As a member of the A Disintegrin And Metalloproteinase (ADAM) family, ADAM10 has been identified as the constitutive α-secretase in the process of amyloid-β protein precursor (AβPP) cleavage and plays a critical role in reducing the generation of the amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides. Recent studies have demonstrated its beneficial role in alleviating the pathologic impairment in Alzheimer's disease (AD) both in vitro and in vivo. However, the role of ADAM10 in AD and the underlying molecular mechanisms are still not well established. Increasing evidence indicates that ADAM10 not only reduces the generation of Aβ but may also affect the pathology of AD through potential mechanisms including reducing tau pathology, maintaining normal synaptic functions, and promoting hippocampal neurogenesis and the homeostasis of neuronal networks. Mechanistically, ADAM10 regulates these functions by interacting with postsynaptic substrates in brain, especially synaptic cell receptors and adhesion molecules. Furthermore, ADAM10 protein in platelets seems to be a promising biomarker for AD diagnosis. This review will summarize the role of ADAM10 in AD and highlight its functions besides its role as the α-secretase in AβPP cleavage. Meanwhile, we will discuss the therapeutic potential of ADAM10 in treating AD.
Keywords: ADAM10; Alzheimer’s disease; amyloid protein; amyloid-β; biomarker; gliogenesis; neurogenesis; tau protein.