Neil Q McDonald

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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)
Nerve growth factor (NGF) is a member of an expanding family of neurotrophic factors (including brain-derived neurotrophic factor and the neurotrophins) that control the development and survival of certain neuronal populations both in the peripheral and in the central nervous systems. Its biological effects are mediated by a high-affinity ligand-receptor(More)
The Josephin domain plays an important role in the cellular functions of ataxin-3, the protein responsible for the neurodegenerative Machado-Joseph disease. We have determined the solution structure of Josephin and shown that it belongs to the family of papain-like cysteine proteases, sharing the highest degree of structural similarity with bacterial(More)
OBJECTIVE To investigate the significance of PINK1 mutations in sporadic Parkinson's disease (PD). METHODS We determined the frequency of PINK1 mutations by direct sequencing in a large series of PD patients with apparently sporadic disease (n = 768). RESULTS Twelve heterozygous mutations were identified, nine in PD patients and three in control(More)
Serum response factor transcriptional activity is controlled through interactions with regulatory cofactors such as the coactivator MAL/MRTF-A (myocardin-related transcription factor A). MAL is itself regulated in vivo by changes in cellular actin dynamics, which alter its interaction with G-actin. The G-actin-sensing mechanism of MAL/MRTF-A resides in its(More)
Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) and monomethyl arginine (L-NMMA) are endogenously produced amino acids that inhibit all three isoforms of nitric oxide synthase (NOS). ADMA accumulates in various disease states, including renal failure, diabetes and pulmonary hypertension, and its concentration in plasma is strongly predictive of premature cardiovascular(More)
The RET proto-oncogene encodes a receptor tyrosine kinase for the glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor family of ligands. Loss-of-function mutations in RET are implicated in Hirschsprung disease, whereas activating mutations in RET are found in human cancers, including familial medullar thyroid carcinoma and multiple endocrine neoplasias 2A and 2B.(More)
BACKGROUND Sister chromatid separation and segregation at anaphase onset are triggered by cleavage of the chromosomal cohesin complex by the protease separase. Separase is regulated by its binding partner securin in two ways: securin is required to support separase activity in anaphase; and, at the same time, securin must be destroyed via ubiquitylation(More)
Phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN), a phosphoinositide 3-phosphatase, is an important regulator of insulin-dependent signaling. The loss or impairment of PTEN results in an antidiabetic impact, which led to the suggestion that PTEN could be an important target for drugs against type II diabetes. Here we report the design and(More)