Membrane Currents Induced in Xenopus Oocytes by the C-Terminal Fragment of the β-Amyloid Precursor Protein

Authors

  • S. P. Fraser,

    1. Neurobiology Group, Department of Biology, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, England; and
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  • Y.-H. Suh,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Pharmacology, Seoul National University, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
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  • Y. H. Chong,

    1. Department of Pharmacology, Seoul National University, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
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    • The present address of Dr. Y. H. Chong is Department of Microbiology, College of Medicine, Ewha Womans University, 911-1 Mok-6-dong, Yangcheonku, Seoul 158-056, Korea.

  • M. B. A. Djamgoz

    1. Neurobiology Group, Department of Biology, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, England; and
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Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Y.-H. Suh at Department of Pharmacology, Seoul National University, College of Medicine, 28 Yongon-Dong, Chongno Gu, Seoul 110-799, Korea.

Abstract

Abstract: There is mounting evidence that at least some of the neurotoxicity associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) is due to proteolytic fragments of the β-amyloid precursor protein (βAPP). Most research has focused on the amyloid β protein (Aβ), which has been shown to possess ion channel activity. However, the possible role of other cleaved products of the βAPP is less clear. We have investigated the ability of various products of βAPP to induce membrane ion currents by applying them to Xenopus oocytes, a model system used extensively for investigating electrophysiological aspects of cellular, including neuronal, signalling. We focussed on the 105-amino-acid C-terminal fragment (CT105) (containing the full sequence Aβ), which has previously been found to be toxic to cells, although little is known about its mode of action. We have found that CT105 is exceedingly potent, with a threshold concentration of 100–200 nM, in inducing nonselective ion currents when applied from either outside or inside the oocyte and is more effective than either βAPP or the Aβ fragments, β25–35 or β1–40. The ion channel activity of CT105 was concentration dependent and blocked by a monoclonal antibody to Aβ. These results suggest the possible involvement of CT105 in inducing the neural toxicity characteristic of AD.

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