Amyloid fibril formation has been implicated in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. Fibrillation generates numerous conformers. Presumably, the conformers may possess specific biological properties, thus providing a biochemical framework for strains of prions. However, the precise relationship between various fibril conformers and their pathogenic functions has not been determined because of limited accessibility to adequate amounts of fibrils from tissue samples. α-Synuclein is one such protein, and it has been implicated in Parkinson disease. Using a technique known as protein misfolding cyclic amplification, originally developed for amplifying prions, we established a procedure through which the amplification of α-synuclein fibrils is possible. With a trace amount of seeds, we succeeded in amplifying α-synuclein fibrils. The replication of the seeds was faithful in terms of conformation even after multiple rounds of cyclic amplification. Moreover, two transgenic mouse strains each representing a distinct synucleinopathy were used to investigate different conformers by using this technique. The amplified α-synuclein fibrils derived from the tissue extracts of these two strains led to the production of two different fibril conformers with distinct proteinase K digestion profiles. Together, our results demonstrated that a trace amount of α-synuclein fibrils in tissue extracts could be amplified with their conformations conserved. This procedure should be useful in amplifying α-synuclein fibrils from the brains and body fluids of patients afflicted with synucleinopathies and may serve as a potential diagnostic tool for Parkinson disease and other synucleinopathies.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We would like to thank Somin Lim for assistance in manuscript preparation. This work was financially supported by a National Research Foundation (NRF) grant funded through the Korean Government (MEST) (nos 2015R1A2A10052540 and 2015R1A2A15053661), the Korea Health Technology R & D Project, Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (HI14C0093) and Seoul National University Hospital.
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