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Keywords:

  • Alzheimer's disease;
  • amyloid;
  • APP;
  • BACE 1;
  • endosomes;
  • GWAS;
  • lipid rafts;
  • presenilin retromer;
  • secretase;
  • tau

Membrane proteins are constantly being trafficked in cells and the relevant proteins in Alzheimer's disease (AD), such as the amyloid precursor protein (APP) and its processing enzymes, are not exempted from that. Molecular cell biologists have been endeavoring to ascertain a roadmap for APP processing and trafficking in various cell types including neurons. This has led to the identification of numerous regulatory sorting mechanisms, protein–protein interactions and lipidic microenvironments that largely define how and where the substrate APP meets its processing enzymes. However, the cell biology of tau, and the formation of neurofibrillary tangles, has long been regarded as a separate field. Nonetheless, recent progress is bringing both worlds together in a new paradigm on how Aβ toxicity and tau are physiologically connected. Here, we discuss an update of our current appraisal on how membrane trafficking may play an important role in the pathogenesis of the disease and how this could be exploited for effective therapy.

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