Glucose hypometabolism and impaired mitochondrial function in neurons have been suggested to play early and perhaps causative roles in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathogenesis. Activity of the aspartic acid protease, beta-site amyloid precursor protein (APP) cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1), responsible for beta amyloid peptide generation, has recently been demonstrated to modify glucose metabolism. We therefore examined, using a human neuroblastoma (SH-SY5Y) cell line, whether increased BACE1 activity is responsible for a reduction in cellular glucose metabolism. Overexpression of active BACE1, but not a protease-dead mutant BACE1, protein in SH-SY5Y cells reduced glucose oxidation and the basal oxygen consumption rate, which was associated with a compensatory increase in glycolysis. Increased BACE1 activity had no effect on the mitochondrial electron transfer process but was found to diminish substrate delivery to the mitochondria by inhibition of key mitochondrial decarboxylation reaction enzymes. This BACE1 activity-dependent deficit in glucose oxidation was alleviated by the presence of beta hydroxybutyrate or α-lipoic acid. Consequently our data indicate that raised cellular BACE1 activity drives reduced glucose oxidation in a human neuronal cell line through impairments in the activity of specific tricarboxylic acid cycle enzymes. Because this bioenergetic deficit is recoverable by neutraceutical compounds we suggest that such agents, perhaps in conjunction with BACE1 inhibitors, may be an effective therapeutic strategy in the early-stage management or treatment of AD.
- glucose metabolism
- pyruvate dehydrogenase
- alpha lipoic acid
Findlay, J. A., Hamilton, D. L., & Ashford, M. L. (2015). BACE1 activity impairs neuronal glucose oxidation: rescue by beta-hydroxybutyrate and lipoic acid. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, 9, . https://doi.org/10.3389/fncel.2015.00382