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Keywords:

  • Alzheimer's disease;
  • C.elegans;
  • Notch;
  • presenilins;
  • suppressor genetics

Presenilins are part of a protease complex that is responsible for the intramembraneous cleavage of the amyloid precursor protein involved in Alzheimer's disease and of Notch receptors. In Caenorhabditis elegans, mutations in the presenilin sel-12 result in a highly penetrant egg-laying defect. spr-5 was identified as an extragenic suppressor of the sel-12 mutant phenotype. The SPR-5 protein has similarity to the human polyamine oxidase-like protein encoded by KIAA0601 that is part of the HDAC–CoREST co-repressor complex. Suppression of sel-12 by spr-5 requires the activity of HOP-1, the second somatic presenilin in C.elegans. spr-5 mutants derepress hop-1 expression 20- to 30-fold in the early larval stages when hop-1 normally is almost undetectable. SPR-1, a C.elegans homologue of CoREST, physically interacts with SPR-5. Moreover, down-regulation of SPR-1 by mutation or RNA interference also bypasses the need for sel-12. These data strongly suggest that SPR-5 and SPR-1 are part of a CoREST-like co-repressor complex in C.elegans. This complex might be recruited to the hop-1 locus controlling its expression during development.