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Cell Rep. 2019 Jan 2;26(1):131-144.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.12.025.

Hyperactive Innate Immunity Causes Degeneration of Dopamine Neurons upon Altering Activity of Cdk5.

Author information

1
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA.
2
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA; The Johns Hopkins University/National Institutes of Health Graduate Partnership Program, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA.
3
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA. Electronic address: ginigere@ninds.nih.gov.

Abstract

Innate immunity is central to the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative disorders, but it remains unclear why immunity is altered in the disease state and whether changes in immunity are a cause or a consequence of neuronal dysfunction. Here, we identify a molecular pathway that links innate immunity to age-dependent loss of dopaminergic neurons in Drosophila. We find, first, that altering the expression of the activating subunit of the Cdk5 protein kinase (Cdk5α) causes severe disruption of autophagy. Second, this disruption of autophagy is both necessary and sufficient to cause the hyperactivation of innate immunity, particularly expression of anti-microbial peptides. Finally, it is the upregulation of immunity that induces the age-dependent death of dopaminergic neurons. Given the dysregulation of Cdk5 and innate immunity in human neurodegeneration and the conserved role of the kinase in the regulation of autophagy, this sequence is likely to have direct application to the chain of events in human neurodegenerative disease.

KEYWORDS:

Cdk5; Drosophila; aging; antimicrobial peptides; autophagy; innate immunity; neurodegeneration; p35

PMID:
30605670
DOI:
10.1016/j.celrep.2018.12.025
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