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J Neurochem. 2016 Apr;137(2):140-1. doi: 10.1111/jnc.13296. Epub 2016 Mar 23.

CAST your vote: is calpain inhibition the answer to ALS?

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Neuroscience Department, Neurodegenerative Disorders, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Faculty of Science, University of Technology Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.


A publication in the Journal of Neurochemistry by Rao et al. (2016) suggests that the overexpression of the calpain inhibitor, calpastatin (CAST) rescues neuron loss and increases survival of the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) mouse model, hSOD1G93A. The findings of Rao et al. (2016) provide an insight into the mechanisms that lead to neuronal loss in ALS and suggest a cell loss pathway common to several neurodegenerative disorders that may be therapeutically targeted. Here, we highlight the findings of Rao et al. (2016) and discuss some key considerations required prior to assessing the potential use of calpain inhibitors in the clinic. Read the highlighted article 'Calpastatin inhibits motor neuron death and increases survival in hSOD1(G93A) mice' on page 253.

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