The ubiquitin ligase E6-AP promotes degradation of α-synuclein

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Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disorder caused mainly because of the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. Protein inclusions called Lewy bodies are the most common pathological hallmark of PD and other synucleinopathies. Because the main component of these inclusions is α-synuclein, aggregation of this protein is thought to be a key pathogenic event in this disease. In the present investigation we report that E6 associated protein (E6-AP), a HECT (homologous to E6-AP C-terminus) domain ubiquitin ligase is a component of Lewy bodies in post-mortem PD brain. In the cell culture model, we demonstrate that endogenous E6-AP colocalizes with α-synuclein in juxtanuclear aggregates. E6-AP is also recruited to the centrosome upon inhibition of the proteasome function suggesting its involvement in the degradation of misfolded proteins. Over-expression of E6-AP enhances the degradation of wild type as well as the mutant forms of α-synuclein in a proteasome-dependent manner. E6-AP also promotes the degradation of the more toxic oligomeric forms of α-synuclein. Our data suggests that E6-AP is involved in the clearance of α-synuclein.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1955-1964
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2009


  • E6-associated protein
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Proteasome
  • α-synuclein


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