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New mouse model confirms mutation of beta-synuclein protein promotes neurodegeneration

March 09, 2016

The newly published research describes the creation of a transgenic mouse model that expresses the B-synuclein mutation. The mice suffer from neurodegenerative disease, validating LaSpada's earlier work.

"Beta-synuclein is interesting because it is closely related to alpha-synuclein, a protein that can cause Parkinson's disease by being mutated or over-expressed," said LaSpada. "A-synuclein is viewed as central to Parkinson's disease pathogenesis. The question has been: could B-synuclein also promote neurodegeneration because it's similar in its sequence and expression pattern to A-synuclein? This study shows that the answer is yes."

These findings, said LaSpada, establish B-synuclein's links to Parkinson's disease and related disorders, making it a new and, now, proven target for potential therapies.

Source: University of California - San Diego