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Isoglutaminyl cyclase contributes to CCL2-driven neuroinflammation in Alzheimer's disease

: Hartlage-Rübsamen, Maike; Waniek, Alexander; Meißner, Juliane; Morawski, Markus; Schilling, Stephan; Jäger, Carsten; Kleinschmidt, Martin; Cynis, Holger; Kehlen, Astrid; Arendt, Thomas; Demuth, Hans-Ulrich; Roßner, Steffen


Acta neuropathologica 129 (2015), No.4, pp.565-583
ISSN: 0001-6322
ISSN: 1432-0533
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung BMBF
0316033A, 0316033B, 0316033F
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG
RO 2226/13-1
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IZI ()

The brains of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients are characterized by deposits of Abeta peptides and by accompanying chronic inflammation. Here, we provide evidence that the enzyme isoglutaminyl cyclase (isoQC) is a novel factor contributing to both aspects of AD pathology. Two putative substrates of isoQC, N-truncated Abeta peptides and the monocyte chemoattractant chemokine CCL2, undergo isoQC-catalyzed pyroglutamate (pGlu) modification. This triggers Abeta aggregation and facilitates the biological activity of CCL2, which collectively results in the formation of high molecular weight Abeta aggregates, glial cell activation, neuroinflammation and neuronal cell death. In mouse brain, we found isoQC to be neuron-specifically expressed in neocortical, hippocampal and subcortical structures, localized to the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus as well as co-expressed with its substrate CCL2. In aged APP transgenic Tg2576 mice, both isoQC and CCL2 mRNA levels are up-regulated and isoQC and CCL2 proteins were found to be co-induced in Abeta plaque-associated reactive astrocytes. Also, in mouse primary astrocyte culture, a simultaneous up-regulation of isoQC and CCL2 expression was revealed upon Abeta and pGlu-Abeta stimulation. In brains of AD patients, the expression of isoQC and CCL2 mRNA and protein is up-regulated compared to controls and correlates with pGlu-Abeta load and with the decline in mini-mental state examination. Our observations provide evidence for a dual involvement of isoQC in AD pathogenesis by catalysis of pGlu-Abeta and pGlu-CCL2 formation which mutually stimulate inflammatory events and affect cognition. We conclude that isoQC inhibition may target both major pathological events in the development of AD.