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Pedigrees and I-FP-CIT SPECT scan images of the four families with GCH1 mutations involved in this study.

GCH1 gene and Parkinson's risk

A study published in Brain, led by researchers at UCL Institute of Neurology, has shown that genetic mutations which cause a decrease in dopamine production in the brain and lead to a form of childhood-onset Dystonia, also play a role in the development of Parkinson’s disease.
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Leonard Wolfson Experimental Neurology Centre (LWENC)

The new Leonard Wolfson Experimental Neurology Centre (LWENC) has opened for clinical studies and trials

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Audioslide presentation on Claudia Manzoni's paper examining how fibroblasts with LRRK2 mutations react to starvation conditions and the possible deficits that they have in autophagy.

LRRK2 and autophagy in fibroblasts

In this paper Claudia Manzoni studies how fibroblast cells from people with Parkinson’s disease caused by mutations in LRRK2 react to starvation. Although the changes are quite subtle, there are differences between the way that fibroblasts that contain mutant LRRK2 respond to being starved – suggesting that there may be changes in the way that these cells regulate a key process called autophagy (a term which comes from the greek meaning to eat yourself, and is one of the ways that cells get rid of waste and recycle proteins and organellles).
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Drosophila fly model - University of Sheffield

Genetic mutations linked to Parkinson's disease

Research led by consortium researchers Dr Helene Plun-Favreau (UCL Institute of Neurology) and Dr Alex Whitworth (University of Sheffield), and collaborator Dr Heike Laman (University of Cambridge), has discovered how genetic mutations linked to Parkinson’s disease might play a key role in the death of brain cells, potentially paving the way for the development of more effective drug treatments. In the new study, published in Nature Neuroscience, the team of cross-institutional researchers showed how defects in the Parkinson’s gene Fbxo7 cause problems with mitophagy. More...

Autophagy

LRRK2 and autophagy

Mutations in LRRK2 are the most common genetic cause of Parkinson’s disease. Here, Claudia Manzoni talks about her research (funded by the Rosetrees Trust and the Michael J. Fox Foundation) into what LRRK2 might be doing within the cell: Parkinson’s disease is a brain illness that afflicts 1 in 500 people in the UK. High profile patients, such as the actor Michael J Fox, the boxer Muhammad Ali and the late Pope John Paul II, have raised public awareness of Parkinson’s and its devastating impact. More...

LRRK2 and autophagy in fibroblasts

3 December 2013

In this paper Claudia Manzoni studies how fibroblast cells from people with Parkinson’s disease caused by mutations in LRRK2 react to starvation. Although the changes are quite subtle, there are differences between the way that fibroblasts that contain mutant LRRK2 respond to being starved – suggesting that there may be changes in the way that these cells regulate a key process called autophagy (a term which comes from the greek meaning to eat yourself, and is one of the ways that cells get rid of waste and recycle proteins and organellles).

One important bit of information that comes out of this study is that all of the mutations that Claudia looked at, no matter where in the LRRK2 protein they are found, seem to have a similar impact on autophagy. This is important because, up until now, there hasn’t been a clear cellular symptom linked to all these mutations and might indicate that disrupted autophagy is a common feature of LRRK2 mutations. A lot more work is needed in order for us to really understand how mutations in LRRK2 alter autophagy, but this study provides an intriguing hint that autophagy might be very important in Parkinson’s disease.

Click on the image below for an audioslide presentation on the paper:

Audioslide presentation on Claudia Manzoni's paper examining how fibroblasts with LRRK2 mutations react to starvation conditions and the possible deficits that they have in autophagy.

Manzoni, C., Mamais, A., Dihanich, S., McGoldrick, P., Devine, M., Zerle, J., Kara, E., Taanman, J., Healy, D., Marti-Masso, J., Schapira, A., Plun-Favreau, H., Tooze, S., Hardy, J., Bandopadhyay, R., Lewis, P., 2013. Pathogenic Parkinson’s disease mutations across the functional domains of LRRK2 alter the autophagic/lysosomal response to starvation. Biochem Biophys Res Commun.

Page last modified on 02 dec 13 15:31