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Neurobiol Dis. 2002 Aug;10(3):279-88.

Oxidative stress increases expression and activity of BACE in NT2 neurons.

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Department of Experimental Medicine and Oncology, General Pathology Section, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.


Recently an aspartyl protease with beta-secretase activity called BACE was identified. In the present paper we showed that BACE is modulated by the oxidative stress product 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE). Exposure of NT(2) neurons to the two classical pro-oxidant stimuli ascorbate/FeSO(4) and H(2)O(2)/FeSO(4) resulted in a significant generation of HNE, which is temporally followed by an increased production of BACE protein levels. HNE mediated BACE induction is accompanied by a proportional elevation of carboxy-terminal fragments of amyloid precursor protein. Moreover, the direct relationship between BACE induction and lipid peroxidation products was strongly confirmed by the protection exerted by a short pretreatment with alpha-tocopherol, the most important antioxidant known to prevent the formation of aldehydic end-products of lipid peroxidation, including HNE. Our results support the hypothesis that oxidative stress and A beta production are strictly interrelated events and suggest that inhibition of BACE may have a therapeutic effect synergic with antioxidant compounds.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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