Scientists in the U.S. have uncovered the part played by a tiny, gene-ontrolling snippet of RNA in Parkinson's disease.
They have shown that a microRNA sequence, which suppresses certain genes, is linked to the death of brain cells in fruit flies.
Bingwei Lu, a neuroscientist at Stanford University in California, and his team studied a gene called LRRK2, reports New Scientist.
Lu and colleagues found that fruit flies with the mutant form of LRRK2 also had a disrupted microRNA pathway associated with the gene, and accumulated toxic proteins that killed motor-coordinating neurons in the brain.
Adding the microRNA back in helped to correct this process.
The study appears in the journal Nature.