Mutations in the protein DJ-1 cause autosomal recessive forms of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and oxidized DJ-1 is found in the brains of idiopathic PD individuals. While several functions have been ascribed to DJ-1 (most notably protection from oxidative stress), its contribution to PD pathogenesis is not yet clear. Here we provide an overview of the clinical research to date on DJ-1 and the current state of knowledge regarding DJ-1 characterization in the human brain. The relevance of DJ-1 as a PD biomarker is also discussed, as are studies exploring DJ-1 as a possible therapeutic target for PD and neurodegeneration.
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Funding: Wellcome Trust WT-ISSF.