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J Biol Chem. 2005 Aug 26;280(34):30009-17. Epub 2005 Jun 7.

Alpha-synuclein alters proteasome function, protein synthesis, and stationary phase viability.

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Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, The Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky 40536, USA.


Alpha-synuclein appears to play a role in mediating neurotoxicity in a number of neurodegenerative disorders, collectively referred to as synucleinopathies. Most of these disorders are associated with aging and a probable impairment of the proteasome-proteolytic pathway, although the relationship between aging, proteasome inhibition, and alpha-synuclein toxicity has not been fully elucidated. Recent studies suggest that yeast may provide a useful system for studying the biology and toxicity of alpha-synuclein in mitotic cells, recapitulating many features observed in the various synucleinopathy disorders. Additional studies indicate that the stationary phase model of aging in yeast provides a useful system for understanding the biochemistry and regulation of aging in post-mitotic cells. In the present study we examined the effect of wild type and mutant alpha-synuclein (A30P) on multiple aspects of proteasome homeostasis, protein synthesis, as well as the ability of cells to survive stationary phase aging. These data demonstrate that alpha-synuclein alters proteasome composition, impairs proteasome-mediated protein degradation, impairs protein synthesis, and impairs the ability of cells to withstand stationary phase aging. Interestingly, alpha-synuclein had little effect on intracellular proteasome content or protein ubiquitination, and did not increase the vulnerability of cells to a variety of stressors. Together, these data suggest that yeast may be useful for understanding the ability of alpha-synuclein to impair proteasome-mediated protein degradation, as well as for understanding the basis for age-related alpha-synuclein cytotoxicity.

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