Presenilins mediate a dual intramembranous gamma-secretase cleavage of Notch-1
EMBO J 21(20): 5408-16
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Following ectodomain shedding, Notch-1 undergoes presenilin (PS)-dependent constitutive intramembranous endoproteolysis at site-3. This cleavage is similar to the PS-dependent gamma-secretase cleavage of the beta-amyloid precursor protein (betaAPP). However, topological differences in cleavage resulting in amyloid beta-peptide (Abeta) or the Notch-1 intracellular domain (NICD) indicated independent mechanisms of proteolytic cleavage. We now demonstrate the secretion of an N-terminal Notch-1 Abeta-like fragment (Nbeta). Analysis of Nbeta by MALDI-TOF MS revealed that Nbeta is cleaved at a novel site (site-4, S4) near the middle of the transmembrane domain. Like the corresponding cleavage of betaAPP at position 40 and 42 of the Abeta domain, S4 cleavage is PS dependent. The precision of this cleavage is affected by familial Alzheimer's disease-associated PS1 mutations similar to the pathological endoproteolysis of betaAPP. Considering these similarities between intramembranous processing of Notch and betaAPP, we conclude that these proteins are cleaved by a common mechanism utilizing the same protease, i.e. PS/gamma-secretase.