[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oligomers formed by the amyloid β-peptide (Aβ) are pathogens in Alzheimer disease. Increased knowledge on the oligomerization process is crucial for understanding the disease and for finding treatments. Ideally, Aβ oligomerization should be studied in solution and at physiologically relevant concentrations, but most popular techniques of today are not capable of such analyses. We demonstrate here that the combination of Förster Resonance Energy Transfer and Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FRET-FCS) has a unique ability to detect small subpopulations of FRET-active molecules and oligomers. FRET-FCS could readily detect a FRET-active oligonucleotide present at levels as low as 0.5 % compared to FRET-inactive dye molecules. In contrast, three established fluorescence fluctuation techniques (FCS, FCCS and PCH) required fractions between 7 and 11%. When applied to the analysis of Aβ, FRET-FCS detected oligomers consisting of less than ten Aβ molecules which coexisted with the monomers at fractions as low as 2 +- 2%. Thus, we demonstrate for the first time direct detection of small fractions of Aβ oligomers in solution at physiological concentrations. This ability of FRET-FCS could be an indispensable tool for studying biological oligomerization processes in general, and for finding therapeutically useful oligomerization inhibitors.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Analytical Chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Synaptic degeneration and accumulation of the neurotoxic amyloid β-peptide (Aβ) in the brain are hallmarks of Alzheimer disease. Aβ is produced by sequential cleavage of its precursor protein, APP, by the β-secretase BACE1 and γ-secretase. However, Aβ generation is precluded if APP is cleaved by the α-secretase ADAM10 instead of BACE1. We have previously shown that Aβ can be produced locally at the synapse. To study the synaptic localization of the APP processing enzymes we used western blotting to demonstrate that, compared to total brain homogenate, ADAM10 and BACE1 were greatly enriched in synaptic vesicles isolated from rat brain using controlled-pore glass chromatography, whereas Presenilin1 was the only enriched component of the γ-secretase complex. Moreover, we detected ADAM10 activity in synaptic vesicles and enrichment of the intermediate APP-C-terminal fractions (APP-CTFs). We confirmed the western blotting findings using in situ proximity ligation assay to demonstrate close proximity of ADAM10 and BACE1 with the synaptic vesicle marker synaptophysin in intact mouse primary hippocampal neurons. In contrast, only sparse co-localization of active γ-secretase and synaptophysin was detected. These results indicate that the first step of APP processing occurs in synaptic vesicles whereas the final step is more likely to take place elsewhere. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Journal of Neurochemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease displaying extracellular plaques formed by the neurotoxic amyloid β-peptide (Aβ), and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles consisting of protein tau. However, how these pathologies relates to the massive neuronal death that occurs in AD brains remain elusive. Neprilysin is the major Aβ degrading enzyme and a lack thereof increases Aβ levels in the brain twofold. To identify altered protein expression levels induced by increased Aβ levels, we performed a proteomic analysis of the brain of the AD mouse model APPsw and compared it to that of APPsw mice lacking neprilysin. To this end we established an LC-MS/MS method to analyze brain homogenate, using an (18) O-labeled internal standard to accurately quantify the protein levels. To distinguish between alterations in protein levels caused by increased Aβ levels and those induced by neprilysin deficiency independently of Aβ, the brain proteome of neprilysin deficient APPsw mice was also compared to that of neprilysin deficient mice. By this approach we identified approximately 600 proteins and the levels of 300 of these were quantified. Pathway analysis showed that many of the proteins with altered expression were involved in neurological disorders, and that tau, presenilin and APP were key regulators in the identified networks. The data have been deposited to the ProteomeXchange Consortium with identifiers PXD000968 and PXD001786. Interestingly, the levels of several proteins, including some not previously reported to be linked to AD, were associated with increased Aβ levels. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: γ-Secretase is a transmembrane protease complex that is responsible for the processing of a multitude of type 1 transmembrane proteins including the amyloid precursor protein (APP) and Notch. γ-Secretase processing of APP results in the release of the amyloid β-peptide (Aβ), which is involved in the pathogenesis in Alzheimer's disease. Processing of Notch leads to the release of its intracellular domain, which is important for cell development. γ-Secretase associated proteins (GSAPs) could be of importance for substrate selection, and we have previously shown that affinity purification of γ-secretase in combination with mass spectrometry can be used for finding such proteins. Here, we have used this methodology to screen for novel GSAPs from human brain, and studied their effect on Aβ production in a comprehensive gene knockdown approach. Silencing of Probable phospholipid-transporting ATPase IIA (ATP9A), BDNF/NT-3 growth factor receptor precursor (Trk-B), and Proton myo-inositol cotransporter (SLC2A13), showed a clear reduction of Aβ and were selected for further studies on Aβ production and Notch cleavage using siRNA mediated gene silencing as well as an overexpression approach. Silencing of these reduced Aβ secretion in a siRNA dose-dependent manner. Interestingly, SLC2A13 had a lower effect on Notch processing. Furthermore, overexpression of SLC2A13 increased Aβ40 generation. Finally, the interaction between γ-secretase and SLC2A13 was confirmed by using immunoprecipitation and Proximity ligation assay (PLA). In summary, SLC2A13 was identified as a novel GSAP that regulates Aβ production without affecting Notch cleavage. We suggest that SLC2A13 could be a target for Aβ lowering therapy aimed at treating AD. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The transmembrane protease complex γ-secretase is a key enzyme for Alzheimer disease pathogenesis since it liberates the neurotoxic amyloid β-peptide (Aβ) but still, the regulation of its activity in different cell types and subcellular compartments is largely unknown. Several γ-secretase inhibitors have been developed but none of them have been launched due to side effects that seem to arise from reduced processing of Notch, one of many γ-secretase substrates. Hence, it is desirable to specifically inhibit Aβ production. In our previous studies, we have from brain identified several novel γ-secretase associated proteins (GSAPs), which affect Aβ production without causing any major effects on Notch processing. In the present study we have, in detergent resistant membranes prepared from brain, identified four novel GSAPs that affect Aβ production to a larger extent than Notch processing. We studied these and selected GSAPs from this and our previous studies, and evaluated the interaction between the GSAPs and γ-secretase in different cell types and studied their mRNA expression in different human organs. By in situ proximity ligation assay, we demonstrated that many GSAPs showed considerably more prominent interaction with γ-secretase in neurons than in HEK-APP cells, and the mRNA expression study showed that several GSAPs are highly expressed in human brain. This study underscores the importance of studying protein-protein interactions in relevant cell types and suggests that reducing Aβ production by interfering with brain or neuron-specific γ-secretase/GSAP interactions could reduce the risk of unwanted side effects associated with treatment of Alzheimer disease. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The enzyme complex γ-secretase generates amyloid β-peptide (Aβ), a 37–43-residue peptide associated with Alzheimer disease (AD). Mutations in presenilin 1 (PS1), the catalytical subunit of γ-secretase, result in familial AD (FAD). A unifying theme among FAD mutations is an alteration in the ratio Aβ species produced (the Aβ42/Aβ40 ratio), but the molecular mechanisms responsible remain elusive. In this report we have studied the impact of several different PS1 FAD mutations on the integration of selected PS1 transmembrane domains and on PS1 active site conformation, and whether any effects translate to a particular amyloid precursor protein (APP) processing phenotype. Most mutations studied caused an increase in the Aβ42/Aβ40 ratio, but via different mechanisms. The mutations that caused a particular large increase in the Aβ42/Aβ40 ratio did also display an impaired APP intracellular domain (AICD) formation and a lower total Aβ production. Interestingly, seven mutations close to the catalytic site caused a severely impaired integration of proximal transmembrane/hydrophobic sequences into the membrane. This structural defect did not correlate to a particular APP processing phenotype. Six selected FAD mutations, all of which exhibited different APP processing profiles and impact on PS1 transmembrane domain integration, were found to display an altered active site conformation. Combined, our data suggest that FAD mutations affect the PS1 structure and active site differently, resulting in several complex APP processing phenotypes, where the most aggressive mutations in terms of increased Aβ42/Aβ40 ratio are associated with a decrease in total γ-secretase activity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dysfunctional Omi/HtrA2, a mitochondrial serine protease, has been implicated in various neurodegenerative disorders. Despite the wealth of evidence on the roles of Omi/HtrA2 in apoptosis, little is known about its cytosolic targets, the cleavage of which could account for the observed morphological changes such as cytoskeletal reorganizations in axons. By proteomic analysis, vimentin was identified as a substrate for Omi/HtrA2 and we have reported increased Omi/HtrA2 protease activity in Alzheimer disease (AD) brain. Here, we investigated a possible link between Omi/HtrA2 and vimentin cleavage, and consequence of this cleavage on mitochondrial distribution in neurons. In vitro protease assays showed vimentin to be cleaved by Omi/HtrA2 protease, and proximity ligation assay demonstrated an increased interaction between Omi/HtrA2 and vimentin in human primary neurons upon stress stimuli. Using differentiated neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells, we showed that Omi/HtrA2 under several different stress conditions induces cleavage of vimentin in wild-type as well as SH-SY5Y cells transfected with amyloid precursor protein with the Alzheimer disease-associated Swedish mutation. After stress treatment, inhibition of Omi/HtrA2 protease activity by the Omi/HtrA2 specific inhibitor, Ucf-101, reduced the cleavage of vimentin in wild-type cells. Following altered vimentin filaments integrity by stress stimuli, mitochondria was redistributed in differentiated SH-SY5Y cells and human primary neurons. In summary, the findings outlined in this paper suggest a role of Omi/HtrA2 in modulation of vimentin filamentous structure in neurons. Our results provide important findings for understanding the biological role of Omi/HtrA2 activity during stress conditions, and give knowledge of interplay between Omi/HtrA2 and vimentin which might affect mitochondrial distribution in neurons.
No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Molecular Neurobiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Synaptic degeneration is one of the earliest hallmarks of Alzheimer disease. The molecular mechanism underlying this degeneration is not fully elucidated but one key player appears to be the synaptotoxic amyloid β-peptide (Aβ). The exact localization of the production of Aβ and the mechanisms whereby Aβ is released remain elusive. We have earlier shown that Aβ can be produced in crude synaptic vesicles and it has been reported that increased synaptic activity results in increased secreted but decreased intracellular Aβ levels. Therefore, we considered whether Aβ could be produced in synaptic vesicles and/or released through the same mechanisms as neurotransmitters in synaptic vesicle exocytosis. Small amounts of Aβ were found to be produced in pure synaptic vesicle preparations. We also studied the release of glutamate and Aβ from rat cortical nerve terminals (synaptosomes). We found that large amounts of Aβ were secreted from non-stimulated synaptosomes, from which glutamate was not released. On the contrary, we could not detect any differences in Aβ release between non-stimulated synaptosomes and synaptosomes stimulated with KCl or 4-aminopyridine, whereas glutamate release was readily inducible in this system. To conclude, our results indicate that the major release mechanism of Aβ from isolated nerve terminals differs from the synaptic release of glutamate and that the activity-dependent increase of secreted Aβ, reported by several groups using intact cells, is likely dependent on post-synaptic events, trafficking and/or protein synthesis mechanisms.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Neuroscience Letters
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glycosylation is one of the most common, and the most complex, forms of post-translational modification of proteins. This review serves to highlight the role of protein glycosylation in Alzheimer disease (AD), a topic that has not been thoroughly investigated, although glycosylation defects have been observed in AD patients. The major pathological hallmarks in AD are neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques. Neurofibrillary tangles are composed of phosphorylated tau, and the plaques are composed of amyloid β-peptide (Aβ), which is generated from amyloid precursor protein (APP). Defects in glycosylation of APP, tau and other proteins have been reported in AD. Another interesting observation is that the two proteases required for the generation of amyloid β-peptide (Aβ), i.e. γ-secretase and β-secretase, also have roles in protein glycosylation. For instance, γ-secretase and β-secretase affect the extent of complex N-glycosylation and sialylation of APP, respectively. These processes may be important in AD pathogenesis, as proper intracellular sorting, processing and export of APP are affected by how it is glycosylated. Furthermore, lack of one of the key components of γ-secretase, presenilin, leads to defective glycosylation of many additional proteins that are related to AD pathogenesis and/or neuronal function, including nicastrin, reelin, butyrylcholinesterase, cholinesterase, neural cell adhesion molecule, v-ATPase, and tyrosine-related kinase B. Improved understanding of the effects of AD on protein glycosylation, and vice versa, may therefore be important for improving the diagnosis and treatment of AD patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Here, we present a highly sensitive method to study protein-protein interactions and subcellular location selectively for active multicomponent enzymes. We apply the method on γ-secretase, the enzyme complex that catalyzes the cleavage of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) to generate amyloid β-peptide (Aβ), the major causative agent in Alzheimer disease (AD). The novel assay is based on proximity ligation, which can be used to study protein interactions in situ with very high sensitivity. In traditional proximity ligation assay (PLA), primary antibody recognition is typically accompanied by oligonucleotide-conjugated secondary antibodies as detection probes. Here, we first performed PLA experiments using antibodies against the γ-secretase components presenilin 1 (PS1), containing the catalytic site residues, and nicastrin, suggested to be involved in substrate recognition. To selectively study the interactions of active γ-secretase, we replaced one of the primary antibodies with a photoreactive γ-secretase inhibitor containing a PEG linker and a biotin group (GTB), and used oligonucleotide-conjugated streptavidin as a probe. Interestingly, significantly fewer interactions were detected with the latter, novel, assay, which is a reasonable finding considering that a substantial portion of PS1 is inactive. In addition, the PLA signals were located more peripherally when GTB was used instead of a PS1 antibody, suggesting that γ-secretase matures distal from the perinuclear ER region. This novel technique thus enables highly sensitive protein interaction studies, determines the subcellular location of the interactions, and differentiates between active and inactive γ-secretase in intact cells. We suggest that similar PLA assays using enzyme inhibitors could be useful also for other enzyme interaction studies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The amyloid-cascade hypothesis posits that the role of amyloid β-peptide (Aβ) in Alzheimer disease (AD) involves polymerization into structures that eventually are deposited as amyloid plaques. During this process, neurotoxic oligomers are formed that induce synaptic loss and neuronal death. Several different isoforms of Aβ are produced, of which the 40 and 42 residue variants (Aβ40 and Aβ42) are the most common. Aβ42 has a strong tendency to form neurotoxic aggregates and is involved in AD pathogenesis. Longer Aβ isoforms, like the less studied Aβ43, are gaining attention for their higher propensity to aggregate into neurotoxic oligomers. To further investigate Aβ43 in AD, we conducted a quantitative study on Aβ43 levels in human brain. We homogenized human brain tissue and prepared fractions of various solubility; tris buffered saline (TBS), sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) and formic acid (FA). Levels of Aβ43, as well as Aβ40 and Aβ42, were quantified using ELISA. We compared quantitative data showing Aβ levels in occipital and frontal cortex from sporadic (SAD) and familial (FAD) AD cases, as well as non-demented (ND) controls. Results showed Aβ43 present in each fraction from the SAD and FAD cases, while its level was lower than the detection limit in the majority of the ND-cases. Aβ42 and Aβ43 were enriched in the less soluble fractions (SDS and FA) of SAD and FAD cases in both occipital and frontal cortex. Thus, although the total levels of Aβ43 in human brain are low compared to Aβ40 and Aβ42, we suggest that Aβ43 could initiate the formation of oligomers and amyloid plaques and thereby be crucial to AD pathogenesis.