The pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD), which is a progressive neurodegenerative disease, is associated with the formation of protein inclusion bodies called Lewy bodies (LB) or Lewy neurites (LN). α-Synuclein (α-Syn) is a major component of LB and LN. The formation of LB or LN is mediated by formation of α-Syn fibrils, which are formed from α-Syn monomers and oligomers. Additionally, intercellular α-Syn propagation has been proposed to be important for the progression of PD. Thus, various studies have focused on elucidating the role of α-Syn propagation in the pathogenesis of PD. Previous studies have reported that α-Syn species are released from the cells through various pathways, including the unconventional secretion pathways. The released α-Syn species are internalized by the cells through multiple mechanisms, including receptor-mediated endocytosis. Some molecular processes involved in intercellular α-Syn propagation have been recently elucidated. This review discusses the current studies on the molecular mechanisms underlying the release and uptake of α-Syn and their physiological relevance.
Keywords: Parkinson's disease; cell-to-cell transmission; receptor-mediated endocytosis; unconventional protein secretion; α-synuclein.
© 2020 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.