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The Amyloid β-Protein Precursor and Alzheimer's Disease. Therapeutic Approaches

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Alzheimer's disease (AD) is triggered by the pathophysiological cleavage of a single transmembrane glycoprotein denominated amyloid β-protein precursor (AβPP) rendering amyloid β-peptide (Aβ) that aggregates in β- sheets forming the neuritic plaques. Since AbPP is playing a key role in AD development, this review will be focused in the structure, proteolytic processing, related secretases, mutations, localization and physiological role of AβPP protein. AβPP is present in several tissues and can be spliced at different exons rendering up to ten AβPP isoforms. The most abundant isoforms are AβPP770, AβPP751 and AβPP695, being the last one the predominant isoform in neurons. Mutations in the AβPP sequence or in the secretases that cleavage AβPP determinate an early onset of AD. AβPP and the secretase activities involve in the non amyloidogenic and the amyloidogenic pathways are putative therapeutic targets in AD, but their relationships with other physiological functions can produce controversial results.

Keywords: AbPP; Alzheimer's disease; amyloid β-peptide; presenilin; secretases; therapy

Document Type: Review Article


Affiliations: Laboratori de Fisiologia Molecular, Unitat de Senyalitzacio Cellular, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Carrer Dr. Aiguader, 80, Barcelona 08003, Spain.

Publication date: 2005-12-01

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