PCSK9 is required for the disposal of non-acetylated intermediates of the nascent membrane protein BACE1

EMBO Rep. 2008 Sep;9(9):916-22. doi: 10.1038/embor.2008.132. Epub 2008 Jul 25.


We have recently identified a new form of post-translational regulation of BACE1 (beta-site amyloid precursor protein (APP)-cleaving enzyme 1), a membrane protein that acts as the rate-limiting enzyme in the generation of the Alzheimer disease amyloid beta-peptide (Abeta). Specifically, BACE1 is transiently acetylated on seven lysine residues in the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum/endoplasmic reticulum-Golgi intermediate compartment (ER/ERGIC). The acetylated intermediates of the nascent protein are able to reach the Golgi apparatus, whereas the non-acetylated ones are retained and degraded in a post-ER compartment. Here, we report that the serine protease PCSK9 (proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin type 9) contributes to the disposal of non-acetylated BACE1. Both overexpression and small interfering RNA-mediated downregulation of PCSK9 affected the levels of BACE1. The downregulation of PCSK9 affected the levels of the loss-of-acetylation mutants (BACE1(Ala) and BACE1(Arg)) but not those of the gain-of-acetylation mutant (BACE1(Gln)). In addition, Pcsk9(-/-) mice showed increased levels of BACE1 and Abeta in the brain. Finally, we found that nascent low-density lipoprotein receptor, a known substrate of PCSK9, is also acetylated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Amyloid Precursor Protein Secretases / genetics
  • Amyloid Precursor Protein Secretases / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Aspartic Acid Endopeptidases / genetics
  • Aspartic Acid Endopeptidases / metabolism*
  • Blotting, Western
  • CHO Cells
  • Cricetinae
  • Cricetulus
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mutation
  • Proprotein Convertase 9
  • Proprotein Convertases
  • RNA, Small Interfering / genetics
  • Serine Endopeptidases / genetics
  • Serine Endopeptidases / metabolism*
  • Transfection


  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Amyloid Precursor Protein Secretases
  • PCSK9 protein, human
  • Pcsk9 protein, mouse
  • Proprotein Convertase 9
  • Proprotein Convertases
  • Serine Endopeptidases
  • Aspartic Acid Endopeptidases
  • BACE1 protein, human
  • Bace1 protein, mouse