Cis-acting human ApoE tissue expression element is associated with human pattern of intraneuronal ApoE in transgenic mice.
Apolipoprotein E polymorphic variants (ApoE-epsilon2, epsilon3, and epsilon4) are associated with the age of onset distribution and risk of Alzheimer disease. The question of whether ApoE is expressed at a comparatively low level in human neurons compared to astrocytes, or whether ApoE enters neuronal cytoplasm via altered endosomal metabolism is important to understanding potential pathogenic roles for ApoE as a susceptibility gene in Alzheimer disease. ApoE deficient ("knock-out") mice received large human genomic DNA fragment transgenes for each of the three common apoE alleles. All transgenic mice demonstrated glial/astrocytic (normal rodent pattern), as well as cortical intraneuronal ApoE immunoreactivity with all three human isoforms and at multiple ApoE human allele doses (Xu et al. (32)). To test whether ApoE intraneuronal immunoreactivity was due to ApoE gene sequences between mouse and human, we examined another set of mice constructed using targeted replacement so that the human ApoE gene was placed under mouse gene promoters. Current analyses show that targeted replacement recombinant mice show normal rodent glial expression pattern, but no ApoE neuronal immunoreactivity through six months of age compared to large human genomic DNA fragment transgenic mice, which show neuronal content of ApoE throughout adult life. We conclude that cis-acting DNA sequences, rather than the specific sequence of the ApoE gene, may be responsible for low levels of transcription activity in cortical neurons.
Roses, AD; Gilbert, J; Xu, PT; Sullivan, P; Popko, B; Burkhart, DS; Christian-Rothrock, T; Saunders, AM; Maeda, N; Schmechel, DE
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