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Mutations in the parkin gene cause autosomal recessive juvenile parkinsonism. Immunostaining of substantia nigra sections from sporadic Parkinson's disease (PD) cases shows that Parkin accumulates in axonal spheroids and in some Lewy bodies. Because ubiquitin is a major component of Lewy bodies and axonal spheroids, we investigated whether Parkin is metabolized via the ubiquitin/proteosomal pathway. Treatment of BEM17 neuroblastoma cells with the proteosomal inhibitor, MG132, produced a band corresponding to di-ubiquitinated Parkin that was apparent by immunoblot using two different anti-Parkin antibodies. This higher mol. wt band also coimmunoprecipitated with Parkin. These data suggest that Parkin plays a role in the pathophysiology of sporadic PD, and that Parkin is a substrate for ubiquitination that is degraded by the proteosomal complex.