Identification of beta-secretase (BACE1) substrates using quantitative proteomics.
ABSTRACT: Beta-site APP cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1) is a transmembrane aspartyl protease with a lumenal active site that sheds the ectodomains of membrane proteins through juxtamembrane proteolysis. BACE1 has been studied principally for its role in Alzheimer's disease as the beta-secretase responsible for generating the amyloid-beta protein. Emerging evidence from mouse models has identified the importance of BACE1 in myelination and cognitive performance. However, the substrates that BACE1 processes to regulate these functions are unknown, and to date only a few beta-secretase substrates have been identified through candidate-based studies. Using an unbiased approach to substrate identification, we performed quantitative proteomic analysis of two human epithelial cell lines stably expressing BACE1 and identified 68 putative beta-secretase substrates, a number of which we validated in a cell culture system. The vast majority were of type I transmembrane topology, although one was type II and three were GPI-linked proteins. Intriguingly, a preponderance of these proteins are involved in contact-dependent intercellular communication or serve as receptors and have recognized roles in the nervous system and other organs. No consistent sequence motif predicting BACE1 cleavage was identified in substrates versus non-substrates. These findings expand our understanding of the proteins and cellular processes that BACE1 may regulate, and suggest possible mechanisms of toxicity arising from chronic BACE1 inhibition.
Project description:Neurodegenerative plaques characteristic of Alzheimer's disease (AD) are composed of amyloid beta (A?) peptide, which is proteolyzed from amyloid precursor protein (APP) by ?-secretase (beta-site APP cleaving enzyme [BACE1]) and ?-secretase. Although ?-secretase has essential functions across metazoans, no essential roles have been identified for BACE1 or A?. Because their only known function results in a disease phenotype, we sought to understand these components from an evolutionary perspective. We show that APP-like proteins are found throughout most animal taxa, but sequences homologous to A? are not found outside gnathostomes and the ? cut site is only conserved within sarcopterygians. BACE1 enzymes, however, extend through basal chordates and as far as cnidaria. We then sought to determine whether BACE1 from a species that never evolved A? could proteolyze APP substrates that include A?. We demonstrate that BACE1 from a basal chordate is a functional ortholog that can liberate A? from full-length human APP, indicating BACE1 activity evolved at least 360 My before A?.
Project description:Intramembrane proteolysis of transmembrane substrates by the presenilin-γ-secretase complex is preceded and regulated by shedding of the substrate's ectodomain by α- or β-secretase. We asked whether β- and γ-secretases interact to mediate efficient sequential processing of APP, generating the amyloid β (Aβ) peptides that initiate Alzheimer's disease. We describe a hitherto unrecognized multiprotease complex containing active β- and γ-secretases. BACE1 coimmunoprecipitated and cofractionated with γ-secretase in cultured cells and in mouse and human brain. An endogenous high molecular weight (HMW) complex (∼5 MD) containing β- and γ-secretases and holo-APP was catalytically active in vitro and generated a full array of Aβ peptides, with physiological Aβ42/40 ratios. The isolated complex responded properly to γ-secretase modulators. Alzheimer's-causing mutations in presenilin altered the Aβ42/40 peptide ratio generated by the HMW β/γ-secretase complex indistinguishably from that observed in whole cells. Thus, Aβ is generated from holo-APP by a BACE1-γ-secretase complex that provides sequential, efficient RIP processing of full-length substrates to final products.
Project description:Cell surface proteolysis is essential for communication between cells and results in the shedding of membrane-protein ectodomains. However, physiological substrates of the contributing proteases are largely unknown. We developed the secretome protein enrichment with click sugars (SPECS) method, which allows proteome-wide identification of shedding substrates and secreted proteins from primary cells, even in the presence of serum proteins. SPECS combines metabolic glycan labelling and click chemistry-mediated biotinylation and distinguishes between cellular and serum proteins. SPECS identified 34, mostly novel substrates of the Alzheimer protease BACE1 in primary neurons, making BACE1 a major sheddase in the nervous system. Selected BACE1 substrates-seizure-protein 6, L1, CHL1 and contactin-2-were validated in brains of BACE1 inhibitor-treated and BACE1 knock-out mice. For some substrates, BACE1 was the major sheddase, whereas for other substrates additional proteases contributed to total substrate shedding. The new substrates point to a central function of BACE1 in neurite outgrowth and synapse formation. SPECS is also suitable for quantitative secretome analyses of primary cells and may be used for the discovery of biomarkers secreted from tumour or stem cells.
Project description:Amyloid plaques, composed of the amyloid beta-protein (Abeta), are hallmark neuropathological lesions in Alzheimer disease (AD) brain. Abeta fulfills a central role in AD pathogenesis, and reduction of Abeta levels should prove beneficial for AD treatment. Abeta generation is initiated by proteolysis of amyloid precursor protein (APP) by the beta-secretase enzyme BACE1. Bace1 knockout (Bace1(-/-)) mice have validated BACE1 as the authentic beta-secretase in vivo. BACE1 is essential for Abeta generation and represents a suitable drug target for AD therapy, especially because this enzyme is up-regulated in AD. However, although initial data indicated that Bace1(-/-) mice lack an overt phenotype, the BACE1-mediated processing of APP and other substrates may be important for specific biological processes. In this minireview, topics range from the initial identification of BACE1 to the fundamental knowledge gaps that remain in our understanding of this protease. We address pertinent questions such as putative causes of BACE1 elevation in AD and discuss why, nine years since the identification of BACE1, treatments that address the underlying pathological mechanisms of AD are still lacking.
Project description:The beta amyloid (APP) cleaving enzyme (BACE1) has been a drug target for Alzheimer's Disease (AD) since 1999 with lead inhibitors now entering clinical trials. In 2011, the paralog, BACE2, became a new target for type II diabetes (T2DM) having been identified as a TMEM27 secretase regulating pancreatic ? cell function. However, the normal roles of both enzymes are unclear. This study outlines their evolutionary history and new opportunities for functional genomics. We identified 30 homologs (UrBACEs) in basal phyla including Placozoans, Cnidarians, Choanoflagellates, Porifera, Echinoderms, Annelids, Mollusks and Ascidians (but not Ecdysozoans). UrBACEs are predominantly single copy, show 35-45% protein sequence identity with mammalian BACE1, are ~100 residues longer than cathepsin paralogs with an aspartyl protease domain flanked by a signal peptide and a C-terminal transmembrane domain. While multiple paralogs in Trichoplax and Monosiga pre-date the nervous system, duplication of the UrBACE in fish gave rise to BACE1 and BACE2 in the vertebrate lineage. The latter evolved more rapidly as the former maintained the emergent neuronal role. In mammals, Ka/Ks for BACE2 is higher than BACE1 but low ratios for both suggest purifying selection. The 5' exons show higher Ka/Ks than the catalytic section. Model organism genomes show the absence of certain BACE human substrates when the UrBACE is present. Experiments could thus reveal undiscovered substrates and roles. The human protease double-target status means that evolutionary trajectories and functional shifts associated with different substrates will have implications for the development of clinical candidates for both AD and T2DM. A rational basis for inhibition specificity ratios and assessing target-related side effects will be facilitated by a more complete picture of BACE1 and BACE2 functions informed by their evolutionary context.
Project description:β-site amyloid precursor protein cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1) is the β-secretase enzyme required for the production of the neurotoxic β-amyloid (Aβ) peptide that is widely considered to have a crucial early role in the etiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD). As a result, BACE1 has emerged as a prime drug target for reducing the levels of Aβ in the AD brain, and the development of BACE1 inhibitors as therapeutic agents is being vigorously pursued. It has proven difficult for the pharmaceutical industry to design BACE1 inhibitor drugs that pass the blood-brain barrier, however this challenge has recently been met and BACE1 inhibitors are now in human clinical trials to test for safety and efficacy in AD patients and individuals with pre-symptomatic AD. Initial results suggest that some of these BACE1 inhibitor drugs are well tolerated, although others have dropped out because of toxicity and it is still too early to know whether any will be effective for the prevention or treatment of AD. Additionally, based on newly identified BACE1 substrates and phenotypes of mice that lack BACE1, concerns have emerged about potential mechanism-based side effects of BACE1 inhibitor drugs with chronic administration. It is hoped that a therapeutic window can be achieved that balances safety and efficacy. This review summarizes the current state of progress in the development of BACE1 inhibitor drugs and the evaluation of their therapeutic potential for AD.
Project description:A transmembrane aspartyl protease termed beta-site APP cleavage enzyme 1 (BACE1) that cleaves the amyloid-beta precursor protein (APP), which is abundant in neurons, is required for the generation of amyloid-beta (Abeta) peptides implicated in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). We now demonstrate that BACE1, enriched in neurons of the CNS, is a major determinant that predisposes the brain to Abeta amyloidogenesis. The physiologically high levels of BACE1 activity coupled with low levels of BACE2 and alpha-secretase anti-amyloidogenic activities in neurons is a major contributor to the accumulation of Abeta in the CNS, whereas other organs are spared. Significantly, deletion of BACE1 in APPswe;PS1DeltaE9 mice prevents both Abeta deposition and age-associated cognitive abnormalities that occur in this model of Abeta amyloidosis. Moreover, Abeta deposits are sensitive to BACE1 dosage and can be efficiently cleared from the CNS when BACE1 is silenced. However, BACE1 null mice manifest alterations in hippocampal synaptic plasticity as well as in performance on tests of cognition and emotion. Importantly, memory deficits but not emotional alterations in BACE1(-/-) mice are prevented by coexpressing APPswe;PS1DeltaE9 transgenes, indicating that other potential substrates of BACE1 may affect neural circuits related to emotion. Our results establish BACE1 and APP processing pathways as critical for cognitive, emotional, and synaptic functions, and future studies should be alert to potential mechanism-based side effects that may occur with BACE1 inhibitors designed to ameliorate Abeta amyloidosis in AD.
Project description:The BACE1 gene encodes the beta-site APP-cleaving enzyme 1 and has been associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD). BACE1 is the most important β-secretase responsible for the generation of Alzheimer-associated amyloid β-proteins (Aβ) and may play a role in the amyloidogenic process in AD. We hypothesized that BACE1 gene variants might influence BACE1 activity or other markers for APP metabolism in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and thereby contribute to the development of AD. We genotyped a Swedish sample of 269 AD patients for the rs638405 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the BACE1 gene and correlated genotype data to a broad range of amyloid-related biomarkers in CSF, including BACE1 activity, levels of Aβ40, Aβ42, α- and β-cleaved soluble APP (α-sAPP and β-sAPP), as well as markers for Alzheimer-type axonal degeneration, i.e., total-tau and phospho-tau181. Gene variants of BACE1 were neither associated with amyloid-related biomarkers, nor with markers for axonal degeneration in AD.
Project description:BACE1 is the sole secretase for generating ?-amyloid (A?) in vivo and is being actively pursued as a drug target for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Transmembrane BACE1 exerts its biological activity by cleaving its membrane-bound cellular substrates. Here, we reveal that BACE1 directly regulates the level of membrane-anchored full-length Jagged1 (Jag1), a signaling molecule important for the control of neurogenesis and astrogenesis, via interaction with its cognate Notch receptor. We show that shedding of Jag1 is reduced in BACE1 null mice and upregulated Jag1 enhances Notch signaling via cell-cell juxtacrine interactions. Additional biochemical assays confirmed that overexpression of BACE1 enhanced cleavage of Jag1. Consequently, BACE1 null mice exhibit a significant increase in astrogenesis with a corresponding decrease in neurogenesis in their hippocampi during early development. Hence, BACE1 appears to function as a signaling protease that controls the balance of neurogenesis and astrogenesis via the Jag1-Notch pathway.
Project description:BACE1 (beta-secretase) is a transmembrane aspartic protease that cleaves the beta-amyloid precursor protein and generates the amyloid beta peptide (Abeta). BACE1 cycles between the cell surface and the endosomal system many times and becomes activated interconvertibly during its cellular trafficking, leading to the production of Abeta. Here we report the crystal structure of the catalytically active form of BACE1. The active form has novel structural features involving the conformation of the flap and subsites that promote substrate binding. The functionally essential residues and water molecules are well defined and play a key role in the iterative activation of BACE1. We further describe the crystal structure of the dehydrated form of BACE1, showing that BACE1 activity is dependent on the dynamics of a catalytically required Asp-bound water molecule, which directly affects its catalytic properties. These findings provide insight into a novel regulation of BACE1 activity and elucidate how BACE1 modulates its activity during cellular trafficking.