Karina J. Vargas, Ph.D.

Title
Postdoctoral Associate
Department
Department of Neurology
Institution
Yale University
Address
295 Congress Avenue, BCMM 149
City, State, Zip
New Haven, CT 6536
Country
United States
Phone
(203) 785-4741
E-mail
karina.vargas[at]yale.edu
Website
http://tools.medicine.yale.edu/chandra/www/index.html
Research Field
Neuroscience
Award Year
2011
Country Of Origin
Chile
Mentor Name
Dr. Sreeganga Chandra

Research

?-Synuclein (?-syn) is an abundant, soluble, presynaptic protein implicated in Parkinson�s disease (PD), but its physiological functions remain unknown. In order to elucidate this function, ???-synuclein knockout (???-syn KO), mice lacking all murine synucleins were generated. Levels of the endocytic protein endophilin and the phosphorylation state of amphiphysin 2 (another endocytic protein structurally similar to endophilin) are alterated in ???-syn KO brains, suggesting that ?-syn normally functions in synaptic vesicle endocytosis (SVE) and recycling (SVR). We are testing the hypothesis that ?-syn forms a complex with endocytic proteins thereby controlling their phosphorylation and interactions. Our hope is that this work will establish whether the synucleins play a role in the endocytic limb of the synaptic vesicle exo-endocytic cycle. This research will contribute to our understanding of Parkinson�s disease (PD) and other neurodegenerative diseases related to synuclein.