International journal of biological sciences

Effect of reparation of repeat sequences in the human alpha-synuclein on fibrillation ability.

PMID 17200685


The aggregation and fibrillation of alpha-synuclein has been implicated as a causative factor in the Parkinson's disease. The hexamer motif KTKEGV is found in each of the seven imperfect repeat sequences in the N-terminal half of alpha-synuclein. The motif is not fully conserved in the sixth and seventh repeats. We created mutants in which the motif was repaired to be fully conserved in either (Rep6 and Rep7) or both (Rep67) of these two repeats. The Rep6 and Rep67 mutants showed a greatly reduced propensity to aggregate and fibrillate while all three mutants showed greater resistance to HFIP-induced formation of the alpha-helix intermediate. Resistance to formation in the partially folded intermediate may repress the folding of alpha-synuclein, consequently interfering with the aggregation and fibril formation. These results demonstrated that KTKEGV repeats may have a significant role in keeping native unfolded status of alpha-synuclein.