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Effects of Parkinson's-disease mutation reversed in cells
Date:8/16/2013

emical transformation as a result. PINK1 uses ATP as a substrate, and the chemical reaction helps PINK1 in turn drive the activation of another enzyme, called Parkin.

Both of these enzymes are among a small number that previously have been strongly linked to Parkinsons disease. PINK1 and Parkin act together to monitor the health of mitochondria, and help trigger repair or disposal of damaged mitochondria within the cells, thereby promoting cell survival.

Therapeutic approaches for enhancing the activity of PINK1 had not been considered, because scientists had not conceived of the idea of developing a new substrate for the enzyme, Shokat said.

We found that a small molecule, called KTP, speeds chemical reactions catalyzed by PINK1 better than ATP, the natural substrate. That kind of better-than-natural response is essentially unheard of.

KTP is too big to fit into other kinases, Shokat said, but PINK1 has a larger ATP pocket to hold KTP.

After discovering the potential of KTP, the researchers then determined that kinetin is converted to KTP within cells. Experimentally, kinetin, which can cross blood vessels to get into the brain, has been given by mouth to treat a rare, genetic, neurological disease called familial dysautonomia.


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Contact: Jeffrey Norris
jeff.norris@ucsf.edu
415-502-6397
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert

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