FAD mutants unable to increase neurotoxic Aβ 42 suggest that mutation effects on eurodegeneration may be independent of effects on Aβ

Department of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York University, New York, NY 10029, USA.
Journal of Neurochemistry (Impact Factor: 4.28). 06/2007; 101(3):674-81. DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2006.04391.x
Source: PubMed


Strong support for a primary causative role of the Abeta peptides in the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD) neurodegeneration derives from reports that presenilin familial AD (FAD) mutants alter amyloid precursor protein processing, thus increasing production of neurotoxic Abeta 1-42 (Abeta 42). This effect of FAD mutants is also reflected in an increased ratio of peptides Abeta 42 over Abeta 1-40 (Abeta 40). In the present study, we show that several presenilin 1 FAD mutants failed to increase production of Abeta 42 or the Abeta 42/40 ratio. Our data suggest that the mechanism by which FAD mutations promote neurodegeneration and AD may be independent of their effects on Abeta production.

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    • "Furthermore, in the case of the PSEN1 mutation G183V, which is associated with frontotemporal dementia and neuropathologically characterized by Pick-type tauopathy, Aβ deposits and Aβ peptides were not detected [66]. These observations suggest that neurodegeneration and dementia may be phenomena independent of increased Aβ42 production [64]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) dementia impacts all facets of higher order cognitive function and is characterized by the presence of distinctive pathological lesions in the gray matter (GM). The profound alterations in GM structure and function have fostered the view that AD impacts are primarily a consequence of GM damage. However, the white matter (WM) represents about 50% of the cerebrum and this area of the brain is substantially atrophied and profoundly abnormal in both sporadic AD (SAD) and familial AD (FAD). We examined the WM biochemistry by ELISA and Western blot analyses of key proteins in 10 FAD cases harboring mutations in the presenilin genes PSEN1 and PSEN2 as well as in 4 non-demented control (NDC) individuals and 4 subjects with SAD. The molecules examined were direct substrates of PSEN1 such as Notch-1 and amyloid precursor protein (APP). In addition, apolipoproteins, axonal transport molecules, cytoskeletal and structural proteins, neurotrophic factors and synaptic proteins were examined. PSEN-FAD subjects had, on average, higher amounts of WM amyloid-beta (Aβ) peptides compared to SAD, which may play a role in the devastating dysfunction of the brain. However, the PSEN-FAD mutations we examined did not produce uniform increases in the relative proportions of Aβ42 and exhibited substantial variability in total Aβ levels. These observations suggest that neurodegeneration and dementia do not depend solely on enhanced Aβ42 levels. Our data revealed additional complexities in PSEN-FAD individuals. Some direct substrates of γ-secretase, such as Notch, N-cadherin, Erb-B4 and APP, deviated substantially from the NDC group baseline for some, but not all, mutation types. Proteins that were not direct γ-secretase substrates, but play key structural and functional roles in the WM, likewise exhibited varied concentrations in the distinct PSEN mutation backgrounds. Detailing the diverse biochemical pathology spectrum of PSEN mutations may offer valuable insights into dementia progression and the design of effective therapeutic interventions for both SAD and FAD.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · American Journal of Neurodegenerative Diseases
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    • "suggestions that not all PS1 FAD mutants alter Ab production would support the possibility that PS FAD mutants produce effects independent of Ab production and, therefore , be seen as a challenge to the amyloid hypothesis (Shioi et al. 2007). However, the dependence of pathological changes in PS FAD mutant transgenic mice on Ab production has never been experimentally tested. "
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    ABSTRACT: Mutations in presenilin-1 (PS1) and presenilin-2 (PS2) cause familial Alzheimer’s disease (FAD). Presenilins influence multiple molecular pathways and are best known for their role in the γ-secretase cleavage of type I transmembrane proteins including the amyloid precursor protein (APP). PS1 and PS2 FAD mutant transgenic mice have been generated using a variety of promoters. PS1-associated FAD mutations have also been knocked into the endogenous mouse gene. PS FAD mutant mice consistently show elevations of Aβ42 with little if any effect on Aβ40. When crossed with plaque forming APP FAD mutant lines, the PS1 FAD mutants cause earlier and more extensive plaque deposition. Although single transgenic PS1 or PS2 mice do not form plaques, they exhibit a number of pathological features including age-related neuronal and synaptic loss as well as vascular pathology. They also exhibit increased susceptibility to excitotoxic injury most likely on the basis of exaggerated calcium release from the endoplasmic reticulum. Electrophysiologically long-term potentiation in the hippocampus is increased in young PS1 FAD mutant mice but this effect appears to be lost with aging. In most studies neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus is also impaired by PS1 FAD mutants. Mice in which PS1 has been conditionally knocked out in adult forebrain on a PS2 null background (PS1/2 cDKO) develop a striking neurodegeneration that mimics AD neuropathology in being associated with neuronal and synaptic loss, astrogliosis and hyperphosphorylation of tau, although it is not accompanied by plaque deposits. The relevance of PS transgenic mice as models of AD is discussed.
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    • "It is widely accepted that in AD patients, presenilin mutations push neurodegeneration by increasing either production of Ab42 or the ratio of Ab42/Ab40. However, recent work challenged the absoluteness of this view reporting on quite a range of mutations that fail to interfere with Ab generation (Bentahir et al. 2006; Shioi et al. 2007; Batelli et al. 2008). Specifically, Bentahir et al. observed no difference in APP-as well as notch-and N-cadherin processing in cells expressing the A246E PS1 mutant compared with WT PS1. "
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    ABSTRACT: J. Neurochem. (2011) 119, 1064–1073. Mutations in presenilins are the major cause of familial Alzheimer’s disease (FAD), leading to impairments of memory and synaptic plasticity followed by age-dependent neurodegeneration. Presenilins are the catalytic subunits of γ-secretase, which itself is critically involved in the processing of amyloid precursor protein to release neurotoxic amyloid β (Aβ). Besides Aβ generation, there is growing evidence that presenilins play an essential role in the formation and maintenance of synapses. To further elucidate the effect of presenilin1 (PS1) on synapses, we performed longitudinal in vivo two-photon imaging of dendritic spines in the somatosensory cortex of transgenic mice over-expressing either human wild-type PS1 or the FAD-mutated variant A246E (FAD-PS1). Interestingly, the consequences of transgene expression were different in two subtypes of cortical dendrites. On apical layer 5 dendrites, we found an enhanced spine density in both mice over-expressing human wild-type presenilin1 and FAD-PS1, whereas on basal layer 3 dendrites only over-expression of FAD-PS1 increased the spine density. Time-lapse imaging revealed no differences in kinetically distinct classes of dendritic spines nor was the shape of spines affected. Although γ-secretase-dependent processing of synapse-relevant proteins seemed to be unaltered, higher expression levels of ryanodine receptors suggest a modified Ca2+ homeostasis in PS1 over-expressing mice. However, the conditional depletion of PS1 in single cortical neurons had no observable impact on dendritic spines. In consequence, our results favor the view that PS1 influences dendritic spine plasticity in a gain-of-function but γ-secretase-independent manner.
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