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Journal Article

Cardiolipin promotes pore-forming activity of alpha-synuclein oligomers in mitochondrial membranes.

MPS-Authors
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Leonov,  A.
Department of NMR Based Structural Biology, MPI for biophysical chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Ryazanov,  S.
Department of NMR Based Structural Biology, MPI for biophysical chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Griesinger,  C.
Department of NMR Based Structural Biology, MPI for biophysical chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Ghio, S., Camilleri, A., Caruana, M., Ruf, V. C., Schmidt, F., Leonov, A., et al. (2019). Cardiolipin promotes pore-forming activity of alpha-synuclein oligomers in mitochondrial membranes. ACS Chemical Neuroscience, 10(8), 3815-3829. doi:10.1021/acschemneuro.9b00320.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-5F90-F
Abstract
Aggregation of the amyloid-forming α-synuclein (αS) protein is closely associated with the etiology of Parkinson's disease (PD), the most common motor neurodegenerative disorder. Many studies have shown that soluble aggregation intermediates of αS, termed oligomers, permeabilize a variety of phospholipid membranes; thus, membrane disruption may represent a key pathogenic mechanism of αS toxicity. Given the centrality of mitochondrial dysfunction in PD, we therefore probed the formation of ion-permeable pores by αS oligomers in planar lipid bilayers reflecting the complex phospholipid composition of mitochondrial membranes. Using single-channel electrophysiology, we recorded distinct multi- level conductances (100-400 pS) with step-wise current transitions, typical of protein-bound nanopores, in mitochondrial-like membranes. Crucially, we observed that the presence of cardiolipin (CL), the signature phospholipid of mitochondrial membranes, enhanced αS-lipid interaction and the membrane pore-forming activity of αS oligomers. Further, pre-incubation of isolated mitochondria with a CL-specific dye protected against αS oligomer-induced mitochondrial swelling and release of cytochrome c. Hence, we favor a scenario in which αS oligomers directly porate a local lipid environment rich in CL, for instance outer mitochondrial contact sites or the inner mitochondrial membrane, to induce mitochondrial dysfunction. Pharmacological modulation of αS pore complex formation might thus preserve mitochondrial membrane integrity and alleviate mitochondrial dysfunction in PD.