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Aberrant alpha-synuclein degradation is implicated in Parkinson's disease pathogenesis because the protein accumulates in the Lewy inclusion bodies associated with the disease. Little is known, however, about the pathways by which wild-type alpha-synuclein is normally degraded. We found that wild-type alpha-synuclein was selectively translocated into(More)
BACKGROUND Background The leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 gene (LRRK2) harbours highly penetrant mutations that are linked to familial parkinsonism. However, the extent of its polymorphic variability in relation to risk of Parkinson's disease (PD) has not been assessed systematically. We therefore assessed the frequency of LRRK2 exonic variants in individuals(More)
Previous reports have shown that DNA-damage-evoked death of embryonic cortical neurons is delayed by general caspase inhibitors and is accompanied by an increase in DEVD-AFC cleavage activity. We show here that this cleavage activity is lacking in camptothecin-treated caspase 3-deficient neurons. Moreover, we report that death of camptothecin-treated(More)
Increased numbers of autophagosomes/autophagic vacuoles are seen in a variety of physiological and pathological states in the nervous system. In many cases, it is unclear if this phenomenon is the result of increased autophagic activity or decreased autophagosome-lysosome fusion. The functional significance of autophagy and its relationship to cell death in(More)
Here, we compare the pathways by which DNA-damaging agents, NGF deprivation, and superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) depletion evoke apoptosis of sympathetic neurons. Previous work raised the hypothesis that cell cycle signaling plays a required role in neuronal apoptosis elicited by NGF deprivation and the DNA-damaging agent camptothecin. To test this(More)
Alpha-synuclein (alpha-syn), a protein implicated in Parkinson's disease pathogenesis, is a presynaptic protein suggested to regulate transmitter release. We explored how alpha-syn overexpression in PC12 and chromaffin cells, which exhibit low endogenous alpha-syn levels relative to neurons, affects catecholamine release. Overexpression of wild-type or A30P(More)
This study investigates the mechanisms underlying death of cultured embryonic cortical neurons exposed to the DNA-damaging agent camptothecin and in particular the interdependence of the roles of cyclin-dependent kinases (Cdks), caspases, and mitochondrial function. Camptothecin evokes rapid neuronal death that exhibits nuclear features of apoptosis. This(More)
Substantial genetic, neuropathological, and biochemical evidence implicates the presynaptic neuronal protein α-synuclein in Parkinson's disease and related Lewy body disorders. How dysregulation of α-synuclein leads to neurodegeneration is, however, unclear. Soluble oligomeric, but not fully fibrillar, α-synuclein is thought to be toxic. The major neuronal(More)
alpha-Synuclein is central in Parkinson's disease pathogenesis. Although initially alpha-synuclein was considered a purely intracellular protein, recent data suggest that it can be detected in the plasma and CSF of humans and in the culture media of neuronal cells. To address a role of secreted alpha-synuclein in neuronal homeostasis, we have generated(More)
Alpha-synuclein (ASYN) is crucial in Parkinson disease (PD) pathogenesis. Increased levels of wild type (WT) ASYN expression are sufficient to cause PD in humans. The manner of post-transcriptional regulation of ASYN levels is controversial. Previously, we had shown that WT ASYN can be degraded by chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) in isolated liver(More)