Proteomic profiling in cerebral amyloid angiopathy reveals an overlap with CADASIL highlighting accumulation of HTRA1 and its substrates

Andreas Zellner, Stephan A. Müller, Barbara Lindner, Nathalie Beaufort, Annemieke J. M. Rozemuller, Thomas Arzberger, Nils C. Gassen, Stefan F. Lichtenthaler, Bernhard Kuster, Christof Haffner*, Martin Dichgans*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


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 Aβ1-40 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.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6
JournalActa neuropathologica communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022

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