Author(s): Gervais FG, Xu D, Robertson GS, Vaillancourt JP, Zhu Y,
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Abstract The amyloid-beta precursor protein (APP) is directly and efficiently cleaved by caspases during apoptosis, resulting in elevated amyloid-beta (A beta) peptide formation. The predominant site of caspase-mediated proteolysis is within the cytoplasmic tail of APP, and cleavage at this site occurs in hippocampal neurons in vivo following acute excitotoxic or ischemic brain injury. Caspase-3 is the predominant caspase involved in APP cleavage, consistent with its marked elevation in dying neurons of Alzheimer's disease brains and colocalization of its APP cleavage product with A beta in senile plaques. Caspases thus appear to play a dual role in proteolytic processing of APP and the resulting propensity for A beta peptide formation, as well as in the ultimate apoptotic death of neurons in Alzheimer's disease.
This article was published in Cell
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Pathology