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Adv Exp Med Biol. 2016;854:371-7. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-17121-0_49.

Cell Cycle Proteins and Retinal Degeneration: Evidences of New Potential Therapeutic Targets.

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Unit of Gene Therapy and Stem Cell Biology, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Lausanne, 15, av. De France, 1004, Lausanne, Switzerland.


During different forms of neurodegenerative diseases, including the retinal degeneration, several cell cycle proteins are expressed in the dying neurons from Drosophila to human revealing that these proteins are a hallmark of neuronal degeneration. This is true for animal models of Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's diseases, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and for Retinitis Pigmentosa as well as for acute injuries such as stroke and light damage. Longitudinal investigation and loss-of-function studies attest that cell cycle proteins participate to the process of cell death although with different impacts, depending on the disease. In the retina, inhibition of cell cycle protein action can result to massive protection. Nonetheless, the dissection of the molecular mechanisms of neuronal cell death is necessary to develop adapted therapeutic tools to efficiently protect photoreceptors as well as other neuron types.


Alzheimer’s disease; BMI1; CDK4; CDK5; Cell cycle; Neuroprotection; Parkinson’s disease; Retinal degeneration; Stroke

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