Molecular Neurobiology

Convergence of heat shock protein 90 with ubiquitin in filamentous alpha-synuclein inclusions of alpha-synucleinopathies.

Uryu K, Richter-Landsberg C, Welch W, Sun E, Goldbaum O, Norris EH, Pham CT, Yazawa I, Hilburger K, Micsenyi M, Giasson BI, Bonini NM, Lee VM, Trojanowski JQ

Am J Pathol. 2006 Mar;168(3):947-61

Heat shock proteins (Hsps) facilitate refolding of denatured polypeptides, but there is limited understanding about their roles in neurodegenerative diseases characterized by misfolded proteins. Because Parkinson's disease (PD), dementia with Lewy bodies, and multiple system atrophy are alpha-synucleinopathies characterized by filamentous alpha-synuclein (alpha-syn) inclusions, we assessed which Hsps might be implicated in these disorders by examining human brain samples, transgenic mouse models, and cell culture systems. Light and electron microscopic multiple-label immunohistochemistry showed Hsp90 was the predominant Hsp examined that co-localized with alpha-syn in Lewy bodies, Lewy neurites, and glial cell inclusions and that Hsp90 co-localized with alpha-syn filaments of Lewy bodies in PD. Hsp90 levels were most predominantly increased in PD brains, which correlated with increased levels of insoluble alpha-syn. These alterations in Hsp90 were recapitulated in a transgenic mouse model of PD-like alpha-syn pathologies. Cell culture studies also revealed that alpha-syn co-immunoprecipitated preferentially with Hsp90 and Hsc70 relative to other Hsps, and exposure of cells to proteasome inhibitors resulted in increased levels of Hsp90. These data implicate predominantly Hsp90 in the formation of alpha-syn inclusions in PD and related alpha-synucleinopathies.