Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New route to Parkinson’s found in cells’ "garbage disposal" system

16.12.2004


Researchers have known that mutations in a key gene called parkin are a major cause of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Now they have discovered a new mechanism by which the parkin gene can be compromised, a finding that they say could lead to new drugs for the disorder.

Andrea Lozano, Senior Scientist at the Toronto Western Research Institute, of University Health Network and Professor of Surgery at the University of Toronto and colleagues found that the protein produced by a gene called BAG5 inhibits parkin activity and the action of another protein, called Hsp70, a "chaperone" that works with parkin. They found in studies with rats that BAG5 enhances the death of the dopaminergic neurons targeted by Parkinson’s and that inhibiting the gene reduces such death.

Parkin is part of the cell’s "garbage disposal" system that rids the cell of unwanted proteins by degrading them. Mutations of parkin eliminate its ability to chemically "tag" such proteins to designate them for destruction in the cell’s proteasome--a process called ubiquitinylation. Loss of such ability causes such protein garbage to aggregate into lethal clumps in neurons--a hallmark of many neurodegenerative diseases. In the brain, the parkin protein works with Hsp70, which helps correct the folding of misfolded proteins.



BAG5 is one of a family of BAG proteins known to interact with other proteins to aid a variety of cell processes. The structure of BAG5 led Lozano and colleagues to explore whether it might play a role in the proteasome, along with parkin and Hsp70.

Their experiments revealed that BAG5 was activated when dopaminergic neurons were injured, suggesting a role in neurodegeneration. Experiments also revealed that BAG5 inhibits Hsp70 and interacts directly with parkin, inhibiting its activity. This inhibition, they found, enhances the formation of protein aggregates, and this formation was inhibited when the researchers shut down the activity of BAG5. In other test tube studies, the researchers also found that BAG5 inhibited parkin’s ability to protect cells against proteasome dysfunction and cell death.

In experiments with rats, the researchers found that BAG5 enhanced the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons and that inhibiting BAG5 increased neuronal survival.

"Based on our findings, we propose a novel mechanism for neurodegeneration in which BAG5 interacts with both parkin and Hsp70, resulting in decreased parkin and Hsp70 function, two outcomes that are deleterious to cell survival," concluded the researchers. "Given the role of BAG5 in modulating ubiquitinylation, protein aggregation, and cell death, it may serve as a useful therapeutic target for neurodegenerative diseases such as PD."

Heidi Hardman | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cell.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht A promising target for kidney fibrosis
21.04.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

nachricht Stem cell transplants: activating signal paths may protect from graft-versus-host disease
20.04.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

Im Focus: Quantum-physical Model System

Computer-assisted methods aid Heidelberg physicists in reproducing experiment with ultracold atoms

Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...

Im Focus: Glacier bacteria’s contribution to carbon cycling

Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.

A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A promising target for kidney fibrosis

21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>