Axonal transport proteins as biomarkers of neurodegeneration?

Written by Kelly Hares & Alastair Wilkins

Neurodegeneration is a cardinal feature of numerous neurological diseases, yet the mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration are disparate and are not currently fully understood. In addition, the diagnosis of neurodegenerative conditions is often challenging and treatments are limited. Nevertheless, new therapeutic strategies and trials are being developed and, as a result, better biomarkers of disease severity, progression and prognosis are required in order to monitor the efficacy of new treatments.
Since studies have shown that dysregulated axonal transport may precede neurodegeneration, understanding the relationship between axonal transport and neurodegeneration is of interest [1]. The constant transport of proteins from the cell body, through the axon toward the synapse, is imperative to optimal signal conductance and neuronal function. Transport of proteins through the axon is mainly mediated by two families of motor proteins, kinesin and dynein. Kinesins govern the majority of anterograde transport and dynein is responsible for retrograde transport, shuttling proteins back toward the cell body for recycling.

Click here to read the full article from Biomarkers in Medicine.