At the Fulcrum in Health and Disease: Cdk5 and the Balancing Acts of Neuronal Structure and Physiology

Brain Disord Ther. 2012 Jul;2012(Suppl 1):001. doi: 10.4172/2168-975X.S1-001.


Cdk5 has been implicated in a multitude of processes in neuronal development, cell biology and physiology. These influence many neurological disorders, but the very breadth of Cdk5 effects has made it difficult to synthesize a coherent picture of the part played by this protein in health and disease. In this review, we focus on the roles of Cdk5 in neuronal function, particularly synaptic homeostasis, plasticity, neurotransmission, subcellular organization, and trafficking. We then discuss how disruption of these Cdk5 activities may initiate or exacerbate neural disorders. A recurring theme will be the sensitivity of Cdk5 sequelae to the precise biological context under consideration.

Keywords: Cdk5; Cyclin-dependent kinase; Dendrite development; Neuronal structure; Synapse.