Comparative Analysis of the Conformation, Aggregation, Interaction, and Fibril Morphologies of Human α-, β-, and γ-Synuclein Proteins

Manish Kumar Jain, Priyanka Singh, Sneha Roy, Rajiv Bhat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The human synuclein (syn) family is comprised of α-, β-, and γ-syn proteins. α-syn has the highest propensity for aggregation, and its aggregated forms accumulate in Lewy bodies (LB) and Lewy neurites, which are involved in Parkinson's disease (PD). β- and γ-syn are absent in LB, and their exact role is still enigmatic. β-syn does not form aggregates under physiological conditions (pH 7.4), while γ-syn is associated with neural and non-neural diseases like breast cancer. Because of their similar regional distribution in the brain, natively unfolded structure, and high degree of sequence homology, studying the effect of the environment on their conformation, interactions, fibrillation, and fibril morphologies has become important. Our studies show that high temperatures, low pH values, and high concentrations increase the rate of fibrillation of α- and γ-syn, while β-syn forms fibrils only at low pH. Fibril morphologies are strongly dependent on the immediate environment of the proteins. The high molar ratio of β-syn inhibits the fibrillation in α- and γ-syn. However, preformed seed fibrils of β- and γ-syn do not affect fibrillation of α-syn. Surface plasmon resonance data show that interactions between α- and β-syn, β- and γ-syn, and α- and γ-syn are weak to moderate in nature and can be physiologically significant in counteracting several adverse conditions in the cells that trigger their aggregation. These studies could be helpful in understanding collective human synuclein behavior in various protein environments and in the modulation of the homeostasis between β-syn and healthy versus corrupt α- and γ-syn that can potentially affect PD pathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3830-3848
Number of pages19
Issue number26
StatePublished - Jul 3 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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