, Volume 65, Issue 7-8, pp 1272-1284
Date: 25 Feb 2008

Mitochondrial association of alpha-synuclein causes oxidative stress

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α-Synuclein is a neuron-specific protein that contributes to the pathology of Parkinson’s disease via mitochondria-related mechanisms. The present study investigated possible interaction of α-synuclein with mitochondria and consequences of such interaction. Using SHSY cells overexpressing α-synuclein A53T mutant or wild-type, as well as isolated rat brain mitochondria, the present study shows that α-synuclein localizes at the mitochondrial membrane. In both SHSY cells and isolated mitochondria, interaction of α-synuclein with mitochondria causes release of cytochrome c, increase of mitochondrial calcium and nitric oxide, and oxidative modification of mitochondrial components. These findings suggest a pivotal role for mitochondria in oxidative stress and apoptosis induced by α-synuclein.

Received 27 December 2007; received after revision 7 February 2008; accepted 8 February 2008