Human molecular genetics

Calsyntenin-1 mediates axonal transport of the amyloid precursor protein and regulates Aβ production.

PMID 22434822


Understanding the mechanisms that control processing of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) to produce amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide represents a key area of Alzheimer's disease research. Here, we show that siRNA-mediated loss of calsyntenin-1 in cultured neurons alters APP processing to increase production of Aβ. We also show that calsyntenin-1 is reduced in Alzheimer's disease brains and that the extent of this reduction correlates with increased Aβ levels. Calsyntenin-1 is a ligand for kinesin-1 light chains and APP is transported through axons on kinesin-1 molecular motors. Defects in axonal transport are an early pathological feature in Alzheimer's disease and defective APP transport is known to increase Aβ production. We show that calsyntenin-1 and APP are co-transported through axons and that siRNA-induced loss of calsyntenin-1 markedly disrupts axonal transport of APP. Thus, perturbation to axonal transport of APP on calsyntenin-1 containing carriers induces alterations to APP processing that increase production of Aβ. Together, our findings suggest that disruption of calsyntenin-1-associated axonal transport of APP is a pathogenic mechanism in Alzheimer's disease.