Have mutant models unearthed the origin of Parkinson’s disease?

Written by Adam Price-Evans

A study utilizing Drosophila models, led by Miguel Martins (University of Leicester, UK), has provided evidence that Parkinson’s disease (PD)-related neurodegeneration may occur as a result of stress on the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) as opposed to mitochondrial failure, as previously thought. The ER is responsible for protein folding which is important for normal cellular function. The accumulation of misfolded proteins disrupts protein production which can result in cell death. This pathological mechanism is thought to contribute to the neuronal death seen in PD. The team analyzed Drosophila with mutant pink1 or parkin genes that are believed to cause hereditary forms...

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