A new splice variant of glial fibrillary acidic protein, GFAP epsilon, interacts with the presenilin proteins.
We describe a new human isoform, GFAP epsilon, of the intermediary filament protein GFAP (glial fibrillary acidic protein). GFAP epsilon mRNA is the result of alternative splicing and a new polyadenylation signal, and thus GFAP epsilon has a new C-terminal protein sequence. This provides GFAP epsilon with the capacity for specific binding of presenilin proteins in yeast and in vitro. Our observations suggest a direct link between the presenilins and the cytoskeleton where GFAP epsilon is incorporated. Mutations in GFAP and presenilins are associated with Alexander disease and Alzheimer's disease, respectively. Accordingly, GFAP epsilon should be taken into consideration when studying neurodegenerative diseases.