FMRP mediates mGluR5-dependent translation of amyloid precursor protein

Cara J. Westmark, James S. Malter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

214 Scopus citations


Amyloid precursor protein (APP) facilitates synapse formation in the developing brain, while beta-amyloid (Aβ) accumulation, which is associated with Alzheimer disease, results in synaptic loss and impaired neurotransmission. Fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) is a cytoplasmic mRNA binding protein whose expression is lost in fragile X syndrome. Here we show that FMRP binds to the coding region of APP mRNA at a guanine-rich, G-quartet-like sequence. Stimulation of cortical synaptoneurosomes or primary neuronal cells with the metabotropic glutamate receptor agonist DHPG increased APP translation in wild-type but not fmr-1 knockout samples. APP mRNA coimmunoprecipitated with FMRP in resting synaptoneurosomes, but the interaction was lost shortly after DHPG treatment. Soluble Aβ40 or Aβ42 levels were significantly higher in multiple strains of fmr-1 knockout mice compared to wild-type controls. Our data indicate that postsynaptic FMRP binds to and regulates the translation of APP mRNA through metabotropic glutamate receptor activation and suggests a possible link between Alzheimer disease and fragile X syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)629-639
Number of pages11
JournalPLoS biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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