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Genetic and Environmental Factors Influence the Pleomorphy of LRRK2 Parkinsonism

Department Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Ornit Chiba-Falek
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(3), 1045; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22031045
Received: 22 December 2020 / Revised: 16 January 2021 / Accepted: 17 January 2021 / Published: 21 January 2021
Missense mutations in the LRRK2 gene were first identified as a pathogenic cause of Parkinson’s disease (PD) in 2004. Soon thereafter, a founder mutation in LRRK2, p.G2019S (rs34637584), was described, and it is now estimated that there are approximately 100,000 people worldwide carrying this risk variant. While the clinical presentation of LRRK2 parkinsonism has been largely indistinguishable from sporadic PD, disease penetrance and age at onset can be quite variable. In addition, its neuropathological features span a wide range from nigrostriatal loss with Lewy body pathology, lack thereof, or atypical neuropathology, including a large proportion of cases with concomitant Alzheimer’s pathology, hailing LRRK2 parkinsonism as the “Rosetta stone” of parkinsonian disorders, which provides clues to an understanding of the different neuropathological trajectories. These differences may result from interactions between the LRRK2 mutant protein and other proteins or environmental factors that modify LRRK2 function and, thereby, influence pathobiology. This review explores how potential genetic and biochemical modifiers of LRRK2 function may contribute to the onset and clinical presentation of LRRK2 parkinsonism. We review which genetic modifiers of LRRK2 influence clinical symptoms, age at onset, and penetrance, what LRRK2 mutations are associated with pleomorphic LRRK2 neuropathology, and which environmental modifiers can augment LRRK2 mutant pathophysiology. Understanding how LRRK2 function is influenced and modulated by other interactors and environmental factors—either increasing toxicity or providing resilience—will inform targeted therapeutic development in the years to come. This will allow the development of disease-modifying therapies for PD- and LRRK2-related neurodegeneration. View Full-Text
Keywords: Parkinson’s disease; parkinsonism; LRRK2; neuropathology; modifier; genetics; GWAS; environmental risk factors; polygenic risk score Parkinson’s disease; parkinsonism; LRRK2; neuropathology; modifier; genetics; GWAS; environmental risk factors; polygenic risk score
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MDPI and ACS Style

Chittoor-Vinod, V.G.; Nichols, R.J.; Schüle, B. Genetic and Environmental Factors Influence the Pleomorphy of LRRK2 Parkinsonism. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22, 1045. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22031045

AMA Style

Chittoor-Vinod VG, Nichols RJ, Schüle B. Genetic and Environmental Factors Influence the Pleomorphy of LRRK2 Parkinsonism. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2021; 22(3):1045. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22031045

Chicago/Turabian Style

Chittoor-Vinod, Vinita G.; Nichols, R. J.; Schüle, Birgitt. 2021. "Genetic and Environmental Factors Influence the Pleomorphy of LRRK2 Parkinsonism" Int. J. Mol. Sci. 22, no. 3: 1045. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22031045

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