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The Part Played by Gene Variant in Parkinson's Discovered

by Savitha C Muppala on August 2, 2010 at 7:55 PM
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 The Part Played by Gene Variant in Parkinson's Discovered

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.

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Bingwei Lu, a neuroscientist at Stanford University in California, and his team studied a gene called LRRK2, reports New Scientist.

A mutant form of LRRK2, common in Jews of European descent and people from north Africa, is known to be involved in the development of Parkinson's, but exactly how was unclear.
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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.

Source: ANI
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