Abstract : Presenilin 1 (PS1) has been identified as a causative gene for most early-onset familial Alzheimer's disease. Biochemical studies revealed that PS1 exists predominantly as two processed fragments in cells and brain tissues. We prepared stably transfected cells expressing the wild-type and familial Alzheimer's disease-associated mutants of PS1 and investigated the enzyme that participates in the metabolism of PS1. After treatment of the cells with proteasome inhibitors, the full-length PS1 was significantly accumulated. The levels of N- and C-terminal fragments were also increased. The accumulation of PS1 with a deletion of exon 10, which is unable to be processed, on treatment of the transfected cells with lactacystin indicated that proteasome can degrade full-length PS1. A synthetic peptide that includes the processing region of PS1 was cleaved by 20S proteasome at the putative processing sites after Met288 and Glu299. Metabolic labeling experiments showed that the appearance of the N-terminal fragment was attenuated by the inhibitor. Finally, 28-kDa N- and 20-kDa C-terminal fragments were generated by purified PS1 in vitro. These data indicated that the proteasome pathway is involved in PS1 processing. These results demonstrate that the proteasome pathway plays dual roles in processing and degradation of PS1.