Copy number variability in Parkinson’s disease: assembling the puzzle through a systems biology approach
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by nigrostriatal dopaminergic degeneration and development of cytoplasmic inclusions known as Lewy bodies. To date, the mechanisms involved in PD pathogenesis are not clearly understood. Clues from genetic studies including identification of mutations in genes for alpha-synuclein, parkin, and ubiquitin carboxy hydrolase L1 associated with familial PD and the presence of proteinaceous cytoplasmic inclusions in spared dopaminergic nigral neurons in sporadic cases of PD have suggested an important role for ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) and aberrant protein degradation. In vivo and in vitro studies have linked parkin, alpha-synuclein, and oxidative stress to a compromised UPS and PD pathogenesis suggesting novel therapeutic targets.