Divergent alpha-synuclein solubility and aggregation properties in G2019S LRRK2 Parkinson's disease brains with Lewy Body pathology compared to idiopathic cases
Mutations in LRRK2 are the most common genetic cause of Parkinson's disease (PD). The most prevalent LRRK2 mutation is the G2019S coding change, located in the kinase domain of this complex multi-domain protein. The majority of G2019S autopsy cases feature typical Lewy Body pathology with a clinical phenotype almost indistinguishable from idiopathic PD (iPD). Here we have investigated the biochemical characteristics of alpha-synuclein in G2019S LRRK2 PD post-mortem material, in comparison to pathology-matched iPD. Immunohistochemistry with pS129 alpha-synuclein antibody showed that the medulla is heavily affected with pathology in G2019S PD whilst the basal ganglia (BG), limbic and frontal cortical regions demonstrated comparable pathology scores between G2019S PD and iPD. Significantly lower levels of the highly aggregated alpha-synuclein species in urea-SDS fractions were observed in G2019S cases compared to iPD in the BG and limbic cortex. Our data, albeit from a small number of cases, highlight a difference in the biochemical properties of aggregated alpha-synuclein in G2019S linked PD compared to iPD, despite a similar histopathological presentation. This divergence in solubility is most notable in the basal ganglia, a region that is affected preclinically and is damaged before overt dopaminergic cell death. (C) 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.