Scientists in Europe and the United States probing have discovered that an enzyme that plays a role in Alzheimer disease also has an important function in healthy cells, findings that may have implications for potential therapies (Willem M et al. Science. doi:10.1126/science.1132341 [published online ahead of print September 21, 2006]).
Beta-site amyloid precursor protein-cleaving enzyme 1, or BACE1, is essential to producing β-amyloid, the main constituent of amyloid plaques found in the brains of persons with Alzheimer disease. Because of this, using BACE1-inhibiting drugs has been considered a possible therapeutic strategy.
Stephenson J. Alzheimer Protein. JAMA. 2006;296(15):1830. doi:10.1001/jama.296.15.1830-d