Review Volume 2, Issue 9 pp 545—554
Unfolded p53 in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease: is HIPK2 the link?
- 1 Department of Experimental and Applied Pharmacology, Centre of Excellence in Applied Biology, University of Pavia, Italy
- 2 Department of Biomedical Sciences and Biotechnologies, University of Brescia, Italy
- 3 Department of Oncology and Experimental Medicine, School of Medicine, University “G. d'Annunzio”, 66100 Chieti, Italy
- 4 Molecular Oncogenesis Laboratory, National Cancer Institute “Regina Elena”, 00158 Rome, Italy
received: September 18, 2010 ; accepted: September 21, 2010 ; published: September 22, 2010 ;https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.100205
How to Cite
p53 transcriptional activity depends mainly on posttranslational modifications and protein/protein interaction. Another important mechanism that controls p53 function is its conformational stability since p53 is an intrinsically unstable protein. An altered conformational state of p53, independent from point mutations, has been reported in tissues from patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), leading to an impaired and dysfunctional response to stressors. Recent evidence shows that one of the activators that induces p53 posttranslational modification and wild-type conformational stability is homeodomain interacting protein kinase 2 (HIPK2). Hence, conditions that induce HIPK2 deregulation would result in a dysfunctional response to stressors by affecting p53 activity. Discovering the mechanisms of HIPK2 activation/inhibition and the ways to manipulate HIPK2 activity are an interesting option to affect several biological pathways, including those underlying AD. Soluble beta-amyloid peptides have recently been involved in HIPK2 degradation, in turn regulating the p53 conformational state and vulnerability to a noxious stimulus, before triggering the amyloidogenic cascade. Here we discuss about these findings and the potential relevance of HIPK2 as a target for AD and highlight the existence of a novel amyloid-based mechanism in AD potentially leading to the survival of injured dysfunctional cells.