The amyloid precursor protein interacts with Go heterotrimeric protein within a cell compartment specialized in signal transduction. (1/2953)

The function of the beta-amyloid protein precursor (betaAPP), a transmembrane molecule involved in Alzheimer pathologies, is poorly understood. We recently reported the presence of a fraction of betaAPP in cholesterol and sphingoglycolipid-enriched microdomains (CSEM), a caveolae-like compartment specialized in signal transduction. To investigate whether betaAPP actually interferes with cell signaling, we reexamined the interaction between betaAPP and Go GTPase. In strong contrast with results obtained with reconstituted phospholipid vesicles (Okamoto et al., 1995), we find that incubating total neuronal membranes with 22C11, an antibody that recognizes an N-terminal betaAPP epitope, reduces high-affinity Go GTPase activity. This inhibition is specific of Galphao and is reproduced, in the absence of 22C11, by the addition of the betaAPP C-terminal domain but not by two distinct mutated betaAPP C-terminal domains that do not bind Galphao. This inhibition of Galphao GTPase activity by either 22C11 or wild-type betaAPP cytoplasmic domain suggests that intracellular interactions between betaAPP and Galphao could be regulated by extracellular signals. To verify whether this interaction is preserved in CSEM, we first used biochemical, immunocytochemical, and ultrastructural techniques to unambiguously confirm the colocalization of Galphao and betaAPP in CSEM. We show that inhibition of basal Galphao GTPase activity also occurs within CSEM and correlates with the coimmunoprecipitation of Galphao and betaAPP. The regulation of Galphao GTPase activity by betaAPP in a compartment specialized in signaling may have important consequences for our understanding of the physiopathological functions of betaAPP.  (+info)

Proteolytic processing of the Alzheimer's disease amyloid precursor protein within its cytoplasmic domain by caspase-like proteases. (2/2953)

Alzheimer's disease is characterized by neurodegeneration and deposition of betaA4, a peptide that is proteolytically released from the amyloid precursor protein (APP). Missense mutations in the genes coding for APP and for the polytopic membrane proteins presenilin (PS) 1 and PS2 have been linked to familial forms of early-onset Alzheimer's disease. Overexpression of presenilins, especially that of PS2, induces increased susceptibility for apoptosis that is even more pronounced in cells expressing presenilin mutants. Additionally, presenilins themselves are targets for activated caspases in apoptotic cells. When we analyzed APP in COS-7 cells overexpressing PS2, we observed proteolytic processing close to the APP carboxyl terminus. Proteolytic conversion was increased in the presence of PS2-I, which encodes one of the known PS2 pathogenic mutations. The same proteolytic processing occurred in cells treated with chemical inducers of apoptosis, suggesting a participation of activated caspases in the carboxyl-terminal truncation of APP. This was confirmed by showing that specific caspase inhibitors blocked the apoptotic conversion of APP. Sequence analysis of the APP cytosolic domain revealed a consensus motif for group III caspases ((IVL)ExD). Mutation of the corresponding Asp664 residue abolished cleavage, thereby identifying APP as a target molecule for caspase-like proteases in the pathways of programmed cellular death.  (+info)

Translation of the alzheimer amyloid precursor protein mRNA is up-regulated by interleukin-1 through 5'-untranslated region sequences. (3/2953)

The amyloid precursor protein (APP) has been associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) because APP is processed into the beta-peptide that accumulates in amyloid plaques, and APP gene mutations can cause early onset AD. Inflammation is also associated with AD as exemplified by increased expression of interleukin-1 (IL-1) in microglia in affected areas of the AD brain. Here we demonstrate that IL-1alpha and IL-1beta increase APP synthesis by up to 6-fold in primary human astrocytes and by 15-fold in human astrocytoma cells without changing the steady-state levels of APP mRNA. A 90-nucleotide sequence in the APP gene 5'-untranslated region (5'-UTR) conferred translational regulation by IL-1alpha and IL-1beta to a chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) reporter gene. Steady-state levels of transfected APP(5'-UTR)/CAT mRNAs were unchanged, whereas both base-line and IL-1-dependent CAT protein synthesis were increased. This APP mRNA translational enhancer maps from +55 to +144 nucleotides from the 5'-cap site and is homologous to related translational control elements in the 5'-UTR of the light and and heavy ferritin genes. Enhanced translation of APP mRNA provides a mechanism by which IL-1 influences the pathogenesis of AD.  (+info)

Early phenotypic changes in transgenic mice that overexpress different mutants of amyloid precursor protein in brain. (4/2953)

Transgenic mice overexpressing different forms of amyloid precursor protein (APP), i.e. wild type or clinical mutants, displayed an essentially comparable early phenotype in terms of behavior, differential glutamatergic responses, deficits in maintenance of long term potentiation, and premature death. The cognitive impairment, demonstrated in F1 hybrids of the different APP transgenic lines, was significantly different from nontransgenic littermates as early as 3 months of age. Biochemical analysis of secreted and membrane-bound APP, C-terminal "stubs," and Abeta(40) and Abeta(42) peptides in brain indicated that no single intermediate can be responsible for the complex of phenotypic dysfunctions. As expected, the Abeta(42) levels were most prominent in APP/London transgenic mice and correlated directly with the formation of amyloid plaques in older mice of this line. Plaques were associated with immunoreactivity for hyperphosphorylated tau, eventually signaling some form of tau pathology. In conclusion, the different APP transgenic mouse lines studied display cognitive deficits and phenotypic traits early in life that dissociated in time from the formation of amyloid plaques and will be good models for both early and late neuropathological and clinical aspects of Alzheimer's disease.  (+info)

Amyloid precursor protein metabolism in fibroblasts from individuals with one, two or three copies of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) gene. (5/2953)

Protein kinase C (PKC)-activated modulation of amyloid precursor protein (APP) metabolism has been investigated in natural models of altered APP expression due to the presence of one, two or three copies of the APP gene. We show that levels of APP present in human skin fibroblasts strongly influence the effect of PKC activation of soluble APP (sAPP) release. Thus fibroblasts derived from a patient with a deletion in chromosome 21 including the APP locus (Delta21) had lower levels of both APP mRNA and cell-associated APP, and showed an exaggerated phorbol-ester-induced sAPP release, when compared with fibroblasts from control individuals. In contrast, fibroblasts from chromosome 21 trisomic Down's syndrome patients failed to show a concentration-dependent response to phorbol ester treatment. These results suggest that the levels of APP expression can affect the degree of response to PKC-mediated modulation of the metabolism of this protein.  (+info)

Regulation of beta-amyloid secretion by FE65, an amyloid protein precursor-binding protein. (6/2953)

The principal component of Alzheimer's amyloid plaques, Abeta, derives from proteolytic processing of the Alzheimer's amyloid protein precursor (APP). FE65 is a brain-enriched protein that binds to APP. Although several laboratories have characterized the APP-FE65 interaction in vitro, the possible relevance of this interaction to Alzheimer's disease has remained unclear. We demonstrate here that APP and FE65 co-localize in the endoplasmic reticulum/Golgi and possibly in endosomes. Moreover, FE65 increases translocation of APP to the cell surface, as well as both alphaAPPs and Abeta secretion. The dramatic (4-fold) FE65-dependent increase in Abeta secretion suggests that agents which inhibit the interaction of FE65 with APP might reduce Abeta secretion in the brain and therefore be useful for preventing or slowing amyloid plaque formation.  (+info)

Mechanism of the cleavage specificity of Alzheimer's disease gamma-secretase identified by phenylalanine-scanning mutagenesis of the transmembrane domain of the amyloid precursor protein. (7/2953)

Proteolytic processing of the amyloid precursor protein by beta-secretase yields A4CT (C99), which is cleaved further by the as yet unknown gamma-secretase, yielding the beta-amyloid (Abeta) peptide with 40 (Abeta40) or 42 residues (Abeta42). Because the position of gamma-secretase cleavage is crucial for the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease, we individually replaced all membrane-domain residues of A4CT outside the Abeta domain with phenylalanine, stably transfected the constructs in COS7 cells, and determined the effect of these mutations on the cleavage specificity of gamma-secretase (Abeta42/Abeta40 ratio). Compared with wild-type A4CT, mutations at Val-44, Ile-47, and Val-50 led to decreased Abeta42/Abeta40 ratios, whereas mutations at Thr-43, Ile-45, Val-46, Leu-49, and Met-51 led to increased Abeta42/Abeta40 ratios. A massive effect was observed for I45F (34-fold increase) making this construct important for the generation of animal models for Alzheimer's disease. Unlike the other mutations, A4CT-V44F was processed mainly to Abeta38, as determined by mass spectrometry. Our data provide a detailed model for the active site of gamma-secretase: gamma-secretase interacts with A4CT by binding to one side of the alpha-helical transmembrane domain of A4CT. Mutations in the transmembrane domain of A4CT interfere with the interaction between gamma-secretase and A4CT and, thus, alter the cleavage specificity of gamma-secretase.  (+info)

Plaque-independent disruption of neural circuits in Alzheimer's disease mouse models. (8/2953)

Autosomal dominant forms of familial Alzheimer's disease (FAD) are associated with increased production of the amyloid beta peptide, Abeta42, which is derived from the amyloid protein precursor (APP). In FAD, as well as in sporadic forms of the illness, Abeta peptides accumulate abnormally in the brain in the form of amyloid plaques. Here, we show that overexpression of FAD(717V-->F)-mutant human APP in neurons of transgenic mice decreases the density of presynaptic terminals and neurons well before these mice develop amyloid plaques. Electrophysiological recordings from the hippocampus revealed prominent deficits in synaptic transmission, which also preceded amyloid deposition by several months. Although in young mice, functional and structural neuronal deficits were of similar magnitude, functional deficits became predominant with advancing age. Increased Abeta production in the context of decreased overall APP expression, achieved by addition of the Swedish FAD mutation to the APP transgene in a second line of mice, further increased synaptic transmission deficits in young APP mice without plaques. These results suggest a neurotoxic effect of Abeta that is independent of plaque formation.  (+info)