A Novel Cell-based β-secretase Enzymatic Assay for Alzheimer’s Disease

Author(s): Bruno De Araujo Herculano , Zhe Wang , Weihong Song* .

Journal Name: Current Alzheimer Research

Volume 16 , Issue 2 , 2019

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Background: Deposition of the amyloid β protein (Aβ) into neuritic plaques is the neuropathological hallmark of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Aβ is generated through the cleavage of the Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP) by β-secretase and γ-secretase. Currently, the evaluation of APP cleavage by β-secretase in experimental settings has largely depended on models that do not replicate the physiological conditions of this process.

Objective: To establish a novel live cell-based β-secretase enzymatic assay utilizing a novel chimeric protein that incorporates the natural sequence of APP and more closely replicates its cleavage by β-secretase under physiological conditions.

Methods: We have developed a chimeric protein construct, ASGβ, incorporating the β-site cleavage sequence of APP targeted by β-secretase and its intracellular trafficking signal into a Phosphatase-eGFP secreted reporter system. Upon cleavage by β-secretase, ASGβ releases a phosphatase-containing portion that can be measured in the culture medium, and an intracellular fraction that can be detected through Western Blot. Subsequently, we have generated a cell line stably expressing ASGβ that can be utilized to assay β-secretase in real time.

Results: ASGβ is specifically targeted by β-secretase, being cleaved exclusively at the site responsible for the generation of Aβ. Dosage response to β-secretase inhibitors shows that β-secretase activity can be positively correlated to phosphatase activity in culture media.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest this system could be a high-throughput tool to screen compounds that aim to modulate β-secretase activity and Aβ production under physiological conditions, as well as evaluating factors that regulate this cleavage.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease, BACE1, β-secretase, secreted alkaline phosphatase, enzymatic assay, Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP).

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Year: 2019
Page: [128 - 134]
Pages: 7
DOI: 10.2174/1567205016666181212151540
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