Theses Doctoral

Stress and Rab35 modulate Alzheimer’s disease-related protein trafficking

Zhuravleva, Viktoriya

Chronic stress and elevated glucocorticoids (GCs), the major stress hormones, are risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and promote AD pathomechanisms in animal models. These include overproduction of synaptotoxic amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides and intraneuronal accumulation of microtubule-associated protein Tau. Tau accumulation is linked to downregulation of the small GTPase Rab35, which mediates Tau degradation via the endolysosomal pathway. Whether Rab35 is also involved in stress/GC-induced Aβ overproduction remains an open question. Here, I find that hippocampal Rab35 levels are decreased not only by stress/GCs, but also by aging, another AD risk factor. Moreover, I show that Rab35 negatively regulates Aβ production by sorting amyloid precursor protein (APP) and β-secretase (BACE1) out of the endosomal network, where they interact to produce Aβ. Interestingly, Rab35 coordinates distinct intracellular trafficking events for BACE1 and APP, mediated by its effectors OCRL and ACAP2, respectively. Additionally, I show that Rab35 overexpression prevents the amyloidogenic trafficking of APP and BACE1 induced by GCs. Finally, I begin to investigate how GCs and/or Rab35 affect the intercellular spread of Aβ and Tau through exosomes. I describe methods for purifying exosomes and measuring their secretion from neurons, astrocytes, and microglial cells in order to determine the effects of stress/GCs and Rab35 on this process. These studies identify Rab35 as a key regulator of Alzheimer’s disease-related protein trafficking, and suggest that its downregulation contributes to stress- and AD-related pathomechanisms.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Neurobiology and Behavior
Thesis Advisors
Waites, Clarissa
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
October 6, 2021