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Enzyme fights mutated protein in inherited Parkinson's disease.

An enzyme that naturally occurs in the brain helps destroy the mutated protein that is the most common cause of inherited Parkinson's disease.

A study at the University of Texas, using human cells, provides a focus for further research into halting that action of the mutated protein.

"There are currently enormous efforts to identify potential therapies based on inhibiting this mutated protein," said Dr. Matthew Goldberg, Assistant Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry and senior author.

"Our paper is a major advance because we identify a protein that binds to the mutated protein and promotes its breakdown," he said.

The mutation that was studied affects a protein whose function is not well understood. In its normal form, it appears to have multiple sites where other molecules can attach themselves, similar to a space station with many docking areas.

(Source: PLoS One, June 2009.)

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Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Date:Sep 22, 2010
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