The Francis Crick Institute
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APP antisense oligonucleotides reduce amyloid-β aggregation and rescue endolysosomal dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease.

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-07-10, 10:02 authored by Christy Hung, Emre Fertan, Frederick J Livesey, David Klenerman, Rickie Patani
APP gene dosage is strongly associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathogenesis. Genomic duplication of the APP locus leads to autosomal dominant early-onset AD. Individuals with Down syndrome (trisomy of chromosome 21) harbor 3 copies of the APP gene and invariably develop progressive AD with highly characteristic neuropathological features. Restoring expression of APP to the equivalent of that of two gene copies, or lower, is a rational therapeutic strategy, as it would restore physiological levels of neuronal APP protein without the potentially deleterious consequences of inadvertently inducing loss of APP function. Here we find that antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) targeting APP are an effective approach to reduce APP protein levels and rescue endolysosome and autophagy dysfunction in APP duplication human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived cortical neurons. Importantly, using ultrasensitive single-aggregate imaging techniques, we show that APP targeting ASOs significantly reduce both intracellular and extracellular Aβ-containing aggregates. Our results highlight the potential of APP ASOs as a therapeutic approach for forms of AD caused by duplication of the APP gene, including monogenic AD and AD related to Down syndrome.