Identification of the amino acid sequence motif of α-synuclein responsible for macrophage activation

Saet byul Lee, Sang Myun Park, Keun Jae Ahn, Kwang Chul Chung, Seung R. Paik, Jongsun Kim

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39 Citations (Scopus)


α-Synuclein (Syn) is implicated in the pathogenesis of PD and related neurodegenerative disorders. Recent studies have also shown that α-synuclein can activate microglia and enhance dopaminergic neurodegeneration. The mechanisms of microglia activation by α-synuclein, however, are not well understood. In this study, we found that not only α-synuclein but also β- and γ-synucleins activated macrophages (RAW 264.7) in vitro. Macrophages treated with synuclein proteins secreted TNF-α in a dose-dependent manner. Synuclein family proteins also increased mRNA transcription of COX-2 and iNOS. Two α-synuclein deletion mutants, SynΔNAC and Syn61-140, activated macrophages, while deletion mutants Syn1-60 and Syn96-140 did not significantly activate them. Finally, we demonstrated that macrophage activation by α-synuclein was accompanied by phosphorylation of ERK. These results suggest that synuclein family proteins can activate macrophages, and that macrophage activation needs both the N-terminal and C-terminal domains of α-synuclein, but not the central NAC region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-43
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Mar 27

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported in part by a faculty research grant of Yonsei University College of Medicine for 2008 (No. 6-2008-0135) and by a basic research grant (R01-2007-000-20089-0) of the KOSEF.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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