Heme catabolism and heme oxygenase in neurodegenerative disease

Atsushi Takeda, Yasuto Itoyama, Teiko Kimpara, Xiongwei Zhu, Jesús Avila, Barney E. Dwyer, George Perry, Mark A. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Heme oxygenase, the rate-limiting step in heme catabolism, appears to play an important role in a number of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer disease. Interestingly, the spatial distribution of heme oxygenase-1 expression in diseased brain is essentially identical to that of the pathological expression of tau, suggesting a key role for both in disease progression. Like heme oxygenase, the expression, phosphorylation, and aggregation of tau are regulated through signal cascades, including the extracellular signal-regulated kinases, whose activities are modulated by oxidative stress. Therefore, the expression of tau and heme oxygenase-1 in a coordinated manner likely plays a pivotal role in the cytoprotection of neuronal cells. This places heme oxygenase at the center of disease pathogenesis and offers a novel therapeutic approach targeted at either the causes or consequences of enzyme induction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)888-894
Number of pages7
JournalAntioxidants and Redox Signaling
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Oct 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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