BACE-2 (Memapsin 1) is a membrane-bound aspartic protease that is highly homologous with BACE-1 (Memapsin 2). While BACE1 processes the amyloid precursor protein (APP) at a key step in generating the beta-amyloid peptide and presumably causes Alzheimer's disease (AD), BACE2 has not been demonstrated to be directly involved in APP processing, and its physiological functions remain to be determined. In vivo, BACE-2 is expressed as a precursor protein containing pre-, pro-, protease, transmembrane, and cytosolic domains/peptides.
It is a close homolog of BACE1, a protease known to be an important enzyme involved in the cellular pathways that some believe lead to Alzheimer's disease. The physiological function and role of BACE2 in Alzheimer's disease is unknown.
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