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J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2006 Jan;65(1):45-54.

Nuclear pore complex proteins in Alzheimer disease.

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Department of Pathology, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York, NY 11203, USA.


Ultrastructural studies of neurofibrillary tangles in Alzheimer disease (AD) have demonstrated a close relationship between nuclear pores and the cytoplasmic paired helical filaments comprising the tangles, as well as nuclear irregularity in many tangle-bearing neurons; nuclear pore aggregation has been observed in nearby neurons. These observations prompted examination of the nuclear pore complex (NPC) and proteins critical to nucleocytoplasmic transport in neurons with and without tangles in AD and control cases. Light microscopic study of hippocampus and neocortex in AD and controls revealed that all nuclei were labeled by antibodies to NPC proteins, including the central transporter nucleoporin Nup62. Nucleoporin and tau label revealed significantly more nuclear irregularity in AD, often associated with neurofibrillary tangles. Double label of Nup62 with apoptotic markers (TUNEL and active caspase-3) and a cell-cycle protein (cyclin B1) revealed no clear relationship of nuclear irregularity to apoptosis or cell-cycle protein expression. However, cytoplasmic accumulation of nuclear transport factor 2 (NTF2), a protein that transports cargo from the cytoplasm into the nucleus, was observed in a subset of hippocampal neurons with and without tangles in AD but not control cases. Further investigation of the NPC and nucleocytoplasmic transport in AD is warranted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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