Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Irvine

UC Irvine Previously Published Works bannerUC Irvine

Development of Inducible Leucine-rich Repeat Kinase 2 (LRRK2) Cell Lines for Therapeutics Development in Parkinson’s Disease


The pathogenic mechanism(s) contributing to loss of dopamine neurons in Parkinson's disease (PD) remain obscure. Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) mutations are linked, as a causative gene, to PD. LRRK2 mutations are estimated to account for 10% of familial and between 1 % and 3 % of sporadic PD. LRRK2 proximate single nucleotide polymorphisms have also been significantly associated with idiopathic/sporadic PD by genome-wide association studies. LRRK2 is a multidomain-containing protein and belongs to the protein kinase super-family. We constructed two inducible dopaminergic cell lines expressing either human-LRRK2-wild-type or human-LRRK2-mutant (G2019S). Phenotypes of these LRRK2 cell lines were examined with respect to cell viability, morphology, and protein function with or without induction of LRRK2 gene expression. The overexpression of G2019S gene promoted (1) low cellular metabolic activity without affecting cell viability, (2) blunted neurite extension, and (3) increased phosphorylation at S910 and S935. Our observations are consistent with reported general phenotypes in LRRK2 cell lines by other investigators. We used these cell lines to interrogate the biological function of LRRK2, to evaluate their potential as a drug-screening tool, and to investigate screening for small hairpin RNA-mediated LRRK2 G2019S gene knockdown as a potential therapeutic strategy. A proposed LRRK2 kinase inhibitor (i.e., IN-1) decreased LRRK2 S910 and S935 phosphorylation in our MN9DLRRK2 cell lines in a dose-dependent manner. Lentivirus-mediated transfer of LRRK2 G2019S allele-specific small hairpin RNA reversed the blunting of neurite extension caused by LRRK2 G2019S overexpression. Taken together, these inducible LRRK2 cell lines are suitable reagents for LRRK2 functional studies, and the screening of potential LRRK2 therapeutics.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View