PDB ID: 5C1Z
Parkin is an E3 ligase, which ubiquitinylates proteins for degradation within neurons, and is primarily associated with mitophagy. By tagging damaged proteins with ubiquitin, the neuron is able to sequester harmful proteins for degradation, perpetuating the lifecycle of the neuron. Research has shown in the absence, or downregulation of Parkin neuronal cell death occurs leading to a loss of neurons and protein aggregates within neurons and nervous tissue. Within Parkinson’s this is mainly found in Dopaminergic cells (Dopamine producing cells) within the striatum and substantia nigra.