alexa α-Synuclein Shows High Affinity Interaction with Voltage-dependent Anion Channel, Suggesting Mechanisms of Mitochondrial Regulation and Toxicity in Parkinson Disease
Pharmaceutical Sciences

Pharmaceutical Sciences

Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs: Open Access

Author(s): Tatiana K Rostovtseva

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Participation of the small, intrinsically disordered protein α-synuclein (α-syn) in Parkinson disease (PD) pathogenesis has been well documented. Although recent research demonstrates the involvement of α-syn in mitochondrial dysfunction in neurodegeneration and suggests direct interaction of α-syn with mitochondria, the molecular mechanism(s) of α-syn toxicity and its effect on neuronal mitochondria remain vague. Here we report that at nanomolar concentrations, α-syn reversibly blocks the voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC), the major channel of the mitochondrial outer membrane that controls most of the metabolite fluxes in and out of the mitochondria. Detailed analysis of the blockage kinetics of VDAC reconstituted into planar lipid membranes suggests that α-syn is able to translocate through the channel and thus target complexes of the mitochondrial respiratory chain in the inner mitochondrial membrane. Supporting our in vitro experiments, a yeast model of PD shows that α-syn toxicity in yeast depends on VDAC. The functional interactions between VDAC and α-syn, revealed by the present study, point toward the long sought after physiological and pathophysiological roles for monomeric α-syn in PD and in other α-synucleinopathies

This article was published in J Biol Chem and referenced in Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs: Open Access

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