Publication date: Feb 13, 2020
TOKYO, Feb. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — A light-sensitive protein can restore mitochondria function in fruit flies bearing a gene mutation associated with Parkinson’s disease and relieve its symptoms, report researchers at Juntendo University in the journal Communications Biology.
Yuzuru Imai and Nobutaka Hattori at Juntendo University and colleagues at the University of Shizuoka and Waseda University in Japan have now developed a light-activated protein, named mito-Delta-rhodopsin (mito-dR), that restores mitochondrion function in a fruit fly model of the disease.
Previous research has pointed towards mutations in the protein coding gene CHCHD2 as the cause of the disease, as well as identifying a number of cellular processes that the disease affects.
In terms of energy generating processes, production of ATP – the energy currency in cells – is diminished and the generation of reactive oxygen species increases.
Mitochondrial functions involve the interplay of complex reaction cycles, redox processes and electrochemical forces.
Electrons that prematurely reduce oxygen in this process can lead to reactive oxygen species and cause oxidative stress to the mitochondria, which is related to age-related mitochondrial decline.
The mission of Juntendo University is to strive for advances in society through education, research, and healthcare, guided by the motto “Jin – I exist as you exist” and the principle of “Fudan Zenshin – Continuously Moving Forward”.
With the creation of Juntendo, the founders hoped to create a place where people could come together with the shared goal of helping society through the powers of medical education and practices.
Through the years the institution’s experience and perspective as an institution of higher education and a place of clinical practice has enabled Juntendo University to play an integral role in the shaping of Japanese medical education and practices.
Today, Juntendo University continues to pursue innovative approaches to international level education and research with the goal of applying the results to society.
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- Dysregulated Interorganellar Crosstalk of Mitochondria in the Pathogenesis of Parkinson’s Disease.
- PINK1-Parkin signaling in Parkinson’s disease: Lessons from Drosophila.