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:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... The Texas Cord Blood Bank (TCBB), ... labor and delivery team at Women’s Hospital at Renaissance in Edinburg for their outstanding ... the hospital and decide to donate. , “Women’s Hospital at Renaissance has been ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... Early detection and elimination ... safety and minimize the cost of development. In this webinar, sponsored by Molecular ... lines and for cardiac toxicity using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). , In ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... ... Bill Howe started his sewer and drain company in 1980 focusing heavily ... team, the Bill Howe brand was born and they began cultivating their mission to ... the San Diego community in which they worked, lived and were raising their daughters. ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... Researchers at ... of ActiGraph’s CentrePoint Data Hub in a sample of participants enrolled ... wearable activity and sleep monitoring solutions for the global scientific community. The company’s ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Intellitec Solutions announced the publication of a ... Dynamics GP solution that integrates to their PointClickCare EHR software package. With the ... Brooke Grove now has the capability to achieve its goal for a comprehensive ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/20/2017)...  Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE and SIX: ZBH), ... it will be participating in the Deutsche Bank Securities ... in Boston, Massachusetts on Wednesday, ... a.m. Eastern Time. A live webcast of ... Relations website at http://investor.zimmerbiomet.com .  The webcast will ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... April 20, 2017 Research and Markets has ... Innovation Driven by Rapidly Expanding Injectables Market and Increasing Usage of ... ... delivery technologies will rise from USD 20 Billion in 2015 to ... Drug Delivery Technologies - Innovation Driven by Rapidly Expanding Injectables Market ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... 20, 2017  AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV), a global ... of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infected patients ... and compensated cirrhosis (Child-Pugh A) achieved sustained virologic ... with its investigational, pan-genotypic regimen of glecaprevir/pibrentasvir (G/P). ... following 12 weeks of G/P treatment without ribavirin. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: