Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Nathan Levy L&S Biological Sciences

Localization of alpha synuclein using turboID proximity labelling

“Alpha synuclein is one of the most commonly mutated genes found in Parkinson’s disease: the neurodegenerative disorder that is responsible for almost 15% of all dementia cases.[3] It is the main component of Lewy Bodies (LBs) in the form of protein aggregates in neuronal cells. Furthermore, the Braak Model states the stage of Parkinson’s Disease correlates to the distribution of LBs in the brain, suggesting the transmission of alpha-synuclein aggregates as the disease progresses. Uncovering these patterns of alpha synuclein secretion can provide insight on the pathogenesis of LBs and potentially lead to future therapies to prevent the transmission. My research is focused on researching how alpha synuclein secretes in dopaminergic neurons.
Previous findings have discovered DNAJC5, a co-chaperone of HSC70, regulates alpha synuclein’s secretion by forming a palmitoylated oligomer on endosomes. However, the translocation mechanism of alpha-synuclein into endosomes is still unclear. One of the several methods that I will use to investigate this question is proximity labeling to determine any commonly associated intermembrane proteins with the transient alpha synuclein – DNAJC5 complex.

Message To Sponsor

Thank you for supporting my project. Your generosity made all of my ideas possible to complete. I am working hard at the lab to make promising results to my project.
Major: MCB
Mentor: Randy Schekman
Sponsor: Fruewirth Fund
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