[Recent advances in Alzheimer's disease research--amyloid precursor protein trafficking, processing, and mutations in Alzheimer's disease linked genes]

Hokkaido Igaku Zasshi. 1997 Jan;72(1):3-11.
[Article in Japanese]


Recent advances in Alzheimer's disease (AD) research were briefly reviewed. The AD affected brain is characterized by numerous amyloid plaques, neurofibrillary tangles, and neuronal losses. The amyloid is composed of amyloid beta peptide (A beta), a 40-42 amino acid fragment of large membrane protein, amyloid precursor protein (APP). A beta is cleaved by proteolytic enzyme, beta, and gamma secretase yielding N and C terminus of the A beta. Considerable effort has been directed to identify these enzymes, and to find the intracellular compartments where A beta is generated. Endosome, lysosomal pathway, or related acidic compartment is one of the candidates for A beta generation. Biochemical and immunopathological data implicate that A beta 42 is more important than A beta 40 in the pathogenesis of AD. On the other hand, many missence mutations in APP gene and other gene, S182 (presenilin1), and STM2 (presenilin2) were identified in familial AD. Neuropathology in these FAD appear basically quite similar, and AD is regarded as cerebral A beta amyloidosis. It was established that missense mutations in the genes encoding APP, presenilin1, and presenilin2, all treated APP processing, leading to increased production of A beta 42. AD amyloid is composed of many other proteins than A beta, designated as amyloid associated proteins, It should be a key issue to determine the precise mechanism, by which A beta is generated, and the alteration of APP trafficking resulting in increased A beta 42 generation with these mutant genes.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / genetics*
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / metabolism
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor / genetics
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor / metabolism*
  • Biological Transport
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 21
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Peptide Fragments / metabolism


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor
  • Peptide Fragments
  • amyloid beta-protein (10-43)