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Current Pharmaceutical Design


ISSN (Print): 1381-6128
ISSN (Online): 1873-4286

Review Article

Neurofilament Proteins as Prognostic Biomarkers in Neurological Disorders

Author(s): Yichen Lee, Bo H. Lee, William Yip, Pingchen Chou and Bak-Sau Yip*

Volume 25 , Issue 43 , 2019

Page: [4560 - 4569] Pages: 10

DOI: 10.2174/1381612825666191210154535

Price: $65


Neurofilaments: light, medium, and heavy (abbreviated as NF-L, NF-M, and NF-H, respectively), which belong to Type IV intermediate filament family (IF), are neuron-specific cytoskeletal components. Neurofilaments are axonal structural components and integral components of synapses, which are important for neuronal electric signal transmissions along the axons and post-translational modification. Abnormal assembly of neurofilaments is found in several human neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), infantile spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), and hereditary sensory-motor neuropathy (HSMN). In addition, those pathological neurofilament accumulations are known in α-synuclein in Parkinson’s disease (PD), Aβ and tau in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), polyglutamine in CAG trinucleotide repeat disorders, superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1), TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP43), neuronal FUS proteins, optineurin (OPTN), ubiquilin 2 (UBQLN2), and dipeptide repeat protein (DRP) in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). When axon damage occurs in central nervous disorders, neurofilament proteins are released and delivered into cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which are then circulated into blood. New quantitative analyses and assay techniques are well-developed for the detection of neurofilament proteins, particularly NF-L and the phosphorylated NF-H (pNF-H) in CSF and serum. This review discusses the potential of using peripheral blood NF quantities and evaluating the severity of damage in the nervous system. Intermediate filaments could be promising biomarkers for evaluating disease progression in different nervous system disorders.

Keywords: Neurofilament, intermediate filament, biomarker, cerebrospinal fluid, mass spectrometry, nervous system disorders.

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