Molecular Biology

, Volume 53, Issue 3, pp 335–341 | Cite as

Prion Properties of Alpha-Synuclein

  • A. L. Schwarzman
  • K. A. Senkevich
  • A. K. Emelyanov
  • S. N. PchelinaEmail author


The prion properties of alpha-synuclein, a key aggregating protein involved in the pathogenesis of so-called synucleinopathies, including Parkinson’s disease (PD), dementia with Lewy bodies, multiple system atrophy, and its various conformers are discussed. It is shown that alpha-synuclein may be transferred between cells by prion-like propagation. Similarly to other prions, alpha-synuclein aggregation develops from the initial lag-phase (nucleation) to the subsequent growth phase (elongation), and to the stationary phase where the aggregates and monomers exist in equilibrium. Similarly to prions, alpha-synuclein undergoes conformational changes from an alpha-helix to its beta-folded structure. However, there is currently no evidence that alpha-synuclein-dependent PD can be transmitted from person-to-person. This review describes the prion properties of alpha-synuclein, possible ways of its intercellular propagation, and novel approaches to PD diagnostics.


Parkinson’s disease alpha-synuclein prions alpha-synuclein transmission 



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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Inc. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. L. Schwarzman
    • 1
  • K. A. Senkevich
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. K. Emelyanov
    • 1
    • 2
  • S. N. Pchelina
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Konstantinov St. Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute, National Research Center Kurchatov InstituteGatchinaRussia
  2. 2.Pavlov First St. Petersburg State Medical UniversitySt. PetersburgRussia

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