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Ageing Res Rev. 2003 Oct;2(4):407-18.

The calpains in aging and aging-related diseases.

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Center for Dementia Research, Nathan Kline Institute, Orangeburg, NY 10962, USA.


Calpains are a family of calcium-dependent cysteine proteases under complex cellular regulation. By making selective limited proteolytic cleavages, they modulate the activity of enzymes, including key signaling molecules, and induce specific cytoskeletal rearrangements, accounting for their roles in cell motility, signal transduction, vesicular trafficking and structural stabilization. Calpain activation has been implicated in various aging phenomena and diseases of late life, including cataract formation, erythrocyte senescence, diabetes mellitus type 2, hypertension, arthritis, and neurodegenerative disorders. The early and pervasive involvement of calpains in Alzheimer's disease potentially influences the development of beta-amyloid and tau disturbances and their consequences for neurodegeneration and neuronal cell loss.

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