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Mol Cell Neurosci. 2005 Jan;28(1):195-204.

S-adenosylmethionine/homocysteine cycle alterations modify DNA methylation status with consequent deregulation of PS1 and BACE and beta-amyloid production.

Author information

  • 1Laboratorio di Ricerca, Dipartimento di Chirurgia P. Valdoni, Universit√† di Roma La Sapienza, 00161 Rome, Italy.

Erratum in

  • Mol Cell Neurosci. 2006 Aug;32(4):419.


Few diseases are characterized by high homocysteine (HCY) and low folate and vitamin B12 blood levels. Alzheimer disease (AD) is among these. It has already been shown that DNA methylation is involved in amyloid precursor protein (APP) processing and beta-amyloid (A beta) production through the regulation of Presenilin1 (PS1) expression and that exogenous S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) can silence the gene reducing A beta production. Here we demonstrate that BACE (beta-secretase), as well as PS1, is regulated by methylation and that the reduction of folate and vitamin B12 in culture medium can cause a reduction of SAM levels with consequent increase in presenilin1 and BACE levels and with increase in A beta production. The simultaneous administration of SAM to the deficient medium can restore the normal gene expression, thus reducing the A beta levels. The use of deprived medium was intended to mimic a mild nutritional deficit involved in the onset of AD.

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