Dr. Friederike Zunke

Foto von Friederike Zunke
Friederike Zunke
Unit for Cytokine and Metalloproteinase Research
The role of lysosomal cathepsins in α-synuclein metabolism and Parkinson’s disease
In our group, we deal with the possible role of lysosomal proteases in the development of Parkinson’s disease (PD). On molecular level PD pathology is characterized by the conversion of the neuronal protein α-synuclein from a soluble synaptic protein into insoluble amyloid fibrils accompanied by degeneration of dopaminergic neurons. Accumulation of α-synuclein is thought to occur in lysosomes, where this protein is degraded under physiologic conditions. The project aims to understand the interplay of α-synuclein with lysosomal proteases, which are supposed to be involved in lysosomal degradation of α-synuclein. The effect of a deficiency of lysosomal proteases including specific cathepsins on α-synuclein biology in human neuronal cell models will be analyzed. Using iPS cell derived dopaminergic neurons, the consequences of patient mutations found in lysosomal proteases on α-synuclein pathology and the effect of accumulated α-synuclein on maturation and lysosomal function will be examined. The project wants to unravel the interplay between α-synuclein and lysosomal proteases. Further it will be evaluated if specific α-synuclein degrading lysosomal proteases could be exploited as therapeutic target in Parkinson’s disease

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Letzte Änderung / Last change: Dezember 3, 2018