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Funded Studies

Morphology Specific Antibodies as Potential Therapeutics

Parkinson's Disease has been correlated with the over expression and misfolding of the protein a-synuclein. This protein is abundantly produced in nerve cells in the brain and is the major component of the intracellular Lewy Body aggregates that are a hallmark feature of Parkinson's. Outside of cells, a-synuclein will self-assemble into various forms including ring-like structures and long thin fibrils, each of which may be toxic to cells. Sierks is working on isolating antibodies that can control the assembly of these different structures. In this propose we will isolate antibodies that specifically recognize these various different morphologies of a-synuclein. These antibodies can then be used to study the role of the different morphologies in the progression of Parkinson's, and more importantly, they can also be used as potential therapeutics when expressed inside nerve cells to either prevent formation of the toxic structures or to facilitate clearance.


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