Amyloid precursor protein (APP), the precursor of Aβ, has been shown to function as a cell surface receptor that mediates neuronal cell death by anti-APP antibody. The c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) can mediate various neurotoxic signals, including Aβ neurotoxicity. However, the relationship of APP-mediated neurotoxicity to JNK is not clear, partly because APP cytotoxicity is Aβ independent. Here we examined whether JNK is involved in APP-mediated neuronal cell death and found that: (i) neuronal cell death by antibody-bound APP was inhibited by dominant-negative JNK, JIP-1b and SP600125, the specific inhibitor of JNK, but not by SB203580 or PD98059; (ii) constitutively active (ca) JNK caused neuronal cell death and (iii) the pharmacological profile of caJNK-mediated cell death closely coincided with that of APP-mediated cell death. Pertussis toxin (PTX) suppressed APP-mediated cell death but not caJNK-induced cell death, which was suppressed by Humanin, a newly identified neuroprotective factor which inhibits APP-mediated cytotoxicity. In the presence of PTX, the PTX-resistant mutant of Gαo, but not that of Gαi, recovered the cytotoxic action of APP. These findings demonstrate that JNK is involved in APP-mediated neuronal cell death as a downstream signal transducer of Go.
ASJC Scopus subject areas