Parkinson’s: A Disease of Aberrant Vesicle Trafficking

Pawan Kishor Singh, Miratul M. K. Muqit (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)
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Parkinson's disease (PD) is a leading cause of neurodegeneration that is defined by the selective loss of dopaminergic neurons and the accumulation of protein aggregates called Lewy bodies (LBs). The unequivocal identification of Mendelian inherited mutations in 13 genes in PD has provided transforming insights into the pathogenesis of this disease. The mechanistic analysis of several PD genes, including α-synuclein (α-syn), leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2), PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1), and Parkin, has revealed central roles for protein aggregation, mitochondrial damage, and defects in endolysosomal trafficking in PD neurodegeneration. In this review, we outline recent advances in our understanding of these gene pathways with a focus on the emergent role of Rab (Ras analog in brain) GTPases and vesicular trafficking as a common mechanism that underpins how mutations in PD genes lead to neuronal loss. These advances have led to previously distinct genes such as vacuolar protein-sorting-associated protein 35 (VPS35) and LRRK2 being implicated in a common signaling pathway. A greater understanding of these common nodes of vesicular trafficking will be crucial for linking other PD genes and improving patient stratification in clinical trials underway against α-syn and LRRK2 targets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-264
Number of pages28
JournalAnnual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology
Early online date4 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • LRRK2
  • PINK1
  • Parkin
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Rab
  • exosome
  • mitophagy
  • vesicle trafficking
  • α-synuclein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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