Protein kinases involved in pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease

Lead Researcher Email Number Webpage
Associate Professor Heung-Chin Cheng 61-3-83442254 View page

Project Details

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder of movement known to result from the progressive, preferential loss of dopaminergic neurons from the substantia nigra of the mid-brain. However, the cause of such neuronal death in PD is not known.

Recently the genes encoding PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1) and leucine repeat-rich kinase 2 (LRRK2) were identified as PD-causative genes.

The main objectives of this project are to identify the physiological substrates and to define the biochemical and structural basis of regulation of PINK1 and LRRK2.

We have successfully expressed recombinant human PINK1 and aim to identify the physiological substrates of PINK1.

In addition, we have expressed and characterised the recombinant Roco domain of LRRK2. Further biochemical and biophysical characterisation to define the solution structure of the Roco domain are ongoing.