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Cell Mol Neurobiol. 2008 Jan;28(1):35-47. Epub 2007 Nov 6.

Inhibition of vesicular monoamine transporter-2 activity in alpha-synuclein stably transfected SH-SY5Y cells.

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Institute of Laboratory Animal Sciences, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Peking Union Medical College, 5 Panjiayuannanli, Beijing, 100021, China.


alpha-Synuclein plays a key role in the pathological neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease. Although its contribution to normal physiology remains elusive, the selective degeneration of alpha-synuclein-containing dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson's disease may be linked to abnormal alpha-synuclein induced toxicity. In the present study, a complex of alpha-synuclein and vesicular monoamine transporter-2 was identified by GST-Pull Down experiment. In wild-type alpha-synuclein stably transfected SH-SY5Y cell lines, the activity of vesicular monoamine transporter-2 decreased by 31% as determined by [(3)H] dopamine uptake, and its expression also decreased in both protein and mRNA levels using western and northern blot analysis. Overexpression of wild-type alpha-synuclein did not induce cell death or apoptosis, but significantly enhanced the intracellular reactive oxygen species level as assayed by flow cytometry. These data suggest that Up-regulated alpha-synuclein expression inhibits the activity of vesicular monoamine transporter-2, thereby interrupting dopamine homeostasis and resulting in dopaminergic neuron injury in Parkinson's disease.

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