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Rho kinase (ROCK) as a therapeutic target in neurological disease

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Rho kinase (ROCK) is a serine/threonine kinase with two highly homologous isoforms, ROCK1 and ROCK2. While ROCK1 is mostly expressed in non-neuronal tissue, ROCK2 is preferentially detected in brain, spinal cord and muscle. In the last decade ROCK has emerged as important regulator of neuronal survival, ...

Rho kinase (ROCK) is a serine/threonine kinase with two highly homologous isoforms, ROCK1 and ROCK2. While ROCK1 is mostly expressed in non-neuronal tissue, ROCK2 is preferentially detected in brain, spinal cord and muscle. In the last decade ROCK has emerged as important regulator of neuronal survival, neurite growth, and regeneration. The development of a wide variety of structurally different ROCK inhibitors and genetic methods opened new avenues to regulate and assess the role of ROCK in different cell types and animal models. So far, there is already ample clinical experience with one pharmacological inhibitor of ROCK – fasudil – which is licensed for human use and was evaluated in numerous clinical trials.
This research topic is dedicated to comprehensively bring together the wealth of available data advocating for a future therapeutic use of ROCK as a pharmacological target in the treatment of neurological disease. Areas covered will include, but are not limited to: expression of ROCK in neural tissues, pharmacological inhibitors of ROCK, activators and effectors, role of ROCK in cell survival, neurite growth, regeneration, effects of ROCK inhibition in animal models of traumatic, vascular, inflammatory, neurodegenerative and neuromuscular disease as well as clinical studies.


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