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J Neurochem. 1999 Jun;72(6):2498-505.

A novel presenilin-2 splice variant in human Alzheimer's disease brain tissue.

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Tanabe Seiyaku Co., Ltd., Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, Osaka University Medical School, Suita, Japan.


Mutations in the presenilin-1 (PS-1) and presenilin-2 (PS-2) genes account for the majority of cases of early-onset familial Alzheimer's disease (AD). Alternative splicing forms of the PS-1 and PS-2 gene products have previously been reported in fibroblast and brain tissue from both familial and sporadic AD patients, as well as from normal tissues and cell lines. We demonstrate here unusual alternative splicing of the PS-2 gene that leads to the generation of mRNA lacking exon 5 in human brain tissue. This product was more frequently detected in brain tissue from sporadic AD patients (70.0%; 21 of 30) than from normal age-matched controls (17.6%; three of 17). In cultured neuroblastoma cells, this splice variant was generated in hypoxia but not under other forms of cellular stress. Hypoxia-mediated induction of this splice variant was blocked by pretreatment of neuroblastoma cells with the protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide or antioxidants such as N-acetylcysteine and diphenyl iodonium, suggesting that hypoxia-mediated oxidant stress might, at least in part, underlie the alternative splicing of PS-2 mRNA through de novo protein synthesis. Furthermore, the stable transfectants of this splice variant produced the N-terminal part of PS-2 protein (15 kDa) and were more susceptible to cellular stresses than control transfectants. These results suggest the possibility that altered presenilin gene products in stress conditions may also participate in the pathogenesis of AD.

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