International journal of Alzheimer's disease

Silencing of amyloid precursor protein expression using a new engineered delta ribozyme.

PMID 22482079


Alzheimer's disease (AD) etiological studies suggest that an elevation in amyloid-β peptides (Aβ) level contributes to aggregations of the peptide and subsequent development of the disease. The major constituent of these amyloid peptides is the 1 to 40-42 residue peptide (Aβ(40-42)) derived from amyloid protein precursor (APP). Most likely, reducing Aβ levels in the brain may block both its aggregation and neurotoxicity and would be beneficial for patients with AD. Among the several possible ways to lower Aβ accumulation in the cells, we have selectively chosen to target the primary step in the Aβ cascade, namely, to reduce APP gene expression. Toward this end, we engineered specific SOFA-HDV ribozymes, a new generation of catalytic RNA tools, to decrease APP mRNA levels. Additionally, we demonstrated that APP-ribozymes are effective at decreasing APP mRNA and protein levels as well as Aβ levels in neuronal cells. Our results could lay the groundwork for a new protective treatment for AD.