4-Oxo-2-nonenal-Induced α-Synuclein Oligomers Interact with Membranes in the Cell, Leading to Mitochondrial Fragmentation

Camilla B Andersen, Astrid K Lausdahl, Janni Nielsen, Mathias P Clausen, Frans A A Mulder, Daniel E Otzen*, Eva C Arnspang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Oxidative stress and formation of cytotoxic oligomers by the natively unfolded protein α-synuclein (α-syn) are both connected to the development of Parkinson's disease. This effect has been linked to lipid peroxidation and membrane disruption, but the specific mechanisms behind these phenomena remain unclear. To address this, we have prepared α-syn oligomers (αSOs) in vitro in the presence of the lipid peroxidation product 4-oxo-2-nonenal and investigated their interaction with live cells using in-cell NMR as well as stimulated emission depletion (STED) super-resolution and confocal microscopy. We find that the αSOs interact strongly with organellar components, leading to strong immobilization of the protein's otherwise flexible C-terminus. STED microscopy reveals that the oligomers localize to small circular structures inside the cell, while confocal microscopy shows mitochondrial fragmentation and association with both late endosome and retromer complex before the SOs interact with mitochondria. Our study provides direct evidence for close contact between cytotoxic α-syn aggregates and membraneous compartments in the cell.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2417-2425
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • Aldehydes/chemistry
  • Humans
  • Lipid Peroxidation
  • Parkinson Disease
  • alpha-Synuclein/chemistry


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