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Amyloid-Degrading Enzymes as Therapeutic Targets in Alzheimers Disease

[ Vol. 5 , Issue. 2 ]


Natalia N. Nalivaeva, Lilia R. Fisk, Nikolai D. Belyaev and Anthony J. Turner   Pages 212 - 224 ( 13 )


The steady state concentration of the Alzheimers amyloid-β peptide in the brain represents a balance between its biosynthesis from the transmembrane amyloid precursor protein (APP), its oligomerisation into neurotoxic and stable species and its degradation by a variety of amyloid-degrading enzymes, principally metallopeptidases. These include, among others, neprilysin (NEP) and its homologue endothelin-converting enzyme (ECE), insulysin (IDE), angiotensinconverting enzyme (ACE) and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9). In addition, the serine proteinase, plasmin, may participate in extracellular metabolism of the amyloid peptide under regulation of the plasminogen-activator inhibitor. These various amyloid-degrading enzymes have distinct subcellular localizations, and differential responses to aging, oxidative stress and pharmacological agents and their upregulation may provide a novel and viable therapeutic strategy for prevention and treatment of Alzheimers disease. Potential approaches to manipulate expression levels of the key amyloiddegrading enzymes are highlighted.


Alzheimer's disease, amyloid β-peptide, amyloid precursor protein, angiotensin-converting enzyme, endothelinconverting enzyme, insulysin, neprilysin, matrix metalloproteinase, plasmin, protease


Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds,Leeds, LS2 9JT, U.K.

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