The overall goals of this proposal are to understand the role of a-synuclein, parkin, LRRK2 and the relationship with oxidative stress in the pathogenesis and pathology of Parkinson's disease (PD) and to define the molecular mechanisms of neuronal injury in animal models of PD. The program represents a multi-disciplinary, mechanistic approach involving interactive, productive investigators with complementary areas of expertise who have long been committed to the studies of neurodegenerative diseases.
Our aim will be to integrate the activities of various disciplines such that the interrelationships will result in greater scientific contributions and achievements if each project were pursued individually. The program has one major theme: To understand the role of familial associated genes a-synuclein, parkin and LRRK2 in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease and related disorders. The role of a-synuclein, parkin, LRRK2 and oxidative stress in PD pathogenesis will be investigated using molecular, transgenic, neuropathologic, cell biologic, and neurobehavioral approaches to examine the mechanism of neuronal dysfunction and injury due to alterations in these gene products. We believe that our multi-disciplinary approach has the capacity to produce unique information concerning the mechanisms of neurodegeneration in genetic animal models of Parkinson's disease and the related synucleinopathies and lead to better understanding of the function and the role of a-synuclein, parkin and LRRK2 in normal and pathophysiologic processes related to PD. The program consists of three projects: 1) Biology of Parkin and its Role in Parkinson's Disease;2) Mechanisms of Neurodegeneration in Human alpha-Synuclein Transgenic Mice;3) LRRK2 Biology in Parkinson's disease and four cores A) Administration and training, B) Bioenergetics, C) Transgenic and Neurobehavior and D) Clinical.

Public Health Relevance

Parkinson's Disease (PD) is a common progressive neurodegenerative disorder with no neuroprotective or neurorestorative therapy. Understanding the molecular mechanisms by which a-synuclein, parkin, LRRK2 and oxidative stress contribute to the degeneration of neurons in PD could lead to innovative therapies to slow or halt the progression of PD.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Specialized Center (P50)
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National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Initial Review Group (NSD)
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Sieber, Beth-Anne
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Johns Hopkins University
Schools of Medicine
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