Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Neurobiol Dis. 2004 Nov;17(2):260-72.

Coordinated and widespread expression of gamma-secretase in vivo: evidence for size and molecular heterogeneity.

Author information

Neuronal Cell Biology and Gene Transfer, Center for Human Genetics, Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB4) and K.U. Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Belgium.


Gamma-secretase is a high molecular weight protein complex composed of four subunits, namely, presenilin (PS; 1 or 2), nicastrin, anterior pharynx defective-1 (Aph-1; A or B), and presenilin enhancer-2 (Pen-2), and is responsible for the cleavage of a number of type-1 transmembrane proteins. A fundamental question is whether different gamma-secretase complexes exist in vivo. We demonstrate here by in situ hybridization and by Northern and Western blotting that the gamma-secretase components are widely distributed in all tissues investigated. The expression of the different subunits seems tightly coregulated. However, some variation in the expression of the Aph-1 proteins is observed, Aph-1A being more general and abundantly distributed than Aph-1B. The previously uncharacterized rodent-specific Aph-1C mRNA is highly expressed in the kidney and testis but not in brain or other tissues, indicating some tissue specificity for the Aph-1 component of the gamma-secretase complex. Blue-native electrophoresis revealed size heterogeneity of the mature gamma-secretase complex in various tissues. Using co-immunoprecipitations and blue-native electrophoresis at endogenous protein levels, we find evidence that several independent gamma-secretase complexes can coexist in the same cell type. In conclusion, our results suggest that gamma-secretase is a heterogeneous family of protein complexes widely expressed in the adult organism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center