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International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease
Volume 2011, Article ID 865432, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.4061/2011/865432
Review Article

Possible Role of the Transglutaminases in the Pathogenesis of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Neurodegenerative Diseases

Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Second University of Naples, Via Costantinopoli 16, 80138 Naples, Italy

Received 23 November 2010; Accepted 5 January 2011

Academic Editor: Brian J. Balin

Copyright © 2011 Antonio Martin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Transglutaminases are ubiquitous enzymes which catalyze posttranslational modifications of proteins. Recently, transglutaminase-catalyzed post-translational modification of proteins has been shown to be involved in the molecular mechanisms responsible for human diseases. Transglutaminase activity has been hypothesized to be involved also in the pathogenetic mechanisms responsible for several human neurodegenerative diseases. Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's disease, supranuclear palsy, Huntington's disease, and other polyglutamine diseases, are characterized in part by aberrant cerebral transglutaminase activity and by increased cross-linked proteins in affected brains. This paper focuses on the possible molecular mechanisms by which transglutaminase activity could be involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases, and on the possible therapeutic effects of selective transglutaminase inhibitors for the cure of patients with diseases characterized by aberrant transglutaminase activity.