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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Nicastrin binds to membrane-tethered Notch.

The presenilins and nicastrin, a type 1 transmembrane glycoprotein, form high molecular weight complexes that are involved in cleaving the beta-amyloid precursor protein (betaAPP) and Notch in their transmembrane domains. The former process (termed gamma-secretase cleavage) generates amyloid beta-peptide (Abeta), which is involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. The latter process (termed S3-site cleavage) generates Notch intracellular domain (NICD), which is involved in intercellular signalling. Nicastrin binds both full-length betaAPP and the substrates of gamma-secretase (C99- and C83-betaAPP fragments), and modulates the activity of gamma-secretase. Although absence of the Caenorhabditis elegans nicastrin homologue (aph-2) is known to cause an embryonic-lethal glp-1 phenotype, the role of nicastrin in this process has not been explored. Here we report that nicastrin binds to membrane-tethered forms of Notch (substrates for S3-site cleavage of Notch), and that, although mutations in the conserved 312-369 domain of nicastrin strongly modulate gamma-secretase, they only weakly modulate the S3-site cleavage of Notch. Thus, nicastrin has a similar role in processing Notch and betaAPP, but the 312-369 domain may have differential effects on these activities. In addition, we report that the Notch and betaAPP pathways do not significantly compete with each other.[1]


  1. Nicastrin binds to membrane-tethered Notch. Chen, F., Yu, G., Arawaka, S., Nishimura, M., Kawarai, T., Yu, H., Tandon, A., Supala, A., Song, Y.Q., Rogaeva, E., Milman, P., Sato, C., Yu, C., Janus, C., Lee, J., Song, L., Zhang, L., Fraser, P.E., St George-Hyslop, P.H. Nat. Cell Biol. (2001) [Pubmed]
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