Neurodegeneration correlates with Alzheimer's disease (AD) symptoms, but the molecular identities of pathogenic amyloid β-protein (Aβ) oligomers and their targets, leading to neurodegeneration, remain unclear. Amylospheroids (ASPD) are AD patient-derived 10- to 15-nm spherical Aβ oligomers that cause selective degeneration of mature neurons. Here, we show that the ASPD target is neuronspecific Na+/K+-ATPase α3 subunit (NAKα3). ASPD-binding to NAKα3 impaired NAKα3-specific activity, activated N-type voltage-gated calcium channels, and caused mitochondrial calcium dyshomeostasis, tau abnormalities, and neurodegeneration. NMR and molecular modeling studies suggested that spherical ASPD contain N-terminal-Aβ- derived "thorns" responsible for target binding, which are distinct from low molecular-weight oligomers and dodecamers. The fourth extracellular loop (Ex4) region of NAKα3 encompassing Asn879 and Trp880 is essential for ASPD-NAKα3 interaction, because tetrapeptides mimicking this Ex4 region bound to the ASPD surface and blocked ASPD neurotoxicity. Our findings open up new possibilities for knowledge-based design of peptidomimetics that inhibit neurodegeneration in AD by blocking aberrant ASPD-NAKα3 interaction.
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - 2015 Aug 11|
- Abnormal protein-protein interaction in synapse
- Computational modeling
- Protein-protein interaction inhibitors
ASJC Scopus subject areas