Knowledge of the protein networks interacting with the amyloid precursor protein (APP) in vivo can shed light on the physiological function of APP. To date, most proteins interacting with the APP intracellular domain (AICD) have been identified by Yeast Two Hybrid screens which only detect direct interaction partners. We used a proteomics-based approach by biochemically isolating tagged APP from the brains of transgenic mice and subjecting the affinity-purified complex to mass spectrometric (MS) analysis. Using two different quantitative MS approaches, we compared the protein composition of affinity-purified samples isolated from wild-type mice versus transgenic mice expressing tagged APP. This enabled us to assess truly enriched proteins in the transgenic sample and yielded an overlapping set of proteins containing the major proteins involved in synaptic vesicle endo- and exocytosis. Confocal microscopy analyses of cotransfected primary neurons showed colocalization of APP with synaptic vesicle proteins in vesicular structures throughout the neurites. We analyzed the interaction of APP with these proteins using pulldown experiments from transgenic mice or cotransfected cells followed by Western blotting. Synaptotagmin-1 (Stg1), a resident synaptic vesicle protein, was found to directly bind to APP. We fused Citrine and Cerulean to APP and the candidate proteins and measured fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) in differentiated SH-SY5Y cells. Differentially tagged APPs showed clear sensitized FRET emission, in line with the described dimerization of APP. Among the candidate APP-interacting proteins, again only Stg1 was in close proximity to APP. Our results strongly argue for a function of APP in synaptic vesicle turnover in vivo. Thus, in addition to the APP cleavage product Aβ, which influences synaptic transmission at the postsynapse, APP interacts with the calcium sensor of synaptic vesicles and might thus play a role in the regulation of synaptic vesicle exocytosis.
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