The ubiquitin-proteasome system and the autophagic-lysosomal system in Alzheimer disease.
As neurons age, their survival depends on eliminating a growing burden of damaged, potentially toxic proteins and organelles-a capability that declines owing to aging and disease factors. Here, we review the two proteolytic systems principally responsible for protein quality control in neurons and their important contributions to Alzheimer disease pathogenesis. In the first section, the discovery of paired helical filament ubiquitination is described as a backdrop for discussing the importance of the ubiquitin-proteasome system in Alzheimer disease. In the second section, we review the prominent involvement of the lysosomal system beginning with pathological endosomal-lysosomal activation and signaling at the very earliest stages of Alzheimer disease followed by the progressive failure of autophagy. These abnormalities, which result in part from Alzheimer-related genes acting directly on these lysosomal pathways, contribute to the development of each of the Alzheimer neuropathological hallmarks and represent a promising therapeutic target.