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J Biol Chem. 2009 Jul 3;284(27):18493-502. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M109.003269. Epub 2009 Apr 30.

Prostaglandin E2 stimulates the production of amyloid-beta peptides through internalization of the EP4 receptor.

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  • 1Graduate School of Medical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kumamoto University, Kumamoto 862-0973, Japan.


Amyloid-beta (Abeta) peptides, generated by the proteolysis of beta-amyloid precursor protein by beta- and gamma-secretases, play an important role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease. Inflammation is also important. We recently reported that prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)), a strong inducer of inflammation, stimulates the production of Abeta through EP(2) and EP(4) receptors, and here we have examined the molecular mechanism. Activation of EP(2) and EP(4) receptors is coupled to an increase in cellular cAMP levels and activation of protein kinase A (PKA). We found that inhibitors of adenylate cyclase and PKA suppress EP(2), but not EP(4), receptor-mediated stimulation of the Abeta production. In contrast, inhibitors of endocytosis suppressed EP(4), but not EP(2), receptor-mediated stimulation. Activation of gamma-secretase was observed with the activation of EP(4) receptors but not EP(2) receptors. PGE(2)-dependent internalization of the EP(4) receptor was observed, and cells expressing a mutant EP(4) receptor lacking the internalization activity did not exhibit PGE(2)-stimulated production of Abeta. A physical interaction between the EP(4) receptor and PS-1, a catalytic subunit of gamma-secretases, was revealed by immunoprecipitation assays. PGE(2)-induced internalization of PS-1 and co-localization of EP(4), PS-1, and Rab7 (a marker of late endosomes and lysosomes) was observed. Co-localization of PS-1 and Rab7 was also observed in the brain of wild-type mice but not of EP(4) receptor null mice. These results suggest that PGE(2)-stimulated production of Abeta involves EP(4) receptor-mediated endocytosis of PS-1 followed by activation of the gamma-secretase, as well as EP(2) receptor-dependent activation of adenylate cyclase and PKA, both of which are important in the inflammation-mediated progression of Alzheimer disease.

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