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Contact: Katie DuBoff
katie_duboff@hms.harvard.edu
617-432-3038
Harvard Medical School

New Clue to Parkinson's: Shape of Key Protein Surprises Researchers

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Caption: Alpha-synuclein -- a protein that forms clumps in the brains of patients with Parkinson’s—has likely been mischaracterized. Scientists have long assumed that alpha-synuclein occurs in healthy cells as a single, randomly-coiled chain of chemical building blocks. This study, however, demonstrates that alpha-synuclein occurs in healthy cells as a tidy package assembled from four identical chains with orderly folds. The finding opens the door to a new therapeutic approach.

Credit: Harvard Medical School

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Related news release: New clue to Parkinson's


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