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FASEB J. 2010 Sep;24(9):3511-21. doi: 10.1096/fj.10-156661. Epub 2010 Apr 15.

Binding of amyloid beta peptide to beta2 adrenergic receptor induces PKA-dependent AMPA receptor hyperactivity.

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Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, 407 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL 61801, USA.


Progressive decrease in neuronal function is an established feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Previous studies have shown that amyloid beta (Abeta) peptide induces acute increase in spontaneous synaptic activity accompanied by neurotoxicity, and Abeta induces excitotoxic neuronal death by increasing calcium influx mediated by hyperactive alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate (AMPA) receptors. An in vivo study has revealed subpopulations of hyperactive neurons near Abeta plaques in mutant amyloid precursor protein (APP)-transgenic animal model of Alzheimer's disease (AD) that can be normalized by an AMPA receptor antagonist. In the present study, we aim to determine whether soluble Abeta acutely induces hyperactivity of AMPA receptors by a mechanism involving beta(2) adrenergic receptor (beta(2)AR). We found that the soluble Abeta binds to beta(2)AR, and the extracellular N terminus of beta(2)AR is critical for the binding. The binding is required to induce G-protein/cAMP/protein kinase A (PKA) signaling, which controls PKA-dependent phosphorylation of GluR1 and beta(2)AR, and AMPA receptor-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs). beta(2)AR and GluR1 also form a complex comprising postsynaptic density protein 95 (PSD95), PKA and its anchor AKAP150, and protein phosphotase 2A (PP2A). Both the third intracellular (i3) loop and C terminus of beta(2)AR are required for the beta(2)AR/AMPA receptor complex. Abeta acutely induces PKA phosphorylation of GluR1 in the complex without affecting the association between two receptors. The present study reveals that non-neurotransmitter Abeta has a binding capacity to beta(2)AR and induces PKA-dependent hyperactivity in AMPA receptors.

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