The leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 gene (LRRK2), also called Dardarin, encodes a large polymer of 2527 amino acids protein with multiple structural motifs (181). Mutations in this gene have been identified in familial forms of PD that result in autosomal dominant late-onset PD (182-184). The precise function of LRRK2 is currently unknown, but recent studies have suggested that this cytoplasmic protein can associate with other PD proteins, including parkin, and possesses kinase activity (185,186). Ongoing structural/functional analysis of this large complex protein will reveal more precisely its role in neurodegenerative disorders and will guide the development of transgenic animals for study.
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