A disintegrin and metalloprotease 10 (ADAM10) is the α-secretase for amyloid precursor protein (APP). ADAM10 cleaves APP to generate neuroprotective soluble APPα (sAPPα), which precludes the generation of Aβ, a defining feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathophysiology. Reduced ADAM10 activity is implicated in AD, but the mechanisms mediating ADAM10 modulation are unclear. We find that the plasma membrane enzyme glycerophosphodiester phosphodiesterase 2 (GDE2) stimulates ADAM10 APP cleavage by shedding and inactivating reversion-inducing cysteine-rich protein with Kazal motifs (RECK), a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored inhibitor of ADAM10. In AD, membrane-tethered RECK is highly elevated and GDE2 is abnormally sequestered inside neurons. Genetic ablation of GDE2 phenocopies increased membrane RECK in AD, which is causal for reduced sAPPα, increased Aβ, and synaptic protein loss. RECK reduction restores the balance of APP processing and rescues synaptic protein deficits. These studies identify GDE2 control of RECK surface activity as essential for ADAM10 α-secretase function and physiological APP processing. Moreover, our results suggest the involvement of the GDE2-RECKADAM10 pathway in AD pathophysiology and highlight RECK as a potential target for therapeutic development.
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