Parkin and defective ubiquitination in Parkinson's disease

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59 Scopus citations


Parkinson's Disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disorder that is characterized by the progressive loss of dopamine (DA) neurons. Accompanying the loss the of DA neurons is the accumulation of Lewy bodies and neurites, intracytoplasmic proteinaceous inclusions that contain alpha-synuclein, synphilin-1, components of the ubiquitin proteasomal pathway and parkin. Recent advances indicate that PD is due in some individuals to genetic mutations in alpha-synuclein, DJ-1, PINK-1, LRRK2, and parkin. Understanding the molecular mechanisms by which mutations in familial-linked genes cause PD holds great promise for unraveling the mechanisms by which DA neurons degenerate in PD. Parkin is E3-ubiquitin-protein ligase that ubiquitinates itself and promotes its own degradation. Familial associated mutations of parkin have impaired ubiquitin ligase function suggesting that this may be the cause of familial autosomal recessive PD. Parkin might be required for formation of Lewy bodies as Lewy bodies are absent in patients with parkin mutations. Parkin interacts with and ubiquitinates the alpha-synuclein interacting protein, synphilin-1. Formation of Lewy-body-like ubiquitin-positive cytosolic inclusions occurs upon co-expression of alpha-synuclein, synphilin-1 and parkin. Nitric oxide inhibits Parkin's E-3 ligase activity and its protective function by nitric oxide through 5-nitrosylation both in vitro and in vivo. Nitrosative and oxidative stress link parkin function with the more common sporadic form of Parkinson's disease and the related α-synucleinopathy, DLBD. Development of new therapies for PD and other disorders associated with nitrosative and oxidative stress may follow the elucidation of the pathways by which NO 5-nitrosylates and inhibits parkin. Moreover, parkin and alpha-synuclein are linked in common pathogenic mechanism through their interaction with synphilin-1 and parkin may be important for the formation of Lewy bodies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-213
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neural Transmission, Supplement
Issue number70
StatePublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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