Journal article

The adipocyte differentiation protein APMAP is an endogenous suppressor of Aβ production in the brain

The deposition of amyloid-beta (Aβ) aggregates in the brain is a major pathological hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Aβ is generated from the cleavage of C-terminal fragments of the amyloid precursor protein (APP-CTFs) by γ-secretase, an intramembrane-cleaving protease with multiple substrates, including the Notch receptors. Endogenous modulation of γ-secretase is pointed to be implicated in the sporadic, age-dependent form of AD. Moreover, specifically modulating Aβ production has become a priority for the safe treatment of AD because the inhibition of γ-secretase results in adverse effects that are related to impaired Notch cleavage. Here, we report the identification of the adipocyte differentiation protein APMAP as a novel endogenous suppressor of Aβ generation. We found that APMAP interacts physically with γ-secretase and its substrate APP. In cells, the partial depletion of APMAP drastically increased the levels of APP-CTFs, as well as uniquely affecting their stability, with the consequence being increased secretion of Aβ. In wild-type and APP/ presenilin 1 transgenic mice, partial adeno-associated virus-mediated APMAP knockdown in the hippocampus increased Aβ production by ∼20 and ∼55%, respectively. Together, our data demonstrate that APMAP is a negative regulator of Aβ production through its interaction with APP and γ-secretase. All observed APMAP phenotypes can be explained by an impaired degradation of APP-CTFs, likely caused by an altered substrate transport capacity to the lysosomal/autophagic system.

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