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MINI-REVIEW: Dynamic Microtubules in Alzheimer’s Disease: Association with Dendritic Spine Pathology

E. I. Pchitskaya1,a, V. A. Zhemkov1, and I. B. Bezprozvanny1,2,b*

1Laboratory of Molecular Neurodegeneration, Department of Medical Physics, Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University, 195251 St. Petersburg, Russia

2Department of Physiology, UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, 75390 Dallas, TX, USA

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received May 7, 2018; Revision received June 7, 2018
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common incurable neurodegenerative disorder that affects the processes of memory formation and storage. The loss of dendritic spines and alteration in their morphology in AD correlate with the extent of patient’s cognitive decline. Tubulin had been believed to be restricted to dendritic shafts, until recent studies demonstrated that dynamically growing tubulin microtubules enter dendritic spines and promote their maturation. Abnormalities of tubulin cytoskeleton may contribute to the process of dendritic spine shape alteration and their subsequent loss in AD. In this review, association between tubulin cytoskeleton dynamics and dendritic spine morphology is discussed in the context of dendritic spine alterations in AD. Potential implications of these findings for the development of AD therapy are proposed.
KEY WORDS: Alzheimer’s disease, dendritic spines, tubulin, microtubule dynamics, EB3

DOI: 10.1134/S0006297918090080