Enhanced generation of intracellular Aβ42 amyloid peptide by mutation of presenilins PS1 and PS2


: Dr W. Araki, as above.
E-mail: araki@ncnp.go.jp


The accumulation of amyloid β-peptide (Aβ) in the brain is a critical pathological process in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Recent studies have implicated intracellular Aβ in neurodegeneration in AD. To investigate the generation of intracellular Aβ, we established human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells stably expressing wild-type amyloid precursor protein (APP), Swedish mutant APP, APP plus presenilin 1 (PS1) and presenilin 2 (PS2; wild-type or familial AD-associated mutant), and quantified intracellular Aβ40 and Aβ42 in formic acid extracts by sensitive Western blotting. Levels of both intracellular Aβ40 and Aβ42 were 2–3-fold higher in cells expressing Swedish APP, compared with those expressing wild-type APP. Intracellular Aβ42/Aβ40 ratios were approximately 0.5 in these cells. These ratios were increased markedly in cells expressing mutant PS1 or PS2 compared with those expressing their wild-type counterparts, consistent with the observed changes in secreted Aβ42/Aβ40 ratios. High total levels of intracellular Aβ were observed in cells expressing mutant PS2 because of a marked elevation of Aβ42. Immunofluorescence staining additionally revealed more intense Aβ42 immunoreactivity in mutant PS2-expressing cells than in wild-type cells, which was partially colocalized with immunoreactivity for the trans-Golgi network and endosomes. The data collectively indicate that PS mutations promote the accumulation of intracellular Aβ42, which appears to be localized in multiple subcellular compartments.