Amyloid precursor protein (APP) derivative β-amyloid (Aβ) plays an important role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Sequential proteolysis of APP by β-secretase and γ-secretase generates Aβ. Conversely, the α-secretase "a disintegrin and metalloproteinase" 10 (ADAM10) cleaves APP within the eventual Aβ sequence and precludes Aβ generation. Therefore, up-regulation of ADAM10 represents a plausible therapeutic strategy to combat overproduction of neurotoxic Aβ. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα) is a transcription factor that regulates genes involved in fatty acid metabolism. Here, we determined that the Adam10 promoter harbors PPAR response elements; that knockdown of PPARα, but not PPARβ or PPARγ, decreases the expression of Adam10; and that lentiviral overexpression of PPARα restored ADAM10 expression in Ppara(-/-) neurons. Gemfibrozil, an agonist of PPARα, induced the recruitment of PPARα:retinoid x receptor α, but not PPARγ coactivator 1α (PGC1α), to the Adam10 promoter in wild-type mouse hippocampal neurons and shifted APP processing toward the α-secretase, as determined by augmented soluble APPα and decreased Aβ production. Accordingly, Ppara(-/-) mice displayed elevated SDS-stable, endogenous Aβ and Aβ1-42 relative to wild-type littermates, whereas 5XFAD mice null for PPARα (5X/α(-/-)) exhibited greater cerebral Aβ load relative to 5XFAD littermates. These results identify PPARα as an important factor regulating neuronal ADAM10 expression and, thus, α-secretase proteolysis of APP.
Keywords: ADAM10; APP; Alzheimer's disease; PPARalpha.