Journal: Nature Chemical Biology
Affiliations: 17Go to article
Hormone-like substances could slow Parkinson’s disease
© KATERYNA KON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty
Two naturally occurring chemicals with hormone-like effects work together to maintain the health of dopamine-producing neurons in the brain. This finding could lead to new treatments for Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease is an incurable neurodegenerative disorder that afflicts somewhere between 7 and 10 million people globally.
Now, a team co-led by scientists at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, has found that two prostaglandin molecules, called PGE1 and PGA1, together bind and activate a protein called Nurr1 in brain cells. This interaction has neuroprotective effects that can guard cells against deadly neurotoxins and improve motor function in mouse models of Parkinson’s.
The researchers hope to use these insights to design a synthetic form of the prostaglandins as a potential drug that could slow, halt or even reverse neurodegenerative disease.
- Nature Chemical Biology 16, 876–886 (2020). doi: 10.1038/s41589-020-0553-6