Reticulon Family Members Modulate BACE1 Activity and Amyloid-Beta Peptide Generation

Nat Med. 2004 Sep;10(9):959-65. doi: 10.1038/nm1088. Epub 2004 Aug 1.


Inhibiting the activity of the beta-amyloid converting enzyme 1 (BACE1) or reducing levels of BACE1 in vivo decreases the production of amyloid-beta. The reticulon family of proteins has four members, RTN1, RTN2, RTN3 and RTN4 (also known as Nogo), the last of which is well known for its role in inhibiting neuritic outgrowth after injury. Here we show that reticulon family members are binding partners of BACE1. In brain, BACE1 mainly colocalizes with RTN3 in neurons, whereas RTN4 is more enriched in oligodendrocytes. An increase in the expression of any reticulon protein substantially reduces the production of Abeta. Conversely, lowering the expression of RTN3 by RNA interference increases the secretion of Abeta, suggesting that reticulon proteins are negative modulators of BACE1 in cells. Our data support a mechanism by which reticulon proteins block access of BACE1 to amyloid precursor protein and reduce the cleavage of this protein. Thus, changes in the expression of reticulon proteins in the human brain are likely to affect cellular amyloid-beta and the formation of amyloid plaques.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Amyloid Precursor Protein Secretases
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / biosynthesis*
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor
  • Aspartic Acid Endopeptidases / metabolism*
  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Western
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • DNA Primers
  • Endopeptidases / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Gene Library
  • Humans
  • Immunoprecipitation
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / genetics
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism*
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Myelin Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Nogo Proteins
  • Oligodendroglia / metabolism
  • Protease Nexins
  • RNA Interference
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor
  • Carrier Proteins
  • DNA Primers
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Myelin Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Nogo Proteins
  • Protease Nexins
  • RTN3 protein, human
  • RTN4 protein, human
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Amyloid Precursor Protein Secretases
  • Endopeptidases
  • Aspartic Acid Endopeptidases
  • BACE1 protein, human