SYNUCLEIN ALPHA (SNCA) (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     20th May 2024        
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Context: Recently, many Parkinson’s disease researchers have focused on reducing SNCA protein levels in neurons as a therapeutic strategy.

Synuclein Alpha (SNCA) Protein

  • About: It is a mysterious protein, notorious for its involvement in age-related neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Localization in Neurons: It is abundant in neurons, especially in dopaminergic neurons found near the nuclei of these cells and at the junctions between two neurons.

o It’s capable of misfolding as well as forming filamentous structures.

  • Structural Variability: Unlike most other proteins, which take up predictable three-dimensional structures, SNCA can fold in multiple ways.
  • Functional Impairment: Misfolded proteins don’t function correctly.
  • Tissue Distribution: It is abundant in the brain, while smaller amounts are found in the heart, muscle, and other tissues.

Parkinson’s Disease

  • About: Simply Parkinson's, is a long-term neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system that affects both the motor system and non-motor systems.
  • Symptoms: Slowed movements (bradykinesia), Tremor while muscles are at rest, Rigidity or stiffness, and Unstable posture or walking gait.
  • Treatment: There is no cure for Parkinson disease.
  • World Parkinson’s Day: Every year, 11th April is observed as World Parkinson's Day.
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