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Amyloid-β and lysozyme proteotoxicity in Drosophila: Beneficial effects of lysozyme and serum amyloid P component in models of Alzheimer’s disease and lysozyme amyloidosis
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Chemistry. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In the work presented this thesis, two different conditions that are classified as protein misfolding diseases: Alzheimer's disease and lysozyme amyloidosis and proteins that could have a beneficial effect in these diseases, have been studied using Drosophila melanogaster, commonly known as the fruit fly. The fruit fly has been used for over 100 years to study and better understand fundamental biological processes. Although the fruit fly, unlike humans, is an invertebrate, many of its central biological mechanisms are very similar to ours. The first transgenic flies were designed in the early 1980s, and since then, the fruit fly has been one of the most widely used model organisms in studies on the effects of over-expressed human proteins in a biological system; one can regard the fly as a living, biological test tube. For  most proteins, it is necessary that they fold into a three-dimensional structure to function properly. But sometimes the folding goes wrong; this may be due to mutations that make the protein unstable and subject to misfolding. A misfolded protein molecule can then aggregate with other misfolded proteins. In Alzheimer's disease, which is the most common form of dementia, protein aggregates are present in the brains of patients. These aggregates are composed of the amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide, a small peptide of around 42 amino acids which is cleaved from the larger, membrane-bound, protein AβPP by two different enzymes, BACE1 and γ-secretase. In the first part of this thesis, two different fly models for Alzheimer’s disease were used: the Aβ fly model, which directly expresses the Aβ peptide, and the AβPP-BACE1 fly model, in which all the components necessary to produce the Aβ peptide in the fly are expressed in the fly central nervous system (CNS). The two different fly models were compared and the results show that a significantly smaller amount of the Aβ peptide is needed to achieve the same, or an even greater, toxic effect in the AβPP-BACE1 model compared to the Aβ model. In the second part of the thesis, these two fly models for Alzheimer’s disease were again used, but now to investigate whether lysozyme, a protein involved in our innate immune system, can counteract the toxic effect of Aβ generated in the fly models. And indeed, lysozyme is able to save the flies from Aβ-induced toxicity. Aβ and lysozyme were found to interact with each other in vivo. The second misfolding disease studied in this thesis is lysozyme amyloidosis. It is a rare, dominantly inherited amyloid disease in which mutant variants of lysozyme give rise to aggregates, weighing up to several kilograms, that accumulate around the kidneys and liver, eventually leading to organ failure. In the third part of this thesis, a fly model for lysozyme amyloidosis was used to study the effect of co-expressing the serum amyloid P component (SAP), a protein that is part of all protein aggregates found within this disease class. SAP is able to rescue the toxicity induced by expressing the mutant variant of lysozyme, F57I, in the fly's CNS. To further investigate how SAP was able to do this, double-expressing lysozyme flies, which exhibit stronger disease phenotypes than those of the single-expressing lysozyme flies previously studied, were used in the fourth part of this thesis. SAP was observed to reduce F57I toxicity and promote F57I to form aggregates with more distinct amyloid characteristics. In conclusion, the work included in this thesis demonstrates that: i) Aβ generated from AβPP processing in the fly CNS results in higher proteotoxicity compared with direct expression of Aβ from the transgene, ii) lysozyme can prevent Aβ proteotoxicity in Drosophila and could thus be a potential therapeutic molecule to treat Alzheimer’s disease and iii) in a Drosophila model of lysozyme amyloidosis, SAP can prevent toxicity from the disease-associated lysozyme variant F57I and promote formation of aggregated lysozyme morphotypes with amyloid properties; this is important to take into account when a reduced level of SAP is considered as a treatment strategy for lysozyme amyloidosis.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2017. , p. 91
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1861
National Category
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Medical Biotechnology (with a focus on Cell Biology (including Stem Cell Biology), Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry or Biopharmacy) Biophysics Medicinal Chemistry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-137452DOI: 10.3384/diss.diva-137452ISBN: 9789176855065 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-137452DiVA, id: diva2:1095850
Public defence
2017-06-17, Planck, Fysikhuset, Campus Valla, Linköping, 10:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-05-16 Created: 2017-05-16 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. A beta PP processing results in greater toxicity per amount of A beta(1-42) than individually expressed and secreted A beta(1-42) in Drosophila melanogaster
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A beta PP processing results in greater toxicity per amount of A beta(1-42) than individually expressed and secreted A beta(1-42) in Drosophila melanogaster
2016 (English)In: BIOLOGY OPEN, ISSN 2046-6390, Vol. 5, no 8, p. 1030-1039Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aggregation of the amyloid-beta (A beta) peptide into fibrillar deposits has long been considered the key neuropathological hallmark of Alzheimers disease (AD). A beta peptides are generated from proteolytic processing of the transmembrane A beta precursor protein (A beta PP) via sequential proteolysis through the beta-secretase activity of beta-site A beta PP-cleaving enzyme (BACE1) and by the intramembranous enzyme gamma-secretase. For over a decade, Drosophila melanogaster has been used as a model organism to study AD, and two different approaches have been developed to investigate the toxicity caused by AD-associated gene products in vivo. In one model, the A beta peptide is directly over-expressed fused to a signal peptide, allowing secretion of the peptide into the extracellular space. In the other model, human A beta PP is co-expressed with human BACE1, resulting in production of the A beta peptide through the processing of A beta PP by BACE1 and by endogenous fly gamma-secretase. Here, we performed a parallel study of flies that expressed the A beta(1-42) peptide alone or that co-expressed A beta PP and BACE1. Toxic effects (assessed by eye phenotype, longevity and locomotor assays) and levels of the A beta(1-42), A beta(1-40) and A beta(1-38) peptides were examined. Our data reveal that the toxic effect per amount of detected A beta(1-42) peptide was higher in the flies co-expressing A beta PP and BACE1 than in the A beta(1-42)-expressing flies, and that the co-existence of A beta(1-42) and A beta(1-40) in the flies co-expressing A beta PP and BACE1 could be of significant importance to the neurotoxic effect detected in these flies. Thus, the toxicity detected in these two fly models seems to have different modes of action and is highly dependent on how and where the peptide is generated rather than on the actual level of the A beta(1-42) peptide in the flies. This is important knowledge that needs to be taken into consideration when using Drosophila models to investigate disease mechanisms or therapeutic strategies in AD research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
COMPANY OF BIOLOGISTS LTD, 2016
Keywords
Alzheimers disease; Amyloid-beta (A beta); A beta PP processing; Drosophila melanogaster; Proteotoxicity
National Category
Medical Biotechnology (with a focus on Cell Biology (including Stem Cell Biology), Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry or Biopharmacy)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-131685 (URN)10.1242/bio.017194 (DOI)000382304400003 ()27387531 (PubMedID)
Note

Funding Agencies|Torsten Soderbergs Stiftelse [M26/11]; Alzheimer Foundation [03-069]; Dementia Foundation; Ahlen Foundation; Gamla Tjanarinnor [2015-00187]

Available from: 2016-10-03 Created: 2016-09-30 Last updated: 2017-05-16
2. Beneficial effects of increased lysozyme levels in Alzheimer’s disease modelled in Drosophila melanogaster
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Beneficial effects of increased lysozyme levels in Alzheimer’s disease modelled in Drosophila melanogaster
Show others...
2016 (English)In: The FEBS Journal, ISSN 1742-464X, E-ISSN 1742-4658, Vol. 283, no 19, p. 3508-3522Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Genetic polymorphisms of immune genes that associate with higher risk to develop Alzheimer’s disease (AD) have led to an increased research interest on the involvement of the immune system in AD pathogenesis. A link between amyloid pathology and immune gene expression was suggested in a genome-wide gene expression study of transgenic amyloid mouse models. In this study, the gene expression of lysozyme, a major player in the innate immune system, was found to be increased in a comparable pattern as the amyloid pathology developed in transgenic mouse models of AD. A similar pattern was seen at protein levels of lysozyme in human AD brain and CSF, but this lysozyme pattern was not seen in a tau transgenic mouse model. Lysozyme was demonstrated to be beneficial for different Drosophila melanogaster models of AD. In flies that expressed Aβ1-42 or AβPP together with BACE1 in the eyes, the rough eye phenotype indicative of toxicity was completely rescued by coexpression of lysozyme. In Drosophila flies bearing the Aβ1-42 variant with the Arctic gene mutation, lysozyme increased the fly survival and decreased locomotor dysfunction dose dependently. An interaction between lysozyme and Aβ1-42 in the Drosophila eye was discovered. We propose that the increased levels of lysozyme, seen in mouse models of AD and in human AD cases, were triggered by Aβ1-42 and caused a beneficial effect by binding of lysozyme to toxic species of Aβ1-42, which prevented these from exerting their toxic effects. These results emphasize the possibility of lysozyme as biomarker and therapeutic target for AD.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2016
Keywords
Alzheimer’s disease, amyloid-β, Drosophila, lysozyme
National Category
Genetics Medical Genetics Developmental Biology Bioinformatics and Systems Biology Medical Biotechnology (with a focus on Cell Biology (including Stem Cell Biology), Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry or Biopharmacy)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-131796 (URN)10.1111/febs.13830 (DOI)000386033700001 ()27562772 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2016-10-07 Created: 2016-10-07 Last updated: 2018-03-20Bibliographically approved
3. Serum Amyloid P Component Ameliorates Neurological Damage Caused by Expressing a Lysozyme Variant in the Central Nervous System of Drosophila melanogaster
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Serum Amyloid P Component Ameliorates Neurological Damage Caused by Expressing a Lysozyme Variant in the Central Nervous System of Drosophila melanogaster
2016 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 11, no 7, p. e0159294-Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Lysozyme amyloidosis is a hereditary disease in which mutations in the gene coding for lysozyme leads to misfolding and consequently accumulation of amyloid material. To improve understanding of the processes involved we expressed human wild type (WT) lysozyme and the disease-associated variant F57I in the central nervous system (CNS) of a Drosophila melanogaster model of lysozyme amyloidosis, with and without co-expression of serum amyloid p component (SAP). SAP is known to be a universal constituent of amyloid deposits and to associate with lysozyme fibrils. There are clear indications that SAP may play an important role in lysozyme amyloidosis, which requires further elucidation. We found that flies expressing the amyloidogenic variant F57I in the CNS have a shorter lifespan than flies expressing WT lysozyme. We also identified apoptotic cells in the brains of F57I flies demonstrating that the flies neurological functions are impaired when F57I is expressed in the nerve cells. However, co-expression of SAP in the CNS prevented cell death and restored the F57I flies lifespan. Thus, SAP has the apparent ability to protect nerve cells from damage caused by F57I. Furthermore, it was found that co-expression of SAP prevented accumulation of insoluble forms of lysozyme in both WT- and F57I-expressing flies. Our findings suggest that the F57I mutation affects the aggregation process of lysozyme resulting in the formation of cytotoxic species and that SAP is able to prevent cell death in the F57I flies by preventing accumulation of toxic F57I structures.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2016
National Category
Developmental Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-131183 (URN)10.1371/journal.pone.0159294 (DOI)000380169300043 ()27428539 (PubMedID)
Note

Funding Agencies|Swedish Research Council; Soderberg foundation [M26/11]; Linkoping University Neurobiology Center

Available from: 2016-09-19 Created: 2016-09-12 Last updated: 2017-11-21

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