Dynamic modeling of alpha-synuclein aggregation for the sporadic and genetic forms of Parkinson's disease

A. Raichur, S. Vali, Fredric A Gorin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Excessive accumulation of alpha synuclein (a-syn) in the brain has been implicated in several degenerative neurological disorders, most notably Parkinson's disease. The aggregation of a-syn is the major component of intraneuronal inclusions, Lewy bodies, which are neuropathological features, observed in Parkinson's disease, Lewy body dementia, and other synucleopathies. Diverse cellular events can contribute to a-syn accumulation, aggregation, and to subsequent Lewy body formation. These factors include genetic mutations of synuclein, parkin, or the deubiquitinating enzyme, ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase (UCH-L1), leading to reduced clearance of a-syn by the ubiquitin proteasomal pathway (UPP). Furthermore, intracellular insults include environmental factors and an age-related decrement in antioxidant defense systems that increase oxidative stress and can affect either the accumulation or clearance of a-syn. We have dynamically modeled a-syn processing in normal and in several disease states; focusing upon alterations in the aggregation and clearance of a-syn as influenced by the UPP and the oxidative stress pathways. Simulation of increased oxidative stress generates a free radical profile analogous to that reported in vivo following exposure to the neurotoxin, 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). Varying model parameters of oxidative stress, UPP dysfunction, or both pathways, simulate kinetics of a-syn that corresponds with the neuropathology described for the sporadic and genetic forms of Parkinson's disease. This in silico model provides a mathematical framework that enables kinetic appraisal of pathway components to better identify and validate important pharmacological targets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)859-870
Number of pages12
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 27 2006


  • alpha-synuclein
  • dynamic kinetic modeling
  • genetic mutations
  • oxidative stress
  • Parkinson's disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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