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C-Abl Inhibition; A Novel Therapeutic Target for Parkinson's Disease

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Parkinson's disease (PD) is the most prevalent movement disorder in the world. The major pathological hallmarks of PD are death of dopaminergic neurons and the formation of Lewy bodies. At the moment, there is no cure for PD; current treatments are symptomatic. Investigators are searching for neuroprotective agents and disease modifying strategies to slow the progress of neurodegeneration. However, due to lack of data about the main pathological sequence of PD, many drug targets failed to provide neuroprotective effects in human trials. Recent evidence suggests the involvement of C-Abelson (c-Abl) tyrosine kinase enzyme in the pathogenesis of PD. Through parkin inactivation, alpha synuclein aggregation, and impaired autophagy of toxic elements. Experimental studies showed that (1) c-Abl activation is involved in neurodegeneration and (2) c-Abl inhibition shows neuroprotective effects and prevents dopaminergic neuronal' death. Current evidence from experimental studies and the first in-human trial shows that c-Abl inhibition holds the promise for neuroprotection against PD and therefore, justifies the movement towards larger clinical trials. In this review article, we discussed the role of c-Abl in PD pathogenesis and the findings of preclinical experiments and the first in-human trial. In addition, based on lessons from the last decade and current preclinical evidence, we provide recommendations for future research in this area.
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Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; Parkinson's disease; c-Abelson; neurological diseases; nilotinib; tyrosine kinase inhibitors

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: February 1, 2018

This article was made available online on June 7, 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "C-Abl Inhibition; A Novel Therapeutic Target for Parkinson’s Disease".

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  • CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, molecular biology, genomics and biochemistry of contemporary molecular targets involved in neurological and central nervous system (CNS) disorders e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will contain a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics on drug targets involved in neurological and CNS disorders. As the discovery, identification, characterization and validation of novel human drug targets for neurological and CNS drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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