Dr. Arjan Kortholt of the research group Cell Biochemistry (Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute, GBB) has been awarded €500,000 by the Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) to continue the research on LRRK2-mediated Parkinson's disease.
Although the biological function of the multidomain LRRK2 protein is not fully understood, inhibitors of LRRK2 have the potential of being used to prevent the occurrence or even treatment of Parkinson's disease.
However, identifying and developing LRRK2-targeted compounds is difficult, but will be greatly enhanced by knowing the detailed three-dimensional structure of LRRK2. The research team headed by Dr. Kortholt aims at fully determining the mechanistic multi-domain structural model for LRRK2 to for the first time provide insights into its activation mechanism, as well as explaining the pathophysiological impact of mutations that cause Parkinson's disease.
The project is part of an MJFF-supported consortium that further consists of researchers from the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases in Tubingen and the University of Heidelberg. In 2013, Kortholt also received a VIDI grant for the biochemical unravelling of Parkinson's disease.
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