Proteomic Characterization of Synaptosomes from Human Substantia Nigra Indicates Altered Mitochondrial Translation in Parkinson's Disease

Cells. 2020 Dec 2;9(12):2580. doi: 10.3390/cells9122580.


The pathological hallmark of Parkinson's disease (PD) is the loss of neuromelanin-containing dopaminergic neurons within the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc). Additionally, numerous studies indicate an altered synaptic function during disease progression. To gain new insights into the molecular processes underlying the alteration of synaptic function in PD, a proteomic study was performed. Therefore, synaptosomes were isolated by density gradient centrifugation from SNpc tissue of individuals at advanced PD stages (N = 5) as well as control subjects free of pathology (N = 5) followed by mass spectrometry-based analysis. In total, 362 proteins were identified and assigned to the synaptosomal core proteome. This core proteome comprised all proteins expressed within the synapses without regard to data analysis software, gender, age, or disease. The differential analysis between control subjects and PD cases revealed that CD9 antigen was overrepresented and fourteen proteins, among them Thymidine kinase 2 (TK2), mitochondrial, 39S ribosomal protein L37, neurolysin, and Methionine-tRNA ligase (MARS2) were underrepresented in PD suggesting an alteration in mitochondrial translation within synaptosomes.

Keywords: Parkinson’s disease; mitochondrial pathology; mitochondrial translation; proteomics; substantia nigra pars compacta; synaptosomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Disease Progression
  • Dopaminergic Neurons / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melanins / metabolism
  • Metalloendopeptidases / metabolism
  • Methionine-tRNA Ligase / metabolism
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Parkinson Disease / metabolism*
  • Proteome / metabolism*
  • Proteomics / methods
  • Substantia Nigra / metabolism*
  • Synaptosomes / metabolism*
  • Thymidine Kinase / metabolism


  • Melanins
  • Proteome
  • neuromelanin
  • thymidine kinase 2
  • Thymidine Kinase
  • Metalloendopeptidases
  • neurolysin
  • Methionine-tRNA Ligase