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Home Industry News Scientists isolate enzyme behind Parkinson’s disease

Scientists isolate enzyme behind Parkinson’s disease

9th October 2017

Researchers at the University of Dundee have helped established the structure of a mutation-prone enzyme that can cause Parkinson's disease.

The university has been collaborating with staff from the Medical Research Council's Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit (MRC-PPU) on a study relating to the PINK1 Enzyme.

PINK1 Had already been identified as a key factor in Parkinson's, with mutations in this enzyme being the second most common cause of the disease. The new research, using the same enzyme taken from the red flour beetle, found that this enzyme has the capacity to influence the proteins ubiquitin and parkin in a way other enzymes cannot.  

Dr Miratul Muqit, the team leader from MRC-PPU, said: "Solving the structure and workings of PINK1 gives us crucial insights into how it exerts a protective role in Parkinson’s."

He added that this means drugs could now be developed to help "switch on" PINK1 to benefit those with Parkinson's, which is currently an irreversible condition.

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