Lysosomal TPCN (two pore segment channel) inhibition ameliorates beta-amyloid pathology and mitigates memory impairment in Alzheimer disease

Benjamin Chun Kit Tong, Aston Jiaxi Wu, Alexis Shiying Huang, Rui Dong, Sandeep Malampati, Ashok Iyaswamy, Senthilkumar Krishnamoorthi, Sravan Gopalkrishnashetty Sreenivasmurthy, Zhou Zhu, Chengfu Su, Jia Liu, Juxian Song, Jia Hong Lu, Jieqiong Tan, Weidong Pan, Min Li, King Ho Cheung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
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Impairment of the macroautophagy/autophagy-lysosomal pathway (ALP) can lead to amyloid plaque accumulation in Alzheimer disease (AD); however, the underlying mechanism remains unresolved. This study revealed a mechanism of ALP impairment mediated by gain-of-function of lysosomal TPCN2/TPC2 (two pore segment channel 2) and suggests a molecular target for AD intervention. Using mutant PSEN1/PS1 (presenilin 1)-expressing human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y and familial AD fibroblasts collected from human patients, we showed lysosomal pH was increased in AD cells due to exaggerated TPCN2-mediated calcium (Ca2+) release which increases lysosomal pH and compromises ALP degradation. Genetic knockdown or pharmacological inhibition of the TPCN2 channel restored lysosomal Ca2+ homeostasis, acidity of the lysosome and ALP function. Furthermore, AD mice (5xFAD) that had received treatment with the TPCN2 inhibitor tetrandrine for 6 months or injection of AAV-shTpcn2 to knock down Tpcn2 showed reduction in amyloid plaques in cortical and hippocampal regions. These treatments also improved spine morphology and density and corrected cognitive deficits in 5xFAD mice assayed by immunohistochemistry, behavioral tests, and electrophysiological measurements, respectively. Taken together, these findings reveal a previously under-appreciated role of lysosomal TPCN2 in ALP impairment of AD. They also suggest targeting the lysosomal TPCN2 can serve as a therapeutic strategy for AD treatment in future drug development.

Abbreviations: Aβ: β-amyloid; AD: Alzheimer disease; AIF1/IBA1: allograft inflammatory factor 1; ALP: autophagy-lysosomal pathway; APP: amyloid beta precursor protein; ATP6V1B1/V-ATPase V1b1: ATPase H+ transporting V1 subunit B1; AVs: autophagy vacuoles; BAF: bafilomycin A1; CFC: contextual/cued fear conditioning assay; CHX: Ca2+/H+ exchanger; CTF-β: carboxy-terminal fragment derived from β-secretase; CTSD: cathepsin D; fAD: familial Alzheimer disease; GFAP: glial fibrillary acidic protein; LAMP1: lysosomal associated membrane protein 1; LTP: long‐term potentiation; MCOLN1/TRPML1: mucolipin 1; MAP1LC3B/LC3B: microtubule associated protein 1 light chain 3 beta; MAPT: microtubule associated protein tau; MWM: Morris water maze; NFT: neurofibrillary tangles; PFC: prefrontal cortex; PSEN1: presenilin 1; SQSTM1/p62: sequestosome 1; TBS: theta burst stimulation; TEM: transmission electronic microscopy; TPCN2/TPC2: two pore segment channel 2; WT: wild-type; V-ATPase: vacuolar type H+-ATPase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)624-642
Number of pages19
Issue number3
Early online date27 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Alzheimer disease
  • autophagy-lysosomal pathway
  • calcium ion
  • presenilin-1
  • two pore segment channel 2


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