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New pathway identified in Parkinson's through brain imaging
Date:9/13/2010

break down polyamines, and previous research had shown that Parkinson's patients have high levels of polyamines in their brains, we hypothesized that SAT1 and polyamines are involved in the development of Parkinson's disease."

Three Experiments Confirm Polyamines Are Pathogenic

To validate the finding, three separate studies in yeast, mice, and people were performed.

The yeast studies revealed that polyamines promote the accumulation of a toxic Parkinson's-causing protein in living cells, and not just in test tubes, as was known from previous research. Conducted by Gregory Petsko, PhD, the Gyula and Katica Tauber Professor of Biochemistry and Chemistry and Chair of Biochemistry at Brandeis University and Dagmar Ringe, PhD, the Harold and Bernice Davis Professor of Aging and Neurodegenerative Disease Research at Brandeis, the new studies found that yeast cells, engineered to produce the toxic Parkinson's protein, die more quickly in the presence of increasing polyamine levels. Furthermore, in a screen conducted for mediators of Parkinson's toxins in the lab of Susan Linquist, PhD, professor of biology in the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and Howard Hughes Medical Institute at MIT, other genes related to polyamine transport were identified.

In the mice studies, a link was established among SAT1, polyamines, and Parkinson's toxins in a mammalian brain. These experiments also revealed that drugs that target SAT1 may be able to slow down the progression of Parkinson's disease. Using drugs that increase SAT1 activity and therefore lower polyamine levels, researchers in the lab of Eliezer Masliah, MD, professor of neurosciences and pathology at the UC San Diego School of Medicine, found a decrease in Parkinson's toxins and the damage which they cause within brain regions affected by the disease.

Genetic studies in patients with Parkinson's provided further evidence that polyamines may help drive Parkinson's
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Contact: Karin Eskenazi
ket2116@columbia.edu
212-342-0508
Columbia University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3 4

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