Humanin and Alzheimer's disease: The beginning of a new field

Biochim Biophys Acta Gen Subj. 2022 Jan;1866(1):130024. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagen.2021.130024. Epub 2021 Oct 7.


Background: Humanin (HN) is an endogenous peptide factor and known as a member of mitochondrial-derived peptides. We first found the gene encoding this novel 24-residue peptide in a brain of an Alzheimer's disease (AD) patient as an antagonizing factor against neuronal cell death induced by AD-associated insults.

Scope of review: This review presents an overview of HN actions in AD-related conditions among its wide range of action spectrum as well as a brief history of the discovery.

Major conclusions: HN exhibits multiple intracellular and extracellular anti-cell death actions and antagonizes various AD-associated pathomechanisms including amyloid plaque accumulation.

General significance: This review concisely reflects accumulated knowledge on HN since the discovery focusing on its functions related to AD pathogenesis and provides a perspective to its potential contribution in AD treatments.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; Amyloid β; Humanin; Mitochondrial-derived peptide (MDP); Neuroprotection; Peptide.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / genetics
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism*
  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Cell Death / physiology
  • Humans
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / genetics
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism*
  • Peptides / genetics
  • Peptides / metabolism


  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Peptides
  • humanin