Besides its essential role in protein synthesis, cysteine plays vital roles in redox homeostasis, being a component of the major antioxidant glutathione (GSH) and a potent antioxidant by itself. In addition, cysteine undergoes a variety of post-translational modifications that modulate several physiological processes. It is becoming increasingly clear that redox-modulated events play important roles not only in peripheral tissues but also in the brain where cysteine disposition is central to these pathways. Dysregulated cysteine metabolism is associated with several neurodegenerative disorders. Accordingly, restoration of cysteine balance has therapeutic benefits. This review discusses metabolic signaling pathways pertaining to cysteine disposition in the brain under normal and pathological conditions, highlighting recent findings on cysteine metabolism during aging and in neurodegenerative conditions such as Huntington's disease (HD) and molybdenum cofactor (MoCo) deficiency (MoCD) among others.
- Huntington's disease
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