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Recent evidence supports the emerging hypothesis that the amyloid-β precursor protein C-terminal fragments (APP-CTFs) and dysregulations in both their qualitative and quantitative productions may actively and directly contribute to the neuronal toxicity in early phases of Alzheimer's disease (AD). These new findings revealed the urgent needs and gaps in better understanding the metabolism and full spectrum of APP-CTFs. In this study, we characterized by mass spectrometry the full patterns of APP-CTFs in different cell types and in the brain of an AD APPPS1 mouse model. In these systems, we first discovered a series of 71-80 amino acids long N-terminally truncated APP-CTFs of unknown functions. We next demonstrated that these N-terminally truncated APP-CTFs are sequentially produced by the proteolytic processing of APP-C80, by an as yet unidentified protease. Finally, these N-terminally truncated APP-CTFs are likely protein substrates recognized and processed by the γ-secretase complex, leading to the production of N-terminally truncated Aβ peptides. Together, our findings provide new insights into the metabolism of APP and offer potential new strategies to modulate the production of toxic Aβ peptides in AD. © 2020 International Society for Neurochemistry.


Sebastien Mosser, Hermeto Gerber, Patrick C Fraering. Identification of truncated C-terminal fragments of the Alzheimer's disease amyloid protein precursor derived from sequential proteolytic pathways. Journal of neurochemistry. 2021 Mar;156(6):943-956

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PMID: 32757390

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