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FASEB J. 2006 Jun;20(8):1275-7. Epub 2006 Apr 27.

Transcriptional regulation of APH-1A and increased gamma-secretase cleavage of APP and Notch by HIF-1 and hypoxia.

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Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, School of Life Sciences, Xiamen University, Xiamen, China.


The proteolytic cleavage of Alzheimer beta-amyloid precursor protein (APP) and signaling receptor Notch is mediated by the PS/gamma-secretase complex, which consists of presenilins, nicastrin, APH-1, and PEN-2. Although the four components are known to coordinately regulate each other at the protein level, information regarding their transcription regulation is scarce. Here we characterized the 5'-flanking region of the human APH-1A gene and identified a 271-bp fragment containing the transcription initiation site for the promoter activity. Sequence analysis, mutagenesis, and gel shift studies revealed a binding of AP4 and HIF-1 to the promoter, which affects the promoter activity. Activation of HIF-1 by short-term NiCl2 treatments (a condition of chemical hypoxia) dramatically increased APH-1A mRNA and protein expression, accompanied by increased secretion of Abeta and decreased APP CTFs formation, indicative of an increase in gamma-secretase activity. NiCl2 treatments had little effect on APP and the other three components of the gamma-secretase complex. The cellular concentration of Notch intracellular domain (NICD) was also increased by the hypoxic treatment. Our results demonstrate that APH-1A expression and the gamma-secretase mediated Abeta and Notch NICD generation are regulated by HIF-1, and the specific control of APH-1A expression may imply physiological functions uniquely assigned to APH-1A.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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