Mutations in the DJ-1 gene cause an early-onset form of Parkinson’s disease (PD). The DJ-1 protein is an attractive biomarker for sporadic PD, as well, since it is readily modified by oxidative stress, one of the hypothesized mechanisms of PD pathogenesis. The overall goal of this project is to develop a specific and sensitive assay for oxidized DJ-1 that can be used as a biomarker test of Parkinson’s disease. We have generated and validated specific and sensitive monoclonal antibodies to oxidized DJ-1. In the process, we have identified several sources that could lead to variable data from different assay conditions and laboratories. Standardization of such parameters are central to biomarker assay development for clinical and research use.
We hypothesize that oxidized DJ-1 can serve as a biomarker of PD pathogenesis to monitor treatments targeting PD pathogenesis.
We will optimize and standardize the assay conditions for one of our best clones of antibodies generated so far. These conditions include sample preparation methods, calibration standards, and control for biological variation by multiplexing the assay. Then we will develop both ELISA and Luminex platform assays and test them in a PD and control cohort.
Impact on Diagnosis/Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease:
DJ-1 levels in blood and cerebrospinal fluid may be a biomarker of PD onset and progression. Biomarkers such as DJ-1 may also help to monitor therapeutic effects of new drugs for PD.
Next Steps for Development:
We hope to establish a well validated and standardized assay to be used for biomarker studies of PD.