Molecular Mechanisms of ER Stress and UPR in the Pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s Disease
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Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease involving aggregation of misfolded proteins inside the neuron causing prolonged cellular stress. The neuropathological hallmarks of AD include the formation of senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in specific brain regions that lead to synaptic loss and neuronal death. The exact mechanism of neuron dysfunction in AD remains obscure. In recent years, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) dysfunction has been implicated in neuronal degeneration seen in AD. Apart from AD, many other diseases also involve misfolded proteins aggregations in the ER, a condition referred to as ER stress. The response of the cell to ER stress is to activate a group of signaling pathways called unfolded protein response (UPR) that stimulates a particular transcriptional program to restore ER function and ensure cell survival. ER stress also involves the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that, together with mitochondrial ROS and decreased effectiveness of antioxidant mechanisms, producing a condition of chronic oxidative stress. The unfolded proteins may not always produce a response that leads to the restoration of cellular functions, but they may also lead to inflammation by a set of different pathways with deleterious consequences. In this review, we extensively discuss the role of ER stress and how to target it using different pharmacological approaches in AD development and onset. © 2020, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.
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