Ramon Vilar (Chemistry)
Liming Ying (National Heart & Lung Institute)
Alfonso De Simone (Life Sciences)
Magdalena Sastre (Brain Sciences)

A common characteristic of neurodegenerative disorders is the presence of misfolded proteins which aggregate and form solid deposits causing neuronal damage.  One of such proteins is α-synuclein (AS), which has been associated with neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s disease.  Metal ions such as copper have been proposed to play a role in the formation of these toxic AS assemblies. However, it is not known how copper triggers and stabilises the toxic species along with AS aggregation. This project aims to investigate the interactions between Cu and AS in vitro and in cells using a combination of novel spectroscopic and chemical tools.