JNK regulates APP cleavage and degradation in a model of Alzheimer's disease

Neurobiol Dis. 2009 Mar;33(3):518-25. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2008.12.014. Epub 2009 Jan 8.


Secretion of Amyloid-beta peptide (Abeta) circulating oligomers and their aggregate forms derived by processing of beta-amyloid precursor protein (APP) are a key event in Alzheimer's disease (AD). We show that phosphorylation of APP on threonine 668 may play a role in APP metabolism in H4-APP(sw) cell line, a degenerative AD model. We proved that JNK plays a fundamental role in this phosphorylation since its specific inhibition, with the JNK inhibitor peptide (D-JNKI1), induced APP degradation and prevented APP phosphorylation at T668. This results in a significant drop of betaAPPs, Abeta fragments and Abeta circulating oligomers. Moreover the D-JNKI1 treatment produced a switch in the APP metabolism, since the peptide reduced the rate of the amyloidogenic processing in favour of the non-amyloidogenic one. All together our results suggest an important link between APP metabolism and the JNK pathway and contribute to shed light on the molecular signalling pathway of this disease indicating JNK as an innovative target for AD therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / genetics
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism*
  • Amyloid Precursor Protein Secretases / metabolism
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor / genetics
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor / metabolism*
  • Aspartic Acid Endopeptidases / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Survival
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Fluoroimmunoassay
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System
  • Mutation
  • Peptide Fragments / metabolism
  • Peptides / metabolism
  • Peptides / pharmacology
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protease Nexins
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / genetics
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism*


  • APP protein, human
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Peptides
  • Protease Nexins
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Amyloid Precursor Protein Secretases
  • Aspartic Acid Endopeptidases
  • BACE1 protein, human
  • D-JNKI-1