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J Biol Chem. 2002 Apr 5;277(14):12334-42. Epub 2002 Jan 30.

alpha-Synuclein interacts with phospholipase D isozymes and inhibits pervanadate-induced phospholipase D activation in human embryonic kidney-293 cells.

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Department of Physiology, Research Institute of Molecular Genetics, and Anatomy, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul 137-701, Korea.


alpha-Synuclein has been implicated in the pathogenesis of many neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. Although the function of alpha-synuclein remains largely unknown, recent studies have demonstrated that this protein can interact with phospholipids. To address the role of alpha-synuclein in neurodegenerative disease, we have investigated whether it binds phospholipase D (PLD) and affects PLD activity in human embryonic kidney (HEK)-293 cells overexpressing wild type alpha-synuclein or the mutant forms of alpha-synuclein (A53T, A30P) associated with Parkinson's disease. Tyrosine phosphorylation of alpha-synuclein appears to play a modulatory role in the inhibition of PLD, because mutation of Tyr(125) to Phe slightly increases inhibitory effect of alpha-synuclein on PLD activity. Treatment with pervanadate or phorbol myristate acetate inhibits PLD more in HEK 293 cells overexpressing alpha-synuclein than in control cells. Binding of alpha-synuclein to PLD requires phox and pleckstrin homology domain of PLD and the amphipathic repeat region and non-Abeta component of alpha-synuclein. Although biologically important, co-transfection studies indicate that the interaction of alpha-synuclein with PLD does not influence the tendency of alpha-synuclein to form pathological inclusions. These results suggest that the association of alpha-synuclein with PLD, and modulation of PLD activity, is biologically important, but PLD does not appear to play an essential role in the pathophysiology of alpha-synuclein.

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