A Test of the Cytosolic Apolipoprotein E Hypothesis Fails to Detect the Escape of Apolipoprotein E from the Endocytic Pathway into the Cytosol and Shows that Direct Expression of Apolipoprotein E in the Cytosol is Cytotoxic

Ronald B. DeMattos, Fayanne E. Thorngate, David L. Williams
1999 Journal of Neuroscience  
Genetic evidence indicates that apolipoprotein E4 (apoE4) is a risk factor for the development of Alzheimer's disease. A controversial hypothesis proposes that apoE, a typical secretory protein, accesses the neuronal cytosol in which apoE3, but not apoE4, protects tau from hyperphosphorylation. However, no conclusive evidence for the presence of apoE in the cytosolic compartment has been presented. We designed a novel assay to test whether apoE can access the cytosol via escape from the
more » ... c pathway by incorporating a nuclear localization signal (NLS) into apoE. Control experiments demonstrated that apoE plus NLS (apoEϩNLS) is chaperoned to the nucleus if it reaches the cytosolic compartment. When exogenous apoEϩNLS was endocytosed by neuronal cells, no nuclear apoE was detected, indicating that apoE remains within the endocytic pathway and does not escape into the cytosol. Furthermore, we show that direct cytosolic expression of apoE is cytotoxic. These data argue that effects of apoE on the neuronal cytoskeleton and on neurite outgrowth are not mediated via cytosolic interactions but rather by actions originating at the cell surface.
doi:10.1523/jneurosci.19-07-02464.1999 pmid:10087061 fatcat:rsjpywjp6bc6hlcfmwm75fj6ii