Degree Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2019

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology

Major

Biochemistry

First Advisor

Yeon-Kyun . Shin

Abstract

For decades α-synuclein has been the focus of research because of its association with Parkinson's disease and other types of dementia. Recently the focus has shifted from attempting to understand the mode of toxicity of α-synuclein aggregates to trying to identify α-synuclein's healthy physiological function. It has been identified that α-synuclein interacts with the SNARE complex and assists in SNARE-mediated membrane fusion. Utilizing two novel single molecule assays we are able to determine how α-synuclein enhances SNARE

activity. α-synuclein has two major domains: one that buries itself in the phospholipid head groups of a membrane and another that binds to the v-SNARE VAMP2. By using both of these domains α-synuclein can tether vesicles more securely to the plasma membrane providing the SNARE complex more time to form properly.

Copyright Owner

Brenden James Douglas Hawk

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

122 pages

Included in

Biochemistry Commons

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