What is gSAP, and what role does it play in Alzheimer's?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 09, 2016
Myra22 asked...

What role does gamma secretase activating protein (gSAP) play in Alzheimer's disease?

Expert Answers

Dr. William J. Netzer, Research Associate, Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Disease Research laboratory at The Rockefeller University. Dr. Netzer's long-term goal is to discover molecules within brain cells that would act as therapeutic targets for drugs aimed at treating Alzheimer's disease. For a full bio on Dr. Netzer and his major findings, please visit: www.ALZinfo.org/Netzer

Beta-amyloid is a protein fragment that is believed to underlie most of the debilitating symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. It is produced in brain cells when a protein known as the amyloid precursor protein (APP) is cut by enzymes, called secretases. One of these is known as gamma-secretase. Researchers in the Laboratory of Dr. Paul Greengard discovered that gamma-secretase is activated by a protein they call the gamma-secretase activating protein (gSAP). In other words, gSAP stimulates gamma-secretase to make more beta-amyloid, which in the context of Alzheimer's disease may be bad because it could cause more beta-amyloid to accumulate in the brain.