Background: α-synuclein (α-syn) aggregation can lead to degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta ( SNpc ) as invariably observed in patients with Parkinson’s Disease (PD). The co-chaperone DNAJB6 has previously been found to be expressed at higher levels in PD patients than in control subjects and was also found in Lewy bodies. Our previous experiments showed that knock out of DNAJB6 induced α-syn aggregation in cellular level. However, effects of overexpression of DNAJB6 against α-syn aggregation remains to be investigated.
Methods: we used to α-syn CFP/YFP HEK293 FRET cell line to investigate the effects of overexpression of DNAJB6 in cellular level. α-syn aggregation was induced by transfection α-syn preformed fibrils (PPF), then was measured FRET analysis. We proceeded to investigate if DNAJB6b can impair α-syn aggregation and toxicity in an animal model and used adeno associated vira (AAV6) designed to overexpress of human wt α-syn, GFP-DNAJB6 or GFP in rats. These vectors were injected into the SNpc of the rats, unilaterally. Rats injected with vira to express α-syn along with GFP in the SNpc where compared to rats expressing α-syn and GFP-DNAJB6. We evaluated motor functions, dopaminergic cell death, phosphorylated α-syn in SNpc and axonal degeneration in striatum.
Results : We show that DNAJB6 prevent α-syn aggregation induced by α-syn PFF’s, in a cell culture model. Also, we observed α-syn overexpression caused dopaminergic cell death and that this was strongly reduced by co-expression of DNAJB6b. In addition, the lesion caused by α-syn overexpression resulted in behavior deficits, which increased over time as seen in stepping test, which was rescued by co-expression of DNAJB6b. Moreover, we observed an increase in serine 129 (S129) phosphorylated α-syn in SNpc of rats overexpressing α-syn, that was lowered by DNAJB6 co-expression.
Conclusion : We here demonstrate for the first time that DNAJB6 is a strong suppressor of α-syn aggregation in cells and in animals and that this results in a suppression of dopaminergic cell death and PD related motor deficits in an animal model of PD. Keywords: Protein homeostasis, Parkinson`s Disease, Alpha-synuclein, Adeno Associated Virus, DNAJB6, Heat Shock Protein 70