Medescape

Skepticism, Medicine and Science News

New Insight Into Familial Early-Onset Parkinson

A new study that will appear in the December 1, 2008 print issue of the Journal of Cell Biology provides new insight into the mechanisms of how mutations in the Parkin gene (PARK2) are linked to Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Specific genetic mutations have been known to correlate with early-onset PD, with Parkin, LRRK2 and PINK1 being the most studied. PINK1 have even been found to cause a type of PD indistinguishable from late onset idiopathic PD, and this suggest that genetic mutations may play a role in sporadic PD. 

The study, by Narendra et al., explains that E3 ubiquitin ligase (Parkin) is linked to mitochondrial damage in that the protein may help trigger the removal of damaged mitochondria. Mitochondrial damage have been investigated as a possible candidate for the pathological process of PD through mitochondria-induced apoptosis (although other theories currently have more general support for the cause of iPD, such as proteolytic stress, inflammation and oxidative stress), and the researchers found that in cells that had mitochondrial damage, Parkin had translocated from the cytoplasma to the mitochondria. This translocation was shown to trigger phagosomes to degrade the mitochondria, and thus prevent a possible mitochondria-induced apoptosis.

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November 26, 2008 - Posted by | Medicine | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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