The recently published work of Tiago Outeiro, leader of the Cell and Molecular Neuroscience Lab, provides novel insight into the role of the protein alpha-synuclein in the onset of Parkinson’s Disease.
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder affecting millions of people worldwide. The precise molecular mechanisms involved in the onset of the disease are still not fully understood, however, the protein alpha-synuclein (aSyn), the primary structural component of Lewy bodies, has been indicated as a central player in the process.
With this new study published in Human Molecular Genetics, the team investigated the effects in the nucleus and the impact of phosphorylation in the dynamics of the mechanisms underlying transcription deregulation mediated by the protein. By doing so, they were able to observe that the presence of aSyn in the nucleus, as well as its phosphorylation, had an impact on gene expression and toxicity.
“This study means a lot to me, as it is an important contribution on a controversial subject, where we show, with great rigor, that there is still a lot to discover about the biology of alpha-synuclein”, says the researcher.
For more information, please check the article “Nuclear localization and phosphorylation modulate pathological effects of Alpha-Synuclein”.