Expression of L-APP mRNA in brain cells

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1993 Sep 24;695:183-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1993.tb23049.x.


Several reports addressed the issue of how the alternative splicing of exon 7 and 8 in the APP pre-mRNA is regulated in different tissues. Of special interest here was the potential involvement of exon 7 containing APP splice isoforms, since this exon codes for a serine protease inhibitor and is therefore of putative relevance for amyloidogenic catabolism of the precursor protein. The recent identification of a third alternative splice site in close proximity to the beta A4-amyloid portion in the APP gene which may also increase APP amyloidogenicity, allowed us to investigate its regulation in cells of the central nervous system. With our assay, we were able to resolve six different APP isoforms of the eight potential isoforms which can be generated from the three alternatively spliced exons 7, 8, and 15. We demonstrate here that, in addition to rat brain microglia cells, astrocyte-enriched cultures also skip the novel alternative 3'-splice site in front of exon 15, generating L-APP mRNA. Neurons are the only cells in the central nervous system which seem to use the 3'-splice site of intron 14 nearly 100%. Interestingly, this very 3'-splice site is the only one present in the APP gene that completely matches the consensus sequence for the branchpoint sequence proposed for introns. We would therefore suggest that neurons lack a specific splicing factor which inhibits the use of the rather strong 3'-splice site in front of exon 15. It remains to be shown whether this is also the case for neurons in Alzheimer's disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / biosynthesis*
  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / metabolism
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Exons
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes / metabolism
  • Microglia / metabolism
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • Rats


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • RNA, Messenger