ATBF1 is a novel amyloid-β protein precursor (AβPP) binding protein that affects AβPP expression

J Alzheimers Dis. 2015;43(1):243-57. doi: 10.3233/JAD-140612.


The cytoplasmic C-terminal domain of amyloid-β protein precursor (AβPP) binds to several proteins that regulate the trafficking and processing of AβPP and affects amyloid-β (Aβ) production. We previously reported that levels of AT-motif binding factor 1 (ATBF1) are increased in the brains of 17-month-old Tg2576 mice compared with wild-type controls, and that Aβ42 increases ATBF1 expression, inducing death in primary rat cortical neurons. Here, we show that ATBF1 levels are increased in the cytoplasm of hippocampal neurons in Alzheimer's disease (AD) brains compared with non-AD brains. Furthermore, cotransfection of human embryonic kidney (HEK293T) and human neuroblastoma (SH-SY5Y) cells with ATBF1 and AβPP695 increased steady-state levels of AβPP via the binding of ATBF1 to the AβPP cytoplasmic domain (amino acids 666-690), resulting in increased Aβ production and cellular and soluble AβPP (sAβPP) levels without affecting the activity or levels of AβPP processing enzymes (α-, β-, or γ-secretase). Conversely, knockdown of endogenous ATBF1 reduced levels of cellular AβPP, sAβPP, and Aβ in HEK293 cells overexpressing human AβPP695. Our findings provide insight into the dynamics of AβPP processing and Aβ production, and suggest that ATBF1 is a novel AβPP binding protein that may be a suitable therapeutic target for AD.

Keywords: ATBF1; Alzheimer's disease; Aβ production; AβPP binding protein; AβPP stabilization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / metabolism
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor / genetics
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor / metabolism*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism
  • Female
  • Gene Expression / physiology
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Hippocampus / metabolism
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics
  • Homeodomain Proteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Peptide Fragments / metabolism


  • APP protein, human
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Peptide Fragments
  • amyloid beta-protein (1-40)
  • amyloid beta-protein (1-42)
  • ZFHX3 protein, human