The Swedish APP mutation alters the effect of genetically reduced BACE1 expression on the APP processing
Rabe, Sabine Reichwald, Julia Ammaturo, Domenico De Strooper, Bart Saftig, Paul Neumann, Ulf Staufenbiel, Matthias # ×
Journal of Neurochemistry vol:119 issue:1 pages:231-9
Inhibition of β-secretase (BACE1) is a key therapeutic approach in Alzheimer's disease (AD), as BACE1 initiates amyloid-β (Aβ) cleavage from the β-amyloid precursor protein (APP). As Aβ reductions in mice lacking one BACE1 allele diverged considerably between studies we investigated the effect of BACE1 knock-out in more detail. With both BACE1 alleles the Swedish mutation (APP23 mice) increased APP processing and shifted it towards the β-secretase pathway as compared with non-mutated APP expressed at a similar level (APP51/16 mice). This effect was much smaller then observed in cell culture. An about 50% decrease in BACE1 enzyme activity resulted in a sub-proportional Aβ reduction with the Swedish mutation (-20%) and even less for non-mutated APP (-16%). In wild-type mice, the Aβ reduction may be even further diminished. Other metabolites of the β-secretase pathway decreased accordingly while the alternative α-secretase pathway increased. Complete BACE1 deletion strongly enhanced these changes. The remaining Aβ signal also described by others can be explained by assay cross-reactivity with other APP metabolites supporting BACE1 as the major β-secretase. Our data indicate that BACE1 is in excess over APP at the cleavage site(s). Alterations in APP expression or substrate properties, therefore, quantitatively change its cleavage and Aβ generation.