Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

While defective α-synuclein homeostasis is central to Parkinson’s pathogenesis, fundamental questions about its degradation remain unresolved. We have developed a bimolecular fluorescence complementation assay in living cells to monitor de novo ubiquitination of α-synuclein and identified lysine residues 45, 58, and 60 as critical ubiquitination sites for its degradation. This is mediated by NBR1 binding and entry into endosomes in a process that involves ESCRT I-III for subsequent lysosomal degradation. Autophagy or the autophagic chaperone Hsc70 is dispensable for this pathway. Antibodies against diglycine-modified α-synuclein peptides confirmed that endogenous α-synuclein is similarly ubiquitinated in the brain and targeted to lysosomes in primary and iPSC-derived neurons. Ubiquitinated α-synuclein was detected in Lewy bodies and cellular models of aggregation, suggesting that it may be entrapped with endo/lysosomes in inclusions. Our data elucidate the intracellular trafficking of de novo ubiquitinated α-synuclein and provide tools for investigating the rapidly turned-over fraction of this disease-causing protein.

Original publication




Journal article


Science Advances


American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Publication Date