The neuronal ubiquitin-proteasome system: murine models and their neurological phenotype

Paula van Tijn, Elly M Hol, Fred W van Leeuwen, David F Fischer
Progress in Neurobiology 2008, 85 (2): 176-93
The ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) is the main intracellular pathway for regulated protein turnover. This system is of vital importance for maintaining cellular homeostasis and is essential for neuronal functioning. It is therefore not surprising that impairment of this system is implicated in the pathogenesis of a variety of diseases, including neurological disorders, which are pathologically characterized by the presence of ubiquitin-positive protein aggregates. A direct correlation between intact neuronal functioning and the UPS is exemplified by a range of transgenic mouse models wherein mutations in components of the UPS lead to a neurodegenerative or neurological phenotype. These models have been proven useful in determining the role of the UPS in the nervous system in health and disease. Furthermore, recently developed in vivo models harboring reporter systems to measure UPS activity could also substantially contribute to understanding the effect of neurodegeneration on UPS function. The role of the UPS in neurodegeneration in vivo is reviewed by discussing the currently available murine models showing a neurological phenotype induced by genetic manipulation of the UPS.

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