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Abstract

Objective:

12/15-Lipoxygenase (12/15-LO) is an enzyme widely distributed in the central nervous system, and it has been involved in the neurobiology of Alzheimer disease (AD). However, the mechanism involved remains elusive.

Methods:

We investigated the molecular mechanism by which 12/15-LO regulates amyloid β (Aβ)/Aβ precursor protein (APP) metabolism in vivo and in vitro by genetic and pharmacologic approaches.

Results:

Here we show that overexpression of 12/15-LO leads to increased levels of β-secretase-1 (BACE1) mRNA and protein, a significant elevation in Aβ levels and deposition, and a worsening of memory deficits in AD transgenic mice. In vitro and in vivo studies demonstrate that 12/15-LO regulates BACE1 mRNA expression levels via the activation of the transcription factor Sp1. Thus, 12/15-LO–overexpressing mice had elevated levels of Sp1 and BACE1, whereas 12/15-LO–deficient mice had reduced levels of both. Preventing Sp1 activation by pharmacologic inhibition or dominant-negative mutant blocks the 12/15-LO–dependent elevation of Aβ and BACE1 levels.

Interpretation:

Our findings demonstrate a novel pathway by which 12/15-LO increases the amyloidogenic processing of APP through a Sp1-mediated transcriptional control of BACE1 levels that could have implications for AD pathogenesis and therapy. ANN NEUROL 2012;71:57–67