Intracellular formation of α-synuclein oligomers and the effect of heat shock protein 70 characterized by confocal single particle spectroscopy

Johannes Levin, Andreas S. Hillmer, Tobias Högen, Pamela J McLean, Armin Giese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Synucleinopathies such as dementia with Lewy bodies or Parkinson's disease are characterized by intracellular deposition of pathologically aggregated α-synuclein. The details of the molecular pathogenesis of PD and especially the conditions that lead to intracellular aggregation of α-synuclein and the role of these aggregates in cell death remain unknown. In cell free in vitro systems considerable knowledge about the aggregation processes has been gathered. In comparison, the knowledge about these aggregation processes in cells is far behind. In cells α-synuclein aggregates can be toxic. However, the crucial particle species responsible for decisive steps in pathogenesis such as seeding a continuing aggregation process and triggering cell death remain to be identified. In order to understand the complex nature of intracellular α-synuclein aggregate formation, we analyzed fluorescent particles formed by venus and α-synuclein-venus fusion proteins and α-synuclein-hemi-venus fusion proteins derived from gently lyzed cells. With these techniques we were able to identify and characterize α-synuclein oligomers formed in cells. Especially the use of α-synuclein-hemi-venus fusion proteins enabled us to identify very small α-synuclein oligomers with high sensitivity. Furthermore, we were able to study the molecular effect of heat shock protein 70, which is known to inhibit α-synuclein aggregation in cells. Heat shock protein 70 does not only influence the size of α-synuclein oligomers, but also their quantity. In summary, this approach based on fluorescence single particle spectroscopy, that is suited for high throughput measurements, can be used to detect and characterize intracellularly formed α-synuclein aggregates and characterize the effect of molecules that interfere with α-synuclein aggregate formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-82
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Volume477
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 12 2016

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Keywords

  • Aggregation inhibition
  • Fluorescence single particle spectroscopy
  • Fusion proteins
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Venus
  • α-Synuclein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Medicine(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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