The novel basic, heat-stable tubulin polymerization promoting protein TPPP/p25 is associated with microtubules in vitro and can induce the formation of aberrant microtubule assemblies. We show by 1H-NMR spectroscopy that TPPP/p25 is natively unfolded. Antisera against peptide 186GKGKAGRVDLVDESG 200NH 2 (186a-200) are highly specific to TPPP/p25. Immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy demonstrates that TPPP/p25 is enriched in filamentous alpha-synuclein bearing Lewy bodies of Parkinson's (PD) and diffuse Lewy body disease (DLBD), as well as glial inclusions of multiple system atrophy (MSA). There is a correlation between TPPP/p25 and alpha-synuclein immunoreactivity in Western blot. In contrast, TPPP/p25 is not associated with abnormally phosphorylated tau in various inclusions of Pick's disease (PiD), progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), and corticobasal degeneration (CBD). However, electron microscopy confirms clusters of TPPP/p25 immunoreactivity along filaments of unstructured but not compact neurofibrillary tangles in Alzheimer's disease (AD). TPPP/p25 seems to be a novel marker of alpha-synucleinopathies.
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