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Prion-like Mechanisms in Alzheimer's Disease

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The misfolding and aggregation of specific proteins within nervous system occur in most age-associated neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease (AD). This kind of disorders have been classified as the protein misfolding disease or proteopathy which share key biophysical and biochemical characteristics with prion diseases. In AD, β-amyloid (Aβ) and tau protein, capital agents for the senile plaques and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles, are called ‘prionoids’ indicating that proteins exhibit prion-like properties. In this review, we describe the prion-like mechanisms in the progression that the Aβ and tau are induced to misfold and self-assemble by a process of templated conformational change and then the lesion caused by the pathogenic agents spread out through the cell-to-cell transportation, including release of intracellular seeds by the donor cell, cellular uptake by the recipient and intercellular transport. This hypothesis will suggest new therapeutic strategies for AD, especially valuable in the pre-symptomatic phase.
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Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; prion-like mechanism; tanscellular propagation; tau proteins; templated conformational change; β-amyloid peptide

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2014

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  • Current Alzheimer Research publishes peer-reviewed frontier review and research articles on all areas of Alzheimer's disease. This multidisciplinary journal will help in understanding the neurobiology, genetics, pathogenesis, and treatment strategies of Alzheimer's disease. The journal publishes objective reviews written by experts and leaders actively engaged in research using cellular, molecular, and animal models. The journal also covers original articles on recent research in fast emerging areas of molecular diagnostics, brain imaging, drug development and discovery, and clinical aspects of Alzheimer's disease. Manuscripts are encouraged that relate to the synergistic mechanism of Alzheimer's disease with other dementia and neurodegenerative disorders. Book reviews, meeting reports and letters-to-the-editor are also published. The journal is essential reading for researchers, educators and physicians with interest in age-related dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Current Alzheimer Research provides a comprehensive 'bird's-eye view' of the current state of Alzheimer's research for neuroscientists, clinicians, health science planners, granting, caregivers and families of this devastating disease.
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