Depletion of GGA3 stabilizes BACE and enhances beta-secretase activity.
ABSTRACT Beta-site APP-cleaving enzyme (BACE) is required for production of the Alzheimer's disease (AD)-associated Abeta protein. BACE levels are elevated in AD brain, and increasing evidence reveals BACE as a stress-related protease that is upregulated following cerebral ischemia. However, the molecular mechanism responsible is unknown. We show that increases in BACE and beta-secretase activity are due to posttranslational stabilization following caspase activation. We also found that during cerebral ischemia, levels of GGA3, an adaptor protein involved in BACE trafficking, are reduced, while BACE levels are increased. RNAi silencing of GGA3 also elevated levels of BACE and Abeta. Finally, in AD brain samples, GGA3 protein levels were significantly decreased and inversely correlated with increased levels of BACE. In summary, we have elucidated a GGA3-dependent mechanism regulating BACE levels and beta-secretase activity. This mechanism may explain increased cerebral levels of BACE and Abeta following cerebral ischemia and existing in AD.
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ABSTRACT: Neuronal cell death, neurofibrillary tangles, and amyloid beta peptide (Abeta) deposition depict Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology, but neuronal loss correlates best with dementia. We have shown that increased production of Abeta is a consequence of neuronal apoptosis, suggesting that apoptosis activates proteases involved in amyloid precursor protein (APP) processing. Here, we investigate key effectors of cell death, caspases, in human neuronal apoptosis and APP processing. We find that caspase-6 is activated and responsible for neuronal apoptosis by serum deprivation. Caspase-6 activity precedes the time of commitment to neuronal apoptosis by 10 h, indicating possible activity without subsequent apoptosis. Inhibition of caspase-6 activity prevents serum deprivation-mediated increase of Abeta. Caspase-6 directly cleaves APP at the C terminus and generates a C-terminal fragment of 3 kDa (Capp3) and an Abeta-containing 6.5-kDa fragment, Capp6.5, that increases in serum-deprived neurons. A pulse-chase experiment reveals a precursor-product relationship between Capp6.5, intracellular Abeta, and secreted Abeta, indicating a potential alternate amyloidogenic pathway. Caspase-6 proenzyme is present in adult human brain tissue, and the p10 active caspase-6 fragment is detected in AD brain tissue. These results indicate a possible alternate pathway for APP amyloidogenic processing in human neurons and a potential implication for this pathway in the neuronal demise of AD.Journal of Biological Chemistry 09/1999; 274(33):23426-36. · 4.77 Impact Factor