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Epigenetic regulation of BACE1 in Alzheimer's disease patients and in transgenic mice

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Tiago OuteiroORCiD


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In Alzheimer's disease (AD) the complex interplay between environment and genetics has hampered the identification of effective therapeutics. However, epigenetic mechanisms could underlie this complexity. Here, we explored the potential role of epigenetic alterations in AD by investigating gene expression levels and chromatin remodeling in selected AD-related genes. Analysis was performed in the brain of the triple transgenic animal model of AD (3xTg-AD) and in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from patients diagnosed with AD or Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). BACE1 mRNA levels were increased in aged 3xTg-AD mice as well as in AD PBMCs along with an increase in promoter accessibility and histone H3 acetylation, while the BACE1 promoter region was less accessible in PBMCs from MCI individuals. Ncstn was downregulated in aged 3xTg-AD brains with a condensation of chromatin and Sirt1 mRNA levels were decreased in these animals despite alterations in histone H3 acetylation. Neither gene was altered in AD PBMCs. The ADORA2A gene was not altered in patients or in the 3xTg-AD mice. Overall, our results suggest that chromatin remodeling plays a role in mRNA alterations in AD, prompting for broader and more detailed studies of chromatin and other epigenetic alterations and their potential use as biomarkers in AD. © 2012 IBRO.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Marques SCF, Lemos R, Ferreiro E, Martins M, de Mendonca A, Santana I, Outeiro TF, Pereira CMF

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Neuroscience

Year: 2012

Volume: 220

Pages: 256-266

Print publication date: 18/09/2012

Online publication date: 20/06/2012

ISSN (print): 0306-4522

ISSN (electronic): 1873-7544

Publisher: Pergamon Press


DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2012.06.029

PubMed id: 22728099


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