Presenilin and nicastrin are essential components of the gamma-secretase complex that is required for the intramembrane proteolysis of an increasing number of membrane proteins including the amyloid-beta precursor protein (APP) and Notch. By using co-immunoprecipitation and nickel affinity pull-down approaches, we now show that mammalian APH-1 (mAPH-1), a conserved multipass membrane protein, physically associates with nicastrin and the heterodimers of the presenilin amino- and carboxyl-terminal fragments in human cell lines and in rat brain. Similar to the loss of presenilin or nicastrin, the inactivation of endogenous mAPH-1 using small interfering RNAs results in the decrease of presenilin levels, accumulation of gamma-secretase substrates (APP carboxyl-terminal fragments), and reduction of gamma-secretase products (amyloid-beta peptides and the intracellular domains of APP and Notch). These data indicate that mAPH-1 is probably a functional component of the gamma-secretase complex required for the intramembrane proteolysis of APP and Notch.
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