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Neurobiol Aging. 2018 May;65:132-139. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2018.01.012. Epub 2018 Feb 2.

Isoprenoids and tau pathology in sporadic Alzheimer's disease.

Author information

1
Douglas Mental Health University Institute, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
2
Douglas Mental Health University Institute, McGill University, Montreal, Canada; Center for Studies on the Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
3
Department of Chemistry, McGill University, Montreal, Canada; Department of Biochemistry, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
4
Douglas Mental Health University Institute, McGill University, Montreal, Canada; Center for Studies on the Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease, McGill University, Montreal, Canada. Electronic address: judes.poirier@mcgill.ca.

Abstract

The mevalonate pathway has been described to play a key role in Alzheimer's disease (AD) physiopathology. Farnesyl pyrophosphate (FPP) and geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate (GGPP) are nonsterol isoprenoids derived from mevalonate, which serve as precursors to numerous human metabolites. They facilitate protein prenylation; hFPP and hGGPP synthases act as gateway enzymes to the prenylation of the small guanosine triphosphate (GTP)ase proteins such as RhoA and cdc42 that have been shown to facilitate phospho-tau (p-Tau, i.e., protein tau phosphorylated) production in the brain. In this study, a significant positive correlation was observed between the synthases mRNA prevalence and disease status (FPPS, p < 0.001, n = 123; GGPPS, p < 0.001, n = 122). The levels of mRNA for hFPPS and hGGPPS were found to significantly correlate with the amount of p-Tau protein levels (p < 0.05, n = 34) and neurofibrillary tangle density (p < 0.05, n = 39) in the frontal cortex. Interestingly, high levels of hFPPS and hGGPPS mRNA prevalence are associated with earlier age of onset in AD (p < 0.05, n = 58). Together, these results suggest that accumulation of p-Tau in the AD brain is related, at least in part, to increased levels of neuronal isoprenoids.

KEYWORDS:

Alzheimer's disease; Farnesyl pyrophosphate synthase; Geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate synthase; Isoprenoids; Mevalonate pathway; Tau phosphorylation

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