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Neuron. 2003 Mar 6;37(5):735-49.

Parkin is a component of an SCF-like ubiquitin ligase complex and protects postmitotic neurons from kainate excitotoxicity.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, Taub Institute, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, 15-403, 630 West 168th Street, New York, NY 10032, USA.


Mutations in parkin, which encodes a RING domain protein associated with ubiquitin ligase activity, lead to autosomal recessive Parkinson's disease characterized by midbrain dopamine neuron loss. Here we show that parkin functions in a multiprotein ubiquitin ligase complex that includes the F-box/WD repeat protein hSel-10 and Cullin-1. HSel-10 serves to target the parkin ubiquitin ligase activity to cyclin E, an hSel-10-interacting protein previously implicated in the regulation of neuronal apoptosis. Consistent with the notion that cyclin E is a substrate of the parkin ubiquitin ligase complex, parkin deficiency potentiates the accumulation of cyclin E in cultured postmitotic neurons exposed to the glutamatergic excitotoxin kainate and promotes their apoptosis. Furthermore, parkin overexpression attenuates the accumulation of cyclin E in toxin-treated primary neurons, including midbrain dopamine neurons, and protects them from apoptosis.

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