Background: The serine/threonine protein phosphatase, PP2A, is thought to play a central role in the molecular pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), and the activity and substrate specificity of PP2A is regulated, in part, through methylation and demethylation of its catalytic subunit. Previously, we found that transgenic overexpression of the PP2A methyltransferase, LCMT-1, or the PP2A methylesterase, PME-1, altered the sensitivity of mice to impairments caused by acute exposure to synthetic oligomeric amyloid-β (Aβ). Objective: Here we sought to test the possibility that these molecules also controlled sensitivity to impairments caused by chronically elevated levels of Aβ produced in vivo. Methods: To do this, we examined the effects of transgenic LCMT-1, or PME-1 overexpression on cognitive and electrophysiological impairments caused by chronic overexpression of mutant human APP in Tg2576 mice. Results: We found that LCMT-1 overexpression prevented impairments in short-term spatial memory and synaptic plasticity in Tg2576 mice, without altering APP expression or soluble Aβ levels. While the magnitude of the effects of PME-1 overexpression in Tg2576 mice was small and potentially confounded by the emergence of non-cognitive impairments, Tg2576 mice that overexpressed PME-1 showed a trend toward earlier onset and/or increased severity of cognitive and electrophysiological impairments. Conclusion: These data suggest that the PP2A methyltransferase, LCMT-1, and the PP2A methylesterase, PME-1, may participate in the molecular pathogenesis of AD by regulating sensitivity to the pathogenic effects of chronically elevated levels of Aβ.
- Alzheimer's disease
- MAPT protein
- cognitive impairment
- leucine carboxyl methyltransferase
- long-term potentiation
- protein phosphatase 2A
- protein phosphatase methylesterase