Alzheimer Aβ Peptide Induces Chromosome Mis-Segregation and Aneuploidy, Including Trisomy 21: Requirement for Tau and APP

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Both sporadic and familial Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients exhibit increased chromosome aneuploidy, particularly trisomy 21, in neurons and other cells. Significantly, trisomy 21/Down syndrome patients develop early onset AD pathology. We investigated the mechanism underlying mosaic chromosome aneuploidy in AD and report that FAD mutations in the Alzheimer Amyloid Precursor Protein gene, APP, induce chromosome mis-segregation and aneuploidy in transgenic mice and in transfected cells. Furthermore, adding synthetic Aβ peptide, the pathogenic product of APP, to cultured cells causes rapid and robust chromosome mis-segregation leading to aneuploid, including trisomy 21, daughters, which is prevented by LiCl addition or Ca2+ chelation and is replicated in tau KO cells, implicating GSK-3β, calpain, and Tau-dependent microtubule transport in the aneugenic activity of Aβ. Furthermore, APP KO cells are resistant to the aneugenic activity of Aβ, as they have been shown previously to be resistant to Aβ-induced tau phosphorylation and cell toxicity. These results indicate that Aβ-induced microtubule dysfunction leads to aneuploid neurons and may thereby contribute to the pathogenesis of AD.

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Molecular Biology of the Cell, v. 21, issue 4, p. 499-685