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Zellner, Andreas; Müller, Stephan A.; Lindner, Barbara; Beaufort, Nathalie; Rozemuller, Annemieke J. M.; Arzberger, Thomas; Gassen, Nils C.; Lichtenthaler, Stefan F.; Kuster, Bernhard; Haffner, Christof; Dichgans, Martin ORCID: 0000-0002-0654-387X (2022): Proteomic profiling in cerebral amyloid angiopathy reveals an overlap with CADASIL highlighting accumulation of HTRA1 and its substrates. Acta Neuropathologica Communications, 10: 6. ISSN 2051-5960

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Cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) is an age-related condition and a major cause of intracerebral hemorrhage and cognitive decline that shows close links with Alzheimer's disease (AD). CAA is characterized by the aggregation of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides and formation of Aβ deposits in the brain vasculature resulting in a disruption of the angioarchitecture. Capillaries are a critical site of Aβ pathology in CAA type 1 and become dysfunctional during disease progression. Here, applying an advanced protocol for the isolation of parenchymal microvessels from post-mortem brain tissue combined with liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS), we determined the proteomes of CAA type 1 cases (n = 12) including a patient with hereditary cerebral hemorrhage with amyloidosis-Dutch type (HCHWA-D), and of AD cases without microvascular amyloid pathology (n = 13) in comparison to neurologically healthy controls (n = 12). ELISA measurements revealed microvascular Aβ 1-40 levels to be exclusively enriched in CAA samples (mean: > 3000-fold compared to controls). The proteomic profile of CAA type 1 was characterized by massive enrichment of multiple predominantly secreted proteins and showed significant overlap with the recently reported brain microvascular proteome of patients with cerebral autosomal-dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL), a hereditary cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) characterized by the aggregation of the Notch3 extracellular domain. We found this overlap to be largely attributable to the accumulation of high-temperature requirement protein A1 (HTRA1), a serine protease with an established role in the brain vasculature, and several of its substrates. Notably, this signature was not present in AD cases. We further show that HTRA1 co-localizes with Aβ deposits in brain capillaries from CAA type 1 patients indicating a pathologic recruitment process. Together, these findings suggest a central role of HTRA1-dependent protein homeostasis in the CAA microvasculature and a molecular connection between multiple types of brain microvascular disease.

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