Familial Parkinson disease gene product, parkin, is a ubiquitin-protein ligase.
ABSTRACT Autosomal recessive juvenile parkinsonism (AR-JP), one of the most common familial forms of Parkinson disease, is characterized by selective dopaminergic neural cell death and the absence of the Lewy body, a cytoplasmic inclusion body consisting of aggregates of abnormally accumulated proteins. We previously cloned PARK2, mutations of which cause AR-JP (ref. 2), but the function of the gene product, parkin, remains unknown. We report here that parkin is involved in protein degradation as a ubiquitin-protein ligase collaborating with the ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme UbcH7, and that mutant parkins from AR-JP patients show loss of the ubiquitin-protein ligase activity. Our findings indicate that accumulation of proteins that have yet to be identified causes a selective neural cell death without formation of Lewy bodies. Our findings should enhance the exploration of the molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration in Parkinson disease as well as in other neurodegenerative diseases that are characterized by involvement of abnormal protein ubiquitination, including Alzheimer disease, other tauopathies, CAG triplet repeat disorders and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
- Human Molecular Genetics 01/2002; 11(20):2395-2407. · 6.68 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Proteome quality control (PQC) is critical for the maintenance of cellular functionality and it is assured by the curating activity of the proteostasis network (PN). PN is constituted of several complex protein machines that under conditions of proteome instability aim to, firstly identify, and then, either rescue or degrade nonnative polypeptides. Central to the PN functionality is the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) which is composed from the ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes and the proteasome; the latter is a sophisticated multi-subunit molecular machine that functions in a bimodal way as it degrades both short-lived ubiquitinated normal proteins and nonfunctional polypeptides. UPS is also involved in PQC of the nucleus, the endoplasmic reticulum and the mitochondria and it also interacts with the other main cellular degradation axis, namely the autophagy-lysosome system. UPS functionality is optimum in the young organism but it is gradually compromised during aging resulting in increasing proteotoxic stress; these effects correlate not only with aging but also with most age-related diseases. Herein, we present a synopsis of the UPS components and of their functional alterations during cellular senescence or in vivo aging. We propose that mild UPS activation in the young organism will, likely, promote antiaging effects and/or suppress age-related diseases. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.International review of cell and molecular biology 01/2015; 314:171-237. · 4.52 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: There is considerable evidence showing that the neurodegenerative processes that lead to sporadic Parkinson's disease (PD) begin many years before the appearance of the characteristic motor symptoms. Neuropsychiatric, sensorial and cognitive deficits are recognized as early non-motor manifestations of PD, and are not attenuated by the current anti-parkinsonian therapy. Although loss-of-function mutations in the parkin gene cause early-onset familial PD, Parkin-deficient mice do not display spontaneous degeneration of the nigrostriatal pathway or enhanced vulnerability to dopaminergic neurotoxins such as 6-OHDA and MPTP. Here, we employed adult homozygous C57BL/6 mice with parkin gene deletion on exon 3 (parkin-/-) to further investigate the relevance of Parkin in the regulation of non-motor features, namely olfactory, emotional, cognitive and hippocampal synaptic plasticity. Parkin-/- mice displayed normal performance on behavioral tests evaluating olfaction (olfactory discrimination), anxiety (elevated plus-maze), depressive-like behavior (forced swimming and tail suspension) and motor function (rotarod, grasping strength and pole). However, parkin-/- mice displayed a poor performance in the open field habituation, object location and modified Y-maze tasks suggestive of procedural and short-term spatial memory deficits. These behavioral impairments were accompanied by impaired hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP). These findings indicate that the genetic deletion of parkin causes deficiencies in hippocampal synaptic plasticity, resulting in memory deficits with no major olfactory, emotional or motor impairments. Therefore, parkin-/- mice may represent a promising animal model to study the early stages of PD and for testing new therapeutic strategies to restore learning and memory and synaptic plasticity impairments in PD.PLoS ONE 12/2014; 9(12):e114216. · 3.53 Impact Factor