Genetic reduction of striatal-enriched tyrosine phosphatase (STEP) reverses cognitive and cellular deficits in an Alzheimer's disease mouse model

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Nov 2;107(44):19014-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1013543107. Epub 2010 Oct 18.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive and incurable neurodegenerative disorder. Early in the pathophysiology of AD, synaptic function is disrupted by soluble Aβ oligomers, possibly through Aβ-mediated internalization of NMDA receptors. Striatal-enriched phosphatase (STEP) is a tyrosine phosphatase that regulates the internalization of NMDA receptors. Recent work shows that STEP is elevated in the prefrontal cortex of human AD patients and in animal models of AD. Here, we use genetic manipulations to reduce STEP activity in a triple transgenic AD mouse model and show that a decrease in STEP levels reverses cognitive and cellular deficits observed in these mice. Our results suggest that STEP inhibitors may prove therapeutic for this devastating disorder.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy
  • Alzheimer Disease / enzymology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / genetics
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor / genetics
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cerebral Cortex / enzymology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / pathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases, Non-Receptor / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases, Non-Receptor / metabolism*
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / genetics
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / metabolism


  • APP protein, human
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases, Non-Receptor
  • Ptpn5 protein, mouse