An Overview of Alpha Synuclein Protein and Its Role in Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease is the most common age-related motor movement disorder. Pathological changes in Parkinson’s disease are the loss of melanin-containing dopaminergic neurons and the detection of inclusion bodies in the cells, which contain alpha-synuclein and ubiquitinated proteins, called as Lewy bodies. In this review; the structure of Lewy bodies, structural features and intracellular localization of α-synuclein protein, intracellular functions and intercellular spread of α-synuclein protein are discussed. The physiological and pathologic features of α-synuclein protein are reviewed based mostly upon review of the literature. α-synuclein has significant functions especially at central nervous system. α-synuclein is a protein that can be found in various areas within the cell, particularly in the presynaptic axon terminals. Under pathologic conditions, cellular accumulation of misfolded α-synuclein oligomers and aggregates are observed in a group of neurodegenerative diseases called synucleinopathies. The mechanisms of how α-synuclein protein takes part in the neurodegeneration process and physiologic roles of the protein have not been fully elucidated yet. It’s important to unravel the secrets of this protein and understand its behaviours in order to improve existing treatment protocols and also to develop new and more effective treatments for Parkinson’s Disease.
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