Navigation Links
UCLA researchers identify new gene involved in Parkinson's disease
Date:6/4/2014

A team of UCLA researchers has identified a new gene involved in Parkinson's disease, a finding that may one day provide a target for a new drug to prevent and potentially even cure the debilitating neurological disorder.

Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer's disease, and there is no cure for the progressive and devastating illness. About 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson's disease each year. It is estimated that as many as 1 million Americans live with Parkinson's disease, which is more than the number of people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and Lou Gehrig's disease combined.

In Parkinson's disease, multiple neurons in the brain gradually break down or die. This leads to the movement impairments, such as tremor, rigidity, slowness in movement and difficulty walking, as well as depression, anxiety, sleeping difficulties and dementia, said Dr. Ming Guo, the study team leader, associate professor of neurology and pharmacology and a practicing neurologist at UCLA.

A handful of genes have been identified in inherited cases of Parkinson's disease. Guo's team was one of two groups worldwide that first reported in 2006 in the journal Nature that two of these genes, PTEN-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1) and PARKIN, act together to maintain the health of mitochondria the power house of the cell that is important in maintaining brain health. Mutations in these genes lead to early-onset Parkinson's disease.

Guo's team has further shown that when PINK1 and PARKIN are operating correctly, they help maintain the regular shape of healthy mitochondria and promote elimination of damaged mitochondria. Accumulation of unhealthy or damaged mitochondria in neurons and muscles ultimately results in Parkinson's disease.

In this study, the team found that the new gene, called MUL1 (also known as MULAN and MAPL), plays an important role in mediating the pathology of the PINK1 and PARKIN. The study, performed in fruit flies and mice, showed that providing an extra amount of MUL1 ameliorates the mitochondrial damage due to mutated PINK/PARKIN, while inhibiting MUL1 in mutant PINK1/PARKIN exacerbates the damage to the mitochondria. In addition, Guo and her collaborators found that removing MUL1 from mouse neurons of the PARKIN disease model results in unhealthy mitochondria and degeneration of the neurons.

The five-year study appears June 4, 2014, in eLife, a new, open access scientific journal for groundbreaking biomedical and life research sponsored by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (United States), the Wellcome Trust (United Kingdom) and Max Plank Institutes (Germany).

"We are very excited about this finding," Guo said. "There are several implications to this work, including that MUL1 appears to be a very promising drug target and that it may constitute a new pathway regulating the quality of mitochondria."

Guo characterized the work as "a major advancement in Parkinson's disease research."

"We show that MUL1 dosage is key and optimizing its function is crucial for brain health and to ward off Parkinson's disease," she said. "Our work proves that mitochondrial health is of central importance to keep us from suffering from neurodegeneration. Further, finding a drug that can enhance MUL1 function would be of great benefit to patients with Parkinson's disease."

Going forward, Guo and her team will test these results in more complex organisms, hoping to uncover additional functions and mechanisms of MUL1. Additionally, the team will perform small molecule screens to help identify potential compounds that specifically target MUL1. Further, they will examine if mutations in MUL1 exist in some patients with inherited forms of Parkinson's.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kim Irwin
kirwin@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-2262
University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. NIH awards $20 million over 5 years to train next generation of global health researchers
2. Researchers develop a new cell and animal model of inflammatory breast cancer
3. Researchers uncover a viable way for colorectal cancer patients to overcome drug resistance
4. Researchers Find Gene Mutations That May Be a Key to Autism
5. Researchers find evidence of banned antibiotics in poultry products
6. NJ stroke researchers report advances in spatial neglect research at AAN Conference
7. Autism by the numbers: Yale researchers examine impact of new diagnostic criteria
8. Researchers Map Brain Regions Linked to Intelligence
9. Researchers ID Genes That May Determine Mental Illness
10. Researchers Develop Blood Test for Depression
11. University of Cincinnati researchers win $3.7M grant from US Department of Defense
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
UCLA researchers identify new gene involved in Parkinson's disease
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... ... serving the families and businesses of the Norwalk and Vermillion areas, celebrates ... Recovery Center (N.O.R.A.) is a nonprofit, community-based substance abuse prevention and peer ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... ... owned and organized by HMP Communications Holdings, LLC, today announced that RestorixHealth® ... its nationwide network of wound centers interested in becoming Certified Wound Specialist Physicians ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2017 , ... ... and workflow solutions, today named The Resource Group as their 2016 Microsoft Dynamics ... partner conference in Newport Beach, CA. The award recognizes The Resource Group ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2017 , ... ... supplements that help improve all aspects of people’s health and nutrition, announced its ... nutritional products. , Natural Subsistence develops nutritional supplements that help people improve ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... The Leaders ... life-altering and fatal diseases in opposition to the President’s Fiscal Year 2018 ... care, services, and hope for the most vulnerable among us. , The proposed ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/23/2017)...  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today granted ... adults and pediatric patients 12 years and older with ... not received prior chemotherapy. This is the first FDA-approved ... skin cancer. "While skin cancer is one ... form called Merkel cell cancer have not had an ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... and VANCOUVER, British Columbia , ... SPHS ) (the "Company" or "Sophiris"), a clinical ... of urological diseases, today announced that data from its ... drug as a focal treatment for localized prostate cancer, ... 2017 at the 32 nd Annual European Association ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... their offering. ... The global oxygen therapy devices market to grow at a CAGR ... Global Oxygen Therapy Devices Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on ... covers the market landscape and its growth prospects over the coming ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: