Send to

Choose Destination
Annu Rev Biochem. 2005;74:29-52.

The biochemistry of Parkinson's disease.

Author information

Cell Biology Section, Laboratory of Neurogenetics, National Institute on Aging, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Several genes have been identified for monogenic disorders that variably resemble Parkinson's disease. Dominant mutations in the gene encoding alpha-synuclein enhance the propensity of this protein to aggregate. As a consequence, these patients have a widespread disease with protein inclusion bodies in several brain areas. In contrast, mutations in several recessive genes (parkin, DJ-1, and PINK1) produce neuronal cell loss but generally without protein aggregation pathology. Progress has been made in understanding some of the mechanisms of toxicity: Parkin is an E3 ubiquitin ligase and DJ-1 and PINK1 appear to protect against mitochondrial damage. However, we have not yet fully resolved how the recessive genes relate to alpha-synuclein, or whether they represent different ways to induce a similar phenotype.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center