Journal Article

Suppression of α-synuclein toxicity and vesicle trafficking defects by phosphorylation at S129 in yeast depends on genetic context

Vicente Sancenon, Sue-Ann Lee, Christina Patrick, Janice Griffith, Amy Paulino, Tiago F. Outeiro, Fulvio Reggiori, Eliezer Masliah and Paul J. Muchowski

in Human Molecular Genetics

Volume 21, issue 11, pages 2432-2449
Published in print June 2012 | ISSN: 0964-6906
Published online February 2012 | e-ISSN: 1460-2083 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/dds058
Suppression of α-synuclein toxicity and vesicle trafficking defects by phosphorylation at S129 in yeast depends on genetic context

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The aggregation of α-synuclein (αSyn) is a neuropathologic hallmark of Parkinson's disease and other synucleinopathies. In Lewy bodies, αSyn is extensively phosphorylated, predominantly at serine 129 (S129). Recent studies in yeast have shown that, at toxic levels, αSyn disrupts Rab homeostasis, causing an initial endoplasmic reticulum-to-Golgi block that precedes a generalized trafficking collapse. However, whether αSyn phosphorylation modulates trafficking defects has not been evaluated. Here, we show that constitutive expression of αSyn in yeast impairs late-exocytic, early-endocytic and/or recycling trafficking. Although members of the casein kinase I (CKI) family phosphorylate αSyn at S129, they attenuate αSyn toxicity and trafficking defects by an S129 phosphorylation-independent mechanism. Surprisingly, phosphorylation of S129 modulates αSyn toxicity and trafficking defects in a manner strictly determined by genetic background. Abnormal endosome morphology, increased levels of the endosome marker Rab5 and co-localization of mammalian CKI with αSyn aggregates are observed in brain sections from αSyn-overexpressing mice and human synucleinopathies. Our results contribute to evidence that suggests αSyn-induced defects in endocytosis, exocytosis and/or recycling of vesicles involved in these cellular processes might contribute to the pathogenesis of synucleinopathies.

Journal Article.  11532 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics

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