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Differential effects of transforming growth factor-beta(s) and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor on gene expression of presenilin-1 in human post-mitotic neurons and astrocytes.

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Mutations in the presenilin-1 gene are linked to the majority of early-onset familial Alzheimer’s disease cases. We have previously shown that the expression of transforming growth factor-beta is altered in Alzheimer’s patients, compared to controls.

Here we examine presenilin- expression in human post-mitotic neurons (hNT cells), normal human astrocytes, and human brain tumor cell lines following treatment with three isoforms of transforming growth factor-beta, or glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor, a member of the transforming growth factor-beta superfamily. As the NT2/D1 teratocarcinoma cell line is treated with retinoic acid to induce differentiation to hNT cells, presenilin-1 messenger RNA expression is dramatically increased.

Furthermore, there is a 2-3-fold increase in presenilin-1 messenger RNA expression following treatment of hNT cells with growth factors and similar results are found by Western blotting and with immunohistochemical staining for presenilin-1 protein.

However, treatment of normal human astrocytes with cytokines results in minimal changes in presenilin-1 messenger RNA and protein. Interestingly, the expression of presenilin-1 in human U87 MG astrocytoma and human SK-N-SH neuroblastoma cells is only increased when cells are treated with glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor or transforming growth factor-beta3.

These findings suggest that endogenous presenilin-1 gene expression in human neurons can be induced by growth factors present in normal and diseased brain tissue. Cytokines may play a major role in regulating expression of presenilin-1 which may affect its biological actions in physiological and pathological conditions.

Source: Neuroscience 1999;93(3):1041-9

PMID: 10473269, UI: 99400248

(Laboratory of Cell Regulation and Carcinogenesis, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.)

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