Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Cell Death Differ. 2002 Dec;9(12):1294-306.

Cycling at the interface between neurodevelopment and neurodegeneration.

Author information

  • 1Centre for Research in Neurosciences, Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, Montreal General Hospital, 1650 Cedar Avenue, Montréal, Québec, H3G 1A4, Canada.


The discovery of cell cycle regulators has directed cell research into uncharted territory. In dividing cells, cell cycle-associated protein kinases, which are referred to as cyclin-dependent-kinases (Cdks), regulate proliferation, differentiation, senescence and apoptosis. In contrast, all Cdks in post-mitotic neurons, with the notable exception of Cdk5, are silenced. Surprisingly, misregulation of Cdks occurs in neurons in a wide diversity of neurological disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Ectopic expression of these proteins in neurons potently induces cell death with hallmarks of apoptosis. Deregulation of the unique, cell cycle-unrelated Cdk5 by its truncated co-activator, p25 and p29, contributes to neurodegeneration by altering the phosphorylation state of non-membrane-associated proteins and possibly through the induction of cell cycle proteins. On the other hand, cycling Cdks such as Cdk2, Cdk4 and Cdk6, initiate death pathways by derepressing E2F-1/Rb-dependent transcription at the neuronal G1/S checkpoint. Thus, Cdk5 and cycling Cdks may have little in common in the healthy CNS, but they likely conspire in leading neurons to their demise.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group
    Loading ...
    Support Center