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      Rheb GTPase Regulates β-Secretase Levels and Amyloid β Generation

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          Abstract

          The β-site amyloid precursor protein (APP)-cleaving enzyme 1 (β-secretase, BACE1) initiates amyloidogenic processing of APP to generate amyloid β (Aβ), which is a hallmark of Alzheimer disease (AD) pathology. Cerebral levels of BACE1 are elevated in individuals with AD, but the molecular mechanisms are not completely understood. We demonstrate that Rheb GTPase (Ras homolog enriched in brain), which induces mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) activity, is a physiological regulator of BACE1 stability and activity. Rheb overexpression depletes BACE1 protein levels and reduces Aβ generation, whereas the RNAi knockdown of endogenous Rheb promotes BACE1 accumulation, and this effect by Rheb is independent of its mTOR signaling. Moreover, GTP-bound Rheb interacts with BACE1 and degrades it through proteasomal and lysosomal pathways. Finally, we demonstrate that Rheb levels are down-regulated in the AD brain, which is consistent with an increased BACE1 expression. Altogether, our study defines Rheb as a novel physiological regulator of BACE1 levels and Aβ generation, and the Rheb-BACE1 circuitry may have a role in brain biology and disease.

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          Most cited references 52

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          mTOR signaling in growth control and disease.

          The mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway senses and integrates a variety of environmental cues to regulate organismal growth and homeostasis. The pathway regulates many major cellular processes and is implicated in an increasing number of pathological conditions, including cancer, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and neurodegeneration. Here, we review recent advances in our understanding of the mTOR pathway and its role in health, disease, and aging. We further discuss pharmacological approaches to treat human pathologies linked to mTOR deregulation. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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            Rheb GTPase is a direct target of TSC2 GAP activity and regulates mTOR signaling.

            Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a genetic disease caused by mutation in either TSC1 or TSC2. The TSC1 and TSC2 gene products form a functional complex and inhibit phosphorylation of S6K and 4EBP1. These functions of TSC1/TSC2 are likely mediated by mTOR. Here we report that TSC2 is a GTPase-activating protein (GAP) toward Rheb, a Ras family GTPase. Rheb stimulates phosphorylation of S6K and 4EBP1. This function of Rheb is blocked by rapamycin and dominant-negative mTOR. Rheb stimulates the phosphorylation of mTOR and plays an essential role in regulation of S6K and 4EBP1 in response to nutrients and cellular energy status. Our data demonstrate that Rheb acts downstream of TSC1/TSC2 and upstream of mTOR to regulate cell growth.
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              The roles of intracellular protein-degradation pathways in neurodegeneration.

              Many late-onset neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease, are associated with the formation of intracellular aggregates by toxic proteins. It is therefore crucial to understand the factors that regulate the steady-state levels of these 'toxins', at both the synthetic and degradation stages. The degradation pathways acting on such aggregate-prone cytosolic proteins include the ubiquitin-proteasome system and macroautophagy. Dysfunction of the ubiquitin-proteasome or macroautophagy pathways might contribute to the pathology of various neurodegenerative conditions. However, enhancing macroautophagy with drugs such as rapamycin could offer a tractable therapeutic strategy for a number of these diseases.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Biological Chemistry
                J. Biol. Chem.
                American Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (ASBMB)
                0021-9258
                1083-351X
                February 27 2014
                February 28 2014
                February 28 2014
                December 24 2013
                : 289
                : 9
                : 5799-5808
                Article
                10.1074/jbc.M113.532713
                24368770
                © 2013

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