Missense mutations in the leucine-rich repeat kinase-2 ( LRRK2 ) gene represent the most common cause of autosomal dominant Parkinson's disease (PD). In the years LRRK2 has been associated with several organelles and related pathways in cell. However, despite the significant amount of research done in the past decade, the contribution of LRRK2 mutations to PD pathogenesis remains unknown. Growing evidence highlights that LRRK2 controls multiple processes in brain immune cells, microglia and astrocytes, and suggests that deregulated LRRK2 activity in these cells, due to gene mutation, might be directly associated with pathological mechanisms underlying PD. In this brief review, we recapitulate and update the last LRRK2 functions dissected in microglia and astrocytes. Moreover, we discuss how dysfunctions of LRRK2-related pathways may impact glia physiology and their cross-talk with neurons, thus leading to neurodegeneration and progression of PD.
Evidence indicates that leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) controls multiple processes in neurons and glia cells. Deregulated LRRK2 activity due to gene mutation represents the most common cause of autosomal dominant Parkinson's disease (PD). Protein kinase A (PKA)-mediated signaling is a key regulator of brain function. PKA-dependent pathways play an important role in brain homeostasis, neuronal development, synaptic plasticity, control of microglia activation and inflammation. On the other hand, a decline of PKA signaling was shown to contribute to the progression of several neurodegenerative diseases, including PD. In this review, we will discuss the accumulating evidence linking PKA and LRRK2 in neuron and microglia functions, and offer an overview of the enigmatic cross-talk between these two kinases with molecular and cellular implications.