The laboratory of Cellular Transport Systems, headed by Prof. Peter Vangheluwe, recently published ground-breaking insights in the underlying molecular and cellular defects in Parkinson’s disease (Van Veen and Martin et al, Nature, 2020; Martin and Smolders et al, Acta Neuropathologica, 2020). Research of his team focuses on the P-type ATPases ATP13A2 (PARK9) and ATP10B, two transporters that are genetically implicated in Parkinson’s disease. ATP13A2 removes polyamines out of the lysosome, whereas ATP10B exports the sphingolipid glucosylceramide; both functions exert potent neuroprotective effects.
Within the framework of a highly prestigious and international collaborative research program ASAP (Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s), the team will now explore how ATP13A2 and ATP10B are regulated at the molecular level and how this controls the intracellular distribution of polyamines and glucosylceramide in normal cells and models of Parkinson’s disease. These molecular insights may pave the way for a drug discovery strategy for Parkinson’s disease.
Within the ASAP project IMPACT-PD, we are recruiting a highly skilled and motivated individuals to strengthen the multidisciplinary team of academic partners.