Neurons have unique challenges relative to other cell types. Unlike most other cells, neurons must remain healthy and functional throughout the lifespan of an animal. Premature neuronal loss underlies many age-related neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases. Despite previous research aimed at understanding the mechanisms of age-related neurodegenerative diseases, little is known about the mechanisms that allow neurons to remain functional for the lifetime of a healthy animal. Understanding these cellular and biochemical processes is essential to promote healthful aging and reduce the severity of neurodegenerative disease. Here we discuss our recent identification of neuron-specific proteins that regulate endosome fusion events and the role of endosomes in maintaining healthy neurons.
Haberman, Adam. 2012. "Neuronal Synaptobrevin promotes longevity in Drosophila Photoreceptors." Communicative and Integrative Biology 5(6): 620-622.
Communicative and Integrative Biology