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J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2004 Feb;63(2):97-105.

PKR activation in neurodegenerative disease.

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The Buck Institute for Age Research, 8001 Redwood Blvd., Novato, CA 94945, USA.


Interferon-inducible, double-stranded RNA-dependent protein kinase PKR is well known as an early cellular responder to viral infection. Activation of PKR has been associated with a number of downstream cell stress and cell death events, including a generalized shutdown of protein translation, activation of caspase-8, participation in JNK and p38 MAPK pathways, activation of NF-kappaB, etc. Recently, the activation of PKR has also been described in several neurodegenerative diseases, including Huntington disease, Alzheimer disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Although the relationship between PKR and these diseases is still unclear, the overlap between known functions of PKR and biochemical events that occur in these neuropathologies are discussed here.

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