Oss, January, 5th, 2014 – Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disease of the central nervous system. Researchers from NTRC and the group of Dr. Aletta Kraneveld from the Utrecht University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences bundle their expertise to get insight into the role of tryptophan metabolism in neurodegenerative disease. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that is used for protein synthesis and the production of neurotransmitters. Aberrant tryptophan catabolism has been implicated in a number of diseases, including neurodegenerative disease and cancer. For instance, the tryptophan metabolizing enzyme TDO has been implicated in the accumulation of toxic protein deposits during the development of neurodegenerative disease in animal models. Dr. Kraneveld has developed a new model to study Parkinson’s disease in mice. In a project sponsored by The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), NTRC will synthesize and provide selective small molecule inhibitors of TDO to the Utrecht group. Testing of the inhibitors will provide insight into the suitability of TDO inhibitors to treat Parkinson’s disease, and will provide insight into the target organ of Parkinson’s disease.