Publication Details (including relevant citation information):
J Mol Biol (2000) 300: 241-248.
Sauder JM, Arthur JW, Dunbrack RL Jr
The enzyme BACE (beta-site APP-cleaving enzyme) has recently been identified as the beta-secretase that cleaves the amyloid precursor protein (APP) to produce the N terminus of the Abeta peptide found in plaques in the brains of Alzheimer's disease patients. BACE is an aspartic protease similar to pepsin and renin. Comparative modeling of the three-dimensional structure of BACE in complex with its substrate shows that several residues confer specificity of the enzyme for APP. In particular, Arg296 forms a salt-bridge with the P1' Asp of the APP substrate, explaining the unusual preference of BACE among aspartic proteases for a P1' residue that is negatively charged. Several hydrophobic residues in the enzyme form a pocket for the P1 hydrophobic residue (Met in wild-type APP and Leu in APP with the "Swedish mutation" associated with early-onset of Alzheimer's disease). Inhibitors that can bind to the BACE active site may prove useful for drugs to treat and prevent Alzheimer's disease.
Address (URL): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10873463