Pathological inclusions of α-synuclein
α-Synuclein is a central molecule responsible for neurodegenerative effects observed in α-synucleopathies and presents as a major component of Lewy bodies in the affected neurons in Parkinson's disease (PD). It is a 14.5 kDa (140 amino acids long) protein predominantly expressed in brain, specifically in cerebellum, thalamus, neocortex, hippocampus, and striatum regions.
It has been hypothesized that α-synuclein exists, under physiological conditions, in random coils. Under pathological conditions, the native protein undergoes misfolding (beyond proteasomal repair) to form dimers/trimers/oligomers which in turn aggregate into higher-ordered protofibril structures. These serve as building blocks for pathological inclusions of α-synuclein in the neurons.
Why quantify α-Synuclein?
Accurate quantitation of α-Synuclein (a potential biomarker for PD) could enable earlier detection and accurate diagnoses, thus accelerating therapeutic research and development centered along with critical pathogenic mechanisms in PD including aggregation.