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Monitoring the interactions between alpha-synuclein and Tau in vitro and in vivo using bimolecular fluorescence complementation

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Tiago OuteiroORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2022. The Author(s). Parkinson's disease (PD) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) are characterized by pathological accumulation and aggregation of different amyloidogenic proteins, α-synuclein (aSyn) in PD, and amyloid-β (Aβ) and Tau in AD. Strikingly, few PD and AD patients' brains exhibit pure pathology with most cases presenting mixed types of protein deposits in the brain. Bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) is a technique based on the complementation of two halves of a fluorescent protein, which allows direct visualization of protein-protein interactions. In the present study, we assessed the ability of aSyn and Tau to interact with each other. For in vitro evaluation, HEK293 and human neuroblastoma cells were used, while in vivo studies were performed by AAV6 injection in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) of mice and rats. We observed that the co-expression of aSyn and Tau led to the emergence of fluorescence, reflecting the interaction of the proteins in cell lines, as well as in mouse and rat SNpc. Thus, our data indicates that aSyn and Tau are able to interact with each other in a biologically relevant context, and that the BiFC assay is an effective tool for studying aSyn-Tau interactions in vitro and in different rodent models in vivo.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Torres-Garcia L, P Domingues JM, Brandi E, Haikal C, Mudannayake JM, Bras IC, Gerhardt E, Li W, Svanbergsson A, Outeiro TF, Gouras GK, Li J-Y

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Scientific Reports

Year: 2022

Volume: 12

Issue: 1

Online publication date: 22/02/2022

Acceptance date: 31/01/2022

Date deposited: 04/04/2022

ISSN (electronic): 2045-2322

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-06846-9

PubMed id: 35194057


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Funder referenceFunder name
EXC 2067/1- 390729940
SFB1286 (B8)