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Sci. Signal., 28 September 2010
Vol. 3, Issue 141, p. ec303
[DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.3141ec303]


Neuroscience {alpha}-Synuclein and Aging

Stella M. Hurtley

Science, AAAS, Cambridge CB2 1LQ, UK

Transgenic {alpha}-synuclein can reverse the otherwise lethal neurodegeneration of cysteine string protein-{alpha} knockout mice via changes in SNARE proteins, which mediate synaptic vesicle release. Using experiments with purified recombinant proteins, triple {alpha}β{gamma}-synuclein knockout mice, and studies of mouse aging, Burré et al. now demonstrate that {alpha}-synuclein directly interacts with the SNARE protein synaptobrevin and functions as a catalyst for SNARE-complex assembly. The role of synucleins is fully dispensable in young animals but becomes essential late in life, which suggests that {alpha}-synuclein maintains normal synaptic function during aging.

J. Burré, M. Sharma, T. Tsetsenis, V. Buchman, M. R. Etherton, T. C. Südhof, {alpha}-Synuclein promotes SNARE-complex assembly in vivo and in vitro. Science 329, 1663–1667 (2010). [Abstract] [Full Text]

Citation: S. M. Hurtley, {alpha}-Synuclein and Aging. Sci. Signal. 3, ec303 (2010).

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