Genetic background regulates beta-amyloid precursor protein processing and beta-amyloid deposition in the mouse.Hum Mol Genet. 2003 Nov 15; 12(22):2949-56.HM
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a multigenic neurodegenerative disorder characterized by distinct neuropathological hallmarks including deposits of the beta-amyloid (A beta) peptide. A beta is a 39- to 43-amino acid peptide derived from the proteolytic processing of the amyloid precursor protein (APP). While increasing evidence suggests that altered APP processing and A beta metabolism is a common feature of AD, the relationship between the levels of A beta and various APP products and the onset of AD remains unclear. We have undertaken a screen to characterize genetic factors that modify APP processing, A beta metabolism and A beta deposition in a genomic-based yeast artificial chromosome (YAC) transgenic mouse model of AD. A mutant human APP YAC transgene was transferred to three inbred mouse strains. Despite similar levels of holo-APP expression in the congenic strains, the levels of APP C-terminal fragments as well as brain and plasma A beta in young animals varied by genetic background. Furthermore, we demonstrate that age-dependent A beta deposition in the APP YAC transgenic model is dramatically altered depending on the congenic strain examined. These studies demonstrate that APP processing, A beta metabolism and A beta deposition are regulated by genetic background and that analysis of these phenotypes in mice should provide new insights into the factors that regulate AD pathogenesis.