Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Neuron. 2008 Dec 26;60(6):988-1009. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2008.10.047.

Phosphorylation of the translation initiation factor eIF2alpha increases BACE1 levels and promotes amyloidogenesis.

Author information

  • 1Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.


beta-site APP cleaving enzyme-1 (BACE1), the rate-limiting enzyme for beta-amyloid (Abeta) production, is elevated in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Here, we show that energy deprivation induces phosphorylation of the translation initiation factor eIF2alpha (eIF2alpha-P), which increases the translation of BACE1. Salubrinal, an inhibitor of eIF2alpha-P phosphatase PP1c, directly increases BACE1 and elevates Abeta production in primary neurons. Preventing eIF2alpha phosphorylation by transfection with constitutively active PP1c regulatory subunit, dominant-negative eIF2alpha kinase PERK, or PERK inhibitor P58(IPK) blocks the energy-deprivation-induced BACE1 increase. Furthermore, chronic treatment of aged Tg2576 mice with energy inhibitors increases levels of eIF2alpha-P, BACE1, Abeta, and amyloid plaques. Importantly, eIF2alpha-P and BACE1 are elevated in aggressive plaque-forming 5XFAD transgenic mice, and BACE1, eIF2alpha-P, and amyloid load are correlated in humans with AD. These results strongly suggest that eIF2alpha phosphorylation increases BACE1 levels and causes Abeta overproduction, which could be an early, initiating molecular mechanism in sporadic AD.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Publication Types, MeSH Terms, Substances, Grant Support

Publication Types

MeSH Terms


Grant Support

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center