Role of RhoA/ROCK signaling in Alzheimer's disease

Elsevier, Behavioural Brain Research, Volume 414, 24 September 2021
Authors: 
Cai R., Wang Y., Huang Z., Zou Q., Pu Y., Yu C. et al.

Rho-associated coiled-coil kinase (ROCK), a serine/threonine kinase regulated by the small GTPase RhoA, is involved in regulating cell migration, proliferation, and survival. Numerous studies have shown that the RhoA/ROCK signaling pathway can promote Alzheimer's disease (AD) occurrence. ROCK activation increases β-secretase activity and promotes amyloid-beta (Aβ) production; moreover, Aβ further activates ROCK. This is suggestive of a possible positive feedback role for Aβ and ROCK. Moreover, ROCK activation promotes the formation of neurofibrillary tangles and abnormal synaptic contraction. Additionally, ROCK activation can promote the neuroinflammatory response by activating microglia and astrocytes to release inflammatory cytokines. Therefore, ROCK is a promising drug target in AD; further, there is a need to elucidate the specific mechanism of action.