Presenilin: running with scissors in the membrane

Cell. 2007 Oct 19;131(2):215-21. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2007.10.012.


The presenilin-containing gamma-secretase complex is an unusual membrane-embedded protease that processes a wide variety of integral membrane proteins, clearing protein stubs from the lipid bilayer and participating in critical signaling pathways. The protease is also central to Alzheimer's disease and certain cancers and is therefore an important therapeutic target. Here we highlight recent progress in deciphering the role of presenilin/gamma-secretase in biology and medicine and pose key questions for future study.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy
  • Alzheimer Disease / etiology
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism
  • Amyloid Precursor Protein Secretases / chemistry
  • Amyloid Precursor Protein Secretases / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Presenilin-1 / chemistry
  • Presenilin-1 / physiology*
  • Presenilin-2 / chemistry
  • Presenilin-2 / physiology*
  • Protein Conformation
  • Signal Transduction


  • Presenilin-1
  • Presenilin-2
  • Amyloid Precursor Protein Secretases