X-ray structure of the E2 domain of the human amyloid precursor protein (APP) in complex with copper
[A4_HUMAN] Defects in APP are the cause of Alzheimer disease type 1 (AD1) [MIM:104300]. AD1 is a familial early-onset form of Alzheimer disease. It can be associated with cerebral amyloid angiopathy. Alzheimer disease is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive dementia, loss of cognitive abilities, and deposition of fibrillar amyloid proteins as intraneuronal neurofibrillary tangles, extracellular amyloid plaques and vascular amyloid deposits. The major constituent of these plaques is the neurotoxic amyloid-beta-APP 40-42 peptide (s), derived proteolytically from the transmembrane precursor protein APP by sequential secretase processing. The cytotoxic C-terminal fragments (CTFs) and the caspase-cleaved products such as C31 derived from APP, are also implicated in neuronal death.                          Defects in APP are the cause of cerebral amyloid angiopathy APP-related (CAA-APP) [MIM:605714]. A hereditary localized amyloidosis due to amyloid-beta A4 peptide(s) deposition in the cerebral vessels. The principal clinical characteristics are recurrent cerebral and cerebellar hemorrhages, recurrent strokes, cerebral ischemia, cerebral infarction, and progressive mental deterioration. Patients develop cerebral hemorrhage because of the severe cerebral amyloid angiopathy. Parenchymal amyloid deposits are rare and largely in the form of pre-amyloid lesions or diffuse plaque-like structures. They are Congo red negative and lack the dense amyloid cores commonly present in Alzheimer disease. Some affected individuals manifest progressive aphasic dementia, leukoencephalopathy, and occipital calcifications.    
[A4_HUMAN] Functions as a cell surface receptor and performs physiological functions on the surface of neurons relevant to neurite growth, neuronal adhesion and axonogenesis. Involved in cell mobility and transcription regulation through protein-protein interactions. Can promote transcription activation through binding to APBB1-KAT5 and inhibits Notch signaling through interaction with Numb. Couples to apoptosis-inducing pathways such as those mediated by G(O) and JIP. Inhibits G(o) alpha ATPase activity (By similarity). Acts as a kinesin I membrane receptor, mediating the axonal transport of beta-secretase and presenilin 1. Involved in copper homeostasis/oxidative stress through copper ion reduction. In vitro, copper-metallated APP induces neuronal death directly or is potentiated through Cu(2+)-mediated low-density lipoprotein oxidation. Can regulate neurite outgrowth through binding to components of the extracellular matrix such as heparin and collagen I and IV. The splice isoforms that contain the BPTI domain possess protease inhibitor activity. Induces a AGER-dependent pathway that involves activation of p38 MAPK, resulting in internalization of amyloid-beta peptide and leading to mitochondrial dysfunction in cultured cortical neurons. Provides Cu(2+) ions for GPC1 which are required for release of nitric oxide (NO) and subsequent degradation of the heparan sulfate chains on GPC1.     Beta-amyloid peptides are lipophilic metal chelators with metal-reducing activity. Bind transient metals such as copper, zinc and iron. In vitro, can reduce Cu(2+) and Fe(3+) to Cu(+) and Fe(2+), respectively. Beta-amyloid 42 is a more effective reductant than beta-amyloid 40. Beta-amyloid peptides bind to lipoproteins and apolipoproteins E and J in the CSF and to HDL particles in plasma, inhibiting metal-catalyzed oxidation of lipoproteins. Beta-APP42 may activate mononuclear phagocytes in the brain and elicit inflammatory responses. Promotes both tau aggregation and TPK II-mediated phosphorylation. Interaction with Also bind GPC1 in lipid rafts.     Appicans elicit adhesion of neural cells to the extracellular matrix and may regulate neurite outgrowth in the brain (By similarity).     The gamma-CTF peptides as well as the caspase-cleaved peptides, including C31, are potent enhancers of neuronal apoptosis.     N-APP binds TNFRSF21 triggering caspase activation and degeneration of both neuronal cell bodies (via caspase-3) and axons (via caspase-6).    
Publication Abstract from PubMed
The amyloid precursor protein (APP) and its neurotoxic cleavage product Abeta are key players in the development of Alzheimer's disease and appear essential for neuronal development and cell homeostasis in mammals. Proteolytic processing of APP is influenced by metal ions, protein ligands and its oligomerization state. However, the structural basis and functional mechanism of APP regulation are hitherto largely unknown. Here we identified a metal-dependent molecular switch located within the E2 domain of APP containing four evolutionary highly conserved histidine residues. Three X-ray structures of the metal-bound molecule were solved at 2.6-2.0 A resolution. Using protein crystallographic and biochemical methods, we characterized this novel high-affinity binding site within the monomeric E2 domain that binds competitively to copper and zinc at physiological concentrations. Metal-specific coordination spheres induce large conformational changes and enforce distinct structural states, most likely regulating the physiological function of APP and its processing in Alzheimer's disease.
Metal Binding Dictates Conformation and Function of the Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP) E2 Domain.,Dahms SO, Konnig I, Roeser D, Guhrs KH, Mayer MC, Kaden D, Multhaup G, Than ME J Mol Biol. 2012 Jan 4. PMID:22245578
From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.