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In mice, targeted deletion of the serine protease HtrA2 (also known as Omi) causes mitochondrial dysfunction leading to a neurodegenerative disorder with parkinsonian features. In humans, point mutations in HtrA2 are a susceptibility factor for Parkinson's disease (PARK13 locus). Mutations in PINK1, a putative mitochondrial protein kinase, are associated(More)
Mutations in PINK1 cause autosomal recessive Parkinson's disease. PINK1 is a mitochondrial kinase of unknown function. We investigated calcium homeostasis and mitochondrial function in PINK1-deficient mammalian neurons. We demonstrate physiologically that PINK1 regulates calcium efflux from the mitochondria via the mitochondrial Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger.(More)
Recently targeted disruption of Omi/HtrA2 has been found to cause neurodegeneration and a parkinsonian phenotype in mice. Using a candidate gene approach, we performed a mutation screening of the Omi/HtrA2 gene in German Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. In four patients, we identified a novel heterozygous G399S mutation, which was absent in healthy(More)
Mutations in PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1) cause early onset autosomal recessive Parkinson's disease (PD). PINK1 is a 63 kDa protein kinase, which exerts a neuroprotective function and is known to localize to mitochondria. Upon entry into the organelle, PINK1 is cleaved to produce a ∼53 kDa protein (ΔN-PINK1). In this paper, we show that PINK1 is cleaved(More)
The study of rare, inherited mutations underlying familial forms of Parkinson's disease has provided insight into the molecular mechanisms of disease pathogenesis. Mutations in these genes have been functionally linked to several key molecular pathways implicated in other neurodegenerative disorders, including mitochondrial dysfunction, protein accumulation(More)
Valosin-containing protein (VCP) is a highly expressed member of the type II AAA+ ATPase family. VCP mutations are the cause of inclusion body myopathy, Paget's disease of the bone, and frontotemporal dementia (IBMPFD) and they account for 1%-2% of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Using fibroblasts from patients carrying three independent(More)
High temperature requirement A2 (HtrA2/Omi) is a mitochondrial protease that exhibits proapoptotic and cell-protective properties and has been linked to Parkinson's disease (PD). Impaired mitochondrial function is a common trait in PD patients, and is likely to play a significant role in pathogenesis of parkinsonism, but the molecular mechanisms remain(More)
Cellular stress responses can be activated following functional defects in organelles such as mitochondria and the endoplasmic reticulum. Mitochondrial dysfunction caused by loss of the serine protease HtrA2 leads to a progressive movement disorder in mice and has been linked to parkinsonian neurodegeneration in humans. Here, we demonstrate that loss of(More)
The role of mitochondria in sporadic Parkinson's disease (PD) has been debated for a little over 20 years since the description of complex I deficiency in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) of PD patients. However, the identification of recessive pathogenic mutations in the pink1 gene in familial PD cases firmly re-ignited interest in the(More)
Leucine Rich Repeat Kinase 2 (LRRK2) is one of the most important genetic contributors to Parkinson's disease. LRRK2 has been implicated in a number of cellular processes, including macroautophagy. To test whether LRRK2 has a role in regulating autophagy, a specific inhibitor of the kinase activity of LRRK2 was applied to human neuroglioma cells and(More)