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Aβ-induced Ca2+influx regulates astrocytic BACE1 expression via calcineurin/NFAT4 signals

Elsevier Inc.
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2012.07.123
  • Alzheimer’S Disease
  • β-Secretase
  • Bace1
  • Calcium
  • Calcineurin
  • Nfat4
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Abstract The β-site APP cleaving enzyme (BACE1) is required for the production of β-amyloid peptides, which give rise to β-amyloid (Aβ) deposits in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients. In brains, BACE1 is primarily expressed by neurons, however BACE1 expression has also been observed in reactive astrocytes in close proximity to β-amyloid plaques in the brains of aged Tg2576 AD model mice. To date, the direct effects of Aβ on BACE1 gene expression in astrocytes is unknown. We found that Aβ42 or Aβ25–35 treatment induced BACE1 expression in primary astrocytes as well as human astrocytoma cell line. Aβ neurotoxicity has been associated with the disruption of intracellular calcium homeostasis both in neurons and in glial cells. Here, we demonstrated that NFAT4, a transcription factor tightly regulated by the calcium/calmodulin-dependent phosphatase, calcineurin, was activated in astrocytes applied with calcium ionophore or Aβ. Aβ-activated NFAT4 proteins were associated with astrocytic BACE1 gene expression via direct interaction with the BACE1 promoter region.

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