Beta-amyloid precursor protein mutants respond to gamma-secretase modulators.
ABSTRACT Pathogenic generation of the 42-amino acid variant of the amyloid beta-peptide (Abeta) by beta- and gamma-secretase cleavage of the beta-amyloid precursor protein (APP) is believed to be causative for Alzheimer disease (AD). Lowering of Abeta(42) production by gamma-secretase modulators (GSMs) is a hopeful approach toward AD treatment. The mechanism of GSM action is not fully understood. Moreover, whether GSMs target the Abeta domain is controversial. To further our understanding of the mode of action of GSMs and the cleavage mechanism of gamma-secretase, we analyzed mutations located at different positions of the APP transmembrane domain around or within the Abeta domain regarding their response to GSMs. We found that Abeta(42)-increasing familial AD mutations of the gamma-secretase cleavage site domain responded robustly to Abeta(42)-lowering GSMs, especially to the potent compound GSM-1, irrespective of the amount of Abeta(42) produced. We thus expect that familial AD patients carrying mutations at the gamma-secretase cleavage sites of APP should respond to GSM-based therapeutic approaches. Systematic phenylalanine-scanning mutagenesis of this region revealed a high permissiveness to GSM-1 and demonstrated a complex mechanism of GSM action as other Abeta species (Abeta(41), Abeta(39)) could also be lowered besides Abeta(42). Moreover, certain mutations simultaneously increased Abeta(42) and the shorter peptide Abeta(38), arguing that the proposed precursor-product relationship of these Abeta species is not general. Finally, mutations of residues in the proposed GSM-binding site implicated in Abeta(42) generation (Gly-29, Gly-33) and potentially in GSM-binding (Lys-28) were also responsive to GSMs, a finding that may question APP substrate targeting of GSMs.
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ABSTRACT: γ-Secretase is an aspartyl intramembranal protease composed of presenilin, Nicastrin, Aph1 and Pen2 with 19 transmembrane domains. γ-Secretase cleaves the amyloid precursor proteins (APP) to release Aβ peptides that likely play a causative role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease (AD). In addition, γ-secretase cleaves Notch and other type I membrane proteins. γ-Secretase inhibitors (GSIs) have been developed and used for clinical studies. However, clinical trials have shown adverse effects of GSIs that are potentially linked with non-discriminatory inhibition of Notch signaling, overall APP processing and possible other substrates. Therefore, these findings call for the development of disease modifying agents that target γ-secretase activity to lower Aβ42 production without blocking the overall processing of γ-secretase substrates. γ-Secretase modulators (GSMs) originally derived from non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) display such characteristics and are the focus of this review. However, first generation GSMs have limited potential due to low potency and undesired neuropharmacokinetic properties. This generation of GSMs has been suggested to interact with APP substrate, γ-secretase or both. To improve the potency and brain availability, second generation GSMs including NSAID-derived carboxylic acid and non-NSAID-derived heterocyclic chemotypes as well as natural product-derived GSMs have been developed. Animal studies of this generation of GSMs have shown encouraging preclinical profiles. Moreover, using potent GSM photoaffinity probes, multiple studies unambiguously have showed that both carboxylic acid and heterocyclic GSMs specifically target presenilin, the catalytic subunit of γ-secretase. In addition, two types of GSMs have distinct binding sites within the γ-secretase complex and exhibit different Aβ profiles. GSMs induce a conformational change of γ-secretase to achieve modulation. Various models are proposed and discussed. Despite the progress of GSM research, many outstanding issues remain to be investigated to achieve the ultimate goal of developing GSMs as effective AD therapies.Biochemistry 04/2013; · 3.38 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Autosomal-dominant Alzheimer's disease has provided significant understanding of the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease. The present review summarizes clinical, pathological, imaging, biochemical, and molecular studies of autosomal-dominant Alzheimer's disease, highlighting the similarities and differences between the dominantly inherited form of Alzheimer's disease and the more common sporadic form of Alzheimer's disease. Current developments in autosomal-dominant Alzheimer's disease are presented, including the international Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network and this network's initiative for clinical trials. Clinical trials in autosomal-dominant Alzheimer's disease may test the amyloid hypothesis, determine the timing of treatment, and lead the way to Alzheimer's disease prevention.Alzheimer's Research and Therapy 01/2011; 3(1):1. · 4.39 Impact Factor