Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Department or Program
Ann B. Maine
Matthew R. Kelley
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a disease in which neurons in the substantia nigra die. Within these neurons are Lewy bodies, proteinatious aggregates composed primarily of α-synuclein. Two important questions in PD research are these: are some amino acids more important in the properties of α-synuclein; how ar e naturally-occurring C-terminal truncations to α-synuclein relevant to pathology? My senior thesis explores both questions. To evaluate the importance of specific amino acids, I made point mutations on implicated amino acids: D2, A76, V77, Q79, and E83. I hypothesized that these mutations would either diminish or enhance the pathological properties of α-synuclein. I found that these amino acids are important for t h e properties o f α-synuclein. To study the relevance of truncations, I recreated four naturally occurring truncations. I hypothesized that t h e truncations would result in aggregations because of the solubility properties of the C-terminus. Truncation resulted in less membrane binding and cytoplasmic punctate foci.
Campbell, Katrina Jo, "Two Studies on Parkinson’s Disease Protein, α-Synuclein: Amino Acid Determinants and Truncations" (2014). Senior Theses.