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Neuroscience. 2006;138(4):1055-65. Epub 2006 Jan 25.

Extracellular signal-regulated kinase as an inducer of non-apoptotic neuronal death.

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1
Neuroanatomy and Interdisciplinary Center for Neurosciences, University of Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 307, D-69120, Heidelberg, Germany. srinivasa.subramaniam@urz.uni-heidelberg.de

Abstract

Extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) is a versatile protein kinase, which has been implicated in signaling numerous biological functions ranging from embryonic development to memory formation. Recent reports, including ours, indicate that ERK plays a central role in promoting neuronal degeneration in various neuronal systems including neurodegenerative diseases. Mechanisms involved in ERK-induced neuronal degeneration are beginning to emerge. In this review, we summarize evidence suggesting ERK to be a predominant inducer of a non-apoptotic mode of neuronal death. Further, we discuss the mechanisms and the putative molecular inter-players associated with ERK-mediated neuronal death.

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