CREB regulates the expression of neuronal glucose transporter 3: a possible mechanism related to impaired brain glucose uptake in Alzheimer's disease

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Impaired brain glucose uptake and metabolism precede the appearance of clinical symptoms in Alzheimer disease (AD). Neuronal glucose transporter 3 (GLUT3) is decreased in AD brain and correlates with tau pathology. However, what leads to the decreased GLUT3 is yet unknown. In this study, we found that the promoter of human GLUT3 contains three potential cAMP response element (CRE)-like elements, CRE1, CRE2 and CRE3. Overexpression of CRE-binding protein (CREB) or activation of cAMP-dependent protein kinase significantly increased GLUT3 expression. CREB bound to the CREs and promoted luciferase expression driven by humanGLUT3-promoter. Among the CREs, CRE2 and CRE3 were required for the promotion of GLUT3 expression. Full-length CREB was decreased and truncation of CREB was increased in AD brain. This truncation was correlated with calpain I activation in human brain. Further study demonstrated that calpain I proteolysed CREB at Gln28–Ala29 and generated a 41-kDa truncated CREB, which had less activity to promote GLUT3 expression. Importantly, human brain GLUT3 was correlated with full-length CREB positively and with activation of calpain I negatively. These findings suggest that overactivation of calpain I caused by calcium overload proteolyses CREB, resulting in a reduction of GLUT3 expression and consequently impairing glucose uptake and metabolism in AD brain.

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