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Genetics of Parkinson's disease: LRRK2 on the rise

INSERM U679, Groupe hospitalier Pitié-Salpêtrière, AP-HP, 47 boulevard de l'Hôpital, 75013, Paris, France.
Brain (Impact Factor: 10.23). 01/2006; 128(Pt 12):2760-2. DOI: 10.1093/brain/awh676
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Mutations in Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 gene (LRRK2) are associated with familial and sporadic Parkinson's disease (PD). LRRK2 is a complex protein that consists of multiple domains executing several functions, including GTP hydrolysis, kinase activity, and protein binding. Robust evidence suggests that LRRK2 acts at the synaptic site as a molecular hub connecting synaptic vesicles to cytoskeletal elements via a complex panel of protein-protein interactions. Here we investigated the impact of pharmacological inhibition of LRRK2 kinase activity on synaptic function. Acute treatment with LRRK2 inhibitors reduced the frequency of spontaneous currents, the rate of synaptic vesicle trafficking and the release of neurotransmitter from isolated synaptosomes. The investigation of complementary models lacking LRRK2 expression allowed us to exclude potential off-side effects of kinase inhibitors on synaptic functions. Next we studied whether kinase inhibition affects LRRK2 heterologous interactions. We found that the binding among LRRK2, presynaptic proteins and synaptic vesicles is affected by kinase inhibition. Our results suggest that LRRK2 kinase activity influences synaptic vesicle release via modulation of LRRK2 macro-molecular complex.
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    ABSTRACT: Mutations in leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) are the single most common cause of inherited Parkinson's disease. Little is known about its involvement in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease mainly because of the lack of knowledge about the physiological role of LRRK2. To determine the function of LRRK2, we studied the impact of short hairpin RNA-mediated silencing of LRRK2 expression in cortical neurons. Paired recording indicated that LRRK2 silencing affects evoked postsynaptic currents. Furthermore, LRRK2 silencing induces at the presynaptic site a redistribution of vesicles within the bouton, altered recycling dynamics, and increased vesicle kinetics. Accordingly, LRRK2 protein is present in the synaptosomal compartment of cortical neurons in which it interacts with several proteins involved in vesicular recycling. Our results suggest that LRRK2 modulates synaptic vesicle trafficking and distribution in neurons and in consequence participates in regulating the dynamics between vesicle pools inside the presynaptic bouton.
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