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Brain Res Bull. 2009 Oct 28;80(4-5):274-81. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2009.07.006. Epub 2009 Jul 16.

Role of the JNK-interacting protein 1/islet brain 1 in cell degeneration in Alzheimer disease and diabetes.

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Service of Internal Medicine, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois and University of Lausanne, CH-1011 Lausanne, Switzerland.


Numerous epidemiological studies and some pharmacological clinical trials show the close connection between Alzheimer disease (AD) and type 2 diabetes (T2D) and thereby, shed more light into the existence of possible similar pathogenic mechanisms between these two diseases. Diabetes increases the risk of developing AD and sensitizers of insulin currently used as diabetes drugs can efficiently slow cognitive decline of the neurological disorder. Deposits of amyloid aggregate and hyperphosphorylation of tau, which are hallmarks of AD, have been also found in degenerating pancreatic islets beta-cells of patients with T2D. These events may have a causal role in the pathogenesis of the two diseases. Increased c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase (JNK) activity is found in neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) of AD and promotes programmed cell death of beta-cells exposed to a diabetic environment. The JNK-interacting protein 1 (JIP-1), also called islet brain 1 (IB1) because it is mostly expressed in the brain and islets, is a key regulator of the JNK pathway in neuronal and beta-cells. JNK, hyperphosphorylated tau and IB1/JIP-1 all co-localize with amyloids deposits in NFT and islets of AD and patients with T2D. This review discusses the role of the IB1/JIP-1 and the JNK pathway in the molecular pathogenesis of AD and T2D.

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