Hélène Plun-Favreau

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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)
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)
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)
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)
Ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) is a cytokine supporting the differentiation and survival of various cell types in the peripheral and central nervous systems. Its receptor complex consists of a non-signaling alpha chain, CNTFR, and two signaling beta chains, gp130 and the leukemia inhibitory factor receptor (LIFR). Striking phenotypic differences between(More)
Mitochondrial dysfunction plays a primary role in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD), particularly in autosomal recessive forms of the disease caused by mutations encoding PINK1. Although mitochondrial pathology can be demonstrated in many cell types, it is neurons that bear the brunt of cell death in PD. We studied the mitochondrial physiology of(More)
Cancer and neurodegeneration are often thought of as disease mechanisms at opposite ends of a spectrum; one due to enhanced resistance to cell death and the other due to premature cell death. There is now accumulating evidence to link these two disparate processes. An increasing number of genetic studies add weight to epidemiological evidence suggesting(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)
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)