Synapsin III is a key component of α-synuclein fibrils in Lewy bodies of PD brains.Brain Pathol. 2018 Nov; 28(6):875-888.BP
Lewy bodies (LB) and Lewy neurites (LN), which are primarily composed of α-synuclein (α-syn), are neuropathological hallmarks of Parkinson's disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). We recently found that the neuronal phosphoprotein synapsin III (syn III) controls dopamine release via cooperation with α-syn and modulates α-syn aggregation. Here, we observed that LB and LN, in the substantia nigra of PD patients and hippocampus of one subject with DLB, displayed a marked immunopositivity for syn III. The in situ proximity ligation assay revealed the accumulation of numerous proteinase K-resistant neuropathological inclusions that contained both α-syn and syn III in tight association in the brain of affected subjects. Most strikingly, syn III was identified as a component of α-syn-positive fibrils in LB-enriched protein extracts from PD brains. Finally, a positive correlation between syn III and α-syn levels was detected in the caudate putamen of PD subjects. Collectively, these findings indicate that syn III is a crucial α-syn interactant and a key component of LB fibrils in the brain of patients affected by PD.