|Art der Förderung:||Standard Projekt|
|Institution:||Universität Heidelberg, Zentrum für Molekularbiologie|
|Projektleiter:||Dr. Andreas Weidemann|
|Laufzeit:||01. November 1999 - 31. Oktober 2000|
The pathway of programmed cell death or apoptosis can be induced by a couple of stimuli and factors. Among these factors two genes have been described which are intimately linked with Alzheimer’s disease. These genes encode for proteins called presenilins (presenilin-1 and presenilin-2) and amyloid precursor protein (APP), the precursor for ß-amyloid. Mutations in these genes lead to enhanced basal activity for apoptosis in cells.
Little is known of the role of the presenilins in cells with the exception that the mutations do not only increase apoptosis but somehow augment the formation of higher-aggregating ß-amyloid species derived from APP. Novel findings suggest that APP itself is involved in pathways of programmed cell death. Based on this data, Dr. Weidemann will further investigate the relationships between neurodegeneration, programmed cell death, presenilins and ß-amyloid formation in Alzheimer’s disease.
Weidemann, A., Paliga, K, Dürrwang, U., Reinhard, F.B.M., Schuckert, O., Evin, G., Masters, C.L. (1999). Proteolytic processing of the Alzheimer’s disease amyloid precursor protein within its cytoplasmic domain by caspase-like proteases. J. Biol. Chem. 274: 5823-5829.