Amyloid β (Aβ) is a main component of senile plaques in Alzheimer's disease and induces neuronal cell death. Reactive oxygen species (ROS), nitric oxide and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress have been implicated in Aβ-induced neurotoxicity. We have reported that apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1) is required for ROS- and ER stress-induced JNK activation and apoptosis. Here we show the involvement of ASK1 in Aβ-induced neuronal cell death. Aβ activated ASK1 mainly through production of ROS but not through ER stress in cultured neuronal cells. Importantly, ASK1-/- neurons were defective in Aβ-induced JNK activation and cell death. These results indicate that ROS-mediated ASK1 activation is a key mechanism for Aβ-induced neurotoxicity, which plays a central role in Alzheimer's disease.
- Amyloid β
- Neuronal cell death
- Reactive oxygen species (ROS)