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

Substrate-mediated enhancement of phosphorylated tyrosine hydroxylase in nigrostriatal dopamine neurons: evidence for a role of alpha-synuclein.

Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) protein, phosphorylated at serine-40, serine-31 and serine-19, and enzyme catalytic activity were compared under basal conditions and in activated nigrostriatal dopamine (NSDA) neurons of wild-type and homozygous alpha-synuclein knockout mice. Mice were injected with the D2 antagonist raclopride to stimulate NSDA neuronal activity in the presence or absence of supplemental l-tyrosine. There was no difference in phosphorylated TH levels or TH catalytic activity between wild-type and alpha-synuclein knockout mice under basal conditions or following raclopride-induced acceleration of NSDA activity. In wild-type animals, tyrosine administration potentiated the raclopride-induced increase in phosphorylated TH and enzyme activity. However, tyrosine administration did not enhance phosphorylated TH levels or enzyme catalytic activity in raclopride- stimulated NSDA neurons in alpha-synuclein knockout mice. These findings suggest that alpha-synuclein plays a role in the ability of tyrosine to either enhance TH phosphorylation or hinder TH inactivation during accelerated neuronal activity. The present study supports the hypothesis that alpha-synuclein functions as a molecular chaperone protein that regulates the phosphorylation state of TH in a substrate and activity-dependent manner.[1]


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