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Neurobiol Dis. 2004 Nov;17(2):326-36.

Activation of the neuronal c-Abl tyrosine kinase by amyloid-beta-peptide and reactive oxygen species.

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FONDAP Center for Cell and Molecular Biology Joaquin V. Luco, P. Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, 114-D, Chile.


The deposition and accumulation of amyloid-beta-peptide (Abeta) in the brain are considered a sine qua non for Alzheimer's disease. The experimental delivery of fibrilized Abeta serves as a cellular model for several facets of the disease including the induction of synaptic dysfunction and apoptosis. c-Abl kinase is involved in the regulation of apoptosis and its pro-apoptotic function is in part mediated by its interaction with p73, a p53 homologue. We found that c-Abl activation is involved in cell signals that regulate neuronal death response to Abeta fibrils. Abeta peptide fibrils induced an increase of the c-Abl activity in rat hippocampal neurons as well as an increase in nuclear p73 protein levels and the p73-c-Abl complex. The neuronal cell death induced by Abeta fibrils was prevented by the inhibition of c-Abl with imatinib mesylate (Gleevec or STI571) and by the inhibition c-Abl expression by RNAi. These results directly point to a therapeutic strategy for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

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