Mutations in the Parkinson’s disease (PD) protein Leucine Rich Repeat Kinase 2 (LRRK2) have been under study for more than 15 years and our understanding of the cellular phenotypes for the pathogenic mutant forms of LRRK2 has significantly advanced. In parallel to research on LRRK2 mutations in experimental systems, clinical characterization of patients carrying LRRK2 mutations has advanced, as has the analysis of cells that are derived from these patients, including fibroblasts, blood-derived cells, or cells rendered pluripotent. Under the hypothesis that patient clinical phenotypes are a consequence of a cascade of underlying molecular mechanisms gone astray, we currently have a unique opportunity to compare findings from patients and patient-derived cells to ask the question of whether the clinical phenotype of LRRK2 Parkinson’s disease and cellular phenotypes of LRRK2 patient-derived cells may be mutually informative. In this review, we aim to summarize the available information on phenotypes of LRRK2 mutations in the clinic, in patient-derived cells, and in experimental models in order to better understand the relationship between the three at the molecular and cellular levels and identify trends and gaps in correlating the data.
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