Presenilin (PS) was identified in screens for mutations causing the early onset forms of familial Alzheimer's
disease (FAD) in 1995. As catalytic units of the γ-secretase complex, presenilins participate in the processing of amyloid
beta protein (Aβ), the main component of deposits in brain of patients with AD. The more than 90 substrates of
γ-secretase isolated so far demonstrate its contribution to wide range of cellular processes and signaling events. However,
recent findings have revealed numerous γ-secretase-independent presenilin functions, including involvement in calcium
homeostasis, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and autophagy. This mini-review attempts to summarize the multiple
physiological and pathological functions of presenilin.
Keywords: Autophagy, Ca2+ signaling, presenilin, ER stress, γ-secretase, neurodegenerative disease.
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