Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Biol Chem. 2009 Oct 23;284(43):29714-24. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M109.038737. Epub 2009 Sep 3.

Glu-333 of nicastrin directly participates in gamma-secretase activity.

Author information

  • 1Department of Neuroscience, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas 75390, USA.


gamma-Secretase is a proteolytic membrane complex that processes a variety of substrates including the amyloid precursor protein and the Notch receptor. Earlier we showed that one of the components of this complex, nicastrin (NCT), functions as a receptor for gamma-secretase substrates. A recent report challenged this, arguing instead that the Glu-333 residue of NCT predicted to participate in substrate recognition only participates in gamma-secretase complex maturation and not in activity per se. Here, we present evidence that Glu-333 directly participates in gamma-secretase activity. By normalizing to the active pool of gamma-secretase with two separate methods, we establish that gamma-secretase complexes containing NCT-E333A are indeed deficient in intrinsic activity. We also demonstrate that the NCT-E333A mutant is deficient in its binding to substrates. Moreover, we find that the cleavage of substrates by gamma-secretase activity requires a free N-terminal amine but no minimal length of the extracellular N-terminal stub. Taken together, these studies provide further evidence supporting the role of NCT in substrate recognition. Finally, because gamma-secretase cleaves itself during its maturation and because NCT-E333A also shows defects in gamma-secretase complex maturation, we present a model whereby Glu-333 can serve a dual role via similar mechanisms in the recruitment of both Type 1 membrane proteins for activity and the presenilin intracellular loop during complex maturation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk