Thomas Sudhof, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
NHE6 depletion corrects ApoE4-mediated synaptic impairments and reduces amyloid plaque load
Apolipoprotein E4 (ApoE4) is the most important and prevalent risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer's disease (AD). The isoelectric point of ApoE4 matches the pH of the early endosome (EE), causing its delayed dissociation from ApoE receptors and hence impaired endolysosomal trafficking, disruption of synaptic homeostasis, and reduced amyloid clearance. We have shown that enhancing endosomal acidification by inhibiting the EE-specific sodium-hydrogen exchanger 6 (NHE6) restores vesicular trafficking and normalizes synaptic homeostasis. Remarkably and unexpectedly, loss of NHE6 (encoded by the gene Slc9a6) in mice effectively suppressed amyloid deposition even in the absence of ApoE4, suggesting that accelerated acidification of EEs caused by the absence of NHE6 occludes the effect of ApoE on amyloid plaque formation. NHE6 suppression or inhibition may thus be a universal, ApoE-independent approach to prevent amyloid buildup in the brain. These findings suggest a novel therapeutic approach for the prevention of AD by which partial NHE6 inhibition reverses the ApoE4-induced endolysosomal trafficking defect and reduces plaque load.
View details for DOI 10.7554/eLife.72034.sa2
View details for Web of Science ID 000711862900001
View details for PubMedID 34617884
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC8547963
Reelin Regulates Neuronal Excitability through Striatal-Enriched Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase (STEP61) and Calcium Permeable AMPARs in an NMDAR-Dependent Manner
JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE
2021; 41 (35): 7340-7349
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease marked by the accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ) plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. Aβ oligomers cause synaptic dysfunction early in AD by enhancing long-term depression (LTD; a paradigm for forgetfulness) via metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR)-dependent regulation of striatal-enriched tyrosine phosphatase (STEP61). Reelin is a neuromodulator that signals through ApoE (apolipoprotein E) receptors to protect the synapse against Aβ toxicity (Durakoglugil et al., 2009) Reelin signaling is impaired by ApoE4, the most important genetic risk factor for AD, and Aβ-oligomers activate metabotropic glutamate receptors (Renner et al., 2010). We therefore asked whether Reelin might also affect mGluR-LTD. To this end, we induced chemical mGluR-LTD using DHPG (Dihydroxyphenylglycine), a selective mGluR5 agonist. We found that exogenous Reelin reduces the DHPG-induced increase in STEP61, prevents the dephosphorylation of GluA2, and concomitantly blocks mGluR-mediated LTD. By contrast, Reelin deficiency increased expression of Ca2+-permeable GluA2-lacking AMPA receptors along with higher STEP61 levels, resulting in occlusion of DHPG-induced LTD in hippocampal CA1 neurons. We propose a model in which Reelin modulates local protein synthesis as well as AMPA receptor subunit composition through modulation of mGluR-mediated signaling with implications for memory consolidation or neurodegeneration.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Reelin is an important neuromodulator, which in the adult brain controls synaptic plasticity and protects against neurodegeneration. Amyloid-β has been shown to use mGluRs to induce synaptic depression through endocytosis of NMDA and AMPA receptors, a mechanism referred to as LTD, a paradigm of forgetfulness. Our results show that Reelin regulates the phosphatase STEP, which plays an important role in neurodegeneration, as well as the expression of calcium-permeable AMPA receptors, which play a role in memory formation. These data suggest that Reelin uses mGluR LTD pathways to regulate memory formation as well as neurodegeneration.
View details for DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0388-21.2021
View details for Web of Science ID 000692562400002
View details for PubMedID 34290083
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC8412985
Reelin depletion protects against autoimmune encephalomyelitis by decreasing vascular adhesion of leukocytes
SCIENCE TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE
2020; 12 (556)
Neuroinflammation as a result of immune cell recruitment into the central nervous system (CNS) is a key pathogenic mechanism of multiple sclerosis (MS). However, current anti-inflammatory interventions depleting immune cells or directly targeting their trafficking into the CNS can have serious side effects, highlighting a need for better immunomodulatory strategies. We detected increased Reelin concentrations in the serum of patients with MS, resulting in increased endothelial permeability to leukocytes through increased nuclear factor κB-mediated expression of vascular adhesion molecules. We thus investigated the prophylactic and therapeutic potential of Reelin immunodepletion in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) and further validated the results in Reelin knockout mice. Removal of plasma Reelin by either approach protected against neuroinflammation and largely abolished the neurological consequences by reducing endothelial permeability and immune cell accumulation in the CNS. Our findings suggest Reelin depletion as a therapeutic approach with an inherent good safety margin for the treatment of MS and other diseases where leukocyte extravasation is a major driver of pathogenicity.
View details for DOI 10.1126/scitranslmed.aay7675
View details for Web of Science ID 000558821100003
View details for PubMedID 32801146
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7860587
Targeting tauopathy with engineered tau-degrading intrabodies
2019; 14 (1): 38
The accumulation of pathological tau is the main component of neurofibrillary tangles and other tau aggregates in several neurodegenerative diseases, referred to as tauopathies. Recently, immunotherapeutic approaches targeting tau have been demonstrated to be beneficial in decreasing tauopathy in animal models. We previously found that passive immunotherapy with anti-tau antibody to human tau or expression of an anti-tau secreted single-chain variable fragment (scFv) in the central nervous system of a mouse model of tauopathy decreased but did not remove all tau-associated pathology. Although these and other studies demonstrate that conventional immunotherapeutic approaches targeting tau can influence tau pathogenesis, the majority of pathological tau remains in the cytosol of cells, not typically accessible to an extracellular antibody. Therefore, we reasoned targeting intracellular tau might be more efficacious in preventing or decreasing tauopathy.By utilizing our anti-tau scFv, we generated anti-tau intrabodies for the expression in the cytosol of neurons. To enhance the degradation capacity of conventional intrabodies, we engineered chimeric anti-tau intrabodies fused to ubiquitin harboring distinct mutations that shuttle intracellular tau for either the proteasome or lysosomal mediated degradation. To evaluate the efficacy in delaying or eliminating tauopathy, we expressed our tau degrading intrabodies or controls in human tau transgenic mice by adeno-associated virus prior to overt tau pathology and after tau deposition.Our results demonstrate, the expression of chimeric anti-tau intrabodies significantly reduce tau protein levels in primary neuronal cultures expression human tau relative to a non-modified anti-tau intrabody. We found the expression of engineered tau-degrading intrabodies destined for proteasomal-mediated degradation are more effective in delaying or eliminating tauopathy than a conventional intrabody in aged human tau transgenic mice.This study, harnesses the strength of intrabodies that are amendable for targeting specific domains or modifications with the cell-intrinsic mechanisms that regulate protein degradation providing a new immunotherapeutic approach with potentially improved efficacy.
View details for DOI 10.1186/s13024-019-0340-6
View details for Web of Science ID 000492170200001
View details for PubMedID 31640765
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6805661
Reversal of ApoE4-induced recycling block as a novel prevention a proach for Alzheimer's disease
ApoE4 genotype is the most prevalent and also clinically most important risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer's disease (AD). Available evidence suggests that the root cause for this increased risk is a trafficking defect at the level of the early endosome. ApoE4 differs from the most common ApoE3 isoform by a single amino acid that increases its isoelectric point and promotes unfolding of ApoE4 upon endosomal vesicle acidification. We found that pharmacological and genetic inhibition of NHE6, the primary proton leak channel in the early endosome, in rodents completely reverses the ApoE4-induced recycling block of the ApoE receptor Apoer2/Lrp8 and the AMPA- and NMDA-type glutamate receptors that are regulated by, and co-endocytosed in a complex with, Apoer2. Moreover, NHE6 inhibition restores the Reelin-mediated modulation of excitatory synapses that is impaired by ApoE4. Our findings suggest a novel potential approach for the prevention of late-onset AD.
View details for DOI 10.7554/eLife.40048
View details for Web of Science ID 000451820300001
View details for PubMedID 30375977
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6261251
AAV-mediated expression of anti-tau scFvs decreases tau accumulation in a mouse model of tauopathy
JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL MEDICINE
2017; 214 (5): 1227-1238
Tauopathies are characterized by the progressive accumulation of hyperphosphorylated, aggregated forms of tau. Our laboratory has previously demonstrated that passive immunization with an anti-tau antibody, HJ8.5, decreased accumulation of pathological tau in a human P301S tau-expressing transgenic (P301S-tg) mouse model of frontotemporal dementia/tauopathy. To investigate whether the Fc domain of HJ8.5 is required for the therapeutic effect, we engineered single-chain variable fragments (scFvs) derived from HJ8.5 with variable linker lengths, all specific to human tau. Based on different binding properties, we selected two anti-tau scFvs and tested their efficacy in vivo by adeno-associated virus-mediated gene transfer to the brain of P301S-tg mice. The scFvs significantly reduced levels of hyperphosphorylated, aggregated tau in brain tissue of P301S-tg mice, associated with a decrease in detergent-soluble tau species. Interestingly, these mice showed substantial levels of scFvs in the cerebrospinal fluid without significant effects on total extracellular tau levels. Therefore, our study provides a novel strategy for anti-tau immunotherapeutics that potentially limits a detrimental proinflammatory response.
View details for DOI 10.1084/jem.20162125
View details for Web of Science ID 000400379300004
View details for PubMedID 28416651
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5413341