The bach1/Nrf2 axis in brain in down syndrome and transition to alzheimer disease-like neuropathology and dementia

Marzia Perluigi, Antonella Tramutola, Sara Pagnotta, Eugenio Barone, D. Allan Butterfield

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Down syndrome (DS) is the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability that is associated with an increased risk to develop early-onset Alzheimer-like dementia (AD). The brain neuropathological features include alteration of redox homeostasis, mitochondrial deficits, inflammation, accumulation of both amyloid beta-peptide oligomers and senile plaques, as well as aggregated hyperphosphorylated tau protein-containing neurofibrillary tangles, among others. It is worth mentioning that some of the triplicated genes encoded are likely to cause increased oxidative stress (OS) conditions that are also associated with reduced cellular responses. Published studies from our laboratories propose that increased oxidative damage occurs early in life in DS population and contributes to age-dependent neurodegeneration. This is the result of damaged, oxidized proteins that belong to degradative systems, antioxidant defense system, neuronal trafficking. and energy metabolism. This review focuses on a key element that regulates redox homeostasis, the transcription factor Nrf2, which is negatively regulated by BACH1, encoded on chromosome 21. The role of the Nrf2/BACH1 axis in DS is under investigation, and the effects of triplicated BACH1 on the transcriptional regulation of Nrf2 are still unknown. In this review, we discuss the physiological relevance of BACH1/Nrf2 signaling in the brain and how the dysfunction of this system affects the redox homeostasis in DS neurons and how this axis may contribute to the transition of DS into DS with AD neuropathology and dementia. Further, some of the evidence collected in AD regarding the potential contribution of BACH1 to neurodegeneration in DS are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number779
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Alzheimer disease
  • BACH1
  • Down syndrome
  • Nrf2
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Molecular Biology
  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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