Mutations in LRRK2 (leucine-rich repeat kinase 2) (also known as PARK8 or dardarin) are responsible for the autosomal-dominant form of PD (Parkinson's disease). LRRK2 mutations were found in approximately 3–5% of familial and 1–3% of sporadic PD cases with the highest prevalence (up to 40%) in North Africans and Ashkenazi Jews. To date, mutations in LRRK2 are a major genetic risk factor for familial and sporadic PD. Despite the fact that 8 years have passed from the establishment of the first link between PD and dardarin in 2004, the pathophysiological role of LRRK2 in PD onset and progression is far from clearly defined. Also the generation of different LRRK2 transgenic or knockout animals has not provided new hints on the function of LRRK2 in the brain. The present paper reviews recent evidence regarding a potential role of LRRK2 in the regulation of membrane trafficking from vesicle generation to the movement along cytoskeleton and finally to vesicle fusion with cell membrane.

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