The Open Biochemistry Journal

ISSN: 1874-091X ― Volume 14, 2020

Biochemical and Computational Approaches to Improve the Clinical Treatment of Dopa Decarboxylase-Related Diseases: An Overview

Barbara Cellini*, Riccardo Montioli, Elisa Oppici, Carla Borri Voltattorni*
Department of Life Sciences and Reproduction, Section of Biological Chemistry, University of Verona, Italy


Dopa decarboxylase (DDC) is a pyridoxal 5’-phosphate (PLP)-dependent enzyme that by catalyzing the decarboxylation of L-Dopa and L-5-hydroxytryptophan produces the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. The functional properties of pig kidney and human DDC enzymes have been extensively characterized, and the crystal structure of the enzyme in the holo- and apo-forms has been elucidated. DDC is a clinically relevant enzyme since it is involved in Parkinson’s disease (PD) and in aromatic amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) deficiency. PD, a chronic progressive neurological disorder characterized by tremor, bradykinesia, rigidity and postural instability, results from the degeneration of dopamine-producing cells in the substantia nigra of the brain. On the other hand, AADC deficiency is a rare debilitating recessive genetic disorder due to mutations in AADC gene leading to the inability to synthesize dopamine and serotonin. Development delay, abnormal movements, oculogyric crises and vegetative symptoms characterize this severe neurometabolic disease. This article is an up to date review of the therapies currently used in the treatment of PD and AADC deficiency as well as of the recent findings that, on one hand provide precious guidelines for the drug development process necessary to PD therapy, and, on the other, suggest an aimed therapeutic approach based on the elucidation of the molecular defects of each variant associated with AADC deficiency.

Keywords: : Dopa decarboxylase, Parkinson’s disease, AADC deficiency, pyridoxal 5’-phosphate..

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2012
Volume: 6
First Page: 131
Last Page: 138
Publisher Id: TOBIOCJ-6-131
DOI: 10.2174/1874091X01206010131

Article History:

Received Date: 10/9/2012
Revision Received Date: 12/10/2012
Acceptance Date: 23/10/2012
Electronic publication date: 11/12/2012
Collection year: 2012

© Cellini et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http: // which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Life Sciences and Reproduction, Section of Biological Chemistry, University of Verona, Italy; Tel:+390458027175; Fax: +390458027170; E-mails:;

Track Your Manuscript:


"We have always had a fruitful cooperation and long-term experience of publishing with Bentham Open."

"A number of our original papers have appeared in its different journals, as the Bentham Open Publishers provides sufficient research in the field of science and technologies (belonging to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, biomedical industries etc). The staff of the Bentham Open always treat our papers very seriously and gently during the rutile paper reviewing process, so far we always felt their kindness and highly cooperative support. Today, Bentham Open is providing a great support to science and research, giving opportunities of high standard publishing as well as promoting and enhancing selected papers around the world through communication and exchange of global scientific education."

Kholmirzo T. Kholmurodov
Leading Scientist
FLNP (Frank Laboratory of Neutron Physics) JINR (Joint Institute of Nuclear Research) Moscow region, Russia

Browse Contents

Webmaster Contact:
Copyright © 2020 Bentham Open