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A promising target for developing treatments against Parkinson's disease
Date:8/23/2010

K2 mutations," says Ted Dawson, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neurology and physiology and scientific director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Cell Engineering.

The two drugs that blocked LRRK2 and prevented death of nerve cells in mice with Parkinson's disease both had similar chemical structures. "One could envision generating compounds around that core structure to develop a relatively selective and potent inhibitor of LRRK2," says Dawson.

Dawson is collaborating with researchers at Southern Methodist University to design more specific inhibitors of LRRK2 and the group plans to license this technology. Once they identify promising candidate drugs, those candidates still will have to be tested for toxic side effects. The drugs' approval by the FDA for use in humans may still be many years away.

Says Dawson, treatments developed specifically against LRRK2 may even be able to treat other forms of Parkinson's disease those not caused by LRRK2 alterations as there may be several alterations in different proteins that can lead Parkinson's disease.

"We're curing Parkinson's disease in a mouse and now we have to discover drugs that actually work in human neurons. Then we'll hopefully be able to make the leap forward to get a treatment to work in humans," says Dawson.


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Contact: Vanessa McMains
vmcmain1@jhmi.edu
410-502-9410
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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