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The aging brain, a key target for the future: The protein kinase C involvement

Authors
Journal
Pharmacological Research
1043-6618
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
55
Issue
6
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.phrs.2007.04.013
Keywords
  • Aging
  • Brain
  • Pkc
  • Rack
  • Elav
  • Signal Transduction
  • Memory And Alzheimer'S Disease
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Communication
  • Ecology
  • Geography
  • Medicine

Abstract

Abstract The brain represents the primary centre for the regulation and control of all our body activities, receiving and interpreting sensory impulses and transmitting information to the periphery. Most importantly, it is also the seat of consciousness, thought, emotion and especially memory, being in fact able to encode, store and recall any information. Memory is really what makes possible so many of our complex cognitive functions, including communication and learning, and surely without memory, life would lose all of its glamour and purpose. Age-associated mental impairment can range in severity from forgetfulness at the border with pathology to dementia, such as in Alzheimer's disease. In recent years, one of the most relevant observations of research on brain aging relates to data indicating that age-related cognitive decline is not only due to neuronal loss, as previously thought; instead, scientists now believe that age-associated functional changes have more to do with the dysfunctions occurring over time. Within this context a prominent role is certainly played by signal transduction cascades which guarantee neuronal cell to elaborate coordinated responses to the multiple signals coming from the outside and to adapt itself to the environmental changes and requests. This review will focus the attention on protein kinase C pathway, with a particular interest on its activation process, and on the role of protein–lipid and protein–protein interactions to selectively localize the cellular responses. Furthermore, information is emerging and will be discussed on the possibility of mRNA stabilization through PKC activation. This review will also approach the issue on how alterations of these molecular cascades may have implications in physiological and pathological brain aging, such as Alzheimer's disease.

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