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Alpha-synuclein biology in Lewy body diseases.
Neuroscience Research Australia, Barker Street, Randwick 2031, NSW, Australia; School of Medical Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney 2052, NSW, Australia.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Cell Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Neuroscience Research Australia, Barker Street, Randwick 2031, NSW, Australia; School of Medical Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney 2052, NSW, Australia.
2014 (English)In: Alzheimer's research & therapy, ISSN 1758-9193, Vol. 6, no 5, 73- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

α-Synuclein is an abundantly expressed neuronal protein that is at the center of focus in understanding a group of neurodegenerative disorders called α-synucleinopathies, which are characterized by the presence of aggregated α-synuclein intracellularly. Primary α-synucleinopathies include Parkinson's disease (PD), dementia with Lewy bodies and multiple system atrophy, with α-synuclein also found secondarily in a number of other diseases, including Alzheimer's disease. Understanding how α-synuclein aggregates form in these different disorders is important for the understanding of its pathogenesis in Lewy body diseases. PD is the most prevalent of the α-synucleinopathies and much of the initial research on α-synuclein Lewy body pathology was based on PD but is also relevant to Lewy bodies in other diseases (dementia with Lewy bodies and Alzheimer's disease). Polymorphism and mutation studies of SNCA, the gene that encodes α-synuclein, provide much evidence for a causal link between α-synuclein and PD. Among the primary α-synucleinopathies, multiple system atrophy is unique in that α-synuclein deposition occurs in oligodendrocytes rather than neurons. It is unclear whether α-synuclein originates from oligodendrocytes or whether it is transmitted somehow from neurons. α-Synuclein exists as a natively unfolded monomer in the cytosol, but in the presence of lipid membranes it is thought to undergo a conformational change to a folded α-helical secondary structure that is prone to forming dimers and oligomers. Posttranslational modification of α-synuclein, such as phosphorylation, ubiquitination and nitration, has been widely implicated in α-synuclein aggregation process and neurotoxicity. Recent studies using animal and cell models, as well as autopsy studies of patients with neuron transplants, provided compelling evidence for prion-like propagation of α-synuclein. This observation has implications for therapeutic strategies, and much recent effort is focused on developing antibodies that target extracellular α-synuclein.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central, 2014. Vol. 6, no 5, 73- p.
National Category
Other Clinical Medicine
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-115278DOI: 10.1186/s13195-014-0073-2ISI: 000343200300017PubMedID: 25580161OAI: diva2:794640
Available from: 2015-03-12 Created: 2015-03-12 Last updated: 2015-06-04Bibliographically approved

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Kågedal, Katarina
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