Α novel approach to define the role of alpha-synuclein, the protein that promotes Parkinson’s disease, in the cell nucleus
Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Democritus University of Thrace
α-Synuclein (α-syn) is a small protein that is implicated in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. Although α-syn was first identified some decades ago, its physiological role in the cell remains unclear, as the majority of α-syn-related research has focused on its neurodegenerative activity. Recent studies indicate that α-syn-phosphorylated at Serine129 is localized in the nucleus of cells, where it may interact with DNA, histones and transcription factors. These data point towards a potential role of α-syn in DNA transcription, and thus a systematic and in depth analysis of the role of α-syn in cell nucleus is required. The present proposal aims to investigate the interaction of α-syn with DNA. A thorough understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the phosphorylation of α-syn will shed light on the normal function of α-syn and pave the way towards a better understanding of α-syn neurodegeneration and may promote the development of novel rational therapeutic interventions.
This project was evaluated and funded as part of the Foundation’s effort to support research teams with all their members being under 40 years old.
Katerina Paleologou, Lecturer, University of Thrace
Eldem Sadikoglou, PhD Candidate, Department of Molecular Biology & Genetics, University of Thrace