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Table 2 Examples of genes associated with PD risk

From: The interplay of aging, genetics and environmental factors in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease

Gene Prevalence in PD Proposed pathogenic mechanisms Therapeutic strategies
SNCA (PARK1) [53] • Missense and multiplication mutations are rare and cause monogenic familial PD [59]
• Common polymorphisms are risk factors for sporadic PD [64, 66]
• Missense mutations are located in N-terminal region of α-synuclein and cause a variety of structural effects: formation of oligomeric aggregates, loss of membrane binding [67]
• Duplications, triplications and common polymorphisms increase α-synuclein expression [56, 57]
• Decrease α-synuclein production and aggregation [68]
• Increase α-synuclein degradation by activating autophagy [68]
• Decrease extracellular α-synuclein e.g. using α-synuclein antibodies [68]
• Inhibit uptake of extracellular α-synuclein [68]
LRRK2 (PARK8) [69] • Present in 40% of familial cases and 10% of sporadic cases [65] • Monogenic pathogenic mutations either reduce GTPase activity or increases kinase activity [70,71,72]
• Risk variants likely increase LRRK2 activity [70,71,72]
• LRRK2 kinase inhibitors [73, 74]
GBA [75, 76] • Prevalence varies with ethnicity but is as high as 30% in Ashkenazi Jews and 10% in Chinese and Japanese [77,78,79,80] • Reduction in GCase activity results in accumulation of substrates (e.g. glucosylceramide) and of α-synuclein [81] • Small molecule chaperones to increase GCase activity [68]
• Substrate reduction e.g. glucosylceramide synthase inhibitors [68]