The transcription factor XBP1 in memory and cognition: Implications in Alzheimer disease

Mol Med. 2017 Feb:22:905-917. doi: 10.2119/molmed.2016.00229. Epub 2017 Jan 4.


X-box binding protein 1 (XBP1) is a unique basic region leucine zipper transcription factor isolated two decades ago in a search for regulators of major histocompatibility complex class II gene expression. XBP1 is a very complex protein regulating many physiological functions, including immune system, inflammatory responses, and lipid metabolism. Evidence over the past few years suggests that XBP1 also plays important roles in pathological settings since its activity as transcription factor has profound effects on the prognosis and progression of diseases such as cancer, neurodegeneration, and diabetes. Here we provide an overview on recent advances in our understanding of this multifaceted molecule, particularly in regulating synaptic plasticity and memory function, and the implications in neurodegenerative diseases with emphasis on Alzheimer disease.

Keywords: Alzheimer disease; EphB2; Kalirin-7; XBP1; dendritic spines; memory.