The Endo-lysosomal System in Parkinson's Disease: Expanding the Horizon

Amitha Muraleedharan, Benoît Vanderperre

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer's disease, and its prevalence is increasing with age. A wealth of genetic evidence indicates that the endo-lysosomal system is a major pathway driving PD pathogenesis with a growing number of genes encoding endo-lysosomal proteins identified as risk factors for PD, making it a promising target for therapeutic intervention. However, detailed knowledge and understanding of the molecular mechanisms linking these genes to the disease are available for only a handful of them (e.g. LRRK2, GBA1, VPS35). Taking on the challenge of studying poorly characterized genes and proteins can be daunting, due to the limited availability of tools and knowledge from previous literature. This review aims at providing a valuable source of molecular and cellular insights into the biology of lesser-studied PD-linked endo-lysosomal genes, to help and encourage researchers in filling the knowledge gap around these less popular genetic players. Specific endo-lysosomal pathways discussed range from endocytosis, sorting, and vesicular trafficking to the regulation of membrane lipids of these membrane-bound organelles and the specific enzymatic activities they contain. We also provide perspectives on future challenges that the community needs to tackle and propose approaches to move forward in our understanding of these poorly studied endo-lysosomal genes. This will help harness their potential in designing innovative and efficient treatments to ultimately re-establish neuronal homeostasis in PD but also other diseases involving endo-lysosomal dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number168140
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number12
StatePublished - 15 Jun 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • ceramide
  • cholesterol
  • Endosomes
  • lysosomes
  • trafficking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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