Redox Redux in Alzheimer’s Disease

Science Signaling  07 Apr 2009:
Vol. 2, Issue 65, pp. ec124
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.265ec124

Neurodegenerative disorders involve a series of pathophysiological changes. Oxidative or nitrosative stress can induce a profound and abnormal degree of mitochondrial fission, leading to bioenergetic compromise, which may contribute to neurodegenerative disorders. Cho et al. describe a critical nitrosylation event induced by nitrosative stress in the pathogenesis of sporadic cases of Alzheimer’s disease. Dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1), which is known to be important for mitochondrial fission, is activated by S-nitrosylation, a redox reaction of nitric oxide with a critical cysteine thiol. The nitrosylation event is triggered by oligomerized β-amyloid; peptide and appears to mediate the synaptic damage known to occur early in Alzheimer’s disease. Thus, the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease involves a redox component, which may help to explain why redox metals can contribute to neuronal damage in Alzheimer’s disease.

D.-H. Cho, T. Nakamura, J. Fang, P. Cieplak, A. Godzik, Z. Gu, S. A. Lipton, S-nitrosylation of Drp1 mediates β-amyloid–related mitochondrial fission and neuronal injury. Science 324, 102–105 (2009). [Abstract] [Full Text]