Local cholesterol increase triggers amyloid precursor protein-Bace1 clustering in lipid rafts and rapid endocytosis
ABSTRACT Amyloid peptide (Aβ) is generated by sequential cleavage of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) by β-secretase (Bace1) and γ-secretase. Aβ production increases after plasma membrane cholesterol loading through unknown mechanisms. To determine how APP-Bace1 proximity affects this phenomenon, we developed a fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy-Förster resonance energy transfer (FLIM-FRET) technique for visualization of these molecules either by epifluorescence or at the plasma membrane only using total internal reflection fluorescence. Further, we used fluorescence correlation spectroscopy to determine the lipid rafts partition of APP-yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) and Bace1-green fluorescent protein (GFP) molecules at the plasma membrane of neurons. We show that less than 10 min after cholesterol exposure, Bace1-GFP/APP-mCherry proximity increases selectively at the membrane and APP relocalizes to raft domains, preceded by rapid endocytosis. After longer cholesterol exposures, APP and Bace1 are found in proximity intracellularly. We demonstrate that cholesterol loading does not increase Aβ production by having a direct impact on Bace1 catalytic activity but rather by altering the accessibility of Bace1 to its substrate, APP. This change in accessibility is mediated by clustering in lipid rafts, followed by rapid endocytosis.
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ABSTRACT: The levels of molecules crucial for signal transduction processing change in the brain with aging. Lipid rafts are membrane microdomains involved in cell signaling. We describe here substantial biophysical and biochemical changes occurring within the rafts in hippocampus neurons from aging wild-type rats and mice. Using continuous sucrose density gradients, we observed light-, medium-, and heavy raft subpopulations in young adult rodent hippocampus neurons containing very low levels of amyloid precursor protein (APP) and almost no caveolin-1 (CAV-1). By contrast, old rodents had a homogeneous age-specific high-density caveolar raft subpopulation containing significantly more cholesterol (CHOL), CAV-1, and APP. C99-APP-Cter fragment detection demonstrates that the first step of amyloidogenic APP processing takes place in this caveolar structure during physiological aging of the rat brain. In this age-specific caveolar raft subpopulation, levels of the C99-APP-Cter fragment are exponentially correlated with those of APP, suggesting that high APP concentrations may be associated with a risk of large increases in beta-amyloid peptide levels. Citrulline (an intermediate amino acid of the urea cycle) supplementation in the diet of aged rats for 3 months reduced these age-related hippocampus raft changes, resulting in raft patterns tightly close to those in young animals: CHOL, CAV-1, and APP concentrations were significantly lower and the C99-APP-Cter fragment was less abundant in the heavy raft subpopulation than in controls. Thus, we report substantial changes in raft structures during the aging of rodent hippocampus and describe new and promising areas of investigation concerning the possible protective effect of citrulline on brain function during aging.Age 08/2012; DOI:10.1007/s11357-012-9462-2 · 3.45 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Since the discovery that apolipoprotein E, a cholesterol transport protein, is a major risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD) development, there has been a remarkable interest in understanding the many facets of the relationship between cholesterol and AD. Several lines of evidence have demonstrated the importance of cholesterol in amyloid beta peptide (Aβ) production and metabolism, as well as the involvement of Aβ in cholesterol homeostasis. The emerging picture is complex and still incomplete. This review discusses findings that indicate that a reciprocal regulation exists between Aβ and cholesterol at the subcellular level. The pathological impact of such regulation is highlighted.Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology 05/2012; 90(6):753-64. DOI:10.1139/y2012-076 · 1.55 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Recent data from in vitro, animal, and human studies have shed new light on the positive roles of copper in many aspects of AD. Copper promotes the non-amyloidogenic processing of APP and thereby lowers the Aβ production in cell culture systems, and it increases lifetime and decreases soluble amyloid production in APP transgenic mice. In a clinical trial with Alzheimer patients, the decline of Aβ levels in CSF, which is a diagnostic marker, is diminished in the verum group (8 mg copper/day), indicating a beneficial effect of the copper treatment. These observations are in line with the benefit of treatment with compounds aimed at normalizing metal levels in the brain, such as PBT2. The data reviewed here demonstrate that there is an apparent disturbance in metal homeostasis in AD. More research is urgently needed to understand how this disturbance can be addressed therapeutically.11/2011; 2011:345614. DOI:10.4061/2011/345614