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Ploia C.,Neuronal Death and Neuroprotection Laboratory | Antoniou X.,Neuronal Death and Neuroprotection Laboratory | Sclip A.,Neuronal Death and Neuroprotection Laboratory | Grande V.,Neuronal Death and Neuroprotection Laboratory | And 10 more authors.
Journal of Alzheimer's Disease | Year: 2011

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a major clinical concern, and the search for new molecules to combat disease progression remains important. One of the major hallmarks in AD pathogenesis is the hyperphosphorylation of tau and subsequent formation of neurofibrillary tangles. Several kinases are involved in this process. Amongst them, c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs) are activated in AD brains and are also associated with the development of amyloid plaques. This study was designed to investigate the contribution of JNK in tau hyperphosphorylation and whether it may represent a potential therapeutic target for the fight against AD. The specific inhibition of JNK by the cell permeable peptide D-JNKI-1 led to a reduction of p-tau at S202/T205 and S422, two established target sites of JNK, in rat neuronal cultures and in human fibroblasts cultures. Similarly, D-JNKI-1 reduced p-tau at S202/T205 in an in vivo model of AD (TgCRND8 mice). Our findings support the fundamental role of JNK in the regulation of tau hyperphosphorylation and subsequently in AD pathogenesis. © 2011-IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.

Sclip A.,Neuronal Death and Neuroprotection Laboratory | Antoniou X.,Neuronal Death and Neuroprotection Laboratory | Colombo A.,Neuronal Death and Neuroprotection Laboratory | Camici G.G.,University of Zurich | And 12 more authors.
Journal of Biological Chemistry | Year: 2011

Alzheimer disease (AD) is characterized by cognitive impairment that starts with memory loss to end in dementia. Loss of synapses and synaptic dysfunction are closely associated with cognitive impairment in AD patients. Biochemical and pathological evidence suggests that soluble Aβ oligomers correlate with cognitive impairment. Here, we used the TgCRND8 AD mouse model to investigate the role of JNK in long term memory deficits. TgCRND8 mice were chronically treated with the cell-penetrating c-Jun N-terminal kinase inhibitor peptide (D-JNKI1). D-JNKI1, preventing JNK action, completely rescued memory impairments (behavioral studies) as well as the long term potentiation deficits of TgCRND8 mice. Moreover, D-JNKI1 inhibited APP phosphorylation in Thr-668 and reduced the amyloidogenic cleavage of APP and Aβ oligomers in brain parenchyma of treated mice. In conclusion, by regulating key pathogenic mechanisms of AD, JNK might hold promise as innovative therapeutic target. © 2011 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

Antoniou X.,Neuronal Death and Neuroprotection Laboratory | Borsello T.,Neuronal Death and Neuroprotection Laboratory
Frontiers in Bioscience - Elite | Year: 2012

Among the numerous intracellular signalling pathways that control brain development and pathogenesis c-Jun N-terminal kinases have a leading role in the Central Nervous System. JNKs regulate a wide range of processes in brain development, plasticity, repair/regeneration, neuronal death and neuroinflammation. Indeed, accumulating evidence underline the potential of JNK targeted molecules towards the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. The focus of the presenting review is to provide an overview of the reported data linking JNKs to brain function and dysfunction.

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