Presenilin-1 (PS1) is thought to regulate cell differentiation and survival by modulating the Notch signaling pathway. Mutations in PS1 have been shown to cause early-onset inherited forms of Alzheimer's disease (AD) by a gain-of-function mechanism that alters proteolytic processing of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) resulting in increased production of neurotoxic forms of amyloid β-peptide. The present article considers a second pathogenic mode of action of PS1 mutations, a defect in cellular calcium signaling characterized by overfilling of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) calcium stores and altered capacitive calcium entry; this abnormality may impair synaptic plasticity and sensitize neurons to apoptosis and excitotoxicity. The calcium signaling defect has also been documented in lymphocytes, suggesting a contribution of immune dysfunction to the pathogenesis of AD. A better understanding of the calcium signaling defect resulting from PS1 mutations may lead to the development of novel preventative and therapeutic strategies for disorders of the nervous and immune systems.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
- Cell Biology
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Developmental Biology
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Plant Science