A function for EHD family proteins in unidirectional retrograde dendritic transport of BACE1 and Alzheimer's disease Aβ production

Cell Rep. 2013 Dec 26;5(6):1552-63. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2013.12.006.


Abnormal accumulation of β-secretase (BACE1) in dystrophic neurites and presynaptic β-amyloid (Aβ) production contribute to Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis. Little, however, is known about BACE1 sorting and dynamic transport in neurons. We investigated BACE1 trafficking in hippocampal neurons using live-cell imaging and selective labeling. We report that transport vesicles containing internalized BACE1 in dendrites undergo exclusive retrograde transport toward the soma, whereas they undergo bidirectional transport in axons. Unidirectional dendritic transport requires Eps15-homology-domain-containing (EHD) 1 and 3 protein function. Furthermore, loss of EHD function compromises dynamic axonal transport and overall BACE1 levels in axons. EHD1/3 colocalize with BACE1 and APP β-C-terminal fragments in hippocampal mossy fiber terminals, and their depletion in neurons significantly attenuates Aβ levels. These results demonstrate unidirectional endocytic transport of a dendritic cargo and reveal a role for EHD proteins in neuronal BACE1 transcytosis and Aβ production, processes that are highly relevant for Alzheimer's disease.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism*
  • Amyloid Precursor Protein Secretases / metabolism*
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Aspartic Acid Endopeptidases / metabolism*
  • Axonal Transport*
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dendrites / metabolism*
  • HEK293 Cells
  • HeLa Cells
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • Hippocampus / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Protein Transport
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins / genetics
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins / metabolism*


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Ehd1 protein, mouse
  • Ehd3 protein, mouse
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins
  • Amyloid Precursor Protein Secretases
  • Aspartic Acid Endopeptidases
  • Bace1 protein, mouse