Humanin: After the discovery

Takako Niikura, Tomohiro Chiba, Sadakazu Aiso, Masaaki Matsuoka, Ikuo Nishimoto

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Humanin (HN) is a novel neuroprotective factor that consists of 24 amino acid residues. HN suppresses neuronal cell death caused by Alzheimer's disease (AD)-specific insults, including both amyloid-β (βAβ) peptides and familial AD-causative genes. Cerebrovascular smooth muscle cells are also protected from Aβ toxicity by HN, suggesting that HN affects both neuronal and non-neuronal cells when they are exposed to AD-related cytotoxicity. HN peptide exerts a neuroprotective effect through the cell surface via putative receptor(s). HN activates a cellular signaling cascade that intervenes (at least) in activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase. The highly selective effect of HN on AD-relevant cell death indicates that HN is promising for AD therapy. Additionally, a recent study showed that intracellularly overexpressed HN suppressed mitochondriamediated apoptosis by inhibiting Bax activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-340
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular Neurobiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Dec


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amyloid β
  • AβPP
  • Cell death
  • Humanin
  • Neuroprotection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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