Asparagine endopeptidase (AEP), an enzyme already identified as a contributor to the tangling of tau proteins and increasing neurotoxicity in Alzheimer’s cases, is now also believed to activate cleaving of alpha-synuclein in humans which leads to the formation of Lewy bodies, also increasing neurotoxicity in patients with Parkinson disease. Researchers plan to explore the possibilities of an AEP-inhibitor treatment for future Parkinson’s therapies.
Sandoiu A. New drug target for Parkinson’s disease found. MedicalNewsToday website. Published July 04, 2017. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318257.php. Accessed July 15, 2017.
Zhang Z, Kang SS, Liu X, et al. Asparagine endopeptidase cleaves α-synuclein and mediates pathologic activities in Parkinson’s disease. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2017; doi: 10.1038/nsmb.3433. [Epub ahead of print] https://www.nature.com/nsmb/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nsmb.3433.html#access