Karina J. Vargas, Ph.D.

Karina Vargas
Title
Research Scientist
Department
Neuroscience
Institution
Marine Biologibal Labratory
Address
7 MBL Street
City, State, Zip
Woods Hole, MA 02543
Country
United States
Phone
(203) 785-4741
E-mail
kvargas@mbl.edu
Website
https://www.mbl.edu/bell/current-faculty/jennifer-morgan/
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.

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