My project involves identifying these toxic a-synuclein oligomers. I am taking advantage of Thy-1 human A30P a-synuclein transgenic mice, a mouse model for Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson Disease (PD) is an age-related neurodegenerative disease. α-Synuclein plays a critical for familial and sporadic Parkinson Disease. This 14 KDa protein is highly expressed in the presynaptic compartment, but its function is still unknown.
The synuclein proteins are a group of three small proteins – α-, β-, and γ-synuclein – whose precise function is unknown, and which my project aims to identify. I am using a variety of biochemical, biophysical, and cell biological methods to study synucleins’ interactions with membranes and other proteins.
In collaboration with Yongquan Zhang, I am investigating the cellular mechanism of synapse maintenance in a mouse model of neurodegeneration.