Alpha-synuclein and autophagy as common steps in neurodegeneration

Michela Ferrucci, Livia Pasquali, Stefano Ruggieri, Antonio Paparelli, Francesco Fornai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The major component of Lewy bodies in Parkinson's disease (PD) is α-synuclein, which is considered as a substrate of the ubiquitin-proteasome (UP) system, although autophagy seems to be equally involved. Here we discuss the co-existence of α-synuclein and proteins belonging to the UP system within autophagic granules, further developing as neuronal inclusions. We hypothesize that, following slight insults, both UP and autophagy are induced; if toxic stimuli are prolonged, these pathways are overwhelmed and cell death occurs. We then indicate a protective role of autophagy in PD and suggest it as a therapeutic target to slow down the progression of the disease.

Original languageEnglish
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
Issue numberSUPPL.2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008


  • Degradation pathways
  • Lithium
  • Neuronal inclusions
  • Parkinson's disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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