O-GlcNAcylation ameliorates the pathological manifestations of Alzheimer’s disease by inhibiting necroptosis

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Advances  13 Jan 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 3, eabd3207
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abd3207


O-GlcNAcylation (O-linked β-N-acetylglucosaminylation) is notably decreased in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) brain. Necroptosis is activated in AD brain and is positively correlated with neuroinflammation and tau pathology. However, the links among altered O-GlcNAcylation, β-amyloid (Aβ) accumulation, and necroptosis are unclear. Here, we found that O-GlcNAcylation plays a protective role in AD by inhibiting necroptosis. Necroptosis was increased in AD patients and AD mouse model compared with controls; however, decreased necroptosis due to O-GlcNAcylation of RIPK3 (receptor-interacting serine/threonine protein kinase 3) was observed in 5xFAD mice with insufficient O-linked β-N-acetylglucosaminase. O-GlcNAcylation of RIPK3 suppresses phosphorylation of RIPK3 and its interaction with RIPK1. Moreover, increased O-GlcNAcylation ameliorated AD pathology, including Aβ burden, neuronal loss, neuroinflammation, and damaged mitochondria and recovered the M2 phenotype and phagocytic activity of microglia. Thus, our data establish the influence of O-GlcNAcylation on Aβ accumulation and neurodegeneration, suggesting O-GlcNAcylation–based treatments as potential interventions for AD.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science Advances