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.
Heidi Hardman | EurekAlert!
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In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
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A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
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In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
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The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
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07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine