Parkinsonís disease, which pathological hallmarks are loss of dopaminergic neurons belonging to substantia nigra and Lewy bodies inside brain nerve cells, is the second most common neurodegenerative disease. Several rare Parkinsonís familial forms are linked to genetic loci, and the identification of causal mutations has provided insight into the disease process. PARK8, identified in 2002 by Funayama and colleagues, appears to be a common cause of familial PD. Paisan-Ruiz and his colleagues (Cloning of the gene containing mutations that cause PARK-8-Linked Parkinsonís Disease. Will be published in Neuron 44, Issue 4, 2004 now available on-line: www.neuron.orgat 10.1016/S0896627304006890)describe the cloning of a novel gene that contains missense mutations segregating with PARK8-linked PD in five families from England and Spain. Because of the tremor observed in PD and because a number of the families are of Basque descent, we have named this protein dardarin, derived from the Basque word dardara, meaning tremor.


BM&L-November 2004