Podvin, Sonia, et al. “Dysregulation of Neuropeptide and Tau Peptide Signatures in Human Alzheimer’s Disease Brain.” ACS Chemical Neuroscience 13.13 (2022): 1992-2005. https://doi.org/10.1021/acschemneuro.2c00222
Synaptic dysfunction and loss occur in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) brains, which results in cognitive deficits and brain neurodegeneration. Neuropeptides comprise the major group of synaptic neurotransmitters in the nervous system. This study evaluated neuropeptide signatures that are hypothesized to differ in human AD brain compared to age-matched controls, achieved by global neuropeptidomics analysis of human brain cortex synaptosomes. Neuropeptidomics demonstrated distinct profiles of neuropeptides in AD compared to controls consisting of neuropeptides derived from chromogranin A (CHGA) and granins, VGF (nerve growth factor inducible), cholecystokinin, and others. The differential neuropeptide signatures indicated differences in proteolytic processing of their proneuropeptides. Analysis of cleavage sites showed that dibasic residues at the N-termini and C-termini of neuropeptides were the main sites for proneuropeptide processing, and data also showed that the AD group displayed differences in preferred residues adjacent to the cleavage sites. Notably, tau peptide signatures differed in the AD compared to age-matched control human brain cortex synaptosomes. Unique tau peptides were derived from the tau protein through proteolysis using similar and differential cleavage sites in the AD brain cortex compared to the control. Protease profiles differed in the AD compared to control, indicated by proteomics data. Overall, these results demonstrate that dysregulation of neuropeptides and tau peptides occurs in AD brain cortex synaptosomes compared to age-matched controls, involving differential cleavage site properties for proteolytic processing of precursor proteins. These dynamic changes in neuropeptides and tau peptide signatures may be associated with the severe cognitive deficits of AD.