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ATM and p53, effectors of the DNA damage checkpoint, are generally considered pro-apoptotic in neurons. We show that DNA damage and checkpoint activation occurs inpostmitotic neurons in animal models of tauopathy, neurodegenerative disorders that include Alzheimer's disease. Surprisingly, checkpoint attenuation potently increases neurodegeneration through aberrant cell cycle re-entry of postmitotic neurons. These data suggest an unexpected neuroprotective role for the DNA damage checkpoint in tauopathies. © 2011 The Authors. Aging Cell © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland.

Original publication




Journal article


Aging Cell

Publication Date





360 - 362