Recent research has identified some key players involved in the proteolytic processing of amyloid precursor protein (APP) to amyloid beta-peptide, the principal component of the amyloid plaques in Alzheimer patients. Interesting parallels exists with the proteolysis of other proteins involved in cell differentiation, cholesterol homeostasis and stress responses. Since the cytoplasmic domain of APP is anchored to a complex protein network that might function in axonal elongation, dendritic arborisation and neuronal cell migration, the proteolysis of APP might be critically involved in intracellular signalling events.

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