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Blocking mitochondrial fission

A study led by a researcher from Plymouth University in the UK, has discovered that the inhibition of a particular mitochondrial fission protein could hold the key to potential treatment for Parkinson’s Disease (PD). The findings of the research are published in the 5th November 2014 edition of Nature Communications.

The research team found that when a particular mitochondrial fission protein (GTPase dynamin-related protein-1 — Drp1) was blocked using either gene-therapy or a chemical approach in experimental models of PD in mice, it reduced both cell death and the deficits in dopamine release — effectively reversing the PD process. The results suggest that finding a strategy to inhibit Drp1 could be a potential treatment for PD.

The research team is led by Dr. Kim Tieu from the Institute of Translational and Stratified Medicine, Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry. He initiated this research when he was a principal investigator at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and continued it on his move to Plymouth University in the UK.

Journal Reference:

Phillip M. Rappold, Mei Cui, Jonathan C. Grima, Rebecca Z. Fan, Karen L. de Mesy-Bentley, Linan Chen, Xiaoxi Zhuang, William J. Bowers, Kim Tieu. Drp1 inhibition attenuates neurotoxicity and dopamine release deficits in vivo. Nature Communications, 2014; 5: 5244 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms6244

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