Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Chair of Metabolic Biochemistry

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Proteolytic fragments of the Alzheimer's disease associated presenilins-1 and -2 are phosphorylated in vivo by distinct cellular mechanisms

Biochemistry 37(17): 5961-7

Authors/Editors: Walter J
Grunberg J
Schindzielorz A
Haass C
Publication Date: 1998
Type of Publication: Journal Article
The majority of familial Alzheimer's disease mutations are linked to the recently cloned presenilin (PS) genes, which encode two highly homologous proteins (PS-1 and PS-2). Full-length PS proteins undergo endoproteolytic cleavage within their hydrophilic loop domain resulting in the formation of C-terminal (CTF) and N-terminal fragments (NTF). PS-2 was found to be phosphorylated as a full-length protein within its N-terminal domain. In contrast, PS-1 is phosphorylated selectively after proteolytic processing within its approximately 20 kDa CTF involving protein kinase C (PKC) and/or protein kinase A (PKA). We now have found that the CTF of the highly homologous PS-2 is also phosphorylated. Surprisingly, the PS-2 CTF is not phosphorylated by PKC or PKA. Instead, the PS-2 CTF is constitutively phosphorylated in vivo by serine/threonine protein kinases, which are independent of phorbol ester and intracellular cAMP. In vitro the large hydrophilic loop of PS-2 between transmembrane domains 6 and 7 can be phosphorylated by casein kinase-1 (CK-1) and CK-2, but not by PKA or PKC. Quantitative analysis of in vitro phosphorylation demonstrates the presence of two phosphorylation sites for CK-1 and a single site for CK-2. A deletion analysis revealed that the CTF of PS-2 is phosphorylated in vivo within an acidic sequence containing three potential phosphorylation sites for CKs (serines 327, 330, and 335). These data suggest that CK type protein kinases phosphorylate the CTF of PS-2 within its hydrophilic loop domain in vivo. Interestingly, the potential phosphorylation sites are located directly adjacent to the recently identified caspase cleavage sites.

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