Following Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second-most common neurodegenerative disorder, sharing an unclear pathophysiology, a multifactorial profile, and massive social costs worldwide. Despite this, no disease-modifying therapy is available. PD is tightly associated with α-synuclein (α-Syn) deposits, which become organised into insoluble, amyloid fibrils. As a typical intrinsically disordered protein, α-Syn adopts a monomeric, random coil conformation in an aqueous solution, while its interaction with lipid membranes drives the transition of the molecule part into an α-helical structure. The central unstructured region of α-Syn is involved in fibril formation by converting to well-defined, β-sheet rich secondary structures. Presently, most therapeutic strategies against PD are focused on designing small molecules, peptides, and peptidomimetics that can directly target α-Syn and its aggregation pathway. Other approaches include gene silencing, cell transplantation, stimulation of intracellular clearance with autophagy promoters, and degradation pathways based on immunotherapy of amyloid fibrils. In the present review, we sum marise the current advances related to α-Syn aggregation/neurotoxicity. These findings present a valuable arsenal for the further development of efficient, nontoxic, and non-invasive therapeutic protocols for disease-modifying therapy that tackles disease onset and progression in the future.
Ključne reči: α-synuclein oligomers and fibrils; disaggregators; high throughput anti-aggregation drug screening; intrinsically disordered proteins; protein misfolding; rationally designed peptidomimetics; structure/function relationship; synucleinopathies