There is growing recognition in the field of neurodegenerative diseases that mixed proteinopathies are occurring at greater frequency than originally thought. This is particularly true for three amyloid proteins defining most of these neurological disorders, amyloid-beta (Aβ), tau, and alpha-synuclein (αSyn). The co-existence and often co-localization of aggregated forms of these proteins has led to the emergence of concepts positing molecular interactions and cross-seeding between Aβ, tau, and αSyn aggregates. Amongst this trio, αSyn has received particular attention in this context during recent years due to its ability to modulate Aβ and tau aggregation in vivo, to interact at a molecular level with Aβ and tau in vivo and to cross-seed tau in mice. Here we provide a comprehensive, critical, and accessible review about the expression, role and nature of endogenous soluble αSyn oligomers because of recent developments in the understanding of αSyn multimerization, misfolding, aggregation, cross-talk, spreading and cross-seeding in neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, multiple system atrophy, Alzheimer's disease, and Huntington's disease. We will also discuss our current understanding about the relative toxicity of endogenous αSyn oligomers in vivo and in vitro, and introduce potential opportunities to counter their deleterious effects.
- neurodegenerative disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience