Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Lack of energy at the basis of Parkinson's disease

Date:
March 20, 2014
Source:
VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology)
Summary:
A defect in the gene Pink1 results in Parkinson's disease, neuroscientists have demonstrated. By mapping this process at a molecular level, they have provided the ultimate proof that a deficient energy production process in cells can result in Parkinson's disease.

Vanessa Moraïs. Neuroscientists Vanessa Moraïs and Bart De Strooper from VIB and KU Leuven have demonstrated how a defect in the gene Pink1 results in Parkinson's disease.
Credit: (c) VIB

Neuroscientists Vanessa Moraïs and Bart De Strooper from VIB and KU Leuven have demonstrated how a defect in the gene Pink1 results in Parkinson's disease. By mapping this process at a molecular level, they have provided the ultimate proof that a deficient energy production process in cells can result in Parkinson's disease. These insights are so revolutionary that they have been published in the leading journal Science.

Vanessa Moraïs (VIB/KU Leuven): "Having Parkinson's disease means that you can no longer tell your own body what to do. The hope of finding a solution to this has stimulated me for many years to unravel what goes wrong in the cells of Parkinson's patients. This research is an important step forwards."

Bart De Strooper (VIB/KU Leuven): "Parkinson's disease is one of the research focuses in our department. It gives great satisfaction that we have unraveled a molecular process responsible for the faulty energy production process in cells of Parkinson's patients. This confirms our belief that repairing the energy production in cells is a possible therapeutic strategy."

Faulty energy production forms the basis of Parkinson's disease.

Mitochondria are cell components that produce the energy required by a cell to function. The action of these mitochondria -- and therefore the energy production in cells -- is disrupted in Parkinson's disease. The exact mechanism was unknown. In recent years, scientists have described various gene defects (mutations) in Parkinson's patients that result in decreased activity of the mitochondria, including a mutation in the Pink1 gene.

Molecular mechanism provides ultimate proof

Vanessa Moraïs studied the link between Pink1, mitochondria and Parkinson's disease in fruit-flies and mice with a defective Pink1 gene. These model organisms exhibited symptoms of Parkinson's disease as a result of this defect. She was able to demonstrate that the defect in Pink1 resulted in the so-called 'Complex I' -- a protein complex with a crucial role in the energy production of mitochondria -- not being phosphorylated adequately, resulting in decreased energy production. When Moraïs and her colleagues ensured correct phosphorylation of Complex I, the Parkinson's symptoms decreased or disappeared in mice and in patient-derived stem cell lines. The scientists thereby demonstrated that the lack of phosphorylation causes Parkinson's disease in patients with a defect Pin1 gene.

Further research in Parkinson's patients with defective Pink1 gene

This study reveals that repairing the phosphorylation of Complex I could be a treatment strategy for Parkinson's disease. The VIB scientists have already used cells from Parkinson's patients with a defective Pink1 gene to demonstrate that repairing the phosphorylation results in increased energy production. However, will this cause the symptoms of Parkinson's disease to decrease or disappear? Only tests on patients can answer this question. According to the scientists, the best strategy would be to start with the sub-group of patients with a defective Pink1 gene. But before starting clinical trials, a lot of aspects still have to be tested.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. V. A. Morais, D. Haddad, K. Craessaerts, P.-J. De Bock, J. Swerts, S. Vilain, L. Aerts, L. Overbergh, A. Grunewald, P. Seibler, C. Klein, K. Gevaert, P. Verstreken, B. De Strooper. PINK1 Loss of Function Mutations Affect Mitochondrial Complex I Activity via NdufA10 Ubiquinone Uncoupling. Science, 2014; DOI: 10.1126/science.1249161

Cite This Page:

VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology). "Lack of energy at the basis of Parkinson's disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140320173514.htm>.
VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology). (2014, March 20). Lack of energy at the basis of Parkinson's disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 3, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140320173514.htm
VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology). "Lack of energy at the basis of Parkinson's disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140320173514.htm (accessed September 3, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Fear They're Losing Battle Against Ebola

Doctors Fear They're Losing Battle Against Ebola

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) — As a third American missionary is confirmed to have contracted Ebola in Liberia, doctors on the ground in West Africa fear they're losing the battle against the outbreak. (Sept. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tech Giants Bet on 3D Headsets for Gaming, Healthcare

Tech Giants Bet on 3D Headsets for Gaming, Healthcare

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) — When Facebook acquired the virtual reality hardware developer Oculus VR in March for $2 billion, CEO Mark Zuckerberg hailed the firm's technology as "a new communication platform." Duration: 02:24 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins