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Citation
Bolkan, B.J., Triphan, T., Kretzschmar, D. (2012). beta-Secretase Cleavage of the Fly Amyloid Precursor Protein Is Required for Glial Survival.  J. Neurosci. 32(46): 16181--16192.
FlyBase ID
FBrf0219983
Publication Type
Research paper
Abstract

β-secretase (or BACE1) is the key enzyme in the production of β-amyloid (Aβ), which accumulates in the senile plaques characteristic for Alzheimer's disease. Consequently, the lack of BACE1 prevents β-processing of the amyloid precursor protein and Aβ production, which made it a promising target for drug development. However, the loss of BACE1 is also detrimental, leading to myelination defects and altered neuronal activity, functions that have been associated with the cleavage of Neuregulin and a voltage-gated sodium channel subunit. Here we show that the Drosophila ortholog of BACE, dBACE, is required for glial survival. Cell-specific knockdown experiments reveal that this is a non-cell autonomous function, as a knockdown of dBACE in photoreceptor neurons leads to progressive degeneration of glia in their target zone, the lamina. Interestingly, this phenotype is suppressed by the loss of the fly amyloid precursor protein (APPL), whereas a secretion-deficient form of APPL enhances the degeneration. This shows that full-length APPL in neurons promotes the death of neighboring glial cells and that β-processing of APPL is needed to prevent glial death. These results therefore not only demonstrate a novel function for an APP protein in glia, but they also show this function specifically requires regulation by β-cleavage.

PubMed ID
PubMed Central ID
PMC3936607 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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    Language of Publication
    English
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    Parent Publication
    Publication Type
    Journal
    Abbreviation
    J. Neurosci.
    Title
    Journal of Neuroscience
    Publication Year
    1981-
    ISBN/ISSN
    0270-6474 1529-2401
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