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This article has been peer reviewed and is published in BMC Molecular Neurodegeneration 2007, 2:123. The published version is available at DOI: 10.1186/1750-1326-2-23. Copyright © BioMed Central Ltd.


ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Shedding of the Alzheimer amyloid precursor protein (APP) ectodomain can be accelerated by phorbol esters, compounds that act via protein kinase C (PKC) or through unconventional phorbol-binding proteins such as Munc13-1. We have previously demonstrated that application of phorbol esters or purified PKC potentiates budding of APP-bearing secretory vesicles at the trans-Golgi network (TGN) and toward the plasma membrane where APP becomes a substrate for enzymes responsible for shedding, known collectively as alpha-secretase(s). However, molecular identification of the presumptive "phospho-state-sensitive modulators of ectodomain shedding" (PMES) responsible for regulated shedding has been challenging. Here, we examined the effects on APP ectodomain shedding of four phorbol-sensitive proteins involved in regulation of vesicular membrane trafficking of APP: Munc13-1, Munc18, NSF, and Eve-1. RESULTS: Overexpression of either phorbol-sensitive wildtype Munc13-1 or phorbol-insensitive Munc13-1 H567K resulted in increased basal APP ectodomain shedding. However, in contrast to the report of Rossner et al (2004), phorbol ester-dependent APP ectodomain shedding from cells overexpressing APP and Munc13-1 wildtype was indistinguishable from that observed following application of phorbol to cells overexpressing APP and Munc13-1 H567K mutant. This pattern of similar effects on basal and stimulated APP shedding was also observed for Munc18 and NSF. Eve-1, an ADAM adaptor protein reported to be essential for PKC-regulated shedding of pro-EGF, was found to play no obvious role in regulated shedding of sAPPalpha. CONCLUSION: Our results indicate that, in the HEK293 system, Munc13-1, Munc18, NSF, and EVE-1 fail to meet essential criteria for identity as PMES for APP.

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