MCB Seminar Series: Dr. Joel Watts
Date and Time
Please join us as we welcome Dr. Joel Watts as part of MCB's Seminar Speaker Series on Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020.
Seminar time: 10:30 AM
Room: SSC 2315
All are welcome to attend. Please see poster for further details.
MCB Distinguished Speaker Seminar Committee
Strains of PathologicalProtein Aggregates in Neurodegenerative Diseases
A defining feature of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the presence of pathological protein aggregates within the brain. Evidence is accumulating that several neurodegenerative disease-associated proteins, such as Aβ in AD and α-synuclein in PD, can polymerize into distinct “strains” of aggregates. Prion strains, which are encoded by different conformations of protein aggregates, underlie the clinical and pathological heterogeneity observed amongst prion disease subtypes. We have hypothesized that distinct strains of Aβ and α-synuclein may be responsible for enciphering disease variability in AD, PD, and related neurological disorders. Using transgenic mouse models of AD and PD, we have shown that distinct diseases can be induced by injection with unique aggregate strains. Strain-specific differences were maintained after serial passaging suggesting that Aβ and α-synuclein strains propagate within the brain via prion-like conformational templating. Thus, the existence of protein aggregate strains provides a plausible explanation for the disease heterogeneity observed among human neurodegenerative disorders.