beta-Amyloid precursor protein (APP) mutations cause familial Alzheimer's disease with nearly complete penetrance. We found an APP mutation [alanine-673-->valine-673 (A673V)] that causes disease only in the homozygous state, whereas heterozygous carriers were unaffected, consistent with a recessive Mendelian trait of inheritance. The A673V mutation affected APP processing, resulting in enhanced beta-amyloid (Abeta) production and formation of amyloid fibrils in vitro. Co-incubation of mutated and wild-type peptides conferred instability on Abeta aggregates and inhibited amyloidogenesis and neurotoxicity. The highly amyloidogenic effect of the A673V mutation in the homozygous state and its anti-amyloidogenic effect in the heterozygous state account for the autosomal recessive pattern of inheritance and have implications for genetic screening and the potential treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
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