Functional analyses of major cancer-related signaling pathways in Alzheimer's disease etiology

Jianping Guo, Ji Cheng, Brian J. North, Wenyi Wei

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is an aging-related neurodegenerative disease and accounts for majority of human dementia. The hyper-phosphorylated tau-mediated intracellular neurofibrillary tangle and amyloid β-mediated extracellular senile plaque are characterized as major pathological lesions of AD. Different from the dysregulated growth control and ample genetic mutations associated with human cancers, AD displays damage and death of brain neurons in the absence of genomic alterations. Although various biological processes predominately governing tumorigenesis such as inflammation, metabolic alteration, oxidative stress and insulin resistance have been associated with AD genesis, the mechanistic connection of these biological processes and signaling pathways including mTOR, MAPK, SIRT, HIF, and the FOXO pathway controlling aging and the pathological lesions of AD are not well recapitulated. Hence, we performed a thorough review by summarizing the physiological roles of these key cancer-related signaling pathways in AD pathogenesis, comprising of the crosstalk of these pathways with neurofibrillary tangle and senile plaque formation to impact AD phenotypes. Importantly, the pharmaceutical investigations of anti-aging and AD relevant medications have also been highlighted. In summary, in this review, we discuss the potential role that cancer-related signaling pathways may play in governing the pathogenesis of AD, as well as their potential as future targeted strategies to delay or prevent aging-related diseases and combating AD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-358
Number of pages18
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Reviews on Cancer
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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