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Cyclin-dependent kinase-5 (Cdk5) is required for neuronal survival, but its targets in the apoptotic pathways remain unknown. Here, we show that Cdk5 kinase activity prevents neuronal apoptosis through the upregulation of Bcl-2. Treatment of SH-SY5Y cells with retinoid acid (RA) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) generates differentiated neuron-like cells. DNA damage triggers apoptosis in the undifferentiated cells through mitochondrial pathway; however, RA/BDNF treatment results indoi:10.1038/sj.cdd.4401804 pmid:16273078 fatcat:yzdfhppaivdivltxxmk7l63liy