OPPORTUNITIES FOR CELLULAR REJUVENATION IN ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE: HOW EPIGENETIC REPROGRAMMING AND CHAPERONE-MEDIATED AUTOPHAGY ARE ENABLING NEXT GENERATION THERAPEUTIC APPROACHES
J Prev Alz Dis 2023;4(10):661-668
Age remains the largest risk factor in the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Numerous cellular hallmarks of aging contribute to the advancement of the pathologies associated with neurodegenerative disease. Not all cellular hallmarks of aging are independent and several fall into the broader category of cellular rejuvenation, which captures returning cells to a more youthful, improved functional state. Cellular rejuvenation is quickly becoming a hot topic in the development of novel therapeutic modalities for a range of diseases. Therapeutic approaches utilizing cellular rejuvenation technologies are rapidly advancing and will represent the next phase of AD therapeutics. This review focuses on two important processes, epigenetic reprogramming, and chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) that play a critical role in aging and in neurodegenerative diseases and the potential therapeutic approaches (gene therapy, small molecule) towards targeting these mechanisms. In aging and in AD, epigenetic changes on DNA (e.g., hypermethylation on CpG islands) lead to alterations in gene expression. Partial epigenetic reprogramming utilizes transcription factors to remove the epigenetic marks and to rejuvenate cells to a more youthful state. During aging and in neurodegenerative disorders, CMA becomes impaired resulting in a buildup of proteins known to be associated with neurodegenerative pathologies. The protein buildups lead to aggregates that preclude proteostasis leading to cell toxicity. Small-molecule CMA activators restore proteostasis and limit toxicity enabling cellular rejuvenation.
S. Rosenzweig-Lipson (2023): Opportunities for Cellular Rejuvenation in Alzheimer’s Disease: How Epigenetic Reprogramming and Chaperone-Mediated Autophagy Are Enabling Next Generation Therapeutic Approaches. The Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease (JPAD). http://dx.doi.org/10.14283/jpad.2023.106