Amyloid-β (Aβ) neurotoxicity is believed to contribute to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Previously we found that E2-25K/Hip-2, an E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme, mediates Aβ neurotoxicity. Here, we report that E2-25K/Hip-2 modulates caspase-12 activity via the ubiquitin/proteasome system. Levels of endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-resident caspase-12 are strongly up-regulated in the brains of AD model mice, where the enzyme colocalizes with E2-25K/Hip-2. Aβ increases expression of E2-25K/Hip-2, which then stabilizes caspase-12 protein by inhibiting proteasome activity. This increase in E2-25K/Hip-2 also induces proteolytic activation of caspase-12 through its ability to induce calpain-like activity. Knockdown of E2-25K/Hip-2 expression suppresses neuronal cell death triggered by ER stress, and thus caspase-12 is required for the E2-25K/Hip-2-mediated cell death. Finally, we find that E2-25K/Hip-2-deficient cortical neurons are resistant to Aβ toxicity and to the induction of ER stress and caspase-12 expression by Aβ. E2-25K/Hip-2 is thus an essential upstream regulator of the expression and activation of caspase-12 in ER stress-mediated Aβ neurotoxicity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology