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QPCT is a metalloenzyme responsible for the conversion of the N-terminal glutaminyl residues of peptides and proteins into pyroglutamic acid with the liberation of ammonia. This cyclization reaction is a common post-translational event required in the maturation of numerous bioactive neuropeptides, hormones, and cytokines. It has been shown that QPCT catalyzes the formation of pyroglutamate-modified Aβ peptides that, because of their abundance, high aggregation propensity, resistance to proteolysis, and neurotoxicity, play an important role in the pathology of Alzheimer disease. Pharmacological inhibition of QPCT results in reductions of pyroglutamate-modified Aβ peptides and Alzheimer's disease-like pathology.
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