Caught in the act: alpha-synuclein is the culprit in Parkinson's disease

Neuron. 2003 Oct 30;40(3):453-6. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(03)00684-6.


Previous reports on Parkinson's disease indicate that genetic mutations in alpha-synuclein result in the aberrant accumulation of this protein, causing toxic gain of function leading to the development of Parkinson's. A recent report on the Iowan kindred, an extended pedigree with an autosomal dominant form of this disease, provides new mechanistic insight into Parkinson's disease by showing that an elevation in wild-type alpha-synuclein protein is sufficient to develop the early-onset form of the disorder. This review discusses how insights gained from these studies of alpha-synuclein may direct future research into Parkinson's disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / pathology
  • Genes, Dominant
  • Humans
  • Lewy Bodies / metabolism
  • Lewy Bodies / pathology
  • Nerve Degeneration / metabolism
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • Parkinson Disease / metabolism*
  • Parkinson Disease / pathology
  • Proteome / metabolism
  • Synucleins
  • alpha-Synuclein


  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Proteome
  • SNCA protein, human
  • Synucleins
  • alpha-Synuclein