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Amyloid. 1998 Jun;5(2):79-89.

Subcellular localization of the Alzheimer's disease amyloid precursor protein and derived polypeptides expressed in a recombinant yeast system.

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Department of Pathology, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.


Different isoforms and derived polypeptides of the Alzheimer's disease amyloid protein precursor (A beta PP) have been expressed in the yeast Pichia pastoris. The expression characteristics of the different A beta PP polypeptides were studied by post-embedding immunogold electron microscopy with various A beta PP antibodies. The site of intracellular expression could be readily identified with specific antibodies. Full length A beta PP was expressed in association with the nuclear membrane and the endoplasmic reticulum. Secretory derivatives of A beta PP were localized in membrane-bound secretory vesicles. A construct encoding two copies of beta A4[1-42] linked head-to-tail (beta A4duplex) accumulated as irregular dense cytoplasmic and intranuclear inclusions which reacted with all beta A4 antibodies tested. A beta A4-C-terminal construct accumulated into membranous structures in the cytoplasm and nucleus and reacted with most antibodies to beta A4 and the cytoplasmic domain of A beta PP. The two shorter constructs containing the beta A4 sequence formed similar intranuclear aggregates to those reported for intranuclear inclusions of polyglutamine peptides from huntingtin (in Huntington's disease) and ataxin protein fragments (in spinocerebellar ataxia). This is of interest because intracellular aggregation of the polyglutamine and beta A4 peptides may affect cells by similar toxic mechanisms. These studies demonstrate clear differences in the expression properties of different A beta PP polypeptides.

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