Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How Neuronal Activity Leads To Alzheimer's Protein Cleavage

Date:
October 22, 2008
Source:
Rockefeller University Press
Summary:
Amyloid precursor protein, whose cleavage product, amyloid-b, builds up into fibrous plaques in the brains of Alzheimer's disease patients, jumps from one specialized membrane microdomain to another to be cleaved, according to a new report in the Journal of Cell Biology.

Amyloid precursor protein (APP), whose cleavage product, amyloid-b (Ab), builds up into fibrous plaques in the brains of Alzheimer's disease patients, jumps from one specialized membrane microdomain to another to be cleaved, report Sakurai et al.

Although there is no definitive evidence that Ab plaques are the direct cause of Alzheimer's disease, there is much circumstantial evidence to support this. And working on this hypothesis, scientists are investigating just how the plaques form and what might be done to stop or reverse their formation.

APP, a protein of unknown function, is membrane associated and concentrates at the neuronal synapse. Certain factors such as high cellular cholesterol and increased neuronal or synaptic activity are known to drive APP cleavage, and Sakurai and colleagues' paper pulls these two modes of Ab regulation together.

APP associates with membrane microdomains high in cholesterols (lipid rafts). These lipid rafts can also contain the enzyme necessary for APP cleavage, BACE. Synaptic activity is known to involve a very different type of membrane microdomain high in an excytosis-promoting factor called syntaxin. Sakurai et al. now show that although APP preferentially associates with syntaxin microdomains, upon neuronal stimulation APP instead associates with microdomains that contain BACE.

It's unclear why APP should be associated with syntaxin, though it might suggest a role for APP in vesicle trafficking and exocytosis. Also unclear is why neuronal activity should cause APP to jump from syntaxin domains to BACE domains. What is clear, however, is that the process is an active one, requiring a kinase called cdk5. Furthermore, treating neurons with a cdk5 inhibitor called roscovitine, which is currently in trials for cancer treatment, reduced APP's association with BACE microdomains and reduced APP cleavage.

Reference: Sakurai, T., et al. 2008. J. Cell Biol. doi:10.1083/jcb.200804075.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rockefeller University Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Rockefeller University Press. "How Neuronal Activity Leads To Alzheimer's Protein Cleavage." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081020093358.htm>.
Rockefeller University Press. (2008, October 22). How Neuronal Activity Leads To Alzheimer's Protein Cleavage. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081020093358.htm
Rockefeller University Press. "How Neuronal Activity Leads To Alzheimer's Protein Cleavage." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081020093358.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins