Multi-Pronged Interactions Underlie Inhibition of α-Synuclein Aggregation by β-Synuclein

Jonathan K. Williams, Xue Yang, Tamr B. Atieh, Michael P. Olson, Sagar D. Khare, Jean Baum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The intrinsically disordered protein β-synuclein is known to inhibit the aggregation of its intrinsically disordered homolog, α-synuclein, which is implicated in Parkinson's disease. While β-synuclein itself does not form fibrils at the cytoplasmic pH 7.4, alteration of pH and other environmental perturbations are known to induce its fibrilization. However, the sequence and structural determinants of β-synuclein inhibition and self-aggregation are not well understood. We have utilized a series of domain-swapped chimeras of α-synuclein and β-synuclein to probe the relative contributions of the N-terminal, C-terminal, and the central non-amyloid-β component domains to the inhibition of α-synuclein aggregation. Changes in the rates of α-synuclein fibril formation in the presence of the chimeras indicate that the non-amyloid-β component domain is the primary determinant of self-association leading to fibril formation, while the N- and C-terminal domains play critical roles in the fibril inhibition process. Our data provide evidence that all three domains of β-synuclein together contribute to providing effective inhibition, and support a model of transient, multi-pronged interactions between IDP chains in both processes. Inclusion of such multi-site inhibitory interactions spread over the length of synuclein chains may be critical for the development of therapeutics that are designed to mimic the inhibitory effects of β-synuclein.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2360-2371
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of molecular biology
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 3 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology


  • Parkinson's disease
  • chimeras
  • fluorescence
  • intrinsically disordered proteins
  • protein–protein interactions

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Multi-Pronged Interactions Underlie Inhibition of α-Synuclein Aggregation by β-Synuclein'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this