Caspase-mediated cleavage is not required for the activity of presenilins in amyloidogenesis and NOTCH signaling
Neuroreport 9(7): 1481-6
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The Alzheimer's disease (AD) associated presenilin (PS) proteins are proteolytically processed. One of the processing pathways involves cleavage by caspases. Pharmacological inhibition of caspases is currently being discussed as a treatment for a variety of neurodegenerative diseases, including AD. We therefore inhibited caspase mediated processing of PS-1 and PS-2 in cells transfected with wt and mutant PS by mutagenizing the substrate recognition site or by using specific peptide aldehydes known to block caspases. We found that the inhibition of caspase mediated processing of PS proteins does not decrease its amyloidogenic activity. PS cDNA constructs with mutations in the caspase cleavage site are biologically active in Caenorhabditis elegans such as the wt human PS proteins, demonstrating that caspase-mediated cleavage is not required for the physiological PS function in NOTCH signaling.