Structural biology of presenilins and signal peptide peptidases.

Research paper by Taisuke T Tomita, Takeshi T Iwatsubo

Indexed on: 16 Apr '13Published on: 16 Apr '13Published in: Journal of Biological Chemistry


Presenilin and signal peptide peptidase are multispanning intramembrane-cleaving proteases with a conserved catalytic GxGD motif. Presenilin comprises the catalytic subunit of γ-secretase, a protease responsible for the generation of amyloid-β peptides causative of Alzheimer disease. Signal peptide peptidase proteins are implicated in the regulation of the immune system. Both protease family proteins have been recognized as druggable targets for several human diseases, but their detailed structure still remains unknown. Recently, the x-ray structures of some archaeal GxGD proteases have been determined. We review the recent progress in biochemical and biophysical probing of the structure of these atypical proteases.