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J Biol Chem. 2004 Feb 6;279(6):4596-603. Epub 2003 Nov 18.

AATF inhibits aberrant production of amyloid beta peptide 1-42 by interacting directly with Par-4.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73104, USA.


Aggregation of the neurotoxic amyloid beta peptide 1-42 (Abeta-(1-42)) in the brain is considered to be an early event in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Par-4 (prostate apoptosis response-4) is a leucine zipper protein that is pro-apoptotic and associated with neuronal degeneration in AD. Overexpression of Par-4 significantly increased production of Abeta-(1-42) after initiation of apoptotic cascades, indicating factors regulating apoptotic pathways may also affect processing of beta-amyloid precursor protein (APP). AATF (apoptosis-antagonizing transcription factor) was recently identified as an interaction partner of DAP-like kinase (Dlk), a member of the DAP (death-associated protein) kinase family. AATF antagonizes apoptosis induced by Par-4, suggesting that AATF might directly or indirectly participate in regulation of Par-4 activity. We now report that AATF colocalizes with Par-4 in both cytoplasmic and nuclear compartments, and it interacts directly and selectively with Par-4 via the leucine zipper domain in neural cells. Par-4 induced an aberrant production and secretion of Abeta in neuroblastoma IMR-32 cells after apoptotic cascades are initiated. Co-expression of AATF completely blocked aberrant production and secretion of Abeta-(1-42) induced by Par-4, and AATF/Par-4 complex formation was essential for the inhibitory effect of AATF on aberrant Abeta secretion. These results indicate that AATF is an endogenous antagonist of Par-4 activity and an effective inhibitor of aberrant Abeta production and secretion under apoptotic conditions.

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