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Changes of Protein Phosphorylation Are Associated with Synaptic Functions during the Early Stage of Alzheimer’s Disease

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journal contribution
posted on 28.08.2019, 21:13 by Yuewen Chen, Jinying Xu, Xiaopu Zhou, Saijuan Liu, Yulin Zhang, Shuangshuang Ma, Amy K. Y. Fu, Nancy Y. Ip, Yu Chen
Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible neurodegenerative disorder for which we have limited knowledge of the mechanisms underlying its pathogenesis, especially the molecular events that trigger the deterioration of neuronal functions in the early stage. Protein phosphorylation and dephosphorylation are highly dynamic and reversible post-translational modifications that control protein signaling and hence neuronal functions, aberrations of which are implicated in various neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease. We conducted a quantitative phosphoproteomic analysis in the brains of APP/PS1 mice, an Aβ-deposition transgenic mouse model, at 3 months old, the stage at which amyloid pathology just initiates. Compared to the wild-type mouse brains, we found that changes in serine phosphorylation were predominant in the APP/PS1 mouse brains, and that the occurrence of proline-directed phosphorylation was most common among the overrepresented phosphopeptides. Further analysis of the 167 phosphoproteins that were significantly up- or downregulated in APP/PS1 mouse brains revealed the enrichment of these proteins in synapse-related pathways. In particular, Western blot analysis validated the increased phosphorylation of chromogranin B, a protein enriched in large dense-core vesicles, in APP/PS1 mouse brains. These findings collectively suggest that changes in the phosphoprotein network may be associated with the deregulation of synaptic functions during the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease.