Protein Linked Sugars Are Crucial For The Uptake Of Proteins

Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative disorder that affecting more than 6 million people worldwide; is causing by the buildup of alpha-synuclein protein in the brain. This research focusing on the acetylating form of alpha synuclein proteins; which is present in both healthy and diseasing neurons and is less frequently studying.

But the study that the acetylating form was more effective at forming clusters of proteins inside neurons and was requiring for interactions with glycans. But no one’s really stressing the importance of these acetylated versions; Birol says. Generally, study need take a step back in trying to understand how this protein may be propagating between cells, and I think glycans could be an aspect.

Protein linked sugars

In the near term, Rhoades and her group hope to obtain higher-resolution structural information of alpha-synuclein proteins bound to glycans. They also hope that this study will inspire future research on alpha-synuclein acetylation and the role of glycans in the progression of the disease and will provide an impetus to look at previously unstudied protein modifications that might be connected to Parkinson’s disease.

Previous work from the Rhoades lab implicated the presence of a glycan binding site on alpha synuclein. This finding, combined with Birol’s experience in analyzing protein-membrane interactions, led to this study of how alpha synuclein interacts with cell membranes.

Pathology of Parkinson’s disease

In one possible model for the pathology of Parkinson’s disease; bundles of alpha-synuclein proteins, known as aggregates, form inside a neuron. This then leads to cell death and the release of alpha synuclein protein clusters that are taken up by other neurons. Since neurodegenerative diseases have typical progression patterns; knowing how alpha-synuclein moves between neurons in the brain helps researchers understand disease propagation.

The biological function of alpha-synuclein is still not well understanding; but because of its role in neurodegenerative diseases; researchers are actively studying this protein to understand the mechanisms of the disease and to look for new treatment strategies.