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Alpha-synuclein negatively controls cell proliferation in dopaminergic neurons
Jordan Prahl 1, Steven E Pierce 2, Gerhard A Coetzee 3, Trevor Tyson 4
...it is often forgotten that the function(s) of α-syn in healthy cells remain largely elusive. Previous work has relied on observing α-syn localization in the cell or using knockout mouse models. Here, we address the specific role of α-syn in human dopaminergic neurons by disrupting its gene (SNCA) in the human dopaminergic neuron cell line, LUHMES. SNCA-null cells were able to differentiate grossly normally and showed modest effects on gene expression. The effects on gene expression were monodirectional, resulting primarily in the significant decrease of expression for 401 genes, implicating them as direct, or indirect positive targets of α-syn. Gene ontological analysis of these genes showed enrichment in terms associated with proliferation, differentiation, and synapse activity...