Presenilin complex assembly and intracellular traffic

Meir Aridor, PhD University of Pittsburgh

Project Details

Alzheimer's disease is a prevalent, adult-onset neurodegenerative disease that is characterized by progressive impairments in cognition and memory. Protein aggregates termed amyloids lead to the destruction of neurons, the formation of harmful brain lesions, and eventually culminate in the development of Alzheimer's disease. Intensive research has identified the source of these harmful protein fragments as the amyloid precursor protein (APP). Studies have also identified proteins termed presenilins, as well as 3 additional accessory proteins, which function together as a unit to divide the APP. While each of these proteins has normal and essential biological functions, in the disease state they seem to function in a somewhat deregulated manner. Dr. Aridor believes greater understanding of the mechanisms that regulate the presenilin complex activity will in the future enable us to preserve its essential functions while eliminating harmful activity.