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Mol Neurodegener. 2006 Jul 3;1:5.

The amyloid precursor protein: beyond amyloid.

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Huffington Center on Aging and Department of Molecular & Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


The amyloid precursor protein (APP) takes a central position in Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathogenesis: APP processing generates the beta-amyloid (Abeta) peptides, which are deposited as the amyloid plaques in brains of AD individuals; Point mutations and duplications of APP are causal for a subset of early onset of familial Alzheimer's disease (FAD). Not surprisingly, the production and pathogenic effect of Abeta has been the central focus in AD field. Nevertheless, the biological properties of APP have also been the subject of intense investigation since its identification nearly 20 years ago as it demonstrates a number of interesting putative physiological roles. Several attractive models of APP function have been put forward recently based on in vitro biochemical studies. Genetic analyses of gain- and loss-of-function mutants in Drosophila and mouse have also revealed important insights into its biological activities in vivo. This article will review the current understanding of APP physiological functions.

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