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Altered succinylation of mitochondrial proteins, APP and tau in Alzheimer’s disease
Abnormalities in brain glucose metabolism and accumulation of abnormal protein deposits called plaques and tangles are neuropathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), but their relationship to disease pathogenesis and to each other remains unclear. Here we show that succinylation, a metabolism-associated post-translational protein modification (PTM), provides a potential link between abnormal metabolism and AD pathology. We quantified the lysine succinylomes and proteomes from brains of individuals with AD, and healthy controls. In AD, succinylation of multiple mitochondrial proteins declined, and succinylation of small number of cytosolic proteins increased. The largest increases occurred at critical sites of amyloid precursor protein (APP) and microtubule-associated tau. We show that in vitro, succinylation of APP disrupted its normal proteolytic processing thereby promoting Aβ accumulation and plaque formation and that succinylation of tau promoted its aggregation to tangles and impaired microtubule assembly. In transgenic mouse models of AD, elevated succinylation associated with soluble and insoluble APP derivatives and tau. These findings indicate that a metabolism-linked PTM may be associated with AD.