Generation of APOE knock-down SK-N-SH human neuroblastoma cells using CRISPR/Cas9: a novel cellular model relevant to Alzheimer’s disease research

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Bioscience Reports


APOE ε4 is the major genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). A precise role for apolipoprotein E (apoE) in the pathogenesis of the disease remains unclear in part due to its expression in multiple cell types of the brain. APOE is highly expressed in astrocytes and microglia, however its expression can also be induced in neurons under various conditions. The neuron-like cell line SK-N-SH is a useful model in the study of the cellular and molecular effects of apoE as it can be differentiated with retinoic acid to express and secrete high levels of apoE and it also shows the same apoE fragmentation patterns observed in the human brain. We previously found that apoE is cleaved into a 25-kDa fragment by high temperature-requirement serine protease A1 (HtrA1) in SK-N-SH cells. To further understand the endogenous functions of apoE, we used CRISPR/Cas9 to generate SK-N-SH cell lines with APOE expression knocked-down (KD). APOE KD cells showed lower APOE and HTRA1 expression than parental SK-N-SH cells but no overt differences in neuritogenesis or cell proliferation compared with the CRISPR/Cas9 control cells. This research shows that the loss of apoE and HtrA1 has a negligible effect on neuritogenesis and cell survival in SK-N-SH neuron-like cells.

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National Health and Medical Research Council



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