CST3 is the coding gene for cystatin C (CysC). CST3 B/B homozygosity is associated with an increased risk of developing Alzheimer disease. We performed CysC analysis on human primary skin fibroblasts obtained from donors carrying A/A, A/B, and B/B CST3. Pulse-chase experiments demonstrated that the release of the B variant of CysC has a different temporal pattern compared to that of the A one. Fibroblasts B/B homozygous displayed a reduced secretion of CysC due to a less efficient cleavage of the signal peptide, as suggested by high-resolution Western blot analysis and by in vitro assay. In the brain, the reduced level of CysC may represent the molecular factor responsible for the increased risk of Alzheimer disease.
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