Université du Luxembourg
Characterization of a Parkinson's disease gene DJ-1 in regulatory T cells
DJ-1, also known as PARK7, is one of the familial Parkinson?s disease (PD) genes. Defects in human DJ-1 are the cause of autosomal recessive early-onset PD. DJ-1 is a redox-responsive protein and is long thought to mainly play an essential protective role in neurons. DJ-1 is ubiquitously expressed throughout the body including CD4+ T cells rather than only in brain and is involved in several biological functions. However, it is unclear whether DJ-1 plays a role in T cells. Our preliminary results show that DJ-1 might play a vital role in mediating the function of CD4+ T cells. We here seek to characterize a novel role of DJ-1 in regulatory CD4+ T cells, currently recognized as CD4+CD25+FOXP3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs), which are well-known immune suppressor cells in many peripheral diseases and emerging to play a role in several neurodegenerative diseases. A systematic investigation on the role of DJ-1 in Tregs will provide deep insight into the question whether and how DJ-1 mediates Treg suppressor function and will pave the way for a potential therapeutic target for autoimmune and other related diseases.