Targeting α-synuclein: Therapeutic options

Mov Disord. 2016 Jun;31(6):882-8. doi: 10.1002/mds.26568. Epub 2016 Mar 1.


The discovery of the central role of α-synuclein (αSyn) in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD) has powered, in the last decade, the emergence of novel relevant models of this condition based on viral vector-mediated expression of the disease-causing protein or inoculation of toxic species of αSyn. Although the development of these powerful tools and models has provided considerable insights into the mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration in PD, it has also been translated into the expansion of the landscape of preclinical therapeutic strategies. Much attention is now brought to the proteotoxic mechanisms induced by αSyn and how to block them using strategies inspired by intrinsic cellular pathways such as the enhancement of cellular clearance by the lysosomal-autophagic system, through proteasome-mediated degradation or through immunization. The important effort undertaken by several laboratories and consortia to tackle these issues and identify novel targets warrants great promise for the discovery not only of neuroprotective approaches but also of restorative strategies for PD and other synucleinopathies. In this viewpoint, we summarize the latest advances in this new area of PD research and will discuss promising approaches and ongoing challenges. © 2016 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

Keywords: Parkinson's disease; animal models; propagation; synucleinopathy; α-synuclein.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Parkinson Disease / metabolism*
  • Parkinson Disease / therapy*
  • alpha-Synuclein / metabolism*


  • alpha-Synuclein