BIN1 protein isoforms are differentially expressed in astrocytes, neurons, and microglia: neuronal and astrocyte BIN1 are implicated in tau pathology

Mol Neurodegener. 2020 Jul 29;15(1):44. doi: 10.1186/s13024-020-00387-3.


Background: Identified as an Alzheimer's disease (AD) susceptibility gene by genome wide-association studies, BIN1 has 10 isoforms that are expressed in the Central Nervous System (CNS). The distribution of these isoforms in different cell types, as well as their role in AD pathology still remains unclear.

Methods: Utilizing antibodies targeting specific BIN1 epitopes in human post-mortem tissue and analyzing mRNA expression data from purified microglia, we identified three isoforms expressed in neurons and astrocytes (isoforms 1, 2 and 3) and four isoforms expressed in microglia (isoforms 6, 9, 10 and 12). The abundance of selected peptides, which correspond to groups of BIN1 protein isoforms, was measured in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and their relation to neuropathological features of AD was assessed.

Results: Peptides contained in exon 7 of BIN1's N-BAR domain were found to be significantly associated with AD-related traits and, particularly, tau tangles. Decreased expression of BIN1 isoforms containing exon 7 is associated with greater accumulation of tangles and subsequent cognitive decline, with astrocytic rather than neuronal BIN1 being the more likely culprit. These effects are independent of the BIN1 AD risk variant.

Conclusions: Exploring the molecular mechanisms of specific BIN1 isoforms expressed by astrocytes may open new avenues for modulating the accumulation of Tau pathology in AD.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Amyloid; Astrocytes; BIN1 isoforms; Microglia; Neurons; Tau.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / metabolism*
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism
  • Astrocytes / metabolism*
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Microglia / metabolism*
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics
  • Protein Isoforms / metabolism
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / metabolism*
  • tau Proteins / metabolism*


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • BIN1 protein, human
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • tau Proteins