The cell biology of Alzheimer's disease: uncovering the secrets of secretases
Curr Opin Neurobiol 11(5): 585-90
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Progress has been made in characterizing the secretases involved in endoproteolytic processing of the beta-amyloid precursor protein - the precursor of the amyloid beta-peptide (Abeta), which is the main constituent of amyloid plaques that form in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease. It is now thought that Abeta is pivotal in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease, and that reducing brain Abeta levels may help to treat or prevent the disease. Two essential factors for the proteolytic generation of Abeta have been identified, beta-secretase and the presenilins, which might aid the design of drugs against this disease.