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Research from a UK-Australia collaboration published

posted Jun 25, 2018, 6:31 AM by Mathew Horrocks
Our work has recently been published in Cell Reports. The study makes use of single-molecule techniques to understand how extracellular molecular chaperones bind to aggregates formed from alpha-synuclein, the protein associated with Parkinson's disease. Usually, such aggregates have hydrophobic patches exposed, and it is believed that these enable them to punch holes into cell membranes, killing the cells. However, the chaperones bind to these patches, preventing them from damaging cells. As the body ages, it may be the case that these chaperones become less effective, and this could explain why neurodegenerative diseases become more prevalent with age.