The molecular processes underlying axon degeneration in many neurodegenerative diseases are not well understood. Sun et al. now uncover a neuroprotective role for LKB1, a protein kinase previously shown to have a role in axon differentiation in worms, by investigating mice conditionally lacking LKB1 in regions of the CNS and in the endocrine pancreas. They identify that the LKB1 downstream target sporadic Alzheimer’s disease (SAD) A/B kinase and its subsequent phosphorylation of tau protein are involved in preventing axonal degeneration. These results indicate that LKB1 promotes neuronal survival and controls motor function in a vertebrate system.
- Written by editorial staff. © 2011. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
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