Pathological structural conversion of α-synuclein at the mitochondria induces neuronal toxicityMore about Open Access at the Crick
Authors listMinee Choi Alexandre Chappard Bhanu P Singh Catherine Maclachlan Margarida Rodrigues Evgeniya I Fedotova Alexey V Berezhnov Suman De Chris Peddie Dilan Athauda Gurvir Virdi Wei Zhang James Evans Anna I Wernick Zeinab Shadman Zanjani Plamena R Angelova Noemi Esteras Andrey Y Vinokurov Katie Morris Kiani Jeacock Laura Tosatto Daniel Little Paul Gissen David J Clarke Tilo Kunath Lucy Collinson David Klenerman Andrey Y Abramov Mathew H Horrocks Sonia Gandhi
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Aggregation of alpha-synuclein (α-Syn) drives Parkinson's disease (PD), although the initial stages of self-assembly and structural conversion have not been directly observed inside neurons. In this study, we tracked the intracellular conformational states of α-Syn using a single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer (smFRET) biosensor, and we show here that α-Syn converts from a monomeric state into two distinct oligomeric states in neurons in a concentration-dependent and sequence-specific manner. Three-dimensional FRET-correlative light and electron microscopy (FRET-CLEM) revealed that intracellular seeding events occur preferentially on membrane surfaces, especially at mitochondrial membranes. The mitochondrial lipid cardiolipin triggers rapid oligomerization of A53T α-Syn, and cardiolipin is sequestered within aggregating lipid-protein complexes. Mitochondrial aggregates impair complex I activity and increase mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, which accelerates the oligomerization of A53T α-Syn and causes permeabilization of mitochondrial membranes and cell death. These processes were also observed in induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived neurons harboring A53T mutations from patients with PD. Our study highlights a mechanism of de novo α-Syn oligomerization at mitochondrial membranes and subsequent neuronal toxicity.
Journal Nature Neuroscience
Issue number 9