Scientists successfully prevent and stop Parkinsonâs disease in zebrafish
University of California, Los Angeles scientists have found a way to stop Parkinson’s disease in zebrafish, using a kind of molecular ‘tweezer.’ While the exact cause of the disease is unknown, evidence shows a protein called α-synuclein may be the main culprit. In Parkinson’s disease patients, it comes together in clumps and becomes toxic, which kills the brain’s neurons. What the UCLA researchers have done is create a way to prevent these clumps from forming, therefore preventing the toxicity and damage, through ‘tweezers’ -- complex molecular compounds that bind to other proteins. The compounds wrap around chains of lysine, a basic amino acid that is a component of most proteins. They first found that one of these compounds called CLR01, could prevent α-synuclein from forming aggregates in cell cultures, and then successfully prevented new clumps and broke up existing ones in zebrafish.