International journal of biological macromolecules

Dimerization of Tyr136Cys alpha-synuclein prevents amyloid transformation of wild type alpha-synuclein.

PMID 27939273


Expression of human alpha-synuclein in E. coli cells is known to result in a mixture of the wild type alpha-synuclein and the protein containing Tyr136Cys substitution due to the translational error. The amount of Cys136 alpha-synuclein (Cys136-AS) may reach approximately 50% of the recombinant protein. The wild-type and Cys136-containing fractions of alpha-synuclein were separated using thiol-Sepharose, and their properties were investigated. In the absence of reducing agents, Cys136-AS forms dimers due to the disulfide bonding. Both wild-type and Cys136 alpha-synuclein preparations are prone to aggregate during prolonged incubation under shaking at pH 4 and 37°C, but only the wild-type alpha-synuclein produces amyloid aggregates. The aggregates produced by either monomeric or dimeric Cys136-AS do not exhibit amyloid properties according to the test with Thioflavin T. Moreover, an admixture of dimeric Cys136-AS prevents the amyloid transformation of the wild-type alpha-synuclein. CD spectroscopy analysis revealed an enhanced content of alpha-helical structures in the aggregates produced by dimeric Cys136-AS. The admixture of Cys136-AS in preparations of human recombinant alpha-synuclein can be a source of erroneous interpretation of experiments on amyloid transformation of this protein.

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Thioflavin T, used as stain for amyloid