The presenilin-dependent γ-secretase complex is mainly composed of four distinct proteins, namely presenilin 1 or presenilin 2, nicastrin, anterior pharynx defective-1 (Aph-1) and presenilin enhancer (Pen-2). The mechanisms by which the complex is assembled, how its stochiometry is controlled and how its catalytic activity is regulated are poorly understood. Recent studies indicated that Aph-1 and Pen-2 undergo proteolysis by the proteasome. We have examined the susceptibility of endogenous and overexpressed Aph-1a and Pen-2 to proteolysis by endogenous and purified proteasome as well as by recombinant caspases. We show that endogenous Aph-1a and Pen-2 resist proteolysis by caspases and by the proteasome. Furthermore, we show that unexpected interference of proteasome inhibitors with the cmv promoter region driving expression of Aph-1a and Pen-2 led to artifactual enhancement of overexpressed Aph-1a and Pen-2-like immunoreactivities but that these proteins also resist to in vitro degradation by endogenous and purified proteasome.