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Keywords:

  • α-synuclein;
  • Parkinson's disease;
  • N-terminal acetylation;
  • amyloid

Abstract

The aggregation of the protein α-synuclein (AS) is critical to the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease. Although generally described as an unstructured monomer, recent evidence suggests that the native form of AS may be an α-helical tetramer which resists aggregation. Here, we show that N-terminal acetylation in combination with a mild purification protocol results in an oligomeric form of AS with partial α-helical structure. N-terminal acetylation of AS could have important implications for both the native and pathological structures and functions of AS. Through our demonstration of a recombinant expression system, our results represent an important step toward biochemical and biophysical characterization of this potentially important form of AS.