skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Regulation of gamma-Secretase in Alzheimer's Disease

Abstract

The {gamma}-secretase complex is an intramembrane aspartyl protease that cleaves its substrates along their transmembrane regions. Sequential proteolytic processing of amyloid precursor protein by {beta}- and {gamma}-secretase produces amyloid {beta}-peptides, which are the major components of amyloid plaques in the brains of Alzheimer's disease patients. The {gamma}-secretase complex is therefore believed to be critical in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. Here we review the range of factors found to affect the nature and degree of {gamma}-secretase complex activity; these include {gamma}-secretase complex assembly and activation, the integral regulatory subunit CD147, transient or weak binding partners, the levels of cholesterol and sphingolipids in cell membranes, and inflammatory cytokines. Integrated knowledge of the molecular mechanisms supporting the actions of these factors is expected to lead to a comprehensive understanding of the functional regulation of the {gamma}-secretase complex, and this, in turn, should facilitate the development of novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

Authors:
; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley NationalLaboratory, Berkeley, CA (US)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Director, Office of Science; National Institutes ofHealth
OSTI Identifier:
918642
Report Number(s):
LBNL-62789
Journal ID: ISSN 0006-2960; BICHAW; R&D Project: L0454, L0205; TRN: US200819%%371
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC02-05CH11231; NIH1R21GM070511,2R01GM054132
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Biochemistry; Journal Volume: 46; Journal Issue: 10; Related Information: Journal Publication Date: 03/13/2007
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59; CELL MEMBRANES; CHOLESTEROL; DISEASES; FUNCTIONALS; LYMPHOKINES; PATHOGENESIS; PATIENTS; PRECURSOR; PROCESSING; PROTEINS; REGULATIONS; SUBSTRATES; TRANSIENTS

Citation Formats

Zhou, Shuxia, Zhou, Hua, Walian, Peter, and Jap, Bing. Regulation of gamma-Secretase in Alzheimer's Disease. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.1021/bi602509c.
Zhou, Shuxia, Zhou, Hua, Walian, Peter, & Jap, Bing. Regulation of gamma-Secretase in Alzheimer's Disease. United States. doi:10.1021/bi602509c.
Zhou, Shuxia, Zhou, Hua, Walian, Peter, and Jap, Bing. Wed . "Regulation of gamma-Secretase in Alzheimer's Disease". United States. doi:10.1021/bi602509c.
@article{osti_918642,
title = {Regulation of gamma-Secretase in Alzheimer's Disease},
author = {Zhou, Shuxia and Zhou, Hua and Walian, Peter and Jap, Bing},
abstractNote = {The {gamma}-secretase complex is an intramembrane aspartyl protease that cleaves its substrates along their transmembrane regions. Sequential proteolytic processing of amyloid precursor protein by {beta}- and {gamma}-secretase produces amyloid {beta}-peptides, which are the major components of amyloid plaques in the brains of Alzheimer's disease patients. The {gamma}-secretase complex is therefore believed to be critical in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. Here we review the range of factors found to affect the nature and degree of {gamma}-secretase complex activity; these include {gamma}-secretase complex assembly and activation, the integral regulatory subunit CD147, transient or weak binding partners, the levels of cholesterol and sphingolipids in cell membranes, and inflammatory cytokines. Integrated knowledge of the molecular mechanisms supporting the actions of these factors is expected to lead to a comprehensive understanding of the functional regulation of the {gamma}-secretase complex, and this, in turn, should facilitate the development of novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.},
doi = {10.1021/bi602509c},
journal = {Biochemistry},
number = 10,
volume = 46,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Feb 07 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Wed Feb 07 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}
  • {gamma}-secretase is a membrane protein complex that cleaves the {beta}-amyloid precursor protein (APP) within the transmembrane region, following prior processing by {beta}-secretase, producing amyloid {beta}-peptides (A{beta}{sub 40} and A{beta}{sub 42}). Errant production of A{beta}-peptides that substantially increases A{beta}{sub 42} production has been associated with the formation of amyloid plaques in Alzheimer's disease patients. Biophysical and genetic studies indicate that presenilin-1 (Psn-1), which contains the proteolytic active site, and three other membrane proteins, nicastrin (Nct), APH-1, and PEN-2 are required to form the core of the active {gamma}-secretase complex. Here, we report the purification of the native {gamma}-secretase complexes from HeLamore » cell membranes and the identification of an additional {gamma}-secretase complex subunit, CD147, a transmembrane glycoprotein with two immunoglobulin-like domains. The presence of this subunit as an integral part of the complex itself was confirmed through co-immunoprecipitation studies of the purified protein from HeLa cells and solubilized complexes from other cell lines such as neural cell HCN-1A and HEK293. Depletion of CD147 by RNA interference was found to increase the production of A{beta} peptides without changing the expression level of the other {gamma}-secretase components or APP substrates while CD147 overexpression had no statistically significant effect on amyloid {beta}-peptide production, other {gamma}-secretase components or APP substrates, indicating that the presence of the CD147 subunit within the {gamma}-secretase complex directly down-modulates the production of A{beta}-peptides. {gamma}-secretase was first recognized through its role in the production of the A{beta} peptides that are pathogenic in Alzheimer's disease (AD) (1). {gamma}-secretase is a membrane protein complex with unusual aspartyl protease activity that cleaves a variety of type I membrane proteins, such as APP, CD44, DCC, ErbB4, E-cadherin, LRP, N-cadherin, Nectin-1, and Notch, within their transmembranous regions (2-11); therefore, in addition to its role in AD, {gamma}-secretase has been found to participate in other important biological functions, such as intracellular signaling. {gamma}-secretase processing of APP requires prior removal of a major fragment of the APP extracellular domain (sAPP{sub {beta}}) by {beta}-secretase to yield a membrane bound fragment (APP CTF{sub {beta}}). Subsequent cleavage of this membrane bound fragment by {gamma}-secretase results in the release of the Alzheimer's disease (AD) associated amyloid {beta}-peptides (12). The proteolytic activity of {gamma}-secretase is found not to be critically dependent on the specific sequence, but instead on the size of the extracellular domain (13); such sequence independent characteristics of the substrate are reminiscent of those of the 26S proteasome complex that cleaves substrates in a non-sequence specific manner. {gamma}-secretase is present in almost all animal species, vertebrates and invertebrates; it is expressed in many human organs and tissues.« less
  • Clinical trials with rosiglitazone, a potent agonist at peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR{gamma}) suggest an improvement of cognitive function in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. The mechanisms mediating this potential beneficial effect remain to be fully elucidated. In mice overexpressing mutant human amyloid precursor protein (hAPP), a model of AD, we found that memory impairment in the object recognition test was prevented and also reversed by chronic rosiglitazone treatment. Given the possible involvement of glucocorticoid receptors (GR) in the actions of PPAR{gamma}-ligands, we studied the effect of chronic rosiglitazone treatment on GR levels in the hippocampus of hAPP mice. An earlymore » down-regulation of GR, not related to elevated plasma corticosterone levels, was found in different hippocampal subfields of the transgenic mice and this decrease was prevented by rosiglitazone. In parallel with behavioural studies, rosiglitazone also normalized GR levels in older animals. This effect may contribute to explain the attenuation of memory decline by PPAR{gamma} activation in an AD mouse model.« less
  • Protein modification by O-linked beta-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) is emerging as an important factor in the pathogenesis of sporadic Alzheimer’s disease. Herein we report the most comprehensive, quantitative proteomics analysis for protein O-GlcNAcylation in post-mortem human brains with and without Alzheimer’s using isobaric tandem mass tags labeling, chemoenzymatic photocleavage enrichment and liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry. A total of 1,850 O-GlcNAc peptides covering 1,094 O-GlcNAcylation sites were identified from 530 proteins in the human brain. 128 O-GlcNAc peptides covering 78 proteins were altered significantly in Alzheimer’s brain as compared to controls (q<0.05). Moreover, alteration of the O-GlcNAc peptide abundance could bemore » attributed more to O-GlcNAcylation level than to protein level changes. The altered O-GlcNAcylated proteins belong to several structural and functional categories, including synaptic proteins, cytoskeleton proteins, and memory-associated proteins. These findings suggest that dysregulation of O-GlcNAcylation of multiple brain proteins may be involved in the development of sporadic Alzheimer’s disease.« less
  • In Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD), dysfunction in the basal forebrain cholinergic system is accompanied by a consistent loss of presynaptic cholinergic markers in cortex, but changes in cholinergic receptor binding sites are poorly understood. In the present study, we used receptor autoradiography to map the distribution of nicotinic (/sup 3/H)acetylcholine binding sites in cortices of individuals with AD and PD and matched control subjects. In both diseases, a profound loss of nicotinic receptors occurs in all cortical layers, particularly the deepest layers.
  • {gamma}-Secretase, an integral membrane protein complex, catalyzes the intramembrane cleavage of the {beta}-amyloid precursor protein (APP) during the neuronal production of the amyloid {beta}-peptide. As such, the protease has emerged as a key target for developing agents to treat and prevent Alzheimer's disease. Existing biochemical studies conflict on the oligomeric assembly state of the protease complex, and its detailed structure is not known. Here, we report that purified active human {gamma}-secretase in digitonin has a total molecular mass of {approx} 230 kDa when measured by scanning transmission electron microscopy. This result supports a complex that is monomeric for each ofmore » the four component proteins. We further report the three-dimensional structure of the {gamma}-secretase complex at 12 {angstrom} resolution as obtained by cryoelectron microscopy and single-particle image reconstruction. The structure reveals several domains on the extracellular side, three solvent-accessible low-density cavities, and a potential substrate-binding surface groove in the transmembrane region of the complex.« less