The GSK3 beta signaling cascade and neurodegenerative disease

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2002 Jun;12(3):275-8. doi: 10.1016/s0959-4388(02)00320-3.


Biochemical signaling pathways are known to have a critical role in neuronal development and function. A growing body of evidence is accumulating to suggest that signaling pathways also underlie neurodegeneration and neurodegenerative disease. One pathway with a prominent role in neurodegenerative disease is the signaling pathway in which the enzyme glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3) is a key component. In vitro and in vivo evidence point to a key role for GSK3 in promoting neurodegeneration and in Alzheimer's disease plaque and neurofibrillary tangle formation. How GSK3 acts in this regard is still open to debate, but it may involve both extracellular and nuclear apoptotic activities.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases / physiology*
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinases
  • Humans
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / enzymology*
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / pathology
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Glycogen Synthase Kinases
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3