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Mutant presenilins of Alzheimer's disease increase production of 42-residue amyloid beta-protein in both transfected cells and transgenic mice.

Nature medicine | Jan 31, 1997

The mechanism by which mutations in the presenilin (PS) genes cause the most aggressive form of early-onset Alzheimer's disease (AD) is unknown, but fibroblasts from mutation carriers secrete increased levels of the amyloidogenic A beta 42 peptide, the main component of AD plaques. We established transfected cell and transgenic mouse models that coexpress human PS and amyloid beta-protein precursor (APP) genes and analyzed quantitatively the effects of PS expression on APP processing. In both models, expression of wild-type PS genes did not alter APP levels, alpha- and beta-secretase activity and A beta production. In the transfected cells, PS1 and PS2 mutations caused a highly significant increase in A beta 42 secretion in all mutant clones. Likewise, mutant but not wildtype PS1 transgenic mice showed significant overproduction of A beta 42 in the brain, and this effect was detectable as early as 2-4 months of age. Different PS mutations had differential effects on A beta generation. The extent of A beta 42 increase did not correlate with presenilin expression levels. Our data demonstrate that the presenilin mutations cause a dominant gain of function and may induce AD by enhancing A beta 42 production, thus promoting cerebral beta-amyloidosis.

Pubmed ID: 8986743 RIS Download

Mesh terms: Alzheimer Disease | Amyloid beta-Peptides | Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor | Animals | Brain | Cell Line | Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay | Genetic Vectors | Hippocampus | Humans | Membrane Proteins | Mice | Mice, Transgenic | Mutation | Peptide Fragments | Presenilin-1 | Presenilin-2 | Transfection

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Associated grants

  • Agency: Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Id: 64309
  • Agency: NIA NIH HHS, Id: AG 06173
  • Agency: NIA NIH HHS, Id: AG 106812
  • Agency: NIA NIH HHS, Id: AG 12749

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