Alpha-Synuclein

Alpha-Synuclein

Alpha-Synuclein (α- Synuclein) is a member of the synuclein family of proteins including β-synuclein and γ-synuclein. α-Synuclein has been found concentrated in the presynaptic nerve terminals of neurons and in the nucleus of neurons. The human α-synuclein protein is made of 140 amino acids, encoded by the SNCA gene. The physiological function of α-synuclein may associate with regulating synaptic transmission, dopamine metabolism, vesicle trafficking etc. While native α-synuclein is unfolded, it has a propensity to form toxic soluble oligomers (i.e., protofibrils) that ultimately aggregate into insoluble fibrils. The fibrils and amyloidal forms of α-synuclein are major components of Lewy bodies. α-Synuclein has been linked to the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease, Parkinson’s disease dementia, and dementia with Lewy bodies. α-Synuclein is also shown to be linked with Alzheimer’s disease.

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