Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Potential treatment, prevention of Parkinson's disease

Date:
August 1, 2014
Source:
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Summary:
Parkinson's disease affects neurons in the Substantia nigra brain region -- their mitochondrial activity ceases and the cells die. Researchers now show that supplying D-lactate or glycolate, two products of the gene DJ-1, can stop and even counteract this process. They also showed that the two substances rescued the toxic effects of the weed killer Paraquat. Cells that had been treated with this herbicide, which is known to cause a Parkinson's like harm of mitochondria, recovered after the addition of the two substances.

Inactivation of the DJ-1 gene results in mitochondrial dysfunction (left), which can be restored by glycolate or D-lactate (right). Active mitochondria are shown in red, DNA is shown in blue.
Credit: © MPI-CBG

Parkinson's disease affects neurons in the Substantia nigra brain region -- their mitochondrial activity ceases and the cells die. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics show that supplying D-lactate or glycolate, two products of the gene DJ-1, can stop and even counteract this process: Adding the substances to cultured HeLa cells and to cells of the nematode C. elegans restored the activity of mitochondria and prevented the degeneration of neurons. They also showed that the two substances rescued the toxic effects of the weed killer Paraquat. Cells that had been treated with this herbicide, which is known to cause a Parkinson's like harm of mitochondria, recovered after the addition of the two substances. Both glycolic and D-lactic acids occur naturally in unripe fruits and certain kinds of yoghurt.

Related Articles


Teymuras Kurzchalia and Tony Hyman both have labs at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics with rather different research programs -- but both happened to stumble upon the gene DJ-1 and joined forces. This gene, originally thought of as an oncogene, has been linked to Parkinson's disease since 2003. Recent studies showed that DJ-1 belongs to a novel glyxolase family. The major function of these genes is assumed to detoxify aggressive aldehyde by-products from mitochondrial metabolism. The Dresden research team now showed that the products of DJ-1, D-lactate and glycolate, are actually required to maintain the high mitochondrial potential and thus can prevent the degeneration of neurons implicated in Parkinson's disease.

Their experiments proved that both substances are lifesavers for neurons: Adding them to affected cells, in other words cells treated with the environmental poison Paraquat or with a down-regulated DJ-1, decreased the toxic effect of the herbicide, restored the activity of the mitochondria and thus ensured the survival of the neurons.

"We do not yet understand how exactly D-lactate and glycolate achieve this curative and preventive effect, but the next step will be to investigate the molecular mechanism underlying this process," say Hyman and Kurzchalia. In addition to further molecular investigation, they also have more concrete plans for the future: As Kurzchalia says "we can develop a yoghurt enriched with D-lactate: It could serve as a protection against Parkinson's and is actually very tasty at the same time!" This is why the researchers have filed a patent for their finding.

Many diseases are associated with a decline in mitochondrial activity, not only Parkinson's. Thus, the researchers believe that the DJ1-products could have a general role in protecting cells from decline.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Y. Toyoda, C. Erkut, F. Pan-Montojo, S. Boland, M. P. Stewart, D. J. Muller, W. Wurst, A. A. Hyman, T. V. Kurzchalia. Products of the Parkinson's disease-related glyoxalase DJ-1, D-lactate and glycolate, support mitochondrial membrane potential and neuronal survival. Biology Open, 2014; DOI: 10.1242/bio.20149399

Cite This Page:

Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. "Potential treatment, prevention of Parkinson's disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140801170939.htm>.
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. (2014, August 1). Potential treatment, prevention of Parkinson's disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 3, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140801170939.htm
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. "Potential treatment, prevention of Parkinson's disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140801170939.htm (accessed March 3, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mom Triumphs Over Tragedy, Helps Other Families

Mom Triumphs Over Tragedy, Helps Other Families

AP (Mar. 3, 2015) — After her son, Dax, died from a rare form of leukemia, Julie Locke decided to give back to the doctors at St. Jude Children&apos;s Research Hospital who tried to save his life. She raised $1.6M to help other patients and their families. (March 3) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Looted and Leaking, South Sudan's Oil Wells Pose Health Risk

Looted and Leaking, South Sudan's Oil Wells Pose Health Risk

AFP (Mar. 3, 2015) — Thick black puddles and a looted, leaking ruin are all that remain of the Thar Jath oil treatment facility, once a crucial part of South Sudan&apos;s mainstay industry. Duration: 01:13 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Woman Convicted of Poisoning Son

Woman Convicted of Poisoning Son

AP (Mar. 3, 2015) — A woman who blogged for years about her son&apos;s constant health woes was convicted Monday of poisoning him to death by force-feeding heavy concentrations of sodium through his stomach tube. (March 3) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Treadmill Test Can Predict Chance Of Death Within A Decade

Treadmill Test Can Predict Chance Of Death Within A Decade

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) — Johns Hopkins researchers analyzed 58,000 heart stress tests to come up with a formula that predicts a person&apos;s chances of dying in the next decade. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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