. Alpha-synuclein is part of a diverse and highly conserved interaction network that includes PARK9 and manganese toxicity. Nat Genet. 2009 Mar;41(3):308-15. PubMed.


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  1. In this work, Susan Lindquist and colleagues from the Whitehead Institute reported a functional interaction between α-synuclein and the yeast ortholog of the Parkinson gene ATP13A2. Moreover, they showed that a knockdown of the corresponding ortholog in C. elegans enhanced α-synuclein misfolding. Finally, they demonstrated that the yeast ortholog could protect cells from manganese toxicity. This elegant work has, for the first time, demonstrated a functional link between two different Parkinson genes in combination with a recognized environmental factor—it contributes to an increased understanding of the complex mechanisms behind Parkinson disease.