Proteasome dysfunction in aged human α-synuclein transgenic mice

Li Chen, Mona J. Thiruchelvam, Kiran Madura, Eric K. Richfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


A deficit in proteasome function in Parkinson's disease has been speculated. We characterized the ubiquitin-proteasome system in three regions of brain from transgenic and nontransgenic littermates. Mice expressing a doubly mutated form of human α-synuclein had significant impairments whereas mice expressing the wild-type gene had lesser changes compared to nontransgenic littermates. Significant abnormalities in line hm2α-SYN-39 included declines in 20S-mediated proteolytic activity, the level of the 19S proteasome subunits Rpt1 and Rpn2, and the level of soluble total high MW ubiquitin cross-reacting proteins. Line hwα-SYN-5 had significant, but restricted proteasome abnormalities. The severity of impairment was proportional to the substantia nigra dopaminergic neuronal loss previously identified. There were significant correlations between the level of Rpn2 with the level of Rpt1, the activity of the 20S proteasome, and the level of soluble high MW ubiquitin cross-reacting proteins. These abnormalities in symptomatic line hm2α-SYN-39 mice are consistent with abnormalities identified in tissue from patients with Parkinson's disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-126
Number of pages7
JournalNeurobiology of Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology


  • 19S and 20S proteasome
  • Alpha synuclein
  • Dopamine system
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Proteolytic stress
  • Transgenic mice
  • Ubiquitin-proteasome system


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