Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Gene that lowers cell stress could protect against Parkinson’s disease

The discovery of a relationship between two cell enzymes and their role in keeping the cell’s energy generating machinery working smoothly could provide a new target for development of therapies for Parkinson’s disease (PD).

Research led by Dr L.Miguel Martins of the MRC Toxicology Unit at the University of Leicester and Dr Julian Downward of the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute has shown that the products of two genes called HtrA2 and PINK1 co-operate in preventing breakdown of cell function that could otherwise lead to Parkinson’s symptoms. The research is published online in Nature Cell Biology.

Dr Martins explained: ‘‘It is already known that mutations in genes linked to the mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell, can make a person susceptible to PD. What was not clear, until recently, was the contribution made by the HtrA2 enzyme in keeping the mitochondria running smoothly.’’

The team has discovered that HtrA2 interacts with a second enzyme called PINK1 in times of cell stress to prevent the mitochondria from breaking down. And that this preservation of the mitochondria’s function has a protective effect by interrupting a pathway that might otherwise lead the cell to stop working which in turn generates wider symptoms like those of PD.

... more about:
»HtrA2 »Martins »PINK1 »Parkinson »Stress »mitochondria

‘‘We already knew that defects in HtrA2 and PINK1 are linked to Parkinson’s disease symptoms because mutations in these two genes are found in Parkinson’s disease patients. The aim of our research was to determine if these two genes cooperate ’’ Dr Martins added.

The research suggests that if a person has an abnormal copy of the PINK1 gene, this contributes to development of Parkinson’s disease by affecting the HtrA2 protein.

Dr Martins concluded: ‘‘By protecting the mitochondria, PINK1 and HtrA helps to limit environmental stress within the cell and maintain healthy function. Without these, the cell can’t function properly. This could explain cases of PD that seem to arise sporadically. Overall, the description of the HtrA2 pathway in response to cell stress will lead to improved understanding of the development of Parkinson’s disease and in the long-term hopefully to new therapeutic targets.’’

Ather Mirza | alfa
Further information:

Further reports about: HtrA2 Martins PINK1 Parkinson Stress mitochondria

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'
16.03.2018 | Emory Health Sciences

nachricht Scientists map the portal to the cell's nucleus
16.03.2018 | Rockefeller University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>