Faseb Journal : Official Publication Of The Federation Of American Societies For Experimental Biology
Mutations in the presenilin 1 (PS1) gene are associated with early onset familial Alzheimer's disease (FAD). In this study, we found that the expression of mutant-PS1 in stable transfectants of SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells results in a reduction of the biosynthesis and steady-state levels of glucosylceramide. As an in vivo corroboration of these data, there was a significant reduction of brain glucosylceramide and gangliosides in an animal model of FAD. In mutant-PS1-transfectants (I143T, G384A), immunocytochemistry disclosed a remarkable reduction of glucosylceramide synthase (GlcT-1)-like immunoreactivity in the cells when compared with those of mock- and wild-PS1 transfectants. Immunoprecipitation of GlcT-1 protein from mutant-PS1 transfectants demonstrated a marked reduction in GlcT-1 protein, but there was no reduction in the levels of GlcT-1 mRNA. Both coprecipitation and -secretase inhibition experiments suggest that mutant-PS1 seems to form a complex with GlcT-1 protein and to be involved in GlcT-1 degradation, which was never found in other cell types. Thus, mutations in the PS1 gene result in profound glycosphingolipids abnormalities by abnormal molecular interaction with GlcT-1.