Localizing of the multifunctional enzyme 3β-Hydroxysteroid-Δ24 reductase (DHCR24) to the endoplasmic reticulum has neuroprotective and cholesterol-synthesizing abilities. DHCR24 overexpression confers neuroprotection against apoptosis caused by amyloid β deposition.
Dr. Xiuli Lu and colleagues from Liaoning University in China constructed two recombinant adenoviruses (Ad-rSYN1-DHCR24-myc and Ad-hSYN1-DHCR24-myc) that drive DHCR24 expression specifically in neuronal cells. They also found that adenovirus transfection inhibits apoptosis through scavenging excess reactive oxygen species. In summary, these researchers have for the first time successfully constructed an adenovirus that induces DHCR24 specifically in neuronal cells. These findings published in the Neural Regeneration Research (Vol. 9, No. 5, 2014) will lay the foundation for further studies on DHCR24 gene therapy and neuronal functional research in animal models.