The FEBS Letters Award 2020
FEBS Letters is pleased to announce that the FEBS Letters Award 2020 will be presented to Dr Tim Bartels (UK Dementia Research Institute at UCL) for his outstanding paper:
Refolding of helical soluble α-synuclein through transient interaction with lipid interfaces
Matteo Rovere, John B. Sanderson, Luis Fonseca-Ornelas, Dushyant S. Patel and Tim Bartels. FEBS Lett, 2018, 592: 1464–1472. doi:10.1002/1873-3468.13047
α-Synuclein is a neuronal protein of unknown physiological function. Pathological aggregates of a-synuclein are a hallmark of Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB), Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Multiple System Atrophy.
The lab of Tim Bartels found that a soluble form of α-synuclein exists as an α-helically folded tetramer. This soluble form of α-synuclein is not prone to aggregation and its folding is favored by interaction with lipid bilayers, which appear to act as molecular chaperones modulating the conformational space of the folding protein. The authors propose a scenario whereby α-synuclein is present in two conformational pools: one of them aggregation‐prone, soluble and unfolded, and the other α‐helical and aggregation‐resistant. Imbalances in the relative amounts of protein in these two pools could favor nucleation events and subsequent aggregation.
The award-winning article is selected by a special committee, formed by appointed members of the Editorial Board, plus one external member. The Award Committee members were: Laszlo Nagy (Orlando), Britta Brügger (Heidelberg), Nicola Gray (Edinburgh), Daniela Ruffell (Editorial Office) and Michael Brunner (Associate Managing Editor), Chair.
Dr Bartels will present a plenary lecture about this work at the 45th FEBS Congress in Ljubljana, Slovenia, 3–8 July 2021, where he will be officially presented with the prize.
Find more information on the award here: FEBS Letters Award