Macroautophagy--a novel Beta-amyloid peptide-generating pathway activated in Alzheimer's disease.

Center for Dementia Research, Nathan Kline Institute, Orangeburg, NY 10962, USA.
The Journal of Cell Biology (Impact Factor: 9.69). 11/2005; 171(1):87-98. DOI: 10.1083/jcb.200505082
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Macroautophagy, which is a lysosomal pathway for the turnover of organelles and long-lived proteins, is a key determinant of cell survival and longevity. In this study, we show that neuronal macroautophagy is induced early in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and before beta-amyloid (Abeta) deposits extracellularly in the presenilin (PS) 1/Abeta precursor protein (APP) mouse model of beta-amyloidosis. Subsequently, autophagosomes and late autophagic vacuoles (AVs) accumulate markedly in dystrophic dendrites, implying an impaired maturation of AVs to lysosomes. Immunolabeling identifies AVs in the brain as a major reservoir of intracellular Abeta. Purified AVs contain APP and beta-cleaved APP and are highly enriched in PS1, nicastrin, and PS-dependent gamma-secretase activity. Inducing or inhibiting macroautophagy in neuronal and nonneuronal cells by modulating mammalian target of rapamycin kinase elicits parallel changes in AV proliferation and Abeta production. Our results, therefore, link beta-amyloidogenic and cell survival pathways through macroautophagy, which is activated and is abnormal in AD.

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