?Influence of Aging on Pathogenic ?-Synuclein Strains and Transmission Mechanism? Project Summary: Besides ?-synuclein transmission mechanism, the role of distinct strains of ?-synuclein is compelling to be understood. Understanding the influence of aging on the pathogenesis of synucleinopathies, including Parkinson's disease (PD), PD with dementia (PDD), dementia with Lewy body (DLB) and multiple system atrophy (MSA), is crucial for developing more effective symptomatic therapies. In this K01 proposal, three specific aims are proposed for understanding the influence of aging: (1) To generate and characterize pathogenic strain-specific ?-syn from brain tissue/CSF of patients with PD/PDD/DLB/MSA to controls by the factor of aging longitudinally and cross-sectionally. (2) To understand the influence of age on distinct pathogenic ?-syn strains from PD/PDD/DLB/MSA in vitro and in vivo. (3) To uncover the transmission mechanism of age-related distinct pathogenic ?-synuclein. To achieve the 3 specific aims, 6 methods/steps are required: (i) Dr. Juan Troncoso and Dr. Liana Rosenthal will provide the training to candidate on handling human brain tissue/CSF. Drs. Ted and Valina Dawson, and Dr. Mark Mattson will train the candidate using the misfolded ?-synuclein in brain tissue/cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) as templates, and with protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) technique, to generate distinct ?-synuclein strains. (ii) Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) will be applied for imaging molecular structures of distinct ?-synuclein strains and distinguish the differences, and the alternative training will be available from Dr. Chen Wang if the potential problems appear. (iii) Atomic force microscopy (AFM) will be applied for observing assembly morphologies of distinct ?-synuclein strains. Dr. Mingdong Dong will provide the training on studying nano-mechanical properties and dynamic growth features of distinct ?-synuclein strains. (iv) Electrophysiology study on firing experiment will be hands- on training from Dr. Antonello Bonci. This training study is to understand the intrinsic and synaptic properties affected by distinct ?-synuclein strains. (v) In vivo microscopy will be hands-on training from Dr. Da-Ting Lin. This training includes performing all necessary surgical procedure to insert gradient index (GRIN) lens into substantia nigra and two-photon microscopy. This study will allow candidate to study the dopamine neuronal circuit dysfunction affected by stereotaxically injected with distinct ?-synuclein strains in striatum region for evaluation the transmission. (vi) Lymphocyte-activation gene 3 (LAG3) has been identified as ?-synuclein preformed fibrils (PFF) receptor, so it is worth to explore whether LAG3 can mediate the transmission of distinct ?-synuclein strains. Above all, this project proposed is to develop an independent research laboratory equipped to understand the distinct strains of amyloid proteins on misfolded structures, the transmission and the toxicity in neurodegenerative disorders, and to develop a programmatic line of research by successfully competing for funding.

Public Health Relevance

This research would contribute to fundamental knowledge about the nature of ?-synuclein strains and the transmission mechanisms of synucleinopathies in age-related neurodegenerative disorders. The application of the knowledge will help to find new target to slow the progression of diseases.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training (K01)
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Neuroscience of Aging Review Committee (NIA)
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St Hillaire-Clarke, Coryse
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Johns Hopkins University
Anatomy/Cell Biology
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Xiong, Yulan; Neifert, Stewart; Karuppagounder, Senthilkumar S et al. (2018) Robust kinase- and age-dependent dopaminergic and norepinephrine neurodegeneration in LRRK2 G2019S transgenic mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 115:1635-1640
Yun, Seung Pil; Kam, Tae-In; Panicker, Nikhil et al. (2018) Block of A1 astrocyte conversion by microglia is neuroprotective in models of Parkinson's disease. Nat Med 24:931-938