The Presenilin 2 Mutation (N141I) Linked to Familial Alzheimer Disease (Volga German Families) Increases the Secretion of Amyloid β Protein Ending at the 42nd (or 43rd) Residue
To gain insights into the significance of presenilins (PS) in the pathogenetic mechanisms of early-onset familial Alzheimer disease (FAD), we expressed cDNAs for wild-type PS2 and PS2 with the Volga German (N141I) mutation in cultured cells and then examined the metabolism of the transfected proteins and their effect on the C-terminal properties of secreted amyloid β protein (Aβ). PS2 was identified as a 50- to 55-kDa protein, which was cleaved to produce N-terminal fragments of 35-40 kDa and C-terminal fragments of 19-23 kDa. The Volga German (N141I) mutation did not cause any significant change in the metabolism of PS2. COS-1 cells doubly transfected with cDNAs for N141I mutant PS2 and human β-amyloid precursor protein (βAPP) or a C-terminal fragment thereof, as well as mouse Neuro2a neuroblastoma cells stably transfected with N141I mutant PS2 alone, secreted 1.5- to 10-fold more Aβ ending at residues 42 (or 43) [Aβ42(43)] compared with those expressing the wild-type PS2. These results strongly suggest that the PS2 mutation (N141I) linked to FAD alters the metabolism of Aβ/βAPP to foster the production of the form of Aβ that most readily deposits in amyloid plaques. Thus, mutant PS2 may lead to AD by altering the metabolism of Aβ/βAPP.