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Acta Neuropathol. 2006 Dec;112(6):681-9. Epub 2006 Sep 7.

alpha-Synuclein is colocalized with 14-3-3 and synphilin-1 in A53T transgenic mice.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 606-8507, Japan.


alpha-Synuclein is a major constituent of Lewy bodies, the neuropathological hallmark of Parkinson's disease (PD). Three types of alpha-synuclein mutations, A53T, A30P, and E46K, have been reported in familial PD. Wild-type alpha-synuclein accumulates at high concentrations in Lewy bodies, and this process is accelerated with mutated A53T alpha-synuclein. The accumulation of alpha-synuclein is thought to be toxic, and causes neuronal death when alpha-synuclein aggregates into protofibrils and fibrils. Lewy bodies contain not only alpha-synuclein, but also other proteins including 14-3-3 proteins and synphilin-1. 14-3-3 Proteins exist mainly as dimers and are related to intracellular signal transduction pathways. Synphilin-1 is known to interact with alpha-synuclein, promoting the formation of cytoplasmic inclusions like Lewy bodies in vitro. To investigate the colocalization of alpha-synuclein, synphilin-1, and 14-3-3 proteins, we performed immunohistochemical studies on alpha-synuclein, 14-3-3 proteins, and synphilin-1 in the brain and spinal cord of A53T transgenic mice. In homozygous mouse brains, alpha-synuclein immunoreactivity was observed in the neuronal somata and processes in the medial part of the brainstem, deep cerebellar nuclei, and spinal cord. The distribution of 14-3-3 proteins and synphilin-1 immunoreactivity was similar to that of alpha-synuclein in the homozygous mice. Double immunofluorescent staining showed that alpha-synuclein and synphilin-1 or 14-3-3 proteins were colocalized in the pons and spinal cord. These results indicate that the accumulation of mutant alpha-synuclein occurs in association with 14-3-3 proteins and synphilin-1, and may cause the sequestration of important proteins including 14-3-3 proteins and synphilin-1. The sequestration and subsequent decrease in 14-3-3 proteins and synphilin-1 levels may account for neuronal cell death.

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