Sample records for neural protein synuclein

  1. Neural Protein Synuclein Gamma (SNCG) in Breast Cancer Progression

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Jiang, Yangfu


    Synucleins are emerging as a central player in the fundamental neural processes and in the formation of pathologically insoluble deposits characteristic of Alzheimer's (AD) and Parkinson's (PD) diseases...

  2. Neural protein gamma-synuclein interacting with androgen receptor promotes human prostate cancer progression

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, Junyi; Jiao, Li; Xu, Chuanliang; Yu, Yongwei; Zhang, Zhensheng; Chang, Zheng; Deng, Zhen; Sun, Yinghao


    Gamma-synuclein (SNCG) has previously been demonstrated to be significantly correlated with metastatic malignancies; however, in-depth investigation of SNCG in prostate cancer is still lacking. In the present study, we evaluated the role of SNCG in prostate cancer progression and explored the underlying mechanisms. First, alteration of SNCG expression in LNCaP cell line to test the ability of SNCG on cellular properties in vitro and vivo whenever exposing with androgen or not. Subsequently, the Dual-luciferase reporter assays were performed to evaluate whether the role of SNCG in LNCaP is through AR signaling. Last, the association between SNCG and prostate cancer progression was assessed immunohistochemically using a series of human prostate tissues. Silencing SNCG by siRNA in LNCaP cells contributes to the inhibition of cellular proliferation, the induction of cell-cycle arrest at the G1 phase, the suppression of cellular migration and invasion in vitro, as well as the decrease of tumor growth in vivo with the notable exception of castrated mice. Subsequently, mechanistic studies indicated that SNCG is a novel androgen receptor (AR) coactivator. It interacts with AR and promotes prostate cancer cellular growth and proliferation by activating AR transcription in an androgen-dependent manner. Finally, immunohistochemical analysis revealed that SNCG was almost undetectable in benign or androgen-independent tissues prostate lesions. The high expression of SNCG is correlated with peripheral and lymph node invasion. Our data suggest that SNCG may serve as a biomarker for predicting human prostate cancer progression and metastasis. It also may become as a novel target for biomedical therapy in advanced prostate cancer

  3. Interaction between -Synuclein and Other Proteins in Neurodegenerative Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kurt A. Jellinger


    Full Text Available Protein aggregation is a common characteristic of many neurodegenerative disorders, and the interaction between pathological/toxic proteins to cause neurodegeneration is a hot topic of current neuroscience research. Despite clinical, genetic, and experimental differences, evidence increasingly indicates considerable overlap between synucleinopathies and tauopathies or other protein-misfolding diseases. Inclusions, characteristics of these disorders, also occurring in other neurodegenerative diseases, suggest interactions of pathological proteins engaging common downstream pathways. Novel findings that have shifted our understanding in the role of pathologic proteins in the pathogenesis of Parkinson and Alzheimer diseases have confirmed correlations/overlaps between these and other neurodegenerative disorders. The synergistic effects of α-synuclein, hyperphosphorylated tau, amyloid-β, and other pathologic proteins, and the underlying molecular pathogenic mechanisms, including induction and spread of protein aggregates, are critically reviewed, suggesting a dualism or triad of neurodegeneration in protein-misfolding disorders, although the etiology of most of these processes is still mysterious.

  4. Sensitive Electrochemical Detection of Native and Aggregated x-Synuclein Protein Involved in Parkinson's Disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Masarik, Michal; Stobiecka, Agata; Kizek, René; Jelen, Frantisek; Pechan, Zdenk; Hoyer, Wolfgang; Subramaniam, Vinod; Palecek, Emil


    The aggregation of α-synuclein, a 14 kDa protein, is involved in several human neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson's disease. We studied native and in vitro aggregated α-synuclein by circular dichroism (CD), atomic force microscopy (AFM) and electrochemical methods. We used constant

  5. Brain propagation of transduced α-synuclein involves non-fibrillar protein species and is enhanced in α-synuclein null mice. (United States)

    Helwig, Michael; Klinkenberg, Michael; Rusconi, Raffaella; Musgrove, Ruth E; Majbour, Nour K; El-Agnaf, Omar M A; Ulusoy, Ayse; Di Monte, Donato A


    Aggregation and neuron-to-neuron transmission are attributes of α-synuclein relevant to its pathogenetic role in human synucleinopathies such as Parkinson's disease. Intraparenchymal injections of fibrillar α-synuclein trigger widespread propagation of amyloidogenic protein species via mechanisms that require expression of endogenous α-synuclein and, possibly, its structural corruption by misfolded conformers acting as pathological seeds. Here we describe another paradigm of long-distance brain diffusion of α-synuclein that involves inter-neuronal transfer of monomeric and/or oligomeric species and is independent of recruitment of the endogenous protein. Targeted expression of human α-synuclein was induced in the mouse medulla oblongata through an injection of viral vectors into the vagus nerve. Enhanced levels of intra-neuronal α-synuclein were sufficient to initiate its caudo-rostral diffusion that likely involved at least one synaptic transfer and progressively reached specific brain regions such as the locus coeruleus, dorsal raphae and amygdala in the pons, midbrain and forebrain. Transfer of human α-synuclein was compared in two separate lines of α-synuclein-deficient mice versus their respective wild-type controls and, interestingly, lack of endogenous α-synuclein expression did not counteract diffusion but actually resulted in a more pronounced and advanced propagation of exogenous α-synuclein. Self-interaction of adjacent molecules of human α-synuclein was detected in both wild-type and mutant mice. In the former, interaction of human α-synuclein with mouse α-synuclein was also observed and might have contributed to differences in protein transmission. In wild-type and α-synuclein-deficient mice, accumulation of human α-synuclein within recipient axons in the pons, midbrain and forebrain caused morphological evidence of neuritic pathology. Tissue sections from the medulla oblongata and pons were stained with different antibodies recognizing

  6. FLZ Attenuates α-Synuclein-Induced Neurotoxicity by Activating Heat Shock Protein 70. (United States)

    Bao, Xiu-Qi; Wang, Xiao-Liang; Zhang, Dan


    Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most prevalent neurodegenerative disease. The pathology of PD is caused by progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons and is characterized by the presence of intracellular inclusions known as Lewy bodies, composed mainly of α-synuclein. Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are crucial in protein quality control in cells. HSP70 in particular prevents the aggregation of protein aggregation, such as α-synuclein, providing a degree of protection against PD. The compound FLZ has been shown to protect several PD models in previous studies and was reported as an HSP inducer to protect against MPP + -induced neurotoxicity, but the mechanism remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the effects of FLZ-mediated HSP70 induction in α-synuclein transgenic mice and cells. FLZ treatment alleviated motor dysfunction and improved dopaminergic neuronal function in α-synuclein transgenic mice. HSP70 protein expression and transcriptional activity were increased by FLZ treatment, eliciting a reduction of α-synuclein aggregation and associated toxicity. The inhibition of HSP70 by quercetin or HSP70 siRNA markedly attenuated the neuroprotective effects of FLZ, confirming that FLZ exerted a neuroprotective effect through HSP70. We revealed that FLZ directly bound to and increased the expression of Hip, a cochaperone of HSP70, which in turn enhanced HSP70 activity. In conclusion, we defined a critical role for HSP70 and its cochaperones activated by FLZ in preventing neurodegeneration and proposed that targeting the HSP70 system may represent a potential therapy for α-synuclein-related diseases, such as PD.

  7. Sensitive electrochemical detection of native and aggregated alpha-synuclein protein involved in Parkinson's disease

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Masařík, Michal; Stobiecka, A.; Kizek, René; Jelen, František; Pechan, Zdeněk; Hoyer, W.; Jovin, T.; Subramaniam, V.; Paleček, Emil


    Roč. 16, 13-14 (2004), s. 1172-1181 ISSN 1040-0397 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA204/03/0566 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z5004920 Keywords : electrochemistry of proteins * alpha-synuclein aggregation * adsorptive transfer stripping Subject RIV: BO - Biophysics Impact factor: 2.038, year: 2004

  8. Molecular cloning, characterization and developmental expression of porcine β-synuclein

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Knud; Frandsen, Pernille Munk; Madsen, Lone Bruhn


    The synuclein family includes three known proteins: alpha-synuclein, beta-synuclein and gamma-synuclein. beta-Synuclein inhibits the aggregation of alpha-synuclein, a protein involved in Parkinson's disease. We have cloned and characterized the cDNA sequence for porcine beta-synuclein (SNCB) from...

  9. Applying chaperones to protein-misfolding disorders: molecular chaperones against α-synuclein in Parkinson's disease. (United States)

    Chaari, Ali; Hoarau-Véchot, Jessica; Ladjimi, Moncef


    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the accumulation of a protein called α-synuclein (α-syn) into inclusions known as lewy bodies (LB) within neurons. This accumulation is also due to insufficient formation and activity of dopamine produced in certain neurons within the substantia nigra. Lewy bodies are the pathological hallmark of the idiopathic disorder and the cascade that allows α-synuclein to misfold, aggregate and form these inclusions has been the subject of intensive research. Targeting these early steps of oligomerization is one of the main therapeutic approaches in order to develop neurodegenerative-modifying agents. Because the folding and refolding of alpha synuclein is the key point of this cascade, we are interested in this review to summarize the role of some molecular chaperones proteins such as Hsp70, Hsp90 and small heat shock proteins (sHsp) and Hsp 104. Hsp70 and its co-chaperone, Hsp70 and small heat shock proteins can prevent neurodegeneration by preventing α-syn misfolding, oligomerization and aggregation in vitro and in Parkinson disease animal models. Hsp104 is able to resolve disordered protein aggregates and cross beta amyloid conformers. Together, these chaperones have a complementary effect and can be a target for therapeutic intervention in PD. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Levin, Johannes [Department of Neurology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Marchioninistr. 15, 81377 Munich (Germany); German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases – DZNE, Site Munich, Feodor-Lynen-Str. 17, 81377 Munich (Germany); Hillmer, Andreas S. [Center for Neuropathology and Prion Research, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Feodor-Lynen-Str. 23, 81377 Munich (Germany); Högen, Tobias [Department of Neurology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Marchioninistr. 15, 81377 Munich (Germany); McLean, Pamela J. [Department of Neuroscience, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL 32224 (United States); Giese, Armin, E-mail: [Center for Neuropathology and Prion Research, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Feodor-Lynen-Str. 23, 81377 Munich (Germany)


    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. - Highlights: • Single particle spectroscopy detects intracellular formed α-synuclein aggregates. • Fusion proteins allow detection of protein

  11. Urea and thiourea modified polypropyleneimine dendrimers clear intracellular α-synuclein aggregates in a human cell line

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laumann, Kristoffer; Boas, Ulrik; Larsen, Hjalte Martin


    Synucleinopathies are neurodegenerative pathologies in which disease progression is closely correlated to brain accumulation of insoluble α-synuclein, a small protein abundantly expressed in neural tissue. Here, two types of modified polypropyleneimine (PPI) dendrimers having either urea or methy......Synucleinopathies are neurodegenerative pathologies in which disease progression is closely correlated to brain accumulation of insoluble α-synuclein, a small protein abundantly expressed in neural tissue. Here, two types of modified polypropyleneimine (PPI) dendrimers having either urea...

  12. Protein/lipid coaggregates are formed during α-synuclein-induced disruption of lipid bilayers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van Maarschalkerweerd, Andreas; Vetri, Valeria; Langkilde, Annette Eva


    Amyloid formation is associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease (PD). Significant α-synuclein (αSN) deposition in lipid-rich Lewy bodies is a hallmark of PD. Nonetheless, an unraveling of the connection between neurodegeneration and amyloid fibrils, including the molec......Amyloid formation is associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease (PD). Significant α-synuclein (αSN) deposition in lipid-rich Lewy bodies is a hallmark of PD. Nonetheless, an unraveling of the connection between neurodegeneration and amyloid fibrils, including...... the molecular mechanisms behind potential amyloid-mediated toxic effects, is still missing. Interaction between amyloid aggregates and the lipid cell membrane is expected to play a key role in the disease progress. Here, we present experimental data based on hybrid analysis of two-photon-microscopy, solution...... small-angle X-ray scattering and circular dichroism data. Data show in real time changes in liposome morphology and stability upon protein addition and reveal that membrane disruption mediated by amyloidogenic αSN is associated with dehydration of anionic lipid membranes and stimulation of protein...

  13. γ-Synuclein antibodies have neuroprotective potential on neuroretinal cells via proteins of the mitochondrial apoptosis pathway.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Corina Wilding

    Full Text Available The family of synuclein proteins (α, β and γ are related to neurodegenerative disease e.g. Parkinson disease and Morbus Alzheimer. Additionally, a connection between γ-synuclein and glaucoma, a neurodegenerative disease characterized by a progressive loss of retinal ganglion cells, which finally leads to blindness, exists. The reason for the development of glaucoma is still unknown. Recent studies evaluating the participation of immunological components, demonstrate complex changed antibody reactivities in glaucoma patients in comparison to healthy people, showing not only up-regulations (e.g. alpha-fodrin antibody but also down-regulations (e.g. γ-synuclein antibody of antibodies in glaucoma patients. Up-regulated antibodies could be auto-aggressive, but the role of down-regulated antibodies is still unclear. Previous studies show a significant influence of the serum and the antibodies of glaucoma patients on protein expression profiles of neuroretinal cells. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of γ-synuclein antibody on the viability and reactive oxygen species levels of a neuroretinal cell line (RGC-5 as well as their interaction with cellular proteins. We found a protective effect of γ-synuclein antibody resulting in an increased viability (up to 15% and decreased reactive oxygen species levels (up to -12% of glutamate and oxidative stressed RGC-5. These can be traced back to anti-apoptotic altered protein expressions in the mitochondrial apoptosis pathway indicated by mass spectrometry and validated by microarray analysis such as active caspase 3, bcl-2 associated-x-protein, S100A4, voltage-dependent anion channel, extracellular-signal-regulated-kinase (down-regulated and baculoviral IAP repeat-containing protein 6, phosphorylated extracellular-signal-regulated-kinase (up-regulated. These changed protein expression are triggered by the γ-synuclein antibody internalization of RGC-5 we could see in immunohistochemical

  14. Small heat shock proteins protect against α-synuclein-induced toxicity and aggregation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Outeiro, Tiago Fleming; Klucken, Jochen; Strathearn, Katherine E.; Liu Fang; Nguyen, Paul; Rochet, Jean-Christophe; Hyman, Bradley T.; McLean, Pamela J.


    Protein misfolding and inclusion formation are common events in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's disease (PD), Alzheimer's disease (AD) or Huntington's disease (HD). α-Synuclein (aSyn) is the main protein component of inclusions called Lewy bodies (LB) which are pathognomic of PD, Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), and other diseases collectively known as LB diseases. Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are one class of the cellular quality control system that mediate protein folding, remodeling, and even disaggregation. Here, we investigated the role of the small heat shock proteins Hsp27 and αB-crystallin, in LB diseases. We demonstrate, via quantitative PCR, that Hsp27 messenger RNA levels are ∼2-3-fold higher in DLB cases compared to control. We also show a corresponding increase in Hsp27 protein levels. Furthermore, we found that Hsp27 reduces aSyn-induced toxicity by ∼80% in a culture model while αB-crystallin reduces toxicity by ∼20%. In addition, intracellular inclusions were immunopositive for endogenous Hsp27, and overexpression of this protein reduced aSyn aggregation in a cell culture model

  15. Inducible alpha-synuclein overexpression affects human Neural Stem Cells behavior


    Conti, Luciano; Zasso, Jacopo; Cutarelli, Alessandro; Ahmed, Mastad


    Converging evidence suggest that levels of alpha-Synuclein (aSyn) expression play a critical role in Parkinson's disease (PD). Several mutations of the SNCA gene, encoding for aSyn have been associated to either the familial or the sporadic forms of PD. Nonetheless, the mechanism underlying wild type aSyn-mediated neurotoxicity in neuronal cells as well as its specific driving role in PD pathogenesis has yet to be fully clarified. In this view, the development of proper in vitro cellular syst...

  16. The Neuroprotective Role of Protein Quality Control in Halting the Development of Alpha-Synuclein Pathology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Destiny-Love Manecka


    Full Text Available Synucleinopathies are a family of neurodegenerative disorders that comprises Parkinson’s disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, and multiple system atrophy. Each of these disorders is characterized by devastating motor, cognitive, and autonomic consequences. Current treatments for synucleinopathies are not curative and are limited to improvement of quality of life for affected individuals. Although the underlying causes of these diseases are unknown, a shared pathological hallmark is the presence of proteinaceous inclusions containing the α-synuclein (α-syn protein in brain tissue. In the past few years, it has been proposed that these inclusions arise from the self-templated, prion-like spreading of misfolded and aggregated forms of α-syn throughout the brain, leading to neuronal dysfunction and death. In this review, we describe how impaired protein homeostasis is a prominent factor in the α-syn aggregation cascade, with alterations in protein quality control (PQC pathways observed in the brains of patients. We discuss how PQC modulates α-syn accumulation, misfolding and aggregation primarily through chaperoning activity, proteasomal degradation, and lysosome-mediated degradation. Finally, we provide an overview of experimental data indicating that targeting PQC pathways is a promising avenue to explore in the design of novel neuroprotective approaches that could impede the spreading of α-syn pathology and thus provide a curative treatment for synucleinopathies.

  17. Nanomechanical properties of distinct fibrillar polymorphs of the protein α-synuclein (United States)

    Makky, Ali; Bousset, Luc; Polesel-Maris, Jérôme; Melki, Ronald


    Alpha-synuclein (α-Syn) is a small presynaptic protein of 140 amino acids. Its pathologic intracellular aggregation within the central nervous system yields protein fibrillar inclusions named Lewy bodies that are the hallmarks of Parkinson’s disease (PD). In solution, pure α-Syn adopts an intrinsically disordered structure and assembles into fibrils that exhibit considerable morphological heterogeneity depending on their assembly conditions. We recently established tightly controlled experimental conditions allowing the assembly of α-Syn into highly homogeneous and pure polymorphs. The latter exhibited differences in their shape, their structure but also in their functional properties. We have conducted an AFM study at high resolution and performed a statistical analysis of fibrillar α-Syn shape and thermal fluctuations to calculate the persistence length to further assess the nanomechanical properties of α-Syn polymorphs. Herein, we demonstrated quantitatively that distinct polymorphs made of the same protein (wild-type α-Syn) show significant differences in their morphology (height, width and periodicity) and physical properties (persistence length, bending rigidity and axial Young’s modulus).

  18. Proteasome impairment by α-synuclein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa Zondler

    Full Text Available Parkinson's disease (PD is the second most prevalent neurodegenerative disorder worldwide and characterized by the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the patients' midbrains. Both the presence of the protein α-synuclein in intracellular protein aggregates in surviving neurons and the genetic linking of the α-synuclein encoding gene point towards a major role of α-synuclein in PD etiology. The exact pathogenic mechanisms of PD development are not entirely described to date, neither is the specific role of α-synuclein in this context. Previous studies indicate that one aspect of α-synuclein-related cellular toxicity might be direct proteasome impairment. The 20/26S proteasomal machinery is an important instrument of intracellular protein degradation. Thus, direct proteasome impairment by α-synuclein might explain or at least contribute to the formation of intracellular protein aggregates. Therefore this study investigates direct proteasomal impairment by α-synuclein both in vitro using recombinant α-synuclein and isolated proteasomes as well as in living cells. Our experiments demonstrate that the impairment of proteasome activity by α-synuclein is highly dependent upon the cellular background and origin. We show that recombinant α-synuclein oligomers and fibrils scarcely affect 20S proteasome function in vitro, neither does transient α-synuclein expression in U2OS ps 2042 (Ubi(G76V-GFP cells. However, stable expression of both wild-type and mutant α-synuclein in dopaminergic SH-SY5Y and PC12 cells results in a prominent impairment of the chymotrypsin-like 20S/26S proteasomal protein cleavage. Thus, our results support the idea that α-synuclein in a specific cellular environment, potentially present in dopaminergic cells, cannot be processed by the proteasome and thus contributes to a selective vulnerability of dopaminergic cells to α-synuclein pathology.

  19. Inducible alpha-synuclein expression affects human Neural Stem Cell behavior. (United States)

    Zasso, Jacopo; Mastad, Ahmed; Cutarelli, Alessandro; Conti, Luciano


    Converging evidence suggest that levels of alpha-Synuclein (aSyn) expression play a critical role in Parkinson's disease (PD). Several mutations of the SNCA gene, encoding for aSyn have been associated to either the familial or the sporadic forms of PD. Nonetheless, the mechanism underlying wild type aSyn-mediated neurotoxicity in neuronal cells as well as its specific driving role in PD pathogenesis has yet to be fully clarified. In this view, the development of proper in vitro cellular systems is a crucial step. Here we present a novel human Tet-on hNSC cell line, in which aSyn timing and level of expression can be tightly experimentally tuned. Induction of aSyn in self-renewing hNSCs leads to progressive formation of aSyn aggregates and impairs their proliferation and cell survival. Furthermore, aSyn induction during the neuronal differentiation process results in reduced neuronal differentiation and increased number astrocytes and undifferentiated cells in culture. Finally, acute aSyn induction in hNSC-derived dopaminergic neuronal cultures results in cell toxicity. This novel conditional in vitro cell model system may be a valuable tool for dissecting of aSyn pathogenic effects in hNSCs and neurons and in developing new potential therapeutic strategies.

  20. Synucleins: are they two-edged swords? (United States)

    Surguchov, Andrei


    The synuclein family consists of three distinct highly homologous genes, α-synuclein, β-synuclein, and γ-synuclein, which have so far been found only in vertebrates. Proteins encoded by these genes are characterized by an acidic C-terminal region and five or six imperfect repeat motifs (KTKEGV) distributed throughout the highly conserved N-terminal region. Numerous data demonstrate that synucleins are implicated in two groups of the most devastating human disorders, i.e., neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs) and cancer. Mutations in the α-synuclein gene are associated with familial forms of Parkinson's disease (PD), and accumulation of α-synuclein inclusions is a hallmark of this disorder. In breast cancer, increased expression of γ-synuclein correlates with disease progression. Conversely, some results indicate that the members of the synuclein family may have a protective effect. How might these small proteins combine such controversial properties? We present evidence that synuclein's features are basically regulated by two mechanisms, i.e., posttranslational modifications (PTMs) and the level of their expression. We also discuss a new, emerging area of investigation of synucleins, namely, their role in the cell-to-cell propagation of pathology. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Impact of subunit linkages in an engineered homodimeric binding protein to α-synuclein. (United States)

    Gauhar, Aziz; Shaykhalishahi, Hamed; Gremer, Lothar; Mirecka, Ewa A; Hoyer, Wolfgang


    Aggregation of the protein α-synuclein (α-syn) has been implicated in Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders, collectively referred to as synucleinopathies. The β-wrapin AS69 is a small engineered binding protein to α-syn that stabilizes a β-hairpin conformation of monomeric α-syn and inhibits α-syn aggregation at substoichiometric concentrations. AS69 is a homodimer whose subunits are linked via a disulfide bridge between their single cysteine residues, Cys-28. Here we show that expression of a functional dimer as a single polypeptide chain is achievable by head-to-tail linkage of AS69 subunits. Choice of a suitable linker is essential for construction of head-to-tail dimers that exhibit undiminished α-syn affinity compared with the solely disulfide-linked dimer. We characterize AS69-GS3, a head-to-tail dimer with a glycine-serine-rich linker, under oxidized and reduced conditions in order to evaluate the impact of the Cys28-disulfide bond on structure, stability and α-syn binding. Formation of the disulfide bond causes compaction of AS69-GS3, increases its thermostability, and is a prerequisite for high-affinity binding to α-syn. Comparison of AS69-GS3 and AS69 demonstrates that head-to-tail linkage promotes α-syn binding by affording accelerated disulfide bond formation. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail:

  2. Detection of hyperphosphorylated tau protein and α-synuclein in spinal cord of patients with Alzheimer’s disease

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    Guo YJ


    Full Text Available Yanjun Guo,1,2 Luning Wang,2 Mingwei Zhu,2 Honghong Zhang,3 Yazhuo Hu,3 Zhitao Han,3 Jia Liu,4 Weiqin Zhao,1 Dexin Wang11Department of Neurology, Beijing Friendship Hospital, Capital Medical University, 2Department of Geriatric Neurology, PLA General Hospital, 3Institute of Geriatrics, Chinese PLA General Hospital & Chinese PLA Medical Academy, 4Department of Neurology, Xuanwu Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, People’s Republic of ChinaAbstract: The aim of this study was to investigate the neuropathological features of the spinal cord in patients suffering with Alzheimer’s disease (AD. Spinal cord tissue collected from three AD patients and eight controls was selected for the study. Data were collected at T2, T8, T10, L4, and S2 spinal levels. The sections were subjected to hematoxylin and eosin and Gallyas–Braak staining methods and then were immunostained with antibodies such as phosphorylated tau protein (AT8, α-synuclein, Aβ, amyloid precursor protein , ubiquitin, and TDP-43. Pathological changes exhibited by the biomarkers were detected by microscopy. Neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs were detectable in spinal anterior horn motor neurons in two of the three AD patients. AT8-positive axons or axon-like structures and AT8 expression in glial cells were detected in all three AD cases. Hyperphosphorylation of tau protein was detected in spinal anterior horn cells, glial cells, and axons, and its severity was associated with NFTs in the brain tissue. α-Synuclein-positive Lewy bodies and scattered Lewy-like neuritis were detected in the medial horn of the thoracic spinal cord and ventral sacral gray matter, respectively, in one patient who had AD with Lewy bodies. Neither amyloid deposition nor amyloid precursor protein and TDP-43 expression was detected in the spinal cord of AD patients. Spinal cord of AD patients was observed to contain phosphorylated tau protein and α-synuclein immunoreactive structures, which may play a

  3. Chameleon behaviour of α-synuclein: brownian dynamics simulations of protein aggregation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ilie, Ioana Mariuca


    Over the past decades a large number of studies have been carried out in order to determine the physiological function of α-synuclein and its implication in Parkinson's disease. A complementary tool to experiments are computer simulations, which are intensively used for problems for which

  4. 17-AAG induces cytoplasmic alpha-synuclein aggregate clearance by induction of autophagy. (United States)

    Riedel, Michael; Goldbaum, Olaf; Schwarz, Lisa; Schmitt, Sebastian; Richter-Landsberg, Christiane


    The accumulation and aggregation of alpha-synuclein in nerve cells and glia are characteristic features of a number of neurodegenerative diseases termed synucleinopathies. alpha-Synuclein is a highly soluble protein which in a nucleation dependent process is capable of self-aggregation. The causes underlying aggregate formation are not yet understood, impairment of the proteolytic degradation systems might be involved. In the present study the possible aggregate clearing effects of the geldanamycin analogue 17-AAG (17-(Allylamino)-17-demethoxygeldanamycin) was investigated. Towards this, an oligodendroglial cell line (OLN-93 cells), stably expressing human alpha-synuclein (A53T mutation) was used. In these cells small punctate aggregates, not staining with thioflavine S, representing prefibrillary aggregates, occur characteristically. Our data demonstrate that 17-AAG attenuated the formation of alpha-synuclein aggregates by stimulating macroautophagy. By blocking the lysosomal compartment with NH(4)Cl the aggregate clearing effects of 17-AAG were abolished and alpha-synuclein deposits were enlarged. Analysis of LC3-II immunoreactivity, which is an indicator of autophagosome formation, further revealed that 17-AAG led to the recruitment of LC3-II and to the formation of LC3 positive puncta. This effect was also observed in cultured oligodendrocytes derived from the brains of newborn rats. Inhibition of macroautophagy by 3-methyladenine prevented 17-AAG induced occurrence of LC3 positive puncta as well as the removal of alpha-synuclein aggregates in OLN-A53T cells. Our data demonstrate for the first time that 17-AAG not only causes the upregulation of heat shock proteins, but also is an effective inducer of the autophagic pathway by which alpha-synuclein can be removed. Hence geldanamycin derivatives may provide a means to modulate autophagy in neural cells, thereby ameliorating pathogenic aggregate formation and protecting the cells during disease and aging.

  5. Prolongation of chemically-induced methemoglobinemia in mice lacking α-synuclein: A novel pharmacologic and toxicologic phenotype

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    Yien-Ming Kuo


    Full Text Available The protein α-synuclein is considered central to the pathogenesis of Parkinson disease (PD on genetic and histopathological grounds. It is widely expressed in fetal life and continues to be highly expressed in adult neural tissues, red blood cells and platelets, while the remainder of adult tissues are reported to have little or no expression. Despite cellular and molecular evidence for a role in neuronal function including synaptic vesicle trafficking, neurotransmitter release, mitochondrial function, lipid metabolism, neurogenesis, neuroprotection, and neuromelanin biosynthesis, mice ablated for the gene encoding α-synuclein (Snca have little or no neurological phenotype. Thus, nearly 20 years of intensive study have yet to reveal conclusively what the normal function of this highly abundant protein is in the nervous system. Interestingly, α-synuclein has also been shown to have enzymatic activity as a ferrireductase capable of reducing Fe+3 to Fe+2. Given its abundant expression in red blood cells, we set out to explore the role of α-synuclein in converting chemically-induced Fe+3 methemoglobin to normal Fe+2 hemoglobin. Initial in vivo experiments with the potent methemoglobin inducer, para-aminopropiophenone and its active metabolite, 4-hydroxy para-aminopropiophenone, demonstrated significantly greater and more prolonged methemoglobinemia in Snca−/− mice compared to Snca+/+ mice. In vitro experiments with red blood cells, however, and in vivo experiments in genetically engineered mouse strains that differ in their α-synuclein expression in various tissues, including the nervous system, red blood cells and liver, revealed that contrary to the initial hypothesis, a lack of expression of α-synuclein in red blood cells did not correlate with higher levels or more prolonged duration of methemoglobinemia. Instead, the greater sensitivity to chemically induced methemoglobinemia correlated with the absence of hepatic α-synuclein

  6. α-Synuclein-induced lysosomal dysfunction occurs through disruptions in protein trafficking in human midbrain synucleinopathy models. (United States)

    Mazzulli, Joseph R; Zunke, Friederike; Isacson, Ole; Studer, Lorenz; Krainc, Dimitri


    Parkinson's disease (PD) is an age-related neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the accumulation of protein aggregates comprised of α-synuclein (α-syn). A major barrier in treatment discovery for PD is the lack of identifiable therapeutic pathways capable of reducing aggregates in human neuronal model systems. Mutations in key components of protein trafficking and cellular degradation machinery represent important risk factors for PD; however, their precise role in disease progression and interaction with α-syn remains unclear. Here, we find that α-syn accumulation reduced lysosomal degradation capacity in human midbrain dopamine models of synucleinopathies through disrupting hydrolase trafficking. Accumulation of α-syn at the cell body resulted in aberrant association with cis-Golgi-tethering factor GM130 and disrupted the endoplasmic reticulum-Golgi localization of rab1a, a key mediator of vesicular transport. Overexpression of rab1a restored Golgi structure, improved hydrolase trafficking and activity, and reduced pathological α-syn in patient neurons. Our work suggests that enhancement of lysosomal hydrolase trafficking may prove beneficial in synucleinopathies and indicates that human midbrain disease models may be useful for identifying critical therapeutic pathways in PD and related disorders.

  7. Drp-1 dependent mitochondrial fragmentation and protective autophagy in dopaminergic SH-SY5Y cells overexpressing alpha-synuclein. (United States)

    Martinez, Jimena Hebe; Alaimo, Agustina; Gorojod, Roxana Mayra; Porte Alcon, Soledad; Fuentes, Federico; Coluccio Leskow, Federico; Kotler, Mónica Lidia


    Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative movement disorder caused by the loss of dopaminergic neurons from substantia nigra. It is characterized by the accumulation of aggregated α-synuclein as the major component of the Lewy bodies. Additional common features of this disease are the mitochondrial dysfunction and the activation/inhibition of autophagy both events associated to the intracellular accumulation of α-synuclein. The mechanism by which these events contribute to neural degeneration remains unknown. In the present work we investigated the effect of α-synuclein on mitochondrial dynamics and autophagy/mitophagy in SH-SY5Y cells, an in vitro model of Parkinson disease. We demonstrated that overexpression of wild type α-synuclein causes moderated toxicity, ROS generation and mitochondrial dysfunction. In addition, α-synuclein induces the mitochondrial fragmentation on a Drp-1-dependent fashion. Overexpression of the fusion protein Opa-1 prevented both mitochondrial fragmentation and cytotoxicity. On the other hand, cells expressing α-synuclein showed activated autophagy and particularly mitophagy. Employing a genetic strategy we demonstrated that autophagy is triggered in order to protect cells from α-synuclein-induced cell death. Our results clarify the role of Opa-1 and Drp-1 in mitochondrial dynamics and cell survival, a controversial α-synuclein research issue. The findings presented point to the relevance of mitochondrial homeostasis and autophagy in the pathogenesis of PD. Better understanding of the molecular interaction between these processes could give rise to novel therapeutic methods for PD prevention and amelioration. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Significant Changes in Plasma Alpha-Synuclein and Beta-Synuclein Levels in Male Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

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    Wilaiwan Sriwimol


    Full Text Available Alpha-synuclein (α-synuclein and beta-synuclein (β-synuclein are presynaptic proteins playing important roles in neuronal plasticity and synaptic vesicle regulation. To evaluate the association of these two proteins and autism spectrum disorder (ASD, we investigated the plasma α-synuclein and β-synuclein levels in 39 male children with ASD (2 subgroups: 25 autism and 14 pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS comparing with 29 sex- and age-matched controls by using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA. We first determined the levels of these two proteins in the ASD subgroups and found that there were no significant differences in both plasma α-synuclein and β-synuclein levels in the autism and PDD-NOS groups. Thus, we could combine the 2 subgroups into one ASD group. Interestingly, the mean plasma α-synuclein level was significantly lower (P<0.001 in the ASD children (10.82±6.46 ng/mL than in the controls (29.47±18.62 ng/mL, while the mean plasma β-synuclein level in the ASD children (1344.19±160.26 ng/mL was significantly higher (P<0.05 than in the controls (1219.16±177.10 ng/mL. This is the first study examining the associations between α-synuclein and β-synuclein and male ASD patients. We found that alterations in the plasma α-synuclein and β-synuclein levels might be implicated in the association between synaptic abnormalities and ASD pathogenesis.

  9. The chaperone-like activity of α-synuclein attenuates aggregation of its alternatively spliced isoform, 112-synuclein in vitro: plausible cross-talk between isoforms in protein aggregation.

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    Krishna Madhuri Manda

    Full Text Available Abnormal oligomerization and aggregation of α-synuclein (α-syn/WT-syn has been shown to be a precipitating factor in the pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease (PD. Earlier observations on the induced-alternative splicing of α-syn by Parkinsonism mimetics as well as identification of region specific abnormalities in the transcript levels of 112-synuclein (112-syn in diseased subjects underscores the role of 112-syn in the pathophysiology of PD. In the present study, we sought to identify the aggregation potential of 112-syn in the presence or absence of WT-syn to predict its plausible role in protein aggregation events. Results demonstrate that unlike WT-syn, lack of 28 aa in the C-terminus results in the loss of chaperone-like activity with a concomitant gain in vulnerability to heat-induced aggregation and time-dependent fibrillation. The effects were dose and time-dependent and a significant aggregation of 112-syn was evident at as low as 45 °C following 10 min of incubation. The heat-induced aggregates were found to be ill-defined structures and weakly positive towards Thioflavin-T (ThT staining as compared to clearly distinguishable ThT positive extended fibrils resulting upon 24 h of incubation at 37 °C. Further, the chaperone-like activity of WT-syn significantly attenuated heat-induced aggregation of 112-syn in a dose and time-dependent manner. On contrary, WT-syn synergistically enhanced fibrillation of 112-syn. Overall, the present findings highlight a plausible cross-talk between isoforms of α-syn and the relative abundance of these isoforms may dictate the nature and fate of protein aggregates.

  10. Differential expression of alpha-synuclein in hippocampal neurons.

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    Katsutoshi Taguchi

    Full Text Available α-Synuclein is the major pathological component of synucleinopathies including Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. Recent studies have demonstrated that α-synuclein also plays important roles in the release of synaptic vesicles and synaptic membrane recycling in healthy neurons. However, the precise relationship between the pathogenicity and physiological functions of α-synuclein remains to be elucidated. To address this issue, we investigated the subcellular localization of α-synuclein in normal and pathological conditions using primary mouse hippocampal neuronal cultures. While some neurons expressed high levels of α-synuclein in presynaptic boutons and cell bodies, other neurons either did not or only very weakly expressed the protein. These α-synuclein-negative cells were identified as inhibitory neurons by immunostaining with specific antibodies against glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD, parvalbumin, and somatostatin. In contrast, α-synuclein-positive synapses were colocalized with the excitatory synapse marker vesicular glutamate transporter-1. This expression profile of α-synuclein was conserved in the hippocampus in vivo. In addition, we found that while presynaptic α-synuclein colocalizes with synapsin, a marker of presynaptic vesicles, it is not essential for activity-dependent membrane recycling induced by high potassium treatment. Exogenous supply of preformed fibrils generated by recombinant α-synuclein was shown to promote the formation of Lewy body (LB -like intracellular aggregates involving endogenous α-synuclein. GAD-positive neurons did not form LB-like aggregates following treatment with preformed fibrils, however, exogenous expression of human α-synuclein allowed intracellular aggregate formation in these cells. These results suggest the presence of a different mechanism for regulation of the expression of α-synuclein between excitatory and inhibitory neurons. Furthermore, α-synuclein expression

  11. Neural Networks for protein Structure Prediction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bohr, Henrik


    This is a review about neural network applications in bioinformatics. Especially the applications to protein structure prediction, e.g. prediction of secondary structures, prediction of surface structure, fold class recognition and prediction of the 3-dimensional structure of protein backbones...

  12. Antibodies against alpha-synuclein reduce oligomerization in living cells.

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    Thomas Näsström

    Full Text Available Recent research implicates soluble aggregated forms of α-synuclein as neurotoxic species with a central role in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease and related disorders. The pathway by which α-synuclein aggregates is believed to follow a step-wise pattern, in which dimers and smaller oligomers are initially formed. Here, we used H4 neuroglioma cells expressing α-synuclein fused to hemi:GFP constructs to study the effects of α-synuclein monoclonal antibodies on the early stages of aggregation, as quantified by Bimolecular Fluorescence Complementation assay. Widefield and confocal microscopy revealed that cells treated for 48 h with monoclonal antibodies internalized antibodies to various degrees. C-terminal and oligomer-selective α-synuclein antibodies reduced the extent of α-synuclein dimerization/oligomerization, as indicated by decreased GFP fluorescence signal. Furthermore, ELISA measurements on lysates and conditioned media from antibody treated cells displayed lower α-synuclein levels compared to untreated cells, suggesting increased protein turnover. Taken together, our results propose that extracellular administration of monoclonal antibodies can modify or inhibit early steps in the aggregation process of α-synuclein, thus providing further support for passive immunization against diseases with α-synuclein pathology.

  13. Agrochemicals, α-synuclein, and Parkinson's disease. (United States)

    Silva, Blanca A; Breydo, Leonid; Fink, Anthony L; Uversky, Vladimir N


    Epidemiological, population-based case-control, and experimental studies at the molecular, cellular, and organism levels revealed that exposure to various environmental agents, including a number of structurally different agrochemicals, may contribute to the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD) and several other neurodegenerative disorders. The role of genetic predisposition in PD has also been increasingly acknowledged, driven by the identification of a number of disease-related genes [e.g., α-synuclein, parkin, DJ-1, ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase isozyme L1 (UCH-L1), and nuclear receptor-related factor 1]. Therefore, the etiology of this multifactorial disease is likely to involve both genetic and environmental factors. Various neurotoxicants, including agrochemicals, have been shown to elevate the levels of α-synuclein expression in neurons and to promote aggregation of this protein in vivo. Many agrochemicals physically interact with α-synuclein and accelerate the fibrillation and aggregation rates of this protein in vitro. This review analyzes some of the aspects linking α-synuclein to PD, provides brief structural and functional descriptions of this important protein, and represents some data connecting exposure to agrochemicals with α-synuclein aggregation and PD pathogenesis.

  14. Fish Synucleins: An Update

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    Mattia Toni


    Full Text Available Synucleins (syns are a family of proteins involved in several human neurodegenerative diseases and tumors. Since the first syn discovery in the brain of the electric ray Torpedo californica, members of the same family have been identified in all vertebrates and comparative studies have indicated that syn proteins are evolutionary conserved. No counterparts of syns were found in invertebrates suggesting that they are vertebrate-specific proteins. Molecular studies showed that the number of syn members varies among vertebrates. Three genes encode for α-, β- and γ-syn in mammals and birds. However, a variable number of syn genes and encoded proteins is expressed or predicted in fish depending on the species. Among biologically verified sequences, four syn genes were identified in fugu, encoding for α, β and two γ (γ1 and γ2 isoforms, whereas only three genes are expressed in zebrafish, which lacks α-syn gene. The list of “non verified” sequences is much longer and is often found in sequence databases. In this review we provide an overview of published papers and known syn sequences in agnathans and fish that are likely to impact future studies in this field. Indeed, fish models may play a key role in elucidating some of the molecular mechanisms involved in physiological and pathological functions of syn proteins.


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    Pinakin K. Makwana


    Full Text Available Alpha-synuclein is an intrinsically unstructured protein, involved in various neurodegenerative disorders. In vitro/in vivo experiments, as well as genetic mutation studies establish a direct link between alphasynuclein and synucleinopathies. Due to its natively unfolded state, alpha synuclein can adopt numerous conformations upon interaction with its partners and cellular factors, offering explanation for its diverse interactions. Aggregated form of alpha-synuclein has been observed in the brain of patients with synucleinopathies, a hallmark of neurodegeneration, and cell death has been attributed to aggregation induced toxicity. The process of aggregation involves nucleation, followed by intermediate oligomeric states, and finally the fibrillar amyloids. Of the various conformations/species that alpha-synuclein assumes before it transforms into mature amyloid fibrils, the oligomeric species is the most toxic. Thus, an effective way to limit disease progression is by modifying/slowing down protein aggregation/deposition in the brain. Various small natural products, synthetic chemicals, peptides and antibodies specific to alpha-synuclein have been designed/identified to reduce its rate of aggregation. Unfortunately, not even a handful of the molecules have cleared the clinical trials. Even today, medications available for Parkinson’s patients are mostly the drugs that adjust for loss of dopamine in the brain, and hence do not stop the progression of the disease or cure the symptoms. Thus, more molecular level studies are warranted to fully elucidate the process of alpha-synuclein aggregation, which in turn could help in identifying novel therapeutics and preventives. The present review summarizes the insights gained into the structure, in vitro aggregation and inhibitors/modulators of alpha-synuclein aggregation, that can be used to design better and effective inhibitors against the diseases.

  16. Zinc finger protein 219-like (ZNF219L) and Sox9a regulate synuclein-γ2 (sncgb) expression in the developing notochord of zebrafish. (United States)

    Lien, Huang-Wei; Yang, Chung-Hsiang; Cheng, Chia-Hsiung; Liao, Yung-Feng; Han, Yu-San; Huang, Chang-Jen


    Zebrafish synuclein-γ2 (sncgb) has been reported to be expressed specifically in the notochord. However, the mechanism by which the sncgb gene promoter is regulated has not been described. In this paper, we demonstrate that Zinc finger protein 219-like (ZNF219L) and sox9a are involved in the regulation of sncgb gene expression. Furthermore, we observed that over-expression of both ZNF219L and Sox9a resulted in increased sncgb expression. In addition, ZNF219L is physically associated with Sox9a, and simultaneous morpholino knockdown of znf219L and sox9a caused a synergistic decrease of sncgb expression in the notochord. Taken together, our results reveal that coordination of ZNF219L with Sox9a is involved in the regulation of notochord-specific expression of sncgb. Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Potential Modes of Intercellular α-Synuclein Transmission

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    Dario Valdinocci


    Full Text Available Intracellular aggregates of the α-synuclein protein result in cell loss and dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease and atypical Parkinsonism, such as multiple system atrophy and dementia with Lewy bodies. Each of these neurodegenerative conditions, known collectively as α-synucleinopathies, may be characterized by a different suite of molecular triggers that initiate pathogenesis. The mechanisms whereby α-synuclein aggregates mediate cytotoxicity also remain to be fully elucidated. However, recent studies have implicated the cell-to-cell spread of α-synuclein as the major mode of disease propagation between brain regions during disease progression. Here, we review the current evidence for different modes of α-synuclein cellular release, movement and uptake, including exocytosis, exosomes, tunneling nanotubes, glymphatic flow and endocytosis. A more detailed understanding of the major modes by which α-synuclein pathology spreads throughout the brain may provide new targets for therapies that halt the progression of disease.

  18. Potential Modes of Intercellular α-Synuclein Transmission. (United States)

    Valdinocci, Dario; Radford, Rowan A W; Siow, Sue Maye; Chung, Roger S; Pountney, Dean L


    Intracellular aggregates of the α-synuclein protein result in cell loss and dysfunction in Parkinson's disease and atypical Parkinsonism, such as multiple system atrophy and dementia with Lewy bodies. Each of these neurodegenerative conditions, known collectively as α-synucleinopathies, may be characterized by a different suite of molecular triggers that initiate pathogenesis. The mechanisms whereby α-synuclein aggregates mediate cytotoxicity also remain to be fully elucidated. However, recent studies have implicated the cell-to-cell spread of α-synuclein as the major mode of disease propagation between brain regions during disease progression. Here, we review the current evidence for different modes of α-synuclein cellular release, movement and uptake, including exocytosis, exosomes, tunneling nanotubes, glymphatic flow and endocytosis. A more detailed understanding of the major modes by which α-synuclein pathology spreads throughout the brain may provide new targets for therapies that halt the progression of disease.

  19. Biophysical Characterization of α-Synuclein and Rotenone Interaction

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    Anthony L. Fink


    Full Text Available Previous studies revealed that pesticides interact with α-synuclein and accelerate the rate of fibrillation. These results are consistent with the prevailing hypothesis that the direct interaction of α-synuclein with pesticides is one of many suspected factors leading to α-synuclein fibrillation and ultimately to Parkinson’s disease. In this study, the biophysical properties and fibrillation kinetics of α-synuclein in the presence of rotenone were investigated and, more specifically, the effects of rotenone on the early-stage misfolded forms of α-synuclein were considered. The thioflavine T (ThT fluorescence assay studies provide evidence that early-phase misfolded α-synuclein forms are affected by rotenone and that the fibrillation process is accelerated. Further characterization by attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR shows that rotenone increases the amount of ordered secondary structure in this intrinsically disordered protein. Morphological characterization by transmission electron microscopy (TEM and atomic force microscopy (AFM provide visualization of the differences in the aggregated α-synuclein species developing during the early kinetics of the fibrillation process in the absence and presence of rotenone. We believe that these data provide useful information for a better understanding of the molecular basis of rotenone-induced misfolding and aggregation of α-synuclein.

  20. Data in support of the identification of neuronal and astrocyte proteins interacting with extracellularly applied oligomeric and fibrillar α-synuclein assemblies by mass spectrometry. (United States)

    Shrivastava, Amulya Nidhi; Redeker, Virginie; Fritz, Nicolas; Pieri, Laura; Almeida, Leandro G; Spolidoro, Maria; Liebmann, Thomas; Bousset, Luc; Renner, Marianne; Léna, Clément; Aperia, Anita; Melki, Ronald; Triller, Antoine


    α-Synuclein (α-syn) is the principal component of Lewy bodies, the pathophysiological hallmark of individuals affected by Parkinson disease (PD). This neuropathologic form of α-syn contributes to PD progression and propagation of α-syn assemblies between neurons. The data we present here support the proteomic analysis used to identify neuronal proteins that specifically interact with extracellularly applied oligomeric or fibrillar α-syn assemblies (conditions 1 and 2, respectively) (doi: 10.15252/embj.201591397[1]). α-syn assemblies and their cellular partner proteins were pulled down from neuronal cell lysed shortly after exposure to exogenous α-syn assemblies and the associated proteins were identified by mass spectrometry using a shotgun proteomic-based approach. We also performed experiments on pure cultures of astrocytes to identify astrocyte-specific proteins interacting with oligomeric or fibrillar α-syn (conditions 3 and 4, respectively). For each condition, proteins interacting selectively with α-syn assemblies were identified by comparison to proteins pulled-down from untreated cells used as controls. The mass spectrometry data, the database search and the peak lists have been deposited to the ProteomeXchange Consortium database via the PRIDE partner repository with the dataset identifiers PRIDE: PXD002256 to PRIDE: PXD002263 and doi: 10.6019/PXD002256 to 10.6019/PXD002263.

  1. Low CSF levels of both α-synuclein and the α-synuclein cleaving enzyme neurosin in patients with synucleinopathy.

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    Malin Wennström

    Full Text Available Neurosin is a protease that in vitro degrades α-synuclein, the main constituent of Lewy bodies found in brains of patients with synucleinopathy including Parkinson's disease (PD and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB. Several studies have reported reduced cerebrospinal fluid (CSF levels of α-synuclein in synucleinopathy patients and recent data also proposes a significant role of α-synuclein in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD. To investigate potential links between neurosin and its substrate α-synuclein in vivo we used a commercially available sandwich ELISA and an in-house developed direct ELISA to quantify CSF levels of α-synuclein and neurosin in patients diagnosed with DLB, PD and PD dementia (PDD versus AD patients and non-demented controls. We found that patients with synucleinopathy displayed lower CSF levels of neurosin and α-synuclein compared to controls and AD patients. In contrast, AD patients demonstrated significantly increased CSF α-synuclein but similar neurosin levels compared to non-demented controls. Further, CSF neurosin and α-synuclein concentrations were positively associated in controls, PD and PDD patients and both proteins were highly correlated to CSF levels of phosphorylated tau in all investigated groups. We observed no effect of gender or presence of the apolipoprotein Eε4 allele on neither neurosin or α-synuclein CSF levels. In concordance with the current literature our study demonstrates decreased CSF levels of α-synuclein in synucleinopathy patients versus AD patients and controls. Importantly, decreased α-synuclein levels in patients with synucleinopathy appear linked to low levels of the α-synuclein cleaving enzyme neurosin. In contrast, elevated levels of α-synuclein in AD patients were not related to any altered CSF neurosin levels. Thus, altered CSF levels of α-synuclein and neurosin in patients with synucleinopathy versus AD may not only mirror disease-specific neuropathological

  2. Alpha-synuclein suppression by targeted small interfering RNA in the primate substantia nigra.

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    Alison L McCormack

    Full Text Available The protein alpha-synuclein is involved in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. Its toxic potential appears to be enhanced by increased protein expression, providing a compelling rationale for therapeutic strategies aimed at reducing neuronal alpha-synuclein burden. Here, feasibility and safety of alpha-synuclein suppression were evaluated by treating monkeys with small interfering RNA (siRNA directed against alpha-synuclein. The siRNA molecule was chemically modified to prevent degradation by exo- and endonucleases and directly infused into the left substantia nigra. Results compared levels of alpha-synuclein mRNA and protein in the infused (left vs. untreated (right hemisphere and revealed a significant 40-50% suppression of alpha-synuclein expression. These findings could not be attributable to non-specific effects of siRNA infusion since treatment of a separate set of animals with luciferase-targeting siRNA produced no changes in alpha-synuclein. Infusion with alpha-synuclein siRNA, while lowering alpha-synuclein expression, had no overt adverse consequences. In particular, it did not cause tissue inflammation and did not change (i the number and phenotype of nigral dopaminergic neurons, and (ii the concentrations of striatal dopamine and its metabolites. The data represent the first evidence of successful anti-alpha-synuclein intervention in the primate substantia nigra and support further development of RNA interference-based therapeutics.

  3. Deuterium isotope shifts for backbone {sup 1}H, {sup 15}N and {sup 13}C nuclei in intrinsically disordered protein {alpha}-synuclein

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    Maltsev, Alexander S.; Ying Jinfa; Bax, Ad, E-mail: [National Institutes of Health, Laboratory of Chemical Physics, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (United States)


    Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) are abundant in nature and characterization of their potential structural propensities remains a widely pursued but challenging task. Analysis of NMR secondary chemical shifts plays an important role in such studies, but the output of such analyses depends on the accuracy of reference random coil chemical shifts. Although uniform perdeuteration of IDPs can dramatically increase spectral resolution, a feature particularly important for the poorly dispersed IDP spectra, the impact of deuterium isotope shifts on random coil values has not yet been fully characterized. Very precise {sup 2}H isotope shift measurements for {sup 13}C{sup {alpha}}, {sup 13}C{sup {beta}}, {sup 13}C Prime , {sup 15}N, and {sup 1}H{sup N} have been obtained by using a mixed sample of protonated and uniformly perdeuterated {alpha}-synuclein, a protein with chemical shifts exceptionally close to random coil values. Decomposition of these isotope shifts into one-bond, two-bond and three-bond effects as well as intra- and sequential residue contributions shows that such an analysis, which ignores conformational dependence, is meaningful but does not fully describe the total isotope shift to within the precision of the measurements. Random coil {sup 2}H isotope shifts provide an important starting point for analysis of such shifts in structural terms in folded proteins, where they are known to depend strongly on local geometry.

  4. Data in support of the identification of neuronal and astrocyte proteins interacting with extracellularly applied oligomeric and fibrillar α-synuclein assemblies by mass spectrometry

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    Amulya Nidhi Shrivastava


    Full Text Available α-Synuclein (α-syn is the principal component of Lewy bodies, the pathophysiological hallmark of individuals affected by Parkinson disease (PD. This neuropathologic form of α-syn contributes to PD progression and propagation of α-syn assemblies between neurons. The data we present here support the proteomic analysis used to identify neuronal proteins that specifically interact with extracellularly applied oligomeric or fibrillar α-syn assemblies (conditions 1 and 2, respectively (doi: 10.15252/embj.201591397 [1]. α-syn assemblies and their cellular partner proteins were pulled down from neuronal cell lysed shortly after exposure to exogenous α-syn assemblies and the associated proteins were identified by mass spectrometry using a shotgun proteomic-based approach. We also performed experiments on pure cultures of astrocytes to identify astrocyte-specific proteins interacting with oligomeric or fibrillar α-syn (conditions 3 and 4, respectively. For each condition, proteins interacting selectively with α-syn assemblies were identified by comparison to proteins pulled-down from untreated cells used as controls. The mass spectrometry data, the database search and the peak lists have been deposited to the ProteomeXchange Consortium database via the PRIDE partner repository with the dataset identifiers PRIDE: to PRIDE: and doi: 10.6019/ to 10.6019/

  5. α-Synuclein Amyloids Hijack Prion Protein to Gain Cell Entry, Facilitate Cell-to-Cell Spreading and Block Prion Replication. (United States)

    Aulić, Suzana; Masperone, Lara; Narkiewicz, Joanna; Isopi, Elisa; Bistaffa, Edoardo; Ambrosetti, Elena; Pastore, Beatrice; De Cecco, Elena; Scaini, Denis; Zago, Paola; Moda, Fabio; Tagliavini, Fabrizio; Legname, Giuseppe


    The precise molecular mechanism of how misfolded α-synuclein (α-Syn) accumulates and spreads in synucleinopathies is still unknown. Here, we show the role of the cellular prion protein (PrP C ) in mediating the uptake and the spread of recombinant α-Syn amyloids. The in vitro data revealed that the presence of PrP C fosters the higher uptake of α-Syn amyloid fibrils, which was also confirmed in vivo in wild type (Prnp +/+ ) compared to PrP knock-out (Prnp -/- ) mice. Additionally, the presence of α-Syn amyloids blocked the replication of scrapie prions (PrP Sc ) in vitro and ex vivo, indicating a link between the two proteins. Indeed, whilst PrP C is mediating the internalization of α-Syn amyloids, PrP Sc is not able to replicate in their presence. This observation has pathological relevance, since several reported case studies show that the accumulation of α-Syn amyloid deposits in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease patients is accompanied by a longer disease course.

  6. An Efficient Procedure for Removal and Inactivation of Alpha-Synuclein Assemblies from Laboratory Materials. (United States)

    Bousset, Luc; Brundin, Patrik; Böckmann, Anja; Meier, Beat; Melki, Ronald


    Preformed α-synuclein fibrils seed the aggregation of soluble α-synuclein in cultured cells and in vivo. This, and other findings, has kindled the idea that α-synuclein fibrils possess prion-like properties. As α-synuclein fibrils should not be considered as innocuous, there is a need for decontamination and inactivation procedures for laboratory benches and non-disposable laboratory material. We assessed the effectiveness of different procedures designed to disassemble α-synuclein fibrils and reduce their infectivity. We examined different commercially available detergents to remove α-synuclein assemblies adsorbed on materials that are not disposable and that are most found in laboratories (e.g. plastic, glass, aluminum or stainless steel surfaces). We show that methods designed to decrease PrP prion infectivity neither effectively remove α-synuclein assemblies adsorbed to different materials commonly used in the laboratory nor disassemble the fibrillar form of the protein with efficiency. In contrast, both commercial detergents and SDS detached α-synuclein assemblies from contaminated surfaces and disassembled the fibrils. We describe three cleaning procedures that effectively remove and disassemble α-synuclein seeds. The methods rely on the use of detergents that are compatible with most non-disposable tools in a laboratory. The procedures are easy to implement and significantly decrease any potential risks associated to handling α-synuclein assemblies.

  7. Clearing Extracellular Alpha-Synuclein from Cerebrospinal Fluid: A New Therapeutic Strategy in Parkinson’s Disease (United States)

    Padilla-Zambrano, Huber S.; Tomás-Zapico, Cristina; García, Benjamin Fernández


    This concept article aims to show the rationale of targeting extracellular α-Synuclein (α-Syn) from cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) as a new strategy to remove this protein from the brain in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Misfolding and intracellular aggregation of α-synuclein into Lewy bodies are thought to be crucial in the pathogenesis of PD. Recent research has shown that small amounts of monomeric and oligomeric α-synuclein are released from neuronal cells by exocytosis and that this extracellular alpha-synuclein contributes to neurodegeneration, progressive spreading of alpha-synuclein pathology, and neuroinflammation. In PD, extracellular oligomeric-α-synuclein moves in constant equilibrium between the interstitial fluid (ISF) and the CSF. Thus, we expect that continuous depletion of oligomeric-α-synuclein in the CSF will produce a steady clearance of the protein in the ISF, preventing transmission and deposition in the brain. PMID:29570693

  8. Bioinorganic Chemistry of Parkinson's Disease: Affinity and Structural Features of Cu(I) Binding to the Full-Length β-Synuclein Protein. (United States)

    Miotto, Marco C; Pavese, Mayra D; Quintanar, Liliana; Zweckstetter, Markus; Griesinger, Christian; Fernández, Claudio O


    Alterations in the levels of copper in brain tissue and formation of α-synuclein (αS)-copper complexes might play a key role in the amyloid aggregation of αS and the onset of Parkinson's disease (PD). Recently, we demonstrated that formation of the high-affinity Cu(I) complex with the N-terminally acetylated form of the protein αS substantially increases and stabilizes local conformations with α-helical secondary structure and restricted motility. In this work, we performed a detailed NMR-based structural characterization of the Cu(I) complexes with the full-length acetylated form of its homologue β-synuclein (βS), which is colocalized with αS in vivo and can bind copper ions. Our results show that, similarly to αS, the N-terminal region of βS constitutes the preferential binding interface for Cu(I) ions, encompassing two independent and noninteractive Cu(I) binding sites. According to these results, βS binds the metal ion with higher affinity than αS, in a coordination environment that involves the participation of Met-1, Met-5, and Met-10 residues (site 1). Compared to αS, the shift of His from position 50 to 65 in the N-terminal region of βS does not change the Cu(I) affinity features at that site (site 2). Interestingly, the formation of the high-affinity βS-Cu(I) complex at site 1 in the N-terminus promotes a short α-helix conformation that is restricted to the 1-5 segment of the AcβS sequence, which differs with the substantial increase in α-helix conformations seen for N-terminally acetylated αS upon Cu(I) complexation. Our NMR data demonstrate conclusively that the differences observed in the conformational transitions triggered by Cu(I) binding to AcαS and AcβS find a correlation at the level of their backbone dynamic properties; added to the potential biological implications of these findings, this fact opens new avenues of investigations into the bioinorganic chemistry of PD.

  9. The Parkinson’s disease-associated protein α-synuclein disrupts stress signaling – a possible implication for methamphetamine use?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaoxiao Wang


    Full Text Available The human neuronal protein α-synuclein (α-syn has been linked by a plethora of studies as a causative factor in sporadic Parkinson’s disease (PD. To speed the pace of discovery about the biology and pathobiology of α-syn, organisms such as yeast, worms, and flies have been used to investigate the mechanisms by which elevated levels of α-syn are toxic to cells and to screen for drugs and genes that suppress this toxicity. We recently reported [Wang et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci.(2012 109: 16119–16124] that human α-syn, at high expression levels, disrupts stress-activated signal transduction pathways in both yeast and human neuroblastoma cells. Disruption of these signaling pathways ultimately leads to vulnerability to stress and to cell death. Here we discuss how the disruption of cell signaling by α-syn may have relevance to the parkinsonism that is associated with the abuse of the drug methamphetamine (meth.

  10. Discriminating lysosomal membrane protein types using dynamic neural network. (United States)

    Tripathi, Vijay; Gupta, Dwijendra Kumar


    This work presents a dynamic artificial neural network methodology, which classifies the proteins into their classes from their sequences alone: the lysosomal membrane protein classes and the various other membranes protein classes. In this paper, neural networks-based lysosomal-associated membrane protein type prediction system is proposed. Different protein sequence representations are fused to extract the features of a protein sequence, which includes seven feature sets; amino acid (AA) composition, sequence length, hydrophobic group, electronic group, sum of hydrophobicity, R-group, and dipeptide composition. To reduce the dimensionality of the large feature vector, we applied the principal component analysis. The probabilistic neural network, generalized regression neural network, and Elman regression neural network (RNN) are used as classifiers and compared with layer recurrent network (LRN), a dynamic network. The dynamic networks have memory, i.e. its output depends not only on the input but the previous outputs also. Thus, the accuracy of LRN classifier among all other artificial neural networks comes out to be the highest. The overall accuracy of jackknife cross-validation is 93.2% for the data-set. These predicted results suggest that the method can be effectively applied to discriminate lysosomal associated membrane proteins from other membrane proteins (Type-I, Outer membrane proteins, GPI-Anchored) and Globular proteins, and it also indicates that the protein sequence representation can better reflect the core feature of membrane proteins than the classical AA composition.

  11. Membrane curvature induction and tubulation are common features of synucleins and apolipoproteins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Varkey, Jobin; Isas, Jose Mario; Mizuno, Naoko


    Synucleins and apolipoproteins have been implicated in a number of membrane and lipid trafficking events. Lipid interaction for both types of proteins is mediated by 11 amino acid repeats that form amphipathic helices. This similarity suggests that synucleins and apolipoproteins might have...... of amphipathic helices alone. Moreover, we frequently observed that a-synuclein caused membrane structures that had the appearance of nascent budding vesicles. The ability to function as a minimal machinery for vesicle budding agrees well with recent findings that a-synuclein plays a role in vesicle trafficking...

  12. Triptolide Promotes the Clearance of α-Synuclein by Enhancing Autophagy in Neuronal Cells. (United States)

    Hu, Guanzheng; Gong, Xiaoli; Wang, Le; Liu, Mengru; Liu, Yang; Fu, Xia; Wang, Wei; Zhang, Ting; Wang, Xiaomin


    Parkinson's disease (PD) is an aging-associated neurodegenerative disease with a characteristic feature of α-synuclein accumulation. Point mutations (A53T, A30P) that increase the aggregation propensity of α-synuclein result in familial early onset PD. The abnormal metabolism of α-synuclein results in aberrant level changes of α-synuclein in PD. In pathological conditions, α-synuclein is degraded mainly by the autophagy-lysosome pathway. Triptolide (T10) is a monomeric compound isolated from a traditional Chinese herb. Our group demonstrated for the first time that T10 possesses potent neuroprotective properties both in vitro and in vivo PD models. In the present study, we reported T10 as a potent autophagy inducer in neuronal cells, which helped to promote the clearance of various forms of α-synuclein in neuronal cells. We transfected neuronal cells with A53T mutant (A53T) or wild-type (WT) α-synuclein plasmids and found T10 attenuated the cytotoxicity induced by pathogenic A53T α-synuclein overexpression. We observed that T10 significantly reduced both A53T and WT α-synuclein level in neuronal cell line, as well as in primary cultured cortical neurons. Excluding the changes of syntheses, secretion, and aggregation of α-synuclein, we further added autophagy inhibitor or proteasome inhibitor with T10, and we noticed that T10 promoted the clearance of α-synuclein mainly by the autophagic pathway. Lastly, we observed increased autophagy marker LC3-II expression and autophagosomes by GFP-LC3-II accumulation and ultrastructural characterization. However, the lysosome activity and cell viability were not modulated by T10. Our study revealed that T10 could induce autophagy and promote the clearance of both WT and A53T α-synuclein in neurons. These results provide evidence of T10 as a promising mean to treat PD and other neurodegenerative diseases by reducing pathogenic proteins in neurons.

  13. Targeting α-synuclein oligomers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van Diggelen, Femke

    Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a complex disease, characterised by degeneration of neocortical, limbic and nigrostriatal neurons. It is unknown what initiates neurodegeneration, but soluble oligomers of the protein α-synuclein (αSn) seem to be particularly toxic, compared to insoluble fibrils...... unique characteristics, e.g. they were recognized by different conformational antibodies and DHA–αSOs also formed a second elongated species in addition to the dominant spherical species. Although further functional testing is needed, this suggests that each species has its own distinct toxic mechanism......+/K+ ATPase, V-type ATPase, VDAC, CaMKII and Rab-3A. The identification of these targets is a first step towards unravelling the toxic pathways which are activated upon synaptic binding of extracellularly added αSOs, and hopefully will contribute to the discovery of new disease modifying compounds, which can...

  14. NMR of alpha-synuclein-polyamine complexes elucidates the mechanism and kinetics of induced aggregation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fernández, Claudio O.; Hoyer, Wolfgang; Zweckstetter, Markus; Jares-Erijman, Elizabeth A.; Subramaniam, Vinod; Griesinger, Christian; Jovin, Thomas M.


    The aggregation of α-synuclein is characteristic of Parkinson's disease (PD) and other neurodegenerative synucleinopathies. The 140-aa protein is natively unstructured; thus, ligands binding to the monomeric form are of therapeutic interest. Biogenic polyamines promote the aggregation of α-synuclein

  15. A Protein Aggregation Inhibitor, Leuco-Methylthioninium Bis(Hydromethanesulfonate, Decreases α-Synuclein Inclusions in a Transgenic Mouse Model of Synucleinopathy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karima Schwab


    Full Text Available α-Synuclein (α-Syn aggregation is a pathological feature of synucleinopathies, neurodegenerative disorders that include Parkinson’s disease (PD. We have tested whether N,N,N′,N′-tetramethyl-10H-phenothiazine-3,7-diaminium bis(hydromethanesulfonate (leuco-methylthioninium bis(hydromethanesulfonate; LMTM, a tau aggregation inhibitor, affects α-Syn aggregation in vitro and in vivo. Both cellular and transgenic models in which the expression of full-length human α-Syn (h-α-Syn fused with a signal sequence peptide to promote α-Syn aggregation were used. Aggregated α-Syn was observed following differentiation of N1E-115 neuroblastoma cells transfected with h-α-Syn. The appearance of aggregated α-Syn was inhibited by LMTM, with an EC50 of 1.1 μM, with minimal effect on h-α-Syn mRNA levels being observed. Two independent lines of mice (L58 and L62 transgenic for the same fusion protein accumulated neuronal h-α-Syn that, with aging, developed into fibrillary inclusions characterized by both resistance to proteinase K (PK-cleavage and their ability to bind thiazin red. There was a significant decrease in α-Syn-positive neurons in multiple brain regions following oral treatment of male and female mice with LMTM administered daily for 6 weeks at 5 and 15 mg MT/kg. The early aggregates of α-Syn and the late-stage fibrillar inclusions were both susceptible to inhibition by LMTM, a treatment that also resulted in the rescue of movement and anxiety-related traits in these mice. The results suggest that LMTM may provide a potential disease modification therapy in PD and other synucleinopathies through the inhibition of α-Syn aggregation.

  16. The Anticholinesterase Phenserine and Its Enantiomer Posiphen as 5′Untranslated-Region-Directed Translation Blockers of the Parkinson’s Alpha Synuclein Expression

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    Sohan Mikkilineni


    Full Text Available There is compelling support for limiting expression of alpha-synuclein (α-syn in the brains of Parkinson’s disease (PD patients. An increase of SNCA gene copy number can genetically cause familial PD where increased dose of this pathogenic protein correlates with severity of symptoms (triplication of the SNCA gene causes dementia in PD patients. Gene promoter polymorphisms were shown to increase α-synuclein expression as a risk for PD. Cholinesterase inhibitors can clinically slow cognitive decline in the later stages of PD etiology similar to their widespread use in Alzheimer’s disease (AD. Pertinent to this, we identified that the well-tolerated anticholinesterase, phenserine, blocked neural SNCA mRNA translation and tested for targeting via its 5′untranslated region (5′UTR in a manner similar to its action to limit the expression of the AD-specific amyloid precursor protein (APP. Posiphen, its better-tolerated (+ enantiomer (devoid of anticholinesterase action, repressed neural α-synuclein translation. Primary metabolic analogs of posiphen were, likewise, characterized using primary fetal neurons grown ex vivo from the brains of Parkinson’s transgenic mice expressing the human SNCA gene.

  17. Tubulin Polymerization-promoting Protein (TPPP/p25α) Promotes Unconventional Secretion of α-Synuclein through Exophagy by Impairing Autophagosome-Lysosome Fusion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ejlerskov, Patrick; Rasmussen, Izabela; Nielsen, Troels Tolstrup


    increase in the basal level of α-synuclein secreted into the medium. Secretion was strictly dependent on autophagy and could be up-regulated (trehalose and Rab1A) or down-regulated (3-methyladenine and ATG5 shRNA) by enhancers or inhibitors of autophagy or by modulating minus-end-directed (HDAC6 sh...

  18. Neuropeptide Treatment with Cerebrolysin Enhances the Survival of Grafted Neural Stem Cell in an α-Synuclein Transgenic Model of Parkinson's Disease

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    Edward Rockenstein


    Full Text Available Neuronal stem cell (NSC grafts have been investigated as a potential neuro-restorative therapy in Parkinson's disease (PD but their use is compromised by the death of grafted cells. We investigated the use of Cerebrolysin (CBL, a neurotrophic peptide mixture, as an adjunct to NSC therapy in the α-synuclein (α-syn transgenic (tg model of PD. In vehicle-treated α-syn tg mice, there was decreased survival of NSCs. In contrast, CBL treatment enhanced the survival of NSCs in α-syn tg groups and ameliorated behavioral deficits. The grafted NSCs showed lower levels of terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling positive cells in the CBL-treated mice when compared with vehicle-treated α-syn tg mice. No evidence of tumor growth was detected. Levels of α-syn were similar in the vehicle in CBL-treated tg mice. In conclusion, CBL treatment might be a potential adjuvant for therapeutic NSC grafting in PD.

  19. Combining neural networks for protein secondary structure prediction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Riis, Søren Kamaric


    In this paper structured neural networks are applied to the problem of predicting the secondary structure of proteins. A hierarchical approach is used where specialized neural networks are designed for each structural class and then combined using another neural network. The submodels are designed...... by using a priori knowledge of the mapping between protein building blocks and the secondary structure and by using weight sharing. Since none of the individual networks have more than 600 adjustable weights over-fitting is avoided. When ensembles of specialized experts are combined the performance...

  20. α-Synuclein aggregation, seeding and inhibition by scyllo-inositol

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ibrahim, Tarek [Biological Sciences, Sunnybrook Research Institute (Canada); Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, M4N 3M5, ON (Canada); McLaurin, JoAnne, E-mail: [Biological Sciences, Sunnybrook Research Institute (Canada); Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, M4N 3M5, ON (Canada)


    Recent literature demonstrates the accelerated aggregation of α-synuclein, a protein implicated in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD), by the presence of preformed fibrillar conformers in vitro. Furthermore, these preformed fibrillar seeds are suggested to accelerate pathological induction in vivo when injected into the brains of mice. Variation in the results of in vivo studies is proposed to be caused by α-synuclein conformational variants. To investigate the impact of amino acid sequence on seeding efficiency, human and mouse α-synuclein seeds, which vary at 7 amino acid residues, were generated and cross-seeding kinetics studied. Using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), we confirmed that mouse α-synuclein aggregated more rapidly than human α-synuclein. Subsequently, we determined that seeding of human and mouse α-synuclein was more rapid in the presence of seeds generated from the same species. In addition, an established amyloid inhibitor, scyllo-inositol, was examined for potential inhibitory effects on α-synuclein aggregation. TEM analysis of protein:inhibitor assays demonstrated that scyllo-inositol inhibits the aggregation of α-synuclein, suggesting the therapeutic potential of the small molecule in PD. - Highlights: • Mouse α-syn fibrillizes in a significantly shorter timeframe than human α-syn. • Seeding of monomers is more efficient when seeds originate from the same species. • scyllo-Inositol has anti-aggregation effects on mouse and human α-syn.

  1. Ambroxol effects in glucocerebrosidase and α‐synuclein transgenic mice (United States)

    Migdalska‐Richards, Anna; Daly, Liam; Bezard, Erwan


    Objective Gaucher disease is caused by mutations in the glucocerebrosidase 1 gene that result in deficiency of the lysosomal enzyme glucocerebrosidase. Both homozygous and heterozygous glucocerebrosidase 1 mutations confer an increased risk for developing Parkinson disease. Current estimates indicate that 10 to 25% of Parkinson patients carry glucocerebrosidase 1 mutations. Ambroxol is a small molecule chaperone that has been shown to increase glucocerebrosidase activity in vitro. This study investigated the effect of ambroxol treatment on glucocerebrosidase activity and on α‐synuclein and phosphorylated α‐synuclein protein levels in mice. Methods Mice were treated with ambroxol for 12 days. After the treatment, glucocerebrosidase activity was measured in the mouse brain lysates. The brain lysates were also analyzed for α‐synuclein and phosphorylated α‐synuclein protein levels. Results Ambroxol treatment resulted in increased brain glucocerebrosidase activity in (1) wild‐type mice, (2) transgenic mice expressing the heterozygous L444P mutation in the murine glucocerebrosidase 1 gene, and (3) transgenic mice overexpressing human α‐synuclein. Furthermore, in the mice overexpressing human α‐synuclein, ambroxol treatment decreased both α‐synuclein and phosphorylated α‐synuclein protein levels. Interpretation Our work supports the proposition that ambroxol should be further investigated as a potential novel disease‐modifying therapy for treatment of Parkinson disease and neuronopathic Gaucher disease to increase glucocerebrosidase activity and decrease α‐synuclein and phosphorylated α‐synuclein protein levels. Ann Neurol 2016;80:766–775 PMID:27859541

  2. α-Synuclein oligomers and clinical implications for Parkinson disease (United States)

    Kalia, Lorraine V.; Kalia, Suneil K.; McLean, Pamela J.; Lozano, Andres M.; Lang, Anthony E.


    Protein aggregation within the central nervous system has been recognized as a defining feature of neurodegenerative diseases since the early 20th century. Since that time, there has been a growing list of neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson disease, which are characterized by inclusions of specific pathogenic proteins. This has led to the long-held dogma that these characteristic protein inclusions, which are composed of large insoluble fibrillar protein aggregates and visible by light microscopy, are responsible for cell death in these diseases. However, the correlation between protein inclusion formation and cytotoxicity is inconsistent suggesting another form of the pathogenic proteins may be contributing to neurodegeneration. There is emerging evidence implicating soluble oligomers, smaller protein aggregates not detectable by conventional microscopy, as potential culprits in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. The protein α-synuclein is well recognized to contribute to the pathogenesis of Parkinson disease and is the major component of Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites. However, α-synuclein also forms oligomeric species with certain conformations being toxic to cells. The mechanisms by which these α-synuclein oligomers cause cell death are being actively investigated as they may provide new strategies for diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson disease and related disorders. Here we review the possible role of α-synuclein oligomers in cell death in Parkinson disease and discuss the potential clinical implications. PMID:23225525

  3. Structural and functional characterization of two alpha-synuclein strains (United States)

    Bousset, Luc; Pieri, Laura; Ruiz-Arlandis, Gemma; Gath, Julia; Jensen, Poul Henning; Habenstein, Birgit; Madiona, Karine; Olieric, Vincent; Böckmann, Anja; Meier, Beat H.; Melki, Ronald


    α-synuclein aggregation is implicated in a variety of diseases including Parkinson’s disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, pure autonomic failure and multiple system atrophy. The association of protein aggregates made of a single protein with a variety of clinical phenotypes has been explained for prion diseases by the existence of different strains that propagate through the infection pathway. Here we structurally and functionally characterize two polymorphs of α-synuclein. We present evidence that the two forms indeed fulfil the molecular criteria to be identified as two strains of α-synuclein. Specifically, we show that the two strains have different structures, levels of toxicity, and in vitro and in vivo seeding and propagation properties. Such strain differences may account for differences in disease progression in different individuals/cell types and/or types of synucleinopathies.

  4. Cross dimerization of amyloid-β and αsynuclein proteins in aqueous environment: a molecular dynamics simulations study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaya C Jose

    Full Text Available Self-assembly of the intrinsically unstructured proteins, amyloid beta (Aβ and alpha synclein (αSyn, are associated with Alzheimer's Disease, and Parkinson's and Lewy Body Diseases, respectively. Importantly, pathological overlaps between these neurodegenerative diseases, and the possibilities of interactions between Aβ and αSyn in biological milieu emerge from several recent clinical reports and in vitro studies. Nevertheless, there are very few molecular level studies that have probed the nature of spontaneous interactions between these two sequentially dissimilar proteins and key characteristics of the resulting cross complexes. In this study, we have used atomistic molecular dynamics simulations to probe the possibility of cross dimerization between αSyn1-95 and Aβ1-42, and thereby gain insights into their plausible early assembly pathways in aqueous environment. Our analyses indicate a strong probability of association between the two sequences, with inter-protein attractive electrostatic interactions playing dominant roles. Principal component analysis revealed significant heterogeneity in the strength and nature of the associations in the key interaction modes. In most, the interactions of repeating Lys residues, mainly in the imperfect repeats 'KTKEGV' present in αSyn1-95 were found to be essential for cross interactions and formation of inter-protein salt bridges. Additionally, a hydrophobicity driven interaction mode devoid of salt bridges, where the non-amyloid component (NAC region of αSyn1-95 came in contact with the hydrophobic core of Aβ1-42 was observed. The existence of such hetero complexes, and therefore hetero assembly pathways may lead to polymorphic aggregates with variations in pathological attributes. Our results provide a perspective on development of therapeutic strategies for preventing pathogenic interactions between these proteins.

  5. Oxidative stress induces nuclear translocation of C-terminus of α-synuclein in dopaminergic cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xu Shengli; Zhou Ming; Yu Shun; Cai Yanning; Zhang Alex; Ueda, Kenji; Chan Piu


    Growing evidence suggests that oxidative stress is involved in the neuronal degeneration and can promote the aggregation of α-synuclein. However, the role of α-synuclein under physiological and pathological conditions remains poorly understood. In the present study, we examined the possible interaction between the α-synuclein and oxidative stress. In a dopaminergic cell line MES23.5, we have found that the 200 μM H 2 O 2 treatment induced the translocation of α-synuclein from cytoplasm to nuclei at 30 min post-treatment. The immunoactivity of α-synuclein became highly intensive in the nuclei after 2 h treatment. The protein translocated to nucleus was a 10 kDa fragment of C-terminus region of α-synuclein, while full-length α-synuclein remained in cytoplasm. Thioflavine-S staining suggested that the C-terminal fragment in the nuclei has no β-sheet structures. Our present results indicated that 200 μM H 2 O 2 treatment induces the intranuclear accumulation of the C-terminal fragment of α-synuclein in dopaminergic neurons, whose role remains to be investigated

  6. Alpha-synuclein induces lysosomal rupture and cathepsin dependent reactive oxygen species following endocytosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Freeman

    Full Text Available α-synuclein dysregulation is a critical aspect of Parkinson's disease pathology. Recent studies have observed that α-synuclein aggregates are cytotoxic to cells in culture and that this toxicity can be spread between cells. However, the molecular mechanisms governing this cytotoxicity and spread are poorly characterized. Recent studies of viruses and bacteria, which achieve their cytoplasmic entry by rupturing intracellular vesicles, have utilized the redistribution of galectin proteins as a tool to measure vesicle rupture by these organisms. Using this approach, we demonstrate that α-synuclein aggregates can induce the rupture of lysosomes following their endocytosis in neuronal cell lines. This rupture can be induced by the addition of α-synuclein aggregates directly into cells as well as by cell-to-cell transfer of α-synuclein. We also observe that lysosomal rupture by α-synuclein induces a cathepsin B dependent increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS in target cells. Finally, we observe that α-synuclein aggregates can induce inflammasome activation in THP-1 cells. Lysosomal rupture is known to induce mitochondrial dysfunction and inflammation, both of which are well established aspects of Parkinson's disease, thus connecting these aspects of Parkinson's disease to the propagation of α-synuclein pathology in cells.

  7. Phosphorylated α-Synuclein-Copper Complex Formation in the Pathogenesis of Parkinson’s Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Antonio Castillo-Gonzalez


    Full Text Available Parkinson’s disease is the second most important neurodegenerative disorder worldwide. It is characterized by the presence of Lewy bodies, which are mainly composed of α-synuclein and ubiquitin-bound proteins. Both the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS and autophagy-lysosomal pathway (ALS are altered in Parkinson’s disease, leading to aggregation of proteins, particularly α-synuclein. Interestingly, it has been observed that copper promotes the protein aggregation process. Additionally, phosphorylation of α-synuclein along with copper also affects the protein aggregation process. The interrelation among α-synuclein phosphorylation and its capability to interact with copper, with the subsequent disruption of the protein degradation systems in the neurodegenerative process of Parkinson’s disease, will be analyzed in detail in this review.

  8. Cellular prion protein and γ-synuclein overexpression in LS 174T colorectal cancer cell drives endothelial proliferation-to-differentiation switch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sing-Hui Ong


    Full Text Available Background Tumor-induced angiogenesis is an imperative event in pledging new vasculature for tumor metastasis. Since overexpression of neuronal proteins gamma-synuclein (γ-Syn and cellular prion protein (PrPC is always detected in advanced stages of cancer diseases which involve metastasis, this study aimed to investigate whether γ-Syn or PrPC overexpression in colorectal adenocarcinoma, LS 174T cells affects angiogenesis of endothelial cells, EA.hy 926 (EA. Methods EA cells were treated with conditioned media (CM of LS 174T-γ-Syn or LS 174T-PrP, and their proliferation, invasion, migration, adhesion and ability to form angiogenic tubes were assessed using a range of biological assays. To investigate plausible background mechanisms in conferring the properties of EA cells above, nitrite oxide (NO levels were measured and the expression of angiogenesis-related factors was assessed using a human angiogenesis antibody array. Results EA proliferation was significantly inhibited by LS 174T-PrP CM whereas its telomerase activity was reduced by CM of LS 174T-γ-Syn or LS 174T-PrP, as compared to EA incubated with LS 174T CM. Besides, LS 174T-γ-Syn CM or LS 174T-PrP CM inhibited EA invasion and migration in Boyden chamber assay. Furthermore, LS 174T-γ-Syn CM significantly inhibited EA migration in scratch wound assay. Gelatin zymography revealed reduced secretion of MMP-2 and MMP-9 by EA treated with LS 174T-γ-Syn CM or LS 174T-PrP CM. In addition, cell adhesion assay showed lesser LS 174T-γ-Syn or LS 174T-PrP cells adhered onto EA, as compared to LS 174T. In tube formation assay, LS 174T-γ-Syn CM or LS 174T-PrP CM induced EA tube formation. Increased NO secretion by EA treated with LS 174T-γ-Syn CM or LS 174T-PrP CM was also detected. Lastly, decreased expression of pro-angiogenic factors like CXCL16, IGFBP-2 and amphiregulin in LS 174T-γ-Syn CM or LS 174T-PrP CM was detected using the angiogenesis antibody array. Discussion These results

  9. Modulation of α-synuclein fibrillization by ring-fused 2-pyridones: templation and inhibition involve oligomers with different structure. (United States)

    Horvath, Istvan; Sellstedt, Magnus; Weise, Christoph; Nordvall, Lina-Maria; Krishna Prasad, G; Olofsson, Anders; Larsson, Göran; Almqvist, Fredrik; Wittung-Stafshede, Pernilla


    In a recent study we discovered that a ring-fused 2-pyridone compound triggered fibrillization of a key protein in Parkinson's disease, α-synuclein. To reveal how variations in compound structure affect protein aggregation, we now prepared a number of strategic analogs and tested their effects on α-synuclein amyloid fiber formation in vitro. We find that, in contrast to the earlier templating effect, some analogs inhibit α-synuclein fibrillization. For both templating and inhibiting compounds, the key species formed in the reactions are α-synuclein oligomers that contain compound. Despite similar macroscopic appearance, the templating and inhibiting oligomers are distinctly different in secondary structure content. When the inhibitory oligomers are added in seed amounts, they inhibit fresh α-synuclein aggregation reactions. Our study demonstrates that small chemical changes to the same central fragment can result in opposite effects on protein aggregation. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Investigation of intramolecular dynamics and conformations of α-, β- and γ-synuclein.

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    Vanessa C Ducas

    Full Text Available The synucleins are a family of natively unstructured proteins consisting of α-, β-, and γ-synuclein which are primarily expressed in neurons. They have been linked to a wide variety of pathologies, including neurological disorders, such as Parkinson's disease (α-synuclein and dementia with Lewy bodies (α- and β-synuclein, as well as various types of cancers (γ-synuclein. Self-association is a key pathological feature of many of these disorders, with α-synuclein having the highest propensity to form aggregates, while β-synuclein is the least prone. Here, we used a combination of fluorescence correlation spectroscopy and single molecule Förster resonance energy transfer to compare the intrinsic dynamics of different regions of all three synuclein proteins to investigate any correlation with putative functional or dysfunctional interactions. Despite a relatively high degree of sequence homology, we find that individual regions sample a broad range of diffusion coefficients, differing by almost a factor of four. At low pH, a condition that accelerates aggregation of α-synuclein, on average smaller diffusion coefficients are measured, supporting a hypothesis that slower intrachain dynamics may be correlated with self-association. Moreover, there is a surprising inverse correlation between dynamics and bulkiness of the segments. Aside from this observation, we could not discern any clear relationship between the physico-chemical properties of the constructs and their intrinsic dynamics. This work suggests that while protein dynamics may play a role in modulating self-association or interactions with other binding partners, other factors, particularly the local cellular environment, may be more important.

  11. Seeking a Mechanism for the Toxicity of Oligomeric α-Synuclein

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    Hazel L. Roberts


    Full Text Available In a number of neurological diseases including Parkinson’s disease (PD, α‑synuclein is aberrantly folded, forming abnormal oligomers, and amyloid fibrils within nerve cells. Strong evidence exists for the toxicity of increased production and aggregation of α-synuclein in vivo. The toxicity of α-synuclein is popularly attributed to the formation of “toxic oligomers”: a heterogenous and poorly characterized group of conformers that may share common molecular features. This review presents the available evidence on the properties of α-synuclein oligomers and the potential molecular mechanisms of their cellular disruption. Toxic α-synuclein oligomers may impact cells in a number of ways, including the disruption of membranes, mitochondrial depolarization, cytoskeleton changes, impairment of protein clearance pathways, and enhanced oxidative stress. We also examine the relationship between α-synuclein toxic oligomers and amyloid fibrils, in the light of recent studies that paint a more complex picture of α-synuclein toxicity. Finally, methods of studying and manipulating oligomers within cells are described.

  12. α-Synuclein overexpression increases dopamine toxicity in BE(2-M17 cells

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    Miller David W


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Oxidative stress has been proposed to be involved in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD. A plausible source of oxidative stress in nigral dopaminergic neurons is the redox reactions that specifically involve dopamine and produce various toxic molecules, i.e., free radicals and quinone species. α-Synuclein, a protein found in Lewy bodies characteristic of PD, is also thought to be involved in the pathogenesis of PD and point mutations and multiplications in the gene coding for α-synuclein have been found in familial forms of PD. Results We used dopaminergic human neuroblastoma BE(2-M17 cell lines stably transfected with WT or A30P mutant α-synuclein to characterize the effect of α-synuclein on dopamine toxicity. Cellular toxicity was analyzed by lactate dehydrogenase assay and by fluorescence-activated cell sorter analysis. Increased expression of either wild-type or mutant α-synuclein enhances the cellular toxicity induced by the accumulation of intracellular dopamine or DOPA. Conclusions Our results suggest that an interplay between dopamine and α-synuclein can cause cell death in a neuron-like background. The data presented here are compatible with several models of cytotoxicity, including the formation of α-synuclein oligomers and impairment of the lysosomal degradation.

  13. Protein Secondary Structure Prediction Using Deep Convolutional Neural Fields. (United States)

    Wang, Sheng; Peng, Jian; Ma, Jianzhu; Xu, Jinbo


    Protein secondary structure (SS) prediction is important for studying protein structure and function. When only the sequence (profile) information is used as input feature, currently the best predictors can obtain ~80% Q3 accuracy, which has not been improved in the past decade. Here we present DeepCNF (Deep Convolutional Neural Fields) for protein SS prediction. DeepCNF is a Deep Learning extension of Conditional Neural Fields (CNF), which is an integration of Conditional Random Fields (CRF) and shallow neural networks. DeepCNF can model not only complex sequence-structure relationship by a deep hierarchical architecture, but also interdependency between adjacent SS labels, so it is much more powerful than CNF. Experimental results show that DeepCNF can obtain ~84% Q3 accuracy, ~85% SOV score, and ~72% Q8 accuracy, respectively, on the CASP and CAMEO test proteins, greatly outperforming currently popular predictors. As a general framework, DeepCNF can be used to predict other protein structure properties such as contact number, disorder regions, and solvent accessibility.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Elena eErro Aguirre


    Full Text Available Objective: To analyze the frequency and distribution of α-synuclein deposits in progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP.Methods: The brains of 25 cases of pathologically confirmed PSP were evaluated with immunohistochemistry for α-synuclein and tau. Multiple immunofluorescent stains were applied to analyze the expression of tau and α-synuclein aggregates in catecholaminergic neurons. Patients’ clinical symptoms were retrospectively recorded. Results: Deposits α-synuclein in the form of typical Lewy bodies (LBs were only found in two PSP cases (8% that fulfilled the clinical subtype of PSP known as Richardson’s syndrome (RS. LBs were present in the locus ceruleus, substantia nigra pars compacta, basal forebrain, amygdala and cingulated cortex in a distribution mimicking that of Parkinson’s disease. Triple-immunolabeling revealed co-expression of α-synuclein and tau proteins in some tyrosine hydroxilase-positive neurons of the locus ceruleus and substantia nigra pars compacta.Conclusions: There is no apparent clinical correlation between the presence of LBs in PSP. Tau protein co-aggregate with α-synuclein in catecholaminergic neurons of PSP brains suggesting a synergistic interaction between the two proteins. This is in keeping with the current view of neurodegenerative disorders as ‘misfolded protein diseases’.

  15. SMG1 identified as a regulator of Parkinson's disease-associated alpha-synuclein through siRNA screening.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrienne Henderson-Smith

    Full Text Available Synucleinopathies are a broad class of neurodegenerative disorders characterized by the presence of intracellular protein aggregates containing α-synuclein protein. The aggregated α-synuclein protein is hyperphosphorylated on serine 129 (S129 compared to the unaggregated form of the protein. While the precise functional consequences of S129 hyperphosphorylation are still being clarified, numerous in vitro and in vivo studies suggest that S129 phosphorylation is an early event in α-synuclein dysfunction and aggregation. Identifying the kinases and phosphatases that regulate this critical phosphorylation event may ultimately prove beneficial by allowing pharmacological mitigation of synuclein dysfunction and toxicity in Parkinson's disease and other synucleinopathies. We report here the development of a high-content, fluorescence-based assay to quantitate levels of total and S129 phosphorylated α-synuclein protein. We have applied this assay to conduct high-throughput loss-of-function screens with siRNA libraries targeting 711 known and predicted human kinases and 206 phosphatases. Specifically, knockdown of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase related kinase SMG1 resulted in significant increases in the expression of pS129 phosphorylated α-synuclein (p-syn. Moreover, SMG1 protein levels were significantly reduced in brain regions with high p-syn levels in both dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB and Parkinson's disease with dementia (PDD. These findings suggest that SMG1 may play an important role in increased α-synuclein pathology during the course of PDD, DLB, and possibly other synucleinopathies.

  16. Podocalyxin Is a Novel Polysialylated Neural Adhesion Protein with Multiple Roles in Neural Development and Synapse Formation (United States)

    Vitureira, Nathalia; Andrés, Rosa; Pérez-Martínez, Esther; Martínez, Albert; Bribián, Ana; Blasi, Juan; Chelliah, Shierley; López-Doménech, Guillermo; De Castro, Fernando; Burgaya, Ferran; McNagny, Kelly; Soriano, Eduardo


    Neural development and plasticity are regulated by neural adhesion proteins, including the polysialylated form of NCAM (PSA-NCAM). Podocalyxin (PC) is a renal PSA-containing protein that has been reported to function as an anti-adhesin in kidney podocytes. Here we show that PC is widely expressed in neurons during neural development. Neural PC interacts with the ERM protein family, and with NHERF1/2 and RhoA/G. Experiments in vitro and phenotypic analyses of podxl-deficient mice indicate that PC is involved in neurite growth, branching and axonal fasciculation, and that PC loss-of-function reduces the number of synapses in the CNS and in the neuromuscular system. We also show that whereas some of the brain PC functions require PSA, others depend on PC per se. Our results show that PC, the second highly sialylated neural adhesion protein, plays multiple roles in neural development. PMID:20706633

  17. Evidence of native α-synuclein conformers in the human brain. (United States)

    Gould, Neal; Mor, Danielle E; Lightfoot, Richard; Malkus, Kristen; Giasson, Benoit; Ischiropoulos, Harry


    α-Synuclein aggregation is central to the pathogenesis of several brain disorders. However, the native conformations and functions of this protein in the human brain are not precisely known. The native state of α-synuclein was probed by gel filtration coupled with native gradient gel separation, an array of antibodies with non-overlapping epitopes, and mass spectrometry. The existence of metastable conformers and stable monomer was revealed in the human brain.

  18. Multiple pathogenic proteins implicated in neuronopathic Gaucher disease mice. (United States)

    Xu, You-hai; Xu, Kui; Sun, Ying; Liou, Benjamin; Quinn, Brian; Li, Rong-hua; Xue, Ling; Zhang, Wujuan; Setchell, Kenneth D R; Witte, David; Grabowski, Gregory A


    Gaucher disease, a prevalent lysosomal storage disease (LSD), is caused by insufficient activity of acid β-glucosidase (GCase) and the resultant glucosylceramide (GC)/glucosylsphingosine (GS) accumulation in visceral organs (Type 1) and the central nervous system (Types 2 and 3). Recent clinical and genetic studies implicate a pathogenic link between Gaucher and neurodegenerative diseases. The aggregation and inclusion bodies of α-synuclein with ubiquitin are present in the brains of Gaucher disease patients and mouse models. Indirect evidence of β-amyloid pathology promoting α-synuclein fibrillation supports these pathogenic proteins as a common feature in neurodegenerative diseases. Here, multiple proteins are implicated in the pathogenesis of chronic neuronopathic Gaucher disease (nGD). Immunohistochemical and biochemical analyses showed significant amounts of β-amyloid and amyloid precursor protein (APP) aggregates in the cortex, hippocampus, stratum and substantia nigra of the nGD mice. APP aggregates were in neuronal cells and colocalized with α-synuclein signals. A majority of APP co-localized with the mitochondrial markers TOM40 and Cox IV; a small portion co-localized with the autophagy proteins, P62/LC3, and the lysosomal marker, LAMP1. In cultured wild-type brain cortical neural cells, the GCase-irreversible inhibitor, conduritol B epoxide (CBE), reproduced the APP/α-synuclein aggregation and the accumulation of GC/GS. Ultrastructural studies showed numerous larger-sized and electron-dense mitochondria in nGD cerebral cortical neural cells. Significant reductions of mitochondrial adenosine triphosphate production and oxygen consumption (28-40%) were detected in nGD brains and in CBE-treated neural cells. These studies implicate defective GCase function and GC/GS accumulation as risk factors for mitochondrial dysfunction and the multi-proteinopathies (α-synuclein-, APP- and Aβ-aggregates) in nGD. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University

  19. Mitochondria and α-Synuclein: Friends or Foes in the Pathogenesis of Parkinson's Disease? (United States)

    Faustini, Gaia; Bono, Federica; Valerio, Alessandra; Pizzi, Marina; Spano, PierFranco; Bellucci, Arianna


    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a movement disorder characterized by dopaminergic nigrostriatal neuron degeneration and the formation of Lewy bodies (LB), pathological inclusions containing fibrils that are mainly composed of α-synuclein. Dopaminergic neurons, for their intrinsic characteristics, have a high energy demand that relies on the efficiency of the mitochondria respiratory chain. Dysregulations of mitochondria, deriving from alterations of complex I protein or oxidative DNA damage, change the trafficking, size and morphology of these organelles. Of note, these mitochondrial bioenergetics defects have been related to PD. A series of experimental evidence supports that α-synuclein physiological action is relevant for mitochondrial homeostasis, while its pathological aggregation can negatively impinge on mitochondrial function. It thus appears that imbalances in the equilibrium between the reciprocal modulatory action of mitochondria and α-synuclein can contribute to PD onset by inducing neuronal impairment. This review will try to highlight the role of physiological and pathological α-synuclein in the modulation of mitochondrial functions.

  20. Parallel protein secondary structure prediction based on neural networks. (United States)

    Zhong, Wei; Altun, Gulsah; Tian, Xinmin; Harrison, Robert; Tai, Phang C; Pan, Yi


    Protein secondary structure prediction has a fundamental influence on today's bioinformatics research. In this work, binary and tertiary classifiers of protein secondary structure prediction are implemented on Denoeux belief neural network (DBNN) architecture. Hydrophobicity matrix, orthogonal matrix, BLOSUM62 and PSSM (position specific scoring matrix) are experimented separately as the encoding schemes for DBNN. The experimental results contribute to the design of new encoding schemes. New binary classifier for Helix versus not Helix ( approximately H) for DBNN produces prediction accuracy of 87% when PSSM is used for the input profile. The performance of DBNN binary classifier is comparable to other best prediction methods. The good test results for binary classifiers open a new approach for protein structure prediction with neural networks. Due to the time consuming task of training the neural networks, Pthread and OpenMP are employed to parallelize DBNN in the hyperthreading enabled Intel architecture. Speedup for 16 Pthreads is 4.9 and speedup for 16 OpenMP threads is 4 in the 4 processors shared memory architecture. Both speedup performance of OpenMP and Pthread is superior to that of other research. With the new parallel training algorithm, thousands of amino acids can be processed in reasonable amount of time. Our research also shows that hyperthreading technology for Intel architecture is efficient for parallel biological algorithms.

  1. Optimal neural networks for protein-structure prediction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Head-Gordon, T.; Stillinger, F.H.


    The successful application of neural-network algorithms for prediction of protein structure is stymied by three problem areas: the sparsity of the database of known protein structures, poorly devised network architectures which make the input-output mapping opaque, and a global optimization problem in the multiple-minima space of the network variables. We present a simplified polypeptide model residing in two dimensions with only two amino-acid types, A and B, which allows the determination of the global energy structure for all possible sequences of pentamer, hexamer, and heptamer lengths. This model simplicity allows us to compile a complete structural database and to devise neural networks that reproduce the tertiary structure of all sequences with absolute accuracy and with the smallest number of network variables. These optimal networks reveal that the three problem areas are convoluted, but that thoughtful network designs can actually deconvolute these detrimental traits to provide network algorithms that genuinely impact on the ability of the network to generalize or learn the desired mappings. Furthermore, the two-dimensional polypeptide model shows sufficient chemical complexity so that transfer of neural-network technology to more realistic three-dimensional proteins is evident

  2. Alpha synuclein in Parkinson's disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kragh, Christine Lund; Romero-Ramos, Marina; Halliday, Glenda M


    The perception of Parkinson’s disease (PD) as a disease centered on dopaminergic striatonigral neurodegeneration has changed fundamentally since 1997 when the first mutation in the SNCA gene (PARK1) encoding a-synuclein was discovered (Polymeropoulos et al. 1997). This discovery formed the basis...

  3. Curcumin Treatment Improves Motor Behavior in α-Synuclein Transgenic Mice (United States)

    Spinelli, Kateri J.; Osterberg, Valerie R.; Meshul, Charles K.; Soumyanath, Amala; Unni, Vivek K.


    The curry spice curcumin plays a protective role in mouse models of neurodegenerative diseases, and can also directly modulate aggregation of α-synuclein protein in vitro, yet no studies have described the interaction of curcumin and α-synuclein in genetic synucleinopathy mouse models. Here we examined the effect of chronic and acute curcumin treatment in the Syn-GFP mouse line, which overexpresses wild-type human α-synuclein protein. We discovered that curcumin diet intervention significantly improved gait impairments and resulted in an increase in phosphorylated forms of α-synuclein at cortical presynaptic terminals. Acute curcumin treatment also caused an increase in phosphorylated α-synuclein in terminals, but had no direct effect on α-synuclein aggregation, as measured by in vivo multiphoton imaging and Proteinase-K digestion. Using LC-MS/MS, we detected ~5 ng/mL and ~12 ng/mL free curcumin in the plasma of chronic or acutely treated mice, with a glucuronidation rate of 94% and 97%, respectively. Despite the low plasma levels and extensive metabolism of curcumin, these results show that dietary curcumin intervention correlates with significant behavioral and molecular changes in a genetic synucleinopathy mouse model that mimics human disease. PMID:26035833

  4. Alpha-synuclein oligomers - neurotoxic molecules in Parkinson’s disease and other Lewy body disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Ingelsson


    Full Text Available Adverse intra- and extracellular effects of toxic α-synuclein are believed to be central to the pathogenesis in Parkinson’s disease and other disorders with Lewy body pathology in the nervous system. One of the physiological roles of α-synuclein relates to the regulation of neurotransmitter release at the presynapse, although it is still unclear whether this mechanism depends on the action of monomers or smaller oligomers. As for the pathogenicity, accumulating evidence suggest that prefibrillar species, rather than the deposits per se, are responsible for the toxicity in affected cells. In particular, larger oligomers or protofibrils of α-synuclein have been shown to impair protein degradation as well as the function of several organelles, such as the mitochondria and the endoplasmic reticulum. Accumulating evidence further suggest that oligomers/protofibrils may have a toxic effect on the synapse, which may lead to disrupted electrophysiological properties. In addition, recent data indicate that oligomeric α-synuclein species can spread between cells, either as free-floating proteins or via extracellular vesicles, and thereby act as seeds to propagate disease between interconnected brain regions. Taken together, several lines of evidence suggest that α-synuclein have neurotoxic properties and therefore should be an appropriate molecular target for therapeutic intervention in Parkinson’s disease and other disorders with Lewy pathology. In this context, immunotherapy with monoclonal antibodies against α-synuclein oligomers/protofibrils should be a particularly attractive treatment option.

  5. Curcumin inhibits aggregation of alpha-synuclein. (United States)

    Pandey, Neeraj; Strider, Jeffrey; Nolan, William C; Yan, Sherry X; Galvin, James E


    Aggregation of amyloid-beta protein (Abeta) is a key pathogenic event in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Curcumin, a constituent of the Indian spice Turmeric is structurally similar to Congo Red and has been demonstrated to bind Abeta amyloid and prevent further oligomerization of Abeta monomers onto growing amyloid beta-sheets. Reasoning that oligomerization kinetics and mechanism of amyloid formation are similar in Parkinson's disease (PD) and AD, we investigated the effect of curcumin on alpha-synuclein (AS) protein aggregation. In vitro model of AS aggregation was developed by treatment of purified AS protein (wild-type) with 1 mM Fe3+ (Fenton reaction). It was observed that the addition of curcumin inhibited aggregation in a dose-dependent manner and increased AS solubility. The aggregation-inhibiting effect of curcumin was next investigated in cell culture utilizing catecholaminergic SH-SY5Y cell line. A model system was developed in which the red fluorescent protein (DsRed2) was fused with A53T mutant of AS and its aggregation examined under different concentrations of curcumin. To estimate aggregation in an unbiased manner, a protocol was developed in which the images were captured automatically through a high-throughput cell-based screening microscope. The obtained images were processed automatically for aggregates within a defined dimension of 1-6 microm. Greater than 32% decrease in mutant alpha-synuclein aggregation was observed within 48 h subsequent to curcumin addition. Our data suggest that curcumin inhibits AS oligomerization into higher molecular weight aggregates and therefore should be further explored as a potential therapeutic compound for PD and related disorders.

  6. Dlx proteins position the neural plate border and determine adjacent cell fates. (United States)

    Woda, Juliana M; Pastagia, Julie; Mercola, Mark; Artinger, Kristin Bruk


    The lateral border of the neural plate is a major source of signals that induce primary neurons, neural crest cells and cranial placodes as well as provide patterning cues to mesodermal structures such as somites and heart. Whereas secreted BMP, FGF and Wnt proteins influence the differentiation of neural and non-neural ectoderm, we show here that members of the Dlx family of transcription factors position the border between neural and non-neural ectoderm and are required for the specification of adjacent cell fates. Inhibition of endogenous Dlx activity in Xenopus embryos with an EnR-Dlx homeodomain fusion protein expands the neural plate into non-neural ectoderm tissue whereas ectopic activation of Dlx target genes inhibits neural plate differentiation. Importantly, the stereotypic pattern of border cell fates in the adjacent ectoderm is re-established only under conditions where the expanded neural plate abuts Dlx-positive non-neural ectoderm. Experiments in which presumptive neural plate was grafted to ventral ectoderm reiterate induction of neural crest and placodal lineages and also demonstrate that Dlx activity is required in non-neural ectoderm for the production of signals needed for induction of these cells. We propose that Dlx proteins regulate intercellular signaling across the interface between neural and non-neural ectoderm that is critical for inducing and patterning adjacent cell fates.

  7. Alpha-synuclein gene deletion decreases brain palmitate uptake and alters the palmitate metabolism in the absence of alpha-synuclein palmitate binding

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Golovko, Mikhail Y; Færgeman, Nils J.; Cole, Nelson B


    Alpha-synuclein is an abundant protein in the central nervous system that is associated with a number of neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson's disease. Its physiological function is poorly understood, although recently it was proposed to function as a fatty acid binding protein. To b......, alpha-synuclein has effects on 16:0 uptake and metabolism similar to those of an FABP, but unlike FABP, it does not directly bind 16:0; hence, the mechanism underlying these effects is different from that of a classical FABP....

  8. Reduced TH expression and α-synuclein accumulation contribute towards nigrostriatal dysfunction in experimental hepatic encephalopathy. (United States)

    Suárez, Isabel; Bodega, Guillermo; Rubio, Miguel; Fernández, Benjamín


    The present work examines α-synuclein expression in the nigrostriatal system of a rat chronic hepatic encephalopathy model induced by portacaval anastomosis (PCA). There is evidence that dopaminergic dysfunction in disease conditions is strongly associated with such expression. Possible relationships among dopaminergic neurons, astroglial cells and α-synuclein expression were sought. Brain tissue samples from rats at 1 and 6 months post-PCA, and controls, were analysed immunohistochemically using antibodies against tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), α-synuclein, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and ubiquitin (Ub). In the control rats, TH immunoreactivity was detected in the neuronal cell bodies and processes in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc). A dense TH-positive network of neurons was also seen in the striatum. In the PCA-exposed rats, however, a reduction in TH-positive neurons was seen at both 1 and 6 months in the SNc, as well as a reduction in TH-positive fibres in the striatum. This was coincident with the appearance of α-synuclein-immunoreactive neurons in the SNc; some of the TH-positive neurons also showed α-synuclein immunoreactivity. In addition, α-synuclein accumulation was seen in the SNc and striatum at both 1 and 6 months post-PCA, whereas α-synuclein was only mildly expressed in the nigrostriatal pathway of the controls. Astrogliosis was also seen following PCA, as revealed by increased GFAP expression from 1 month to 6 months post-PCA in both the SN and striatum. The astroglial activation level in the SN paralleled the reduced neuronal expression of TH throughout PCA exposure. α-synuclein accumulation following PCA may induce dopaminergic dysfunction via the downregulation of TH, as well as astroglial activation.

  9. Features of alpha-synuclein that could explain the progression and irreversibility of Parkinson's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scarlet eGallegos


    Full Text Available Alpha-synuclein is a presynaptic protein expressed throughout the central nervous system, and it is the main component of Lewy bodies, one of the histopathological features of Parkinson’s disease (PD which is a progressive and irreversible neurodegenerative disorder. The conformational flexibility of α-synuclein allows it to adopt different conformations, i.e. bound to membranes or form aggregates, the oligomers are believed to be the more toxic species. In this review, we will focus on two major features of α-synuclein, transmission and toxicity that could help to understand the pathological characteristics of PD. One important feature of α-synuclein is its ability to be transmitted from neuron to neuron using mechanisms such as endocytosis, plasma membrane penetration or through exosomes, thus propagating the Lewy body pathology to different brain regions thereby contributing to the progressiveness of PD. The second feature of α-synuclein is that it confers cytotoxicity to recipient cells, principally when it is in an oligomeric state. This form causes mitochondrial dysfunction, endoplasmic reticulum stress, oxidative stress, proteasome impairment, disruption of plasma membrane and pore formation, and lead to apoptosis pathway activation and consequent cell death. The complexity of α-synuclein oligomerization and formation of toxic species could be a major factor for the irreversibility of PD and could also explain the lack of successful therapies to halt the disease.

  10. Recent advances in α-synuclein functions, advanced glycation, and toxicity: implications for Parkinson's disease. (United States)

    Guerrero, Erika; Vasudevaraju, P; Hegde, Muralidhar L; Britton, G B; Rao, K S


    The toxicity of α-synuclein in the neuropathology of Parkinson's disease which includes its hallmark aggregation has been studied scrupulously in the last decade. Although little is known regarding the normal functions of α-synuclein, its association with membrane phospholipids suggests its potential role in signaling pathways. Following extensive evidences for its nuclear localization, we and others recently demonstrated DNA binding activity of α-synuclein that modulates its conformation as well as aggregation properties. Furthermore, we also underscored the similarities among various amyloidogenic proteins involved in neurodegenerative diseases including amyloid beta peptides and tau. Our more recent studies show that α-synuclein is glycated and glycosylated both in vitro and in neurons, significantly affecting its folding, oligomeric, and DNA binding properties. Glycated α-synuclein causes increased genome damage both via its direct interaction with DNA and by increased generation of reactive oxygen species as glycation byproduct. In this review, we discuss the mechanisms of glycation and other posttranslational modifications of α-synuclein, including phosphorylation and nitration, and their role in neuronal death in Parkinson's disease.

  11. Novel Dimer Compounds That Bind α-Synuclein Can Rescue Cell Growth in a Yeast Model Overexpressing α-Synuclein. A Possible Prevention Strategy for Parkinson's Disease. (United States)

    Kakish, Joe; Allen, Kevin J H; Harkness, Troy A; Krol, Ed S; Lee, Jeremy S


    The misfolding of α-synuclein is a critical event in the death of dopaminergic neurons and the progression of Parkinson's disease. Previously, it was suggested that drugs, which bind to α-synuclein and form a loop structure between the N- and C-termini, tend to be neuroprotective, whereas others, which cause a more compact structure, tend to be neurotoxic. To improve the binding to α-synuclein, eight novel compounds were synthesized from a caffeine scaffold attached to (R,S)-1-aminoindan, (R,S)-nicotine, and metformin, and their binding to α-synuclein determined through nanopore analysis and isothermal titration calorimetry. The ability of the dimers to interact with α-synuclein in a cell system was assayed in a yeast model of PD which expresses an AS-GFP (α-synuclein-Green Fluorescent Protein) construct under the control of a galactose promoter. In 5 mM galactose this yeast strain will not grow and large cytoplasmic foci are observed by fluorescent microscopy. Two of the dimers, C 8 -6-I and C 8 -6-N, at a concentration of 0.1 μM allowed the yeast to grow normally in 5 mM galactose and the AS-GFP became localized to the periphery of the cell. Both dimers were superior when compared to the monomeric compounds. The presence of the dimers also caused the disappearance of preformed cytoplasmic foci. Nanopore analysis of C 8 -6-I and C 8 -6-N were consistent with simultaneous binding to both the N- and C-terminus of α-synuclein but the binding constants were only 10 5 M -1 .

  12. CNNcon: improved protein contact maps prediction using cascaded neural networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang Ding

    Full Text Available BACKGROUNDS: Despite continuing progress in X-ray crystallography and high-field NMR spectroscopy for determination of three-dimensional protein structures, the number of unsolved and newly discovered sequences grows much faster than that of determined structures. Protein modeling methods can possibly bridge this huge sequence-structure gap with the development of computational science. A grand challenging problem is to predict three-dimensional protein structure from its primary structure (residues sequence alone. However, predicting residue contact maps is a crucial and promising intermediate step towards final three-dimensional structure prediction. Better predictions of local and non-local contacts between residues can transform protein sequence alignment to structure alignment, which can finally improve template based three-dimensional protein structure predictors greatly. METHODS: CNNcon, an improved multiple neural networks based contact map predictor using six sub-networks and one final cascade-network, was developed in this paper. Both the sub-networks and the final cascade-network were trained and tested with their corresponding data sets. While for testing, the target protein was first coded and then input to its corresponding sub-networks for prediction. After that, the intermediate results were input to the cascade-network to finish the final prediction. RESULTS: The CNNcon can accurately predict 58.86% in average of contacts at a distance cutoff of 8 Å for proteins with lengths ranging from 51 to 450. The comparison results show that the present method performs better than the compared state-of-the-art predictors. Particularly, the prediction accuracy keeps steady with the increase of protein sequence length. It indicates that the CNNcon overcomes the thin density problem, with which other current predictors have trouble. This advantage makes the method valuable to the prediction of long length proteins. As a result, the effective

  13. Analysis of alpha-synuclein in malignant melanoma - development of a SRM quantification assay.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charlotte Welinder

    Full Text Available Globally, malignant melanoma shows a steady increase in the incidence among cancer diseases. Malignant melanoma represents a cancer type where currently no biomarker or diagnostics is available to identify disease stage, progression of disease or personalized medicine treatment. The aim of this study was to assess the tissue expression of alpha-synuclein, a protein implicated in several disease processes, in metastatic tissues from malignant melanoma patients. A targeted Selected Reaction Monitoring (SRM assay was developed and utilized together with stable isotope labeling for the relative quantification of two target peptides of alpha-synuclein. Analysis of alpha-synuclein protein was then performed in ten metastatic tissue samples from the Lund Melanoma Biobank. The calibration curve using peak area ratio (heavy/light versus concentration ratios showed linear regression over three orders of magnitude, for both of the selected target peptide sequences. In support of the measurements of specific protein expression levels, we also observed significant correlation between the protein and mRNA levels of alpha-synuclein in these tissues. Investigating levels of tissue alpha-synuclein may add novel aspect to biomarker development in melanoma, help to understand disease mechanisms and ultimately contribute to discriminate melanoma patients with different prognosis.

  14. Validation of protein models by a neural network approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fantucci Piercarlo


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The development and improvement of reliable computational methods designed to evaluate the quality of protein models is relevant in the context of protein structure refinement, which has been recently identified as one of the bottlenecks limiting the quality and usefulness of protein structure prediction. Results In this contribution, we present a computational method (Artificial Intelligence Decoys Evaluator: AIDE which is able to consistently discriminate between correct and incorrect protein models. In particular, the method is based on neural networks that use as input 15 structural parameters, which include energy, solvent accessible surface, hydrophobic contacts and secondary structure content. The results obtained with AIDE on a set of decoy structures were evaluated using statistical indicators such as Pearson correlation coefficients, Znat, fraction enrichment, as well as ROC plots. It turned out that AIDE performances are comparable and often complementary to available state-of-the-art learning-based methods. Conclusion In light of the results obtained with AIDE, as well as its comparison with available learning-based methods, it can be concluded that AIDE can be successfully used to evaluate the quality of protein structures. The use of AIDE in combination with other evaluation tools is expected to further enhance protein refinement efforts.

  15. Cascaded bidirectional recurrent neural networks for protein secondary structure prediction. (United States)

    Chen, Jinmiao; Chaudhari, Narendra


    Protein secondary structure (PSS) prediction is an important topic in bioinformatics. Our study on a large set of non-homologous proteins shows that long-range interactions commonly exist and negatively affect PSS prediction. Besides, we also reveal strong correlations between secondary structure (SS) elements. In order to take into account the long-range interactions and SS-SS correlations, we propose a novel prediction system based on cascaded bidirectional recurrent neural network (BRNN). We compare the cascaded BRNN against another two BRNN architectures, namely the original BRNN architecture used for speech recognition as well as Pollastri's BRNN that was proposed for PSS prediction. Our cascaded BRNN achieves an overall three state accuracy Q3 of 74.38\\%, and reaches a high Segment OVerlap (SOV) of 66.0455. It outperforms the original BRNN and Pollastri's BRNN in both Q3 and SOV. Specifically, it improves the SOV score by 4-6%.

  16. The critical role of Nramp1 in degrading α-synuclein oligomers in microglia under iron overload condition. (United States)

    Wu, Kuo-Chen; Liou, Horng-Huei; Kao, Yu-Han; Lee, Chih-Yu; Lin, Chun-Jung


    Oligomeric α-synuclein is a key mediator in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD) and is mainly cleared by autophagy-lysosomal pathway, whose dysfunction results in the accumulation and cell-to-cell transmission of α-synuclein. In this study, concomitant with the accumulation of iron and oligomeric α-synuclein, higher expression of a lysosomal iron transporter, natural resistance-associated macrophage protein-1 (Nramp1), was observed in microglia in post-mortem striatum of sporadic PD patients. Using Nramp1-deficient macrophage (RAW264.7) and microglial (BV-2) cells as in-vitro models, iron exposure significantly reduced the degradation rate of the administered human α-synuclein oligomers, which can be restored by the expression of the wild-type, but not mutant (D543N), Nramp1. Likewise, under iron overload condition, mice with functional Nramp1 (DBA/2 and C57BL/6 congenic mice carrying functional Nramp1) had a better ability to degrade infused human α-synuclein oligomers than mice with nonfunctional Nramp1 (C57BL/6) in the brain and microglia. The interplay between iron and Nramp1 exhibited parallel effects on the clearance of α-synuclein and the activity of lysosomal cathepsin D in vitro and in vivo. Collectively, these findings suggest that the function of Nramp1 contributes to microglial degradation of oligomeric α-synuclein under iron overload condition and may be implicated in the pathogenesis of PD. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Αlpha-Synuclein as a Mediator in the Interplay between Aging and Parkinson’s Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wojciech Bobela


    Full Text Available Accumulation and misfolding of the alpha-synuclein protein are core mechanisms in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease. While the normal function of alpha-synuclein is mainly related to the control of vesicular neurotransmission, its pathogenic effects are linked to various cellular functions, which include mitochondrial activity, as well as proteasome and autophagic degradation of proteins. Remarkably, these functions are also affected when the renewal of macromolecules and organelles becomes impaired during the normal aging process. As aging is considered a major risk factor for Parkinson’s disease, it is critical to explore its molecular and cellular implications in the context of the alpha-synuclein pathology. Here, we discuss similarities and differences between normal brain aging and Parkinson’s disease, with a particular emphasis on the nigral dopaminergic neurons, which appear to be selectively vulnerable to the combined effects of alpha-synuclein and aging.

  18. Covalent α-synuclein dimers: chemico-physical and aggregation properties.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Micaela Pivato

    Full Text Available The aggregation of α-synuclein into amyloid fibrils constitutes a key step in the onset of Parkinson's disease. Amyloid fibrils of α-synuclein are the major component of Lewy bodies, histological hallmarks of the disease. Little is known about the mechanism of aggregation of α-synuclein. During this process, α-synuclein forms transient intermediates that are considered to be toxic species. The dimerization of α-synuclein could represent a rate-limiting step in the aggregation of the protein. Here, we analyzed four covalent dimers of α-synuclein, obtained by covalent link of the N-terms, C-terms, tandem cloning of two sequences and tandem juxtaposition in one protein of the 1-104 and 29-140 sequences. Their biophysical properties in solution were determined by CD, FT-IR and NMR spectroscopies. SDS-induced folding was also studied. The fibrils formation was analyzed by ThT and polarization fluorescence assays. Their morphology was investigated by TEM and AFM-based quantitative morphometric analysis. All dimers were found to be devoid of ordered secondary structure under physiological conditions and undergo α-helical transition upon interaction with SDS. All protein species are able to form amyloid-like fibrils. The reciprocal orientation of the α-synuclein monomers in the dimeric constructs affects the kinetics of the aggregation process and a scale of relative amyloidogenic propensity was determined. Structural investigations by FT IR spectroscopy, and proteolytic mapping of the fibril core did not evidence remarkable difference among the species, whereas morphological analyses showed that fibrils formed by dimers display a lower and diversified level of organization in comparison with α-synuclein fibrils. This study demonstrates that although α-synuclein dimerization does not imply the acquisition of a preferred conformation by the participating monomers, it can strongly affect the aggregation properties of the molecules. The results

  19. ProLanGO: Protein Function Prediction Using Neural Machine Translation Based on a Recurrent Neural Network. (United States)

    Cao, Renzhi; Freitas, Colton; Chan, Leong; Sun, Miao; Jiang, Haiqing; Chen, Zhangxin


    With the development of next generation sequencing techniques, it is fast and cheap to determine protein sequences but relatively slow and expensive to extract useful information from protein sequences because of limitations of traditional biological experimental techniques. Protein function prediction has been a long standing challenge to fill the gap between the huge amount of protein sequences and the known function. In this paper, we propose a novel method to convert the protein function problem into a language translation problem by the new proposed protein sequence language "ProLan" to the protein function language "GOLan", and build a neural machine translation model based on recurrent neural networks to translate "ProLan" language to "GOLan" language. We blindly tested our method by attending the latest third Critical Assessment of Function Annotation (CAFA 3) in 2016, and also evaluate the performance of our methods on selected proteins whose function was released after CAFA competition. The good performance on the training and testing datasets demonstrates that our new proposed method is a promising direction for protein function prediction. In summary, we first time propose a method which converts the protein function prediction problem to a language translation problem and applies a neural machine translation model for protein function prediction.

  20. Convolutional neural network architectures for predicting DNA–protein binding (United States)

    Zeng, Haoyang; Edwards, Matthew D.; Liu, Ge; Gifford, David K.


    Motivation: Convolutional neural networks (CNN) have outperformed conventional methods in modeling the sequence specificity of DNA–protein binding. Yet inappropriate CNN architectures can yield poorer performance than simpler models. Thus an in-depth understanding of how to match CNN architecture to a given task is needed to fully harness the power of CNNs for computational biology applications. Results: We present a systematic exploration of CNN architectures for predicting DNA sequence binding using a large compendium of transcription factor datasets. We identify the best-performing architectures by varying CNN width, depth and pooling designs. We find that adding convolutional kernels to a network is important for motif-based tasks. We show the benefits of CNNs in learning rich higher-order sequence features, such as secondary motifs and local sequence context, by comparing network performance on multiple modeling tasks ranging in difficulty. We also demonstrate how careful construction of sequence benchmark datasets, using approaches that control potentially confounding effects like positional or motif strength bias, is critical in making fair comparisons between competing methods. We explore how to establish the sufficiency of training data for these learning tasks, and we have created a flexible cloud-based framework that permits the rapid exploration of alternative neural network architectures for problems in computational biology. Availability and Implementation: All the models analyzed are available at Contact: Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:27307608

  1. Protein 8-class secondary structure prediction using conditional neural fields. (United States)

    Wang, Zhiyong; Zhao, Feng; Peng, Jian; Xu, Jinbo


    Compared with the protein 3-class secondary structure (SS) prediction, the 8-class prediction gains less attention and is also much more challenging, especially for proteins with few sequence homologs. This paper presents a new probabilistic method for 8-class SS prediction using conditional neural fields (CNFs), a recently invented probabilistic graphical model. This CNF method not only models the complex relationship between sequence features and SS, but also exploits the interdependency among SS types of adjacent residues. In addition to sequence profiles, our method also makes use of non-evolutionary information for SS prediction. Tested on the CB513 and RS126 data sets, our method achieves Q8 accuracy of 64.9 and 64.7%, respectively, which are much better than the SSpro8 web server (51.0 and 48.0%, respectively). Our method can also be used to predict other structure properties (e.g. solvent accessibility) of a protein or the SS of RNA. Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  2. Alpha-Synuclein: From Early Synaptic Dysfunction to Neurodegeneration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veronica Ghiglieri


    Full Text Available Over the last two decades, many experimental and clinical studies have provided solid evidence that alpha-synuclein (α-syn, a small, natively unfolded protein, is closely related to Parkinson’s disease (PD pathology. To provide an overview on the different roles of this protein, here we propose a synopsis of seminal and recent studies that explored the many aspects of α-syn. Ranging from the physiological functions to its neurodegenerative potential, the relationship with the possible pathogenesis of PD will be discussed. Close attention will be paid on early cellular and molecular alterations associated with the presence of α-syn aggregates.

  3. Mitochondrial Dysfunction and α-Synuclein Synaptic Pathology in Parkinson’s Disease: Who’s on First?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michela Zaltieri


    Full Text Available Parkinson’s disease (PD is the most common neurodegenerative movement disorder. Its characteristic neuropathological features encompass the loss of dopaminergic neurons of the nigrostriatal system and the presence of Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites. These are intraneuronal and intraneuritic proteinaceous insoluble aggregates whose main constituent is the synaptic protein α-synuclein. Compelling lines of evidence indicate that mitochondrial dysfunction and α-synuclein synaptic deposition may play a primary role in the onset of this disorder. However, it is not yet clear which of these events may come first in the sequel of processes leading to neurodegeneration. Here, we reviewed data supporting either that α-synuclein synaptic deposition precedes and indirectly triggers mitochondrial damage or that mitochondrial deficits lead to neuronal dysfunction and α-synuclein synaptic accumulation. The present overview shows that it is still difficult to establish the exact temporal sequence and contribution of these events to PD.

  4. The influence of N-terminal acetylation on micelle-induced conformational changes and aggregation of α-Synuclein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Ruzafa

    Full Text Available The biological function of α-Synuclein has been related to binding to lipids and membranes but these interactions can also mediate α-Synuclein aggregation, which is associated to Parkinson's disease and other neuropathologies. In brain tissue α-Synuclein is constitutively N-acetylated, a modification that plays an important role in its conformational propensity, lipid and membrane binding, and aggregation propensity. We studied the interactions of the lipid-mimetic SDS with N-acetylated and non-acetylated α-Synuclein, as well as their early-onset Parkinson's disease variants A30P, E46K and A53T. At low SDS/protein ratios α-Synuclein forms oligomeric complexes with SDS micelles with relatively low α-helical structure. These micellar oligomers can efficiently nucleate aggregation of monomeric α-Synuclein, with successive formation of oligomers, protofibrils, curly fibrils and mature amyloid fibrils. N-acetylation reduces considerably the rate of aggregation of WT α-Synuclein. However, in presence of any of the early-onset Parkinson's disease mutations the protective effect of N-acetylation against micelle-induced aggregation becomes impaired. At higher SDS/protein ratios, N-acetylation favors another conformational transition, in which a second type of α-helix-rich, non-aggregating oligomers become stabilized. Once again, the Parkinson's disease mutations disconnect the influence of N-acetylation in promoting this transition. These results suggest a cooperative link between the N-terminus and the region of the mutations that may be important for α-Synuclein function.

  5. Cross-seeding of prions by aggregated α-synuclein leads to transmissible spongiform encephalopathy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizaveta Katorcha


    Full Text Available Aggregation of misfolded proteins or peptides is a common feature of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's, prion and other diseases. Recent years have witnessed a growing number of reports of overlap in neuropathological features that were once thought to be unique to only one neurodegenerative disorder. However, the origin for the overlap remains unclear. One possibility is that diseases with mixed brain pathologies might arise from cross-seeding of one amyloidogenic protein by aggregated states of unrelated proteins. In the current study we examined whether prion replication can be induced by cross-seeding by α-synuclein or Aβ peptide. We found that α-synuclein aggregates formed in cultured cells or in vitro display cross-seeding activity and trigger misfolding of the prion protein (PrPC in serial Protein Misfolding Cyclic Amplification reactions, producing self-replicating PrP states characterized by a short C-terminal proteinase K (PK-resistant region referred to as PrPres. Non-fibrillar α-synuclein or fibrillar Aβ failed to cross-seed misfolding of PrPC. Remarkably, PrPres triggered by aggregated α-synuclein in vitro propagated in animals and, upon serial transmission, produced PrPSc and clinical prion disease characterized by spongiosis and astrocytic gliosis. The current study demonstrates that aggregated α-synuclein is potent in cross-seeding of prion protein misfolding and aggregation in vitro, producing self-replicating states that can lead to transmissible prion diseases upon serial passaging in wild type animals. In summary, the current work documents direct cross-seeding between unrelated amyloidogenic proteins associated with different neurodegenerative diseases. This study suggests that early interaction between unrelated amyloidogenic proteins might underlie the etiology of mixed neurodegenerative proteinopathies.

  6. Early events in copper-ion catalyzed oxidation of α-synuclein

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tiwari, Manish Kumar; Leinisch, Fabian; Sahin, Cagla


    -synuclein modification using six different molar ratios of Cu2+/H2O2/protein and Cu2+/H2O2/ascorbate/protein resulting in mild to moderate extents of oxidation. For a Cu2+/H2O2/protein molar ratio of 2.3:7.8:1 only low levels of carbonyls were detected (0.078 carbonyls per protein), whereas a molar ratio of 4...

  7. Exogenous α-synuclein hinders synaptic communication in cultured cortical primary rat neurons

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hassink, G. C.; Raiss, C. C.; Segers-Nolten, I. M.J.; Van Wezel, R. J.A.; Subramaniam, V.; Le Feber, J.; Claessens, M. M.A.E.


    Amyloid aggregates of the protein a-synuclein (aS) called Lewy Bodies (LB) and Lewy Neurites (LN) are the pathological hallmark of Parkinson's disease (PD) and other synucleinopathies. We have previously shown that high extracellular αS concentrations can be toxic to cells and that neurons take up

  8. Rapid Self-assembly of alpha-Synuclein Observed by In Situ Atomic Force Microscopy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoyer, Wolfgang; Cherny, Dmitry; Subramaniam, Vinod; Jovin, Thomas M.


    Self-assembly of α-synuclein resulting in protein aggregates of diverse morphology has been implicated in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders known as synucleinopathies. Apart from its biomedical relevance, this aggregation process is representative of the

  9. Explorations of the application of cyanine dyes for quantitative alpha-synuclein detection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Volkova, K.D.; Kovalska, V.B.; Segers-Nolten, Gezina M.J.; Veldhuis, G.; Veldhuis, G.J.; Subramaniam, Vinod; Yarmoluk, S.M.


    We examined the practical aspects of using fluorescent mono (T-284) and trimethinecyanine (SH-516) dyes for detecting and quantifying fibrillar α-synuclein (ASN). We studied the interaction of cyanine dyes with fibrillar proteins using fluorescence spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy. The

  10. Explorations of the application of cyanine dyes for quantitative alpha-synuclein detection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Volkova, Kateryna D; Kovalska, V B; Segers-Nolten, G M J; Veldhuis, G.; Subramaniam, V; Yarmoluk, S M

    We examined the practical aspects of using fluorescent mono (T-284) and trimethinecyanine (SH-516) dyes for detecting and quantifying fibrillar alpha-synuclein (ASN). We studied the interaction of cyanine dyes with fibrillar proteins using fluorescence spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy. The

  11. Insights into the function and dysfunction of α-synuclein in cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Raiss, C.C.


    This thesis sheds light on the function and dysfunction of the protein α-synuclein (α-S) in the test tube and in cells and ultimately its possible involvement in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Following the introduction in Chapter 1, Chapters 2 and 3 concentrate on the investigation of the interaction

  12. End-to-end Structural Restriction of α-Synuclein and Its Influence on Amyloid Fibril Formation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hong, Chul Suk; Park, Jae Hyung; Choe, Young Jun; Paik, Seung R.


    Relationship between molecular freedom of amyloidogenic protein and its self-assembly into amyloid fibrils has been evaluated with α-synuclein, an intrinsically unfolded protein related to Parkinson's disease, by restricting its structural plasticity through an end-to-end disulfide bond formation between two newly introduced cysteine residues on the N- and C-termini. Although the resulting circular form of α-synuclein exhibited an impaired fibrillation propensity, the restriction did not completely block the protein's interactive core since co-incubation with wild-type α-synuclein dramatically facilitated the fibrillation by producing distinctive forms of amyloid fibrils. The suppressed fibrillation propensity was instantly restored as the structural restriction was unleashed with β-mercaptoethanol. Conformational flexibility of the accreting amyloidogenic protein to pre-existing seeds has been demonstrated to be critical for fibrillar extension process by exerting structural adjustment to a complementary structure for the assembly

  13. End-to-end Structural Restriction of α-Synuclein and Its Influence on Amyloid Fibril Formation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hong, Chul Suk; Park, Jae Hyung; Choe, Young Jun; Paik, Seung R. [Seoul National University, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)


    Relationship between molecular freedom of amyloidogenic protein and its self-assembly into amyloid fibrils has been evaluated with α-synuclein, an intrinsically unfolded protein related to Parkinson's disease, by restricting its structural plasticity through an end-to-end disulfide bond formation between two newly introduced cysteine residues on the N- and C-termini. Although the resulting circular form of α-synuclein exhibited an impaired fibrillation propensity, the restriction did not completely block the protein's interactive core since co-incubation with wild-type α-synuclein dramatically facilitated the fibrillation by producing distinctive forms of amyloid fibrils. The suppressed fibrillation propensity was instantly restored as the structural restriction was unleashed with β-mercaptoethanol. Conformational flexibility of the accreting amyloidogenic protein to pre-existing seeds has been demonstrated to be critical for fibrillar extension process by exerting structural adjustment to a complementary structure for the assembly.

  14. Copper(II) Binding Sites in N-Terminally Acetylated α-Synuclein: A Theoretical Rationalization. (United States)

    Ramis, Rafael; Ortega-Castro, Joaquín; Vilanova, Bartolomé; Adrover, Miquel; Frau, Juan


    The interactions between N-terminally acetylated α-synuclein and Cu(II) at several binding sites have been studied with DFT calculations, specifically with the M06 hybrid functional and the ωB97X-D DFT-D functional. In previous experimental studies, Cu(II) was shown to bind several α-synuclein residues, including Met1-Asp2 and His50, forming square planar coordination complexes. Also, it was determined that a low-affinity binding site exists in the C-terminal domain, centered on Asp121. However, in the N-terminally acetylated protein, present in vivo, the Met1 site is blocked. In this work, we simplify the representation of the protein by modeling each experimentally found binding site as a complex between an N-terminally acetylated α-synuclein dipeptide (or several independent residues) and a Cu(II) cation, and compare the results with a number of additional, structurally analogous sites not experimentally found. This way of representing the binding sites, although extremely simple, allows us to reproduce experimental results and to provide a theoretical rationale to explain the preference of Cu(II) for certain sites, as well as explicit geometrical structures for the complexes formed. These results are important to understand the interactions between α-synuclein and Cu(II), one of the factors inducing structural changes in the protein and leading to aggregated forms of it which may play a role in neurodegeneration.

  15. Single particle detection and characterization of synuclein co-aggregation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Giese, Armin; Bader, Benedikt; Bieschke, Jan; Schaffar, Gregor; Odoy, Sabine; Kahle, Philipp J.; Haass, Christian; Kretzschmar, Hans


    Protein aggregation is the key event in a number of human diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. We present a general method to quantify and characterize protein aggregates by dual-colour scanning for intensely fluorescent targets (SIFT). In addition to high sensitivity, this approach offers a unique opportunity to study co-aggregation processes. As the ratio of two fluorescently labelled components can be analysed for each aggregate separately in a homogeneous assay, the molecular composition of aggregates can be studied even in samples containing a mixture of different types of aggregates. Using this method, we could show that wild-type α-synuclein forms co-aggregates with a mutant variant found in familial Parkinson's disease. Moreover, we found a striking increase in aggregate formation at non-equimolar mixing ratios, which may have important therapeutic implications, as lowering the relative amount of aberrant protein may cause an increase of protein aggregation leading to adverse effects

  16. Structural and dynamical insights into the membrane-bound α-synuclein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neha Jain

    Full Text Available Membrane-induced disorder-to-helix transition of α-synuclein, a presynaptic protein, has been implicated in a number of important neuronal functions as well as in the etiology of Parkinson's disease. In order to obtain structural insights of membrane-bound α-synuclein at the residue-specific resolution, we took advantage of the fact that the protein is devoid of tryptophan and incorporated single tryptophan at various residue positions along the sequence. These tryptophans were used as site-specific markers to characterize the structural and dynamical aspects of α-synuclein on the negatively charged small unilamellar lipid vesicles. An array of site-specific fluorescence readouts, such as the spectral-shift, quenching efficiency and anisotropy, allowed us to discern various features of the conformational rearrangements occurring at different locations of α-synuclein on the lipid membrane. In order to define the spatial localization of various regions of the protein near the membrane surface, we utilized a unique and sensitive indicator, namely, red-edge excitation shift (REES, which originates when a fluorophore is located in a highly ordered micro-environment. The extent of REES observed at different residue positions allowed us to directly identify the residues that are localized at the membrane-water interface comprising a thin (∼ 15 Å layer of motionally restrained water molecules and enabled us to construct a dynamic hydration map of the protein. The combination of site-specific fluorescence readouts allowed us to unravel the intriguing molecular details of α-synuclein on the lipid membrane in a direct model-free fashion. Additionally, the combination of methodologies described here are capable of distinguishing subtle but important structural alterations of α-synuclein bound to different negatively charged lipids with varied head-group chemistry. We believe that the structural modulations of α-synuclein on the membrane could

  17. Immunotherapy targeting α-synuclein, with relevance for future treatment of Parkinson's disease and other Lewy body disorders. (United States)

    Lindström, Veronica; Ihse, Elisabet; Fagerqvist, Therese; Bergström, Joakim; Nordström, Eva; Möller, Christer; Lannfelt, Lars; Ingelsson, Martin


    Immunotherapy targeting α-synuclein has evolved as a potential therapeutic strategy for neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's disease, and initial studies on cellular and animal models have shown promising results. α-synuclein vaccination of transgenic mice reduced the number of brain inclusions, whereas passive immunization studies demonstrated that antibodies against the C-terminus of α-synuclein can pass the blood-brain barrier and affect the pathology. In addition, preliminary evidence suggests that transgenic mice treated with an antibody directed against α-synuclein oligomers/protofibrils resulted in reduced levels of such species in the CNS. The underlying mechanisms of immunotherapy are not yet fully understood, but may include antibody-mediated clearance of pre-existing aggregates, prevention of protein propagation between cells and microglia-dependent protein clearance. Thus, immunotherapy targeting α-synuclein holds promise, but needs to be further developed as a future disease-modifying treatment in Parkinson's disease and other α-synucleinopathies.

  18. Formation of covalent di-tyrosine dimers in recombinant α-synuclein

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van Maarschalkerweerd, A; Pedersen, MN; Peterson, H


    in standard recombinant protein preparations, induced without extrinsic oxidative or nitrative agents. The dimers exhibit no secondary structure but advanced SAXS studies reveal an increased structural definition, resulting in a more hydrophobic micro-environment than the highly disordered monomer......Parkinson's disease is associated with fibril deposition in the diseased brain. Misfolding events of the intrinsically disordered synaptic protein α-synuclein are suggested to lead to the formation of transient oligomeric and cytotoxic species. The etiology of Parkinson's disease is further...

  19. A structural and kinetic link between membrane association and amyloid fibril formation of α-Synuclein


    Heise, Henrike; Etzkorn, Manuel; Hoyer, Wolfgang; Buell, Alexander; Strodel, Birgit; Willbold, Dieter; Shaykhalishahi, Hamed; Poojari, Chetan; Uluca, Boran; Wördehoff, Michael; Viennet, Thibault


    The protein α-Synuclein (αS) is linked to Parkinson's disease through its abnormal aggregation, which is thought to involve an interplay between cytosolic and membrane-bound forms of αS. Therefore, better insights into the molecular determinants of membrane association and their implications for protein aggregation may help deciphering the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease. Following previous studies using micelles and vesicles, we present a comprehensive study of αS interaction with phosph...

  20. Targeting the intrinsically disordered structural ensemble of α-synuclein by small molecules as a potential therapeutic strategy for Parkinson's disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gergely Tóth

    Full Text Available The misfolding of intrinsically disordered proteins such as α-synuclein, tau and the Aβ peptide has been associated with many highly debilitating neurodegenerative syndromes including Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. Therapeutic targeting of the monomeric state of such intrinsically disordered proteins by small molecules has, however, been a major challenge because of their heterogeneous conformational properties. We show here that a combination of computational and experimental techniques has led to the identification of a drug-like phenyl-sulfonamide compound (ELN484228, that targets α-synuclein, a key protein in Parkinson's disease. We found that this compound has substantial biological activity in cellular models of α-synuclein-mediated dysfunction, including rescue of α-synuclein-induced disruption of vesicle trafficking and dopaminergic neuronal loss and neurite retraction most likely by reducing the amount of α-synuclein targeted to sites of vesicle mobilization such as the synapse in neurons or the site of bead engulfment in microglial cells. These results indicate that targeting α-synuclein by small molecules represents a promising approach to the development of therapeutic treatments of Parkinson's disease and related conditions.

  1. Transient β-hairpin formation in α-synuclein monomer revealed by coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yu, Hang; Ma, Wen [Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801 (United States); Center for Biophysics and Computational Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801 (United States); Han, Wei [Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801 (United States); Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801 (United States); Schulten, Klaus, E-mail: [Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801 (United States); Center for Biophysics and Computational Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801 (United States); Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801 (United States)


    Parkinson’s disease, originating from the intrinsically disordered peptide α-synuclein, is a common neurodegenerative disorder that affects more than 5% of the population above age 85. It remains unclear how α-synuclein monomers undergo conformational changes leading to aggregation and formation of fibrils characteristic for the disease. In the present study, we perform molecular dynamics simulations (over 180 μs in aggregated time) using a hybrid-resolution model, Proteins with Atomic details in Coarse-grained Environment (PACE), to characterize in atomic detail structural ensembles of wild type and mutant monomeric α-synuclein in aqueous solution. The simulations reproduce structural properties of α-synuclein characterized in experiments, such as secondary structure content, long-range contacts, chemical shifts, and {sup 3}J(H{sub N}H{sub C{sub α}})-coupling constants. Most notably, the simulations reveal that a short fragment encompassing region 38-53, adjacent to the non-amyloid-β component region, exhibits a high probability of forming a β-hairpin; this fragment, when isolated from the remainder of α-synuclein, fluctuates frequently into its β-hairpin conformation. Two disease-prone mutations, namely, A30P and A53T, significantly accelerate the formation of a β-hairpin in the stated fragment. We conclude that the formation of a β-hairpin in region 38-53 is a key event during α-synuclein aggregation. We predict further that the G47V mutation impedes the formation of a turn in the β-hairpin and slows down β-hairpin formation, thereby retarding α-synuclein aggregation.

  2. Identification of phosphorylation sites in protein kinase A substrates using artificial neural networks and mass spectrometry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hjerrild, M.; Stensballe, A.; Rasmussen, T.E.


    Protein phosphorylation plays a key role in cell regulation and identification of phosphorylation sites is important for understanding their functional significance. Here, we present an artificial neural network algorithm: NetPhosK ( that predicts protein...

  3. Identification of phosphorylation sites in protein kinase A substrates using artificial neural networks and mass spectrometry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hjerrild, Majbrit; Stensballe, Allan; Rasmussen, Thomas E


    Protein phosphorylation plays a key role in cell regulation and identification of phosphorylation sites is important for understanding their functional significance. Here, we present an artificial neural network algorithm: NetPhosK ( that predicts protein...

  4. Multiple system atrophy: genetic risks and alpha-synuclein mutations [version 1; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather T Whittaker


    Full Text Available Multiple system atrophy (MSA is one of the few neurodegenerative disorders where we have a significant understanding of the clinical and pathological manifestations but where the aetiology remains almost completely unknown. Research to overcome this hurdle is gaining momentum through international research collaboration and a series of genetic and molecular discoveries in the last few years, which have advanced our knowledge of this rare synucleinopathy. In MSA, the discovery of α-synuclein pathology and glial cytoplasmic inclusions remain the most significant findings. Families with certain types of α-synuclein mutations develop diseases that mimic MSA, and the spectrum of clinical and pathological features in these families suggests a spectrum of severity, from late-onset Parkinson’s disease to MSA. Nonetheless, controversies persist, such as the role of common α-synuclein variants in MSA and whether this disorder shares a common mechanism of spreading pathology with other protein misfolding neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we review these issues, specifically focusing on α-synuclein mutations.

  5. Chaperone-like activities of α-synuclein: α-Synuclein assists enzyme activities of esterases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ahn, Misun; Kim, SeungBum; Kang, Mira; Ryu, Yeonwoo; Doohun Kim, T.


    α-Synuclein, a major constituent of Lewy bodies (LBs), has been implicated to play a critical role in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD), although the physiological function of α-synuclein has not yet been known. Here we have shown that α-synuclein, which has no well-defined secondary or tertiary structure, can protect the enzyme activity of microbial esterases against stress conditions such as heat, pH, and organic solvents. In particular, the flexibility of α-synuclein and its C-terminal region seems to be important for complex formation, but the structural integrity of the C-terminal region may not be required for stabilization of enzyme activity. In addition, atomic force microscopy (AFM) and in vivo enzyme assays showed highly specific interactions of esterases with α-synuclein. Our results indicate that α-synuclein not only protects the enzyme activity of microbial esterases in vitro, but also can stabilize the active conformation of microbial esterases in vivo

  6. Interaction between viologen-phosphorus dendrimers and α-synuclein

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Milowska, Katarzyna; Grochowina, Justyna; Katir, Nadia; El Kadib, Abdelkrim; Majoral, Jean-Pierre; Bryszewska, Maria; Gabryelak, Teresa


    In this study the interaction between viologen-phosphorus dendrimers and α-synuclein (ASN) was examined. Polycationic viologen-phosphorus dendrimers (two positive charges per viologen unit) are novel compounds with relatively unknown properties. The influence of these viologen dendrimers on ASN was tested using fluorimetric and circular dichroism methods. ASN contains four tyrosine residues; therefore, the influence of dendrimers on protein molecular conformation by measuring the changes in the ASN fluorescence in the presence of dendrimers was evaluated. The interaction of dendrimers with free L-tyrosine was also monitored. Results show that viologen-phosphorus dendrimers interact with ASN; they quenched the fluorescence of ASN as well as free tyrosine by dynamic and static ways. However, the quenching was not accompanied by modifications in the ASN secondary structure. - Highlights: ► Interaction between viologen-phosphorus dendrimers and α-synuclein (ASN) was investigated. ► Viologen-phosphorus dendrimers can quench the fluorescence of tyrosine in ASN. ► Dendrimers caused red-shift in maximum of fluorescence. ► Viologen-phosphorus dendrimers did not change the secondary structure of ASN.

  7. Interaction between viologen-phosphorus dendrimers and {alpha}-synuclein

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Milowska, Katarzyna, E-mail: [Department of General Biophysics, Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection, University of Lodz, Pomorska 141/143, 90-236 Lodz (Poland); Grochowina, Justyna [Department of General Biophysics, Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection, University of Lodz, Pomorska 141/143, 90-236 Lodz (Poland); Katir, Nadia [Laboratoire de Chimie de Coordination CNRS, 205 route de Narbonne, 31077 Toulouse (France); El Kadib, Abdelkrim [Institute of Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology (INANOTECH)-MAScIR (Moroccan Foundation for Advanced Science, Innovation and Research), ENSET, Avenue de I' Armee Royale, Madinat El Irfane, 10100 Rabat (Morocco); Majoral, Jean-Pierre [Laboratoire de Chimie de Coordination CNRS, 205 route de Narbonne, 31077 Toulouse (France); Bryszewska, Maria; Gabryelak, Teresa [Department of General Biophysics, Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection, University of Lodz, Pomorska 141/143, 90-236 Lodz (Poland)


    In this study the interaction between viologen-phosphorus dendrimers and {alpha}-synuclein (ASN) was examined. Polycationic viologen-phosphorus dendrimers (two positive charges per viologen unit) are novel compounds with relatively unknown properties. The influence of these viologen dendrimers on ASN was tested using fluorimetric and circular dichroism methods. ASN contains four tyrosine residues; therefore, the influence of dendrimers on protein molecular conformation by measuring the changes in the ASN fluorescence in the presence of dendrimers was evaluated. The interaction of dendrimers with free L-tyrosine was also monitored. Results show that viologen-phosphorus dendrimers interact with ASN; they quenched the fluorescence of ASN as well as free tyrosine by dynamic and static ways. However, the quenching was not accompanied by modifications in the ASN secondary structure. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Interaction between viologen-phosphorus dendrimers and {alpha}-synuclein (ASN) was investigated. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Viologen-phosphorus dendrimers can quench the fluorescence of tyrosine in ASN. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Dendrimers caused red-shift in maximum of fluorescence. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Viologen-phosphorus dendrimers did not change the secondary structure of ASN.

  8. Neural regeneration protein is a novel chemoattractive and neuronal survival-promoting factor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gorba, Thorsten; Bradoo, Privahini; Antonic, Ana; Marvin, Keith; Liu, Dong-Xu; Lobie, Peter E.; Reymann, Klaus G.; Gluckman, Peter D.; Sieg, Frank


    Neurogenesis and neuronal migration are the prerequisites for the development of the central nervous system. We have identified a novel rodent gene encoding for a neural regeneration protein (NRP) with an activity spectrum similar to the chemokine stromal-derived factor (SDF)-1, but with much greater potency. The Nrp gene is encoded as a forward frameshift to the hypothetical alkylated DNA repair protein AlkB. The predicted protein sequence of NRP contains domains with homology to survival-promoting peptide (SPP) and the trefoil protein TFF-1. The Nrp gene is first expressed in neural stem cells and expression continues in glial lineages. Recombinant NRP and NRP-derived peptides possess biological activities including induction of neural migration and proliferation, promotion of neuronal survival, enhancement of neurite outgrowth and promotion of neuronal differentiation from neural stem cells. NRP exerts its effect on neuronal survival by phosphorylation of the ERK1/2 and Akt kinases, whereas NRP stimulation of neural migration depends solely on p44/42 MAP kinase activity. Taken together, the expression profile of Nrp, the existence in its predicted protein structure of domains with similarities to known neuroprotective and migration-inducing factors and the high potency of NRP-derived synthetic peptides acting in femtomolar concentrations suggest it to be a novel gene of relevance in cellular and developmental neurobiology

  9. Protein signaling pathways in differentiation of neural stem cells

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Skalníková, Helena; Vodička, Petr; Pelech, S.; Motlík, Jan; Gadher, S. J.; Kovářová, Hana


    Roč. 8, - (2008), s. 4547-4559 ISSN 1615-9853 R&D Projects: GA MŠk 1M0538 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50450515 Keywords : antibody microarray * differentiation * neural stem cells Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 4.586, year: 2008

  10. Progressive neurodegenerative and behavioural changes induced by AAV-mediated overexpression of α-synuclein in midbrain dopamine neurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Decressac, M; Mattsson, Bente; Lundblad, M


    -synuclein, we have now been able to achieve increased levels of α-synuclein in the transduced midbrain dopamine neurons sufficient to induce profound deficits in motor function, accompanied by reduced expression of proteins involved in dopamine neurotransmission and a time-dependent loss of nigral dopamine......Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterised by the progressive loss of nigral dopamine neurons and the presence of synucleinopathy. Overexpression of α-synuclein in vivo using viral vectors has opened interesting possibilities to model PD-like pathology in rodents. However, the attempts made so far...... have failed to show a consistent behavioural phenotype and pronounced dopamine neurodegeneration. Using a more efficient adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector construct, which includes a WPRE enhancer element and uses the neuron-specific synapsin-1 promoter to drive the expression of human wild-type α...

  11. Wnt/Yes-Associated Protein Interactions During Neural Tissue Patterning of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells. (United States)

    Bejoy, Julie; Song, Liqing; Zhou, Yi; Li, Yan


    Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) have special ability to self-assemble into neural spheroids or mini-brain-like structures. During the self-assembly process, Wnt signaling plays an important role in regional patterning and establishing positional identity of hiPSC-derived neural progenitors. Recently, the role of Wnt signaling in regulating Yes-associated protein (YAP) expression (nuclear or cytoplasmic), the pivotal regulator during organ growth and tissue generation, has attracted increasing interests. However, the interactions between Wnt and YAP expression for neural lineage commitment of hiPSCs remain poorly explored. The objective of this study is to investigate the effects of Wnt signaling and YAP expression on the cellular population in three-dimensional (3D) neural spheroids derived from hiPSCs. In this study, Wnt signaling was activated using CHIR99021 for 3D neural spheroids derived from human iPSK3 cells through embryoid body formation. Our results indicate that Wnt activation induces nuclear localization of YAP and upregulates the expression of HOXB4, the marker for hindbrain/spinal cord. By contrast, the cells exhibit more rostral forebrain neural identity (expression of TBR1) without Wnt activation. Cytochalasin D was then used to induce cytoplasmic YAP and the results showed the decreased HOXB4 expression. In addition, the incorporation of microparticles in the neural spheroids was investigated for the perturbation of neural patterning. This study may indicate the bidirectional interactions of Wnt signaling and YAP expression during neural tissue patterning, which have the significance in neurological disease modeling, drug screening, and neural tissue regeneration.

  12. Effects of Trehalose on Thermodynamic Properties of Alpha-synuclein Revealed through Synchrotron Radiation Circular Dichroism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paolo Ruzza


    Full Text Available Many neurodegenerative diseases, including Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, are characterized by protein misfolding and aggregation. The capability of trehalose to interfere with protein misfolding and aggregation has been recently evaluated by several research groups. In the present work, we studied, by means of synchrotron radiation circular dichroism (SRCD spectroscopy, the dose-effect of trehalose on α-synuclein conformation and/or stability to probe the capability of this osmolyte to interfere with α-synuclein’s aggregation. Our study indicated that a low trehalose concentration stabilized α-synuclein folding much better than at high concentration by blocking in vitro α-synuclein’s polymerisation. These results suggested that trehalose could be associated with other drugs leading to a new approach for treating Parkinson’s and other brain-related diseases.

  13. Polychlorinated biphenyls alter expression of alpha-synuclein, synaptophysin and parkin in the rat brain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Malkiewicz, Katarzyna; Mohammed, Roma; Folkesson, Ronnie


    Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)-induced changes in synaptic transmission are one of the effects of their neurotoxicity but the mechanism remains unknown. We assessed the in vivo effects of the PCBs mixture, Aroclor 1254 on the expression of neuronal proteins that are involved in the synaptic...... function and/or are associated with neurodegeneration. Wistar rats were treated orally with repeated doses of Aroclor 1254 and the levels of soluble alpha-synuclein, parkin, synaptophysin and amyloid precursor protein (APP) in the brain were determined by Western blotting. The results showed that Aroclor...... did not cause changes in the expression and processing of APP but at a dose 100 microg/g/day repeated for 6 days caused a decrease in the expression of alpha-synuclein in the cerebellum, cortex, hippocampus and hypothalamus of the animals sacrificed 2 days after treatment. The decrease in alpha...

  14. Familial knockin mutation of LRRK2 causes lysosomal dysfunction and accumulation of endogenous insoluble α-synuclein in neurons. (United States)

    Schapansky, Jason; Khasnavis, Saurabh; DeAndrade, Mark P; Nardozzi, Jonathan D; Falkson, Samuel R; Boyd, Justin D; Sanderson, John B; Bartels, Tim; Melrose, Heather L; LaVoie, Matthew J


    Missense mutations in the multi-domain kinase LRRK2 cause late onset familial Parkinson's disease. They most commonly with classic proteinopathy in the form of Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites comprised of insoluble α-synuclein, but in rare cases can also manifest tauopathy. The normal function of LRRK2 has remained elusive, as have the cellular consequences of its mutation. Data from LRRK2 null model organisms and LRRK2-inhibitor treated animals support a physiological role for LRRK2 in regulating lysosome function. Since idiopathic and LRRK2-linked PD are associated with the intraneuronal accumulation of protein aggregates, a series of critical questions emerge. First, how do pathogenic mutations that increase LRRK2 kinase activity affect lysosome biology in neurons? Second, are mutation-induced changes in lysosome function sufficient to alter the metabolism of α-synuclein? Lastly, are changes caused by pathogenic mutation sensitive to reversal with LRRK2 kinase inhibitors? Here, we report that mutation of LRRK2 induces modest but significant changes in lysosomal morphology and acidification, and decreased basal autophagic flux when compared to WT neurons. These changes were associated with an accumulation of detergent-insoluble α-synuclein and increased neuronal release of α-synuclein and were reversed by pharmacologic inhibition of LRRK2 kinase activity. These data demonstrate a critical and disease-relevant influence of native neuronal LRRK2 kinase activity on lysosome function and α-synuclein homeostasis. Furthermore, they also suggest that lysosome dysfunction, altered neuronal α-synuclein metabolism, and the insidious accumulation of aggregated protein over decades may contribute to pathogenesis in this late-onset form of familial PD. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Non-uniform self-assembly : On the anisotropic architecture of α-synuclein supra-fibrillar aggregates

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Semerdzhiev, Slav A.; Shvadchak, Volodymyr V.; Subramaniam, Vinod; Claessens, Mireille M.A.E.


    Although the function of biopolymer hydrogels in nature depends on structural anisotropy at mesoscopic length scales, the self-assembly of such anisotropic structures in vitro is challenging. Here we show that fibrils of the protein α-synuclein spontaneously self-assemble into structurally

  16. Application of MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry for study on fibrillar and oligomeric aggregates of alpha-synuclein

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Severinovskaya, O. V.; Kovalska, V B; Losytskyy, M Yu; Cherepanov, V. V.; Subramaniam, V.; Yarmoluk, S M


    Aim. To study the α-synuclein (ASN) aggregates of different structural origin, namely amyloid fibrils and spherical oligomers, in comparison with a native protein. Methods. MALDI TOF mass spectrometry and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Results. The mass spectra of native and fibrillar ASN have

  17. A Human Neural Crest Stem Cell-Derived Dopaminergic Neuronal Model Recapitulates Biochemical Abnormalities in GBA1 Mutation Carriers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shi-Yu Yang


    Full Text Available Numerically the most important risk factor for the development of Parkinson's disease (PD is the presence of mutations in the glucocerebrosidase GBA1 gene. In vitro and in vivo studies show that GBA1 mutations reduce glucocerebrosidase (GCase activity and are associated with increased α-synuclein levels, reflecting similar changes seen in idiopathic PD brain. We have developed a neural crest stem cell-derived dopaminergic neuronal model that recapitulates biochemical abnormalities in GBA1 mutation-associated PD. Cells showed reduced GCase protein and activity, impaired macroautophagy, and increased α-synuclein levels. Advantages of this approach include easy access to stem cells, no requirement to reprogram, and retention of the intact host genome. Treatment with a GCase chaperone increased GCase protein levels and activity, rescued the autophagic defects, and decreased α-synuclein levels. These results provide the basis for further investigation of GCase chaperones or similar drugs to slow the progression of PD.

  18. Release of long-range tertiary interactions potentiates aggregation of natively unstructured α-synuclein


    Bertoncini, Carlos W.; Jung, Young-Sang; Fernandez, Claudio O.; Hoyer, Wolfgang; Griesinger, Christian; Jovin, Thomas M.; Zweckstetter, Markus


    In idiopathic Parkinson's disease, intracytoplasmic neuronal inclusions (Lewy bodies) containing aggregates of the protein α-synuclein (αS) are deposited in the pigmented nuclei of the brainstem. The mechanisms underlying the structural transition of innocuous, presumably natively unfolded, αS to neurotoxic forms are largely unknown. Using paramagnetic relaxation enhancement and NMR dipolar couplings, we show that monomeric αS assumes conformations that are stabilized by long-range interactio...

  19. Prediction of protein hydration sites from sequence by modular neural networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ehrlich, L.; Reczko, M.; Bohr, Henrik


    The hydration properties of a protein are important determinants of its structure and function. Here, modular neural networks are employed to predict ordered hydration sites using protein sequence information. First, secondary structure and solvent accessibility are predicted from sequence with two...... separate neural networks. These predictions are used as input together with protein sequences for networks predicting hydration of residues, backbone atoms and sidechains. These networks are teined with protein crystal structures. The prediction of hydration is improved by adding information on secondary...... structure and solvent accessibility and, using actual values of these properties, redidue hydration can be predicted to 77% accuracy with a Metthews coefficient of 0.43. However, predicted property data with an accuracy of 60-70% result in less than half the improvement in predictive performance observed...

  20. Prediction of Protein Thermostability by an Efficient Neural Network Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jalal Rezaeenour


    Full Text Available Introduction: Manipulation of protein stability is important for understanding the principles that govern protein thermostability, both in basic research and industrial applications. Various data mining techniques exist for prediction of thermostable proteins. Furthermore, ANN methods have attracted significant attention for prediction of thermostability, because they constitute an appropriate approach to mapping the non-linear input-output relationships and massive parallel computing. Method: An Extreme Learning Machine (ELM was applied to estimate thermal behavior of 1289 proteins. In the proposed algorithm, the parameters of ELM were optimized using a Genetic Algorithm (GA, which tuned a set of input variables, hidden layer biases, and input weights, to and enhance the prediction performance. The method was executed on a set of amino acids, yielding a total of 613 protein features. A number of feature selection algorithms were used to build subsets of the features. A total of 1289 protein samples and 613 protein features were calculated from UniProt database to understand features contributing to the enzymes’ thermostability and find out the main features that influence this valuable characteristic. Results:At the primary structure level, Gln, Glu and polar were the features that mostly contributed to protein thermostability. At the secondary structure level, Helix_S, Coil, and charged_Coil were the most important features affecting protein thermostability. These results suggest that the thermostability of proteins is mainly associated with primary structural features of the protein. According to the results, the influence of primary structure on the thermostabilty of a protein was more important than that of the secondary structure. It is shown that prediction accuracy of ELM (mean square error can improve dramatically using GA with error rates RMSE=0.004 and MAPE=0.1003. Conclusion: The proposed approach for forecasting problem

  1. Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Protein Conformational Disorders

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)


    protein misfolding of α-synuclein involves conformational changes in the protein .... upon association with a membrane surface its can adopt a helical form with an 11/3 ... case of α-synuclein electrostatic interactions exist between positively ...

  2. Nanomolar oligomerization and selective co-aggregation of α-synuclein pathogenic mutants revealed by single-molecule fluorescence (United States)

    Sierecki, Emma; Giles, Nichole; Bowden, Quill; Polinkovsky, Mark E.; Steinbeck, Janina; Arrioti, Nicholas; Rahman, Diya; Bhumkar, Akshay; Nicovich, Philip R.; Ross, Ian; Parton, Robert G.; Böcking, Till; Gambin, Yann


    Protein aggregation is a hallmark of many neurodegenerative diseases, notably Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is characterized by the presence of Lewy bodies, abnormal aggregates mainly composed of α-synuclein. Moreover, cases of familial Parkinson’s disease have been linked to mutations in α-synuclein. In this study, we compared the behavior of wild-type (WT) α-synuclein and five of its pathological mutants (A30P, E46K, H50Q, G51D and A53T). To this end, single-molecule fluorescence detection was coupled to cell-free protein expression to measure precisely the oligomerization of proteins without purification, denaturation or labelling steps. In these conditions, we could detect the formation of oligomeric and pre-fibrillar species at very short time scale and low micromolar concentrations. The pathogenic mutants surprisingly segregated into two classes: one group forming large aggregates and fibrils while the other tending to form mostly oligomers. Strikingly, co-expression experiments reveal that members from the different groups do not generally interact with each other, both at the fibril and monomer levels. Together, this data paints a completely different picture of α-synuclein aggregation, with two possible pathways leading to the development of fibrils. PMID:27892477

  3. Counteracting chemical chaperone effects on the single-molecule α-synuclein structural landscape. (United States)

    Ferreon, Allan Chris M; Moosa, Mahdi Muhammad; Gambin, Yann; Deniz, Ashok A


    Protein structure and function depend on a close interplay between intrinsic folding energy landscapes and the chemistry of the protein environment. Osmolytes are small-molecule compounds that can act as chemical chaperones by altering the environment in a cellular context. Despite their importance, detailed studies on the role of these chemical chaperones in modulating structure and dimensions of intrinsically disordered proteins have been limited. Here, we used single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer to test the counteraction hypothesis of counterbalancing effects between the protecting osmolyte trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) and denaturing osmolyte urea for the case of α-synuclein, a Parkinson's disease-linked protein whose monomer exhibits significant disorder. The single-molecule experiments, which avoid complications from protein aggregation, do not exhibit clear solvent-induced cooperative protein transitions for these osmolytes, unlike results from previous studies on globular proteins. Our data demonstrate the ability of TMAO and urea to shift α-synuclein structures towards either more compact or expanded average dimensions. Strikingly, the experiments directly reveal that a 21 [urea][TMAO] ratio has a net neutral effect on the protein's dimensions, a result that holds regardless of the absolute osmolyte concentrations. Our findings shed light on a surprisingly simple aspect of the interplay between urea and TMAO on α-synuclein in the context of intrinsically disordered proteins, with potential implications for the biological roles of such chemical chaperones. The results also highlight the strengths of single-molecule experiments in directly probing the chemical physics of protein structure and disorder in more chemically complex environments.

  4. Inflammation kinase PKR phosphorylates α-synuclein and causes α-synuclein-dependent cell death

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reimer, Lasse; Lund, Louise Buur; Betzer, Cristine


    , and acute brain slices), while overexpression of constitutively active PKR increases Ser129 α-syn phosphorylation. Treatment with pre-formed α-synuclein fibrils, proteostatic stress-promoting MG-132 and known PKR activators, herpes simplex virus-1-∆ICP34.5 and LPS, as well as PKR inducer, IFN-β-1b, lead...... on Ser129. Although the inflammation-associated serine-threonine kinase, PKR (EIF2AK2), promotes cellular protection against infection, we demonstrate a pro-degenerative role of activated PKR in an α-synuclein-dependent cell model of multiple system atrophy, where inhibition and silencing of PKR decrease...

  5. Structural Investigations of on-pathway Oligomers of α-Synuclein

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Martin Nors; Horvath, Istvan; Weise, Christoph F.

    Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 108(8): 3246-3251. Horvath, I., et al. (2012). "Mechanisms of protein oligomerization: In-hibitor of functional amyloids templates a-synuclein fibrilla-tion." Journal of the American Chemical Society. Spillantini, M. G., et al. (1997). "[alpha...... by decomposition of SAXS data from the evolving fibrillating solution (Giehm et al. 2011). NMR data have furthermore suggested that the C-terminal is exposed on oligomers obtained by incubation with the ligand FN075 (Horvath et al. 2012). In this study we aim at obtaining SAXS data from isolated stabilized...... oligomer (MAX-lab, May 2012); data analysis is in progress. ITC experiments are furthermore planned to more accurately determine the stoichiometry between α-synuclein and FN075. Horvath and co-workers have already shown that the FN075 stabilized oligomer is on pathway. We have shown that the in...

  6. Long-lasting pathological consequences of overexpression-induced α-synuclein spreading in the rat brain. (United States)

    Rusconi, Raffaella; Ulusoy, Ayse; Aboutalebi, Helia; Di Monte, Donato A


    Increased expression of α-synuclein can initiate its long-distance brain transfer, representing a potential mechanism for pathology spreading in age-related synucleinopathies, such as Parkinson's disease. In this study, the effects of overexpression-induced α-synuclein transfer were assessed over a 1-year period after injection of viral vectors carrying human α-synuclein DNA into the rat vagus nerve. This treatment causes targeted overexpression within neurons in the dorsal medulla oblongata and subsequent diffusion of the exogenous protein toward more rostral brain regions. Protein advancement and accumulation in pontine, midbrain, and forebrain areas were contingent upon continuous overexpression, because death of transduced medullary neurons resulted in cessation of spreading. Lack of sustained spreading did not prevent the development of long-lasting pathological changes. Particularly remarkable were findings in the locus coeruleus, a pontine nucleus with direct connections to the dorsal medulla oblongata and greatly affected by overexpression-induced transfer in this model. Data revealed progressive degeneration of catecholaminergic neurons that proceeded long beyond the time of spreading cessation. Neuronal pathology in the locus coeruleus was accompanied by pronounced microglial activation and, at later times, astrocytosis. Interestingly, microglial activation was also featured in another region reached by α-synuclein transfer, the central amygdala, even in the absence of frank neurodegeneration. Thus, overexpression-induced spreading, even if temporary, causes long-lasting pathological consequences in brain regions distant from the site of overexpression but anatomically connected to it. Neurodegeneration may be a consequence of severe protein burden, whereas even a milder α-synuclein accumulation in tissues affected by protein transfer could induce sustained microglial activation. © 2018 The Authors. Aging Cell published by the Anatomical Society and

  7. Counteracting chemical chaperone effects on the single-molecule α-synuclein structural landscape (United States)

    Ferreon, Allan Chris M.; Moosa, Mahdi Muhammad; Deniz, Ashok A.


    Protein structure and function depend on a close interplay between intrinsic folding energy landscapes and the chemistry of the protein environment. Osmolytes are small-molecule compounds that can act as chemical chaperones by altering the environment in a cellular context. Despite their importance, detailed studies on the role of these chemical chaperones in modulating structure and dimensions of intrinsically disordered proteins have been limited. Here, we used single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer to test the counteraction hypothesis of counterbalancing effects between the protecting osmolyte trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) and denaturing osmolyte urea for the case of α-synuclein, a Parkinson’s disease-linked protein whose monomer exhibits significant disorder. The single-molecule experiments, which avoid complications from protein aggregation, do not exhibit clear solvent-induced cooperative protein transitions for these osmolytes, unlike results from previous studies on globular proteins. Our data demonstrate the ability of TMAO and urea to shift α-synuclein structures towards either more compact or expanded average dimensions. Strikingly, the experiments directly reveal that a 2∶1 [urea]∶[TMAO] ratio has a net neutral effect on the protein’s dimensions, a result that holds regardless of the absolute osmolyte concentrations. Our findings shed light on a surprisingly simple aspect of the interplay between urea and TMAO on α-synuclein in the context of intrinsically disordered proteins, with potential implications for the biological roles of such chemical chaperones. The results also highlight the strengths of single-molecule experiments in directly probing the chemical physics of protein structure and disorder in more chemically complex environments. PMID:22826265

  8. In parkinsonian substantia nigra, alpha-synuclein is modified by acrolein, a lipid-peroxidation product, and accumulates in the dopamine neurons with inhibition of proteasome activity. (United States)

    Shamoto-Nagai, M; Maruyama, W; Hashizume, Y; Yoshida, M; Osawa, T; Riederer, P; Naoi, M


    alpha-Synuclein (alphaSYN) plays a central role in the neural degeneration of Parkinson's disease (PD) through its conformational change. In PD, alphaSYN, released from the membrane, accumulates in the cytoplasm and forms Lewy body. However, the mechanism behind the translocation and conformational change of alphaSYN leading to the cell death has not been well elucidated. This paper reports that in the dopamine neurons of the substantia nigra containing neuromelanin from PD patients, alphaSYN was modified with acrolein (ACR), an aldehyde product of lipid peroxidation. Histopathological observation confirmed the co-localization of protein immunoreactive to anti-alphaSYN and ACR antibody. By Western blot analyses of samples precipitated with either anti-alphaSYN or anti-ACR antibody, increase in ACR-modified alphaSYN was confirmed in PD brain. Modification of recombinant alphaSYN by ACR enhanced its oligomerization, and at higher ACR concentrations alphaSYN was fragmented and polymerized forming a smear pattern in SDS-PAGE. ACR reduced 20S proteasome activity through the direct modification of the proteasome proteins and the production of polymerized ACR-modified proteins, which inhibited proteasome activity in vitro. These results suggest that ACR may initiate vicious cycle of modification and aggregation of proteins, including alphaSYN, and impaired proteolysis system, to cause neuronal death in PD.

  9. Co-ordinate transcriptional regulation of dopamine synthesis genes by alpha-synuclein in human neuroblastoma cell lines. (United States)

    Baptista, Melisa J; O'Farrell, Casey; Daya, Sneha; Ahmad, Rili; Miller, David W; Hardy, John; Farrer, Matthew J; Cookson, Mark R


    Abnormal accumulation of alpha-synuclein in Lewy bodies is a neuropathological hallmark of both sporadic and familial Parkinson's disease (PD). Although mutations in alpha-synuclein have been identified in autosomal dominant PD, the mechanism by which dopaminergic cell death occurs remains unknown. We investigated transcriptional changes in neuroblastoma cell lines transfected with either normal or mutant (A30P or A53T) alpha-synuclein using microarrays, with confirmation of selected genes by quantitative RT-PCR. Gene products whose expression was found to be significantly altered included members of diverse functional groups such as stress response, transcription regulators, apoptosis-inducing molecules, transcription factors and membrane-bound proteins. We also found evidence of altered expression of dihydropteridine reductase, which indirectly regulates the synthesis of dopamine. Because of the importance of dopamine in PD, we investigated the expression of all the known genes in dopamine synthesis. We found co-ordinated downregulation of mRNA for GTP cyclohydrolase, sepiapterin reductase (SR), tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and aromatic acid decarboxylase by wild-type but not mutant alpha-synuclein. These were confirmed at the protein level for SR and TH. Reduced expression of the orphan nuclear receptor Nurr1 was also noted, suggesting that the co-ordinate regulation of dopamine synthesis is regulated through this transcription factor.

  10. Brain region-dependent differential expression of alpha-synuclein. (United States)

    Taguchi, Katsutoshi; Watanabe, Yoshihisa; Tsujimura, Atsushi; Tanaka, Masaki


    α-Synuclein, the major constituent of Lewy bodies (LBs), is normally expressed in presynapses and is involved in synaptic function. Abnormal intracellular aggregation of α-synuclein is observed as LBs and Lewy neurites in neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson's disease (PD) or dementia with Lewy bodies. Accumulated evidence suggests that abundant intracellular expression of α-synuclein is one of the risk factors for pathological aggregation. Recently, we reported differential expression patterns of α-synuclein between excitatory and inhibitory hippocampal neurons. Here we further investigated the precise expression profile in the adult mouse brain with special reference to vulnerable regions along the progression of idiopathic PD. The results show that α-synuclein was highly expressed in the neuronal cell bodies of some early PD-affected brain regions, such as the olfactory bulb, dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus, and substantia nigra pars compacta. Synaptic expression of α-synuclein was mostly accompanied by expression of vesicular glutamate transporter-1, an excitatory presynaptic marker. In contrast, expression of α-synuclein in the GABAergic inhibitory synapses was different among brain regions. α-Synuclein was clearly expressed in inhibitory synapses in the external plexiform layer of the olfactory bulb, globus pallidus, and substantia nigra pars reticulata, but not in the cerebral cortex, subthalamic nucleus, or thalamus. These results suggest that some neurons in early PD-affected human brain regions express high levels of perikaryal α-synuclein, as happens in the mouse brain. Additionally, synaptic profiles expressing α-synuclein are different in various brain regions. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Protein-Protein Interaction Article Classification Using a Convolutional Recurrent Neural Network with Pre-trained Word Embeddings. (United States)

    Matos, Sérgio; Antunes, Rui


    Curation of protein interactions from scientific articles is an important task, since interaction networks are essential for the understanding of biological processes associated with disease or pharmacological action for example. However, the increase in the number of publications that potentially contain relevant information turns this into a very challenging and expensive task. In this work we used a convolutional recurrent neural network for identifying relevant articles for extracting information regarding protein interactions. Using the BioCreative III Article Classification Task dataset, we achieved an area under the precision-recall curve of 0.715 and a Matthew's correlation coefficient of 0.600, which represents an improvement over previous works.

  12. Knowledge base and neural network approach for protein secondary structure prediction. (United States)

    Patel, Maulika S; Mazumdar, Himanshu S


    Protein structure prediction is of great relevance given the abundant genomic and proteomic data generated by the genome sequencing projects. Protein secondary structure prediction is addressed as a sub task in determining the protein tertiary structure and function. In this paper, a novel algorithm, KB-PROSSP-NN, which is a combination of knowledge base and modeling of the exceptions in the knowledge base using neural networks for protein secondary structure prediction (PSSP), is proposed. The knowledge base is derived from a proteomic sequence-structure database and consists of the statistics of association between the 5-residue words and corresponding secondary structure. The predicted results obtained using knowledge base are refined with a Backpropogation neural network algorithm. Neural net models the exceptions of the knowledge base. The Q3 accuracy of 90% and 82% is achieved on the RS126 and CB396 test sets respectively which suggest improvement over existing state of art methods. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Protein backbone and sidechain torsion angles predicted from NMR chemical shifts using artificial neural networks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shen Yang; Bax, Ad, E-mail: [National Institutes of Health, Laboratory of Chemical Physics, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (United States)


    A new program, TALOS-N, is introduced for predicting protein backbone torsion angles from NMR chemical shifts. The program relies far more extensively on the use of trained artificial neural networks than its predecessor, TALOS+. Validation on an independent set of proteins indicates that backbone torsion angles can be predicted for a larger, {>=}90 % fraction of the residues, with an error rate smaller than ca 3.5 %, using an acceptance criterion that is nearly two-fold tighter than that used previously, and a root mean square difference between predicted and crystallographically observed ({phi}, {psi}) torsion angles of ca 12 Masculine-Ordinal-Indicator . TALOS-N also reports sidechain {chi}{sup 1} rotameric states for about 50 % of the residues, and a consistency with reference structures of 89 %. The program includes a neural network trained to identify secondary structure from residue sequence and chemical shifts.

  14. Bayesian Inference using Neural Net Likelihood Models for Protein Secondary Structure Prediction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seong-Gon Kim


    Full Text Available Several techniques such as Neural Networks, Genetic Algorithms, Decision Trees and other statistical or heuristic methods have been used to approach the complex non-linear task of predicting Alpha-helicies, Beta-sheets and Turns of a proteins secondary structure in the past. This project introduces a new machine learning method by using an offline trained Multilayered Perceptrons (MLP as the likelihood models within a Bayesian Inference framework to predict secondary structures proteins. Varying window sizes are used to extract neighboring amino acid information and passed back and forth between the Neural Net models and the Bayesian Inference process until there is a convergence of the posterior secondary structure probability.

  15. Sinup, a novel Siaz-interacting nuclear protein, modulates neural plate formation in the zebrafish embryos

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ro, Hyunju; Won, Minho; Lee, Su-Ui; Kim, Kyoon E.; Huh, Tae-Lin; Kim, Cheol-Hee; Rhee, Myungchull


    Siah, the vertebrate homologue of the Drosophila seven in absentia (sina) gene, is well conserved from Drosophila to mammal and involved in ubiquitination and proteasome-dependent degradation of various target proteins. To identify cellular proteins interacting with Siah, we screened a zebrafish cDNA library with zebrafish Siah (Siaz) as bait in a yeast two-hybrid assay. We identified a cDNA encoding a novel protein composed of 145 amino acids and termed it as Sinup (Siaz-interacting-nuclear-protein). Sinup is a novel nuclear protein that binds to the highly conserved C-terminal protein-interacting domain of Siaz both in vivo and in vitro. During development, sinup transcripts are abundant from the one-cell stage to the early blastula and then markedly diminished, suggesting sinup largely exists as maternal transcripts. sinup overexpression induced lateral expansion of the neural plate and in consequence caused ectopic expression of otx-2 and hoxb1b during the late gastrula stage. In addition, the lateral/paraxial expression of wnt8 at the onset of gastrulation is suppressed by the forced expression of sinup while the expression levels of various dorso-ventral markers are unaffected. In contrast, interfering with sinup functions using sinup morpholino oligonucleotides gradually diminished the anterior neuroectoderm from the posterior region, and resulted in compete loss of hindbrain at the 3-somites stage. Our report suggests that sinup expression should be tightly regulated during early embryonic development for the proper neural plate formation

  16. Prediction of the location and type of beta-turns in proteins using neural networks.


    Shepherd, A. J.; Gorse, D.; Thornton, J. M.


    A neural network has been used to predict both the location and the type of beta-turns in a set of 300 nonhomologous protein domains. A substantial improvement in prediction accuracy compared with previous methods has been achieved by incorporating secondary structure information in the input data. The total percentage of residues correctly classified as beta-turn or not-beta-turn is around 75% with predicted secondary structure information. More significantly, the method gives a Matthews cor...

  17. PRED-CLASS: cascading neural networks for generalized protein classification and genome-wide applications


    Pasquier, Claude; Promponas, Vasilis; Hamodrakas, Stavros


    International audience; A cascading system of hierarchical, artificial neural networks (named PRED-CLASS) is presented for the generalized classification of proteins into four distinct classes-transmembrane, fibrous, globular, and mixed-from information solely encoded in their amino acid sequences. The architecture of the individual component networks is kept very simple, reducing the number of free parameters (network synaptic weights) for faster training, improved generalization, and the av...

  18. Dopamine induces soluble α-synuclein oligomers and nigrostriatal degeneration. (United States)

    Mor, Danielle E; Tsika, Elpida; Mazzulli, Joseph R; Gould, Neal S; Kim, Hanna; Daniels, Malcolm J; Doshi, Shachee; Gupta, Preetika; Grossman, Jennifer L; Tan, Victor X; Kalb, Robert G; Caldwell, Kim A; Caldwell, Guy A; Wolfe, John H; Ischiropoulos, Harry


    Parkinson's disease (PD) is defined by the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra and the formation of Lewy body inclusions containing aggregated α-synuclein. Efforts to explain dopamine neuron vulnerability are hindered by the lack of dopaminergic cell death in α-synuclein transgenic mice. To address this, we manipulated both dopamine levels and α-synuclein expression. Nigrally targeted expression of mutant tyrosine hydroxylase with enhanced catalytic activity increased dopamine levels without damaging neurons in non-transgenic mice. In contrast, raising dopamine levels in mice expressing human A53T mutant α-synuclein induced progressive nigrostriatal degeneration and reduced locomotion. Dopamine elevation in A53T mice increased levels of potentially toxic α-synuclein oligomers, resulting in conformationally and functionally modified species. Moreover, in genetically tractable Caenorhabditis elegans models, expression of α-synuclein mutated at the site of interaction with dopamine prevented dopamine-induced toxicity. These data suggest that a unique mechanism links two cardinal features of PD: dopaminergic cell death and α-synuclein aggregation.

  19. Parkinson's disease: acid-glucocerebrosidase activity and alpha-synuclein clearance. (United States)

    Blanz, Judith; Saftig, Paul


    The role of mutations in the gene GBA1 encoding the lysosomal hydrolase β-glucocerebrosidase for the development of synucleinopathies, such as Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies, was only very recently uncovered. The knowledge obtained from the study of carriers or patients suffering from Gaucher disease (a common lysosomal storage disorder because of GBA1 mutations) is of particular importance for understanding the role of the enzyme and its catabolic pathway in the development of synucleinopathies. Decreased activity of β-glucocerebrosidase leads to lysosomal dysfunction and the accumulation of its substrate glucosylceramide and related lipid derivatives. Glucosylceramide is suggested to stabilize toxic oligomeric forms of α-synuclein that negatively influence the activity of β-glucocerebrosidase and to partially block export of newly synthesized β-glucocerebrosidase from the endoplasmic reticulum to late endocytic compartments, amplifying the pathological effects of α-synuclein and ultimately resulting in neuronal cell death. This pathogenic molecular feedback loop and most likely other factors (such as impaired endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation, activation of the unfolded protein response and dysregulation of calcium homeostasis induced by misfolded GC mutants) are involved in shifting the cellular homeostasis from monomeric α-synuclein towards oligomeric neurotoxic and aggregated forms, which contribute to Parkinson's disease progression. From a therapeutic point of view, strategies aiming to increase either the expression, stability or delivery of the β-glucocerebrosidase to lysosomes are likely to decrease the α-synuclein burden and may be useful for an in depth evaluation at the organismal level. Lysosomes are critical for protein and lipid homeostasis. Recent research revealed that dysfunction of this organelle contributes to the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease (PD). Mutations in the

  20. Protein secondary structure prediction using modular reciprocal bidirectional recurrent neural networks. (United States)

    Babaei, Sepideh; Geranmayeh, Amir; Seyyedsalehi, Seyyed Ali


    The supervised learning of recurrent neural networks well-suited for prediction of protein secondary structures from the underlying amino acids sequence is studied. Modular reciprocal recurrent neural networks (MRR-NN) are proposed to model the strong correlations between adjacent secondary structure elements. Besides, a multilayer bidirectional recurrent neural network (MBR-NN) is introduced to capture the long-range intramolecular interactions between amino acids in formation of the secondary structure. The final modular prediction system is devised based on the interactive integration of the MRR-NN and the MBR-NN structures to arbitrarily engage the neighboring effects of the secondary structure types concurrent with memorizing the sequential dependencies of amino acids along the protein chain. The advanced combined network augments the percentage accuracy (Q₃) to 79.36% and boosts the segment overlap (SOV) up to 70.09% when tested on the PSIPRED dataset in three-fold cross-validation. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Neural network and SVM classifiers accurately predict lipid binding proteins, irrespective of sequence homology. (United States)

    Bakhtiarizadeh, Mohammad Reza; Moradi-Shahrbabak, Mohammad; Ebrahimi, Mansour; Ebrahimie, Esmaeil


    Due to the central roles of lipid binding proteins (LBPs) in many biological processes, sequence based identification of LBPs is of great interest. The major challenge is that LBPs are diverse in sequence, structure, and function which results in low accuracy of sequence homology based methods. Therefore, there is a need for developing alternative functional prediction methods irrespective of sequence similarity. To identify LBPs from non-LBPs, the performances of support vector machine (SVM) and neural network were compared in this study. Comprehensive protein features and various techniques were employed to create datasets. Five-fold cross-validation (CV) and independent evaluation (IE) tests were used to assess the validity of the two methods. The results indicated that SVM outperforms neural network. SVM achieved 89.28% (CV) and 89.55% (IE) overall accuracy in identification of LBPs from non-LBPs and 92.06% (CV) and 92.90% (IE) (in average) for classification of different LBPs classes. Increasing the number and the range of extracted protein features as well as optimization of the SVM parameters significantly increased the efficiency of LBPs class prediction in comparison to the only previous report in this field. Altogether, the results showed that the SVM algorithm can be run on broad, computationally calculated protein features and offers a promising tool in detection of LBPs classes. The proposed approach has the potential to integrate and improve the common sequence alignment based methods. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. The F-box protein Cdc4/Fbxw7 is a novel regulator of neural crest development in Xenopus laevis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hartley Rebecca S


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The neural crest is a unique population of cells that arise in the vertebrate ectoderm at the neural plate border after which they migrate extensively throughout the embryo, giving rise to a wide range of derivatives. A number of proteins involved in neural crest development have dynamic expression patterns, and it is becoming clear that ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation is partly responsible for this. Results Here we demonstrate a novel role for the F-box protein Cdc4/Fbxw7 in neural crest development. Two isoforms of Xenopus laevis Cdc4 were identified, and designated xCdc4α and xCdc4β. These are highly conserved with vertebrate Cdc4 orthologs, and the Xenopus proteins are functionally equivalent in terms of their ability to degrade Cyclin E, an established vertebrate Cdc4 target. Blocking xCdc4 function specifically inhibited neural crest development at an early stage, prior to expression of c-Myc, Snail2 and Snail. Conclusions We demonstrate that Cdc4, an ubiquitin E3 ligase subunit previously identified as targeting primarily cell cycle regulators for proteolysis, has additional roles in control of formation of the neural crest. Hence, we identify Cdc4 as a protein with separable but complementary functions in control of cell proliferation and differentiation.

  3. Mechanisms of alpha-Synuclein Aggregation and Toxicity (United States)


    Alegre, J., Gomez-Esteban, J.C., Lezcano, E., Ros, R., Ampuero, I., Vidal, L., Hoenicka, J., Rodriguez, O., Atares , B., Llorens, V., Tortosa, E.G...192 (2005) 244–250 245chromosome 17. The tau isoforms prevalent in the sarkosyl- insoluble fraction, and the physical characteristics of the tau...Similarities between a-synuclein, tau, and b-amyloid. Tau and a-synuclein share many physical and biochemical properties (Dickson, 1999; Lee et al., 2004

  4. DeepCNF-D: Predicting Protein Order/Disorder Regions by Weighted Deep Convolutional Neural Fields

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheng Wang


    Full Text Available Intrinsically disordered proteins or protein regions are involved in key biological processes including regulation of transcription, signal transduction, and alternative splicing. Accurately predicting order/disorder regions ab initio from the protein sequence is a prerequisite step for further analysis of functions and mechanisms for these disordered regions. This work presents a learning method, weighted DeepCNF (Deep Convolutional Neural Fields, to improve the accuracy of order/disorder prediction by exploiting the long-range sequential information and the interdependency between adjacent order/disorder labels and by assigning different weights for each label during training and prediction to solve the label imbalance issue. Evaluated by the CASP9 and CASP10 targets, our method obtains 0.855 and 0.898 AUC values, which are higher than the state-of-the-art single ab initio predictors.

  5. Mice with deleted multimerin 1 and alpha-synuclein genes have impaired platelet adhesion and impaired thrombus formation that is corrected by multimerin 1. (United States)

    Reheman, Adili; Tasneem, Subia; Ni, Heyu; Hayward, Catherine P M


    Multimerin 1 is a stored platelet and endothelial cell adhesive protein that shows significant conservation. In vitro, multimerin 1 supports platelet adhesion and it also binds to collagen and enhances von Willebrand factor-dependent platelet adhesion to collagen. As selective, multimerin 1 deficient mice have not been generated, we investigated multimerin 1 effects on platelet adhesion using a subpopulation of C57BL/6J mice with tandem deletion of the genes for multimerin 1 and alpha-synuclein, a protein that inhibits alpha-granule release in vitro. We postulated that multimerin 1/alpha-synuclein deficient mice might show impaired platelet adhesive function from multimerin 1 deficiency and increased alpha-granule release from alpha-synuclein deficiency. Platelet function was assessed by intravital microscopy, after ferric chloride injury, using untreated and human multimerin 1-transfused multimerin 1/alpha-synuclein deficient mice, and by in vitro assays of adhesion, aggregation and thrombin-induced P-selectin release. Multimerin 1/alpha-synuclein deficient mice showed impaired platelet adhesion and their defective thrombus formation at sites of vessel injury improved with multimerin 1 transfusion. Although multimerin 1/alpha-synuclein deficient platelets showed increased P-selectin release at low thrombin concentrations, they also showed impaired adhesion to collagen, and attenuated aggregation with thrombin, that improved with added multimerin 1. Our data suggest that multimerin 1 supports platelet adhesive functions and thrombus formation, which will be important to verify by generating and testing selective multimerin 1 deficient mice. Copyright (c) 2010. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  6. Expression and Purification of Neurotrophin-Elastin-Like Peptide Fusion Proteins for Neural Regeneration. (United States)

    Johnson, Tamina; Koria, Piyush


    Neural injuries such as spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, or nerve transection injuries pose a major health problem. Neurotrophins such as nerve growth factor (NGF) or brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) have been shown to improve the outcome of neural injuries in several pre-clinical models, but their use in clinics is limited by the lack of a robust delivery system that enhances their bioavailability and half-life. We describe two fusion proteins comprising NGF or BDNF fused with elastin-like peptides (ELPs). The aim of this study was to investigate the biological activity of neurotrophin-ELP (N-ELP) fusion proteins via in vitro culture models. NGF and BDNF were cloned in front of an elastin-like polypeptide sequence V40C2. These proteins were expressed in bacteria as inclusion bodies. These fusion proteins underwent solubilization via 8 M urea and purification via inverse transition cycling (ITC). We measured the particle size and the effect of temperature on precipitated particles using dynamic light scattering (DLS). We used western blot analysis to confirm the specificity of NGF-ELP to tropomyosin receptor kinase A (TrkA) antibody and to confirm the specificity of BDNF-ELP to TrkB antibody. PC12 cells were used to perform a neurite outgrowth assay to determine the biological activity of NGF-ELP. Bioactivity of BDNF-ELP was ascertained via transfecting human epithelial kidney (HEK 293-T) cells to express the TrkB receptor. The proteins were successfully purified to high homogeneity by exploiting the phase transition property of ELPs and urea, which solubilize inclusion bodies. Using PC12 neurite outgrowth assay, we further demonstrated that the biological activity of NGF was retained in the fusion. Similarly, BDNF-ELP phosphorylated the TrkB receptor, suggesting the biological activity of BDNF was also retained in the fusion. We further show that owing to the phase transition property of ELPs in the fusion, these proteins self-assembled into

  7. Inca: a novel p21-activated kinase-associated protein required for cranial neural crest development. (United States)

    Luo, Ting; Xu, Yanhua; Hoffman, Trevor L; Zhang, Tailin; Schilling, Thomas; Sargent, Thomas D


    Inca (induced in neural crest by AP2) is a novel protein discovered in a microarray screen for genes that are upregulated in Xenopus embryos by the transcriptional activator protein Tfap2a. It has no significant similarity to any known protein, but is conserved among vertebrates. In Xenopus, zebrafish and mouse embryos, Inca is expressed predominantly in the premigratory and migrating neural crest (NC). Knockdown experiments in frog and fish using antisense morpholinos reveal essential functions for Inca in a subset of NC cells that form craniofacial cartilage. Cells lacking Inca migrate successfully but fail to condense into skeletal primordia. Overexpression of Inca disrupts cortical actin and prevents formation of actin "purse strings", which are required for wound healing in Xenopus embryos. We show that Inca physically interacts with p21-activated kinase 5 (PAK5), a known regulator of the actin cytoskeleton that is co-expressed with Inca in embryonic ectoderm, including in the NC. These results suggest that Inca and PAK5 cooperate in restructuring cytoskeletal organization and in the regulation of cell adhesion in the early embryo and in NC cells during craniofacial development.

  8. Protein Kinase-A Inhibition Is Sufficient to Support Human Neural Stem Cells Self-Renewal. (United States)

    Georges, Pauline; Boissart, Claire; Poulet, Aurélie; Peschanski, Marc; Benchoua, Alexandra


    Human pluripotent stem cell-derived neural stem cells offer unprecedented opportunities for producing specific types of neurons for several biomedical applications. However, to achieve it, protocols of production and amplification of human neural stem cells need to be standardized, cost effective, and safe. This means that small molecules should progressively replace the use of media containing cocktails of protein-based growth factors. Here we have conducted a phenotypical screening to identify pathways involved in the regulation of hNSC self-renewal. We analyzed 80 small molecules acting as kinase inhibitors and identified compounds of the 5-isoquinolinesulfonamide family, described as protein kinase A (PKA) and protein kinase G inhibitors, as candidates to support hNSC self-renewal. Investigating the mode of action of these compounds, we found that modulation of PKA activity was central in controlling the choice between self-renewal or terminal neuronal differentiation of hNSC. We finally demonstrated that the pharmacological inhibition of PKA using the small molecule HA1004 was sufficient to support the full derivation, propagation, and long-term maintenance of stable hNSC in absence of any other extrinsic signals. Our results indicated that tuning of PKA activity is a core mechanism regulating hNSC self-renewal and differentiation and delineate the minimal culture media requirement to maintain undifferentiated hNSC in vitro. © 2015 AlphaMed Press.

  9. Improving protein disorder prediction by deep bidirectional long short-term memory recurrent neural networks. (United States)

    Hanson, Jack; Yang, Yuedong; Paliwal, Kuldip; Zhou, Yaoqi


    Capturing long-range interactions between structural but not sequence neighbors of proteins is a long-standing challenging problem in bioinformatics. Recently, long short-term memory (LSTM) networks have significantly improved the accuracy of speech and image classification problems by remembering useful past information in long sequential events. Here, we have implemented deep bidirectional LSTM recurrent neural networks in the problem of protein intrinsic disorder prediction. The new method, named SPOT-Disorder, has steadily improved over a similar method using a traditional, window-based neural network (SPINE-D) in all datasets tested without separate training on short and long disordered regions. Independent tests on four other datasets including the datasets from critical assessment of structure prediction (CASP) techniques and >10 000 annotated proteins from MobiDB, confirmed SPOT-Disorder as one of the best methods in disorder prediction. Moreover, initial studies indicate that the method is more accurate in predicting functional sites in disordered regions. These results highlight the usefulness combining LSTM with deep bidirectional recurrent neural networks in capturing non-local, long-range interactions for bioinformatics applications. SPOT-disorder is available as a web server and as a standalone program at: . or or Supplementary data is available at Bioinformatics online. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail:

  10. A sparse autoencoder-based deep neural network for protein solvent accessibility and contact number prediction. (United States)

    Deng, Lei; Fan, Chao; Zeng, Zhiwen


    Direct prediction of the three-dimensional (3D) structures of proteins from one-dimensional (1D) sequences is a challenging problem. Significant structural characteristics such as solvent accessibility and contact number are essential for deriving restrains in modeling protein folding and protein 3D structure. Thus, accurately predicting these features is a critical step for 3D protein structure building. In this study, we present DeepSacon, a computational method that can effectively predict protein solvent accessibility and contact number by using a deep neural network, which is built based on stacked autoencoder and a dropout method. The results demonstrate that our proposed DeepSacon achieves a significant improvement in the prediction quality compared with the state-of-the-art methods. We obtain 0.70 three-state accuracy for solvent accessibility, 0.33 15-state accuracy and 0.74 Pearson Correlation Coefficient (PCC) for the contact number on the 5729 monomeric soluble globular protein dataset. We also evaluate the performance on the CASP11 benchmark dataset, DeepSacon achieves 0.68 three-state accuracy and 0.69 PCC for solvent accessibility and contact number, respectively. We have shown that DeepSacon can reliably predict solvent accessibility and contact number with stacked sparse autoencoder and a dropout approach.

  11. Conformational Ensembles of α-Synuclein Derived Peptide with Different Osmolytes from Temperature Replica Exchange Sampling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salma Jamal


    Full Text Available Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDP are a class of proteins that do not have a stable three-dimensional structure and can adopt a range of conformations playing various vital functional role. Alpha-synuclein is one such IDP which can aggregate into toxic protofibrils and has been associated largely with Parkinson's disease (PD along with other neurodegenerative diseases. Osmolytes are small organic compounds that can alter the environment around the proteins by acting as denaturants or protectants for the proteins. In the present study, we have conducted a series of replica exchange molecular dynamics simulations to explore the role of osmolytes, urea which is a denaturant and TMAO (trimethylamine N-oxide, a protecting osmolyte, in aggregation and conformations of the synuclein peptide. We observed that both the osmolytes have significantly distinct impacts on the peptide and led to transitions of the conformations of the peptide from one state to other. Our findings highlighted that urea attenuated peptide aggregation and resulted in the formation of extended peptide structures whereas TMAO led to compact and folded forms of the peptide.

  12. The role of stable α-synuclein oligomers in the molecular events underlying amyloid formation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lorenzen, Nikolai; Nielsen, Søren Bang; Buell, Alexander K.


    α-synuclein (αSN), whose aggregation is strongly implicated in the development of Parkinson’s disease (PD). The two types of oligomers are both formed under conditions where amyloid fibril formation is observed but differ in molecular weight by an order of magnitude. Both possess a degree of β......, either as precursors of fibrils or as species involved in the fibril elongation process or instead if they are associated with an aggregation process that is distinct from that generating mature fibrils. Here we describe and characterize in detail two well-defined oligomeric species formed by the protein...

  13. Curcumin Modulates α-Synuclein Aggregation and Toxicity (United States)


    In human beings, Parkinson’s disease (PD) is associated with the oligomerization and amyloid formation of α-synuclein (α-Syn). The polyphenolic Asian food ingredient curcumin has proven to be effective against a wide range of human diseases including cancers and neurological disorders. While curcumin has been shown to significantly reduce cell toxicity of α-Syn aggregates, its mechanism of action remains unexplored. Here, using a series of biophysical techniques, we demonstrate that curcumin reduces toxicity by binding to preformed oligomers and fibrils and altering their hydrophobic surface exposure. Further, our fluorescence and two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance (2D-NMR) data indicate that curcumin does not bind to monomeric α-Syn but binds specifically to oligomeric intermediates. The degree of curcumin binding correlates with the extent of α-Syn oligomerization, suggesting that the ordered structure of protein is required for effective curcumin binding. The acceleration of aggregation by curcumin may decrease the population of toxic oligomeric intermediates of α-Syn. Collectively; our results suggest that curcumin and related polyphenolic compounds can be pursued as candidate drug targets for treatment of PD and other neurological diseases. PMID:23509976

  14. Alpha-synuclein aggregates activate calcium pump SERCA leading to calcium dysregulation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Betzer, Cristine; Lassen, Louise Berkhoudt; Olsen, Anders


    Aggregation of α-synuclein is a hallmark of Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. We here investigate the relationship between cytosolic Ca2+and α-synuclein aggregation. Analyses of cell lines and primary culture models of α-synuclein cytopathology reveal an early phase with reduced ...

  15. RESCUE: An artificial neural network tool for the NMR spectral assignment of proteins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pons, J.L.; Delsuc, M.A.


    The assignment of the 1 H spectrum of a protein or a polypeptide is the prerequisite for advanced NMR studies. We present here an assignment tool based on the artificial neural network technology, which determines the type of the amino acid from the chemical shift values observed in the 1 H spectrum. Two artificial neural networks have been trained and extensively tested against a non-redundant subset of the BMRB chemical shift data bank [Seavey, B.R. et al. (1991) J. Biomol. NMR, 1, 217-236]. The most promising of the two accomplishes the analysis in two steps, grouping related amino acids together. It presents a mean rate of success above 80% on the test set. The second network tested separates down to the single amino acid; it presents a mean rate of success of 63%. This tool has been used to assist the manual assignment of peptides and proteins and can also be used as a block in an automated approach to assignment. The program has been called RESCUE and is made publicly available at the following URL:

  16. Hedgehog regulates Norrie disease protein to drive neural progenitor self-renewal. (United States)

    McNeill, Brian; Mazerolle, Chantal; Bassett, Erin A; Mears, Alan J; Ringuette, Randy; Lagali, Pamela; Picketts, David J; Paes, Kim; Rice, Dennis; Wallace, Valerie A


    Norrie disease (ND) is a congenital disorder characterized by retinal hypovascularization and cognitive delay. ND has been linked to mutations in 'Norrie Disease Protein' (Ndp), which encodes the secreted protein Norrin. Norrin functions as a secreted angiogenic factor, although its role in neural development has not been assessed. Here, we show that Ndp expression is initiated in retinal progenitors in response to Hedgehog (Hh) signaling, which induces Gli2 binding to the Ndp promoter. Using a combination of genetic epistasis and acute RNAi-knockdown approaches, we show that Ndp is required downstream of Hh activation to induce retinal progenitor proliferation in the retina. Strikingly, Ndp regulates the rate of cell-cycle re-entry and not cell-cycle kinetics, thereby uncoupling the self-renewal and cell-cycle progression functions of Hh. Taken together, we have uncovered a cell autonomous function for Ndp in retinal progenitor proliferation that is independent of its function in the retinal vasculature, which could explain the neural defects associated with ND.

  17. Preparation and Characterization of Stable α-Synuclein Lipoprotein Particles. (United States)

    Eichmann, Cédric; Campioni, Silvia; Kowal, Julia; Maslennikov, Innokentiy; Gerez, Juan; Liu, Xiaoxia; Verasdonck, Joeri; Nespovitaya, Nadezhda; Choe, Senyon; Meier, Beat H; Picotti, Paola; Rizo, Josep; Stahlberg, Henning; Riek, Roland


    Multiple neurodegenerative diseases are caused by the aggregation of the human α-Synuclein (α-Syn) protein. α-Syn possesses high structural plasticity and the capability of interacting with membranes. Both features are not only essential for its physiological function but also play a role in the aggregation process. Recently it has been proposed that α-Syn is able to form lipid-protein particles reminiscent of high-density lipoproteins. Here, we present a method to obtain a stable and homogeneous population of nanometer-sized particles composed of α-Syn and anionic phospholipids. These particles are called α-Syn lipoprotein (nano)particles to indicate their relationship to high-density lipoproteins formed by human apolipoproteins in vivo and of in vitro self-assembling phospholipid bilayer nanodiscs. Structural investigations of the α-Syn lipoprotein particles by circular dichroism (CD) and magic angle solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (MAS SS-NMR) spectroscopy establish that α-Syn adopts a helical secondary structure within these particles. Based on cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and dynamic light scattering (DLS) α-Syn lipoprotein particles have a defined size with a diameter of ∼23 nm. Chemical cross-linking in combination with solution-state NMR and multiangle static light scattering (MALS) of α-Syn particles reveal a high-order protein-lipid entity composed of ∼8-10 α-Syn molecules. The close resemblance in size between cross-linked in vitro-derived α-Syn lipoprotein particles and a cross-linked species of endogenous α-Syn from SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells indicates a potential functional relevance of α-Syn lipoprotein nanoparticles. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  18. Interaction between subclinical doses of the Parkinson's disease associated gene, α-synuclein, and the pesticide, rotenone, precipitates motor dysfunction and nigrostriatal neurodegeneration in rats. (United States)

    Naughton, Carol; O'Toole, Daniel; Kirik, Deniz; Dowd, Eilís


    In most patients, Parkinson's disease is thought to emerge after a lifetime of exposure to, and interaction between, various genetic and environmental risk factors. One of the key genetic factors linked to this condition is α-synuclein, and the α-synuclein protein is pathologically associated with idiopathic cases. However, α-synuclein pathology is also present in presymptomatic, clinically "normal" individuals suggesting that environmental factors, such as Parkinson's disease-linked agricultural pesticides, may be required to precipitate Parkinson's disease in these individuals. In this context, the aim of this study was to assess the behavioural and neuropathological impact of exposing rats with a subclinical load of α-synuclein to subclinical doses of the organic pesticide, rotenone. Rats were randomly assigned to two groups for intra-nigral infusion of AAV 2/5- GFP or AAV 2/5 -α-synuclein. Post viral motor function was assessed at 8, 10 and 12 weeks in the Corridor, Stepping and Whisker tests of lateralised motor function. At week 12, animals were performance-matched to receive a subsequent intra-striatal challenge of the organic pesticide rotenone (or its vehicle) to yield four final groups (Control, Rotenone, AAV 2/5 -α-synuclein and Combined). Behavioural testing resumed one week after rotenone surgery and continued for 5 weeks. We found that, when administered alone, neither intra-nigral AAV-α-synuclein nor intra-striatal rotenone caused sufficient nigrostriatal neurodegeneration to induce a significant motor impairment in their own right. However, when these were administered sequentially to the same rats, the interaction between the two Parkinsonian challenges significantly exacerbated nigrostriatal neurodegeneration which precipitated a pronounced impairment in motor function. These results indicate that exposing rats with a subclinical α-synuclein-induced pathology to the pesticide, rotenone, profoundly exacerbates their Parkinsonian

  19. Distribution of language-related Cntnap2 protein in neural circuits critical for vocal learning. (United States)

    Condro, Michael C; White, Stephanie A


    Variants of the contactin associated protein-like 2 (Cntnap2) gene are risk factors for language-related disorders including autism spectrum disorder, specific language impairment, and stuttering. Songbirds are useful models for study of human speech disorders due to their shared capacity for vocal learning, which relies on similar cortico-basal ganglia circuitry and genetic factors. Here we investigate Cntnap2 protein expression in the brain of the zebra finch, a songbird species in which males, but not females, learn their courtship songs. We hypothesize that Cntnap2 has overlapping functions in vocal learning species, and expect to find protein expression in song-related areas of the zebra finch brain. We further expect that the distribution of this membrane-bound protein may not completely mirror its mRNA distribution due to the distinct subcellular localization of the two molecular species. We find that Cntnap2 protein is enriched in several song control regions relative to surrounding tissues, particularly within the adult male, but not female, robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA), a cortical song control region analogous to human layer 5 primary motor cortex. The onset of this sexually dimorphic expression coincides with the onset of sensorimotor learning in developing males. Enrichment in male RA appears due to expression in projection neurons within the nucleus, as well as to additional expression in nerve terminals of cortical projections to RA from the lateral magnocellular nucleus of the nidopallium. Cntnap2 protein expression in zebra finch brain supports the hypothesis that this molecule affects neural connectivity critical for vocal learning across taxonomic classes. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. α-Synuclein and huntingtin exon 1 amyloid fibrils bind laterally to the cellular membrane. (United States)

    Monsellier, Elodie; Bousset, Luc; Melki, Ronald


    Fibrillar aggregates involved in neurodegenerative diseases have the ability to spread from one cell to another in a prion-like manner. The underlying molecular mechanisms, in particular the binding mode of the fibrils to cell membranes, are poorly understood. In this work we decipher the modality by which aggregates bind to the cellular membrane, one of the obligatory steps of the propagation cycle. By characterizing the binding properties of aggregates made of α-synuclein or huntingtin exon 1 protein displaying similar composition and structure but different lengths to mammalian cells we demonstrate that in both cases aggregates bind laterally to the cellular membrane, with aggregates extremities displaying little or no role in membrane binding. Lateral binding to artificial liposomes was also observed by transmission electron microscopy. In addition we show that although α-synuclein and huntingtin exon 1 fibrils bind both laterally to the cellular membrane, their mechanisms of interaction differ. Our findings have important implications for the development of future therapeutic tools that aim to block protein aggregates propagation in the brain.

  1. Accumulation of oligomer-prone α-synuclein exacerbates synaptic and neuronal degeneration in vivo. (United States)

    Rockenstein, Edward; Nuber, Silke; Overk, Cassia R; Ubhi, Kiren; Mante, Michael; Patrick, Christina; Adame, Anthony; Trejo-Morales, Margarita; Gerez, Juan; Picotti, Paola; Jensen, Poul H; Campioni, Silvia; Riek, Roland; Winkler, Jürgen; Gage, Fred H; Winner, Beate; Masliah, Eliezer


    In Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies, α-synuclein aggregates to form oligomers and fibrils; however, the precise nature of the toxic α-synuclein species remains unclear. A number of synthetic α-synuclein mutations were recently created (E57K and E35K) that produce species of α-synuclein that preferentially form oligomers and increase α-synuclein-mediated toxicity. We have shown that acute lentiviral expression of α-synuclein E57K leads to the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons; however, the effects of chronic expression of oligomer-prone α-synuclein in synapses throughout the brain have not been investigated. Such a study could provide insight into the possible mechanism(s) through which accumulation of α-synuclein oligomers in the synapse leads to neurodegeneration. For this purpose, we compared the patterns of neurodegeneration and synaptic damage between a newly generated mThy-1 α-synuclein E57K transgenic mouse model that is prone to forming oligomers and the mThy-1 α-synuclein wild-type mouse model (Line 61), which accumulates various forms of α-synuclein. Three lines of α-synuclein E57K (Lines 9, 16 and 54) were generated and compared with the wild-type. The α-synuclein E57K Lines 9 and 16 were higher expressings of α-synuclein, similar to α-synuclein wild-type Line 61, and Line 54 was a low expressing of α-synuclein compared to Line 61. By immunoblot analysis, the higher-expressing α-synuclein E57K transgenic mice showed abundant oligomeric, but not fibrillar, α-synuclein whereas lower-expressing mice accumulated monomeric α-synuclein. Monomers, oligomers, and fibrils were present in α-synuclein wild-type Line 61. Immunohistochemical and ultrastructural analyses demonstrated that α-synuclein accumulated in the synapses but not in the neuronal cells bodies, which was different from the α-synuclein wild-type Line 61, which accumulates α-synuclein in the soma. Compared to non-transgenic and lower-expressing mice, the

  2. Protein Solvent-Accessibility Prediction by a Stacked Deep Bidirectional Recurrent Neural Network

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    Buzhong Zhang


    Full Text Available Residue solvent accessibility is closely related to the spatial arrangement and packing of residues. Predicting the solvent accessibility of a protein is an important step to understand its structure and function. In this work, we present a deep learning method to predict residue solvent accessibility, which is based on a stacked deep bidirectional recurrent neural network applied to sequence profiles. To capture more long-range sequence information, a merging operator was proposed when bidirectional information from hidden nodes was merged for outputs. Three types of merging operators were used in our improved model, with a long short-term memory network performing as a hidden computing node. The trained database was constructed from 7361 proteins extracted from the PISCES server using a cut-off of 25% sequence identity. Sequence-derived features including position-specific scoring matrix, physical properties, physicochemical characteristics, conservation score and protein coding were used to represent a residue. Using this method, predictive values of continuous relative solvent-accessible area were obtained, and then, these values were transformed into binary states with predefined thresholds. Our experimental results showed that our deep learning method improved prediction quality relative to current methods, with mean absolute error and Pearson’s correlation coefficient values of 8.8% and 74.8%, respectively, on the CB502 dataset and 8.2% and 78%, respectively, on the Manesh215 dataset.

  3. Protein Solvent-Accessibility Prediction by a Stacked Deep Bidirectional Recurrent Neural Network. (United States)

    Zhang, Buzhong; Li, Linqing; Lü, Qiang


    Residue solvent accessibility is closely related to the spatial arrangement and packing of residues. Predicting the solvent accessibility of a protein is an important step to understand its structure and function. In this work, we present a deep learning method to predict residue solvent accessibility, which is based on a stacked deep bidirectional recurrent neural network applied to sequence profiles. To capture more long-range sequence information, a merging operator was proposed when bidirectional information from hidden nodes was merged for outputs. Three types of merging operators were used in our improved model, with a long short-term memory network performing as a hidden computing node. The trained database was constructed from 7361 proteins extracted from the PISCES server using a cut-off of 25% sequence identity. Sequence-derived features including position-specific scoring matrix, physical properties, physicochemical characteristics, conservation score and protein coding were used to represent a residue. Using this method, predictive values of continuous relative solvent-accessible area were obtained, and then, these values were transformed into binary states with predefined thresholds. Our experimental results showed that our deep learning method improved prediction quality relative to current methods, with mean absolute error and Pearson's correlation coefficient values of 8.8% and 74.8%, respectively, on the CB502 dataset and 8.2% and 78%, respectively, on the Manesh215 dataset.

  4. PRED-CLASS: cascading neural networks for generalized protein classification and genome-wide applications. (United States)

    Pasquier, C; Promponas, V J; Hamodrakas, S J


    A cascading system of hierarchical, artificial neural networks (named PRED-CLASS) is presented for the generalized classification of proteins into four distinct classes-transmembrane, fibrous, globular, and mixed-from information solely encoded in their amino acid sequences. The architecture of the individual component networks is kept very simple, reducing the number of free parameters (network synaptic weights) for faster training, improved generalization, and the avoidance of data overfitting. Capturing information from as few as 50 protein sequences spread among the four target classes (6 transmembrane, 10 fibrous, 13 globular, and 17 mixed), PRED-CLASS was able to obtain 371 correct predictions out of a set of 387 proteins (success rate approximately 96%) unambiguously assigned into one of the target classes. The application of PRED-CLASS to several test sets and complete proteomes of several organisms demonstrates that such a method could serve as a valuable tool in the annotation of genomic open reading frames with no functional assignment or as a preliminary step in fold recognition and ab initio structure prediction methods. Detailed results obtained for various data sets and completed genomes, along with a web sever running the PRED-CLASS algorithm, can be accessed over the World Wide Web at

  5. Fragile x mental retardation protein regulates proliferation and differentiation of adult neural stem/progenitor cells.

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    Yuping Luo


    Full Text Available Fragile X syndrome (FXS, the most common form of inherited mental retardation, is caused by the loss of functional fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP. FMRP is an RNA-binding protein that can regulate the translation of specific mRNAs. Adult neurogenesis, a process considered important for neuroplasticity and memory, is regulated at multiple molecular levels. In this study, we investigated whether Fmrp deficiency affects adult neurogenesis. We show that in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome, adult neurogenesis is indeed altered. The loss of Fmrp increases the proliferation and alters the fate specification of adult neural progenitor/stem cells (aNPCs. We demonstrate that Fmrp regulates the protein expression of several components critical for aNPC function, including CDK4 and GSK3beta. Dysregulation of GSK3beta led to reduced Wnt signaling pathway activity, which altered the expression of neurogenin1 and the fate specification of aNPCs. These data unveil a novel regulatory role for Fmrp and translational regulation in adult neurogenesis.

  6. DNCON2: improved protein contact prediction using two-level deep convolutional neural networks. (United States)

    Adhikari, Badri; Hou, Jie; Cheng, Jianlin


    Significant improvements in the prediction of protein residue-residue contacts are observed in the recent years. These contacts, predicted using a variety of coevolution-based and machine learning methods, are the key contributors to the recent progress in ab initio protein structure prediction, as demonstrated in the recent CASP experiments. Continuing the development of new methods to reliably predict contact maps is essential to further improve ab initio structure prediction. In this paper we discuss DNCON2, an improved protein contact map predictor based on two-level deep convolutional neural networks. It consists of six convolutional neural networks-the first five predict contacts at 6, 7.5, 8, 8.5 and 10 Å distance thresholds, and the last one uses these five predictions as additional features to predict final contact maps. On the free-modeling datasets in CASP10, 11 and 12 experiments, DNCON2 achieves mean precisions of 35, 50 and 53.4%, respectively, higher than 30.6% by MetaPSICOV on CASP10 dataset, 34% by MetaPSICOV on CASP11 dataset and 46.3% by Raptor-X on CASP12 dataset, when top L/5 long-range contacts are evaluated. We attribute the improved performance of DNCON2 to the inclusion of short- and medium-range contacts into training, two-level approach to prediction, use of the state-of-the-art optimization and activation functions, and a novel deep learning architecture that allows each filter in a convolutional layer to access all the input features of a protein of arbitrary length. The web server of DNCON2 is at where training and testing datasets as well as the predictions for CASP10, 11 and 12 free-modeling datasets can also be downloaded. Its source code is available at Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

  7. Synergistic influence of phosphorylation and metal ions on tau oligomer formation and coaggregation with α-synuclein at the single molecule level

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    Nübling Georg


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Fibrillar amyloid-like deposits and co-deposits of tau and α-synuclein are found in several common neurodegenerative diseases. Recent evidence indicates that small oligomers are the most relevant toxic aggregate species. While tau fibril formation is well-characterized, factors influencing tau oligomerization and molecular interactions of tau and α-synuclein are not well understood. Results We used a novel approach applying confocal single-particle fluorescence to investigate the influence of tau phosphorylation and metal ions on tau oligomer formation and its coaggregation with α-synuclein at the level of individual oligomers. We show that Al3+ at physiologically relevant concentrations and tau phosphorylation by GSK-3β exert synergistic effects on the formation of a distinct SDS-resistant tau oligomer species even at nanomolar protein concentration. Moreover, tau phosphorylation and Al3+ as well as Fe3+ enhanced both formation of mixed oligomers and recruitment of α-synuclein in pre-formed tau oligomers. Conclusions Our findings provide a new perspective on interactions of tau phosphorylation, metal ions, and the formation of potentially toxic oligomer species, and elucidate molecular crosstalks between different aggregation pathways involved in neurodegeneration.

  8. Import and Export of Misfolded α-Synuclein

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    Lilia Rodriguez


    Full Text Available In Parkinson's disease, intracellular α-synuclein (α-syn inclusions form in neurons and are referred to as Lewy bodies. These aggregates spread through the brain following a specific pattern leading to the hypothesis that neuron-to-neuron transfer is critical for the propagation of Lewy body pathology. Here we review recent studies employing pre-formed fibrils generated from recombinant α-syn to evaluate the uptake, trafficking, and release of α-syn fibrils. We outline methods of internalization as well as cell surface receptors that have been described in the literature as regulating α-syn fibril uptake. Pharmacological and genetic studies indicate endocytosis is the primary method of α-syn internalization. Once α-syn fibrils have crossed the plasma membrane they are typically trafficked through the endo-lysosomal system with autophagy acting as the dominant method of α-syn clearance. Interestingly, both chaperone-mediated autophagy and macroautophagy have been implicated in the degradation of α-syn, although it remains unclear which system is chiefly responsible for the removal of α-syn fibrils. The major hallmark of α-syn spreading is the templating of misfolded properties onto healthy protein resulting in a conformational change; we summarize the evidence indicating misfolded α-syn can seed endogenous α-syn to form new aggregates. Finally, recent studies demonstrate that cells release misfolded and aggregated α-syn and that these processes may involve different chaperones. Nonetheless, the exact mechanism for the release of fibrillar α-syn remains unclear. This review highlights what is known, and what requires further clarification, regarding each step of α-syn transmission.

  9. DeepSite: protein-binding site predictor using 3D-convolutional neural networks. (United States)

    Jiménez, J; Doerr, S; Martínez-Rosell, G; Rose, A S; De Fabritiis, G


    An important step in structure-based drug design consists in the prediction of druggable binding sites. Several algorithms for detecting binding cavities, those likely to bind to a small drug compound, have been developed over the years by clever exploitation of geometric, chemical and evolutionary features of the protein. Here we present a novel knowledge-based approach that uses state-of-the-art convolutional neural networks, where the algorithm is learned by examples. In total, 7622 proteins from the scPDB database of binding sites have been evaluated using both a distance and a volumetric overlap approach. Our machine-learning based method demonstrates superior performance to two other competitive algorithmic strategies. DeepSite is freely available at Users can submit either a PDB ID or PDB file for pocket detection to our NVIDIA GPU-equipped servers through a WebGL graphical interface. Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email:

  10. Nascent histamine induces α-synuclein and caspase-3 on human cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Caro-Astorga, Joaquín; Fajardo, Ignacio; Ruiz-Pérez, María Victoria; Sánchez-Jiménez, Francisca; Urdiales, José Luis, E-mail:


    Highlights: • Nascent histamine alters cyclin expression pattern. • Nascent histamine increases expression of α-synuclein. • Nascent histamine activates caspase-3. - Abstract: Histamine (Hia) is the most multifunctional biogenic amine. It is synthetized by histidine decarboxylase (HDC) in a reduced set of mammalian cell types. Mast cells and histaminergic neurons store Hia in specialized organelles until the amine is extruded by exocytosis; however, other immune and cancer cells are able to produce but not store Hia. The intracellular effects of Hia are still not well characterized, in spite of its physiopathological relevance. Multiple functional relationships exist among Hia metabolism/signaling elements and those of other biogenic amines, including growth-related polyamines. Previously, we obtained the first insights for an inhibitory effect of newly synthetized Hia on both growth-related polyamine biosynthesis and cell cycle progression of non-fully differentiated mammalian cells. In this work, we describe progress in this line. HEK293 cells were transfected to express active and inactive versions of GFP-human HDC fusion proteins and, after cell sorting by flow cytometry, the relative expression of a large number of proteins associated with cell signaling were measured using an antibody microarray. Experimental results were analyzed in terms of protein–protein and functional interaction networks. Expression of active HDC induced a cell cycle arrest through the alteration of the levels of several proteins such as cyclin D1, cdk6, cdk7 and cyclin A. Regulation of α-synuclein and caspase-3 was also observed. The analyses provide new clues on the molecular mechanisms underlying the regulatory effects of intracellular newly synthetized Hia on cell proliferation/survival, cell trafficking and protein turnover. This information is especially interesting for emergent and orphan immune and neuroinflammatory diseases.

  11. Inhibiting α-synuclein oligomerization by stable cell-penetrating β-synuclein fragments recovers phenotype of Parkinson's disease model flies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronit Shaltiel-Karyo

    Full Text Available The intracellular oligomerization of α-synuclein is associated with Parkinson's disease and appears to be an important target for disease-modifying treatment. Yet, to date, there is no specific inhibitor for this aggregation process. Using unbiased systematic peptide array analysis, we identified molecular interaction domains within the β-synuclein polypeptide that specifically binds α-synuclein. Adding such peptide fragments to α-synuclein significantly reduced both amyloid fibrils and soluble oligomer formation in vitro. A retro-inverso analogue of the best peptide inhibitor was designed to develop the identified molecular recognition module into a drug candidate. While this peptide shows indistinguishable activity as compared to the native peptide, it is stable in mouse serum and penetrates α-synuclein over-expressing cells. The interaction interface between the D-amino acid peptide and α-synuclein was mapped by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy. Finally, administering the retro-inverso peptide to a Drosophila model expressing mutant A53T α-synuclein in the nervous system, resulted in a significant recovery of the behavioral abnormalities of the treated flies and in a significant reduction in α-synuclein accumulation in the brains of the flies. The engineered retro-inverso peptide can serve as a lead for developing a novel class of therapeutic agents to treat Parkinson's disease.

  12. Alpha-synuclein in cutaneous small nerve fibers

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    Siepmann T


    Full Text Available Timo Siepmann,1 Ben Min-Woo Illigens,2 Kristian Barlinn1 1Department of Neurology, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany; 2Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA Abstract: Despite progression in the development of pharmacological therapy, treatment of alpha synucleinopathies, such as Parkinson’s disease (PD and some atypical parkinsonism syndromes, is still challenging. To date, our knowledge of the mechanisms whereby the pathological form of alpha-synuclein causes structural and functional damage to the nervous system is limited and, consequently, there is a lack of specific diagnostic tools to evaluate pathology in these patients and differentiate PD from other neurodegenerative proteinopathies. Recent studies indicated that alpha-synuclein deposition in cutaneous small nerve fibers assessed by skin biopsies might be a valid disease marker of PD and facilitate early differentiation of PD from atypical parkinsonism syndromes. This observation is relevant since early diagnosis may enable timely treatment and improve quality of life. However, challenges include the necessity of standardizing immunohistochemical analysis techniques and the identification of potential distinct patterns of intraneural alpha-synuclein deposition among synucleinopathies. In this perspective, we explore the scientific and clinical opportunities arising from alpha-synuclein assessment using skin biopsies. These include elucidation of the peripheral nervous system pathology of PD and other synucleinopathies, identification of novel targets to study response to neuroprotective treatment, and improvement of clinical management. Furthermore, we discuss future challenges in exploring the diagnostic value of skin biopsy assessment for alpha-synuclein deposition and implementing the technique in clinical practice. Keywords: Parkinson’s disease, diagnosis, skin

  13. Novel strategy for protein exploration: high-throughput screening assisted with fuzzy neural network. (United States)

    Kato, Ryuji; Nakano, Hideo; Konishi, Hiroyuki; Kato, Katsuya; Koga, Yuchi; Yamane, Tsuneo; Kobayashi, Takeshi; Honda, Hiroyuki


    To engineer proteins with desirable characteristics from a naturally occurring protein, high-throughput screening (HTS) combined with directed evolutional approach is the essential technology. However, most HTS techniques are simple positive screenings. The information obtained from the positive candidates is used only as results but rarely as clues for understanding the structural rules, which may explain the protein activity. In here, we have attempted to establish a novel strategy for exploring functional proteins associated with computational analysis. As a model case, we explored lipases with inverted enantioselectivity for a substrate p-nitrophenyl 3-phenylbutyrate from the wild-type lipase of Burkhorderia cepacia KWI-56, which is originally selective for (S)-configuration of the substrate. Data from our previous work on (R)-enantioselective lipase screening were applied to fuzzy neural network (FNN), bioinformatic algorithm, to extract guidelines for screening and engineering processes to be followed. FNN has an advantageous feature of extracting hidden rules that lie between sequences of variants and their enzyme activity to gain high prediction accuracy. Without any prior knowledge, FNN predicted a rule indicating that "size at position L167," among four positions (L17, F119, L167, and L266) in the substrate binding core region, is the most influential factor for obtaining lipase with inverted (R)-enantioselectivity. Based on the guidelines obtained, newly engineered novel variants, which were not found in the actual screening, were experimentally proven to gain high (R)-enantioselectivity by engineering the size at position L167. We also designed and assayed two novel variants, namely FIGV (L17F, F119I, L167G, and L266V) and FFGI (L17F, L167G, and L266I), which were compatible with the guideline obtained from FNN analysis, and confirmed that these designed lipases could acquire high inverted enantioselectivity. The results have shown that with the aid of

  14. Alpha-synuclein levels in blood plasma decline with healthy aging. (United States)

    Koehler, Niklas K U; Stransky, Elke; Meyer, Mirjam; Gaertner, Susanne; Shing, Mona; Schnaidt, Martina; Celej, Maria S; Jovin, Thomas M; Leyhe, Thomas; Laske, Christoph; Batra, Anil; Buchkremer, Gerhard; Fallgatter, Andreas J; Wernet, Dorothee; Richartz-Salzburger, Elke


    There is unequivocal evidence that alpha-synuclein plays a pivotal pathophysiological role in neurodegenerative diseases, and in particular in synucleinopathies. These disorders present with a variable extent of cognitive impairment and alpha-synuclein is being explored as a biomarker in CSF, blood serum and plasma. Considering key events of aging that include proteostasis, alpha-synuclein may not only be useful as a marker for differential diagnosis but also for aging per se. To explore this hypothesis, we developed a highly specific ELISA to measure alpha-synuclein. In healthy males plasma alpha-synuclein levels correlated strongly with age, revealing much lower concentrations in older (avg. 58.1 years) compared to younger (avg. 27.6 years) individuals. This difference between the age groups was enhanced after acidification of the plasmas (phealthy aging. Thus, alpha-synuclein may be a novel biomarker of aging, a factor that should be considered when analyzing its presence in biological specimens.

  15. Tunneling nanotubes spread fibrillar α-synuclein by intercellular trafficking of lysosomes. (United States)

    Abounit, Saïda; Bousset, Luc; Loria, Frida; Zhu, Seng; de Chaumont, Fabrice; Pieri, Laura; Olivo-Marin, Jean-Christophe; Melki, Ronald; Zurzolo, Chiara


    Synucleinopathies such as Parkinson's disease are characterized by the pathological deposition of misfolded α-synuclein aggregates into inclusions throughout the central and peripheral nervous system. Mounting evidence suggests that intercellular propagation of α-synuclein aggregates may contribute to the neuropathology; however, the mechanism by which spread occurs is not fully understood. By using quantitative fluorescence microscopy with co-cultured neurons, here we show that α-synuclein fibrils efficiently transfer from donor to acceptor cells through tunneling nanotubes (TNTs) inside lysosomal vesicles. Following transfer through TNTs, α-synuclein fibrils are able to seed soluble α-synuclein aggregation in the cytosol of acceptor cells. We propose that donor cells overloaded with α-synuclein aggregates in lysosomes dispose of this material by hijacking TNT-mediated intercellular trafficking. Our findings thus reveal a possible novel role of TNTs and lysosomes in the progression of synucleinopathies. © 2016 The Authors.

  16. TFEB-mediated autophagy rescues midbrain dopamine neurons from α-synuclein toxicity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Decressac, Mickael; Mattsson, Bengt; Weikop, Pia


    that the PD-like neurodegenerative changes induced by excess cellular levels of α-synuclein in nigral dopamine neurons are closely linked to a progressive decline in markers of lysosome function, accompanied by cytoplasmic retention of transcription factor EB (TFEB), a major transcriptional regulator...... in both A9 and A10 dopamine neurons. Delayed activation of TFEB function through inhibition of mammalian target of rapamycin blocked α-synuclein induced neurodegeneration and further disease progression. The results provide a mechanistic link between α-synuclein toxicity and impaired TFEB function......The aggregation of α-synuclein plays a major role in Parkinson disease (PD) pathogenesis. Recent evidence suggests that defects in the autophagy-mediated clearance of α-synuclein contribute to the progressive loss of nigral dopamine neurons. Using an in vivo model of α-synuclein toxicity, we show...

  17. Threonine 53 in α-synuclein is conserved in long-living non-primate animals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Knud; Hedegaard, Claus; Bertelsen, Mads Frost


    α-Synuclein is the main constituent of Lewy bodies in familial and sporadic cases of Parkinson's disease (PD). Autosomal dominant point mutations, gene duplications or triplications in the α-synuclein (SNCA) gene cause hereditary forms of PD. One of the α-synuclein point mutations, Ala53Thr, is a...... that 53Thr is not a molecular adaptation for long-living animals to minimize the risk of developing PD...

  18. Mechanisms of α-Synuclein Induced Synaptopathy in Parkinson's Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessika C. Bridi


    Full Text Available Parkinson's disease (PD is characterized by intracellular inclusions of aggregated and misfolded α-Synuclein (α-Syn, and the loss of dopaminergic (DA neurons in the brain. The resulting motor abnormalities mark the progression of PD, while non-motor symptoms can already be identified during early, prodromal stages of disease. Recent studies provide evidence that during this early prodromal phase, synaptic and axonal abnormalities occur before the degenerative loss of neuronal cell bodies. These early phenotypes can be attributed to synaptic accumulation of toxic α-Syn. Under physiological conditions, α-Syn functions in its native conformation as a soluble monomer. However, PD patient brains are characterized by intracellular inclusions of insoluble fibrils. Yet, oligomers and protofibrils of α-Syn have been identified to be the most toxic species, with their accumulation at presynaptic terminals affecting several steps of neurotransmitter release. First, high levels of α-Syn alter the size of synaptic vesicle pools and impair their trafficking. Second, α-Syn overexpression can either misregulate or redistribute proteins of the presynaptic SNARE complex. This leads to deficient tethering, docking, priming and fusion of synaptic vesicles at the active zone (AZ. Third, α-Syn inclusions are found within the presynaptic AZ, accompanied by a decrease in AZ protein levels. Furthermore, α-Syn overexpression reduces the endocytic retrieval of synaptic vesicle membranes during vesicle recycling. These presynaptic alterations mediated by accumulation of α-Syn, together impair neurotransmitter exocytosis and neuronal communication. Although α-Syn is expressed throughout the brain and enriched at presynaptic terminals, DA neurons are the most vulnerable in PD, likely because α-Syn directly regulates dopamine levels. Indeed, evidence suggests that α-Syn is a negative modulator of dopamine by inhibiting enzymes responsible for its synthesis. In

  19. A Focus on the Beneficial Effects of Alpha Synuclein and a Re-Appraisal of Synucleinopathies. (United States)

    Ryskalin, Larisa; Busceti, Carla L; Limanaqi, Fiona; Biagioni, Francesca; Gambardella, Stefano; Fornai, Francesco


    Alpha synuclein (α-syn) belongs to a class of proteins which are commonly considered to play a detrimental role in neuronal survival. This assumption is based on the occurrence of a severe neuronal degeneration in patients carrying a multiplication of the α-syn gene (SNCA) and in a variety of experimental models, where overexpression of α-syn leads to cell death and neurological impairment. In these conditions, a higher amount of normally structured α-syn produces a damage, which is even worse compared with that produced by α-syn owning an abnormal structure (as occurring following point gene mutations). In line with this, knocking out the expression of α-syn is reported to protect from specific neurotoxins such as 1-methyl, 4-phenyl 1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). In the present review we briefly discuss these well-known detrimental effects but we focus on findings showing that, in specific conditions α-syn is beneficial for cell survival. This occurs during methamphetamine intoxication which is counteracted by endogenous α-syn. Similarly, the dysfunction of the chaperone cysteine-string protein- alpha leads to cell pathology which is counteracted by over-expressing α-syn. In line with this, an increased expression of α-syn protects against oxidative damage produced by dopamine. Remarkably, when the lack of α-syn is combined with a depletion of β- and γ- synucleins, alterations in brain structure and function occur. This review tries to balance the evidence showing a beneficial effect with the bulk of data reporting a detrimental effect of endogenous α-syn. The specific role of α-syn as a chaperone protein is discussed to explain such a dual effect. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at

  20. Expression of neural cell adhesion molecules and neurofilament protein isoforms in Ewing's sarcoma of bone and soft tissue sarcomas of other than rhabdomyosarcoma

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Molenaar, W.M.; Muntinghe, F.L.H.


    In a previous study, it was shown that rhabdomyosarcomas widely express "neural" markers, such as neural cell adhesion molecules (N-CAM) and neurofilament protein isoforms, In the current study, a series of Ewing's sarcomas of bone and soft tissue sarcomas other than rhabdomyosarcoma was probed for

  1. Dissecting CNBP, a zinc-finger protein required for neural crest development, in its structural and functional domains. (United States)

    Armas, Pablo; Agüero, Tristán H; Borgognone, Mariana; Aybar, Manuel J; Calcaterra, Nora B


    Cellular nucleic-acid-binding protein (CNBP) plays an essential role in forebrain and craniofacial development by controlling cell proliferation and survival to mediate neural crest expansion. CNBP binds to single-stranded nucleic acids and displays nucleic acid chaperone activity in vitro. The CNBP family shows a conserved modular organization of seven Zn knuckles and an arginine-glycine-glycine (RGG) box between the first and second Zn knuckles. The participation of these structural motifs in CNBP biochemical activities has still not been addressed. Here, we describe the generation of CNBP mutants that dissect the protein into regions with structurally and functionally distinct properties. Mutagenesis approaches were followed to generate: (i) an amino acid replacement that disrupted the fifth Zn knuckle; (ii) N-terminal deletions that removed the first Zn knuckle and the RGG box, or the RGG box alone; and (iii) a C-terminal deletion that eliminated the three last Zn knuckles. Mutant proteins were overexpressed in Escherichia coli, purified, and used to analyze their biochemical features in vitro, or overexpressed in Xenopus laevis embryos to study their function in vivo during neural crest cell development. We found that the Zn knuckles are required, but not individually essential, for CNBP biochemical activities, whereas the RGG box is essential for RNA-protein binding and nucleic acid chaperone activity. Removal of the RGG box allowed CNBP to preserve a weak single-stranded-DNA-binding capability. A mutant mimicking the natural N-terminal proteolytic CNBP form behaved as the RGG-deleted mutant. By gain-of-function and loss-of-function experiments in Xenopus embryos, we confirmed the participation of CNBP in neural crest development, and we demonstrated that the CNBP mutants lacking the N-terminal region or the RGG box alone may act as dominant negatives in vivo. Based on these data, we speculate about the existence of a specific proteolytic mechanism for the

  2. Neuropathology in mice expressing mouse alpha-synuclein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claus Rieker

    Full Text Available α-Synuclein (αSN in human is tightly linked both neuropathologically and genetically to Parkinson's disease (PD and related disorders. Disease-causing properties in vivo of the wildtype mouse ortholog (mαSN, which carries a threonine at position 53 like the A53T human mutant version that is genetically linked to PD, were never reported. To this end we generated mouse lines that express mαSN in central neurons at levels reaching up to six-fold compared to endogenous mαSN. Unlike transgenic mice expressing human wildtype or mutant forms of αSN, these mαSN transgenic mice showed pronounced ubiquitin immunopathology in spinal cord and brainstem. Isoelectric separation of mαSN species revealed multiple isoforms including two Ser129-phosphorylated species in the most severely affected brain regions. Neuronal Ser129-phosphorylated αSN occurred in granular and small fibrillar aggregates and pathological staining patterns in neurites occasionally revealed a striking ladder of small alternating segments staining either for Ser129-phosphorylated αSN or ubiquitin but not both. Axonal degeneration in long white matter tracts of the spinal cord, with breakdown of myelin sheaths and degeneration of neuromuscular junctions with loss of integrity of the presynaptic neurofilament network in mαSN transgenic mice, was similar to what we have reported for mice expressing human αSN wildtype or mutant forms. In hippocampal neurons, the mαSN protein accumulated and was phosphorylated but these neurons showed no ubiquitin immunopathology. In contrast to the early-onset motor abnormalities and muscle weakness observed in mice expressing human αSN, mαSN transgenic mice displayed only end-stage phenotypic alterations that manifested alongside with neuropathology. Altogether these findings show that increased levels of wildtype mαSN does not induce early-onset behavior changes, but drives end-stage pathophysiological changes in murine neurons that are

  3. Alpha-synuclein cell-to-cell transfer and seeding in grafted dopaminergic neurons in vivo.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elodie Angot

    Full Text Available Several people with Parkinson's disease have been treated with intrastriatal grafts of fetal dopaminergic neurons. Following autopsy, 10-22 years after surgery, some of the grafted neurons contained Lewy bodies similar to those observed in the host brain. Numerous studies have attempted to explain these findings in cell and animal models. In cell culture, α-synuclein has been found to transfer from one cell to another, via mechanisms that include exosomal transport and endocytosis, and in certain cases seed aggregation in the recipient cell. In animal models, transfer of α-synuclein from host brain cells to grafted neurons has been shown, but the reported frequency of the event has been relatively low and little is known about the underlying mechanisms as well as the fate of the transferred α-synuclein. We now demonstrate frequent transfer of α-synuclein from a rat brain engineered to overexpress human α-synuclein to grafted dopaminergic neurons. Further, we show that this model can be used to explore mechanisms underlying cell-to-cell transfer of α-synuclein. Thus, we present evidence both for the involvement of endocytosis in α-synuclein uptake in vivo, and for seeding of aggregation of endogenous α-synuclein in the recipient neuron by the transferred α-synuclein. Finally, we show that, at least in a subset of the studied cells, the transmitted α-synuclein is sensitive to proteinase K. Our new model system could be used to test compounds that inhibit cell-to-cell transfer of α-synuclein and therefore might retard progression of Parkinson neuropathology.

  4. Transfer functions for protein signal transduction: application to a model of striatal neural plasticity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriele Scheler

    Full Text Available We present a novel formulation for biochemical reaction networks in the context of protein signal transduction. The model consists of input-output transfer functions, which are derived from differential equations, using stable equilibria. We select a set of "source" species, which are interpreted as input signals. Signals are transmitted to all other species in the system (the "target" species with a specific delay and with a specific transmission strength. The delay is computed as the maximal reaction time until a stable equilibrium for the target species is reached, in the context of all other reactions in the system. The transmission strength is the concentration change of the target species. The computed input-output transfer functions can be stored in a matrix, fitted with parameters, and even recalled to build dynamical models on the basis of state changes. By separating the temporal and the magnitudinal domain we can greatly simplify the computational model, circumventing typical problems of complex dynamical systems. The transfer function transformation of biochemical reaction systems can be applied to mass-action kinetic models of signal transduction. The paper shows that this approach yields significant novel insights while remaining a fully testable and executable dynamical model for signal transduction. In particular we can deconstruct the complex system into local transfer functions between individual species. As an example, we examine modularity and signal integration using a published model of striatal neural plasticity. The modularizations that emerge correspond to a known biological distinction between calcium-dependent and cAMP-dependent pathways. Remarkably, we found that overall interconnectedness depends on the magnitude of inputs, with higher connectivity at low input concentrations and significant modularization at moderate to high input concentrations. This general result, which directly follows from the properties of

  5. Interaction of Synuclein and Inflammation in Dopaminergic Neurodegeneration (United States)


    induces degeneration of dopaminergic neurons: implications for progression of Parkinson’s disease. Neurotox Res. 19: 63-72, (2011). Kalia, L. V., S...1998). Zhang J, Niu N, Wang M, McNutt MA, Zhang D, Zhang B, Lu S, Liu Y, Liu Z. Neuron-derived IgG protects dopaminergic neurons from insult by 6...AD_________________ Award Number: W81XWH-08-1-0465 TITLE: Interaction of Synuclein and Inflammation in Dopaminergic

  6. α-Synuclein Immunotherapy Blocks Uptake and Templated Propagation of Misfolded α-Synuclein and Neurodegeneration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hien T. Tran


    Full Text Available Accumulation of misfolded alpha-synuclein (α-syn into Lewy bodies (LBs and Lewy neurites (LNs is a major hallmark of Parkinson’s disease (PD and dementia with LBs (DLB. Recent studies showed that synthetic preformed fibrils (pffs recruit endogenous α-syn and induce LB/LN pathology in vitro and in vivo, thereby implicating propagation and cell-to-cell transmission of pathological α-syn as mechanisms for the progressive spread of LBs/LNs. Here, we demonstrate that α-syn monoclonal antibodies (mAbs reduce α-syn pff-induced LB/LN formation and rescue synapse/neuron loss in primary neuronal cultures by preventing both pff uptake and subsequent cell-to-cell transmission of pathology. Moreover, intraperitoneal (i.p. administration of mAb specific for misfolded α-syn into nontransgenic mice injected intrastriatally with α-syn pffs reduces LB/LN pathology, ameliorates substantia nigra dopaminergic neuron loss, and improves motor impairments. We conclude that α-syn antibodies could exert therapeutic effects in PD/DLB by blocking entry of pathological α-syn and/or its propagation in neurons.

  7. Viologen-Phosphorus Dendrimers Inhibit α-Synuclein Fibrillation. (United States)

    Milowska, Katarzyna; Grochowina, Justyna; Katir, Nadia; El Kadib, Abdelkrim; Majoral, Jean-Pierre; Bryszewska, Maria; Gabryelak, Teresa


    Inhibition of α-synuclein (ASN) fibril formation is a potential therapeutic strategy in Parkinson's disease and other synucleinopathies. The aim of this study was to examine the role of viologen-phosphorus dendrimers in the α-synuclein fibrillation process and to assess the structural changes in α-synuclein under the influence of dendrimers. ASN interactions with phosphonate and pegylated surface-reactive viologen-phosphorus dendrimers were examined by measuring the zeta potential, which allowed determining the number of dendrimer molecules that bind to the ASN molecule. The fibrillation kinetics and the structural changes were examined using ThT fluorescence and CD spectroscopy. Depending on the concentration of the used dendrimer and the nature of the reactive groups located on the surface, ASN fibrillation kinetics can be significantly reduced, and even, in the specific case of phosphonate dendrimers, the fibrillation can be totally inhibited at low concentrations. The presented results indicate that viologen-phosphorus dendrimers are able to inhibit ASN fibril formation and may be used as fibrillar regulating agents in neurodegenerative disorders.

  8. The attachment of α -synuclein to a fiber: A coarse-grain approach (United States)

    Ilie, Ioana M.; den Otter, Wouter K.; Briels, Wim J.


    We present simulations of the amyloidogenic core of α-synuclein, the protein causing Parkinson's disease, as a short chain of coarse-grain patchy particles. Each particle represents a sequence of about a dozen amino acids. The fluctuating secondary structure of this intrinsically disordered protein is modelled by dynamic variations of the shape and interaction characteristics of the patchy particles, ranging from spherical with weak isotropic attractions for the disordered state to spherocylindrical with strong directional interactions for a β-sheet. Flexible linkers between the particles enable sampling of the tertiary structure. This novel model is applied here to study the growth of an amyloid fibril, by calculating the free energy profile of a protein attaching to the end of a fibril. The simulation results suggest that the attaching protein readily becomes trapped in a mis-folded state, thereby inhibiting further growth of the fibril until the protein has readjusted to conform to the fibril structure, in line with experimental findings and previous simulations on small fragments of other proteins.

  9. A novel hybrid method of beta-turn identification in protein using binary logistic regression and neural network. (United States)

    Asghari, Mehdi Poursheikhali; Hayatshahi, Sayyed Hamed Sadat; Abdolmaleki, Parviz


    From both the structural and functional points of view, β-turns play important biological roles in proteins. In the present study, a novel two-stage hybrid procedure has been developed to identify β-turns in proteins. Binary logistic regression was initially used for the first time to select significant sequence parameters in identification of β-turns due to a re-substitution test procedure. Sequence parameters were consisted of 80 amino acid positional occurrences and 20 amino acid percentages in sequence. Among these parameters, the most significant ones which were selected by binary logistic regression model, were percentages of Gly, Ser and the occurrence of Asn in position i+2, respectively, in sequence. These significant parameters have the highest effect on the constitution of a β-turn sequence. A neural network model was then constructed and fed by the parameters selected by binary logistic regression to build a hybrid predictor. The networks have been trained and tested on a non-homologous dataset of 565 protein chains. With applying a nine fold cross-validation test on the dataset, the network reached an overall accuracy (Qtotal) of 74, which is comparable with results of the other β-turn prediction methods. In conclusion, this study proves that the parameter selection ability of binary logistic regression together with the prediction capability of neural networks lead to the development of more precise models for identifying β-turns in proteins.

  10. Further exploration of the conformational space of α-synuclein fibrils: solid-state NMR assignment of a high-pH polymorph. (United States)

    Verasdonck, Joeri; Bousset, Luc; Gath, Julia; Melki, Ronald; Böckmann, Anja; Meier, Beat H


    Polymorphism is a common and important phenomenon for protein fibrils which has been linked to the appearance of strains in prion and other neurodegenerative diseases. Parkinson disease is a frequently occurring neurodegenerative pathology, tightly associated with the formation of Lewy bodies. These deposits mainly consist of α-synuclein in fibrillar, β-sheet-rich form. α-synuclein is known to form numerous different polymorphs, which show distinct structural features. Here, we describe the chemical shift assignments, and derive the secondary structure, of a polymorph that was fibrillized at higher-than-physiological pH conditions. The fibrillar core contains residues 40-95, with both the C- and N-terminus not showing any ordered, rigid parts. The chemical shifts are similar to those recorded previously for an assigned polymorph that was fibrillized at neutral pH.

  11. Cholesterol facilitates interactions between α-synuclein oligomers and charge-neutral membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van Maarschalkerweerd, Andreas; Vetri, Valeria; Vestergaard, Bente


    composed of anionic lipids, while the more physiologically relevant zwitterionic lipids remain intact. We present experimental evidence for significant morphological changes in zwitterionic membranes containing cholesterol, induced by α-synuclein oligomers. Depending on the lipid composition, model...... of cholesterol for mediating interactions between physiologically relevant membranes and α-synuclein....

  12. Mechanistic study of the inhibitory activity of Geum urbanum extract against α-Synuclein fibrillation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lobbens, Eva Stephanie; Breydo, Leonid; Pedersen, Thomas Skamris


    microscopy. Since the extract is a complex mixture, structure-function relationships could not be determined. Under the experimental conditions investigated, Geum urbanum was found to inhibit α-Synuclein fibrillation in a concentration dependent way, and to partly disintegrate preformed α-Synuclein fibrils...

  13. Alpha-synuclein levels in blood plasma decline with healthy aging.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Niklas K U Koehler

    Full Text Available There is unequivocal evidence that alpha-synuclein plays a pivotal pathophysiological role in neurodegenerative diseases, and in particular in synucleinopathies. These disorders present with a variable extent of cognitive impairment and alpha-synuclein is being explored as a biomarker in CSF, blood serum and plasma. Considering key events of aging that include proteostasis, alpha-synuclein may not only be useful as a marker for differential diagnosis but also for aging per se. To explore this hypothesis, we developed a highly specific ELISA to measure alpha-synuclein. In healthy males plasma alpha-synuclein levels correlated strongly with age, revealing much lower concentrations in older (avg. 58.1 years compared to younger (avg. 27.6 years individuals. This difference between the age groups was enhanced after acidification of the plasmas (p<0.0001, possibly reflecting a decrease of alpha-synuclein-antibody complexes or chaperone activity in older individuals. Our results support the concept that alpha-synuclein homeostasis may be impaired early on, possibly due to disturbance of the proteostasis network, a key component of healthy aging. Thus, alpha-synuclein may be a novel biomarker of aging, a factor that should be considered when analyzing its presence in biological specimens.

  14. Piceatannol and Other Wine Stilbenes: A Pool of Inhibitors against α-Synuclein Aggregation and Cytotoxicity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamza Temsamani


    Full Text Available The aggregation of α-synuclein is one on the key pathogenic events in Parkinson’s disease. In the present study, we investigated the inhibitory capacities of stilbenes against α-synuclein aggregation and toxicity. Thioflavin T fluorescence, transmission electronic microscopy, and SDS-PAGE analysis were performed to investigate the inhibitory effects of three stilbenes against α-synuclein aggregation: piceatannol, ampelopsin A, and isohopeaphenol. Lipid vesicle permeabilization assays were performed to screen stilbenes for protection against membrane damage induced by aggregated α-synuclein. The viability of PC12 cells was examined using an MTT assay to assess the preventive effects of stilbenes against α-synuclein-induced toxicity. Piceatannol inhibited the formation of α synuclein fibrils and was able to destabilize preformed filaments. It seems to induce the formation of small soluble complexes protecting membranes against α-synuclein-induced damage. Finally, piceatannol protected cells against α-synuclein-induced toxicity. The oligomers tested (ampelopsin A and hopeaphenol were less active.

  15. Alpha-Synuclein Toxicity in the Early Secretory Pathway: How it Drives Neurodegeneration in Parkinsons Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ting eWang


    Full Text Available Alpha-synuclein is a predominant player in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s Disease. However, despite extensive study for two decades, its physiological and pathological mechanisms remain poorly understood. Alpha-synuclein forms a perplexing web of interactions with lipids, trafficking machinery, and other regulatory factors. One emerging consensus is that synaptic vesicles are likely the functional site for alpha-synuclein, where it appears to facilitate vesicle docking and fusion. On the other hand, the disfunctions of alpha-synuclein are more dispersed and numerous; when mutated or over-expressed, alpha-synuclein affects several membrane trafficking and stress pathways, including exocytosis, ER-to-Golgi transport, ER stress, Golgi homeostasis, endocytosis, autophagy, oxidative stress and others. Here we examine recent developments in alpha-synuclein’s toxicity in the early secretory pathway placed in the context of emerging themes from other affected pathways to help illuminate its underlying pathogenic mechanisms in neurodegeneration.

  16. A role of BAG3 in regulating SNCA/α-synuclein clearance via selective macroautophagy. (United States)

    Cao, Yu-Lan; Yang, Ya-Ping; Mao, Cheng-Jie; Zhang, Xiao-Qi; Wang, Chen-Tao; Yang, Jing; Lv, Dong-Jun; Wang, Fen; Hu, Li-Fang; Liu, Chun-Feng


    Many studies reveal that BAG3 plays a critical role in the regulation of protein degradation via macroautophagy. However, it remains unknown whether BAG3 affects the quality control of α-synuclein (SNCA), a Parkinson's disease-related protein. In this study, we demonstrated the increases of BAG3 expression in the ventral midbrain of SNCA A53T transgenic mice and also in MG132-treated PC12 cells overexpressing wild-type SNCA (SNCA WT -PC12). Moreover, we showed that BAG3 overexpression was sufficient to enhance the autophagy activity while knockdown of Bag3 reduced it in SNCA WT -PC12 cells. Immunoprecipitation revealed that BAG3 interacted with heat shock protein 70 and sequestosome 1. The immunostaining also showed the perinuclear accumulation and colocalization of BAG3 with these 2 proteins, as well as with LC3 dots in tyrosine hydroxylase-positive neurons in the midbrain of SNCA A53T mice. BAG3 overexpression was able to modulate SNCA degradation via macroautophagy which was prevented by Atg5 knockdown. Taken together, these results indicate that BAG3 plays a relevant role in regulating SNCA clearance via macroautophagy, and the heat shock protein 70-BAG3-sequestosome 1 complex may be involved in this process. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Assays for alpha-synuclein aggregation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Giehm, Lise; Lorenzen, Nikolai; Otzen, Daniel


    Over the last few decades, protein aggregation gone from being an irritating side product in the test tube to becoming a subject of great interest. This has been stimulated by the realization that a large and growing number of diseases is associated with the formation and accumulation of proteins...

  18. Axonal transport and secretion of fibrillar forms of α-synuclein, Aβ42 peptide and HTTExon 1. (United States)

    Brahic, Michel; Bousset, Luc; Bieri, Gregor; Melki, Ronald; Gitler, Aaron D


    Accruing evidence suggests that prion-like behavior of fibrillar forms of α-synuclein, β-amyloid peptide and mutant huntingtin are responsible for the spread of the lesions that characterize Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease and Huntington disease, respectively. It is unknown whether these distinct protein assemblies are transported within and between neurons by similar or distinct mechanisms. It is also unclear if neuronal death or injury is required for neuron-to-neuron transfer. To address these questions, we used mouse primary cortical neurons grown in microfluidic devices to measure the amounts of α-synuclein, Aβ42 and HTTExon1 fibrils transported by axons in both directions (anterograde and retrograde), as well as to examine the mechanism of their release from axons after anterograde transport. We observed that the three fibrils were transported in both anterograde and retrograde directions but with strikingly different efficiencies. The amount of Aβ42 fibrils transported was ten times higher than that of the other two fibrils. HTTExon1 was efficiently transported in the retrograde direction but only marginally in the anterograde direction. Finally, using neurons from two distinct mutant mouse strains whose axons are highly resistant to neurodegeneration (Wld(S) and Sarm1(-/-)), we found that the three different fibrils were secreted by axons after anterograde transport, in the absence of axonal lysis, indicating that trans-neuronal spread can occur in intact healthy neurons. In summary, fibrils of α-synuclein, Aβ42 and HTTExon1 are all transported in axons but in directions and amounts that are specific of each fibril. After anterograde transport, the three fibrils were secreted in the medium in the absence of axon lysis. Continuous secretion could play an important role in the spread of pathology between neurons but may be amenable to pharmacological intervention.

  19. A panel of recombinant monoclonal antibodies against zebrafish neural receptors and secreted proteins suitable for wholemount immunostaining. (United States)

    Staudt, Nicole; Müller-Sienerth, Nicole; Fane-Dremucheva, Alla; Yusaf, Shahnaz P; Millrine, David; Wright, Gavin J


    Cell surface receptors and secreted proteins play important roles in neural recognition processes, but because their site of action can be a long distance from neuron cell bodies, antibodies that label these proteins are valuable to understand their function. The zebrafish embryo is a popular vertebrate model for neurobiology, but suffers from a paucity of validated antibody reagents. Here, we use the entire ectodomain of neural zebrafish cell surface or secreted proteins expressed in mammalian cells to select monoclonal antibodies to ten different antigens. The antibodies were characterised by Western blotting and the sensitivity of their epitopes to formalin fixation was determined. The rearranged antigen binding regions of the antibodies were amplified and cloned which enabled expression in a recombinant form from a single plasmid. All ten antibodies gave specific staining patterns within formalin-treated embryonic zebrafish brains, demonstrating that this generalised approach is particularly efficient to elicit antibodies that stain native antigen in fixed wholemount tissue. Finally, we show that additional tags can be easily added to the recombinant antibodies for convenient multiplex staining. The antibodies and the approaches described here will help to address the lack of well-defined antibody reagents in zebrafish research. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Functional cross-talk between the cellular prion protein and the neural cell adhesion molecule is critical for neuronal differentiation of neural stem/precursor cells. (United States)

    Prodromidou, Kanella; Papastefanaki, Florentia; Sklaviadis, Theodoros; Matsas, Rebecca


    Cellular prion protein (PrP) is prominently expressed in brain, in differentiated neurons but also in neural stem/precursor cells (NPCs). The misfolding of PrP is a central event in prion diseases, yet the physiological function of PrP is insufficiently understood. Although PrP has been reported to associate with the neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM), the consequences of concerted PrP-NCAM action in NPC physiology are unknown. Here, we generated NPCs from the subventricular zone (SVZ) of postnatal day 5 wild-type and PrP null (-/-) mice and observed that PrP is essential for proper NPC proliferation and neuronal differentiation. Moreover, we found that PrP is required for the NPC response to NCAM-induced neuronal differentiation. In the absence of PrP, NCAM not only fails to promote neuronal differentiation but also induces an accumulation of doublecortin-positive neuronal progenitors at the proliferation stage. In agreement, we noted an increase in cycling neuronal progenitors in the SVZ of PrP-/- mice compared with PrP+/+ mice, as evidenced by double labeling for the proliferation marker Ki67 and doublecortin as well as by 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine incorporation experiments. Additionally, fewer newly born neurons were detected in the rostral migratory stream of PrP-/- mice. Analysis of the migration of SVZ cells in microexplant cultures from wild-type and PrP-/- mice revealed no differences between genotypes or a role for NCAM in this process. Our data demonstrate that PrP plays a critical role in neuronal differentiation of NPCs and suggest that this function is, at least in part, NCAM-dependent. © 2014 AlphaMed Press.

  1. Incorporating deep learning with convolutional neural networks and position specific scoring matrices for identifying electron transport proteins. (United States)

    Le, Nguyen-Quoc-Khanh; Ho, Quang-Thai; Ou, Yu-Yen


    In several years, deep learning is a modern machine learning technique using in a variety of fields with state-of-the-art performance. Therefore, utilization of deep learning to enhance performance is also an important solution for current bioinformatics field. In this study, we try to use deep learning via convolutional neural networks and position specific scoring matrices to identify electron transport proteins, which is an important molecular function in transmembrane proteins. Our deep learning method can approach a precise model for identifying of electron transport proteins with achieved sensitivity of 80.3%, specificity of 94.4%, and accuracy of 92.3%, with MCC of 0.71 for independent dataset. The proposed technique can serve as a powerful tool for identifying electron transport proteins and can help biologists understand the function of the electron transport proteins. Moreover, this study provides a basis for further research that can enrich a field of applying deep learning in bioinformatics. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Application of artificial neural networks for the determination of proteins with CPA-pI by rayleigh light scattering technique

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dong Lijun [Department of Chemistry, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000 (China); Chen Xingguo [Department of Chemistry, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000 (China)]. E-mail:; Hu Zhide [Department of Chemistry, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000 (China)


    The determination of proteins with 2-(4-chloro-2-phosphonophenylazo)-7-(4-iodophenylazo) -1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene-3,6-disulfonic acid (CPA-pI) by Rayleigh light scattering (RLS) was studied in this paper. The weak RLS of CPA-pI and BSA can be enhanced greatly by the addition of Al{sup 3+} at the pH 5.6 and an enhanced RLS signal was produced at 365-385 nm. Based on the reaction of CPA-pI, Al{sup 3+} and proteins, a new quantitative determination method for proteins has been developed. The effect of three variables for the determination of proteins was optimized by means of artificial neural networks (ANNs) using extended delta-bar-delta (EDBD) algorithms with the optimal network structure of 3-5-1. This method is very sensitive (2.5-35.4 {mu}g/ml for bovine serum albumin (BSA)), rapid (<2 min), simple (one step) and tolerance of most interfering substances. Six samples of protein in human serum were determined and the maximum relative error is no more than 2% and the recovery is between 95% and 105%.

  3. New roles of glycosaminoglycans in α-synuclein aggregation in a cellular model of Parkinson disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonia Lehri-Boufala

    Full Text Available The causes of Parkinson disease (PD remain mysterious, although some evidence supports mitochondrial dysfunctions and α-synuclein accumulation in Lewy bodies as major events. The abnormal accumulation of α-synuclein has been associated with a deficiency in the ubiquitin-proteasome system and the autophagy-lysosomal pathway. Cathepsin D (cathD, the major lysosomal protease responsible of α-synuclein degradation was described to be up-regulated in PD model. As glycosaminoglycans (GAGs regulate cathD activity, and have been recently suggested to participate in PD physiopathology, we investigated their role in α-synuclein accumulation by their intracellular regulation of cathD activity. In a classical neuroblastoma cell model of PD induced by MPP+, the genetic expression of GAGs-biosynthetic enzymes was modified, leading to an increase of GAGs amounts whereas intracellular level of α-synuclein increased. The absence of sulfated GAGs increased intracellular cathD activity and limited α-synuclein accumulation. GAGs effects on cathD further suggested that specific sequences or sulfation patterns could be responsible for this regulation. The present study identifies, for the first time, GAGs as new regulators of the lysosome degradation pathway, regulating cathD activity and affecting two main biological processes, α-synuclein aggregation and apoptosis. Finally, this opens new insights into intracellular GAGs functions and new fields of investigation for glycobiological approaches in PD and neurobiology.

  4. KLK6 proteolysis is implicated in the turnover and uptake of extracellular alpha-synuclein species. (United States)

    Pampalakis, Georgios; Sykioti, Vasia-Samantha; Ximerakis, Methodios; Stefanakou-Kalakou, Ioanna; Melki, Ronald; Vekrellis, Kostas; Sotiropoulou, Georgia


    KLK6 is a serine protease highly expressed in the nervous system. In synucleinopathies, including Parkinson disease, the levels of KLK6 inversely correlate with α-synuclein in CSF. Recently, we suggested that recombinant KLK6 mediates the degradation of extracellular α-synuclein directly and via a proteolytic cascade that involves unidentified metalloproteinase(s). Here, we show that recombinant and naturally secreted KLK6 can readily cleave α-synuclein fibrils that have the potential for cell-to-cell propagation in "a prion-like mechanism". Importantly, KLK6-deficient primary cortical neurons have increased ability for α-synuclein fibril uptake. We also demonstrate that KLK6 activates proMMP2, which in turn can cleave α-synuclein. The repertoire of proteases activated by KLK6 in a neuronal environment was analyzed by degradomic profiling, which also identified ADAMTS19 and showed that KLK6 has a limited number of substrates indicating specific biological functions such as the regulation of α-synuclein turnover. We generated adenoviral vectors for KLK6 delivery and demonstrated that the levels of extracellular α-synuclein can be reduced by neuronally secreted KLK6. Our findings open the possibility to exploit KLK6 as a novel therapeutic target for Parkinson disease and other synucleinopathies.

  5. The involvement of dityrosine crosslinking in α-synuclein assembly and deposition in Lewy Bodies in Parkinson’s disease (United States)

    Al-Hilaly, Youssra K.; Biasetti, Luca; Blakeman, Ben J. F.; Pollack, Saskia J.; Zibaee, Shahin; Abdul-Sada, Alaa; Thorpe, Julian R.; Xue, Wei-Feng; Serpell, Louise C.


    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is characterized by intracellular, insoluble Lewy bodies composed of highly stable α-synuclein (α-syn) amyloid fibrils. α-synuclein is an intrinsically disordered protein that has the capacity to assemble to form β-sheet rich fibrils. Oxidiative stress and metal rich environments have been implicated in triggering assembly. Here, we have explored the composition of Lewy bodies in post-mortem tissue using electron microscopy and immunogold labeling and revealed dityrosine crosslinks in Lewy bodies in brain tissue from PD patients. In vitro, we show that dityrosine cross-links in α-syn are formed by covalent ortho-ortho coupling of two tyrosine residues under conditions of oxidative stress by fluorescence and confirmed using mass-spectrometry. A covalently cross-linked dimer isolated by SDS-PAGE and mass analysis showed that dityrosine dimer was formed via the coupling of Y39-Y39 to give a homo dimer peptide that may play a key role in formation of oligomeric and seeds for fibril formation. Atomic force microscopy analysis reveals that the covalent dityrosine contributes to the stabilization of α-syn assemblies. Thus, the presence of oxidative stress induced dityrosine could play an important role in assembly and toxicity of α-syn in PD. PMID:27982082

  6. Co-existence of two different α-synuclein oligomers with different core structures determined by hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Paslawski, Wojciech; Mysling, Simon; Thomsen, Karen


    Neurodegenerative disorders are characterized by the formation of protein oligomers and amyloid fibrils, which in the case of Parkinson's disease involves the protein α-synuclein (αSN). Cytotoxicity is mainly associated with the oligomeric species, but we still know little about their assembly...... are protected from exchange with D2 O until they dissociate into monomeric αSN by EX1 exchange kinetics. Fewer residues are protected against exchange in oligomer type II, but this type does not revert to αSN monomers. Both oligomers are protected in the core sequence Y39-A89. Based on incubation studies...

  7. Predicting dihedral angle probability distributions for protein coil residues from primary sequence using neural networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Helles, Glennie; Fonseca, Rasmus


    residue in the input-window. The trained neural network shows a significant improvement (4-68%) in predicting the most probable bin (covering a 30°×30° area of the dihedral angle space) for all amino acids in the data set compared to first order statistics. An accuracy comparable to that of secondary...... seem to have a significant influence on the dihedral angles adopted by the individual amino acids in coil segments. In this work we attempt to predict a probability distribution of these dihedral angles based on the flanking residues. While attempts to predict dihedral angles of coil segments have been...... done previously, none have, to our knowledge, presented comparable results for the probability distribution of dihedral angles. Results: In this paper we develop an artificial neural network that uses an input-window of amino acids to predict a dihedral angle probability distribution for the middle...

  8. Protein distance constraints predicted by neural networks and probability density functions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lund, Ole; Frimand, Kenneth; Gorodkin, Jan


    We predict interatomic C-α distances by two independent data driven methods. The first method uses statistically derived probability distributions of the pairwise distance between two amino acids, whilst the latter method consists of a neural network prediction approach equipped with windows taki...... method based on the predicted distances is presented. A homepage with software, predictions and data related to this paper is available at

  9. An RNA-binding protein, Qki5, regulates embryonic neural stem cells through pre-mRNA processing in cell adhesion signaling. (United States)

    Hayakawa-Yano, Yoshika; Suyama, Satoshi; Nogami, Masahiro; Yugami, Masato; Koya, Ikuko; Furukawa, Takako; Zhou, Li; Abe, Manabu; Sakimura, Kenji; Takebayashi, Hirohide; Nakanishi, Atsushi; Okano, Hideyuki; Yano, Masato


    Cell type-specific transcriptomes are enabled by the action of multiple regulators, which are frequently expressed within restricted tissue regions. In the present study, we identify one such regulator, Quaking 5 (Qki5), as an RNA-binding protein (RNABP) that is expressed in early embryonic neural stem cells and subsequently down-regulated during neurogenesis. mRNA sequencing analysis in neural stem cell culture indicates that Qki proteins play supporting roles in the neural stem cell transcriptome and various forms of mRNA processing that may result from regionally restricted expression and subcellular localization. Also, our in utero electroporation gain-of-function study suggests that the nuclear-type Qki isoform Qki5 supports the neural stem cell state. We next performed in vivo transcriptome-wide protein-RNA interaction mapping to search for direct targets of Qki5 and elucidate how Qki5 regulates neural stem cell function. Combined with our transcriptome analysis, this mapping analysis yielded a bona fide map of Qki5-RNA interaction at single-nucleotide resolution, the identification of 892 Qki5 direct target genes, and an accurate Qki5-dependent alternative splicing rule in the developing brain. Last, our target gene list provides the first compelling evidence that Qki5 is associated with specific biological events; namely, cell-cell adhesion. This prediction was confirmed by histological analysis of mice in which Qki proteins were genetically ablated, which revealed disruption of the apical surface of the lateral wall in the developing brain. These data collectively indicate that Qki5 regulates communication between neural stem cells by mediating numerous RNA processing events and suggest new links between splicing regulation and neural stem cell states. © 2017 Hayakawa-Yano et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  10. Non-uniform self-assembly: On the anisotropic architecture of α-synuclein supra-fibrillar aggregates. (United States)

    Semerdzhiev, Slav A; Shvadchak, Volodymyr V; Subramaniam, Vinod; Claessens, Mireille M A E


    Although the function of biopolymer hydrogels in nature depends on structural anisotropy at mesoscopic length scales, the self-assembly of such anisotropic structures in vitro is challenging. Here we show that fibrils of the protein α-synuclein spontaneously self-assemble into structurally anisotropic hydrogel particles. While the fibrils in the interior of these supra-fibrillar aggregates (SFAs) are randomly oriented, the fibrils in the periphery prefer to cross neighboring fibrils at high angles. This difference in organization coincides with a significant difference in polarity of the environment in the central and peripheral parts of the SFA. We rationalize the structural anisotropy of SFAs in the light of the observation that αS fibrils bind a substantial amount of counterions. We propose that, with the progress of protein polymerization into fibrils, this binding of counterions changes the ionic environment which triggers a change in fibril organization resulting in anisotropy in the architecture of hydrogel particles.

  11. Differential up-regulation of striatal dopamine transporter and α-synuclein by the pyrethroid insecticide permethrin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gillette, Jeffrey S.; Bloomquist, Jeffrey R.


    The effects of permethrin on striatal dopaminergic biomarkers were assessed in this study. Retired breeder male C57 B1/6 mice were given an ip dose of permethrin (0.1-200 mg/kg) at 7-day intervals, over a 2-week period (Days 0, 7, and 14). Animals were then sacrificed 1 day (t = 1), 14 days (t 14), or 28 days after the last treatment (t = 28). Dopamine transporter (DAT) protein as assayed by Western blotting was increased to 115% in the 0.8 mg/kg group over that of control mice at t = 1 (P 3 H]GBR 12935, used to assay DAT binding, followed the same trend as that for the Western blotting data for 0.8 and 1.5 mg/kg doses of permethrin over the 4 weeks posttreatment. At 200 mg/kg permethrin, DAT protein was unchanged vs controls (t = 1), but had significantly increased by t = 14 and continued to increase at t = 28, suggesting that the reduced dopamine transport at this dose was due to nerve terminal stress and that recovery had occurred. The protein α-synuclein was also significantly induced at the 1.5 mg/kg dose at t = 1; however, unlike DAT up-regulation, this effect had declined to control values by t 14. Maximal induction of α-synuclein protein occurred at a dose of 50 mg/kg permethrin. These data provide evidence that the pyrethroid class of insecticides can modulate the dopaminergic system at low doses, in a persistent manner, which may render neurons more vulnerable to toxicant injury

  12. Association of Cerebrospinal Fluid β-Amyloid 1-42, T-tau, P-tau181, and α-Synuclein Levels With Clinical Features of Drug-Naive Patients With Early Parkinson Disease (United States)

    Kang, Ju-Hee; Irwin, David J.; Chen-Plotkin, Alice S.; Siderowf, Andrew; Caspell, Chelsea; Coffey, Christopher S.; Waligórska, Teresa; Taylor, Peggy; Pan, Sarah; Frasier, Mark; Marek, Kenneth; Kieburtz, Karl; Jennings, Danna; Simuni, Tanya; Tanner, Caroline M.; Singleton, Andrew; Toga, Arthur W.; Chowdhury, Sohini; Mollenhauer, Brit; Trojanowski, John Q.; Shaw, Leslie M.


    Importance We observed a significant correlation between cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of tau proteins and α-synuclein, but not β-amyloid 1–42 (Aβ1–42), and lower concentration of CSF biomarkers, as compared with healthy controls, in a cohort of entirely untreated patients with Parkinson disease (PD) at the earliest stage of the disease studied so far. Objective To evaluate the baseline characteristics and relationship to clinical features of CSF biomarkers (Aβ1–42, total tau [T-tau], tau phosphorylated at threonine 181 [P-tau181], and α-synuclein) in drug-naive patients with early PD and demographically matched healthy controls enrolled in the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) study. Design, Setting, and Participants Cross-sectional study of the initial 102 research volunteers (63 patients with PD and 39 healthy controls) of the PPMI cohort. Main Outcomes and Measures The CSF biomarkers were measured by INNO-BIA AlzBio3 immunoassay (Aβ1–42, T-tau, and P-tau181; Innogenetics Inc) or by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (α-synuclein). Clinical features including diagnosis, demographic characteristics, motor, neuropsychiatric, and cognitive assessments, and DaTscan were systematically assessed according to the PPMI study protocol. Results Slightly, but significantly, lower levels of Aβ1–42, T-tau, P-tau181, α-synuclein, and T-tau/Aβ1–42 were seen in subjects with PD compared with healthy controls but with a marked overlap between groups. Using multivariate regression analysis, we found that lower Aβ1–42 and P-tau181 levels were associated with PD diagnosis and that decreased CSF T-tau and α-synuclein were associated with increased motor severity. Notably, when we classified patients with PD by their motor phenotypes, lower CSF Aβ1–42 and P-tau181 concentrations were associated with the postural instability–gait disturbance–dominant phenotype but not with the tremor-dominant or intermediate phenotype. Finally, we

  13. Enhanced motivation to alcohol in transgenic mice expressing human α-synuclein. (United States)

    Rotermund, Carola; Reolon, Gustavo K; Leixner, Sarah; Boden, Cindy; Bilbao, Ainhoa; Kahle, Philipp J


    α-Synuclein (αSYN) is the neuropathological hallmark protein of Parkinson's disease (PD) and related neurodegenerative disorders. Moreover, the gene encoding αSYN (SNCA) is a major genetic contributor to PD. Interestingly, independent genome-wide association studies also identified SNCA as the most important candidate gene for alcoholism. Furthermore, single-nucleotide-polymorphisms have been associated with alcohol-craving behavior and alcohol-craving patients showed augmented αSYN expression in blood. To investigate the effect of αSYN on the addictive properties of chronic alcohol use, we examined consumption, motivation, and seeking responses induced by environmental stimuli and relapse behavior in transgenic mice expressing the human mutant [A30P]αSYN throughout the brain. The primary reinforcing effects of alcohol under operant self-administration conditions were increased, while consumption and the alcohol deprivation effect were not altered in the transgenic mice. The same mice were subjected to immunohistochemical measurements of immediate-early gene inductions in brain regions involved in addiction-related behaviors. Acute ethanol injection enhanced immunostaining for the phosphorylated form of cAMP response element binding protein in both amygdala and nucleus accumbens of αSYN transgenic mice, while in wild-type mice no effect was visible. However, at the same time, levels of cFos remain unchanged in both genotypes. These results provide experimental confirmation of SNCA as a candidate gene for alcoholism in addition to its known link to PD. © 2017 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  14. Toxic prefibrillar α-synuclein amyloid oligomers adopt a distinctive antiparallel β-sheet structure. (United States)

    Celej, María Soledad; Sarroukh, Rabia; Goormaghtigh, Erik; Fidelio, Gerardo D; Ruysschaert, Jean-Marie; Raussens, Vincent


    Parkinson's disease is an age-related movement disorder characterized by the presence in the mid-brain of amyloid deposits of the 140-amino-acid protein AS (α-synuclein). AS fibrillation follows a nucleation polymerization pathway involving diverse transient prefibrillar species varying in size and morphology. Similar to other neurodegenerative diseases, cytotoxicity is currently attributed to these prefibrillar species rather than to the insoluble aggregates. Nevertheless, the underlying molecular mechanisms responsible for cytotoxicity remain elusive and structural studies may contribute to the understanding of both the amyloid aggregation mechanism and oligomer-induced toxicity. It is already recognized that soluble oligomeric AS species adopt β-sheet structures that differ from those characterizing the fibrillar structure. In the present study we used ATR (attenuated total reflection)-FTIR (Fourier-transform infrared) spectroscopy, a technique especially sensitive to β-sheet structure, to get a deeper insight into the β-sheet organization within oligomers and fibrils. Careful spectral analysis revealed that AS oligomers adopt an antiparallel β-sheet structure, whereas fibrils adopt a parallel arrangement. The results are discussed in terms of regions of the protein involved in the early β-sheet interactions and the implications of such conformational arrangement for the pathogenicity associated with AS oligomers.

  15. Modification of C Terminus Provides New Insights into the Mechanism of alpha-Synuclein Aggregation

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Afitska, Kseniia; Fučíková, A.; Shvadchak, Volodymyr V.; Yushchenko, Dmytro A.


    Roč. 113, č. 10 (2017), s. 2182-2191 ISSN 0006-3495 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : alpha-synuclein * aggregation * kinetics Subject RIV: BO - Biophysics OBOR OECD: Biophysics Impact factor: 3.656, year: 2016

  16. Predicting backbone Cα angles and dihedrals from protein sequences by stacked sparse auto-encoder deep neural network. (United States)

    Lyons, James; Dehzangi, Abdollah; Heffernan, Rhys; Sharma, Alok; Paliwal, Kuldip; Sattar, Abdul; Zhou, Yaoqi; Yang, Yuedong


    Because a nearly constant distance between two neighbouring Cα atoms, local backbone structure of proteins can be represented accurately by the angle between C(αi-1)-C(αi)-C(αi+1) (θ) and a dihedral angle rotated about the C(αi)-C(αi+1) bond (τ). θ and τ angles, as the representative of structural properties of three to four amino-acid residues, offer a description of backbone conformations that is complementary to φ and ψ angles (single residue) and secondary structures (>3 residues). Here, we report the first machine-learning technique for sequence-based prediction of θ and τ angles. Predicted angles based on an independent test have a mean absolute error of 9° for θ and 34° for τ with a distribution on the θ-τ plane close to that of native values. The average root-mean-square distance of 10-residue fragment structures constructed from predicted θ and τ angles is only 1.9Å from their corresponding native structures. Predicted θ and τ angles are expected to be complementary to predicted ϕ and ψ angles and secondary structures for using in model validation and template-based as well as template-free structure prediction. The deep neural network learning technique is available as an on-line server called Structural Property prediction with Integrated DEep neuRal network (SPIDER) at Copyright © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Analysis of Drug Design for a Selection of G Protein-Coupled Neuro-Receptors Using Neural Network Techniques

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Agerskov, Claus; Mortensen, Rasmus M.; Bohr, Henrik G.


    A study is presented on how well possible drug-molecules can be predicted with respect to their function and binding to a selection of neuro-receptors by the use of artificial neural networks. The ligands investigated in this study are chosen to be corresponding to the G protein-coupled receptors...... computational tools, able to aid in drug-design in a fast and cheap fashion, compared to conventional pharmacological techniques....... mu-opioid, serotonin 2B (5-HT2B) and metabotropic glutamate D5. They are selected due to the availability of pharmacological drug-molecule binding data for these receptors. Feedback and deep belief artificial neural network architectures (NNs) were chosen to perform the task of aiding drug-design.......925. The performance of 8 category networks (8 output classes for binding strength) obtained a prediction accuracy of above 60 %. After training the networks, tests were done on how well the systems could be used as an aid in designing candidate drug molecules. Specifically, it was shown how a selection of chemical...

  18. Glucose Metabolism and AMPK Signaling Regulate Dopaminergic Cell Death Induced by Gene (α-Synuclein)-Environment (Paraquat) Interactions. (United States)

    Anandhan, Annadurai; Lei, Shulei; Levytskyy, Roman; Pappa, Aglaia; Panayiotidis, Mihalis I; Cerny, Ronald L; Khalimonchuk, Oleh; Powers, Robert; Franco, Rodrigo


    While environmental exposures are not the single cause of Parkinson's disease (PD), their interaction with genetic alterations is thought to contribute to neuronal dopaminergic degeneration. However, the mechanisms involved in dopaminergic cell death induced by gene-environment interactions remain unclear. In this work, we have revealed for the first time the role of central carbon metabolism and metabolic dysfunction in dopaminergic cell death induced by the paraquat (PQ)-α-synuclein interaction. The toxicity of PQ in dopaminergic N27 cells was significantly reduced by glucose deprivation, inhibition of hexokinase with 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG), or equimolar substitution of glucose with galactose, which evidenced the contribution of glucose metabolism to PQ-induced cell death. PQ also stimulated an increase in glucose uptake, and in the levels of glucose transporter type 4 (GLUT4) and Na + -glucose transporters isoform 1 (SGLT1) proteins, but only inhibition of GLUT-like transport with STF-31 or ascorbic acid reduced PQ-induced cell death. Importantly, while autophagy protein 5 (ATG5)/unc-51 like autophagy activating kinase 1 (ULK1)-dependent autophagy protected against PQ toxicity, the inhibitory effect of glucose deprivation on cell death progression was largely independent of autophagy or mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling. PQ selectively induced metabolomic alterations and adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activation in the midbrain and striatum of mice chronically treated with PQ. Inhibition of AMPK signaling led to metabolic dysfunction and an enhanced sensitivity of dopaminergic cells to PQ. In addition, activation of AMPK by PQ was prevented by inhibition of the inducible nitric oxide syntase (iNOS) with 1400W, but PQ had no effect on iNOS levels. Overexpression of wild type or A53T mutant α-synuclein stimulated glucose accumulation and PQ toxicity, and this toxic synergism was reduced by inhibition of glucose metabolism

  19. Neuron-to-neuron transmission of α-synuclein fibrils through axonal transport (United States)

    Freundt, Eric C.; Maynard, Nate; Clancy, Eileen K.; Roy, Shyamali; Bousset, Luc; Sourigues, Yannick; Covert, Markus; Melki, Ronald; Kirkegaard, Karla; Brahic, Michel


    Objective The lesions of Parkinson's disease spread through the brain in a characteristic pattern that corresponds to axonal projections. Previous observations suggest that misfolded α-synuclein could behave as a prion, moving from neuron to neuron and causing endogenous α-synuclein to misfold. Here, we characterized and quantified the axonal transport of α-synuclein fibrils and showed that fibrils could be transferred from axons to second-order neurons following anterograde transport. Methods We grew primary cortical mouse neurons in microfluidic devices to separate soma from axonal projections in fluidically isolated microenvironments. We used live-cell imaging and immunofluorescence to characterize the transport of fluorescent α-synuclein fibrils and their transfer to second-order neurons. Results Fibrillar α-synuclein was internalized by primary neurons and transported in axons with kinetics consistent with slow component-b of axonal transport (fast axonal transport with saltatory movement). Fibrillar α-synuclein was readily observed in the cell bodies of second-order neurons following anterograde axonal transport. Axon-to-soma transfer appeared not to require synaptic contacts. Interpretation These results support the hypothesis that the progression of Parkinson's disease can be caused by neuron-to-neuron spread of α-synuclein aggregates and that the anatomical pattern of progression of lesions between axonally connected areas results from the axonal transport of such aggregates. That the transfer did not appear to be transsynaptic gives hope that α-synuclein fibrils could be intercepted by drugs during the extra-cellular phase of their journey. PMID:23109146

  20. AUC-Maximized Deep Convolutional Neural Fields for Protein Sequence Labeling. (United States)

    Wang, Sheng; Sun, Siqi; Xu, Jinbo


    Deep Convolutional Neural Networks (DCNN) has shown excellent performance in a variety of machine learning tasks. This paper presents Deep Convolutional Neural Fields (DeepCNF), an integration of DCNN with Conditional Random Field (CRF), for sequence labeling with an imbalanced label distribution. The widely-used training methods, such as maximum-likelihood and maximum labelwise accuracy, do not work well on imbalanced data. To handle this, we present a new training algorithm called maximum-AUC for DeepCNF. That is, we train DeepCNF by directly maximizing the empirical Area Under the ROC Curve (AUC), which is an unbiased measurement for imbalanced data. To fulfill this, we formulate AUC in a pairwise ranking framework, approximate it by a polynomial function and then apply a gradient-based procedure to optimize it. Our experimental results confirm that maximum-AUC greatly outperforms the other two training methods on 8-state secondary structure prediction and disorder prediction since their label distributions are highly imbalanced and also has similar performance as the other two training methods on solvent accessibility prediction, which has three equally-distributed labels. Furthermore, our experimental results show that our AUC-trained DeepCNF models greatly outperform existing popular predictors of these three tasks. The data and software related to this paper are available at

  1. Quiescent Oct4+ Neural Stem Cells (NSCs) Repopulate Ablated Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein+ NSCs in the Adult Mouse Brain. (United States)

    Reeve, Rachel L; Yammine, Samantha Z; Morshead, Cindi M; van der Kooy, Derek


    Adult primitive neural stem cells (pNSCs) are a rare population of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) - Oct4 + cells in the mouse forebrain subependymal zone bordering the lateral ventricles that give rise to clonal neurospheres in leukemia inhibitory factor in vitro. pNSC neurospheres can be passaged to self-renew or give rise to GFAP + NSCs that form neurospheres in epidermal growth factor and fibroblast growth factor 2, which we collectively refer to as definitive NSCs (dNSCs). Label retention experiments using doxycycline-inducible histone-2B (H2B)-green fluorescent protein (GFP) mice and several chase periods of up to 1 year quantified the adult pNSC cell cycle time as 3-5 months. We hypothesized that while pNSCs are not very proliferative at baseline, they may exist as a reserve pool of NSCs in case of injury. To test this function of pNSCs, we obtained conditional Oct4 knockout mice, Oct4 fl/fl ;Sox1 Cre (Oct4 CKO ), which do not yield adult pNSC-derived neurospheres. When we ablated the progeny of pNSCs, namely all GFAP + dNSCs, in these Oct4 CKO mice, we found that dNSCs did not recover as they do in wild-type mice, suggesting that pNSCs are necessary for dNSC repopulation. Returning to the H2B-GFP mice, we observed that the cytosine β-d-arabinofuranoside ablation of proliferating cells including dNSCs-induced quiescent pNSCs to proliferate and significantly dilute their H2B-GFP label. In conclusion, we demonstrate that pNSCs are the most quiescent stem cells in the adult brain reported to date and that their lineage position upstream of GFAP + dNSCs allows them to repopulate a depleted neural lineage. Stem Cells 2017;35:2071-2082. © 2017 AlphaMed Press.

  2. Amyloid formation and disaggregation of α-synuclein and its tandem repeat (α-TR)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bae, Song Yi; Kim, Seulgi; Hwang, Heejin; Kim, Hyun-Kyung; Yoon, Hyun C.; Kim, Jae Ho; Lee, SangYoon; Kim, T. Doohun


    Research highlights: → Formation of the α-synuclein amyloid fibrils by [BIMbF 3 Im]. → Disaggregation of amyloid fibrils by epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and baicalein. → Amyloid formation of α-synuclein tandem repeat (α-TR). -- Abstract: The aggregation of α-synuclein is clearly related to the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease. Therefore, detailed understanding of the mechanism of fibril formation is highly valuable for the development of clinical treatment and also of the diagnostic tools. Here, we have investigated the interaction of α-synuclein with ionic liquids by using several biochemical techniques including Thioflavin T assays and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Our data shows a rapid formation of α-synuclein amyloid fibrils was stimulated by 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide [BIMbF 3 Im], and these fibrils could be disaggregated by polyphenols such as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and baicalein. Furthermore, the effect of [BIMbF 3 Im] on the α-synuclein tandem repeat (α-TR) in the aggregation process was studied.

  3. C. elegans model identifies genetic modifiers of alpha-synuclein inclusion formation during aging.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tjakko J van Ham


    Full Text Available Inclusions in the brain containing alpha-synuclein are the pathological hallmark of Parkinson's disease, but how these inclusions are formed and how this links to disease is poorly understood. We have developed a C. elegans model that makes it possible to monitor, in living animals, the formation of alpha-synuclein inclusions. In worms of old age, inclusions contain aggregated alpha- synuclein, resembling a critical pathological feature. We used genome-wide RNA interference to identify processes involved in inclusion formation, and identified 80 genes that, when knocked down, resulted in a premature increase in the number of inclusions. Quality control and vesicle-trafficking genes expressed in the ER/Golgi complex and vesicular compartments were overrepresented, indicating a specific role for these processes in alpha-synuclein inclusion formation. Suppressors include aging-associated genes, such as sir-2.1/SIRT1 and lagr-1/LASS2. Altogether, our data suggest a link between alpha-synuclein inclusion formation and cellular aging, likely through an endomembrane-related mechanism. The processes and genes identified here present a framework for further study of the disease mechanism and provide candidate susceptibility genes and drug targets for Parkinson's disease and other alpha-synuclein related disorders.

  4. Altered α-synuclein, parkin, and synphilin isoform levels in multiple system atrophy brains

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brudek, Tomasz; Winge, Kristian; Rasmussen, Nadja Bredo


    Together with Parkinson's disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies, multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a member of a diverse group of neurodegenerative disorders termed α-synucleinopathies. Previously, it has been shown that α-synuclein, parkin, and synphilin-1 display disease-specific transcript......Together with Parkinson's disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies, multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a member of a diverse group of neurodegenerative disorders termed α-synucleinopathies. Previously, it has been shown that α-synuclein, parkin, and synphilin-1 display disease......-specific transcription patterns in frontal cortex in PD, dementia with Lewy bodies, and MSA, and thus may mediate the development of α-synucleinopathies. In this study, the differential expression of α-synuclein isoforms on transcriptional and translational levels was ascertained in MSA patients in comparison with PD......-synuclein in the brain. We report differential expression of α-synuclein, parkin, and synphilin-1 isoforms in multiple system atrophy (MSA) versus Parkinson's disease and normal control brains. We have focused on brain regions that are severely affected by α-synuclein pathology and neurodegeneration in MSA. The reported...

  5. Structural variation of alpha-synuclein with temperature by a coarse-grained approach with knowledge-based interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Mirau


    Full Text Available Despite enormous efforts, our understanding the structure and dynamics of α-synuclein (ASN, a disordered protein (that plays a key role in neurodegenerative disease is far from complete. In order to better understand sequence-structure-property relationships in α-SYNUCLEIN we have developed a coarse-grained model using knowledge-based residue-residue interactions and used it to study the structure of free ASN as a function of temperature (T with a large-scale Monte Carlo simulation. Snapshots of the simulation and contour contact maps show changes in structure formation due to self-assembly as a function of temperature. Variations in the residue mobility profiles reveal clear distinction among three segments along the protein sequence. The N-terminal (1-60 and C-terminal (96-140 regions contain the least mobile residues, which are separated by the higher mobility non-amyloid component (NAC (61-95. Our analysis of the intra-protein contact profile shows a higher frequency of residue aggregation (clumping in the N-terminal region relative to that in the C-terminal region, with little or no aggregation in the NAC region. The radius of gyration (Rg of ASN decays monotonically with decreasing the temperature, consistent with the finding of Allison et al. (JACS, 2009. Our analysis of the structure function provides an insight into the mass (N distribution of ASN, and the dimensionality (D of the structure as a function of temperature. We find that the globular structure with D ≈ 3 at low T, a random coil, D ≈ 2 at high T and in between (2 ≤ D ≤ 3 at the intermediate temperatures. The magnitudes of D are in agreement with experimental estimates (J. Biological Chem 2002.

  6. Acyl-CoA synthetase activity links wild-type but not mutant a-Synuclein to brain arachidonate metabolism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Golovko, Mikhail; Rosenberger, Thad; Færgeman, Nils J.


    Because alpha-synuclein (Snca) has a role in brain lipid metabolism, we determined the impact that the loss of alpha-synuclein had on brain arachidonic acid (20:4n-6) metabolism in vivo using Snca-/- mice. We measured [1-(14)C]20:4n-6 incorporation and turnover kinetics in brain phospholipids using......, our data demonstrate that alpha-synuclein has a major role in brain 20:4n-6 metabolism through its modulation of endoplasmic reticulum-localized acyl-CoA synthetase activity, although mutant forms of alpha-synuclein fail to restore this activity....

  7. A Nuclear Role for miR-9 and Argonaute Proteins in Balancing Quiescent and Activated Neural Stem Cell States

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shauna Katz


    Full Text Available Throughout life, adult neural stem cells (NSCs produce new neurons and glia that contribute to crucial brain functions. Quiescence is an essential protective feature of adult NSCs; however, the establishment and maintenance of this state remain poorly understood. We demonstrate that in the adult zebrafish pallium, the brain-enriched miR-9 is expressed exclusively in a subset of quiescent NSCs, highlighting a heterogeneity within these cells, and is necessary to maintain NSC quiescence. Strikingly, miR-9, along with Argonaute proteins (Agos, is localized to the nucleus of quiescent NSCs, and manipulating their nuclear/cytoplasmic ratio impacts quiescence. Mechanistically, miR-9 permits efficient Notch signaling to promote quiescence, and we identify the RISC protein TNRC6 as a mediator of miR-9/Agos nuclear localization in vivo. We propose a conserved non-canonical role for nuclear miR-9/Agos in controlling the balance between NSC quiescence and activation, a key step in maintaining adult germinal pools.

  8. Exogenous α-synuclein hinders synaptic communication in cultured cortical primary rat neurons. (United States)

    Hassink, G C; Raiss, C C; Segers-Nolten, I M J; van Wezel, R J A; Subramaniam, V; le Feber, J; Claessens, M M A E


    Amyloid aggregates of the protein α-synuclein (αS) called Lewy Bodies (LB) and Lewy Neurites (LN) are the pathological hallmark of Parkinson's disease (PD) and other synucleinopathies. We have previously shown that high extracellular αS concentrations can be toxic to cells and that neurons take up αS. Here we aimed to get more insight into the toxicity mechanism associated with high extracellular αS concentrations (50-100 μM). High extracellular αS concentrations resulted in a reduction of the firing rate of the neuronal network by disrupting synaptic transmission, while the neuronal ability to fire action potentials was still intact. Furthermore, many cells developed αS deposits larger than 500 nm within five days, but otherwise appeared healthy. Synaptic dysfunction clearly occurred before the establishment of large intracellular deposits and neuronal death, suggesting that an excessive extracellular αS concentration caused synaptic failure and which later possibly contributed to neuronal death.

  9. Mitochondrial Dysfunction: The Road to Alpha-Synuclein Oligomerization in PD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. R. Esteves


    Full Text Available While the etiology of Parkinson's disease remains largely elusive, there is accumulating evidence suggesting that mitochondrial dysfunction occurs prior to the onset of symptoms in Parkinson's disease. Mitochondria are remarkably primed to play a vital role in neuronal cell survival since they are key regulators of energy metabolism (as ATP producers, of intracellular calcium homeostasis, of NAD+/NADH ratio, and of endogenous reactive oxygen species production and programmed cell death. In this paper, we focus on mitochondrial dysfunction-mediated alpha-synuclein aggregation. We highlight some of the findings that provide proof of evidence for a mitochondrial metabolism control in Parkinson's disease, namely, mitochondrial regulation of microtubule-dependent cellular traffic and autophagic lysosomal pathway. The knowledge that microtubule alterations may lead to autophagic deficiency and may compromise the cellular degradation mechanisms that culminate in the progressive accumulation of aberrant protein aggregates shields new insights to the way we address Parkinson's disease. In line with this knowledge, an innovative window for new therapeutic strategies aimed to restore microtubule network may be unlocked.

  10. α-synuclein assemblies sequester neuronal α3-Na+/K+-ATPase and impair Na+ gradient (United States)

    Shrivastava, Amulya Nidhi; Redeker, Virginie; Fritz, Nicolas; Pieri, Laura; Almeida, Leandro G; Spolidoro, Maria; Liebmann, Thomas; Bousset, Luc; Renner, Marianne; Léna, Clément; Aperia, Anita; Melki, Ronald; Triller, Antoine


    Extracellular α-synuclein (α-syn) assemblies can be up-taken by neurons; however, their interaction with the plasma membrane and proteins has not been studied specifically. Here we demonstrate that α-syn assemblies form clusters within the plasma membrane of neurons. Using a proteomic-based approach, we identify the α3-subunit of Na+/K+-ATPase (NKA) as a cell surface partner of α-syn assemblies. The interaction strength depended on the state of α-syn, fibrils being the strongest, oligomers weak, and monomers none. Mutations within the neuron-specific α3-subunit are linked to rapid-onset dystonia Parkinsonism (RDP) and alternating hemiplegia of childhood (AHC). We show that freely diffusing α3-NKA are trapped within α-syn clusters resulting in α3-NKA redistribution and formation of larger nanoclusters. This creates regions within the plasma membrane with reduced local densities of α3-NKA, thereby decreasing the efficiency of Na+ extrusion following stimulus. Thus, interactions of α3-NKA with extracellular α-syn assemblies reduce its pumping activity as its mutations in RDP/AHC. PMID:26323479

  11. Lysosomal enzyme cathepsin B enhances the aggregate forming activity of exogenous α-synuclein fibrils. (United States)

    Tsujimura, Atsushi; Taguchi, Katsutoshi; Watanabe, Yoshihisa; Tatebe, Harutsugu; Tokuda, Takahiko; Mizuno, Toshiki; Tanaka, Masaki


    The formation of intracellular aggregates containing α-synuclein (α-Syn) is one of the key steps in the progression of Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. Recently, it was reported that pathological α-Syn fibrils can undergo cell-to-cell transmission and form Lewy body-like aggregates. However, little is known about how they form α-Syn aggregates from fibril seeds. Here, we developed an assay to study the process of aggregate formation using fluorescent protein-tagged α-Syn-expressing cells and examined the aggregate forming activity of exogenous α-Syn fibrils. α-Syn fibril-induced formation of intracellular aggregates was suppressed by a cathepsin B specific inhibitor, but not by a cathepsin D inhibitor. α-Syn fibrils pretreated with cathepsin B in vitro enhanced seeding activity in cells. Knockdown of cathepsin B also reduced fibril-induced aggregate formation. Moreover, using LAMP-1 immunocytochemistry and live-cell imaging, we observed that these aggregates initially occurred in the lysosome. They then rapidly grew larger and moved outside the boundary of the lysosome within one day. These results suggest that the lysosomal protease cathepsin B is involved in triggering intracellular aggregate formation by α-Syn fibrils. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  12. Gaucher disease glucocerebrosidase and α-synuclein form a bidirectional pathogenic loop in synucleinopathies. (United States)

    Mazzulli, Joseph R; Xu, You-Hai; Sun, Ying; Knight, Adam L; McLean, Pamela J; Caldwell, Guy A; Sidransky, Ellen; Grabowski, Gregory A; Krainc, Dimitri


    Parkinson's disease (PD), an adult neurodegenerative disorder, has been clinically linked to the lysosomal storage disorder Gaucher disease (GD), but the mechanistic connection is not known. Here, we show that functional loss of GD-linked glucocerebrosidase (GCase) in primary cultures or human iPS neurons compromises lysosomal protein degradation, causes accumulation of α-synuclein (α-syn), and results in neurotoxicity through aggregation-dependent mechanisms. Glucosylceramide (GlcCer), the GCase substrate, directly influenced amyloid formation of purified α-syn by stabilizing soluble oligomeric intermediates. We further demonstrate that α-syn inhibits the lysosomal activity of normal GCase in neurons and idiopathic PD brain, suggesting that GCase depletion contributes to the pathogenesis of sporadic synucleinopathies. These findings suggest that the bidirectional effect of α-syn and GCase forms a positive feedback loop that may lead to a self-propagating disease. Therefore, improved targeting of GCase to lysosomes may represent a specific therapeutic approach for PD and other synucleinopathies. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Novel animal model defines genetic contributions for neuron-to-neuron transfer of α-synuclein. (United States)

    Tyson, Trevor; Senchuk, Megan; Cooper, Jason F; George, Sonia; Van Raamsdonk, Jeremy M; Brundin, Patrik


    Cell-to-cell spreading of misfolded α-synuclein (α-syn) is suggested to contribute to the progression of neuropathology in Parkinson's disease (PD). Compelling evidence supports the hypothesis that misfolded α-syn transmits from neuron-to-neuron and seeds aggregation of the protein in the recipient cells. Furthermore, α-syn frequently appears to propagate in the brains of PD patients following a stereotypic pattern consistent with progressive spreading along anatomical pathways. We have generated a C. elegans model that mirrors this progression and allows us to monitor α-syn neuron-to-neuron transmission in a live animal over its lifespan. We found that modulation of autophagy or exo/endocytosis, affects α-syn transfer. Furthermore, we demonstrate that silencing C. elegans orthologs of PD-related genes also increases the accumulation of α-syn. This novel worm model is ideal for screening molecules and genes to identify those that modulate prion-like spreading of α-syn in order to target novel strategies for disease modification in PD and other synucleinopathies.

  14. High-density lipoprotein-like particle formation of Synuclein variants. (United States)

    Eichmann, Cédric; Kumari, Pratibha; Riek, Roland


    α-Synuclein (α-Syn) is an intrinsically disordered protein in solution whose fibrillar aggregates are the hallmark of Parkinson's disease (PD). Although the specific function of α-Syn is still unclear, its high structural plasticity is key for the interactions of α-Syn with biological membranes. Recently, it has been observed that α-Syn is able to form high-density lipoprotein-like (HDL-like) particles that are reminiscent of self-assembling phospholipid bilayer nanodiscs. Here, we extended our preparation method for the production of α-Syn lipoprotein particles to the β- and γ-Syn variants, and the PD-related familial α-Syn mutants. We show that all human Syns can form stable and homogeneous populations of HDL-like particles with distinct morphologies. Our results characterize the impact of the individual Syns on the formation capacity of these particles and indicate that Syn HDL-like particles are neither causing toxicity nor a toxicity-related loss of α-Syn in PD. © 2016 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

  15. Essential Oils May Lead α-Synuclein towards Toxic Fibrils Formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dina Morshedi


    Full Text Available α-Synuclein (α-Syn fibrillation links with Parkinson’s disease (PD and several related syndromes. It is believed that exposure to the factors which promote fibrillation may induce and progress such neurodegenerative diseases (NDs. Herein, the effects of some wildly used essential oils including Myrtus communis (M. communis on α-Syn fibrillation were examined. M. communis particularly increased α-Syn fibrillation in a concentration dependent manner. Given that applications of M. communis are very extensive in Asian societies, especially Zoroastrians, this study was extended towards its role on α-Syn fibrillation/cytotoxicity. By using a unilamellar vesicle, it was shown that the aggregated species with tendency to perturb membrane were increased in the presence of M. communis. In this regard, the cytotoxicity of α-Syn on SH-SH5Y cells was also increased significantly. Inappropriately, the effects of fibrillation inhibitors, baicalein and cuminaldehyde, were modulated in the presence of M. communis. However, major components of M. communis did not induce fibrillation and also the effect of M. communis was limited on other fibrinogenic proteins. Assuming that essential oils have the ability to pass through the blood brain barrier (BBB along with the popular attention on aromatherapy for the incurable ND, these findings suggest an implementation of fibrillation tests for essential oils.

  16. Defined α-synuclein prion-like molecular assemblies spreading in cell culture. (United States)

    Aulić, Suzana; Le, Tran Thanh Nhat; Moda, Fabio; Abounit, Saïda; Corvaglia, Stefania; Casalis, Loredana; Gustincich, Stefano; Zurzolo, Chiara; Tagliavini, Fabrizio; Legname, Giuseppe


    α-Synuclein (α-syn) plays a central role in the pathogenesis of synucleinopathies, a group of neurodegenerative disorders that includes Parkinson disease, dementia with Lewy bodies and multiple system atrophy. Several findings from cell culture and mouse experiments suggest intercellular α-syn transfer. Through a methodology used to obtain synthetic mammalian prions, we tested whether recombinant human α-syn amyloids can promote prion-like accumulation in neuronal cell lines in vitro. A single exposure to amyloid fibrils of human α-syn was sufficient to induce aggregation of endogenous α-syn in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells. Remarkably, endogenous wild-type α-syn was sufficient for the formation of these aggregates, and overexpression of the protein was not required. Our results provide compelling evidence that endogenous α-syn can accumulate in cell culture after a single exposure to exogenous α-syn short amyloid fibrils. Importantly, using α-syn short amyloid fibrils as seed, endogenous α-syn aggregates and accumulates over several passages in cell culture, providing an excellent tool for potential therapeutic screening of pathogenic α-syn aggregates.

  17. Prediction of protein structural features by use of artificial neural networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Bent

    . There is a huge over-representation of DNA sequences when comparing the amount of experimentally verified proteins with the amount of DNA sequences. The academic and industrial research community therefore has to rely on structure predictions instead of waiting for the time consuming experimentally determined...

  18. CNNH_PSS: protein 8-class secondary structure prediction by convolutional neural network with highway. (United States)

    Zhou, Jiyun; Wang, Hongpeng; Zhao, Zhishan; Xu, Ruifeng; Lu, Qin


    Protein secondary structure is the three dimensional form of local segments of proteins and its prediction is an important problem in protein tertiary structure prediction. Developing computational approaches for protein secondary structure prediction is becoming increasingly urgent. We present a novel deep learning based model, referred to as CNNH_PSS, by using multi-scale CNN with highway. In CNNH_PSS, any two neighbor convolutional layers have a highway to deliver information from current layer to the output of the next one to keep local contexts. As lower layers extract local context while higher layers extract long-range interdependencies, the highways between neighbor layers allow CNNH_PSS to have ability to extract both local contexts and long-range interdependencies. We evaluate CNNH_PSS on two commonly used datasets: CB6133 and CB513. CNNH_PSS outperforms the multi-scale CNN without highway by at least 0.010 Q8 accuracy and also performs better than CNF, DeepCNF and SSpro8, which cannot extract long-range interdependencies, by at least 0.020 Q8 accuracy, demonstrating that both local contexts and long-range interdependencies are indeed useful for prediction. Furthermore, CNNH_PSS also performs better than GSM and DCRNN which need extra complex model to extract long-range interdependencies. It demonstrates that CNNH_PSS not only cost less computer resource, but also achieves better predicting performance. CNNH_PSS have ability to extracts both local contexts and long-range interdependencies by combing multi-scale CNN and highway network. The evaluations on common datasets and comparisons with state-of-the-art methods indicate that CNNH_PSS is an useful and efficient tool for protein secondary structure prediction.

  19. A New Glucocerebrosidase Chaperone Reduces α-Synuclein and Glycolipid Levels in iPSC-Derived Dopaminergic Neurons from Patients with Gaucher Disease and Parkinsonism. (United States)

    Aflaki, Elma; Borger, Daniel K; Moaven, Nima; Stubblefield, Barbara K; Rogers, Steven A; Patnaik, Samarjit; Schoenen, Frank J; Westbroek, Wendy; Zheng, Wei; Sullivan, Patricia; Fujiwara, Hideji; Sidhu, Rohini; Khaliq, Zayd M; Lopez, Grisel J; Goldstein, David S; Ory, Daniel S; Marugan, Juan; Sidransky, Ellen


    Among the known genetic risk factors for Parkinson disease, mutations in GBA1, the gene responsible for the lysosomal disorder Gaucher disease, are the most common. This genetic link has directed attention to the role of the lysosome in the pathogenesis of parkinsonism. To study how glucocerebrosidase impacts parkinsonism and to evaluate new therapeutics, we generated induced human pluripotent stem cells from four patients with Type 1 (non-neuronopathic) Gaucher disease, two with and two without parkinsonism, and one patient with Type 2 (acute neuronopathic) Gaucher disease, and differentiated them into macrophages and dopaminergic neurons. These cells exhibited decreased glucocerebrosidase activity and stored the glycolipid substrates glucosylceramide and glucosylsphingosine, demonstrating their similarity to patients with Gaucher disease. Dopaminergic neurons from patients with Type 2 and Type 1 Gaucher disease with parkinsonism had reduced dopamine storage and dopamine transporter reuptake. Levels of α-synuclein, a protein present as aggregates in Parkinson disease and related synucleinopathies, were selectively elevated in neurons from the patients with parkinsonism or Type 2 Gaucher disease. The cells were then treated with NCGC607, a small-molecule noninhibitory chaperone of glucocerebrosidase identified by high-throughput screening and medicinal chemistry structure optimization. This compound successfully chaperoned the mutant enzyme, restored glucocerebrosidase activity and protein levels, and reduced glycolipid storage in both iPSC-derived macrophages and dopaminergic neurons, indicating its potential for treating neuronopathic Gaucher disease. In addition, NCGC607 reduced α-synuclein levels in dopaminergic neurons from the patients with parkinsonism, suggesting that noninhibitory small-molecule chaperones of glucocerebrosidase may prove useful for the treatment of Parkinson disease. Because GBA1 mutations are the most common genetic risk factor for

  20. α-Synuclein inclusions in the skin of Parkinson's disease and parkinsonism. (United States)

    Rodríguez-Leyva, Ildefonso; Calderón-Garcidueñas, Ana Laura; Jiménez-Capdeville, María E; Rentería-Palomo, Ana Arely; Hernandez-Rodriguez, Héctor Gerardo; Valdés-Rodríguez, Rodrigo; Fuentes-Ahumada, Cornelia; Torres-Álvarez, Bertha; Sepúlveda-Saavedra, Julio; Soto-Domínguez, Adolfo; Santoyo, Martha E; Rodriguez-Moreno, José Ildefonso; Castanedo-Cázares, Juan Pablo


    The presence in the brain of α-synuclein containing Lewy neurites, or bodies, is the histological hallmark of Parkinson's disease (PD). The discovery of α-synuclein aggregates in nerve endings of the heart, digestive tract, and skin has lent support to the concept of PD as a systemic disease. Our goals were, first, to demonstrate the presence of α-synuclein inclusions in the skin and, second, to detect quantitative differences between patients with PD and atypical parkinsonism (AP). Skin biopsies were taken from 67 patients and 20 controls. The biopsies underwent immunohistochemistry (IHC) and immunofluorescence (IF) testing for α-synuclein, whereupon its presence was quantified as the percentage of positive cells. Patients were divided into those with PD and those with AP. AP patients included AP with neurodegenerative disease (proteinopathies) and secondary AP. Sixty-seven patients (34 with PD) and 20 controls were recruited. In the PD group, α-synuclein was detected in 58% of the cells in the spinous cell layer (SCL), 62% in the pilosebaceous unit (PSU), and 58% in the eccrine glands (EG). The AP-proteinopathies group showed 7%, 7%, and 0% expression of α-synuclein, respectively. No expression was found in the skin of the control group. The expression of α-synuclein in the skin was relatively high in the PD group, scarce in AP, and null for the individuals in the control group. While these findings require further confirmation, this minimally invasive technique may aid in the improvement of the accuracy of PD diagnoses.

  1. Onjisaponin B derived from Radix Polygalae enhances autophagy and accelerates the degradation of mutant α-synuclein and huntingtin in PC-12 cells. (United States)

    Wu, An-Guo; Wong, Vincent Kam-Wai; Xu, Su-Wei; Chan, Wai-Kit; Ng, Choi-In; Liu, Liang; Law, Betty Yuen-Kwan


    Emerging evidence indicates important protective roles being played by autophagy in neurodegenerative disorders through clearance of aggregate-prone or mutant proteins. In the current study, we aimed to identify autophagy inducers from Chinese medicinal herbs as a potential neuroprotective agent that enhances the clearance of mutant huntingtin and α-synuclein in PC-12 cells. Through intensive screening using the green fluorescent protein-light chain 3 (GFP-LC3) autophagy detection platform, we found that the ethanol extracts of Radix Polygalae (Yuan Zhi) were capable of inducing autophagy. Further investigation showed that among three single components derived from Radix Polygalae--i.e., polygalacic acid, senegenin and onjisaponin B--onjisaponin B was able to induce autophagy and accelerate both the removal of mutant huntingtin and A53T α-synuclein, which are highly associated with Huntington disease and Parkinson disease, respectively. Our study further demonstrated that onjisaponin B induces autophagy via the AMPK-mTOR signaling pathway. Therefore, findings in the current study provide detailed insights into the protective mechanism of a novel autophagy inducer, which is valuable for further investigation as a new candidate agent for modulating neurodegenerative disorders through the reduction of toxicity and clearance of mutant proteins in the cellular level.

  2. Nitrated alpha-synuclein immunity accelerates degeneration of nigral dopaminergic neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric J Benner


    Full Text Available The neuropathology of Parkinson's disease (PD includes loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra, nitrated alpha-synuclein (N-alpha-Syn enriched intraneuronal inclusions or Lewy bodies and neuroinflammation. While the contribution of innate microglial inflammatory activities to disease are known, evidence for how adaptive immune mechanisms may affect the course of PD remains obscure. We reasoned that PD-associated oxidative protein modifications create novel antigenic epitopes capable of peripheral adaptive T cell responses that could affect nigrostriatal degeneration.Nitrotyrosine (NT-modified alpha-Syn was detected readily in cervical lymph nodes (CLN from 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP intoxicated mice. Antigen-presenting cells within the CLN showed increased surface expression of major histocompatibility complex class II, initiating the molecular machinery necessary for efficient antigen presentation. MPTP-treated mice produced antibodies to native and nitrated alpha-Syn. Mice immunized with the NT-modified C-terminal tail fragment of alpha-Syn, but not native protein, generated robust T cell proliferative and pro-inflammatory secretory responses specific only for the modified antigen. T cells generated against the nitrated epitope do not respond to the unmodified protein. Mice deficient in T and B lymphocytes were resistant to MPTP-induced neurodegeneration. Transfer of T cells from mice immunized with N-alpha-Syn led to a robust neuroinflammatory response with accelerated dopaminergic cell loss.These data show that NT modifications within alpha-Syn, can bypass or break immunological tolerance and activate peripheral leukocytes in draining lymphoid tissue. A novel mechanism for disease is made in that NT modifications in alpha-Syn induce adaptive immune responses that exacerbate PD pathobiology. These results have implications for both the pathogenesis and treatment of this disabling neurodegenerative disease.

  3. Structural alterations in rat liver proteins due to streptozotocin-induced diabetes and the recovery effect of selenium: Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy and neural network study (United States)

    Bozkurt, Ozlem; Haman Bayari, Sevgi; Severcan, Mete; Krafft, Christoph; Popp, Jürgen; Severcan, Feride


    The relation between protein structural alterations and tissue dysfunction is a major concern as protein fibrillation and/or aggregation due to structural alterations has been reported in many disease states. In the current study, Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopic imaging has been used to investigate diabetes-induced changes on protein secondary structure and macromolecular content in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rat liver. Protein secondary structural alterations were predicted using neural network approach utilizing the amide I region. Moreover, the role of selenium in the recovery of diabetes-induced alterations on macromolecular content and protein secondary structure was also studied. The results revealed that diabetes induced a decrease in lipid to protein and glycogen to protein ratios in diabetic livers. Significant alterations in protein secondary structure were observed with a decrease in α-helical and an increase in β-sheet content. Both doses of selenium restored diabetes-induced changes in lipid to protein and glycogen to protein ratios. However, low-dose selenium supplementation was not sufficient to recover the effects of diabetes on protein secondary structure, while a higher dose of selenium fully restored diabetes-induced alterations in protein structure.

  4. Mesenchymal Stem Cells Inhibit Transmission of α-Synuclein by Modulating Clathrin-Mediated Endocytosis in a Parkinsonian Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Se Hee Oh


    Full Text Available Ample evidence suggests that α-synuclein is released from cells and propagated from one area of the brain to others via cell-to-cell transmission. In terms of their prion-like behavior, α-synuclein propagation plays key roles in the pathogenesis and progression of α-synucleinopathies. Using α-synuclein-enriched models, we show that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs inhibited α-synuclein transmission by blocking the clathrin-mediated endocytosis of extracellular α-synuclein via modulation of the interaction with N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors, which led to a prosurvival effect on cortical and dopaminergic neurons with functional improvement of motor deficits in α-synuclein-enriched models. Furthermore, we identify that galectin-1, a soluble factor derived from MSCs, played an important role in the transmission control of aggregated α-synuclein in these models. The present data indicated that MSCs exert neuroprotective properties through inhibition of extracellular α-synuclein transmission, suggesting that the property of MSCs may act as a disease-modifying therapy in subjects with α-synucleinopathies.

  5. α-Synuclein oligomers induced by docosahexaenoic acid affect membrane integrity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chiara Fecchio

    Full Text Available A key feature of Parkinson disease is the aggregation of α-synuclein and its intracellular deposition in fibrillar form. Increasing evidence suggests that the pathogenicity of α-synuclein is correlated with the activity of oligomers formed in the early stages of its aggregation process. Oligomers toxicity seems to be associated with both their ability to bind and affect the integrity of lipid membranes. Previously, we demonstrated that α-synuclein forms oligomeric species in the presence of docosahexaenoic acid and that these species are toxic to cells. Here we studied how interaction of these oligomers with membranes results in cell toxicity, using cellular membrane-mimetic and cell model systems. We found that α-synuclein oligomers are able to interact with large and small unilamellar negatively charged vesicles acquiring an increased amount of α-helical structure, which induces small molecules release. We explored the possibility that oligomers effects on membranes could be due to pore formation, to a detergent-like effect or to fibril growth on the membrane. Our biophysical and cellular findings are consistent with a model where α-synuclein oligomers are embedded into the lipid bilayer causing transient alteration of membrane permeability.

  6. Low-dose/dose-rate γ radiation depresses neural differentiation and alters protein expression profiles in neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells and C17.2 neural stem cells. (United States)

    Bajinskis, Ainars; Lindegren, Heléne; Johansson, Lotta; Harms-Ringdahl, Mats; Forsby, Anna


    The effects of low doses of ionizing radiation on cellular development in the nervous system are presently unclear. The focus of the present study was to examine low-dose γ-radiation-induced effects on the differentiation of neuronal cells and on the development of neural stem cells to glial cells. Human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells were exposed to (137)Cs γ rays at different stages of retinoic acid-induced neuronal differentiation, and neurite formation was determined 6 days after exposure. When SH-SY5Y cells were exposed to low-dose-rate γ rays at the onset of differentiation, the number of neurites formed per cell was significantly less after exposure to either 10, 30 or 100 mGy compared to control cells. Exposure to 10 and 30 mGy attenuated differentiation of immature C17.2 mouse-derived neural stem cells to glial cells, as verified by the diminished expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein. Proteomic analysis of the neuroblastoma cells by 2D-PAGE after 30 mGy irradiation showed that proteins involved in neuronal development were downregulated. Proteins involved in cell cycle and proliferation were altered in both cell lines after exposure to 30 mGy; however, the rate of cell proliferation was not affected in the low-dose range. The radiation-induced attenuation of differentiation and the persistent changes in protein expression is indicative of an epigenetic rather than a cytotoxic mechanism.

  7. Alpha-synuclein, epigenetics, mitochondria, metabolism, calcium traffic, & circadian dysfunction in Parkinson's disease. An integrated strategy for management. (United States)

    Phillipson, Oliver T


    The motor deficits which characterise the sporadic form of Parkinson's disease arise from age-related loss of a subset of dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra. Although motor symptoms respond to dopamine replacement therapies, the underlying disease process remains. This review details some features of the progressive molecular pathology and proposes deployment of a combination of nutrients: R-lipoic acid, acetyl-l-carnitine, ubiquinol, melatonin (or receptor agonists) and vitamin D3, with the collective potential to slow progression of these features. The main nutrient targets include impaired mitochondria and the associated oxidative/nitrosative stress, calcium stress and impaired gene transcription induced by pathogenic forms of alpha- synuclein. Benefits may be achieved via nutrient influence on epigenetic signaling pathways governing transcription factors for mitochondrial biogenesis, antioxidant defences and the autophagy-lysosomal pathway, via regulation of the metabolic energy sensor AMP activated protein kinase (AMPK) and the mammalian target of rapamycin mTOR. Nutrients also benefit expression of the transcription factor for neuronal survival (NR4A2), trophic factors GDNF and BDNF, and age-related calcium signals. In addition a number of non-motor related dysfunctions in circadian control, clock genes and associated metabolic, endocrine and sleep-wake activity are briefly addressed, as are late-stage complications in respect of cognitive decline and osteoporosis. Analysis of the network of nutrient effects reveals how beneficial synergies may counter the accumulation and promote clearance of pathogenic alpha-synuclein. Crown Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Effects of Dietary Protein and Fiber at Breakfast on Appetite, ad Libitum Energy Intake at Lunch, and Neural Responses to Visual Food Stimuli in Overweight Adults. (United States)

    Sayer, R Drew; Amankwaah, Akua F; Tamer, Gregory G; Chen, Ningning; Wright, Amy J; Tregellas, Jason R; Cornier, Marc-Andre; Kareken, David A; Talavage, Thomas M; McCrory, Megan A; Campbell, Wayne W


    Increasing either protein or fiber at mealtimes has relatively modest effects on ingestive behavior. Whether protein and fiber have additive or interactive effects on ingestive behavior is not known. Fifteen overweight adults (5 female, 10 male; BMI: 27.1 ± 0.2 kg/m²; aged 26 ± 1 year) consumed four breakfast meals in a randomized crossover manner (normal protein (12 g) + normal fiber (2 g), normal protein (12 g) + high fiber (8 g), high protein (25 g) + normal fiber (2 g), high protein (25 g) + high fiber (8 g)). The amount of protein and fiber consumed at breakfast did not influence postprandial appetite or ad libitum energy intake at lunch. In the fasting-state, visual food stimuli elicited significant responses in the bilateral insula and amygdala and left orbitofrontal cortex. Contrary to our hypotheses, postprandial right insula responses were lower after consuming normal protein vs. high protein breakfasts. Postprandial responses in other a priori brain regions were not significantly influenced by protein or fiber intake at breakfast. In conclusion, these data do not support increasing dietary protein and fiber at breakfast as effective strategies for modulating neural reward processing and acute ingestive behavior in overweight adults.

  9. Robust Central Nervous System Pathology in Transgenic Mice following Peripheral Injection of α-Synuclein Fibrils. (United States)

    Ayers, Jacob I; Brooks, Mieu M; Rutherford, Nicola J; Howard, Jasie K; Sorrentino, Zachary A; Riffe, Cara J; Giasson, Benoit I


    Misfolded α-synuclein (αS) is hypothesized to spread throughout the central nervous system (CNS) by neuronal connectivity leading to widespread pathology. Increasing evidence indicates that it also has the potential to invade the CNS via peripheral nerves in a prion-like manner. On the basis of the effectiveness following peripheral routes of prion administration, we extend our previous studies of CNS neuroinvasion in M83 αS transgenic mice following hind limb muscle (intramuscular [i.m.]) injection of αS fibrils by comparing various peripheral sites of inoculations with different αS protein preparations. Following intravenous injection in the tail veins of homozygous M83 transgenic (M83 +/+ ) mice, robust αS pathology was observed in the CNS without the development of motor impairments within the time frame examined. Intraperitoneal (i.p.) injections of αS fibrils in hemizygous M83 transgenic (M83 +/- ) mice resulted in CNS αS pathology associated with paralysis. Interestingly, injection with soluble, nonaggregated αS resulted in paralysis and pathology in only a subset of mice, whereas soluble Δ71-82 αS, human βS, and keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) control proteins induced no symptoms or pathology. Intraperitoneal injection of αS fibrils also induced CNS αS pathology in another αS transgenic mouse line (M20), albeit less robustly in these mice. In comparison, i.m. injection of αS fibrils was more efficient in inducing CNS αS pathology in M83 mice than i.p. or tail vein injections. Furthermore, i.m. injection of soluble, nonaggregated αS in M83 +/- mice also induced paralysis and CNS αS pathology, although less efficiently. These results further demonstrate the prion-like characteristics of αS and reveal its efficiency to invade the CNS via multiple routes of peripheral administration. The misfolding and accumulation of α-synuclein (αS) inclusions are found in a number of neurodegenerative disorders and is a hallmark feature of Parkinson

  10. Prion protein cleavage fragments regulate adult neural stem cell quiescence through redox modulation of mitochondrial fission and SOD2 expression. (United States)

    Collins, Steven J; Tumpach, Carolin; Groveman, Bradley R; Drew, Simon C; Haigh, Cathryn L


    Neurogenesis continues in the post-developmental brain throughout life. The ability to stimulate the production of new neurones requires both quiescent and actively proliferating pools of neural stem cells (NSCs). Actively proliferating NSCs ensure that neurogenic demand can be met, whilst the quiescent pool makes certain NSC reserves do not become depleted. The processes preserving the NSC quiescent pool are only just beginning to be defined. Herein, we identify a switch between NSC proliferation and quiescence through changing intracellular redox signalling. We show that N-terminal post-translational cleavage products of the prion protein (PrP) induce a quiescent state, halting NSC cellular growth, migration, and neurite outgrowth. Quiescence is initiated by the PrP cleavage products through reducing intracellular levels of reactive oxygen species. First, inhibition of redox signalling results in increased mitochondrial fission, which rapidly signals quiescence. Thereafter, quiescence is maintained through downstream increases in the expression and activity of superoxide dismutase-2 that reduces mitochondrial superoxide. We further observe that PrP is predominantly cleaved in quiescent NSCs indicating a homeostatic role for this cascade. Our findings provide new insight into the regulation of NSC quiescence, which potentially could influence brain health throughout adult life.

  11. The role of α-synuclein and tau hyperphosphorylation-mediated autophagy and apoptosis in lead-induced learning and memory injury. (United States)

    Zhang, Jianbin; Cai, Tongjian; Zhao, Fang; Yao, Ting; Chen, Yaoming; Liu, Xinqin; Luo, Wenjing; Chen, Jingyuan


    Lead (Pb) is a well-known heavy metal in nature. Pb can cause pathophysiological changes in several organ systems including central nervous system. Especially, Pb can affect intelligence development and the ability of learning and memory of children. However, the toxic effects and mechanisms of Pb on learning and memory are still unclear. To clarify the mechanisms of Pb-induced neurotoxicity in hippocampus, and its effect on learning and memory, we chose Sprague-Dawley rats (SD-rats) as experimental subjects. We used Morris water maze to verify the ability of learning and memory after Pb treatment. We used immunohistofluorescence and Western blotting to detect the level of tau phosphorylation, accumulation of α-synuclein, autophagy and related signaling molecules in hippocampus. We demonstrated that Pb can cause abnormally hyperphosphorylation of tau and accumulation of α-synuclein, and these can induce hippocampal injury and the ability of learning and memory damage. To provide the new insight into the underlying mechanisms, we showed that Grp78, ATF4, caspase-3, autophagy-related proteins were induced and highly expressed following Pb-exposure. But mTOR signaling pathway was suppressed in Pb-exposed groups. Our results showed that Pb could cause hyperphosphorylation of tau and accumulation of α-synuclein, which could induce ER stress and suppress mTOR signal pathway. These can enhance type II program death (autophgy) and type I program death (apoptosis) in hippocampus, and impair the ability of learning and memory of rats. This is the first evidence showing the novel role of autophagy in the neurotoxicity of Pb.

  12. bHLH-O proteins balance the self-renewal and differentiation of Drosophila neural stem cells by regulating Earmuff expression. (United States)

    Li, Xiaosu; Chen, Rui; Zhu, Sijun


    Balancing self-renewal and differentiation of stem cells requires differential expression of self-renewing factors in two daughter cells generated from the asymmetric division of the stem cells. In Drosophila type II neural stem cell (or neuroblast, NB) lineages, the expression of the basic helix-loop-helix-Orange (bHLH-O) family proteins, including Deadpan (Dpn) and E(spl) proteins, is required for maintaining the self-renewal and identity of type II NBs, whereas the absence of these self-renewing factors is essential for the differentiation of intermediate neural progenitors (INPs) generated from type II NBs. Here, we demonstrate that Dpn maintains type II NBs by suppressing the expression of Earmuff (Erm). We provide evidence that Dpn and E(spl) proteins suppress Erm by directly binding to C-sites and N-boxes in the cis-regulatory region of erm. Conversely, the absence of bHLH-O proteins in INPs allows activation of erm and Erm-mediated maturation of INPs. Our results further suggest that Pointed P1 (PntP1) mediates the dedifferentiation of INPs resulting from the loss of Erm or overexpression of Dpn or E(spl) proteins. Taken together, these findings reveal mechanisms underlying the regulation of the maintenance of type II NBs and differentiation of INPs through the differential expression of bHLH-O family proteins. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Opposed Effects of Dityrosine Formation in Soluble and Aggregated α-Synuclein on Fibril Growth. (United States)

    Wördehoff, Michael M; Shaykhalishahi, Hamed; Groß, Luca; Gremer, Lothar; Stoldt, Matthias; Buell, Alexander K; Willbold, Dieter; Hoyer, Wolfgang


    Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease. It is characterized by aggregation of the protein α-synuclein (α-syn) in Lewy bodies, mitochondrial dysfunction, and increased oxidative stress in the substantia nigra. Oxidative stress leads to several modifications of biomolecules including dityrosine (DiY) crosslinking in proteins, which has recently been detected in α-syn in Lewy bodies from Parkinson's disease patients. Here we report that α-syn is highly susceptible to ultraviolet-induced DiY formation. We investigated DiY formation of α-syn and nine tyrosine-to-alanine mutants and monitored its effect on α-syn fibril formation in vitro. Ultraviolet irradiation of intrinsically disordered α-syn generates DiY-modified monomers and dimers, which inhibit fibril formation of unmodified α-syn by interfering with fibril elongation. The inhibition depends on both the DiY group and its integration into α-syn. When preformed α-syn fibrils are crosslinked by DiY formation, they gain increased resistance to denaturation. DiY-stabilized α-syn fibrils retain their high seeding efficiency even after being exposed to denaturant concentrations that completely depolymerize non-crosslinked seeds. Oxidative stress-associated DiY crosslinking of α-syn therefore entails two opposing effects: (i) inhibition of aggregation by DiY-modified monomers and dimers, and (ii) stabilization of fibrillar aggregates against potential degradation mechanisms, which can lead to promotion of aggregation, especially in the presence of secondary nucleation. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  14. The Significance of α-Synuclein, Amyloid-β and Tau Pathologies in Parkinson’s Disease Progression and Related Dementia (United States)

    Compta, Y.; Parkkinen, L.; Kempster, P.; Selikhova, M.; Lashley, T.; Holton, J.L.; Lees, A.J.; Revesz, T.


    Background Dementia is one of the milestones of advanced Parkinson’s disease (PD), with its neuropathological substrate still being a matter of debate, particularly regarding its potential mechanistic implications. Objective The aim of this study was to review the relative importance of Lewy-related α-synuclein and Alzheimer’s tau and amyloid-β (Aβ) pathologies in disease progression and dementia in PD. Methods We reviewed studies conducted at the Queen Square Brain Bank, Institute of Neurology, University College London, using large PD cohorts. Results Cortical Lewy- and Alzheimer-type pathologies are associated with milestones of poorer prognosis and with non-tremor predominance, which have been, in turn, linked to dementia. The combination of these pathologies is the most robust neuropathological substrate of PD-related dementia, with cortical Aβ burden determining a faster progression to dementia. Conclusion The shared relevance of these pathologies in PD progression and dementia is in line with experimental data suggesting synergism between α-synuclein, tau and Aβ and with studies testing these proteins as disease biomarkers, hence favouring the eventual testing of therapeutic strategies targeting these proteins in PD. PMID:24028925

  15. Characterization of fibrillation process of α-synuclein at the initial stage

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tashiro, Mitsuru; Kojima, Masaki; Kihara, Hiroshi; Kasai, Kouki; Kamiyoshihara, Tomoaki; Ueda, Kenji; Shimotakahara, Sakurako


    α-Synuclein is the major component of the filamentous Lewy bodies and Lewy-related neurites, neuropathological hallmarks of Parkinson's disease. Although numerous studies on α-synuclein fibrillation have been reported, the molecular mechanisms of aggregation and fibrillation at the initial stage are still unclear. In the present study, structural properties and propensities to form fibrils of α-synuclein at the initial stage were investigated using 2D 1 H- 15 N NMR spectroscopy, electron microscope, and small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). Observation of the 2D 1 H- 15 N HSQC spectra indicated significant attenuation of many cross peak intensities in the regions of KTKEGV-type repeats and the non-Aβ component of Alzheimer's disease amyloid (NAC), suggesting that these regions contributed fibril formation. Oligomerization comprising heptamer was successfully monitored at the initial stage using the time-dependent SAXS measurements

  16. Structural and functional properties of prefibrillar α-synuclein oligomers. (United States)

    Pieri, Laura; Madiona, Karine; Melki, Ronald


    The deposition of fibrillar alpha-synuclein (α-syn) within inclusions (Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites) in neurons and glial cells is a hallmark of synucleinopathies. α-syn populates a variety of assemblies ranging from prefibrillar oligomeric species to fibrils whose specific contribution to neurodegeneration is still unclear. Here, we compare the specific structural and biological properties of distinct soluble prefibrillar α-syn oligomers formed either spontaneously or in the presence of dopamine and glutaraldehyde. We show that both on-fibrillar assembly pathway and distinct dopamine-mediated and glutaraldehyde-cross-linked α-syn oligomers are only slightly effective in perturbing cell membrane integrity and inducing cytotoxicity, while mature fibrils exhibit the highest toxicity. In contrast to low-molecular weight and unstable oligomers, large stable α-syn oligomers seed the aggregation of soluble α-syn within reporter cells although to a lesser extent than mature α-syn fibrils. These oligomers appear elongated in shape. Our findings suggest that α-syn oligomers represent a continuum of species ranging from unstable low molecular weight particles to mature fibrils via stable elongated oligomers composed of more than 15 α-syn monomers that possess seeding capacity.

  17. Impaired baroreflex function in mice overexpressing alpha-synuclein

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheila eFleming


    Full Text Available Cardiovascular autonomic dysfunction, such as orthostatic hypotension consequent to baroreflex failure and cardiac sympathetic denervation, is frequently observed in the synucleinopathy Parkinson’s disease (PD. In the present study, the baroreceptor reflex was assessed in mice overexpressing human wildtype alpha-synuclein (Thy1-aSyn, a genetic mouse model of synucleinopathy. The beat-to-beat change in heart rate, computed from R-R interval, in relation to blood pressure was measured in anesthetized and conscious mice equipped with arterial blood pressure telemetry transducers during transient bouts of hypertension and hypotension. Compared to wildtype, tachycardia following nitroprusside-induced hypotension was significantly reduced in Thy1-aSyn mice. Thy1-aSyn mice also showed an abnormal cardiovascular response (i.e., diminished tachycardia to muscarinic blockade with atropine. We conclude that Thy1-aSyn mice have impaired basal and dynamic range of sympathetic and parasympathetic-mediated changes in heart rate and will be a useful model for long-term study of cardiovascular autonomic dysfunction associated with PD.

  18. Classification of protein fold classes by knot theory and prediction of folds by neural networks: A combined theoretical and experimental approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ramnarayan, K.; Bohr, Henrik; Jalkanen, Karl J.


    We present different means of classifying protein structure. One is made rigorous by mathematical knot invariants that coincide reasonably well with ordinary graphical fold classification and another classification is by packing analysis. Furthermore when constructing our mathematical fold...... classifications, we utilize standard neural network methods for predicting protein fold classes from amino acid sequences. We also make an analysis of the redundancy of the structural classifications in relation to function and ligand binding. Finally we advocate the use of combining the measurement of the VA...

  19. Transcriptional profiling of striatal neurons in response to single or concurrent activation of dopamine D2, adenosine A(2A) and metabotropic glutamate type 5 receptors: focus on beta-synuclein expression. (United States)

    Canela, Laia; Selga, Elisabet; García-Martínez, Juan Manuel; Amaral, Olavo B; Fernández-Dueñas, Víctor; Alberch, Jordi; Canela, Enric I; Franco, Rafael; Noé, Véronique; Lluís, Carme; Ciudad, Carlos J; Ciruela, Francisco


    G protein-coupled receptor oligomerization is a concept which is changing the understanding of classical pharmacology. Both, oligomerization and functional interaction between adenosine A(2A,) dopamine D(2) and metabotropic glutamate type 5 receptors have been demonstrated in the striatum. However, the transcriptional consequences of receptors co-activation are still unexplored. We aim here to determine the changes in gene expression of striatal primary cultured neurons upon isolated or simultaneous receptor activation. Interestingly, we found that 95 genes of the total analyzed (15,866 transcripts and variants) changed their expression in response to simultaneous stimulation of all three receptors. Among these genes, we focused on the β-synuclein (β-Syn) gene (SCNB). Quantitative PCR verified the magnitude and direction of change in expression of SCNB. Since β-Syn belongs to the homologous synuclein family and may be considered a natural regulator of α-synuclein (α-Syn), it has been proposed that β-Syn might act protectively against α-Syn neuropathology. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Cerebral ischemic injury decreases α-synuclein expression in brain tissue and glutamate-exposed HT22 cells. (United States)

    Koh, Phil-Ok


    α-Synuclein is abundantly expressed in neuronal tissue, plays an essential role in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders, and exerts a neuroprotective effect against oxidative stress. Cerebral ischemia causes severe neurological disorders and neuronal dysfunction. In this study, we examined α-synuclein expression in middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO)-induced cerebral ischemic injury and neuronal cells damaged by glutamate treatment. MCAO surgical operation was performed on male Sprague-Dawley rats, and brain samples were isolated 24 hours after MCAO. We confirmed neurological behavior deficit, infarction area, and histopathological changes following MCAO injury. A proteomic approach and Western blot analysis demonstrated a decrease in α-synuclein in the cerebral cortices after MCAO injury. Moreover, glutamate treatment induced neuronal cell death and decreased α-synuclein expression in a hippocampal-derived cell line in a dose-dependent manner. It is known that α-synuclein regulates neuronal survival, and low levels of α-synuclein expression result in cytotoxicity. Thus, these results suggest that cerebral ischemic injury leads to a reduction in α-synuclein and consequently causes serious brain damage.

  1. High-speed atomic force microscopy reveals structural dynamics of α -synuclein monomers and dimers (United States)

    Zhang, Yuliang; Hashemi, Mohtadin; Lv, Zhengjian; Williams, Benfeard; Popov, Konstantin I.; Dokholyan, Nikolay V.; Lyubchenko, Yuri L.


    α-Synuclein (α-syn) is the major component of the intraneuronal inclusions called Lewy bodies, which are the pathological hallmark of Parkinson's disease. α-Syn is capable of self-assembly into many different species, such as soluble oligomers and fibrils. Even though attempts to resolve the structures of the protein have been made, detailed understanding about the structures and their relationship with the different aggregation steps is lacking, which is of interest to provide insights into the pathogenic mechanism of Parkinson's disease. Here we report the structural flexibility of α-syn monomers and dimers in an aqueous solution environment as probed by single-molecule time-lapse high-speed AFM. In addition, we present the molecular basis for the structural transitions using discrete molecular dynamics (DMD) simulations. α-Syn monomers assume a globular conformation, which is capable of forming tail-like protrusions over dozens of seconds. Importantly, a globular monomer can adopt fully extended conformations. Dimers, on the other hand, are less dynamic and show a dumbbell conformation that experiences morphological changes over time. DMD simulations revealed that the α-syn monomer consists of several tightly packed small helices. The tail-like protrusions are also helical with a small β-sheet, acting as a "hinge". Monomers within dimers have a large interfacial interaction area and are stabilized by interactions in the non-amyloid central (NAC) regions. Furthermore, the dimer NAC-region of each α-syn monomer forms a β-rich segment. Moreover, NAC-regions are located in the hydrophobic core of the dimer.

  2. Pathological role of lipid interaction with α-synuclein in Parkinson's disease. (United States)

    Suzuki, Mari; Sango, Kazunori; Wada, Keiji; Nagai, Yoshitaka


    Alpha-synuclein (αSyn) plays a central role in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). In sporadic PD and DLB, normally harmless αSyn proteins without any mutations might gain toxic functions by unknown mechanisms. Thus, it is important to elucidate the factors promoting the toxic conversion of αSyn, towards understanding the pathogenesis of and developing disease-modifying therapies for PD and DLB. Accumulating biophysical and biochemical studies have demonstrated that αSyn interacts with lipid membrane, and the interaction influences αSyn oligomerization and aggregation. Furthermore, genetic and clinicopathological studies have revealed mutations in the glucocerebrosidase 1 (GBA1) gene, which encodes a degrading enzyme for the glycolipid glucosylceramide (GlcCer), as strong risk factors for PD and DLB, and we recently demonstrated that GlcCer promotes toxic conversion of αSyn. Moreover, pathological studies have shown the existence of αSyn pathology in lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs) patient' brain, in which glycosphingolipids (GSLs) is found to be accumulated. In this review, we focus on the lipids as a key factor for inducing wild-type (WT) αSyn toxic conversion, we summarize the knowledge about the interaction between αSyn and lipid membrane, and propose our hypothesis that aberrantly accumulated GSLs might contribute to the toxic conversion of αSyn. Identifying the trigger for toxic conversion of αSyn would open a new therapeutic road to attenuate or prevent crucial events leading to the formation of toxic αSyn. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  3. Dynamical Behavior of Human α-Synuclein Studied by Quasielastic Neutron Scattering.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Satoru Fujiwara

    Full Text Available α-synuclein (αSyn is a protein consisting of 140 amino acid residues and is abundant in the presynaptic nerve terminals in the brain. Although its precise function is unknown, the filamentous aggregates (amyloid fibrils of αSyn have been shown to be involved in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease, which is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder. To understand the pathogenesis mechanism of this disease, the mechanism of the amyloid fibril formation of αSyn must be elucidated. Purified αSyn from bacterial expression is monomeric but intrinsically disordered in solution and forms amyloid fibrils under various conditions. As a first step toward elucidating the mechanism of the fibril formation of αSyn, we investigated dynamical behavior of the purified αSyn in the monomeric state and the fibril state using quasielastic neutron scattering (QENS. We prepared the solution sample of 9.5 mg/ml purified αSyn, and that of 46 mg/ml αSyn in the fibril state, both at pD 7.4 in D2O. The QENS experiments on these samples were performed using the near-backscattering spectrometer, BL02 (DNA, at the Materials and Life Science Facility at the Japan Accelerator Research Complex, Japan. Analysis of the QENS spectra obtained shows that diffusive global motions are observed in the monomeric state but largely suppressed in the fibril state. However, the amplitude of the side chain motion is shown to be larger in the fibril state than in the monomeric state. This implies that significant solvent space exists within the fibrils, which is attributed to the αSyn molecules within the fibrils having a distribution of conformations. The larger amplitude of the side chain motion in the fibril state than in the monomeric state implies that the fibril state is entropically favorable.

  4. High-Pressure-Driven Reversible Dissociation of α-Synuclein Fibrils Reveals Structural Hierarchy. (United States)

    Piccirilli, Federica; Plotegher, Nicoletta; Ortore, Maria Grazia; Tessari, Isabella; Brucale, Marco; Spinozzi, Francesco; Beltramini, Mariano; Mariani, Paolo; Militello, Valeria; Lupi, Stefano; Perucchi, Andrea; Bubacco, Luigi


    The analysis of the α-synuclein (aS) aggregation process, which is involved in Parkinson's disease etiopathogenesis, and of the structural feature of the resulting amyloid fibrils may shed light on the relationship between the structure of aS aggregates and their toxicity. This may be considered a paradigm of the ground work needed to tackle the molecular basis of all the protein-aggregation-related diseases. With this aim, we used chemical and physical dissociation methods to explore the structural organization of wild-type aS fibrils. High pressure (in the kbar range) and alkaline pH were used to disassemble fibrils to collect information on the hierarchic pathway by which distinct β-sheets sequentially unfold using the unique possibility offered by high-pressure Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The results point toward the formation of kinetic traps in the energy landscape of aS fibril disassembly and the presence of transient partially folded species during the process. Since we found that the dissociation of wild-type aS fibrils by high pressure is reversible upon pressure release, the disassembled molecules likely retain structural information that favors fibril reformation. To deconstruct the role of the different regions of aS sequence in this process, we measured the high-pressure dissociation of amyloids formed by covalent chimeric dimers of aS (syn-syn) and by the aS deletion mutant that lacks the C-terminus, i.e., aS (1-99). The results allowed us to single out the role of dimerization and that of the C-terminus in the complete maturation of fibrillar aS. Copyright © 2017 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Cellular response of human neuroblastoma cells to α-synuclein fibrils, the main constituent of Lewy bodies. (United States)

    Pieri, Laura; Chafey, Philippe; Le Gall, Morgane; Clary, Guilhem; Melki, Ronald; Redeker, Virginie


    α-Synuclein (α-Syn) fibrils are the main constituent of Lewy bodies and a neuropathological hallmark of Parkinson's disease (PD). The propagation of α-Syn assemblies from cell to cell suggests that they are involved in PD progression. We previously showed that α-Syn fibrils are toxic because of their ability to bind and permeabilize cell membranes. Here, we document the cellular response in terms of proteome changes of SH-SY5Y cells exposed to exogenous α-Syn fibrils. We compare the proteomes of cells of neuronal origin exposed or not either to oligomeric or fibrillar α-Syn using two dimensional differential in-gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) and mass spectrometry. Only α-Syn fibrils induce significant changes in the proteome of SH-SY5Y cells. In addition to proteins associated to apoptosis and toxicity, or proteins previously linked to neurodegenerative diseases, we report an overexpression of proteins involved in intracellular vesicle trafficking. We also report a remarkable increase in fibrillar α-Syn heterogeneity, mainly due to C-terminal truncations. Our results show that cells of neuronal origin adapt their proteome to exogenous α-Syn fibrils and actively modify those assemblies. Cells of neuronal origin adapt their proteome to exogenous toxic α-Syn fibrils and actively modify those assemblies. Our results bring insights into the cellular response and clearance events the cells implement to face the propagation of α-Syn assemblies associated to pathology.

  6. ER Stress and Autophagic Perturbations Lead to Elevated Extracellular α-Synuclein in GBA-N370S Parkinson's iPSC-Derived Dopamine Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hugo J.R. Fernandes


    Full Text Available Heterozygous mutations in the glucocerebrosidase gene (GBA represent the strongest common genetic risk factor for Parkinson's disease (PD, the second most common neurodegenerative disorder. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this association are still poorly understood. Here, we have analyzed ten independent induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC lines from three controls and three unrelated PD patients heterozygous for the GBA-N370S mutation, and identified relevant disease mechanisms. After differentiation into dopaminergic neurons, we observed misprocessing of mutant glucocerebrosidase protein in the ER, associated with activation of ER stress and abnormal cellular lipid profiles. Furthermore, we observed autophagic perturbations and an enlargement of the lysosomal compartment specifically in dopamine neurons. Finally, we found increased extracellular α-synuclein in patient-derived neuronal culture medium, which was not associated with exosomes. Overall, ER stress, autophagic/lysosomal perturbations, and elevated extracellular α-synuclein likely represent critical early cellular phenotypes of PD, which might offer multiple therapeutic targets.

  7. NetTurnP – Neural Network Prediction of Beta-turns by Use of Evolutionary Information and Predicted Protein Sequence Features

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Bent; Lundegaard, Claus; Petersen, Thomas Nordahl


    is the highest reported performance on a two-class prediction of β-turn and not-β-turn. Furthermore NetTurnP shows improved performance on some of the specific β-turn types. In the present work, neural network methods have been trained to predict β-turn or not and individual β-turn types from the primary amino......β-turns are the most common type of non-repetitive structures, and constitute on average 25% of the amino acids in proteins. The formation of β-turns plays an important role in protein folding, protein stability and molecular recognition processes. In this work we present the neural network method...... NetTurnP, for prediction of two-class β-turns and prediction of the individual β-turn types, by use of evolutionary information and predicted protein sequence features. It has been evaluated against a commonly used dataset BT426, and achieves a Matthews correlation coefficient of 0.50, which...

  8. Neural responses to visual food stimuli after a normal vs. higher protein breakfast in breakfast-skipping teens: a pilot fMRI study. (United States)

    Leidy, Heather J; Lepping, Rebecca J; Savage, Cary R; Harris, Corey T


    This functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) pilot study identified whether breakfast consumption would alter the neural activity in brain regions associated with food motivation and reward in overweight "breakfast skipping" (BS) adolescent girls and examined whether increased protein at breakfast would lead to additional alterations. Ten girls (Age: 15 ± 1 years; BMI percentile 93 ± 1%; BS 5 ± 1×/week) completed 3 testing days. Following the BS day, the participants were provided with, in randomized order, normal protein (NP; 18 ± 1 g protein) or higher protein (HP; 50 ± 1 g protein) breakfast meals to consume at home for 6 days. On day 7 of each pattern, the participants came to the laboratory to consume their respective breakfast followed by appetite questionnaires and an fMRI brain scan to identify brain activation responses to viewing food vs. nonfood images prior to lunch. Breakfast consumption led to enduring (i.e., 3-h post breakfast) reductions in neural activation in the hippocampus, amygdala, cingulate, and parahippocampus vs. BS. HP led to enduring reductions in insula and middle prefrontal cortex activation vs. NP. Hippocampal, amygdala, cingulate, and insular activations were correlated with appetite and inversely correlated with satiety. In summary, the addition of breakfast led to alterations in brain activation in regions previously associated with food motivation and reward with additional alterations following the higher-protein breakfast. These data suggest that increased dietary protein at breakfast might be a beneficial strategy to reduce reward-driven eating behavior in overweight teen girls. Due to the small sample size, caution is warranted when interpreting these preliminary findings.

  9. LIMP-2 expression is critical for β-glucocerebrosidase activity and α-synuclein clearance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rothaug, Michelle; Zunke, Friederike; Mazzulli, Joseph R.; Schweizer, Michaela; Altmeppen, Hermann; Lüllmann-Rauch, Renate; Kallemeijn, Wouter W.; Gaspar, Paulo; Aerts, Johannes M.; Glatzel, Markus; Saftig, Paul; Krainc, Dimitri; Schwake, Michael; Blanz, Judith


    Mutations within the lysosomal enzyme β-glucocerebrosidase (GC) result in Gaucher disease and represent a major risk factor for developing Parkinson disease (PD). Loss of GC activity leads to accumulation of its substrate glucosylceramide and α-synuclein. Since lysosomal activity of GC is tightly

  10. Changes in interfacial properties of alpha-synuclein preceding its aggregation

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Paleček, Emil; Ostatná, Veronika; Masařík, Michal; Bertoncini, C.W.; Jovin, T.


    Roč. 133, - (2008), s. 76-84 ISSN 0003-2654 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR(CZ) KAN400310651; GA MŠk(CZ) LC06035 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50040507; CEZ:AV0Z50040702 Keywords : alpha-synuclein * Parkinson's disease Subject RIV: BO - Biophysics Impact factor: 3.761, year: 2008

  11. Rasagiline ameliorates olfactory deficits in an alpha-synuclein mouse model of Parkinson's disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Géraldine H Petit

    Full Text Available Impaired olfaction is an early pre-motor symptom of Parkinson's disease. The neuropathology underlying olfactory dysfunction in Parkinson's disease is unknown, however α-synuclein accumulation/aggregation and altered neurogenesis might play a role. We characterized olfactory deficits in a transgenic mouse model of Parkinson's disease expressing human wild-type α-synuclein under the control of the mouse α-synuclein promoter. Preliminary clinical observations suggest that rasagiline, a monoamine oxidase-B inhibitor, improves olfaction in Parkinson's disease. We therefore examined whether rasagiline ameliorates olfactory deficits in this Parkinson's disease model and investigated the role of olfactory bulb neurogenesis. α-Synuclein mice were progressively impaired in their ability to detect odors, to discriminate between odors, and exhibited alterations in short-term olfactory memory. Rasagiline treatment rescued odor detection and odor discrimination abilities. However, rasagiline did not affect short-term olfactory memory. Finally, olfactory changes were not coupled to alterations in olfactory bulb neurogenesis. We conclude that rasagiline reverses select olfactory deficits in a transgenic mouse model of Parkinson's disease. The findings correlate with preliminary clinical observations suggesting that rasagiline ameliorates olfactory deficits in Parkinson's disease.

  12. Dermal phospho-alpha-synuclein deposits confirm REM sleep behaviour disorder as prodromal Parkinson's disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Doppler, Kathrin; Jentschke, Hanna-Maria; Schulmeyer, Lena; Vadasz, David; Janzen, Annette; Luster, Markus; Höffken, Helmut; Mayer, Geert; Brumberg, Joachim; Booij, Jan; Musacchio, Thomas; Klebe, Stephan; Sittig-Wiegand, Elisabeth; Volkmann, Jens; Sommer, Claudia; Oertel, Wolfgang H.


    Phosphorylated alpha-synuclein (p-alpha-syn) deposits, one of the neuropathological hallmarks of Parkinson's disease (PD), have recently been detected in dermal nerve fibres in PD patients with good specificity and sensitivity. Here, we studied whether p-alpha-syn may serve as a biomarker in

  13. Long-term polarization of microglia upon alpha-synuclein overexpression in nonhuman primates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Barkholt, Pernille; Sanchez-Guajardo, Vanesa Maria; Kirik, Denis


    We have previously shown that persistent ﰇ-sy- nuclein overexpression in ventral midbrain of marmoset leads to a distinctive neurodegenerative process and motor defects. The neurodegeneration was confined to caudate putamen dopaminergic fibers in animals overexpressing wild-type (wt) ﰇ-synuclein....

  14. Structural characterization of copper(II) binding to α-synuclein: Insights into the bioinorganic chemistry of Parkinson's disease (United States)

    Rasia, Rodolfo M.; Bertoncini, Carlos W.; Marsh, Derek; Hoyer, Wolfgang; Cherny, Dmitry; Zweckstetter, Markus; Griesinger, Christian; Jovin, Thomas M.; Fernández, Claudio O.


    The aggregation of α-synuclein (AS) is characteristic of Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative synucleinopathies. We demonstrate here that Cu(II) ions are effective in accelerating AS aggregation at physiologically relevant concentrations without altering the resultant fibrillar structures. By using numerous spectroscopic techniques (absorption, CD, EPR, and NMR), we have located the primary binding for Cu(II) to a specific site in the N terminus, involving His-50 as the anchoring residue and other nitrogen/oxygen donor atoms in a square planar or distorted tetragonal geometry. The carboxylate-rich C terminus, originally thought to drive copper binding, is able to coordinate a second Cu(II) equivalent, albeit with a 300-fold reduced affinity. The NMR analysis of AS–Cu(II) complexes reveals the existence of conformational restrictions in the native state of the protein. The metallobiology of Cu(II) in Parkinson's disease is discussed by a comparative analysis with other Cu(II)-binding proteins involved in neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:15767574

  15. Exploring the structural diversity in inhibitors of α-synuclein amyloidogenic folding, aggregation and neurotoxicity (United States)

    Das, Sukanya; Pukala, Tara L.; Smid, Scott D.


    Aggregation of α-Synuclein (αS) protein to amyloid fibrils is a neuropathological hallmark of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Growing evidence suggests that extracellular αS aggregation plays a pivotal role in neurodegeneration found in PD in addition to the intracellular αS aggregates in Lewy bodies (LB). Here, we identified and compared a diverse set of molecules capable of mitigating protein aggregation and exogenous toxicity of αSA53T, a more aggregation-prone αS mutant found in familial PD. For the first time, we investigated the αS anti-amyloid activity of semi-synthetic flavonoid 2', 3', 4' trihydroxyflavone or 2-D08, which was compared with natural flavones myricetin and transilitin, as well as such structurally diverse polyphenols as honokiol and punicalagin. Additionally, two novel synthetic compounds with a dibenzyl imidazolidine scaffold, Compound 1 and Compound 2, were also investigated as they exhibited favourable binding with αSA53T. All seven compounds inhibited αSA53T aggregation as demonstrated by Thioflavin T fluorescence assays, with modified fibril morphology observed by transmission electron microscopy. Ion mobility-mass spectrometry (IM-MS) was used to monitor the structural conversion of native αSA53T into amyloidogenic conformations and all seven compounds preserved the native unfolded conformations of αSA53T following 48 hrs incubation. The presence of each test compound in a 1:2 molar ratio was also shown to inhibit the neurotoxicity of preincubated αSA53T using phaeochromocytoma (PC12) cell viability assays. Among the seven tested compounds 2-D08, honokiol and the synthetic Compound 2 demonstrated the highest inhibition of aggregation, coupled with neuroprotection from preincubated αSA53T in vitro. Molecular docking predicted that all compounds bound near the lysine-rich region of the N-terminus of αSA53T, where the flavonoids and honokiol predominantly interacted with Lys 23. Overall, these findings highlight that i

  16. A lysosomal lair for a pathogenic protein pair. (United States)

    Dawson, Ted M; Dawson, Valina L


    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects movement. Although many of the causes of PD remain unclear, a consistent finding is the abnormal accumulation of the protein α-synuclein. In a recent issue of Cell, Mazzuli et al. provide a molecular explanation for the unexpected link between PD and Gaucher's disease, a glycolipid lysosomal storage disorder caused by loss of the enzyme glucocerebrosidase (GBA). They report a reciprocal connection between loss of GBA activity and the accumulation of α-synuclein in lysosomes that establishes a bidirectional positive feedback loop with pathogenic consequences. Understanding how lysosomes are implicated in PD may reveal new therapeutic targets for treating this disease.

  17. Identification of the Ulex europaeus agglutinin-I-binding protein as a unique glycoform of the neural cell adhesion molecule in the olfactory sensory axons of adults rats. (United States)

    Pestean, A; Krizbai, I; Böttcher, H; Párducz, A; Joó, F; Wolff, J R


    Histochemical localization of two lectins, Ulex europaeus agglutinin-I (UEA-I) and Tetragonolobus purpureus (TPA), was studied in the olfactory bulb of adult rats. In contrast to TPA, UEA-I detected a fucosylated glycoprotein that is only present in the surface membranes of olfactory sensory cells including the whole course of their neurites up to the final arborization in glomeruli. Immunoblotting revealed that UEA-I binds specifically to a protein of 205 kDa, while TPA stains several other glycoproteins. Affinity chromatography with the use of a UEA-I column identified the 205 kDa protein as a glycoform of neural cell adhesion molecule (N-CAM), specific for the rat olfactory sensory nerves.

  18. Dopamine-mediated oxidation of methionine 127 in α-synuclein causes cytotoxicity and oligomerization of α-synuclein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kazuhiro Nakaso

    Full Text Available Parkinson's disease (PD is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the selective loss of dopaminergic neurons and the presence of Lewy bodies. Many recent studies focused on the interaction between α-synuclein (α-syn and dopamine in the pathogenesis of PD, and fluorescent anisotropy suggested that the C-terminal region of α-syn may be a target for modification by dopamine. However, it is not well understood why PD-related pathogenesis occurs selectively in dopaminergic neurons. We investigated the interaction between dopamine and α-syn with regard to cytotoxicity. A soluble oligomer was formed by co-incubating α-syn and dopamine in vitro. To clarify the effect of dopamine on α-syn in cells, we generated PC12 cells expressing human α-syn, as well as the α-syn mutants, M116A, Y125D, M127A, S129A, and M116A/M127A, in a tetracycline-inducible manner (PC12-TetOFF-α-syn. Overexpression of wildtype α-syn in catecholaminergic PC12 cells decreased cell viability in long-term cultures, while a competitive inhibitor of tyrosine hydroxylase blocked this vulnerability, suggesting that α-syn-related cytotoxicity is associated with dopamine metabolism. The vulnerabilities of all mutant cell lines were lower than that of wildtype α-syn-expressing cells. Moreover, α-syn containing dopamine-mediated oxidized methionine (Met(O was detected in PC12-TetOFF-α-syn. Met(O was lower in methionine mutant cells, especially in the M127A or M116A/M127A mutants, but also in the Y125D and S129A mutants. Co-incubation of dopamine and the 125YEMPS129 peptide enhanced the production of H2O2, which may oxidize methionine residues and convert them to Met(O. Y125- or S129-lacking peptides did not enhance the dopamine-related production of H2O2. Our results suggest that M127 is the major target for oxidative modification by dopamine, and that Y125 and S129 may act as enhancers of this modification. These results may describe a mechanism of dopaminergic neuron

  19. Novel chemometric strategy based on the application of artificial neural networks to crossed mixture design for the improvement of recombinant protein production in continuous culture. (United States)

    Didier, Caroline; Forno, Guillermina; Etcheverrigaray, Marina; Kratje, Ricardo; Goicoechea, Héctor


    The optimal blends of six compounds that should be present in culture media used in recombinant protein production were determined by means of artificial neural networks (ANN) coupled with crossed mixture experimental design. This combination constitutes a novel approach to develop a medium for cultivating genetically engineered mammalian cells. The compounds were collected in two mixtures of three elements each, and the experimental space was determined by a crossed mixture design. Empirical data from 51 experimental units were used in a multiresponse analysis to train artificial neural networks which satisfy different requirements, in order to define two new culture media (Medium 1 and Medium 2) to be used in a continuous biopharmaceutical production process. These media were tested in a bioreactor to produce a recombinant protein in CHO cells. Remarkably, for both predicted media all responses satisfied the predefined goals pursued during the analysis, except in the case of the specific growth rate (mu) observed for Medium 1. ANN analysis proved to be a suitable methodology to be used when dealing with complex experimental designs, as frequently occurs in the optimization of production processes in the biotechnology area. The present work is a new example of the use of ANN for the resolution of a complex, real life system, successfully employed in the context of a biopharmaceutical production process.

  20. Aggregation process of Aβ1-40 with non-Aβ amyloid component of α-synuclein

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eugene, Cindie; Mousseau, Normand


    Many neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, are characterized by the presence of amyloid fibers. Recently, attention has turned from the fibers to the early stages of oligomerization where toxicity could be highest. Here, we focus on the interactions between non-Aβ amyloid component of a-synuclein (NAC) and Aβ 1-40 , two proteins found in amyloid fibrils associated with Alzheimer's disease. We combine the coarse-grained OPEP potential with a Hamiltonian and temperature replica exchange molecular dynamics simulation (HT-REMD) to identify mechanisms leading to the formation of secondary structures promoting fibrillation. We observe that the propensity to form beta-sheet remains the same for Aβ 1-40 whereas is decreases significantly for NAC. In particular, the 25-35 region of Aβ 1-40 is a significant area of secondary structure stabilization with NAC. The ionic interactions between salt-bridge D23 and K28 in Aβ 1-40 and K20 and E23 in NAC of the heterogeneous dimer are consistent with the salt-bridges found in NAC and Aβ 1-40 homogenous dimers and allow us to see that these interactions don't necessarily dominate the interchain stabilizations. Our numerical simulation also show the formation of interaction between the early oligomer of NAC and Aβ 1-40 . (paper)

  1. α-Synuclein may cross-bridge v-SNARE and acidic phospholipids to facilitate SNARE-dependent vesicle docking. (United States)

    Lou, Xiaochu; Kim, Jaewook; Hawk, Brenden J; Shin, Yeon-Kyun


    Misfolded α-synuclein (A-syn) is widely recognized as the primal cause of neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. The normal cellular function of A-syn has, however, been elusive. There is evidence that A-syn plays multiple roles in the exocytotic pathway in the neuron, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are unclear. A-syn has been known to interact with negatively charged phospholipids and with vesicle SNARE protein VAMP2. Using single-vesicle docking/fusion assays, we find that A-syn promotes SNARE-dependent vesicles docking significantly at 2.5 µM. When phosphatidylserine (PS) is removed from t-SNARE-bearing vesicles, the docking enhancement by A-syn disappears and A-syn instead acts as an inhibitor for docking. In contrast, subtraction of PS from the v-SNARE-carrying vesicles enhances vesicle docking even further. Moreover, when we truncate the C-terminal 45 residues of A-syn that participates in interacting with VAMP2, the promotion of vesicle docking is abrogated. Thus, the results suggest that the A-syn's interaction with v-SNARE through its C-terminal tail and its concurrent interaction with PS in trans through its amphipathic N-terminal domain facilitate SNARE complex formation, whereby A-syn aids SNARE-dependent vesicle docking. © 2017 The Author(s); published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society.

  2. Alpha-synuclein is present in dental calculus but not altered in Parkinson's disease patients in comparison to controls. (United States)

    Schmid, Sabrina; Goldberg-Bockhorn, Eva; Schwarz, Silke; Rotter, Nicole; Kassubek, Jan; Del Tredici, Kelly; Pinkhardt, Elmar; Otto, Markus; Ludolph, Albert C; Oeckl, Patrick


    In autopsy cases staged for sporadic Parkinson's disease (PD), the neuropathology is characterized by a preclinical phase that targets the enteric nervous system of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Therefore, the ENS might be a source of potential (presymptomatic) PD biomarkers. In this clinically based study, we examined the alpha-synuclein (αSyn) concentration in an easily accessible protein storage medium of the GIT, dental calculus, in 21/50 patients with PD and 28/50 age- and gender-matched controls using ELISA. αSyn was detectable in dental calculus and the median concentration in the control patients was 8.6 pg/mg calculus (interquartile range 2.6-13.1 pg/mg). αSyn concentrations were significantly influenced by blood contamination and samples with a hemoglobin concentration of > 4000 ng/mL were excluded. There was no significant difference of αSyn concentrations in the dental calculus of PD patients (5.76 pg/mg, interquartile range 2.91-9.74 pg/mg) compared to those in controls (p = 0.40). The total αSyn concentration in dental calculus is not a suitable biomarker for sporadic PD. Disease-related variants such as oligomeric or phosphorylated αSyn in calculus might prove to be more specific.

  3. An alpha-synuclein MRM assay with diagnostic potential for Parkinson's disease and monitoring disease progression

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, Li [Department of Pathology, University of Washington, Seattle WA USA; Stewart, Tessandra [Department of Pathology, University of Washington, Seattle WA USA; Shi, Min [Department of Pathology, University of Washington, Seattle WA USA; Pottiez, Gwenael [Department of Pathology, University of Washington, Seattle WA USA; Dator, Romel [Department of Pathology, University of Washington, Seattle WA USA; Wu, Rui [Department of Pathology, University of Washington, Seattle WA USA; Department of Pathology, No. 3 Hospital of Beijing University, Beijing China; Aro, Patrick [Department of Pathology, University of Washington, Seattle WA USA; Schuster, Robert J. [Department of Pathology, University of Washington, Seattle WA USA; Ginghina, Carmen [Department of Pathology, University of Washington, Seattle WA USA; Pan, Catherine [Department of Pathology, University of Washington, Seattle WA USA; Gao, Yuqian [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA; Qian, Weijun [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA; Zabetian, Cyrus P. [Parkinson' s Disease Research and Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center, Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle WA USA; Department of Neurology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle WA USA; Hu, Shu-Ching [Department of Neurology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle WA USA; Quinn, Joseph F. [Department of Neurology, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland OR USA; Zhang, Jing [Department of Pathology, University of Washington, Seattle WA USA; Department of Pathology, Peking University Health Science Centre and Third Hospital, Beijing 100083 China


    Aim: The alpha-synuclein (α-syn) level in human cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), as measured by immunoassays, is promising as a Parkinson’s disease (PD) biomarker. However, the levels of total α-syn are inconsistent among studies with large cohorts and different measurement platforms. Total α-syn level also does not correlate with disease severity or progression. Here, we developed a highly sensitive Multiple Reaction Monitoring (MRM) method to measure absolute CSF α-syn peptide concentrations without prior enrichment or fractionation, aiming to discover new candidate biomarkers. Results: Six peptides covering 73% of protein sequence were reliably identified, and two were consistently quantified in cross-sectional and longitudinal cohorts. Absolute concentration of α-syn in human CSF was determined to be 2.1ng/mL. A unique α-syn peptide, TVEGAGSIAAATGFVK (81-96), displayed excellent correlation with previous immunoassay results in two independent PD cohorts (p < 0.001), correlated with disease severity, and its changes significantly tracked the disease progression longitudinally. Conclusions: An MRM assay to quantify human CSF α-syn was developed and optimized. Sixty clinical samples from cross-sectional and longitudinal PD cohorts were analyzed with this approach. Although further larger-scale validation is needed, the results suggest that α-syn peptide could serve as a promising biomarker in PD diagnosis and progression.

  4. Contact between the β1 and β2 Segments of α-Synuclein that Inhibits Amyloid Formation. (United States)

    Shaykhalishahi, Hamed; Gauhar, Aziz; Wördehoff, Michael M; Grüning, Clara S R; Klein, Antonia N; Bannach, Oliver; Stoldt, Matthias; Willbold, Dieter; Härd, Torleif; Hoyer, Wolfgang


    Conversion of the intrinsically disordered protein α-synuclein (α-syn) into amyloid aggregates is a key process in Parkinson's disease. The sequence region 35-59 contains β-strand segments β1 and β2 of α-syn amyloid fibril models and most disease-related mutations. β1 and β2 frequently engage in transient interactions in monomeric α-syn. The consequences of β1-β2 contacts are evaluated by disulfide engineering, biophysical techniques, and cell viability assays. The double-cysteine mutant α-synCC, with a disulfide linking β1 and β2, is aggregation-incompetent and inhibits aggregation and toxicity of wild-type α-syn. We show that α-syn delays the aggregation of amyloid-β peptide and islet amyloid polypeptide involved in Alzheimer's disease and type 2 diabetes, an effect enhanced in the α-synCC mutant. Tertiary interactions in the β1-β2 region of α-syn interfere with the nucleation of amyloid formation, suggesting promotion of such interactions as a potential therapeutic approach. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  5. The Melanocyte Fate in Neural Crest is Triggered by Myb Proteins through Activation of c-kit

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Karafiát, Vít; Dvořáková, Marta; Pajer, Petr; Čermák, Vladimír; Dvořák, Michal


    Roč. 64, č. 21 (2007), s. 2975-2984 ISSN 1420-682X R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LC06061; GA ČR GA204/06/1728 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50520514 Keywords : c-myb proto-oncogene * v-mybAMV oncogene * neural crest * cell fate determination * melanocytes * c-kit signal Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 5.239, year: 2007

  6. Overexpression of synuclein-γ predicts lack of benefit from radiotherapy for breast cancer patients

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Min, Li; Zhang, Cheng; Ma, Ruolan; Li, Xiaofan; Yuan, Hua; Li, Yihao; Chen, Ruxuan; Liu, Caiyun; Guo, Jianping; Qu, Like; Shou, Chengchao


    Although radiotherapy following mastectomy was demonstrated to reduce the recurring risk and improve the prognosis of patients with breast cancer, it is also notorious for comprehensive side effects, hence only a selected group of patients can benefit. Therefore, the screening of molecular markers capable of predicting the efficacy of radiotherapy is essential. We have established a cohort of 454 breast cancer cases and selected 238 patients with indications for postoperative radiotherapy. Synuclein-γ (SNCG) protein levels were assessed by immunohistochemistry, and SNCG status was retrospectively correlated with clinical features and survival in patients treated or not treated with radiotherapy. Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA) and survival analysis for online datasets were also performed for further validation. Among patients that received radiotherapy (82/238), those demonstrating positive SNCG expression had a 55.0 month shorter median overall survival (OS) in comparison to those demonstrating negative SNCG expression (78.4 vs. 133.4 months, log rank χ 2 = 16.13; p < 0.001). Among the patients that received no radiotherapy (156/238), SNCG status was not correlated with OS (log rank χ 2 = 2.40; p = 0.121). A COX proportional hazard analysis confirmed SNCG as an independent predictor of OS, only for patients who have received radiotherapy. Similar results were also obtained for distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS). A GSEA analysis indicated that SNCG was strongly associated with genes related to a radiation stress response. A survival analysis was performed with online databases consisting of breast cancer, lung cancer, and glioblastoma and further confirmed SNCG’s significance in predicting the survival of patients that have received radiotherapy. A positive SNCG may serve as a potential marker to identify breast cancer patients who are less likely to benefit from radiotherapy and may also be extended to other types of cancer. However, the role of SNCG

  7. α-Synuclein expression in the mouse cerebellum is restricted to VGluT1 excitatory terminals and is enriched in unipolar brush cells. (United States)

    Lee, Sun Kyong; Sillitoe, Roy V; Silva, Coralie; Martina, Marco; Sekerkova, Gabriella


    α-Synuclein has a crucial role in synaptic vesicle release and synaptic membrane recycling. Although its general expression pattern has been described in the cerebellum, the precise cerebellar structures where α-synuclein is localized are poorly understood. To address this question, we used α-synuclein immunohistochemistry in adult mice cerebellar sections. We found that α-synuclein labels glutamatergic but not glycinergic and GABAergic synaptic terminals in the molecular and granule cell layers. α-Synuclein was preferentially expressed in parallel and mossy fiber synaptic terminals that also express vesicular glutamate transporter 1 (VGluT1), while it was not detected in VGluT2-positive climbing fibers. α-Synuclein was particularly enriched in lobules IX and X, a region known to contain a high density of unipolar brush cells (UBCs). To elucidate whether the α-synuclein-positive mossy fibers belong to UBCs, we double-labeled cerebellar sections with antibodies to α-synuclein and UBC-type-specific markers (calretinin for type I and metabotropic glutamate receptor 1α (mGluR1α) for type II UBCs) and took advantage of organotypic cerebellar cultures (in which all mossy fibers are UBC axons) and moonwalker mice (in which almost all UBCs are ablated) and found that both type I and type II UBCs express α-synuclein. In moonwalker mutant cerebella, the α-synuclein/VGluT1 immunolabeling showed a dramatic decrease in the vestibulocerebellum that correlated with the absence of UBC. α-Synuclein appears to be an excellent marker for intrinsic mossy fibers of the VGluT1 subset in conjunction with UBCs of both subtypes.

  8. Anti-human α-synuclein N-terminal peptide antibody protects against dopaminergic cell death and ameliorates behavioral deficits in an AAV-α-synuclein rat model of Parkinson's disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Md Shahaduzzaman

    Full Text Available The protein α-synuclein (α-Syn has a central role in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD and immunotherapeutic approaches targeting this molecule have shown promising results. In this study, novel antibodies were generated against specific peptides from full length human α-Syn and evaluated for effectiveness in ameliorating α-Syn-induced cell death and behavioral deficits in an AAV-α-Syn expressing rat model of PD. Fisher 344 rats were injected with rAAV vector into the right substantia nigra (SN, while control rats received an AAV vector expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP. Beginning one week after injection of the AAV-α-Syn vectors, rats were treated intraperitoneally with either control IgG or antibodies against the N-terminal (AB1, or central region (AB2 of α-Syn. An unbiased stereological estimation of TH+, NeuN+, and OX6 (MHC-II immunostaining revealed that the α-Syn peptide antibodies (AB1 and AB2 significantly inhibited α-Syn-induced dopaminergic cell (DA and NeuN+ cell loss (one-way ANOVA (F (3, 30 = 5.8, p = 0.002 and (F (3, 29 = 7.92, p = 0.002 respectively, as well as decreasing the number of activated microglia in the ipsilateral SN (one-way ANOVA F = 14.09; p = 0.0003. Antibody treated animals also had lower levels of α-Syn in the ipsilateral SN (one-way ANOVA F (7, 37 = 9.786; p = 0.0001 and demonstrated a partial intermediate improvement of the behavioral deficits. Our data suggest that, in particular, an α-Syn peptide antibody against the N-terminal region of the protein can protect against DA neuron loss and, to some extent behavioral deficits. As such, these results may be a potential therapeutic strategy for halting the progression of PD.

  9. In vivo silencing of alpha-synuclein using naked siRNA


    Charisse Klaus; Toudjarska Ivanka; Kent Caroline; Hinkle Kelly; Ogholikhan Sina; He Zhen; Braithwaite Adam; Lincoln Sarah; Zehr Cynthia; Hope Andrew; Bumcrot David; Melrose Heather; Lewis Jada; Braich Ravi; Pandey Rajendra K


    Abstract Background Overexpression of α-synuclein (SNCA) in families with multiplication mutations causes parkinsonism and subsequent dementia, characterized by diffuse Lewy Body disease post-mortem. Genetic variability in SNCA contributes to risk of idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD), possibly as a result of overexpression. SNCA downregulation is therefore a valid therapeutic target for PD. Results We have identified human and murine-specific siRNA molecules which reduce SNCA in vitro. As a...

  10. The temporal expression pattern of alpha-synuclein modulates olfactory neurogenesis in transgenic mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian R Schreglmann

    Full Text Available Adult neurogenesis mirrors the brain´s endogenous capacity to generate new neurons throughout life. In the subventricular zone/ olfactory bulb system adult neurogenesis is linked to physiological olfactory function and has been shown to be impaired in murine models of neuronal alpha-Synuclein overexpression. We analyzed the degree and temporo-spatial dynamics of adult olfactory bulb neurogenesis in transgenic mice expressing human wild-type alpha-Synuclein (WTS under the murine Thy1 (mThy1 promoter, a model known to have a particularly high tg expression associated with impaired olfaction.Survival of newly generated neurons (NeuN-positive in the olfactory bulb was unchanged in mThy1 transgenic animals. Due to decreased dopaminergic differentiation a reduction in new dopaminergic neurons within the olfactory bulb glomerular layer was present. This is in contrast to our previously published data on transgenic animals that express WTS under the control of the human platelet-derived growth factor β (PDGF promoter, that display a widespread decrease in survival of newly generated neurons in regions of adult neurogenesis, resulting in a much more pronounced neurogenesis deficit. Temporal and quantitative expression analysis using immunofluorescence co-localization analysis and Western blots revealed that in comparison to PDGF transgenic animals, in mThy1 transgenic animals WTS is expressed from later stages of neuronal maturation only but at significantly higher levels both in the olfactory bulb and cortex.The dissociation between higher absolute expression levels of alpha-Synuclein but less severe impact on adult olfactory neurogenesis in mThy1 transgenic mice highlights the importance of temporal expression characteristics of alpha-Synuclein on the maturation of newborn neurons.

  11. Mutant alpha-synuclein causes age-dependent neuropathology in monkey brain. (United States)

    Yang, Weili; Wang, Guohao; Wang, Chuan-En; Guo, Xiangyu; Yin, Peng; Gao, Jinquan; Tu, Zhuchi; Wang, Zhengbo; Wu, Jing; Hu, Xintian; Li, Shihua; Li, Xiao-Jiang


    Parkinson's disease (PD) is an age-dependent neurodegenerative disease that often occurs in those over age 60. Although rodents and small animals have been used widely to model PD and investigate its pathology, their short life span makes it difficult to assess the aging-related pathology that is likely to occur in PD patient brains. Here, we used brain tissues from rhesus monkeys at 2-3, 7-8, and >15 years of age to examine the expression of Parkin, PINK1, and α-synuclein, which are known to cause PD via loss- or gain-of-function mechanisms. We found that α-synuclein is increased in the older monkey brains, whereas Parkin and PINK1 are decreased or remain unchanged. Because of the gain of toxicity of α-synuclein, we performed stereotaxic injection of lentiviral vectors expressing mutant α-synuclein (A53T) into the substantia nigra of monkeys and found that aging also increases the accumulation of A53T in neurites and its associated neuropathology. A53T also causes more extensive reactive astrocytes and axonal degeneration in monkey brain than in mouse brain. Using monkey brain tissues, we found that A53T interacts with neurofascin, an adhesion molecule involved in axon subcellular targeting and neurite outgrowth. Aged monkey brain tissues show an increased interaction of neurofascin with A53T. Overexpression of A53T causes neuritic toxicity in cultured neuronal cells, which can be attenuated by transfected neurofascin. These findings from nonhuman primate brains reveal age-dependent pathological and molecular changes that could contribute to the age-dependent neuropathology in PD. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/358345-14$15.00/0.

  12. α-Synuclein pathology in the cranial and spinal nerves in Lewy body disease. (United States)

    Nakamura, Keiko; Mori, Fumiaki; Tanji, Kunikazu; Miki, Yasuo; Toyoshima, Yasuko; Kakita, Akiyoshi; Takahashi, Hitoshi; Yamada, Masahito; Wakabayashi, Koichi


    Accumulation of phosphorylated α-synuclein in neurons and glial cells is a histological hallmark of Lewy body disease (LBD) and multiple system atrophy (MSA). Recently, filamentous aggregations of phosphorylated α-synuclein have been reported in the cytoplasm of Schwann cells, but not in axons, in the peripheral nervous system in MSA, mainly in the cranial and spinal nerve roots. Here we conducted an immunohistochemical investigation of the cranial and spinal nerves and dorsal root ganglia of patients with LBD. Lewy axons were found in the oculomotor, trigeminal and glossopharyngeal-vagus nerves, but not in the hypoglossal nerve. The glossopharyngeal-vagus nerves were most frequently affected, with involvement in all of 20 subjects. In the spinal nerve roots, Lewy axons were found in all of the cases examined. Lewy axons in the anterior nerves were more frequent and numerous in the thoracic and sacral segments than in the cervical and lumbar segments. On the other hand, axonal lesions in the posterior spinal nerve roots appeared to increase along a cervical-to-sacral gradient. Although Schwann cell cytoplasmic inclusions were found in the spinal nerves, they were only minimal. In the dorsal root ganglia, axonal lesions were seldom evident. These findings indicate that α-synuclein pathology in the peripheral nerves is axonal-predominant in LBD, whereas it is restricted to glial cells in MSA. © 2015 Japanese Society of Neuropathology.

  13. The L444P Gba1 mutation enhances alpha-synuclein induced loss of nigral dopaminergic neurons in mice (United States)

    Migdalska-Richards, Anna; Wegrzynowicz, Michal; Rusconi, Raffaella; Deangeli, Giulio; Di Monte, Donato A; Spillantini, Maria G; Schapira, Anthony H V


    Abstract Mutations in glucocerebrosidase 1 (GBA1) represent the most prevalent risk factor for Parkinson’s disease. The molecular mechanisms underlying the link between GBA1 mutations and Parkinson’s disease are incompletely understood. We analysed two aged (24-month-old) Gba1 mouse models, one carrying a knock-out mutation and the other a L444P knock-in mutation. A significant reduction of glucocerebrosidase activity was associated with increased total alpha-synuclein accumulation in both these models. Gba1 mutations alone did not alter the number of nigral dopaminergic neurons nor striatal dopamine levels. We then investigated the effect of overexpression of human alpha-synuclein in the substantia nigra of aged (18 to 21-month-old) L444P Gba1 mice. Following intraparenchymal injections of human alpha-synuclein carrying viral vectors, pathological accumulation of phosphorylated alpha-synuclein occurred within the transduced neurons. Stereological counts of nigral dopaminergic neurons revealed a significantly greater cell loss in Gba1-mutant than wild-type mice. These results indicate that Gba1 deficiency enhances neuronal vulnerability to neurodegenerative processes triggered by increased alpha-synuclein expression. PMID:28969384

  14. ɑ-Synuclein strains and seeding in Parkinson's disease, incidental Lewy body disease, dementia with Lewy bodies and multiple system atrophy: similarities and differences. (United States)

    Peelaerts, W; Bousset, L; Baekelandt, V; Melki, R


    Several age-related neurodegenerative disorders are characterized by the deposition of aberrantly folded endogenous proteins. These proteins have prion-like propagation and amplification properties but so far appear nontransmissible between individuals. Because of the features they share with the prion protein, PrP, the characteristics of pathogenic protein aggregates in several progressive brain disorders, including different types of Lewy body diseases (LBDs), such as Parkinson's disease (PD), multiple system atrophy (MSA) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), have been actively investigated. Even though the pleomorphic nature of these syndromes might suggest different underlying causes, ɑ-synuclein (ɑSyn) appears to play an important role in this heterogeneous group of diseases (the synucleinopathies). An attractive hypothesis is that different types of ɑSyn protein assemblies have a unique and causative role in distinct synucleinopathies. We will discuss the recent research progress on ɑSyn assemblies involved in PD, MSA and DLB; their behavior as strains; current spreading hypotheses; their ability to seed centrally and peripherally; and their implication for disease pathogenesis.

  15. Site-Specific Three-Color Labeling of α-Synuclein via Conjugation to Uniquely Reactive Cysteines during Assembly by Native Chemical Ligation. (United States)

    Lee, Taehyung C; Moran, Crystal R; Cistrone, Philip A; Dawson, Philip E; Deniz, Ashok A


    Single-molecule fluorescence is widely used to study conformational complexity in proteins, and has proven especially valuable with intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs). Protein studies using dual-color single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer (smFRET) are now quite common, but many could benefit from simultaneous measurement of multiple distances through multi-color labeling. Such studies, however, have suffered from limitations in site-specific incorporation of more than two dyes per polypeptide. Here we present a fully site-specific three-color labeling scheme for α-synuclein, an IDP with important putative functions and links to Parkinson disease. The convergent synthesis combines native chemical ligation with regiospecific cysteine protection of expressed protein fragments to permit highly controlled labeling via standard cysteine-maleimide chemistry, enabling more global smFRET studies. Furthermore, this modular approach is generally compatible with recombinant proteins and expandable to accommodate even more complex experiments, such as by labeling with additional colors. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. GYY4137, an H2S Slow-Releasing Donor, Prevents Nitrative Stress and α-Synuclein Nitration in an MPTP Mouse Model of Parkinson’s Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoou Hou


    Full Text Available The neuromodulator hydrogen sulfide (H2S was shown to exert neuroprotection in different models of Parkinson’s disease (PD via its anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic properties. In this study, we evaluated the effect of an H2S slow-releasing compound GYY4137 (GYY on a mouse PD model induced by acute injection with 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP. GYY was intraperitoneally (i.p. injected once daily into male C57BL/6J mice 3 days before and 2 weeks after MPTP (14 mg/kg, four times at 2-h intervals, i.p. administration. Saline was given as a control. Behavioral tests (rotarod, balance beam, and grid walking showed that 50 mg/kg GYY significantly ameliorated MPTP-caused motor impairments. At lower doses (12.5 and 25 mg/kg GYY exhibited a less obvious effect. Consistent with this, immunohistochemistry and western blot analysis demonstrated that 50 mg/kg GYY attenuated the loss of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH positive neurons in the substantia nigra and the decrease of TH expression in the striatum of MPTP-treated mice. Moreover, at this regimen GYY relieved the nitrative stress, as indicated by the decreases in nitric oxide (NO generation and neuronal NO synthase (nNOS upregulation elicited by MPTP in the striatum. The suppression of GYY on nNOS expression was verified in vitro, and the results further revealed that Akt activation may participate in the inhibition by GYY on nNOS upregulation. More important, GYY reduced the nitrated modification of α-synuclein, a PD-related protein, in MPTP-induced mice. Overall, our findings suggest that GYY attenuated dopaminergic neuron degeneration and reduced α-synuclein nitration in the midbrain, thus exerting neuroprotection in MPTP-induced mouse model of PD.

  17. GYY4137, an H2S Slow-Releasing Donor, Prevents Nitrative Stress and α-Synuclein Nitration in an MPTP Mouse Model of Parkinson's Disease. (United States)

    Hou, Xiaoou; Yuan, Yuqing; Sheng, Yulan; Yuan, Baoshi; Wang, Yali; Zheng, Jiyue; Liu, Chun-Feng; Zhang, Xiaohu; Hu, Li-Fang


    The neuromodulator hydrogen sulfide (H 2 S) was shown to exert neuroprotection in different models of Parkinson's disease (PD) via its anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic properties. In this study, we evaluated the effect of an H 2 S slow-releasing compound GYY4137 (GYY) on a mouse PD model induced by acute injection with 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). GYY was intraperitoneally (i.p.) injected once daily into male C57BL/6J mice 3 days before and 2 weeks after MPTP (14 mg/kg, four times at 2-h intervals, i.p.) administration. Saline was given as a control. Behavioral tests (rotarod, balance beam, and grid walking) showed that 50 mg/kg GYY significantly ameliorated MPTP-caused motor impairments. At lower doses (12.5 and 25 mg/kg) GYY exhibited a less obvious effect. Consistent with this, immunohistochemistry and western blot analysis demonstrated that 50 mg/kg GYY attenuated the loss of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) positive neurons in the substantia nigra and the decrease of TH expression in the striatum of MPTP-treated mice. Moreover, at this regimen GYY relieved the nitrative stress, as indicated by the decreases in nitric oxide (NO) generation and neuronal NO synthase (nNOS) upregulation elicited by MPTP in the striatum. The suppression of GYY on nNOS expression was verified in vitro , and the results further revealed that Akt activation may participate in the inhibition by GYY on nNOS upregulation. More important, GYY reduced the nitrated modification of α-synuclein, a PD-related protein, in MPTP-induced mice. Overall, our findings suggest that GYY attenuated dopaminergic neuron degeneration and reduced α-synuclein nitration in the midbrain, thus exerting neuroprotection in MPTP-induced mouse model of PD.

  18. An Overview on the Role of α -Synuclein in Experimental Models of Parkinson's Disease from Pathogenesis to Therapeutics. (United States)

    Javed, Hayate; Kamal, Mohammad Amjad; Ojha, Shreesh


    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a devastating and progressive movement disorder characterized by symptoms of muscles rigidity, tremor, postural instability and slow physical movements. Biochemically, PD is characterized by lack of dopamine production and its action due to loss of dopaminergic neurons and neuropathologically by the presence of intracytoplasmic inclusions known as Lewy bodies, which mainly consist of presynaptic neuronal protein, α-synuclein (α-syn). It is believed that alteration in α-syn homeostasis leads to increased accumulation and aggregation of α-syn in Lewy body. Based on the important role of α-syn from pathogenesis to therapeutics, the recent researches are mainly focused on deciphering the critical role of α-syn at advanced level. Being a major protein in Lewy body that has a key role in pathogenesis of PD, several model systems including immortalized cell lines (SH-SY5Y), primary neuronal cultures, yeast (saccharomyces cerevisiae), drosophila (fruit flies), nematodes (Caenorhabditis elegans) and rodents are being employed to understand the PD pathogenesis and treatment. In order to study the etiopathogensis and develop novel therapeutic target for α -syn aggregation, majority of investigators rely on toxin (rotenone, 1-Methyl-4-Phenyl-1,2,3,6-Tetrahydropyridine, 6-hydroxydopamine, paraquat)-induced animal models of PD as a tool for basic research. Whereas, cell and tissue based models are mostly utilized to elucidate the mechanistic and molecular pathways underlying the α -syn induced toxicity and therapeutic approaches in PD. Gene modified mouse models based on α-syn expression are fascinating for modeling familial PD and toxin induced models provide a suitable approach for sporadic PD. The purpose of this review is to provide a summary and a critical review of the involvement of α-syn in various in vitro and in vivo models of PD based on use of neurotoxins as well as genetic modifications.

  19. NetTurnP--neural network prediction of beta-turns by use of evolutionary information and predicted protein sequence features.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bent Petersen

    Full Text Available UNLABELLED: β-turns are the most common type of non-repetitive structures, and constitute on average 25% of the amino acids in proteins. The formation of β-turns plays an important role in protein folding, protein stability and molecular recognition processes. In this work we present the neural network method NetTurnP, for prediction of two-class β-turns and prediction of the individual β-turn types, by use of evolutionary information and predicted protein sequence features. It has been evaluated against a commonly used dataset BT426, and achieves a Matthews correlation coefficient of 0.50, which is the highest reported performance on a two-class prediction of β-turn and not-β-turn. Furthermore NetTurnP shows improved performance on some of the specific β-turn types. In the present work, neural network methods have been trained to predict β-turn or not and individual β-turn types from the primary amino acid sequence. The individual β-turn types I, I', II, II', VIII, VIa1, VIa2, VIba and IV have been predicted based on classifications by PROMOTIF, and the two-class prediction of β-turn or not is a superset comprised of all β-turn types. The performance is evaluated using a golden set of non-homologous sequences known as BT426. Our two-class prediction method achieves a performance of: MCC=0.50, Qtotal=82.1%, sensitivity=75.6%, PPV=68.8% and AUC=0.864. We have compared our performance to eleven other prediction methods that obtain Matthews correlation coefficients in the range of 0.17-0.47. For the type specific β-turn predictions, only type I and II can be predicted with reasonable Matthews correlation coefficients, where we obtain performance values of 0.36 and 0.31, respectively. CONCLUSION: The NetTurnP method has been implemented as a webserver, which is freely available at NetTurnP is the only available webserver that allows submission of multiple sequences.

  20. NetTurnP – Neural Network Prediction of Beta-turns by Use of Evolutionary Information and Predicted Protein Sequence Features (United States)

    Petersen, Bent; Lundegaard, Claus; Petersen, Thomas Nordahl


    β-turns are the most common type of non-repetitive structures, and constitute on average 25% of the amino acids in proteins. The formation of β-turns plays an important role in protein folding, protein stability and molecular recognition processes. In this work we present the neural network method NetTurnP, for prediction of two-class β-turns and prediction of the individual β-turn types, by use of evolutionary information and predicted protein sequence features. It has been evaluated against a commonly used dataset BT426, and achieves a Matthews correlation coefficient of 0.50, which is the highest reported performance on a two-class prediction of β-turn and not-β-turn. Furthermore NetTurnP shows improved performance on some of the specific β-turn types. In the present work, neural network methods have been trained to predict β-turn or not and individual β-turn types from the primary amino acid sequence. The individual β-turn types I, I', II, II', VIII, VIa1, VIa2, VIba and IV have been predicted based on classifications by PROMOTIF, and the two-class prediction of β-turn or not is a superset comprised of all β-turn types. The performance is evaluated using a golden set of non-homologous sequences known as BT426. Our two-class prediction method achieves a performance of: MCC  = 0.50, Qtotal = 82.1%, sensitivity  = 75.6%, PPV  = 68.8% and AUC  = 0.864. We have compared our performance to eleven other prediction methods that obtain Matthews correlation coefficients in the range of 0.17 – 0.47. For the type specific β-turn predictions, only type I and II can be predicted with reasonable Matthews correlation coefficients, where we obtain performance values of 0.36 and 0.31, respectively. Conclusion The NetTurnP method has been implemented as a webserver, which is freely available at NetTurnP is the only available webserver that allows submission of multiple sequences. PMID:21152409

  1. NetTurnP--neural network prediction of beta-turns by use of evolutionary information and predicted protein sequence features. (United States)

    Petersen, Bent; Lundegaard, Claus; Petersen, Thomas Nordahl


    β-turns are the most common type of non-repetitive structures, and constitute on average 25% of the amino acids in proteins. The formation of β-turns plays an important role in protein folding, protein stability and molecular recognition processes. In this work we present the neural network method NetTurnP, for prediction of two-class β-turns and prediction of the individual β-turn types, by use of evolutionary information and predicted protein sequence features. It has been evaluated against a commonly used dataset BT426, and achieves a Matthews correlation coefficient of 0.50, which is the highest reported performance on a two-class prediction of β-turn and not-β-turn. Furthermore NetTurnP shows improved performance on some of the specific β-turn types. In the present work, neural network methods have been trained to predict β-turn or not and individual β-turn types from the primary amino acid sequence. The individual β-turn types I, I', II, II', VIII, VIa1, VIa2, VIba and IV have been predicted based on classifications by PROMOTIF, and the two-class prediction of β-turn or not is a superset comprised of all β-turn types. The performance is evaluated using a golden set of non-homologous sequences known as BT426. Our two-class prediction method achieves a performance of: MCC=0.50, Qtotal=82.1%, sensitivity=75.6%, PPV=68.8% and AUC=0.864. We have compared our performance to eleven other prediction methods that obtain Matthews correlation coefficients in the range of 0.17-0.47. For the type specific β-turn predictions, only type I and II can be predicted with reasonable Matthews correlation coefficients, where we obtain performance values of 0.36 and 0.31, respectively. The NetTurnP method has been implemented as a webserver, which is freely available at NetTurnP is the only available webserver that allows submission of multiple sequences.

  2. Distinct mechanisms of axonal globule formation in mice expressing human wild type α-synuclein or dementia with Lewy bodies-linked P123H ß-synuclein

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sekigawa Akio


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Axonopathy is critical in the early pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s disease (PD and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB. Axonal swellings such as globules and spheroids are a distinct feature of axonopathy and our recent study showed that transgenic (tg mice expressing DLB-linked P123H β-synuclein (P123H βS were characterized by P123H βS-immunoreactive axonal swellings (P123H βS-globules. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to evaluate α-synuclein (αS-immunoreactive axonal swellings (αS-globules in the brains of tg mice expressing human wild-type αS and to compare them with the globules in P123H βS tg mice. Results In αS tg mice, αS-globules were formed in an age-dependent manner in various brain regions, including the thalamus and basal ganglia. These globules were composed of autophagosome-like membranous structures and were reminiscent of P123H βS-globules in P123H βS tg mice. In the αS-globules, frequent clustering and deformation of mitochondria were observed. These changes were associated with oxidative stress, based on staining of nitrated αS and 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (4-HNE. In accord with the absence of mitochondria in the P123H βS-globules, staining of nitrated αS and 4-HNE in these globules was weaker than that for αS-globules. Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2, the PARK8 of familial PD, was detected exclusively in αS-globules, suggesting a specific role of this molecule in these globules. Conclusions Lysosomal pathology was similarly observed for both αS- and P123H βS-globules, while oxidative stress was associated with the αS-globules, and to a lesser extent with the P123H βS-globules. Other pathologies, such as mitochondrial alteration and LRRK2 accumulation, were exclusively detected for αS-globules. Collectively, both αS- and P123H βS-globules were formed through similar but distinct pathogenic mechanisms. Our findings suggest that synuclein

  3. α-Synuclein deficiency and efferent nerve degeneration in the mouse cochlea: a possible cause of early-onset presbycusis. (United States)

    Park, S N; Back, S A; Choung, Y H; Kim, H L; Akil, O; Lustig, L R; Park, K H; Yeo, S W


    Efferent nerves under the outer hair cells (OHCs) play a role in the protection of these cells from loud stimuli. Previously, we showed that cochlear α-synuclein expression is localized to efferent auditory synapses at the base of the OHCs. To prove our hypothesis that α-synuclein deficiency and efferent auditory deficit might be a cause of hearing loss, we compared the morphology of efferent nerve endings and α-synuclein expression within the cochleae of two mouse models of presbycusis. Comparative animal study of presbycusis. The C57BL/6J(C57) mouse strain, a well-known model of early-onset hearing loss, and the CBA mouse strain, a model of relatively late-onset hearing loss, were examined. Auditory brainstem responses and distortion product otoacoustic emissions were recorded, and cochlear morphology with efferent nerve ending was compared. Western blotting was used to examine α-synuclein expression in the cochlea. Compared with CBA mice, C57 mice showed earlier onset high-frequency hearing loss and decreased function in OHCs, especially within high-frequency regions. C57 mice demonstrated more severe pathologic changes within the cochlea, particularly within the basal turn, than CBA mice of the same age. Weaker α-synuclein and synaptophysin expression in the efferent nerve endings and cochlear homogenates in C57 mice was observed. Our results support the hypothesis that efferent nerve degeneration, possibly due to differential α-synuclein expression, is a potential cause of early-onset presbycusis. Further studies at the cellular level are necessary to verify our results. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd and the Japan Neuroscience Society. All rights reserved.

  4. Human α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor as a novel target of oligomeric α-synuclein.

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    Qiang Liu

    Full Text Available Cigarette smoking is associated with a decreased incidence of Parkinson disease (PD through unknown mechanisms. Interestingly, a decrease in the numbers of α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (α4β2-nAChRs in PD patients suggests an α4β2-nAChR-mediated cholinergic deficit in PD. Although oligomeric forms of α-synuclein have been recognized to be toxic and involved in the pathogenesis of PD, their direct effects on nAChR-mediated cholinergic signaling remains undefined. Here, we report for the first time that oligomeric α-synuclein selectively inhibits human α4β2-nAChR-mediated currents in a dose-dependent, non-competitive and use-independent manner. We show that pre-loading cells with guanyl-5'-yl thiophosphate fails to prevent this inhibition, suggesting that the α-synuclein-induced inhibition of α4β2-nAChR function is not mediated by nAChR internalization. By using a pharmacological approach and cultures expressing transfected human nAChRs, we have shown a clear effect of oligomeric α-synuclein on α4β2-nAChRs, but not on α4β4- or α7-nAChRs, suggesting nAChR subunit selectivity of oligomeric α-synuclein-induced inhibition. In addition, by combining the size exclusion chromatography and atomic force microscopy (AFM analyses, we find that only large (>4 nm oligomeric α-synuclein aggregates (but not monomeric, small oligomeric or fibrillar α-synuclein aggregates exhibit the inhibitory effect on human α4β2-nAChRs. Collectively, we have provided direct evidence that α4β2-nAChR is a sensitive target to mediate oligomeric α-synuclein-induced modulation of cholinergic signaling, and our data imply that therapeutic strategies targeted toward α4β2-nAChRs may have potential for developing new treatments for PD.

  5. Quantitative Phosphoproteomic Study Reveals that Protein Kinase A Regulates Neural Stem Cell Differentiation Through Phosphorylation of Catenin Beta-1 and Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3β. (United States)

    Wang, Shuxin; Li, Zheyi; Shen, Hongyan; Zhang, Zhong; Yin, Yuxin; Wang, Qingsong; Zhao, Xuyang; Ji, Jianguo


    Protein phosphorylation is central to the understanding of multiple cellular signaling pathways responsible for regulating the self-renewal and differentiation of neural stem cells (NSCs). Here we performed a large-scale phosphoproteomic analysis of rat fetal NSCs using strong cation exchange chromatography prefractionation and citric acid-assisted two-step enrichment with TiO2 strategy followed by nanoLC-MS/MS analysis. Totally we identified 32,546 phosphosites on 5,091 phosphoproteins, among which 23,945 were class I phosphosites, and quantified 16,000 sites during NSC differentiation. More than 65% of class I phosphosites were novel when compared with PhosphoSitePlus database. Quantification results showed that the early and late stage of NSC differentiation differ greatly. We mapped 69 changed phosphosites on 20 proteins involved in Wnt signaling pathway, including S552 on catenin beta-1 (Ctnnb1) and S9 on glycogen synthase kinase 3β (Gsk3β). Western blotting and real-time PCR results proved that Wnt signaling pathway plays critical roles in NSC fate determination. Furthermore, inhibition and activation of PKA dramatically affected the phosphorylation state of Ctnnb1 and Gsk3β, which regulates the differentiation of NSCs. Our data provides a valuable resource for studying the self-renewal and differentiation of NSCs. Stem Cells 2016;34:2090-2101. © 2016 AlphaMed Press.

  6. Uncoupling phototoxicity-elicited neural dysmorphology and death by insidious function and selective impairment of Ran-binding protein 2 (Ranbp2). (United States)

    Cho, Kyoung-in; Haney, Victoria; Yoon, Dosuk; Hao, Yin; Ferreira, Paulo A


    Morphological disintegration of neurons is coupled invariably to neural death. In particular, disruption of outer segments of photoreceptor neurons triggers photoreceptor death regardless of the pathological stressors. We show that Ranbp2(-/-)::Tg-Ranbp2(CLDm-HA) mice with mutations in SUMO-binding motif (SBM) of cyclophilin-like domain (CLD) of Ran-binding protein 2 (Ranbp2) expressed in a null Ranbp2 background lack untoward effects in photoreceptors in the absence of light-stress. However, compared to wild type photoreceptors, light-stress elicits profound disintegration of outer segments of Ranbp2(-/-)::Tg-Ranbp2(CLDm-HA) with paradoxical age-dependent resistance of photoreceptors to death and genotype-independent activation of caspases. Ranbp2(-/-)::Tg-Ranbp2(CLDm-HA) exhibit photoreceptor death-independent changes in ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS), but death-dependent increase of ubiquitin carrier protein 9(ubc9) levels. Hence, insidious functional impairment of SBM of Ranbp2's CLD promotes neuroprotection and uncoupling of photoreceptor degeneration and death against phototoxicity. Copyright © 2015 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Tauopathic changes in the striatum of A53T α-synuclein mutant mouse model of Parkinson's disease.

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    Jonathan Wills


    Full Text Available Tauopathic pathways lead to degenerative changes in Alzheimer's disease and there is evidence that they are also involved in the neurodegenerative pathology of Parkinson's disease [PD]. We have examined tauopathic changes in striatum of the α-synuclein (α-Syn A53T mutant mouse. Elevated levels of α-Syn were observed in striatum of the adult A53T α-Syn mice. This was accompanied by increases in hyperphosphorylated Tau [p-Tau], phosphorylated at Ser202, Ser262 and Ser396/404, which are the same toxic sites also seen in Alzheimer's disease. There was an increase in active p-GSK-3β, hyperphosphorylated at Tyr216, a major and primary kinase known to phosphorylate Tau at multiple sites. The sites of hyperphosphorylation of Tau in the A53T mutant mice were similar to those seen in post-mortem striata from PD patients, attesting to their pathophysiological relevance. Increases in p-Tau were not due to alterations on protein phosphatases in either A53T mice or in human PD, suggesting lack of involvement of these proteins in tauopathy. Extraction of striata with Triton X-100 showed large increases in oligomeric forms of α-Syn suggesting that α-Syn had formed aggregates the mutant mice. In addition, increased levels of p-GSK-3β and pSer396/404 were also found associated with aggregated α-Syn. Differential solubilization to measure protein binding to cytoskeletal proteins demonstrated that p-Tau in the A53T mutant mouse were unbound to cytoskeletal proteins, consistent with dissociation of p-Tau from the microtubules upon hyperphosphorylation. Interestingly, α-Syn remained tightly bound to the cytoskeleton, while p-GSK-3β was seen in the cytoskeleton-free fractions. Immunohistochemical studies showed that α-Syn, pSer396/404 Tau and p-GSK-3β co-localized with one another and was aggregated and accumulated into large inclusion bodies, leading to cell death of Substantia nigral neurons. Together, these data demonstrate an elevated state of

  8. Extracellular Protein Interactions Mediated by the Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule, NCAM: Heterophilic Interactions Between NCAM and Cell Adhesion Molecules, Extracellular Matrix Proteins, and Viruses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Janne; Kulahin, Nikolaj; Walmod, Peter


    interactions, thereby modulating a range of biological processes. This review summarizes interactions between NCAM and other CAMs and ECM proteins. Additionally, the role of NCAM as a receptor for rabies virus, and its implications in rabies infections is briefly described. Interactions between NCAM and its...

  9. Genetic variants of the alpha-synuclein gene SNCA are associated with multiple system atrophy.

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    Ammar Al-Chalabi

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Multiple system atrophy (MSA is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by parkinsonism, cerebellar ataxia and autonomic dysfunction. Pathogenic mechanisms remain obscure but the neuropathological hallmark is the presence of alpha-synuclein-immunoreactive glial cytoplasmic inclusions. Genetic variants of the alpha-synuclein gene, SNCA, are thus strong candidates for genetic association with MSA. One follow-up to a genome-wide association of Parkinson's disease has identified association of a SNP in SNCA with MSA. METHODOLOGY/FINDINGS: We evaluated 32 SNPs in the SNCA gene in a European population of 239 cases and 617 controls recruited as part of the Neuroprotection and Natural History in Parkinson Plus Syndromes (NNIPPS study. We used 161 independently collected samples for replication. Two SNCA SNPs showed association with MSA: rs3822086 (P = 0.0044, and rs3775444 (P = 0.012, although only the first survived correction for multiple testing. In the MSA-C subgroup the association strengthened despite more than halving the number of cases: rs3822086 P = 0.0024, OR 2.153, (95% CI 1.3-3.6; rs3775444 P = 0.0017, OR 4.386 (95% CI 1.6-11.7. A 7-SNP haplotype incorporating three SNPs either side of rs3822086 strengthened the association with MSA-C further (best haplotype, P = 8.7 x 10(-4. The association with rs3822086 was replicated in the independent samples (P = 0.035. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We report a genetic association between MSA and alpha-synuclein which has replicated in independent samples. The strongest association is with the cerebellar subtype of MSA. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT00211224.

  10. A53T-alpha-synuclein overexpression impairs dopamine signaling and striatal synaptic plasticity in old mice.

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    Alexander Kurz


    Full Text Available Parkinson's disease (PD, the second most frequent neurodegenerative disorder at old age, can be caused by elevated expression or the A53T missense mutation of the presynaptic protein alpha-synuclein (SNCA. PD is characterized pathologically by the preferential vulnerability of the dopaminergic nigrostriatal projection neurons.Here, we used two mouse lines overexpressing human A53T-SNCA and studied striatal dysfunction in the absence of neurodegeneration to understand early disease mechanisms. To characterize the progression, we employed young adult as well as old mice. Analysis of striatal neurotransmitter content demonstrated that dopamine (DA levels correlated directly with the level of expression of SNCA, an observation also made in SNCA-deficient (knockout, KO mice. However, the elevated DA levels in the striatum of old A53T-SNCA overexpressing mice may not be transmitted appropriately, in view of three observations. First, a transcriptional downregulation of the extraneural DA degradation enzyme catechol-ortho-methytransferase (COMT was found. Second, an upregulation of DA receptors was detected by immunoblots and autoradiography. Third, extensive transcriptome studies via microarrays and quantitative real-time RT-PCR (qPCR of altered transcript levels of the DA-inducible genes Atf2, Cb1, Freq, Homer1 and Pde7b indicated a progressive and genotype-dependent reduction in the postsynaptic DA response. As a functional consequence, long term depression (LTD was absent in corticostriatal slices from old transgenic mice.Taken together, the dysfunctional neurotransmission and impaired synaptic plasticity seen in the A53T-SNCA overexpressing mice reflect early changes within the basal ganglia prior to frank neurodegeneration. As a model of preclinical stages of PD, such insights may help to develop neuroprotective therapeutic approaches.

  11. Specificity and kinetics of alpha-synuclein binding to model membranes determined with fluorescent excited state intramolecular proton transfer (ESIPT) probe. (United States)

    Shvadchak, Volodymyr V; Falomir-Lockhart, Lisandro J; Yushchenko, Dmytro A; Jovin, Thomas M


    Parkinson disease is characterized cytopathologically by the deposition in the midbrain of aggregates composed primarily of the presynaptic neuronal protein α-synuclein (AS). Neurotoxicity is currently attributed to oligomeric microaggregates subjected to oxidative modification and promoting mitochondrial and proteasomal dysfunction. Unphysiological binding to membranes of these and other organelles is presumably involved. In this study, we performed a systematic determination of the influence of charge, phase, curvature, defects, and lipid unsaturation on AS binding to model membranes using a new sensitive solvatochromic fluorescent probe. The interaction of AS with vesicular membranes is fast and reversible. The protein dissociates from neutral membranes upon thermal transition to the liquid disordered phase and transfers to vesicles with higher affinity. The binding of AS to neutral and negatively charged membranes occurs by apparently different mechanisms. Interaction with neutral bilayers requires the presence of membrane defects; binding increases with membrane curvature and rigidity and decreases in the presence of cholesterol. The association with negatively charged membranes is much stronger and much less sensitive to membrane curvature, phase, and cholesterol content. The presence of unsaturated lipids increases binding in all cases. These findings provide insight into the relation between membrane physical properties and AS binding affinity and dynamics that presumably define protein localization in vivo and, thereby, the role of AS in the physiopathology of Parkinson disease.

  12. Molecular mechanism of pore creation in bacterial membranes by amyloid proteins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tsigelny, I F; Sharikov, Y; Miller, M A; Masliah, E


    This study explores the mechanism of pore creation in cellular membranes by MccE92 bacterial proteins. The results of this study are then compared with the mechanism of alpha-synuclein (aS)-based pore formation in mammalian cells, and its role in Parkinson's disease.

  13. Environmentally sensitive probes for monitoring protein-membrane interactions at nanomolar concentrations

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Shvadchak, Volodymyr V.; Kucherak, Oleksandr; Afitska, Kseniia; Dziuba, D.; Yushchenko, Dmytro A.


    Roč. 1859, č. 5 (2017), s. 852-859 ISSN 0005-2736 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : solvatochromic probes * fluorescence * protein-membrane interaction * affinity * binding stoichiometry * alpha-synuclein Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry OBOR OECD: Biochemistry and molecular biology Impact factor: 3.498, year: 2016

  14. What are artificial neural networks?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krogh, Anders


    Artificial neural networks have been applied to problems ranging from speech recognition to prediction of protein secondary structure, classification of cancers and gene prediction. How do they work and what might they be good for? Udgivelsesdato: 2008-Feb......Artificial neural networks have been applied to problems ranging from speech recognition to prediction of protein secondary structure, classification of cancers and gene prediction. How do they work and what might they be good for? Udgivelsesdato: 2008-Feb...

  15. Pre-fibrillar α-synuclein variants with impaired β-structure increase neurotoxicity in Parkinson's disease models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Karpinar, D.P.; Giller, K.; Becker, S.; Baldus, M.


    The relation of -synuclein (S) aggregation to Parkinson's disease (PD) has long been recognized, but the mechanism of toxicity, the pathogenic species and its molecular properties are yet to be identified. To obtain insight into the function different aggregated S species have in neurotoxicity in

  16. Alpha-synuclein sequesters Dnmt1 from the nucleus: a novel mechanism for epigenetic alterations in Lewy body diseases. (United States)

    Desplats, Paula; Spencer, Brian; Coffee, Elizabeth; Patel, Pruthul; Michael, Sarah; Patrick, Christina; Adame, Anthony; Rockenstein, Edward; Masliah, Eliezer


    DNA methylation is a major epigenetic modification that regulates gene expression. Dnmt1, the maintenance DNA methylation enzyme, is abundantly expressed in the adult brain and is mainly located in the nuclear compartment, where it has access to chromatin. Hypomethylation of CpG islands at intron 1 of the SNCA gene has recently been reported to result in overexpression of α-synuclein in Parkinson disease (PD) and related disorders. We therefore investigated the mechanisms underlying altered DNA methylation in PD and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). We present evidence of reduction of nuclear Dnmt1 levels in human postmortem brain samples from PD and DLB patients as well as in the brains of α-synuclein transgenic mice models. Furthermore, sequestration of Dnmt1 in the cytoplasm results in global DNA hypomethylation in human and mouse brains, involving CpG islands upstream of SNCA, SEPW1, and PRKAR2A genes. We report that association of Dnmt1 and α-synuclein might mediate aberrant subcellular localization of Dnmt1. Nuclear Dnmt1 levels were partially rescued by overexpression of Dnmt1 in neuronal cell cultures and in α-synuclein transgenic mice brains. Our results underscore a novel mechanism for epigenetic dysregulation in Lewy body diseases, which might underlie the decrease in DNA methylation reported for PD and DLB.

  17. Accumulation of phosphorylated alpha-synuclein (p129S) and retinal pathology in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease (United States)

    Aims: Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by accumulation of misfolded alpha-synuclein within the CNS. Although non-motor clinical phenotypes of PD such as visual dysfunction have become increasingly apparent, retinal pathology associated with PD is not well under...

  18. Bimolecular Fluorescence Complementation of Alpha-synuclein Demonstrates its Oligomerization with Dopaminergic Phenotype in Mice

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    Waijiao Cai


    Full Text Available Alpha-synuclein (αSyn is encoded by the first causal gene identified in Parkinson's disease (PD and is the main component of Lewy bodies, a pathological hallmark of PD. aSyn-based animal models have contributed to our understanding of PD pathophysiology and to the development of therapeutics. Overexpression of human wildtype αSyn by viral vectors in rodents recapitulates the loss of dopaminergic neurons from the substantia nigra, another defining pathological feature of the disease. The development of a rat model exhibiting bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC of αSyn by recombinant adeno-associated virus facilitates detection of the toxic αSyn oligomers species. We report here neurochemical, neuropathological and behavioral characterization of BiFC of αSyn in mice. Overexpression and oligomerization of αSyn through BiFC is detected by conjugated fluorescence. Reduced striatal dopamine and loss of nigral dopaminergic neurons are accompanied neuroinflammation and abnormal motor activities. Our mouse model may provide a valuable tool to study the role of αSyn in PD and to explore therapeutic approaches. Keywords: Parkinson's disease, Alpha-synuclein, Mouse model, Oligomers, Neuroinflammation

  19. Classification of G-protein coupled receptors based on a rich generation of convolutional neural network, N-gram transformation and multiple sequence alignments. (United States)

    Li, Man; Ling, Cheng; Xu, Qi; Gao, Jingyang


    Sequence classification is crucial in predicting the function of newly discovered sequences. In recent years, the prediction of the incremental large-scale and diversity of sequences has heavily relied on the involvement of machine-learning algorithms. To improve prediction accuracy, these algorithms must confront the key challenge of extracting valuable features. In this work, we propose a feature-enhanced protein classification approach, considering the rich generation of multiple sequence alignment algorithms, N-gram probabilistic language model and the deep learning technique. The essence behind the proposed method is that if each group of sequences can be represented by one feature sequence, composed of homologous sites, there should be less loss when the sequence is rebuilt, when a more relevant sequence is added to the group. On the basis of this consideration, the prediction becomes whether a query sequence belonging to a group of sequences can be transferred to calculate the probability that the new feature sequence evolves from the original one. The proposed work focuses on the hierarchical classification of G-protein Coupled Receptors (GPCRs), which begins by extracting the feature sequences from the multiple sequence alignment results of the GPCRs sub-subfamilies. The N-gram model is then applied to construct the input vectors. Finally, these vectors are imported into a convolutional neural network to make a prediction. The experimental results elucidate that the proposed method provides significant performance improvements. The classification error rate of the proposed method is reduced by at least 4.67% (family level I) and 5.75% (family Level II), in comparison with the current state-of-the-art methods. The implementation program of the proposed work is freely available at: .

  20. Matriptase is required for the active form of hepatocyte growth factor induced Met, focal adhesion kinase and protein kinase B activation on neural stem/progenitor cell motility. (United States)

    Fang, Jung-Da; Lee, Sheau-Ling


    Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is a chemoattractant and inducer for neural stem/progenitor (NS/P) cell migration. Although the type II transmembrane serine protease, matriptase (MTP) is an activator of the latent HGF, MTP is indispensable on NS/P cell motility induced by the active form of HGF. This suggests that MTP's action on NS/P cell motility involves mechanisms other than proteolytic activation of HGF. In the present study, we investigate the role of MTP in HGF-stimulated signaling events. Using specific inhibitors of phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K), protein kinase B (Akt) or focal adhesion kinase (FAK), we demonstrated that in NS/P cells HGF-activated c-Met induces PI3k-Akt signaling which then leads to FAK activation. This signaling pathway ultimately induces MMP2 expression and NS/P cell motility. Knocking down of MTP in NS/P cells with specific siRNA impaired HGF-stimulation of c-Met, Akt and FAK activation, blocked HGF-induced production of MMP2 and inhibited HGF-stimulated NS/P cell motility. MTP-knockdown NS/P cells cultured in the presence of recombinant protein of MTP protease domain or transfected with the full-length wild-type but not the protease-defected MTP restored HGF-responsive events in NS/P cells. In addition to functioning as HGF activator, our data revealed novel function of MTP on HGF-stimulated c-Met signaling activation. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  1. Drosophila DJ-1 decreases neural sensitivity to stress by negatively regulating Daxx-like protein through dFOXO.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soojin Hwang


    Full Text Available DJ-1, a Parkinson's disease (PD-associated gene, has been shown to protect against oxidative stress in Drosophila. However, the molecular mechanism underlying oxidative stress-induced phenotypes, including apoptosis, locomotive defects, and lethality, in DJ-1-deficient flies is not fully understood. Here we showed that Daxx-like protein (DLP, a Drosophila homologue of the mammalian Death domain-associated protein (Daxx, was upregulated under oxidative stress conditions in the loss-of-function mutants of Drosophila DJ-1β, a Drosophila homologue of DJ-1. DLP overexpression induced apoptosis via the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK/Drosophila forkhead box subgroup O (dFOXO pathway, whereas loss of DLP increased resistance to oxidative stress and UV irradiation. Moreover, the oxidative stress-induced phenotypes of DJ-1β mutants were dramatically rescued by DLP deficiency, suggesting that enhanced expression of DLP contributes to the DJ-1β mutant phenotypes. Interestingly, we found that dFOXO was required for the increase in DLP expression in DJ-1β mutants and that dFOXO activity was increased in the heads of DJ-1β mutants. In addition, subcellular localization of DLP appeared to be influenced by DJ-1 expression so that cytosolic DLP was increased in DJ-1β mutants. Similarly, in mammalian cells, Daxx translocation from the nucleus to the cytosol was suppressed by overexpressed DJ-1β under oxidative stress conditions; and, furthermore, targeted expression of DJ-1β to mitochondria efficiently inhibited the Daxx translocation. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that DJ-1β protects flies against oxidative stress- and UV-induced apoptosis by regulating the subcellular localization and gene expression of DLP, thus implying that Daxx-induced apoptosis is involved in the pathogenesis of DJ-1-associated PD.

  2. Neural networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Denby, Bruce; Lindsey, Clark; Lyons, Louis


    The 1980s saw a tremendous renewal of interest in 'neural' information processing systems, or 'artificial neural networks', among computer scientists and computational biologists studying cognition. Since then, the growth of interest in neural networks in high energy physics, fueled by the need for new information processing technologies for the next generation of high energy proton colliders, can only be described as explosive

  3. Site-specific perturbations of alpha-synuclein fibril structure by the Parkinson's disease associated mutations A53T and E46K.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luisel R Lemkau

    Full Text Available 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 α-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.

  4. Double-stranded DNA Stimulates the Fibrillation of alpha-Synuclein in vitro and is Associated with the Mature Fibrils: An Electron Microscopy Study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cherny, Dmitry; Hoyer, Wolfgang; Subramaniam, Vinod; Jovin, Thomas M.


    Filamentous aggregates formed by α-synuclein are a prominent and presumably key etiological factor in Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases characterized by motor disorders. Numerous studies have demonstrated that various environmental and intracellular factors affect the fibrillation

  5. The Exosomal/Total α-Synuclein Ratio in Plasma Is Associated With Glucocerebrosidase Activity and Correlates With Measures of Disease Severity in PD Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Cerri


    Full Text Available Intensive research efforts in the field of Parkinson’s disease (PD are focusing on identifying reliable biomarkers which possibly help physicians in predicting disease onset, diagnosis, and progression as well as evaluating the response to disease-modifying treatments. Given that abnormal alpha-synuclein (α-syn accumulation is a primary component of PD pathology, this protein has attracted considerable interest as a potential biomarker for PD. Alpha-synuclein can be detected in several body fluids, including plasma, where it can be found as free form or in association with exosomes, small membranous vesicles secreted by virtually all cell types. Together with α-syn accumulation, lysosomal dysfunctions seem to play a central role in the pathogenesis of PD, given the crucial role of lysosomes in the α-syn degradation. In particular, heterozygous mutations in the GBA1 gene encoding lysosomal enzyme glucocerebrosidase (GCase are currently considered as the most important risk factor for PD. Different studies have found that GCase deficiency leads to accumulation of α-syn; whereas at the same time, increased α-syn may inhibit GCase function, thus inducing a bidirectional pathogenic loop. In this study, we investigated whether changes in plasma total and exosome-associated α-syn could correlate with disease status and clinical parameters in PD and their relationship with GCase activity. We studied 39 PD patients (mean age: 65.2 ± 8.9; men: 25, without GBA1 mutations, and 33 age-matched controls (mean age: 61.9 ± 6.2; men: 15. Our results showed that exosomes from PD patients contain a greater amount of α-syn compared to healthy subjects (25.2 vs. 12.3 pg/mL, p < 0.001 whereas no differences were found in plasma total α-syn levels (15.7 vs. 14.8 ng/mL, p = 0.53. Moreover, we highlighted a significant increase of plasma exosomal α-syn/total α-syn ratio in PD patients (1.69 vs. 0.89, p < 0.001, which negatively correlates with disease

  6. Non-SMC condensin I complex proteins control chromosome segregation and survival of proliferating cells in the zebrafish neural retina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harris William A


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The condensation of chromosomes and correct sister chromatid segregation during cell division is an essential feature of all proliferative cells. Structural maintenance of chromosomes (SMC and non-SMC proteins form the condensin I complex and regulate chromosome condensation and segregation during mitosis. However, due to the lack of appropriate mutants, the function of the condensin I complex during vertebrate development has not been described. Results Here, we report the positional cloning and detailed characterization of retinal phenotypes of a zebrafish mutation at the cap-g locus. High resolution live imaging reveals that the progression of mitosis between prometa- to telophase is delayed and that sister chromatid segregation is impaired upon loss of CAP-G. CAP-G associates with chromosomes between prometa- and telophase of the cell cycle. Loss of the interaction partners CAP-H and CAP-D2 causes cytoplasmic mislocalization of CAP-G throughout mitosis. DNA content analysis reveals increased genomic imbalances upon loss of non-SMC condensin I subunits. Within the retina, loss of condensin I function causes increased rates of apoptosis among cells within the proliferative ciliary marginal zone (CMZ whereas postmitotic retinal cells are viable. Inhibition of p53-mediated apoptosis partially rescues cell numbers in cap-g mutant retinae and allows normal layering of retinal cell types without alleviating their aberrant nuclear sizes. Conclusion Our findings indicate that the condensin I complex is particularly important within rapidly amplifying progenitor cell populations to ensure faithful chromosome segregation. In contrast, differentiation of postmitotic retinal cells is not impaired upon polyploidization.

  7. Effects of Synthetic Neural Adhesion Molecule Mimetic Peptides and Related Proteins on the Cardiomyogenic Differentiation of Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruodan Xu


    Full Text Available Background/Aims: Pluripotent stem cells differentiating into cardiomyocyte-like cells in an appropriate cellular environment have attracted significant attention, given the potential use of such cells for regenerative medicine. However, the precise mechanisms of lineage specification of pluripotent stem cells are still largely to be explored. Identifying the role of various small synthetic peptides involved in cardiomyogenesis may provide new insights into pathways promoting cardiomyogenesis. Methods: In the present study, using a transgenic murine embryonic stem (ES cell lineage expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP under the control of α-myosin heavy chain (α-MHC promoter (pαMHC-EGFP, we investigated the cardiomyogenic effects of 7 synthetic peptides (Betrofin3, FGLs, FGLL, hNgf_C2, EnkaminE, Plannexin and C3 on cardiac differentiation. The expression of several cardiac-specific markers was determined by RT-PCR whereas the structural and functional properties of derived cardiomyocytes were examined by immunofluorescence and electrophysiology, respectively. Results: The results revealed that Betrofin3, an agonist of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF peptide exerted the most striking pro-cardiomyogenic effect on ES cells. We found that BDNF receptor, TrkB expression was up-regulated during differentiation. Treatment of differentiating cells with Betrofin3 between days 3 and 5 enhanced the expression of cardiac-specific markers and improved cardiomyocyte differentiation and functionality as revealed by genes regulation, flow cytometry and patch clamp analysis. Thus Betrofin3 may exert its cardiomyogenic effects on ES cells via TrkB receptor. Conclusion: Taken together, the results suggest that Betrofin3 modulates BDNF signaling with positive cardiomyogenic effect in stage and dose-dependent manner providing an effective strategy to increase ES cell-based generation of cardiomyocytes and offer a novel therapeutic approach to

  8. Redox reactions of the α-synuclein-Cu(2+) complex and their effects on neuronal cell viability. (United States)

    Wang, Chengshan; Liu, Lin; Zhang, Lin; Peng, Yong; Zhou, Feimeng


    α-Synuclein (α-syn), a presynaptic protein believed to play an important role in neuropathology in Parkinson's disease (PD), is known to bind Cu(2+). Cu(2+) has been shown to accelerate the aggregation of α-syn to form various toxic aggregates in vitro. Copper is also a redox-active metal whose complexes with amyloidogenic proteins/peptides have been linked to oxidative stress in major neurodegenerative diseases. In this work, the formation of the Cu(2+) complex with α-syn or with an N-terminal peptide, α-syn(1-19), was confirmed with electrospray-mass spectrometry (ES-MS). The redox potentials of the Cu(2+) complex with α-syn (α-syn-Cu(2+)) and α-syn(1-19) were determined to be 0.018 and 0.053 V, respectively. Furthermore, the Cu(2+) center(s) can be readily reduced to Cu(+), and possible reactions of α-syn-Cu(2+) with cellular species (e.g., O(2), ascorbic acid, and dopamine) were investigated. The occurrence of a redox reaction can be rationalized by comparing the redox potential of the α-syn-Cu(2+) complex to that of the specific cellular species. For example, ascorbic acid can directly reduce α-syn-Cu(2+) to α-syn-Cu(+), setting up a redox cycle in which O(2) is reduced to H(2)O(2) and cellular redox species is continuously exhausted. In addition, the H(2)O(2) generated was demonstrated to reduce viability of the neuroblastoma SY-HY5Y cells. Although our results ruled out the direct oxidation of dopamine by α-syn-Cu(2+), the H(2)O(2) generated in the presence of α-syn-Cu(2+) can oxidize dopamine. Our results suggest that oxidative stress is at least partially responsible for the loss of dopaminergic cells in PD brain and reveal the multifaceted role of the α-syn-Cu(2+) complex in oxidative stress associated with PD symptoms.

  9. Disease-associated prion protein in neural and lymphoid tissues of mink (Mustela vison) inoculated with transmissible mink encephalopathy. (United States)

    Schneider, D A; Harrington, R D; Zhuang, D; Yan, H; Truscott, T C; Dassanayake, R P; O'Rourke, K I


    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are diagnosed by immunodetection of disease-associated prion protein (PrP(d)). The distribution of PrP(d) within the body varies with the time-course of infection and between species, during interspecies transmission, as well as with prion strain. Mink are susceptible to a form of TSE known as transmissible mink encephalopathy (TME), presumed to arise due to consumption of feed contaminated with a single prion strain of ruminant origin. After extended passage of TME isolates in hamsters, two strains emerge, HY and DY, each of which is associated with unique structural isoforms of PrP(TME) and of which only the HY strain is associated with accumulation of PrP(TME) in lymphoid tissues. Information on the structural nature and lymphoid accumulation of PrP(TME) in mink is limited. In this study, 13 mink were challenged by intracerebral inoculation using late passage TME inoculum, after which brain and lymphoid tissues were collected at preclinical and clinical time points. The distribution and molecular nature of PrP(TME) was investigated by techniques including blotting of paraffin wax-embedded tissue and epitope mapping by western blotting. PrP(TME) was detected readily in the brain and retropharyngeal lymph node during preclinical infection, with delayed progression of accumulation within other lymphoid tissues. For comparison, three mink were inoculated by the oral route and examined during clinical disease. Accumulation of PrP(TME) in these mink was greater and more widespread, including follicles of rectoanal mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue. Western blot analyses revealed that PrP(TME) accumulating in the brain of mink is structurally most similar to that accumulating in the brain of hamsters infected with the DY strain. Collectively, the results of extended passage in mink are consistent with the presence of only a single strain of TME, the DY strain, capable of inducing accumulation of PrP(TME) in the lymphoid

  10. Fluoxetine up-regulates expression of cellular FLICE-inhibitory protein and inhibits LPS-induced apoptosis in hippocampus-derived neural stem cell

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chiou, S.-H.; Chen, S.-J.; Peng, C-H.; Chang, Y.-L.; Ku, H.-H.; Hsu, W.-M.; Ho, Larry L.-T.; Lee, C.-H.


    Fluoxetine is a widely used antidepressant compound which inhibits the reuptake of serotonin in the central nervous system. Recent studies have shown that fluoxetine can promote neurogenesis and improve the survival rate of neurons. However, whether fluoxetine modulates the proliferation or neuroprotection effects of neural stem cells (NSCs) needs to be elucidated. In this study, we demonstrated that 20 μM fluoxetine can increase the cell proliferation of NSCs derived from the hippocampus of adult rats by MTT test. The up-regulated expression of Bcl-2, Bcl-xL and the cellular FLICE-inhibitory protein (c-FLIP) in fluoxetine-treated NSCs was detected by real-time RT-PCR. Our results further showed that fluoxetine protects the lipopolysaccharide-induced apoptosis in NSCs, in part, by activating the expression of c-FLIP. Moreover, c-FLIP induction by fluoxetine requires the activation of the c-FLIP promoter region spanning nucleotides -414 to -133, including CREB and SP1 sites. This effect appeared to involve the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase-dependent pathway. Furthermore, fluoxetine treatment significantly inhibited the induction of proinflammatory factor IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α in the culture medium of LPS-treated NSCs (p < 0.01). The results of high performance liquid chromatography coupled to electrochemical detection further confirmed that fluoxentine increased the functional production of serotonin in NSCs. Together, these data demonstrate the specific activation of c-FLIP by fluoxetine and indicate the novel role of fluoxetine for neuroprotection in the treatment of depression

  11. Targeting p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Signaling Restores Subventricular Zone Neural Stem Cells and Corrects Neuromotor Deficits in Atm Knockout Mouse (United States)

    Kim, Jeesun


    Ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T) is a progressive degenerative disorder that results in major neurological disability. In A-T patients, necropsy has revealed atrophy of cerebellar cortical layers along with Purkinje and granular cell loss. We have previously identified an oxidative stress-mediated increase in phospho-p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and the resultant downregulation of Bmi-1 and upregulation of p21 as key components of the mechanism causing defective proliferation of neural stem cells (NSCs) isolated from the subventricular zone (SVZ) of Atm−/− mice. However, the in vivo aspect of alteration in SVZ tissue and the functional significance of p38MAPK activation in NSCs for neuropathogenesis of ATM deficiency remain unknown. Here we show that the NSC population was abnormally decreased in the SVZ of 3-month-old Atm−/− mice; this decrease was accompanied by p38MAPK activation. However, after a 2-month treatment with the p38MAPK inhibitor SB203580, starting at 1 month old, Atm−/− mice showed restoration of normal levels of Bmi-1 and p21 with the rescue of NSC population in the SVZ. In addition, treated Atm−/− mice exhibited more Purkinje cells in the cerebellum. Most importantly, motor coordination of Atm−/− mice was significantly improved in the treatment group. Our results show for the first time in vivo evidence of depleted NSCs in the SVZ of Atm−/− mice and also demonstrate that pharmacologic inhibition of p38MAPK signaling has the potential to treat neurological defects of A-T. This study provides a promising approach targeting the oxidative stress-dependent p38 signaling pathway not only for A-T but also for other neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:23197859

  12. Heat shock protein 70 modulates neural progenitor cells dynamics in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells exposed to high glucose content. (United States)

    Salimi, Leila; Rahbarghazi, Reza; Jafarian, Vahab; Biray Avci, Çıgır; Goker Bagca, Bakiye; Pinar Ozates, Neslihan; Khaksar, Majid; Nourazarian, Alireza


    In the current experiment, detrimental effects of high glucose condition were investigated on human neuroblastoma cells. Human neuroblastoma cell line SH-SY5Y were exposed to 5, 40, and 70 mM glucose over a period of 72 h. Survival rate and the proliferation of cells were analyzed by MTT and BrdU incorporation assays. Apoptosis was studied by the assays of flow cytometry and PCR array. In order to investigate the trans-differentiation capacity of the cell into mature neurons, we used immunofluorescence imaging to follow NeuN protein level. The transcription level of HSP70 was shown by real-time PCR analysis. MMP-2 and -9 activities were shown by gelatin Zymography. According to data from MTT and BrdU incorporation assay, 70 mM glucose reduced cell viability and proliferation rate as compared to control (5 mM glucose) and cells treated with 40 mM glucose (P Cell exposure to 70 mM glucose had potential to induced apoptosis after 72 h (P SH-SY5Y cells to detrimental effects of high glucose condition during trans-differentiation into mature neuron-like cells. Real-time PCR analysis confirmed the expression of HSP70 in cells under high content glucose levels, demonstrating the possible cell compensatory response to an insulting condition (p control vs 70 mM group  cells being exposed to 70 mM glucose. High glucose condition could abrogate the dynamics of neural progenitor cells. The intracellular level of HSP70 was proportional to cell damage in high glucose condition. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Unlike twins: an NMR comparison of two α-synuclein polymorphs featuring different toxicity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia Gath

    Full Text Available We structurally compare, using solid-state NMR, two different polymorphs of α-synuclein which, as established recently, display contrasting biochemical properties, toxicity, and tropism for cells. We show that both forms, which can each be produced as a pure polymorph, are greatly different in secondary structure. While β-sheets are the dominating secondary structure elements for both polymorphs, they are markedly divergent in terms of number of elements, as well as their distribution. We demonstrate that all identified β-sheets feature an in-register parallel stacking for both polymorphs. The two forms show a different molecular arrangement in the unit cell and distinct dynamic features, while sharing a highly flexible C-terminal domain. The use of reproducible, well-identified conditions for sample preparation and the recording of identical NMR experiments allows for a direct comparison of the results.

  14. DNA damage preceding dopamine neuron degeneration in A53T human α-synuclein transgenic mice. (United States)

    Wang, Degui; Yu, Tianyu; Liu, Yongqiang; Yan, Jun; Guo, Yingli; Jing, Yuhong; Yang, Xuguang; Song, Yanfeng; Tian, Yingxia


    Defective DNA repair has been linked with age-associated neurodegenerative disorders. Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder caused by genetic and environmental factors. Whether damages to nuclear DNA contribute to neurodegeneration of PD still remain obscure. in this study we aim to explore whether nuclear DNA damage induce dopamine neuron degeneration in A53T human α-Synuclein over expressed mouse model. We investigated the effects of X-ray irradiation on A53T-α-Syn MEFs and A53T-α-Syn transgene mice. Our results indicate that A53T-α-Syn MEFs show a prolonged DNA damage repair process and senescense phenotype. DNA damage preceded onset of motor phenotype in A53T-α-Syn transgenic mice and decrease the number of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons. Neurons of A53T-α-Syn transgenic mice are more fragile to DNA damages. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Amygdala α-Synuclein Pathology in the Population-Based Vantaa 85+ Study. (United States)

    Raunio, Anna; Myllykangas, Liisa; Kero, Mia; Polvikoski, Tuomo; Paetau, Anders; Oinas, Minna


    We investigated the frequency of Lewy-related pathology (LRP) in the amygdala among the population-based Vantaa 85+ study. Data of amygdala samples (N = 304) immunostained with two α-synuclein antibodies (clone 42 and clone 5G4) was compared with the previously analyzed LRP and AD pathologies from other brain regions. The amygdala LRP was present in one third (33%) of subjects. Only 5% of pure AD subjects, but 85% of pure DLB subjects had LRP in the amygdala. The amygdala LRP was associated with dementia; however, the association was dependent on LRP on other brain regions, and thus was not an independent risk factor. The amygdala-predominant category was a rare (4%) and heterogeneous group.

  16. Alpha-synuclein gene ablation increases docosahexaenoic acid incorporation and turnover in brain phospholipids

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Golovko, Mikhail Y; Rosenberger, Thad A; Feddersen, Søren


    Previously, we demonstrated that ablation of alpha-synuclein (Snca) reduces arachidonate (20:4n-6) turnover in brain phospholipids through modulation of an endoplasmic reticulum-localized acyl-CoA synthetase (Acsl). The effect of Snca ablation on docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3) metabolism is unknown...... and turnover in ethanolamine glycerophospholipid, phosphatidylserine, and phosphatidylinositol pools. Increased 22:6n-3-CoA mass was not the result of altered Acsl activity, which was unaffected by the absence of Snca. While Snca bound 22:6n-3, Kd = 1.0 +/- 0.5 micromol/L, it did not bind 22:6n-3-Co...

  17. The novel mouse mutant, chuzhoi, has disruption of Ptk7 protein and exhibits defects in neural tube, heart and lung development and abnormal planar cell polarity in the ear

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paudyal Anju


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The planar cell polarity (PCP signalling pathway is fundamental to a number of key developmental events, including initiation of neural tube closure. Disruption of the PCP pathway causes the severe neural tube defect of craniorachischisis, in which almost the entire brain and spinal cord fails to close. Identification of mouse mutants with craniorachischisis has proven a powerful way of identifying molecules that are components or regulators of the PCP pathway. In addition, identification of an allelic series of mutants, including hypomorphs and neomorphs in addition to complete nulls, can provide novel genetic tools to help elucidate the function of the PCP proteins. Results We report the identification of a new N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU-induced mutant with craniorachischisis, which we have named chuzhoi (chz. We demonstrate that chuzhoi mutant embryos fail to undergo initiation of neural tube closure, and have characteristics consistent with defective convergent extension. These characteristics include a broadened midline and reduced rate of increase of their length-to-width ratio. In addition, we demonstrate disruption in the orientation of outer hair cells in the inner ear, and defects in heart and lung development in chuzhoi mutants. We demonstrate a genetic interaction between chuzhoi mutants and both Vangl2Lp and Celsr1Crsh mutants, strengthening the hypothesis that chuzhoi is involved in regulating the PCP pathway. We demonstrate that chuzhoi maps to Chromosome 17 and carries a splice site mutation in Ptk7. This mutation results in the insertion of three amino acids into the Ptk7 protein and causes disruption of Ptk7 protein expression in chuzhoi mutants. Conclusions The chuzhoi mutant provides an additional genetic resource to help investigate the developmental basis of several congenital abnormalities including neural tube, heart and lung defects and their relationship to disruption of PCP. The chuzhoi mutation

  18. Reducing C-terminal-truncated alpha-synuclein by immunotherapy attenuates neurodegeneration and propagation in Parkinson's disease-like models. (United States)

    Games, Dora; Valera, Elvira; Spencer, Brian; Rockenstein, Edward; Mante, Michael; Adame, Anthony; Patrick, Christina; Ubhi, Kiren; Nuber, Silke; Sacayon, Patricia; Zago, Wagner; Seubert, Peter; Barbour, Robin; Schenk, Dale; Masliah, Eliezer


    Parkinson's disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) are common neurodegenerative disorders of the aging population, characterized by progressive and abnormal accumulation of α-synuclein (α-syn). Recent studies have shown that C-terminus (CT) truncation and propagation of α-syn play a role in the pathogenesis of PD/DLB. Therefore, we explored the effect of passive immunization against the CT of α-syn in the mThy1-α-syn transgenic (tg) mouse model, which resembles the striato-nigral and motor deficits of PD. Mice were immunized with the new monoclonal antibodies 1H7, 5C1, or 5D12, all directed against the CT of α-syn. CT α-syn antibodies attenuated synaptic and axonal pathology, reduced the accumulation of CT-truncated α-syn (CT-α-syn) in axons, rescued the loss of tyrosine hydroxylase fibers in striatum, and improved motor and memory deficits. Among them, 1H7 and 5C1 were most effective at decreasing levels of CT-α-syn and higher-molecular-weight aggregates. Furthermore, in vitro studies showed that preincubation of recombinant α-syn with 1H7 and 5C1 prevented CT cleavage of α-syn. In a cell-based system, CT antibodies reduced cell-to-cell propagation of full-length α-syn, but not of the CT-α-syn that lacked the 118-126 aa recognition site needed for antibody binding. Furthermore, the results obtained after lentiviral expression of α-syn suggest that antibodies might be blocking the extracellular truncation of α-syn by calpain-1. Together, these results demonstrate that antibodies against the CT of α-syn reduce levels of CT-truncated fragments of the protein and its propagation, thus ameliorating PD-like pathology and improving behavioral and motor functions in a mouse model of this disease. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/349441-14$15.00/0.



    Armstrong, Richard A.; Kotzbauer, Paul T.; Perlmutter, Joel S.; Campbell, Meghan C.; Hurth, Kyle M.; Schmidt, Robert E.; Cairns, Nigel J.


    The α-synuclein-immunoreactive pathology of dementia associated with Parkinson disease (DPD) comprises Lewy bodies (LB), Lewy neurites (LN), and Lewy grains (LG). The densities of LB, LN, LG together with vacuoles, neurons, abnormally enlarged neurons (EN), and glial cell nuclei were measured in fifteen cases of DPD. Densities of LN and LG were up to 19 and 70 times those of LB respectively, depending on region. Densities were significantly greater in amygdala, entorhinal cortex (EC), and sec...

  20. Parkinson disease: α-synuclein mutational screening and new clinical insight into the p.E46K mutation. (United States)

    Pimentel, Márcia M G; Rodrigues, Fabíola C; Leite, Marco Antônio A; Campos Júnior, Mário; Rosso, Ana Lucia; Nicaretta, Denise H; Pereira, João S; Silva, Delson José; Della Coletta, Marcus V; Vasconcellos, Luiz Felipe R; Abreu, Gabriella M; Dos Santos, Jussara M; Santos-Rebouças, Cíntia B


    Amongst Parkinson's disease-causing genetic factors, missense mutations and genomic multiplications in the gene encoding α-synuclein are well established causes of the disease, although genetic data in populations with a high degree of admixture, such as the Brazilian one, are still scarce. In this study, we conducted a molecular screening of α-synuclein point mutations and copy number variation in the largest cohort of Brazilian patients with Parkinson's disease (n = 549) and also in twelve Portuguese and one Bolivian immigrants. Genomic DNA was isolated from peripheral blood leukocytes or saliva, and the mutational screening was performed by quantitative and qualitative real-time PCR. The only alteration identified was the p.E46K mutation in a 60-year-old man, born in Bolivia, with a familial history of autosomal dominant Parkinson's disease. This is the second family ever reported, in which this rare pathogenic mutation is segregating. The same mutation was firstly described ten years ago in a Spanish family with a neurodegenerative syndrome combining parkinsonism, dementia and visual hallucinations. The clinical condition of our proband reveals a less aggressive phenotype than previously described and reinforces that marked phenotypic heterogeneity is common among patients with Parkinson's disease, even among those carriers sharing the same mutation. Our findings add new insight into the preexisting information about α-synuclein p.E46K, improving our understanding about the endophenotypes associated to this mutation and corroborate that missense alterations and multiplications in α-synuclein are uncommon among Brazilian patients with Parkinson's disease. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Measurements of auto-antibodies to α-synuclein in the serum and cerebral spinal fluids of patients with Parkinson's disease. (United States)

    Akhtar, Rizwan S; Licata, Joseph P; Luk, Kelvin C; Shaw, Leslie M; Trojanowski, John Q; Lee, Virginia M-Y


    Biomarkers for α-synuclein are needed for diagnosis and prognosis in Parkinson's disease (PD). Endogenous auto-antibodies to α-synuclein could serve as biomarkers for underlying synucleinopathy, but previous assessments of auto-antibodies have shown variability and inconsistent clinical correlations. We hypothesized that auto-antibodies to α-synuclein could be diagnostic for PD and explain its clinical heterogeneity. To test this hypothesis, we developed an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for measuring α-synuclein auto-antibodies in human samples. We evaluated 69 serum samples (16 healthy controls (HC) and 53 PD patients) and 145 CSF samples (52 HC and 93 PD patients) from our Institution. Both serum and CSF were available for 24 participants. Males had higher auto-antibody levels than females in both fluids. CSF auto-antibody levels were significantly higher in PD patients as compared to HC, whereas serum levels were not significantly different. CSF auto-antibody levels did not associate with amyloid-β 1-42 , total tau, or phosphorylated tau. CSF auto-antibody levels correlated with performance on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, even when controlled for CSF amyloidβ 1-42 . CSF hemoglobin levels, as a proxy for contamination of CSF by blood during lumbar puncture, did not influence these observations. Using recombinant α-synuclein with N- and C-terminal truncations, we found that CSF auto-antibodies target amino acids 100 through 120 of α-synuclein. We conclude that endogenous CSF auto-antibodies are significantly higher in PD patients as compared to HC, suggesting that they could indicate the presence of underlying synucleinopathy. These auto-antibodies associate with poor cognition, independently of CSF amyloidβ 1-42 ., and target a select C-terminal region of α-synuclein. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  2. Neural Networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, Patrick I.


    Physicists use large detectors to measure particles created in high-energy collisions at particle accelerators. These detectors typically produce signals indicating either where ionization occurs along the path of the particle, or where energy is deposited by the particle. The data produced by these signals is fed into pattern recognition programs to try to identify what particles were produced, and to measure the energy and direction of these particles. Ideally, there are many techniques used in this pattern recognition software. One technique, neural networks, is particularly suitable for identifying what type of particle caused by a set of energy deposits. Neural networks can derive meaning from complicated or imprecise data, extract patterns, and detect trends that are too complex to be noticed by either humans or other computer related processes. To assist in the advancement of this technology, Physicists use a tool kit to experiment with several neural network techniques. The goal of this research is interface a neural network tool kit into Java Analysis Studio (JAS3), an application that allows data to be analyzed from any experiment. As the final result, a physicist will have the ability to train, test, and implement a neural network with the desired output while using JAS3 to analyze the results or output. Before an implementation of a neural network can take place, a firm understanding of what a neural network is and how it works is beneficial. A neural network is an artificial representation of the human brain that tries to simulate the learning process [5]. It is also important to think of the word artificial in that definition as computer programs that use calculations during the learning process. In short, a neural network learns by representative examples. Perhaps the easiest way to describe the way neural networks learn is to explain how the human brain functions. The human brain contains billions of neural cells that are responsible for processing

  3. Mutant LRRK2 Toxicity in Neurons Depends on LRRK2 Levels and Synuclein But Not Kinase Activity or Inclusion Bodies (United States)

    Skibinski, Gaia; Nakamura, Ken; Cookson, Mark R.


    By combining experimental neuron models and mathematical tools, we developed a “systems” approach to deconvolve cellular mechanisms of neurodegeneration underlying the most common known cause of Parkinson's disease (PD), mutations in leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2). Neurons ectopically expressing mutant LRRK2 formed inclusion bodies (IBs), retracted neurites, accumulated synuclein, and died prematurely, recapitulating key features of PD. Degeneration was predicted from the levels of diffuse mutant LRRK2 that each neuron contained, but IB formation was neither necessary nor sufficient for death. Genetic or pharmacological blockade of its kinase activity destabilized LRRK2 and lowered its levels enough to account for the moderate reduction in LRRK2 toxicity that ensued. By contrast, targeting synuclein, including neurons made from PD patient-derived induced pluripotent cells, dramatically reduced LRRK2-dependent neurodegeneration and LRRK2 levels. These findings suggest that LRRK2 levels are more important than kinase activity per se in predicting toxicity and implicate synuclein as a major mediator of LRRK2-induced neurodegeneration. PMID:24403142

  4. Evolvable synthetic neural system (United States)

    Curtis, Steven A. (Inventor)


    An evolvable synthetic neural system includes an evolvable neural interface operably coupled to at least one neural basis function. Each neural basis function includes an evolvable neural interface operably coupled to a heuristic neural system to perform high-level functions and an autonomic neural system to perform low-level functions. In some embodiments, the evolvable synthetic neural system is operably coupled to one or more evolvable synthetic neural systems in a hierarchy.

  5. Specific pesticide-dependent increases in α-synuclein levels in human neuroblastoma (SH-SY5Y) and melanoma (SK-MEL-2) cell lines. (United States)

    Chorfa, Areski; Bétemps, Dominique; Morignat, Eric; Lazizzera, Corinne; Hogeveen, Kevin; Andrieu, Thibault; Baron, Thierry


    Epidemiological studies indicate a role of genetic and environmental factors in Parkinson's disease involving alterations of the neuronal α-synuclein (α-syn) protein. In particular, a relationship between Parkinson's disease and occupational exposure to pesticides has been repeatedly suggested. Our objective was to precisely assess changes in α-syn levels in human neuroblastoma (SH-SY5Y) and melanoma (SK-MEL-2) cell lines following acute exposure to pesticides (rotenone, paraquat, maneb, and glyphosate) using Western blot and flow cytometry. These human cell lines express α-syn endogenously, and overexpression of α-syn (wild type or mutated A53T) can be obtained following recombinant adenoviral transduction. We found that endogenous α-syn levels in the SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cell line were markedly increased by paraquat, and to a lesser extent by rotenone and maneb, but not by glyphosate. Rotenone also clearly increased endogenous α-syn levels in the SK-MEL-2 melanoma cell line. In the SH-SY5Y cell line, similar differences were observed in the α-syn adenovirus-transduced cells, with a higher increase of the A53T mutated protein. Paraquat markedly increased α-syn in the SK-MEL-2 adenovirus-transduced cell line, similarly for the wild-type or A53T proteins. The observed differences in the propensities of pesticides to increase α-syn levels are in agreement with numerous reports that indicate a potential role of exposure to certain pesticides in the development of Parkinson's disease. Our data support the hypothesis that pesticides can trigger some molecular events involved in this disease and also in malignant melanoma that consistently shows a significant but still unexplained association with Parkinson's disease.

  6. Validation of a commercially available enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay for the quantification of human α-Synuclein in cerebrospinal fluid. (United States)

    Kruse, Niels; Mollenhauer, Brit


    The quantification of α-Synuclein in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) as a biomarker has gained tremendous interest in the last years. Several commercially available immunoassays are emerging. We here describe the full validation of one commercially available ELISA assay for the quantification of α-Synuclein in human CSF (Covance alpha-Synuclein ELISA kit). The study was conducted within the BIOMARKAPD project in the European initiative Joint Program for Neurodegenerative Diseases (JPND). We investigated the effect of several pre-analytical and analytical confounders: i.e. (1) need for centrifugation of freshly drawn CSF, (2) sample stability, (3) delay of freezing, (4) volume of storage aliquots, (5) freeze/thaw cycles, (6) thawing conditions, (7) dilution linearity, (8) parallelism, (9) spike recovery, and (10) precision. None of these confounders influenced the levels of α-Synuclein in CSF significantly. We found a very high intra-assay precision. The inter-assay precision was lower than expected due to different performances of kit lots used. Overall the validated immunoassay is useful for the quantification of α-Synuclein in human CSF. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Differential Contribution of the Guanylyl Cyclase-Cyclic GMP-Protein Kinase G Pathway to the Proliferation of Neural Stem Cells Stimulated by Nitric Oxide

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    Bruno P. Carreira


    Full Text Available Nitric oxide (NO is an important inflammatory mediator involved in the initial boost in the proliferation of neural stem cells following brain injury. However, the mechanisms underlying the proliferative effect of NO are still unclear. The aim of this work was to investigate whether cyclic GMP (cGMP and the cGMP-dependent kinase (PKG are involved in the proliferative effect triggered by NO in neural stem cells. For this purpose, cultures of neural stem cells isolated from the mouse subventricular zone (SVZ were used. We observed that long-term exposure to the NO donor (24 h, NOC-18, increased the proliferation of SVZ cells in a cGMP-dependent manner, since the guanylate cyclase inhibitor, ODQ, prevented cell proliferation. Similarly to NOC-18, the cGMP analogue, 8-Br-cGMP, also increased cell proliferation. Interestingly, shorter exposures to NO (6 h increased cell proliferation in a cGMP-independent manner via the ERK/MAP kinase pathway. The selective inhibitor of PKG, KT5823, prevented the proliferative effect induced by NO at 24 h but not at 6 h. In conclusion, the proliferative effect of NO is initially mediated by the ERK/MAPK pathway, and at later stages by the GC/cGMP/PKG pathway. Thus, our work shows that NO induces neural stem cell proliferation by targeting these two pathways in a biphasic manner.

  8. Protein degradation pathways in Parkinson's disease: curse or blessing. (United States)

    Ebrahimi-Fakhari, Darius; Wahlster, Lara; McLean, Pamela J


    Protein misfolding, aggregation and deposition are common disease mechanisms in many neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson's disease (PD). Accumulation of damaged or abnormally modified proteins may lead to perturbed cellular function and eventually to cell death. Thus, neurons rely on elaborated pathways of protein quality control and removal to maintain intracellular protein homeostasis. Molecular chaperones, the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) and the autophagy-lysosomal pathway (ALP) are critical pathways that mediate the refolding or removal of abnormal proteins. The successive failure of these protein degradation pathways, as a cause or consequence of early pathological alterations in vulnerable neurons at risk, may present a key step in the pathological cascade that leads to spreading neurodegeneration. A growing number of studies in disease models and patients have implicated dysfunction of the UPS and ALP in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease and related disorders. Deciphering the exact mechanism by which the different proteolytic systems contribute to the elimination of pathogenic proteins, like α-synuclein, is therefore of paramount importance. We herein review the role of protein degradation pathways in Parkinson's disease and elaborate on the different contributions of the UPS and the ALP to the clearance of altered proteins. We examine the interplay between different degradation pathways and provide a model for the role of the UPS and ALP in the evolution and progression of α-synuclein pathology. With regards to exciting recent studies we also discuss the putative potential of using protein degradation pathways as novel therapeutic targets in Parkinson's disease.

  9. Expression of neuronal antigens and related ventral and dorsal proteins in the normal spinal cord and a surgically induced open neural tube defect of the spine in chick embryos: an immunohistochemical study. (United States)

    Lee, Do-Hun; Phi, Ji Hoon; Chung, You-Nam; Lee, Yun-Jin; Kim, Seung-Ki; Cho, Byung-Kyu; Kim, Dong Won; Park, Moon-Sik; Wang, Kyu-Chang


    The aims of this study were to elucidate the processes of neuronal differentiation and ventrodorsal patterning in the spinal cord of the chick embryo from embryonic day (E) 3 to E17 and to study the effect of a prenatal spinal open neural tube defect (ONTD) on these processes. Expression patterns of neuronal antigens (neuronal nuclear antigen, neurofilament-associated protein (NAP), and synaptophysin) and related ventral markers [sonic hedgehog, paired box gene (PAX)6, and islet-1], and dorsal markers (bone morphogenetic protein, Notch homolog 1, and PAX7) were investigated in the normal spinal cord and in a surgically induced spinal ONTD in chick embryos. Four normal and ONTD chick embryos were used for each antigen group. There were no differences in the expression of neuronal and ventrodorsal markers between the control and ONTD groups. NAP and synaptophysin were useful for identifying dorsal structures in the distorted anatomy of the ONTD chicks.

  10. High-Throughput Screening to Identify Compounds That Increase Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein Expression in Neural Stem Cells Differentiated From Fragile X Syndrome Patient-Derived Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells. (United States)

    Kumari, Daman; Swaroop, Manju; Southall, Noel; Huang, Wenwei; Zheng, Wei; Usdin, Karen


    : Fragile X syndrome (FXS), the most common form of inherited cognitive disability, is caused by a deficiency of the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP). In most patients, the absence of FMRP is due to an aberrant transcriptional silencing of the fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene. FXS has no cure, and the available treatments only provide symptomatic relief. Given that FMR1 gene silencing in FXS patient cells can be partially reversed by treatment with compounds that target repressive epigenetic marks, restoring FMRP expression could be one approach for the treatment of FXS. We describe a homogeneous and highly sensitive time-resolved fluorescence resonance energy transfer assay for FMRP detection in a 1,536-well plate format. Using neural stem cells differentiated from an FXS patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) line that does not express any FMRP, we screened a collection of approximately 5,000 known tool compounds and approved drugs using this FMRP assay and identified 6 compounds that modestly increase FMR1 gene expression in FXS patient cells. Although none of these compounds resulted in clinically relevant levels of FMR1 mRNA, our data provide proof of principle that this assay combined with FXS patient-derived neural stem cells can be used in a high-throughput format to identify better lead compounds for FXS drug development. In this study, a specific and sensitive fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based assay for fragile X mental retardation protein detection was developed and optimized for high-throughput screening (HTS) of compound libraries using fragile X syndrome (FXS) patient-derived neural stem cells. The data suggest that this HTS format will be useful for the identification of better lead compounds for developing new therapeutics for FXS. This assay can also be adapted for FMRP detection in clinical and research settings. ©AlphaMed Press.

  11. Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Increases Synaptic Protein Levels via the MAPK/Erk Signaling Pathway and Nrf2/Trx Axis Following the Transplantation of Neural Stem Cells in a Rat Model of Traumatic Brain Injury. (United States)

    Chen, Tao; Wu, Yu; Wang, Yuzi; Zhu, Jigao; Chu, Haiying; Kong, Li; Yin, Liangwei; Ma, Haiying


    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays an important role in promoting the growth, differentiation, survival and synaptic stability of neurons. Presently, the transplantation of neural stem cells (NSCs) is known to induce neural repair to some extent after injury or disease. In this study, to investigate whether NSCs genetically modified to encode the BDNF gene (BDNF/NSCs) would further enhance synaptogenesis, BDNF/NSCs or naive NSCs were directly engrafted into lesions in a rat model of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Immunohistochemistry, western blotting and RT-PCR were performed to detect synaptic proteins, BDNF-TrkB and its downstream signaling pathways, at 1, 2, 3 or 4 weeks after transplantation. Our results showed that BDNF significantly increased the expression levels of the TrkB receptor gene and the phosphorylation of the TrkB protein in the lesions. The expression levels of Ras, phosphorylated Erk1/2 and postsynaptic density protein-95 were elevated in the BDNF/NSCs-transplanted groups compared with those in the NSCs-transplanted groups throughout the experimental period. Moreover, the nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2/Thioredoxin (Nrf2/Trx) axis, which is a specific therapeutic target for the treatment of injury or cell death, was upregulated by BDNF overexpression. Therefore, we determined that the increased synaptic proteins level implicated in synaptogenesis might be associated with the activation of the MAPK/Erk1/2 signaling pathway and the upregulation of the antioxidant agent Trx modified by BDNF-TrkB following the BDNF/NSCs transplantation after TBI.

  12. Bifunctional Anti-Non-Amyloid Component α-Synuclein Nanobodies Are Protective In Situ.

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    David C Butler

    Full Text Available Misfolding, abnormal accumulation, and secretion of α-Synuclein (α-Syn are closely associated with synucleinopathies, including Parkinson's disease (PD. VH14 is a human single domain intrabody selected against the non-amyloid component (NAC hydrophobic interaction region of α-Syn, which is critical for initial aggregation. Using neuronal cell lines, we show that as a bifunctional nanobody fused to a proteasome targeting signal, VH14PEST can counteract heterologous proteostatic effects of mutant α-Syn on mutant huntingtin Exon1 and protect against α-Syn toxicity using propidium iodide or Annexin V readouts. We compared this anti-NAC candidate to NbSyn87, which binds to the C-terminus of α-Syn. NbSyn87PEST degrades α-Syn as well or better than VH14PEST. However, while both candidates reduced toxicity, VH14PEST appears more effective in both proteostatic stress and toxicity assays. These results show that the approach of reducing intracellular monomeric targets with novel antibody engineering technology should allow in vivo modulation of proteostatic pathologies.

  13. Assembly of α-synuclein fibrils in nanoscale studied by peptide truncation and AFM

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Feng; Lin Xiaojing; Ji Lina; Du Haining; Tang Lin; He Jianhua; Hu Jun; Hu Hongyu


    α-Synuclein (α-Syn) fibrils are the major component of Lewy bodies that are closely associated with the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease, but the mechanism for the fibril assembly remains poorly understood. Here we report using a combination of peptide truncation and atomic force microscopy (AFM) to elucidate the self-assembly and morphology of the α-Syn fibrils. The results show that protease K significantly slims the fibrils from the mean height of ∼6.6 to ∼4.7 nm, whereas chaotropic denaturant urea completely breaks down the fibrils into small particles. The in situ enzymatic digestion also results in thinning of the fibrils, giving rise to some nicks on the fibrils. Moreover, N- or C-terminally truncated α-Syn fragments assemble into thinner filaments with the heights depending on the peptide lengths. A nine-residue peptide corresponding to the homologous GAV-motif sequence can form very thin (∼2.2 nm) but long (>1 μm) filaments. Thus, the central sequence of α-Syn forms a fibrillar core by cross-β-structure that is flanked by two flexible termini, and the orientation of the fibril growth is perpendicular to the β-sheet structures

  14. Effect of curcumin analogs onα-synuclein aggregation and cytotoxicity (United States)

    Jha, Narendra Nath; Ghosh, Dhiman; Das, Subhadeep; Anoop, Arunagiri; Jacob, Reeba S.; Singh, Pradeep K.; Ayyagari, Narasimham; Namboothiri, Irishi N. N.; Maji, Samir K.


    Alpha-synuclein (α-Syn) aggregation into oligomers and fibrils is associated with dopaminergic neuron loss occurring in Parkinson’s disease (PD) pathogenesis. Compounds that modulate α-Syn aggregation and interact with preformed fibrils/oligomers and convert them to less toxic species could have promising applications in the drug development efforts against PD. Curcumin is one of the Asian food ingredient which showed promising role as therapeutic agent against many neurological disorders including PD. However, the instability and low solubility makes it less attractive for the drug development. In this work, we selected various curcumin analogs and studied their toxicity, stability and efficacy to interact with different α-Syn species and modulation of their toxicity. We found a subset of curcumin analogs with higher stability and showed that curcumin and its various analogs interact with preformed fibrils and oligomers and accelerate α-Syn aggregation to produce morphologically different amyloid fibrils in vitro. Furthermore, these curcumin analogs showed differential binding with the preformed α-Syn aggregates. The present data suggest the potential role of curcumin analogs in modulating α-Syn aggregation. PMID:27338805

  15. Exogenous Alpha-Synuclein Alters Pre- and Post-Synaptic Activity by Fragmenting Lipid Rafts

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    Marco Emanuele


    Full Text Available Alpha-synuclein (αSyn interferes with multiple steps of synaptic activity at pre-and post-synaptic terminals, however the mechanism/s by which αSyn alters neurotransmitter release and synaptic potentiation is unclear. By atomic force microscopy we show that human αSyn, when incubated with reconstituted membrane bilayer, induces lipid rafts' fragmentation. As a consequence, ion channels and receptors are displaced from lipid rafts with consequent changes in their activity. The enhanced calcium entry leads to acute mobilization of synaptic vesicles, and exhaustion of neurotransmission at later stages. At the post-synaptic terminal, an acute increase in glutamatergic transmission, with increased density of PSD-95 puncta, is followed by disruption of the interaction between N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR and PSD-95 with ensuing decrease of long term potentiation. While cholesterol loading prevents the acute effect of αSyn at the presynapse; inhibition of casein kinase 2, which appears activated by reduction of cholesterol, restores the correct localization and clustering of NMDARs.

  16. In vivo silencing of alpha-synuclein using naked siRNA

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    Charisse Klaus


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Overexpression of α-synuclein (SNCA in families with multiplication mutations causes parkinsonism and subsequent dementia, characterized by diffuse Lewy Body disease post-mortem. Genetic variability in SNCA contributes to risk of idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD, possibly as a result of overexpression. SNCA downregulation is therefore a valid therapeutic target for PD. Results We have identified human and murine-specific siRNA molecules which reduce SNCA in vitro. As a proof of concept, we demonstrate that direct infusion of chemically modified (naked, murine-specific siRNA into the hippocampus significantly reduces SNCA levels. Reduction of SNCA in the hippocampus and cortex persists for a minimum of 1 week post-infusion with recovery nearing control levels by 3 weeks post-infusion. Conclusion We have developed naked gene-specific siRNAs that silence expression of SNCA in vivo. This approach may prove beneficial toward our understanding of the endogenous functional equilibrium of SNCA, its role in disease, and eventually as a therapeutic strategy for α-synucleinopathies resulting from SNCA overexpression.

  17. In vivo silencing of alpha-synuclein using naked siRNA (United States)

    Lewis, Jada; Melrose, Heather; Bumcrot, David; Hope, Andrew; Zehr, Cynthia; Lincoln, Sarah; Braithwaite, Adam; He, Zhen; Ogholikhan, Sina; Hinkle, Kelly; Kent, Caroline; Toudjarska, Ivanka; Charisse, Klaus; Braich, Ravi; Pandey, Rajendra K; Heckman, Michael; Maraganore, Demetrius M; Crook, Julia; Farrer, Matthew J


    Background Overexpression of α-synuclein (SNCA) in families with multiplication mutations causes parkinsonism and subsequent dementia, characterized by diffuse Lewy Body disease post-mortem. Genetic variability in SNCA contributes to risk of idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD), possibly as a result of overexpression. SNCA downregulation is therefore a valid therapeutic target for PD. Results We have identified human and murine-specific siRNA molecules which reduce SNCA in vitro. As a proof of concept, we demonstrate that direct infusion of chemically modified (naked), murine-specific siRNA into the hippocampus significantly reduces SNCA levels. Reduction of SNCA in the hippocampus and cortex persists for a minimum of 1 week post-infusion with recovery nearing control levels by 3 weeks post-infusion. Conclusion We have developed naked gene-specific siRNAs that silence expression of SNCA in vivo. This approach may prove beneficial toward our understanding of the endogenous functional equilibrium of SNCA, its role in disease, and eventually as a therapeutic strategy for α-synucleinopathies resulting from SNCA overexpression. PMID:18976489

  18. Neuroprotective and nootropic drug noopept rescues α-synuclein amyloid cytotoxicity. (United States)

    Jia, Xueen; Gharibyan, Anna L; Öhman, Anders; Liu, Yonggang; Olofsson, Anders; Morozova-Roche, Ludmilla A


    Parkinson's disease is a common neurodegenerative disorder characterized by α-synuclein (α-Syn)-containing Lewy body formation and selective loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. We have demonstrated the modulating effect of noopept, a novel proline-containing dipeptide drug with nootropic and neuroprotective properties, on α-Syn oligomerization and fibrillation by using thioflavin T fluorescence, far-UV CD, and atomic force microscopy techniques. Noopept does not bind to a sterically specific site in the α-Syn molecule as revealed by heteronuclear two-dimensional NMR analysis, but due to hydrophobic interactions with toxic amyloid oligomers, it prompts their rapid sequestration into larger fibrillar amyloid aggregates. Consequently, this process rescues the cytotoxic effect of amyloid oligomers on neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells as demonstrated by using cell viability assays and fluorescent staining of apoptotic and necrotic cells and by assessing the level of intracellular oxidative stress. The mitigating effect of noopept against amyloid oligomeric cytotoxicity may offer additional benefits to the already well-established therapeutic functions of this new pharmaceutical. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Alpha-synuclein mutations impair axonal regeneration in models of Parkinson´s disease

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    Lars eTönges


    Full Text Available The dopaminergic (DAergic nigrostriatal tract has an intrinsic regenerative capacity which can be impaired in Parkinson’s disease (PD. Alpha-synuclein (aSyn is a major pathogenic component in PD but its impact on DAergic axonal regeneration is largely unknown. In this study, we expressed pathogenic variants of human aSyn by means of recombinant adeno-associated viral vectors in experimental paradigms of DAergic regeneration. In a scratch lesion model in vitro, both aSyn(A30P and aSyn(A53T significantly reduced DAergic neurite regeneration and induced loss of TH-immunopositive cells while aSyn(WT showed only minor cellular neurotoxic effects. The striatal density of TH-immunopositive axons in the striatal 6-OHDA lesion mouse model was attenuated only by aSyn(A30P. However, striatal expression levels of the regeneration marker GAP-43 in TH-immunopositive fibers were reduced by both aSyn(A30P and aSyn(A53T, but not by aSyn(WT which was associated with an activation of the ROCK signaling pathway. Nigral DAergic cell loss was only mildly enhanced by additional overexpression of aSyn variants. Our findings indicate that mutations of aSyn have a strong impact on the regenerative capacity of DAergic neurons, which may contribute to their pathogenic effects.

  20. Propagated but Topologically Distributed Forebrain Neurons Expressing Alpha-Synuclein in Aged Macaques.

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    Katsuo Kimura

    Full Text Available In neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson's disease (PD, alpha-synuclein (α-syn accumulates to induce cell death and/or form a cytoplasmic inclusion called Lewy body (LB. This α-syn-related pathology is termed synucleinopathy. It remains unclear how α-syn accumulation expands during the progress of synucleinopathy in the human brain. In our study, we investigated the patterns of distribution and propagation of forebrain neurons expressing α-syn in aged macaques. It was found that the occurrence of α-syn-positive neurons proceeded topologically based on the midbrain dopamine pathways arising from the substantia nigra and the ventral tegmental area where they were primarily observed. In the nigrostriatal or mesolimbic dopamine pathway, the age-dependent increase in α-syn-positive neurons was evident in the striatum or the nucleus accumbens, respectively. Concerning the nigrostriatal pathway, a mediolateral or rostrocaudal gradient was seen in the substantia nigra or the striatum, respectively, and a compensatory increase in dopamine transporter occurred in the striatum regardless of the decreased dopamine level. In the mesocortical dopamine pathway, α-syn-positive neurons appeared in the prefrontal and then motor areas of the frontal lobe. Given that neither LB formation nor clinical phenotype manifestation was detected in any of the monkeys examined in the present study, aged macaques may be useful as a potential presymptomatic model for PD and LB-related neuropsychiatric disorders.

  1. Synuclein gamma predicts poor clinical outcome in colon cancer with normal levels of carcinoembryonic antigen

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    Xing Xiaofang


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Synuclein gamma (SNCG, initially identified as a breast cancer specific gene, is aberrantly expressed in many different malignant tumors but rarely expressed in matched nonneoplastic adjacent tissues. In this study, we investigated the prognostic potential of SNCG in colon cancer particularly in the patients with normal carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA levels. Methods SNCG levels were assessed immunohistochemically in cancer tissues from 229 colon adenocarcinoma patients with a mean follow-up of 44 months. Correlations between SNCG levels and clinicopathologic features, preoperative serum CEA level, and clinical outcome were analyzed statistically using SPSS. Results SNCG levels in colon adenocarcinoma were closely associated with intravascular embolus and tumor recurrence but independent of preoperative serum CEA levels. SNCG expression was an independent prognostic factor of a shorter disease-free survival (DFS and overall survival (OS (P P = 0.001, P = 0.001, 0.002 for 97 patients with normal preoperative serum CEA level. Conclusions Our results suggest for the first time that SNCG is a new independent predicator for poor prognosis in patients with colon adenocarcinoma, including those with normal CEA levels. Combination of CEA with SNCG improves prognostic evaluation for patients with colon adenocarcinoma.

  2. DNA damage preceding dopamine neuron degeneration in A53T human α-synuclein transgenic mice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Degui; Yu, Tianyu; Liu, Yongqiang; Yan, Jun; Guo, Yingli; Jing, Yuhong; Yang, Xuguang; Song, Yanfeng; Tian, Yingxia


    Defective DNA repair has been linked with age-associated neurodegenerative disorders. Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder caused by genetic and environmental factors. Whether damages to nuclear DNA contribute to neurodegeneration of PD still remain obscure. in this study we aim to explore whether nuclear DNA damage induce dopamine neuron degeneration in A53T human α-Synuclein over expressed mouse model. We investigated the effects of X-ray irradiation on A53T-α-Syn MEFs and A53T-α-Syn transgene mice. Our results indicate that A53T-α-Syn MEFs show a prolonged DNA damage repair process and senescense phenotype. DNA damage preceded onset of motor phenotype in A53T-α-Syn transgenic mice and decrease the number of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons. Neurons of A53T-α-Syn transgenic mice are more fragile to DNA damages. - Highlights: • This study explore contribution of DNA damage to neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease mice. • A53T-α-Syn MEF cells show a prolonged DNA damage repair process and senescense phenotype. • DNA damage preceded onset of motor phenotype in A53T-α-Syn transgenic mice. • DNA damage decrease the number of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons. • Neurons of A53T-α-Syn transgenic mice are more fragile to DNA damages.

  3. SIRT1 ameliorates oxidative stress induced neural cell death and is down-regulated in Parkinson's disease. (United States)

    Singh, Preeti; Hanson, Peter S; Morris, Christopher M


    Sirtuins (SIRTs) are NAD + dependent lysine deacetylases which are conserved from bacteria to humans and have been associated with longevity and lifespan extension. SIRT1, the best studied mammalian SIRT is involved in many physiological and pathological processes and changes in SIRT1 have been implicated in neurodegenerative disorders, with SIRT1 having a suggested protective role in Parkinson's disease. In this study, we determined the effect of SIRT1 on cell survival and α-synuclein aggregate formation in SH-SY5Y cells following oxidative stress. Over-expression of SIRT1 protected SH-SY5Y cells from toxin induced cell death and the protection conferred by SIRT1 was partially independent of its deacetylase activity, which was associated with the repression of NF-кB and cPARP expression. SIRT1 reduced the formation of α-synuclein aggregates but showed minimal co-localisation with α-synuclein. In post-mortem brain tissue obtained from patients with Parkinson's disease, Parkinson's disease with dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies and Alzheimer's disease, the activity of SIRT1 was observed to be down-regulated. These findings suggests a negative effect of oxidative stress in neurodegenerative disorders and possibly explain the reduced activity of SIRT1 in neurodegenerative disorders. Our study shows that SIRT1 is a pro-survival protein that is downregulated under cellular stress.

  4. Electrophilic trifluoromethyl-thiolation reaction and synthesis of radioligand for medicinal PET imaging of l'α-synuclein

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alazet, Sebastien


    Part 1: More and more applications for fluorinated molecules are being found in various fields, from materials to life sciences. In recent years, a growing interest has emerged in the association of the trifluoromethyl group with heteroatoms such as CF3O or CF3S. The CF3S moiety is of particular interest, because of its high hydrophobicity parameter (π=1.44). Consequently compounds bearing this group are important targets for various applications, in particular in medicinal chemistry and agrochemistry. However, the majority of previous methods described in the literature use toxic reagents under harsh conditions. Trifluoromethane-sulfenamides (1. and 2. generation) have demonstrated their potential in the electrophilic trifluoromethyl-thiolations. Because of their interesting reactivity, these two generations of shelf-stable reagents are now in the toolbox of organic chemists for the trifluoromethyl-thiolation of molecules, providing a convenient method to pursue less toxic pathways. Part 2: α-synuclein aggregation is a neuro-pathological hallmark of many neuro-degenerative diseases including Parkinson's disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), collectively termed synucleinopathies. PET imaging can reflect the amount and distribution of alpha-synuclein aggregates in the brain and would be advantageous to use for specific diagnosis of synucleinopathies in pre-symptomatic stages of disease. We focused our interest onto benzimidazole derivatives as small, planar and π-delocalized compounds to design radiotracers of synuclein aggregates. Compounds based on the association of benzimidazole moiety, rigid linker (alkyne and triazole) and another aromatic part have been designed. The radiolabeling could be performed by nucleophilic substitution with K18F during the last step. With this convergent strategy, we could have access to a large series of molecules to be evaluated. (author)

  5. Neural Networks

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    Schwindling Jerome


    Full Text Available This course presents an overview of the concepts of the neural networks and their aplication in the framework of High energy physics analyses. After a brief introduction on the concept of neural networks, the concept is explained in the frame of neuro-biology, introducing the concept of multi-layer perceptron, learning and their use as data classifer. The concept is then presented in a second part using in more details the mathematical approach focussing on typical use cases faced in particle physics. Finally, the last part presents the best way to use such statistical tools in view of event classifers, putting the emphasis on the setup of the multi-layer perceptron. The full article (15 p. corresponding to this lecture is written in french and is provided in the proceedings of the book SOS 2008.

  6. A blood-brain barrier (BBB) disrupter is also a potent α-synuclein (α-syn) aggregation inhibitor: a novel dual mechanism of mannitol for the treatment of Parkinson disease (PD). (United States)

    Shaltiel-Karyo, Ronit; Frenkel-Pinter, Moran; Rockenstein, Edward; Patrick, Christina; Levy-Sakin, Michal; Schiller, Abigail; Egoz-Matia, Nirit; Masliah, Eliezer; Segal, Daniel; Gazit, Ehud


    The development of disease-modifying therapy for Parkinson disease has been a main drug development challenge, including the need to deliver the therapeutic agents to the brain. Here, we examined the ability of mannitol to interfere with the aggregation process of α-synuclein in vitro and in vivo in addition to its blood-brain barrier-disrupting properties. Using in vitro studies, we demonstrated the effect of mannitol on α-synuclein aggregation. Although low concentration of mannitol inhibited the formation of fibrils, high concentration significantly decreased the formation of tetramers and high molecular weight oligomers and shifted the secondary structure of α-synuclein from α-helical to a different structure, suggesting alternative potential pathways for aggregation. When administered to a Parkinson Drosophila model, mannitol dramatically corrected its behavioral defects and reduced the amount of α-synuclein aggregates in the brains of treated flies. In the mThy1-human α-synuclein transgenic mouse model, a decrease in α-synuclein accumulation was detected in several brain regions following treatment, suggesting that mannitol promotes α-synuclein clearance in the cell bodies. It appears that mannitol has a general neuroprotective effect in the transgenic treated mice, which includes the dopaminergic system. We therefore suggest mannitol as a basis for a dual mechanism therapeutic agent for the treatment of Parkinson disease.

  7. Determination of fat, moisture, and protein in meat and meat products by using the FOSS FoodScan Near-Infrared Spectrophotometer with FOSS Artificial Neural Network Calibration Model and Associated Database: collaborative study. (United States)

    Anderson, Shirley


    A collaborative study was conducted to evaluate the repeatability and reproducibility of the FOSS FoodScan near-infrared spectrophotometer with artificial neural network calibration model and database for the determination of fat, moisture, and protein in meat and meat products. Representative samples were homogenized by grinding according to AOAC Official Method 983.18. Approximately 180 g ground sample was placed in a 140 mm round sample dish, and the dish was placed in the FoodScan. The operator ID was entered, the meat product profile within the software was selected, and the scanning process was initiated by pressing the "start" button. Results were displayed for percent (g/100 g) fat, moisture, and protein. Ten blind duplicate samples were sent to 15 collaborators in the United States. The within-laboratory (repeatability) relative standard deviation (RSD(r)) ranged from 0.22 to 2.67% for fat, 0.23 to 0.92% for moisture, and 0.35 to 2.13% for protein. The between-laboratories (reproducibility) relative standard deviation (RSD(R)) ranged from 0.52 to 6.89% for fat, 0.39 to 1.55% for moisture, and 0.54 to 5.23% for protein. The method is recommended for Official First Action.

  8. Characterization of cognitive deficits in rats overexpressing human alpha-synuclein in the ventral tegmental area and medial septum using recombinant adeno-associated viral vectors. (United States)

    Hall, Hélène; Jewett, Michael; Landeck, Natalie; Nilsson, Nathalie; Schagerlöf, Ulrika; Leanza, Giampiero; Kirik, Deniz


    Intraneuronal inclusions containing alpha-synuclein (a-syn) constitute one of the pathological hallmarks of Parkinson's disease (PD) and are accompanied by severe neurodegeneration of A9 dopaminergic neurons located in the substantia nigra. Although to a lesser extent, A10 dopaminergic neurons are also affected. Neurodegeneration of other neuronal populations, such as the cholinergic, serotonergic and noradrenergic cell groups, has also been documented in PD patients. Studies in human post-mortem PD brains and in rodent models suggest that deficits in cholinergic and dopaminergic systems may be associated with the cognitive impairment seen in this disease. Here, we investigated the consequences of targeted overexpression of a-syn in the mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic and septohippocampal cholinergic pathways. Rats were injected with recombinant adeno-associated viral vectors encoding for either human wild-type a-syn or green fluorescent protein (GFP) in the ventral tegmental area and the medial septum/vertical limb of the diagonal band of Broca, two regions rich in dopaminergic and cholinergic neurons, respectively. Histopathological analysis showed widespread insoluble a-syn positive inclusions in all major projections areas of the targeted nuclei, including the hippocampus, neocortex, nucleus accumbens and anteromedial striatum. In addition, the rats overexpressing human a-syn displayed an abnormal locomotor response to apomorphine injection and exhibited spatial learning and memory deficits in the Morris water maze task, in the absence of obvious spontaneous locomotor impairment. As losses in dopaminergic and cholinergic immunoreactivity in both the GFP and a-syn expressing animals were mild-to-moderate and did not differ from each other, the behavioral impairments seen in the a-syn overexpressing animals appear to be determined by the long term persisting neuropathology in the surviving neurons rather than by neurodegeneration.

  9. Evidence for Intramolecular Antiparallel Beta-Sheet Structure in Alpha-Synuclein Fibrils from a Combination of Two-Dimensional Infrared Spectroscopy and Atomic Force Microscopy (United States)

    Roeters, Steven J.; Iyer, Aditya; Pletikapić, Galja; Kogan, Vladimir; Subramaniam, Vinod; Woutersen, Sander


    The aggregation of the intrinsically disordered protein alpha-synuclein (αS) into amyloid fibrils is thought to play a central role in the pathology of Parkinson’s disease. Using a combination of techniques (AFM, UV-CD, XRD, and amide-I 1D- and 2D-IR spectroscopy) we show that the structure of αS fibrils varies as a function of ionic strength: fibrils aggregated in low ionic-strength buffers ([NaCl] ≤ 25 mM) have a significantly different structure than fibrils grown in higher ionic-strength buffers. The observations for fibrils aggregated in low-salt buffers are consistent with an extended conformation of αS molecules, forming hydrogen-bonded intermolecular β-sheets that are loosely packed in a parallel fashion. For fibrils aggregated in high-salt buffers (including those prepared in buffers with a physiological salt concentration) the measurements are consistent with αS molecules in a more tightly-packed, antiparallel intramolecular conformation, and suggest a structure characterized by two twisting stacks of approximately five hydrogen-bonded intermolecular β-sheets each. We find evidence that the high-frequency peak in the amide-I spectrum of αS fibrils involves a normal mode that differs fundamentally from the canonical high-frequency antiparallel β-sheet mode. The high sensitivity of the fibril structure to the ionic strength might form the basis of differences in αS-related pathologies.

  10. Microglia acquire distinct activation profiles depending on the degree of alpha-synuclein neuropathology in a rAAV based model of Parkinson's disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanesa Sanchez-Guajardo

    Full Text Available Post-mortem analysis of brains from Parkinson's disease (PD patients strongly supports microglia activation and adaptive immunity as factors contributing to disease progression. Such responses may be triggered by alpha-synuclein (alpha-syn, which is known to be the main constituent of the aggregated proteins found in Lewy bodies in the brains of PD patients. To investigate this we used a recombinant viral vector to express human alpha-syn in rat midbrain at levels that induced neuronal pathology either in the absence or the presence of dopaminergic cell death, thereby mimicking early or late stages of the disease. Microglia activation was assessed by stereological quantification of Mac1+ cells, as well as the expression patterns of CD68 and MCH II. In our study, when alpha-syn induced neuronal pathology but not cell death, a fast transient increase in microglia cell numbers resulted in the long-term induction of MHC II+ microglia, denoting antigen-presenting ability. On the other hand, when alpha-syn induced both neuronal pathology and cell death, there was a delayed increase in microglia cell numbers, which correlated with long-lasting CD68 expression and a morphology reminiscent of peripheral macrophages. In addition T-lymphocyte infiltration, as judged by the presence of CD4+ and CD8+ cells, showed distinct kinetics depending on the degree of neurodegeneration, and was significantly higher when cell death occurred. We have thus for the first time shown that the microglial response differs depending on whether alpha-syn expression results on cell death or not, suggesting that microglia may play different roles during disease progression. Furthermore, our data suggest that the microglial response is modulated by early events related to alpha-syn expression in substantia nigra and persists at the long term.

  11. α-Synuclein Heterocomplexes with β-Amyloid Are Increased in Red Blood Cells of Parkinson’s Disease Patients and Correlate with Disease Severity (United States)

    Daniele, Simona; Frosini, Daniela; Pietrobono, Deborah; Petrozzi, Lucia; Lo Gerfo, Annalisa; Baldacci, Filippo; Fusi, Jonathan; Giacomelli, Chiara; Siciliano, Gabriele; Trincavelli, Maria Letizia; Franzoni, Ferdinando; Ceravolo, Roberto; Martini, Claudia; Bonuccelli, Ubaldo


    Neurodegenerative disorders (NDs) are characterized by abnormal accumulation/misfolding of specific proteins, primarily α-synuclein (α-syn), β-amyloid1–42 (Aβ1–42) and tau, in both brain and peripheral tissues. In addition to oligomers, the role of the interactions of α-syn with Aβ or tau has gradually emerged. Nevertheless, despite intensive research, NDs have no accepted peripheral markers for biochemical diagnosis. In this respect, Red Blood Cells (RBCs) are emerging as a valid peripheral model for the study of aging-related pathologies. Herein, a small cohort (N = 28) of patients affected by Parkinson’s disease (PD) and age-matched controls were enrolled to detect the content of α-syn (total and oligomeric), Aβ1–42 and tau (total and phosphorylated) in RBCs. Moreover, the presence of α-syn association with tau and Aβ1–42 was explored by co-immunoprecipitation/western blotting in the same cells, and quantitatively confirmed by immunoenzymatic assays. For the first time, PD patients were demonstrated to exhibit α-syn heterocomplexes with Aβ1–42 and tau in peripheral tissues; interestingly, α-syn-Aβ1–42 concentrations were increased in PD subjects with respect to healthy controls (HC), and directly correlated with disease severity and motor deficits. Moreover, total-α-syn levels were decreased in PD subjects and inversely related to their motor deficits. Finally, an increase of oligomeric-α-syn and phosphorylated-tau was observed in RBCs of the enrolled patients. The combination of three parameters (total-α-syn, phosphorylated-tau and α-syn-Aβ1–42 concentrations) provided the best fitting predictive index for discriminating PD patients from controls. Nevertheless further investigations should be required, overall, these data suggest α-syn hetero-aggregates in RBCs as a putative tool for the diagnosis of PD. PMID:29520218

  12. Validation of α-Synuclein as a CSF Biomarker for Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. (United States)

    Llorens, Franc; Kruse, Niels; Karch, André; Schmitz, Matthias; Zafar, Saima; Gotzmann, Nadine; Sun, Ting; Köchy, Silja; Knipper, Tobias; Cramm, Maria; Golanska, Ewa; Sikorska, Beata; Liberski, Pawel P; Sánchez-Valle, Raquel; Fischer, Andre; Mollenhauer, Brit; Zerr, Inga


    The analysis of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers gains importance in the differential diagnosis of prion diseases. However, no single diagnostic tool or combination of them can unequivocally confirm prion disease diagnosis. Electrochemiluminescence (ECL)-based immunoassays have demonstrated to achieve high diagnostic accuracy in a variety of sample types due to their high sensitivity and dynamic range. Quantification of CSF α-synuclein (a-syn) by an in-house ECL-based ELISA assay has been recently reported as an excellent approach for the diagnosis of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD), the most prevalent form of human prion disease. In the present study, we validated a commercially available ECL-based a-syn ELISA platform as a diagnostic test for correct classification of sCJD cases. CSF a-syn was analysed in 203 sCJD cases with definite diagnosis and in 445 non-CJD cases. We investigated reproducibility and stability of CSF a-syn and made recommendations for its analysis in the sCJD diagnostic workup. A sensitivity of 98% and a specificity of 97% were achieved when using an optimal cut-off of 820 pg/mL a-syn. Moreover, we were able to show a negative correlation between a-syn levels and disease duration suggesting that CSF a-syn may be a good prognostic marker for sCJD patients. The present study validates the use of a-syn as a CSF biomarker of sCJD and establishes the clinical and pre-analytical parameters for its use in differential diagnosis in clinical routine. Additionally, the current test presents some advantages compared to other diagnostic approaches: it is fast, economic, requires minimal amount of CSF and a-syn levels are stable along disease progression.

  13. Striatal dopamine transmission is subtly modified in human A53Tα-synuclein overexpressing mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola J Platt

    Full Text Available Mutations in, or elevated dosage of, SNCA, the gene for α-synuclein (α-syn, cause familial Parkinson's disease (PD. Mouse lines overexpressing the mutant human A53Tα-syn may represent a model of early PD. They display progressive motor deficits, abnormal cellular accumulation of α-syn, and deficits in dopamine-dependent corticostriatal plasticity, which, in the absence of overt nigrostriatal degeneration, suggest there are age-related deficits in striatal dopamine (DA signalling. In addition A53Tα-syn overexpression in cultured rodent neurons has been reported to inhibit transmitter release. Therefore here we have characterized for the first time DA release in the striatum of mice overexpressing human A53Tα-syn, and explored whether A53Tα-syn overexpression causes deficits in the release of DA. We used fast-scan cyclic voltammetry to detect DA release at carbon-fibre microelectrodes in acute striatal slices from two different lines of A53Tα-syn-overexpressing mice, at up to 24 months. In A53Tα-syn overexpressors, mean DA release evoked by a single stimulus pulse was not different from wild-types, in either dorsal striatum or nucleus accumbens. However the frequency responsiveness of DA release was slightly modified in A53Tα-syn overexpressors, and in particular showed slight deficiency when the confounding effects of striatal ACh acting at presynaptic nicotinic receptors (nAChRs were antagonized. The re-release of DA was unmodified after single-pulse stimuli, but after prolonged stimulation trains, A53Tα-syn overexpressors showed enhanced recovery of DA release at old age, in keeping with elevated striatal DA content. In summary, A53Tα-syn overexpression in mice causes subtle changes in the regulation of DA release in the striatum. While modest, these modifications may indicate or contribute to striatal dysfunction.

  14. α-Synuclein fibril-induced paradoxical structural and functional defects in hippocampal neurons. (United States)

    Froula, Jessica M; Henderson, Benjamin W; Gonzalez, Jose Carlos; Vaden, Jada H; Mclean, John W; Wu, Yumei; Banumurthy, Gokulakrishna; Overstreet-Wadiche, Linda; Herskowitz, Jeremy H; Volpicelli-Daley, Laura A


    Neuronal inclusions composed of α-synuclein (α-syn) characterize Parkinson's Disease (PD) and Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Cognitive dysfunction defines DLB, and up to 80% of PD patients develop dementia. α-Syn inclusions are abundant in the hippocampus, yet functional consequences are unclear. To determine if pathologic α-syn causes neuronal defects, we induced endogenous α-syn to form inclusions resembling those found in diseased brains by treating hippocampal neurons with α-syn fibrils. At seven days after adding fibrils, α-syn inclusions are abundant in axons, but there is no cell death at this time point, allowing us to assess for potential alterations in neuronal function that are not caused by neuron death. We found that exposure of neurons to fibrils caused a significant reduction in mushroom spine densities, adding to the growing body of literature showing that altered spine morphology is a major pathologic phenotype in synucleinopathies. The reduction in spine densities occurred only in wild type neurons and not in neurons from α-syn knockout mice, suggesting that the changes in spine morphology result from fibril-induced corruption of endogenously expressed α-syn. Paradoxically, reduced postsynaptic spine density was accompanied by increased frequency of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) and presynaptic docked vesicles, suggesting enhanced presynaptic function. Action-potential dependent activity was unchanged, suggesting compensatory mechanisms responding to synaptic defects. Although activity at the level of the synapse was unchanged, neurons exposed to α-syn fibrils, showed reduced frequency and amplitudes of spontaneous Ca 2+ transients. These findings open areas of research to determine the mechanisms that alter neuronal function in brain regions critical for cognition at time points before neuron death.

  15. Amyloid-β and α-synuclein decrease the level of metal-catalyzed reactive oxygen species by radical scavenging and redox silencing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Jeppe Trudslev; Chen, Serene W.; Borg, Christian Bernsen


    of ROS in vitro in the presence of a biological reductant. We find that the levels of ROS, and the rate by which ROS is generated, are significantly reduced when the Cu2+ is bound to Aβ or α-synuclein, particularly when they are in the oligomeric or fibrillar forms. This effect is attributed...

  16. ER Stress and Autophagic Perturbations Lead to Elevated Extracellular α-Synuclein in GBA-N370S Parkinson's iPSC-Derived Dopamine Neurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fernandes, H. J. R.; Hartfield, E. M.; Christian Kjeldsen, Hans


    -derived neuronal culture medium, which was not associated with exosomes. Overall, ER stress, autophagic/lysosomal perturbations, and elevated extracellular α-synuclein likely represent critical early cellular phenotypes of PD, which might offer multiple therapeutic targets. © 2016 The Authors....

  17. Evaluation of the synuclein-y (SNCG) gene as a PPARy target in murine adipocytes, dorsal root ganglia somatosensory neurons, and human adipose tissue (United States)

    Synuclein-gamma is highly expressed in both adipocytes and peripheral nervous system (PNS) somatosensory neurons. Its mRNA is induced during adipogenesis, increased in obese human white adipose tissue (WAT), may be coordinately regulated with leptin, and is decreased following treatment of murine 3T...

  18. A Swedish family with de novo alpha-synuclein A53T mutation: evidence for early cortical dysfunction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Puschmann, Andreas; Ross, Owen A; Vilariño-Güell, Carles


    A de novo alpha-synuclein A53T (p.Ala53 Th; c.209G > A) mutation has been identified in a Swedish family with autosomal dominant Parkinson's disease (PD). Two affected individuals had early-onset (before 31 and 40 years), severe levodopa-responsive PD with prominent dysphasia, dysarthria, and cog......A de novo alpha-synuclein A53T (p.Ala53 Th; c.209G > A) mutation has been identified in a Swedish family with autosomal dominant Parkinson's disease (PD). Two affected individuals had early-onset (before 31 and 40 years), severe levodopa-responsive PD with prominent dysphasia, dysarthria......) and the Greek-American Family H kindreds. One unaffected family member carried the mutation haplotype without the c.209A mutation, strongly suggesting its de novo occurrence within this family. Furthermore, a novel mutation c.488G > A (p.Arg163His; R163H) in the presenilin-2 (PSEN2) gene was detected...

  19. The role of alpha-synuclein in melanin synthesis in melanoma and dopaminergic neuronal cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tianhong Pan

    Full Text Available The relatively high co-occurrence of Parkinson's disease (PD and melanoma has been established by a large number of epidemiological studies. However, a clear biological explanation for this finding is still lacking. Ultra-violet radiation (UVR-induced skin melanin synthesis is a defense mechanism against UVR-induced damage relevant to the initiation of melanoma, whereas, increased neuromelanin (NM, the melanin synthesized in dopaminergic neurons, may enhance the susceptibility to oxidative stress-induced neuronal injury relevant to PD. SNCA is a PD-causing gene coding for alpha-Synuclein (α-Syn that expresses not only in brain, but also in skin as well as in tumors, such as melanoma. The findings that α-Syn can interact with tyrosinase (TYR and inhibit tyrosine hydroxylase (TH, both of which are enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of melanin and dopamine (DA, led us to propose that α-Syn may participate in the regulation of melanin synthesis. In this study, by applying ultraviolet B (UVB light, a physiologically relevant stimulus of melanogenesis, we detected melanin synthesis in A375 and SK-MEL-28 melanoma cells and in SH-SY5Y and PC12 dopaminergic neuronal cells and determined effects of α-Syn on melanin synthesis. Our results showed that UVB light exposure increased melanin synthesis in all 4 cell lines. However, we found that α-Syn expression reduced UVB light-induced increase of melanin synthesis and that melanin content was lower when melanoma cells were expressed with α-Syn, indicating that α-Syn may have inhibitory effects on melanin synthesis in melanoma cells. Different from melanoma cells, the melanin content was higher in α-Syn-over-expressed dopaminergic neuronal SH-SY5Y and PC12 cells, cellular models of PD, than that in non-α-Syn-expressed control cells. We concluded that α-Syn could be one of the points responsible for the positive association between PD and melanoma via its differential roles in melanin synthesis in

  20. Hemin as a generic and potent protein misfolding inhibitor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, Yanqin [School of Chemistry and Physics, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005 (Australia); Carver, John A. [Discipline of Pharmacology, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005 (Australia); Ho, Lam H.; Elias, Abigail K. [School of Chemistry and Physics, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005 (Australia); Musgrave, Ian F. [Research School of Chemistry, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200 (Australia); Pukala, Tara L., E-mail: [School of Chemistry and Physics, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005 (Australia)


    Highlights: • Hemin prevents Aβ42, α-synuclein and RCM-κ-casein forming amyloid fibrils. • Hemin inhibits the β-sheet structure formation of Aβ42. • Hemin reduces the cell toxicity caused by fibrillar Aβ42. • Hemin dissociates partially formed Aβ42 fibrils. • Hemin prevents amorphous aggregation by ADH, catalase and γs-crystallin. - Abstract: Protein misfolding causes serious biological malfunction, resulting in diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and cataract. Molecules which inhibit protein misfolding are a promising avenue to explore as therapeutics for the treatment of these diseases. In the present study, thioflavin T fluorescence and transmission electron microscopy experiments demonstrated that hemin prevents amyloid fibril formation of kappa-casein, amyloid beta peptide and α-synuclein by blocking β-sheet structure assembly which is essential in fibril aggregation. Further, inhibition of fibril formation by hemin significantly reduces the cytotoxicity caused by fibrillar amyloid beta peptide in vitro. Interestingly, hemin degrades partially formed amyloid fibrils and prevents further aggregation to mature fibrils. Light scattering assay results revealed that hemin also prevents protein amorphous aggregation of alcohol dehydrogenase, catalase and γs-crystallin. In summary, hemin is a potent agent which generically stabilises proteins against aggregation, and has potential as a key molecule for the development of therapeutics for protein misfolding diseases.

  1. Characterization of dry globular proteins and protein fibrils by synchrotron radiation vacuum UV circular dichroism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nesgaard, Lise W.; Hoffmann, Søren Vrønning; Andersen, Christian Beyschau


    Circular dichroism using synchrotron radiation (SRCD) can extend the spectral range down to approximately 130 nm for dry proteins, potentially providing new structural information. Using a selection of dried model proteins, including alpha-helical, beta-sheet, and mixed-structure proteins, we...... with previously published theoretical calculations related to pi-orbital transitions. We also show that drying does not lead to large changes in the secondary structure and does not induce orientational artifacts. In combination with principal component analysis, our SRCD data allow us to distinguish between two...... different types of protein fibrils, highlighting that bona fide fibrils formed by lysozyme are structurally more similar to the nonclassical fibrillar aggregates formed by the SerADan peptide than with the amyloid formed by alpha-synuclein. Thus, despite the lack of direct structural conclusions...

  2. Characterizing the Dynamics of α-Synuclein Oligomers Using Hydrogen/Deuterium Exchange Monitored by Mass Spectrometry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mysling, Simon; Betzer, Cristine; Jensen, Poul Henning


    Soluble oligomers formed by α-synuclein (αSN) are suspected to play a central role in neuronal cell death during Parkinson's disease. While studies have probed the surface structure of these oligomers, little is known about the backbone dynamics of αSN when they form soluble oligomers. Using...... analyses performed on αSN fibrils and indicated a possible zipperlike maturation mechanism for αSN aggregates. We find the protected N-terminus (residues 4-17) to be of particular interest, as this region has previously been observed to be highly dynamic for both monomeric and fibrillar αSN. This region...... has mainly been described in relation to membrane binding of αSN, and structuring may be important in relation to disease....

  3. A quantitative study of α-synuclein pathology in fifteen cases of dementia associated with Parkinson disease. (United States)

    Armstrong, Richard A; Kotzbauer, Paul T; Perlmutter, Joel S; Campbell, Meghan C; Hurth, Kyle M; Schmidt, Robert E; Cairns, Nigel J


    The α-synuclein-immunoreactive pathology of dementia associated with Parkinson disease (DPD) comprises Lewy bodies (LB), Lewy neurites (LN), and Lewy grains (LG). The densities of LB, LN, LG together with vacuoles, neurons, abnormally enlarged neurons (EN), and glial cell nuclei were measured in fifteen cases of DPD. Densities of LN and LG were up to 19 and 70 times those of LB, respectively, depending on region. Densities were significantly greater in amygdala, entorhinal cortex (EC), and sectors CA2/CA3 of the hippocampus, whereas middle frontal gyrus, sector CA1, and dentate gyrus were least affected. Low densities of vacuoles and EN were recorded in most regions. There were differences in the numerical density of neurons between regions, but no statistical difference between patients and controls. In the cortex, the density of LB and vacuoles was similar in upper and lower laminae, while the densities of LN and LG were greater in upper cortex. The densities of LB, LN, and LG were positively correlated. Principal components analysis suggested that DPD cases were heterogeneous with pathology primarily affecting either hippocampus or cortex. The data suggest in DPD: (1) ratio of LN and LG to LB varies between regions, (2) low densities of vacuoles and EN are present in most brain regions, (3) degeneration occurs across cortical laminae, upper laminae being particularly affected, (4) LB, LN and LG may represent degeneration of the same neurons, and (5) disease heterogeneity may result from variation in anatomical pathway affected by cell-to-cell transfer of α-synuclein.

  4. The role of p38 MAP kinase and c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase signaling in the differentiation and apoptosis of immortalized neural stem cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang, Se-Ran; Cho, Sung-Dae; Ahn, Nam-Shik; Jung, Ji-Won; Park, Joon-Suk; Jo, Eun-Hye; Hwang, Jae-Woong; Kim, Sung-Hoon; Lee, Bong-Hee; Kang, Kyung-Sun; Lee, Yong-Soon


    The two distinct members of the mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase family c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase (JNK) and p38 MAP kinase, play an important role in central nervous system (CNS) development and differentiation. However, their role and functions are not completely understood in CNS. To facilitate in vitro study, we have established an immortal stem cell line using SV40 from fetal rat embryonic day 17. In these cells, MAP kinase inhibitors (SP600125, SB202190, and PD98059) were treated for 1, 24, 48, and 72 h to examine the roles of protein kinases. Early inhibition of JNK did not alter phenotypic or morphological changes of immortalized cells, however overexpression of Bax and decrease of phosphorylated AKT was observed. The prolonged inhibition of JNK induced polyploidization of immortalized cells, and resulted in differentiation and inhibition of cell proliferation. Moreover, JNK and p38 MAP kinase but not ERK1/2 was activated, and p21, p53, and Bax were overexpressed by prolonged inhibition of JNK. These results indicate that JNK and p38 MAP kinase could play dual roles on cell survival and apoptosis. Furthermore, this established cell line could facilitate study of the role of JNK and p38 MAP kinase on CNS development or differentiation/apoptosis

  5. Small heat shock proteins potentiate amyloid dissolution by protein disaggregases from yeast and humans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin L Duennwald

    Full Text Available How small heat shock proteins (sHsps might empower proteostasis networks to control beneficial prions or disassemble pathological amyloid is unknown. Here, we establish that yeast sHsps, Hsp26 and Hsp42, inhibit prionogenesis by the [PSI+] prion protein, Sup35, via distinct and synergistic mechanisms. Hsp42 prevents conformational rearrangements within molten oligomers that enable de novo prionogenesis and collaborates with Hsp70 to attenuate self-templating. By contrast, Hsp26 inhibits self-templating upon binding assembled prions. sHsp binding destabilizes Sup35 prions and promotes their disaggregation by Hsp104, Hsp70, and Hsp40. In yeast, Hsp26 or Hsp42 overexpression prevents [PSI+] induction, cures [PSI+], and potentiates [PSI+]-curing by Hsp104 overexpression. In vitro, sHsps enhance Hsp104-catalyzed disaggregation of pathological amyloid forms of α-synuclein and polyglutamine. Unexpectedly, in the absence of Hsp104, sHsps promote an unprecedented, gradual depolymerization of Sup35 prions by Hsp110, Hsp70, and Hsp40. This unanticipated amyloid-depolymerase activity is conserved from yeast to humans, which lack Hsp104 orthologues. A human sHsp, HspB5, stimulates depolymerization of α-synuclein amyloid by human Hsp110, Hsp70, and Hsp40. Thus, we elucidate a heretofore-unrecognized human amyloid-depolymerase system that could have applications in various neurodegenerative disorders.

  6. Dose-dependent striatal changes in dopaminergic terminals and alpha-synuclein reactivity in a porcine model of progressive Parkinson’s disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Mette Slot; Glud, Andreas Nørgaard; Møller, Arne


    to discover effective compounds halting PD progression have so far failed in clinical trials, perhaps because current animal models do not imitate the neuropathological progression of PD well enough. We recently established a progressive large animal PD model in Göttingen minipigs based on chronic infusion......Parkinson disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disorder, resulting from a progressive dopaminergic neuron loss in the substantia nigra (SN). Alpha-synuclein positive neuronal inclusion bodies and progressive loss of dopaminergic striatal terminals is also well described in PD. Attempts...... the SN were paraffin embedded and immunohistochemically stained for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and alpha-synuclein. Stereological examination of the SN showed progressive nigral neuron loss with increased MPTP dosages. Occasional neuronal staining confined to the cytoplasm and cell membrane was observed...

  7. Role of Different Alpha-Synuclein Strains in Synucleinopathies, Similarities with other Neurodegenerative Diseases


    Melki, Ronald


    Abstract Misfolded protein aggregates are the hallmark of several neurodegenerative diseases in humans. The main protein constituent of these aggregates and the regions within the brain that are affected differ from one neurodegenerative disorder to another. A plethora of reports suggest that distinct diseases have in common the ability of protein aggregates to spread and amplify within the central nervous system. This review summarizes briefly what is known about the nature of the protein ag...

  8. Parkin and PINK1 Patient iPSC-Derived Midbrain Dopamine Neurons Exhibit Mitochondrial Dysfunction and α-Synuclein Accumulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sun Young Chung


    Full Text Available Parkinson's disease (PD is characterized by the selective loss of dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra; however, the mechanism of neurodegeneration in PD remains unclear. A subset of familial PD is linked to mutations in PARK2 and PINK1, which lead to dysfunctional mitochondria-related proteins Parkin and PINK1, suggesting that pathways implicated in these monogenic forms could play a more general role in PD. We demonstrate that the identification of disease-related phenotypes in PD-patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC-derived midbrain dopamine (mDA neurons depends on the type of differentiation protocol utilized. In a floor-plate-based but not a neural-rosette-based directed differentiation strategy, iPSC-derived mDA neurons recapitulate PD phenotypes, including pathogenic protein accumulation, cell-type-specific vulnerability, mitochondrial dysfunction, and abnormal neurotransmitter homeostasis. We propose that these form a pathogenic loop that contributes to disease. Our study illustrates the promise of iPSC technology for examining PD pathogenesis and identifying therapeutic targets.

  9. Parkin and PINK1 Patient iPSC-Derived Midbrain Dopamine Neurons Exhibit Mitochondrial Dysfunction and α-Synuclein Accumulation. (United States)

    Chung, Sun Young; Kishinevsky, Sarah; Mazzulli, Joseph R; Graziotto, John; Mrejeru, Ana; Mosharov, Eugene V; Puspita, Lesly; Valiulahi, Parvin; Sulzer, David; Milner, Teresa A; Taldone, Tony; Krainc, Dimitri; Studer, Lorenz; Shim, Jae-Won


    Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by the selective loss of dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra; however, the mechanism of neurodegeneration in PD remains unclear. A subset of familial PD is linked to mutations in PARK2 and PINK1, which lead to dysfunctional mitochondria-related proteins Parkin and PINK1, suggesting that pathways implicated in these monogenic forms could play a more general role in PD. We demonstrate that the identification of disease-related phenotypes in PD-patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived midbrain dopamine (mDA) neurons depends on the type of differentiation protocol utilized. In a floor-plate-based but not a neural-rosette-based directed differentiation strategy, iPSC-derived mDA neurons recapitulate PD phenotypes, including pathogenic protein accumulation, cell-type-specific vulnerability, mitochondrial dysfunction, and abnormal neurotransmitter homeostasis. We propose that these form a pathogenic loop that contributes to disease. Our study illustrates the promise of iPSC technology for examining PD pathogenesis and identifying therapeutic targets. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Diffusion Kurtosis Imaging Detects Microstructural Alterations in Brain of alfa-Synuclein Overexpressing Transgenic Mouse Model of Parkinson’s Disease: A Pilot Study

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Khainar, A.; Latta, P.; Dražanová, Eva; Rudá-Kučerová, J.; Szabó, N.; Arab, A.; Hutter-Paier, B.; Havas, D.; Windisch, M.; Šulcová, A.; Starčuk jr., Zenon; Rektorová, I.


    Roč. 28, č. 4 (2015), 281-289 ISSN 1029-8428 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LO1212; GA MŠk ED0017/01/01 Institutional support: RVO:68081731 Keywords : diffusion kurtosis imaging * alfa-Synuclein * TNWT-61 * Parkinson’s disease * Transgenic mice * TBSS Subject RIV: BH - Optics, Masers, Lasers Impact factor: 3.140, year: 2015

  11. Using gastrocnemius sEMG and plasma α-synuclein for the prediction of freezing of gait in Parkinson's disease patients.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao-Ying Wang

    Full Text Available Freezing of gait (FOG is a complicated gait disturbance in Parkinson's disease (PD and a relevant subclinical predictor algorithm is lacking. The main purpose of this study is to explore the potential value of surface electromyograph (sEMG and plasma α-synuclein levels as predictors of the FOG seen in PD. 21 PD patients and 15 normal controls were recruited. Motor function was evaluated using the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS and Freezing of gait questionnaire (FOG-Q. Simultaneously, gait analysis was also performed using VICON capture system in PD patients and sEMG data was recorded as well. Total plasma α-synuclein was quantitatively assessed by Luminex assay in all participants. Recruited PD patients were classified into two groups: PD patients with FOG (PD+FOG and without FOG (PD-FOG, based on clinical manifestation, the results of the FOG-Q and VICON capture system. PD+FOG patients displayed higher FOG-Q scores, decreased walking speed, smaller step length, smaller stride length and prolonged double support time compared to the PD-FOG in the gait trial. sEMG data indicated that gastrocnemius activity in PD+FOG patients was significantly reduced compared to PD-FOG patients. In addition, plasma α-synuclein levels were significantly decreased in the PD+FOG group compared to control group; however, no significant difference was found between the PD+FOG and PD-FOG groups. Our study revealed that gastrocnemius sEMG could be used to evaluate freezing gait in PD patients, while plasma α-synuclein might discriminate freezing of gait in PD patients from normal control, though no difference was found between the PD+FOG and PD-FOG groups.

  12. Morphological neural networks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ritter, G.X.; Sussner, P. [Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL (United States)


    The theory of artificial neural networks has been successfully applied to a wide variety of pattern recognition problems. In this theory, the first step in computing the next state of a neuron or in performing the next layer neural network computation involves the linear operation of multiplying neural values by their synaptic strengths and adding the results. Thresholding usually follows the linear operation in order to provide for nonlinearity of the network. In this paper we introduce a novel class of neural networks, called morphological neural networks, in which the operations of multiplication and addition are replaced by addition and maximum (or minimum), respectively. By taking the maximum (or minimum) of sums instead of the sum of products, morphological network computation is nonlinear before thresholding. As a consequence, the properties of morphological neural networks are drastically different than those of traditional neural network models. In this paper we consider some of these differences and provide some particular examples of morphological neural network.

  13. Neural Tube Defects (United States)

    Neural tube defects are birth defects of the brain, spine, or spinal cord. They happen in the ... that she is pregnant. The two most common neural tube defects are spina bifida and anencephaly. In ...

  14. Neural tissue-spheres

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Rikke K; Johansen, Mathias; Blaabjerg, Morten


    By combining new and established protocols we have developed a procedure for isolation and propagation of neural precursor cells from the forebrain subventricular zone (SVZ) of newborn rats. Small tissue blocks of the SVZ were dissected and propagated en bloc as free-floating neural tissue...... content, thus allowing experimental studies of neural precursor cells and their niche...

  15. Counteracting chemical chaperone effects on the single-molecule α-synuclein structural landscape


    Ferreon, Allan Chris M.; Moosa, Mahdi Muhammad; Gambin, Yann; Deniz, Ashok A.


    Protein structure and function depend on a close interplay between intrinsic folding energy landscapes and the chemistry of the protein environment. Osmolytes are small-molecule compounds that can act as chemical chaperones by altering the environment in a cellular context. Despite their importance, detailed studies on the role of these chemical chaperones in modulating structure and dimensions of intrinsically disordered proteins have been limited. Here, we used single-molecule Förster reson...

  16. Lysine-doped polypyrrole/spider silk protein/poly(l-lactic) acid containing nerve growth factor composite fibers for neural application. (United States)

    Zhang, Hong; Wang, Kefeng; Xing, Yiming; Yu, Qiaozhen


    Lysine-doped polypyrrole (PPy)/regenerated spider silk protein (RSSP)/poly(l-lactic) acid (PLLA)/nerve growth factor (NGF) (L-PRPN) composite scaffold was fabricated by co-axial electrospraying and electrospinning. This L-PRPN composite scaffold had a structure of microfibers with a core-shell structure as the stems and nanofibers as branches. Assessment in vitro demonstrated that the L-PRPN composite micro/nano-fibrous scaffold could maintain integrated structure for at least 4months and the pH value of PBS at about 7.28. It had good biocompatibility and cell adhesion and relatively stable conductivity. PC 12 cells cultured on this scaffold, anisotropic cell-neurite-cell-neurite or neurite-neurite sheets were formed after being cultured for 6days. Evaluations in vivo also showed that L-PRPN composite fibrous conduit was effective at bridging 2.0cm sciatic nerve gap in adult rat within 10months. This conduit and electrical stimulation (ES) through it promoted Schwann cell migration and axonal regrowth. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Capturing non-local interactions by long short-term memory bidirectional recurrent neural networks for improving prediction of protein secondary structure, backbone angles, contact numbers and solvent accessibility. (United States)

    Heffernan, Rhys; Yang, Yuedong; Paliwal, Kuldip; Zhou, Yaoqi


    The accuracy of predicting protein local and global structural properties such as secondary structure and solvent accessible surface area has been stagnant for many years because of the challenge of accounting for non-local interactions between amino acid residues that are close in three-dimensional structural space but far from each other in their sequence positions. All existing machine-learning techniques relied on a sliding window of 10-20 amino acid residues to capture some 'short to intermediate' non-local interactions. Here, we employed Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) Bidirectional Recurrent Neural Networks (BRNNs) which are capable of capturing long range interactions without using a window. We showed that the application of LSTM-BRNN to the prediction of protein structural properties makes the most significant improvement for residues with the most long-range contacts (|i-j| >19) over a previous window-based, deep-learning method SPIDER2. Capturing long-range interactions allows the accuracy of three-state secondary structure prediction to reach 84% and the correlation coefficient between predicted and actual solvent accessible surface areas to reach 0.80, plus a reduction of 5%, 10%, 5% and 10% in the mean absolute error for backbone ϕ , ψ , θ and τ angles, respectively, from SPIDER2. More significantly, 27% of 182724 40-residue models directly constructed from predicted C α atom-based θ and τ have similar structures to their corresponding native structures (6Å RMSD or less), which is 3% better than models built by ϕ and ψ angles. We expect the method to be useful for assisting protein structure and function prediction. The method is available as a SPIDER3 server and standalone package at . or Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email

  18. A prototype methodology combining surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization protein chip technology and artificial neural network algorithms to predict the chemoresponsiveness of breast cancer cell lines exposed to Paclitaxel and Doxorubicin under in vitro conditions. (United States)

    Mian, Shahid; Ball, Graham; Hornbuckle, Jo; Holding, Finn; Carmichael, James; Ellis, Ian; Ali, Selman; Li, Geng; McArdle, Stephanie; Creaser, Colin; Rees, Robert


    An ability to predict the likelihood of cellular response towards particular chemotherapeutic agents based upon protein expression patterns could facilitate the identification of biological molecules with previously undefined roles in the process of chemoresistance/chemosensitivity, and if robust enough these patterns might also be exploited towards the development of novel predictive assays. To ascertain whether proteomic based molecular profiling in conjunction with artificial neural network (ANN) algorithms could be applied towards the specific recognition of phenotypic patterns between either control or drug treated and chemosensitive or chemoresistant cellular populations, a combined approach involving MALDI-TOF matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry, Ciphergen protein chip technology and ANN algorithms have been applied to specifically identify proteomic 'fingerprints' indicative of treatment regimen for chemosensitive (MCF-7, T47D) and chemoresistant (MCF-7/ADR) breast cancer cell lines following exposure to Doxorubicin or Paclitaxel. The results indicate that proteomic patterns can be identified by ANN algorithms to correctly assign 'class' for treatment regimen (e.g. control/drug treated or chemosensitive/chemoresistant) with a high degree of accuracy using boot-strap statistical validation techniques and that biomarker ion patterns indicative of response/non-response phenotypes are associated with MCF-7 and MCF-7/ADR cells exposed to Doxorubicin. We have also examined the predictive capability of this approach towards MCF-7 and T47D cells to ascertain whether prediction could be made based upon treatment regimen irrespective of cell lineage. Models were identified that could correctly assign class (control or Paclitaxel treatment) for 35/38 samples of an independent dataset. A similar level of predictive capability was also found (> 92%; n = 28) when proteomic patterns derived from the drug resistant cell line MCF-7

  19. Cross-talk between amyloidogenic proteins in type-2 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease


    Horvath, Istvan; Wittung-Stafshede, Pernilla


    Protein assembly into ordered so-called amyloid fibers is a process that promotes several neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease (PD). Also type-2 diabetes (T2D) is a disease involving amyloid formation, although it occurs in the pancreas. Since the protein that forms amyloids in PD, α-synuclein (aS), is also expressed in the pancreas, we investigated whether it could affect aggregation of the peptide involved in T2D, and vice versa. Using in vitro methods an...

  20. Neural electrical activity and neural network growth. (United States)

    Gafarov, F M


    The development of central and peripheral neural system depends in part on the emergence of the correct functional connectivity in its input and output pathways. Now it is generally accepted that molecular factors guide neurons to establish a primary scaffold that undergoes activity-dependent refinement for building a fully functional circuit. However, a number of experimental results obtained recently shows that the neuronal electrical activity plays an important role in the establishing of initial interneuronal connections. Nevertheless, these processes are rather difficult to study experimentally, due to the absence of theoretical description and quantitative parameters for estimation of the neuronal activity influence on growth in neural networks. In this work we propose a general framework for a theoretical description of the activity-dependent neural network growth. The theoretical description incorporates a closed-loop growth model in which the neural activity can affect neurite outgrowth, which in turn can affect neural activity. We carried out the detailed quantitative analysis of spatiotemporal activity patterns and studied the relationship between individual cells and the network as a whole to explore the relationship between developing connectivity and activity patterns. The model, developed in this work will allow us to develop new experimental techniques for studying and quantifying the influence of the neuronal activity on growth processes in neural networks and may lead to a novel techniques for constructing large-scale neural networks by self-organization. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. SUMO-1 is associated with a subset of lysosomes in glial protein aggregate diseases. (United States)

    Wong, Mathew B; Goodwin, Jacob; Norazit, Anwar; Meedeniya, Adrian C B; Richter-Landsberg, Christiane; Gai, Wei Ping; Pountney, Dean L


    Oligodendroglial inclusion bodies characterize a subset of neurodegenerative diseases. Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is characterized by α-synuclein glial cytoplasmic inclusions and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is associated with glial tau inclusions. The ubiquitin homologue, SUMO-1, has been identified in inclusion bodies in MSA, located in discrete sub-domains in α-synuclein-positive inclusions. We investigated SUMO-1 associated with oligodendroglial inclusion bodies in brain tissue from MSA and PSP and in glial cell models. We examined MSA and PSP cases and compared to age-matched normal controls. Fluorescence immunohistochemistry revealed frequent SUMO-1 sub-domains within and surrounding inclusions bodies in both diseases and showed punctate co-localization of SUMO-1 and the lysosomal marker, cathepsin D, in affected brain regions. Cell counting data revealed that 70-75 % of lysosomes in inclusion body-positive oligodendrocytes were SUMO-1-positive consistently across MSA and PSP cases, compared to 20 % in neighbouring inclusion body negative oligodendrocytes and 10 % in normal brain tissue. Hsp90 co-localized with some SUMO-1 puncta. We examined the SUMO-1 status of lysosomes in 1321N1 human glioma cells over-expressing α-synuclein and in immortalized rat oligodendrocyte cells over-expressing the four repeat form of tau following treatment with the proteasome inhibitor, MG132. We also transfected 1321N1 cells with the inherently aggregation-prone huntingtin exon 1 mutant, HttQ74-GFP. Each cell model showed the association of SUMO-1-positive lysosomes around focal cytoplasmic accumulations of α-synuclein, tau or HttQ74-GFP, respectively. Association of SUMO-1 with lysosomes was also detected in glial cells bearing α-synuclein aggregates in a rotenone-lesioned rat model. SUMO-1 labelling of lysosomes showed a major increase between 24 and 48 h post-incubation of 1321N1 cells with MG132 resulting in an increase in a 90 kDa SUMO-1-positive band

  2. Insights into the Molecular Mechanisms of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases with Molecular Simulations: Understanding the Roles of Artificial and Pathological Missense Mutations in Intrinsically Disordered Proteins Related to Pathology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Orkid Coskuner-Weber


    Full Text Available Amyloid-β and α-synuclein are intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs, which are at the center of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease pathologies, respectively. These IDPs are extremely flexible and do not adopt stable structures. Furthermore, both amyloid-β and α-synuclein can form toxic oligomers, amyloid fibrils and other type of aggregates in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Experimentalists face challenges in investigating the structures and thermodynamic properties of these IDPs in their monomeric and oligomeric forms due to the rapid conformational changes, fast aggregation processes and strong solvent effects. Classical molecular dynamics simulations complement experiments and provide structural information at the atomic level with dynamics without facing the same experimental limitations. Artificial missense mutations are employed experimentally and computationally for providing insights into the structure-function relationships of amyloid-β and α-synuclein in relation to the pathologies of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Furthermore, there are several natural genetic variations that play a role in the pathogenesis of familial cases of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, which are related to specific genetic defects inherited in dominant or recessive patterns. The present review summarizes the current understanding of monomeric and oligomeric forms of amyloid-β and α-synuclein, as well as the impacts of artificial and pathological missense mutations on the structural ensembles of these IDPs using molecular dynamics simulations. We also emphasize the recent investigations on residual secondary structure formation in dynamic conformational ensembles of amyloid-β and α-synuclein, such as β-structure linked to the oligomerization and fibrillation mechanisms related to the pathologies of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. This information represents an important foundation for the successful and

  3. Chaotic diagonal recurrent neural network

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Xing-Yuan; Zhang Yi


    We propose a novel neural network based on a diagonal recurrent neural network and chaos, and its structure and learning algorithm are designed. The multilayer feedforward neural network, diagonal recurrent neural network, and chaotic diagonal recurrent neural network are used to approach the cubic symmetry map. The simulation results show that the approximation capability of the chaotic diagonal recurrent neural network is better than the other two neural networks. (interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology)

  4. Differentiation state determines neural effects on microvascular endothelial cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Muffley, Lara A.; Pan, Shin-Chen; Smith, Andria N.; Ga, Maricar; Hocking, Anne M.; Gibran, Nicole S.


    Growing evidence indicates that nerves and capillaries interact paracrinely in uninjured skin and cutaneous wounds. Although mature neurons are the predominant neural cell in the skin, neural progenitor cells have also been detected in uninjured adult skin. The aim of this study was to characterize differential paracrine effects of neural progenitor cells and mature sensory neurons on dermal microvascular endothelial cells. Our results suggest that neural progenitor cells and mature sensory neurons have unique secretory profiles and distinct effects on dermal microvascular endothelial cell proliferation, migration, and nitric oxide production. Neural progenitor cells and dorsal root ganglion neurons secrete different proteins related to angiogenesis. Specific to neural progenitor cells were dipeptidyl peptidase-4, IGFBP-2, pentraxin-3, serpin f1, TIMP-1, TIMP-4 and VEGF. In contrast, endostatin, FGF-1, MCP-1 and thrombospondin-2 were specific to dorsal root ganglion neurons. Microvascular endothelial cell proliferation was inhibited by dorsal root ganglion neurons but unaffected by neural progenitor cells. In contrast, microvascular endothelial cell migration in a scratch wound assay was inhibited by neural progenitor cells and unaffected by dorsal root ganglion neurons. In addition, nitric oxide production by microvascular endothelial cells was increased by dorsal root ganglion neurons but unaffected by neural progenitor cells. -- Highlights: ► Dorsal root ganglion neurons, not neural progenitor cells, regulate microvascular endothelial cell proliferation. ► Neural progenitor cells, not dorsal root ganglion neurons, regulate microvascular endothelial cell migration. ► Neural progenitor cells and dorsal root ganglion neurons do not effect microvascular endothelial tube formation. ► Dorsal root ganglion neurons, not neural progenitor cells, regulate microvascular endothelial cell production of nitric oxide. ► Neural progenitor cells and dorsal root

  5. Evolvable Neural Software System (United States)

    Curtis, Steven A.


    The Evolvable Neural Software System (ENSS) is composed of sets of Neural Basis Functions (NBFs), which can be totally autonomously created and removed according to the changing needs and requirements of the software system. The resulting structure is both hierarchical and self-similar in that a given set of NBFs may have a ruler NBF, which in turn communicates with other sets of NBFs. These sets of NBFs may function as nodes to a ruler node, which are also NBF constructs. In this manner, the synthetic neural system can exhibit the complexity, three-dimensional connectivity, and adaptability of biological neural systems. An added advantage of ENSS over a natural neural system is its ability to modify its core genetic code in response to environmental changes as reflected in needs and requirements. The neural system is fully adaptive and evolvable and is trainable before release. It continues to rewire itself while on the job. The NBF is a unique, bilevel intelligence neural system composed of a higher-level heuristic neural system (HNS) and a lower-level, autonomic neural system (ANS). Taken together, the HNS and the ANS give each NBF the complete capabilities of a biological neural system to match sensory inputs to actions. Another feature of the NBF is the Evolvable Neural Interface (ENI), which links the HNS and ANS. The ENI solves the interface problem between these two systems by actively adapting and evolving from a primitive initial state (a Neural Thread) to a complicated, operational ENI and successfully adapting to a training sequence of sensory input. This simulates the adaptation of a biological neural system in a developmental phase. Within the greater multi-NBF and multi-node ENSS, self-similar ENI s provide the basis for inter-NBF and inter-node connectivity.

  6. CRIM1 Complexes with ß-catenin and Cadherins, Stabilizes Cell-Cell Junctions and Is Critical for Neural Morphogenesis


    Ponferrada, Virgilio G.; Fan, Jieqing; Vallance, Jefferson E.; Hu, Shengyong; Mamedova, Aygun; Rankin, Scott A.; Kofron, Matthew; Zorn, Aaron M.; Hegde, Rashmi S.; Lang, Richard A.


    In multicellular organisms, morphogenesis is a highly coordinated process that requires dynamically regulated adhesion between cells. An excellent example of cellular morphogenesis is the formation of the neural tube from the flattened epithelium of the neural plate. Cysteine-rich motor neuron protein 1 (CRIM1) is a single-pass (type 1) transmembrane protein that is expressed in neural structures beginning at the neural plate stage. In the frog Xenopus laevis, loss of function studies using C...

  7. Age- and brain region-dependent α-synuclein oligomerization is attributed to alterations in intrinsic enzymes regulating α-synuclein phosphorylation in aging monkey brains. (United States)

    Chen, Min; Yang, Weiwei; Li, Xin; Li, Xuran; Wang, Peng; Yue, Feng; Yang, Hui; Chan, Piu; Yu, Shun


    We previously reported that the levels of α-syn oligomers, which play pivotal pathogenic roles in age-related Parkinson's disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies, increase heterogeneously in the aging brain. Here, we show that exogenous α-syn incubated with brain extracts from older cynomolgus monkeys and in Lewy body pathology (LBP)-susceptible brain regions (striatum and hippocampus) forms higher amounts of phosphorylated and oligomeric α-syn than that in extracts from younger monkeys and LBP-insusceptible brain regions (cerebellum and occipital cortex). The increased α-syn phosphorylation and oligomerization in the brain extracts from older monkeys and in LBP-susceptible brain regions were associated with higher levels of polo-like kinase 2 (PLK2), an enzyme promoting α-syn phosphorylation, and lower activity of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), an enzyme inhibiting α-syn phosphorylation, in these brain extracts. Further, the extent of the age- and brain-dependent increase in α-syn phosphorylation and oligomerization was reduced by inhibition of PLK2 and activation of PP2A. Inversely, phosphorylated α-syn oligomers reduced the activity of PP2A and showed potent cytotoxicity. In addition, the activity of GCase and the levels of ceramide, a product of GCase shown to activate PP2A, were lower in brain extracts from older monkeys and in LBP-susceptible brain regions. Our results suggest a role for altered intrinsic metabolic enzymes in age- and brain region-dependent α-syn oligomerization in aging brains.

  8. Alpha-synuclein A53T mutation is not frequent on a sample of Brazilian Parkinson’s disease patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriela S. Longo


    Full Text Available Introduction The pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease (PD involves both genetic susceptibility and environmental factors, with focus on the mutation in the alpha-synuclein gene (SNCA.Objective To analyse the polymorphism SNCA-A53T in patients with familial PD (FPD and sporadic PD (SPD.Method A total of 294 individuals were studied, regardless of sex and with mixed ethnicity. The study group with 154 patients with PD, and the control group included 140 individuals without PD. The genotyping of SNCA-A53T was performed by PCR/RFLP. Significance level was p < 0.05.Results Among all patients, 37 (24% had FPD and 117 (75.9% had SPD. The absence of SNCA-A53T mutation was observed in all individuals.Conclusion SPD is notably observed in patients. However, the SNCA-A53T mutation was absent in all individuals, which does not differ controls from patients. This fact should be confirmed in a Brazilian study case with a more numerous and older population.

  9. Passive immunization reduces behavioral and neuropathological deficits in an alpha-synuclein transgenic model of Lewy body disease. (United States)

    Masliah, Eliezer; Rockenstein, Edward; Mante, Michael; Crews, Leslie; Spencer, Brian; Adame, Anthony; Patrick, Christina; Trejo, Margarita; Ubhi, Kiren; Rohn, Troy T; Mueller-Steiner, Sarah; Seubert, Peter; Barbour, Robin; McConlogue, Lisa; Buttini, Manuel; Games, Dora; Schenk, Dale


    Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Parkinson's Disease (PD) are common causes of motor and cognitive deficits and are associated with the abnormal accumulation of alpha-synuclein (α-syn). This study investigated whether passive immunization with a novel monoclonal α-syn antibody (9E4) against the C-terminus (CT) of α-syn was able to cross into the CNS and ameliorate the deficits associated with α-syn accumulation. In this study we demonstrate that 9E4 was effective at reducing behavioral deficits in the water maze, moreover, immunization with 9E4 reduced the accumulation of calpain-cleaved α-syn in axons and synapses and the associated neurodegenerative deficits. In vivo studies demonstrated that 9E4 traffics into the CNS, binds to cells that display α-syn accumulation and promotes α-syn clearance via the lysosomal pathway. These results suggest that passive immunization with monoclonal antibodies against the CT of α-syn may be of therapeutic relevance in patients with PD and DLB.

  10. Normalization of Overexpressed α-Synuclein Causing Parkinson's Disease By a Moderate Gene Silencing With RNA Interference

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masaki Takahashi


    Full Text Available The α-synuclein (SNCA gene is a responsible gene for Parkinson's disease (PD; and not only nucleotide variations but also overexpression of SNCA appears to be involved in the pathogenesis of PD. A specific inhibition against mutant SNCA genes carrying nucleotide variations may be feasible by a specific silencing such as an allele-specific RNA interference (RNAi; however, there is no method for restoring the SNCA overexpression to a normal level. Here, we show that an atypical RNAi using small interfering RNAs (siRNAs that confer a moderate level of gene silencing is capable of controlling overexpressed SNCA genes to return to a normal level; named “expression-control RNAi” (ExCont-RNAi. ExCont-RNAi exhibited little or no significant off-target effects in its treated PD patient's fibroblasts that carry SNCA triplication. To further assess the therapeutic effect of ExCont-RNAi, PD-model flies that carried the human SNCA gene underwent an ExCont-RNAi treatment. The treated PD-flies demonstrated a significant improvement in their motor function. Our current findings suggested that ExCont-RNAi might be capable of becoming a novel therapeutic procedure for PD with the SNCA overexpression, and that siRNAs conferring a moderate level of gene silencing to target genes, which have been abandoned as useless siRNAs so far, might be available for controlling abnormally expressed disease-causing genes without producing adverse effects.

  11. α-Synuclein transfer between neurons and astrocytes indicates that astrocytes play a role in degradation rather than in spreading. (United States)

    Loria, Frida; Vargas, Jessica Y; Bousset, Luc; Syan, Sylvie; Salles, Audrey; Melki, Ronald; Zurzolo, Chiara


    Recent evidence suggests that disease progression in Parkinson's disease (PD) could occur by the spreading of α-synuclein (α-syn) aggregates between neurons. Here we studied the role of astrocytes in the intercellular transfer and fate of α-syn fibrils, using in vitro and ex vivo models. α-Syn fibrils can be transferred to neighboring cells; however, the transfer efficiency changes depending on the cell types. We found that α-syn is efficiently transferred from astrocytes to astrocytes and from neurons to astrocytes, but less efficiently from astrocytes to neurons. Interestingly, α-syn puncta are mainly found inside the lysosomal compartments of the recipient cells. However, differently from neurons, astrocytes are able to efficiently degrade fibrillar α-syn, suggesting an active role for these cells in clearing α-syn deposits. Astrocytes co-cultured with organotypic brain slices are able to take up α-syn fibrils from the slices. Altogether our data support a role for astrocytes in trapping and clearing α-syn pathological deposits in PD.

  12. Photobiomodulation Suppresses Alpha-Synuclein-Induced Toxicity in an AAV-Based Rat Genetic Model of Parkinson's Disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abid Oueslati

    Full Text Available Converging lines of evidence indicate that near-infrared light treatment, also known as photobiomodulation (PBM, may exert beneficial effects and protect against cellular toxicity and degeneration in several animal models of human pathologies, including neurodegenerative disorders. In the present study, we report that chronic PMB treatment mitigates dopaminergic loss induced by unilateral overexpression of human α-synuclein (α-syn in the substantia nigra of an AAV-based rat genetic model of Parkinson's disease (PD. In this model, daily exposure of both sides of the rat's head to 808-nm near-infrared light for 28 consecutive days alleviated α-syn-induced motor impairment, as assessed using the cylinder test. This treatment also significantly reduced dopaminergic neuronal loss in the injected substantia nigra and preserved dopaminergic fibers in the ipsilateral striatum. These beneficial effects were sustained for at least 6 weeks after discontinuing the treatment. Together, our data point to PBM as a possible therapeutic strategy for the treatment of PD and other related synucleinopathies.

  13. Integrated analysis of genetic, behavioral, and biochemical data implicates neural stem cell-induced changes in immunity, neurotransmission and mitochondrial function in Dementia with Lewy Body mice. (United States)

    Lakatos, Anita; Goldberg, Natalie R S; Blurton-Jones, Mathew


    We previously demonstrated that transplantation of murine neural stem cells (NSCs) can improve motor and cognitive function in a transgenic model of Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB). These benefits occurred without changes in human α-synuclein pathology and were mediated in part by stem cell-induced elevation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). However, instrastriatal NSC transplantation likely alters the brain microenvironment via multiple mechanisms that may synergize to promote cognitive and motor recovery. The underlying neurobiology that mediates such restoration no doubt involves numerous genes acting in concert to modulate signaling within and between host brain cells and transplanted NSCs. In order to identify functionally connected gene networks and additional mechanisms that may contribute to stem cell-induced benefits, we performed weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) on striatal tissue isolated from NSC- and vehicle-injected wild-type and DLB mice. Combining continuous behavioral and biochemical data with genome wide expression via network analysis proved to be a powerful approach; revealing significant alterations in immune response, neurotransmission, and mitochondria function. Taken together, these data shed further light on the gene network and biological processes that underlie the therapeutic effects of NSC transplantation on α-synuclein induced cognitive and motor impairments, thereby highlighting additional therapeutic targets for synucleinopathies.

  14. A neural flow estimator

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Ivan Harald Holger; Bogason, Gudmundur; Bruun, Erik


    This paper proposes a new way to estimate the flow in a micromechanical flow channel. A neural network is used to estimate the delay of random temperature fluctuations induced in a fluid. The design and implementation of a hardware efficient neural flow estimator is described. The system...... is implemented using switched-current technique and is capable of estimating flow in the μl/s range. The neural estimator is built around a multiplierless neural network, containing 96 synaptic weights which are updated using the LMS1-algorithm. An experimental chip has been designed that operates at 5 V...

  15. Neural Systems Laboratory (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — As part of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and The Institute for System Research, the Neural Systems Laboratory studies the functionality of the...

  16. α-Synuclein-induced dopaminergic neurodegeneration in a rat model of Parkinson's disease occurs independent of ATP13A2 (PARK9). (United States)

    Daniel, Guillaume; Musso, Alessandra; Tsika, Elpida; Fiser, Aris; Glauser, Liliane; Pletnikova, Olga; Schneider, Bernard L; Moore, Darren J


    Mutations in the ATP13A2 (PARK9) gene cause early-onset, autosomal recessive Parkinson's disease (PD) and Kufor-Rakeb syndrome. ATP13A2 mRNA is spliced into three distinct isoforms encoding a P5-type ATPase involved in regulating heavy metal transport across vesicular membranes. Here, we demonstrate that three ATP13A2 mRNA isoforms are expressed in the normal human brain and are modestly increased in the cingulate cortex of PD cases. ATP13A2 can mediate protection toward a number of stressors in mammalian cells and can protect against α-synuclein-induced toxicity in cellular and invertebrate models of PD. Using a primary cortical neuronal model combined with lentiviral-mediated gene transfer, we demonstrate that human ATP13A2 isoforms 1 and 2 display selective neuroprotective effects toward toxicity induced by manganese and hydrogen peroxide exposure through an ATPase-independent mechanism. The familial PD mutations, F182L and G504R, abolish the neuroprotective effects of ATP13A2 consistent with a loss-of-function mechanism. We further demonstrate that the AAV-mediated overexpression of human ATP13A2 is not sufficient to attenuate dopaminergic neurodegeneration, neuropathology, and striatal dopamine and motoric deficits induced by human α-synuclein expression in a rat model of PD. Intriguingly, the delivery of an ATPase-deficient form of ATP13A2 (D513N) to the substantia nigra is sufficient to induce dopaminergic neuronal degeneration and motor deficits in rats, potentially suggesting a dominant-negative mechanism of action. Collectively, our data demonstrate a distinct lack of ATP13A2-mediated protection against α-synuclein-induced neurotoxicity in the rat nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathway, and limited neuroprotective capacity overall, and raise doubts about the potential of ATP13A2 as a therapeutic target for PD. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Rhesus monkey neural stem cell transplantation promotes neural regeneration in rats with hippocampal lesions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li-juan Ye


    Full Text Available Rhesus monkey neural stem cells are capable of differentiating into neurons and glial cells. Therefore, neural stem cell transplantation can be used to promote functional recovery of the nervous system. Rhesus monkey neural stem cells (1 × 105 cells/μL were injected into bilateral hippocampi of rats with hippocampal lesions. Confocal laser scanning microscopy demonstrated that green fluorescent protein-labeled transplanted cells survived and grew well. Transplanted cells were detected at the lesion site, but also in the nerve fiber-rich region of the cerebral cortex and corpus callosum. Some transplanted cells differentiated into neurons and glial cells clustering along the ventricular wall, and integrated into the recipient brain. Behavioral tests revealed that spatial learning and memory ability improved, indicating that rhesus monkey neural stem cells noticeably improve spatial learning and memory abilities in rats with hippocampal lesions.

  18. Evaluating the relationship between amyloid-β and α-synuclein phosphorylated at Ser129 in dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson’s disease


    Swirski, Marta; Miners, J Scott; de Silva, Rohan; Lashley, Tammaryn; Ling, Helen; Holton, Janice; Revesz, Tamas; Love, Seth


    Introduction Lewy body and Alzheimer-type pathologies often co-exist. Several studies suggest a synergistic relationship between amyloid-β (Aβ) and α-synuclein (α-syn) accumulation. We have explored the relationship between Aβ accumulation and the phosphorylation of α-syn at serine-129 (pSer129 α-syn), in post-mortem human brain tissue and in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells transfected to overexpress human α-syn. Methods We measured levels of Aβ40, Aβ42, α-syn and pSer129 α-syn by sandwich enzyme...

  19. Mannose 6-Phosphate Receptor Is Reduced in -Synuclein Overexpressing Models of Parkinsons Disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Matrone, Carmela; Dzamko, Nicolas; Madsen, Peder


    Increasing evidence points to defects in autophagy as a common denominator in most neurodegenerative conditions. Progressive functional decline in the autophagy-lysosomal pathway (ALP) occurs with age, and the consequent impairment in protein processing capacity has been associated with a higher ...... reported in PD and pinpoint MRP300 as a potential biomarker for PD....

  20. Conformational Compatibility Is Essential for Heterologous Aggregation of α-Synuclein

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sidhu, Arshdeep; Segers-Nolten, Ine; Subramaniam, Vinod


    Under aggregation-prone conditions, soluble amyloidogenic protein monomers can self-assemble into fibrils or they can fibrillize on preformed fibrillar seeds (seeded aggregation). Seeded aggregations are known to propagate the morphology of the seeds in the event of cross-seeding. However, not all

  1. Trifluoroethanol modulates α-synuclein amyloid-like aggregate formation, stability and dissolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Di Carlo, Maria Giovanna; Vetri, Valeria; Buscarino, Gianpiero


    The conversion of proteins into amyloid fibrils and other amyloid-like aggregates is closely connected to the onset of a series of age-related pathologies. Upon changes in environmental conditions, amyloid-like aggregates may also undergo disassembly into oligomeric aggregates, the latter being r...

  2. Neural Networks: Implementations and Applications


    Vonk, E.; Veelenturf, L.P.J.; Jain, L.C.


    Artificial neural networks, also called neural networks, have been used successfully in many fields including engineering, science and business. This paper presents the implementation of several neural network simulators and their applications in character recognition and other engineering areas

  3. Critical Branching Neural Networks (United States)

    Kello, Christopher T.


    It is now well-established that intrinsic variations in human neural and behavioral activity tend to exhibit scaling laws in their fluctuations and distributions. The meaning of these scaling laws is an ongoing matter of debate between isolable causes versus pervasive causes. A spiking neural network model is presented that self-tunes to critical…

  4. Consciousness and neural plasticity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    changes or to abandon the strong identity thesis altogether. Were one to pursue a theory according to which consciousness is not an epiphenomenon to brain processes, consciousness may in fact affect its own neural basis. The neural correlate of consciousness is often seen as a stable structure, that is...

  5. Electrospun Nanofibrous Materials for Neural Tissue Engineering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yee-Shuan Lee


    Full Text Available The use of biomaterials processed by the electrospinning technique has gained considerable interest for neural tissue engineering applications. The tissue engineering strategy is to facilitate the regrowth of nerves by combining an appropriate cell type with the electrospun scaffold. Electrospinning can generate fibrous meshes having fiber diameter dimensions at the nanoscale and these fibers can be nonwoven or oriented to facilitate neurite extension via contact guidance. This article reviews studies evaluating the effect of the scaffold’s architectural features such as fiber diameter and orientation on neural cell function and neurite extension. Electrospun meshes made of natural polymers, proteins and compositions having electrical activity in order to enhance neural cell function are also discussed.

  6. Alpha-Synuclein Pathology in Sensory Nerve Terminals of the Upper Aerodigestive Tract of Parkinson’s Disease Patients (United States)

    Mu, Liancai; Chen, Jingming; Sobotka, Stanislaw; Nyirenda, Themba; Benson, Brian; Gupta, Fiona; Sanders, Ira; Adler, Charles H.; Caviness, John N.; Shill, Holly A.; Sabbagh, Marwan; Samanta, Johan E.; Sue, Lucia I.; Beach, Thomas G.


    Dysphagia is common in Parkinson’s disease (PD) and causes significant morbidity and mortality. PD dysphagia has usually been explained as dysfunction of central motor control, much like other motor symptoms that are characteristic of the disease. However, PD dysphagia does not correlate with severity of motor symptoms nor does it respond to motor therapies. It is known that PD patients have sensory deficits in the pharynx, and that impaired sensation may contribute to dysphagia. However, the underlying cause of the pharyngeal sensory deficits in PD is not known. We hypothesized that PD dysphagia with sensory deficits may be due to degeneration of the sensory nerve terminals in the upper aerodigestive tract (UAT). We have previously shown that Lewy-type synucleinopathy (LTS) is present in the main pharyngeal sensory nerves of PD patients, but not in controls. In this study, the sensory terminals in UAT mucosa were studied to discern the presence and distribution of LTS. Whole-mount specimens (tongue-pharynx-larynx-upper esophagus) were obtained from 10 deceased human subjects with clinically diagnosed and neuropathologically confirmed PD (five with dysphagia and five without) and four age-matched healthy controls. Samples were taken from six sites and immunostained for phosphorylated α-synuclein (PAS). The results showed the presence of PAS-immunoreactive (PAS-ir) axons in all the PD subjects and in none of the controls. Notably, PD patients with dysphagia had more PAS-ir axons in the regions that are critical for initiating the swallowing reflex. These findings suggest that Lewy pathology affects mucosal sensory axons in specific regions of the UAT and may be related to PD dysphagia. PMID:26041249

  7. Alpha-Synuclein Pathology in Sensory Nerve Terminals of the Upper Aerodigestive Tract of Parkinson's Disease Patients. (United States)

    Mu, Liancai; Chen, Jingming; Sobotka, Stanislaw; Nyirenda, Themba; Benson, Brian; Gupta, Fiona; Sanders, Ira; Adler, Charles H; Caviness, John N; Shill, Holly A; Sabbagh, Marwan; Samanta, Johan E; Sue, Lucia I; Beach, Thomas G


    Dysphagia is common in Parkinson's disease (PD) and causes significant morbidity and mortality. PD dysphagia has usually been explained as dysfunction of central motor control, much like other motor symptoms that are characteristic of the disease. However, PD dysphagia does not correlate with severity of motor symptoms nor does it respond to motor therapies. It is known that PD patients have sensory deficits in the pharynx, and that impaired sensation may contribute to dysphagia. However, the underlying cause of the pharyngeal sensory deficits in PD is not known. We hypothesized that PD dysphagia with sensory deficits may be due to degeneration of the sensory nerve terminals in the upper aerodigestive tract (UAT). We have previously shown that Lewy-type synucleinopathy (LTS) is present in the main pharyngeal sensory nerves of PD patients, but not in controls. In this study, the sensory terminals in UAT mucosa were studied to discern the presence and distribution of LTS. Whole-mount specimens (tongue-pharynx-larynx-upper esophagus) were obtained from 10 deceased human subjects with clinically diagnosed and neuropathologically confirmed PD (five with dysphagia and five without) and four age-matched healthy controls. Samples were taken from six sites and immunostained for phosphorylated α-synuclein (PAS). The results showed the presence of PAS-immunoreactive (PAS-ir) axons in all the PD subjects and in none of the controls. Notably, PD patients with dysphagia had more PAS-ir axons in the regions that are critical for initiating the swallowing reflex. These findings suggest that Lewy pathology affects mucosal sensory axons in specific regions of the UAT and may be related to PD dysphagia.

  8. Effects of Polymer Hydrophobicity on Protein Structure and Aggregation Kinetics in Crowded Milieu. (United States)

    Breydo, Leonid; Sales, Amanda E; Frege, Telma; Howell, Mark C; Zaslavsky, Boris Y; Uversky, Vladimir N


    We examined the effects of water-soluble polymers of various degrees of hydrophobicity on the folding and aggregation of proteins. The polymers we chose were polyethylene glycol (PEG) and UCON (1:1 copolymer of ethylene glycol and propylene glycol). The presence of additional methyl groups in UCON makes it more hydrophobic than PEG. Our earlier analysis revealed that similarly sized PEG and UCON produced different changes in the solvent properties of water in their solutions and induced morphologically different α-synuclein aggregates [Ferreira, L. A., et al. (2015) Role of solvent properties of aqueous media in macromolecular crowding effects. J. Biomol. Struct. Dyn., in press]. To improve our understanding of molecular mechanisms defining behavior of proteins in a crowded environment, we tested the effects of these polymers on secondary and tertiary structure and aromatic residue solvent accessibility of 10 proteins [five folded proteins, two hybrid proteins; i.e., protein containing ordered and disordered domains, and three intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs)] and on the aggregation kinetics of insulin and α-synuclein. We found that effects of both polymers on secondary and tertiary structures of folded and hybrid proteins were rather limited with slight unfolding observed in some cases. Solvent accessibility of aromatic residues was significantly increased for the majority of the studied proteins in the presence of UCON but not PEG. PEG also accelerated the aggregation of protein into amyloid fibrils, whereas UCON promoted aggregation to amyloid oligomers instead. These results indicate that even a relatively small change in polymer structure leads to a significant change in the effect of this polymer on protein folding and aggregation. This is an indication that protein folding and especially aggregation are highly sensitive to the presence of other macromolecules, and an excluded volume effect is insufficient to describe their effect.

  9. Requirement of mouse BCCIP for neural development and progenitor proliferation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yi-Yuan Huang

    Full Text Available Multiple DNA repair pathways are involved in the orderly development of neural systems at distinct stages. The homologous recombination (HR pathway is required to resolve stalled replication forks and critical for the proliferation of progenitor cells during neural development. BCCIP is a BRCA2 and CDKN1A interacting protein implicated in HR and inhibition of DNA replication stress. In this study, we determined the role of BCCIP in neural development using a conditional BCCIP knock-down mouse model. BCCIP deficiency impaired embryonic and postnatal neural development, causing severe ataxia, cerebral and cerebellar defects, and microcephaly. These development defects are associated with spontaneous DNA damage and subsequent cell death in the proliferative cell populations of the neural system during embryogenesis. With in vitro neural spheroid cultures, BCCIP deficiency impaired neural progenitor's self-renewal capability, and spontaneously activated p53. These data suggest that BCCIP and its anti-replication stress functions are essential for normal neural development by maintaining an orderly proliferation of neural progenitors.

  10. Direct Correlation Between Ligand-Induced α-Synuclein Oligomers and Amyloid-like Fibril Growth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Martin Nors; Foderà, Vito; Horvath, Istvan


    link to disease related degenerative activity. Fibrils formed in the presence and absence of FN075 are indistinguishable on microscopic and macroscopic levels. Using small angle X-ray scattering, we reveal that FN075 induced oligomers are similar, but not identical, to oligomers previously observed......Aggregation of proteins into amyloid deposits is the hallmark of several neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. The suggestion that intermediate oligomeric species may be cytotoxic has led to intensified investigations of pre-fibrillar oligomers, which...

  11. Trafficking and degradation pathways in pathogenic conversion of prions and prion-like proteins in neurodegenerative diseases. (United States)

    Victoria, Guiliana Soraya; Zurzolo, Chiara


    Several neurodegenerative diseases such as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases are caused by the conversion of cellular proteins to a pathogenic conformer. Despite differences in the primary structure and subcellular localization of these proteins, which include the prion protein, α-synuclein and amyloid precursor protein (APP), striking similarity has been observed in their ability to seed and convert naïve protein molecules as well as transfer between cells. This review aims to cover what is known about the intracellular trafficking of these proteins as well as their degradation mechanisms and highlight similarities in their movement through the endocytic pathway that could contribute to the pathogenic conversion and seeding of these proteins which underlies the basis of these diseases. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Dynamics of neural cryptography. (United States)

    Ruttor, Andreas; Kinzel, Wolfgang; Kanter, Ido


    Synchronization of neural networks has been used for public channel protocols in cryptography. In the case of tree parity machines the dynamics of both bidirectional synchronization and unidirectional learning is driven by attractive and repulsive stochastic forces. Thus it can be described well by a random walk model for the overlap between participating neural networks. For that purpose transition probabilities and scaling laws for the step sizes are derived analytically. Both these calculations as well as numerical simulations show that bidirectional interaction leads to full synchronization on average. In contrast, successful learning is only possible by means of fluctuations. Consequently, synchronization is much faster than learning, which is essential for the security of the neural key-exchange protocol. However, this qualitative difference between bidirectional and unidirectional interaction vanishes if tree parity machines with more than three hidden units are used, so that those neural networks are not suitable for neural cryptography. In addition, the effective number of keys which can be generated by the neural key-exchange protocol is calculated using the entropy of the weight distribution. As this quantity increases exponentially with the system size, brute-force attacks on neural cryptography can easily be made unfeasible.

  13. Dynamics of neural cryptography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ruttor, Andreas; Kinzel, Wolfgang; Kanter, Ido


    Synchronization of neural networks has been used for public channel protocols in cryptography. In the case of tree parity machines the dynamics of both bidirectional synchronization and unidirectional learning is driven by attractive and repulsive stochastic forces. Thus it can be described well by a random walk model for the overlap between participating neural networks. For that purpose transition probabilities and scaling laws for the step sizes are derived analytically. Both these calculations as well as numerical simulations show that bidirectional interaction leads to full synchronization on average. In contrast, successful learning is only possible by means of fluctuations. Consequently, synchronization is much faster than learning, which is essential for the security of the neural key-exchange protocol. However, this qualitative difference between bidirectional and unidirectional interaction vanishes if tree parity machines with more than three hidden units are used, so that those neural networks are not suitable for neural cryptography. In addition, the effective number of keys which can be generated by the neural key-exchange protocol is calculated using the entropy of the weight distribution. As this quantity increases exponentially with the system size, brute-force attacks on neural cryptography can easily be made unfeasible

  14. Dynamics of neural cryptography (United States)

    Ruttor, Andreas; Kinzel, Wolfgang; Kanter, Ido


    Synchronization of neural networks has been used for public channel protocols in cryptography. In the case of tree parity machines the dynamics of both bidirectional synchronization and unidirectional learning is driven by attractive and repulsive stochastic forces. Thus it can be described well by a random walk model for the overlap between participating neural networks. For that purpose transition probabilities and scaling laws for the step sizes are derived analytically. Both these calculations as well as numerical simulations show that bidirectional interaction leads to full synchronization on average. In contrast, successful learning is only possible by means of fluctuations. Consequently, synchronization is much faster than learning, which is essential for the security of the neural key-exchange protocol. However, this qualitative difference between bidirectional and unidirectional interaction vanishes if tree parity machines with more than three hidden units are used, so that those neural networks are not suitable for neural cryptography. In addition, the effective number of keys which can be generated by the neural key-exchange protocol is calculated using the entropy of the weight distribution. As this quantity increases exponentially with the system size, brute-force attacks on neural cryptography can easily be made unfeasible.

  15. IGSF9 Family Proteins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Maria; Walmod, Peter Schledermann


    The Drosophila protein Turtle and the vertebrate proteins immunoglobulin superfamily (IgSF), member 9 (IGSF9/Dasm1) and IGSF9B are members of an evolutionarily ancient protein family. A bioinformatics analysis of the protein family revealed that invertebrates contain only a single IGSF9 family gene......, the longest isoforms of the proteins have the same general organization as the neural cell adhesion molecule family of cell adhesion molecule proteins, and like this family of proteins, IGSF9 family members are expressed in the nervous system. A review of the literature revealed that Drosophila Turtle...... facilitates homophilic cell adhesion. Moreover, IGSF9 family proteins have been implicated in the outgrowth and branching of neurites, axon guidance, synapse maturation, self-avoidance, and tiling. However, despite the few published studies on IGSF9 family proteins, reports on the functions of both Turtle...

  16. ANT Advanced Neural Tool

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Labrador, I.; Carrasco, R.; Martinez, L.


    This paper describes a practical introduction to the use of Artificial Neural Networks. Artificial Neural Nets are often used as an alternative to the traditional symbolic manipulation and first order logic used in Artificial Intelligence, due the high degree of difficulty to solve problems that can not be handled by programmers using algorithmic strategies. As a particular case of Neural Net a Multilayer Perception developed by programming in C language on OS9 real time operating system is presented. A detailed description about the program structure and practical use are included. Finally, several application examples that have been treated with the tool are presented, and some suggestions about hardware implementations. (Author) 15 refs.

  17. ANT Advanced Neural Tool

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Labrador, I.; Carrasco, R.; Martinez, L.


    This paper describes a practical introduction to the use of Artificial Neural Networks. Artificial Neural Nets are often used as an alternative to the traditional symbolic manipulation and first order logic used in Artificial Intelligence, due the high degree of difficulty to solve problems that can not be handled by programmers using algorithmic strategies. As a particular case of Neural Net a Multilayer Perception developed by programming in C language on OS9 real time operating system is presented. A detailed description about the program structure and practical use are included. Finally, several application examples that have been treated with the tool are presented, and some suggestions about hardware implementations. (Author) 15 refs

  18. Hidden neural networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krogh, Anders Stærmose; Riis, Søren Kamaric


    A general framework for hybrids of hidden Markov models (HMMs) and neural networks (NNs) called hidden neural networks (HNNs) is described. The article begins by reviewing standard HMMs and estimation by conditional maximum likelihood, which is used by the HNN. In the HNN, the usual HMM probability...... parameters are replaced by the outputs of state-specific neural networks. As opposed to many other hybrids, the HNN is normalized globally and therefore has a valid probabilistic interpretation. All parameters in the HNN are estimated simultaneously according to the discriminative conditional maximum...... likelihood criterion. The HNN can be viewed as an undirected probabilistic independence network (a graphical model), where the neural networks provide a compact representation of the clique functions. An evaluation of the HNN on the task of recognizing broad phoneme classes in the TIMIT database shows clear...

  19. Neural networks for aircraft control (United States)

    Linse, Dennis


    Current research in Artificial Neural Networks indicates that networks offer some potential advantages in adaptation and fault tolerance. This research is directed at determining the possible applicability of neural networks to aircraft control. The first application will be to aircraft trim. Neural network node characteristics, network topology and operation, neural network learning and example histories using neighboring optimal control with a neural net are discussed.

  20. Active Neural Localization


    Chaplot, Devendra Singh; Parisotto, Emilio; Salakhutdinov, Ruslan


    Localization is the problem of estimating the location of an autonomous agent from an observation and a map of the environment. Traditional methods of localization, which filter the belief based on the observations, are sub-optimal in the number of steps required, as they do not decide the actions taken by the agent. We propose "Active Neural Localizer", a fully differentiable neural network that learns to localize accurately and efficiently. The proposed model incorporates ideas of tradition...

  1. Neural cryptography with feedback. (United States)

    Ruttor, Andreas; Kinzel, Wolfgang; Shacham, Lanir; Kanter, Ido


    Neural cryptography is based on a competition between attractive and repulsive stochastic forces. A feedback mechanism is added to neural cryptography which increases the repulsive forces. Using numerical simulations and an analytic approach, the probability of a successful attack is calculated for different model parameters. Scaling laws are derived which show that feedback improves the security of the system. In addition, a network with feedback generates a pseudorandom bit sequence which can be used to encrypt and decrypt a secret message.

  2. May the thyroid gland and thyroperoxidase participate in nitrosylation of serum proteins and sporadic Parkinson's disease? (United States)

    Fernández, Emilio; García-Moreno, José-Manuel; Martín de Pablos, Angel; Chacón, José


    The research group has detected nitrosative stress and a singular version of nitrosylated serum α-synuclein in serum of Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. Dysfunction of the thyroid gland has been proposed to be linked to this disease. The aim of the study was to know if the thyroid gland is involved in idiopathic PD and nitrosative stress. We studied 50 patients (early and advanced disease patients), 35 controls, and 6 subjects with thyroidectomy. Clinical characteristics, serum thyroperoxidase levels, and 3-nitrotyrosine proteins were analyzed. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and immunoblotting methods were employed. The findings indicated that the prevalence of two thyroid dysfunctions (hyper- or hypothyroidism) was not found to be different in patients relative to controls. However, the levels of the enzyme thyroperoxidase were found to be elevated in early disease patients (pdisease subjects, and these levels were negatively correlated with serum 3-nitrotyrosine proteins (pthyroid gland and thyroperoxidase participate in nitrosylation of serum proteins and they could influence Parkinsonian nitrosative stress as well as nitrosylation of serum α-synuclein, a potentially pathogenic factor.

  3. Brain infusion of α-synuclein oligomers induces motor and non-motor Parkinson's disease-like symptoms in mice. (United States)

    Fortuna, Juliana T S; Gralle, Matthias; Beckman, Danielle; Neves, Fernanda S; Diniz, Luan P; Frost, Paula S; Barros-Aragão, Fernanda; Santos, Luís E; Gonçalves, Rafaella A; Romão, Luciana; Zamberlan, Daniele C; Soares, Felix A A; Braga, Carolina; Foguel, Debora; Gomes, Flávia C A; De Felice, Fernanda G; Ferreira, Sergio T; Clarke, Julia R; Figueiredo, Cláudia P


    Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by motor dysfunction, which is preceded by a number of non-motor symptoms including olfactory deficits. Aggregation of α-synuclein (α-syn) gives rise to Lewy bodies in dopaminergic neurons and is thought to play a central role in PD pathology. However, whether amyloid fibrils or soluble oligomers of α-syn are the main neurotoxic species in PD remains controversial. Here, we performed a single intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) infusion of α-syn oligomers (α-SYOs) in mice and evaluated motor and non-motor symptoms. Familiar bedding and vanillin essence discrimination tasks showed that α-SYOs impaired olfactory performance of mice, and decreased TH and dopamine levels in the olfactory bulb early after infusion. The olfactory deficit persisted until 45days post-infusion (dpi). α- SYO-infused mice behaved normally in the object recognition and forced swim tests, but showed increased anxiety-like behavior in the open field and elevated plus maze tests 20 dpi. Finally, administration of α-SYOs induced late motor impairment in the pole test and rotarod paradigms, along with reduced TH and dopamine content in the caudate putamen, 45 dpi. Reduced number of TH-positive cells was also seen in the substantia nigra of α-SYO-injected mice compared to control. In conclusion, i.c.v. infusion of α-SYOs recapitulated some of PD-associated non-motor symptoms, such as increased anxiety and olfactory dysfunction, but failed to recapitulate memory impairment and depressive-like behavior typical of the disease. Moreover, α-SYOs i.c.v. administration induced motor deficits and loss of TH and dopamine levels, key features of PD. Results point to α-syn oligomers as the proximal neurotoxins responsible for early non-motor and motor deficits in PD and suggest that the i.c.v. infusion model characterized here may comprise a useful tool for identification of PD novel therapeutic targets and drug screening. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All

  4. A model in which heat shock protein 90 targets protein-folding clefts: rationale for a new approach to neuroprotective treatment of protein folding diseases. (United States)

    Pratt, William B; Morishima, Yoshihiro; Gestwicki, Jason E; Lieberman, Andrew P; Osawa, Yoichi


    In an EBM Minireview published in 2010, we proposed that the heat shock protein (Hsp)90/Hsp70-based chaperone machinery played a major role in determining the selection of proteins that have undergone oxidative or other toxic damage for ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation. The proposal was based on a model in which the Hsp90 chaperone machinery regulates signaling by modulating ligand-binding clefts. The model provides a framework for thinking about the development of neuroprotective therapies for protein-folding diseases like Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), and the polyglutamine expansion disorders, such as Huntington's disease (HD) and spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA). Major aberrant proteins that misfold and accumulate in these diseases are "client" proteins of the abundant and ubiquitous stress chaperone Hsp90. These Hsp90 client proteins include tau (AD), α-synuclein (PD), huntingtin (HD), and the expanded glutamine androgen receptor (polyQ AR) (SBMA). In this Minireview, we update our model in which Hsp90 acts on protein-folding clefts and show how it forms a rational basis for developing drugs that promote the targeted elimination of these aberrant proteins. © 2014 by the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine.

  5. Parallel consensual neural networks. (United States)

    Benediktsson, J A; Sveinsson, J R; Ersoy, O K; Swain, P H


    A new type of a neural-network architecture, the parallel consensual neural network (PCNN), is introduced and applied in classification/data fusion of multisource remote sensing and geographic data. The PCNN architecture is based on statistical consensus theory and involves using stage neural networks with transformed input data. The input data are transformed several times and the different transformed data are used as if they were independent inputs. The independent inputs are first classified using the stage neural networks. The output responses from the stage networks are then weighted and combined to make a consensual decision. In this paper, optimization methods are used in order to weight the outputs from the stage networks. Two approaches are proposed to compute the data transforms for the PCNN, one for binary data and another for analog data. The analog approach uses wavelet packets. The experimental results obtained with the proposed approach show that the PCNN outperforms both a conjugate-gradient backpropagation neural network and conventional statistical methods in terms of overall classification accuracy of test data.

  6. Rodent Zic Genes in Neural Network Wiring. (United States)

    Herrera, Eloísa


    The formation of the nervous system is a multistep process that yields a mature brain. Failure in any of the steps of this process may cause brain malfunction. In the early stages of embryonic development, neural progenitors quickly proliferate and then, at a specific moment, differentiate into neurons or glia. Once they become postmitotic neurons, they migrate to their final destinations and begin to extend their axons to connect with other neurons, sometimes located in quite distant regions, to establish different neural circuits. During the last decade, it has become evident that Zic genes, in addition to playing important roles in early development (e.g., gastrulation and neural tube closure), are involved in different processes of late brain development, such as neuronal migration, axon guidance, and refinement of axon terminals. ZIC proteins are therefore essential for the proper wiring and connectivity of the brain. In this chapter, we review our current knowledge of the role of Zic genes in the late stages of neural circuit formation.

  7. Neural Architectures for Control (United States)

    Peterson, James K.


    The cerebellar model articulated controller (CMAC) neural architectures are shown to be viable for the purposes of real-time learning and control. Software tools for the exploration of CMAC performance are developed for three hardware platforms, the MacIntosh, the IBM PC, and the SUN workstation. All algorithm development was done using the C programming language. These software tools were then used to implement an adaptive critic neuro-control design that learns in real-time how to back up a trailer truck. The truck backer-upper experiment is a standard performance measure in the neural network literature, but previously the training of the controllers was done off-line. With the CMAC neural architectures, it was possible to train the neuro-controllers on-line in real-time on a MS-DOS PC 386. CMAC neural architectures are also used in conjunction with a hierarchical planning approach to find collision-free paths over 2-D analog valued obstacle fields. The method constructs a coarse resolution version of the original problem and then finds the corresponding coarse optimal path using multipass dynamic programming. CMAC artificial neural architectures are used to estimate the analog transition costs that dynamic programming requires. The CMAC architectures are trained in real-time for each obstacle field presented. The coarse optimal path is then used as a baseline for the construction of a fine scale optimal path through the original obstacle array. These results are a very good indication of the potential power of the neural architectures in control design. In order to reach as wide an audience as possible, we have run a seminar on neuro-control that has met once per week since 20 May 1991. This seminar has thoroughly discussed the CMAC architecture, relevant portions of classical control, back propagation through time, and adaptive critic designs.

  8. Sacred or Neural?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Runehov, Anne Leona Cesarine

    Are religious spiritual experiences merely the product of the human nervous system? Anne L.C. Runehov investigates the potential of contemporary neuroscience to explain religious experiences. Following the footsteps of Michael Persinger, Andrew Newberg and Eugene d'Aquili she defines...... the terminological bounderies of "religious experiences" and explores the relevant criteria for the proper evaluation of scientific research, with a particular focus on the validity of reductionist models. Runehov's theis is that the perspectives looked at do not necessarily exclude each other but can be merged....... The question "sacred or neural?" becomes a statement "sacred and neural". The synergies thus produced provide manifold opportunities for interdisciplinary dialogue and research....

  9. Deconvolution using a neural network

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lehman, S.K.


    Viewing one dimensional deconvolution as a matrix inversion problem, we compare a neural network backpropagation matrix inverse with LMS, and pseudo-inverse. This is a largely an exercise in understanding how our neural network code works. 1 ref.

  10. Introduction to Artificial Neural Networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Jan


    The note addresses introduction to signal analysis and classification based on artificial feed-forward neural networks.......The note addresses introduction to signal analysis and classification based on artificial feed-forward neural networks....

  11. Neural Network Ensembles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Lars Kai; Salamon, Peter


    We propose several means for improving the performance an training of neural networks for classification. We use crossvalidation as a tool for optimizing network parameters and architecture. We show further that the remaining generalization error can be reduced by invoking ensembles of similar...... networks....

  12. Neural correlates of consciousness

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    neural cells.1 Under this approach, consciousness is believed to be a product of the ... possible only when the 40 Hz electrical hum is sustained among the brain circuits, ... expect the brain stem ascending reticular activating system. (ARAS) and the ... related synchrony of cortical neurons.11 Indeed, stimulation of brainstem ...

  13. Neural Networks and Micromechanics (United States)

    Kussul, Ernst; Baidyk, Tatiana; Wunsch, Donald C.

    The title of the book, "Neural Networks and Micromechanics," seems artificial. However, the scientific and technological developments in recent decades demonstrate a very close connection between the two different areas of neural networks and micromechanics. The purpose of this book is to demonstrate this connection. Some artificial intelligence (AI) methods, including neural networks, could be used to improve automation system performance in manufacturing processes. However, the implementation of these AI methods within industry is rather slow because of the high cost of conducting experiments using conventional manufacturing and AI systems. To lower the cost, we have developed special micromechanical equipment that is similar to conventional mechanical equipment but of much smaller size and therefore of lower cost. This equipment could be used to evaluate different AI methods in an easy and inexpensive way. The proved methods could be transferred to industry through appropriate scaling. In this book, we describe the prototypes of low cost microequipment for manufacturing processes and the implementation of some AI methods to increase precision, such as computer vision systems based on neural networks for microdevice assembly and genetic algorithms for microequipment characterization and the increase of microequipment precision.

  14. Introduction to neural networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pavlopoulos, P.


    This lecture is a presentation of today's research in neural computation. Neural computation is inspired by knowledge from neuro-science. It draws its methods in large degree from statistical physics and its potential applications lie mainly in computer science and engineering. Neural networks models are algorithms for cognitive tasks, such as learning and optimization, which are based on concepts derived from research into the nature of the brain. The lecture first gives an historical presentation of neural networks development and interest in performing complex tasks. Then, an exhaustive overview of data management and networks computation methods is given: the supervised learning and the associative memory problem, the capacity of networks, the Perceptron networks, the functional link networks, the Madaline (Multiple Adalines) networks, the back-propagation networks, the reduced coulomb energy (RCE) networks, the unsupervised learning and the competitive learning and vector quantization. An example of application in high energy physics is given with the trigger systems and track recognition system (track parametrization, event selection and particle identification) developed for the CPLEAR experiment detectors from the LEAR at CERN. (J.S.). 56 refs., 20 figs., 1 tab., 1 appendix

  15. Learning from neural control. (United States)

    Wang, Cong; Hill, David J


    One of the amazing successes of biological systems is their ability to "learn by doing" and so adapt to their environment. In this paper, first, a deterministic learning mechanism is presented, by which an appropriately designed adaptive neural controller is capable of learning closed-loop system dynamics during tracking control to a periodic reference orbit. Among various neural network (NN) architectures, the localized radial basis function (RBF) network is employed. A property of persistence of excitation (PE) for RBF networks is established, and a partial PE condition of closed-loop signals, i.e., the PE condition of a regression subvector constructed out of the RBFs along a periodic state trajectory, is proven to be satisfied. Accurate NN approximation for closed-loop system dynamics is achieved in a local region along the periodic state trajectory, and a learning ability is implemented during a closed-loop feedback control process. Second, based on the deterministic learning mechanism, a neural learning control scheme is proposed which can effectively recall and reuse the learned knowledge to achieve closed-loop stability and improved control performance. The significance of this paper is that the presented deterministic learning mechanism and the neural learning control scheme provide elementary components toward the development of a biologically-plausible learning and control methodology. Simulation studies are included to demonstrate the effectiveness of the approach.

  16. Neural systems for control

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Omidvar, Omid; Elliott, David L


    ... is reprinted with permission from A. Barto, "Reinforcement Learning," Handbook of Brain Theory and Neural Networks, M.A. Arbib, ed.. The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, pp. 804-809, 1995. Chapter 4, Figures 4-5 and 7-9 and Tables 2-5, are reprinted with permission, from S. Cho, "Map Formation in Proprioceptive Cortex," International Jour...

  17. Neural underpinnings of music

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vuust, Peter; Gebauer, Line K; Witek, Maria A G


    . According to this theory, perception and learning is manifested through the brain’s Bayesian minimization of the error between the input to the brain and the brain’s prior expectations. Fourth, empirical studies of neural and behavioral effects of syncopation, polyrhythm and groove will be reported, and we...

  18. Supervised Sequence Labelling with Recurrent Neural Networks

    CERN Document Server

    Graves, Alex


    Supervised sequence labelling is a vital area of machine learning, encompassing tasks such as speech, handwriting and gesture recognition, protein secondary structure prediction and part-of-speech tagging. Recurrent neural networks are powerful sequence learning tools—robust to input noise and distortion, able to exploit long-range contextual information—that would seem ideally suited to such problems. However their role in large-scale sequence labelling systems has so far been auxiliary.    The goal of this book is a complete framework for classifying and transcribing sequential data with recurrent neural networks only. Three main innovations are introduced in order to realise this goal. Firstly, the connectionist temporal classification output layer allows the framework to be trained with unsegmented target sequences, such as phoneme-level speech transcriptions; this is in contrast to previous connectionist approaches, which were dependent on error-prone prior segmentation. Secondly, multidimensional...

  19. Aged Lewis rats exposed to low and moderate doses of rotenone are a good model for studying the process of protein aggregation and its effects upon central nervous system cell physiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael F. Almeida

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Cell physiology is impaired before protein aggregation and this may be more relevant than inclusions themselves for neurodegeneration. The present study aimed to characterize an animal model to enable the analysis of the cell biology before and after protein aggregation. Ten-month-old Lewis rats were exposed either to 1 or 2 mg/kg/day of rotenone, delivered subcutaneously through mini-pumps, for one month. Hyperphosphorylated TAU, alpha-synuclein, amyloid-beta peptide and protein carbonylation (indicative of oxidative stress were evaluated in the hippocampus, substantia nigra and locus coeruleus through immunohistochemistry or western blot. It was found that 2 mg/kg/day rotenone increased amyloid-beta peptide, hyperphosphorylation of TAU and alpha-synuclein. Rotenone at 1mg/kg/day did not alter protein levels. Protein carbonylation remained unchanged. This study demonstrated that aged Lewis rats exposed to a low dose of rotenone is a useful model to study cellular processes before protein aggregation, while the higher dose makes a good model to study the effects of protein inclusions.

  20. Copper and Copper Proteins in Parkinson's Disease (United States)

    Rivera-Mancia, Susana; Diaz-Ruiz, Araceli; Tristan-Lopez, Luis; Rios, Camilo


    Copper is a transition metal that has been linked to pathological and beneficial effects in neurodegenerative diseases. In Parkinson's disease, free copper is related to increased oxidative stress, alpha-synuclein oligomerization, and Lewy body formation. Decreased copper along with increased iron has been found in substantia nigra and caudate nucleus of Parkinson's disease patients. Copper influences iron content in the brain through ferroxidase ceruloplasmin activity; therefore decreased protein-bound copper in brain may enhance iron accumulation and the associated oxidative stress. The function of other copper-binding proteins such as Cu/Zn-SOD and metallothioneins is also beneficial to prevent neurodegeneration. Copper may regulate neurotransmission since it is released after neuronal stimulus and the metal is able to modulate the function of NMDA and GABA A receptors. Some of the proteins involved in copper transport are the transporters CTR1, ATP7A, and ATP7B and the chaperone ATOX1. There is limited information about the role of those biomolecules in the pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease; for instance, it is known that CTR1 is decreased in substantia nigra pars compacta in Parkinson's disease and that a mutation in ATP7B could be associated with Parkinson's disease. Regarding copper-related therapies, copper supplementation can represent a plausible alternative, while copper chelation may even aggravate the pathology. PMID:24672633

  1. Is protein structure prediction still an enigma?

    African Journals Online (AJOL)



    Dec 29, 2008 ... Computer methods for protein analysis address this problem since they study the .... neighbor methods, molecular dynamic simulation, and approaches .... fuzzy clustering, neural net works, logistic regression, decision tree ...

  2. Bioprinting for Neural Tissue Engineering. (United States)

    Knowlton, Stephanie; Anand, Shivesh; Shah, Twisha; Tasoglu, Savas


    Bioprinting is a method by which a cell-encapsulating bioink is patterned to create complex tissue architectures. Given the potential impact of this technology on neural research, we review the current state-of-the-art approaches for bioprinting neural tissues. While 2D neural cultures are ubiquitous for studying neural cells, 3D cultures can more accurately replicate the microenvironment of neural tissues. By bioprinting neuronal constructs, one can precisely control the microenvironment by specifically formulating the bioink for neural tissues, and by spatially patterning cell types and scaffold properties in three dimensions. We review a range of bioprinted neural tissue models and discuss how they can be used to observe how neurons behave, understand disease processes, develop new therapies and, ultimately, design replacement tissues. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.