Alpha-synuclein (α-syn) is considered the main pathophysiological protein component of Lewy bodies in synucleinopathies. α-Syn is an intrinsically disordered protein (IDP), and several types of structural conformations have been reported, depending on environmental factors. Since IDPs may have distinctive functions depending on their structures, α-syn can play different roles and interact with several proteins, including amyloid-beta (Aβ) and tau, in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other neurodegenerative disorders.
In previous studies, α-syn aggregates in AD brains suggested a close relationship between AD and α-syn. In addition, α-syn directly interacts with Aβ and tau, promoting mutual aggregation and exacerbating the cognitive decline. The interaction of α-syn with Aβ and tau presented different consequences depending on the structural forms of the proteins. In AD, α-syn and tau levels in CSF were both elevated and revealed a high positive correlation. Especially, the CSF α-syn concentration was significantly elevated in the early stages of AD. Therefore, it could be a diagnostic marker of AD and help distinguish AD from other neurodegenerative disorders by incorporating other biomarkers.
The overall physiological and pathophysiological functions, structures, and genetics of α-syn in AD are reviewed and summarized. The numerous associations of α-syn with Aβ and tau suggested the significance of α-syn, as a partner of the pathophysiological roles in AD. Understanding the involvements of α-syn in the pathology of Aβ and tau could help address the unresolved issues of AD. In particular, the current status of the CSF α-syn in AD recommends it as an additional biomarker in the panel for AD diagnosis.

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