Blood-brain barrier-penetrating siRNA nanomedicine for Alzheimer's disease therapy.
ABSTRACT: Toxic aggregated amyloid-? accumulation is a key pathogenic event in Alzheimer's disease (AD), which derives from amyloid precursor protein (APP) through sequential cleavage by BACE1 (?-site APP cleavage enzyme 1) and ?-secretase. Small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) show great promise for AD therapy by specific silencing of BACE1. However, lack of effective siRNA brain delivery approaches limits this strategy. Here, we developed a glycosylated "triple-interaction" stabilized polymeric siRNA nanomedicine (Gal-NP@siRNA) to target BACE1 in APP/PS1 transgenic AD mouse model. Gal-NP@siRNA exhibits superior blood stability and can efficiently penetrate the blood-brain barrier (BBB) via glycemia-controlled glucose transporter-1 (Glut1)-mediated transport, thereby ensuring that siRNAs decrease BACE1 expression and modify relative pathways. Noticeably, Gal-NP@siBACE1 administration restored the deterioration of cognitive capacity in AD mice without notable side effects. This "Trojan horse" strategy supports the utility of RNA interference therapy in neurodegenerative diseases.
Project description:Rare familial forms of Alzheimer's disease (AD) are thought to be caused by elevated proteolytic production of the Abeta42 peptide from the beta-amyloid-precursor protein (APP). Although the pathogenesis of the more common late-onset AD (LOAD) is not understood, BACE1, the protease that cleaves APP to generate the N terminus of Abeta42, is more active in patients with LOAD, suggesting that increased amyloid production processing might also contribute to the sporadic disease. Using high-throughput siRNA screening technology, we assessed 15,200 genes for their role in Abeta42 secretion and identified leucine-rich repeat transmembrane 3 (LRRTM3) as a neuronal gene that promotes APP processing by BACE1. siRNAs targeting LRRTM3 inhibit the secretion of Abeta40, Abeta42, and sAPPbeta, the N-terminal APP fragment produced by BACE1 cleavage, from cultured cells and primary neurons by up to 60%, whereas overexpression increases Abeta secretion. LRRTM3 is expressed nearly exclusively in the nervous system, including regions affected during AD, such as the dentate gyrus. Furthermore, LRRTM3 maps to a region of chromosome 10 linked to both LOAD and elevated plasma Abeta42, and is structurally similar to a family of neuronal receptors that includes the NOGO receptor, an inhibitor of neuronal regeneration and APP processing. Thus, LRRTM3 is a functional and positional candidate gene for AD, and, given its receptor-like structure and restricted expression, a potential therapeutic target.
Project description:Mutations in amyloid ? precursor protein (APP) gene alter APP processing, either causing familial Alzheimer's disease (AD) or protecting against dementia. Under normal conditions, ?-site APP cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1) cleaves APP at minor Asp1 site to generate C99 for amyloid ? protein (A?) production, and predominantly at major Glu11 site to generate C89, resulting in truncated A? production. We discovered that A673V mutation, the only recessive AD-associated APP mutation, shifted the preferential ?-cleavage site of BACE1 in APP from the Glu11 site to the Asp1 site both in male and female transgenic mice in vivo and in cell lines and primary neuronal culture derived from timed pregnant rats in vitro, resulting in a much higher C99 level and C99/C89 ratio. All other mutations at this site, including the protective Icelandic A673T mutation, reduced C99 generation, and decreased the C99/C89 ratio. Furthermore, A673V mutation caused stronger dimerization between mutant and wild-type APP, enhanced the lysosomal degradation of the mutant APP, and inhibited ?-secretase cleavage of the mutant C99 to generate A?, leading to recessively inherited AD. The results demonstrate that APP673 regulates APP processing and the BACE1 cleavage site selection is critical for amyloidogenesis in AD pathogenesis, and implicate a pharmaceutical potential for targeting the APP673 site for AD drug development.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT ?-site APP cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1) is essential for amyloid ? protein production. We discovered that A673V mutation shifted the BACE1 cleavage site from the Glu11 to the Asp1 site, resulting in much higher C99 level and C99/C89 ratio. All other mutations at this site of amyloid ? precursor protein (APP) reduced C99 generation and decreased the C99/C89 ratio. Furthermore, A673V mutation resulted in stronger dimerization between mutant and wild-type APP, enhanced the lysosomal degradation of the mutant APP, and inhibited ?-secretase cleavage of the mutant C99 to generate amyloid ? protein, leading to recessively inherited Alzheimer's disease (AD). The results demonstrate that APP673 regulates APP processing, and the BACE1 cleavage site selection is critical for amyloidogenesis in AD pathogenesis, and implicate a pharmaceutical potential for targeting the APP673 site for AD drug development.
Project description:Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most prevalent form of dementia characterized by the extracellular accumulation of amyloid ? (A?) peptides, which are produced by proteolytic cleavages of amyloid precursor protein (APP). Gangliosides are involved in AD pathophysiology including A? deposition and APP processing, yet the detailed mechanisms are not fully understood. Here we examined how changes in the carbohydrate moiety of gangliosides alter APP processing in human melanoma cells, neuroectoderm-derived cells. We showed that forced expression of GD2, GM2 or GM1 (by introducing B4GALNT1 cDNA into cells not expressing this glycosyltransferase) results in increases of ?- and ?-site cleavages of APP with a prominent increase in ?-cleavage. We also showed that ?-site APP cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1) protein is highly protected from the degradation in cells expressing these gangliosides, thereby increasing the expression of this protein. Unexpectedly, adding gangliosides exogenously altered neither BACE1 levels nor ?-site cleavage. The stabilisation of BACE1 protein led to the increase of this protein in lipid rafts, where BACE1 processes APP. Based on the current results, we propose a hitherto undisclosed link between ganglioside expression and AD; the expression of B4GALNT1 positively regulates the ?-site cleavage by mainly inhibiting the lysosomal degradation of BACE1 protein.
Project description:Amyloid-beta (Abeta) the primary component of the senile plaques found in Alzheimer's disease (AD) is generated by the rate-limiting cleavage of amyloid precursor protein (APP) by beta-secretase followed by gamma-secretase cleavage. Identification of the primary beta-secretase gene, BACE1, provides a unique opportunity to examine the role this unique aspartyl protease plays in altering Abeta metabolism and deposition that occurs in AD. The current experiments seek to examine how modulating beta-secretase expression and activity alters APP processing and Abeta metabolism in vivo. Genomic-based BACE1 transgenic mice were generated that overexpress human BACE1 mRNA and protein. The highest expressing BACE1 transgenic line was mated to transgenic mice containing human APP transgenes. Our biochemical and histochemical studies demonstrate that mice overexpressing both BACE1 and APP show specific alterations in APP processing and age-dependent Abeta deposition. We observed elevated levels of Abeta isoforms as well as significant increases of Abeta deposits in these double transgenic animals. In particular, the double transgenics exhibited a unique cortical deposition profile, which is consistent with a significant increase of BACE1 expression in the cortex relative to other brain regions. Elevated BACE1 expression coupled with increased deposition provides functional evidence for beta-secretase as a primary effector in regional amyloid deposition in the AD brain. Our studies demonstrate, for the first time, that modulation of BACE1 activity may play a significant role in AD pathogenesis in vivo.
Project description:β-amyloid protein (Aβ) plays a central role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease (AD). Aβ is generated from sequential cleavage of amyloid precursor protein (APP) by β-site APP-cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1) and the γ-secretase complex. Although activation of some protein kinase C (PKC) isoforms such as PKCα and ε has been shown to regulate nonamyloidogenic pathways and Aβ degradation, it is unclear whether other PKC isoforms are involved in APP processing/AD pathogenesis. In this study, we report that increased PKCδ levels correlate with BACE1 expression in the AD brain. PKCδ knockdown reduces BACE1 expression, BACE1-mediated APP processing, and Aβ production. Conversely, overexpression of PKCδ increases BACE1 expression and Aβ generation. Importantly, inhibition of PKCδ by rottlerin markedly reduces BACE1 expression, Aβ levels, and neuritic plaque formation and rescues cognitive deficits in an APP Swedish mutations K594N/M595L/presenilin-1 with an exon 9 deletion-transgenic AD mouse model. Our study indicates that PKCδ plays an important role in aggravating AD pathogenesis, and PKCδ may be a potential target in AD therapeutics.
Project description:Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common age-dependent neurodegenerative disease which impairs cognitive function and gradually causes patients to be unable to lead normal daily lives. While the etiology of AD remains an enigma, excessive accumulation of ?-amyloid peptide (A?) is widely believed to induce pathological changes and cause dementia in brains of AD patients. BACE1 was discovered to initiate the cleavage of amyloid precursor protein (APP) at the ?-secretase site. Only after this cleavage does ?-secretase further cleave the BACE1-cleaved C-terminal APP fragment to release A?. Hence, blocking BACE1 proteolytic activity will suppress A? generation. Due to the linkage of A? to the potential cause of AD, extensive discovery and development efforts have been directed towards potent BACE1 inhibitors for AD therapy. With the recent breakthrough in developing brain-penetrable BACE1 inhibitors, targeting amyloid deposition-mediated pathology for AD therapy has now become more practical. This review will summarize various strategies that have successfully led to the discovery of BACE1 drugs, such as MK8931, AZD-3293, JNJ-54861911, E2609 and CNP520. These drugs are currently in clinical trials and their updated states will be discussed. With the promise of reducing A? generation and deposition with no alarming safety concerns, the amyloid cascade hypothesis in AD therapy may finally become validated.
Project description:The molecular mechanism underlying the pathogenesis of the majority of cases of sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD) is unknown. A history of stroke was found to be associated with development of some AD cases, especially in the presence of vascular risk factors. Reduced cerebral perfusion is a common vascular component among AD risk factors, and hypoxia is a direct consequence of hypoperfusion. Previously we showed that expression of the beta-site beta-amyloid precursor protein (APP) cleavage enzyme 1 (BACE1) gene BACE1 is tightly controlled at both the transcriptional and translational levels and that increased BACE1 maturation contributes to the AD pathogenesis in Down's syndrome. Here we have identified a functional hypoxia-responsive element in the BACE1 gene promoter. Hypoxia up-regulated beta-secretase cleavage of APP and amyloid-beta protein (Abeta) production by increasing BACE1 gene transcription and expression both in vitro and in vivo. Hypoxia treatment markedly increased Abeta deposition and neuritic plaque formation and potentiated the memory deficit in Swedish mutant APP transgenic mice. Taken together, our results clearly demonstrate that hypoxia can facilitate AD pathogenesis, and they provide a molecular mechanism linking vascular factors to AD. Our study suggests that interventions to improve cerebral perfusion may benefit AD patients.
Project description:Deposition of amyloid-? protein (A?) to form neuritic plaques is the characteristic neuropathology of Alzheimer's disease (AD). A? is generated from amyloid precursor protein (APP) by ?- and ?-secretase cleavages. BACE1 is the ?-secretase and its inhibition induces severe side effects, whereas its homolog BACE2 normally suppresses A? by cleaving APP/A? at the ?-site (Phe20) within the A? domain. Here, we report that BACE2 also processes APP at the ? site, and the juxtamembrane helix (JH) of APP inhibits its ?-secretase activity, enabling BACE2 to cleave nascent APP and aggravate AD symptoms. JH-disrupting mutations and clusterin binding to JH triggered BACE2-mediated ?-cleavage. Both BACE2 and clusterin were elevated in aged mouse brains, and enhanced ?-cleavage during aging. Therefore, BACE2 contributes to AD pathogenesis as a conditional ?-secretase and could be a preventive and therapeutic target for AD without the side effects of BACE1 inhibition.
Project description:The beta-site APP cleaving enzyme-1 (BACE1) mediates the first cleavage of the beta-amyloid precursor protein (APP) to yield the amyloid beta-peptide (Abeta), a key pathogenic agent in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Using a proteomic approach based on in-cell chemical cross-linking and tandem affinity purification (TAP), we herein identify sorting nexin 6 (SNX6) as a BACE1-associated protein. SNX6, a PX domain protein, is a putative component of retromer, a multiprotein cargo complex that mediates the retrograde trafficking of the cation-independent mannose-6-phosphate receptor (CI-MPR) and sortilin. RNA interference suppression of SNX6 increased BACE1-dependent secretion of soluble APP (sAPPbeta) and cell-associated fragments (C99), resulting in increased Abeta secretion. Furthermore, SNX6 reduction led to elevated steady-state BACE1 levels as well as increased retrograde transport of BACE1 in the endocytic pathway, suggesting that SNX6 modulates the retrograde trafficking and basal levels of BACE1, thereby regulating BACE1-mediated APP processing and Abeta biogenesis. Our study identifies a novel cellular pathway by which SNX6 negatively modulates BACE1-mediated cleavage of APP.
Project description:The cleavage of amyloid precursor protein (APP) by ?-site APP cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1) is the rate-limiting step in beta amyloid generation during Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathogenesis. In AD brains, BACE1 is abnormally accumulated in endocytic compartments, where the acidic pH is optimal for its activity. However, mechanisms regulating the endosome-to-trans-Golgi network (TGN) retrieval of BACE1 remain unclear. Here, we show that partitioning defective 3 (Par3) facilitates BACE1 retrograde trafficking from endosomes to the TGN. Par3 functions through aPKC-mediated phosphorylation of BACE1 on Ser498, which in turn promotes the interaction between BACE1 and phosphofurin acidic cluster sorting protein 1 and facilitates the retrograde trafficking of BACE1 to the TGN. In human AD brains, there is a significant decrease in Ser498 phosphorylation of BACE1 suggesting that defective phosphorylation-dependent retrograde transport of BACE1 is important in AD pathogenesis. Together, our studies provide mechanistic insight into a novel role for Par3 and aPKC in regulating the retrograde endosome-to-TGN trafficking of BACE1 and shed light on the mechanisms of AD pathogenesis.