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Cell Death Differ. 2005 Jan;12(1):19-24.

Amyloid beta induces neuronal cell death through ROS-mediated ASK1 activation.

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  • 1Laboratory of Cell Signaling, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan.


Amyloid beta (Abeta) is a main component of senile plaques in Alzheimer's disease and induces neuronal cell death. Reactive oxygen species (ROS), nitric oxide and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress have been implicated in Abeta-induced neurotoxicity. We have reported that apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1) is required for ROS- and ER stress-induced JNK activation and apoptosis. Here we show the involvement of ASK1 in Abeta-induced neuronal cell death. Abeta activated ASK1 mainly through production of ROS but not through ER stress in cultured neuronal cells. Importantly, ASK1-/- neurons were defective in Abeta-induced JNK activation and cell death. These results indicate that ROS-mediated ASK1 activation is a key mechanism for Abeta-induced neurotoxicity, which plays a central role in Alzheimer's disease.

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