SARM1 activation triggers axon degeneration locally via NAD+ destruction

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Science  24 Apr 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6233, pp. 453-457
DOI: 10.1126/science.1258366

SARM1-driven axon degeneration

Axons, the long protrusions of nerve cells, are programmed to self-destruct under certain conditions that occur during development, stress, or disease states. Gerdts et al. outline a biochemical mechanism that controls such axon degeneration. The authors designed versions of SARM1 (sterile alpha and TIR motif—constraining 1) that could be activated or inhibited in cells. Their experiments showed that the activation of SARM1 was necessary and sufficient to cause axon destruction in cultured mouse neurons. SARM1-mediated destruction was associated with depletion of the metabolic cofactor NAD+ from cells.

Science, this issue p. 453