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Nat Med. 2000 Apr;6(4):397-404.

A second cytotoxic proteolytic peptide derived from amyloid beta-protein precursor.

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Program on Aging, The Burnham Institute, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.


The amyloid beta-protein precursor gives rise to the amyloid beta-protein, the principal constituent of senile plaques and a cytotoxic fragment involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease. Here we show that amyloid beta-protein precursor was proteolytically cleaved by caspases in the C terminus to generate a second unrelated peptide, called C31. The resultant C31 peptide was a potent inducer of apoptosis. Both caspase-cleaved amyloid beta-protein precursor and activated caspase-9 were present in brains of Alzheimer disease patients but not in control brains. These findings indicate the possibility that caspase cleavage of amyloid beta-protein precursor with the generation of C31 may be involved in the neuronal death associated with Alzheimer disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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