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Abstract

Inactivating mutations of the gene encoding parkin are responsible for autosomal recessive juvenile parkinsonism (AR-JP). However, little information is known about the function and distribution of parkin. We generated antibodies to two different peptides of parkin. By Western blot analysis and immunohistochemistry, we found that parkin is a 50-kd protein that is expressed in neuronal processes and cytoplasm of selected neurons in the basal ganglia, midbrain, cerebellum, and cerebral cortex. Unlike ubiquitin and α-synuclein, parkin labeling was not found in Lewy bodies of four sporadic Parkinson disease brains. Parkin was colocalized with actin filaments but not with microtubules in COS1 kidney cells and nerve growth factor–induced PC12 neurons. These results point to the importance of the cytoskeleton and associated proteins in neurodegeneration. Ann Neurol 2000;48:737–744