86,92-95 Biochemical studies have shown that PS1 and PS2 both hav

86,92-95 Biochemical studies have shown that PS1 and PS2 both have eight membranespanning segments with a large hydrophilic loop between the transmembrane domains 6 and 7, and the N-tcrminal and C-terminal both face the cytoplasm.96-100 This unique structure confers their capacity to

interact with other cytoplasmic proteins. Both of these hypotheses have been PD184352 in vitro supported experimentally: γy-secretase is an oligomeric complex containing presenilin91,101-105; and presenilin itself acts as a γ-secretase.103,106-110 Indeed, compelling evidence has emerged to support a role for PS1 and PS2 Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical in the y-secretase proteolysis of APP, Notch (a transmembrane protein essential for neurogenesis), and other substrates.105,107,107,109,111-116 For example, PS1 facilitates the proteolysis of APP C-terminal fragments Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical by a- and P-secretase,106,109,116-119 which produces Aβp peptides, including Aβ42.84,89,120 Loss of presenilin function results in diminished Aβ production.109,121-123 The PS1 or PS2 mutations found in AD do not result in loss of function. 111,120,121,124,125

Instead, these missense mutants significantly and specifically enhance γ-secretase cleavage to generate amyloidogenic Aβ42 peptides.69,89,90,126,127 All these findings point to a central role for Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical PS1 and PS2 in both APP processing and AD pathogenesis. However, a critical question here is why so many different kinds of mutation in either PS1 or PS2 produce gain of

function to enhance y-cleavage. Recently, it has been reported that polymorphisms in PS1 and PS2 increase risk of Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical developing late-onset AD.128 The pathway by which these polymorphisms predispose to AD is not clear. These findings make it extremely difficult to understand the role of presenilin-regulated APP metabolism in the pathogenesis of AD. Moreover, we have recently found that PS1 plays an important role in adult neurogenesis in the brain.129 On the basis of the fact that neuronal loss in the brain is a hallmark of AD, it is possible Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical that the loss of function associated with presenilin mutations, and hence neurogenesis, is another molecular pathway by which presenilin mutation leads to AD. It should be noted that, although PS1 mutations are GBA3 more common in FAD, the PS1 and PS2 mutations combined are only implicated in about 8% of cases of earlyonset FAD.32,130-132 The majority of AD is late-onset, and the determination of the contribution of genetic variations in these patients is fundamental to our understanding of the pathogenesis of AD. Apolipoprotein E Apolipoprotcin H (APOL) was originally reported as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. First, a weak linkage was found between a locus of chromosomal region 19q and FAD,133 and then a stronger association between APOE and late-onset AD was reported in 1993.

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