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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2016 Sep 16;478(2):924-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2016.08.052. Epub 2016 Aug 9.

Functional characterization of alpha-synuclein protein with antimicrobial activity.

Author information

1
Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Sunchon National University, Suncheon, Jeollanam-do, 57922, Republic of Korea.
2
National Institute of Ecology, 1210 Geumgang-ro, Maseo-myeon, Seocheon-gun, 33657, Republic of Korea; DNA Analysis Section, Busan Institute of National Forensic Service, 50 Kumoh-ro, Mulgum-eup, Yangsan-si, Gyeongsangnam-do, 50612, Republic of Korea.
3
National Institute of Ecology, 1210 Geumgang-ro, Maseo-myeon, Seocheon-gun, 33657, Republic of Korea.
4
National Marine Biodiversity Institute of Korea, 75 Jangsan-ro, Janghang-eup, Seocheon-gun, 33662, Republic of Korea.
5
Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Sunchon National University, Suncheon, Jeollanam-do, 57922, Republic of Korea. Electronic address: jmk8856@sunchon.ac.kr.
6
National Institute of Ecology, 1210 Geumgang-ro, Maseo-myeon, Seocheon-gun, 33657, Republic of Korea. Electronic address: leejr73@nie.re.kr.

Abstract

Alpha-synuclein (α-Syn), a small (14 kDa) protein associated with Parkinson's disease, is abundant in human neural tissues. α-Syn plays an important role in maintaining a supply of synaptic vesicles in presynaptic terminals; however, the mechanism by which it performs this function are not well understood. In addition, there is a correlation between α-Syn over-expression and upregulation of an innate immune response. Given the growing body of literature surrounding antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) in the brain, and the similarities between α-Syn and a previously characterized AMP, Amyloid-β, we set out to investigate if α-Syn shares AMP-like properties. Here we demonstrate that α-Syn exhibits antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. In addition, we demonstrate a role for α-Syn in inhibiting various pathogenic fungal strains such as Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus fumigatus and Rhizoctonia solani. We also analyzed localizations of recombinant α-Syn protein in E. coli and Candida albicans. These results suggest that in addition to α-Syn's role in neurotransmitter release, it appears to be a natural AMP.

KEYWORDS:

Alpha-synuclein; Antibacterial activity; Antifungal activity; Defense mechanism

PMID:
27520375
DOI:
10.1016/j.bbrc.2016.08.052
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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