Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Chair of Metabolic Biochemistry

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PEN-2 is an integral component of the γ-secretase complex required for coordinated expression of presenilin and nicastrin

J Biol Chem 277(42): 39062-5

Authors/Editors: Steiner H
Winkler E
Edbauer D
Prokop S
Basset G
Yamasaki A
Kostka M
Haass C
Publication Date: 2002
Type of Publication: Journal Article

The Alzheimer disease-associated presenilin (PS) proteins apparently provide the active site of γ-secretase, an unusual intramembrane-cleaving aspartyl protease. PSs principally occur as high molecular weight protein complexes that contain nicastrin (Nct) and additional so far unidentified components. Recently, PEN-2 has been implicated in γ-secretase function. Here we identify PEN-2 as a critical component of PS1/γ-secretase and PS2/γ-secretase complexes. Strikingly, in the absence of PS1 and PS1/PS2, PEN-2 levels are strongly reduced. Similarly, PEN-2 levels are reduced upon RNA interference-mediated down-regulation of Nct. On the other side, down-regulation of PEN-2 by RNA interference is associated with reduced PS levels, impaired Nct maturation, and deficient γ-secretase complex formation. We conclude that PEN-2 is an integral γ-secretase complex component and that γ-secretase complex components are expressed in a coordinated manner.

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