Cell Cycle in Development

Part of the series Results and Problems in Cell Differentiation pp 565-576


Cell Cycle Deregulation in the Neurons of Alzheimer’s Disease

  • Calvin MohAffiliated withDepartment of Pathology, Case Western Reserve University
  • , Jacek Z. KubiakAffiliated withCNRS UMR 6061, Institute of Genetics and Development, Cell Cycle Group, University of Rennes 1, IFR 140 GFAS
  • , Vladan P. BajicAffiliated withInstitute of Biomedical Research, Galenika a.d
  • , Xiongwei ZhuAffiliated withDepartment of Pathology, Case Western Reserve University
  • , Mark A. SmithAffiliated withDepartment of Pathology, Case Western Reserve University
  • , Hyoung-gon LeeAffiliated withDepartment of Pathology, Case Western Reserve University Email author 

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The cell cycle consists of four main phases: G1, S, G2, and M. Most cells undergo these cycles up to 40–60 times in their life. However, neurons remain in a nondividing, nonreplicating phase, G0. Neurons initiate but do not complete cell division, eventually entering apoptosis. Research has suggested that like cancer, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) involves dysfunction in neuronal cell cycle reentry, leading to the development of the two-hit hypothesis of AD. The first hit is abnormal cell cycle reentry, which typically results in neuronal apoptosis and prevention of AD. However, with the second hit of chronic oxidative damage preventing apoptosis, neurons gain “immortality” analogous to tumor cells. Once both of these hits are activated, AD can develop and produce senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles throughout brain tissue. In this review, we propose a mechanism for neuronal cell cycle reentry and the development of AD.