Levels of α- and β-synuclein regulate cellular susceptibility to toxicity from α-synuclein oligomers

Dafina Angelova, Hannah Jones, David Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (SciVal)
98 Downloads (Pure)


α-Synuclein (α-syn) is associated with a range of diseases, including Parkinson disease. In disease, α-syn is known to aggregate and has the potential to be neurotoxic. The association between copper and α-syn results inthe formation of stellate toxic oligomers that are highly toxic to cultured neurons. We further investigated the mechanism of toxicity of α-syn oligomers. Cells that overexpress α-syn showed increased susceptibility to the toxicity of the oligomers, while those that overexpressed β-syn showed increased resistance to the toxic oligomers. Elevated α-syn expression caused an increase in expression of the transcription factor Forkhead box O3a (FoxO3a). Inhibition of FoxO3a activity by the overexpression of DNA binding domain of FoxO3a resulted in significant protection from α-syn oligomer toxicity. Increased FoxO3a expression in cells was shown to be caused by increased ferrireductase activity and Fe(II) levels. These results suggest that α-syn increases FoxO3a expression as a result of its intrinsic ferrireductase activity.The results also suggest that FoxO3a plays a pivotal role in the toxicity of both Fe(II) and toxic α-syn species toneuronal cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)995-1006
Number of pages12
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number2
Early online date20 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018


  • FoxO3a
  • Iron
  • Parkinson disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Levels of α- and β-synuclein regulate cellular susceptibility to toxicity from α-synuclein oligomers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this