Using light to help combat Parkinson’s disease | Video

Over 100,000 Canadians are living with Parkinson’s disease. McGill researchers are using the Canadian Light Source to help search for potential drug targets for the disease.

A nurse helping a woman using a walker.

Video: Using light to help combat Parkinson's disease

Over 100,000 Canadians are living with Parkinson’s disease and 25 more are diagnosed every day, according to Parkinson Canada.

Patients experience tremors, stiffness, and difficulty with movement. Dr. Jean-Francois Trempe, an Associate Professor with McGill University, and colleagues are using the Canadian Light Source (CLS) at the University of Saskatchewan to help search for potential drug targets for the disease.

“I work on a set of proteins that are involved in quality control,” said Trempe. “These proteins are able to sort the damaged proteins from the non-damaged proteins and they send the damaged ones off to be degraded and that's important for the long-term survival of neurons.”

His team used bright synchrotron light at the CLS to gain insights into a protein involved in formation of flagella, which are important notably for fluid circulation in the brain. By finding new information about this protein, their team is contributing to a body of knowledge that will hopefully lead to a therapy down the road.

“Do good science, do report on things that are real and important and later on people might figure out how what might be its best use,” said Trempe. “Sometimes discoveries come from completely unsuspecting directions.”

Khan, Nimra, Dylan Pelletier, Thomas S. McAlear, Nathalie Croteau, Simon Veyron, Andrew N. Bayne, Corbin Black et al. "Crystal structure of human PACRG in complex with MEIG1 reveals roles in axoneme formation and tubulin binding." Structure (2021). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.str.2021.01.001

 

For more information, contact:

Victoria Schramm
Communications Coordinator
Canadian Light Source
306-657-3516
victoria.schramm@lightsource.ca

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