Emerging pathways in genetic Parkinson’s disease: Autosomal-recessive genes in Parkinson’s disease – a common pathway?


H. Plun-Favreau, Department of Molecular Neuroscience, Institute of Neurology, University College London, Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG, UK
Fax: +44 0207 278 5616
Tel: +44 0207 837 3611; ext. 3936
E-mail: h.plun-favreau@ion.ucl.ac.uk


Rare, inherited mutations causing familial forms of Parkinson’s disease have provided insight into the molecular mechanisms that underlie the genetic and sporadic forms of this disease. Loss of protein function resulting from autosomal-recessive mutations in PTEN-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1), Parkin and DJ-1 has been linked to mitochondrial dysfunction, accumulation of abnormal and misfolded proteins, impaired protein clearance and oxidative stress. Accumulating evidence suggests that wild-type PINK1, Parkin and DJ-1 may be key components of neuroprotective signalling cascades that run in parallel, interact via cross talk or converge in a common pathway.