Mechanisms of ubiquitin signalling in Parkinson’s disease


  • Prof Helen Walden

    University of Glasgow

Project summary

Mitochondria are the energy providers of the cell and it is important that they stay healthy. Mitochondrial health is maintained by an intricate system of signals that are attached and removed from the mitochondrial machinery. If a mitochondrion becomes defective, it must be removed by the cell's waste disposal system. To do this, the signal ubiquitin must be attached to proteins on the mitochondrion to flag it for removal. The enzymes that create the waste disposal signal do not function correctly in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s.

We aim to understand how these enzymes create signals and attach them to the correct targets to ensure that defective mitochondrion are removed from the cells.

By investigating this process at the atomic level, we aim to be able to understand what goes wrong in Parkinson’s disease, and find ways to modify each step to restore normal function.