The scientists at the University of Dundee have now succeeded in identifying the structure of the key enzyme, called PINK1.This enzyme appears to be able to protect the brain from Parkinson's disease. The researchers published the results of their study in the trade journal "eLIFE".
Research could contribute to the development of new drugs
After a decade of research, scientists have now been able to understand the structure and function of PINK1.This gives the expert the opportunity to investigate how PINK1 can play a protective role against Parkinson's, explains Dr.the author Miratul Muqit. The new knowledge could be used in the future to develop new medicines.
Mutations in the PINK1 gene were detected in patients with Parkinson's disease
Parkinson is a so-called progressive degenerative disease of the brain, which is still incurable in modern times. It has been known for some time that mutations in the PINK1 gene have been identified in patients with early forms of Parkinson's disease. There is therefore a great interest in using PINK1 as an approach to Parkinson's therapy. However, the lack of knowledge about the structure of the enzyme has been a problem, explained Professor van Aalten. The new research has now created the framework for future studies in which new molecules can be identified to activate PINK1.
PINK1 mutations lead to degeneration of cells
PINK1 encodes a special class of enzymes commonly known as kinase, the doctors say. This class of enzymes play a crucial role in protecting the brain cells from stress. In patients with a PINK1 mutation, however, this protective effect is lost. This results in a degeneration of the cells which are necessary for motion control and the typical Parkinsonian symptoms are the result.
PINK1 detects damage to mitochondria and then introduces protective measures
Earlier research had already shown that the main role of the PINK1 enzyme is to detect damage to the energy centers of specific cells( mitochondria).A protective action can then be initiated, which particularly comprises two key proteins( ubiquitin and parkin).Thus, the damage occurring is to be reduced. However, it was not known exactly how this process was going. PINK1 has unique control elements, which could not be found in other enzymes of this class, the experts report. These control elements explain how ubiquitin and Parkin can provide protection against Parkinson's disease.
The current study provides detailed insights into how mutations in hundreds of Parkinson's patients worldwide interfere with the function of the enzyme, according to Professor van Aalten in a press release from the University of Dundee.
collaboration in research leads to amazing results
The current study is a good example of collaborative research. The understanding of PINK1 could only be improved by the collaboration of several experts with different expertise. Now there are many new interesting questions about the enzyme PINK1, which will have to be investigated more closely in future studies, the scientists explain. Her research focuses on identifying the fundamental aspects of the causes of Parkinson's disease. So we hope to develop new approaches to the treatment of the disease in the future, adds the author Dr. Muqit added.
basic research is very important to understand various diseases better
The PINK1 protein is the focus of research worldwide. Therefore, the latest findings of the University of Dundee are a pioneering step for science. The structure of PINK1 contains many indications of what is happening with Parkinson's disease. To determine the basic structure of this protein was crucial for the understanding of its cell function and paves the way for the development of drugs against Parkinson's disease. Corresponding basic research is very important for the understanding and treatment of many diseases, whereby such breakthroughs can be achieved only through cooperation between different experts.(as)
Better understanding of the enzyme PINK1 could revolutionize Parkinson's therapy
physicians has now succeeded a major breakthrough in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. The experts have identified the structure of a key enzyme that can protect the brain from Parkinson's disease. Through a better understanding of this key enzyme, it will hopefully be possible in the future to develop effective drugs for Parkinson's.