Cholinergic System and Post-translational Modifications: An Insight on the Role in Alzheimer's Disease

Author(s): Touqeer Ahmed*, Saadia Zahid, Aamra Mahboob, Syeda Mehpara Farhat

Journal Name: Current Neuropharmacology

Volume 15 , Issue 4 , 2017

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Graphical Abstract:


Background: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of old age dementia. The formation of amyloid plaques (Aβ), neurofibrillary tangles and loss of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons are the hallmark events in the pathology of AD.

Literature Review: Cholinergic system is one of the most important neurotransmitter system involved in learning and memory which preferentially degenerates in the initial stages of AD. Activation of cholinergic receptors (muscarinic and nicotinic) activates multiple pathways which result in post translational modifications (PTMs) in multiple proteins which bring changes in nervous system. Cholinergic receptors-mediated PTMs “in-part” substantially affect the biosynthesis, proteolysis, degradation and expression of many proteins and in particular, amyloid precursor protein (APP). APP is subjected to several PTMs (proteolytic processing, glycosylation, sulfation, and phosphorylation) during its course of processing, resulting in Aβ deposition, leading to AD. Aβ also alters the PTMs of tau which is a microtubule associated protein. Therefore, post-translationally modified tau and Aβ collectively aggravate the neuronal loss that leads to cholinergic hypofunction.

Conclusion: Despite the accumulating evidences, the interaction between cholinergic neurotransmission and the physiological significance of PTM events remain speculative and still needs further exploration. This review focuses on the role of cholinergic system and discusses the significance of PTMs in pathological progression of AD and highlights some important future directions.

Keywords: Acetylcholine, Alzheimer's disease, muscarinic receptors, nicotinic receptors, post translational modifications.

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Article Details

Year: 2017
Published on: 25 March, 2016
Page: [480 - 494]
Pages: 15
DOI: 10.2174/1570159X14666160325121145
Price: $65

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