Speaker: Dr. Arne Ittner
Dementia Research Unit, School of Medical Sciences, University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney, New South Wales 2052, Australia.
Signal transduction is essential for adaptive abilities of biological systems. The MAP kinase cascade is a conserved signalling module involved in a multitude of responses. Mammalian p38MAP kinases are encoded in the four separate genes p38α, p38β, p38γ and p38δ. While much focus has been given to p38α in the past, novel non-redundant functions for the other p38 kinases are emerging.In this presentation, I will focus on a specific role of p38δ in inflammation, and on a novel neuronal function of p38γ.Using a series of experiments from transgenic mice, primary cultures and protein biochemistry, theses studies delineate p38 signalling cascades with implications in diseases settings. In particular, our recent work showed a post-synaptic function of p38γ in neurons, which revealed an unexpected role for its phosphorylation target tau, a major player in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease.