Single-Particle Resolution of Copper-Associated Annular α‑Synuclein Oligomers Reveals Potential Therapeutic Targets of Neurodegeneration
Metal ions stabilize protein−protein interactions and can modulate protein aggregation. Here, using liquid-based atomic force microscopy and molecular dynamics simulations, we study the concentration-dependent effect of Cu2+ ions on the aggregation pathway of α-synuclein (α-Syn) proteins, which play a key role in the pathology of Parkinson’s disease. The full spectrum of α-Syn aggregates in the presence and absence of Cu2+ ions from monomers to mature fibrils was resolved and quantified at the gold−water interface. Raman spectroscopy confirmed the atomic force microscopy (AFM) findings on the heterogeneity in aggregated states of α-Syn. The formation of annular oligomers was exclusively detected upon incubating α-Syn with Cu2+ ions. Our findings emphasize the importance of targeting annular α-Syn protein oligomers for therapeutic intervention and their potential role as biomarkers for early detection and monitoring progression of neurodegeneration.
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PublicationACS Chemical Neuroscience 13 (9), pp. 1410–1421
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society
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- Bernal Institute
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