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FASEB J. 2003 Oct;17(13):1951-3. Epub 2003 Aug 15.

C-terminal fragments of amyloid precursor protein exert neurotoxicity by inducing glycogen synthase kinase-3beta expression.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, National Creative Research Initiative Center for Alzheimer's Dementia, Seoul National University, Seoul, 110-799, South Korea.


The AICD (amyloid precursor protein [APP] intracellular domain) and C31, the caspase-cleaved C-terminal fragment of APP, have been found in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Here, we demonstrate for the first time that the C-terminal fragments of APP (AICD [C57, C59] and C31) exert neurotoxicity on differentiated PC 12 cells and rat primary cortical neurons by inducing the expression of glycogen synthase kinase 3beta, forming a ternary complex with Fe65 and CP2/LSF/LBP1 in the nucleus, whereas deletion mutants and a point mutant with Y682G of the YENPTY domain, a Fe65 binding domain, do not. Moreover, expression of APP770 and Swedish mutant form of APP increased the levels of C-terminal fragments of APP (APP-CTs) in neuronal cells and also induced the up-regulation of glycogen synthase kinase-3beta at both the mRNA and the protein levels. In addition, we show that CP2/LSF/LBP1 binding site (nt +0 to approximately +10) in human glycogen synthase kinase 3beta promoter region is essential for the induction of the gene transcription by APP-CTs. The neurotoxicities induced by APP-CTs (AICD and C31) were accompanied by an increase in the active form of glycogen synthase kinase-3beta, and by the induction of tau phosphorylation and a reduction in nuclear beta-catenin levels, and led to apoptosis.

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