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Keywords:

  • PKR;
  • p53;
  • Redd1;
  • MMSE;
  • Alzheimer's disease;
  • lymphocytes

Abstract

In Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the control of translation is dysregulated, precisely, two opposite pathways: double-stranded RNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR) is up-regulated and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is down-regulated. These biochemical alterations were found at the periphery in lymphocytes of AD patients and were significantly correlated with cognitive and memory test scores. However, the molecular crosslink between these two opposite signalling pathways remains unknown. The tumour suppressor p53 and Redd1 (regulated in development and DNA damage response) could be two downstream targets of active PKR to explain the breakdown of translation in AD patients. In this study, the protein and gene levels of p53 and Redd1 were assayed in lymphocytes of AD patients and in age-matched controls by Western blotting and RT-PCR. Furthermore, correlations were analysed with both the level of active PKR and the Mini Mental State Examination score (MMSE). The results show that the gene and protein levels of p53 and Redd1 were significantly increased about 1.5-fold for both gene and Redd1 protein and 2.3-fold for active p53 in AD lymphocytes compared to age-matched controls. Furthermore, statistical correlations between proteins and genes suggest that active PKR could phosphorylate p53 which could induce the transcription of Redd1 gene. No correlations were found between MMSE scores and levels of p53 or Redd1, contrary to active PKR levels. PKR represents a cognitive decline biomarker able to dysregulate translation via two consecutive targets p53 and Redd1 in AD lymphocytes.