PD is a movement disorder caused by the loss of neurons from the substantia nigra. The key pathological hallmark of PD is the intracellular inclusions called Lewy bodies which are composed mainly of the α-synuclein protein.
Structural properties of α-synuclein
The α-synuclein protein is a cytoplasmic protein that undergoes a structural transition from an unfolded state into an α-helical containing conformation. We have been studying the factors that modulate this structural change and found that dopamine and lipids can alter the biophysical properties of α-synuclein. Our goal is to relate these in vitro studies to the pathological pathways that occur in PD.
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