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Nat Med. 2013 Sep;19(9):1124-31. doi: 10.1038/nm.3302. Epub 2013 Aug 18.

PDK1 decreases TACE-mediated α-secretase activity and promotes disease progression in prion and Alzheimer's diseases.

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1] Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), UMR-S 747, Paris, France. [2] Université Paris Descartes, Sorbonne Paris Cité, UMR-S 747, Paris, France.


α-secretase-mediated cleavage of amyloid precursor protein (APP) precludes formation of neurotoxic amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides, and α-cleavage of cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) prevents its conversion into misfolded, pathogenic prions (PrP(Sc)). The mechanisms leading to decreased α-secretase activity in Alzheimer's and prion disease remain unclear. Here, we find that tumor necrosis factor-α-converting enzyme (TACE)-mediated α-secretase activity is impaired at the surface of neurons infected with PrP(Sc) or isolated from APP-transgenic mice with amyloid pathology. 3-phosphoinositide-dependent kinase-1 (PDK1) activity is increased in neurons infected with prions or affected by Aβ deposition and in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer's disease. PDK1 induces phosphorylation and caveolin-1-mediated internalization of TACE. This dysregulation of TACE increases PrP(Sc) and Aβ accumulation and reduces shedding of TNF-α receptor type 1 (TNFR1). Inhibition of PDK1 promotes localization of TACE to the plasma membrane, restores TACE-dependent α-secretase activity and cleavage of APP, PrP(C) and TNFR1, and attenuates PrP(Sc)- and Aβ-induced neurotoxicity. In mice, inhibition or siRNA-mediated silencing of PDK1 extends survival and reduces motor impairment following PrP(Sc) infection and in APP-transgenic mice reduces Alzheimer's disease-like pathology and memory impairment.

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