Disturbed expression of autophagy genes in blood of Parkinson’s disease patients

09 June 2020 par Isabelle Frapart
A dysregulation in the expression of autophagy genes necessary for the elimination of neurotoxic protein aggregates, observed in Parkinson's disease, is also directly detectable in the blood of patients

Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative pathology characterized by the presence of protein aggregates in the neurons of patients. This neurotoxic accumulation of misfolded proteins could be due to insufficient elimination by autophagic cellular mechanisms. Alain Legrand's group has just published a study highlighting an alteration in the expression of genes coding for autophagy proteins in the blood of patients with Parkinson's disease. This pilot study, carried out in collaboration with the Neurology Department of the Centre Hospitalier Régional d'Orléans (CHRO) and the Fundamental Informatics Laboratory of the University of Orléans (LIFO), shows that defects in autophagic systems that affect the brain of patients can also be detected in peripheral blood cells. These deregulated genes could thus constitute diagnostic markers of Parkinson's disease that can be measured non-invasively after a simple blood test.

El Haddad S. et al, Disturbed expression of autophagy genes in blood of Parkinson's disease patients.  Gene vol. 738 (2020): 144454