Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

alpha-synuclein implicated in Parkinson's disease is present in extracellular biological fluids, including human plasma

Lookup NU author(s): Mark Gibson, Dr Jennifer Court, Dr Mark Cookson


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


Parkinson's disease (PD) and other related disorders are characterized by the accumulation of fibrillar aggregates of alpha-synuclein protein (alpha-syn) inside brain cells. It is likely that the formation of alpha-syn aggregates plays a seminal role in the pathogenesis of at least some of these diseases, because two different mutations in the gene encoding alpha-syn have been found in inherited forms of PD. alpha-Syn is mainly expressed by neuronal cells and is generally considered to exist as a cytoplasmic protein. Here, we report the unexpected identification of alpha-syn in conditioned culture media from untransfected and alpha-syn-transfected human neuroblastoma cells, as well as in human cerebrospinal fluid and blood plasma. The method used was immunocapture by using anti-alpha-syn antibodies coupled to magnetic beads, followed by detection on Western blots. In all cases, alpha-syn was identified as a single 15 kDa band, which co-migrated with a recombinant form of the protein and reacted with five different antibodies to alpha-syn. Our findings suggest that cells normally secrete alpha-syn into their surrounding media, both in vitro and in vivo. The detection of extracellular alpha-syn and/or its modified forms in body fluids, particularly in human plasma, offers new opportunities for the development of diagnostic tests for PD and related diseases.

Publication metadata

Author(s): El-Agnaf OMA, Salem SA, Paleologou KE, Cooper LJ, Fullwood NJ, Gibson MJ, Curran MD, Court JA, Mann DMA, Ikeda S, Cookson MR, Hardy J, Allsop D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: FASEB Journal

Year: 2003

Volume: 17

Issue: 11

Pages: 1945-1961

ISSN (print): 0892-6638

ISSN (electronic):

Publisher: Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology


DOI: 10.1096/fj.03-0098fje


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric