An overview of the possible therapeutic role of SUMOylation in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease

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Abstract

Nowadays, Alzheimer's disease (AD) is recognized as a multifactorial neurological pathology whose complexity is the cause of our still low achievements in the understanding of the associated mechanisms as well the discovery of a possible definitive cure. Clinicians are aware of the few possibilities offered by medicine to cure Alzheimer's patients, restore their memory and take them back to normal life. Unfortunately, the therapeutic tools available today are not able to contrast the pathology.

In the last years the tendency of the research is to formulate new hypotheses that can help to develop future effective drugs.

Here we propose an overview about an interesting intracellular mechanism called SUMOylation which belongs to the post-translational modification family. SUMOylation is currently studied from few decades and it has been observed to be implicated in the molecular mechanisms of several neurological disorders including AD.

Interestingly, the unbalance between SUMOylation/deSUMOylation seems to be involved in the switch from physiological to pathological behaviours of several proteins implied into AD etiology.

Nevertheless, there are no pharmacological treatments known to modulate SUMOylation/deSUMOylation equilibrium. We hereby listed some natural compounds that, due to their effects on this molecular mechanism, they deserve attention for inspire the development of future convincing therapies.

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