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Curr Environ Health Rep. 2017 Jun;4(2):192-199. doi: 10.1007/s40572-017-0143-2.

Mechanisms of Gene-Environment Interactions in Parkinson's Disease.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Northeast Ohio Medical University, 4209 State Route 44, RGE, Rootstown, OH, 44272, USA.



The purpose of the study was to discuss the main mechanisms associated with environmental and genetic factors that contribute to the development of Parkinson's disease (PD).


Novel genetic contributors to PD are being identified at a rapid pace in addition to novel environmental factors. The discovery of mutations in alpha-synuclein and leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 causing inherited forms of PD along with epidemiological, in vitro, and in vivo studies identifying herbicides, pesticides, and metals as risk factors have dramatically improved our understanding of mechanisms involved in the development of PD. However, at the same time, these discoveries have also added layers of complexity to the disease. Within the last several years, the genetics associated with PD has dominated the field in many ways; however, the majority of PD cases are likely due to different combinations of environmental exposures and genetic susceptibility. The most common toxicants used to model PD including rotenone, paraquat, and 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine have been shown to interact with many of the genes linked with PD such as alpha-synuclein. Therefore, an understanding of mechanisms common between genetic and environmental factors is essential for early detection and successful translation of potential therapies, which is the ultimate goal.


ATP13A2; Alpha-synuclein; Manganese; Paraquat; Parkinson’s disease; Rotenone

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