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J Biol Chem. 2000 Jun 2;275(22):17136-42.

The nonconserved hydrophilic loop domain of presenilin (PS) is not required for PS endoproteolysis or enhanced abeta 42 production mediated by familial early onset Alzheimer's disease-linked PS variants.

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Department of Neurobiology, Pharmacology, and Physiology, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.


Presenilin 1 (PS1) and presenilin 2 (PS2) are polytopic membrane proteins that are mutated in the majority of early onset familial Alzheimer's disease (FAD) cases. Two lines of evidence establish a critical role for PS in the production of beta-amyloid peptides (Abeta). FAD-linked PS mutations elevate the levels of highly amyloidogenic Abeta ending at residue 42 (Abeta42), and cells with ablated PS1 alleles secrete low levels of Abeta. Several recent reports have shown that the hydrophilic loop (HL) domain, located between transmembrane domains 6 and 7, contains sites for phosphorylation, caspase cleavage, and sequences that bind several PS-interacting proteins. In the present report, we examined the metabolism of PS polypeptides lacking the HL domain and the influence of these molecules on Abeta production. We report that the deletion of the HL domain does not have a deleterious effect on the regulated endoproteolysis of PS, saturable accumulation of PS fragments, or the self-association of PS fragments. Abeta production was not significantly altered in cells expressing HL-deleted PS polypeptides compared with cells expressing full-length PS. Importantly, deletion of the HL domain did not affect FAD mutation-mediated elevation in the production of Abeta42. Furthermore, the deletion of the HL domain did not impair the role of PS1 or PS2 in facilitating Notch processing. Thus, our results argue against a biologically or pathologically relevant role for the HL domain phosphorylation and caspase cleavage and the association of PS HL domain-interacting proteins, in amyloid precursor protein metabolism and Abeta production or Notch cleavage.

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