Reticulons RTN3 and RTN4-B/C interact with BACE1 and inhibit its ability to produce amyloid beta-protein

Eur J Neurosci. 2006 Sep;24(5):1237-44. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2006.05005.x. Epub 2006 Sep 8.


Beta-secretase beta-site APP cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1), is a membrane-bound aspartyl protease necessary for the generation of amyloid beta-protein (Abeta), which accumulates in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer's disease (AD). To gain insight into the mechanisms by which BACE1 activity is regulated, we used proteomic methods to search for BACE1-interacting proteins in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells, which overexpress BACE1. We identified reticulon 4-B (RTN4-B; Nogo-B) as a BACE1-associated membrane protein. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments confirmed a physical association between BACE1 and RTN4-B, RTN4-C (the shortest isoform of RTN-4), and their homologue reticulon 3 (RTN3), both in SH-SY5Y cells and in transfected human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells. Overexpression of these reticulons (RTNs) resulted in a 30-50% reduction in the secretion of both Abeta40 and Abeta42 from HEK293 cells expressing the AD-associated Swedish mutant amyloid precursor protein (APP), but did not affect Abeta secretion from cells expressing the APP beta-C-terminal fragment (beta-CTF), indicating that these RTNs can inhibit BACE1 activity. Furthermore, a BACE1 mutant lacking most of the N-terminal ectodomain also interacted with these RTNs, suggesting that the transmembrane region of BACE1 is critical for the interaction. We also observed a similar interaction between these RTNs and the BACE1 homologue BACE2. Because RTN3 and RTN4-B/C are substantially expressed in neural tissues, our findings suggest that they play important roles in the regulation of BACE1 function and Abeta production in the brain.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amyloid Precursor Protein Secretases
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / metabolism*
  • Aspartic Acid Endopeptidases
  • Blotting, Western / methods
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Line
  • Cloning, Molecular / methods
  • Endopeptidases / metabolism*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / methods
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Immunoprecipitation / methods
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism*
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mutant Proteins / metabolism
  • Myelin Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Nogo Proteins
  • Peptides / metabolism
  • Proteomics / methods
  • Transfection / methods


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Mutant Proteins
  • Myelin Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Nogo Proteins
  • Peptides
  • RTN3 protein, human
  • RTN4 protein, human
  • Amyloid Precursor Protein Secretases
  • Endopeptidases
  • Aspartic Acid Endopeptidases
  • BACE2 protein, human
  • BACE1 protein, human