The development of alpha-synuclein and 4-repeat tau (4RT) positron-emission tomography (PET) imaging agents would benefit people with Parkinson’s disease (PD), progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) or corticobasal degeneration (CBD). The deposition of these alpha-synuclein and 4RT proteins are distinctive features of PD, PSP and CBD, that could be used as biomarkers for diagnosis, staging and treatment-response monitoring.
We hypothesize that we will successfully design and validate clinically valuable alpha-synuclein and 4RT PET radiotracers through a tapering pipeline of a tracer design, production, characterization and prioritization.
We identified selective alpha-synuclein and 4RT compounds by structure activity relationship studies with activity against 4RT and alpha-synuclein proteins and promising properties as PET ligands (molecules that bond to atoms). In this project we will produce new ligands based on existing lead structures and will be assessed using our methods and SALC resources.
Impact on Diagnosis/Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease:
Selective alpha-synuclein and 4RT tracers would help diagnose PD, PSP and CBD earlier by using PET scanning. This would allow treatment to start sooner, slowing the progression of the disease.
Next Steps for Development:
Once identified and validated, these PET tracers will be made available to the clinical research communities for a variety of imaging applications.