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J Neurochem. 1993 Aug;61(2):464-73.

Amyloid precursor protein is synthesized by retinal ganglion cells, rapidly transported to the optic nerve plasma membrane and nerve terminals, and metabolized.

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Department of Biochemistry, Boston University School of Medicine, Massachusetts 02118.


We have investigated the synthesis, axonal transport, and processing of the beta-amyloid precursor protein (APP) in in vivo rabbit retinal ganglion cells. These CNS neurons connect the retina to the brain via axons that comprise the optic nerve. APP is synthesized in retinal ganglion cells and is rapidly transported into the optic nerve in small transport vesicles. It is then transferred to the axonal plasma membrane, as well as to the nerve terminals and metabolized with a t1/2 of less than 5 h. A significant accumulation of C-terminal amyloidogenic or nonamyloidogenic fragments is seen in the optic nerve 5 h after [35S]-methionine, [35S]cysteine injection, which disappears by 24 h. The major molecular mass species of APP in the optic nerve is approximately 110 kDa, and is an APP isoform that does not contain a Kunitz protease inhibitor domain. Higher molecular mass species containing this sequence are seen mostly in the retina. A protease(s) that can potentially cleave APP to generate an amyloidogenic fragment is present in the same optic nerve membrane compartment as APP.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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