Parkin and α-synuclein are two proteins that are associated with the pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease (PD). Parkin is present in Lewy bodies and axonal spheroids in brains affected by PD, and mutations in parkin cause hereditary forms of Parkinsonism. α-Synuclein is a major component of Lewy bodies and is associated with rare cases of PD. We now show that parkin binds to α-synuclein, including conditions associated with α-synuclein aggregation. Parkin and α-synuclein complexes were observed in BE-M17 cells under basal conditions, in BE-M17 cells under oxidative conditions and in brains from control or PD donors. Double staining of PD brains shows parkin and α-synuclein co-localize to the same pathological structures (both Lewy bodies and axonal spheroids). These results suggest that parkin interacts with α-synuclein and could contribute to the pathophysiology of PD more generally than was previously considered.
- Lewy body
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