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J Biol Chem. 2000 Nov 3;275(44):34541-51.

Multiple mechanisms underlie neurotoxicity by different types of Alzheimer's disease mutations of amyloid precursor protein.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, KEIO University School of Medicine, Shinanomachi, Tokyo 160, Japan.


We examined a neuronal cell system in which single-cell expression of either familial Alzheimer's disease (FAD) gene V642I-APP or K595N/M596L-APP (NL-APP) in an inducible plasmid was controlled without affecting transfection efficiency. This system revealed that (i) low expression of both mutants exerted toxicity sensitive to both Ac-DEVD-CHO (DEVD) and glutathione ethyl ester (GEE), whereas wild-type APP (wtAPP) only at higher expression levels caused GEE/DEVD-resistant death to lesser degrees; (ii) toxicity by the V642I mutation was entirely GEE/DEVD sensitive; and (iii) toxicity by higher expression of NL-APP was GEE/DEVD resistant. The GEE/DEVD-sensitive death was sensitive to pertussis toxin and was due to G(o)-interacting His(657)-Lys(676) domain. The GEE/DEVD-resistant death was due to C-terminal Met(677)-Asn(695). APP mutants lacking either domain unraveled elaborate intracellular cross-talk between these domains. E618Q-APP, responsible for non-AD type of a human disease, only exerted GEE/DEVD-resistant death at higher expression. Therefore, (i) different FAD mutations in APP cause neuronal cell death through different cytoplasmic domains via different sets of mechanisms; (ii) expression levels of FAD genes are critical in activating specific death mechanisms; and (iii) toxicity by low expression of both mutants most likely reflects the pathogenetic mechanism of FAD.

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