Since the identification of cyclin-dependent kinase-5 (Cdk5) as a tau kinase and member of the Cdk family almost 20 years ago, deregulation of Cdk5 activity has been linked to an array of neurodegenerative diseases. As knowledge on the etiopathological mechanisms of these diseases evolved through the years, Cdk5 has also been implicated in additional cellular events that are affected under these pathological conditions. From the role of Cdk5 in the regulation of synaptic functions to its involvement in autophagy deregulation, significant insights have been obtained regarding the role of Cdk5 as a key regulator of neurodegeneration. Here, we summarize recent findings on the involvement of Cdk5 in the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying various neurodegenerative diseases.
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