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Polo-like kinase 2 (PLK2) phosphorylates alpha-synuclein at serine 129 in central nervous system.

Authors:
Inglis KJ, Chereau D, Brigham EF, Chiou SS, Schöbel S, Frigon NL, Yu M, Caccavello RJ, Nelson S, Motter R, Wright S, Chian D, Santiago P, Soriano F, Ramos C, Powell K, Goldstein JM, Babcock M, Yednock T, Bard F, Basi GS, Sham H, Chilcote TJ, McConlogue L, Griswold-Prenner I, Anderson JP
Affiliation:
Journal:
The Journal of biological chemistry

Abstract

Several neurological diseases, including Parkinson disease and dementia with Lewy bodies, are characterized by the accumulation of alpha-synuclein phosphorylated at Ser-129 (p-Ser-129). The kinase or kinases responsible for this phosphorylation have been the subject of intense investigation. Here we submit evidence that polo-like kinase 2 (PLK2, also known as serum-inducible kinase or SNK) is a principle contributor to alpha-synuclein phosphorylation at Ser-129 in neurons. PLK2 directly phosphorylates alpha-synuclein at Ser-129 in an in vitro biochemical assay. Inhibitors of PLK kinases inhibited alpha-synuclein phosphorylation both in primary cortical cell cultures and in mouse brain in vivo. Finally, specific knockdown of PLK2 expression by transduction with short hairpin RNA constructs or by knock-out of the plk2 gene reduced p-Ser-129 levels. These results indicate that PLK2 plays a critical role in alpha-synuclein phosphorylation in central nervous system.

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