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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Alpha-synuclein protects naive but not dbcAMP-treated dopaminergic cell types from 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium toxicity.

The pre-synaptic protein, alpha-synuclein, has been associated with the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease. The present study indicates that alpha-synuclein, but not its mutants (A53T, A30P), can protect CNS dopaminergic cells from the parkinsonism-inducing drug 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium ( MPP+), whereas it cannot protect from the dopaminergic toxin, 6-hydroxydopamine, hydrogen-peroxide, or the beta-amyloid peptide, A-beta. Protection from MPP+ was directly correlated with the preservation of mitochondrial function. Specifically, alpha-synuclein rescued cells from MPP+ mediated decreases in mitochondrial dehydrogenase activity and loss of ATP levels by utilizing ketosis. It also prevented toxin-induced activation of the creatine kinase/creatine phosphate system. Similarly, alpha-synuclein protected cells from the complex I inhibitor rotenone and 3-nitroproprionic acid, a complex II inhibitor. Wild-type alpha-synuclein-mediated neuroprotection and subsequent alterations in energy were not found in dbcAMP-differentiated cells. These results suggest that the normal physiological role for alpha-synuclein may change during development.[1]


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