Misfolded α-synuclein (A-syn) is widely recognized as the primal cause of neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. The normal cellular function of A-syn has, however, been elusive. There is evidence that A-syn plays multiple roles in the exocytotic pathway in the neuron, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are unclear. A-syn has been known to interact with negatively charged phospholipids and with vesicle SNARE protein VAMP2. Using single-vesicle docking/fusion assays, we find that A-syn promotes SNARE-dependent vesicles docking significantly at 2.5 µM. When phosphatidylserine (PS) is removed from t-SNARE-bearing vesicles, the docking enhancement by A-syn disappears and A-syn instead acts as an inhibitor for docking. In contrast, subtraction of PS from the v-SNARE-carrying vesicles enhances vesicle docking even further. Moreover, when we truncate the C-terminal 45 residues of A-syn that participates in interacting with VAMP2, the promotion of vesicle docking is abrogated. Thus, the results suggest that the A-syn's interaction with v-SNARE through its C-terminal tail and its concurrent interaction with PS in trans through its amphipathic N-terminal domain facilitate SNARE complex formation, whereby A-syn aids SNARE-dependent vesicle docking.
α-Synuclein may cross-bridge v-SNARE and acidic phospholipids to facilitate SNARE-dependent vesicle docking
- Views Icon Views
- Share Icon Share
Xiaochu Lou, Jaewook Kim, Brenden J. Hawk, Yeon-Kyun Shin; α-Synuclein may cross-bridge v-SNARE and acidic phospholipids to facilitate SNARE-dependent vesicle docking. Biochem J 15 June 2017; 474 (12): 2039–2049. doi: https://doi.org/10.1042/BCJ20170200
Download citation file: