RGD Reference Report - A role for alpha-synuclein in the regulation of dopamine biosynthesis. - Rat Genome Database

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A role for alpha-synuclein in the regulation of dopamine biosynthesis.

Authors: Perez, RG  Waymire, JC  Lin, E  Liu, JJ  Guo, F  Zigmond, MJ 
Citation: Perez RG, etal., J Neurosci. 2002 Apr 15;22(8):3090-9.
RGD ID: 5129111
Pubmed: (View Article at PubMed) PMID:11943812
DOI: Full-text: DOI:20026307

The alpha-synuclein gene is implicated in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease. Although alpha-synuclein function is uncertain, the protein has homology to the chaperone molecule 14-3-3. In addition, alpha-synuclein can bind to 14-3-3, and both alpha-synuclein and 14-3-3 bind to many of the same proteins. Because 14-3-3 binds to and activates tyrosine hydroxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme in dopamine (DA) biosynthesis, we explored whether alpha-synuclein also bound to tyrosine hydroxylase and influenced its activity. Immunoprecipitation revealed an interaction between alpha-synuclein and tyrosine hydroxylase in brain homogenates and MN9D dopaminergic cells. Colocalization of alpha-synuclein with tyrosine hydroxylase was confirmed by immunoelectron microscopy. To explore the consequences of the interaction, we measured the effect of recombinant alpha-synuclein on tyrosine hydroxylase activity in a cell-free system and observed a dose-dependent inhibition of tyrosine hydroxylase by alpha-synuclein. To measure the impact of alpha-synuclein on tyrosine hydroxylase in dopaminergic cells, we stably transfected MN9D cells with wild-type or A53T mutant alpha-synuclein. Overexpression of wild-type or A53T mutant alpha-synuclein did not significantly alter tyrosine hydroxylase protein levels in our stably transfected cells. However, overexpressing cell lines had significantly reduced tyrosine hydroxylase activity and a corresponding reduction in dopamine synthesis. The reduction in cellular dopamine levels was not caused by increased dopamine catabolism or dopamine efflux. These data suggest that alpha-synuclein plays a role in the regulation of dopamine biosynthesis, acting to reduce the activity of tyrosine hydroxylase. If so, a loss of soluble alpha-synuclein, by reduced expression or aggregation, could increase dopamine synthesis with an accompanying increase in reactive dopamine metabolites.


Gene Ontology Annotations    

Cellular Component

Molecular Function

Objects Annotated

Genes (Rattus norvegicus)
Snca  (synuclein alpha)
Th  (tyrosine hydroxylase)

Additional Information