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Int J Mol Sci. 2019 May 11;20(9). pii: E2338. doi: 10.3390/ijms20092338.

Identifying the Pathological Domain of Alpha- Synuclein as a Therapeutic for Parkinson's Disease.

Author information

1
Department of Chemistry, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33612, USA. ningshen@mail.usf.edu.
2
Department of Surgery of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin 300193, China. songgegs@gmail.com.
3
Department of Chemistry, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33612, USA. haiqiangyang@mail.usf.edu.
4
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33612, USA. xlin@health.usf.edu.
5
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33612, USA. breannabrown@mail.usf.edu.
6
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33612, USA. yuzhu1@mail.usf.edu.
7
Department of Chemistry, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33612, USA. jianfengcai@usf.edu.
8
Department of Chemistry, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33612, USA. ccao@health.usf.edu.
9
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33612, USA. ccao@health.usf.edu.
10
Department of Neurology, College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33612, USA. ccao@health.usf.edu.

Abstract

Alpha-synuclein is considered the major pathological protein associated with Parkinson's disease, but there is still no effective immunotherapy which targets alpha-synuclein. In order to create a safer and more effective therapy against PD, we are targeting an epitope of alpha-synuclein rather than full-length alpha-synuclein. We have selected several antigenic domains (B-cell epitope) through antigenicity prediction, and also made several recombinant protein fragments from alpha-synuclein upon antigenicity prediction in an E. coli system. We then tested the function of each of the peptides and recombinant fragments in aggregation, their toxicity and antigenicity. We have discovered that the full-length recombinant (aa1-140) can aggregate into oligomers or even fibrils, and fragment aa15-65 can promote the aggregation of aa1-140. It is worth noting that it not only promotes whole protein aggregation, but also self-aggregates as seen by western blotting and silver staining assays. We have tested all candidates on primary neurons for their toxicity and discovered that aa15-65 is the most toxic domain compared to all other fragments. The antibody targeting this domain also showed both anti-aggregation activity and some therapeutic effect. Therefore, we believe that we have identified the most potent therapeutic domain of alpha synuclein as a therapeutic target.

KEYWORDS:

Alpha synuclein; Parkinson’s disease; antibody; antigenicity; epitope; immunotherapy

PMID:
31083520
DOI:
10.3390/ijms20092338
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