Do ageing SCs enhance Parkinson’s?
Lisbon – A Portuguese-American research team has discovered an association between a variant in the gene DZIP1 and Parkinson’s disease (PD). The collaboration brought André Valente from the Biocant Biotechnology Innovation Center in Cantanhede together with colleagues from Johns Hopkins University (Yuan Gao, Joo Heon Shin) and the Catholic University of America (Abhijit Sarkar). The team found that a rare mutation in the gene may quadruple an individual’s risk of contracting the disease. Given the role of DZIP1 in regulating adult stem cell niches, this association is consistent with adult stem cells playing a part in PD – a theory previously proposed at Biocant. The researchers proposed in arXiv Quantitative Biology (arXiv:1109.0029v2) that PD might originate in a programme defect that is associated with ageing stem-cells.