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Sample records for abnormal prion protein

  1. Accumulation of abnormal prion protein in mice infected with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease via intraperitoneal route: a sequential study.

    Muramoto, T; Kitamoto, T.; Tateishi, J.; Goto, I.

    1993-01-01

    We immunohistochemically studied the location of abnormal prion protein in the central nervous system and visceral organs at the clinical and preclinical stages of mice infected with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease via intraperitoneal route. Abnormal prion protein was diffusely distributed in the central nervous system. The sequential study showed that its stainings were first detected 120 days after inoculation, were found in all mice after 180 days, and were the most intense and widespread after ...

  2. Strain-Dependent Effect of Macroautophagy on Abnormally Folded Prion Protein Degradation in Infected Neuronal Cells.

    Daisuke Ishibashi

    Full Text Available Prion diseases are neurodegenerative disorders caused by the accumulation of abnormal prion protein (PrPSc in the central nervous system. With the aim of elucidating the mechanism underlying the accumulation and degradation of PrPSc, we investigated the role of autophagy in its degradation, using cultured cells stably infected with distinct prion strains. The effects of pharmacological compounds that inhibit or stimulate the cellular signal transduction pathways that mediate autophagy during PrPSc degradation were evaluated. The accumulation of PrPSc in cells persistently infected with the prion strain Fukuoka-1 (FK, derived from a patient with Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome, was significantly increased in cultures treated with the macroautophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine (3MA but substantially reduced in those treated with the macroautophagy inducer rapamycin. The decrease in FK-derived PrPSc levels was mediated, at least in part, by the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/MEK signalling pathway. By contrast, neither rapamycin nor 3MA had any apparently effect on PrPSc from either the 22L or the Chandler strain, indicating that the degradation of PrPSc in host cells might be strain-dependent.

  3. Rapid and Highly Sensitive Detection of Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Abnormal Prion Protein on Steel Surfaces by Protein Misfolding Cyclic Amplification: Application to Prion Decontamination Studies.

    Maxime Belondrade

    Full Text Available The prevalence of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD in the population remains uncertain, although it has been estimated that 1 in 2000 people in the United Kingdom are positive for abnormal prion protein (PrPTSE by a recent survey of archived appendix tissues. The prominent lymphotropism of vCJD prions raises the possibility that some surgical procedures may be at risk of iatrogenic vCJD transmission in healthcare facilities. It is therefore vital that decontamination procedures applied to medical devices before their reprocessing are thoroughly validated. A current limitation is the lack of a rapid model permissive to human prions. Here, we developed a prion detection assay based on protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA technology combined with stainless-steel wire surfaces as carriers of prions (Surf-PMCA. This assay allowed the specific detection of minute quantities (10-8 brain dilution of either human vCJD or ovine scrapie PrPTSE adsorbed onto a single steel wire, within a two week timeframe. Using Surf-PMCA we evaluated the performance of several reference and commercially available prion-specific decontamination procedures. Surprisingly, we found the efficiency of several marketed reagents to remove human vCJD PrPTSE was lower than expected. Overall, our results demonstrate that Surf-PMCA can be used as a rapid and ultrasensitive assay for the detection of human vCJD PrPTSE adsorbed onto a metallic surface, therefore facilitating the development and validation of decontamination procedures against human prions.

  4. The sequential development of abnormal prion protein accumulation in mice with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

    Muramoto, T; Kitamoto, T.; Tateishi, J.; Goto, I.

    1992-01-01

    The distribution and sequential development of prion protein (PrP) accumulation in the central nervous system (CNS) and non-neuronal organs of mice infected with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) were investigated immunohistochemically using a new pretreatment method that greatly enhanced the immunoreactivity of PrP. Prion protein accumulation in the CNS was first detected at 30 days after inoculation and then developed near the inoculation site or periventricular area, and later spread to the ...

  5. Early Detection of Abnormal Prion Protein in Genetic Human Prion Diseases Now Possible Using Real-Time QUIC Assay

    Sano, Kazunori; Satoh, Katsuya; Atarashi, Ryuichiro; Takashima, Hiroshi; Iwasaki, Yasushi; Yoshida, Mari; Sanjo, Nobuo; Murai, Hiroyuki; Mizusawa, Hidehiro; Schmitz, Matthias; Zerr, Inga; Kim, Yong-Sun; Nishida, Noriyuki

    2013-01-01

    Introduction The definitive diagnosis of genetic prion diseases (gPrD) requires pathological confirmation. To date, diagnosis has relied upon the finding of the biomarkers 14-3-3 protein and total tau (t-tau) protein in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), but many researchers have reported that these markers are not sufficiently elevated in gPrD, especially in Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS). We recently developed a new in vitro amplification technology, designated “real-time qua...

  6. Recent progress in prion and prion-like protein aggregation

    Chuan-Wei Yi; Wen-Chang Xu; Jie Chen; Yi Liang

    2013-01-01

    Prion diseases and prion-like protein misfolding diseases involve the accumulation of abnormally aggregated forms of the normal host proteins,such as prion protein and Tau protein.These proteins are special because of their self-duplicating and transmissible characteristics.Such abnormally aggregated proteins mainly formed in neurons,cause the neurons dysfunction,and finally lead to invariably fatal neurodegenerative diseases.Prion diseases appear not only in animals,such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy in cattle and scrapie in sheep,but also in humans,such as Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease,and even the same prion or prion-like proteins can have many different phenotypes.A lot of biological evidence has suggested that the molecular basis for different strains of prions could be hidden in protein conformations,and the misfolded proteins with conformations different from the normal proteins have been proved to be the main cause for protein aggregation.Crowded physiological environments can be imitated in vitro to study how the misfolding of these proteins leads to the diseases in vivo.In this review,we provide an overview of the existing structural information for prion and prion-like proteins,and discuss the post-translational modifications of prion proteins and the difference between prion and other infectious pathogens.We also discuss what makes a misfolded protein become an infectious agent,and show some examples of prion-like protein aggregation,such as Tau protein aggregation and superoxide dismutase 1 aggregation,as well as some cases of prion-like protein aggregation in crowded physiological environments.

  7. Abnormal isoform of prion protein accumulates in follicular dendritic cells in mice with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

    Kitamoto, T.; Muramoto, T; Mohri, S; DOH-URA, K; Tateishi, J.

    1991-01-01

    We established that follicular dendritic cells (FDCs) are the site of abnormal prion protein (PrPCJD) accumulations in lymphoid tissues from mice infected with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Evidence of positive FDC staining was observed in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease-infected mice irrespective of the inoculation route, while no such staining was seen in the control mice. We also found that the severe combined immunodeficiency mouse trait is transmittable via the intracranial route but not via the ...

  8. Membrane toxicity of abnormal prion protein in adrenal chromaffin cells of scrapie infected sheep.

    Gillian McGovern

    Full Text Available Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs or prion diseases are associated with accumulations of disease specific PrP (PrP(d in the central nervous system (CNS and often the lymphoreticular system (LRS. Accumulations have additionally been recorded in other tissues including the peripheral nervous system and adrenal gland. Here we investigate the effect of sheep scrapie on the morphology and the accumulation of PrP(d in the adrenal medulla of scrapie affected sheep using light and electron microscopy. Using immunogold electron microscopy, non-fibrillar forms of PrP(d were shown to accumulate mainly in association with chromaffin cells, occasional nerve endings and macrophages. PrP(d accumulation was associated with distinctive membrane changes of chromaffin cells including increased electron density, abnormal linearity and invaginations. Internalisation of PrP(d from the chromaffin cell plasma membrane occurred in association with granule recycling following hormone exocytosis. PrP(d accumulation and internalisation from membranes is similarly associated with perturbations of membrane structure and trafficking in CNS neurons and tingible body macrophages of the LRS. These data suggest that a major toxic effect of PrP(d is at the level of plasma membranes. However, the precise nature of PrP(d-membrane toxicity is tissue and cell specific suggesting that the normal protein may act as a multi-functional scaffolding molecule. We further suggest that the co-localisation of PrP(d with exocytic granules of the hormone trafficking system may provide an additional source of infectivity in blood.

  9. Conformational conversion of prion protein in prion diseases

    Zheng Zhou; Gengfu Xiao

    2013-01-01

    Prion diseases are a group of infectious fatal neurodegenerative diseases.The conformational conversion of a cellular prion protein (PrPC) into an abnormal misfolded isoform (PrPSc) is the key event in prion diseases pathology.Under normal conditions,the high-energy barrier separates PrPC from PrPsc isoform.However,pathogenic mutations,modifications as well as some cofactors,such as glycosaminoglycans,nucleic acids,and lipids,could modulate the conformationai conversion process.Understanding the mechanism of conformational conversion of prion protein is essential for the biomedical research and the treatment of prion diseases.Particularly,the characterization of cofactors interacting with prion protein might provide new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.

  10. Species Barrier Prevents an Abnormal Isoform of Prion Protein from Accumulating in Follicular Dendritic Cells of Mice with Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

    Muramoto, Tamaki; Kitamoto, Tetsuyuki; Hoque, Mohammad Zahirul; Tateishi, Jun; Goto, Ikuo

    1993-01-01

    The accumulation of abnormal prion protein in follicular dendritic cells did not occur in mice inoculated with materials from human Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, whereas it always occurred in mice inoculated with mouse-adapted agents, suggesting an intense expression of the species barrier in the lymphoreticular system.

  11. Metabolism of minor isoforms of prion proteins Cytosolic prion protein and transmembrane prion protein*

    Zhiqi Song; Deming Zhao; Lifeng Yang

    2013-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy or prion disease is triggered by the conversion from cellular prion protein to pathogenic prion protein. Growing evidence has concentrated on prion protein configuration changes and their correlation with prion disease transmissibility and pathoge-nicity. In vivo and in vitro studies have shown that several cytosolic forms of prion protein with spe-cific topological structure can destroy intracellular stability and contribute to prion protein pathoge-nicity. In this study, the latest molecular chaperone system associated with endoplasmic reticu-lum-associated protein degradation, the endoplasmic reticulum resident protein quality-control system and the ubiquitination proteasome system, is outlined. The molecular chaperone system directly correlates with the prion protein degradation pathway. Understanding the molecular me-chanisms wil help provide a fascinating avenue for further investigations on prion disease treatment and prion protein-induced neurodegenerative diseases.

  12. Prion protein in milk.

    Nicola Franscini

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Prions are known to cause transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE after accumulation in the central nervous system. There is increasing evidence that prions are also present in body fluids and that prion infection by blood transmission is possible. The low concentration of the proteinaceous agent in body fluids and its long incubation time complicate epidemiologic analysis and estimation of spreading and thus the risk of human infection. This situation is particularly unsatisfactory for food and pharmaceutical industries, given the lack of sensitive tools for monitoring the infectious agent. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We have developed an adsorption matrix, Alicon PrioTrap, which binds with high affinity and specificity to prion proteins. Thus we were able to identify prion protein (PrP(C--the precursor of prions (PrP(Sc--in milk from humans, cows, sheep, and goats. The absolute amount of PrP(C differs between the species (from microg/l range in sheep to ng/l range in human milk. PrP(C is also found in homogenised and pasteurised off-the-shelf milk, and even ultrahigh temperature treatment only partially diminishes endogenous PrP(C concentration. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: In view of a recent study showing evidence of prion replication occurring in the mammary gland of scrapie infected sheep suffering from mastitis, the appearance of PrP(C in milk implies the possibility that milk of TSE-infected animals serves as source for PrP(Sc.

  13. Filamentous white matter prion protein deposition is a distinctive feature of multiple inherited prion diseases

    Reiniger, Lilla; Mirabile, Ilaria; Lukic, Ana; Wadsworth, Jonathan DF; Linehan, Jacqueline M.; Groves, Michael; Lowe, Jessica; Druyeh, Ronald; Rudge, Peter; Collinge, John; Mead, Simon; Brandner, Sebastian

    2013-01-01

    Background Sporadic, inherited and acquired prion diseases show distinct histological patterns of abnormal prion protein (PrP) deposits. Many of the inherited prion diseases show striking histological patterns, which often associate with specific mutations. Most reports have focused on the pattern of PrP deposition in the cortical or cerebellar grey matter. Results We observed that the subcortical white matter in inherited prion diseases frequently contained filamentous depositions of abnorma...

  14. Antigenic characterization of an abnormal isoform of prion protein using a new diverse panel of monoclonal antibodies

    We established a panel of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against prion protein (PrP) by immunizing PrP gene-ablated mice with the pathogenic isoform of prion protein (PrPSc) or recombinant prion protein (rPrP). The mAbs could be divided into at least 10 groups by fine epitope analyses using mutant rPrPs and pepspot analysis. Seven linear epitopes, lying within residues 56-90, 119-127, 137-143, 143-149, 147-151, 163-169, and 219-229, were defined by seven groups of mAbs, although the remaining three groups of mAbs recognized discontinuous epitopes. We attempted to examine whether any of these epitopes are located on the accessible surface of PrPSc. However, no mAbs reacted with protease-treated PrPSc purified from scrapie-affected mice, even when PrPSc was dispersed into a detergent-lipid protein complex, to reduce the size of PrPSc aggregates. In contrast, denaturation of PrPSc by guanidine hydrochloride efficiently exposed all of the epitopes. This suggests that any epitope recognized by this panel of mAbs is buried within the PrPSc aggregates. Alternatively, if the corresponding region(s) are on the surface of PrPSc, the region(s) may be folded into conformations to which the mAbs cannot bind. The reactivity of a panel of mAb also showed that the state of PrPSc aggregation influenced the denaturation process, and the sensitivity to denaturation appeared to vary between epitopes. Our results demonstrate that this new panel of well-characterized mAbs will be valuable for studying the biochemistry and biophysics of PrP molecules as well as for the immuno-diagnosis of prion diseases

  15. Increased Infectivity of Anchorless Mouse Scrapie Prions in Transgenic Mice Overexpressing Human Prion Protein

    Race, Brent; Phillips, Katie; Meade-White, Kimberly; Striebel, James; Chesebro, Bruce

    2015-01-01

    Prion protein (PrP) is found in all mammals, mostly as a glycoprotein anchored to the plasma membrane by a C-terminal glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) linkage. Following prion infection, host protease-sensitive prion protein (PrPsen or PrPC) is converted into an abnormal, disease-associated, protease-resistant form (PrPres). Biochemical characteristics, such as the PrP amino acid sequence, and posttranslational modifications, such as glycosylation and GPI anchoring, can affect the transmiss...

  16. Molecular Dynamics Studies on the Buffalo Prion Protein

    Zhang, Jiapu

    2015-01-01

    It was reported that buffalo is a low susceptibility species resisting to TSEs (Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies) (same as rabbits, horses and dogs). TSEs, also called prion diseases, are invariably fatal and highly infectious neurodegenerative diseases that affect a wide variety of species (in humans prion diseases are (v)CJDs, GSS, FFI, and kulu etc). It was reported that buffalo is a low susceptibility species resisting to prion diseases (as rabbits, dogs, horses). In molecular structures, these neurodegenerative diseases are caused by the conversion from a soluble normal cellular prion protein, predominantly with alpha-helices, into insoluble abnormally folded infectious prions, rich in beta-sheets. This paper studies the molecular structure and structural dynamics of buffalo prion protein, in order to find out the reason why buffaloes are resistant to prion diseases. We first did molecular modeling a homology structure constructed by one mutation at residue 143 from the Nuclear Magnetic Resonanc...

  17. Manganese Upregulates Cellular Prion Protein and Contributes to Altered Stabilization and Proteolysis: Relevance to Role of Metals in Pathogenesis of Prion Disease

    Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative diseases resulting from misfolding of normal cellular prion (PrP**C) into an abnormal form of scrapie prion (PrP**Sc). The cellular mechanisms underlying the misfolding of PrP**C are not well understood. Since cellular prion proteins harbor divalent metal b...

  18. Evidence for oxidative damage to prion protein in prion diseases

    2000-01-01

    In prion diseases the irreversible protein structural transformation process is completed in the brains of mammals within a few months, the uniformly generated infectivity displays extraordinary resistance to inactivation, suggesting that a vital energy source is required for the production of infectious particles. Considering the high oxygen-respiration rate in the brains, prion protein oxidative damage can be the crucial factor. Both theoretical consideration of the nature of protein radical reactions and a large body of previously unraveled feature of scrapie and prion diseases have provided multiple distinct lines of compelling evidence which persuasively support a suggestion that the infectious agents may be prion (free) radicals produced from protein oxidative damage. This paper describes that scrapie prions are most likely formed from prion radicals and oxidative species-mediated sequence-specific cross-linking of benign prion proteins.

  19. Prions, protein homeostasis, and phenotypic diversity

    Halfmann, Randal; Alberti, Simon; Lindquist, Susan

    2010-01-01

    Prions are fascinating but often misunderstood protein aggregation phenomena. The traditional association of the mammalian prion protein with disease has overshadowed a potentially more interesting attribute of prions: their ability to create protein-based molecular memories. In fungi, prions alter the relationship between genotype and phenotype in a heritable way that diversifies clonal populations. Recent findings in yeast indicate that prions might be much more common than previously real...

  20. Prions: Beyond a Single Protein.

    Das, Alvin S; Zou, Wen-Quan

    2016-07-01

    Since the term protein was first coined in 1838 and protein was discovered to be the essential component of fibrin and albumin, all cellular proteins were presumed to play beneficial roles in plants and mammals. However, in 1967, Griffith proposed that proteins could be infectious pathogens and postulated their involvement in scrapie, a universally fatal transmissible spongiform encephalopathy in goats and sheep. Nevertheless, this novel hypothesis had not been evidenced until 1982, when Prusiner and coworkers purified infectious particles from scrapie-infected hamster brains and demonstrated that they consisted of a specific protein that he called a "prion." Unprecedentedly, the infectious prion pathogen is actually derived from its endogenous cellular form in the central nervous system. Unlike other infectious agents, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi, prions do not contain genetic materials such as DNA or RNA. The unique traits and genetic information of prions are believed to be encoded within the conformational structure and posttranslational modifications of the proteins. Remarkably, prion-like behavior has been recently observed in other cellular proteins-not only in pathogenic roles but also serving physiological functions. The significance of these fascinating developments in prion biology is far beyond the scope of a single cellular protein and its related disease. PMID:27226089

  1. Final Report for CRADA Agreement , AL-C-2006-01 with Microsens Biotechnologies: Detection of the Abnormal Prion Protein in Blood by Improving the Extraction of this Protein

    Schmerr, Mary Jo

    2009-03-31

    Several conditions were examined to optimize the extraction protocol using Seprion beads for the abnormal prion protein. Different combinations of water, hexafluro-2-propanol and formic acid were used. The results of these extraction protocols showed that the magnetic beads coated with Seprion reagents were subject to degradation, themselves, when the extraction conditions that would solubilize the abnormal prion protein were used. These compounds caused interference in the immunoassay for the abnormal prion protein and rendered these protocols incompatible with the assay systems. In an attempt to overcome this problem, another approach was then used. The coated beads were used as an integral part of the assay platform. After washing away denaturing agents, the beads with the 'captured' abnormal prion were incubated directly in the immunoassay, followed by analysis by the capillary electrophoresis. When a capillary electrophoresis electro-kinetic separation was attempted, the beads disturbed the analysis making it impossible to interpret. A pressure separation method was then developed for capillary electrophoresis analysis. When 20 samples, 5 of which were positive were analyzed, the assay identified 4 of the 5 positives and had no false positives. When a larger number of samples were analyzed the results were not as good - there were false positives and false negatives. It was then observed that the amount of beads that were loaded was dependent upon how long the beads were allowed to settle before loading them into the capillary. This resulted in unacceptable variations in the results and explained that when large numbers of samples were evaluated the results were not consistent. Because the technical difficulties with using the Seprion beads could not be overcome at this time, another approach is underway that is outside of the scope of this CRADA. No further agreements have been developed. Because the results were not favorable, no manuscripts were

  2. Prion protein oligomer and its neurotoxicity

    Pei Huang; Fulin Lian; Yi Wen; Chenyun Guo; Donghai Lin

    2013-01-01

    The prion diseases,also known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies,are fatal neurodegenerative disorders.According to the 'protein only' hypothesis,the key molecular event in the pathogenesis of prion disease is the conformational conversion of the host-derived cellular prion protein (PrPC) into a misfolded form (scrapie PrP,prpSc).Increasing evidence has shown that the most infectious factor is the smaller subfibrillar oligomers formed by prion proteins.Both the prion oligomer and PrPSc are rich in β-sheet structure and resistant to the proteolysis of proteinase K.The prion oligomer is soluble in physiologic environments whereas PrPSc is insoluble.Various prion oligomers are formed in different conditions.Prion oligomers exhibited more neurotoxicity both in vitro and in vivo than the fibrillar forms of PrPSc,implying that prion oligomers could be potential drug targets for attacking prion diseases.In this article,we describe recent experimental evidence regarding prion oligomers,with a special focus on prion oligomer formation and its neurotoxicity.

  3. B lymphocyte-restricted expression of prion protein does not enable prion replication in prion protein knockout mice

    Montrasio, Fabio; Cozzio, Antonio; Flechsig, Eckhard; Rossi, Daniela; Klein, Michael A.; Rülicke, Thomas; Raeber, Alex J.; Vosshenrich, Christian A.J.; Proft, Juliane; Aguzzi, Adriano; Weissmann, Charles

    2001-01-01

    Prion replication in spleen and neuroinvasion after i.p. inoculation of mice is impaired in forms of immunodeficiency where mature B lymphocytes are lacking. In spleens of wild-type mice, infectivity is associated with B and T lymphocytes and stroma but not with circulating lymphocytes. We generated transgenic prion protein knockout mice overexpressing prion protein in B lymphocytes and found that they failed to accumulate prions in spleen after i.p. inoculation. W...

  4. Inactivation of Bacterial Spore, Endotoxin, Lipid A, Normal Prion and Abnormal Prion by Exposures to Several Sorts of Gases Plasma.

    Shintani, Hideharu

    2016-01-01

    This review discusses the application of several sorts of non-equilibrium gas plasma discharges for sterilization and disinfection treatments against spores or bioburden on/in the healthcare products or biological indicators. The basic properties of electrical discharges are briefly reviewed and thereafter the paper discusses the interactions of gas plasma with several sorts of biological systems such as bacteria, bacterial spores, endotoxins, lipid A and normal and abnormal prion proteins. PMID:27009504

  5. Relationship between magnetism and prion protein

    F. Balzano

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The mechanism of conversion of the normal prion protein (PrPC into aggregates of its pathological conformer (PrPSc reamins unclear. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects induced by exposure of biological samples containing PrPSC to a magnetic field induced prominent molecular changes of samples indicated by the IR spectra located in the region that contains contribution primarily from absorption of amides. This finding suggests the existence of a strong correlation between magnetism and PrPsc and supports a new hypothesis that explains the conversion of normal PrPc to abnormal isoform PrPsc.

  6. Abnormal accumulation of prion protein mRNA in muscle fibers of patients with sporadic inclusion-body myositis and hereditary inclusion-body myopathy.

    Sarkozi, E; Askanas, V.; Engel, W K

    1994-01-01

    Sporadic inclusion-body myositis is the most common progressive muscle disease of older patients. The muscle biopsy demonstrates mononuclear cell inflammation and vacuolated muscle fibers containing paired helical filaments and 6 to 10-nm fibrils, both resembling those of Alzheimer brain, and Congo-red positivity. Hereditary inclusion-body myopathy designates patients cytopathologically similar but without inflammation. In both muscle diseases, prion, and several proteins characteristic of Al...

  7. Low copper and high manganese levels in prion protein plaques

    Johnson, Christopher J.; Gilbert, P.U.P.A.; Abrecth, Mike; Baldwin, Katherine L.; Russell, Robin E.; Pedersen, Joel A.; McKenzie, Debbie

    2013-01-01

    Accumulation of aggregates rich in an abnormally folded form of the prion protein characterize the neurodegeneration caused by transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). The molecular triggers of plaque formation and neurodegeneration remain unknown, but analyses of TSE-infected brain homogenates and preparations enriched for abnormal prion protein suggest that reduced levels of copper and increased levels of manganese are associated with disease. The objectives of this study were to: (1) assess copper and manganese levels in healthy and TSE-infected Syrian hamster brain homogenates; (2) determine if the distribution of these metals can be mapped in TSE-infected brain tissue using X-ray photoelectron emission microscopy (X-PEEM) with synchrotron radiation; and (3) use X-PEEM to assess the relative amounts of copper and manganese in prion plaques in situ. In agreement with studies of other TSEs and species, we found reduced brain levels of copper and increased levels of manganese associated with disease in our hamster model. We also found that the in situ levels of these metals in brainstem were sufficient to image by X-PEEM. Using immunolabeled prion plaques in directly adjacent tissue sections to identify regions to image by X-PEEM, we found a statistically significant relationship of copper-manganese dysregulation in prion plaques: copper was depleted whereas manganese was enriched. These data provide evidence for prion plaques altering local transition metal distribution in the TSE-infected central nervous system.

  8. Recombinant Human Prion Protein Inhibits Prion Propagation in vitro

    Jue Yuan; Yi-An Zhan; Romany Abskharon; Xiangzhu Xiao; Manuel Camacho Martinez; Xiaochen Zhou; Geoff Kneale; Jacqueline Mikol; Sylvain Lehmann; Surewicz, Witold K.; Joaquín Castilla; Jan Steyaert; Shulin Zhang; Qingzhong Kong; Petersen, Robert B.

    2013-01-01

    Prion diseases are associated with the conformational conversion of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) into the pathological scrapie isoform (PrPSc) in the brain. Both the in vivo and in vitro conversion of PrPC into PrPSc is significantly inhibited by differences in amino acid sequence between the two molecules. Using protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA), we now report that the recombinant full-length human PrP (rHuPrP23-231) (that is unglycosylated and lacks the glycophosphatidylin...

  9. Red-backed vole brain promotes highly efficient in vitro amplification of abnormal prion protein from macaque and human brains infected with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease agent.

    Nemecek, Julie; Nag, Nabanita; Carlson, Christina M.; Schneider, Jay R.; Heisey, Dennis M.; Johnson, Christopher J.; Asher, David M.; Gregori, Luisa

    2013-01-01

    Rapid antemortem tests to detect individuals with transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) would contribute to public health. We investigated a technique known as protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) to amplify abnormal prion protein (PrPTSE) from highly diluted variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD)-infected human and macaque brain homogenates, seeking to improve the rapid detection of PrPTSE in tissues and blood. Macaque vCJD PrPTSE did not amplify using normal macaque brain homogenate as substrate (intraspecies PMCA). Next, we tested interspecies PMCA with normal brain homogenate of the southern red-backed vole (RBV), a close relative of the bank vole, seeded with macaque vCJD PrPTSE. The RBV has a natural polymorphism at residue 170 of the PrP-encoding gene (N/N, S/S, and S/N). We investigated the effect of this polymorphism on amplification of human and macaque vCJD PrPTSE. Meadow vole brain (170N/N PrP genotype) was also included in the panel of substrates tested. Both humans and macaques have the same 170S/S PrP genotype. Macaque PrPTSE was best amplified with RBV 170S/S brain, although 170N/N and 170S/N were also competent substrates, while meadow vole brain was a poor substrate. In contrast, human PrPTSE demonstrated a striking narrow selectivity for PMCA substrate and was successfully amplified only with RBV 170S/S brain. These observations suggest that macaque PrPTSE was more permissive than human PrPTSE in selecting the competent RBV substrate. RBV 170S/S brain was used to assess the sensitivity of PMCA with PrPTSE from brains of humans and macaques with vCJD. PrPTSE signals were reproducibly detected by Western blot in dilutions through 10-12 of vCJD-infected 10% brain homogenates. This is the first report showing PrPTSE from vCJD-infected human and macaque brains efficiently amplified with RBV brain as the substrate. Based on our estimates, PMCA showed a sensitivity that might be sufficient to detect PrPTSE in v

  10. Follicular dendritic cell-specific prion protein (PrP) expression alone is sufficient to sustain prion infection in the spleen.

    Laura McCulloch; Brown, Karen L.; Bradford, Barry M.; John Hopkins; Mick Bailey; Klaus Rajewsky; Manson, Jean C; Mabbott, Neil A.

    2011-01-01

    Prion diseases are characterised by the accumulation of PrP(Sc), an abnormally folded isoform of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)), in affected tissues. Following peripheral exposure high levels of prion-specific PrP(Sc) accumulate first upon follicular dendritic cells (FDC) in lymphoid tissues before spreading to the CNS. Expression of PrP(C) is mandatory for cells to sustain prion infection and FDC appear to express high levels. However, whether FDC actively replicate prions or simply acq...

  11. Quinacrine reactivity with prion proteins and prion-derived peptides

    Zawada, Zbigniew; Šafařík, Martin; Dvořáková, E.; Janoušková, O.; Březinová, Anna; Stibor, Ivan; Holada, K.; Bouř, Petr; Hlaváček, Jan; Šebestík, Jaroslav

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 44, č. 5 (2013), s. 1279-1292. ISSN 0939-4451 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA203/07/1517 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : quinacrine * prion protein and peptide model reactions * solid phase and recombinant synthesis Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry Impact factor: 3.653, year: 2013

  12. Yeast prions: protein aggregation is not enough.

    Sherman, Michael Y

    2004-01-01

    Although many proteins -- both damaged and normal -- have a tendency to aggregate, only some are capable of dividing and propagating. What does it take to turn a protein aggregate into an infectious prion?

  13. Healthy goats naturally devoid of prion protein

    Benestad Sylvie L

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Prion diseases such as scrapie in small ruminants, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE in cattle and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD in man, are fatal neurodegenerative disorders. These diseases result from the accumulation of misfolded conformers of the host-encoded prion protein (PrP in the central nervous system. To date naturally-occurring PrP free animals have not been reported. Here we describe healthy non-transgenic animals, Norwegian Dairy Goats, lacking prion protein due to a nonsense mutation early in the gene. These animals are predicted to be resistant to prion disease and will be valuable for research and for production of prion-free products.

  14. A systematic investigation of production of synthetic prions from recombinant prion protein

    Schmidt, C; Fizet, J.; Properzi, F.; Batchelor, M.; Sandberg, M.K.; Edgeworth, J. A.; Afran, L.; Ho, S; Badhan, A.; Klier, S.; Linehan, J. M.; Brandner, S; Hosszu, L. L.; Tattum, M. H.; Jat, P.

    2015-01-01

    According to the protein-only hypothesis, infectious mammalian prions, which exist as distinct strains with discrete biological properties, consist of multichain assemblies of misfolded cellular prion protein (PrP). A critical test would be to produce prion strains synthetically from defined components. Crucially, high-titre ‘synthetic' prions could then be used to determine the structural basis of infectivity and strain diversity at the atomic level. While there have been multiple reports of...

  15. Luminidependens (LD) is an Arabidopsis protein with prion behavior.

    Chakrabortee, Sohini; Kayatekin, Can; Newby, Greg A; Mendillo, Marc L; Lancaster, Alex; Lindquist, Susan

    2016-05-24

    Prion proteins provide a unique mode of biochemical memory through self-perpetuating changes in protein conformation and function. They have been studied in fungi and mammals, but not yet identified in plants. Using a computational model, we identified candidate prion domains (PrDs) in nearly 500 plant proteins. Plant flowering is of particular interest with respect to biological memory, because its regulation involves remembering and integrating previously experienced environmental conditions. We investigated the prion-forming capacity of three prion candidates involved in flowering using a yeast model, where prion attributes are well defined and readily tested. In yeast, prions heritably change protein functions by templating monomers into higher-order assemblies. For most yeast prions, the capacity to convert into a prion resides in a distinct prion domain. Thus, new prion-forming domains can be identified by functional complementation of a known prion domain. The prion-like domains (PrDs) of all three of the tested proteins formed higher-order oligomers. Uniquely, the Luminidependens PrD (LDPrD) fully replaced the prion-domain functions of a well-characterized yeast prion, Sup35. Our results suggest that prion-like conformational switches are evolutionarily conserved and might function in a wide variety of normal biological processes. PMID:27114519

  16. [Is the prion abnormality going to involve immunology?].

    Bussard, A

    2003-01-01

    The behaviour of prion type proteins, be they in mammals (Pr P) or in yeast (URE 3) suggests a non Mendelian heredity based on conformational changes in these proteins. This seems to be an anomaly in regard to molecular Biology (M.B.) which rules information transfer exclusively from DNA to protein with the use of a numeric code. This anomaly may affect M.B. in the future, but also may influence our views in Immunology. For the time being, clonal selection is the only accepted theory to explain the generation of diversity in antibodies; is it full proof? PMID:12852098

  17. Atypical Scrapie Prions from Sheep and Lack of Disease in Transgenic Mice Overexpressing Human Prion Protein

    Wadsworth, Jonathan D. F.; Joiner, Susan; Linehan, Jacqueline M; Balkema-Buschmann, Anne; Spiropoulos, John; Simmons, Marion M; Griffiths, Peter C; Martin H Groschup; Hope, James; Brandner, Sebastian; Asante, Emmanuel A.; Collinge, John

    2013-01-01

    Public and animal health controls to limit human exposure to animal prions are focused on bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), but other prion strains in ruminants may also have zoonotic potential. One example is atypical/Nor98 scrapie, which evaded statutory diagnostic methods worldwide until the early 2000s. To investigate whether sheep infected with scrapie prions could be another source of infection, we inoculated transgenic mice that overexpressed human prion protein with brain tissue...

  18. Ex vivomammalian prions are formed of paired double helical prion protein fibrils

    Terry, C.; Wenborn, A.; Gros, N.; Sells, J.; Joiner, S; Hosszu, L.L.P.; Tattum, M. H.; Panico, Silvia; Clare, Daniel; Collinge, J.; Saibil, Helen; Wadsworth, J D F

    2016-01-01

    Mammalian prions are hypothesized to be fibrillar or amyloid forms of prion protein (PrP), but structures observed to date have not been definitively correlated with infectivity and the three-dimensional structure of infectious prions has remained obscure. Recently, we developed novel methods to obtain exceptionally pure preparations of prions from mouse brain and showed that pathogenic PrP in these high-titre preparations is assembled into rod-like assemblies. Here, we have used precise cell...

  19. Cellular Prion Protein: From Physiology to Pathology

    Yutaka Kikuchi

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The human cellular prion protein (PrPC is a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI anchored membrane glycoprotein with two N-glycosylation sites at residues 181 and 197. This protein migrates in several bands by Western blot analysis (WB. Interestingly, PNGase F treatment of human brain homogenates prior to the WB, which is known to remove the N-glycosylations, unexpectedly gives rise to two dominant bands, which are now known as C-terminal (C1 and N-terminal (N1 fragments. This resembles the β-amyloid precursor protein (APP in Alzheimer disease (AD, which can be physiologically processed by α-, β-, and γ-secretases. The processing of APP has been extensively studied, while the identity of the cellular proteases involved in the proteolysis of PrPC and their possible role in prion biology has remained limited and controversial. Nevertheless, there is a strong correlation between the neurotoxicity caused by prion proteins and the blockade of their normal proteolysis. For example, expression of non-cleavable PrPC mutants in transgenic mice generates neurotoxicity, even in the absence of infectious prions, suggesting that PrPC proteolysis is physiologically and pathologically important. As many mouse models of prion diseases have recently been developed and the knowledge about the proteases responsible for the PrPC proteolysis is accumulating, we examine the historical experimental evidence and highlight recent studies that shed new light on this issue.

  20. Lymphotoxin, but Not TNF, Is Required for Prion Invasion of Lymph Nodes

    Tracy O'Connor; Nathalie Frei; Jana Sponarova; Petra Schwarz; Mathias Heikenwalder; Adriano Aguzzi

    2012-01-01

    Author Summary Prions are unique infectious agents thought to be composed entirely of an abnormal conformer of the endogenous prion protein. Prions cause a severe neurological disorder in humans and other animals known as prion disease. Though prion disease can arise spontaneously or from genetic mutations in the gene encoding the prion protein, many cases of prion disease arise due to peripheral exposure to the infectious agent. In these cases, prions must journey from the gastrointestinal t...

  1. Transition-metal prion protein attachment: Competition with copper

    Hodak, Miroslav; Bernholc, Jerry

    2012-02-01

    Prion protein, PrP, is a protein capable of binding copper ions in multiple modes depending on their concentration. Misfolded PrP is implicated in a group of neurodegenerative diseases, which include ``mad cow disease'' and its human form, variant Creutzfeld-Jacob disease. An increasing amount of evidence suggests that attachment of non-copper metal ions to PrP triggers transformations to abnormal forms similar to those observed in prion diseases. In this work, we use hybrid Kohn-Sham/orbital-free density functional theory simulations to investigate copper replacement by other transition metals that bind to PrP, including zinc, iron and manganese. We consider all known copper binding modes in the N-terminal domain of PrP. Our calculations identify modes most susceptible to copper replacement and reveal metals that can successfully compete with copper for attachment to PrP.

  2. Role of Prion Protein Aggregation in Neurotoxicity

    Tullio Florio

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available In several neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson, Alzheimer’s, Huntington, and prion diseases, the deposition of aggregated misfolded proteins is believed to be responsible for the neurotoxicity that characterizes these diseases. Prion protein (PrP, the protein responsible of prion diseases, has been deeply studied for the peculiar feature of its misfolded oligomers that are able to propagate within affected brains, inducing the conversion of the natively folded PrP into the pathological conformation. In this review, we summarize the available experimental evidence concerning the relationship between aggregation status of misfolded PrP and neuronal death in the course of prion diseases. In particular, we describe the main findings resulting from the use of different synthetic (mainly PrP106-126 and recombinant PrP-derived peptides, as far as mechanisms of aggregation and amyloid formation, and how these different spatial conformations can affect neuronal death. In particular, most data support the involvement of non-fibrillar oligomers rather than actual amyloid fibers as the determinant of neuronal death.

  3. Divalent metals stabilize cellular prion proteins and alter the rate of proteinase-K dependent limited proteolysis

    Background: The key biochemical event in the pathogenesis of prion diseases is the conversion of normal cellular prion proteins (PrP**c) to the proteinase K (PK) resistant, abnormal form (PrP**sc); however, the cellular mechanisms underlying the conversion remain enigmatic. Binding of divalent ca...

  4. Identification of Misfolded Proteins in Body Fluids for the Diagnosis of Prion Diseases

    Francesca Properzi; Maurizio Pocchiari

    2013-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) or prion diseases are fatal rare neurodegenerative disorders affecting man and animals and caused by a transmissible infectious agent. TSE diseases are characterized by spongiform brain lesions with neuronal loss and the abnormal deposition in the CNS, and to less extent in other tissues, of an insoluble and protease resistant form of the cellular prion protein (PrPC), named PrPTSE. In man, TSE diseases affect usually people over 60 years of age w...

  5. Monitoring prion protein stability by NMR.

    Julien, Olivier; Graether, Steffen P; Sykes, Brian D

    2009-01-01

    Prion diseases, or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE), are a group of fatal neurological diseases that affect both humans and animals. At the end of the 20th century, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), better known as mad cow disease, was shown to be transmissible to humans. This resulted in considerable concern for public health and a number of questions for scientists. The first question answered was the possible source of the disease, which appears to be the prion protein (PrP). There are two major forms of this protein: the native, noninfectious form (PrP(C)), and the misfolded infectious form (PrP(Sc)). PrP(C) is mainly alpha-helical in structure, whereas PrP(Sc) aggregates into an assembly of beta-sheets, forming amyloid fibrils. Since the first solution structure of the noninfectious form of the mouse prion protein, about 30 structures of the globular portion of PrP(C) have been characterized from different organisms. However, only a few minor differences are observed when comparing one PrP(C) structure to another. The key to understanding prion formation may then be not in the structure of PrP(C), but in the mechanism underlying PrP(C) unfolding and then conversion into a misfolded fibril state. To identify the possible region(s) of PrP(C) responsible for initiating the conversion into the amyloid fibril formation, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) was applied to characterize the stability and structure of PrP(C) and intermediate states during the conversion from PrP(C) to PrP(Sc). Subsequently urea was used to induce unfolding, and data analysis revealed region-specific structural stabilities that may bring insights into the mechanisms underlying conversion of protein into an infectious prion. PMID:19697241

  6. Distinct patterns of spread of prion infection in brains of mice expressing anchorless or anchored forms of prion protein

    Rangel, Alejandra; Race, Brent; Phillips, Katie; Striebel, James; Kurtz, Nancy; Chesebro, Bruce

    2014-01-01

    Background In humans and animals, prion protein (PrP) is usually expressed as a glycophosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored membrane protein, but anchorless PrP may be pathogenic in humans with certain familial prion diseases. Anchored PrP expressed on neurons mediates spread of prions along axons in the peripheral and central nervous systems. However, the mechanism of prion spread in individuals expressing anchorless PrP is poorly understood. Here we studied prion spread within brain of mice ex...

  7. Follicular dendritic cell-specific prion protein (PrP) expression alone is sufficient to sustain prion infection in the spleen.

    McCulloch, Laura; Brown, Karen L; Bradford, Barry M; Hopkins, John; Bailey, Mick; Rajewsky, Klaus; Manson, Jean C; Mabbott, Neil A

    2011-12-01

    Prion diseases are characterised by the accumulation of PrP(Sc), an abnormally folded isoform of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)), in affected tissues. Following peripheral exposure high levels of prion-specific PrP(Sc) accumulate first upon follicular dendritic cells (FDC) in lymphoid tissues before spreading to the CNS. Expression of PrP(C) is mandatory for cells to sustain prion infection and FDC appear to express high levels. However, whether FDC actively replicate prions or simply acquire them from other infected cells is uncertain. In the attempts to-date to establish the role of FDC in prion pathogenesis it was not possible to dissociate the Prnp expression of FDC from that of the nervous system and all other non-haematopoietic lineages. This is important as FDC may simply acquire prions after synthesis by other infected cells. To establish the role of FDC in prion pathogenesis transgenic mice were created in which PrP(C) expression was specifically "switched on" or "off" only on FDC. We show that PrP(C)-expression only on FDC is sufficient to sustain prion replication in the spleen. Furthermore, prion replication is blocked in the spleen when PrP(C)-expression is specifically ablated only on FDC. These data definitively demonstrate that FDC are the essential sites of prion replication in lymphoid tissues. The demonstration that Prnp-ablation only on FDC blocked splenic prion accumulation without apparent consequences for FDC status represents a novel opportunity to prevent neuroinvasion by modulation of PrP(C) expression on FDC. PMID:22144895

  8. Follicular dendritic cell-specific prion protein (PrP expression alone is sufficient to sustain prion infection in the spleen.

    Laura McCulloch

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Prion diseases are characterised by the accumulation of PrP(Sc, an abnormally folded isoform of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C, in affected tissues. Following peripheral exposure high levels of prion-specific PrP(Sc accumulate first upon follicular dendritic cells (FDC in lymphoid tissues before spreading to the CNS. Expression of PrP(C is mandatory for cells to sustain prion infection and FDC appear to express high levels. However, whether FDC actively replicate prions or simply acquire them from other infected cells is uncertain. In the attempts to-date to establish the role of FDC in prion pathogenesis it was not possible to dissociate the Prnp expression of FDC from that of the nervous system and all other non-haematopoietic lineages. This is important as FDC may simply acquire prions after synthesis by other infected cells. To establish the role of FDC in prion pathogenesis transgenic mice were created in which PrP(C expression was specifically "switched on" or "off" only on FDC. We show that PrP(C-expression only on FDC is sufficient to sustain prion replication in the spleen. Furthermore, prion replication is blocked in the spleen when PrP(C-expression is specifically ablated only on FDC. These data definitively demonstrate that FDC are the essential sites of prion replication in lymphoid tissues. The demonstration that Prnp-ablation only on FDC blocked splenic prion accumulation without apparent consequences for FDC status represents a novel opportunity to prevent neuroinvasion by modulation of PrP(C expression on FDC.

  9. Uptake and dynamics of infectious prion protein in the intestine.

    Ano, Yasuhisa; Sakudo, Akikazu; Nakayama, Hiroyuki; Onodera, Takashi

    2009-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are characterized by the accumulation of a protease-resistant abnormal isoform of the prion protein (PrPSc), which is converted from the cellular isoform of the prion protein (PrPC). In the oral transmission of prion protein, PrPSc can invade a host body through the intestinal tract. There is only limited information available on how the infectious agent passes through one or several biological barriers before it can finally reach the brain. After oral administration, PrPSc withstands the digestive process and may be incorporated by microfold (M) cells or villous columnar epithelial cells in the intestine. After entry into the intestinal epithelium, PrPSc accumulates and is amplified in follicular dendritic cells (FDCs) within Peyer's patches and other isolated lymphoid follicles possibly by an interaction with dendritic cells or macrophages. Following accumulation in gut-associated lymphoid tissues, PrPSc is thought to move to the enteric nervous systems (ENS) by an interaction with FDCs or dendritic cells. As a result of neuroinvasion into the ENS, PrPSc spreads to the central nervous system. In addition, an epidemiological study suggested that most bovine spongiform encephalopathy cases had been exposed to the agent in the first 6 months of life. Developments of the intestinal defense and immune system may be involved in the susceptibility to infection. PMID:19275737

  10. YEAST PRION PROTEIN Ure2p – A USEFUL MODEL FOR HUMAN PRION DISEASES.

    Tatina T. Todorova

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Mammalian transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are uncommon and irreversible diseases caused by prions. Prions lack nucleic acid and can self-propagate by converting normal cell protein to isomeric prion form. In the pathogenesis of these diseases a long variable incubation period occurs, followed by progressive appearance of severe clinical symptoms and death. A major knowledge in the field of prions comes from studies on a functionally unrelated protein of yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae – [URE3], which in normal state (Ure2p possesses a variety of regulatory and enzymatic functions. Ure2p is a cytoplasmic homodimeric protein with structural homology to glutathione S-transferases and crucial role in nitrogen metabolism, oxidant protection and heavy metal resistance in yeast. In this work, we discuss the role of Ure2p to provide valuable information about protein infectivity, prion structure and functions.

  11. Crucial Role for Prion Protein Membrane Anchoring in the Neuroinvasion and Neural Spread of Prion Infection ▿

    Klingeborn, Mikael; Race, Brent; Meade-White, Kimberly D.; Rosenke, Rebecca; Striebel, James F.; Chesebro, Bruce

    2010-01-01

    In nature prion diseases are usually transmitted by extracerebral prion infection, but clinical disease results only after invasion of the central nervous system (CNS). Prion protein (PrP), a host-encoded glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored membrane glycoprotein, is necessary for prion infection and disease. Here, we investigated the role of the anchoring of PrP on prion neuroinvasion by studying various inoculation routes in mice expressing either anchored or anchorless PrP. In contr...

  12. Ex vivo mammalian prions are formed of paired double helical prion protein fibrils.

    Terry, Cassandra; Wenborn, Adam; Gros, Nathalie; Sells, Jessica; Joiner, Susan; Hosszu, Laszlo L P; Tattum, M Howard; Panico, Silvia; Clare, Daniel K; Collinge, John; Saibil, Helen R; Wadsworth, Jonathan D F

    2016-05-01

    Mammalian prions are hypothesized to be fibrillar or amyloid forms of prion protein (PrP), but structures observed to date have not been definitively correlated with infectivity and the three-dimensional structure of infectious prions has remained obscure. Recently, we developed novel methods to obtain exceptionally pure preparations of prions from mouse brain and showed that pathogenic PrP in these high-titre preparations is assembled into rod-like assemblies. Here, we have used precise cell culture-based prion infectivity assays to define the physical relationship between the PrP rods and prion infectivity and have used electron tomography to define their architecture. We show that infectious PrP rods isolated from multiple prion strains have a common hierarchical assembly comprising twisted pairs of short fibres with repeating substructure. The architecture of the PrP rods provides a new structural basis for understanding prion infectivity and can explain the inability to systematically generate high-titre synthetic prions from recombinant PrP. PMID:27249641

  13. [Functions of prion protein PrPc].

    Cazaubon, Sylvie; Viegas, Pedro; Couraud, Pierre-Olivier

    2007-01-01

    It is now well established that both normal and pathological (or scrapie) isoforms of prion protein, PrPc and PrPsc respectively, are involved in the development and progression of various forms of neurodegenerative diseases, including scrapie in sheep, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (or "mad cow disease") and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in human, collectively known as prion diseases. The protein PrPc is highly expressed in the central nervous system in neurons and glial cells, and also present in non-brain cells, such as immune cells or epithelial and endothelial cells. Identification of the physiological functions of PrPc in these different cell types thus appears crucial for understanding the progression of prion diseases. Recent studies highlighted several major roles for PrPc that may be considered in two major domains : (1) cell survival (protection against oxidative stress and apoptosis) and (2) cell adhesion. In association with cell adhesion, distinct functions of PrPc were observed, depending on cell types : neuronal differentiation, epithelial and endothelial barrier integrity, transendothelial migration of monocytes, T cell activation. These observations suggest that PrPc functions may be particularly relevant to cellular stress, as well as inflammatory or infectious situations. PMID:17875293

  14. Mutations of the prion protein gene phenotypic spectrum.

    Kovács, Gábor G; Trabattoni, Gianriccardo; Hainfellner, Johannes A; Ironside, James W; Knight, Richard S G; Budka, Herbert

    2002-11-01

    Prion diseases are inherited in 5-15 % of cases. They are classified according to changes in the prion protein gene ( PRNP) or conventionally according to phenotype as Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker disease (GSS), fatal familial insomnia (FFI), or familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (fCJD). Point mutations and insertions within PRNP form the genetic background. We report the results of a systematic analysis of over 500 case reports of patients with PRNP abnormalities. We compare clinical, neuropathological and molecular data in five groups, namely GSS, FFI, fCJD, base pair insertion (BPI), and all cases collectively. Clinical presentation overlaps between mutations, but some have characteristic features (e. g. P105L, D178N-129M, T183A). Some mutations, especially in the lack of sufficient family history, in earlier phases tend to resemble other neurodegenerative disorders like multiple system atrophy, corticobasal degeneration or familial diseases such as late-onset spinocerebellar ataxia, spastic paraparesis, frontotemporal dementia, or Alzheimer's disease. The codon 129 polymorphism has a phenotypic influence in inherited prion diseases, as in non-genetic forms, but additional factors might be considered as background for phenotypic variability. PMID:12420099

  15. Ultraviolet-ozone treatment reduces levels of disease-associated prion protein and prion infectivity

    McKenzie Debbie

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs are a group of fatal neurodegenerative diseases caused by novel infectious agents referred to as prions. Prions appear to be composed primarily, if not exclusively, of a misfolded isoform of the cellular prion protein. TSE infectivity is remarkably stable and can resist many aggressive decontamination procedures, increasing human, livestock and wildlife exposure to TSEs. Findings We tested the hypothesis that UV-ozone treatment reduces levels of the pathogenic prion protein and inactivates the infectious agent. We found that UV-ozone treatment decreased the carbon and prion protein content in infected brain homogenate to levels undetectable by dry-ashing carbon analysis or immunoblotting, respectively. After 8 weeks of ashing, UV-ozone treatment reduced the infectious titer of treated material by a factor of at least 105. A small amount of infectivity, however, persisted despite UV-ozone treatment. When bound to either montmorillonite clay or quartz surfaces, PrPTSE was still susceptible to degradation by UV-ozone. Conclusion Our findings strongly suggest that UV-ozone treatment can degrade pathogenic prion protein and inactivate prions, even when the agent is associated with surfaces. Using larger UV-ozone doses or combining UV-ozone treatment with other decontaminant methods may allow the sterilization of TSE-contaminated materials.

  16. Ultraviolet-ozone treatment reduces levels of disease-associated prion protein and prion infectivity

    Johnson, C.J.; Gilbert, P.; McKenzie, D.; Pedersen, J.A.; Aiken, Judd M.

    2009-01-01

    Background. Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are a group of fatal neurodegenerative diseases caused by novel infectious agents referred to as prions. Prions appear to be composed primarily, if not exclusively, of a misfolded isoform of the cellular prion protein. TSE infectivity is remarkably stable and can resist many aggressive decontamination procedures, increasing human, livestock and wildlife exposure to TSEs. Findings. We tested the hypothesis that UV-ozone treatment reduces levels of the pathogenic prion protein and inactivates the infectious agent. We found that UV-ozone treatment decreased the carbon and prion protein content in infected brain homogenate to levels undetectable by dry-ashing carbon analysis or immunoblotting, respectively. After 8 weeks of ashing, UV-ozone treatment reduced the infectious titer of treated material by a factor of at least 105. A small amount of infectivity, however, persisted despite UV-ozone treatment. When bound to either montmorillonite clay or quartz surfaces, PrPTSE was still susceptible to degradation by UV-ozone. Conclusion. Our findings strongly suggest that UV-ozone treatment can degrade pathogenic prion protein and inactivate prions, even when the agent is associated with surfaces. Using larger UV-ozone doses or combining UV-ozone treatment with other decontaminant methods may allow the sterilization of TSE-contaminated materials. ?? 2009 Aiken et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

  17. Human tonsil-derived follicular dendritic-like cells are refractory to human prion infection in vitro and traffic disease-associated prion protein to lysosomes.

    Krejciova, Zuzana; De Sousa, Paul; Manson, Jean; Ironside, James W; Head, Mark W

    2014-01-01

    The molecular mechanisms involved in human cellular susceptibility to prion infection remain poorly defined. This is due, in part, to the absence of any well characterized and relevant cultured human cells susceptible to infection with human prions, such as those involved in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. In variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, prion replication is thought to occur first in the lymphoreticular system and then spread into the brain. We have, therefore, examined the susceptibility of a human tonsil-derived follicular dendritic cell-like cell line (HK) to prion infection. HK cells were found to display a readily detectable, time-dependent increase in cell-associated abnormal prion protein (PrP(TSE)) when exposed to medium spiked with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease brain homogenate, resulting in a coarse granular perinuclear PrP(TSE) staining pattern. Despite their high level of cellular prion protein expression, HK cells failed to support infection, as judged by longer term maintenance of PrP(TSE) accumulation. Colocalization studies revealed that exposure of HK cells to brain homogenate resulted in increased numbers of detectable lysosomes and that these structures immunostained intensely for PrP(TSE) after exposure to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease brain homogenate. Our data suggest that human follicular dendritic-like cells and perhaps other human cell types are able to avoid prion infection by efficient lysosomal degradation of PrP(TSE). PMID:24183781

  18. Insights into the physiological function of cellular prion protein

    Martins V.R.

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Prions have been extensively studied since they represent a new class of infectious agents in which a protein, PrPsc (prion scrapie, appears to be the sole component of the infectious particle. They are responsible for transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, which affect both humans and animals. The mechanism of disease propagation is well understood and involves the interaction of PrPsc with its cellular isoform (PrPc and subsequently abnormal structural conversion of the latter. PrPc is a glycoprotein anchored on the cell surface by a glycosylphosphatidylinositol moiety and expressed in most cell types but mainly in neurons. Prion diseases have been associated with the accumulation of the abnormally folded protein and its neurotoxic effects; however, it is not known if PrPc loss of function is an important component. New efforts are addressing this question and trying to characterize the physiological function of PrPc. At least four different mouse strains in which the PrP gene was ablated were generated and the results regarding their phenotype are controversial. Localization of PrPc on the cell membrane makes it a potential candidate for a ligand uptake, cell adhesion and recognition molecule or a membrane signaling molecule. Recent data have shown a potential role for PrPc in the metabolism of copper and moreover that this metal stimulates PrPc endocytosis. Our group has recently demonstrated that PrPc is a high affinity laminin ligand and that this interaction mediates neuronal cell adhesion and neurite extension and maintenance. Moreover, PrPc-caveolin-1 dependent coupling seems to trigger the tyrosine kinase Fyn activation. These data provide the first evidence for PrPc involvement in signal transduction.

  19. A systematic investigation of production of synthetic prions from recombinant prion protein.

    Schmidt, Christian; Fizet, Jeremie; Properzi, Francesca; Batchelor, Mark; Sandberg, Malin K; Edgeworth, Julie A; Afran, Louise; Ho, Sammy; Badhan, Anjna; Klier, Steffi; Linehan, Jacqueline M; Brandner, Sebastian; Hosszu, Laszlo L P; Tattum, M Howard; Jat, Parmjit; Clarke, Anthony R; Klöhn, Peter C; Wadsworth, Jonathan D F; Jackson, Graham S; Collinge, John

    2015-12-01

    According to the protein-only hypothesis, infectious mammalian prions, which exist as distinct strains with discrete biological properties, consist of multichain assemblies of misfolded cellular prion protein (PrP). A critical test would be to produce prion strains synthetically from defined components. Crucially, high-titre 'synthetic' prions could then be used to determine the structural basis of infectivity and strain diversity at the atomic level. While there have been multiple reports of production of prions from bacterially expressed recombinant PrP using various methods, systematic production of high-titre material in a form suitable for structural analysis remains a key goal. Here, we report a novel high-throughput strategy for exploring a matrix of conditions, additives and potential cofactors that might generate high-titre prions from recombinant mouse PrP, with screening for infectivity using a sensitive automated cell-based bioassay. Overall, approximately 20,000 unique conditions were examined. While some resulted in apparently infected cell cultures, this was transient and not reproducible. We also adapted published methods that reported production of synthetic prions from recombinant hamster PrP, but again did not find evidence of significant infectious titre when using recombinant mouse PrP as substrate. Collectively, our findings are consistent with the formation of prion infectivity from recombinant mouse PrP being a rare stochastic event and we conclude that systematic generation of prions from recombinant PrP may only become possible once the detailed structure of authentic ex vivo prions is solved. PMID:26631378

  20. Prion protein induced signaling cascades in monocytes

    Prion proteins play a central role in transmission and pathogenesis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. The cellular prion protein (PrPC), whose physiological function remains elusive, is anchored to the surface of a variety of cell types including neurons and cells of the lymphoreticular system. In this study, we investigated the response of a mouse monocyte/macrophage cell line to exposure with PrPC fusion proteins synthesized with a human Fc-tag. PrPC fusion proteins showed an attachment to the surface of monocyte/macrophages in nanomolar concentrations. This was accompanied by an increase of cellular tyrosine phosphorylation as a result of activated signaling pathways. Detailed investigations exhibited activation of downstream pathways through a stimulation with PrP fusion proteins, which include phosphorylation of ERK1,2 and Akt kinase. Macrophages opsonize and present antigenic structures, contact lymphocytes, and deliver cytokines. The findings reported here may become the basis of understanding the molecular function of PrPC in monocytes and macrophages

  1. A new mutation in the prion protein gene: A patient with dementia and white matter changes

    Van Harten, B.; Van Gool, W.A.; Van Langen, I.M.; Deekman, J.M.; Meijerink, P.H.S.; Weinstein, H.C.

    2000-01-01

    The authors describe the clinical characteristics, MRI abnormalities, and molecular findings in a patient with a novel variant of a two-octarepeat insertion mutation in the prion protein gene. This patient presented with moderately progressive dementia of presenile onset and gait ataxia. MRI showed

  2. Thermodynamic Stabilization of the Folded Domain of Prion Protein Inhibits Prion Infection in Vivo

    Qingzhong Kong

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Prion diseases, or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs, are associated with the conformational conversion of the cellular prion protein, PrPC, into a protease-resistant form, PrPSc. Here, we show that mutation-induced thermodynamic stabilization of the folded, α-helical domain of PrPC has a dramatic inhibitory effect on the conformational conversion of prion protein in vitro, as well as on the propagation of TSE disease in vivo. Transgenic mice expressing a human prion protein variant with increased thermodynamic stability were found to be much more resistant to infection with the TSE agent than those expressing wild-type human prion protein, in both the primary passage and three subsequent subpassages. These findings not only provide a line of evidence in support of the protein-only model of TSEs but also yield insight into the molecular nature of the PrPC→PrPSc conformational transition, and they suggest an approach to the treatment of prion diseases.

  3. Effects of Solution Chemistry and Aging Time on Prion Protein Adsorption and Replication of Soil-Bound Prions

    Samuel E Saunders; Yuan, Qi; Bartz, Jason C.; Bartelt-Hunt, Shannon

    2011-01-01

    Prion interactions with soil may play an important role in the transmission of chronic wasting disease (CWD) and scrapie. Prions are known to bind to a wide range of soil surfaces, but the effects of adsorption solution chemistry and long-term soil binding on prion fate and transmission risk are unknown. We investigated HY TME prion protein (PrPSc) adsorption to soil minerals in aqueous solutions of phosphate buffered saline (PBS), sodium chloride, calcium chloride, and deionized water using ...

  4. Normal modes of prion proteins: from native to infectious particle.

    Samson, Abraham O; Levitt, Michael

    2011-03-29

    Prion proteins (PrP) are the infectious agent in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (i.e., mad cow disease). To be infectious, prion proteins must undergo a conformational change involving a decrease in α-helical content along with an increase in β-strand content. This conformational change was evaluated by means of elastic normal modes. Elastic normal modes show a diminution of two α-helices by one and two residues, as well as an extension of two β-strands by three residues each, which could instigate the conformational change. The conformational change occurs in a region that is compatible with immunological studies, and it is observed more frequently in mutant prions that are prone to conversion than in wild-type prions because of differences in their starting structures, which are amplified through normal modes. These findings are valuable for our comprehension of the conversion mechanism associated with the conformational change in prion proteins. PMID:21338080

  5. Computational Studies of the Structural Stability of Rabbit Prion Protein Compared to Human and Mouse Prion Proteins

    Zhang, Jiapu

    2011-01-01

    Prion diseases are invariably fatal and highly infectious neurodegenerative diseases affecting humans and animals. The neurodegenerative diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob diseases, Gerstmann-Str$\\ddot{a}$ussler-Scheinker syndrome, Fatal Familial Insomnia, Kuru in humans, scrapie in sheep, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (or 'mad-cow' disease) and chronic wasting disease in cattle belong to prion diseases. By now there have not been some effective therapeutic approaches to treat all these prion diseases. Dogs, rabbits and horses were reported to be resistant to prion diseases. By the end of year 2010 all the NMR structures of dog, rabbit and horse prion proteins (X-ray for rabbits too) had been finished to release into protein data bank. Thus, at this moment it is very worth studying the NMR and X-ray molecular structures of horse, dog and rabbit prion proteins to obtain insights into their immunity prion diseases. The author found that dog and horse prion proteins have sta...

  6. "Protein-only" or "virino" in prion diseases?

    2000-01-01

    60-year prion and scrapie research has led to a dilemma in understanding the unknown aetiology of the infectious neurodegenerative disorders with intriguing features. Current progress and dilemma in prion research are briefly but critically reviewed. Instead of providing a comprehensive coverage of the research history, attentions in this view are drawn toward both the major breakthrough in the advancement of protein-only hypothesis, and the puzzle why this hypothesis has not been fully accepted. In order to resolve the prion enigma in neuroscience, it is suggested that both technical and concept barriers remain to be crossed. Since prion research is a multi-interdisciplinary subject, this view is intended to both facilitate a better understanding of prion phenomenon by more scientists in natural science, and invite scientists outside the fields of molecular genetics and protein science for collaboration.

  7. Insights into prion protein function from atomistic simulations

    Hodak, Miroslav; Bernholc, Jerzy

    2010-01-01

    Computer simulations are a powerful tool for studies of biological systems. They have often been used to study prion protein (PrP), a protein responsible for neurodegenerative diseases, which include “mad cow disease” in cattle and Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease in humans. An important aspect of the prion protein is its interaction with copper ion, which is thought to be relevant for PrP’s yet undetermined function and also potentially play a role in prion diseases. For studies of copper attachmen...

  8. The most infectious prion protein particles

    Silveira, Jay R.; Raymond, Gregory J.; Hughson, Andrew G.; Race, Richard E.; Sim, Valerie L.; Caughey, Byron; Hayes, Stanley F.

    2005-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are characterized by abnormal protein deposits, often with large amyloid fibrils. However, questions have arisen as to whether such fibrils or smaller subfibrillar oligomers are the prime causes of disease1,2. Abnormal deposits in TSEs are rich in PrPres, a protease-resistant form of the PrP protein with the ability to convert the normal, protease-sensitive form of the protein ...

  9. The structural stability of wild-type horse prion protein.

    Zhang, Jiapu

    2011-10-01

    Prion diseases (e.g. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), variant CJD (vCJD), Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS), Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI) and Kuru in humans, scrapie in sheep, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or 'mad-cow' disease) and chronic wasting disease (CWD) in cattles) are invariably fatal and highly infectious neurodegenerative diseases affecting humans and animals. However, by now there have not been some effective therapeutic approaches or medications to treat all these prion diseases. Rabbits, dogs, and horses are the only mammalian species reported to be resistant to infection from prion diseases isolated from other species. Recently, the β2-α2 loop has been reported to contribute to their protein structural stabilities. The author has found that rabbit prion protein has a strong salt bridge ASP177-ARG163 (like a taut bow string) keeping this loop linked. This paper confirms that this salt bridge also contributes to the structural stability of horse prion protein. Thus, the region of β2-α2 loop might be a potential drug target region. Besides this very important salt bridge, other four important salt bridges GLU196-ARG156-HIS187, ARG156-ASP202 and GLU211-HIS177 are also found to greatly contribute to the structural stability of horse prion protein. Rich databases of salt bridges, hydrogen bonds and hydrophobic contacts for horse prion protein can be found in this paper. PMID:21875155

  10. Morphological and Functional Abnormalities in Mitochondria Associated with Synaptic Degeneration in Prion Disease

    Sisková, Zuzana; Mahad, Don Joseph; Pudney, Carianne; Campbell, Graham; Cadogan, Mark; Asuni, Ayodeji; O'Connor, Vincent; Perry, Victor Hugh

    2010-01-01

    Synaptic and dendritic pathology is a well-documented component of prion disease. In common with other neurodegenerative diseases that contain an element of protein misfolding, little is known about the underlying mechanisms of synaptic degeneration. In particular, in prion disease the relationship between synaptic malfunction, degeneration, and mitochondria has been neglected. We investigated a wide range of mitochondrial parameters, including changes in mitochondrial density, inner membrane...

  11. Mammalian prions

    Salamat, Muhammad Khalid; Munoz-Montesino, Carola; Moudjou, Mohammed; Rezaei, Human; Laude, Hubert; Béringue, Vincent; Dron, Michel

    2013-01-01

    Upon prion infection, abnormal prion protein (PrPSc) self-perpetuate by conformational conversion of α-helix-rich PrPC into β sheet enriched form, leading to formation and deposition of PrPSc aggregates in affected brains. However the process remains poorly understood at the molecular level and the regions of PrP critical for conversion are still debated. Minimal amino acid substitutions can impair prion replication at many places in PrP. Conversely, we recently showed that bona fide prions could be generated after introduction of eight and up to 16 additional amino acids in the H2-H3 inter-helix loop of PrP. Prion replication also accommodated the insertions of an octapeptide at different places in the last turns of H2. This reverse genetic approach reveals an unexpected tolerance of prions to substantial sequence changes in the protease-resistant part which is associated with infectivity. It also demonstrates that conversion does not require the presence of a specific sequence in the middle of the H2-H3 area. We discuss the implications of our findings according to different structural models proposed for PrPSc and questioned the postulated existence of an N- or C-terminal prion domain in the protease-resistant region. PMID:23232499

  12. Molecular dynamics studies on the buffalo prion protein.

    Zhang, Jiapu; Wang, Feng; Chatterjee, Subhojyoti

    2016-01-01

    It was reported that buffalo is a low susceptibility species resisting to transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) (same as rabbits, horses, and dogs). TSEs, also called prion diseases, are invariably fatal and highly infectious neurodegenerative diseases that affect a wide variety of species (except for rabbits, dogs, horses, and buffalo), manifesting as scrapie in sheep and goats; bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or "mad-cow" disease) in cattle; chronic wasting disease in deer and elk; and Creutzfeldt-Jakob diseases, Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome, fatal familial insomnia, and Kulu in humans etc. In molecular structures, these neurodegenerative diseases are caused by the conversion from a soluble normal cellular prion protein (PrP(C)), predominantly with α-helices, into insoluble abnormally folded infectious prions (PrP(Sc)), rich in β-sheets. In this article, we studied the molecular structure and structural dynamics of buffalo PrP(C) (BufPrP(C)), in order to understand the reason why buffalo is resistant to prion diseases. We first did molecular modeling of a homology structure constructed by one mutation at residue 143 from the NMR structure of bovine and cattle PrP(124-227); immediately we found that for BufPrP(C)(124-227), there are five hydrogen bonds (HBs) at Asn143, but at this position, bovine/cattle do not have such HBs. Same as that of rabbits, dogs, or horses, our molecular dynamics studies also revealed there is a strong salt bridge (SB) ASP178-ARG164 (O-N) keeping the β2-α2 loop linked in buffalo. We also found there is a very strong HB SER170-TYR218 linking this loop with the C-terminal end of α-helix H3. Other information, such as (i) there is a very strong SB HIS187-ARG156 (N-O) linking α-helices H2 and H1 (if mutation H187R is made at position 187, then the hydrophobic core of PrP(C) will be exposed (L.H. Zhong (2010). Exposure of hydrophobic core in human prion protein pathogenic mutant H187R. Journal of

  13. Effects of solution chemistry and aging time on prion protein adsorption and replication of soil-bound prions.

    Samuel E Saunders

    Full Text Available Prion interactions with soil may play an important role in the transmission of chronic wasting disease (CWD and scrapie. Prions are known to bind to a wide range of soil surfaces, but the effects of adsorption solution chemistry and long-term soil binding on prion fate and transmission risk are unknown. We investigated HY TME prion protein (PrP(Sc adsorption to soil minerals in aqueous solutions of phosphate buffered saline (PBS, sodium chloride, calcium chloride, and deionized water using western blotting. The replication efficiency of bound prions following adsorption in these solutions was also evaluated by protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA. Aging studies investigated PrP(Sc desorption and replication efficiency up to one year following adsorption in PBS or DI water. Results indicate that adsorption solution chemistry can affect subsequent prion replication or desorption ability, especially after incubation periods of 30 d or longer. Observed effects were minor over the short-term (7 d or less. Results of long-term aging experiments demonstrate that unbound prions or prions bound to a diverse range of soil surfaces can readily replicate after one year. Our results suggest that while prion-soil interactions can vary with solution chemistry, prions bound to soil could remain a risk for transmitting prion diseases after months in the environment.

  14. Negative purifying selection drives prion and doppel protein evolution

    Tsangaras, K.; Kolokotronis, S.-O.; Ulrich, R.G.; Morand, S; Michaux, Johan; Greenwood, A. D.

    2014-01-01

    The prion protein (PrP) when misfolded into the pathogenic conformer PrPSc is the major causative agent of several lethal transmissible spongiform encephalopathies in mammals. Studies of evolutionary pressure on the corresponding gene using different datasets have yielded conflicting results. In addition, putative PrP or PrP interacting partners with strong similarity to PrP such as the doppel protein have not been examined to determine if the same evolutionary mechanisms apply to prion paral...

  15. Insights into prion protein function from atomistic simulations.

    Hodak, Miroslav; Bernholc, Jerzy

    2010-01-01

    Computer simulations are a powerful tool for studies of biological systems. They have often been used to study prion protein (PrP), a protein responsible for neurodegenerative diseases, which include "mad cow disease" in cattle and Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease in humans. An important aspect of the prion protein is its interaction with copper ion, which is thought to be relevant for PrP's yet undetermined function and also potentially play a role in prion diseases. for studies of copper attachment to the prion protein, computer simulations have often been used to complement experimental data and to obtain binding structures of Cu-PrP complexes. This paper summarizes the results of recent ab initio calculations of copper-prion protein interactions focusing on the recently discovered concentration-dependent binding modes in the octarepeat region of this protein. In addition to determining the binding structures, computer simulations were also used to make predictions about PrP's function and the role of copper in prion diseases. The results demonstrate the predictive power and applicability of ab initio simulations for studies of metal-biomolecular complexes. PMID:20118658

  16. Peroxymonosulfate Rapidly Inactivates the Disease-Associated Prion Protein.

    Chesney, Alexandra R; Booth, Clarissa J; Lietz, Christopher B; Li, Lingjun; Pedersen, Joel A

    2016-07-01

    Prions, the etiological agents in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, exhibit remarkable resistance to most methods of inactivation that are effective against conventional pathogens. Prions are composed of pathogenic conformers of the prion protein (PrP(TSE)). Some prion diseases are transmitted, in part, through environmental routes. The recalcitrance of prions to inactivation may lead to a persistent reservoir of infectivity that contributes to the environmental maintenance of epizootics. At present, few methods exist to remediate prion-contaminated land surfaces. Here we conducted a proof-of-principle study to examine the ability of peroxymonosulfate to degrade PrP(TSE). We find that peroxymonosulfate rapidly degrades PrP(TSE) from two species. Transition-metal-catalyzed decomposition of peroxymonosulfate to produce sulfate radicals appears to enhance degradation. We further demonstrate that exposure to peroxymonosulfate significantly reduced PrP(C) to PrP(TSE) converting ability as measured by protein misfolding cyclic amplification, used as a proxy for infectivity. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry revealed that exposure to peroxymonosulfate results in oxidative modifications to methionine and tryptophan residues. This study indicates that peroxymonosulfate may hold promise for decontamination of prion-contaminated surfaces. PMID:27247993

  17. Protease-resistant prions selectively decrease Shadoo protein.

    Joel C Watts

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available The central event in prion diseases is the conformational conversion of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C into PrP(Sc, a partially protease-resistant and infectious conformer. However, the mechanism by which PrP(Sc causes neuronal dysfunction remains poorly understood. Levels of Shadoo (Sho, a protein that resembles the flexibly disordered N-terminal domain of PrP(C, were found to be reduced in the brains of mice infected with the RML strain of prions [1], implying that Sho levels may reflect the presence of PrP(Sc in the brain. To test this hypothesis, we examined levels of Sho during prion infection using a variety of experimental systems. Sho protein levels were decreased in the brains of mice, hamsters, voles, and sheep infected with different natural and experimental prion strains. Furthermore, Sho levels were decreased in the brains of prion-infected, transgenic mice overexpressing Sho and in infected neuroblastoma cells. Time-course experiments revealed that Sho levels were inversely proportional to levels of protease-resistant PrP(Sc. Membrane anchoring and the N-terminal domain of PrP both influenced the inverse relationship between Sho and PrP(Sc. Although increased Sho levels had no discernible effect on prion replication in mice, we conclude that Sho is the first non-PrP marker specific for prion disease. Additional studies using this paradigm may provide insight into the cellular pathways and systems subverted by PrP(Sc during prion disease.

  18. Idiopathic Brainstem Neuronal Chromatolysis (IBNC: a novel prion protein related disorder of cattle?

    Martin Stuart

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The epidemic form of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE is generally considered to have been caused by a single prion strain but at least two strain variants of cattle prion disorders have recently been recognized. An additional neurodegenerative condition, idiopathic brainstem neuronal chromatolysis and hippocampal sclerosis (IBNC, a rare neurological disease of adult cattle, was also recognised in a sub-set of cattle submitted under the BSE Orders in which lesions of BSE were absent. Between the years of 1988 and 1991 IBNC occurred in Scotland with an incidence of 7 cases per 100,000 beef suckler cows over the age of 6 years. Results When the brains of 15 IBNC cases were each tested by immunohistochemistry, all showed abnormal labelling for prion protein (PrP. Immunohistological labelling for PrP was also present in the retina of a single case available for examination. The pattern of PrP labelling in brain is distinct from that seen in other ruminant prion diseases and is absent from brains with other inflammatory conditions and from normal control brains. Brains of IBNC cattle do not reveal abnormal PrP isoforms when tested by the commercial BioRad or Idexx test kits and do not reveal PrPres when tested by Western blotting using stringent proteinase digestion methods. However, some weakly protease resistant isoforms of PrP may be detected when tissues are examined using mild proteinase digestion techniques. Conclusion The study shows that a distinctive neurological disorder of cattle, which has some clinical similarities to BSE, is associated with abnormal PrP labelling in brain but the pathology and biochemistry of IBNC are distinct from BSE. The study is important either because it raises the possibility of a significant increase in the scope of prion disease or because it demonstrates that widespread and consistent PrP alterations may not be confined to prion diseases. Further studies, including transmission

  19. Prion protein and susceptibility to kainate-induced seizures

    Striebel, James F.; Race, Brent; Chesebro, Bruce

    2013-01-01

    Prion protein (PrP) is a cell surface glycoprotein which is required for susceptibility to prion infection and disease. However, PrP is expressed in many different cell types located in numerous organs. Therefore, in addition to its role in prion diseases, PrP may have a large variety of other biological functions involving the nervous system and other systems. We recently showed that susceptibility to kainate-induced seizures differed in Prnp−/− and Prnp+/+ mice on the C57BL/10SnJ background...

  20. Persistence of pathogenic prion protein during simulated wastewater treatment processes

    Hinckley, G.T.; Johnson, C.J.; Jacobson, K.H.; Bartholomay, C.; Mcmahon, K.D.; McKenzie, D.; Aiken, Judd M.; Pedersen, J.A.

    2008-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs, prion diseases) are a class of fatal neurodegenerative diseases affecting a variety of mammalian species including humans. A misfolded form of the prion protein (PrP TSE) is the major, if not sole, component of the infectious agent. Prions are highly resistant to degradation and to many disinfection procedures suggesting that, if prions enter wastewater treatment systems through sewers and/or septic systems (e.g., from slaughterhouses, necropsy laboratories, rural meat processors, private game dressing) or through leachate from landfills that have received TSE-contaminated material, prions could survive conventional wastewater treatment Here, we report the results of experiments examining the partitioning and persistence of PrPTSE during simulated wastewater treatment processes including activated and mesophilic anaerobic sludge digestion. Incubation with activated sludge did not result in significant PrPTSE degradation. PrPTSE and prion infectivity partitioned strongly to activated sludge solids and are expected to enter biosolids treatment processes. A large fraction of PrPTSE survived simulated mesophilic anaerobic sludge digestion. The small reduction in recoverable PrPTSE after 20-d anaerobic sludge digestion appeared attributable to a combination of declining extractability with time and microbial degradation. Our results suggest that if prions were to enter municipal wastewater treatment systems, most would partition to activated sludge solids, survive mesophilic anaerobic digestion, and be present in treated biosolids. ?? 2008 American Chemical Society.

  1. Molecular dynamics studies on the NMR and X-ray structures of rabbit prion proteins.

    Zhang, Jiapu; Zhang, Yuanli

    2014-02-01

    Prion diseases, traditionally referred to as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), are invariably fatal and highly infectious neurodegenerative diseases that affect a wide variety of mammalian species, manifesting as scrapie in sheep and goats, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or mad-cow disease) in cattle, chronic wasting disease in deer and elk, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob diseases, Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome, fatal familial insomnia, and kulu in humans, etc. These neurodegenerative diseases are caused by the conversion from a soluble normal cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) into insoluble abnormally folded infectious prions (PrP(Sc)), and the conversion of PrP(C) to PrP(Sc) is believed to involve conformational change from a predominantly α-helical protein to one rich in β-sheet structure. Such a conformational change may be amenable to study by molecular dynamics (MD) techniques. For rabbits, classical studies show that they have a low susceptibility to be infected by PrP(Sc), but recently it was reported that rabbit prions can be generated through saPMCA (serial automated Protein Misfolding Cyclic Amplification) in vitro and the rabbit prion is infectious and transmissible. In this paper, we first do a detailed survey on the research advances of rabbit prion protein (RaPrP) and then we perform MD simulations on the NMR and X-ray molecular structures of rabbit prion protein wild-type and mutants. The survey shows to us that rabbits were not challenged directly in vivo with other known prion strains and the saPMCA result did not pass the test of the known BSE strain of cattle. Thus, we might still look rabbits as a prion resistant species. MD results indicate that the three α-helices of the wild-type are stable under the neutral pH environment (but under low pH environment the three α-helices have been unfolded into β-sheets), and the three α-helices of the mutants (I214V and S173N) are unfolded into rich β-sheet structures under

  2. Peroxiredoxin 6 promotes upregulation of the prion protein (PrP in neuronal cells of prion-infected mice

    Wagner Wibke

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background It has been widely established that the conversion of the cellular prion protein (PrPC into its abnormal isoform (PrPSc is responsible for the development of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs. However, the knowledge of the detailed molecular mechanisms and direct functional consequences within the cell is rare. In this study, we aimed at the identification of deregulated proteins which might be involved in prion pathogenesis. Findings Apolipoprotein E and peroxiredoxin 6 (PRDX6 were identified as upregulated proteins in brains of scrapie-infected mice and cultured neuronal cell lines. Downregulation of PrP gene expression using specific siRNA did not result in a decrease of PRDX6 amounts. Interestingly, selective siRNA targeting PRDX6 or overexpression of PRDX6 controlled PrPC and PrPSc protein amounts in neuronal cells. Conclusions Besides its possible function as a novel marker protein in the diagnosis of TSEs, PDRX6 represents an attractive target molecule in putative pharmacological intervention strategies in the future.

  3. Green fluorescent protein as a reporter of prion protein folding

    Dalton Kevin

    2006-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The amino terminal half of the cellular prion protein PrPc is implicated in both the binding of copper ions and the conformational changes that lead to disease but has no defined structure. However, as some structure is likely to exist we have investigated the use of an established protein refolding technology, fusion to green fluorescence protein (GFP, as a method to examine the refolding of the amino terminal domain of mouse prion protein. Results Fusion proteins of PrPc and GFP were expressed at high level in E.coli and could be purified to near homogeneity as insoluble inclusion bodies. Following denaturation, proteins were diluted into a refolding buffer whereupon GFP fluorescence recovered with time. Using several truncations of PrPc the rate of refolding was shown to depend on the prion sequence expressed. In a variation of the format, direct observation in E.coli, mutations introduced randomly in the PrPc protein sequence that affected folding could be selected directly by recovery of GFP fluorescence. Conclusion Use of GFP as a measure of refolding of PrPc fusion proteins in vitro and in vivo proved informative. Refolding in vitro suggested a local structure within the amino terminal domain while direct selection via fluorescence showed that as little as one amino acid change could significantly alter folding. These assay formats, not previously used to study PrP folding, may be generally useful for investigating PrPc structure and PrPc-ligand interaction.

  4. Unusual cerebral vascular prion protein amyloid distribution in scrapie-infected transgenic mice expressing anchorless prion protein

    Rangel, Alejandra; Race, Brent; Klingeborn, Mikael; Striebel, James; Chesebro, Bruce

    2013-01-01

    Background In some prion diseases, misfolded aggregated protease-resistant prion protein (PrPres) is found in brain as amyloid, which can cause cerebral amyloid angiopathy. Small diffusible precursors of PrPres amyloid might flow with brain interstitial fluid (ISF), possibly accounting for the perivascular and intravascular distribution of PrPres amyloid. We previously reported that PrPres amyloid in scrapie-infected transgenic mice appeared to delay clearance of microinjected brain ISF trace...

  5. Strain-dependent profile of misfolded prion protein aggregates.

    Morales, Rodrigo; Hu, Ping Ping; Duran-Aniotz, Claudia; Moda, Fabio; Diaz-Espinoza, Rodrigo; Chen, Baian; Bravo-Alegria, Javiera; Makarava, Natallia; Baskakov, Ilia V; Soto, Claudio

    2016-01-01

    Prions are composed of the misfolded prion protein (PrP(Sc)) organized in a variety of aggregates. An important question in the prion field has been to determine the identity of functional PrP(Sc) aggregates. In this study, we used equilibrium sedimentation in sucrose density gradients to separate PrP(Sc) aggregates from three hamster prion strains (Hyper, Drowsy, SSLOW) subjected to minimal manipulations. We show that PrP(Sc) aggregates distribute in a wide range of arrangements and the relative proportion of each species depends on the prion strain. We observed a direct correlation between the density of the predominant PrP(Sc) aggregates and the incubation periods for the strains studied. The relative presence of PrP(Sc) in fractions of different sucrose densities was indicative of the protein deposits present in the brain as analyzed by histology. Interestingly, no association was found between sensitivity to proteolytic degradation and aggregation profiles. Therefore, the organization of PrP molecules in terms of the density of aggregates generated may determine some of the particular strain properties, whereas others are independent from it. Our findings may contribute to understand the mechanisms of strain variation and the role of PrP(Sc) aggregates in prion-induced neurodegeneration. PMID:26877167

  6. Enhancement of phagocytotic activity by prion protein in PrP-deficient macrophage cells.

    Uraki, Ryuta; Sakudo, Akikazu; Ando, Saeko; Kitani, Hiroshi; Onodera, Takashi

    2010-10-01

    Macrophages, especially follicular dendritic cells, contribute to the pathogenesis of prion diseases by accumulating an abnormal isoform of prion protein (PrPSc), which is converted from the cellular isoform of prion protein (PrPC). As information on the function of PrPC in macrophages is limited, we have established a prion protein (PrP) gene (Prnp)-deficient macrophage cell line from the bone marrow of ZrchI Prnp-/- mice. These cells expressed macrophage specific proteins (F4/80 and MOMA-2) and displayed phagocytotic properties. The Prnp-/- macrophage cell line (MplZ) showed shorter pseudopodium extension and less phagocytotic activity than a Prnp+/+ macrophage cell line (MWF). In addition, the MplZ cells were more sensitive to serum deprivation than the MWF cells and underwent apoptotic cell death in these conditions. These findings suggest that PrPC enhances the incorporation of materials possibly including PrPSc and decreases the sensitivity of cells to oxidative stress, which may be induced by PrPSc accumulation. PMID:20818492

  7. What Makes a Protein Sequence a Prion?

    Sabate, Raimon; Rousseau, Frederic; Schymkowitz, Joost; Ventura, Salvador

    2015-01-01

    Typical amyloid diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's were thought to exclusively result from de novo aggregation, but recently it was shown that amyloids formed in one cell can cross-seed aggregation in other cells, following a prion-like mechanism. Despite the large experimental effort devoted to understanding the phenomenon of prion transmissibility, it is still poorly understood how this property is encoded in the primary sequence. In many cases, prion structural conversion is driven by the presence of relatively large glutamine/asparagine (Q/N) enriched segments. Several studies suggest that it is the amino acid composition of these regions rather than their specific sequence that accounts for their priogenicity. However, our analysis indicates that it is instead the presence and potency of specific short amyloid-prone sequences that occur within intrinsically disordered Q/N-rich regions that determine their prion behaviour, modulated by the structural and compositional context. This provides a basis for the accurate identification and evaluation of prion candidate sequences in proteomes in the context of a unified framework for amyloid formation and prion propagation. PMID:25569335

  8. Prions Ex Vivo: What Cell Culture Models Tell Us about Infectious Proteins

    Sybille Krauss; Ina Vorberg

    2013-01-01

    Prions are unconventional infectious agents that are composed of misfolded aggregated prion protein. Prions replicate their conformation by template-assisted conversion of the endogenous prion protein PrP. Templated conversion of soluble proteins into protein aggregates is also a hallmark of other neurodegenerative diseases. Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease are not considered infectious diseases, although aggregate pathology appears to progress in a stereotypical fashion reminiscent...

  9. Molecular cloning and sequence analysis of prion protein gene in Xiji donkey in China.

    Zhang, Zhuming; Wang, Renli; Xu, Lihua; Yuan, Fangzhong; Zhou, Xiangmei; Yang, Lifeng; Yin, Xiaomin; Xu, Binrui; Zhao, Deming

    2013-10-25

    Prion diseases are a group of human and animal neurodegenerative disorders caused by the deposition of an abnormal isoform prion protein (PrP(Sc)) encoded by a single copy prion protein gene (PRNP). Prion disease has been reported in many herbivores but not in Equus and the species barrier might be playing a role in resistance of these species to the disease. Therefore, analysis of genotype of prion protein (PrP) in these species may help understand the transmission of the disease. Xiji donkey is a rare species of Equus not widely reared in Ningxia, China, for service, food and medicine, but its PRNP has not been studied. Based on the reported PrP sequence in GenBank we designed primers and amplified, cloned and sequenced the PRNP of Xiji donkey. The sequence analysis showed that the Xiji donkey PRNP was consisted of an open reading frame of 768 nucleotides encoding 256 amino acids. Amino acid residues unique to donkey as compared with some Equus animals, mink, cow, sheep, human, dog, sika deer, rabbit and hamster were identified. The results showed that the amino acid sequence of Xiji donkey PrP starts with the consensus sequence MVKSH, with almost identical amino acid sequence to the PrP of other Equus species in this study. Amino acid sequence analysis showed high identity within species and close relation to the PRNP of sika deer, sheep, dog, camel, cow, mink, rabbit and hamster with 83.1-99.7% identity. The results provided the PRNP data for an additional Equus species, which should be useful to the study of the prion disease pathogenesis, resistance and cross species transmission. PMID:23954254

  10. Regional brain metabolite abnormalities in inherited prion disease and asymptomatic gene carriers demonstrated in vivo by quantitative proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy

    Inherited prion diseases are caused by mutations in the gene which codes for prion protein (PrP), leading to proliferation of abnormal PrP isomers in the brain and neurodegeneration; they include Gerstmann-Straeussler-Scheinker disease (GSS), fatal familial insomnia (FFI) and familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (fCJD). We studied two patients with symptomatic inherited prion disease (P102L) and two pre-symptomatic P102L gene carriers using quantitative magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). Short echo time spectra were acquired from the thalamus, caudate region and frontal white matter, metabolite levels and ratios were measured and z-scores calculated for individual patients relative to age-matched normal controls. MRS data were compared with structural magnetic resonance imaging. One fCJD case had generalised atrophy and showed increased levels of myo-inositol (MI) in the thalamus (z=3.7). The other had decreased levels of N-acetylaspartate (z=4) and diffuse signal abnormality in the frontal white matter. Both asymptomatic gene carriers had normal imaging, but increased frontal white matter MI (z=4.3, 4.1), and one also had increased MI in the caudate (z=5.3). Isolated MI abnormalities in asymptomatic gene carriers are a novel finding and may reflect early glial proliferation, prior to significant neuronal damage. MRS provides potential non-invasive surrogate markers of early disease and progression in inherited prion disease. (orig.)

  11. Regional brain metabolite abnormalities in inherited prion disease and asymptomatic gene carriers demonstrated in vivo by quantitative proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy

    Waldman, A.D.; Cordery, R.J.; Godbolt, A.; Rossor, M.N. [University College London, Dementia Research Group, Department of Neurodegenerative Disease, Institute of Neurology, London (United Kingdom); Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, Division of Neuroscience and Psychological Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, London (United Kingdom); MacManus, D.G. [University College London, NMR Research Unit, Department of Clinical Neurology, Institute of Neurology, London (United Kingdom); Collinge, J. [University College London, MRC Prion Unit, Department of Neurodegenerative Disease, Institute of Neurology, London (United Kingdom)

    2006-06-15

    Inherited prion diseases are caused by mutations in the gene which codes for prion protein (PrP), leading to proliferation of abnormal PrP isomers in the brain and neurodegeneration; they include Gerstmann-Straeussler-Scheinker disease (GSS), fatal familial insomnia (FFI) and familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (fCJD). We studied two patients with symptomatic inherited prion disease (P102L) and two pre-symptomatic P102L gene carriers using quantitative magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). Short echo time spectra were acquired from the thalamus, caudate region and frontal white matter, metabolite levels and ratios were measured and z-scores calculated for individual patients relative to age-matched normal controls. MRS data were compared with structural magnetic resonance imaging. One fCJD case had generalised atrophy and showed increased levels of myo-inositol (MI) in the thalamus (z=3.7). The other had decreased levels of N-acetylaspartate (z=4) and diffuse signal abnormality in the frontal white matter. Both asymptomatic gene carriers had normal imaging, but increased frontal white matter MI (z=4.3, 4.1), and one also had increased MI in the caudate (z=5.3). Isolated MI abnormalities in asymptomatic gene carriers are a novel finding and may reflect early glial proliferation, prior to significant neuronal damage. MRS provides potential non-invasive surrogate markers of early disease and progression in inherited prion disease. (orig.)

  12. Yeast prion architecture explains how proteins can be genes

    Wickner, Reed

    2013-03-01

    Prions (infectious proteins) transmit information without an accompanying DNA or RNA. Most yeast prions are self-propagating amyloids that inactivate a normally functional protein. A single protein can become any of several prion variants, with different manifestations due to different amyloid structures. We showed that the yeast prion amyloids of Ure2p, Sup35p and Rnq1p are folded in-register parallel beta sheets using solid state NMR dipolar recoupling experiments, mass-per-filament-length measurements, and filament diameter measurements. The extent of beta sheet structure, measured by chemical shifts in solid-state NMR and acquired protease-resistance on amyloid formation, combined with the measured filament diameters, imply that the beta sheets must be folded along the long axis of the filament. We speculate that prion variants of a single protein sequence differ in the location of these folds. Favorable interactions between identical side chains must hold these structures in-register. The same interactions must guide an unstructured monomer joining the end of a filament to assume the same conformation as molecules already in the filament, with the turns at the same locations. In this way, a protein can template its own conformation, in analogy to the ability of a DNA molecule to template its sequence by specific base-pairing. Bldg. 8, Room 225, NIH, 8 Center Drive MSC 0830, Bethesda, MD 20892-0830, wickner@helix.nih.gov, 301-496-3452

  13. Prion protein accumulation in lipid rafts of mouse aging brain.

    Federica Agostini

    Full Text Available The cellular form of the prion protein (PrP(C is a normal constituent of neuronal cell membranes. The protein misfolding causes rare neurodegenerative disorders known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies or prion diseases. These maladies can be sporadic, genetic or infectious. Sporadic prion diseases are the most common form mainly affecting aging people. In this work, we investigate the biochemical environment in which sporadic prion diseases may develop, focusing our attention on the cell membrane of neurons in the aging brain. It is well established that with aging the ratio between the most abundant lipid components of rafts undergoes a major change: while cholesterol decreases, sphingomyelin content rises. Our results indicate that the aging process modifies the compartmentalization of PrP(C. In old mice, this change favors PrP(C accumulation in detergent-resistant membranes, particularly in hippocampi. To confirm the relationship between lipid content changes and PrP(C translocation into detergent-resistant membranes (DRMs, we looked at PrP(C compartmentalization in hippocampi from acid sphingomyelinase (ASM knockout (KO mice and synaptosomes enriched in sphingomyelin. In the presence of high sphingomyelin content, we observed a significant increase of PrP(C in DRMS. This process is not due to higher levels of total protein and it could, in turn, favor the onset of sporadic prion diseases during aging as it increases the PrP intermolecular contacts into lipid rafts. We observed that lowering sphingomyelin in scrapie-infected cells by using fumonisin B1 led to a 50% decrease in protease-resistant PrP formation. This may suggest an involvement of PrP lipid environment in prion formation and consequently it may play a role in the onset or development of sporadic forms of prion diseases.

  14. Curcumin Reduces Amyloid Fibrillation of Prion Protein and Decreases Reactive Oxidative Stress

    Raymond Chung; Cheng-I Lee; Chi-Fen Lin; Cheng-Ping Jheng; Kun-Hua Yu

    2013-01-01

    Misfolding and aggregation into amyloids of the prion protein (PrP) is responsible for the development of fatal transmissible neurodegenerative diseases. Various studies on curcumin demonstrate promise for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and inhibition of PrPres accumulation. To evaluate the effect of curcumin on amyloid fibrillation of prion protein, we first investigated the effect of curcumin on mouse prion protein (mPrP) in a cell-free system. Curcumin reduced the prion fibril forma...

  15. Concentration-dependent Cu(II) binding to prion protein

    Hodak, Miroslav; Lu, Wenchang; Bernholc, Jerry

    2008-03-01

    The prion protein plays a causative role in several neurodegenerative diseases, including mad cow disease in cattle and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. The normal function of the prion protein is unknown, but it has been linked to its ability to bind copper ions. Experimental evidence suggests that copper can be bound in three distinct modes depending on its concentration, but only one of those binding modes has been fully characterized experimentally. Using a newly developed hybrid DFT/DFT method [1], which combines Kohn-Sham DFT with orbital-free DFT, we have examined all the binding modes and obtained their detailed binding geometries and copper ion binding energies. Our results also provide explanation for experiments, which have found that when the copper concentration increases the copper binding mode changes, surprisingly, from a stronger to a weaker one. Overall, our results indicate that prion protein can function as a copper buffer. 1. Hodak, Lu, Bernholc, JCP, in press.

  16. Normal Modes of Prion Proteins: From Native to Infectious particle◊

    Samson, Abraham O.; Levitt, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Prion proteins (PrP) are the infectious agent in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (i.e. mad cow disease). To be infectious, prion proteins must undergo a conformational change involving a decrease of α-helical content along with an increase of β-strand structure. This conformational change was evaluated by means of elastic normal modes. Elastic normal modes show a diminution of two α-helices by one and two residues, as well as an extension of two β-strands by three residues each whic...

  17. Inherited prion disease A117V is not simply a proteinopathy but produces prions transmissible to transgenic mice expressing homologous prion protein.

    Emmanuel A Asante

    Full Text Available Prions are infectious agents causing fatal neurodegenerative diseases of humans and animals. In humans, these have sporadic, acquired and inherited aetiologies. The inherited prion diseases are caused by one of over 30 coding mutations in the human prion protein (PrP gene (PRNP and many of these generate infectious prions as evidenced by their experimental transmissibility by inoculation to laboratory animals. However, some, and in particular an extensively studied type of Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS caused by a PRNP A117V mutation, are thought not to generate infectious prions and instead constitute prion proteinopathies with a quite distinct pathogenetic mechanism. Multiple attempts to transmit A117V GSS have been unsuccessful and typical protease-resistant PrP (PrP(Sc, pathognomonic of prion disease, is not detected in brain. Pathogenesis is instead attributed to production of an aberrant topological form of PrP, C-terminal transmembrane PrP ((CtmPrP. Barriers to transmission of prion strains from one species to another appear to relate to structural compatibility of PrP in host and inoculum and we have therefore produced transgenic mice expressing human 117V PrP. We found that brain tissue from GSS A117V patients did transmit disease to these mice and both the neuropathological features of prion disease and presence of PrP(Sc was demonstrated in the brains of recipient transgenic mice. This PrP(Sc rapidly degraded during laboratory analysis, suggesting that the difficulty in its detection in patients with GSS A117V could relate to post-mortem proteolysis. We conclude that GSS A117V is indeed a prion disease although the relative contributions of (CtmPrP and prion propagation in neurodegeneration and their pathogenetic interaction remains to be established.

  18. Identification of misfolded proteins in body fluids for the diagnosis of prion diseases.

    Properzi, Francesca; Pocchiari, Maurizio

    2013-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) or prion diseases are fatal rare neurodegenerative disorders affecting man and animals and caused by a transmissible infectious agent. TSE diseases are characterized by spongiform brain lesions with neuronal loss and the abnormal deposition in the CNS, and to less extent in other tissues, of an insoluble and protease resistant form of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)), named PrP(TSE). In man, TSE diseases affect usually people over 60 years of age with no evident disease-associated risk factors. In some cases, however, TSE diseases are unequivocally linked to infectious episodes related to the use of prion-contaminated medicines, medical devices, or meat products as in the variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). Clinical signs occur months or years after infection, and during this silent period PrP(TSE), the only reliable marker of infection, is not easily measurable in blood or other accessible tissues or body fluids causing public health concerns. To overcome the limit of PrP(TSE) detection, several highly sensitive assays have been developed, but attempts to apply these techniques to blood of infected hosts have been unsuccessful or not yet validated. An update on the latest advances for the detection of misfolded prion protein in body fluids is provided. PMID:24027585

  19. Humic substances interfere with detection of pathogenic prion protein

    Smith, Christen B.; Booth, Clarissa J.; Wadzinski, Tyler J.; Legname, Giuseppe; Chappell, Rick; Johnson, Christopher J.; Pedersen, Joel A.

    2014-01-01

    Studies examining the persistence of prions (the etiological agent of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies) in soil require accurate quantification of pathogenic prion protein (PrPTSE) extracted from or in the presence of soil particles. Here, we demonstrate that natural organic matter (NOM) in soil impacts PrPTSE detection by immunoblotting. Methods commonly used to extract PrPTSE from soils release substantial amounts of NOM, and NOM inhibited PrPTSE immunoblot signal. The degree of immunoblot interference increased with increasing NOM concentration and decreasing NOM polarity. Humic substances affected immunoblot detection of prion protein from both deer and hamsters. We also establish that after interaction with humic acid, PrPTSE remains infectious to hamsters inoculated intracerebrally, and humic acid appeared to slow disease progression. These results provide evidence for interactions between PrPTSE and humic substances that influence both accurate measurement of PrPTSE in soil and disease transmission.

  20. Prions

    J. M. Godoy

    1991-06-01

    Full Text Available Os autores se propõem a revisar alguns aspectos básicos sobre os prions, alertando sobre a possível participação destes na etiologia de algumas enfermidades degenerativas do sistema nervoso.

  1. Chronic Lymphocytic Inflammation Specifies the Organ Tropism of Prions

    Heikenwalder, Mathias; Zeller, Nicolas; Seeger, Harald; Prinz, Marco; Klöhn, Peter-Christian; Schwarz, Petra; Ruddle, Nancy H.; Weissmann, Charles; Aguzzi, Adriano

    2005-02-01

    Prions typically accumulate in nervous and lymphoid tissues. Because proinflammatory cytokines and immune cells are required for lymphoid prion replication, we tested whether inflammatory conditions affect prion pathogenesis. We administered prions to mice with five inflammatory diseases of the kidney, pancreas, or liver. In all cases, chronic lymphocytic inflammation enabled prion accumulation in otherwise prion-free organs. Inflammatory foci consistently correlated with lymphotoxin up-regulation and ectopic induction of FDC-M1+ cells expressing the normal cellular prion protein PrPC. By contrast, inflamed organs of mice lacking lymphotoxin-α or its receptor did not accumulate the abnormal isoform PrPSc, nor did they display infectivity upon prion inoculation. By expanding the tissue distribution of prions, chronic inflammatory conditions may act as modifiers of natural and iatrogenic prion transmission.

  2. A receptor for infectious and cellular prion protein

    V.R. Martins

    1999-07-01

    Full Text Available Prions are an unconventional form of infectious agents composed only of protein and involved in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies in humans and animals. The infectious particle is composed by PrPsc which is an isoform of a normal cellular glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol (GPI anchored protein, PrPc, of unknown function. The two proteins differ only in conformation, PrPc is composed of 40% a helix while PrPsc has 60% ß-sheet and 20% a helix structure. The infection mechanism is trigged by interaction of PrPsc with cellular prion protein causing conversion of the latter's conformation. Therefore, the infection spreads because new PrPsc molecules are generated exponentially from the normal PrPc. The accumulation of insoluble PrPsc is probably one of the events that lead to neuronal death. Conflicting data in the literature showed that PrPc internalization is mediated either by clathrin-coated pits or by caveolae-like membranous domains. However, both pathways seem to require a third protein (a receptor or a prion-binding protein either to make the connection between the GPI-anchored molecule to clathrin or to convert PrPc into PrPsc. We have recently characterized a 66-kDa membrane receptor which binds PrPc in vitro and in vivo and mediates the neurotoxicity of a human prion peptide. Therefore, the receptor should have a role in the pathogenesis of prion-related diseases and in the normal cellular process. Further work is necessary to clarify the events triggered by the association of PrPc/PrPsc with the receptor.

  3. Limited amplification of chronic wasting disease prions in the peripheral tissues of intracerebrally inoculated cattle

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease, classified as a prion disease or transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) similar to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Cervids affected by CWD accumulate an abnormal protease resistant prion protein throughout the central...

  4. Helicobacter pylori upregulates prion protein expression in gastric mucosa: A possible link to prion disease

    Peter C Konturek; Karolina Bazela; Vitaliy Kukharskyy; Michael Bauer; Eckhart G Hahn; Detlef Schuppan

    2005-01-01

    AIM: Pathological prion protein (PrPSC) is responsible for the development of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE). While PrPc enters the organism via the oral route, less data is available to know about its uptake and the role of gastrointestinal inflammation on the expression of prion precursor PrPc, which is constitutively expressed in the gastric mucosa.METHODS: We studied PrPc expression in the gastric mucosa of 10 Helicobacter pylori-positive patients before and after successful H pylori eradication compared to non-infected controls using RT-PCR and Western blotting.The effect of central mediators of gastric inflammation,i.e., gastrin, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin 1 beta (IL-1β) on PrPc expression was analyzed in gastric cell lines.RESULTS: PrPc expression was increased in H pyloriinfection compared with non-infected controls and decreased to normal after successful eradication. Gastrin,PGE2, and IL-1β dose-dependently upregulated PrPc in gastric cells, while TNF-α had no effect.CONCLUSION: H pylori infection leads to the upregulation of gastric PrPc expression. This can be linked to H pylori induced hypergastrinemia and increased mucosal PGE2 and IL-1β synthesis.H pylori creates a milieu for enhanced propagation of prions in the gastrointestinal tract.

  5. A protein required for prion generation: [URE3] induction requires the Ras-regulated Mks1 protein

    Edskes, Herman K.; Wickner, Reed B.

    2000-01-01

    Infectious proteins (prions) can arise de novo as well as by transmission from another individual. De novo prion generation is believed responsible for most cases of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease and for initiating the mad cow disease epidemic. However, the cellular components needed for prion generation have not been identified in any system. The [URE3] prion of Saccharomyces cerevisiae is an infectious form of Ure2p, apparently a self-propagating amyloid. We now demonstrate a protein required f...

  6. Prion protein degradation by lichens of the genus Cladonia

    Bennett, James P.; Rodriguez, Cynthia M.; Johnson, Christopher J.

    2012-01-01

    It has recently been discovered that lichens contain a serine protease capable of degrading the pathogenic prion protein, the etiological agent of prion diseases such as sheep scrapie and cervid chronic wasting disease. Limited methods are available to degrade or inactivate prion disease agents, especially in the environment, and lichens or their serine protease could prove important for management of these diseases. Scant information is available regarding the presence or absence of the protease responsible for degrading prion protein (PrP) in lichen species and, in this study, we tested the hypothesis that PrP degradation activity in lichens is phylogenetically-based by testing 44 species of Cladonia lichens, a genus for which a significant portion of the phylogeny is well established. We categorized PrP degradation activity among the 44 species (high, moderate, low or none) and found that activity in Cladonia species did not correspond with phylogenetic position of the species. Degradation of PrP did correspond, however, with three classical taxonomic characters within the genus: species with brown apothecia, no usnic acid, and the presence of a cortex. Of the 44 species studied, 18 (41%) had either high or moderate PrP degradation activity, suggesting the protease may be frequent in this genus of lichens.

  7. Endogenous Proteolytic Cleavage of Disease-associated Prion Protein to Produce C2 Fragments Is Strongly Cell- and Tissue-dependent*

    Dron, Michel; Moudjou, Mohammed; Chapuis, Jérôme; Salamat, Muhammad Khalid Farooq; Bernard, Julie; Cronier, Sabrina; Langevin, Christelle; Laude, Hubert

    2010-01-01

    The abnormally folded form of the prion protein (PrPSc) accumulating in nervous and lymphoid tissues of prion-infected individuals can be naturally cleaved to generate a N-terminal-truncated fragment called C2. Information about the identity of the cellular proteases involved in this process and its possible role in prion biology has remained limited and controversial. We investigated PrPSc N-terminal trimming in different cell lines and primary cultured nerve cells, and in the brain and sple...

  8. Peripheral prion disease pathogenesis is unaltered in the absence of sialoadhesin (Siglec-1/CD169)

    Bradford, Barry; Crocker, P R; Mabbott, Neil

    2014-01-01

    Prions are a unique group of pathogens, which are considered to comprise solely of an abnormally folded isoform of the cellular prion protein. The accumulation and replication of prions within secondary lymphoid organs is important for their efficient spread from the periphery to the brain where they ultimately cause neurodegeneration and death. Mononuclear phagocytes (MNP) play key roles in prion disease pathogenesis. Some MNP appear to facilitate the propagation of prions to and within lymp...

  9. The non-octarepeat copper binding site of the prion protein is a key regulator of prion conversion

    Giachin, Gabriele; Mai, Phuong Thao; Tran, Thanh Hoa; Salzano, Giulia; Benetti, Federico; Migliorati, Valentina; Arcovito, Alessandro; Longa, Stefano Della; Mancini, Giordano; D'Angelo, Paola; Legname, Giuseppe

    2015-10-01

    The conversion of the prion protein (PrPC) into prions plays a key role in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. Despite the importance for pathogenesis, the mechanism of prion formation has escaped detailed characterization due to the insoluble nature of prions. PrPC interacts with copper through octarepeat and non-octarepeat binding sites. Copper coordination to the non-octarepeat region has garnered interest due to the possibility that this interaction may impact prion conversion. We used X-ray absorption spectroscopy to study copper coordination at pH 5.5 and 7.0 in human PrPC constructs, either wild-type (WT) or carrying pathological mutations. We show that mutations and pH cause modifications of copper coordination in the non-octarepeat region. In the WT at pH 5.5, copper is anchored to His96 and His111, while at pH 7 it is coordinated by His111. Pathological point mutations alter the copper coordination at acidic conditions where the metal is anchored to His111. By using in vitro approaches, cell-based and computational techniques, we propose a model whereby PrPC coordinating copper with one His in the non-octarepeat region converts to prions at acidic condition. Thus, the non-octarepeat region may act as the long-sought-after prion switch, critical for disease onset and propagation.

  10. Prion protein: structural features and related toxicity

    Ping Ping Hu; Cheng Zhi Huang

    2013-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies,or prion diseases,is a group of infectious neurodegenerative disorders.The conformational conversion from cellular form (PrPC) to disease-causing isoform (PrPSc) is considered to be the most important and remarkable event in these diseases,while accumulation of PrPSc is thought to be the main reason for cell death,inflammation and spongiform degeneration observed in infected individuals.Although these rare but unique neurodegenerative disorders have attracted much attention,there are still many questions that remain to be answered.Knowledge of the scrapie agent structures and the toxic species may have significance for understanding the causes of the diseases,and could be helpful for rational design of novel therapeutic and diagnostic methods.In this review,we summarized the available experimental evidence concerning the relationship among the structural features,aggregation status of misfolded PrP and related neurotoxicity in the course of prion diseases development.In particular,most data supports the idea that the smaller oligomeric PrPSc aggregates,rather than the mature amyloid fibers,exhibit the highest toxicity to the host.

  11. Role of autophagy in prion protein-induced neurodegenerative diseases

    Hao Yao; Deming Zhao; Sher Hayat Khan; Lifeng Yang

    2013-01-01

    Prion diseases,characterized by spongiform degeneration and the accumulation of misfolded and aggregated PrPSc in the central nervous system,are one of fatal neurodegenerative and infectious disorders of humans and animals.In earlier studies,autophagy vacuoles in neurons were frequently observed in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's,Parkinson's,and Huntington's diseases as well as prion diseases.Autophagy is a highly conserved homeostatic process by which several cytoplasmic components (proteins or organelles) are sequestered in a doublemembrane-bound vesicle termed 'autophagosome' and degraded upon their fusion with lysosome.The pathway of intercellular self-digestion at basal physiological levels is indispensable for maintaining the healthy status of tissues and organs.In case of prion infection,increasing evidence indicates that autophagy has a crucial ability of eliminating pathological PrPSc accumulated within neurons.In contrast,autophagy dysfunction in affected neurons may contribute to the formation of spongiform changes.In this review,we summarized recent findings about the effect of mammalian autophagy in neurodegenerative disorders,particularly in prion diseases.We also summarized the therapeutic potential of some small molecules (such as lithium,rapamycin,Sirtuin 1 and resveratrol) targets to mitigate such diseases on brain function.Furthermore,we discussed the controversial role of autophagy,whether it mediates neuronal toxicity or serves a protective function in neurodegenerative disorders.

  12. 朊病毒蛋白Prion的研究进展%Progresses on prion proteins

    林东海; 文祎

    2011-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are a family of fatal neurodegenerative disorders. The pathogen has been identified as the abnormal isoform of the host-derived prion protein. The molecular mechanism of the conformational conversion of the prion protein is unclear so far. However, much valuable information closely related to the conformational change has been obtained by means of physical, chemical and biological techniques.Recent progresses on three-dimensional structures, dynamics, unfolding and intermolecular interactions of prion proteins are reviewed herein, together with novel results about the solution structure and dynamics of the rabbit prion protein achieved from our laboratory.%传染性海绵状脑病是一类致死性的神经系统退行性疾病,其发病机制与朊病毒蛋白prion的异常构象有关.迄今为止,prion致病的构象变化机制依然是一个未解之谜.国内外研究人员从不同切入点着手,采用物理、化学、生物等多种学科的技术手段,发现并积累了大量与prion构象转变相关的有价值的信息.本文综述了近年来人们在prion蛋白的三维结构、动力学、去折叠以及相互作用等方面取得的研究进展,并简要地介绍了本实验室在兔prion蛋白溶液结构和动力学方面的研究工作.

  13. Disease Transmission by Misfolded Prion-Protein Isoforms, Prion-Like Amyloids, Functional Amyloids and the Central Dogma.

    Daus, Martin L

    2016-01-01

    In 1982, the term "prions" (proteinaceous infectious particles) was coined to specify a new principle of infection. A misfolded isoform of a cellular protein has been described as the causative agent of a fatal neurodegenerative disease. At the beginning of prion research scientists assumed that the infectious agent causing transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) was a virus, but some unconventional properties of these pathogens were difficult to bring in line with the prevailing viral model. The discovery that prions (obviously devoid of any coding nucleic acid) can store and transmit information similarly to DNA was initially even denoted as being "heretical" but is nowadays mainly accepted by the scientific community. This review describes, from a historical point of view, how the "protein-only hypothesis" expands the Central Dogma. Definition of both, the prion principle and the Central Dogma, have been essential steps to understand information storage and transfer within and among cells and organisms. Furthermore, the current understanding of the infectivity of prion-proteins after misfolding is summarized succinctly. Finally, prion-like amyloids and functional amyloids, as found in yeast and bacteria, will be discussed. PMID:26742083

  14. Strain Specific Resistance to Murine Scrapie Associated with a Naturally Occurring Human Prion Protein Polymorphism at Residue 171

    Striebel, James F.; Race, Brent; Meade-White, Kimberly D.; LaCasse, Rachel; Chesebro, Bruce

    2011-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) or prion diseases are neurodegenerative disorders associated with conversion of normal host prion protein (PrP) to a misfolded, protease-resistant form (PrPres). Genetic variations of prion protein in humans and animals can alter susceptibility to both familial and infectious prion diseases. The N171S PrP polymorphism is found mainly in humans of African descent, but its low incidence has precluded study of its possible influence on prion diseas...

  15. Strain specific resistance to murine scrapie associated with a naturally occurring human prion protein polymorphism at residue 171.

    Striebel, James F.; Brent Race; Meade-White, Kimberly D.; Rachel LaCasse; Bruce Chesebro

    2011-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) or prion diseases are neurodegenerative disorders associated with conversion of normal host prion protein (PrP) to a misfolded, protease-resistant form (PrPres). Genetic variations of prion protein in humans and animals can alter susceptibility to both familial and infectious prion diseases. The N171S PrP polymorphism is found mainly in humans of African descent, but its low incidence has precluded study of its possible influence on prion diseas...

  16. The Role of Functional Prion-Like Proteins in the Persistence of Memory.

    Si, Kausik; Kandel, Eric R

    2016-01-01

    Prions are a self-templating amyloidogenic state of normal cellular proteins, such as prion protein (PrP). They have been identified as the pathogenic agents, contributing to a number of diseases of the nervous system. However, the discovery that the neuronal RNA-binding protein, cytoplasmic polyadenylation element-binding protein (CPEB), has a prion-like state that is involved in the stabilization of memory raised the possibility that prion-like proteins can serve normal physiological functions in the nervous system. Here, we review recent experimental evidence of prion-like properties of neuronal CPEB in various organisms and propose a model of how the prion-like state may stabilize memory. PMID:27037416

  17. Copper and the Prion Protein: Methods, Structures, Function, and Disease

    Millhauser, Glenn L.

    2007-05-01

    The transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) arise from conversion of the membrane-bound prion protein from PrPC to PrPSc. Examples of the TSEs include mad cow disease, chronic wasting disease in deer and elk, scrapie in goats and sheep, and kuru and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. Although the precise function of PrPC in healthy tissues is not known, recent research demonstrates that it binds Cu(II) in an unusual and highly conserved region of the protein termed the octarepeat domain. This review describes recent connections between copper and PrPC, with an emphasis on the electron paramagnetic resonance elucidation of the specific copper-binding sites, insights into PrPC function, and emerging connections between copper and prion disease.

  18. Prion protein and Aβ-related synaptic toxicity impairment

    Calella, Anna Maria; Farinelli, Mélissa; Nuvolone, Mario; Mirante, Osvaldo; Moos, Rita; Falsig, Jeppe; Mansuy, Isabelle M.; Aguzzi, Adriano

    2010-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common neurodegenerative disorder, goes along with extracellular amyloid-β (Aβ) deposits. The cognitive decline observed during AD progression correlates with damaged spines, dendrites and synapses in hippocampus and cortex. Numerous studies have shown that Aβ oligomers, both synthetic and derived from cultures and AD brains, potently impair synaptic structure and functions. The cellular prion protein (PrPC) was proposed to mediate this effect. We report tha...

  19. Transmission of Atypical Bovine Prions to Mice Transgenic for Human Prion Protein

    Béringue, Vincent; Herzog, Laëtitia; Reine, Fabienne; Le Dur, Annick; Casalone, Cristina; Vilotte, Jean-Luc; Laude, Hubert

    2008-01-01

    To assess risk for cattle-to-human transmission of prions that cause uncommon forms of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), we inoculated mice expressing human PrP Met129 with field isolates. Unlike classical BSE agent, L-type prions appeared to propagate in these mice with no obvious transmission barrier. H-type prions failed to infect the mice.

  20. Molecular modeling of the conformational dynamics of the cellular prion protein

    Nguyen, Charles; Colling, Ian; Bartz, Jason; Soto, Patricia

    2014-03-01

    Prions are infectious agents responsible for transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), a type of fatal neurodegenerative disease in mammals. Prions propagate biological information by conversion of the non-pathological version of the prion protein to the infectious conformation, PrPSc. A wealth of knowledge has shed light on the nature and mechanism of prion protein conversion. In spite of the significance of this problem, we are far from fully understanding the conformational dynamics of the cellular isoform. To remedy this situation we employ multiple biomolecular modeling techniques such as docking and molecular dynamics simulations to map the free energy landscape and determine what specific regions of the prion protein are most conductive to binding. The overall goal is to characterize the conformational dynamics of the cell form of the prion protein, PrPc, to gain insight into inhibition pathways against misfolding. NE EPSCoR FIRST Award to Patricia Soto.

  1. Evolutionary Implications of Metal Binding Features in Different Species’ Prion Protein: An Inorganic Point of View

    Diego La Mendola; Enrico Rizzarelli

    2014-01-01

    Prion disorders are a group of fatal neurodegenerative conditions of mammals. The key molecular event in the pathogenesis of such diseases is the conformational conversion of prion protein, PrPC, into a misfolded form rich in β-sheet structure, PrPSc, but the detailed mechanistic aspects of prion protein conversion remain enigmatic. There is uncertainty on the precise physiological function of PrPC in healthy individuals. Several evidences support the notion of its role in copper homeostasis...

  2. Mapping the Prion Protein Distribution in Marsupials: Insights from Comparing Opossum with Mouse CNS

    Poggiolini, Ilaria; Legname, Giuseppe

    2012-01-01

    The cellular form of the prion protein (PrPC) is a sialoglycoprotein widely expressed in the central nervous system (CNS) of mammalian species during neurodevelopment and in adulthood. The location of the protein in the CNS may play a role in the susceptibility of a species to fatal prion diseases, which are also known as the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). To date, little is known about PrPC distribution in marsupial mammals, for which no naturally occurring prion diseases ...

  3. Cellular Aspects of Prion Replication In Vitro

    Ina Vorberg

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs are fatal neurodegenerative disorders in mammals that are caused by unconventional agents predominantly composed of aggregated misfolded prion protein (PrP. Prions self-propagate by recruitment of host-encoded PrP into highly ordered b-sheet rich aggregates. Prion strains differ in their clinical, pathological and biochemical characteristics and are likely to be the consequence of distinct abnormal prion protein conformers that stably replicate their alternate states in the host cell. Understanding prion cell biology is fundamental for identifying potential drug targets for disease intervention. The development of permissive cell culture models has greatly enhanced our knowledge on entry, propagation and dissemination of TSE agents. However, despite extensive research, the precise mechanism of prion infection and potential strain effects remain enigmatic. This review summarizes our current knowledge of the cell biology and propagation of prions derived from cell culture experiments. We discuss recent findings on the trafficking of cellular and pathologic PrP, the potential sites of abnormal prion protein synthesis and potential co-factors involved in prion entry and propagation.

  4. Disease Transmission by Misfolded Prion-Protein Isoforms, Prion-Like Amyloids, Functional Amyloids and the Central Dogma

    Martin L. Daus

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In 1982, the term “prions” (proteinaceous infectious particles was coined to specify a new principle of infection. A misfolded isoform of a cellular protein has been described as the causative agent of a fatal neurodegenerative disease. At the beginning of prion research scientists assumed that the infectious agent causing transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE was a virus, but some unconventional properties of these pathogens were difficult to bring in line with the prevailing viral model. The discovery that prions (obviously devoid of any coding nucleic acid can store and transmit information similarly to DNA was initially even denoted as being “heretical” but is nowadays mainly accepted by the scientific community. This review describes, from a historical point of view, how the “protein-only hypothesis” expands the Central Dogma. Definition of both, the prion principle and the Central Dogma, have been essential steps to understand information storage and transfer within and among cells and organisms. Furthermore, the current understanding of the infectivity of prion-proteins after misfolding is summarized succinctly. Finally, prion-like amyloids and functional amyloids, as found in yeast and bacteria, will be discussed.

  5. Molecular dynamics studies on the structural stability of wild-type dog prion protein.

    Zhang, Jiapu; Liu, David D W

    2011-06-01

    Prion diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob diseases, Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome, Fatal Familial Insomnia, Kuru in humans, scrapie in sheep, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (or 'mad-cow' disease) and chronic wasting disease in cattle are invariably fatal and highly infectious neurodegenerative diseases affecting humans and animals. However, by now there have not been some effective therapeutic approaches to treat all these prion diseases. In 2008, canine mammals including dogs (canis familials) were the first time academically reported to be resistant to prion diseases (Vaccine 26: 2601-2614 (2008)). Thus, it is very worth studying the molecular structures of dog prion protein to obtain insights into the immunity of dogs to prion diseases. This paper studies the molecular structural dynamics of wild-type dog prion protein. The comparison analyses with rabbit prion protein show that the dog prion protein has stable molecular structures whether under neutral or low pH environments. We also find that the salt bridges such as D177-R163 contribute to the structural stability of wild-type rabbit prion protein under neutral pH environment. PMID:21469747

  6. Progress in the development of therapeutic antibodies targeting prion proteins and β-amyloid peptides

    2010-01-01

    Prion diseases and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are characterized by protein misfolding, and can lead to dementia. However, prion diseases are infectious and transmissible, while AD is not. The similarities and differences between these diseases have led researchers to perform comparative studies. In the last 2 decades, progress has been made in immunotherapy using anti-prion protein and anti-β-amyloid antibodies. In this study, we review new ideas and strategies for therapeutic antibodies targeting prion diseases and AD through conformation dependence.

  7. Copper and the Prion Protein: Methods, Structures, Function, and Disease

    Millhauser, Glenn L.

    2007-01-01

    The transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) arise from conversion of the membrane-bound prion protein from PrPC to PrPSc. Examples of the TSEs include mad cow disease, chronic wasting disease in deer and elk, scrapie in goats and sheep, and kuru and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. Although the precise function of PrPC in healthy tissues is not known, recent research demonstrates that it binds Cu(II) in an unusual and highly conserved region of the protein termed the octarepeat d...

  8. Prion pathogenesis and secondary lymphoid organs (SLO): Tracking the SLO spread of prions to the brain

    Mabbott, N A

    2012-01-01

    Prion diseases are subacute neurodegenerative diseases that affect humans and a range of domestic and free-ranging animal species. These diseases are characterized by the accumulation of PrP (Sc) , an abnormally folded isoform of the cellular prion protein (PrP (C) ), in affected tissues. The pathology during prion disease appears to occur almost exclusively within the central nervous system. The extensive neurodegeneration which occurs ultimately leads to the death of the host. An intriguing...

  9. Casein kinase Ⅱ interacts with prion protein in vitro and forms complex with na-tive prion protein in vivo

    2008-01-01

    The most essential and crucial step during the pathogenesis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy is the conformational change of cellular prion protein to pathologic isoform. Casein kinase Ⅱ (CK2) is a ubiquitously expressed and evolutiouarily conserved pleiotropic protein kinase that is essential for viability. To explore the possible molecular interaction between CK2 and prion protein (PrP), the full-length sequences of human CK2α and CK2β complementary DNA were amplified with reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction using the total messenger RNA from cell line SH-SY5Y as the template; then, the fusion proteins histidine-CK2α and glutathione S-transferase-histidine-CK2β were expressed in Escherichia coll. The interaction between CK2 and PrP was evaluated with co-immunoprecipi-tation and pull-down assays. The results demonstrated that recombinant PrP bound specifically with CK2α, but not with CK2β. The native CK2 and PrP in hamster brains interacted with each other, forming protein complexes. Three different glycosylated forms of PrP (diglycosylated, monoglycosylated and unglycosylated PrP) from normal brains interacted with the CK2α subunit, though the unglycosylated PrP seemed to have a stronger binding ability with CK2α subunit. The domain responsible for interacting with CK2α was located at the C-terminal segment of PrP (residues 91-231). This study proposed reliable experimental data for the molecular interaction between PrP and CK2α (both in recombinant and native categories), scientific clues for further assessing the potential biological significance of the PrP-CK2 interaction, and the possible role of CK2 in the pathogenesis of prion diseases.

  10. Crossing species barrier by PrPSc replication in vitro generates new infectious prions

    Castilla, Joaquín; Gonzalez-Romero, Dennisse; Saá, Paula; Morales, Rodrigo; Castro, Jorge; Soto, Claudio

    2008-01-01

    Prions are unconventional infectious agents composed exclusively by the misfolded prion protein (PrPSc), which transmits the disease by propagating its abnormal conformation to the cellular prion protein (PrPC). A key characteristic of prions is their species barrier, by which prions from one species can only infect a limited number of other species. Here we report the generation of novel infectious prions by inter-species transmission of PrPSc misfolding in vitro. Hamster PrPC misfolded by m...

  11. Abbreviated incubation times for human prions in mice expressing a chimeric mouse–human prion protein transgene

    Korth, Carsten; Kaneko, Kiyotoshi; Groth, Darlene; Heye, Norbert; Telling, Glenn; Mastrianni, James; Parchi, Piero; Gambetti, Pierluigi; Will, Robert; Ironside, James; Heinrich, Cornelia; Tremblay, Patrick; Stephen J DeArmond; Prusiner, Stanley B.

    2003-01-01

    Transgenic (Tg) mouse lines that express chimeric mouse–human prion protein (PrP), designated MHu2M, are susceptible to prions from patients with sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (sCJD). With the aim of decreasing the incubation time to fewer than 200 days, we constructed transgenes in which one or more of the nine human residues in MHu2M were changed to mouse. The construct with murine residues at positions 165 and 167 was expressed in Tg(MHu2M,M165V,E167Q) mice and resulted in shortening ...

  12. Memory Impairment in Transgenic Alzheimer Mice Requires Cellular Prion Protein

    Gimbel, David A.; Nygaard, Haakon B.; Coffey, Erin E.; Gunther, Erik C.; Laurén, Juha; Gimbel, Zachary A.; Strittmatter, Stephen M.

    2010-01-01

    Soluble oligomers of the amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide are thought to play a key role in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Recently, we reported that synthetic Aβ oligomers bind to cellular prion protein (PrPC) and that this interaction is required for suppression of synaptic plasticity in hippocampal slices by oligomeric Aβ peptide. We hypothesized that PrPC is essential for the ability of brain-derived Aβ to suppress cognitive function. Here, we crossed familial AD transgenes encodi...

  13. Clusterin expression in follicular dendritic cells associated with prion protein accumulation.

    Sasaki, K; Doh-ura, K; Ironside, Jw; Mabbott, N; Iwaki, T

    2006-08-01

    Peripheral accumulation of abnormal prion protein (PrP) in variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and some animal models of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) may occur in the lymphoreticular system. Within the lymphoid tissues, abnormal PrP accumulation occurs on follicular dendritic cells (FDCs). Clusterin (apolipoprotein J) has been recognized as one of the molecules associated with PrP in TSEs, and clusterin expression is increased in the central nervous system where abnormal PrP deposition has occurred. We therefore examined peripheral clusterin expression in the context of PrP accumulation on FDCs in a range of human and experimental TSEs. PrP was detected immunohistochemically on tissue sections using a novel highly sensitive method involving detergent autoclaving pretreatment. A dendritic network pattern of clusterin immunoreactivity in lymphoid follicles was observed in association with the abnormal PrP on FDCs. The increased clusterin immunoreactivity appeared to correlate with the extent of PrP deposition, irrespective of the pathogen strains, host mouse strains or various immune modifications. The observed co-localization and correlative expression of these proteins suggested that clusterin might be directly associated with abnormal PrP. Indeed, clusterin immunoreactivity in association with PrP was retained after FDC depletion. Together these data suggest that clusterin may act as a chaperone-like molecule for PrP and play an important role in TSE pathogenesis. PMID:16767691

  14. Fatal transmissible amyloid encephalopathy: a new type of prion disease associated with lack of prion protein membrane anchoring.

    Bruce Chesebro

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative diseases of humans and animals characterized by gray matter spongiosis and accumulation of aggregated, misfolded, protease-resistant prion protein (PrPres. PrPres can be deposited in brain in an amyloid-form and/or non-amyloid form, and is derived from host-encoded protease-sensitive PrP (PrPsen, a protein normally anchored to the plasma membrane by glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI. Previously, using heterozygous transgenic mice expressing only anchorless PrP, we found that PrP anchoring to the cell membrane was required for typical clinical scrapie. However, in the present experiments, using homozygous transgenic mice expressing two-fold more anchorless PrP, scrapie infection induced a new fatal disease with unique clinical signs and altered neuropathology, compared to non-transgenic mice expressing only anchored PrP. Brain tissue of transgenic mice had high amounts of infectivity, and histopathology showed dense amyloid PrPres plaque deposits without gray matter spongiosis. In contrast, infected non-transgenic mice had diffuse non-amyloid PrPres deposits with significant gray matter spongiosis. Brain graft studies suggested that anchored PrPsen expression was required for gray matter spongiosis during prion infection. Furthermore, electron and light microscopic studies in infected transgenic mice demonstrated several pathogenic processes not seen in typical prion disease, including cerebral amyloid angiopathy and ultrastructural alterations in perivascular neuropil. These findings were similar to certain human familial prion diseases as well as to non-prion human neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease.

  15. Prion protein inhibits microtubule assembly by inducing tubulin oligomerization

    A growing body of evidence points to an association of prion protein (PrP) with microtubular cytoskeleton. Recently, direct binding of PrP to tubulin has also been found. In this work, using standard light scattering measurements, sedimentation experiments, and electron microscopy, we show for First time the effect of a direct interaction between these proteins on tubulin polymerization. We demonstrate that full-length recombinant PrP induces a rapid increase in the turbidity of tubulin diluted below the critical concentration for microtubule assembly. This effect requires magnesium ions and is weakened by NaCl. Moreover, the PrP-induced light scattering structures of tubulin are cold-stable. In preparations of diluted tubulin incubated with PrP, electron microscopy revealed the presence of ∼50 nm disc-shaped structures not reported so far. These unique tubulin oligomers may form large aggregates. The effect of PrP is more pronounced under the conditions promoting microtubule formation. In these tubulin samples, PrP induces formation of the above oligomers associated with short protofilaments and sheets of protofilaments into aggregates. Noticeably, this is accompanied by a significant reduction of the number and length of microtubules. Hence, we postulate that prion protein may act as an inhibitor of microtubule assembly by inducing formation of stable tubulin oligomers

  16. Modulation and elimination of yeast prions by protein chaperones and co-chaperones

    Reidy, Michael; Masison, Daniel C.

    2011-01-01

    The yeast system has provided considerable insight into the biology of amyloid and prions. Here we focus on how alterations in abundance or function of protein chaperones and co-chaperones affect propagation of yeast prions. In spite of a considerable amount of information, a clear understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying these effects remains wanting.

  17. The Gut-Associated Lymphoid Tissues in the Small Intestine, Not the Large Intestine, Play a Major Role in Oral Prion Disease Pathogenesis

    David DONALDSON; Else, Kathryn J.; Mabbott, Neil

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Prion diseases are infectious neurodegenerative disorders characterized by accumulations of abnormally folded cellular prion protein in affected tissues. Many natural prion diseases are acquired orally, and following exposure, the early replication of some prion isolates upon follicular dendritic cells (FDC) within gut-associated lymphoid tissues (GALT) is important for the efficient spread of disease to the brain (neuroinvasion). Prion detection within large intestinal GALT biopsy s...

  18. Naturally prion resistant mammals: a utopia?

    Fernández-Borges, Natalia; Chianini, Francesca; Eraña, Hasier; Vidal, Enric; Eaton, Samantha L; Pintado, Belén; Finlayson, Jeanie; Dagleish, Mark P; Castilla, Joaquín

    2012-01-01

    Each known abnormal prion protein (PrP (Sc) ) is considered to have a specific range and therefore the ability to infect some species and not others. Consequently, some species have been assumed to be prion disease resistant as no successful natural or experimental challenge infections have been reported. This assumption suggested that, independent of the virulence of the PrP (Sc) strain, normal prion protein (PrP (C) ) from these 'resistant' species could not be induced to misfold. Numerous in vitro and in vivo studies trying to corroborate the unique properties of PrP (Sc) have been undertaken. The results presented in the article "Rabbits are not resistant to prion infection" demonstrated that normal rabbit PrP (C) , which was considered to be resistant to prion disease, can be misfolded to PrP (Sc) and subsequently used to infect and transmit a standard prion disease to leporids. Using the concept of species resistance to prion disease, we will discuss the mistake of attributing species specific prion disease resistance based purely on the absence of natural cases and incomplete in vivo challenges. The BSE epidemic was partially due to an underestimation of species barriers. To repeat this error would be unacceptable, especially if present knowledge and techniques can show a theoretical risk. Now that the myth of prion disease resistance has been refuted it is time to re-evaluate, using the new powerful tools available in modern prion laboratories, whether any other species could be at risk. PMID:22954650

  19. Functional diversification of hsp40: distinct j-protein functional requirements for two prions allow for chaperone-dependent prion selection.

    Julia M Harris

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Yeast prions are heritable amyloid aggregates of functional yeast proteins; their propagation to subsequent cell generations is dependent upon fragmentation of prion protein aggregates by molecular chaperone proteins. Mounting evidence indicates the J-protein Sis1 may act as an amyloid specificity factor, recognizing prion and other amyloid aggregates and enabling Ssa and Hsp104 to act in prion fragmentation. Chaperone interactions with prions, however, can be affected by variations in amyloid-core structure resulting in distinct prion variants or 'strains'. Our genetic analysis revealed that Sis1 domain requirements by distinct variants of [PSI+] are strongly dependent upon overall variant stability. Notably, multiple strong [PSI+] variants can be maintained by a minimal construct of Sis1 consisting of only the J-domain and glycine/phenylalanine-rich (G/F region that was previously shown to be sufficient for cell viability and [RNQ+] prion propagation. In contrast, weak [PSI+] variants are lost under the same conditions but maintained by the expression of an Sis1 construct that lacks only the G/F region and cannot support [RNQ+] propagation, revealing mutually exclusive requirements for Sis1 function between these two prions. Prion loss is not due to [PSI+]-dependent toxicity or dependent upon a particular yeast genetic background. These observations necessitate that Sis1 must have at least two distinct functional roles that individual prions differentially require for propagation and which are localized to the glycine-rich domains of the Sis1. Based on these distinctions, Sis1 plasmid-shuffling in a [PSI+]/[RNQ+] strain permitted J-protein-dependent prion selection for either prion. We also found that, despite an initial report to the contrary, the human homolog of Sis1, Hdj1, is capable of [PSI+] prion propagation in place of Sis1. This conservation of function is also prion-variant dependent, indicating that only one of the two Sis1-prion

  20. Cell type-specific neuroprotective activity of untranslocated prion protein.

    Elena Restelli

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: A key pathogenic role in prion diseases was proposed for a cytosolic form of the prion protein (PrP. However, it is not clear how cytosolic PrP localization influences neuronal viability, with either cytotoxic or anti-apoptotic effects reported in different studies. The cellular mechanism by which PrP is delivered to the cytosol of neurons is also debated, and either retrograde transport from the endoplasmic reticulum or inefficient translocation during biosynthesis has been proposed. We investigated cytosolic PrP biogenesis and effect on cell viability in primary neuronal cultures from different mouse brain regions. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Mild proteasome inhibition induced accumulation of an untranslocated form of cytosolic PrP in cortical and hippocampal cells, but not in cerebellar granules. A cyclopeptolide that interferes with the correct insertion of the PrP signal sequence into the translocon increased the amount of untranslocated PrP in cortical and hippocampal cells, and induced its synthesis in cerebellar neurons. Untranslocated PrP boosted the resistance of cortical and hippocampal neurons to apoptotic insults but had no effect on cerebellar cells. SIGNIFICANCE: These results indicate cell type-dependent differences in the efficiency of PrP translocation, and argue that cytosolic PrP targeting might serve a physiological neuroprotective function.

  1. Cooperative binding modes of Cu(II) in prion protein

    Hodak, Miroslav; Chisnell, Robin; Lu, Wenchang; Bernholc, Jerry

    2007-03-01

    The misfolding of the prion protein, PrP, is responsible for a group of neurodegenerative diseases including mad cow disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. It is known that the PrP can efficiently bind copper ions; four high-affinity binding sites located in the octarepeat region of PrP are now well known. Recent experiments suggest that at low copper concentrations new binding modes, in which one copper ion is shared between two or more binding sites, are possible. Using our hybrid Thomas-Fermi/DFT computational scheme, which is well suited for simulations of biomolecules in solution, we investigate the geometries and energetics of two, three and four binding sites cooperatively binding one copper ion. These geometries are then used as inputs for classical molecular dynamics simulations. We find that copper binding affects the secondary structure of the PrP and that it stabilizes the unstructured (unfolded) part of the protein.

  2. Abnormally upregulated αB-crystallin was highly coincidental with the astrogliosis in the brains of scrapie-infected hamsters and human patients with prion diseases.

    Wang, Ke; Zhang, Jin; Xu, Yin; Ren, Ke; Xie, Wu-Ling; Yan, Yu-E; Zhang, Bao-Yun; Shi, Qi; Liu, Yong; Dong, Xiao-Ping

    2013-11-01

    αB-crystallin is a member of the small heat shock protein family constitutively presenting in brains at a relatively low level. To address the alteration of αB-crystallin in prion disease, the αB-crystallin levels in the brains of scrapie agent 263 K-infected hamsters were analyzed. The levels of αB-crystallin were remarkably increased in the brains of 263 K-infected hamsters, showing a time-dependent manner along with incubation time. Immunohistochemical (IHC) and immunofluorescent (IFA) assays illustrated more αB-crystallin-positive signals in the regions of the cortex and thalamus containing severe astrogliosis. Double-stained IFA verified that the αB-crystallin signals colocalized with the enlarged glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive astrocytes, but not with neuronal nuclei-positive cells. IHC and IFA of the serial brain sections of infected hamsters showed no colocalization and correlation between PrP(Sc) deposits and αB-crystallin increase. Moreover, increased αB-crystallin deposits were observed in the brain sections of parietal lobe of a sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) case, parietal lobe and thalamus of a G114V genetic CJD case, and thalamus of a fatal family insomnia (FFI) case, but not in a parietal lobe of FFI where only very mild astrogliosis was addressed. Additionally, the molecular interaction between αB-crystallin and PrP was only observed in the reactions of recombinant proteins purified from Escherichia coli, but not either in that of brain homogenates or in that of the cultured cell lysates expressing human PrP and αB-crystallin. Our data indicate that brain αB-crystallin is abnormally upregulated in various prion diseases, which is coincidental with astrogliosis. Direct interaction between αB-crystallin and PrP seems not to be essential during the pathogenesis of prion infection. PMID:23832485

  3. Analysis of factors that modulate the toxicity of the yeast prion protein Rnq1

    Li, Zhiyuan

    2016-01-01

    Prions are infectious proteins that form transmissible, self-propagating amyloids that convert protein from its normal state into the prion state. The accumulation of amyloid is the causative agent of several neurodegenerative diseases, for instance, Huntington’s disease, which is caused by a polyglutamine expansion in the huntingtin (Htt) protein. In this study, a yeast-based Huntington’s disease model was created to investigate the mechanism of amyloid toxicity and how nuclear genes modulat...

  4. A cationic tetrapyrrole inhibits toxic activities of the cellular prion protein.

    Massignan, Tania; Cimini, Sara; Stincardini, Claudia; Cerovic, Milica; Vanni, Ilaria; Elezgarai, Saioa R; Moreno, Jorge; Stravalaci, Matteo; Negro, Alessandro; Sangiovanni, Valeria; Restelli, Elena; Riccardi, Geraldina; Gobbi, Marco; Castilla, Joaquín; Borsello, Tiziana; Nonno, Romolo; Biasini, Emiliano

    2016-01-01

    Prion diseases are rare neurodegenerative conditions associated with the conformational conversion of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) into PrP(Sc), a self-replicating isoform (prion) that accumulates in the central nervous system of affected individuals. The structure of PrP(Sc) is poorly defined, and likely to be heterogeneous, as suggested by the existence of different prion strains. The latter represents a relevant problem for therapy in prion diseases, as some potent anti-prion compounds have shown strain-specificity. Designing therapeutics that target PrP(C) may provide an opportunity to overcome these problems. PrP(C) ligands may theoretically inhibit the replication of multiple prion strains, by acting on the common substrate of any prion replication reaction. Here, we characterized the properties of a cationic tetrapyrrole [Fe(III)-TMPyP], which was previously shown to bind PrP(C), and inhibit the replication of a mouse prion strain. We report that the compound is active against multiple prion strains in vitro and in cells. Interestingly, we also find that Fe(III)-TMPyP inhibits several PrP(C)-related toxic activities, including the channel-forming ability of a PrP mutant, and the PrP(C)-dependent synaptotoxicity of amyloid-β (Aβ) oligomers, which are associated with Alzheimer's Disease. These results demonstrate that molecules binding to PrP(C) may produce a dual effect of blocking prion replication and inhibiting PrP(C)-mediated toxicity. PMID:26976106

  5. Role of cellular prion proteins in the function of macrophages and dendritic cells.

    Nitta, Kayako; Sakudo, Akikazu; Masuyama, Jun; Xue, Guangai; Sugiura, Katsuaki; Onodera, Takashi

    2009-01-01

    The cellular isoform of prion proteins (PrPC) is expressed in hematopoietic stem cells, granulocytes, T and B lymphocyte natural killer cells, platelets, monocytes, dendritic cells, and follicular dendritic cells, which may act as carrier cells for the spread of its abnormal isoform (PrPSc) before manifesting transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). In particular, macrophages and dendritic cells seem to be involved in the replication of PrPSc after ingestion. In addition, information on the role of PrPC during phagocytotic activity in these cells has been obtained. A recent study showed that resident macrophages from ZrchI PrP gene (Prnp)-deficient (Prnp-/-) mice show augmented phagocytotic activity compared to Prnp+/+ counterparts. In contrast, our study suggests that Rikn Prnp-/- peritoneal macrophages show pseudopodium extension arrest and up-regulation of phagocytotic activity compared to Prnp+/+ cells. Although reports regarding phagocytotic activity in resident and peritoneal macrophages are inconsistent between ZrchI and Rikn Prnp-/- mice, it seems plausible that PrPC in macrophages could contribute to maintain the immunological environment. This review will introduce the recent progress in understanding the functions of PrPC in macrophages and dendritic cells under physiological conditions and its involvement in the pathogenesis of prion diseases. PMID:19275736

  6. Prions in Yeast

    Liebman, Susan W; Chernoff, Yury O.

    2012-01-01

    The concept of a prion as an infectious self-propagating protein isoform was initially proposed to explain certain mammalian diseases. It is now clear that yeast also has heritable elements transmitted via protein. Indeed, the “protein only” model of prion transmission was first proven using a yeast prion. Typically, known prions are ordered cross-β aggregates (amyloids). Recently, there has been an explosion in the number of recognized prions in yeast. Yeast continues to lead the way in unde...

  7. A survey and a molecular dynamics study on the (central) hydrophobic region of prion proteins.

    Zhang, Jiapu; Wang, Feng

    2014-01-01

    Prion diseases which are serious neurodegenerative diseases that affect humans and animals occur in various of species. Unlike many other neurodegenerative diseases affected by amyloid, prion diseases can be highly infectious. Prion diseases occur in many species. In humans, prion diseases include the fatal human neurodegenerative diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI), Gerstmann-Strussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS) and Kuru etc. In animals, prion diseases are related to the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or 'mad-cow' disease) in cattle, the chronic wasting disease (CWD) found in deer and elk, and scrapie seen in sheep and goats, etc. More seriously, the fact that transmission of the prion diseases across the species barrier to other species such as humans has caused a major public health concern worldwide. For example, the BSE in Europe, the CWD in North America, and variant CJDs (vCJDs) in young people of UK. Fortunately, it is discovered that the hydrophobic region of prion proteins (PrP) controls the formation of diseased prions (PrP(Sc)), which provide some clues in control of such diseases. This article provides a detailed survey of recent studies with respect to the PrP hydrophobic region of human PrP(110-136) using molecular dynamics studies. PMID:25373387

  8. Application of protein misfolding cyclic amplification to detection of prions in anaerobic digestate.

    Gilroyed, Brandon H; Braithwaite, Shannon L; Price, Luke M; Reuter, Tim; Czub, Stefanie; Graham, Catherine; Balachandran, Arumuga; McAllister, Tim A; Belosevic, Miodrag; Neumann, Norman F

    2015-11-01

    The exceptional physio-chemical resistance of prions to established decontamination procedures poses a challenge to assessing the suitability of applied inactivation methods. Prion detection is limited by the sensitivity level of Western blotting or by the cost and time factors of bioassays. In addition, prion detection assays can be limited by either the unique or complex nature of matrices associated with environmental samples. To investigate anaerobic digestion (AD) as a practical and economical approach for potential conversion of specified risk materials (SRM) into value added products (i.e., renewable energy), challenges associated with detection of prions in a complex matrix need to be overcome to determine potential inactivation. Protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) assay, with subsequent Western blot visualization, was used to detect prions within the AD matrix. Anaerobic digestate initially inhibited the PMCA reaction and/or Western blot detection. However, at concentrations of ≤1% of anaerobic digestate, 263K scrapie prions could be amplified and semi-quantitatively detected. Infectious 263K prions were also proven to be bioavailable in the presence of high concentrations of digestate (10-90%). Development of the PMCA application to digestate provides extremely valuable insight into the potential degradation and/or fate of prions in complex biological matrices without requiring expensive and time-consuming bioassays. PMID:26272376

  9. Surface charge of polyoxometalates modulates polymerization of the scrapie prion protein

    Wille, Holger; Shanmugam, Maheswaran; Murugesu, Muralee; Ollesch, Julian; Stubbs, Gerald; Long, Jeffrey R.; Safar, Jiri G.; Prusiner, Stanley B

    2009-01-01

    Prions are composed solely of an alternatively folded isoform of the prion protein (PrP), designated PrPSc. N-terminally truncated PrPSc, denoted PrP 27–30, retains infectivity and polymerizes into rods with the ultrastructural and tinctorial properties of amyloid. We report here that some polyoxometalates (POMs) favor polymerization of PrP 27-30 into prion rods, whereas other POMs promote assembly of the protein into 2D crystals. Antibodies reacting with epitopes in denatured PrP 27-30 also ...

  10. Molecular dynamics simulations on structural conformations of rhodopsin and prion proteins

    Molecular dynamics simulations were performed to investigate the structural conformation of the rhodopsin and prion proteins. We have estimated the effect of specific disease-related amino acid mutations on the dynamics and conformational changes

  11. Prion protein detection in serum using micromechanical resonator arrays.

    Varshney, Madhukar; Waggoner, Philip S; Montagna, Richard A; Craighead, Harold G

    2009-12-15

    Prion proteins that have transformed from their normal cellular counterparts (PrP(c)) into infectious form (PrP(res)) are responsible for causing progressive neurodegenerative diseases in numerous species, such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle (also known as mad cow disease), scrapie in sheep, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans. Due to a possible link between BSE and CJD it is highly desirable to develop non-invasive and ante mortem tests for the detection of prion proteins in bovine samples. Such ante mortem tests of all cows prior to slaughter will help to prevent the introduction of PrP(res) into the human food supply. Furthermore, detection of PrP(res) in donated blood will also help to prevent the transmission of CJD among humans through blood transfusion. In this study, we have continued development of a micromechanical resonator array that is capable of detecting PrP(c) in bovine blood serum. The sensitivity of the resonators for the detection of PrP(c) is further enhanced by the use of secondary mass labels. A pair of antibodies is used in a sandwich immunoassay format to immobilize PrP(c) on the surface of resonators and attach nanoparticles as secondary mass labels to PrP(c). Secondary mass labeling is optimized in terms of incubation time to maximize the frequency shifts that correspond to the presence of PrP(c) on the surface of resonators. Our results show that a minimum of 200 pg mL(-1) of PrP(c) in blood serum can be detected using micromechanical resonator arrays. PMID:19836525

  12. Prion protein expression regulates embryonic stem cell pluripotency and differentiation.

    Alberto Miranda

    Full Text Available Cellular prion protein (PRNP is a glycoprotein involved in the pathogenesis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs. Although the physiological function of PRNP is largely unknown, its key role in prion infection has been extensively documented. This study examines the functionality of PRNP during the course of embryoid body (EB differentiation in mouse Prnp-null (KO and WT embryonic stem cell (ESC lines. The first feature observed was a new population of EBs that only appeared in the KO line after 5 days of differentiation. These EBs were characterized by their expression of several primordial germ cell (PGC markers until Day 13. In a comparative mRNA expression analysis of genes playing an important developmental role during ESC differentiation to EBs, Prnp was found to participate in the transcription of a key pluripotency marker such as Nanog. A clear switching off of this gene on Day 5 was observed in the KO line as opposed to the WT line, in which maximum Prnp and Nanog mRNA levels appeared at this time. Using a specific antibody against PRNP to block PRNP pathways, reduced Nanog expression was confirmed in the WT line. In addition, antibody-mediated inhibition of ITGB5 (integrin αvβ5 in the KO line rescued the low expression of Nanog on Day 5, suggesting the regulation of Nanog transcription by Prnp via this Itgb5. mRNA expression analysis of the PRNP-related proteins PRND (Doppel and SPRN (Shadoo, whose PRNP function is known to be redundant, revealed their incapacity to compensate for the absence of PRNP during early ESC differentiation. Our findings provide strong evidence for a relationship between Prnp and several key pluripotency genes and attribute Prnp a crucial role in regulating self-renewal/differentiation status of ESC, confirming the participation of PRNP during early embryogenesis.

  13. Influence of prion strain on prion protein adsorption to soil in a competitive matrix.

    Saunders, Samuel E; Bartz, Jason C; Bartelt-Hunt, Shannon L

    2009-07-15

    It is likely that the soil environment serves as a stable reservoir of infectious chronic wasting disease (CWD) and scrapie prions, as well as a potential reservoir of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or "mad cow" disease). Prion adsorption to soil may play an important role in prion mobility, proteolysis, and infectivity. Differences in PrP environmental fate are possible due to the strain- and species-dependent structure of PrP(Sc). Kinetic and isothermal studies of PrP adsorption to sand and two whole soils were conducted using HY and DY TME-infected hamster, uninfected hamster, and CWD-infected elk brain homogenates as competitive PrP sources. The role of the N-terminus in PrP adsorption was also investigated. We report strain and species differences in PrP adsorption to soil over time and as a function of aqueous concentration, indicating that the fate of prions in the environment may vary with the prion strain and species infected. Our data also provide evidence that the N-terminal region of PrP enhances adsorption to clay but may hinder adsorption to sand. PrP adsorption was maximal at an intermediate aqueous concentration, most likely due to the competitive brain homogenate matrix in which it enters the soil environment. PMID:19708348

  14. Prion protein NMR structure and species barrier for prion diseases

    Billeter, Martin; Riek, Roland; Wider, Gerhard; Hornemann, Simone; Glockshuber, Rudi; Wüthrich, Kurt

    1997-01-01

    The structural basis of species specificity of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy or “mad cow disease” and Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease in humans, has been investigated using the refined NMR structure of the C-terminal domain of the mouse prion protein with residues 121–231. A database search for mammalian prion proteins yielded 23 different sequences for the fragment 124–226, which display a high degree of sequence identity and show relevant amin...

  15. Evolutionary Implications of Metal Binding Features in Different Species’ Prion Protein: An Inorganic Point of View

    Diego La Mendola

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Prion disorders are a group of fatal neurodegenerative conditions of mammals. The key molecular event in the pathogenesis of such diseases is the conformational conversion of prion protein, PrPC, into a misfolded form rich in β-sheet structure, PrPSc, but the detailed mechanistic aspects of prion protein conversion remain enigmatic. There is uncertainty on the precise physiological function of PrPC in healthy individuals. Several evidences support the notion of its role in copper homeostasis. PrPC binds Cu2+ mainly through a domain composed by four to five repeats of eight amino acids. In addition to mammals, PrP homologues have also been identified in birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish. The globular domain of protein is retained in the different species, suggesting that the protein carries out an essential common function. However, the comparison of amino acid sequences indicates that prion protein has evolved differently in each vertebrate class. The primary sequences are strongly conserved in each group, but these exhibit a low similarity with those of mammals. The N-terminal domain of different prions shows tandem amino acid repeats with an increasing amount of histidine residues going from amphibians to mammals. The difference in the sequence affects the number of copper binding sites, the affinity and the coordination environment of metal ions, suggesting that the involvement of prion in metal homeostasis may be a specific characteristic of mammalian prion protein. In this review, we describe the similarities and the differences in the metal binding of different species’ prion protein, as revealed by studies carried out on the entire protein and related peptide fragments.

  16. Sensitive and specific detection of classical scrapie prions in the brain of goats by real-time quaking-induced conversion

    The real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC) is a rapid, specific, and sensitive prion seeding activity detection assay that uses recombinant prion protein (rPrPSen) to detect sub-infectious levels of the abnormal isoforms of the prion protein (PrPSc). Although RT-QuIC has been successfully us...

  17. Crystallographic Studies of Prion Protein (PrP) Segments Suggest How Structural Changes Encoded by Polymorphism at Residue 129 Modulate Susceptibility to Human Prion Disease

    Apostol, Marcin I.; Sawaya, Michael R.; Cascio, Duilio; Eisenberg, David (UCLA)

    2010-09-23

    A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in codon 129 of the human prion gene, leading to a change from methionine to valine at residue 129 of prion protein (PrP), has been shown to be a determinant in the susceptibility to prion disease. However, the molecular basis of this effect remains unexplained. In the current study, we determined crystal structures of prion segments having either Met or Val at residue 129. These 6-residue segments of PrP centered on residue 129 are 'steric zippers,' pairs of interacting {beta}-sheets. Both structures of these 'homozygous steric zippers' reveal direct intermolecular interactions between Met or Val in one sheet and the identical residue in the mating sheet. These two structures, plus a structure-based model of the heterozygous Met-Val steric zipper, suggest an explanation for the previously observed effects of this locus on prion disease susceptibility and progression.

  18. Probing Early Misfolding Events in Prion Protein Mutants by NMR Spectroscopy

    Gregor Ilc

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The post-translational conversion of the ubiquitously expressed cellular form of the prion protein, PrPC, into its misfolded and pathogenic isoform, known as prion or PrPSc, plays a key role in prion diseases. These maladies are denoted transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs and affect both humans and animals. A prerequisite for understanding TSEs is unraveling the molecular mechanism leading to the conversion process whereby most α-helical motifs are replaced by β-sheet secondary structures. Importantly, most point mutations linked to inherited prion diseases are clustered in the C-terminal domain region of PrPC and cause spontaneous conversion to PrPSc. Structural studies with PrP variants promise new clues regarding the proposed conversion mechanism and may help identify “hot spots” in PrPC involved in the pathogenic conversion. These investigations may also shed light on the early structural rearrangements occurring in some PrPC epitopes thought to be involved in modulating prion susceptibility. Here we present a detailed overview of our solution-state NMR studies on human prion protein carrying different pathological point mutations and the implications that such findings may have for the future of prion research.

  19. All quiet on the neuronal front: NMDA receptor inhibition by prion protein

    Steele, Andrew D.

    2008-01-01

    The normal function of the prion protein (PrP)—the causative agent of mad cow or prion disease—has long remained out of reach. Deciphering PrP's function may help to unravel the complex chain of events triggered by PrP misfolding during prion disease. In this issue of the JCB, an exciting paper (Khosravani, H., Y. Zhang, S. Tsutsui, S. Hameed, C. Altier, J. Hamid, L. Chen, M. Villemaire, Z. Ali, F.R. Jirik, and G.W. Zamponi. 2008. J. Cell Biol. 181:551–565) connects diverse observations regar...

  20. Prions and the blood and immune systems.

    Mabbott, Neil; Turner, Marc

    2005-04-01

    Prion diseases take a number of forms in animals and humans. They are caused by conformational change in widely expressed prion protein leading to the formation of intracellular aggregates. Although the main focus of disease is the central nervous system, it is known that involvement of the immune system occurs in peripherally transmitted disease in particular. Animal experiments suggest that in some prion diseases follicular dendritic cells in the germinal centers are a major site of initial accumulation, and that abnormal prion protein and infectivity are detectable in peripheral lymphoid tissue from the earliest phase of disease. This raises the possibility that in a human peripherally transmitted prion disease like variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, further transmission could occur through blood or tissue products or contamination of surgical instrumentation. Indeed two recent reports confirm that this disease has been transmitted by blood, raising significant public health concerns. PMID:15820951

  1. Neuronal low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 binds and endocytoses prion fibrils via receptor cluster 4

    Jen, Angela; Parkyn, Celia J; Mootoosamy, Roy C;

    2010-01-01

    For infectious prion protein (designated PrP(Sc)) to act as a template to convert normal cellular protein (PrP(C)) to its distinctive pathogenic conformation, the two forms of prion protein (PrP) must interact closely. The neuronal receptor that rapidly endocytoses PrP(C) is the low......-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 (LRP1). We show here that on sensory neurons LRP1 is also the receptor that binds and rapidly endocytoses smaller oligomeric forms of infectious prion fibrils, and recombinant PrP fibrils. Although LRP1 binds two molecules of most ligands independently to its receptor...... both prion and LRP1 biology....

  2. Detection of prion protein in urine-derived injectable fertility products by a targeted proteomic approach.

    Alain Van Dorsselaer

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Iatrogenic transmission of human prion disease can occur through medical or surgical procedures, including injection of hormones such as gonadotropins extracted from cadaver pituitaries. Annually, more than 300,000 women in the United States and Canada are prescribed urine-derived gonadotropins for infertility. Although menopausal urine donors are screened for symptomatic neurological disease, incubation of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD is impossible to exclude by non-invasive testing. Risk of carrier status of variant CJD (vCJD, a disease associated with decades-long peripheral incubation, is estimated to be on the order of 100 per million population in the United Kingdom. Studies showing infectious prions in the urine of experimental animals with and without renal disease suggest that prions could be present in asymptomatic urine donors. Several human fertility products are derived from donated urine; recently prion protein has been detected in preparations of human menopausal gonadotropin (hMG. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using a classical proteomic approach, 33 and 34 non-gonadotropin proteins were identified in urinary human chorionic gonadotropin (u-hCG and highly-purified urinary human menopausal gonadotropin (hMG-HP products, respectively. Prion protein was identified as a major contaminant in u-hCG preparations for the first time. An advanced prion protein targeted proteomic approach was subsequently used to conduct a survey of gonadotropin products; this approach detected human prion protein peptides in urine-derived injectable fertility products containing hCG, hMG and hMG-HP, but not in recombinant products. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The presence of protease-sensitive prion protein in urinary-derived injectable fertility products containing hCG, hMG, and hMG-HP suggests that prions may co-purify in these products. Intramuscular injection is a relatively efficient route of transmission of human prion disease, and

  3. Study on interaction between microtubule associated protein tau and prion protein

    HAN Jun; ZHOU Wei; DONG Xiaoping; ZHANG Jin; YAO Hailan; WANG Xiaofan; LI Feng; CHEN Lan; GAO Chen; GAO Jianmei; NIE Kai

    2006-01-01

    Microtubule-associated protein tau is considered to play roles in many neurodegenerative diseases including some transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. To address the possible molecular linkage of prion protein (PrP) and tau, a GST-fusion segment of human tau covering the three-repeat region and various PrP segments was used in the tests of GST pull-down and immunoprecipitation. We found tau protein interacted with various style prion proteins such as native prion protein (PrPC) or protease-resistant isoform (prpSc). Co-localization signals of tau and PrP were found in the CHO cell tranfected with both PrP and tau gene. The domain of interaction with tau was located at N-terminal of PrP (residues 23 to 91). The evidence of molecular interactions between PrP and tau protein highlights a potential role of tau in the biological function of PrP and the pathogenesis of TSEs.

  4. Allosteric function and dysfunction of the prion protein.

    Linden, Rafael; Cordeiro, Yraima; Lima, Luis Mauricio T R

    2012-04-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are neurodegenerative diseases associated with progressive oligo- and multimerization of the prion protein (PrP(C)), its conformational conversion, aggregation and precipitation. We recently proposed that PrP(C) serves as a cell surface scaffold protein for a variety of signaling modules, the effects of which translate into wide-range functional consequences. Here we review evidence for allosteric functions of PrP(C), which constitute a common property of scaffold proteins. The available data suggest that allosteric effects among PrP(C) and its partners are involved in the assembly of multi-component signaling modules at the cell surface, impose upon both physiological and pathological conformational responses of PrP(C), and that allosteric dysfunction of PrP(C) has the potential to entail progressive signal corruption. These properties may be germane both to physiological roles of PrP(C), as well as to the pathogenesis of the TSEs and other degenerative/non-communicable diseases. PMID:21984610

  5. The CPEB3 Protein Is a Functional Prion that Interacts with the Actin Cytoskeleton

    Joseph S. Stephan; Luana Fioriti; Nayan Lamba; Luca Colnaghi; Kevin Karl; Irina L. Derkatch; Eric R. Kandel

    2015-01-01

    The mouse cytoplasmic polyadenylation element-binding protein 3 (CPEB3) is a translational regulator implicated in long-term memory maintenance. Invertebrate orthologs of CPEB3 in Aplysia and Drosophila are functional prions that are physiologically active in the aggregated state. To determine if this principle applies to the mammalian CPEB3, we expressed it in yeast and found that it forms heritable aggregates that are the hallmark of known prions. In addition, we confirm in the mouse the im...

  6. Cloning and expression of prion protein encoding gene of flounder ( Paralichthys olivaceus)

    Zhang, Zhiwen; Sun, Xiuqin; Zhang, Jinxing; Zan, Jindong

    2008-02-01

    The prion protein (PrP) encoding gene of flounder ( Paralichthys olivaceus) was cloned. It was not interrupted by an intron. This gene has two promoters in its 5' upstream, indicating that its transcription may be intensive, and should have an important function. It was expressed in all 14 tissues tested, demonstrating that it is a house-keeping gene. Its expression in digestion and reproduction systems implies that the possible prions of fish may transfer horizontally.

  7. Combined copper/zinc attachment to prion protein

    Hodak, Miroslav; Bernholc, Jerry

    2013-03-01

    Misfolding of prion protein (PrP) is responsible for diseases such as ``mad-cow disease'' in cattle and Creutzfeldt-Jacob in humans. Extensive experimental investigation has established that this protein strongly interacts with copper ions, and this ability has been linked to its still unknown function. Attachment of other metal ions (zinc, iron, manganese) have been demonstrated as well, but none of them could outcompete copper. Recent finding, however, indicates that at intermediate concentrations both copper and zinc ions can attach to the PrP at the octarepeat region, which contains high affinity metal binding sites. Based on this evidence, we have performed density functional theory simulations to investigate the combined Cu/Zn attachment. We consider all previously reported binding modes of copper at the octarepeat region and examine a possibility simultaneous Cu/Zn attachment. We find that this can indeed occur for only one of the known binding sites, when copper changes its coordination mode to allow for attachment of zinc ion. The implications of the simultaneous attachment on neural function remain to be explored.

  8. Superoxide dismutase activity of Cu-bound prion protein

    Hodak, Miroslav; Lu, Wenchang; Bernholc, Jerry

    2009-03-01

    Misfolding of the prion protein, PrP, has been linked to a group of neurodegenerative diseases, including the mad cow disease in cattle and the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. The normal function of PrP is still unknown, but it was found that the PrP can efficiently bind Cu(II) ions. Early experiments suggested that Cu-PrP complex possesses significant superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, but later experiments failed to confirm it and at present this issue remains unresolved. Using a recently developed hybrid DFT/DFT method, which combines Kohn-Sham DFT for the solute and its first solvation shells with orbital-free DFT for the remainder of the solvent, we have investigated SOD activity of PrP. The PrP is capable of incorporating Cu(II) ions in several binding modes and our calculations find that each mode has a different SOD activity. The highest activity found is comparable to those of well-known SOD proteins, suggesting that the conflicting experimental results may be due to different bindings of Cu(II) in those experiments.

  9. Heterologous gln/asn-rich proteins impede the propagation of yeast prions by altering chaperone availability.

    Zi Yang

    Full Text Available Prions are self-propagating conformations of proteins that can cause heritable phenotypic traits. Most yeast prions contain glutamine (Q/asparagine (N-rich domains that facilitate the accumulation of the protein into amyloid-like aggregates. Efficient transmission of these infectious aggregates to daughter cells requires that chaperones, including Hsp104 and Sis1, continually sever the aggregates into smaller "seeds." We previously identified 11 proteins with Q/N-rich domains that, when overproduced, facilitate the de novo aggregation of the Sup35 protein into the [PSI(+] prion state. Here, we show that overexpression of many of the same 11 Q/N-rich proteins can also destabilize pre-existing [PSI(+] or [URE3] prions. We explore in detail the events leading to the loss (curing of [PSI(+] by the overexpression of one of these proteins, the Q/N-rich domain of Pin4, which causes Sup35 aggregates to increase in size and decrease in transmissibility to daughter cells. We show that the Pin4 Q/N-rich domain sequesters Hsp104 and Sis1 chaperones away from the diffuse cytoplasmic pool. Thus, a mechanism by which heterologous Q/N-rich proteins impair prion propagation appears to be the loss of cytoplasmic Hsp104 and Sis1 available to sever [PSI(+].

  10. Celecoxib Inhibits Prion Protein 90-231-Mediated Pro-inflammatory Responses in Microglial Cells.

    Villa, Valentina; Thellung, Stefano; Corsaro, Alessandro; Novelli, Federica; Tasso, Bruno; Colucci-D'Amato, Luca; Gatta, Elena; Tonelli, Michele; Florio, Tullio

    2016-01-01

    Activation of microglia is a central event in the atypical inflammatory response occurring during prion encephalopathies. We report that the prion protein fragment encompassing amino acids 90-231 (PrP90-231), a model of the neurotoxic activity of the pathogenic prion protein (PrP(Sc)), causes activation of both primary microglia cultures and N9 microglial cells in vitro. This effect was characterized by cell proliferation arrest and induction of a secretory phenotype, releasing prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and nitric oxide (NO). Conditioned medium from PrP90-231-treated microglia induced in vitro cytotoxicity of A1 mesencephalic neurons, supporting the notion that soluble mediators released by activated microglia contributes to the neurodegeneration during prion diseases. The neuroinflammatory role of COX activity, and its potential targeting for anti-prion therapies, was tested measuring the effects of ketoprofen and celecoxib (preferential inhibitors of COX1 and COX2, respectively) on PrP90-231-induced microglial activation. Celecoxib, but not ketoprofen significantly reverted the growth arrest as well as NO and PGE2 secretion induced by PrP90-231, indicating that PrP90-231 pro-inflammatory response in microglia is mainly dependent on COX2 activation. Taken together, these data outline the importance of microglia in the neurotoxicity occurring during prion diseases and highlight the potentiality of COX2-selective inhibitors to revert microglia as adjunctive pharmacological approach to contrast the neuroinflammation-dependent neurotoxicity. PMID:25404089

  11. Glycosaminoglycan sulphation affects the seeded misfolding of a mutant prion protein.

    Victoria A Lawson

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The accumulation of protease resistant conformers of the prion protein (PrP(res is a key pathological feature of prion diseases. Polyanions, including RNA and glycosaminoglycans have been identified as factors that contribute to the propagation, transmission and pathogenesis of prion disease. Recent studies have suggested that the contribution of these cofactors to prion propagation may be species specific. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDING: In this study a cell-free assay was used to investigate the molecular basis of polyanion stimulated PrP(res formation using brain tissue or cell line derived murine PrP. Enzymatic depletion of endogenous nucleic acids or heparan sulphate (HS from the PrP(C substrate was found to specifically prevent PrP(res formation seeded by mouse derived PrP(Sc. Modification of the negative charge afforded by the sulphation of glycosaminoglycans increased the ability of a familial PrP mutant to act as a substrate for PrP(res formation, while having no effect on PrP(res formed by wildtype PrP. This difference may be due to the observed differences in the binding of wild type and mutant PrP for glycosaminoglycans. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Cofactor requirements for PrP(res formation are host species and prion strain specific and affected by disease associated mutations of the prion protein. This may explain both species and strain dependent propagation characteristics and provide insights into the underlying mechanisms of familial prion disease. It further highlights the challenge of designing effective therapeutics against a disease which effects a range of mammalian species, caused by range of aetiologies and prion strains.

  12. Correlation between prion protein gene codon 129 polymorphism and late-onset Alzheimer's disease

    Hairong Qian; Luning Wang; Xiaokun Qi; Jianwei Liu; Jing Liu; Ling Ye; Hengge Xie; Wei Wang; Feng Qiu

    2009-01-01

    BACKGROUND:Studies addressing the correlation between prion protein gene codon 129 polymorphism,Alzheimer's disease,and cognitive disorders have mainly focused on Caucasians.However,prion protein gene codon 129 polymorphism is thought to also affect the Chinese Han and Wei populations.OBJECTIVE:To analyze the differences of prion protein gene codon 129 distribution among the elderly Chinese Han,East Asian,and Caucasian populations,and to study the correlation between prion protein gene codon 129 distribution and late-onset Alzheimer's disease.DESIGN,TIME AND SETTING:A gene polymorphism analysis was performed in the Institute of Geriatrics,General Hospital of Chinese PLA between January 2006 and January 2007.PARTICIPANTS:A total of 152 elderly Chinese Han people were selected from the Beijing Troop Cadre's Sanitarium.Among them,60 patients with late-onset Alzheimer's disease,with a mean age of (82±7) years (range 67-94 years) and disease course of (5.9±4.4) years,comprising 44 males with a mean age of (83±7) years and 16 females with a mean age of (78±7) years,were selected for the case group.An additional 92 healthy elderly subjects,with a mean of (76±9) years (range 60-94 years),comprising 76 males with a mean age of (77±9) years and 16 females with a mean age of (70±8) years,were selected for the control group.There were no significant differences in age and gender between the two groups (P>0.05).METHODS:DNA was extracted from peripheral blood leukocytes using routine phenol/chloroform methodology.Prion protein gene codon 129 polymorphism and ApoE polymorphism were measured using PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism.The ApoEε allele was considered the standard for analyzing correlations between prion protein gene codon 129 polymorphism and late-onset Alzheimer's disease.MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:Prion protein gene codon 129 distribution;correlation between genotypic frequency and allele frequency of prion protein gene codon 129 with Alzheimer

  13. Prions in Variably Protease-Sensitive Prionopathy: An Update

    Laura Pirisinu; Jan Langeveld; Jue Yuan; Xiangzhu Xiao; Wen-Quan Zou; Pierluigi Gambetti

    2013-01-01

    Human prion diseases, including sporadic, familial, and acquired forms such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), are caused by prions in which an abnormal prion protein (PrPSc) derived from its normal cellular isoform (PrPC) is the only known component. The recently-identified variably protease-sensitive prionopathy (VPSPr) is characterized not only by an atypical clinical phenotype and neuropathology but also by the deposition in the brain of a peculiar PrPSc. Like other forms of human prion ...

  14. Mammalian prions: Tolerance to sequence changes—how far?

    Salamat, Muhammad Khalid; Munoz-Montesino, Carola; Moudjou, Mohammed; Rezaei, Human; Laude, Hubert; Béringue, Vincent; Dron, Michel

    2013-01-01

    Upon prion infection, abnormal prion protein (PrPSc) self-perpetuate by conformational conversion of α-helix-rich PrPC into β sheet enriched form, leading to formation and deposition of PrPSc aggregates in affected brains. However the process remains poorly understood at the molecular level and the regions of PrP critical for conversion are still debated. Minimal amino acid substitutions can impair prion replication at many places in PrP. Conversely, we recently showed that bona fide prions c...

  15. Prion diseases in humans: Oral and dental implications

    P Jayanthi

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Prion diseases are a group of neurodegenerative disorders characterized by accumulation of abnormal prion proteins in the central nervous system. The prions resist conventional sterilization procedures especially when infected tissue becomes dried onto metal or glass surfaces. This article, a review of literature collected using Pubmed as search engine, describes the oral manifestations of prion diseases in addition to studying the possibility of cross contamination in the dental office. The article emphasizes the importance for dentists to be aware of these diseases, to identify the high-risk patients by obtaining adequate medical history and to know the appropriate deactivation procedures to be followed.

  16. Use of molecular dynamics simulation to explore structural facets of human prion protein with pathogenic mutations.

    Borgohain, Gargi; Dan, Nirnoy; Paul, Sandip

    2016-06-01

    Prion diseases are caused by mutations at different positions of the prion protein. A large number of pathogenic mutations are reported in the literature. Two of such point mutations T193I and R148H located at two different helical strands (H2 and H1) of the prion protein associated with fCJD (familial Creutzfeld-Jacob disease) are studied. We have used classical molecular dynamics (MD) simulation technique to understand the conformational changes and dynamics of the protein under the effect of mutation and compared with the native prion protein. The results indicate that: both mutated forms are conformationally steadier than the native prion protein; although there are no major conformational transitions, R148H leads to decreased native β-sheet content, H1 helix becomes less fluctuating, two new turn regions appear and conversion of a 310 region to coil form takes place. Mutation T193I leads to a steady H1 helix, a decreased native β-sheet content and a new 310 region appears in H2 helix. Moreover, mutation R148H results in decreased conformational space with a highly compact and nonfluctuating form. PMID:27107654

  17. Contributions of the Prion Protein Sequence, Strain, and Environment to the Species Barrier.

    Sharma, Aditi; Bruce, Kathryn L; Chen, Buxin; Gyoneva, Stefka; Behrens, Sven H; Bommarius, Andreas S; Chernoff, Yury O

    2016-01-15

    Amyloid propagation requires high levels of sequence specificity so that only molecules with very high sequence identity can form cross-β-sheet structures of sufficient stringency for incorporation into the amyloid fibril. This sequence specificity presents a barrier to the transmission of prions between two species with divergent sequences, termed a species barrier. Here we study the relative effects of protein sequence, seed conformation, and environment on the species barrier strength and specificity for the yeast prion protein Sup35p from three closely related species of the Saccharomyces sensu stricto group; namely, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Saccharomyces bayanus, and Saccharomyces paradoxus. Through in vivo plasmid shuffle experiments, we show that the major characteristics of the transmission barrier and conformational fidelity are determined by the protein sequence rather than by the cellular environment. In vitro data confirm that the kinetics and structural preferences of aggregation of the S. paradoxus and S. bayanus proteins are influenced by anions in accordance with their positions in the Hofmeister series, as observed previously for S. cerevisiae. However, the specificity of the species barrier is primarily affected by the sequence and the type of anion present during the formation of the initial seed, whereas anions present during the seeded aggregation process typically influence kinetics rather than the specificity of prion conversion. Therefore, our work shows that the protein sequence and the conformation variant (strain) of the prion seed are the primary determinants of cross-species prion specificity both in vivo and in vitro. PMID:26565023

  18. Functional Role of Tia1/Pub1 and Sup35 Prion Domains: Directing Protein Synthesis Machinery to the Tubulin Cytoskeleton

    Li, Xiang; Joseph B. Rayman; Kandel, Eric R.; Derkatch, Irina L.

    2014-01-01

    Tia1/Pub1 is a stress granule component carrying a Q/N-rich prion domain. We provide direct evidence that Tia1 forms a prion in yeast. Moreover, Tia1/Pub1 acts co-operatively with release factor Sup35/eRF3 to establish a two-protein self-propagating state. This two-protein prion driven by the Q/N-rich prion domains of Sup35 and Tia1/Pub1 can be visualized as distinctive line structures along tubulin cytoskeleton. Furthermore, we find that tubulin-associated complex containing Pub1 and Sup35 o...

  19. Computational Studies of the Structural Stability of Rabbit Prion Protein Compared to Human and Mouse Prion Proteins

    Zhang, Jiapu

    2011-01-01

    Prion diseases are invariably fatal and highly infectious neurodegenerative diseases affecting humans and animals. The neurodegenerative diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob diseases, Gerstmann-Str$\\ddot{a}$ussler-Scheinker syndrome, Fatal Familial Insomnia, Kuru in humans, scrapie in sheep, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (or 'mad-cow' disease) and chronic wasting disease in cattle belong to prion diseases. By now there have not been some effective therapeut...

  20. Accumulation and dissemination of prion protein in experimental sheep scrapie in the natural host

    Warner Richard

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In order to study the sites of uptake and mechanisms of dissemination of scrapie prions in the natural host under controlled conditions, lambs aged 14 days and homozygous for the VRQ allele of the PrP gene were infected by the oral route. Infection occurred in all lambs with a remarkably short and highly consistent incubation period of approximately 6 months. Challenge of lambs at approximately eight months of age resulted in disease in all animals, but with more variable incubation periods averaging significantly longer than those challenged at 14 days. This model provides an excellent system in which to study the disease in the natural host by virtue of the relatively short incubation period and close resemblance to natural infection. Results Multiple sites of prion uptake were identified, of which the most important was the Peyer's patch of the distal ileum. Neuroinvasion was detected initially in the enteric nervous system prior to infection of the central nervous system. At end stage disease prion accumulation was widespread throughout the entire neuraxis, but vacuolar pathology was absent in most animals that developed disease at 6–7 months of age. Conclusion Initial spread of detectable PrP was consistent with drainage in afferent lymph to dependent lymph nodes. Subsequent accumulation of prions in lymphoid tissue not associated with the gut is consistent with haematogenous spread. In addition to macrophages and follicular dendritic cells, prion containing cells consistent with afferent lymph dendritic cells were identified and are suggested as a likely vehicle for carriage of prions from initial site of uptake to the lymphoreticular system, and as potential carriers of prion protein in blood. It is apparent that spongiform change, the characteristic lesion of scrapie and other prion diseases, is not responsible for the clinical signs in sheep, but may develop in an age dependent manner.

  1. Dividing roles of prion protein in staurosporine-mediated apoptosis.

    Zhang, Ying; Qin, Kefeng; Wang, Jianwei; Hung, Tao; Zhao, Richard Y

    2006-10-20

    Prion protein (PrPC) is a normal cellular glycoprotein that is expressed in almost all tissues including the central nervous system. Much attention has been focused on this protein because conversion of the normal PrPC to the diseased form (PrPSc) plays an essential role in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies such as mad cow disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. In spite of the extensive effort, the normal physiological function of PrPC remains elusive. Emerging evidence suggests that PrPC plays a protective role against cellular stresses including apoptosis induced by various pro-apoptotic agents such as Bax and staurosporine (STS), however, other reports showed overexpression of PrPC enhances STS-mediated apoptosis. In this study, we took a different approach by depleting endogenous PrPC using specific interfering RNA technique and compared the depleting and overproducing effects of PrPC on STS-induced apoptosis in neuro-2a (N2a) cells. We demonstrate here that down-regulation of PrPC sensitizes N2a cells to STS-induced cytotoxicity and apoptosis. The enhanced apoptosis induced by STS was shown by increased DNA fragmentation, immunoreactivity of Bax, and caspase-3 cleavage. We also showed that overproduction of PrPC had little or no effect on STS-mediated DNA fragmentation in N2a cells but it augments STS-mediated apoptosis in HEK293 cells, suggesting a cell line-specific effect. In addition, the inhibitory effect of PrPC on STS-mediated cellular stress appears to be modulated in part through induction of cell cycle G2 accumulation. Together, our data suggest that physiological level of endogenous PrPC plays a protective role against STS-mediated cellular stress. Loss of this protection could render cells more prone to cellular insults such as STS. PMID:16950206

  2. Monitoring prion protein expression in complex biological samples by SERS for diagnostic applications

    Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) allows a new insight into the analysis of cell physiology. In this work, the difficulty of producing suitable substrates that, besides permitting the amplification of the Raman signal, do not interact with the biological material causing alteration, has been overcome by a combined method of hydrothermal green synthesis and thermal annealing. The SERS analysis of the cell membrane has been performed with special attention to the cellular prion protein PrPC. In addition, SERS has also been used to reveal the prion protein-Cu(II) interaction in four different cell models (B104, SH-SY5Y, GN11, HeLa), expressing PrPC at different levels. A significant implication of the current work consists of the intriguing possibility of revealing and quantifying prion protein expression in complex biological samples by a cheap SERS-based method, replacing the expensive and time-consuming immuno-assay systems commonly employed.

  3. Preparation of Monoclonal Antibodies Against Prion Proteins With Full-length Hamster PrP

    2005-01-01

    Objective To prepare the PrP specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that can be used for the detection of mammalian prions and study of pathogenesis of prion diseases. Methods Several BALB/c mice were immunized with recombinant hamster prion protein (HaPrP). Three hybridoma cell lines designated as B7, B9, and B10, secreting monoclonal antibodies against HaPrP, were established by hybridoma technique. The mAbs reactivities were evaluated with ELISA, Western blot, and immunohistochemistry. Results The mAbs produced by these cell lines reacted well with different recombinant hamster PrP proteins. Western blot analyses showed that mAbs B7 and B9 reacted with PrPSc from the scrapie-infected animals after proteinase K digestion with three glycosylated forms. The mAbs exhibited cross-reactivity with various PrPC from several other mammalian species, including humans and cattles. Immunohistochemistry assays confirmed that mAbs B7 and B9 could recognize not only extracellular but also intracellular PrPSc. Conclusion The mAbs of prion protein are successfully generated by hybridoma technique and can be applied for the diagnosis of prion associated diseases.

  4. Familial spongiform encephalopathy associated with a novel prion protein gene mutation.

    Nitrini, R; Rosemberg, S; Passos-Bueno, M R; da Silva, L S; Iughetti, P; Papadopoulos, M; Carrilho, P M; Caramelli, P; Albrecht, S; Zatz, M; LeBlanc, A

    1997-08-01

    Human prion diseases include Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Gerstmann-Stráussler-Scheinker disease, fatal familial insomnia, and kuru. Each of these diseases has a specific clinical presentation while spongiform encephalopathy, neuronal loss, and gliosis are their neuropathological hallmarks. We studied a Brazilian family with an autosomal dominant form of dementia. Nine members of the family were affected by a dementia with frontotemporal clinical features, with a mean age at onset of 44.8 +/- 3.8 years and a mean duration of symptoms of 4.2 +/- 2.4 years. Neuropathological examination of 3 patients showed severe spongiform change and neuronal loss in the deep cortical layers and in the putamen, but minimal gliosis in the most severely affected areas. The putamen and cerebellum, but not other areas of the affected brain, displayed prion protein immunoreactivity. A novel prion protein gene mutation causing a nonconservative substitution at codon 183 was identified in 2 neuropathologically confirmed affected individuals (mother and son). The mutation was transmitted in a mendelian fashion to 12 members of the family. Therefore, we identified a novel prion disease variant characterized by an early onset and long duration of the symptoms, severe spongiform change with minimal gliosis, associated with a prion protein gene mutation at codon 183. PMID:9266722

  5. Toward unfolding the prion misfolding mystery: protein free radical chemistry in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies

    Owing to the high oxygen-respiration in the brain of mammals, oxidative damage to prion protein has been suggested to be an additional factor. A large body of intriguing features of scrapie and prion diseases have provided multiple lines of indirect chemistry evidence, suggesting that the infectious agents may be putative forms of sequence-specific prion radicals (SSPR) and/or their immediate precursors in the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE). Here a molecular mechanism corresponding to the self-replication of scrapie protein mediated by prion free-radical processes, consonant with 'protein-only' hypotheses is proposed. This new theory may not only aid our understanding of the occurrence of prions, but also provides new insight into the possible chemistry principles underlying the neutrodegenerative disorders. It is anticipated that future studies based on this suggestion and chemistry principles of genetic diseases may allow us to determine an effective approach to stop mad cow disease and its human version, new variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (v CJD)

  6. Role of the prion protein family in the gonads

    Allais-Bonnet, Aurélie; Pailhoux, Eric

    2014-01-01

    The prion-gene family comprises four members named PRNP (PRP(c)), PRND (Doppel), PRNT (PRT), and SPRN (Shadoo). According to species, PRND is located 16-52 kb downstream from the PRNP locus, whereas SPRN is located on another chromosome. The fourth prion-family gene, PRNT, belongs to the same genomic cluster as PRNP and PRND in humans and bovidae. PRNT and PRND possibly resulted from a duplication event of PRND and PRNP, respectively, that occurred early during eutherian species divergence. A...

  7. Chimeric elk/mouse prion proteins in transgenic mice

    Tamguney, G; Giles, K; Oehler, A.; Johnson, NL; DeArmond, SJ; Prusiner, SB

    2013-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) of deer and elk is a highly communicable neurodegenerative disorder caused by prions. Investigations of CWD are hampered by slow bioassays in transgenic (Tg) mice. Towards the development of Tg mice that will be more susceptible to CWD prions, we created a series of chimeric elk/mouse transgenes that encode the N terminus of elk PrP (ElkPrP) up to residue Y168 and the C terminus of mouse PrP (MoPrP) beyond residue 169 (mouse numbering), designated Elk3M(SNIVVK). ...

  8. A comparative molecular dynamics study on thermostability of human and chicken prion proteins

    To compare the thermostabilities of human and chicken normal cellular prion proteins (HuPrPC and CkPrPC), molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were performed for both proteins at an ensemble level (10 parallel simulations at 400 K and 5 parallel simulations at 300 K as a control). It is found that the thermostability of HuPrPC is comparable with that of CkPrPC, which implicates that the non-occurrence of prion diseases in non-mammals cannot be completely attributed to the thermodynamic properties of non-mammalian PrPC

  9. The effect of β2-α2 loop mutation on amyloidogenic properties of the prion protein

    Dutta, Arpana; Chen, Shugui; Surewicz, Witold K.

    2013-01-01

    Recent studies revealed that elk-like S170N/N174T mutation in mouse prion protein (moPrP), which results in an increased rigidity of β2-α2 loop, leads to a prion disease in transgenic mice. Here we characterized the effect of this mutation on biophysical properties of moPrP. Despite similar thermodynamic stabilities of wild type and mutant proteins, the latter was found to have markedly higher propensity to form amyloid fibrils. Importantly, this effect was observed even under fully denaturin...

  10. Myiasis as a risk factor for prion diseases in humans.

    Lupi, O

    2006-10-01

    Prion diseases are transmissible spongiform encephalopathies of humans and animals. The oral route is clearly associated with some prion diseases, according to the dissemination of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or mad cow disease) in cattle and kuru in humans. However, other prion diseases such as scrapie (in sheep) and chronic wasting disease (CWD) (in cervids) cannot be explained in this way and are probably more associated with a pattern of horizontal transmission in both domestic and wild animals. The skin and mucous membranes are a potential target for prion infections because keratinocytes and lymphocytes are susceptible to the abnormal infective isoform of the prion protein. Iatrogenic transmission of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) was also recognized after corneal transplants in humans and scrapie was successfully transmitted to mice after ocular instillation of infected brain tissue, confirming that these new routes could also be important in prion infections. Some ectoparasites have been proven to harbour prion rods in laboratory experiments. Prion rods were identified in both fly larvae and pupae; adult flies are also able to express prion proteins. The most common causes of myiasis in cattle and sheep, closely related animals with previous prion infections, are Hypoderma bovis and Oestrus ovis, respectively. Both species of flies present a life cycle very different from human myiasis, as they have a long contact with neurological structures, such as spinal canal and epidural fat, which are potentially rich in prion rods. Ophthalmomyiases in humans is commonly caused by both species of fly larvae worldwide, providing almost direct contact with the central nervous system (CNS). The high expression of the prion protein on the skin and mucosa and the severity of the inflammatory response to the larvae could readily increase the efficiency of transmission of prions in both animals and humans. PMID:16987255

  11. Detecting and discriminating among pathogenic protein conformers(prions), using mass spectrometry-based and antibody-based approaches(Abstract)

    A set of fatal neurological diseases that includes scrapie and chronic wasting disease (CWD) are caused by a pathological protein referred to as a prion (PrPSc). A prion propagates an infection by converting a normal cellular protein (PrPC) into a prion. Unlike viral, bacterial, or fungal pathogens,...

  12. All quiet on the neuronal front: NMDA receptor inhibition by prion protein.

    Steele, Andrew D

    2008-06-01

    The normal function of the prion protein (PrP)--the causative agent of mad cow or prion disease--has long remained out of reach. Deciphering PrP's function may help to unravel the complex chain of events triggered by PrP misfolding during prion disease. In this issue of the JCB, an exciting paper (Khosravani, H., Y. Zhang, S. Tsutsui, S. Hameed, C. Altier, J. Hamid, L. Chen, M. Villemaire, Z. Ali, F.R. Jirik, and G.W. Zamponi. 2008. J. Cell Biol. 181:551-565) connects diverse observations regarding PrP into a coherent framework whereby PrP dampens the activity of an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor (NMDAR) subtype and reduces excitotoxic lesions. The findings of this study suggest that understanding the normal function of proteins associated with neurodegenerative disease may elucidate the molecular pathogenesis. PMID:18504309

  13. COMPOSITE PEPTIDE COMPOUNDS FOR DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT OF DISEASES CAUSED BY PRION PROTEINS

    2004-01-01

    The present invention relates to diseases caused by prion proteins, Novel composite peptide compounds are disclosed which comprise two or more peptides or peptide fragments optionally linked to a backbone and the peptides or peptide fragments are spatially positioned relative to each other so that...... they together form a non-linear sequence which mimics the tertiary structure of one or more PrPSc-specific epitopes as evidenced by the test described herein. The use of such conjugates as immunogens for the production of antibodies that specifically bind to the pathogenic form of a prion protein is...... revealed. Other uses of the composite peptide compounds are also disclosed, such as use in diagnostic assays, production of antibodies and uses as vaccine immunogens for the prophylactic protection and therapeutic treatment of subjects against transmissible prion disease....

  14. Pathogenic prion protein is degraded by a manganese oxide mineral found in soils

    Russo, F.; Johnson, C.J.; McKenzie, D.; Aiken, Judd M.; Pedersen, J.A.

    2009-01-01

    Prions, the aetiological agents of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, exhibit extreme resistance to degradation. Soil can retain prion infectivity in the environment for years. Reactive soil components may, however, contribute to the inactivation of prions in soil. Members of the birnessite family of manganese oxides (MnO2) rank among the strongest natural oxidants in soils. Here, we report the abiotic degradation of pathogenic prion protein (PrPTSE) by a synthetic analogue of naturally occurring birnessite minerals. Aqueous MnO2 suspensions degraded the PrPTSE as evidenced by decreased immunoreactivity and diminished ability to seed protein misfolding cyclic amplification reactions. Birnessite-mediated PrPTSE degradation increased as a solution's pH decreased, consistent with the pH-dependence of the redox potential of MnO2. Exposure to 5.6 mg MnO2 ml-1 (PrPTSE:MnO2=1 : 110) decreased PrPTSE levels by ???4 orders of magnitude. Manganese oxides may contribute to prion degradation in soil environments rich in these minerals. ?? 2009 SGM.

  15. Assessing transmissible spongiform encephalopathy species barriers with an in vitro prion protein conversion assay

    Johnson, Christopher J.; Carlson, Christina M.; Morawski, Aaron R.; Manthei, Alyson; Cashman, Neil R.

    2015-01-01

    Studies to understanding interspecies transmission of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs, prion diseases) are challenging in that they typically rely upon lengthy and costly in vivo animal challenge studies. A number of in vitro assays have been developed to aid in measuring prion species barriers, thereby reducing animal use and providing quicker results than animal bioassays. Here, we present the protocol for a rapid in vitroprion conversion assay called the conversion efficiency ratio (CER) assay. In this assay cellular prion protein (PrPC) from an uninfected host brain is denatured at both pH 7.4 and 3.5 to produce two substrates. When the pH 7.4 substrate is incubated with TSE agent, the amount of PrPC that converts to a proteinase K (PK)-resistant state is modulated by the original host’s species barrier to the TSE agent. In contrast, PrPC in the pH 3.5 substrate is misfolded by any TSE agent. By comparing the amount of PK-resistant prion protein in the two substrates, an assessment of the host’s species barrier can be made. We show that the CER assay correctly predicts known prion species barriers of laboratory mice and, as an example, show some preliminary results suggesting that bobcats (Lynx rufus) may be susceptible to white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) chronic wasting disease agent.

  16. Endogenous proteolytic cleavage of disease-associated prion protein to produce C2 fragments is strongly cell- and tissue-dependent.

    Dron, Michel; Moudjou, Mohammed; Chapuis, Jérôme; Salamat, Muhammad Khalid Farooq; Bernard, Julie; Cronier, Sabrina; Langevin, Christelle; Laude, Hubert

    2010-04-01

    The abnormally folded form of the prion protein (PrP(Sc)) accumulating in nervous and lymphoid tissues of prion-infected individuals can be naturally cleaved to generate a N-terminal-truncated fragment called C2. Information about the identity of the cellular proteases involved in this process and its possible role in prion biology has remained limited and controversial. We investigated PrP(Sc) N-terminal trimming in different cell lines and primary cultured nerve cells, and in the brain and spleen tissue from transgenic mice infected by ovine and mouse prions. We found the following: (i) the full-length to C2 ratio varies considerably depending on the infected cell or tissue. Thus, in primary neurons and brain tissue, PrP(Sc) accumulated predominantly as untrimmed species, whereas efficient trimming occurred in Rov and MovS cells, and in spleen tissue. (ii) Although C2 is generally considered to be the counterpart of the PrP(Sc) proteinase K-resistant core, the N termini of the fragments cleaved in vivo and in vitro can actually differ, as evidenced by a different reactivity toward the Pc248 anti-octarepeat antibody. (iii) In lysosome-impaired cells, the ratio of full-length versus C2 species dramatically increased, yet efficient prion propagation could occur. Moreover, cathepsin but not calpain inhibitors markedly inhibited C2 formation, and in vitro cleavage by cathepsins B and L produced PrP(Sc) fragments lacking the Pc248 epitope, strongly arguing for the primary involvement of acidic hydrolases of the endolysosomal compartment. These findings have implications on the molecular analysis of PrP(Sc) and cell pathogenesis of prion infection. PMID:20154089

  17. Disease-associated prion protein in neural and lymphoid tissues of mink (Mustela vison) inoculated with transmissible mink encephalopathy

    Transmissible mink encephalopathy (TME) is a prion disorder of farmed raised mink. As with the other transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, the disorder is associated with accumulation of the misfolded prion protein in the brain and an invariably fatal outcome. TME outbreaks have been rare but...

  18. Prions in Variably Protease-Sensitive Prionopathy: An Update

    Laura Pirisinu

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Human prion diseases, including sporadic, familial, and acquired forms such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD, are caused by prions in which an abnormal prion protein (PrPSc derived from its normal cellular isoform (PrPC is the only known component. The recently-identified variably protease-sensitive prionopathy (VPSPr is characterized not only by an atypical clinical phenotype and neuropathology but also by the deposition in the brain of a peculiar PrPSc. Like other forms of human prion disease, the pathogenesis of VPSPr also currently remains unclear. However, the findings of the peculiar features of prions from VPSPr and of the possible association of VPSPr with a known genetic prion disease linked with a valine to isoleucine mutation at residue 180 of PrP reported recently, may be of great importance in enhancing our understanding of not only this atypical human prion disease in particular, but also other prion diseases in general. In this review, we highlight the physicochemical and biological properties of prions from VPSPr and discuss the pathogenesis of VPSPr including the origin and formation of the peculiar prions.

  19. The CPEB3 Protein Is a Functional Prion that Interacts with the Actin Cytoskeleton

    Joseph S. Stephan

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The mouse cytoplasmic polyadenylation element-binding protein 3 (CPEB3 is a translational regulator implicated in long-term memory maintenance. Invertebrate orthologs of CPEB3 in Aplysia and Drosophila are functional prions that are physiologically active in the aggregated state. To determine if this principle applies to the mammalian CPEB3, we expressed it in yeast and found that it forms heritable aggregates that are the hallmark of known prions. In addition, we confirm in the mouse the importance of CPEB3’s prion formation for CPEB3 function. Interestingly, deletion analysis of the CPEB3 prion domain uncovered a tripartite organization: two aggregation-promoting domains surround a regulatory module that affects interaction with the actin cytoskeleton. In all, our data provide direct evidence that CPEB3 is a functional prion in the mammalian brain and underline the potential importance of an actin/CPEB3 feedback loop for the synaptic plasticity underlying the persistence of long-term memory.

  20. Cloning and expression of prion protein encoding gene of flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus)

    ZHANG Zhiwen; SUN Xiuqin; ZHANG Jinxing; ZAN Jindong

    2008-01-01

    The prion protein (PrP) encoding gene of flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus) was cloned.It was not interrupted by an intron.This gene has two promoters in its 5' upstream,indicating that its transcription may be intensive,and should have an important function.It was expressed in all 14 tissues tested,demonstrating that it is a house-keeping gene.Its expression in digestion and reproduction systems implies that the possible prions of fish may transfer horizontally.

  1. Controllable synthesis of polyoxometalates nanocubes and their specific interactions with prion proteins

    2009-01-01

    It is found that Keggin-type of polyoxometalates nanocubes could be formed in aqueous medium under the adjustment of dimethylformamide (DMF),and could be changed from solid nanocubes to hollow ones with increasing temperature. Further investigations show that this Keggin-type of polyoxometalates nanocubes can specifically interact with prion protein,and the light scattering signals are en-hanced in proportion to the content of prion in the range of 3.36―840 ng·mL-1.

  2. Prion Protein M129V Polymorphism Affects Retrieval-Related Brain Activity

    Buchmann, Andreas; Mondadori, Christian R. A.; Hanggi, Jurgen; Aerni, Amanda; Vrticka, Pascal; Luechinger, Roger; Boesiger, Peter; Hock, Christoph; Nitsch, Roger M.; de Quervain, Dominique J.-F.; Papassotiropoulos, Andreas; Henke, Katharina

    2008-01-01

    The prion protein Met129Val polymorphism has recently been related to human long-term memory with carriers of either the 129[superscript MM] or the 129[superscript MV] genotype recalling 17% more words than 129[superscript VV] carriers at 24 h following learning. Here, we sampled genotype differences in retrieval-related brain activity at 30 min…

  3. Immunohistochemical detection and distribution of prion protein in a goat with natural scrapie.

    Valdez, Reginald A; Rock, Matthew J; Anderson, Anne K; O'Rourke, Katherine I

    2003-03-01

    Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections from a 3-year-old female Angora goat suffering from clinical scrapie were immunostained after hydrated autoclaving using a monoclonal antibody (mAb, F99/97.6.1; IgG1) specific for a conserved epitope on the prion protein. Widespread and prominent deposition of the scrapie isoform of the prion protein (PrPSc) was observed in the brain, brainstem, spinal cord, retina, postganglionic neurons associated with parasympathetic ganglia of myenteric and submucosal plexuses, Peyer's patches, peripheral lymph nodes, and pharyngeal and palatine tonsils. The goat was homozygous for PrP alleles encoding 5 octapeptide repeat sequences in the N-terminal region of the prion protein and isoleucine at codon 142, a genotype associated with high susceptibility and short incubation times in goats. The results of this study indicate that mAb F99/97.6.1 is useful for detection of PrPSc deposition, and this is a specific and reliable immunohistochemical adjunct to histopathology for diagnosis of natural caprine scrapie, although precise determination of the diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of the assay as a diagnostic test for scrapie in goats will require examination of a sufficiently large sample size. As with ovine scrapie, prion protein is widely distributed in the central and peripheral nervous systems, gastrointestinal tract, and lymphoid tissues in natural caprine scrapie. PMID:12661726

  4. Structural Determinants of Phenotypic Diversity and Replication Rate of Human Prions

    Safar, Jiri G; Xiangzhu Xiao; Kabir, Mohammad E.; Shugui Chen; Chae Kim; Tracy Haldiman; Yvonne Cohen; Wei Chen; Cohen, Mark L.; Surewicz, Witold K.

    2015-01-01

    Author Summary Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) represents ~90% of all human prion diseases worldwide. This neurodegenerative disease, which is transmissible and invariably fatal, is characterized by variable progression rates and remarkable diversity of clinical and pathological traits. The infectious sCJD prions propagating the pathology mainly in the brain are assemblies of abnormally folded isoform (PrPSc) of a host-encoded prion protein (PrPC). The structure and replication mech...

  5. The sensitive [SWI+] prion: New perspectives on yeast prion diversity

    Hines, Justin K; Craig, Elizabeth A

    2011-01-01

    Yeast prions are heritable protein-based genetic elements which rely on molecular chaperone proteins for stable transmission to cell progeny. Within the past few years, five new prions have been validated and 18 additional putative prions identified in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The exploration of the physical and biological properties of these “nouveau prions” has begun to reveal the extent of prion diversity in yeast. We recently reported that one such prion, [SWI+], differs from the best st...

  6. Synthetic scan of C-domain from prion proteins

    Šebestík, Jaroslav; Zawada, Zbigniew; Šafařík, Martin; Hlaváček, Jan

    Praha : Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry AS CR, v. v. i, 2011 - (Slaninová, J.), s. 148-150 ISBN 978-80-86241-44-9. - (Collection Symposium Series. 13). [Biologically Active Peptides /12./. Praha (CZ), 27.04.2011-29.04.2011] R&D Projects: GA ČR GA203/07/1517 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40550506 Keywords : prion * peptide thioesters * peptide synthesis * chemical ligation Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry

  7. A novel expression system for production of soluble prion proteins in E. coli

    Abskharon Romany NN; Ramboarina Stephanie; El Hassan Hassan; Gad Wael; Apostol Marcin I; Giachin Gabriele; Legname Giuseppe; Steyaert Jan; Messens Joris; Soror Sameh H; Wohlkonig Alexandre

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Expression of eukaryotic proteins in Escherichia coli is challenging, especially when they contain disulfide bonds. Since the discovery of the prion protein (PrP) and its role in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, the need to obtain large quantities of the recombinant protein for research purposes has been essential. Currently, production of recombinant PrP is achieved by refolding protocols. Here, we show that the co-expression of two different PrP with the human Quiescin Su...

  8. A prion primer

    Cashman, N R

    1997-01-01

    By biological and medical criteria, prions are infectious agents; however, many of their properties differ profoundly from those of conventional microbes. Prions are "encoded" by alterations in protein conformation rather than in nucleic acid or amino acid sequence. New epidemic prion diseases (bovine spongiform encephalopathy and new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease) have recently emerged under the active surveillance of the modern world. The risk of contracting prion disease from blood pro...

  9. Development of techniques in magnetic resonance and structural studies of the prion protein

    Bitter, Hans-Marcus L.

    2000-07-01

    Magnetic resonance is the most powerful analytical tool used by chemists today. Its applications range from determining structures of large biomolecules to imaging of human brains. Nevertheless, magnetic resonance remains a relatively young field, in which many techniques are currently being developed that have broad applications. In this dissertation, two new techniques are presented, one that enables the determination of torsion angles in solid-state peptides and proteins, and another that involves imaging of heterogenous materials at ultra-low magnetic fields. In addition, structural studies of the prion protein via solid-state NMR are described. More specifically, work is presented in which the dependence of chemical shifts on local molecular structure is used to predict chemical shift tensors in solid-state peptides with theoretical ab initio surfaces. These predictions are then used to determine the backbone dihedral angles in peptides. This method utilizes the theoretical chemicalshift tensors and experimentally determined chemical-shift anisotropies (CSAs) to predict the backbone and side chain torsion angles in alanine, leucine, and valine residues. Additionally, structural studies of prion protein fragments are described in which conformationally-dependent chemical-shift measurements were made to gain insight into the structural differences between the various conformational states of the prion protein. These studies are of biological and pathological interest since conformational changes in the prion protein are believed to cause prion diseases. Finally, an ultra-low field magnetic resonance imaging technique is described that enables imaging and characterization of heterogeneous and porous media. The notion of imaging gases at ultra-low fields would appear to be very difficult due to the prohibitively low polarization and spin densities as well as the low sensitivities of conventional Faraday coil detectors. However, Chapter 5 describes how gas imaging

  10. Towards unfolding the prion misfolding mystery: Protein free radical chemistry in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies

    YANG Chi-Ming

    2003-01-01

    Owing to the high oxygen-respiration in the brain of mammals, oxidative damage to prion protein hasbeen suggested to be an additional factor. A large body of intriguing features of scrapie and prion diseases haveprovided multiple lines of indirect chemistry evidence, suggesting that the infectious agents may be putative forms ofsequence-specific prion radicals (SSPR) and/or their immediate precursors in the transmissible spongiform encepha-lopathies (TSE). Here a molecular mechanism corresponding to the self-replication of scrapie protein mediated byprion free-radical processes, consonant with "protein-only" hypotheses is proposed. This new theory may not onlyaid our understanding of the occurrence of prions, but also provides new insight into the possible chemistry principlesunderlying the neurodegenerative disorders. It is anticipated that future studies based on this suggestion and chem-istry principles of genetic diseases may allow us to determine an effective approach to stop mad cow disease and itshuman version, new variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (v CJD).

  11. Lack of Prion Accumulation in Lymphoid Tissues of Scrapie-affected Sheep with the AA136, QR171 Prion Protein Genotype

    Background: Sheep scrapie is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy which can be transmitted horizontally through the shedding of an infectious conformer (PrP**Sc) of the normal cellular prion protein (PrP**c). Genetics profoundly influence the susceptibility of sheep to scrapie. PrP**c amino-aci...

  12. Molecular Dynamics Studies on the Structural Stability of Wild-Type Rabbit Prion Protein: Surface Electrostatic Charge Distributions

    Zhang, Jiapu

    2011-01-01

    Prion diseases cover a large range of neurodegenerative diseases in humans and animals, which are invariably fatal and highly infectious. By now there have not been some effective therapeutic approaches or medications to treat all prion diseases. Fortunately, numerous experimental experiences have showed that rabbits are resistant to infection from prion diseases isolated from other species, and recently the molecular structures of rabbit prion protein and its mutants were released into protein data bank. Prion diseases are "protein structural conformational" diseases. Thus, in order to reveal some secrets of prion diseases, it is amenable to study rabbits by techniques of the molecular structure and its dynamics. Wen et al. (PLoS One 5(10) e13273 (2010), Journal of Biological Chemistry 285(41) 31682-31693 (2010)) reported the surface of NMR RaPrPC(124-228) molecular snapshot has a large land of continuous positive charge distribution, which contributes to the structural stability of rabbit prion protein. Thi...

  13. Glycoform-independent prion conversion by highly efficient, cell-based, protein misfolding cyclic amplification.

    Moudjou, Mohammed; Chapuis, Jérôme; Mekrouti, Mériem; Reine, Fabienne; Herzog, Laetitia; Sibille, Pierre; Laude, Hubert; Vilette, Didier; Andréoletti, Olivier; Rezaei, Human; Dron, Michel; Béringue, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    Prions are formed of misfolded assemblies (PrP(Sc)) of the variably N-glycosylated cellular prion protein (PrP(C)). In infected species, prions replicate by seeding the conversion and polymerization of host PrP(C). Distinct prion strains can be recognized, exhibiting defined PrP(Sc) biochemical properties such as the glycotype and specific biological traits. While strain information is encoded within the conformation of PrP(Sc) assemblies, the storage of the structural information and the molecular requirements for self-perpetuation remain uncertain. Here, we investigated the specific role of PrP(C) glycosylation status. First, we developed an efficient protein misfolding cyclic amplification method using cells expressing the PrP(C) species of interest as substrate. Applying the technique to PrP(C) glycosylation mutants expressing cells revealed that neither PrP(C) nor PrP(Sc) glycoform stoichiometry was instrumental to PrP(Sc) formation and strainness perpetuation. Our study supports the view that strain properties, including PrP(Sc) glycotype are enciphered within PrP(Sc) structural backbone, not in the attached glycans. PMID:27384922

  14. Coexistence of protease sensitive and resistant prion protein in 129VV homozygous sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease: a case report

    Rodríguez-Martínez Ana B

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Introduction The coexistence of different molecular types of classical protease-resistant prion protein in the same individual have been described, however, the simultaneous finding of these with the recently described protease-sensitive variant or variably protease-sensitive prionopathy has, to the best of our knowledge, not yet been reported. Case presentation A 74-year-old Caucasian woman showed a sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease clinical phenotype with reactive depression, followed by cognitive impairment, akinetic-rigid Parkinsonism with pseudobulbar syndrome and gait impairment with motor apraxia, visuospatial disorientation, and evident frontal dysfunction features such as grasping, palmomental reflex and brisk perioral reflexes. She died at age 77. Neuropathological findings showed: spongiform change in the patient’s cerebral cortex, striatum, thalamus and molecular layer of the cerebellum with proteinase K-sensitive synaptic-like, dot-like or target-like prion protein deposition in the cortex, thalamus and striatum; proteinase K-resistant prion protein in the same regions; and elongated plaque-like proteinase K-resistant prion protein in the molecular layer of the cerebellum. Molecular analysis of prion protein after proteinase K digestion revealed decreased signal intensity in immunoblot, a ladder-like protein pattern, and a 71% reduction of PrPSc signal relative to non-digested material. Her cerebellum showed a 2A prion protein type largely resistant to proteinase K. Genotype of polymorphism at codon 129 was valine homozygous. Conclusion Molecular typing of prion protein along with clinical and neuropathological data revealed, to the best of our knowledge, the first case of the coexistence of different protease-sensitive prion proteins in the same patient in a rare case that did not fulfill the current clinical diagnostic criteria for either probable or possible sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease. This highlights the

  15. A glycolipid-anchored prion protein is endocytosed via clathrin-coated pits

    1994-01-01

    The cellular prion protein (PrPc) is a glycolipid-anchored, cell surface protein of unknown function, a posttranslationally modified isoform of which PrPSc is involved in the pathogenesis of Creutzfeldt- Jakob disease, scrapie, and other spongiform encephalopathies. We have shown previously that chPrP, a chicken homologue of mammalian PrPC, constitutively cycles between the cell surface and an endocytic compartment, with a transit time of approximately 60 min in cultured neuroblastoma cells. ...

  16. An Engineered PrPsc-like Molecule from the Chimera of Mammalian Prion Protein and Yeast Ure2p Prion-inducing Domain

    Shao-Man YIN; Man-Sun SY; Po TIEN

    2004-01-01

    Production of the pathogenic prion isoform prpsc-like molecules is thought to be useful forunderstanding the mysterious mechanism of conformational conversion process of prion diseases andproving the "protein-only" hypothesis. In this report, an engineered PrPsc-like conformation was producedfrom a chimera of mammalian bovine prion protein (bPrP) and yeast Ure2p prion-inducing domain (UPrD).Compared with the normal form of bPrP, the engineered recombinant protein, termed bPrP-UPrD,spontaneously aggregated into ordered fibrils under physiological condition, displaying amyloid-likecharacteristics, such as fibrillar morphology, birefringence upon binding to Congo red and increasedfluorescence intensity with Thioflavine T. Limited resistance to protease K digestion and CD spectroscopyexperiments suggested that the structure of bPrP-UPrD had been changed, and adopted a new, high contentβ-sheet conformation during the fibrils formation. Moreover, bPrP-UPrD amyloid fibrils could recruit moresoluble forms into the aggregates. Therefore, the engineered molecules could mimic significant behaviors ofPrPsc and will be helpful for further understanding the mechanism of conformational conversion process.

  17. An Engineered PrPsc-like Molecule from the Chimera of Mammalian Prion Protein and Yeast Ure2p Prion-inducing Domain

    Shao-ManYIN; Man-SunSY; PoTIEN

    2004-01-01

    Production of the pathogenic prion isoform PrPsc-like molecules is thought to be useful forunderstanding the mysterious mechanism of conformational conversion process of prion diseases andproving the "protein-only" hypothesis. In this report, an engineered PrPsc-like conformation was producedfrom a chimera of mammalian bovine prion protein (bPrP) and yeast Ure2p prion-inducing domain (UPrD).Compared with the normal form of bPrP, the engineered recombinant protein, termed bPrP-UPrD,spontaneously aggregated into ordered fibrils under physiological condition, displaying amyloid-likecharacteristics, such as fibrillar morphology, birefringence upon binding to Congo red and increasedfluorescence intensity with Thioflavine T. Limited resistance to protease K digestion and CD spectroscopyexperiments suggested that the structure of bPrP-UPrD had been changed, and adopted a new, high contentB-sheet conformation during the fibrils formation. Moreover, bPrP-UPrD amyloid fibrils could recruit moresoluble forms into the aggregates. Therefore, the engineered molecules could mimic significant behaviors of PrPse and will be helpful for further understanding the mechanism of conformational conversion process.

  18. Prion protein insertional mutations increase aggregation propensity but not fiber stability

    True Heather L

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mutations in the PRNP gene account for ~15% of all prion disease cases. Little is understood about the mechanism of how some of these mutations in PRNP cause the protein to aggregate into amyloid fibers or cause disease. We have taken advantage of a chimeric protein system to study the oligopeptide repeat domain (ORD expansions of the prion protein, PrP, and their effect on protein aggregation and amyloid fiber formation. We replaced the ORD of the yeast prion protein Sup35p with that from wild type and expanded ORDs of PrP and compared their biochemical properties in vitro. We previously determined that these chimeric proteins maintain the [PSI+] yeast prion phenotype in vivo. Interestingly, we noted that the repeat expanded chimeric prions seemed to be able to maintain a stronger strain of [PSI+] and convert from [psi-] to [PSI+] with a much higher frequency. In this study we have attempted to understand the biochemical properties of these chimeric proteins and to establish a system to study the properties of the ORD of PrP both in vivo and in vitro. Results Investigation of the chimeric proteins in vitro reveals that repeat-expansions increase aggregation propensity and that the kinetics of fiber formation depends on the number of repeats. The fiber formation reactions are promiscuous in that the chimeric protein containing 14 repeats can readily cross-seed fiber formation of proteins that have the wild type number of repeats. Morphologically, the amyloid fibers formed by repeat-expanded proteins associate with each other to form large clumps that were not as prevalent in fibers formed by proteins containing the wild type number of repeats. Despite the increased aggregation propensity and lateral association of the repeat expanded proteins, there was no corresponding increase in the stability of the fibers formed. Therefore, we predict that the differences in fibers formed with different repeat lengths may not be due to

  19. In vitro prion protein conversion suggests risk of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) to transmissible spongiform encephalopathies

    Johnson, Christopher J.; Morawski, A.R.; Carlson, C.M.; Chang, H.

    2013-01-01

    Background: Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) affect both domestic sheep (scrapie) and captive and free-ranging cervids (chronic wasting disease; CWD). The geographical range of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis; BHS) overlaps with states or provinces that have contained scrapie-positive sheep or goats and areas with present epizootics of CWD in cervids. No TSEs have been documented in BHS, but the susceptibility of this species to TSEs remains unknown. Results: We acquired a library of BHS tissues and found no evidence of preexisting TSEs in these animals. The prion protein gene (Prnp) in all BHS in our library was identical to scrapie-susceptible domestic sheep (A136R 154Q171). Using an in vitro prion protein conversion assay, which has been previously used to assess TSE species barriers and, in our study appears to recollect known species barriers in mice, we assessed the potential transmissibility of TSEs to BHS. As expected based upon Prnp genotype, we observed BHS prion protein conversion by classical scrapie agent and evidence for a species barrier between transmissible mink encephalopathy (TME) and BHS. Interestingly, our data suggest that the species barrier of BHS to white-tailed deer or wapiti CWD agents is likely low. We also used protein misfolding cyclic amplification to confirm that CWD, but not TME, can template prion protein misfolding in A136R 154Q171genotype sheep. Conclusions: Our results indicate the in vitro conversion assay used in our study does mimic the species barrier of mice to the TSE agents that we tested. Based on Prnp genotype and results from conversion assays, BHS are likely to be susceptible to infection by classical scrapie. Despite mismatches in amino acids thought to modulate prion protein conversion, our data indicate that A136R154Q171 genotype sheep prion protein is misfolded by CWD agent, suggesting that these animals could be susceptible to CWD. Further investigation of TSE transmissibility to BHS, including

  20. Similar folds with different stabilization mechanisms: the cases of prion and doppel proteins

    Colombo Giorgio

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Protein misfolding is the main cause of a group of fatal neurodegenerative diseases in humans and animals. In particular, in Prion-related diseases the normal cellular form of the Prion Protein PrP (PrPC is converted into the infectious PrPSc through a conformational process during which it acquires a high β-sheet content. Doppel is a protein that shares a similar native fold, but lacks the scrapie isoform. Understanding the molecular determinants of these different behaviours is important both for biomedical and biophysical research. Results In this paper, the dynamical and energetic properties of the two proteins in solution is comparatively analyzed by means of long time scale explicit solvent, all-atom molecular dynamics in different temperature conditions. The trajectories are analyzed by means of a recently introduced energy decomposition approach (Tiana et al, Prot. Sci. 2004 aimed at identifying the key residues for the stabilization and folding of the protein. Our analysis shows that Prion and Doppel have two different cores stabilizing the native state and that the relative contribution of the nucleus to the global stability of the protein for Doppel is sensitively higher than for PrP. Moreover, under misfolding conditions the Doppel core is conserved, while the energy stabilization network of PrP is disrupted. Conclusion These observations suggest that different sequences can share similar native topology with different stabilizing interactions and that the sequences of the Prion and Doppel proteins may have diverged under different evolutionary constraints resulting in different folding and stabilization mechanisms.

  1. Chaperoning prions: the story unfolds

    O'Connor, David; Jones, Gary

    2006-01-01

    Prions are infectious proteins that are responsible for a number of mammalian degenerative diseases. The discovery of prions in yeast has allowed detailed genetic analysis to be carried out to identify cellular factors involved in prion propagation. It is now clear that a complex relationship exists between molecular chaperones and prion propagation. Prions may actually have evolved to exploit the cell's chaperone machinery to ensure their own propaga...

  2. A survey and a molecular dynamics study on the (central) hydrophobic region of prion proteins

    Zhang, Jiapu

    2014-01-01

    Prion diseases are invariably fatal neurodegenerative diseases that affect humans and animals. Unlike most other amyloid forming neurodegenerative diseases, these can be highly infectious. Prion diseases occur in a variety of species. They include the fatal human neurodegenerative diseases Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI), Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS), Kuru, the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or 'mad-cow' disease) in cattle, the chronic wasting disease (CWD) in deer and elk, and scrapie in sheep and goats, etc. Transmission across the species barrier to humans, especially in the case of BSE in Europe, CWD in North America, and variant CJDs (vCJDs) in young people of UK, is a major public health concern. Fortunately, scientists reported that the (central) hydrophobic region of prion proteins (PrP) controls the formation of diseased prions. This article gives a detailed survey on PrP hydrophobic region and does molecular dynamics studies of human PrP(110-136...

  3. Smart protein biogate as a mediator to regulate competitive host-guest interaction for sensitive ratiometric electrochemical assay of prion

    Yu, Peng; Zhang, Xiaohua; Zhou, Jiawan; Xiong, Erhu; Li, Xiaoyu; Chen, Jinhua

    2015-11-01

    A novel competitive host-guest strategy regulated by protein biogate was developed for sensitive and selective analysis of prion protein. The methylene blue (MB)-tagged prion aptamer (MB-Apt) was introduced to the multiwalled carbon nanotubes-β-cyclodextrins (MWCNTs-β-CD) composites-modified glassy carbon (GC) electrode through the host-guest interaction between β-CD and MB. In the absence of prion, MB-Apt could be displaced by ferrocenecarboxylic acid (FCA) due to its stronger binding affinity to β-CD, resulting in a large oxidation peak of FCA. However, in the presence of prion, the specific prion-aptamer interaction drove the formation of protein biogate to seal the cavity of β-CD, which hindered the guest displacement of MB by FCA and resulted in the oxidation peak current of MB (IMB) increased and that of FCA (IFCA) decreased. The developed aptasensor showed good response towards the target (prion protein) with a low detection limit of 160 fM. By changing the specific aptamers, this strategy could be easily extended to detect other proteins, showing promising potential for extensive applications in bioanalysis.

  4. Detection of Prion Proteins and TSE Infectivity in the Rendering and Biodiesel Manufacture Processes

    Brown, R.; Keller, B.; Oleschuk, R. [Queen' s University, Kingston, Ontario (Canada)

    2007-03-15

    This paper addresses emerging issues related to monitoring prion proteins and TSE infectivity in the products and waste streams of rendering and biodiesel manufacture processes. Monitoring is critical to addressing the knowledge gaps identified in 'Biodiesel from Specified Risk Material Tallow: An Appraisal of TSE Risks and their Reduction' (IEA's AMF Annex XXX, 2006) that prevent comprehensive risk assessment of TSE infectivity in products and waste. The most important challenge for monitoring TSE risk is the wide variety of sample types, which are generated at different points in the rendering/biodiesel production continuum. Conventional transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) assays were developed for specified risk material (SRM) and other biological tissues. These, however, are insufficient to address the diverse sample matrices produced in rendering and biodiesel manufacture. This paper examines the sample types expected in rendering and biodiesel manufacture and the implications of applying TSE assay methods to them. The authors then discuss a sample preparation filtration, which has not yet been applied to these sample types, but which has the potential to provide or significantly improve TSE monitoring. The main improvement will come from transfer of the prion proteins from the sample matrix to a matrix compatible with conventional and emerging bioassays. A second improvement will come from preconcentrating the prion proteins, which means transferring proteins from a larger sample volume into a smaller volume for analysis to provide greater detection sensitivity. This filtration method may also be useful for monitoring other samples, including wash waters and other waste streams, which may contain SRM, including those from abattoirs and on-farm operations. Finally, there is a discussion of emerging mass spectrometric methods, which Prusiner and others have shown to be suitable for detection and characterisation of prion proteins (Stahl

  5. Prion and doppel proteins bind to granule cells of the cerebellum

    Legname, Giuseppe; Nelken, Peter; Guan, Zhengyu; Kanyo, Zoltan F.; DeArmond, Stephen J.; Prusiner, Stanley B.

    2002-01-01

    We reported that expression of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) rescues doppel (Dpl)-induced cerebellar degeneration in mice. To search for protein(s) that mediate this process, we fused the C-termini of mouse (Mo) PrP and Dpl to the Fc portion of an IgG. Although both MoPrP-Fc and MoDpl-Fc bound to many regions of the brain, we observed restricted binding to granule cells in the cerebellum, suggesting a scenario in which granule cells express a protein that mediates Dpl-induced neurodegener...

  6. Immunization with recombinant prion protein leads to partial protection in a murine model of TSEs through a novel mechanism.

    Xanthopoulos, Konstantinos; Lagoudaki, Rosa; Kontana, Anastasia; Kyratsous, Christos; Panagiotidis, Christos; Grigoriadis, Nikolaos; Yiangou, Minas; Sklaviadis, Theodoros

    2013-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are neurodegenerative diseases, which despite fervent research remain incurable. Immunization approaches have shown great potential at providing protection, however tolerance effects hamper active immunization protocols. In this study we evaluated the antigenic potential of various forms of recombinant murine prion protein and estimated their protective efficacy in a mouse model of prion diseases. One of the forms tested provided a significant elongation of survival interval. The elongation was mediated via an acute depletion of mature follicular dendritic cells, which are associated with propagation of the prion infectious agent in the periphery and in part to the development of humoral immunity against prion protein. This unprecedented result could offer new strategies for protection against transmissible encephalopathies as well as other diseases associated with follicular dendritic cells. PMID:23554984

  7. Immunization with recombinant prion protein leads to partial protection in a murine model of TSEs through a novel mechanism.

    Konstantinos Xanthopoulos

    Full Text Available Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are neurodegenerative diseases, which despite fervent research remain incurable. Immunization approaches have shown great potential at providing protection, however tolerance effects hamper active immunization protocols. In this study we evaluated the antigenic potential of various forms of recombinant murine prion protein and estimated their protective efficacy in a mouse model of prion diseases. One of the forms tested provided a significant elongation of survival interval. The elongation was mediated via an acute depletion of mature follicular dendritic cells, which are associated with propagation of the prion infectious agent in the periphery and in part to the development of humoral immunity against prion protein. This unprecedented result could offer new strategies for protection against transmissible encephalopathies as well as other diseases associated with follicular dendritic cells.

  8. Observation of intermediate states of the human prion protein by high pressure NMR spectroscopy

    Zahn Ralph

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Prions as causative agents of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs in humans and animals are composed of the infectious isomer, PrPSc, of the cellular prion protein, PrPC. The conversion and thus the propensity of PrPC to adopt alternative folds leads to the species-specific propagation of the disease. High pressure is a powerful tool to study the physico-chemical properties of proteins as well as the dynamics and structure of folding intermediates. Results Conformational intermediates of the human prion protein huPrPC were characterized by a combination of hydrostatic pressure (up to 200 MPa with two-dimensional NMR spectroscopy. All pressure effects showed to be reversible and there is virtually no difference in the overall pressure response between the folded core of the N-terminal truncated huPrPC(121–230 and the full-length huPrPC(23–230. The only significant differences in the pressure response of full-length and truncated PrP suggest that E168, H187, T192, E207, E211 and Y226 are involved in a transient interaction with the unfolded N-terminus. High-pressure NMR spectroscopy indicates that the folded core of the human prion protein occurs in two structural states N1and N2 in solution associated with rather small differences in free enthalpies (3.0 kJ/mol. At atmospheric pressure approximately 29% of the protein are already in the pressure favored conformation N2. There is a second process representing two possible folding intermediates I1 and I2 with corresponding average free enthalpies of 10.8 and 18.6 kJ/mol. They could represent preaggregation states of the protein that coexist at ambient pressure with a very small population of approximately 1.2% and less than 0.1%. Further the pressure response of the N-terminus indicates that four different regions are in a fast equilibrium with non-random structural states whose populations are shifted by pressure. Conclusion We identified pressure stabilized

  9. Cellular prion protein expression is not regulated by the Alzheimer's amyloid precursor protein intracellular domain.

    Victoria Lewis

    Full Text Available There is increasing evidence of molecular and cellular links between Alzheimer's disease (AD and prion diseases. The cellular prion protein, PrP(C, modulates the post-translational processing of the AD amyloid precursor protein (APP, through its inhibition of the β-secretase BACE1, and oligomers of amyloid-β bind to PrP(C which may mediate amyloid-β neurotoxicity. In addition, the APP intracellular domain (AICD, which acts as a transcriptional regulator, has been reported to control the expression of PrP(C. Through the use of transgenic mice, cell culture models and manipulation of APP expression and processing, this study aimed to clarify the role of AICD in regulating PrP(C. Over-expression of the three major isoforms of human APP (APP(695, APP(751 and APP(770 in cultured neuronal and non-neuronal cells had no effect on the level of endogenous PrP(C. Furthermore, analysis of brain tissue from transgenic mice over-expressing either wild type or familial AD associated mutant human APP revealed unaltered PrP(C levels. Knockdown of endogenous APP expression in cells by siRNA or inhibition of γ-secretase activity also had no effect on PrP(C levels. Overall, we did not detect any significant difference in the expression of PrP(C in any of the cell or animal-based paradigms considered, indicating that the control of cellular PrP(C levels by AICD is not as straightforward as previously suggested.

  10. Functional Role of Tia1/Pub1 and Sup35 Prion Domains: Directing Protein Synthesis Machinery to the Tubulin Cytoskeleton

    Li, Xiang; Rayman, Joseph B.; Kandel, Eric R; Derkatch, Irina L.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Tia1/Pub1 is a stress granule component carrying a Q/N-rich prion domain. We provide direct evidence that Tia1 forms a prion in yeast. Moreover, Tia1/Pub1 acts co-operatively with release factor Sup35/eRF3 to establish a two-protein self-propagating state. This two-protein prion driven by the Q/N-rich prion domains of Sup35 and Tia1/Pub1 can be visualized as distinctive line structures along tubulin cytoskeleton. Furthermore, we find that tubulin-associated complex containing Pub1 and Sup35 oligomers normally exists in yeast, and its assembly depends on prion domains of Pub1 and Sup35. This Sup35/Pub1 complex, which also contains TUB1 mRNA and components of translation machinery, is important for the integrity of the tubulin cytoskeleton: PUB1 disruption and Sup35 depletion from the complex lead to cytoskeletal defects. We propose that the complex is implicated in protein synthesis at the site of microtubule assembly. Thus our study identifies the role for prion domains in the assembly of multi-protein complexes. PMID:24981173

  11. The protonation state of histidine 111 regulates the aggregation of the evolutionary most conserved region of the human prion protein.

    Fonseca-Ornelas, Luis; Zweckstetter, Markus

    2016-08-01

    In a group of neurodegenerative diseases, collectively termed transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, the prion protein aggregates into β-sheet rich amyloid-like deposits. Because amyloid structure has been connected to different prion strains and cellular toxicity, it is important to obtain insight into the structural properties of prion fibrils. Using a combination of solution NMR spectroscopy, thioflavin-T fluorescence and electron microscopy we here show that within amyloid fibrils of a peptide containing residues 108-143 of the human prion protein [humPrP (108-143)]-the evolutionary most conserved part of the prion protein - residue H111 and S135 are in close spatial proximity and their interaction is critical for fibrillization. We further show that residues H111 and H140 share the same microenvironment in the unfolded, monomeric state of the peptide, but not in the fibrillar form. While protonation of H140 has little influence on fibrillization of humPrP (108-143), a positive charge at position 111 blocks the conformational change, which is necessary for amyloid formation of humPrP (108-143). Our study thus highlights the importance of protonation of histidine residues for protein aggregation and suggests point mutations to probe the structure of infectious prion particles. PMID:27184108

  12. Production, purification and oxidative folding of the mouse recombinant prion protein

    Pavlíček, A.; Bednárová, Lucie; Holada, K.

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 52, č. 4 (2007), s. 391-397. ISSN 0015-5632 R&D Projects: GA ČR GD310/05/H533 Grant ostatní: GA ČR(CZ) GA310/04/0419 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40550506 Keywords : recombinant prion protein * production * purification * folding Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry Impact factor: 0.989, year: 2007 http://www.biomed.cas.cz/mbu/folia/

  13. Early Embryonic Gene Expression Profiling of Zebrafish Prion Protein (Prp2) Morphants

    Nourizadeh-Lillabadi, Rasoul; Seilø Torgersen, Jacob; Vestrheim, Olav; König, Melanie; Aleström, Peter; Syed, Mohasina

    2010-01-01

    Background The Prion protein (PRNP/Prp) plays a crucial role in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) like Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), scrapie and mad cow disease. Notwithstanding the importance in human and animal disease, fundamental aspects of PRNP/Prp function and transmission remains unaccounted for. Methodology/Principal Findings The zebrafish (Danio rerio) genome contains three Prp encoding genes assigned prp1, prp2 and prp3. Currently, the second paralogue is believed ...

  14. Comparative syntheses of peptide thioesters derived from mouse and human prion proteins

    Šebestík, Jaroslav; Zawada, Zbigniew; Šafařík, Martin; Hlaváček, Jan

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 41, Suppl. 1 (2011), S78-S79. ISSN 0939-4451. [International Congress on Amino Acids, Peptides and Proteins /12./. 01.08.2011-05.08.2011, Beijing] R&D Projects: GA ČR GA203/07/1517 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40550506 Keywords : peptide thioesters * ligation * prions * C-domain Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry

  15. Insights into alternative prion protein topologies induced under high hydrostatic pressure

    The critical step in the pathogenesis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) appears to be a conformational transition of a normal prion protein (PrPC) into a misfolded isoform (PrPSc). To gain insight into the structural conversion of the prion protein we have exploited the use of high hydrostatic pressure combined with various spectroscopic techniques. In vitro transitions of the recombinant PrP to a scrapie-like form have never resulted in an infectious structure. It is our hypothesis that the acquisition of the disease-causing conformation depends on folding pathways which are difficult to attain. We attempt to favour, via specific reaction conditions at high pressure, alternative routes of misfolding leading to a stable infectious amyloidogenic conformer. Our results have demonstrated the potential of high pressure to reveal various prion structural changes, which are inaccessible by conventional methods. Especially, we have characterized a pressure-induced conformer in which the normal α-helical structure is changed into a highly aggregated β-sheet conformation showing markedly increased resistance to proteolysis (key markers of potential infectious agents). Our work may have important implications, not only for ultimately proving the protein-only hypothesis and for understanding the basic mechanism of the disease, but also for developing preventative and therapeutic measures

  16. Monitoring prion protein expression in complex biological samples by SERS for diagnostic applications

    Manno, D; Filippo, E; Fiore, R; Serra, A [Dipartimento di Scienza dei Materiali, Universita del Salento, Lecce (Italy); Urso, E; Rizzello, A; Maffia, M [Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche ed Ambientali, Universita del Salento, Lecce (Italy)

    2010-04-23

    Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) allows a new insight into the analysis of cell physiology. In this work, the difficulty of producing suitable substrates that, besides permitting the amplification of the Raman signal, do not interact with the biological material causing alteration, has been overcome by a combined method of hydrothermal green synthesis and thermal annealing. The SERS analysis of the cell membrane has been performed with special attention to the cellular prion protein PrP{sup C}. In addition, SERS has also been used to reveal the prion protein-Cu(II) interaction in four different cell models (B104, SH-SY5Y, GN11, HeLa), expressing PrP{sup C} at different levels. A significant implication of the current work consists of the intriguing possibility of revealing and quantifying prion protein expression in complex biological samples by a cheap SERS-based method, replacing the expensive and time-consuming immuno-assay systems commonly employed.

  17. Immunization with Recombinant Prion Protein Leads to Partial Protection in a Murine Model of TSEs through a Novel Mechanism

    Konstantinos Xanthopoulos; Rosa Lagoudaki; Anastasia Kontana; Christos Kyratsous; Christos Panagiotidis; Nikolaos Grigoriadis; Minas Yiangou; Theodoros Sklaviadis

    2013-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are neurodegenerative diseases, which despite fervent research remain incurable. Immunization approaches have shown great potential at providing protection, however tolerance effects hamper active immunization protocols. In this study we evaluated the antigenic potential of various forms of recombinant murine prion protein and estimated their protective efficacy in a mouse model of prion diseases. One of the forms tested provided a significant elongat...

  18. The role of metals in protein conformational disorders - The case of prion protein and Aβ -peptide

    De Santis, E.; Minicozzi, V.; Morante, S.; Rossi, G. C.; Stellato, F.

    2016-02-01

    Protein conformational disorders are members of a vast class of pathologies in which endogenous proteins or peptides undergo a misfolding process by switching from the physiological soluble configuration to a pathological fibrillar insoluble state. An important, but not yet fully elucidated, role in the process appears to be played by transition metal ions, mainly copper and zinc. X-ray absorption spectroscopy is one of the most suitable techniques for the structural characterization of biological molecules in complex with metal. Owing to its chemical selectivity and sensitivity to the local atomic geometry around the absorber, it can be successfully used to study the environment of metal ions in complex with proteins and peptides in physiological conditions. In this paper we present X-ray absorption spectroscopy studies of the metal ions coordination modes in systems where metals are complexed with specific amyloidogenic proteins and peptides. In particular, we show results concerning the Amyloid β peptide, that is involved in Alzheimer's disease, and the Prion protein, that is responsible for the Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy. Our findings suggest that the copper and zinc ions may play a crucial role in the aggregation and fibril formation process of these two biomolecules. Elucidating this kind of interaction could be a key preliminary step before any viable therapy can be conceived or designed.

  19. Characterization of the genomic region containing the Shadow of Prion Protein (SPRN gene in sheep

    Van Zeveren Alex

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background TSEs are a group of fatal neurodegenerative diseases occurring in man and animals. They are caused by prions, alternatively folded forms of the endogenous prion protein, encoded by PRNP. Since differences in the sequence of PRNP can not explain all variation in TSE susceptibility, there is growing interest in other genes that might have an influence on this susceptibility. One of these genes is SPRN, a gene coding for a protein showing remarkable similarities with the prion protein. Until now, SPRN has not been described in sheep, a highly relevant species in prion matters. Results In order to characterize the genomic region containing SPRN in sheep, a BAC mini-contig was built, covering approximately 200,000 bp and containing the genes ECHS1, PAOX, MTG1, SPRN, LOC619207, CYP2E1 and at least partially SYCE1. FISH mapping of the two most exterior BAC clones of the contig positioned this contig on Oari22q24. A fragment of 4,544 bp was also sequenced, covering the entire SPRN gene and 1206 bp of the promoter region. In addition, the transcription profile of SPRN in 21 tissues was determined by RT-PCR, showing high levels in cerebrum and cerebellum, and low levels in testis, lymph node, jejunum, ileum, colon and rectum. Conclusion Annotation of a mini-contig including SPRN suggests conserved linkage between Oari22q24 and Hsap10q26. The ovine SPRN sequence, described for the first time, shows a high level of homology with the bovine, and to a lesser extent with the human SPRN sequence. In addition, transcription profiling in sheep reveals main expression of SPRN in brain tissue, as in rat, cow, man and mouse.

  20. Ultra-sensitive detection of prion protein fibrils by flow cytometry in blood from cattle affected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy

    Maas Elke

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The definite diagnosis of prion diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD in humans or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE in cattle currently relies on the post mortem detection of the pathological form of the prion protein (PrPSc in brain tissue. Infectivity studies indicate that PrPSc may also be present in body fluids, even at presymptomatic stages of the disease, albeit at concentrations well below the detection limits of currently available analytical methods. Results We developed a highly sensitive method for detecting prion protein aggregates that takes advantage of kinetic differences between seeded and unseeded polymerization of prion protein monomers. Detection of the aggregates was carried out by flow cytometry. In the presence of prion seeds, the association of labelled recombinant PrP monomers in plasma and serum proceeds much more efficiently than in the absence of seeds. In a diagnostic model system, synthetic PrP aggregates were detected down to a concentration of approximately 10-8 nM [0.24 fg/ml]. A specific signal was detected in six out of six available serum samples from BSE-positive cattle. Conclusion We have developed a method based on seed-dependent PrP fibril formation that shows promising results in differentiating a small number of BSE-positive serum samples from healthy controls. This method may provide the basis for an ante mortem diagnostic test for prion diseases.

  1. Removal of the glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor from PrPSc by cathepsin D does not reduce prion infectivity

    Lewis, P. A.; Properzi, F.; Prodromidou, K.; Clarke, A R; Collinge, J.; Jackson, G S

    2006-01-01

    According to the protein-only hypothesis of prion propagation, prions are composed principally of PrPSc, an abnormal conformational isoform of the prion protein, which, like its normal cellular precursor (PrPC), has a GPI (glycosylphosphatidylinositol) anchor at the C-terminus. To date, elucidating the role of this anchor on the infectivity of prion preparations has not been possible because of the resistance of PrPSc to the activity of PI-PLC (phosphoinositide specific phospholipase C), an e...

  2. De novo prions

    Legname, Giuseppe; Geschwind, Michael; Benetti, Federico

    2010-01-01

    Prions are responsible for a heterogeneous group of fatal neurodegenerative diseases. They occur in three forms - sporadic, genetic, or acquired - and involve non-covalent post-translational modifications of the cellular prion protein (PrPC). Prions (PrPSc) are characterized by their infectious properties and intrinsic ability to act as a template, converting the normal, physiological PrPC into the pathological form, PrPSc. The ‘protein-only’ hypothesis, postulated by Stanley B Prusiner, impl...

  3. Effect of metal ions on de novo aggregation of full-length prion protein

    It is well established that the prion protein (PrP) contains metal ion binding sites with specificity for copper. Changes in copper levels have been suggested to influence incubation time in experimental prion disease. Therefore, we studied the effect of heavy metal ions (Cu2+, Mn2+, Ni2+, Co2+, and Zn2+) in vitro in a model system that utilizes changes in the concentration of SDS to induce structural conversion and aggregation of recombinant PrP. To quantify and characterize PrP aggregates, we used fluorescently labelled PrP and cross-correlation analysis as well as scanning for intensely fluorescent targets in a confocal single molecule detection system. We found a specific strong pro-aggregatory effect of Mn2+ at low micromolar concentrations that could be blocked by nanomolar concentration of Cu2+. These findings suggest that metal ions such as copper and manganese may also affect PrP conversion in vivo

  4. Ablation of prion protein immunoreactivity by heating in saturated calcium hydroxide

    Holtzapple Mark T

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Prions, the infectious agents that cause transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs, are relatively resistant to destruction by physical, enzymatic, and chemical treatments. Hydrolysis in boiling saturated calcium hydroxide (limewater utilizes inexpensive chemicals to digest protein components of offal. The purpose of this work was to determine if incubating brain material from scrapie-infected sheep in near-boiling saturated calcium hydroxide solution (Ca(OH2 would abolish immunoreactivity of the infectious prion (PrPSc as determined by western blot. Findings After incubating for as few as 10 minutes in saturated calcium hydroxide at 99°C, immunoreactivity of protease resistant bands by western blot analysis is completely lost. Conclusion Boiling in limewater may offer an alternative for disposal of carcasses and enable alternative uses for rendered products from potentially infected carcasses.

  5. Techniques to elucidate the conformation of prions

    Martin; L; Daus

    2015-01-01

    Proteinaceous infectious particles(prions) are unique pathogens as they are devoid of any coding nucleic acid.Whilst it is assumed that prion disease is transmitted by a misfolded isoform of the cellular prion protein, the structural insight of prions is still vague and research for high resolution structural information of prions is still ongoing. In this review, techniques that may contribute to the clarification of the conformation of prions are presented and discussed.

  6. Techniques to elucidate the conformation of prions

    Daus, Martin L.

    2015-01-01

    Proteinaceous infectious particles (prions) are unique pathogens as they are devoid of any coding nucleic acid. Whilst it is assumed that prion disease is transmitted by a misfolded isoform of the cellular prion protein, the structural insight of prions is still vague and research for high resolution structural information of prions is still ongoing. In this review, techniques that may contribute to the clarification of the conformation of prions are presented and discussed.

  7. A direct assessment of human prion adhered to steel wire using real-time quaking-induced conversion

    Mori, Tsuyoshi; Atarashi, Ryuichiro; Furukawa, Kana; Takatsuki, Hanae; Satoh, Katsuya; Sano, Kazunori; Nakagaki, Takehiro; Ishibashi, Daisuke; Ichimiya, Kazuko; Hamada, Masahisa; Nakayama, Takehisa; Nishida, Noriyuki

    2016-01-01

    Accidental transmission of prions during neurosurgery has been reported as a consequence of re-using contaminated surgical instruments. Several decontamination methods have been studied using the 263K-hamster prion; however, no studies have directly evaluated human prions. A newly developed in vitro amplification system, designated real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC), has allowed the activity of abnormal prion proteins to be assessed within a few days. RT-QuIC using human recombinant prion protein (PrP) showed high sensitivity for prions as the detection limit of our assay was estimated as 0.12 fg of active prions. We applied this method to detect human prion activity on stainless steel wire. When we put wires contaminated with human Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease brain tissue directly into the test tube, typical PrP-amyloid formation was observed within 48 hours, and we could detect the activity of prions at 50% seeding dose on the wire from 102.8 to 105.8 SD50. Using this method, we also confirmed that the seeding activities on the wire were removed following treatment with NaOH. As seeding activity closely correlated with the infectivity of prions using the bioassay, this wire-QuIC assay will be useful for the direct evaluation of decontamination methods for human prions. PMID:27112110

  8. A direct assessment of human prion adhered to steel wire using real-time quaking-induced conversion.

    Mori, Tsuyoshi; Atarashi, Ryuichiro; Furukawa, Kana; Takatsuki, Hanae; Satoh, Katsuya; Sano, Kazunori; Nakagaki, Takehiro; Ishibashi, Daisuke; Ichimiya, Kazuko; Hamada, Masahisa; Nakayama, Takehisa; Nishida, Noriyuki

    2016-01-01

    Accidental transmission of prions during neurosurgery has been reported as a consequence of re-using contaminated surgical instruments. Several decontamination methods have been studied using the 263K-hamster prion; however, no studies have directly evaluated human prions. A newly developed in vitro amplification system, designated real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC), has allowed the activity of abnormal prion proteins to be assessed within a few days. RT-QuIC using human recombinant prion protein (PrP) showed high sensitivity for prions as the detection limit of our assay was estimated as 0.12 fg of active prions. We applied this method to detect human prion activity on stainless steel wire. When we put wires contaminated with human Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease brain tissue directly into the test tube, typical PrP-amyloid formation was observed within 48 hours, and we could detect the activity of prions at 50% seeding dose on the wire from 10(2.8) to 10(5.8) SD50. Using this method, we also confirmed that the seeding activities on the wire were removed following treatment with NaOH. As seeding activity closely correlated with the infectivity of prions using the bioassay, this wire-QuIC assay will be useful for the direct evaluation of decontamination methods for human prions. PMID:27112110

  9. Generation of human scFvs antibodies recognizing a prion protein epitope expressed on the surface of human lymphoblastoid cells

    Imperiale Valentina

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A hallmark of prion disease is the transformation of normal cellular prion protein (PrPc into an infectious disease-associated isoform, (PrPsc. Anti-prion protein monoclonal antibodies are invaluable for structure-function studies of PrP molecules. Furthermore recent in vitro and in vivo studies indicate that anti-PrP monoclonal antibodies can prevent the incorporation of PrPc into propagating prions. In the present article, we show two new human phage antibodies, isolated on recombinant hamster prion protein (rHaPrP. Results We adopted an antibody phage display strategy to isolate specific human antibodies directed towards rHaPrP which has been used as a bait for panning the synthetic ETH-2 antibody phage library. Two phage antibodies clones named MA3.B4 and MA3.G3 were isolated and characterized under genetic biochemical and immunocytochemical aspects. The clones were found to recognize the prion protein in ELISA studies. In flow-cytometry studies, these human single chain Fragment variable (scFv phage-antibodies show a well defined pattern of reactivity on human lymphoblastoid and myeloid cells. Conclusion Sequence analysis of the gene encoding for the antibody fragments and antigen recognition patterns determined by flow-cytometry analysis indicate that the isolated scFvs recognize novel epitopes in the PrPc molecule. These new anti PrPc human antibodies are unique reagents for prion protein detection and may represent a biologic platform to develop new reagents to treat PrPsc associated disease.

  10. Differential expression of calcium-related genes in gastric cancer cells transfected with cellular prion protein.

    Liang, Jie; Luo, Guanhong; Ning, Xiaoxuan; Shi, Yongquan; Zhai, Huihong; Sun, Shiren; Jin, Haifeng; Liu, Zhenxiong; Zhang, Faming; Lu, Yuanyuan; Zhao, Yunping; Chen, Xiong; Zhang, Hongbo; Guo, Xuegang; Wu, Kaichun; Fan, Daiming

    2007-06-01

    The prion protein (PrPC) has a primary role in the pathogenesis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, which causes prion disorders partially due to Ca2+ dysregulation. In our previous work, we found that overexpressed PrPC in gastric cancer was involved in apoptosis, cell proliferation, and metastasis of gastric cancer. To better understand how PrPC acts in gastric cancer, a human microarray was performed to select differentially regulated genes that correlate with the biological function of PrPC. The microarray data were analyzed and revealed 3798 genes whose expression increased at least 2-fold in gastric cancer cells transfected with PrPC. These genes encode proteins involved in several aspects of cell biology, among which, we specially detected molecules related to calcium, especially the S100 calcium-binding proteins, and found that PrPC upregulates S100A1, S100A6, S100B, and S100P but downregulates CacyBP in gastric cancer cells. We also found that intracellular Ca2+ levels in cells transfected with PrPC increased, whereas these levels decreased in knockdowns of these cells. Taken together, PrPC might increase intracellular Ca2+, partially through calcium-binding proteins, or PrPC might upregulate the expression of S100 proteins, partially through stimulating the intracellular calcium level in gastric cancer. Though the underlying mechanisms need further exploration, this study provides a new insight into the role of PrPC in gastric cancer and enriches our knowledge of prion protein. PMID:17612632