The influence of N-terminal acetylation on micelle-induced conformational changes and aggregation of α-Synuclein

David Ruzafa, Yuriko S. Hernandez-Gomez, Giovanni Bisello, Kerensa Broersen, Bertrand Morel, Francisco Conejero-Lara

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Abstract

The biological function of α-Synuclein has been related to binding to lipids and membranes but these interactions can also mediate α-Synuclein aggregation, which is associated to Parkinson's disease and other neuropathologies. In brain tissue α-Synuclein is constitutively N-acetylated, a modification that plays an important role in its conformational propensity, lipid and membrane binding, and aggregation propensity. We studied the interactions of the lipid-mimetic SDS with N-acetylated and non-acetylated α-Synuclein, as well as their earlyonset Parkinson's disease variants A30P, E46K and A53T. At low SDS/protein ratios α- Synuclein forms oligomeric complexes with SDS micelles with relatively low α-helical structure. These micellar oligomers can efficiently nucleate aggregation of monomeric α-Synuclein, with successive formation of oligomers, protofibrils, curly fibrils and mature amyloid fibrils. N-acetylation reduces considerably the rate of aggregation of WT α-Synuclein. However, in presence of any of the early-onset Parkinson's disease mutations the protective effect of N-acetylation against micelle-induced aggregation becomes impaired. At higher SDS/protein ratios, N-acetylation favors another conformational transition, in which a second type of α-helix-rich, non-aggregating oligomers become stabilized. Once again, the Parkinson's disease mutations disconnect the influence of N-acetylation in promoting this transition. These results suggest a cooperative link between the N-terminus and the region of the mutations that may be important for α-Synuclein function.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0178576
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume12
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2017

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