Protocols in Current Issue
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0 Q&A 2251 Views Sep 5, 2021

Missense mutations in leucine rich-repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) cause forms of familial Parkinson’s disease and have been linked to ‘idiopathic’ Parkinson’s disease. Assessment of LRRK2 kinase activity has been very challenging due to its size, complex structure, and relatively low abundance. A standard in the field to assess LRRK2 kinase activity is to measure the level of substrate phosphorylation (pThr73-Rab10) or autophosphorylation of serine 1292 (i.e., phosphoserine 1292; pS1292). The levels of pS1292 have typically been assessed by western blotting, which limits cellular and anatomical resolution. Here, we describe the method for a novel proximity ligation assay (PLA) that can detect endogenous LRRK2 kinase activity (PLA LRRK2) in situ at cellular and subcellular resolutions. PLA is a fluorescence- or chromogen-based assay that can be used to either (1) detect protein-protein interactions or (2) detect and amplify post-translational modifications on proteins. We used PLA for in situ detection and amplification of LRRK2 autophosphorylation levels at serine 1292. Our findings demonstrate that PLA LRRK2 is a highly sensitive and specific assay that can be used for assessing kinase activity in cultured cells and postmortem tissues.

0 Q&A 10847 Views Aug 20, 2019
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative movement disorder that happens due to the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. The deficiency of dopamine in the basal nuclei drives cardinal motor symptoms such as bradykinesia and hypokinesia. The current protocol describes the cylinder test, which is a relatively simple behavioral assessment that evaluates the motor deficits upon unilateral degeneration of the nigrostriatal pathway in experimental models of Parkinson’s disease. Since dopamine-depleted mice exhibit the preferential use of the forelimb ipsilateral to the lesion, here researchers perform the cylinder test to investigate the therapeutic effects of antiparkinsonian treatments on the performance of the contralateral (injured) limb.
1 Q&A 11568 Views Jul 20, 2018
Studying the aggregation of amyloid proteins like α-synuclein in vitro is a convenient and popular tool to gain kinetic insights into aggregation as well as to study factors (e.g., aggregation inhibitors) that influence it. These aggregation assays typically make use of the fluorescence dye Thioflavin T as a sensitive fluorescence reporter of amyloid fibril formation and are conducted in a plate-reader-based format, permitting the simultaneous screening of multiple samples and conditions. However, aggregation assays are generally prone to poor reproducibility due to the stochastic nature of fibril nucleation and the multiplicity of modulating factors. Here we present a simple and reproducible protocol to study the aggregation of α-synuclein in a plate-reader based assay.

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