The role of Bcl-2 proteins in modulating neuronal Ca2+ signaling in health and in Alzheimer's disease

Manon Callens, Nina Kraskovskaya, Kristina Derevtsova, Wim Annaert, Geert Bultynck, Ilya Bezprozvanny, Tim Vervliet

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

The family of B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) proteins exerts key functions in cellular health. Bcl-2 primarily acts in mitochondria where it controls the initiation of apoptosis. However, during the last decades, it has become clear that this family of proteins is also involved in controlling intracellular Ca2+ signaling, a critical process for the function of most cell types, including neurons. Several anti- and pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 family members are expressed in neurons and impact neuronal function. Importantly, expression levels of neuronal Bcl-2 proteins are affected by age. In this review, we focus on the emerging roles of Bcl-2 proteins in neuronal cells. Specifically, we discuss how their dysregulation contributes to the onset, development, and progression of neurodegeneration in the context of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Aberrant Ca2+ signaling plays an important role in the pathogenesis of AD, and we propose that dysregulation of the Bcl-2-Ca2+ signaling axis may contribute to the progression of AD and that herein, Bcl-2 may constitute a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of AD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number118997
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Cell Research
Volume1868
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2021

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Apoptosis
  • Bcl-2
  • Calcium
  • Mitochondria
  • Neurons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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