Mitochondrial dysfunction and neuronal demise: Insights provided by Parkinson’s disease genes
- Louis-Eric Trudeau, Université de Montréal
- Edward Fon, McGill University
- David Park, University of Ottawa
- Heidi McBride, McGill University
- Michael Schlossmacher, University of Ottawa
- Yong Rao, Centre for Research in Neuroscience
Converging research efforts have recently identified five genes that are associated with familial Parkinson’s Disease (PD), a condition associated with severe motor dysfunction and loss of dopamine-producing cells in the brain. These genes include α-synuclein, Parkin, DJ-1, Pink1, LRRK2. It is striking that all of them have been linked directly or indirectly with the function of mitochondria, small ubiquitous intracellular organelles found in all cells. A research group, led by Dr. Louis-Eric Trudeau from the Université de Montréal undertook collaborative projects to systematically examine PD genes and their control of mitochondrial function and neuronal physiology and survival.