This week in therapeutics




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Parkinson's disease (PD)

Methyltransferase like 21A (METTL21A); heat shock 70 kDa protein 8 (HspA8; HSC70)

In vitro studies suggest inhibiting METTL21A activity could help treat PD. In assays and in protein extracts from cell cultures and mouse tissues, METTL21A trimethylated a lysine residue on Hsp70 family members, including HspA8. In purified a-synuclein (SNCA), unmethylated HspA8 prevented pathological aggregation of SNCA, whereas HspA8 methylated by METTL21A did not. Next steps include testing the effects of METTL21A modulation in models of PD.

SciBX 6(35); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.969
Published online Sept. 12, 2013

Findings unpatented; METTL21A-specific antibody available for licensing as a research tool

Jakobsson, M.E. et al. J. Biol. Chem.; published online Aug. 6, 2013;
Contact: Pål O. Falnes, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway