α-synucleinopathy exerts sex-dimorphic effects on the multipurpose DNA repair/redox protein APE1 in mice and humans



Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Publication Title

Progress in Neurobiology






APEX1, Dementia with Lewy bodies, Parkinson's disease, Preformed Fibrils, Synuclein


Lewy body disorders are characterized by oxidative damage to DNA and inclusions rich in aggregated forms of α-synuclein. Among other roles, apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease 1 (APE1) repairs oxidative DNA damage, and APE1 polymorphisms have been linked to cases of Lewy body disorders. However, the link between APE1 and α-synuclein is unexplored. We report that knockdown or inhibition of APE1 amplified inclusion formation in primary hippocampal cultures challenged with preformed α-synuclein fibrils. Fibril infusions into the mouse olfactory bulb/anterior olfactory nucleus (OB/AON) elicited a modest decrease in APE1 expression in the brains of male mice but an increase in females. Similarly, men with Lewy body disorders displayed lower APE1 expression in the OB and amygdala compared to women. Preformed fibril infusions of the mouse OB/AON induced more robust base excision repair of DNA lesions in females than males. No fibril-mediated loss of APE1 expression was observed in male mice when the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine was added to their diet. These findings reveal a potential sex-biased link between α-synucleinopathy and APE1 in mice and humans. Further studies are warranted to determine how this multifunctional protein modifies α-synuclein inclusions and, conversely, how α-synucleinopathy and biological sex interact to modify APE1.

Open Access

Green Accepted