Expression of the chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans of amyloid precursor (appican) and amyloid precursor-like protein 2

Menelas N. Pangalos, Junichi Shioi, Nikolaos K. Robakis

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The Alzheimer amyloid precursor (APP) protein is a member of a family of glycoproteins that includes the amyloid precursor-like proteins (APLPs). Previously, we showed that in C6 glioma cell cultures, secreted APP nexin II occurs as the core protein of a chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan (CSPG). Here, we report that among seven untransfected cell lines, expression of secreted APP CSPG was restricted to two cell lines of neural origin, namely, C6 glioma and Neuro-2a neuroblastoma (N2a) cells. Addition of dibutyryl cyclic AMP in N2a cultures, a treatment that induces the neuronal phenotype in these cells, resulted in a significant reduction in the amount of the secreted APP CSPG, although secretion of APP was only marginally affected. Growth in the presence of serum increased the size of the secreted APP CSPG, suggesting that the number and/or length of the chondroitin sulfate (CS) chains attached to the core APP varies with growth conditions. Extensive mapping with epitope-specific antibodies suggested that a CS chain is attached within or proximal to the Aβ sequence of APP. In contrast to the restricted expression of the APP CSPG, expression of secreted APLP2 CSPGs was observed in all cell lines examined. After chondroitinase treatment, two core proteins of ~100 and 110 kDa were obtained that reacted with an APLP2- specific antiserum, suggesting that nontransfected cell lines contain at least two endogenous APLP2 CSPGs, probably derived by alternative splicing of the APLP2 KPI domain. The fraction of the APLP2 proteins in the CSPG form was dependent on the particular cell line examined. The proteoglycan nature of APP and APLP2 suggests that addition of the CS glycosaminoglycan chains is important for the implementation of the biological function of these proteins. However, the differential expression of these two proteoglycans suggests that their physiological roles and their possible involvement in Alzheimer's disease may differ.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)762-769
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1995


  • Alzheimer amyloid precursor
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amyloid precursor-like proteins
  • Chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans


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