Drosophila melanogaster as animal model for neurodegenerative processes.

The molecular principles underlying neurodegenerative processes are still not fully understood. The histological hallmark of Parkinson’s disease is the presence of intracellular aggregates, of which the protein α-synuclein is one of the major constitutive. In the case of Alzheimer’s disease one finds aggregates of the tubulin associated protein tau. We are using the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster as an animal model to study the processes within a cell leading to the formation of aggregates and/or cell death.

In this context, our main focus is to produce and analyze highly toxic variants of α-synuclein in its relation to neurodegenerative processes.