Research Article

Functional Links Between Aβ Toxicity, Endocytic Trafficking, and Alzheimer’s Disease Risk Factors in Yeast

Science  02 Dec 2011:
Vol. 334, Issue 6060, pp. 1241-1245
DOI: 10.1126/science.1213210

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Abstract

Aβ (beta-amyloid peptide) is an important contributor to Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We modeled Aβ toxicity in yeast by directing the peptide to the secretory pathway. A genome-wide screen for toxicity modifiers identified the yeast homolog of phosphatidylinositol binding clathrin assembly protein (PICALM) and other endocytic factors connected to AD whose relationship to Aβ was previously unknown. The factors identified in yeast modified Aβ toxicity in glutamatergic neurons of Caenorhabditis elegans and in primary rat cortical neurons. In yeast, Aβ impaired the endocytic trafficking of a plasma membrane receptor, which was ameliorated by endocytic pathway factors identified in the yeast screen. Thus, links between Aβ, endocytosis, and human AD risk factors can be ascertained with yeast as a model system.

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