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J Biomed Biotechnol. 2006;2006(3):82323.

Oxidative damage to RNA in neurodegenerative diseases.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, Asahikawa Medical College, Asahikawa 078-8510, Japan.


Since 1999, oxidative damage to RNA molecules has been described in several neurological diseases including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Down syndrome, dementia with Lewy bodies, prion disease, subacute sclerosing panencephalitis, and xeroderma pigmentosum. An early involvement of RNA oxidation of vulnerable neuronal population in the neurodegenerative diseases has been demonstrated, which is strongly supported by a recent observation of increased RNA oxidation in brains of subjects with mild cognitive impairment. Until recently, little is known about consequences and cellular handling of the RNA damage. However, increasing body of evidence suggests detrimental effects of the RNA damage in protein synthesis and the existence of several coping mechanisms including direct repair and avoiding the incorporation of the damaged ribonucleotides into translational machinery. Further investigations toward understanding of the consequences and cellular handling mechanisms of the oxidative RNA damage may provide significant insights into the pathogenesis and therapeutic strategies of the neurodegenerative diseases.

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