ATP13A2 Gene Silencing in Drosophila Affects Autophagic Degradation of A53T Mutant α-Synuclein

Nisha R. Dhanushkodi, Salema B. Abul Khair, Mustafa T. Ardah, M. Emdadul Haque

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Mutations in ATP13A2 (PARK9), an autophagy-related protein, cause Kufor–Rakeb syndrome, an autosomal recessive, juvenile-onset form of parkinsonism. α-Synuclein (α-syn) is a presynaptic neuronal protein that forms toxic aggregates in Parkinson’s disease (PD). We studied α-syn aggregation and autophagic flux in ATP13A2-knockdown Drosophila expressing either wild-type (WT) or mutant α-syn. Dopaminergic (DA) neuron loss was studied by confocal microscopy. Sleep and circadian activity were evaluated in young and old flies using a Drosophila activity monitor. Thirty-day-old ATP13A2-RNAi A53T-α-syn flies had increased Triton-insoluble α-syn levels, compared to control A53T-α-syn flies without ATP13A2-RNAi. Whole-brain staining revealed significantly fewer dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the PPL2 cluster of 30-day-old ATP13A2-RNAi flies expressing WT-, A30P-, and A53T-α-syn than in that of controls. In ATP13A2-RNAi A53T-α-syn flies, autophagic flux was decreased, as indicated by increased accumulation of Ref(2)P, the Drosophila p62 homologue. ATP13A2 silencing decreased total locomotor activity in young, and enhanced sleep features, similar to PD (decreasing bout length), in old flies expressing A53T-α-syn. ATP13A2 silencing also altered the circadian locomotor activity of A30P- and A53T-α-syn flies. Thus, ATP13A2 may play a role in the autophagic degradation of A53T-α-syn.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1775
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • ATP13A2
  • Drosophila
  • autophagy
  • parkinsonism
  • sleep
  • α-synuclein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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