Label-free detection of early oligomerization of α-synuclein and its mutants A30P/E46K through solid-state nanopores†
A30P and E46K are two mutants of α-synuclein (α-Syn) associated with familial early-onset Parkinson's disease (PD), and amyloid fibrils of α-Syn are the hallmarks of this disease. Detecting the heterogeneous system in the oligomerization stage of α-Syn is crucial for understanding the fibril formation and in vivo toxicity of α-Syn oligomers. Over the last two decades, solid-state nanopore technology has been developed into a reliable and versatile method in single-molecule studies. In this work, we study the time-dependent kinetics of early oligomerization of wild-type α-Syn, A30P, and E46K mutants through silicon nitride solid-state nanopores. By testing A30P, E46K, and wild-type α-Syn samples with different incubation times—from 3 to 15 days—we identify three typical types of oligomers formed in the oligomerization stage and confirm that A30P and E46K mutants aggregate faster than wild-type α-Syn. The results imply that the distinct aggregation pathways and kinetics featured by wild-type α-Syn and mutations may account for their distinct cytotoxicity and pathology in PD-related studies.