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Advances in Neurobiology

John M Hatcher, Hwan Geun Choi, Dario R Alessi, Nathanael S Gray
Mutations in the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) protein have been genetically and functionally linked to Parkinson's disease (PD). The kinase activity of LRRK2 is increased by pathogenic mutations; therefore, modulation of LRRK2 kinase activity by a selective small-molecule inhibitor has been proposed as a potentially viable treatment for Parkinson's disease. This chapter presents a historical overview of the development and bioactivity of several small-molecule LRRK2 inhibitors that have been used to inhibit LRRK2 kinase activity in vitro or in vivo...
2017: Advances in Neurobiology
Mark R Cookson
LRRK2 mutations are associated with the loss of neurons, that is to say toxicity, in patients and in experimental model systems. However, the mechanisms by which mutations can be linked to neurodegeneration are not fully defined. Here I will argue that mechanism in this context encompasses a variety of levels of information. Mutations or alterations in gene expression at a genetic level are one set of mechanisms that are reflected at the biochemical level likely in enhanced or persistent function of LRRK2. By impacting cellular pathways, prominently including changes in autophagy but also microtubule function, mitochondria and protein synthesis, in neurons and immune cells, the LRRK2 brain is primed for neurodegeneration in an age-dependent manner...
2017: Advances in Neurobiology
João Paulo Lima Daher
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressively debilitating neurodegenerative syndrome. It is best described as a movement disorder characterized by motor dysfunctions, progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta, and abnormal intraneuronal protein aggregates, named Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites. Nevertheless, knowledge of the molecular events leading to this pathophysiology is incomplete. To date, only mutations in the α-synuclein and LRRK2-encoding genes have been associated with typical findings of clinical and pathologic PD...
2017: Advances in Neurobiology
Hardy J Rideout, Diane B Re
Since its cloning and identification in 2004, considerable gains have been made in the understanding of the basic functionality of leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2), including its kinase and GTPase activities, its protein interactors and subcellular localization, and its expression in the CNS and peripheral tissues. However, the mechanism(s) by which expression of mutant forms of LRRK2 lead to the death of dopaminergic neurons of the ventral midbrain remains largely uncharacterized. Because of its complex domain structure, LRRK2 exhibits similarities with multiple protein families including ROCO proteins, as well as the RIP kinases...
2017: Advances in Neurobiology
Yulan Xiong, Ted M Dawson, Valina L Dawson
Mutations in the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) gene are the most common genetic causes of Parkinson's disease (PD) and also one of the strongest genetic risk factors in sporadic PD. The LRRK2 protein contains a GTPase and a kinase domain and several protein-protein interaction domains. Both in vitro and in vivo assays in different model systems have provided tremendous insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying LRRK2-induced dopaminergic neurodegeneration. Among all the model systems, animal models are crucial tools to study the pathogenesis of human disease...
2017: Advances in Neurobiology
Jean-Marc Taymans
LRRK2 is a highly phosphorylated protein, and evidence of a physiological role for LRRK2 phosphorylation has accumulated in recent years for cellular phosphosites, many of which are found in the ANK-LRR interdomain region, i.e., the S910/S935/S955/S973 sites as well as recently for autophosphorylation sites, at least one of which has been confirmed in cells, S1292. LRRK2 phosphorylation is modulated in several disease or potential therapy relevant conditions such as in disease mutant variants of LRRK2 or following LRRK2 kinase inhibitor treatment...
2017: Advances in Neurobiology
Nicolas L Dzamko
Polymorphisms in leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) have been linked to familial Parkinson's disease, increased risk of sporadic Parkinson's disease, increased risk of Crohn's inflammatory bowel disease, and increased susceptibility to leprosy. As well as LRRK2 mutations, these diseases share in common immune dysfunction and inflammation. LRRK2 is highly expressed in particular immune cells and has been biochemically linked to the intertwined pathways regulating inflammation, mitochondrial function, and autophagy/lysosomal function...
2017: Advances in Neurobiology
Laura Civiero, Isabella Russo, Luigi Bubacco, Elisa Greggio
The Parkinson's disease protein leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) is a multidomain protein with an enzymatic core comprising serine-threonine kinase and GTPase activities and a number of protein-protein interaction domains. While the complex domain architecture of LRRK2 has hampered its structural investigation, there is convincing evidence that LRRK2 can form dimers in solution and in the cell and that the GTPase/ROC domain plays a central role in this process. This chapter focuses on recent studies addressing the molecular nature, the functional significance, and the pathological implication of LRRK2 dimerization...
2017: Advances in Neurobiology
Claudia Manzoni, Patrick A Lewis
Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) has been implicated in a wide range of cellular processes, including the catabolic pathways collectively described as autophagy. In this chapter, the evidence linking LRRK2 to autophagy will be examined, along with how regulation of autophagy and lysosomal pathways may provide a nexus between the physiological function of this protein and the different diseases with which it has been associated. Data from cellular and animal models for LRRK2 function and dysfunction support a role in the regulation and control of autophagic pathways in the cell, although the extant results do not provide a clear indication as to whether LRRK2 is a positive or negative regulator of these pathways, and there are conflicting data as to the impact of mutations in LRRK2 causative for Parkinson's disease...
2017: Advances in Neurobiology
An Phu Tran Nguyen, Darren J Moore
Mutations in the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) gene are the most frequent cause of Parkinson's disease (PD) with late-onset and autosomal-dominant inheritance. LRRK2 belongs to the ROCO superfamily of proteins, characterized by a Ras-of-complex (Roc) GTPase domain in tandem with a C-terminal-of-Roc (COR) domain. LRRK2 also contains a protein kinase domain adjacent to the Roc-COR tandem domain in addition to multiple repeat domains. Disease-causing familial mutations cluster within the Roc-COR tandem and kinase domains of LRRK2, where they act to either impair GTPase activity or enhance kinase activity...
2017: Advances in Neurobiology
R Jeremy Nichols
Mutations in the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) gene were discovered in 2004 and have been found to be the most frequently mutated gene in Parkinson's disease. LRRK2 is a large multi-domain protein with a functional GTPase and kinase domain. The signal transduction pathways in which LRRK2 is dysfunctional in the disease state are only now being resolved, but we do know that LRRK2 is, itself, a substrate of multiple kinases and phosphatases and exists in variable phosphorylated states. Autophosphorylation of LRRK2 can impact GTPase and pathological outcomes...
2017: Advances in Neurobiology
Meir Kestenbaum, Roy N Alcalay
LRRK2 mutations are present in 1% of all sporadic Parkinson's disease (PD) cases and 5% of all familial PD cases. Several mutations in the LRRK2 gene are associated with PD, the most common of which is the Gly2019Ser mutation. In the following review, we summarize the demographics and motor and non-motor symptoms of LRRK2 carriers with PD, as well as symptoms in non-manifesting carriers. The clinical features of LRRK2-associated PD are often indistinguishable from those of idiopathic PD on an individual basis...
2017: Advances in Neurobiology
Edoardo Monfrini, Alessio Di Fonzo
The discovery of LRRK2 mutations as a cause of Parkinson's disease (PD), including the sporadic late-onset form, established the decisive role of genetics in the field of PD research. Among LRRK2 mutations, the G2019S, mostly lying in a haplotype originating from a common Middle Eastern ancestor, has been identified in different populations worldwide. The G2385R and R1628P variants represent validated risk factors for PD in Asian populations. Here, we describe in detail the origin, the present worldwide epidemiology, and the penetrance of LRRK2 mutations...
2017: Advances in Neurobiology
Tore Eid, Shaun E Gruenbaum, Roni Dhaher, Tih-Shih W Lee, Yun Zhou, Niels Christian Danbolt
Epilepsy is a complex, multifactorial disease characterized by spontaneous recurrent seizures and an increased incidence of comorbid conditions such as anxiety, depression, cognitive dysfunction, and sudden unexpected death. About 70 million people worldwide are estimated to suffer from epilepsy, and up to one-third of all people with epilepsy are expected to be refractory to current medications. Development of more effective and specific antiepileptic interventions is therefore requisite. Perturbations in the brain's glutamate-glutamine cycle, such as increased extracellular levels of glutamate, loss of astroglial glutamine synthetase, and changes in glutaminase and glutamate dehydrogenase, are frequently encountered in patients with epilepsy...
2016: Advances in Neurobiology
Arumugam R Jayakumar, Michael D Norenberg
Glutamine synthetase (GS) is an ATP-dependent enzyme found in most species that synthesizes glutamine from glutamate and ammonia. In brain, GS is exclusively located in astrocytes where it serves to maintain the glutamate-glutamine cycle, as well as nitrogen metabolism. Changes in the activity of GS, as well as its gene expression, along with excitotoxicity, have been identified in a number of neurological conditions. The literature describing alterations in the activation and gene expression of GS, as well as its involvement in different neurological disorders, however, is incomplete...
2016: Advances in Neurobiology
Alexei Verkhratsky, Luca Steardo, Liang Peng, Vladimir Parpura
Astrocytes are primary homeostatic cells of the central nervous system. They regulate glutamatergic transmission through the removal of glutamate from the extracellular space and by supplying neurons with glutamine. Glutamatergic transmission is generally believed to be significantly impaired in the contexts of all major neuropsychiatric diseases. In most of these neuropsychiatric diseases, astrocytes show signs of degeneration and atrophy, which is likely to be translated into reduced homeostatic capabilities...
2016: Advances in Neurobiology
Megan Culbreth, Michael Aschner
To examine the toxicological implications of glutamate, this chapter will focus specifically on its impact in the brain. More explicitly, it will illustrate the role glutamate plays in mediating methylmercury (MeHg)-induced neurotoxicity. In this chapter, one intends to highlight the processes that occur prior to glutamate-stimulated excitotoxicity and subsequent neurodegeneration. As such, it will emphasize three main routes by which MeHg alters glutamate homeostasis. It is essential to recognize that these effects are not mutually exclusive, and that they synergistically influence glutamate dysregulation...
2016: Advances in Neurobiology
Ana I Amaral, Joana M Tavares, Ursula Sonnewald, Mark R N Kotter
The glutamate-glutamine cycle is an outstanding example of how essential neuronal-glial interactions are for brain function. For several decades, this and other metabolic cycles in the brain have only included neurons and astrocytes but not oligodendrocytes, the myelinating cells of the central nervous system (CNS). Recent data revealed that oligodendrocytes are highly metabolically active cells in the brain and, therefore, should not be ignored. Using (13)C-labelled glucose in combination with nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and/or mass spectrometry (MS) it is possible to characterize metabolic functions in primary oligodendrocyte cultures...
2016: Advances in Neurobiology
Monika Szeliga, Jan Albrecht
By histological, morphological criteria, and malignancy, brain tumors are classified by WHO into grades I (most benign) to IV (highly malignant), and gliomas are the most frequently occurring class throughout the grades. Similar to peripheral tumors, the growth of glia-derived tumor cells largely depends on glutamine (Gln), which is vividly taken up by the cells, using mostly ASCT2 and SN1 as Gln carriers. Tumor growth-promoting effects of Gln are associated with its phosphate-activated glutaminase (GA) (specifically KGA)-mediated degradation to glutamate (Glu) and/or with its entry to the energy- and intermediate metabolite-generating pathways related to the tricarboxylic acid cycle...
2016: Advances in Neurobiology
Renata Leke, Arne Schousboe
Glutamine is a key amino acid in the CNS, playing an important role in the glutamate/GABA-glutamine cycle (GGC). In the GGC, glutamine is transferred from astrocytes to neurons, where it will replenish the inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmitter pools. Different transporters participate in this neural communication, i.e., the transporters responsible for glutamine efflux from astrocytes and influx into the neurons, such as the members of the SNAT, LAT, y(+)LAT, and ASC families of transporters. The SNAT family consists of the transporter isoforms SNAT3 and SNAT5 that are related to efflux from the astrocytic compartment, and SNAT1 and SNAT2 that are associated with glutamine uptake into the neuronal compartment...
2016: Advances in Neurobiology
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