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Alpha-synuclein (αS) fibrils are toxic to cells and contribute to the pathogenesis and progression of Parkinson's disease and other synucleinopathies. β-Synuclein (βS), which co-localizes with αS, has been shown to provide a neuroprotective effect, but the molecular mechanism by which this occurs remains elusive. Here we show that αS fibrils formed in the presence of βS are less cytotoxic, exhibit reduced cell seeding capacity and are more resistant to fibril shedding compared to αS fibrils alone. Using solid-state NMR, we found that the overall structure of the core of αS fibrils when co-incubated with βS is minimally perturbed, however, the dynamics of Lys and Thr residues, located primarily in the imperfect KTKEGV repeats of the αS N-terminus, are increased. Our results suggest that amyloid fibril dynamics may play a key role in modulating toxicity and seeding. Thus, enhancing the dynamics of amyloid fibrils may be a strategy for future therapeutic targeting of neurodegenerative diseases.


Xue Yang, Jonathan K Williams, Run Yan, M Maral Mouradian, Jean Baum. Increased Dynamics of α-Synuclein Fibrils by β-Synuclein Leads to Reduced Seeding and Cytotoxicity. Scientific reports. 2019 Nov 26;9(1):17579

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PMID: 31772376

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