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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997 Mar 4;94(5):2025-30.

The presenilin 2 mutation (N141I) linked to familial Alzheimer disease (Volga German families) increases the secretion of amyloid beta protein ending at the 42nd (or 43rd) residue.

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  • 1Laboratory of Neurochemistry, National Institute for Physiological Sciences, Okazaki, Japan.


To gain insights into the significance of presenilins (PS) in the pathogenetic mechanisms of early-onset familial Alzheimer disease (FAD), we expressed cDNAs for wild-type PS2 and PS2 with the Volga German (N141I) mutation in cultured cells and then examined the metabolism of the transfected proteins and their effect on the C-terminal properties of secreted amyloid beta protein (A beta). PS2 was identified as a 50- to 55-kDa protein, which was cleaved to produce N-terminal fragments of 35-40 kDa and C-terminal fragments of 19-23 kDa. The Volga German (N141I) mutation did not cause any significant change in the metabolism of PS2. COS-1 cells doubly transfected with cDNAs for N141I mutant PS2 and human beta-amyloid precursor protein (betaAPP) or a C-terminal fragment thereof, as well as mouse Neuro2a neuroblastoma cells stably transfected with N141I mutant PS2 alone, secreted 1.5- to 10-fold more A beta ending at residues 42 (or 43) [A beta42(43)] compared with those expressing the wild-type PS2. These results strongly suggest that the PS2 mutation (N141I) linked to FAD alters the metabolism of A beta/betaAPP to foster the production of the form of A beta that most readily deposits in amyloid plaques. Thus, mutant PS2 may lead to AD by altering the metabolism of A beta/betaAPP.

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