Topographic regulation of neuronal intermediate filaments by phosphorylation, role of peptidyl-prolyl isomerase 1: significance in neurodegeneration. Academic Article uri icon


  • The neuronal cytoskeleton is tightly regulated by phosphorylation and dephosphorylation reactions mediated by numerous associated kinases, phosphatases and their regulators. Defects in the relative kinase and phosphatase activities and/or deregulation of compartment-specific phosphorylation result in neurodegenerative disorders. The largest family of cytoskeletal proteins in mammalian cells is the superfamily of intermediate filaments (IFs). The neurofilament (NF) proteins are the major IFs. Aggregated forms of hyperphosphorylated tau and phosphorylated NFs are found in pathological cell body accumulations in the central nervous system of patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. The precise mechanisms for this compartment-specific phosphorylation of cytoskeletal proteins are not completely understood. In this review, we focus on the mechanisms of neurofilament phosphorylation in normal physiology and neurodegenerative diseases. We also address the recent breakthroughs in our understanding the role of different kinases and phosphatases involved in regulating the phosphorylation status of the NFs. In addition, special emphasis has been given to describe the role of phosphatases and Pin1 in phosphorylation of NFs.

publication date

  • July 2013