SERP1 is an assembly regulator of γ-secretase in metabolic stress conditions

Sunmin Jung, Junho Hyun, Jihoon Nah, Jonghee Han, Seo Hyun Kim, Jaesang Park, Yoonseo Oh, Youngdae Gwon, Seowon Moon, Dong Gyu Jo, Yong Keun Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The enzyme γ-secretase generates β-amyloid peptides by cleaving amyloid protein precursor (APP); the aggregation of these peptides is associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Despite the development of various γ-secretase regulators, their clinical use is limited by coincident disruption of other γ-secretase–regulated substrates, such as Notch. Using a genome-wide functional screen of γ-secretase activity in cells and a complementary DNA expression library, we found that SERP1 is a previously unknown γ-secretase activator that stimulates Aβ generation in cells experiencing endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, such as is seen with diabetes. SERP1 interacted with a subcomplex of γ-secretase (APH1A/NCT) through its carboxyl terminus to enhance the assembly and, consequently, the activity of the γ-secretase holoenzyme complex. In response to ER stress, SERP1 preferentially recruited APP rather than Notch into the γ-secretase complex and enhanced the subcellular localization of the complex into lipid rafts, increasing Aβ production. Moreover, SERP1 abundance, γ-secretase assembly, and Aβ production were increased both in cells exposed to high amounts of glucose and in diabetic AD model mice. Conversely, Aβ production was decreased by knocking down SERP1 in cells or in the hippocampi of mice. Compared to postmortem samples from control individuals, those from patients with AD showed increased SERP1 expression in the hippocampus and parietal lobe. Together, our findings suggest that SERP1 is an APP-biased regulator of γ-secretase function in the context of cell stress, providing a possible molecular explanation for the link between diabetes and sporadic AD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereaax8949
JournalScience signaling
Issue number623
StatePublished - Mar 17 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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