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Biochem J. Dec 15, 1996; 320(Pt 3): 957–963.
PMCID: PMC1218021

Elevated intracellular calcium concentration increases secretory processing of the amyloid precursor protein by a tyrosine phosphorylation-dependent mechanism.


Secretory cleavage of the amyloid precursor protein (APP), a process that releases soluble APP derivatives (APPs) into the extracellular space, is stimulated by the activation of muscarinic receptors coupled to phosphoinositide hydrolysis. The signalling pathways involved in the release process exhibit both protein kinase C- and protein tyrosine phosphorylation-dependent components [Slack, Breu, Petryniak, Srivastava and Wurtman (1995) J. Biol. Chem. 270, 8337-8344]. The possibility that elevations in intracellular Ca2+ concentration initiate the tyrosine phosphorylation-dependent release of APPs was examined in human embryonic kidney cells expressing muscarinic m3 receptors. Inhibition of protein kinase C with the bisindolylmaleimide GF 109203X decreased the carbachol-evoked release of APPs by approx. 30%, as shown previously. The residual response was further decreased, in an additive manner, by the Ca2+ chelator EGTA, or by the tyrosine kinase inhibitor tyrphostin A25. The Ca2+ ionophore, ionomycin, like carbachol, stimulated both the release of APPs and the tyrosine phosphorylation of several proteins, one of which was identified as paxillin, a component of focal adhesions. The effects of ionomycin on APPs release and on protein tyrosine phosphorylation were concentration-dependent, and occurred over similar concentration ranges; both effects were inhibited only partly by GF 109203X, but were abolished by EGTA or by tyrosine kinase inhibitors. The results demonstrate for the first time that ionophore-induced elevations in intracellular Ca2+ levels elicit APPs release via increased tyrosine phosphorylation. Part of the increase in APPs release evoked by muscarinic receptor activation might be attributable to a similar mechanism.

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