Nucleic acid oxidation in Alzheimer disease

Paula I. Moreira, Akihiko Nunomura, Masao Nakamura, Atsushi Takeda, Justin C. Shenk, Gjumrakch Aliev, Mark A. Smith, George Perry

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

168 Citations (Scopus)


Increasing evidence suggests that oxidative stress is intimately associated with Alzheimer disease pathophysiology. Nucleic acids (nuclear DNA, mitochondrial DNA, and RNA) are one of the several cellular macromolecules damaged by reactive oxygen species, particularly the hydroxyl radical. Because neurons are irreplaceable and survive as long as the organism does, they need elaborate defense mechanisms to ensure their longevity. In Alzheimer disease, however, an accumulation of nucleic acid oxidation is observed, indicating an increased level of oxidative stress and/or a decreased capacity to repair the nucleic acid damage. In this review, we present data supporting the notion that mitochondrial and metal abnormalities are key sources of oxidative stress in Alzheimer disease. Furthermore, we outline the mechanisms of nucleic acid oxidation and repair. Finally, evidence showing the occurrence of nucleic acid oxidation in Alzheimer disease will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1493-1505
Number of pages13
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Apr 15
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer disease
  • DNA oxidation
  • DNA repair
  • Free radicals
  • Oxidative stress
  • RNA damage
  • RNA repair

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


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