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Discovery of Enzyme Provides New Drug Target for Parkinson’s Disease

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. 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]