Evaluation of Current Methods to Detect Cellular Leucine-Rich Repeat Kinase 2 (LRRK2) Kinase Activity

Belén Fernández, Vinita G. Chittoor-Vinod, Jillian H. Kluss, Kaela Kelly, Nicole Bryant, An Phu Tran Nguyen, Syed A. Bukhari, Nathan Smith, Antonio Jesús Lara Ordóñez, Elena Fdez, Marie Christine Chartier-Harlin, Thomas J. Montine, Mark A. Wilson, Darren J. Moore, Andrew B. West, Mark R. Cookson, R. Jeremy Nichols, Sabine Hilfiker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Coding variation in the Leucine rich repeat kinase 2 gene linked to Parkinson's disease (PD) promotes enhanced activity of the encoded LRRK2 kinase, particularly with respect to autophosphorylation at S1292 and/or phosphorylation of the heterologous substrate RAB10. Objective: To determine the inter-laboratory reliability of measurements of cellular LRRK2 kinase activity in the context of wildtype or mutant LRRK2 expression using published protocols. Methods: Benchmark western blot assessments of phospho-LRRK2 and phospho-RAB10 were performed in parallel with in situ immunological approaches in HEK293T, mouse embryonic fibroblasts, and lymphoblastoid cell lines. Rat brain tissue, with or without adenovirus-mediated LRRK2 expression, and human brain tissues from subjects with or without PD, were also evaluated for LRRK2 kinase activity markers. Results: Western blots were able to detect extracted LRRK2 activity in cells and tissue with pS1292-LRRK2 or pT73-RAB10 antibodies. However, while LRRK2 kinase signal could be detected at the cellular level with over-expressed mutant LRRK2 in cell lines, we were unable to demonstrate specific detection of endogenous cellular LRRK2 activity in cell culture models or tissues that we evaluated. Conclusion: Further development of reliable methods that can be deployed in multiple laboratories to measure endogenous LRRK2 activities are likely required, especially at cellular resolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1423-1447
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Parkinson's Disease
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2022


  • LRRK2
  • RAB protein
  • kinase
  • phosphorylation
  • proximity ligation assay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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