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Tansley, GH, Burgess, BL, Bryan, MT, Su, Y, Hirsch-Reinshagen, V, Pearce, J, Chan, JY, Wilkinson, A, Evans, J, Naus, KE, McIsaac, S, Bromley, K, Song, W, Yang, HC, Wang, N, DeMattos, RB and Wellington, CL (2007) The cholesterol transporter ABCG1 modulates the subcellular distribution and proteolytic processing of beta-amyloid precursor protein. J. Lipid Res. 48:1022-34


Although intracellular cholesterol levels are known to influence the proteolysis of beta-amyloid precursor protein (APP), the effect of specific genes that regulate cholesterol metabolism on APP processing remains poorly understood. The cholesterol transporter ABCG1 facilitates cholesterol efflux to HDL and is expressed in brain. Notably, the human ABCG1 gene maps to chromosome 21q22.3, and individuals with Down syndrome (DS) typically manifest with Alzheimer's disease (AD) neuropathology in their 30s. Here, we demonstrate that expression of ABCG1 enhances amyloid-beta protein (Abeta) production in transfected HEK cells in a manner that requires functional cholesterol transporter activity. ABCG1-expressing cells also exhibit increased secreted APP (sAPP)alpha and sAPPbeta secretion and display increased cell surface-associated APP. These results suggest that ABCG1 increases the availability of APP as a secretase substrate for both the amyloidogenic and nonamyloidogenic pathways. In vivo, ABCG1 mRNA levels are 2-fold more abundant in DS brain compared with age- and sex-matched normal controls. Finally, both Abeta and sAPPalpha levels are increased in DS cortex relative to normal controls. These findings suggest that altered cholesterol metabolism and APP trafficking mediated by ABCG1 may contribute to the accelerated onset of AD neuropathology in DS.


PubMed Online version:10.1194/jlr.M600542-JLR200


ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters/genetics; ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters/metabolism; Adult; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Amyloid Precursor Protein Secretases/metabolism; Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor/metabolism; Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor/secretion; Animals; Brain/metabolism; Child; Cholesterol/metabolism; Down Syndrome/genetics; Down Syndrome/metabolism; Down Syndrome/pathology; Female; Gene Expression Regulation; Humans; Lipoproteins/deficiency; Lipoproteins/genetics; Lipoproteins/metabolism; Male; Mice; Mice, Knockout; Middle Aged; Neurons/metabolism; Protein Subunits/metabolism; Protein Subunits/secretion