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  • 1
    ISSN: 1471-4159
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: The γ-secretase complex processes substrate proteins within membranes and consists of four proteins: presenilin (PS), nicastrin, Aph-1 and Pen-2. PS harbours the enzymatic activity of the complex, and there are two mammalian PS homologues: PS1 and PS2. PS undergoes endoproteolysis, generating the N- and C-terminal fragments, NTF and CTF, which represent the active species of PS. To characterize the functional similarity between complexes of various PS composition, we analysed PS1, PS2, and chimeric PS composed of the NTF from PS1 and CTF from PS2, or vice versa, in assembly and function of the γ-secretase complex. Chimeric PSs, like PS1 and PS2, undergo normal endoproteolysis when introduced into cells devoid of endogenous PS. Furthermore, PS2 CTF can, at least partially, restore processing in a truncated PS1, which cannot undergo endoproteolysis. All PS forms enable maturation of nicastrin and cleave full length Notch receptors, indicating that both PS1 and PS2 are present at the cell surface. Finally, when co-introduced as separate molecules, NTF and CTF of different PS origin reconstitute γ-secretase activity. In conclusion, these data show that endoproteolysis, NTF–CTF interactions, and the assembly and activity of γ-secretase complexes are very conserved between PS1 and PS2.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1471-4159
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: The enzyme γ-secretase catalyzes the intramembrane proteolytic cleavage that generates the amyloid β-peptide from the β-amyloid precursor protein. The presenilin (PS) protein is one of the four integral membrane protein components of the mature γ-secretase complex. The PS protein is itself subjected to endoproteolytic processing, generating stable N- and C-terminal fragment (NTF and CTF, respectively) heterodimers. Here we demonstrate that coexpression of PS1 NTF and CTF functionally mimics expression of the full-length PS1 protein and restores γ-secretase activity in PS-deficient mammalian cells. The coexpressed fragments re-associate with each other inside the cell, where they also interact with nicastrin, another γ-secretase complex component. Analysis of γ-secretase activity following the expression of mutant forms of NTF and CTF, under conditions bypassing endoproteolysis, indicated that the putatively catalytic Asp257 and Asp385 residues have a direct effect on γ-secretase activity. Moreover, we demonstrate that expression of the wild-type CTF rescues endoproteolytic cleavage of C-terminally truncated PS1 molecules that are otherwise uncleaved and inactive. Recovery of cleavage is critically dependent on the integrity of Asp385. Taken together, our findings indicate that ectopically expressed NTF and CTF restore functional γ-secretase complexes and that the presence of full-length PS1 is not a requirement for proper complex assembly.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1471-4159
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: The activity of the γ-secretase complex is critical for the processing of a number of transmembrane proteins, including Notch. Functional γ-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 γ-secretase, but not with the Notch intracellular domain. Immunoprecipitation data for Notch and Aph-1 showed that the Notch-containing γ-secretase complexes most likely form a small subset of the total number of γ-secretase complexes. In conclusion, these data demonstrate that Aph-1 is present at the cell surface, presumably in active γ-secretase complexes, and interacts with the Notch receptor, both before and after ligand activation.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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