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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter May 4, 2020

Fragmentation of brain apolipoprotein E (ApoE) and its relevance in Alzheimer's disease

  • Asiamah Ernest Amponsah , Baofeng Feng , Ruiyun Guo , Wei Zhang , Jingjing He , Desheng Kong , Tianyu Dong , Jun Ma EMAIL logo and Huixian Cui EMAIL logo


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a very common cause of dementia in the elderly. It is characterized by progressive amnesia and accretions of neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) of neurons and senile plaques in the neuropil. After aging, the inheritance of the apolipoprotein E (ApoE) epsilon 4 (ε4) allele is the greatest risk factor for late-onset AD. The ApoE protein is the translated product of the ApoE gene. This protein undergoes proteolysis, and the resulting fragments colocalize with neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques, and for that matter may be involved in AD onset and/or progression. Previous studies have reported the pathogenic potential of various ApoE fragments in AD pathophysiology. However, the pathways activated by the fragments are not fully understood. In this review, ApoE fragments obtained from post-mortem brains and body fluids, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and plasma, are discussed. Additionally, current knowledge about the process of fragmentation is summarized. Finally, the mechanisms by which these fragments are involved in AD pathogenesis and pathophysiology are discussed.

Corresponding author: Jun Ma and Huixian Cui, Hebei Medical University-National University of Ireland Galway Stem Cell Research Center, Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, 050017, Hebei Province, China; Hebei Research Center for Stem Cell Medical Translational Engineering, Shijiazhuang, 050017, Hebei Province, China; and China Human Anatomy Department, Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, 050017, Hebei Province, China, E-mail: (J. Ma); (H. Cui)

Asiamah Ernest Amponsah and Baofeng Feng: These authors contributed equally to this article.

Jun Ma and Huixian Cui: Co-Corresponding authors

Award Identifier / Grant number: 81801278

Award Identifier / Grant number: H2019206637

Award Identifier / Grant number: 201608130015

Award Identifier / Grant number: ZD2019049

Funding source: Hebei Provincial Department of Human Resources and Social Security

Award Identifier / Grant number: C20190509


This work was supported by Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 81801278), Natural Science Foundation of Hebei Province (Grant No. H2019206637), China Scholarship Council (Grant No. 201608130015), Hebei University Science and technology research project (Grant No. ZD2019049), Excellent Overseas researcher Program in Hebei Provincial Department of Human Resources and Social Security (Grant No. C20190509).

  1. Conflict of interest statement: Authors declare no competing interests.


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Received: 2019-12-04
Accepted: 2020-02-01
Published Online: 2020-05-04
Published in Print: 2020-08-27

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