Cleavage of APP by BACE1/b-secretase initiates the amyloidogenic cascade leading to Amyloid-b (Ab) production a-Secretase initiates the non-amyloidogenic pathway preventing Ab production. Several APP mutations cause familial Alzheimer’s disease (AD), while the Icelandic APP mutation near the BACE1-cleavage site protects from sporadic dementia, emphasizing APP’s role in dementia pathogenesis. To study APP protective/pathogenic mechanisms, we generated knock-in rats carrying either the protective (Appp) or the pathogenic Swedish mutation (Apps), also located near the BACE1-cleavage site. a-Cleavage is favored over b-processing in Appp rats. Consequently, non-amyloidogenic and amyloidogenic APP metabolites are increased and decreased, respectively. The reverse APP processing shift occurs in Apps rats. These opposite effects on APP β/α-processing suggest that protection from and pathogenesis of dementia depend upon combinatorial and opposite alterations in APP metabolism rather than simply on Ab levels. The Icelandic mutation also protects from aging-dependent cognitive decline, suggesting that similar mechanisms underlie physiological cognitive aging.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)