SRPK2 is abnormally activated in tauopathies including Alzheimer's disease (AD). SRPK2 is known to play an important role in pre-mRNA splicing by phosphorylating SR-splicing factors. Dysregulation of tau exon 10 pre-mRNA splicing causes pathological imbalances in 3R- and 4R-tau, leading to neurodegeneration; however, the role of SRPK2 in these processes remains unclear. Here we show that delta-secretase (also known as asparagine endopeptidase; AEP), which is activated in AD, cleaves SRPK2 and increases its nuclear translocation as well as kinase activity, augmenting exon 10 inclusion. Conversely, AEP-uncleavable SRPK2 N342A mutant increases exon 10 exclusion. Lentiviral expression of truncated SRPK2 increases 4R-tau isoforms and accelerates cognitive decline in htau mice. Uncleavable SRPK2 N342A expression improves synaptic functions and prevents spatial memory deficits in tau intronic mutant FTDP-17 transgenic mice. Hence, AEP mediates tau-splicing imbalance in tauopathies via cleaving SRPK2.
© 2018 Wang et al.