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RCAN1 overexpression exacerbates calcium overloading-induced neuronal apoptosis

RCAN1 overexpression exacerbates calcium overloading-induced neuronal apoptosis

Plos One 9(4): E95471-E95471

Down Syndrome (DS) patients develop characteristic Alzheimer's Disease (AD) neuropathology after their middle age. Prominent neuronal loss has been observed in the cortical regions of AD brains. However, the underlying mechanism leading to this neuronal loss in both DS and AD remains to be elucidated. Calcium overloading and oxidative stress have been implicated in AD pathogenesis. Two major isoforms of regulator of calcineurin 1 (RCAN1), RCAN1.1 and RCAN1.4, are detected in human brains. In this report we defined the transcriptional regulation of RCAN1.1 and RCAN1.4 by two alternative promoters. Calcium overloading upregulated RCAN1.4 expression by activating RCAN1.4 promoter through calcineurin-NFAT signaling pathway, thus forming a negative feedback loop in isoform 4 regulation. Furthermore, RCAN1.4 overexpression exacerbated calcium overloading-induced neuronal apoptosis, which was mediated by caspase-3 apoptotic pathway. Our results suggest that downregulating RCAN1.4 expression in neurons could be beneficial to AD patients.

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Accession: 055333727

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PMID: 24751678

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0095471

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