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Biomarker: α-Synuclein

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Analyte:

α-Synuclein

Platform:

Status:

Experienced Running

Biological or Clinical Significance:

Alpha-synuclein is a protein that is abundant in the human brain. Smaller amounts are found in the heart, muscles, and other tissues. In the brain, alpha-synuclein is found mainly at the tips of nerve cells (neurons) in specialized structures called presynaptic terminals. Within these structures, alpha-synuclein interacts with phospholipids and proteins. Studies suggest that α-Synuclein plays a role in maintaining a supply of synaptic vesicles in presynaptic terminals by clustering synaptic vesicles. It may also help regulate the release of dopamine.

Alpha-synuclein is specifically upregulated in a discrete population of presynaptic terminals of the brain during a period of acquisition-related synaptic rearrangement. It has been shown that alpha-synuclein significantly interacts with tubulin, and that alpha-synuclein may have activity as a potential microtubule-associated protein, like tau. Classically considered an unstructured soluble protein, unmutated α-synuclein forms a stably folded tetramer that resists aggregation.

References:

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