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Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 2001 Dec 16;97(1):94-102.

Transfected synphilin-1 forms cytoplasmic inclusions in HEK293 cells.

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Neurogenetics Laboratory, Mayo Clinic Jacksonville, Jacksonville, FL 32224, USA.


The discovery of mutations in the gene for alpha-synuclein in familial Parkinson's disease (PD) has led to an increased interest in this pre-synaptic protein. Synphilin-1, a potential synuclein-binding protein, was cloned using yeast two-hybrid assays. The function of synphilin-1 is currently unknown, although it has been reported to be present along with alpha-synuclein in Lewy bodies in PD. In the present study, we monitored synphilin-1 aggregation directly using fusion proteins of synphilin-1 and green fluorescent protein (EGFP). Transfection of synphilin-EGFP fusion proteins formed cytoplasmic inclusions in HEK293 cells. Although these inclusions overlapped with the distribution of alpha-synuclein, they were unlike Lewy bodies in that they were not eosinophilic, and instead were membrane-bound, lipid-rich cytoplasmic inclusions.

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