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How molecule protects brain cells in Parkinson's disease model

Date:
April 15, 2015
Source:
The Scripps Research Institute
Summary:
Researchers have found how a widely known but little-studied enzyme protects brain cells in models of Parkinson’s disease. These findings could provide valuable insight into the development of drug candidates that could protect brain cells in Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases.
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Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have found how a widely known but little-studied enzyme protects brain cells in models of Parkinson's disease.

These findings could provide valuable insight into the development of drug candidates that could protect brain cells in Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases.

The study, published recently online ahead of print by the journal Molecular and Cellular Biology, focuses on the enzyme known as serum glucocorticoid kinase 1 (SGK1).

"The overexpression of SGK1 provides neuron protection in both cell culture and in animal models," said Philip LoGrasso, a TSRI professor who led the study. "It decreases reactive oxygen species generation and alleviates mitochondrial dysfunction."

Using a neurotoxin animal model of neurodegeneration, the study showed that SGK1 protects brain cells by blocking several pathways involved in neurodegeneration, deactivating other molecules known as JNK, GSK3β and MKK4.

Increasing SGK1 offers a potential therapeutic strategy because, as the study makes clear, there isn't enough naturally occurring SGK1 to do the job.

"Even though the levels of naturally occurring SGK1 increases in the cell under stress, it was not enough to promote cell survival in our neurodegeneration model," said Sarah Iqbal, the first author of the study and a member of the LoGrasso lab. "On the other hand, cell survival mechanisms tend to dominate when more SGK1 is added to the neurons."

The LoGrasso lab plans to continue to explore SGK1 as a therapeutic possibility for Parkinson's disease.


Story Source:

Materials provided by The Scripps Research Institute. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sarah Iqbal, Shannon Howard, Philip V. LoGrasso. Serum- glucocorticoid-inducible kinase 1 confers protection in cell-based and inin vivoneurotoxin modelsviathe c-Jun N-terminal kinase signaling pathway. Molecular and Cellular Biology, 2015; MCB.01510-14 DOI: 10.1128/MCB.01510-14

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The Scripps Research Institute. "How molecule protects brain cells in Parkinson's disease model." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 April 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150415090859.htm>.
The Scripps Research Institute. (2015, April 15). How molecule protects brain cells in Parkinson's disease model. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150415090859.htm
The Scripps Research Institute. "How molecule protects brain cells in Parkinson's disease model." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150415090859.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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