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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2007 Feb;1773(2):157-65. Epub 2006 Oct 19.

The amyloid precursor protein potentiates CHOP induction and cell death in response to ER Ca2+ depletion.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Clinics, D-60590 Frankfurt, Germany.


Here we investigated the role of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) in regulation of Ca(2+) store depletion-induced neural cell death. Ca(2+) store depletion from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) was induced by the SERCA (Sarco/Endoplasmic Reticulum Calcium ATPase) inhibitor thapsigargin which led to a rapid induction of the unfolded protein response (UPR) and a delayed activation of executioner caspases in the cultures. Overexpression of APP potently enhanced cytosolic Ca(2+) levels and cell death after ER Ca(2+) store depletion in comparison to vector-transfected controls. GeneChip and RT-PCR analysis revealed that the expression of classical UPR chaperone genes was not altered by overexpression of APP. Interestingly, the induction of the ER stress-responsive pro-apoptotic transcription factor CHOP was significantly upregulated in APP-overexpressing cells in comparison to vector-transfected controls. Chelation of intracellular Ca(2+) with BAPTA-AM revealed that enhanced CHOP expression after store depletion occurred in a Ca(2+)-dependent manner in APP-overexpressing cells. Prevention of CHOP induction by BAPTA-AM and by RNA interference was also able to abrogate the potentiating effect of APP on thapsigargin-induced apoptosis. Application of the store-operated channel (SOC)-inhibitors SK & F96365 and 2-APB downmodulated APP-triggered potentiation of cytosolic Ca(2+) levels and apoptosis after treatment with thapsigargin. Our data demonstrate that APP significantly modulates Ca(2+) store depletion-induced cell death in a SOC- and CHOP-dependent manner, but independent of the UPR.

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