Evidence that levels of presenilins (PS1 and PS2) are coordinately regulated by competition for limiting cellular factors

Gopal Thinakaran, Christie L. Harris, Tamara Ratovitski, Frances Davenport, Hilda H. Slunt, Donald L Price, David R. Borchelt, Sangram S. Sisodia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

277 Scopus citations


Mutations in two related genes, PS1 and PS2, account for the majority of early onset cases of familial Alzheimer's disease. PS1 and PS2 are homologous polytopic membrane proteins that are processed endoproteolytically into two fragments in vivo. In the present report we examine the fate of endogenous PS1 and PS2 after overexpression of human PS1 or PS2 in mouse N2a neuroblastoma cell lines and human PS1 in transgenic mice. Remarkably, in N2a cell lines and in brains of transgenic mice expressing human PS1, accumulation of human PS1 derivatives is accompanied by a compensatory, and highly selective, decrease in the steady-state levels of murine PS1 and PS2 derivatives. Similarly, the levels of murine PS1 derivatives are diminished in cultured cells overexpressing human PS2. To define the minimal sequence requirements for 'replacement' we expressed familial Alzheimer's disease- linked and experimental deletion variants of PS1. These studies revealed that compromised accumulation of murine PS1 and PS2 derivatives resulting from overexpression of human PS1 occurs in a manner independent of endoproteolytic cleavage. Our results are consistent with a model in which the abundance of PS1 and PS2 fragments is regulated coordinately by competition for limiting cellular factor(s).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28415-28422
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number45
StatePublished - Nov 7 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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