Biotech China 2014

Treatment of Parkinson's Disease May Depend on Augmented Enzyme Activity

A naturally occurring brain enzyme has been identified that promotes the breakdown of the toxic protein clumps that characterize familial Parkinson's disease (PD) and some sporadic forms of the disease.

Dominantly inherited mutations in the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 gene (LRRK2) are the most common cause of familial PD and have also been identified in individuals with sporadic PD. Although the exact cellular function of LRRK2 remains unknown, most PD-linked mutations appear to be toxic to cells in culture via mechanisms that depend on the kinase activity of LRRK2 or on the formation of cytoplasmic inclusions.


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