Amyloid-beta precursor protein secretase

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Brief summary - Amyloid-beta precursor protein secretase

Secretases are enzymes that snip pieces off a longer protein that is embedded in the cell membrane. Among other roles in the cell, secretases act on the amyloid-beta precursor protein (APP) to cleave the protein into three fragments. Sequential cleavage by beta-secretase 1 (BACE) and gamma-secretase (γ-secretase) produces the amyloid-beta peptide fragment that aggregates into clumps called amyloid plaques in the brains affected by Alzheimer's disease. If alpha-secretase (α-secretase) acts on APP first instead of BACE, no amyloid beta is formed because α-secretase recognizes a target protein sequence closer to the cell surface than BACE. The non-pathogenic middle fragment formed by an α/γ cleavage sequence is called P3.


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