Regulation of the soluble amyloid precursor protein α (sAPPα) levels by acetylcholinesterase and brain-derived neurotrophic factor in lung cancer cell media

Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

International Journal of Molecular Sciences


In comparing two human lung cancer cells, we previously found lower levels of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and intact amyloid-β40/42 (Aβ), and higher levels of mature brain-derived neurotrophic factor (mBDNF) in the media of H1299 cells as compared to A549 cell media. In this study, we hypothesized that the levels of soluble amyloid precursor protein α (sAPPα) are regulated by AChE and mBDNF in A549 and H1299 cell media. The levels of sAPPα were higher in the media of H1299 cells. Knockdown of AChE led to increased sAPPα and mBDNF levels and correlated with decreased levels of intact Aβ40/42 in A549 cell media. AChE and mBDNF had opposite effects on the levels of Aβ and sAPPα and were found to operate through a mechanism involving α-secretase activity. Treatment with AChE decreased sAPPα levels and simultaneously increased the levels of intact Aβ40/42 suggesting a role of the protein in shifting APP processing away from the non-amyloidogenic pathway and toward the amyloidogenic pathway, whereas treatment with mBDNF led to opposite effects on those levels. We also show that the levels of sAPPα are regulated by protein kinase C (PKC), extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2, phosphoinositide 3 Kinase (PI3K), but not by protein kinase A (PKA).


J. Guthrie, D. Heyl, and H. Guy-Evans are faculty members in EMU's Department of Chemistry.

*H. Al Khashali, R. Ray, K.-L. Coleman, S. Atali, B. Haddad, and J. Wareham are EMU students.

Link to Published Version