Distinct spatiotemporal accumulation of N-truncated and full-length amyloid-β42 in Alzheimer's disease

Mitsuru Shinohara, Shunsuke Koga, Takuya Konno, Jeremy Nix, Motoko Shinohara, Naoya Aoki, Pritam Das, Joseph E. Parisi, Ronald C. Petersen, Terrone L. Rosenberry, Dennis W. Dickson, Guojun Bu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Accumulation of amyloid-β peptides is a dominant feature in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease; however, it is not clear how individual amyloid-β species accumulate and affect other neuropathological and clinical features in the disease. Thus, we compared the accumulation of N-terminally truncated amyloid-β and full-length amyloid-β, depending on disease stage as well as brain area, and determined how these amyloid-β species respectively correlate with clinicopathological features of Alzheimer's disease. To this end, the amounts of amyloid-β species and other proteins related to amyloid-β metabolism or Alzheimer's disease were quantified by enzymelinked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) or theoretically calculated in 12 brain regions, including neocortical, limbic and subcortical areas from Alzheimer's disease cases (n = 19), neurologically normal elderly without amyloid-β accumulation (normal ageing, n = 13), and neurologically normal elderly with cortical amyloid-β accumulation (pathological ageing, n = 15). We observed that N-terminally truncated amyloid-β42 and full-length amyloid-β42 accumulations distributed differently across disease stages and brain areas, while Nterminally truncated amyloid-β40 and full-length amyloid-β40 accumulation showed an almost identical distribution pattern. Cortical N-terminally truncated amyloid-β42 accumulation was increased in Alzheimer's disease compared to pathological ageing, whereas cortical full-length amyloid-β42 accumulation was comparable between Alzheimer's disease and pathological ageing. Moreover, Nterminally truncated amyloid-β42 were more likely to accumulate more in specific brain areas, especially some limbic areas, while fulllength amyloid-β42 tended to accumulate more in several neocortical areas, including frontal cortices. Immunoprecipitation followed by mass spectrometry analysis showed that several N-terminally truncated amyloid-β42 species, represented by pyroglutamylated amyloid-β11-42, were enriched in these areas, consistent with ELISA results. N-terminally truncated amyloid-β42 accumulation showed significant regional association with BACE1 and neprilysin, but not PSD95 that regionally associated with full-length amyloid-b42 accumulation. Interestingly, accumulations of tau and to a greater extent apolipoprotein E (apoE, encoded by APOE) were more strongly correlated with N-terminally truncated amyloid-β42 accumulation than those of other amyloid-β species across brain areas and disease stages. Consistently, immunohistochemical staining and in vitro binding assays showed that apoE co-localized and bound more strongly with pyroglutamylated amyloid-β11-x fibrils than full-length amyloid-β fibrils. Retrospective review of clinical records showed that accumulation of N-terminally truncated amyloid-β42 in cortical areas was associated with disease onset, duration and cognitive scores. Collectively, N-terminally truncated amyloid-β42 species have spatiotemporal accumulation patterns distinct from full-length amyloid-β42, likely due to different mechanisms governing their accumulations in the brain. These truncated amyloid-β species could play critical roles in the disease by linking other clinicopathological features of Alzheimer's disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3301-3316
Number of pages16
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • amyloid-β
  • apoE
  • neuropathology
  • tau

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Distinct spatiotemporal accumulation of N-truncated and full-length amyloid-β42 in Alzheimer's disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this