ProHealth health Vitamin and Natural Supplement Store and Health
Home  |  Log In  |  My Account  |  View Cart  View Your ProHealth Vitamin and Supplement Shopping Cart
800-366-6056  |  Contact Us  |  Help
Facebook Google Plus
Fibromyalgia  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & M.E.  Lyme Disease  Natural Wellness  Supplement News  Forums  Our Story
Store     Brands   |   A-Z Index   |   Best Sellers   |   New Products   |   Deals & Specials   |   Under $10   |   SmartSavings Club

Trending News

10 Fibro-Friendly Foods with a Bonus: Beautiful Skin

Fight Back! Win the War Being Waged Against Your Immune System

Studies Show that Magnesium L-threonate Improves Brain Plasticity, Leading to Direct and Significant...

Clary Sage Oil May Be Pricey, but Its Benefits Are Priceless

Component of red wine, grapes can help to reduce inflammation, study finds

Poly MVA: A Novel Therapy for Increasing Energy, Repairing DNA, and Promoting Overall Health

Pumpkin Pie Turmeric Breakfast Smoothie - Vegan + Gluten-Free

Vitamin D supplementation extends life in mouse model of Huntington's disease

Omega-3 fatty acid stops known trigger of lupus

Conquer Your Email Inbox, Increase Productivity and Reduce Stress

Print Page
Email Article

Nitric oxide links bulk of sporadic and familial Parkinson's disease

  [ 51 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • April 23, 2004

Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered that nitric oxide, a chemical messenger involved in bodily functions from erection to nerves' communication, also shuts down a protein involved in Parkinson's disease. The finding finally provides a biochemical link between Parkinson's disease (PD) that occurs in families and the vast majority of cases which occur randomly in the population, as well as giving researchers a brand new target for developing treatments to slow or stop the disease.

The protein in question is parkin, and earlier research had shown that mutations that cripple it occur in about a third of patients with familial PD, but rarely show up in the much more common sporadic cases of the disorder. In the absence of these mutations, however, scientists weren't sure how, or even whether, malfunction of parkin was involved in the disease.

In the April 23 issue of Science, the Hopkins team reports that nitric oxide (NO) attaches to parkin and reduces its normal ability to mark proteins -- including itself -- for destruction. However, in animal models of PD, there's so much NO on parkin that the protein doesn't work at all. Moreover, NO modification of parkin was two to three times higher in brain tissue from patients with PD than in those without the disease, the researchers report.

"In every tissue sample from patients, the level of NO on parkin was higher than the very highest level measured in brain tissue from people without the disease," says Ted Dawson, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neurology and neuroscience and co-director of the Program for Neural Regeneration and Repair in Hopkins' Institute for Cell Engineering. "This tells us that very effective NO scavengers, ones that cross the blood brain barrier and enter neurons, could be potential drugs to treat Parkinson's disease." While one doesn't yet exist, such a scavenger should mop up extra NO in the brain, he says, preventing it from blocking parkin's activity.

Other ways of reducing NO, such as preventing its production in cells, are less likely to work well because the molecule is so important to humans' normal function, from sending and receiving signals in the brain to relaxing and contracting blood vessels in order to control blood pressure. The researchers point out that, based on their work, NO modification of parkin is a normal process somehow gone awry in Parkinson's disease.

In normal cells and normal mice, postdoctoral fellow Kenny Chung found that NO is attached to parkin and regulates its activity. But in a mouse model of PD and in patients with PD or a similar condition called diffuse Lewy body disease, NO modification was so high parkin couldn't do its job at all. "We looked at NO modification of parkin step-by-step from the most basic level of biology -- an in vitro protein system -- all the way to patient tissue," says Chung, who is working on identifying the tools cells use to add NO to parkin.

Parkinson's disease is characterized by gradual loss of brain cells that make a chemical called dopamine. There is no cure, although treatments are available that help slow its progression. Genetic mutations in parkin that cause the protein to fail are thought to contribute to the disease in two ways. First, parkin's normal targets -- including itself -- are not marked for destruction as they should be. Second, any abnormal proteins can't be marked for destruction, either. Both failures likely contribute to protein build-up and the formation of protein gobs -- so-called Lewy bodies -- in cells that die in PD. By shutting down parkin proteins that are otherwise normal, excessive NO modification of parkin could contribute to PD in the same ways, the researchers say.

The research was funded by the United States Public Health Service, the Edward D. and Anna Mitchell Family Foundation, and the Mary Lou McIlhaney Scholar Award. Authors on the paper are Chung, Dawson, Bobby Thomas, Xiaojie Li, Olga Pletnikova, Juan Troncoso, Laura Marsh and Valina Dawson, all of Johns Hopkins. On the Web:

Post a Comment

Featured Products From the ProHealth Store
Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor® Optimized Curcumin Longvida® Ultra EPA  - Fish Oil

Looking for Vitamins, Herbs and Supplements?
Search the ProHealth Store for Hundreds of Natural Health Products

Article Comments

Be the first to comment on this article!

Post a Comment

Natural Pain Relief Supplements

Featured Products

FibroSleep™ FibroSleep™
The All-in-One Natural Sleep Aid
Optimized Curcumin Longvida® Optimized Curcumin Longvida®
Supports Cognition, Memory & Overall Health
Ultra EPA  - Fish Oil Ultra EPA - Fish Oil
Ultra concentrated source of essential fish oils
Energy NADH™ 12.5mg Energy NADH™ 12.5mg
Improve Energy & Cognitive Function
Vitamin D3 Extreme™ Vitamin D3 Extreme™
50,000 IU Vitamin D3 - Prescription Strength

Natural Remedies

Coenzyme Q10 - The Energy Maker Coenzyme Q10 - The Energy Maker
Guarding Against the Dangers of Vitamin D Deficiency Guarding Against the Dangers of Vitamin D Deficiency
Clinically Studied Joint Relief Product for FM & ME/CFS Clinically Studied Joint Relief Product for FM & ME/CFS
Repair Damaged Mitochondria and Reduce Fatigue Up to 45% Repair Damaged Mitochondria and Reduce Fatigue Up to 45%
The Most Powerful Natural Antioxidant Discovered to Date - Hydroxytyrosol The Most Powerful Natural Antioxidant Discovered to Date - Hydroxytyrosol

ProHealth, Inc.
555 Maple Ave
Carpinteria, CA 93013
(800) 366-6056  |  Email

· Become a Wholesaler
· Vendor Inquiries
· Affiliate Program
Credit Card Processing
Be the first to know about new products, special discounts and the latest health news. *New subscribers only

CONNECT WITH US ProHealth on Facebook  ProHealth on Twitter  ProHealth on Pinterest  ProHealth on Google Plus

© 2016 ProHealth, Inc. All rights reserved. Pain Tracker App  |  Store  |  Customer Service  |  Guarantee  |  Privacy  |  Contact Us  |  Library  |  RSS  |  Site Map