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Neurobiol Dis. 2002 Mar;9(2):126-38.

Presenilin-1 protects against neuronal apoptosis caused by its interacting protein PAG.

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Department of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.


Mutations in the presenilin-1 (PS-1) gene account for a significant fraction of familial Alzheimer's disease. The biological function of PS-1 is not well understood. We report here that the proliferation-associated gene (PAG) product, a protein of the thioredoxin peroxidase family, interacts with PS-1. Microinjection of a plasmid expressing PAG into superior cervical ganglion (SCG) sympathetic neurons in primary cultures led to apoptosis. Microinjection of plasmids expressing wild-type PS-1 or a PS-1 mutant with a deletion of exon 10 (PS1dE10) by themselves had no effect on the survival of primary SCG neurons. However, co-injection of wild-type PS-1 with PAG prevented neuronal death, whereas co-injection with the mutant PS-1 did not affect PAG-induced apoptosis. Furthermore, overexpression of PAG accelerated SCG neuronal death induced by nerve growth factor deprivation. This sensitizing effect was also blocked by wild-type PS-1, but not by PS1dE10. These results establish an assay for studying the function of PS-1 in primary neurons, reveal the neurotoxicity of a thioredoxin peroxidase, demonstrate a neuroprotective activity of the wild-type PS-1, and suggest possible involvement of defective neuroprotection by PS-1 mutants in neurodegeneration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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