Amyloid precursor protein: a novel role in the regulation of NMDA receptor surface trafficking: a biochemical investigation

Alzheimer's Society


Prof. A. Stephenson

Amyloid precursor protein (APP) and NMDA neurotransmitter receptors are two brain
proteins that have long been implicated in Alzheimer’s disease; APP because when cleaved by enzymes results in the production of â amyloid peptides that form the core of amyloid plaques, one of the key pathological traits of Alzheimer’s disease; NMDA receptors since when activated, results in an increase in calcium ion concentration in neurones which, if not carefully controlled, can trigger cell
death mechanisms. We have discovered a novel mechanistic link between these two proteins which we propose is a new means by which the correct numbers of NMDA receptors are maintained to ensure appropriate functioning of brain cells. If this mechanism is disrupted, this may lead to an imbalance of normal processes resulting ultimately in Alzheimer’s disease.

This proposal aims to carry out experiments to delineate this mechanism. Understanding this fundamental process will provide new targets for therapeutic intervention in Alzheimer’s disease.

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