DJ-1, also known as Park7, is a cytoplasmic protein that belongs to the ThiJ/Pfp1/DJ1 superfamily that functions as protein chaperones, catalases, proteases and kinases. DJ-1 was originally cloned as an oncogene that cooperatively transforms cells together with H-ras. Mutations in the DJ-1 gene are associated with rare forms of autosomal recessive early-onset Parkinson's disease. DJ-1 may also function as a redox-sensitive chaperone, as a sensor for oxidative stress, and it apparently protects neurons against oxidative stress and cell death. Augmenting DJ-1 activity might provide novel approaches to treating chronic neurodegenerative illnesses such as Parkinson's disease and acute damage such as stroke
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