Journal of Neurochemistry vol:78 issue:5 pages:1168-78
The gamma-secretase cleavage is the last step in the generation of the beta-amyloid peptide (Abeta) from the amyloid precursor protein (APP). The Abeta precipitates in the amyloid plaques in the brain of Alzheimer's disease patients. The fate of the intracellular APP carboxy-terminal stub generated together with Abeta has been, in contrast, only poorly documented. The analogies between the processing of APP and other transmembrane proteins like SREBP and Notch suggests that this intracellular fragment could have important signalling functions. We demonstrate here that APP-C59 is rapidly degraded (half-life approximately 5 min) when overexpressed in baby hamster kidney cells or primary cultures of neurones by a mechanism that is not inhibited by endosomal/lysosomal or proteasome inhibitors. Furthermore, APP-C59 binds to the DNA binding protein Fe65, although this does not increase the half-life of APP-C59. Finally, we demonstrate that a fraction of APP-C59 becomes redistributed to the nuclear detergent-insoluble pellet, in which the transcription factor SP1 is also present. Overall our results reinforce the analogy between Notch and APP processing, and suggest that the APP intracellular domain, like the Notch intracellular domain, could have a role in signalling events from the plasma membrane to the nucleus.