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Curr Alzheimer Res. 2005 Apr;2(2):269-73.

LRP-mediated clearance of Abeta is inhibited by KPI-containing isoforms of APP.

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  • 1Genetics and Aging Research Unit, MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease, and Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, Massachusetts 02129, USA.


The pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) involves the abnormal accumulation and deposition of beta-amyloid in cerebral blood vessels and in the brain parenchyma. Critical in modulating beta-amyloid deposition in brain is the flux of Abeta across the blood brain barrier. The low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein (LRP), is a large endocytic receptor that mediates the efflux of Abeta out of brain and into the periphery. The first step in the LRP-mediated clearance of Abeta involves the formation of a complex between Abeta and the LRP ligands apolipoprotein E (apoE) or alpha(2)-macroglobulin (alpha(2)M). The Abeta/chaperone complexes then bind to LRP via binding sites on apoE or alpha(2)M. The efflux of Abeta/chaperone complexes out of the neuropil and into the periphery may be attenuated by LRP-ligands that compete with apoE or alpha(2)M for LRP binding. LRP is also the cell surface receptor for Kunitz Protease Inhibitor (KPI) containing isoforms of Abeta's parent protein, the amyloid protein precursor (APP). Protein and mRNA levels of KPI-containing APP isoforms (APP-KPI) are elevated in AD brain and are associated with increased Abeta production. In this study we show that soluble non-amyloidogenic APP-KPI can also inhibit the uptake of Abeta/alpha(2)M in a cell culture model of LRP mediated Abeta clearance. Clearance of Abeta/apoE complexes was not inhibited by APP-KPI. Our findings are consistent with studies showing that apoE and alpha(2)M have discrete binding sites on LRP. Most significantly, our data suggests that the elevated levels of APP-KPI in AD brain may attenuate the clearance of Abeta, the proteins own amyloidogenic catabolic product.

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