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Multi-platform quantitation of alpha-synuclein human brain proteoforms suggests disease-specific biochemical profiles of synucleinopathies
Tim E Moors 1 2, Daniel Mona 3, Stefan Luehe 4, Gonzalo Duran-Pacheco 5, Liz Spycher 3, Olaf Mundigl 6, Klaus Kaluza 6, Sylwia Huber 4, Melanie N Hug 4, Thomas Kremer 3, Mirko Ritter 7, Sebastian Dziadek 8, Gregor Dernick 4, Wilma D J van de Berg 9, Markus Britschgi 10
Based on immunostainings and biochemical analyses, certain post-translationally modified alpha-synuclein (aSyn) variants, including C-terminally truncated (CTT) and Serine-129 phosphorylated (pSer129) aSyn, are proposed to be involved in the pathogenesis of synucleinopathies such as Parkinson's disease with (PDD) and without dementia (PD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), and multiple system atrophy (MSA). However, quantitative information about aSyn proteoforms in the human brain in physiological and different pathological conditions is still limited. To address this, we generated sequential biochemical extracts of the substantia nigra, putamen and hippocampus from 28 donors diagnosed and neuropathologically-confirmed with different synucleinopathies (PD/PDD/DLB/MSA), as well as Alzheimer's disease, progressive supranuclear palsy, and aged normal subjects. The tissue extracts were used to build a reverse phase array including 65 aSyn antibodies for detection. In this multiplex approach, we observed increased immunoreactivity in donors with synucleinopathies compared to controls in detergent-insoluble fractions, mainly for antibodies against CT aSyn and pSer129 aSyn. In addition, despite of the restricted sample size, clustering analysis suggested disease-specific immunoreactivity signatures in patient groups with different synucleinopathies. We aimed to validate and quantify these findings using newly developed immunoassays towards total, 119 and 122 CTT, and pSer129 aSyn. In line with previous studies, we found that synucleinopathies shared an enrichment of post-translationally modified aSyn in detergent-insoluble fractions compared to the other analyzed groups. Our measurements allowed for a quantitative separation of PDD/DLB patients from other synucleinopathies based on higher detergent-insoluble pSer129 aSyn concentrations in the hippocampus. In addition, we found that MSA stood out due to enrichment of CTT and pSer129 aSyn also in the detergent-soluble fraction of the SN and putamen. Together, our results achieved by multiplexed and quantitative immunoassay-based approaches in human brain extracts of a limited sample set point to disease-specific biochemical aSyn proteoform profiles in distinct neurodegenerative disorders.