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Autophagy mediates the clearance of oligodendroglial SNCA/alpha-synuclein and TPPP/p25A in multiple system atrophy models
Panagiota Mavroeidi 1, Fedra Arvanitaki 1, Maria Vetsi 1, Stefan Becker 2, Dimitrios Vlachakis 3, Poul Henning Jensen 4, Leonidas Stefanis 1 5, Maria Xilouri 1
Accumulation of the neuronal protein SNCA/alpha-synuclein and of the oligodendroglial phosphoprotein TPPP/p25A within the glial cytoplasmic inclusions (GCIs) represents the key histophathological hallmark of multiple system atrophy (MSA). Even though the levels/distribution of both oligodendroglial SNCA and TPPP/p25A proteins are critical for disease pathogenesis, the proteolytic mechanisms involved in their turnover in health and disease remain poorly understood. Herein, by pharmacological and molecular modulation of the autophagy-lysosome pathway (ALP) and the proteasome we demonstrate that the endogenous oligodendroglial SNCA and TPPP/p25A are degraded mainly by the ALP in murine primary oligodendrocytes and oligodendroglial cell lines under basal conditions. We also identify a KFERQ-like motif in the TPPP/p25A sequence that enables its effective degradation via chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) in an in vitro system of rat brain lysosomes. Furthermore, in a MSA-like setting established by addition of human recombinant SNCA pre-formed fibrils (PFFs) as seeds of pathological SNCA, we thoroughly characterize the contribution of CMA and macroautophagy in particular, in the removal of the exogenously added and the seeded oligodendroglial SNCA pathological assemblies. We also show that PFF treatment impairs autophagic flux and that TPPP/p25A exerts an inhibitory effect on macroautophagy, while at the same time CMA is upregulated to remove the pathological SNCA species formed within oligodendrocytes. Finally, augmentation of CMA or macroautophagy accelerates the removal of the engendered pathological SNCA conformations further suggesting that autophagy targeting may represent a successful approach for the clearance of pathological SNCA and/or TPPP/p25A in the context of MSA.