Beta-amyloid inhibits NOS activity by subtracting NADPH availability.

Giorgio Venturini, Marco Colasanti, Tiziana Persichini, Emanuela Fioravanti, Paolo Ascenzi, Letizia Palomba, Orazio Cantoni, Giovanni Musci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The amyloid peptides Abeta1-42 and Abeta25-35 strongly inhibited the activity of constitutive neuronal and endothelial nitric oxide synthases (i.e., NOS-I and NOS-III, respectively) in cell-free assays. The molecular mechanism of NOS inhibition by Ab fragments was studied in detail with Abeta25-35. The inhibitory ability was mostly NADPH-dependent and specific for the soluble form of Abeta25-35. Optical, fluorescence, and NMR spectroscopy showed that the soluble, but not aggregated, Abeta25-35 interacted with NADPH, thus suggesting that a direct recruitment of NADPH may result in diminished availability of the redox cofactor for NOS functioning. To assess the physiological relevance of our findings, rat neuronal-like PC12 and glioma C6 cell lines were used as cellular models. After Abeta25-35 internalization into cells was verified, the activity of constitutive NOS was measured using the DAF-2DA detection system and found to be severely impaired upon Abeta25-35 uptake. Consistent with previous results on the molecular cross-talk between NOS isoforms, repression of constitutive NOS by Abeta25-35 resulted in enhanced expression of inducible NOS (NOS-II) mRNA in C6 cells. Our results represent the first evidence that amyloid fragments impair constitutive NOS activity in cell-free and cellular systems, providing a possible molecular mechanism for the onset and/or maintenance of Alzheimer's disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1970-1972
Number of pages3
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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