Published on 26 June 2015
Luc Bousset - cnrs

This protein aggregates on neurons and affect various brain functions.

Our brain is home to a number of proteins whose functions are not known. When some start balling, creating aggregates on neurons' axons, then appear the first clinical signs of a deterioration of brain function. The tremor of Parkinson's disease is an example.
Several neurodegenerative diseases are caused by aggregates of the same protein, alpha-synuclein in the brain. A Franco-Belgian team including researchers from the Institute of Neurosciences Paris Saclay identified two specific forms of the fibers of this molecule in the form of "linguine" and "spaghetti" and proven to cause Parkinson's disease respectively multi-system atrophy (AMS).
Aggregates that circulate in the blood cross the blood brain barrier. A better knowledge of the propagation mechanisms of alpha-synuclein aggregates could lead to the development of antibodies or molecular chaperones derivatives. These molecules, also proteins, could be used to prevent or slow the formation and propagation of aggregate. This also opens the door to new accurate diagnostic tools.

Created on 1 January 2015, the Institute of Neurosciences Paris-Saclay (Neuro-PSI) is a multidisciplinary Institute of basic neuroscience. It forms with the research infrastructure NeuroSpin (CEA / Saclay), NeuroSaclay, together which is the Neurosciences branch component of the Université Paris-Saclay.

Références :
α-Synuclein strains cause distinct synucleinopathies after local and systemic administration, W. Peelaerts, L. Bousset, A. Van der Perren, A. Moskalyuk, R. Pulizzi, M.Giugliano, C. Van den Haute, R. Melki, V. Baekelandt. Nature, 10 juin 2015. DOI : 10.1038/nature14547.