Parkinson´s disease (PD) is characterised by an ongoing loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. Oxidative stress has been implicated as a key event in this demise of neuronal cells. As the degradation of the neurotransmitter dopamine results in the production of hydrogen peroxide in the cytosol and catalase is capable of breaking down hydrogen peroxide, it was proposed that catalase targeted to the cytoplasm can prevent cell death caused by dopamine. Further, catalase activity was reported to decrease during aging which is of special interest for this topic as the vast majority of PD cases shows a late age of onset.
In cooperation with Christian Pifl (Center for Brain Research, MUW, Vienna, Austria), we investigate the influence of catalase targeted to different subcellular localization on the dopamine mediated cellular stress in a human neuroblastoma cell stably transfected with the dopamine transporter.