Altered succinylation of mitochondrial proteins, APP and tau in Alzheimer’s disease

Yun Yang, Victor Tapias, Diana Acosta, Hui Xu, Huanlian Chen, Ruchika Bhawal, Elizabeth T. Anderson, Elena Ivanova, Hening Lin, Botir T. Sagdullaev, Jianer Chen, William L. Klein, Kirsten L. Viola, Sam Gandy, Vahram Haroutunian, M. Flint Beal, David Eliezer, Sheng Zhang, Gary E. Gibson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Abnormalities in brain glucose metabolism and accumulation of abnormal protein deposits called plaques and tangles are neuropathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), but their relationship to disease pathogenesis and to each other remains unclear. Here we show that succinylation, a metabolism-associated post-translational protein modification (PTM), provides a potential link between abnormal metabolism and AD pathology. We quantified the lysine succinylomes and proteomes from brains of individuals with AD, and healthy controls. In AD, succinylation of multiple mitochondrial proteins declined, and succinylation of small number of cytosolic proteins increased. The largest increases occurred at critical sites of amyloid precursor protein (APP) and microtubule-associated tau. We show that in vitro, succinylation of APP disrupted its normal proteolytic processing thereby promoting Aβ accumulation and plaque formation and that succinylation of tau promoted its aggregation to tangles and impaired microtubule assembly. In transgenic mouse models of AD, elevated succinylation associated with soluble and insoluble APP derivatives and tau. These findings indicate that a metabolism-linked PTM may be associated with AD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number159
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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