Autophagic dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease: Cellular and molecular mechanistic approaches to halt Alzheimer’s pathogenesis
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Autophagy is a preserved cytoplasmic self-degradation process and endorses recycling of intracellular constituents into bioenergetics for the controlling of cellular homeostasis. Functional autophagy process is essential in eliminating cytoplasmic waste components and helps in the recycling of some of its constituents. Studies have revealed that neurodegenerative disorders may be caused by mutations in autophagy-related genes and alterations of autophagic flux. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is an irrevocable deleterious neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the formation of senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) in the hippocampus and cortex. In the central nervous system of healthy people, there is no accretion of amyloid β (Aβ) peptides due to the balance between generation and degradation of Aβ. However, for AD patients, the generation of Aβ peptides is higher than lysis that causes accretion of Aβ. Likewise, the maturation of autophagolysosomes and inhibition of their retrograde transport creates favorable conditions for Aβ accumulation. Furthermore, increasing mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling raises tau levels as well as phosphorylation. Alteration of mTOR activity occurs in the early stage of AD. In addition, copious evidence links autophagic/lysosomal dysfunction in AD. Compromised mitophagy is also accountable for dysfunctional mitochondria that raises Alzheimer’s pathology. Therefore, autophagic dysfunction might lead to the deposit of atypical proteins in the AD brain and manipulation of autophagy could be considered as an emerging therapeutic target. This review highlights the critical linkage of autophagy in the pathogenesis of AD, and avows a new insight to search for therapeutic target for blocking Alzheimer’s pathogenesis. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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