APP Function in the Brain: Novel Interactions with Pancortin

Tracy Young-Pearse, PhD Brigham and Women's Hospital


Dennis Selkoe, M.D. Brigham and Women's Hospital


I aim to address the normal function and signaling pathways surrounding APP in the central nervous system. We have identified Pancortins as putative ligands for APP in the central nervous system, and I aim to determine to what extent Pancortins affect APP cleavage and amyloid beta production.

Project Details

Amyloid beta is the toxic agent that attacks neurons in the brains of Alzheimer's disease sufferers. Amyloid beta is produced by cutting a larger protein called APP. This proposal looks at why our bodies produce APP in the first place. In the past, work from our lab and others showed that APP is necessary for our neurons to be made properly during development. Our lab has just found that other proteins, called Pancortins, affect the function and perhaps the cutting of APP to make amyloid beta. This proposal aims to: 1) examine how Pancortins and APP work together to allow neurons to be made properly in the brain and 2) study how Pancortins affect APP cutting. If these goals are accomplished and researchers better understand how amyloid beta is generated, it will help them design novel and more effective preventative treatments for Alzheimer's disease.