Although trace levels of phosphorylated α-synuclein (α-syn) are detectable in normal brains, nearly all α-syn accumulated within Lewy bodies in Parkinson disease brains is phosphorylated on serine 129 (Ser-129). The role of the phosphoserine residue and its effects on α-syn structure, function, and intracellular accumulation are poorly understood. Here, co-expression of α-syn and polo-like kinase 2 (PLK2), a kinase that targets Ser-129, was used to generate phosphorylated α-syn for biophysical and biological characterization. Misfolding and fibril formation of phosphorylated α-syn isoforms were detected earlier, although the fibrils remained phosphatase- and protease-sensitive. Membrane binding of α-syn monomers was differentially affected by phosphorylation depending on the Parkinson disease-linked mutation. WT α-syn binding to presynaptic membranes was not affected by phosphorylation, whereas A30P α-syn binding was greatly increased, and A53T α-syn was slightly lower, implicating distal effects of the carboxyl- on amino-terminal membrane binding. Endocytic vesicle-mediated internalization of pre-formed fibrils into non-neuronal cells and dopaminergic neurons matched the efficacy of α-syn membrane binding. Finally, the disruption of internalized vesicle membranes was enhanced by the phosphorylated α-syn isoforms, a potential means for misfolded extracellular or lumenal α-syn to access cytosolic α-syn. Our results suggest that the threshold for vesicle permeabilization is evident even at low levels of α-syn internalization and are relevant to therapeutic strategies to reduce intercellular propagation of α-syn misfolding.

Effects of Serine 129 Phosphorylation on α-Synuclein Aggregation, Membrane Association, and Internalization

PACELLI, CONSIGLIA;
2016-01-01

Abstract

Although trace levels of phosphorylated α-synuclein (α-syn) are detectable in normal brains, nearly all α-syn accumulated within Lewy bodies in Parkinson disease brains is phosphorylated on serine 129 (Ser-129). The role of the phosphoserine residue and its effects on α-syn structure, function, and intracellular accumulation are poorly understood. Here, co-expression of α-syn and polo-like kinase 2 (PLK2), a kinase that targets Ser-129, was used to generate phosphorylated α-syn for biophysical and biological characterization. Misfolding and fibril formation of phosphorylated α-syn isoforms were detected earlier, although the fibrils remained phosphatase- and protease-sensitive. Membrane binding of α-syn monomers was differentially affected by phosphorylation depending on the Parkinson disease-linked mutation. WT α-syn binding to presynaptic membranes was not affected by phosphorylation, whereas A30P α-syn binding was greatly increased, and A53T α-syn was slightly lower, implicating distal effects of the carboxyl- on amino-terminal membrane binding. Endocytic vesicle-mediated internalization of pre-formed fibrils into non-neuronal cells and dopaminergic neurons matched the efficacy of α-syn membrane binding. Finally, the disruption of internalized vesicle membranes was enhanced by the phosphorylated α-syn isoforms, a potential means for misfolded extracellular or lumenal α-syn to access cytosolic α-syn. Our results suggest that the threshold for vesicle permeabilization is evident even at low levels of α-syn internalization and are relevant to therapeutic strategies to reduce intercellular propagation of α-syn misfolding.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11369/337662
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