|The unfolded protein response: mechanisms and therapy of neurodegeneration|
|Scritto da Brain - current issue|
Activation of the unfolded protein response is emerging as a common theme in protein-misfolding neurodegenerative diseases, with relevant markers observed in patient tissue and mouse models. Genetic and pharmacological manipulation of the pathway in several mouse models has shown that this is not a passive consequence of the neurodegeneration process. Rather, overactivation of the protein kinase RNA-like ER kinase (PERK, encoded by EIF2AK3) branch of the unfolded protein response directly contributes to disease pathogenesis through the critical reduction in neuronal protein synthesis rates, essential for learning and memory and for neuronal survival. The pharmacological inhibition of this process in these models is strikingly neuroprotective, resulting in the discovery of the first small molecule preventing neurodegeneration and clinical disease in vivo. This now represents a potential generic approach for boosting memory and preventing neurodegeneration across the spectrum of these disorders, albeit with some exceptions, independent of disease-specific proteins. Targeting the unfolded protein response, and particularly PERK-branch mediated translational failure is thus an increasingly compelling strategy for new treatments for dementia and neurodegenerative disease.
Fonte: Brain - current issue