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J Biol Chem. 2001 Aug 31;276(35):32860-6. Epub 2001 Jul 5.

Pathogenic effects of D23N Iowa mutant amyloid beta -protein.

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  • 1Departments of Medicine and Pathology, Health Sciences Center, State University of New York, Stony Brook, NY 11794-8153, USA.


Cerebral amyloid beta-protein angiopathy (CAA) is a key pathological feature of patients with Alzheimer's disease and certain related disorders. In these conditions the CAA is characterized by the deposition of Abeta within the cerebral vessel wall and, in severe cases, hemorrhagic stroke. Several mutations have been identified within the Abeta region of the Abeta protein precursor (AbetaPP) gene that appear to enhance the severity of CAA. We recently described a new mutation within the Abeta region (D23N) of AbetaPP that is associated with severe CAA in an Iowa kindred (Grabowski, T. J., Cho, H. S., Vonsattel, J. P. G., Rebeck, G. W., and Greenberg, S. M. (2001) Ann. Neurol. 49, 697-705). In the present study, we investigated the effect of this new D23N mutation on the processing of AbetaPP and the pathogenic properties of Abeta. Neither the D23N Iowa mutation nor the E22Q Dutch mutation affected the amyloidogenic processing of AbetaPP expressed in H4 cells. The A21G Flemish mutation, in contrast, resulted in a 2.3-fold increase in secreted Abeta peptide. We also tested synthetic wild-type and mutant Abeta40 peptides for fibrillogenesis and toxicity toward cultured human cerebrovascular smooth muscle (HCSM) cells. The E22Q Dutch, D23N Iowa, and E22Q,D23N Dutch/Iowa double mutant Abeta40 peptides rapidly assembled in solution to form fibrils, whereas wild-type and A21G Flemish Abeta40 peptides exhibited little fibril formation. Similarly, the E22Q Dutch and D23N Iowa Abeta40 peptides were found to induce robust pathologic responses in cultured HCSM cells, including elevated levels of cell-associated AbetaPP, proteolytic breakdown of smooth muscle cell alpha-actin, and cell death. Double mutant E22Q,D23N Dutch/Iowa Abeta40 was more potent than either single mutant form of Abeta in causing pathologic responses in HCSM cells. These data suggest that the different CAA mutations in AbetaPP may exert their pathogenic effects through different mechanisms. Whereas the A21G Flemish mutation appears to enhance Abeta production, the E22Q Dutch and D23N Iowa mutations enhance fibrillogenesis and the pathogenicity of Abeta toward HCSM cells.

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