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J Biol Chem. 2004 Mar 26;279(13):12924-34. Epub 2004 Jan 7.

Proteasomal inhibition by alpha-synuclein filaments and oligomers.

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  • 1Department of Medical Biochemistry, University of Aarhus, 8000 Aarhus-C, Denmark.


A unifying feature of many neurodegenerative disorders is the accumulation of polyubiquitinated protein inclusions in dystrophic neurons, e.g. containing alpha-synuclein, which is suggestive of an insufficient proteasomal activity. We demonstrate that alpha-synuclein and 20 S proteasome components co-localize in Lewy bodies and show that subunits from 20 S proteasome particles, in contrast to subunits of the 19 S regulatory complex, bind efficiently to aggregated filamentous but not monomeric alpha-synuclein. Proteasome binding to insoluble alpha-synuclein filaments and soluble alpha-synuclein oligomers results in marked inhibition of its chymotrypsin-like hydrolytic activity through a non-competitive mechanism that is mimicked by model amyloid-Abeta peptide aggregates. Endogenous ligands of aggregated alpha-synuclein like heat shock protein 70 and glyceraldehyde-6-phosphate dehydrogenase bind filaments and inhibit their anti-proteasomal activity. The inhibitory effect of amyloid aggregates may thus be amenable to modulation by endogenous chaperones and possibly accessible for therapeutic intervention.

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