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Neuroreport. 1999 Jun 3;10(8):1699-705.

The role of cholesterol in the biosynthesis of beta-amyloid.

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Neurodegeneration Unit, St George's Hospital Medical School, London, UK.


Addition of the beta-hydroxy-beta-methylglutaryl-CoA (HmG-CoA) reductase inhibitor lovastatin to human HEK cells transfected with the amyloid precursor protein (APP) reduces intracellular cholesterol/protein ratios by 50%, and markedly inhibits beta-secretase cleavage of newly-synthesized APP. Exogenous water-solubilized cholesterol at 200 microg/ml concentration increases newly synthesized beta-amyloidogenic products four-fold. These intracellular changes are detectable by immunoprecipitation and immunofluorescent labelling. Analyses of the fragments captured from culture medium by an N-terminal anti-beta-amyloid antibody on ProteinChip arrays and detected using surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization (SELDI) mass spectrometry revealed that culture with cholesterol (200 microg/ml) increased secretion of beta-amyloid 1-40 by 1.8-fold, and increased secretion of beta-amyloid 1-42. Changes in APP processing by cholesterol may mediate the way in which the ApoE4 allele increases risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (AD) in western populations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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