Published In

The Journal of Biological Chemistry

Document Type

Post-Print

Publication Date

12-29-2021

Subjects

DNA-Binding Proteins, Parkinson disease

Abstract

Alpha-synuclein (aSyn) is a vertebrate protein, normally found within the presynaptic nerve terminal and nucleus, which is known to form somatic and neuritic aggregates in certain neurodegenerative diseases. Disease-associated aggregates of aSyn are heavily phosphorylated at serine-129 (pSyn), while normal aSyn protein is not. Within the nucleus, aSyn can directly bind DNA, but the mechanism of binding and the potential modulatory roles of phosphorylation are poorly understood. Here we demonstrate using a combination of electrophoretic mobility shift assay and atomic force microscopy approaches that both aSyn and pSyn can bind DNA within the major groove, in a DNA length-dependent manner and with little specificity for DNA sequence. Our data are consistent with a model in which multiple aSyn molecules bind a single 300 base pair (bp) DNA molecule in such a way that stabilizes the DNA in a bent conformation. We propose that serine-129 phosphorylation decreases the ability of aSyn to both bind and bend DNA, as aSyn binds 304 bp circular DNA forced into a bent shape, but pSyn does not. Two aSyn paralogs, beta- and gamma-synuclein, also interact with DNA differently than aSyn, and do not stabilize similar DNA conformations. Our work suggests that reductions in aSyn's ability to bind and bend DNA induced by serine-129 phosphorylation may be important for modulating aSyn's known roles in DNA metabolism, including the regulation of transcription and DNA repair.

Rights

© 2021 THE AUTHORS. Published by Elsevier Inc on behalf of American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Description

This is a PDF file of an article that has undergone enhancements after acceptance, such as the addition of a cover page and metadata, and formatting for readability, but it is not yet the definitive version of record. This version will undergo additional copyediting, typesetting and review before it is published in its final form, but we are providing this version to give early visibility of the article. Please note that, during the production process, errors may be discovered which could affect the content, and all legal disclaimers that apply to the journal pertain.

DOI

10.1016/j.jbc.2021.101552

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Chemistry Commons

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