Alzheimer's disease (AD) is genetically linked to the processing of amyloid beta protein precursor (AbetaPP). Aside from being the precursor of the amyloid beta (Abeta) found in plaques in the brains of patients with AD, little is known regarding the functional role of AbetaPP. We have recently reported biochemical evidence linking AbetaPP to the JNK signaling cascade by finding that JNK-interacting protein-1 (JIP-1) binds AbetaPP. In order to study the functional implications of this interaction we assayed the carboxyl-terminal of AbetaPP for phosphorylation. We found that the threonine 668 within the AbetaPP intracellular domain (AID or elsewhere AICD) is indeed phosphorylated by JNK1. We surprisingly found that although JIP-1 can facilitate this phosphorylation, it is not required for this process. We also found that JIP-1 only facilitated phosphorylation of AbetaPP but not of the two other family members APLP1 (amyloid precursor-like protein 1) and APLP2. Understanding the connection between AbetaPP phosphorylation and the JNK signaling pathway, which mediates cell response to stress may have important implications in understanding the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease.
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