Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is one of the most common neurodegenerative diseases affecting an increasing number of people worldwide with the aging society. Although the etiology of PD remains largely unknown, it is now clear that genetic factors contribute to the pathogenesis of the disease. Recently, several causative genes have been identified in mendelian forms of PD. Growing evidence indicates that their gene products play important roles in oxidative stress response, mitochondrial function, and the ubiquitin-proteasome system, which are also implicated in idiopathic PD, suggesting that these gene products share a common pathway to nigral degeneration in both familial and idiopathic PD. Interestingly, several lines of evidence show that the gene products associate with lipid rafts which are thought to be involved in important cellular functions such as membrane trafficking, signal transduction, and cytoskeletal organization. Lipid rafts are cholesterol- and sphingolipid-enriched microdomains on the cell membranes that provide a highly saturated and viscous physicochemical microenvironment to promote protein–lipid and protein–protein interactions. In this article, we will review studies focusing on PD in association with lipid rafts and discuss implication of lipid rafts in the pathogenesis of PD.