La Trobe

File(s) stored somewhere else

Please note: Linked content is NOT stored on La Trobe and we can't guarantee its availability, quality, security or accept any liability.

Cytotoxicity and mitochondrial dysregulation caused by α-synuclein in Dictyostelium discoideum

journal contribution
posted on 2020-11-04, 01:41 authored by S Fernando, Claire Allan, Katelyn Mroczek, Xavier Pearce, Oana Sanislav, Paul Fisher, Sarah Annesley
Alpha synuclein has been linked to both sporadic and familial forms of Parkinson's disease (PD) and is the most abundant protein in Lewy bodies a hallmark of Parkinson's disease. The function of this protein and the molecular mechanisms underlying its toxicity are still unclear, but many studies have suggested that the mechanism of α-synuclein toxicity involves alterations to mitochondrial function. Here we expressed human α-synuclein and two PD-causing α-synuclein mutant proteins (with a point mutation, A53T, and a C-terminal 20 amino acid truncation) in the eukaryotic model Dictyostelium discoideum. Mitochondrial disease has been well studied in D. discoideum and, unlike in mammals, mitochondrial dysfunction results in a clear set of defective phenotypes. These defective phenotypes are caused by the chronic hyperactivation of the cellular energy sensor, AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). Expression of α-synuclein wild type and mutant forms was toxic to the cells and mitochondrial function was dysregulated. Some but not all of the defective phenotypes could be rescued by down regulation of AMPK revealing both AMPK-dependent and -independent mechanisms. Importantly, we also show that the C-terminus of α-synuclein is required and sufficient for the localisation of the protein to the cell cortex in D. discoideum.


Publication Date








Article Number



25p. (p. 1-25)





Rights Statement

The Author reserves all moral rights over the deposited text and must be credited if any re-use occurs. Documents deposited in OPAL are the Open Access versions of outputs published elsewhere. Changes resulting from the publishing process may therefore not be reflected in this document. The final published version may be obtained via the publisher’s DOI. Please note that additional copyright and access restrictions may apply to the published version.

Usage metrics