Statins in unconventional secretion of insulin-degrading enzyme and degradation of the amyloid-β peptide.
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Population-based studies demonstrated that statins might decrease the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (AD). Statins inhibit the 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-coenzyme-A reductase and thereby de novo synthesis of cholesterol. Cell culture and animal studies indicated that cholesterol affects the proteolytic processing of the amyloid precursor protein and the generation of amyloid-β (Aβ). Recently, we have demonstrated that statins can also stimulate the degradation of Aβ. The statin-induced clearance of Aβ could be attributed to increased release of the insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE) via an exosome-related unconventional secretory pathway. Interestingly, this statin-induced secretion of exosome-associated IDE was independent of cellular cholesterol concentrations, but rather caused by impairment of isoprenoid biosynthesis and protein prenylation. We further identified a new hexapeptide sequence in the C-terminal region of IDE, named the SlyX motif that is critically involved in IDE secretion. Taken these findings together, the increased clearance of Aβ by stimulated secretion of IDE might contribute to the protective effects of statins against AD.
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