Presenilins (PS) are required for γ-secretase cleavage of multiple type I membrane proteins including the amyloid precursor protein and Notch and also have been implicated in regulating intracellular protein trafficking and turnover. Using genetic and pharmacological approaches, we reveal here a unique function of PS in the pigmentation of retinal pigment epithelium and epidermal melanocytes. PS deficiency leads to aberrant accumulation of tyrosinase (Tyr)-containing 50-nm post-Golgi vesicles that are normally destined to melanosomes. This trafficking is γ-secretase-dependent, and abnormal localization of Tyr in the absence of PS is accompanied by the simultaneous accumulation of its C-terminal fragment. Furthermore, we show that the PS1M146V familial Alzheimer's disease mutation exhibits a partial loss-of-function in pigment synthesis. Our results identify Tyr and related proteins as physiological substrates of PS and link γ-secretase activity with intracellular protein transport.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Jan 10 2006|
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