Amyloid precursor protein (APP) modulates glutamate release via cytoplasmic and intravesicular interactions with the synaptic vesicle release machinery. The intravesicular domain, called ISVAID, contains the BACE1 cleavage site of APP. We have tested the functional significance of BACE1 processing of APP using App-Swedish (Apps) knock-in rats, which carry an App mutation that causes familial Alzheimer's disease (FAD) in humans. We show that in Apps rats, β-cleavage of APP is favored over α-cleavage. Apps rats show facilitated glutamate, but not GABA, release. Our data support the notion that APP tunes glutamate release, and that BACE1 cleavage of the ISVAID segment of APP facilitates this function. We define this phenomenon as BACE1 on APP-dependent glutamate release (BAD-Glu). Unsurprisingly, Apps rats show no evidence of AD-related pathology at 15 days and 3 months of age, indicating that alterations in BAD-Glu are not caused by pathological lesions. The evidence that a pathogenic APP mutation causes an early enhancement of BAD-Glu suggests that alterations of BACE1 processing of APP in glutamatergic synaptic vesicles could contribute to dementia.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology
- Alzheimer's Disease
- glutamate release
- synaptic transmission