Prostate apoptosis response-4 (Par-4) is a protein containing both a leucine zipper and a death domain that was isolated by differential screening for genes upregulated in prostate cancer cells undergoing apoptosis. Par-4 is expressed in the nervous system, where its function, is unknown. In Alzheimer disease (AD), neurons may die by apoptosis, and amyloid β-protein (Aβ) may play a role in this. We report here that Par-4 expression is increased in vulnerable neurons in AD brain and is induced in cultured neurons undergoing apoptosis. Blockade of Par-4 expression or function prevented neuronal apoptosis induced by Ab and trophic factor withdrawl. Par-4 expression was enhanced, and mitochondrial dysfunction and apoptosis exacerbated, in cells expressing presenilin-1 mutations associated with early-onset inherited AD.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)