Genistein Decreases APP/tau Phosphorylation and Ameliorates Aβ Overproduction Through Inhibiting CIP2A

Curr Alzheimer Res. 2019;16(8):732-740. doi: 10.2174/1567205016666190830113420.


Background: Upregulation of Cancerous Inhibitor of PP2A (CIP2A) plays an important role in disease-related phosphorylation of tau/APP and tau pathology/Aβ overproduction through inhibiting PP2A in AD brain. Genistein has been shown to potently reduce CIP2A in experimental cancer treatment research. Whether Genistein can ameliorate AD pathology through targeting CIP2A needs further investigation.

Methods: The inhibitory effects of Genistein on tau/APP phosphorylation and Aβ overproduction in AD cell models have been explored. HEK293-T cells were co-transfected with CIP2A and APP plasmids, or CIP2A and tau plasmids, with Genistein incubation at 0, 30, 60 or 120 µM for 48 h, cell viability and PP2A activities were measured. HEK293-T cells with CIP2A/APP overexpression treated with Genistein at 30 µM for 48 h were collected and lyzed for Western blotting detection of CIP2A, PP2Ac, APP-T668, total APP, PS1, BACE1, sAPPα and sAPPβ. Aβ40 and Aβ42 levels in cell supernatant, soluble fraction (RIPA) and insoluble fraction (formic acid soluble) of cell lysates were measured by ELISA. HEK293-T cells with CIP2A/tau overexpression treated with Genistein at 30 µM for 48 h were collected for Western blotting detection of CIP2A, PP2Ac, tau-S396, tau-S404 and total tau.

Results: Genistein effectively reduced CIP2A expression, and restored PP2A activities both in CIP2A/APP, CIP2A/tau co-expressed cells. Genistein reduced APP phosphorylation at T668 site and inhibited Aβ production. Meantime, Genistein ameliorated tau hyperphosphorylation through repressing the inhibitory effect of CIP2A on PP2A.

Conclusion: CIP2A is a target of Genistein in AD therapy. Genistein reduces APP/tau hyperphosphorylation and Aβ production through inhibiting the effect of CIP2A on PP2A.

Keywords: APP β-cleavage; Alzheimer disease; CIP2A; Genistein; neurofibrillary; tau..

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor / metabolism*
  • Autoantigens / metabolism*
  • Genistein / pharmacology*
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism*
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Phosphorylation / drug effects
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Protein Phosphatase 2 / metabolism
  • tau Proteins / metabolism*


  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor
  • Autoantigens
  • CIP2A protein, human
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • MAPT protein, human
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • tau Proteins
  • Genistein
  • Protein Phosphatase 2