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

Synuclein proteins of the pufferfish Fugu rubripes: sequences and functional characterization.

In humans, three genes encode the related alpha-, beta-, and gamma-synucleins, which function as lipid-binding proteins in vitro. They are being widely studied, mainly because of the central involvement of alpha-synuclein in a number of neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, and multiple system atrophy. In these diseases, the normally soluble alpha-synuclein assembles into abnormal filaments. Here, we have identified and characterized the synuclein gene family from the pufferfish Fugu rubripes. It consists of four genes, which encode alpha-, beta-, gamma1-, and gamma2-synucleins. They range from 113 to 127 amino acids in length and share many of the characteristics of human synucleins, including the presence of imperfect amino-terminal repeats of 11 amino acids, a hydrophobic middle region, and a negatively charged carboxy-terminus. All four synucleins are expressed in the Fugu brain. Recombinant Fugu synucleins exhibited differential liposome binding, which was strongest for alpha-synuclein, followed by beta-, gamma2-, and gamma1-synucleins. In assembly experiments, Fugu alpha-, gamma1-, and gamma2-synucleins formed filaments more readily than human alpha-synuclein. Fugu beta-synuclein, by contrast, failed to assemble in bulk. Filament assembly of synucleins was directly proportional to their degree of hydrophobicity and their tendency to form beta-sheet structure, and correlated inversely with their net charge.[1]


  1. Synuclein proteins of the pufferfish Fugu rubripes: sequences and functional characterization. Yoshida, H., Craxton, M., Jakes, R., Zibaee, S., Tavaré, R., Fraser, G., Serpell, L.C., Davletov, B., Crowther, R.A., Goedert, M. Biochemistry (2006) [Pubmed]
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