Author(s): Muoz FJ, Inestrosa NC
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Abstract Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder whose hallmark is the presence of senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. Senile plaques are mainly composed of amyloid beta-peptide (Abeta) fibrils and several proteins including acetylcholinesterase (AChE). AChE has been previously shown to stimulate the aggregation of Abeta1-40 into amyloid fibrils. In the present work, the neurotoxicity of different amyloid aggregates formed in the absence or presence of AChE was evaluated in rat pheochromocytoma PC12 cells. Stable AChE-Abeta complexes were found to be more toxic than those formed without the enzyme, for Abeta1-40 and Abeta1-42, but not for amyloid fibrils formed with AbetaVal18-Ala, a synthetic variant of the Abeta1-40 peptide. Of all the AChE-Abeta complexes tested the one containing the Abeta1-40 peptide was the most toxic. When increasing concentrations of AChE were used to aggregate the Abeta1-40 peptide, the neurotoxicity of the complexes increased as a function of the amount of enzyme bound to each complex. Our results show that AChE-Abeta1-40 aggregates are more toxic than those of AChE-Abeta1-42 and that the neurotoxicity depends on the amount of AChE bound to the complexes, suggesting that AChE may play a key role in the neurodegeneration observed in Alzheimer brain.
This article was published in FEBS Lett
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Toxicology