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Gamma secretase is a multi-subunit protease complex, itself an integral membrane protein, that cleaves single-pass transmembrane proteins at residues within the transmembrane domain. Proteases of this type are known as intramembrane proteases. The most well-known substrate of gamma secretase is amyloid precursor protein, a large integral membrane protein that, when cleaved by both gamma and beta secretase, produces a short 37-43[verification needed] amino acid peptide called amyloid beta whose abnormally folded fibrillar form is the primary component of amyloid plaques found in the brains of Alzheimer's disease patients. Gamma secretase is also critical in the related processing of several other type I integral membrane proteins, such as Notch, ErbB4, E-cadherin, N-cadherin, ephrin-B2, or CD44.
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