Discovery may explain why more men than women develop the disease
UCLA scientists have discovered that a sex gene responsible for making embryos male and forming the testes is also produced by the brain region targeted by Parkinsons disease. Published in the Feb. 21 edition of Current Biology, the new research may explain why more men than women develop the degenerative disorder, which afflicts roughly 1 million Americans.
"Men are 1.5 times more likely to develop Parkinsons disease than women," said Dr. Eric Vilain, associate professor of human genetics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. "Our findings may offer new clues to how the disorder affects men and women differently, and shed light on why men are more susceptible to the disease."
Elaine Schmidt | EurekAlert!
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Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
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