Mitochondrial DNA damage as a potential biomarker of LRRK2 kinase activity in LRRK2 Parkinson's disease.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) is a promising therapeutic target for the treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD) and LRRK2 kinase inhibitors are currently being tested in early phase clinical trials. In order to ensure the highest chance of success, a biomarker-guided entry into clinical trials is key. LRRK2 phosphorylation, and phosphorylation of the LRRK2 substrate Rab10, have been proposed as target engagement biomarkers for LRRK2 kinase inhibition. However, a pharmacodynamic biomarker to demonstrate that a biological response has occurred is lacking. We previously discovered that the LRRK2 G2019S mutation causes mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) damage and is LRRK2 kinase activity-dependent. Here, we have explored the possibility that measurement of mtDNA damage is a "surrogate" for LRRK2 kinase activity and consequently of kinase inhibitor activity. Mitochondrial DNA damage was robustly increased in PD patient-derived immune cells with LRRK2 G2019S mutations as compared with controls. Following treatment with multiple classes of LRRK2 kinase inhibitors, a full reversal of mtDNA damage to healthy control levels was observed and correlated with measures of LRRK2 dephosphorylation. Taken together, assessment of mtDNA damage levels may be a sensitive measure of altered kinase activity and provide an extended profile of LRRK2 kinase modulation in clinical studies.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Gonzalez-Hunt, CP; Thacker, EA; Toste, CM; Boularand, S; Deprets, S; Dubois, L; Sanders, LH

Published Date

  • October 14, 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 10 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 17293 -

PubMed ID

  • 33057100

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7557909

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2045-2322

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/s41598-020-74195-6


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England