NeuroMolecular Medicine

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 1–12 | Cite as

An Overview of APP Processing Enzymes and Products

  • Vivian W. Chow
  • Mark P. Mattson
  • Philip C. Wong
  • Marc GleichmannEmail author
Review Paper


The generation of amyloid β-peptide (Aβ) by enzymatic cleavages of the β-amyloid precursor protein (APP) has been at the center of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) research. While the basic process of β- and γ-secretase-mediated generation of Aβ is text book knowledge, new aspects of Aβ and other cleavage products have emerged in recent years. Also our understanding of the enzymes involved in APP proteolysis has increased dramatically. All of these discoveries contribute to a more complete understanding of APP processing and the physiologic and pathologic roles of its secreted and intracellular protein products. Understanding APP processing is important for any therapeutic strategy aimed at reducing Aβ levels in AD. In this review, we provide a concise description of the current state of understanding the enzymes involved in APP processing, the cleavage products generated by different processing patterns, and the potential functions of those cleavage products.


Amyloid beta α-secretase β-secretase γ-secretase APP AICD 



This study was in part supported by the Intramural Research Program of the NIH, National Institute on Aging.


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Copyright information

© US Government 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vivian W. Chow
    • 1
  • Mark P. Mattson
    • 2
  • Philip C. Wong
    • 1
  • Marc Gleichmann
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Pathology, Division of NeuropathologyThe Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Laboratory of NeurosciencesNational Institute on AgingBaltimoreUSA

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