Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects movement. Although many of the causes of PD remain unclear, a consistent finding is the abnormal accumulation of the protein α-synuclein. In a recent issue of Cell, Mazzuli et al. provide a molecular explanation for the unexpected link between PD and Gaucher's disease, a glycolipid lysosomal storage disorder caused by loss of the enzyme glucocerebrosidase (GBA). They report a reciprocal connection between loss of GBA activity and the accumulation of α-synuclein in lysosomes that establishes a bidirectional positive feedback loop with pathogenic consequences. Understanding how lysosomes are implicated in PD may reveal new therapeutic targets for treating this disease.
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