Targeting the APP-Mint2 Protein-Protein Interaction with a Peptide-Based Inhibitor Reduces Amyloid-β Formation

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There is an urgent need for novel therapeutic approaches to treat Alzheimer's disease (AD) with the ability to both alleviate the clinical symptoms and halt the progression of the disease. AD is characterized by the accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides which are generated through the sequential proteolytic cleavage of the amyloid precursor protein (APP). Previous studies reported that Mint2, a neuronal adaptor protein binding both APP and the γ-secretase complex, affects APP processing and formation of pathogenic Aβ. However, there have been contradicting results concerning whether Mint2 has a facilitative or suppressive effect on Aβ generation. Herein, we deciphered the APP-Mint2 protein-protein interaction (PPI) via extensive probing of both backbone H-bond and side-chain interactions. We also developed a proteolytically stable, high-affinity peptide targeting the APP-Mint2 interaction. We found that both an APP binding-deficient Mint2 variant and a cell-permeable PPI inhibitor significantly reduced Aβ42 levels in a neuronal in vitro model of AD. Together, these findings demonstrate a facilitative role of Mint2 in Aβ formation, and the combination of genetic and pharmacological approaches suggests that targeting Mint2 is a promising therapeutic strategy to reduce pathogenic Aβ levels.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)891-901
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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