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J Neurochem. 2004 Oct;91(2):423-8.

Gene knockout of amyloid precursor protein and amyloid precursor-like protein-2 increases cellular copper levels in primary mouse cortical neurons and embryonic fibroblasts.

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1
Department of Genetics, The University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Abstract

Alzheimer's disease is characterised by the accumulation of amyloid-beta peptide, which is cleaved from the copper-binding amyloid-beta precursor protein. Recent in vivo and in vitro studies have illustrated the importance of copper in Alzheimer's disease neuropathogenesis and suggested a role for amyloid-beta precursor protein and amyloid-beta in copper homeostasis. Amyloid-beta precursor protein is a member of a multigene family, including amyloid precursor-like proteins-1 and -2. The copper-binding domain is similar among amyloid-beta precursor protein family members, suggesting an overall conservation in its function or activity. Here, we demonstrate that double knockout of amyloid-beta precursor protein and amyloid precursor-like protein-2 expression results in significant increases in copper accumulation in mouse primary cortical neurons and embryonic fibroblasts. In contrast, over-expression of amyloid-beta precursor protein in transgenic mice results in significantly reduced copper levels in primary cortical neurons. These findings provide cellular neuronal evidence for the role of amyloid-beta precursor protein in copper homeostasis and support the existing hypothesis that amyloid-beta precursor protein and amyloid precursor-like protein-2 are copper-binding proteins with functionally interchangeable roles in copper homeostasis.

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