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J Neurochem. 2005 Mar;92(5):1010-20.

Aph-1 interacts at the cell surface with proteins in the active gamma-secretase complex and membrane-tethered Notch.

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Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Medical Nobel Institute, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.


The activity of the gamma-secretase complex is critical for the processing of a number of transmembrane proteins, including Notch. Functional gamma-secretase activity can be reconstituted from four proteins--presenilin, nicastrin, Pen-2 and Aph-1--but the role of the individual proteins remains unclear. In this report we describe the cellular localization and protein interactions of Aph-1, with particular regard to Notch receptor processing. We found that Aph-1 is present at the cell surface, where it interacts with Pen-2, the mature forms of presenilin and nicastrin, and full-length Notch. Aph-1 also interacts with a truncated form of Notch, which is a direct substrate for gamma-secretase, but not with the Notch intracellular domain. Immunoprecipitation data for Notch and Aph-1 showed that the Notch-containing gamma-secretase complexes most likely form a small subset of the total number of gamma-secretase complexes. In conclusion, these data demonstrate that Aph-1 is present at the cell surface, presumably in active gamma-secretase complexes, and interacts with the Notch receptor, both before and after ligand activation.

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