The Pursuit of the “Inside” of the Amyloid Hypothesis—Is C99 a Promising Therapeutic Target for Alzheimer’s Disease?

Nobumasa Takasugi, Masato Komai, Nanaka Kaneshiro, Atsuya Ikeda, Yuji Kamikubo, Takashi Uehara

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Aducanumab, co-developed by Eisai (Japan) and Biogen (U.S.), has received Food and Drug Administration approval for treating Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In addition, its successor antibody, lecanemab, has been approved. These antibodies target the aggregated form of the small peptide, amyloid-β (Aβ), which accumulates in the patient brain. The “amyloid hypothesis” based therapy that places the aggregation and toxicity of Aβ at the center of the etiology is about to be realized. However, the effects of immunotherapy are still limited, suggesting the need to reconsider this hypothesis. Aβ is produced from a type-I transmembrane protein, Aβ precursor protein (APP). One of the APP metabolites, the 99-amino acids C-terminal fragment (C99, also called βCTF), is a direct precursor of Aβ and accumulates in the AD patient’s brain to demonstrate toxicity independent of Aβ. Conventional drug discovery strategies have focused on Aβ toxicity on the “outside” of the neuron, but C99 accumulation might explain the toxicity on the “inside” of the neuron, which was overlooked in the hypothesis. Furthermore, the common region of C99 and Aβ is a promising target for multifunctional AD drugs. This review aimed to outline the nature, metabolism, and impact of C99 on AD pathogenesis and discuss whether it could be a therapeutic target complementing the amyloid hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number454
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • BACE1
  • C99
  • amyloid beta precursor protein
  • amyloid-β
  • autolysosome
  • endolysosome
  • vesicular trafficking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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