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Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in The EMBO journal - 22 Aug 2016

Abounit S, Bousset L, Loria F, Zhu S, de Chaumont F, Pieri L, Olivo-Marin JC, Melki R, Zurzolo C

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 27550960

EMBO J. 2016 10;35(19):2120-2138

Synucleinopathies such as Parkinson’s disease are characterized by the pathological deposition of misfolded α-synuclein aggregates into inclusions throughout the central and peripheral nervous system. Mounting evidence suggests that intercellular propagation of α-synuclein aggregates may contribute to the neuropathology; however, the mechanism by which spread occurs is not fully understood. By using quantitative fluorescence microscopy with co-cultured neurons, here we show that α-synuclein fibrils efficiently transfer from donor to acceptor cells through tunneling nanotubes (TNTs) inside lysosomal vesicles. Following transfer through TNTs, α-synuclein fibrils are able to seed soluble α-synuclein aggregation in the cytosol of acceptor cells. We propose that donor cells overloaded with α-synuclein aggregates in lysosomes dispose of this material by hijacking TNT-mediated intercellular trafficking. Our findings thus reveal a possible novel role of TNTs and lysosomes in the progression of synucleinopathies.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27550960