The β-amyloid precursor protein (β-APP), which is involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease, and the Notch receptor, which is responsible for critical signalling events during development, both undergo unusual proteolysis within their transmembrane domains by unknown γ-secretases. Here we show that an affinty reagent designed to interact with the active site of γ-secretase binds directly and specifically to he terodimeric forms of presenilins, polytopic proteins that are mutated in hereditary Alzheimer's and are known mediators of γ-secretase cleavage of both β-APP and Notch. These results provide evidence that heterodimeric presenilins contain the active site of 7-secretase, and validate presenilins as principal targets for the design of drugs to treat and prevent Alzheirner's disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology