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DJ-1 isoforms in whole blood as potential biomarkers of Parkinson disease

DJ-1 isoforms in whole blood as potential biomarkers of Parkinson disease
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Scientific Reports
Nature.com
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Open Access

11 December 2012
Lin X, Cook TJ, Zabetian CP, Leverenz JB, Peskind ER, Hu S-C, Cain KC, Pan C, Edgar JS, Goodlett DR, Racette BA, Checkoway H, Montine TJ, Shi M, Zhang J


DJ-1 is a multifunctional protein that plays an important role in oxidative stress, cell death, and synucleinopathies, including Parkinson disease. Previous studies have demonstrated that total DJ-1 levels decrease in the cerebrospinal fluid, but do not change significantly in human plasma from patients with Parkinson disease when compared with controls.

In this study, we measured total DJ-1 and its isoforms in whole blood of patients with Parkinson disease at various stages, Alzheimer disease, and healthy controls to identify potential peripheral biomarkers of PD.

In an initial discovery study of 119 subjects, 7 DJ-1 isoforms were reliably detected, and blood levels of those with 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal modifications were discovered to be altered in late-stage Parkinson disease.

This result was further confirmed in a validation study of another 114 participants, suggesting that, unlike total DJ-1 levels, post-translationally modified isoforms of DJ-1 from whole blood are candidate biomarkers of late-stage Parkinson disease.