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Phosphorylation of 4E-BP by LRRK2 affects the maintenance of dopaminergic neurons in Drosophila.

Dominant mutations in leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) are the most frequent molecular lesions so far found in Parkinson's disease (PD), an age-dependent neurodegenerative disorder affecting dopaminergic (DA) neuron. The molecular mechanisms by which mutations in LRRK2 cause DA degeneration in PD are not understood. Here, we show that both human LRRK2 and the Drosophila orthologue of LRRK2 phosphorylate eukaryotic initiation factor 4E (eIF4E)-binding protein (4E-BP), a negative regulator of eIF4E-mediated protein translation and a key mediator of various stress responses. Although modulation of the eIF4E/4E-BP pathway by LRRK2 stimulates eIF4E-mediated protein translation both in vivo and in vitro, it attenuates resistance to oxidative stress and survival of DA neuron in Drosophila. Our results suggest that chronic inactivation of 4E-BP by LRRK2 with pathogenic mutations deregulates protein translation, eventually resulting in age-dependent loss of DA neurons.

Pubmed ID: 18701920


  • Imai Y
  • Gehrke S
  • Wang HQ
  • Takahashi R
  • Hasegawa K
  • Oota E
  • Lu B


The EMBO journal

Publication Data

September 17, 2008

Associated Grants

  • Agency: NIAMS NIH HHS, Id: R01 AR054926-01
  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: R21 NS056878-01

Mesh Terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Animals
  • Dopamine
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-4E
  • Genes, Dominant
  • Humans
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Models, Biological
  • Mutation
  • Neurons
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Peptide Initiation Factors
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases