MODULATION OF ALPHA-SYNUCLEIN PROTEIN FOLDING BY A MARINE-SOURCED EXTRACT
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Protein misfolding has increasingly been recognized to have causative roles in several human neurological diseases. Alpha-synuclein (αS) is a protein involved in the regulation of several neuronal synaptic functions. When misfolded and aggregated into an amyloid form, αS has been implicated in neuronal dysfunction and degeneration in Parkinson’s disease and related disorders. The goal of this project was to evaluate the effects of marine species-derived extracts from the Bay of Fundy, Canada, on the melting temperature of αS. Fractions that increased and decreased the α-synuclein melting temperature were identified within a single extract. These fractions were separated by acetone precipitation and size fractionation. The effects of fractions on amyloid formation were assessed. Compounds identified in this way may lead to novel marine-sourced products that directly prevent the protein misfolding that appears to be causative in Parkinson’s disease.