Author(s): Broersen K, van den Brink D, Fraser G, Goedert M, Davletov B
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Alpha-synuclein is a small cytosolic protein involved in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. Recent studies suggested a lipid-related function for this brain-enriched protein. Since the brain carries a high level of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and since the extent of alpha-synuclein gene expression increases in response to DHA intake, we have investigated the interaction of alpha-synuclein with this essential omega-3 fatty acid. We show that alpha-synuclein allows DHA to be present in a soluble rather than micellar form. Upon interaction with DHA, the normally unstructured alpha-synuclein rapidly adopts an alpha-helical conformation. Prolonged exposure to DHA, however, gradually converts alpha-synuclein into amyloid-like fibrils. These results identify a potential biological function for alpha-synuclein and define an omega-3-linked pathway leading to alpha-synuclein aggregation.
This article was published in Biochemistry
and referenced in Journal of Chromatography & Separation Techniques