• ApoE4 activates C/EBPβ/δ-secretase with 27-hydroxycholesterol, driving the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease.

ApoE4 activates C/EBPβ/δ-secretase with 27-hydroxycholesterol, driving the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease.

Progress in neurobiology (2021-03-16)
Zhi-Hao Wang, Yiyuan Xia, Pai Liu, Xia Liu, Laura Edgington-Mitchell, Kecheng Lei, Shan Ping Yu, Xiao-Chuan Wang, Keqiang Ye

ApoE4, an apolipoprotein implicated in cholesterol transport and amyloid-β (Aβ) metabolism, is a major genetic risk determinant for Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and drives its pathogenesis via Aβ-dependent and -independent pathways. C/EBPβ, a proinflammatory cytokines-activated transcription factor, is upregulated in AD and mediates cytokines and δ-secretase expression. However, how ApoE4 contributes to AD pathogenesis remains incompletely understood. Here we show that ApoE4 and 27-hydroxycholesterol (27-OHC) co-activate C/EBPβ/δ-secretase signaling in neurons, mediating AD pathogenesis, and this effect is dependent on neuronal secreted Aβ and inflammatory cytokines. Inhibition of cholesterol metabolism with lovastatin diminishes neuronal ApoE4's stimulatory effects. Furthermore, ApoE4 and 27-OHC also mediate lysosomal δ-secretase leakage, activation, secretion and endocytosis. Notably, 27-OHC strongly activates C/EBPβ/δ-secretase pathway in human ApoE4-TR mice and triggers AD pathologies and cognitive deficits, which is blocked by C/EBPβ depletion. Hence, our findings demonstrate that ApoE4 and 27-OHC additively trigger AD pathogenesis via activating C/EBPβ/δ-secretase pathway. Lowering cholesterol levels with statins should benefit the ApoE4 AD carriers.

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