Cells are continuously exposed to potentially dangerous compounds. Progressive accumulation of damage is suspected to contribute to neurodegenerative diseases and aging, but the molecular identity of the damage remains largely unknown. We have recently discovered that PARK7, an enzyme mutated in hereditary Parkinson's disease, prevents damage of proteins and metabolites caused by a metabolite of glycolysis. We are trying to reveal the connection between this type of damage and neurodegeneration. We hope that a better understanding of this link will eventually allow for the development of therapeutic approaches.
Heremans IP, Caligiore F, Gerin I, Bury M, Lutz M, Graff J, Stroobant V, Vertommen D, Teleman AA, Van Schaftingen E, Bommer GT (2022). Parkinson's disease protein PARK7 prevents metabolite and protein damage caused by a glycolytic metabolite. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 119(4):e2111338119. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2111338119.