BACE2, a beta -secretase homolog, cleaves at the beta site and within the amyloid-beta region of the amyloid-beta precursor protein

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000 Aug 15;97(17):9712-7. doi: 10.1073/pnas.160115697.


Production of amyloid-beta protein (Abeta) is initiated by a beta-secretase that cleaves the Abeta precursor protein (APP) at the N terminus of Abeta (the beta site). A recently identified aspartyl protease, BACE, cleaves the beta site and at residue 11 within the Abeta region of APP. Here we show that BACE2, a BACE homolog, cleaves at the beta site and more efficiently at a different site within Abeta. The Flemish missense mutation of APP, implicated in a form of familial Alzheimer's disease, is adjacent to this latter site and markedly increases Abeta production by BACE2 but not by BACE. BACE and BACE2 respond identically to conservative beta-site mutations, and alteration of a common active site Arg inhibits beta-site cleavage but not cleavage within Abeta by both enzymes. These data suggest that BACE2 contributes to Abeta production in individuals bearing the Flemish mutation, and that selective inhibition of these highly similar proteases may be feasible and therapeutically advantageous.

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / genetics
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Amino Acid Substitution / genetics
  • Amyloid Precursor Protein Secretases
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / chemistry
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / genetics
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / metabolism
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor / chemistry
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor / genetics
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor / metabolism*
  • Arginine / genetics
  • Arginine / metabolism
  • Aspartic Acid Endopeptidases / chemistry
  • Aspartic Acid Endopeptidases / genetics
  • Aspartic Acid Endopeptidases / metabolism*
  • Binding Sites
  • Cell Line
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Endopeptidases
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation, Missense / genetics
  • Nervous System / enzymology
  • Netherlands
  • Peptide Fragments / chemistry
  • Peptide Fragments / genetics
  • Peptide Fragments / metabolism
  • Phenylalanine / metabolism
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational*
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / chemistry
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Sweden


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor
  • Peptide Fragments
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • amyloid beta-protein (1-28)
  • Phenylalanine
  • Arginine
  • Amyloid Precursor Protein Secretases
  • Endopeptidases
  • Aspartic Acid Endopeptidases
  • BACE2 protein, human
  • BACE1 protein, human