Grochowska KM, Gomes GM, Raman R, Kaushik R, Sosulina L, Kaneko H, Oelschlegel AM, Yuanxiang P, Reyes-Resina I, Bayraktar G, Samer S, Spilker C, Woo MS, Morawski M, Goldschmidt J, Friese MA, Rossner S, Navarro G, Remy S, Reissner C, Karpova A, Kreutz MR.

Synaptic dysfunction caused by soluble β-amyloid peptide (Aβ) is a hallmark of early-stage Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and is tightly linked to cognitive decline. By yet unknown mechanisms, Aβ suppresses the transcriptional activity of cAMP-responsive element-binding protein (CREB), a master regulator of cell survival and plasticity-related gene expression. Here, we report that Aβ elicits nucleocytoplasmic trafficking of Jacob, a protein that connects a NMDA-receptor-derived signalosome to CREB, in AD patient brains and mouse hippocampal neurons. Aβ-regulated trafficking of Jacob induces transcriptional inactivation of CREB leading to impairment and loss of synapses in mouse models of AD. The small chemical compound Nitarsone selectively hinders the assembly of a Jacob/LIM-only 4 (LMO4)/ Protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) signalosome and thereby restores CREB transcriptional activity. Nitarsone prevents impairment of synaptic plasticity as well as cognitive decline in mouse models of AD. Collectively, the data suggest targeting Jacob protein-induced CREB shutoff as a therapeutic avenue against early synaptic dysfunction in AD.

EMBO J. 2023 Feb 15;42(4):e112453

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