Overexpression of alpha-synuclein decreased viability and enhanced sensitivity to prostaglandin E(2), hydrogen peroxide, and a nitric oxide donor in differentiated neuroblastoma cells.J Neurosci Res. 2004 May 01; 76(3):415-22.JN
Increased accumulation of alpha-synuclein is associated with certain neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson's disease (PD) and Alzheimer's disease (AD). One mechanism of alpha-synuclein-induced toxicity involves increased oxidative stress. It was unknown whether neurons overexpressing alpha-synuclein would exhibit increased sensitivity to hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) or 3-morpholinosydnonimine (SIN-1; a nitrous oxide donor). To study this, we developed a murine neuroblastoma (NB) cell line that overexpresses wild-type human alpha-synuclein (NBP2-PN54) under the control of the cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter using a retroviral vector. Human alpha-synuclein mRNA and protein were readily detectable in NBP2-PN54 cells. Results showed that differentiated NBP2-PN54 cells exhibited decreased viability in comparison to differentiated vector (NBP2-PN1) and parent (NBP2) control cells. These cells also exhibited increased sensitivity to PGE(2), H(2)O(2) and SIN-1. Because of involvement of proteasome inhibition in neurodegeneration, we also investigated whether treatment of differentiated NBP2-PN54 cells with PGE(2), H(2)O(2) or SIN-1 inhibits proteasome activity. Results showed that H(2)O(2) and SIN-1 inhibited proteasome activity, but PGE(2) did not. These results suggest that overexpression of alpha-synuclein not only participates directly in degeneration of neurons, but it also increases the vulnerability of neurons to other potential neurotoxins.