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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2003 Oct 10;310(1):236-41.

Oxidized neprilysin in aging and Alzheimer's disease brains.

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Department of Neuroscience and Pathology (Neuropathology), Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL 32224, USA.


Deposition of amyloid in the brain is important in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), but it remains to be determined if deposition is due to increased production or decreased clearance of fibrillogenic forms of beta-amyloid (Abeta). Except for rare genetic forms of AD, there is little evidence for increased production of Abeta, but decreases in enzymes involved in the clearance of Abeta are increasingly being investigated. Neprilysin (NEP) is a major enzyme for degradation of Abeta and changes in amount or activity of NEP may play a role in Abeta deposition in AD. Since oxidative damage to proteins, including formation of adducts such as 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE), has been reported in AD, it was of interest to determine if NEP might be susceptible to oxidative modification. To address this question, monoclonal antibody immunoprecipitates of NEP were probed with polyclonal antibodies to NEP and HNE. The results showed decreased NEP in AD compared to normal controls. NEP in both AD and controls had HNE-modification and the ratio of oxidized to total NEP was greater in AD than in controls. These findings suggest that decreased NEP may contribute to Abeta deposition in AD and that age-related oxidative damage to NEP may play a role in age-related cerebral amyloidosis that is exacerbated in AD.

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