Exploring the role of methionine residues on the oligomerization and neurotoxic properties of DOPAL-modified α-synuclein
© 2018 Elsevier Inc. The dopamine metabolite 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetaldehyde (DOPAL) is believed to play a central role in Parkinson's disease neurodegeneration by stabilizing potentially toxic oligomers of the presynaptic protein α-Synuclein (aSyn). Besides the formation of covalent DOPAL-Lys adducts, DOPAL promotes the oxidation of Met residues of aSyn, which is also a common oxidative post-translational modification found in the protein in vivo. Herein we set out to address the role of Met residues on the oligomerization and neurotoxic properties of DOPAL-modified aSyn. Our data indicate that DOPAL promotes the formation of two distinct types of aSyn oligomers: large and small (dimer and trimers) oligomers, which seem to be generated by independent mechanisms and cannot be interconverted by using denaturing agents. Interestingly, H2O2-treated aSyn monomer, which exhibits all-four Met residues oxidized to Met-sulfoxide, exhibited a reduced ability to form large oligomers upon treatment with DOPAL, with no effect on the population of small oligomers. In this context, triple Met-Val mutant M5V/M116V/M127V exhibited an increased population of large aSyn-DOPAL oligomers in comparison with the wild-type protein. Interestingly, the stabilization of large rather than small oligomers seems to be associated with an enhanced toxicity of DOPAL-aSyn adducts. Collectively, these findings indicate that Met residues may play an important role in modulating both the oligomerization and the neurotoxic properties of DOPAL-derived aSyn species.
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