Generating and Characterizing LRRK2 Antibodies
MJFF Research Grant, 2010
LRRK2 is a gene implicated in the development of some familial Parkinson’s disease cases. Because of LRRK2’s significant potential as a drug target, MJFF is making considerable investments in understanding its role in normal and Parkinson’s cellular function. MJFF is funding multiple groups to develop therapies against LRRK2 that, if successful, could be developed into breakthrough PD treatments. However, a major roadblock in LRRK2 research is the lack of quality antibodies. Antibodies are tools used by researchers for many different purposes, including identifying where proteins can be found in the body, how they behave in cells, and how to manipulate their activity. Despite numerous attempts by individual researchers to develop antibodies against LRRK2, high quality antibodies do not exist and those that do are not always available to the research community.
MJFF partner Epitomics, Inc., a company specializing in a unique type of antibody, has generated several antibodies that appear to recognize the LRRK2 protein in a very sensitive and specific manner. MJFF is now working with Epitomics to produce large amounts of these antibodies so that the entire PD research community can access these antibodies and test them to determine their performance. PD researchers will be able to request and receive the antibodies free of charge and will provide feedback directly to MJFF.
Relevance to Diagnosis/Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease:
The availability of high-quality antibodies will allow researchers to better understand the function of LRRK2 in both Parkinson’s models and in humans, accelerating the progress of research in academic and industry laboratories.
With the help of the research community at large, this project will result in the selection of one or several antibodies that perform well in multiple different methodologies, and these will then be made available to the PD research community. This is MJFF’s first foray into directly generating, characterizing and distributing antibodies. We hope this will be a model for future PD research tool development and distribution.
Location: New York, New York
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