The Role of JNK3 Signaling Pathway in Neural Death: Practical Implication for the Study of Excitatory Phenomenon Neurodegenerative Disease with Special Reference to Parkinson’s Disease

Richard A. Flavall, Ph.D.
Yale University School of Medicine, Immunology

Caspases are "killer" enzymes that lie dormant in cells until they are activated by an apoptotic (programed cell death) signal. There are chemical inhibitors of these protease enzymes and several are even now being tested in models of neurologic diseases. Dr. Richard A. Flavell (Yale) used his PDF funds to learn that the brains of transgenic caspase-deficient mice will still lose cells since the plasticity of the brain is such that other caspases are activated when a given enzyme is inhibited. His studies continue in an attempt to understand the signaling mechanisms to cells that lead them to commit apoptosis