Amyloid beta-peptide (Abeta) accumulation leads to neurodegeneration and Alzheimer disease; however, amyloid metabolism is a dynamic process and enzymic mechanisms exist for Abeta removal. Considerable controversy surrounds whether the intracellular domain of the amyloid precursor protein (AICD) regulates expression of the Abeta-degrading metalloprotease, neprilysin (NEP). By comparing two neuroblastoma cell lines differing substantially in NEP expression, we show by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) that AICD is bound directly to the NEP promoter in high NEP-expresser (NB7) cells but not in low-expresser (SH-SY5Y) cells. The methylation status of the NEP promoter does not regulate expression in these cells, whereas the histone deacetylase inhibitors trichostatin A and valproate partly restore NEP expression and activity in SH-SY5Y cells. ChIP analysis also reveals AICD binding to the NEP promoter in rat primary neurons but not in HUVEC cells. Chromatin remodelling of crucial Alzheimer disease-related genes by valproate could provide a new therapeutic strategy.