Parkinson’s disease is the second most common, age-related, neurodegenerative disease: In Germany alone, about 300,000 people are affected and experience sometimes major limitations to their quality of life. Although Parkinson’s is so widespread, there is still no treatment that targets the cause of the disease and can stop it in its tracks. However, current research provides new hope: A research team at the University of Konstanz led by Professor Marcus Groettrup describes a new approach for developing future treatments for Parkinson’s. The biologists demonstrated that the ubiquitin-like protein FAT10 inhibits the molecular defense mechanisms protecting the brain from Parkinson’s disease. The biological mechanism is tricky: FAT10 causes processes in our own body that degrade the body’s molecular “guardians” against Parkinson’s disease (the enzyme Parkin). Instead of getting rid of damaged mitochondria in brain cells, Parkin is itself disposed of by the body. The research results were published in the scientific journal Cell Reports on 16 March 2021.