We also find that endogenous or human LRRK2 and A53T ?-synuclein do not interact together to influence the number of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons. Taken together, our data suggest that ?-synuclein-related pathology, which occurs predominantly in the hindbrain of this A53T ?-synuclein mouse model, occurs largely independently from LRRK2 expression. These observations fail to provide support for a pathophysiological interaction of LRRK2 and ?-synuclein in vivo, at least within neurons of the mouse hindbrain.
Project description:?-synuclein gene mutations can cause ?-synuclein protein aggregation in the midbrain of Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play a key role in the metabolism of ?-synuclein but the mechanism involved in synucleinopathy remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the miRNA profiles in A53T-?-synuclein transgenic mice and analyzed the candidate miRNAs in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of PD patients. The 12-month A53T-transgenic mouse displayed hyperactive movement and anxiolytic-like behaviors with ?-synuclein aggregation in midbrain. A total of 317,759 total and 289,207 unique small RNA sequences in the midbrain of mice were identified by high-throughput deep sequencing. We found 644 miRNAs were significantly changed in the transgenic mice. Based on the conserved characteristic of miRNAs, we selected 11 candidates from the 40 remarkably expressed miRNAs and explored their expression in 44 CSF samples collected from PD patients. The results revealed that 11 microRNAs were differently expressed in CSF, emphatically as miR-144-5p, miR-200a-3p and miR-542-3p, which were dramatically up-regulated in both A53T-transgenic mice and PD patients, and had a helpful accuracy for the PD prediction. The ordered logistic regression analysis showed that the severity of PD has strong correlation with an up-expression of miR-144-5p, miR-200a-3p and miR-542-3p in CSF. Taken together, our data suggested that miRNAs in CSF, such as miR-144-5p, miR-200a-3p and miR-542-3p, may be useful to the PD diagnosis as potential biomarkers.
Project description:Previously, we reported that intracranial inoculation of brain homogenate from multiple system atrophy (MSA) patient samples produces neurological disease in the transgenic (Tg) mouse model TgM83+/-, which uses the prion protein promoter to express human ?-synuclein harboring the A53T mutation found in familial Parkinson's disease (PD). In our studies, we inoculated MSA and control patient samples into Tg mice constructed using a P1 artificial chromosome to express wild-type (WT), A30P, and A53T human ?-synuclein on a mouse ?-synuclein knockout background [Tg(SNCA+/+)Nbm, Tg(SNCA*A30P+/+)Nbm, and Tg(SNCA*A53T+/+)Nbm]. In contrast to studies using TgM83+/- mice, motor deficits were not observed by 330-400 days in any of the Tg(SNCA)Nbm mice after inoculation with MSA brain homogenates. However, using a cell-based bioassay to measure ?-synuclein prions, we found brain homogenates from Tg(SNCA*A53T+/+)Nbm mice inoculated with MSA patient samples contained ?-synuclein prions, whereas control mice did not. Moreover, these ?-synuclein aggregates retained the biological and biochemical characteristics of the ?-synuclein prions in MSA patient samples. Intriguingly, Tg(SNCA*A53T+/+)Nbm mice developed ?-synuclein pathology in neurons and astrocytes throughout the limbic system. This finding is in contrast to MSA-inoculated TgM83+/- mice, which develop exclusively neuronal ?-synuclein aggregates in the hindbrain that cause motor deficits with advanced disease. In a crossover experiment, we inoculated TgM83+/- mice with brain homogenate from two MSA patient samples or one control sample first inoculated, or passaged, in Tg(SNCA*A53T+/+)Nbm animals. Additionally, we performed the reverse experiment by inoculating Tg(SNCA*A53T+/+)Nbm mice with brain homogenate from the same two MSA samples and one control sample first passaged in TgM83+/- animals. The TgM83+/- mice inoculated with mouse-passaged MSA developed motor dysfunction and ?-synuclein prions, whereas the mouse-passaged control sample had no effect. Similarly, the mouse-passaged MSA samples induced ?-synuclein prion formation in Tg(SNCA*A53T+/+)Nbm mice, but the mouse-passaged control sample did not. The confirmed transmission of ?-synuclein prions to a second synucleinopathy model and the ability to propagate prions between two distinct mouse lines while retaining strain-specific properties provides compelling evidence that MSA is a prion disease.
Project description:The propensity of ?-synuclein to form amyloid plays an important role in Parkinson's disease. Three familial mutations, A30P, E46K, and A53T, correlate with Parkinson's disease. Therefore, unraveling the structural effects of these mutations has basic implications in understanding the molecular basis of the disease. Here, we address this issue through comparing details of the hydration of wild-type ?-synuclein and its A53T mutant by a combination of wide-line NMR, differential scanning calorimetry, and molecular dynamics simulations. All three approaches suggest a hydrate shell compatible with a largely disordered state of both proteins. Its fine details, however, are different, with the mutant displaying a somewhat higher level of hydration, suggesting a bias to more open structures, favorable for protein-protein interactions leading to amyloid formation. These differences disappear in the amyloid state, suggesting basically the same surface topology, irrespective of the initial monomeric state.