ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative condition characterized by an accumulation of toxic amyloid beta- (Aβ-)peptides in the brain causing progressive neuronal death. Aβ-peptides are produced by aspartyl proteinase-mediated cleavage of the larger amyloid precursor protein (APP). In contrast to this detrimental "amyloidogenic" form of proteolysis, a range of zinc metalloproteinases can process APP via an alternative "nonamyloidogenic" pathway in which the protein is cleaved within its Aβ region thereby precluding the formation of intact Aβ-peptides. In addition, other members of the zinc metalloproteinase family can degrade preformed Aβ-peptides. As such, the zinc metalloproteinases, collectively, are key to downregulating Aβ generation and enhancing its degradation. It is the role of zinc metalloproteinases in this "positive side of proteolysis in Alzheimer's disease" that is discussed in the current paper.
Biochemistry research international. 01/2011; 2011:721463.