Cdk5 as a Drug Target for Alzheimer’s Disease



Neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) are a pathological hallmark in the Alzheimer’s disease (AD) brain and are well correlated with progression of the disease. Since NFTs consist mainly of hyperphosphorylated tau, tau kinases have been suggested as drug targets to slow the progression of AD. This notion has further been supported by recent studies showing the importance of tau and its phosphorylation in neurodegeneration and cognitive deficits in animal models. Among the different putative tau kinases, cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) remains an appealing drug target for AD. Activation of Cdk5 in animal models recapitulates many AD features including tau hyperphosphorylation, NFTs, neurodegeneration, cognitive impairments, and increase in Aβ levels. In addition, inhibition of Cdk5 activities is neuroprotective and appears to enhance long-term potentiation and improve learning and memory—all are potential beneficial features for the treatment of AD.


Amyloid Precursor Protein Morris Water Maze Cdk5 Inhibitor Retinal Degeneration Amyloid Precursor Protein Processing 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Neurodegeneration Research, GlaxoSmithKline R&D ChinaZhangjiang Hi-Tech Park, PudongChina

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