Cellular Protein Structures

One of our main goals is to understand the structural and functional in vivo proper­ties of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs). A substantial amount of our work is dedicated to human alpha-synuclein, a neuronal IDP implicated in Parkinson's disease (PD).

Insoluble aggregates of human alpha-synuclein deposit in dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra in PD patients. These fibrillar structures are thought to be involved in the pathological hallmarks of PD. 

Using in-cell NMR spectroscopy, we investigate how this particular cellular environment affects the conformational properties of alpha-synuclein and how it promotes aggregation under certain cellular conditions.