How molecule protects brain cells in Parkinson’s disease model uncovered
News Apr 15, 2015
Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have found how a widely known but little-studied enzyme protects brain cells in models of Parkinson’s disease.
These findings could provide valuable insight into the development of drug candidates that could protect brain cells in Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.
The study, published recently online ahead of print by the journal Molecular and Cellular Biology, focuses on the enzyme known as serum glucocorticoid kinase 1 (SGK1).
“The overexpression of SGK1 provides neuron protection in both cell culture and in animal models,” said Philip LoGrasso, a TSRI professor who led the study. “It decreases reactive oxygen species generation and alleviates mitochondrial dysfunction.”
Using a neurotoxin animal model of neurodegeneration, the study showed that SGK1 protects brain cells by blocking several pathways involved in neurodegeneration, deactivating other molecules known as JNK, GSK3β and MKK4.
Increasing SGK1 offers a potential therapeutic strategy because, as the study makes clear, there isn’t enough naturally occurring SGK1 to do the job.
“Even though the levels of naturally occurring SGK1 increases in the cell under stress, it was not enough to promote cell survival in our neurodegeneration model,” said Sarah Iqbal, the first author of the study and a member of the LoGrasso lab. “On the other hand, cell survival mechanisms tend to dominate when more SGK1 is added to the neurons.”
The LoGrasso lab plans to continue to explore SGK1 as a therapeutic possibility for Parkinson’s disease.
Note: Material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.
Sarah Iqbal, Shannon Howard, Philip V. LoGrasso. Serum- glucocorticoid-inducible kinase 1 confers protection in cell-based and inin vivoneurotoxin modelsviathe c-Jun N-terminal kinase signaling pathway. Molecular and Cellular Biology, Published Online March 30 2015. doi: 10.1128/MCB.01510-14
Availability of Brain Tumor Surgery Dye Increases for NHS PatientsNews
A chemical dye that lights up brain tumours during surgery should be available to more NHS patients in England, according to the National Institute for Health and Care and Excellence (NICE).READ MORE
The Puzzle of Axonal Geometry May Have Been Solved, Could Influence Machine LearningNews
Why are axons, the spindly arms extending from neurons that transmit information from neuron to neuron in the brain, designed the way they are?READ MORE
Autism Spectrum Disorder Linked to Shape of Brain's CerebellumNews
Structural differences in the cerebellum may be linked to some aspects of autism spectrum disorder, according to a neuroimaging study from Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC).