Human α-synuclein-harboring familial Parkinson's disease-linked Ala-53 → Thr mutation causes neurodegenerative disease with α-synuclein aggregation in transgenic mice

Michael K. Lee, Wanda Stirling, Yanqun Xu, Eying Xu, Dike Qui, Allen S. Mandir, Ted M. Dawson, Neal G. Copeland, Nancy A. Jenkins, Don L. Price

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Mutations in α-synuclein (α-Syn) cause Parkinson's disease (PD) in a small number of pedigrees with familial PD. Moreover, α-Syn accumulates as a major component of Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites, intraneuronal inclusions that are neuropathological hallmarks of PD. To better understand the pathogenic relationship between alterations in the biology of α-Syn and PD-associated neurodegeneration, we generated multiple lines of transgenic mice expressing high levels of either wild-type or familial PD-linked Ala-30 → Pro (A30P) or Ala-53 → Thr (A53T) human α-Syns. The mice expressing the A53T human α-Syn, but not wild-type or the A30P variants, develop adult-onset neurodegenerative disease with a progressive motoric dysfunction leading to death. Pathologically, affected mice exhibit neuronal abnormalities (in perikarya and neurites) including pathological accumulations of α-Syn and ubiquitin. Consistent with abnormal neuronal accumulation of α-Syn, brain regions with pathology exhibit increases in detergent-insoluble α-Syn and α-Syn aggregates. Our results demonstrate that the A53T mutant α-Syn causes significantly greater in vivo neurotoxicity as compared with other α-Syn variants. Further, α-Syn-dependent neurodegeneration is associated with abnormal accumulation of detergent-insoluble α-Syn.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8968-8973
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume99
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 25 2002

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