Endosomal sorting pathways in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease

Prog Brain Res. 2020:252:271-306. doi: 10.1016/bs.pbr.2020.02.001. Epub 2020 Mar 16.


The identification of Parkinson's disease (PD)-associated genes has created a powerful platform to begin to understand and nominate pathophysiological disease mechanisms. Herein, we discuss the genetic and experimental evidence supporting endolysosomal dysfunction as a major pathway implicated in PD. Well-studied familial PD-linked gene products, including LRRK2, VPS35, and α-synuclein, demonstrate how disruption of different aspects of endolysosomal sorting pathways by disease-causing mutations may manifest into PD-like phenotypes in many disease models. Newly-identified PD-linked genes, including auxilin, synaptojanin-1 and Rab39b, as well as putative risk genes for idiopathic PD (endophilinA1, Rab29, GAK), further support endosomal sorting deficits as being central to PD. LRRK2 may represent a nexus by regulating many distinct features of endosomal sorting, potentially via phosphorylation of key endocytosis machinery (i.e., auxilin, synaptojanin-1, endoA1) and Rab GTPases (i.e., Rab29, Rab8A, Rab10) that function within these pathways. In turn, LRRK2 kinase activity is critically regulated by Rab29 at the Golgi complex and retromer-associated VPS35 at endosomes. Taken together, the known functions of PD-associated gene products, the impact of disease-linked mutations, and the emerging functional interactions between these proteins points to endosomal sorting pathways as a key point of convergence in the pathogenesis of PD.

Keywords: Auxilin; Endolysosomal sorting; Endophilin; GAK; LRRK2; Parkinson's disease; Rab GTPases; Synaptic vesicle endocytosis; Synaptojanin-1; VPS35; α-Synuclein.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Endocytosis* / physiology
  • Endosomes / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Lysosomes / metabolism*
  • Parkinson Disease / genetics*
  • Parkinson Disease / metabolism*
  • Protein Transport*