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mTOR is a regulator of cell growth and survival, protein synthesis-dependent synaptic plasticity, and autophagic degradation of cellular components. When triggered by mTOR inactivation, macroautophagy degrades long-lived proteins and organelles via sequestration into autophagic vacuoles. mTOR further regulates synaptic plasticity, and neurodegeneration(More)
Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) has been shown to protect and restore dopamine (DA) neurons in injury models and is being evaluated for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Nevertheless, little is known of its physiological role. We have shown that GDNF suppresses apoptosis in DA neurons of the substantia nigra (SN) postnatally both in(More)
The proteasome is a large protease complex that recognizes, unfolds and degrades ubiquitinated proteins. Evidence is now accumulating that the ubiquitin-proteasome system may play an important role in neuronal apoptosis. However, little is known about the involvement of the proteasome in neuronal death in vivo, and there has been no prior analysis of the(More)
There are currently no therapies that provide either protection or restoration of neuronal function for adult-onset neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease (PD). Many clinical efforts to provide such benefits by infusion of neurotrophic factors have failed, in spite of robust effects in preclinical assessments. One important reason for these(More)
There is increasing evidence that neuron death in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's disease, is due to the activation of programmed cell death. However, the upstream mediators of cell death remain largely unknown. One approach to the identification of upstream mediators is to perform gene expression analysis in disease models. Such analyses,(More)
OBJECTIVE A prevailing concept in neuroscience has been that the adult mammalian central nervous system is incapable of restorative axon regeneration. Recent evidence, however, has suggested that reactivation of intrinsic cellular programs regulated by protein kinase B (Akt)/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTor) signaling may restore this ability. METHODS(More)
Axon degeneration is a hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. Such degeneration is not a passive event but rather an active process mediated by mechanisms that are distinct from the canonical pathways of programmed cell death that mediate destruction of the cell soma. Little is known of the diverse(More)
Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 is predominantly expressed in postmitotic neurons and plays a role in neurite elongation during development. It has also been postulated to play a role in apoptosis in a variety of cells, including neurons, but little is known about the generality and functional significance of cdk5 expression in neuronal apoptosis in living brain.(More)
Dopamine neurons of the substantia nigra (SN) undergo a natural cell death event which is biphasic, with peaks at postnatal days (PNDs) 2 and 14. There is growing evidence that GDNF functions as a striatal target-derived neurotrophic factor to regulate the first phase. It has been unknown whether the GDNF receptor, GFRalpha1, may play a role in regulating(More)
There is much evidence that the kinase cascade which leads to the phosphorylation of c-jun plays an important signaling role in the mediation of programmed cell death. We have previously shown that c-jun is phosphorylated in a model of induced apoptotic death in dopamine neurons of the substantia nigra in vivo. To determine the generality and functional(More)