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Cell disposal faults could contribute to Parkinson's, study finds

Date:
January 24, 2017
Source:
University of Nottingham
Summary:
A fault with the natural waste disposal system that helps to keep our brain cell 'batteries' healthy may contribute to neurodegenerative disease, a new study has found.
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A fault with the natural waste disposal system that helps to keep our brain cell 'batteries' healthy may contribute to neurodegenerative disease, a new study has found.

The research, led by academics at The University of Nottingham and published in the journal Cell Death and Disease, centres on problems with mitochondria -- the powerhouses which produce energy within a cell.

The results support previous evidence that patients with Parkinson's Disease have faults with brain mitochondria which contributes to dysfunction and death within their neurons.

Dr Lynn Bedford, in the University's School of Life Sciences, said: "The study highlights the importance of the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) for healthy mitochondria. The UPS is like a waste disposal system that removes small unwanted proteins from inside cells.

"If waste is not removed it will build up over time and become toxic, causing cells to go wrong and eventually die."

Faults in this system may play an important role in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's because they are caused by the death of neurons -- the network through which we transfer information in our brain.

Using gene targeting in mice, the researchers have discovered that a faulty UPS in neurons leads to damaged mitochondria that produce less energy. Damages mitochondria are also known to produce harmful molecules that injure the cell -- oxidative stress -- so it is vital that the brain is able to keep mending, removing and replacing them.

The study also found that when the UPS was faulty, the damaged mitochondria were not removed from neurons in the normal way by the process of autophagy, the disposal system that breaks down larger parts in the cell like mitochondria.


Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Nottingham. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Aslihan Ugun-Klusek, Michael H Tatham, Jamal Elkharaz, Dumitru Constantin-Teodosiu, Karen Lawler, Hala Mohamed, Simon M L Paine, Glen Anderson, R John Mayer, James Lowe, E Ellen Billett, Lynn Bedford. Continued 26S proteasome dysfunction in mouse brain cortical neurons impairs autophagy and the Keap1-Nrf2 oxidative defence pathway. Cell Death and Disease, 2017; 8 (1): e2531 DOI: 10.1038/cddis.2016.443

Cite This Page:

University of Nottingham. "Cell disposal faults could contribute to Parkinson's, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 January 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170124111548.htm>.
University of Nottingham. (2017, January 24). Cell disposal faults could contribute to Parkinson's, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 26, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170124111548.htm
University of Nottingham. "Cell disposal faults could contribute to Parkinson's, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170124111548.htm (accessed May 26, 2017).

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