- Aggregates of abnormal proteins are widely observed in neuronal and glial cells of patients with various neurodegenerative diseases, and it has been proposed that prion-like behavior of these proteins can account for not only the onset but also the progression of these diseases. However, it is not yet clear which abnormal protein structures function most efficiently as seeds for prion-like propagation. In this study, we aimed to identify the most pathogenic species of α-synuclein (α-syn), the main component of the Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites that are observed in α-synucleinopathies.
- α-Synuclein is the major component of Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites in Parkinson disease and dementia with Lewy bodies and of glial cytoplasmic inclusions in multiple system atrophy. It has been suggested that α-synuclein fibrils or intermediate protofibrils in the process of fibril formation may have a toxic effect on neuronal cells. In this study, we investigated the ability of soluble monomeric α-synuclein to promote microtubule assembly and the effects of conformational changes of α-synuclein on Tau-promoted microtubule assembly.
- TAR DNA-binding protein of 43 kDa (TDP-43) has been identified as the major component of ubiquitin-positive neuronal and glial inclusions in frontotemporal lobar degeneration and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Aggregation of TDP-43 to amyloid-like fibrils and spreading of the aggregates are suggested to account for the pathogenesis and progression of these diseases. To investigate the molecular mechanisms of TDP-43 aggregation, we attempted to identify the amino acid sequence required for the aggregation.
- Intracellular aggregates of phosphorylated TDP-43 are a major component of ubiquitin-positive inclusions in the brains of patients with frontotemporal lobar degeneration and ALS and are considered a pathological hallmark. Here, to gain insight into the mechanism of intracellular TDP-43 accumulation, we examined the relationship between phosphorylation and aggregation of TDP-43. We found that expression of a hyperactive form of casein kinase 1 δ (CK1δ1-317, a C-terminally truncated form) promotes mislocalization and cytoplasmic accumulation of phosphorylated TDP-43 (ubiquitin- and p62-positive) in cultured neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells.