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The paucity of enzymes that efficiently deconstruct plant polysaccharides represents a major bottleneck for industrial-scale conversion of cellulosic biomass into biofuels. Cow rumen microbes specialize in degradation of cellulosic plant material, but most members of this complex community resist cultivation. To characterize biomass-degrading genes and(More)
Although, in principle, gene expression profiling is well suited to isolate pathogenic molecules associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD), techniques such as microarray present unique analytic challenges when applied to disorders of the brain. Here, we addressed these challenges by first constructing a spatiotemporal model, predicting a priori how a(More)
Mutations in two recently identified genes appear to cause the majority of early–onset familial Alzheimer's disease (FAD). These two novel genes, presenilin 1 (PS1) and presenilin 2 (PS2) are members of an evolutionarily conserved gene family. The normal biological role(s) of the presenilins and the mechanism(s) by which the FAD–associated mutations exert(More)
An unusual protease gamma-secretase requires functional presenilins and cleaves substrates (e.g. amyloid beta-protein precursor and Notch) with very loose amino acid sequence specificity within the transmembrane region. Here we report that ErbB4, a tyrosine kinase receptor for neuregulins, is a substrate for presenilin-dependent gamma-secretase. Our studies(More)
We studied a novel function of the presenilins (PS1 and PS2) in governing capacitative calcium entry (CCE), a refilling mechanism for depleted intracellular calcium stores. Abrogation of functional PS1, by either knocking out PS1 or expressing inactive PS1, markedly potentiated CCE, suggesting a role for PS1 in the modulation of CCE. In contrast, familial(More)
The generation of biologically active proteins by regulated intramembrane proteolysis is a highly conserved mechanism in cell signaling. Presenilin-dependent gamma-secretase activity is responsible for the intramembrane proteolysis of selected type I membrane proteins, including beta-amyloid precursor protein (APP) and Notch. A small fraction of(More)
Protein ectodomain shedding, the proteolytic release of the extracellullar domain of membrane-tethered proteins, can dramatically affect the function of cell surface receptors, growth factors, cytokines, and other proteins. In this study, we evaluated the activities involved in ectodomain shedding of p75NTR, a neurotrophin receptor with critical roles in(More)
Lipid-mediated signalling regulates a plethora of physiological processes, including crucial aspects of brain function. In addition, dysregulation of lipid pathways has been implicated in a growing number of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). Although much attention has been given to the link between cholesterol and AD(More)
VPS35, a major component of the retromer complex, is important for endosome-to-Golgi retrieval of membrane proteins. Although implicated in Alzheimer's disease (AD), how VPS35 regulates AD-associated pathology is unknown. In this paper, we show that hemizygous deletion of Vps35 in the Tg2576 mouse model of AD led to earlier-onset AD-like phenotypes,(More)
A hallmark of Alzheimer's disease is the deposition of plaques of amyloid beta peptide (Abeta) in the brain. Abeta is thought to be formed from the amyloid precursor protein (APP) in cholesterol-enriched membrane rafts, and cellular cholesterol depletion decreases Abeta formation. The liver X receptors (LXR) play a key role in regulating genes that control(More)