Endosome function and dysfunction in Alzheimer's  disease and other neurodegenerative diseases

Author(s): Nixon RA


Endocytosis is universally important in cell function. In the brain, the roles of endosomes are relatively more complex due to the unique polar morphology of neurons and specialized needs for inter-cellular communication. New evidence shows that endosome function is altered in a surprising range of neurodegenerative disorders, including in several inherited neurologic disorders where the causative mutations occur in genes that regulate endosome function. In Alzheimer's disease (AD), endosome abnormalities are among the earliest neuropathologic features to develop and have now been closely linked to genetic risk factors for AD, including APP triplication in Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome, DS) and ApoE4 genotype in sporadic AD. Recent findings on endosome regulation and developmental and late-onset neurodegenerative disease disorders are beginning to reveal how endocytic pathway impairment may lead to neuronal dysfunction and cell death in these disorders and may also promote amyloidogenesis in AD.

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