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See detailSingle-cell transcriptomics of human iPSC differentiation dynamics reveal a core molecular network of Parkinson’s disease
Novak, Gabriela; Kyriakis, Dimitrios UL; Grzyb, Kamil UL et al

in Communications Biology (2022), 5(1), 1--19

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second-most prevalent neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by the loss of dopaminergic neurons (mDA) in the midbrain. The underlying mechanisms are only partly ... [more ▼]

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second-most prevalent neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by the loss of dopaminergic neurons (mDA) in the midbrain. The underlying mechanisms are only partly understood and there is no treatment to reverse PD progression. Here, we investigated the disease mechanism using mDA neurons differentiated from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) carrying the ILE368ASN mutation within the PINK1 gene, which is strongly associated with PD. Single-cell RNA sequencing (RNAseq) and gene expression analysis of a PINK1-ILE368ASN and a control cell line identified genes differentially expressed during mDA neuron differentiation. Network analysis revealed that these genes form a core network, members of which interact with all known 19 protein-coding Parkinson’s disease-associated genes. This core network encompasses key PD-associated pathways, including ubiquitination, mitochondrial function, protein processing, RNA metabolism, and vesicular transport. Proteomics analysis showed a consistent alteration in proteins of dopamine metabolism, indicating a defect of dopaminergic metabolism in PINK1-ILE368ASN neurons. Our findings suggest the existence of a network onto which pathways associated with PD pathology converge, and offers an inclusive interpretation of the phenotypic heterogeneity of PD. [less ▲]

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See detailGeneration of two human induced pluripotent stem cell lines from fibroblasts of Parkinson’s disease patients carrying the ILE368ASN mutation in PINK1 (LCSBi002) and the R275W mutation in Parkin (LCSBI004)
Novak, Gabriela; Finkbeiner, Steven; Skibinski, Gaia et al

in Stem Cell Research (2022), 61

Mutations in PINK1 and Parkin are two of the main causes of recessive early-onset Parkinson’s disease (PD). We generated human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) from fibroblasts of a 64-year-old ... [more ▼]

Mutations in PINK1 and Parkin are two of the main causes of recessive early-onset Parkinson’s disease (PD). We generated human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) from fibroblasts of a 64-year-old male patient with a homozygous ILE368ASN mutation in PINK1, who experienced disease onset at 33 years, and from fibroblasts of a 61-year-old female patient heterozygous for the R275W mutation in Parkin, who experienced disease onset at 44 years. Array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) determined genotypic variation in each line. The cell lines were successfully used to generate midbrain dopaminergic neurons, the neuron type primarily affected in PD. [less ▲]

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See detailGeneration of two human induced pluripotent stem cell lines from fibroblasts of unrelated Parkinson’s patients carrying the G2019S mutation in the LRRK2 gene (LCSBi005, LCSBi006)
Novak, Gabriela; Finkbeiner, Steven; Skibinski, Gaia et al

in Stem Cell Research (2021), 57

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See detailGuidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy.
Klionsky, Daniel J.; Abdalla, Fabio C.; Abeliovich, Hagai et al

in Autophagy (2012), 8(4), 445-544

In 2008 we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, research on this topic has continued to accelerate, and many new scientists have entered the field ... [more ▼]

In 2008 we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, research on this topic has continued to accelerate, and many new scientists have entered the field. Our knowledge base and relevant new technologies have also been expanding. Accordingly, it is important to update these guidelines for monitoring autophagy in different organisms. Various reviews have described the range of assays that have been used for this purpose. Nevertheless, there continues to be confusion regarding acceptable methods to measure autophagy, especially in multicellular eukaryotes. A key point that needs to be emphasized is that there is a difference between measurements that monitor the numbers or volume of autophagic elements (e.g., autophagosomes or autolysosomes) at any stage of the autophagic process vs. those that measure flux through the autophagy pathway (i.e., the complete process); thus, a block in macroautophagy that results in autophagosome accumulation needs to be differentiated from stimuli that result in increased autophagic activity, defined as increased autophagy induction coupled with increased delivery to, and degradation within, lysosomes (in most higher eukaryotes and some protists such as Dictyostelium) or the vacuole (in plants and fungi). In other words, it is especially important that investigators new to the field understand that the appearance of more autophagosomes does not necessarily equate with more autophagy. In fact, in many cases, autophagosomes accumulate because of a block in trafficking to lysosomes without a concomitant change in autophagosome biogenesis, whereas an increase in autolysosomes may reflect a reduction in degradative activity. Here, we present a set of guidelines for the selection and interpretation of methods for use by investigators who aim to examine macroautophagy and related processes, as well as for reviewers who need to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of papers that are focused on these processes. These guidelines are not meant to be a formulaic set of rules, because the appropriate assays depend in part on the question being asked and the system being used. In addition, we emphasize that no individual assay is guaranteed to be the most appropriate one in every situation, and we strongly recommend the use of multiple assays to monitor autophagy. In these guidelines, we consider these various methods of assessing autophagy and what information can, or cannot, be obtained from them. Finally, by discussing the merits and limits of particular autophagy assays, we hope to encourage technical innovation in the field. [less ▲]

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