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J Biol Chem. 2001 Jun 1;276(22):19197-204. Epub 2001 Mar 9.

Calsenilin is a substrate for caspase-3 that preferentially interacts with the familial Alzheimer's disease-associated C-terminal fragment of presenilin 2.

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Genetics and Aging Unit, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, Massachusetts 02129, USA.


Calsenilin is a member of the recoverin family of neuronal calcium-binding proteins that we have previously shown to interact with presenilin 1 (PS1) and presenilin 2 (PS2) holoproteins. The expression of calsenilin can regulate the levels of a proteolytic product of PS2 (Buxbaum, J. D., Choi, E. K., Luo, Y., Lilliehook, C., Crowley, A. C., Merriam, D. E., and Wasco, W. (1998) Nat. Med. 4, 1177-1181) and reverse the presenilin-mediated enhancement of calcium signaling (Leissring, M. A., Yamasaki, T. R., Wasco, W., Buxbaum, J. D., Parker, I., and LaFerla, F. M. (2000) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 97, 8590-8593). Here, we have used cultured mammalian cells that transiently or stably express calsenilin to extend the characterization of calsenilin and of the calsenilin-PS2 interaction. We have found that calsenilin has the ability to interact with endogenous 25-kDa C-terminal fragment (CTF) that is a product of regulated endoproteolytic cleavage of PS2 and that the presence of the N141I PS2 mutation does not significantly alter the interaction of calsenilin with PS2. Interestingly, when the 25-kDa PS2 CTF and the 20-kDa PS2 CTF are both present, calsenilin preferentially interacts with the 20-kDa CTF. Increases in the 20-kDa fragment are associated with the presence of familial Alzheimer's disease-associated mutations (Kim, T., Pettingell, W. H., Jung, Y., Kovacs, D. M., and Tanzi, R. E. (1997) Science 277, 373-376). However, the finding that the production of the 20-kDa fragment is regulated by the phosphorylation of PS2 (Walter, J., Schindzielorz, A., Grunberg, J., and Haass, C. (1999) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 96, 1391-1396) suggests that it is a regulated physiological event that also occurs in the absence of the familial Alzheimer's disease-associated mutations in PS2. Finally, we have demonstrated that calsenilin is a substrate for caspase-3, and we have used site-directed mutagenesis to map the caspase-3 cleavage site to a region that is proximal to the calcium binding domain of calsenilin.

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