Rationalising the role of Keratin 9 as a biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease

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Richens, Joanna L. ; Spencer, Hannah L. ; Butler, Molly ; Cantlay, Fiona ; Vere, Kelly-Ann ; Bajaj, Nin ; Morgan, Kevin ; O'Shea, Paul (2016)
  • Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
  • Journal: Scientific Reports, volume 6 (issn: 2045-2322, eissn: 2045-2322)
  • Related identifiers: pmc: PMC4789650, doi: 10.1038/srep22962
  • Subject: Article

Keratin 9 was recently identified as an important component of a biomarker panel which demonstrated a high diagnostic accuracy (87%) for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Understanding how a protein which is predominantly expressed in palmoplantar epidermis is implicated in AD may shed new light on the mechanisms underlying the disease. Here we use immunoassays to examine blood plasma expression patterns of Keratin 9 and its relationship to other AD-associated proteins. We correlate this with the use of an in silico analysis tool VisANT to elucidate possible pathways through which the involvement of Keratin 9 may take place. We identify possible links with Dickkopf-1, a negative regulator of the wnt pathway, and propose that the abnormal expression of Keratin 9 in AD blood and cerebrospinal fluid may be a result of blood brain barrier dysregulation and disruption of the ubiquitin proteasome system. Our findings suggest that dysregulated Keratin 9 expression is a consequence of AD pathology but, as it interacts with a broad range of proteins, it may have other, as yet uncharacterized, downstream effects which could contribute to AD onset and progression.
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