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Sample records for cellular prion protein

  1. Prion search and cellular prion protein expression in stranded dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Guardo, G; Cocumelli, C; Meoli, R; Barbaro, K; Terracciano, G; Di Francesco, C E; Mazzariol, S; Eleni, C

    2012-01-01

    The recent description of a prion disease (PD) case in a free-ranging bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) prompted us to carry out an extensive search for the disease-associated isoform (PrPSc) of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) in the brain and in a range of lymphoid tissues from 23 striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba), 5 bottlenose dolphins and 2 Risso s dolphins (Grampus griseus) found stranded between 2007 and 2012 along the Italian coastline. Three striped dolphins and one bottlenose dolphin showed microscopic lesions of encephalitis, with no evidence of spongiform brain lesions being detected in any of the 30 free-ranging cetaceans investigated herein. Nevertheless, we could still observe a prominent PrPC immunoreactivity in the brain as well as in lymphoid tissues from these dolphins. Although immunohistochemical and Western blot investigations yielded negative results for PrPSc deposition in all tissues from the dolphins under study, the reported occurrence of a spontaneous PD case in a wild dolphin is an intriguing issue and a matter of concern for both prion biology and intra/inter-species transmissibility, as well as for cetacean conservation medicine.

  2. A receptor for infectious and cellular prion protein

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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. Prion protein modulates cellular iron uptake: a novel function with implications for prion disease pathogenesis.

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    Ajay Singh

    Full Text Available Converging evidence leaves little doubt that a change in the conformation of prion protein (PrP(C from a mainly alpha-helical to a beta-sheet rich PrP-scrapie (PrP(Sc form is the main event responsible for prion disease associated neurotoxicity. However, neither the mechanism of toxicity by PrP(Sc, nor the normal function of PrP(C is entirely clear. Recent reports suggest that imbalance of iron homeostasis is a common feature of prion infected cells and mouse models, implicating redox-iron in prion disease pathogenesis. In this report, we provide evidence that PrP(C mediates cellular iron uptake and transport, and mutant PrP forms alter cellular iron levels differentially. Using human neuroblastoma cells as models, we demonstrate that over-expression of PrP(C increases intra-cellular iron relative to non-transfected controls as indicated by an increase in total cellular iron, the cellular labile iron pool (LIP, and iron content of ferritin. As a result, the levels of iron uptake proteins transferrin (Tf and transferrin receptor (TfR are decreased, and expression of iron storage protein ferritin is increased. The positive effect of PrP(C on ferritin iron content is enhanced by stimulating PrP(C endocytosis, and reversed by cross-linking PrP(C on the plasma membrane. Expression of mutant PrP forms lacking the octapeptide-repeats, the membrane anchor, or carrying the pathogenic mutation PrP(102L decreases ferritin iron content significantly relative to PrP(C expressing cells, but the effect on cellular LIP and levels of Tf, TfR, and ferritin is complex, varying with the mutation. Neither PrP(C nor the mutant PrP forms influence the rate or amount of iron released into the medium, suggesting a functional role for PrP(C in cellular iron uptake and transport to ferritin, and dysfunction of PrP(C as a significant contributing factor of brain iron imbalance in prion disorders.

  4. Protease resistance of infectious prions is suppressed by removal of a single atom in the cellular prion protein

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    Hornemann, Simone; Herrmann, Uli Simon; Zhu, Caihong; Dametto, Paolo; Li, Bei; Laferriere, Florent; Polymenidou, Magdalini; Pelczar, Pawel; Schwarz, Petra; Rushing, Elisabeth Jane; Wüthrich, Kurt; Aguzzi, Adriano

    2017-01-01

    Resistance to proteolytic digestion has long been considered a defining trait of prions in tissues of organisms suffering from transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. Detection of proteinase K-resistant prion protein (PrPSc) still represents the diagnostic gold standard for prion diseases in humans, sheep and cattle. However, it has become increasingly apparent that the accumulation of PrPSc does not always accompany prion infections: high titers of prion infectivity can be reached also in the absence of protease resistant PrPSc. Here, we describe a structural basis for the phenomenon of protease-sensitive prion infectivity. We studied the effect on proteinase K (PK) resistance of the amino acid substitution Y169F, which removes a single oxygen atom from the β2–α2 loop of the cellular prion protein (PrPC). When infected with RML or the 263K strain of prions, transgenic mice lacking wild-type (wt) PrPC but expressing MoPrP169F generated prion infectivity at levels comparable to wt mice. The newly generated MoPrP169F prions were biologically indistinguishable from those recovered from prion-infected wt mice, and elicited similar pathologies in vivo. Surprisingly, MoPrP169F prions showed greatly reduced PK resistance and density gradient analyses showed a significant reduction in high-density aggregates. Passage of MoPrP169F prions into mice expressing wt MoPrP led to full recovery of protease resistance, indicating that no strain shift had taken place. We conclude that a subtle structural variation in the β2–α2 loop of PrPC affects the sensitivity of PrPSc to protease but does not impact prion replication and infectivity. With these findings a specific structural feature of PrPC can be linked to a physicochemical property of the corresponding PrPSc. PMID:28207746

  5. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy induces misfolding of alleged prion-resistant species cellular prion protein without altering its pathobiological features.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vidal, Enric; Fernández-Borges, Natalia; Pintado, Belén; Ordóñez, Montserrat; Márquez, Mercedes; Fondevila, Dolors; Torres, Juan María; Pumarola, Martí; Castilla, Joaquín

    2013-05-01

    Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) prions were responsible for an unforeseen epizootic in cattle which had a vast social, economic, and public health impact. This was primarily because BSE prions were found to be transmissible to humans. Other species were also susceptible to BSE either by natural infection (e.g., felids, caprids) or in experimental settings (e.g., sheep, mice). However, certain species closely related to humans, such as canids and leporids, were apparently resistant to BSE. In vitro prion amplification techniques (saPMCA) were used to successfully misfold the cellular prion protein (PrP(c)) of these allegedly resistant species into a BSE-type prion protein. The biochemical and biological properties of the new prions generated in vitro after seeding rabbit and dog brain homogenates with classical BSE were studied. Pathobiological features of the resultant prion strains were determined after their inoculation into transgenic mice expressing bovine and human PrP(C). Strain characteristics of the in vitro-adapted rabbit and dog BSE agent remained invariable with respect to the original cattle BSE prion, suggesting that the naturally low susceptibility of rabbits and dogs to prion infections should not alter their zoonotic potential if these animals became infected with BSE. This study provides a sound basis for risk assessment regarding prion diseases in purportedly resistant species.

  6. Insights into the physiological function of cellular prion protein

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    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.

  7. Metabolism of minor isoforms of prion proteins: Cytosolic prion protein and transmembrane prion protein

    OpenAIRE

    Song, Zhiqi; Zhao, Deming; Yang, Lifeng

    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 pathogenicity. In vivo and in vitro studies have shown that several cytosolic forms of prion protein with specific topological structure can destroy intracellular stability and contribute to prion protein pathogenicit...

  8. The cellular prion protein: a player in immunological quiescence

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    Maren Kolltveit Bakkebø

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Despite intensive studies since the 1990s, the physiological role of the cellular prion protein (PrPC remains elusive. Here, we present a novel concept suggesting that PrPC contributes to immunological quiescence in addition to cell protection. PrPC is highly expressed in diverse organs that by multiple means are particularly protected from inflammation, such as the brain, eye, placenta, pregnant uterus and testes, while at the same time it is expressed in most cells of the lymphoreticular system. In this paradigm, PrPC serves two principal roles: to modulate the inflammatory potential of immune cells and to protect vulnerable parenchymal cells against noxious insults generated through inflammation. Here we review studies of PrPC physiology in view of this concept.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  10. Prion Protein Modulates Cellular Iron Uptake: A Novel Function with Implications for Prion Disease Pathogenesis

    OpenAIRE

    2009-01-01

    Converging evidence leaves little doubt that a change in the conformation of prion protein (PrP(C)) from a mainly alpha-helical to a beta-sheet rich PrP-scrapie (PrP(Sc)) form is the main event responsible for prion disease associated neurotoxicity. However, neither the mechanism of toxicity by PrP(Sc), nor the normal function of PrP(C) is entirely clear. Recent reports suggest that imbalance of iron homeostasis is a common feature of prion infected cells and mouse models, implicating redox-i...

  11. Cellular prion protein and NMDA receptor modulation: protecting against excitotoxicity

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    Stefanie A.G. Black

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Although it is well established that misfolding of the cellular prion protein (PrPC into the beta-sheet-rich, aggregated scrapie conformation (PrPSc causes a variety of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs, the physiological roles of PrPC are still incompletely understood. There is accumulating evidence describing the roles of PrPC in neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation. Recently, we identified a functional regulation of NMDA receptors by PrPC that involves formation of a physical protein complex between these proteins. Excessive NMDA receptor activity during conditions such as ischemia mediates enhanced Ca2+ entry into cells and contributes to excitotoxic neuronal death. In addition, NMDA receptors and/or PrPC play critical roles in neuroinflammation and glial cell toxicity. Inhibition of NMDA receptor activity protects against PrPSc-induced neuronal death. Moreover, in mice lacking PrPC, infarct size is increased after focal cerebral ischemia, and absence of PrPC increases susceptibility of neurons to NMDA receptor-dependent death. Recently, PrPC was found to be a receptor for oligomeric beta-amyloid (Abeta peptides, suggesting a role for PrPC in Alzheimer’s disease. Our recent findings suggest that Abeta peptides enhance NMDA receptor current by perturbing the normal copper- and PrPC-dependent regulation of these receptors. Here, we review evidence highlighting a role for PrPC in preventing NMDA receptor-mediated excitotoxicity and inflammation. There is a need for more detailed molecular characterization of PrPC-mediated regulation of NMDA receptors, such as determining which NMDA receptor subunits mediate pathogenic effects upon loss of PrPC-mediated regulation and identifying PrPC binding site(s on the receptor. This knowledge will allow development of novel therapeutic interventions for not only TSEs, but also for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders involving dysfunction of PrPC.

  12. Prions and prion-like proteins.

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    Fraser, Paul E

    2014-07-18

    Prions are self-replicating protein aggregates and are the primary causative factor in a number of neurological diseases in mammals. The prion protein (PrP) undergoes a conformational transformation leading to aggregation into an infectious cellular pathogen. Prion-like protein spreading and transmission of aggregates between cells have also been demonstrated for other proteins associated with Alzheimer disease and Parkinson disease. This protein-only phenomenon may therefore have broader implications in neurodegenerative disorders. The minireviews in this thematic series highlight the recent advances in prion biology and the roles these unique proteins play in disease.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

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

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    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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  16. Sheep scrapie susceptibility-linked polymorphisms do not modulate the initial binding of cellular to disease-associated prion protein prior to conversion

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rigter, A.; Bossers, A.

    2005-01-01

    Conversion of the host-encoded protease-sensitive cellular prion protein (PrPC) into the scrapie-associated protease-resistant isoform (PrPSc) of prion protein (PrP) is the central event in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies or prion diseases. Differences in transmissibility and susceptibilit

  17. Cellular Prion Protein Promotes Regeneration of Adult Muscle Tissue ▿ †

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    Stella, Roberto; Massimino, Maria Lina; Sandri, Marco; Sorgato, M. Catia; Bertoli, Alessandro

    2010-01-01

    It is now well established that the conversion of the cellular prion protein, PrPC, into its anomalous conformer, PrPSc, is central to the onset of prion disease. However, both the mechanism of prion-related neurodegeneration and the physiologic role of PrPC are still unknown. The use of animal and cell models has suggested a number of putative functions for the protein, including cell signaling, adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation. Given that skeletal muscles express significant amounts of PrPC and have been related to PrPC pathophysiology, in the present study, we used skeletal muscles to analyze whether the protein plays a role in adult morphogenesis. We employed an in vivo paradigm that allowed us to compare the regeneration of acutely damaged hind-limb tibialis anterior muscles of mice expressing, or not expressing, PrPC. Using morphometric and biochemical parameters, we provide compelling evidence that the absence of PrPC significantly slows the regeneration process compared to wild-type muscles by attenuating the stress-activated p38 pathway, and the consequent exit from the cell cycle, of myogenic precursor cells. Demonstrating the specificity of this finding, restoring PrPC expression completely rescued the muscle phenotype evidenced in the absence of PrPC. PMID:20679477

  18. The 14-3-3 protein forms a molecular complex with heat shock protein Hsp60 and cellular prion protein.

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    Satoh, Jun-ichi; Onoue, Hiroyuki; Arima, Kunimasa; Yamamura, Takashi

    2005-10-01

    The 14-3-3 protein family consists of acidic 30-kDa proteins composed of 7 isoforms expressed abundantly in neurons and glial cells of the central nervous system (CNS). The 14-3-3 protein identified in the cerebrospinal fluid provides a surrogate marker for premortem diagnosis of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, although an active involvement of 14-3-3 in the pathogenesis of prion diseases remains unknown. By protein overlay and mass spectrometric analysis of protein extract of NTera2-derived differentiated neurons, we identified heat shock protein Hsp60 as a 14-3-3-interacting protein. The 14-3-3zeta and gamma isoforms interacted with Hsp60, suggesting that the interaction is not isoform-specific. Furthermore, the interaction was identified in SK-N-SH neuroblastoma, U-373MG astrocytoma, and HeLa cervical carcinoma cells. The cellular prion protein (PrPC) along with Hsp60 was coimmunoprecipitated with 14-3-3 in the human brain protein extract. By protein overlay, 14-3-3 interacted with both recombinant human Hsp60 and PrPC produced by Escherichia coli, indicating that the molecular interaction is phosphorylation-independent. The 14-3-3-binding domain was located in the N-terminal half (NTF) of Hsp60 spanning amino acid residues 27-287 and the NTF of PrPC spanning amino acid residues 23-137. By immunostaining, the 14-3-3 protein Hsp60 and PrPC were colocalized chiefly in the mitochondria of human neuronal progenitor cells in culture, and were coexpressed most prominently in neurons and reactive astrocytes in the human brain. These observations indicate that the 14-3-3 protein forms a molecular complex with Hsp60 and PrPC in the human CNS under physiological conditions and suggest that this complex might become disintegrated in the pathologic process of prion diseases.

  19. Cellular prion protein is expressed in a subset of neuroendocrine cells of the rat gastrointestinal tract.

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    Marcos, Zuberoa; Pffeifer, Kristine; Bodegas, María E; Sesma, María P; Guembe, Laura

    2004-10-01

    Prion diseases are believed to develop from the conformational change of normal cellular prion protein (PrPc) to a pathogenic isoform (PrPsc). PrPc is present in both the central nervous system and many peripheral tissues, although protein concentration is significantly lower in non-neuronal tissues. PrPc expression is essential for internalization and replication of the infectious agent. Several works have pointed to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract as the principal site of entry of PrPsc, but how passage through the GI mucosa occurs is not yet known. Here we studied PrPc expression using Western blot, RT-PCR, and immunohistochemistry in rat GI tract. PrPc mRNA and protein were detected in corpus, antrum, duodenum, and colon. Immunoreactivity was found in scattered cells of the GI epithelium. With double immunofluorescence, these cells have been identified as neuroendocrine cells. PrPc immunostaining was found in subsets of histamine, somatostatin (Som), ghrelin, gastrin (G), and serotonin (5HT) cells in stomach. In small and large bowel, PrPc cells co-localized with subpopulations of 5HT-, Som-, G-, and peptide YY-immunolabeled cells. Our results provide evidence for a possible and important role of endocrine cells in the internalization of PrPsc from gut lumen.

  20. In Absence of the Cellular Prion Protein, Alterations in Copper Metabolism and Copper-Dependent Oxidase Activity Affect Iron Distribution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gasperini, Lisa; Meneghetti, Elisa; Legname, Giuseppe; Benetti, Federico

    2016-01-01

    Essential elements as copper and iron modulate a wide range of physiological functions. Their metabolism is strictly regulated by cellular pathways, since dysregulation of metal homeostasis is responsible for many detrimental effects. Neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and prion diseases are characterized by alterations of metal ions. These neurodegenerative maladies involve proteins that bind metals and mediate their metabolism through not well-defined mechanisms. Prion protein, for instance, interacts with divalent cations via multiple metal-binding sites and it modulates several metal-dependent physiological functions, such as S-nitrosylation of NMDA receptors. In this work we focused on the effect of prion protein absence on copper and iron metabolism during development and adulthood. In particular, we investigated copper and iron functional values in serum and several organs such as liver, spleen, total brain and isolated hippocampus. Our results show that iron content is diminished in prion protein-null mouse serum, while it accumulates in liver and spleen. Our data suggest that these alterations can be due to impairments in copper-dependent cerulopalsmin activity which is known to affect iron mobilization. In prion protein-null mouse total brain and hippocampus, metal ion content shows a fluctuating trend, suggesting the presence of homeostatic compensatory mechanisms. However, copper and iron functional values are likely altered also in these two organs, as indicated by the modulation of metal-binding protein expression levels. Altogether, these results reveal that the absence of the cellular prion protein impairs copper metabolism and copper-dependent oxidase activity, with ensuing alteration of iron mobilization from cellular storage compartments.

  1. In Absence of the Cellular Prion Protein, Alterations in Copper Metabolism and Copper-Dependent Oxidase Activity Affect Iron Distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gasperini, Lisa; Meneghetti, Elisa; Legname, Giuseppe; Benetti, Federico

    2016-01-01

    Essential elements as copper and iron modulate a wide range of physiological functions. Their metabolism is strictly regulated by cellular pathways, since dysregulation of metal homeostasis is responsible for many detrimental effects. Neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and prion diseases are characterized by alterations of metal ions. These neurodegenerative maladies involve proteins that bind metals and mediate their metabolism through not well-defined mechanisms. Prion protein, for instance, interacts with divalent cations via multiple metal-binding sites and it modulates several metal-dependent physiological functions, such as S-nitrosylation of NMDA receptors. In this work we focused on the effect of prion protein absence on copper and iron metabolism during development and adulthood. In particular, we investigated copper and iron functional values in serum and several organs such as liver, spleen, total brain and isolated hippocampus. Our results show that iron content is diminished in prion protein-null mouse serum, while it accumulates in liver and spleen. Our data suggest that these alterations can be due to impairments in copper-dependent cerulopalsmin activity which is known to affect iron mobilization. In prion protein-null mouse total brain and hippocampus, metal ion content shows a fluctuating trend, suggesting the presence of homeostatic compensatory mechanisms. However, copper and iron functional values are likely altered also in these two organs, as indicated by the modulation of metal-binding protein expression levels. Altogether, these results reveal that the absence of the cellular prion protein impairs copper metabolism and copper-dependent oxidase activity, with ensuing alteration of iron mobilization from cellular storage compartments. PMID:27729845

  2. Prions: Beyond a Single Protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  3. Functions of the cellular prion protein, the end of Moore's law, and Ockham's razor theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    del Río, José A; Gavín, Rosalina

    2016-01-01

    Since its discovery the cellular prion protein (encoded by the Prnp gene) has been associated with a large number of functions. The proposed functions rank from basic cellular processes such as cell cycle and survival to neural functions such as behavior and neuroprotection, following a pattern similar to that of Moore's law for electronics. In addition, particular interest is increasing in the participation of Prnp in neurodegeneration. However, in recent years a redefinition of these functions has begun, since examples of previously attributed functions were increasingly re-associated with other proteins. Most of these functions are linked to so-called "Prnp-flanking genes" that are close to the genomic locus of Prnp and which are present in the genome of some Prnp mouse models. In addition, their role in neuroprotection against convulsive insults has been confirmed in recent studies. Lastly, in recent years a large number of models indicating the participation of different domains of the protein in apoptosis have been uncovered. However, after more than 10 years of molecular dissection our view is that the simplest mechanistic model in PrP(C)-mediated cell death should be considered, as Ockham's razor theory suggested.

  4. Conformational conversion of prion protein in prion diseases

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

  5. Activation of human natural killer cells by the soluble form of cellular prion protein

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Seong, Yeon-Jae [Laboratory of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Graduate School of Medical Science and Engineering, KAIST, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of); Hafis Clinic, Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Sung, Pil Soo; Jang, Young-Soon; Choi, Young Joon [Laboratory of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Graduate School of Medical Science and Engineering, KAIST, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of); Park, Bum-Chan [Aging Research Center, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of); Park, Su-Hyung [Laboratory of Translational Immunology and Vaccinology, Graduate School of Medical Science and Engineering, KAIST, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of); Park, Young Woo [Aging Research Center, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of); Shin, Eui-Cheol, E-mail: ecshin@kaist.ac.kr [Laboratory of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Graduate School of Medical Science and Engineering, KAIST, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2015-08-21

    Cellular prion protein (PrP{sup C}) is widely expressed in various cell types, including cells of the immune system. However, the specific roles of PrP{sup C} in the immune system have not been clearly elucidated. In the present study, we investigated the effects of a soluble form of recombinant PrP{sup C} protein on human natural killer (NK) cells. Recombinant soluble PrP{sup C} protein was generated by fusion of human PrP{sup C} with the Fc portion of human IgG{sub 1} (PrP{sup C}-Fc). PrP{sup C}-Fc binds to the surface of human NK cells, particularly to CD56{sup dim} NK cells. PrP{sup C}-Fc induced the production of cytokines and chemokines and the degranulation of granzyme B from NK cells. In addition, PrP{sup C}-Fc facilitated the IL-15-induced proliferation of NK cells. PrP{sup C}-Fc induced phosphorylation of ERK-1/2 and JNK in NK cells, and inhibitors of the ERK or the JNK pathways abrogated PrP{sup C}-Fc-induced cytokine production in NK cells. In conclusion, the soluble form of recombinant PrP{sup C}-Fc protein activates human NK cells via the ERK and JNK signaling pathways. - Highlights: • Recombinant soluble PrP{sup C} (PrP{sup C}-Fc) was generated by fusion of human PrP{sup C} with IgG1 Fc portion. • PrP{sup C}-Fc protein induces the production of cytokines and degranulation from human NK cells. • PrP{sup C}-Fc protein enhances the IL-15-induced proliferation of human NK cells. • PrP{sup C}-Fc protein activates human NK cells via the ERK and JNK signaling pathways.

  6. IN ABSENCE OF THE CELLULAR PRION PROTEIN, ALTERATIONS IN COPPER METABOLISM AND COPPER-DEPENDENT OXIDASE ACTIVITY AFFECT IRON DISTRIBUTION

    OpenAIRE

    Lisa Gasperini; Elisa Meneghetti; Giuseppe Legname; Federico Benetti

    2016-01-01

    Essential elements as copper and iron modulate a wide range of physiological functions. Their metabolism is strictly regulated by cellular pathways, since dysregulation of metal homeostasis is responsible for many detrimental effects. Neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and prion diseases are characterized by alterations of metal ions. These neurodegenerative maladies involve proteins that bind metals and mediate their metabolism through not well-defin...

  7. In Absence of the Cellular Prion Protein, Alterations in Copper Metabolism and Copper-Dependent Oxidase Activity Affect Iron Distribution

    OpenAIRE

    Gasperini, Lisa; Meneghetti, Elisa; Legname, Giuseppe; Benetti, Federico

    2016-01-01

    Essential elements as copper and iron modulate a wide range of physiological functions. Their metabolism is strictly regulated by cellular pathways, since dysregulation of metal homeostasis is responsible for many detrimental effects. Neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and prion diseases are characterized by alterations of metal ions. These neurodegenerative maladies involve proteins that bind metals and mediate their metabolism through not well-defin...

  8. The Cellular Prion Protein Prevents Copper-Induced Inhibition of P2X4 Receptors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorca, Ramón A.; Varela-Nallar, Lorena; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C.; Huidobro-Toro, J. Pablo

    2011-01-01

    Although the physiological function of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) remains unknown, several evidences support the notion of its role in copper homeostasis. PrPC binds Cu2+ through a domain composed by four to five repeats of eight amino acids. Previously, we have shown that the perfusion of this domain prevents and reverses the inhibition by Cu2+ of the adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-evoked currents in the P2X4 receptor subtype, highlighting a modulatory role for PrPC in synaptic transmission through regulation of Cu2+ levels. Here, we study the effect of full-length PrPC in Cu2+ inhibition of P2X4 receptor when both are coexpressed. PrPC expression does not significantly change the ATP concentration-response curve in oocytes expressing P2X4 receptors. However, the presence of PrPC reduces the inhibition by Cu2+ of the ATP-elicited currents in these oocytes, confirming our previous observations with the Cu2+ binding domain. Thus, our observations suggest a role for PrPC in modulating synaptic activity through binding of extracellular Cu2+. PMID:22114745

  9. The Cellular Prion Protein Prevents Copper-Induced Inhibition of P2X4 Receptors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramón A. Lorca

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Although the physiological function of the cellular prion protein (PrPC remains unknown, several evidences support the notion of its role in copper homeostasis. PrPC binds Cu2+ through a domain composed by four to five repeats of eight amino acids. Previously, we have shown that the perfusion of this domain prevents and reverses the inhibition by Cu2+ of the adenosine triphosphate (ATP-evoked currents in the P2X4 receptor subtype, highlighting a modulatory role for PrPC in synaptic transmission through regulation of Cu2+ levels. Here, we study the effect of full-length PrPC in Cu2+ inhibition of P2X4 receptor when both are coexpressed. PrPC expression does not significantly change the ATP concentration-response curve in oocytes expressing P2X4 receptors. However, the presence of PrPC reduces the inhibition by Cu2+ of the ATP-elicited currents in these oocytes, confirming our previous observations with the Cu2+ binding domain. Thus, our observations suggest a role for PrPC in modulating synaptic activity through binding of extracellular Cu2+.

  10. The Cellular Prion Protein Controls Notch Signaling in Neural Stem/Progenitor Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin-Lannerée, Séverine; Halliez, Sophie; Hirsch, Théo Z; Hernandez-Rapp, Julia; Passet, Bruno; Tomkiewicz, Céline; Villa-Diaz, Ana; Torres, Juan-Maria; Launay, Jean-Marie; Béringue, Vincent; Vilotte, Jean-Luc; Mouillet-Richard, Sophie

    2017-03-01

    The prion protein is infamous for its involvement in a group of neurodegenerative diseases known as Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies. In the longstanding quest to decipher the physiological function of its cellular isoform, PrP(C) , the discovery of its participation to the self-renewal of hematopoietic and neural stem cells has cast a new spotlight on its potential role in stem cell biology. However, still little is known on the cellular and molecular mechanisms at play. Here, by combining in vitro and in vivo murine models of PrP(C) depletion, we establish that PrP(C) deficiency severely affects the Notch pathway, which plays a major role in neural stem cell maintenance. We document that the absence of PrP(C) in a neuroepithelial cell line or in primary neurospheres is associated with drastically reduced expression of Notch ligands and receptors, resulting in decreased levels of Notch target genes. Similar alterations of the Notch pathway are recovered in the neuroepithelium of Prnp(-/-) embryos during a developmental window encompassing neural tube closure. In addition, in line with Notch defects, our data show that the absence of PrP(C) results in altered expression of Nestin and Olig2 as well as N-cadherin distribution. We further provide evidence that PrP(C) controls the expression of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) downstream from Notch. Finally, we unveil a negative feedback action of EGFR on both Notch and PrP(C) . As a whole, our study delineates a molecular scenario through which PrP(C) takes part to the self-renewal of neural stem and progenitor cells. Stem Cells 2017;35:754-765.

  11. Porcine prion protein amyloid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammarström, Per; Nyström, Sofie

    2015-01-01

    Mammalian prions are composed of misfolded aggregated prion protein (PrP) with amyloid-like features. Prions are zoonotic disease agents that infect a wide variety of mammalian species including humans. Mammals and by-products thereof which are frequently encountered in daily life are most important for human health. It is established that bovine prions (BSE) can infect humans while there is no such evidence for any other prion susceptible species in the human food chain (sheep, goat, elk, deer) and largely prion resistant species (pig) or susceptible and resistant pets (cat and dogs, respectively). PrPs from these species have been characterized using biochemistry, biophysics and neurobiology. Recently we studied PrPs from several mammals in vitro and found evidence for generic amyloidogenicity as well as cross-seeding fibril formation activity of all PrPs on the human PrP sequence regardless if the original species was resistant or susceptible to prion disease. Porcine PrP amyloidogenicity was among the studied. Experimentally inoculated pigs as well as transgenic mouse lines overexpressing porcine PrP have, in the past, been used to investigate the possibility of prion transmission in pigs. The pig is a species with extraordinarily wide use within human daily life with over a billion pigs harvested for human consumption each year. Here we discuss the possibility that the largely prion disease resistant pig can be a clinically silent carrier of replicating prions.

  12. Prion protein oligomer and its neurotoxicity

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

  13. Prion protein in milk.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  14. Cellular prion protein controls stem cell-like properties of human glioblastoma tumor-initiating cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corsaro, Alessandro; Bajetto, Adriana; Thellung, Stefano; Begani, Giulia; Villa, Valentina; Nizzari, Mario; Pattarozzi, Alessandra; Solari, Agnese; Gatti, Monica; Pagano, Aldo; Würth, Roberto; Daga, Antonio; Barbieri, Federica; Florio, Tullio

    2016-01-01

    Prion protein (PrPC) is a cell surface glycoprotein whose misfolding is responsible for prion diseases. Although its physiological role is not completely defined, several lines of evidence propose that PrPC is involved in self-renewal, pluripotency gene expression, proliferation and differentiation of neural stem cells. Moreover, PrPC regulates different biological functions in human tumors, including glioblastoma (GBM). We analyzed the role of PrPC in GBM cell pathogenicity focusing on tumor-initiating cells (TICs, or cancer stem cells, CSCs), the subpopulation responsible for development, progression and recurrence of most malignancies. Analyzing four GBM CSC-enriched cultures, we show that PrPC expression is directly correlated with the proliferation rate of the cells. To better define its role in CSC biology, we knocked-down PrPC expression in two of these GBM-derived CSC cultures by specific lentiviral-delivered shRNAs. We provide evidence that CSC proliferation rate, spherogenesis and in vivo tumorigenicity are significantly inhibited in PrPC down-regulated cells. Moreover, PrPC down-regulation caused loss of expression of the stemness and self-renewal markers (NANOG, Sox2) and the activation of differentiation pathways (i.e. increased GFAP expression). Our results suggest that PrPC controls the stemness properties of human GBM CSCs and that its down-regulation induces the acquisition of a more differentiated and less oncogenic phenotype. PMID:27229535

  15. Enhanced susceptibility of T lymphocytes to oxidative stress in the absence of the cellular prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aude-Garcia, Catherine; Villiers, Christian; Candéias, Serge M; Garrel, Catherine; Bertrand, Caroline; Collin, Véronique; Marche, Patrice N; Jouvin-Marche, Evelyne

    2011-02-01

    The cellular prion glycoprotein (PrP(C)) is ubiquitously expressed but its physiologic functions remain enigmatic, particularly in the immune system. Here, we demonstrate in vitro and in vivo that PrP(C) is involved in T lymphocytes response to oxidative stress. By monitoring the intracellular level of reduced glutathione, we show that PrP(-/-) thymocytes display a higher susceptibility to H(2)O(2) exposure than PrP(+/+) cells. Furthermore, we find that in mice fed with a restricted diet, a regimen known to increase the intracellular level of ROS, PrP(-/-) thymocytes are more sensitive to oxidative stress. PrP(C) function appears to be specific for oxidative stress, since no significant differences are observed between PrP(-/-) and PrP(+/+) mice exposed to other kinds of stress. We also show a marked evolution of the redox status of T cells throughout differentiation in the thymus. Taken together, our results clearly ascribe to PrP(C) a protective function in thymocytes against oxidative stress.

  16. Prion protein and its conformational conversion: a structural perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Surewicz, Witold K; Apostol, Marcin I

    2011-01-01

    The key molecular event in the pathogenesis of prion diseases is the conformational conversion of a cellular prion protein, PrP(C), into a misfolded form, PrP(Sc). In contrast to PrP(C) that is monomeric and α-helical, PrP(Sc) is oligomeric in nature and rich in β-sheet structure. According to the "protein-only" model, PrP(Sc) itself represents the infectious prion agent responsible for transmissibility of prion disorders. While this model is supported by rapidly growing experimental data, detailed mechanistic and structural aspects of prion protein conversion remain enigmatic. In this chapter we describe recent advances in understanding biophysical and biochemical aspects of prion diseases, with a special focus on structural underpinnings of prion protein conversion, the structural basis of prion strains, and generation of prion infectivity in vitro from bacterially-expressed recombinant PrP.

  17. Cellular Signaling Mediated by Prion Protein%PrP~C介导的细胞信号转导

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李晓丽; 高晨; 董小平

    2009-01-01

    The pathogenesis of prion disease is due to misfolding of the cellular prion protein(PrP~C)into a pathogenic isoform(PrP~(Sc)).Although biological functions of PrPC are still unclear,it is assumed that PrP~C plays an important role in copper metabolism,lipoid absorption and cell signal mediation.In addition,PrP~C can interact with caveolin-1 to activate Fyn and act as a receptor to activate cAMP/PKA through interacting with PrP~C-bound peptides and cellular signaling pathways by changing the level of intracellular calcium.%朊病毒病的发生是由于细胞正常朊蛋白PrP~C转变成了异常构象的PrP~(Sc)形式.PrP~C 的生理学功能目前尚不完全明确,可能与铜离子代谢、脂质摄取以及细胞信号传递有关.PrP~C可以与小窝蛋白相互作用而活化Fyn非受体酪氨酸激酶从而引起下游信号通路的转导;可以作为受体与PrP~C键合多肽结合后激活cAMP/PKA信号通路;以及引起细胞内钙离子浓度变化而活化信号通路.

  18. Monoacylated Cellular Prion Proteins Reduce Amyloid-β-Induced Activation of Cytoplasmic Phospholipase A2 and Synapse Damage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ewan West

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Alzheimer’s disease (AD is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by the accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ and the loss of synapses. Aggregation of the cellular prion protein (PrPC by Aβ oligomers induced synapse damage in cultured neurons. PrPC is attached to membranes via a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI anchor, the composition of which affects protein targeting and cell signaling. Monoacylated PrPC incorporated into neurons bound “natural Aβ”, sequestering Aβ outside lipid rafts and preventing its accumulation at synapses. The presence of monoacylated PrPC reduced the Aβ-induced activation of cytoplasmic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2 and Aβ-induced synapse damage. This protective effect was stimulus specific, as treated neurons remained sensitive to α-synuclein, a protein associated with synapse damage in Parkinson’s disease. In synaptosomes, the aggregation of PrPC by Aβ oligomers triggered the formation of a signaling complex containing the cPLA2.a process, disrupted by monoacylated PrPC. We propose that monoacylated PrPC acts as a molecular sponge, binding Aβ oligomers at the neuronal perikarya without activating cPLA2 or triggering synapse damage.

  19. The cellular prion protein negatively regulates phagocytosis and cytokine expression in murine bone marrow-derived macrophages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Min Wang

    Full Text Available The cellular prion protein (PrP(C is a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI-anchored glycoprotein on the cell surface. Previous studies have demonstrated contradictory roles for PrP(C in connection with the phagocytic ability of macrophages. In the present work, we investigated the function of PrP(C in phagocytosis and cytokine expression in bone marrow-derived macrophages infected with Escherichia coli. E. coli infection induced an increase in the PRNP mRNA level. Knockout of PrP(C promoted bacterial uptake; upregulated Rab5, Rab7, and Eea1 mRNA expression; and increased the recruitment of lysosomal-associated membrane protein-2 to phagosomes, suggesting enhanced microbicidal activity. Remarkably, knockout of PrP(C suppressed the proliferation of internalized bacteria and increased the expression of cytokines such as interleukin-1β. Collectively, our data reveal an important role of PrP(C as a negative regulator for phagocytosis, phagosome maturation, cytokine expression, and macrophage microbicidal activity.

  20. The cellular prion protein interacts with the tissue non-specific alkaline phosphatase in membrane microdomains of bioaminergic neuronal cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Myriam Ermonval

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The cellular prion protein, PrP(C, is GPI anchored and abundant in lipid rafts. The absolute requirement of PrP(C in neurodegeneration associated to prion diseases is well established. However, the function of this ubiquitous protein is still puzzling. Our previous work using the 1C11 neuronal model, provided evidence that PrP(C acts as a cell surface receptor. Besides a ubiquitous signaling function of PrP(C, we have described a neuronal specificity pointing to a role of PrP(C in neuronal homeostasis. 1C11 cells, upon appropriate induction, engage into neuronal differentiation programs, giving rise either to serotonergic (1C11(5-HT or noradrenergic (1C11(NE derivatives. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The neuronal specificity of PrP(C signaling prompted us to search for PrP(C partners in 1C11-derived bioaminergic neuronal cells. We show here by immunoprecipitation an association of PrP(C with an 80 kDa protein identified by mass spectrometry as the tissue non-specific alkaline phosphatase (TNAP. This interaction occurs in lipid rafts and is restricted to 1C11-derived neuronal progenies. Our data indicate that TNAP is implemented during the differentiation programs of 1C11(5-HT and 1C11(NE cells and is active at their cell surface. Noteworthy, TNAP may contribute to the regulation of serotonin or catecholamine synthesis in 1C11(5-HT and 1C11(NE bioaminergic cells by controlling pyridoxal phosphate levels. Finally, TNAP activity is shown to modulate the phosphorylation status of laminin and thereby its interaction with PrP. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: The identification of a novel PrP(C partner in lipid rafts of neuronal cells favors the idea of a role of PrP in multiple functions. Because PrP(C and laminin functionally interact to support neuronal differentiation and memory consolidation, our findings introduce TNAP as a functional protagonist in the PrP(C-laminin interplay. The partnership between TNAP and PrP(C in neuronal cells may

  1. Signal transduction in neurons: effects of cellular prion protein on fyn kinase and ERK1/2 kinase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomasi Vittorio

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background It has been reported that cellular prion protein (PrPc co-localizes with caveolin-1 and participates to signal transduction events by recruiting Fyn kinase. As PrPc is a secreted protein anchored to the outer surface membrane through a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI anchor (secPrP and caveolin-1 is located in the inner leaflet of plasma membrane, there is a problem of how the two proteins can physically interact each other and transduce signals. Results By using the GST-fusion proteins system we observed that PrPc strongly interacts with caveolin-1 scaffolding domain and with a caveolin-1 hydrophilic C-terminal region, but not with the caveolin-1 N-terminal region. In vitro binding experiments were also performed to define the site(s of PrPc interacting with cav-1. The results are consistent with a participation of PrPc octapeptide repeats motif in the binding to caveolin-1 scaffolding domain. The caveolar localization of PrPc was ascertained by co-immunoprecipitation, by co-localization after flotation in density gradients and by confocal microscopy analysis of PrPc and caveolin-1 distributions in a neuronal cell line (GN11 expressing caveolin-1 at high levels. Conclusions We observed that, after antibody-mediated cross-linking or copper treatment, PrPc was internalized probably into caveolae. We propose that following translocation from rafts to caveolae or caveolae-like domains, secPrP could interact with caveolin-1 and induce signal transduction events.

  2. Prion protein and scrapie susceptibility

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smits, M.A.; Bossers, A.; Schreuder, B.E.C.

    1997-01-01

    This article presents briefly current views on the role of prion protein (PrP) in Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies or prion diseases and the effect of PrP polymoryhisms on the susceptibility to these diseases, with special emphasis on sheep scrapie. The PrP genotype of sheep apears to be a

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

  5. Molecular Dynamics Studies on the Buffalo Prion Protein

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  6. TIA-1 Is a Functional Prion-Like Protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rayman, Joseph B; Kandel, Eric R

    2016-12-21

    Prions are self-propagating protein conformations that are traditionally regarded as agents of neurodegenerative disease in animals. However, it has become evident that prion-like aggregation of endogenous proteins can also occur under normal physiological conditions (e.g., during memory storage or activation of the immune response). In this review, we focus on the functional prion-related protein TIA-1, an RNA-binding protein that is involved in multiple aspects of RNA metabolism but is best understood in terms of its role in stress granule assembly during the cellular stress response. We propose that stress granule formation provides a useful conceptual framework with which to address the positive role of TIA-1 prion-like aggregation. Elucidating the function of TIA-1 prion-like aggregation will advance our understanding of how prion-based molecular switches are used in normal physiological settings.

  7. The prion protein binds thiamine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perez-Pineiro, Rolando; Bjorndahl, Trent C; Berjanskii, Mark V; Hau, David; Li, Li; Huang, Alan; Lee, Rose; Gibbs, Ebrima; Ladner, Carol; Dong, Ying Wei; Abera, Ashenafi; Cashman, Neil R; Wishart, David S

    2011-11-01

    Although highly conserved throughout evolution, the exact biological function of the prion protein is still unclear. In an effort to identify the potential biological functions of the prion protein we conducted a small-molecule screening assay using the Syrian hamster prion protein [shPrP(90-232)]. The screen was performed using a library of 149 water-soluble metabolites that are known to pass through the blood-brain barrier. Using a combination of 1D NMR, fluorescence quenching and surface plasmon resonance we identified thiamine (vitamin B1) as a specific prion ligand with a binding constant of ~60 μM. Subsequent studies showed that this interaction is evolutionarily conserved, with similar binding constants being seen for mouse, hamster and human prions. Various protein construct lengths, both with and without the unstructured N-terminal region in the presence and absence of copper, were examined. This indicates that the N-terminus has no influence on the protein's ability to interact with thiamine. In addition to thiamine, the more biologically abundant forms of vitamin B1 (thiamine monophosphate and thiamine diphosphate) were also found to bind the prion protein with similar affinity. Heteronuclear NMR experiments were used to determine thiamine's interaction site, which is located between helix 1 and the preceding loop. These data, in conjunction with computer-aided docking and molecular dynamics, were used to model the thiamine-binding pharmacophore and a comparison with other thiamine binding proteins was performed to reveal the common features of interaction.

  8. New insights into structural determinants of prion protein folding and stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benetti, Federico; Legname, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

    Prions are the etiological agent of fatal neurodegenerative diseases called prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. These maladies can be sporadic, genetic or infectious disorders. Prions are due to post-translational modifications of the cellular prion protein leading to the formation of a β-sheet enriched conformer with altered biochemical properties. The molecular events causing prion formation in sporadic prion diseases are still elusive. Recently, we published a research elucidating the contribution of major structural determinants and environmental factors in prion protein folding and stability. Our study highlighted the crucial role of octarepeats in stabilizing prion protein; the presence of a highly enthalpically stable intermediate state in prion-susceptible species; and the role of disulfide bridge in preserving native fold thus avoiding the misfolding to a β-sheet enriched isoform. Taking advantage from these findings, in this work we present new insights into structural determinants of prion protein folding and stability.

  9. Prion proteins leading to neurodegeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Mendola, D; Mendola, D L; Pietropaolo, A; Pappalardo, G; Zannoni, C; Rizzarelli, E

    2008-12-01

    Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders related to the conformational alteration of the prion protein (PrP C) into a pathogenic and protease-resistant isoform PrP(Sc). PrP(C) is a cell surface glycoprotein expressed mainly in the central nervous system and despite numerous efforts to elucidate its physiological role, the exact biological function remains unknown. Many lines of evidences indicate that prion is a copper binding protein and thus involved in the copper metabolism. Prion protein is not expressed only in mammals but also in other species such as birds, reptiles and fishes. However, it is noteworthy to point out that prion diseases are only observed in mammals while they seem to be spared to other species. The chicken prion protein (chPrP C) shares about 30% of identity in its primary sequence with mammal PrP C. Both types of proteins have an N-terminal domain endowed with tandem amino acid repeats (PHNPGY in the avian protein, PHGGGWQ in mammals), followed by a highly conserved hydrophobic core. Furthermore, NMR studies have highlighted a similar globular domain containing three alpha-helices, one short 3(10)-helix and a short antiparallel beta-sheet. Despite this structural similarity, it should be noted that the normal isoform of mammalian PrP C is totally degraded by proteinase K, while avian PrP C is not, thereby producing N-terminal domain peptide fragments stable to further proteolysis. Notably, the hexarepeat domain is considered essential for protein endocytosis, and it is supposed to be the analogous copper-binding octarepeat region of mammalian prion proteins. The number of copper binding sites, the affinity and the coordination environment of metal ions are still matter of discussion for both mammal and avian proteins. In this review, we summarize the similarities and the differences between mammalian and avian prion proteins, as revealed by studies carried out on the entire protein and related peptide fragments, using a range of

  10. Mapping of possible prion protein self interaction domains using peptide arrays

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rigter, A.; Langeveld, J.P.M.; Timmers-Parohi, D.; Jacobs, J.G.; Moonen, P.L.J.M.; Bossers, A.

    2007-01-01

    Background The common event in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) or prion diseases is the conversion of host-encoded protease sensitive cellular prion protein (PrPC) into strain dependent isoforms of scrapie associated protease resistant isoform (PrPSc) of prion protein (PrP). These p

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  12. The Role of a Novel Topological Form of the Prion Protein in Prion Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-07-01

    the Prion Protein in Prion Disease PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Richard S. Stewart, Ph. D. CONTRACTING ORGANIZATION: Washington...the Prion Protein in Prion Disease 5b. GRANT NUMBER DAMD17-03-1-0531 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) Richard S. Stewart, Ph. D. 5d...INTRODUCTION Prion diseases are commonly associated with the presence of a conformationally altered

  13. A naturally occurring variant of the human prion protein completely prevents prion disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asante, Emmanuel A; Smidak, Michelle; Grimshaw, Andrew; Houghton, Richard; Tomlinson, Andrew; Jeelani, Asif; Jakubcova, Tatiana; Hamdan, Shyma; Richard-Londt, Angela; Linehan, Jacqueline M; Brandner, Sebastian; Alpers, Michael; Whitfield, Jerome; Mead, Simon; Wadsworth, Jonathan D F; Collinge, John

    2015-06-25

    Mammalian prions, transmissible agents causing lethal neurodegenerative diseases, are composed of assemblies of misfolded cellular prion protein (PrP). A novel PrP variant, G127V, was under positive evolutionary selection during the epidemic of kuru--an acquired prion disease epidemic of the Fore population in Papua New Guinea--and appeared to provide strong protection against disease in the heterozygous state. Here we have investigated the protective role of this variant and its interaction with the common, worldwide M129V PrP polymorphism. V127 was seen exclusively on a M129 PRNP allele. We demonstrate that transgenic mice expressing both variant and wild-type human PrP are completely resistant to both kuru and classical Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) prions (which are closely similar) but can be infected with variant CJD prions, a human prion strain resulting from exposure to bovine spongiform encephalopathy prions to which the Fore were not exposed. Notably, mice expressing only PrP V127 were completely resistant to all prion strains, demonstrating a different molecular mechanism to M129V, which provides its relative protection against classical CJD and kuru in the heterozygous state. Indeed, this single amino acid substitution (G→V) at a residue invariant in vertebrate evolution is as protective as deletion of the protein. Further study in transgenic mice expressing different ratios of variant and wild-type PrP indicates that not only is PrP V127 completely refractory to prion conversion but acts as a potent dose-dependent inhibitor of wild-type prion propagation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  16. Protease-resistant prions selectively decrease Shadoo protein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  17. Cellular prion protein contributes to LS 174T colon cancer cell carcinogenesis by increasing invasiveness and resistance against doxorubicin-induced apoptosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chieng, Cornelius Kwang-Lee; Say, Yee-How

    2015-09-01

    As the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) has been implicated in carcinogenesis, we aimed to investigate the effects of cancer cell-specific PrP(C) overexpression from the invasion, metastasis, and apoptosis aspects, by performing cell motility assays, cell proliferation assays under anchorage-dependent and anchorage-independent conditions, and apoptosis evasion when subjected to multiple anti-cancer drugs. Overexpression of PrP(C) in LS 174T was achieved by stable transfection. PrP(C) overexpression was shown to increase cell proliferation in anchorage-dependent and anchorage-independent manners, as shown by more viable cells in 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, more colonies formed in soft agar assay and increased resistance to anoikis in poly-2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate-coated surface. PrP(C) overexpression also increased cell motility and invasiveness of LS 174T. Cell adhesion to extracellular matrix using collagen- and fibronectin-coated surfaces revealed increased cell attachment in LS 174T cells overexpressing PrP(C). Analysis of apoptotic and necrotic cells by propidium iodide/annexin V-fluorescein isothiocyanate microscopy and 7-amino-actinomycin D/annexin V-phycoerythrin flow cytometry revealed that PrP(C) overexpression attenuated doxorubicin-induced apoptosis. Human apoptosis antibody array with 35 apoptosis-related proteins revealed that three inhibitor of apoptosis proteins (IAPs)-survivin, X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP), and cellular inhibitor of apoptosis protein-1 (cIAP-1)-were upregulated in LS 174T cells overexpressing PrP(C) in doxorubicin-induced apoptosis. In conclusion, the overexpression of PrP(C) could enhance the invasiveness and survival of LS 174T colorectal cancer cells, indicating that PrP(C) plays a role in colorectal cancer biology.

  18. Alzheimer's Disease Brain-Derived Amyloid-{beta}-Mediated Inhibition of LTP In Vivo Is Prevented by Immunotargeting Cellular Prion Protein.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Barry, Andrew E

    2011-05-18

    Synthetic amyloid-β protein (Aβ) oligomers bind with high affinity to cellular prion protein (PrP(C)), but the role of this interaction in mediating the disruption of synaptic plasticity by such soluble Aβ in vitro is controversial. Here we report that intracerebroventricular injection of Aβ-containing aqueous extracts of Alzheimer\\'s disease (AD) brain robustly inhibits long-term potentiation (LTP) without significantly affecting baseline excitatory synaptic transmission in the rat hippocampus in vivo. Moreover, the disruption of LTP was abrogated by immunodepletion of Aβ. Importantly, intracerebroventricular administration of antigen-binding antibody fragment D13, directed to a putative Aβ-binding site on PrP(C), prevented the inhibition of LTP by AD brain-derived Aβ. In contrast, R1, a Fab directed to the C terminus of PrP(C), a region not implicated in binding of Aβ, did not significantly affect the Aβ-mediated inhibition of LTP. These data support the pathophysiological significance of SDS-stable Aβ dimer and the role of PrP(C) in mediating synaptic plasticity disruption by soluble Aβ.

  19. Cellular Prion Protein and Caveolin-1 Interaction in a Neuronal Cell Line Precedes Fyn/Erk 1/2 Signal Transduction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mattia Toni

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available It has been reported that cellular prion protein (PrPc is enriched in caveolae or caveolae-like domains with caveolin-1 (Cav-1 participating to signal transduction events by Fyn kinase recruitment. By using the Glutathione-S-transferase (GST-fusion proteins assay, we observed that PrPc strongly interacts in vitro with Cav-1. Thus, we ascertained the PrPc caveolar localization in a hypothalamic neuronal cell line (GN11, by confocal microscopy analysis, flotation on density gradient, and coimmunoprecipitation experiments. Following the anti-PrPc antibody-mediated stimulation of live GN11 cells, we observed that PrPc clustered on plasma membrane domains rich in Cav-1 in which Fyn kinase converged to be activated. After these events, a signaling cascade through p42/44 MAP kinase (Erk 1/2 was triggered, suggesting that following translocations from rafts to caveolae or caveolae-like domains PrPc could interact with Cav-1 and induce signal transduction events.

  20. Yeast prions are useful for studying protein chaperones and protein quality control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masison, Daniel C; Reidy, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Protein chaperones help proteins adopt and maintain native conformations and play vital roles in cellular processes where proteins are partially folded. They comprise a major part of the cellular protein quality control system that protects the integrity of the proteome. Many disorders are caused when proteins misfold despite this protection. Yeast prions are fibrous amyloid aggregates of misfolded proteins. The normal action of chaperones on yeast prions breaks the fibers into pieces, which results in prion replication. Because this process is necessary for propagation of yeast prions, even small differences in activity of many chaperones noticeably affect prion phenotypes. Several other factors involved in protein processing also influence formation, propagation or elimination of prions in yeast. Thus, in much the same way that the dependency of viruses on cellular functions has allowed us to learn much about cell biology, the dependency of yeast prions on chaperones presents a unique and sensitive way to monitor the functions and interactions of many components of the cell's protein quality control system. Our recent work illustrates the utility of this system for identifying and defining chaperone machinery interactions.

  1. Controlling the prion propensity of glutamine/asparagine-rich proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Kacy R; Ross, Eric D

    2015-01-01

    The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae can harbor a number of distinct prions. Most of the yeast prion proteins contain a glutamine/asparagine (Q/N) rich region that drives prion formation. Prion-like domains, defined as regions with high compositional similarity to yeast prion domains, are common in eukaryotic proteomes, and mutations in various human proteins containing prion-like domains have been linked to degenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Here, we discuss a recent study in which we utilized two strategies to generate prion activity in non-prion Q/N-rich domains. First, we made targeted mutations in four non-prion Q/N-rich domains, replacing predicted prion-inhibiting amino acids with prion-promoting amino acids. All four mutants formed foci when expressed in yeast, and two acquired bona fide prion activity. Prion activity could be generated with as few as two mutations, suggesting that many non-prion Q/N-rich proteins may be just a small number of mutations from acquiring aggregation or prion activity. Second, we created tandem repeats of short prion-prone segments, and observed length-dependent prion activity. These studies demonstrate the considerable progress that has been made in understanding the sequence basis for aggregation of prion and prion-like domains, and suggest possible mechanisms by which new prion domains could evolve.

  2. Protein misfolding cyclic amplification of infectious prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morales, Rodrigo; Duran-Aniotz, Claudia; Diaz-Espinoza, Rodrigo; Camacho, Manuel V; Soto, Claudio

    2012-06-28

    Prions are proteinaceous infectious agents responsible for the transmission of prion diseases. The lack of a procedure for cultivating prions in the laboratory has been a major limitation to the study of the unorthodox nature of this infectious agent and the molecular mechanism by which the normal prion protein (PrP(C)) is converted into the abnormal isoform (PrP(Sc)). Protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA), described in detail in this protocol, is a simple, fast and efficient methodology to mimic prion replication in the test tube. PMCA involves incubating materials containing minute amounts of infectious prions with an excess of PrP(C) and boosting the conversion by cycles of sonication to fragment the converting units, thereby leading to accelerated prion replication. PMCA is able to detect the equivalent of a single molecule of infectious PrP(Sc) and propagate prions that maintain high infectivity, strain properties and species specificity. A single PMCA assay takes little more than 3 d to replicate a large amount of prions, which could take years in an in vivo situation. Since its invention 10 years ago, PMCA has helped to answer fundamental questions about this intriguing infectious agent and has been broadly applied in research areas that include the food industry, blood bank safety and human and veterinary disease diagnosis.

  3. Controlling the prion propensity of glutamine/asparagine-rich proteins

    OpenAIRE

    Paul, Kacy R.; Ross, Eric D.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae can harbor a number of distinct prions. Most of the yeast prion proteins contain a glutamine/asparagine (Q/N) rich region that drives prion formation. Prion-like domains, defined as regions with high compositional similarity to yeast prion domains, are common in eukaryotic proteomes, and mutations in various human proteins containing prion-like domains have been linked to degenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Here, we discu...

  4. Prion protein self-interaction in prion disease therapy approaches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rigter, A.; Priem, J.; Langeveld, J.P.M.; Bossers, A.

    2011-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) or prion diseases are unique disorders that are not caused by infectious micro-organisms (bacteria or fungi), viruses or parasites, but rather seem to be the result of an infectious protein. TSEs are comprised of fatal neurodegenerative disorders affe

  5. Healthy goats naturally devoid of prion protein

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Si, Kausik; Kandel, Eric R

    2016-04-01

    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.

  7. Fungal prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staniforth, Gemma L; Tuite, Mick F

    2012-01-01

    For both mammalian and fungal prion proteins, conformational templating drives the phenomenon of protein-only infectivity. The conformational conversion of a protein to its transmissible prion state is associated with changes to host cellular physiology. In mammals, this change is synonymous with disease, whereas in fungi no notable detrimental effect on the host is typically observed. Instead, fungal prions can serve as epigenetic regulators of inheritance in the form of partial loss-of-function phenotypes. In the presence of environmental challenges, the prion state [PRION(+)], with its resource for phenotypic plasticity, can be associated with a growth advantage. The growing number of yeast proteins that can switch to a heritable [PRION(+)] form represents diverse and metabolically penetrating cellular functions, suggesting that the [PRION(+)] state in yeast is a functional one, albeit rarely found in nature. In this chapter, we introduce the biochemical and genetic properties of fungal prions, many of which are shared by the mammalian prion protein PrP, and then outline the major contributions that studies on fungal prions have made to prion biology.

  8. Genetic variation of the prion protein gene (PRNP) in alpaca (Vicugna pacos)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) are caused by accumulation of a misfolded form of the prion protein (PrP). The normal cellular isoform of PrP is produced by the prion gene (PRNP) and is highly expressed in the central nervous system. Currently, there is an absence of information rega...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  10. Cellular prion protein is required for neuritogenesis: fine-tuning of multiple signaling pathways involved in focal adhesions and actin cytoskeleton dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alleaume-Butaux A

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Aurélie Alleaume-Butaux,1,2 Caroline Dakowski,1,2 Mathéa Pietri,1,2 Sophie Mouillet-Richard,1,2 Jean-Marie Launay,3,4 Odile Kellermann,1,2 Benoit Schneider1,2 1INSERM, UMR-S 747, 2Paris Descartes University, Sorbonne Paris Cité, UMR-S 747, 3Public Hospital of Paris, Department of Biochemistry, INSERM UMR-S 942, Lariboisière Hospital, Paris, France; 4Pharma Research Department, Hoffmann La Roche Ltd, Basel, Switzerland Abstract: Neuritogenesis is a dynamic phenomenon associated with neuronal differentiation that allows a rather spherical neuronal stem cell to develop dendrites and axon, a prerequisite for the integration and transmission of signals. The acquisition of neuronal polarity occurs in three steps: (1 neurite sprouting, which consists of the formation of buds emerging from the postmitotic neuronal soma; (2 neurite outgrowth, which represents the conversion of buds into neurites, their elongation and evolution into axon or dendrites; and (3 the stability and plasticity of neuronal polarity. In neuronal stem cells, remodeling and activation of focal adhesions (FAs associated with deep modifications of the actin cytoskeleton is a prerequisite for neurite sprouting and subsequent neurite outgrowth. A multiple set of growth factors and interactors located in the extracellular matrix and the plasma membrane orchestrate neuritogenesis by acting on intracellular signaling effectors, notably small G proteins such as RhoA, Rac, and Cdc42, which are involved in actin turnover and the dynamics of FAs. The cellular prion protein (PrPC, a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI-anchored membrane protein mainly known for its role in a group of fatal neurodegenerative diseases, has emerged as a central player in neuritogenesis. Here, we review the contribution of PrPC to neuronal polarization and detail the current knowledge on the signaling pathways fine-tuned by PrPC to promote neurite sprouting, outgrowth, and maintenance. We emphasize that Pr

  11. Atypical scrapie prions from sheep and lack of disease in transgenic mice overexpressing human prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-01

    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 from sheep with natural field cases of classical and atypical scrapie, sheep with experimental BSE, and cattle with BSE. We found that these mice were susceptible to BSE prions, but disease did not develop after prolonged postinoculation periods when mice were inoculated with classical or atypical scrapie prions. These data are consistent with the conclusion that prion disease is less likely to develop in humans after exposure to naturally occurring prions of sheep than after exposure to epizootic BSE prions of ruminants.

  12. Yeast prions and human prion-like proteins: sequence features and prediction methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cascarina, Sean M; Ross, Eric D

    2014-06-01

    Prions are self-propagating infectious protein isoforms. A growing number of prions have been identified in yeast, each resulting from the conversion of soluble proteins into an insoluble amyloid form. These yeast prions have served as a powerful model system for studying the causes and consequences of prion aggregation. Remarkably, a number of human proteins containing prion-like domains, defined as domains with compositional similarity to yeast prion domains, have recently been linked to various human degenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. This suggests that the lessons learned from yeast prions may help in understanding these human diseases. In this review, we examine what has been learned about the amino acid sequence basis for prion aggregation in yeast, and how this information has been used to develop methods to predict aggregation propensity. We then discuss how this information is being applied to understand human disease, and the challenges involved in applying yeast prediction methods to higher organisms.

  13. The formation of bioactive amyloid species by prion proteins in vitro and in cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yuanbin; Ritter, Christiane; Riek, Roland; Schubert, David

    2006-10-09

    Amyloid proteins are a group of proteins that can polymerize into cross beta-sheeted amyloid species. We have found that enhancing cellular 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) formazan exocytosis is a common property of bioactive amyloid species formed from all of the amyloid proteins tested to date. In this report, we show that the infectious amyloid species of the prion protein HET-s of the filamentous fungus Podospora anserina, like other amyloidogenic proteins, also enhances MTT formazan exocytosis. More strikingly, cellular MTT formazan exocytosis revealed the formation of bioactive amyloid species in prion-infected mouse N2a neuroblastoma cells. These findings suggest that cellular MTT formazan exocytosis can be useful for studying the roles of bioactive amyloid species in prion infectivity and prion-induced neurodegeneration.

  14. Yeast prions: Paramutation at the protein level?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuite, Mick F

    2015-08-01

    Prions are proteins that have the potential to refold into a novel conformation that templates the conversion of like molecules to the altered infectious form. In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, trans-generational epigenetic inheritance can be mediated by a number of structurally and functionally diverse prions. Prionogenesis can confer both loss-of-function and gain-of-function properties to the prion protein and this in turn can have a major impact on host phenotype, short-term adaptation and evolution of new traits. Prionogenesis shares a number of properties in common with paramutation and can be considered as a mitotically and meiotically heritable change in protein conformation induced by trans-interactions between homologous proteins.

  15. Classical bovine spongiform encephalopathy by transmission of H-type prion in homologous prion protein context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, Juan-María; Andréoletti, Olivier; Lacroux, Caroline; Prieto, Irene; Lorenzo, Patricia; Larska, Magdalena; Baron, Thierry; Espinosa, Juan-Carlos

    2011-09-01

    Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and BSE-related disorders have been associated with a single major prion strain. Recently, 2 atypical, presumably sporadic forms of BSE have been associated with 2 distinct prion strains that are characterized mainly by distinct Western blot profiles of abnormal protease-resistant prion protein (PrPres), named high-type (BSE-H) and low-type (BSE-L), that also differed from classical BSE. We characterized 5 atypical BSE-H isolates by analyzing their molecular and neuropathologic properties during transmission in transgenic mice expressing homologous bovine prion protein. Unexpectedly, in several inoculated animals, strain features emerged that were highly similar to those of classical BSE agent. These findings demonstrate the capability of an atypical bovine prion to acquire classical BSE-like properties during propagation in a homologous bovine prion protein context and support the view that the epidemic BSE agent could have originated from such a cattle prion.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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,...

  17. Assessing the Role of Oxidized Methionine at Position 213 in the Formation of Prions in Hamsters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prions are infectious proteins that are able to recruit a normal cellular prion protein and convert it into a prion. The mechanism of this conversion is unknown. Detailed mass spectrometric analysis of the normal cellular prion protein and a corresponding prion has shown they possess identical post-...

  18. Limited transcriptional response of ovine microglia to prion accumulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheep scrapie (Sc) is the classical transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (prion disease). The conversion of normal cellular prion protein (PrPC) to disease-associated prion protein (PrPSc) is the fundamental pathogenesis of prion diseases. Many of the molecular mechanisms contributing to prion ...

  19. Prions and the potential transmissibility of protein misfolding diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraus, Allison; Groveman, Bradley R; Caughey, Byron

    2013-01-01

    Prions, or infectious proteins, represent a major frontier in the study of infectious agents. The prions responsible for mammalian transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are due primarily to infectious self-propagation of misfolded prion proteins. TSE prion structures remain ill-defined, other than being highly structured, self-propagating, and often fibrillar protein multimers with the capacity to seed, or template, the conversion of their normal monomeric precursors into a pathogenic form. Purified TSE prions usually take the form of amyloid fibrils, which are self-seeding ultrastructures common to many serious protein misfolding diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's and Lou Gehrig's (amytrophic lateral sclerosis). Indeed, recent reports have now provided evidence of prion-like propagation of several misfolded proteins from cell to cell, if not from tissue to tissue or individual to individual. These findings raise concerns that various protein misfolding diseases might have spreading, prion-like etiologies that contribute to pathogenesis or prevalence.

  20. Role of Prion Protein Aggregation in Neurotoxicity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  1. Intramolecular versus intermolecular disulfide bonds in prion proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welker, Ervin; Raymond, Lynne D; Scheraga, Harold A; Caughey, Byron

    2002-09-01

    Prion protein (PrP) is the major component of the partially protease-resistant aggregate that accumulates in mammals with transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. The two cysteines of the scrapie form, PrP(Sc), were found to be in their oxidized (i.e. disulfide) form (Turk, E., Teplow, D. B., Hood, L. E., and Prusiner, S. B. (1988) Eur. J. Biochem. 176, 21-30); however, uncertainty remains as to whether the disulfide bonds are intra- or intermolecular. It is demonstrated here that the monomers of PrP(Sc) are not linked by intermolecular disulfide bonds. Furthermore, evidence is provided that PrP(Sc) can induce the conversion of the oxidized, disulfide-intact form of the monomeric cellular prion protein to its protease-resistant form without the temporary breakage and subsequent re-formation of the disulfide bonds in cell-free reactions.

  2. Prion Protein on Astrocytes or in Extracellular Fluid Impedes Neurodegeneration Induced by Truncated Prion Protein

    OpenAIRE

    Race, Brent; Meade-White, Kimberly; Race, Richard; Baumann, Frank; Aguzzi, Adriano; Chesebro, Bruce

    2009-01-01

    Prion protein (PrP) is a host-encoded membrane-anchored glycoprotein which is required for susceptibility to prion disease. PrP may also be important for normal brain functions such as hippocampal spatial memory. Previously transgenic mice expressing amino terminally truncated mouse PrP (Δ32–134) spontaneously developed a fatal disease associated with degeneration of cerebellar granular neurons as well as vacuolar degeneration of deep cerebellar and brain stem white matter. This disease could...

  3. Techniques to elucidate the conformation of prions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

  4. Prion Propagation: The Role of Protein Dynamics

    OpenAIRE

    Pezza, John A.; Serio, Tricia R

    2007-01-01

    The transfer of phenotypes from one individual to another is a fundamental aspect of biology. In addition to traditional nucleic acid-based genetic determinants, unique proteins known as prions can also act as elements of inheritance, infectivity, and disease. Nucleic acids and proteins encode genetic information in distinct ways, either in the sequence of bases in DNA or RNA or in the three dimensional structure of the polypeptide chain. Given these differences in the nature of the genetic r...

  5. Glycidol degrades scrapie mouse prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamoto, M; Horiuchi, M; Ishiguro, N; Shinagawa, M; Matsuo, T; Kaneko, K

    2001-09-01

    Agents of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (prion) are known to be extremely resistant to physicochemical inactivation procedures such as heat, radiation, chemical disinfectants such as detergents, alcohols, glutaraldehyde, formalin, and so on. Because of its remarkable resistance, it is difficult to inactivate prion. Chemical inactivation seems to be a practical method because it is applicable to large or fixed surfaces and complicated equipment. Here, three epoxides: beta-propiolactone, propylene oxide, and glycidol (GLD) were examined of their inactivation ability against scrapie-mouse prion protein (PrP(Sc)) under various conditions of chemical concentration, incubation time, and temperature. Among these chemicals, GLD worked most effectively and degraded PrP into small fragments. As a result of the bioassay, treatment with 3% GLD for 5 hr and 5% GLD for 2, 5 hr or 12 hr at room temperature prolonged the mean incubation time by 44, 30, 110 and 73 days, respectively. From dose-incubation time standard curve, the decrease in infectivity titers were estimated as 10(3) or more. Therefore, degradation of PrP(Sc) by GLD decreased the scrapie infectivity. It is also suggested that pH and salt concentrations influence the effect of GLD. Although further study is necessary to determine the optimal condition, GLD may be a potential prion disinfectant.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  7. De novo generation of infectious prions with bacterially expressed recombinant prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhihong; Zhang, Yi; Wang, Fei; Wang, Xinhe; Xu, Yuanyuan; Yang, Huaiyi; Yu, Guohua; Yuan, Chonggang; Ma, Jiyan

    2013-12-01

    The prion hypothesis is strongly supported by the fact that prion infectivity and the pathogenic conformer of prion protein (PrP) are simultaneously propagated in vitro by the serial protein misfolding cyclic amplification (sPMCA). However, due to sPMCA's enormous amplification power, whether an infectious prion can be formed de novo with bacterially expressed recombinant PrP (rPrP) remains to be satisfactorily resolved. To address this question, we performed unseeded sPMCA with rPrP in a laboratory that has never been exposed to any native prions. Two types of proteinase K (PK)-resistant and self-perpetuating recombinant PrP conformers (rPrP-res) with PK-resistant cores of 17 or 14 kDa were generated. A bioassay revealed that rPrP-res(17kDa) was highly infectious, causing prion disease in wild-type mice with an average survival time of about 172 d. In contrast, rPrP-res(14kDa) completely failed to induce any disease. Our findings reveal that sPMCA is sufficient to initiate various self-perpetuating PK-resistant rPrP conformers, but not all of them possess in vivo infectivity. Moreover, generating an infectious prion in a prion-free environment establishes that an infectious prion can be formed de novo with bacterially expressed rPrP.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. Prions, prionoids and pathogenic proteins in Alzheimer disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashe, Karen H; Aguzzi, Adriano

    2013-01-01

    Like patients with prion disease, Alzheimer patients suffer from a fatal, progressive form of dementia. There is growing evidence that amyloid-β (Aβ) aggregates may be transmissible similar to prions, at least under extreme experimental conditions. However, unlike mice infected with prion protein (PrP) prions, those inoculated with Aβ do not die. The transmission of Aβ and PrP thus differs conspicuously in the neurological effects they induce in their hosts, the difference being no less than a matter of life and death. Far from being a mere academic nuance, this distinction between Aβ and PrP begs the crucial questions of what, exactly, controls prion toxicity and how prion toxicity relates to prion infectivity.

  10. Yeast prions: structure, biology, and prion-handling systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickner, Reed B; Shewmaker, Frank P; Bateman, David A; Edskes, Herman K; Gorkovskiy, Anton; Dayani, Yaron; Bezsonov, Evgeny E

    2015-03-01

    A prion is an infectious protein horizontally transmitting a disease or trait without a required nucleic acid. Yeast and fungal prions are nonchromosomal genes composed of protein, generally an altered form of a protein that catalyzes the same alteration of the protein. Yeast prions are thus transmitted both vertically (as genes composed of protein) and horizontally (as infectious proteins, or prions). Formation of amyloids (linear ordered β-sheet-rich protein aggregates with β-strands perpendicular to the long axis of the filament) underlies most yeast and fungal prions, and a single prion protein can have any of several distinct self-propagating amyloid forms with different biological properties (prion variants). Here we review the mechanism of faithful templating of protein conformation, the biological roles of these prions, and their interactions with cellular chaperones, the Btn2 and Cur1 aggregate-handling systems, and other cellular factors governing prion generation and propagation. Human amyloidoses include the PrP-based prion conditions and many other, more common amyloid-based diseases, several of which show prion-like features. Yeast prions increasingly are serving as models for the understanding and treatment of many mammalian amyloidoses. Patients with different clinical pictures of the same amyloidosis may be the equivalent of yeasts with different prion variants.

  11. Parallel in-register intermolecular β-sheet architectures for prion-seeded prion protein (PrP) amyloids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groveman, Bradley R; Dolan, Michael A; Taubner, Lara M; Kraus, Allison; Wickner, Reed B; Caughey, Byron

    2014-08-29

    Structures of the infectious form of prion protein (e.g. PrP(Sc) or PrP-Scrapie) remain poorly defined. The prevalent structural models of PrP(Sc) retain most of the native α-helices of the normal, noninfectious prion protein, cellular prion protein (PrP(C)), but evidence is accumulating that these helices are absent in PrP(Sc) amyloid. Moreover, recombinant PrP(C) can form amyloid fibrils in vitro that have parallel in-register intermolecular β-sheet architectures in the domains originally occupied by helices 2 and 3. Here, we provide solid-state NMR evidence that the latter is also true of initially prion-seeded recombinant PrP amyloids formed in the absence of denaturants. These results, in the context of a primarily β-sheet structure, led us to build detailed models of PrP amyloid based on parallel in-register architectures, fibrillar shapes and dimensions, and other available experimentally derived conformational constraints. Molecular dynamics simulations of PrP(90-231) octameric segments suggested that such linear fibrils, which are consistent with many features of PrP(Sc) fibrils, can have stable parallel in-register β-sheet cores. These simulations revealed that the C-terminal residues ∼124-227 more readily adopt stable tightly packed structures than the N-terminal residues ∼90-123 in the absence of cofactors. Variations in the placement of turns and loops that link the β-sheets could give rise to distinct prion strains capable of faithful template-driven propagation. Moreover, our modeling suggests that single PrP monomers can comprise the entire cross-section of fibrils that have previously been assumed to be pairs of laterally associated protofilaments. Together, these insights provide a new basis for deciphering mammalian prion structures.

  12. Novel strain properties distinguishing sporadic prion diseases sharing prion protein genotype and prion type

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cracco, Laura; Notari, Silvio; Cali, Ignazio; Sy, Man-Sun; Chen, Shu G.; Cohen, Mark L.; Ghetti, Bernardino; Appleby, Brian S.; Zou, Wen-Quan; Caughey, Byron; Safar, Jiri G.; Gambetti, Pierluigi

    2017-01-01

    In most human sporadic prion diseases the phenotype is consistently associated with specific pairings of the genotype at codon 129 of the prion protein gene and conformational properties of the scrapie PrP (PrPSc) grossly identified types 1 and 2. This association suggests that the 129 genotype favours the selection of a distinct strain that in turn determines the phenotype. However, this mechanism cannot play a role in the phenotype determination of sporadic fatal insomnia (sFI) and a subtype of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) identified as sCJDMM2, which share 129 MM genotype and PrPSc type 2 but are associated with quite distinct phenotypes. Our detailed comparative study of the PrPSc conformers has revealed major differences between the two diseases, which preferentially involve the PrPSc component that is sensitive to digestion with proteases (senPrPSc) and to a lesser extent the resistant component (resPrPSc). We conclude that these variations are consistent with two distinct strains in sFI and sCJDMM2, and that the rarer sFI is the result of a variant strain selection pathway that might be favoured by a different brain site of initial PrPSc formation in the two diseases. PMID:28091514

  13. Relationship between magnetism and prion protein

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  14. Prion protein: structural features and related toxicity

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

  15. Classical bovine spongiform encephalopathy by transmission of H-type prion in homologous prion protein context

    OpenAIRE

    2011-01-01

    Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and BSErelated disorders have been associated with a single major prion strain. Recently, 2 atypical, presumably sporadic forms of BSE have been associated with 2 distinct prion strains that are characterized mainly by distinct Western blot profi les of abnormal protease-resistant prion protein (PrPres), named high-type (BSE-H) and low-type (BSE-L), that also differed from classical BSE. We characterized 5 atypical BSE-H isolates by analyzing their molec...

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

  17. Mass Spectrometric Approaches to Detecting and Quantifying Prions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prions are infectious proteins that replicate by converting a normal cellular protein (PrPC)into a prion. Although prions and PrPC are isoforms, they have dramatically different physicochemical properties. Prions are resistant to proteinase K (PK) degradation, while PrPC is completely degraded by PK...

  18. Generic amyloidogenicity of mammalian prion proteins from species susceptible and resistant to prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyström, Sofie; Hammarström, Per

    2015-05-11

    Prion diseases are lethal, infectious diseases associated with prion protein (PrP) misfolding. A large number of mammals are susceptible to both sporadic and acquired prion diseases. Although PrP is highly conserved and ubiquitously expressed in all mammals, not all species exhibit prion disease. By employing full length recombinant PrP from five known prion susceptible species (human, cattle, cat, mouse and hamster) and two species considered to be prion resistant (pig and dog) the amyloidogenicity of these PrPs has been delineated. All the mammalian PrPs, even from resistant species, were swiftly converted from the native state to amyloid-like structure when subjected to a native condition conversion assay. The PrPs displayed amyloidotypic tinctorial and ultrastructural hallmarks. Self-seeded conversion of the PrPs displayed significantly decreased lag phases demonstrating that nucleation dependent polymerization is a dominating mechanism in the fibrillation process. Fibrils from Aβ1-40, Aβ1-42, Lysozyme, Insulin and Transthyretin did not accelerate conversion of HuPrP whereas fibrils from HuPrP90-231 and HuPrP121-231 as well as full length PrPs of all PrPs efficiently seeded conversion showing specificity of the assay requiring the C-terminal PrP sequence. Our findings have implications for PrP misfolding and could have ramifications in the context of prion resistant species and silent carriers.

  19. De Novo Generation of a Unique Cervid Prion Strain Using Protein Misfolding Cyclic Amplification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyerett-Reid, Crystal; Wyckoff, A. Christy; Spraker, Terry; Pulford, Bruce; Bender, Heather

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Substantial evidence supports the hypothesis that prions are misfolded, infectious, insoluble, and protease-resistant proteins (PrPRES) devoid of instructional nucleic acid that cause transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). Protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) has provided additional evidence that PrPRes acts as a template that can convert the normal cellular prion protein (PrPC) present in uninfected normal brain homogenate (NBH) into the infectious misfolded PrPRES isoform. Human PrPC has been shown to spontaneously convert to a misfolded pathological state causing sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD). Several investigators have reported spontaneous generation of prions by in vitro assays, including PMCA. Here we tested the rate of de novo generation of cervid prions in our laboratory using our standard PMCA protocol and NBH from transgenic mice expressing cervid PrPC (TgCerPrP mice). We generated de novo prions in rounds 4, 5, and 7 at low cumulative rates of 1.6, 5.0, and 6.7%, respectively. The prions caused infectious chronic wasting disease (CWD) upon inoculation into normal uninfected TgCerPrP mice and displayed unique biochemical characteristics compared to other cervid prion strains. We conclude that PMCA of cervid PrPC from normal brain homogenate spontaneously generated a new cervid prion strain. These data support the potential for cervids to develop sporadic CWD. IMPORTANCE CWD is the only known TSE that affects free-ranging wildlife, specifically cervids such as elk, deer, moose, caribou, and reindeer. CWD has become endemic in both free-ranging and captive herds in North America, South Korea, and, most recently, northern Europe. The prion research community continues to debate the origins of CWD. Original foci of CWD emergence in Colorado and Wyoming coincident with the sheep TSE scrapie suggest that scrapie prions may have adapted to cervids to cause CWD. However, emerging evidence supports the idea that cervid Pr

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

  2. Morphine Withdrawal Modifies Prion Protein Expression in Rat Hippocampus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattei, Vincenzo; Martellucci, Stefano; Santilli, Francesca; Manganelli, Valeria; Garofalo, Tina; Candelise, Niccolò; Caruso, Alessandra; Sorice, Maurizio; Scaccianoce, Sergio

    2017-01-01

    The hippocampus is a vulnerable brain structure susceptible to damage during aging and chronic stress. Repeated exposure to opioids may alter the brain so that it functions normally when the drugs are present, thus, a prolonged withdrawal might lead to homeostatic changes headed for the restoration of the physiological state. Abuse of morphine may lead to Reacting Oxygen Species-induced neurodegeneration and apoptosis. It has been proposed that during morphine withdrawal, stress responses might be responsible, at least in part, for long-term changes of hippocampal plasticity. Since prion protein is involved in both, Reacting Oxygen Species mediated stress responses and synaptic plasticity, in this work we investigate the effect of opiate withdrawal in rats after morphine treatment. We hypothesize that stressful stimuli induced by opiate withdrawal, and the subsequent long-term homeostatic changes in hippocampal plasticity, might modulate the Prion protein expression. Our results indicate that abstinence from the opiate induced a time-dependent and region-specific modification in Prion protein content, indeed during morphine withdrawal a selective unbalance of hippocampal Prion Protein is observable. Moreover, Prion protein overexpression in hippocampal tissue seems to generate a dimeric structure of Prion protein and α-cleavage at the hydrophobic domain. Stress factors or toxic insults can induce cytosolic dimerization of Prion Protein through the hydrophobic domain, which in turn, it stimulates the α-cleavage and the production of neuroprotective Prion protein fragments. We speculate that this might be the mechanism by which stressful stimuli induced by opiate withdrawal and the subsequent long-term homeostatic changes in hippocampal plasticity, modulate the expression and the dynamics of Prion protein. PMID:28081197

  3. Disinfectants and Prions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prions are novel pathogens that are believed to be composed solely of protein. They are capable of converting a normal cellular protein into the infectious isoform and thereby propagating an infection. Prion infections are characterized by a long asymptomatic incubation period followed by a relative...

  4. Amyloid diseases of yeast: prions are proteins acting as genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickner, Reed B; Edskes, Herman K; Bateman, David A; Kelly, Amy C; Gorkovskiy, Anton; Dayani, Yaron; Zhou, Albert

    2014-01-01

    The unusual genetic properties of the non-chromosomal genetic elements [URE3] and [PSI+] led to them being identified as prions (infectious proteins) of Ure2p and Sup35p respectively. Ure2p and Sup35p, and now several other proteins, can form amyloid, a linear ordered polymer of protein monomers, with a part of each molecule, the prion domain, forming the core of this β-sheet structure. Amyloid filaments passed to a new cell seed the conversion of the normal form of the protein into the same amyloid form. The cell's phenotype is affected, usually from the deficiency of the normal form of the protein. Solid-state NMR studies indicate that the yeast prion amyloids are in-register parallel β-sheet structures, in which each residue (e.g. Asn35) forms a row along the filament long axis. The favourable interactions possible for aligned identical hydrophilic and hydrophobic residues are believed to be the mechanism for propagation of amyloid conformation. Thus, just as DNA mediates inheritance by templating its own sequence, these proteins act as genes by templating their conformation. Distinct isolates of a given prion have different biological properties, presumably determined by differences between the amyloid structures. Many lines of evidence indicate that the Saccharomyces cerevisiae prions are pathological disease agents, although the example of the [Het-s] prion of Podospora anserina shows that a prion can have beneficial aspects.

  5. Prions and Protein Assemblies that Convey Biological Information in Health and Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, David W; Kaufman, Sarah K; Holmes, Brandon B; Diamond, Marc I

    2016-02-03

    Prions derived from the prion protein (PrP) were first characterized as infectious agents that transmit pathology between individuals. However, the majority of cases of neurodegeneration caused by PrP prions occur sporadically. Proteins that self-assemble as cross-beta sheet amyloids are a defining pathological feature of infectious prion disorders and all major age-associated neurodegenerative diseases. In fact, multiple non-infectious proteins exhibit properties of template-driven self-assembly that are strikingly similar to PrP. Evidence suggests that like PrP, many proteins form aggregates that propagate between cells and convert cognate monomer into ordered assemblies. We now recognize that numerous proteins assemble into macromolecular complexes as part of normal physiology, some of which are self-amplifying. This review highlights similarities among infectious and non-infectious neurodegenerative diseases associated with prions, emphasizing the normal and pathogenic roles of higher-order protein assemblies. We propose that studies of the structural and cellular biology of pathological versus physiological aggregates will be mutually informative.

  6. Live-cell FRET imaging reveals clustering of the prion protein at the cell surface induced by infectious prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tavares, Evandro; Macedo, Joana A; Paulo, Pedro M R; Tavares, Catarina; Lopes, Carlos; Melo, Eduardo P

    2014-07-01

    Prion diseases are associated to the conversion of the prion protein into a misfolded pathological isoform. The mechanism of propagation of protein misfolding by protein templating remains largely unknown. Neuroblastoma cells were transfected with constructs of the prion protein fused to both CFP-GPI-anchored and to YFP-GPI-anchored and directed to its cell membrane location. Live-cell FRET imaging between the prion protein fused to CFP or YFP was measured giving consistent values of 10±2%. This result was confirmed by fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy and indicates intermolecular interactions between neighbor prion proteins. In particular, considering that a maximum FRET efficiency of 17±2% was determined from a positive control consisting of a fusion CFP-YFP-GPI-anchored. A stable cell clone expressing the two fusions containing the prion protein was also selected to minimize cell-to-cell variability. In both, stable and transiently transfected cells, the FRET efficiency consistently increased in the presence of infectious prions - from 4±1% to 7±1% in the stable clone and from 10±2% to 16±1% in transiently transfected cells. These results clearly reflect an increased clustering of the prion protein on the membrane in the presence of infectious prions, which was not observed in negative control using constructs without the prion protein and upon addition of non-infected brain. Our data corroborates the recent view that the primary site for prion conversion is the cell membrane. Since our fluorescent cell clone is not susceptible to propagate infectivity, we hypothesize that the initial event of prion infectivity might be the clustering of the GPI-anchored prion protein.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  9. Molecular dynamics studies on the buffalo prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  11. Covalent surface modification of prions: a mass spectrometry-based means of detecting distinctive structural features of prion strains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prions (PrPSc) are molecular pathogens that are able to convert the isosequential normal cellular prion protein (PrPC) into a prion. The only demonstrated differences between PrPC and PrPSc is conformational, they are isoforms. A given host can be infected by more than one kind or strain of prion. F...

  12. Assessing proteinase K resistance of fish prion proteins in a scrapie-infected mouse neuroblastoma cell line.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salta, Evgenia; Kanata, Eirini; Ouzounis, Christos A; Gilch, Sabine; Schätzl, Hermann; Sklaviadis, Theodoros

    2014-11-13

    The key event in prion pathogenesis is the structural conversion of the normal cellular protein, PrP(C), into an aberrant and partially proteinase K resistant isoform, PrP(Sc). Since the minimum requirement for a prion disease phenotype is the expression of endogenous PrP in the host, species carrying orthologue prion genes, such as fish, could in theory support prion pathogenesis. Our previous work has demonstrated the development of abnormal protein deposition in sea bream brain, following oral challenge of the fish with natural prion infectious material. In this study, we used a prion-infected mouse neuroblastoma cell line for the expression of three different mature fish PrP proteins and the evaluation of the resistance of the exogenously expressed proteins to proteinase K treatment (PK), as an indicator of a possible prion conversion. No evidence of resistance to PK was detected for any of the studied recombinant proteins. Although not indicative of an absolute inability of the fish PrPs to structurally convert to pathogenic isoforms, the absence of PK-resistance may be due to supramolecular and conformational differences between the mammalian and piscine PrPs.

  13. Detection of Prion Protein Particles in Blood Plasma of Scrapie Infected Sheep

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bannach, O.; Birkmann, E.; Reinartz, E.; Karl-Erich, J.; Langeveld, J.P.M.; Rohwer, R.G.; Gregori, L.; Terry, L.A.; Willbold, D.; Riesner, D.

    2012-01-01

    Prion diseases are transmissible neurodegenerative diseases affecting humans and animals. The agent of the disease is the prion consisting mainly, if not solely, of a misfolded and aggregated isoform of the host-encoded prion protein (PrP). Transmission of prions can occur naturally but also acciden

  14. Trafficking and degradation pathways in pathogenic conversion of prions and prion-like proteins in neurodegenerative diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Victoria, Guiliana Soraya; Zurzolo, Chiara

    2015-09-02

    Several neurodegenerative diseases such as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases are caused by the conversion of cellular proteins to a pathogenic conformer. Despite differences in the primary structure and subcellular localization of these proteins, which include the prion protein, α-synuclein and amyloid precursor protein (APP), striking similarity has been observed in their ability to seed and convert naïve protein molecules as well as transfer between cells. This review aims to cover what is known about the intracellular trafficking of these proteins as well as their degradation mechanisms and highlight similarities in their movement through the endocytic pathway that could contribute to the pathogenic conversion and seeding of these proteins which underlies the basis of these diseases.

  15. Physiological and environmental control of yeast prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chernova, Tatiana A; Wilkinson, Keith D; Chernoff, Yury O

    2014-03-01

    Prions are self-perpetuating protein isoforms that cause fatal and incurable neurodegenerative disease in mammals. Recent evidence indicates that a majority of human proteins involved in amyloid and neural inclusion disorders possess at least some prion properties. In lower eukaryotes, such as yeast, prions act as epigenetic elements, which increase phenotypic diversity by altering a range of cellular processes. While some yeast prions are clearly pathogenic, it is also postulated that prion formation could be beneficial in variable environmental conditions. Yeast and mammalian prions have similar molecular properties. Crucial cellular factors and conditions influencing prion formation and propagation were uncovered in the yeast models. Stress-related chaperones, protein quality control deposits, degradation pathways, and cytoskeletal networks control prion formation and propagation in yeast. Environmental stresses trigger prion formation and loss, supposedly acting via influencing intracellular concentrations of the prion-inducing proteins, and/or by localizing prionogenic proteins to the prion induction sites via heterologous ancillary helpers. Physiological and environmental modulation of yeast prions points to new opportunities for pharmacological intervention and/or prophylactic measures targeting general cellular systems rather than the properties of individual amyloids and prions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. From cell protection to death: may Ca2+ signals explain the chameleonic attributes of the mammalian prion protein?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorgato, M Catia; Bertoli, Alessandro

    2009-02-06

    It is now accepted that a conformational change of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) generates the prion, the infectious agent responsible for lethal neurodegenerative disorders, named transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, or prion diseases. The mechanisms of prion-associated neurodegeneration are still obscure, as is the cell role of PrP(C), although increasing evidence attributes to PrP(C) important functions in cell survival. Such a behavioral dichotomy thus enables the prion protein to switch from a benign role under normal conditions, to the execution of neurons during disease. By reviewing data from models of prion disease and PrP(C)-null paradigms, which suggest a relation between the prion protein and Ca(2+) homeostasis, here we discuss the possibility that Ca(2+) is the factor behind the enigma of the pathophysiology of PrP(C). Ca(2+) features in almost all processes of cell signaling, and may thus tell us much about a protein that pivots between health and disease.

  18. Biology and genetics of prions causing neurodegeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prusiner, Stanley B

    2013-01-01

    Prions are proteins that acquire alternative conformations that become self-propagating. Transformation of proteins into prions is generally accompanied by an increase in β-sheet structure and a propensity to aggregate into oligomers. Some prions are beneficial and perform cellular functions, whereas others cause neurodegeneration. In mammals, more than a dozen proteins that become prions have been identified, and a similar number has been found in fungi. In both mammals and fungi, variations in the prion conformation encipher the biological properties of distinct prion strains. Increasing evidence argues that prions cause many neurodegenerative diseases (NDs), including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Creutzfeldt-Jakob, and Lou Gehrig's diseases, as well as the tauopathies. The majority of NDs are sporadic, and 10% to 20% are inherited. The late onset of heritable NDs, like their sporadic counterparts, may reflect the stochastic nature of prion formation; the pathogenesis of such illnesses seems to require prion accumulation to exceed some critical threshold before neurological dysfunction manifests.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. A novel mutation (G114V) in the prion protein gene in a family with inherited prion disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez, M-M; Peoc'h, K; Haïk, S; Bouchet, C; Vernengo, L; Mañana, G; Salamano, R; Carrasco, L; Lenne, M; Beaudry, P; Launay, J-M; Laplanche, J-L

    2005-04-26

    Inherited prion diseases are characterized by mutations in the PRNP gene encoding the prion protein (PrP). We report a novel missense mutation in the PRNP gene (resulting in a G114V mutation in PrP) in members of a Uruguayan family with clinical and histopathologic features of prion disease. Affected individuals were characterized by an early age at onset, initial neuropsychiatric symptoms, late dementia with prominent pyramidal and extrapyramidal symptoms, and long disease duration.

  1. LRP1 controls biosynthetic and endocytic trafficking of neuronal prion protein

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Parkyn, Celia J; Vermeulen, Esmeralda G M; Mootoosamy, Roy C

    2008-01-01

    The trafficking of normal cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) is believed to control its conversion to the altered conformation (designated PrP(Sc)) associated with prion disease. Although anchored to the membrane by means of glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI), PrP(C) on neurons is rapidly and consti......The trafficking of normal cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) is believed to control its conversion to the altered conformation (designated PrP(Sc)) associated with prion disease. Although anchored to the membrane by means of glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI), PrP(C) on neurons is rapidly...... required for this process. Moreover, sustained inhibition of LRP1 levels by siRNA leads to the accumulation of PrP(C) in biosynthetic compartments, with a concomitant lowering of surface PrP(C), suggesting that LRP1 expedites the trafficking of PrP(C) to the neuronal surface. PrP(C) and LRP1 can be co......-immunoprecipitated from the endoplasmic reticulum in normal neurons. The N-terminal domain of PrP(C) binds to purified human LRP1 with nanomolar affinity, even in the presence of 1 microM of the LRP-specific chaperone, receptor-associated protein (RAP). Taken together, these data argue that LRP1 controls both the surface...

  2. Mapping functional prion-prion protein interaction sites using prion protein based peptide-arrays

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rigter, A.; Priem, J.; Timmers-Parohi, D.; Langeveld, J.; Bossers, A.

    2009-01-01

    Protein-protein interactions are at the basis of most if not all biological processes in living cells. Therefore, adapting existing techniques or developing new techniques to study interactions between proteins are of importance in elucidating which amino acid sequences contribute to these interacti

  3. HEPES inhibits the conversion of prion protein in cell culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delmouly, Karine; Belondrade, Maxime; Casanova, Danielle; Milhavet, Ollivier; Lehmann, Sylvain

    2011-05-01

    HEPES is a well-known buffering reagent used in cell-culture medium. Interestingly, this compound is also responsible for significant modifications of biological parameters such as uptake of organic molecules, alteration of oxidative stress mechanisms or inhibition of ion channels. While using cell-culture medium supplemented with HEPES on prion-infected cells, it was noticed that there was a significant concentration-dependent inhibition of accumulation of the abnormal isoform of the prion protein (PrP(Sc)). This effect was present only in live cells and was thought to be related to modification of the PrP environment or biology. These results could modify the interpretation of cell-culture assays of prion therapeutic agents, as well as of previous cell biology results obtained in the field using HEPES buffers. This inhibitory effect of HEPES could also be exploited to prevent contamination or propagation of prions in cell culture.

  4. Prions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Bodemer

    2016-09-01

    BSE is always unknown. Telemetry revealed a shift in sleep–wake cycles early on, long before behavioral changes or clinical symptoms appeared. Pathology confirmed non-neuronal tissue as hidden places where prions exist. The rhesus model also allowed first comparative studies of epigenetic modifications on RNA in peripheral blood and brain tissue collected from uninfected and prion-infected animals. To conclude, our studies clearly demonstrated that this model is valid since progression to disease is almost identical to human CJD.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2016-02-15

    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.

  7. What Makes a Protein Sequence a Prion?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  10. Pathologic prion protein is specifically recognized in situ by a novel PrP conformational antibody.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moroncini, Gianluca; Mangieri, Michela; Morbin, Michela; Mazzoleni, Giulia; Ghetti, Bernardino; Gabrielli, Armando; Williamson, Robert Anthony; Giaccone, Giorgio; Tagliavini, Fabrizio

    2006-09-01

    Prion diseases are characterized by the accumulation in the brain of abnormal conformers (PrP(Sc)) of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)). PrP(Sc) immunohistochemistry, currently based on antibodies non-distinguishing between PrP(C) and PrP(Sc), requires pre-treatments of histological sections to eliminate PrP(C) and to denature PrP(Sc). We employed the PrP(Sc)-specific antibody 89-112 PrP motif-grafted IgG on mildly fixed, untreated brain sections from several cases of human prion diseases. The results confirmed specific binding of IgG 89-112 to a structural determinant found exclusively on native disease-associated PrP conformations and lost following tissue denaturation or cross-linking fixation. Importantly, IgG 89-112 demonstrated no reactivity with normal brain tissue or with amyloid deposits in Alzheimer disease brain sections. Thus, immunohistochemical detection of native PrP(Sc) deposits was obtained by means of a PrP(Sc)-specific antibody. Such unique reagent may have many applications in the study of prion biology and in the diagnosis and prevention of prion diseases.

  11. Yeast prion architecture explains how proteins can be genes

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  12. The chemistry of prions: small molecules, protein conformers and mass spectrometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Background/Introduction. Prions propagate by converting a normal cellular isoform (PrPC) into the prion isoform (PrPSc) in a template-driven process. The lysines in PrPC are highly conserved and strongly influence prion propagation, based on studies using natural polymorphisms of PrPC and transg...

  13. Prion protein amyloidosis with divergent phenotype associated with two novel nonsense mutations in PRNP

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    C. Jansen (Casper); P. Parchi (Piero); S. Capellari (Sabina); A.J. Vermeij (Ad); P. Corrado (Patrizia); F. Baas (Frank); R. Strammiello (Rosario); W.A. van Gool (Willem); J.C. van Swieten; A.J.M. Rozemuller (Annemieke)

    2010-01-01

    textabstractStop codon mutations in the gene encoding the prion protein (PRNP) are very rare and have thus far only been described in two patients with prion protein cerebral amyloid angiopathy (PrP-CAA). In this report, we describe the clinical, histopathological and pathological prion protein (PrP

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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 lipop......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...... clusters 2 and 4, PrP(C) and PrP(Sc) fibrils bind only to receptor cluster 4. PrP(Sc) fibrils out-compete PrP(C) for internalization. When endocytosed, PrP(Sc) fibrils are routed to lysosomes, rather than recycled to the cell surface with PrP(C). Thus, although LRP1 binds both forms of PrP, it traffics...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asante, Emmanuel A; Linehan, Jacqueline M; Smidak, Michelle; Tomlinson, Andrew; Grimshaw, Andrew; Jeelani, Asif; Jakubcova, Tatiana; Hamdan, Shyma; Powell, Caroline; Brandner, Sebastian; Wadsworth, Jonathan D F; Collinge, John

    2013-01-01

    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 ((Ctm)PrP). 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 (Ctm)PrP and prion propagation in neurodegeneration and their pathogenetic interaction remains to be established.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  17. Expression of Tyrosine Hydroxylase is Negatively Regulated Via Prion Protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Luz, Marcio Henrique Mello; Glezer, Isaias; Xavier, Andre Machado; da Silva, Marcelo Alberti Paiva; Pino, Jessica Monteiro Volejnik; Zamith, Thiago Panaro; Vieira, Taynara Fernanda; Antonio, Bruno Brito; Antunes, Hanna Karen Moreira; Martins, Vilma Regina; Lee, Kil Sun

    2016-07-01

    Cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) is a glycoprotein of the plasma membrane that plays pleiotropic functions by interacting with multiple signaling complexes at the cell surface. Recently, a number of studies have reported the involvement of PrP(C) in dopamine metabolism and signaling, including its interactions with tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and dopamine receptors. However, the outcomes reported by independent studies are still debatable. Therefore in this study, we investigated the effects of PrP(C) on the TH expression during the differentiation of N2a cells with dibutyryl-cAMP, a well-known cAMP analog that activates TH transcription. Upon differentiation, TH was induced with concomitant reduction of PrP(C) at protein level, but not at mRNA level. shRNA-mediated PrP(C) reduction increased the basal level of TH at both mRNA and protein levels without dibutyryl-cAMP treatment. This phenotype was reversed by re-expression of PrP(C). PrP(C) knockdown also potentiated the effect of dibutyryl-cAMP on TH expression. Our findings suggest that PrP(C) has suppressive effects on TH expression. As a consequence, altered PrP(C) functions may affect the regulation of dopamine metabolism and related neurological disorders.

  18. Detecting prions and discriminating among prion strains by discerning the differences in absence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prions are molecular pathogens, able to convert a normal cellular prion protein (PrPC) into a prion (PrPSc). The only demonstrated difference between PrPC and PrPSc is conformational. This means that the information necessary for this conversion is contained solely in the conformation of PrPSc. It ...

  19. Humic substances interfere with detection of pathogenic prion protein

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Truncated forms of the prion protein PrP demonstrate the need for complexity in prion structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, William; Stöhr, Jan; Kendall, Amy; Stubbs, Gerald

    2015-01-01

    Self-propagation of aberrant protein folds is the defining characteristic of prions. Knowing the structural basis of self-propagation is essential to understanding prions and their related diseases. Prion rods are amyloid fibrils, but not all amyloids are prions. Prions have been remarkably intractable to structural studies, so many investigators have preferred to work with peptide fragments, particularly in the case of the mammalian prion protein PrP. We compared the structures of a number of fragments of PrP by X-ray fiber diffraction, and found that although all of the peptides adopted amyloid conformations, only the larger fragments adopted conformations that modeled the complexity of self-propagating prions, and even these fragments did not always adopt the PrP structure. It appears that the relatively complex structure of the prion form of PrP is not accessible to short model peptides, and that self-propagation may be tied to a level of structural complexity unobtainable in simple model systems. The larger fragments of PrP, however, are useful to illustrate the phenomenon of deformed templating (heterogeneous seeding), which has important biological consequences.

  1. Differential stability of the bovine prion protein upon urea unfolding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Julien, Olivier; Chatterjee, Subhrangsu; Thiessen, Angela; Graether, Steffen P; Sykes, Brian D

    2009-01-01

    Prion diseases, or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, are a group of infectious neurological diseases associated with the structural conversion of an endogenous protein (PrP) in the central nervous system. There are two major forms of this protein: the native and noninfectious cellular form, PrPC; and the misfolded, infectious, and proteinase K-resistant form, PrPSc. The C-terminal domain of PrPC is mainly α-helical in structure, whereas PrPSc in known to aggregate into an assembly of β-sheets, forming amyloid fibrils. To identify the regions of PrPC potentially involved in the initial steps of the conversion to the infectious conformation, we have used high-resolution NMR spectroscopy to characterize the stability and structure of bovine recombinant PrPC (residues 121 to 230) during unfolding with the denaturant urea. Analysis of the 800 MHz 1H NMR spectra reveals region-specific information about the structural changes occurring upon unfolding. Our data suggest that the dissociation of the native β-sheet of PrPC is a primary step in the urea-induced unfolding process, while strong hydrophobic interactions between helices α1 and α3, and between α2 and α3, stabilize these regions even at very high concentrations of urea. PMID:19693935

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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. Resistance to chronic wasting disease in transgenic mice expressing a naturally occurring allelic variant of deer prion protein

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meade-White, K.; Race, B.; Trifilo, M.; Bossers, A.; Favara, C.; Lacasse, R.; Miller, M.; Williams, E.; Oldstone, M.; Race, R.; Chesebro, B.

    2007-01-01

    Prion protein (PrP) is a required factor for susceptibility to transmissible spongiform encephalopathy or prion diseases. In transgenic mice, expression of prion protein (PrP) from another species often confers susceptibility to prion disease from that donor species. For example, expression of deer

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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. Prion protein degradation by lichens of the genus Cladonia

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  6. Chronic Lymphocytic Inflammation Specifies the Organ Tropism of Prions

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  8. Hsp70/Hsp90 organising protein (hop): beyond interactions with chaperones and prion proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baindur-Hudson, Swati; Edkins, Adrienne L; Blatch, Gregory L

    2015-01-01

    The Hsp70/Hsp90 organising protein (Hop), also known as stress-inducible protein 1 (STI1), has received considerable attention for diverse cellular functions in both healthy and diseased states. There is extensive evidence that intracellular Hop is a co-chaperone of the major chaperones Hsp70 and Hsp90, playing an important role in the productive folding of Hsp90 client proteins. Consequently, Hop is implicated in a number of key signalling pathways, including aberrant pathways leading to cancer. However, Hop is also secreted and it is now well established that Hop also serves as a receptor for the prion protein, PrP(C). The intracellular and extracellular forms of Hop most likely represent two different isoforms, although the molecular determinants of these divergent functions are yet to be identified. There is also a growing body of research that reports the involvement of Hop in cellular activities that appear independent of either chaperones or PrP(C). While Hop has been shown to have various cellular functions, its biological function remains elusive. However, recent knockout studies in mammals suggest that Hop has an important role in embryonic development. This review provides a critical overview of the latest molecular, cellular and biological research on Hop, critically evaluating its function in healthy systems and how this function is adapted in diseases states.

  9. Prion infection in cells is abolished by a mutated manganese transporter but shows no relation to zinc.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pass, Rachel; Frudd, Karen; Barnett, James P; Blindauer, Claudia A; Brown, David R

    2015-09-01

    The cellular prion protein has been identified as a metalloprotein that binds copper. There have been some suggestions that prion protein also influences zinc and manganese homeostasis. In this study we used a series of cell lines to study the levels of zinc and manganese under different conditions. We overexpressed either the prion protein or known transporters for zinc and manganese to determine relations between the prion protein and both manganese and zinc homeostasis. Our observations supported neither a link between the prion protein and zinc metabolism nor any effect of altered zinc levels on prion protein expression or cellular infection with prions. In contrast we found that a gain of function mutant of a manganese transporter caused reduction of manganese levels in prion infected cells, loss of observable PrP(Sc) in cells and resistance to prion infection. These studies strengthen the link between manganese and prion disease.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Julia M; Nguyen, Phil P; Patel, Milan J; Sporn, Zachary A; Hines, Justin K

    2014-07-01

    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 functions may have

  13. Identification of a Protein that Purifies with the Scrapie Prion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolton, David C.; McKinley, Michael P.; Prusiner, Stanley B.

    1982-12-01

    Purification of prions from scrapie-infected hamster brain yielded a protein that was not found in a similar fraction from uninfected brain. The protein migrated with an apparent molecular size of 27,000 to 30,000 daltons in sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gels. The resistance of this protein to digestion by proteinase K distinguished it from proteins of similar molecular weight found in normal hamster brain. Initial results suggest that the amount of this protein correlates with the titer of the agent.

  14. Prion disease tempo determined by host-dependent substrate reduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mays, C.E.; Kim, C.; Haldiman, T.; Merwe, v.d. J.; Lau, A.; Yang, J.; Grams, J.; Bari, Di M.A.; Nonno, R.; Telling, G.C.; Kong, Q.; Langeveld, J.P.M.; McKenzie, D.; Westaway, D.; Safar, J.G.

    2014-01-01

    The symptoms of prion infection can take years or decades to manifest following the initial exposure. Molecular markers of prion disease include accumulation of the misfolded prion protein (PrPSc), which is derived from its cellular precursor (PrPC), as well as downregulation of the PrP-like Shadoo

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zou, W.Q.; Gambetti, P.; Xiao, X.; Yuan, J.; Langeveld, J.P.M.; Pirisinu, L.

    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-sensi

  16. Detecting and quantifying prions: Mass spectrometry-based approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prions are novel pathogens that cause a set of rare fatal neurological diseases know as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. Examples of these diseases include Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, scrapie and chronic wasting disease. Prions are able to recruit a normal cellular prion protein and convert...

  17. Presymptomatic detection or exclusion of prion protein gene defects in families with inherited prion diseases.

    OpenAIRE

    1991-01-01

    The identification of defects in the prion protein (PrP) gene in families with inherited Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease or Gerstmann-Straussler syndrome allows presymptomatic diagnosis or exclusion of these disorders in subjects at risk. After counseling, PrP gene analysis was performed in three such individuals: two from families with a 144-bp insert and one with a point mutation at codon 102 in the PrP gene. The presence of a PrP gene defect was confirmed in one and excluded in two. Despite the ...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. Establishment of a simple cell-based ELISA for the direct detection of abnormal isoform of prion protein from prion-infected cells without cell lysis and proteinase K treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shan, Zhifu; Yamasaki, Takeshi; Suzuki, Akio; Hasebe, Rie; Horiuchi, Motohiro

    2016-07-01

    Prion-infected cells have been used for analyzing the effect of compounds on the formation of abnormal isoform of prion protein (PrP(Sc)). PrP(Sc) is usually detected using anti-prion protein (PrP) antibodies after the removal of the cellular isoform of prion protein (PrP(C)) by proteinase K (PK) treatment. However, it is expected that the PK-sensitive PrP(Sc) (PrP(Sc)-sen), which possesses higher infectivity and conversion activity than the PK-resistant PrP(Sc) (PrP(Sc)-res), is also digested through PK treatment. To overcome this problem, we established a novel cell-based ELISA in which PrP(Sc) can be directly detected from cells persistently infected with prions using anti-PrP monoclonal antibody (mAb) 132 that recognizes epitope consisting of mouse PrP amino acids 119-127. The novel cell-based ELISA could distinguish prion-infected cells from prion-uninfected cells without cell lysis and PK treatment. MAb 132 could detect both PrP(Sc)-sen and PrP(Sc)-res even if all PrP(Sc) molecules were not detected. The analytical dynamic range for PrP(Sc) detection was approximately 1 log. The coefficient of variation and signal-to-background ratio were 7%-11% and 2.5-3.3, respectively, demonstrating the reproducibility of this assay. The addition of a cytotoxicity assay immediately before PrP(Sc) detection did not affect the following PrP(Sc) detection. Thus, all the procedures including cell culture, cytotoxicity assay, and PrP(Sc) detection were completed in the same plate. The simplicity and non-requirement for cell lysis or PK treatment are advantages for the high throughput screening of anti-prion compounds.

  1. Interaction between a recombinant prion protein and organo-mineral complexes as evidenced by CPMAS 13C-NMR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russo, F.; Scotti, R.; Gianfreda, L.; Conte, P.; Rao, M. A.

    2009-04-01

    Prion proteins (PrP) are the main responsible for Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSE). The TSE etiological agent is a misfolded form of the normal cellular prion protein. The amyloidal aggregates accumulated in the brain of infected animals and mainly composed of PrPSc exhibit resistance to protease attack and many conventional inactivating procedures. The prion protein diseases cause an environmental issue because the environment and in particular the soil compartment can be contaminated and then become a potential reservoir and diffuser of TSEs infectivity as a consequence of (i) accidental dispersion from storage plants of meat and bone meal, (ii) incorporation of contaminated material in fertilizers, (iii) possible natural contamination of pasture soils by grazing herds, and (v) burial of carcasses. The environmental problem can be even more relevant because very low amounts of PrPSc are able to propagate the disease. Several studies evidenced that infectious prion protein remains active in soils for years. Contaminated soils result, thus, a possible critical route of TSE transmission in wild animals. Soil can also protect prion protein toward degradation processes due to the presence of humic substances and inorganic components such as clays. Mineral and organic colloids and the more common association between clay minerals and humic substances can contribute to the adsorption/entrapment of molecules and macromolecules. The polymerization of organic monomeric humic precursors occurring in soil in the presence of oxidative enzymes or manganese and iron oxides, is considered one of the most important processes contributing to the formation of humic substances. The process is very fast and produces a population of polymeric products of different molecular structures, sizes, shapes and complexity. Other molecules and possibly biomacromolecules such as proteins may be involved. The aim of the present work was to study by CPMAS 13C-NMR the interactions

  2. Cyclodextrins inhibit replication of scrapie prion protein in cell culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prior, Marguerite; Lehmann, Sylvain; Sy, Man-Sun; Molloy, Brendan; McMahon, Hilary E M

    2007-10-01

    Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders that are caused by the conversion of a normal host-encoded protein, PrP(C), to an abnormal, disease-causing form, PrP(Sc). This paper reports that cyclodextrins have the ability to reduce the pathogenic isoform of the prion protein PrP(Sc) to undetectable levels in scrapie-infected neuroblastoma cells. Beta-cyclodextrin removed PrP(Sc) from the cells at a concentration of 500 microM following 2 weeks of treatment. Structure activity studies revealed that antiprion activity was dependent on the size of the cyclodextrin. The half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC(50)) for beta-cyclodextrin was 75 microM, whereas alpha-cyclodextrin, which possessed less antiprion activity, had an IC(50) of 750 microM. This report presents cyclodextrins as a new class of antiprion compound. For decades, the pharmaceutical industry has successfully used cyclodextrins for their complex-forming ability; this ability is due to the structural orientation of the glucopyranose units, which generate a hydrophobic cavity that can facilitate the encapsulation of hydrophobic moieties. Consequently, cyclodextrins could be ideal candidates for the treatment of prion diseases.

  3. CRISPR-Cas9-based knockout of the prion protein and its effect on the proteome.

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    Mohadeseh Mehrabian

    Full Text Available The molecular function of the cellular prion protein (PrPC and the mechanism by which it may contribute to neurotoxicity in prion diseases and Alzheimer's disease are only partially understood. Mouse neuroblastoma Neuro2a cells and, more recently, C2C12 myocytes and myotubes have emerged as popular models for investigating the cellular biology of PrP. Mouse epithelial NMuMG cells might become attractive models for studying the possible involvement of PrP in a morphogenetic program underlying epithelial-to-mesenchymal transitions. Here we describe the generation of PrP knockout clones from these cell lines using CRISPR-Cas9 knockout technology. More specifically, knockout clones were generated with two separate guide RNAs targeting recognition sites on opposite strands within the first hundred nucleotides of the Prnp coding sequence. Several PrP knockout clones were isolated and genomic insertions and deletions near the CRISPR-target sites were characterized. Subsequently, deep quantitative global proteome analyses that recorded the relative abundance of>3000 proteins (data deposited to ProteomeXchange Consortium were undertaken to begin to characterize the molecular consequences of PrP deficiency. The levels of ∼ 120 proteins were shown to reproducibly correlate with the presence or absence of PrP, with most of these proteins belonging to extracellular components, cell junctions or the cytoskeleton.

  4. Bank Vole Prion Protein As an Apparently Universal Substrate for RT-QuIC-Based Detection and Discrimination of Prion Strains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orrú, Christina D; Groveman, Bradley R; Raymond, Lynne D; Hughson, Andrew G; Nonno, Romolo; Zou, Wenquan; Ghetti, Bernardino; Gambetti, Pierluigi; Caughey, Byron

    2015-06-01

    Prions propagate as multiple strains in a wide variety of mammalian species. The detection of all such strains by a single ultrasensitive assay such as Real Time Quaking-induced Conversion (RT-QuIC) would facilitate prion disease diagnosis, surveillance and research. Previous studies have shown that bank voles, and transgenic mice expressing bank vole prion protein, are susceptible to most, if not all, types of prions. Here we show that bacterially expressed recombinant bank vole prion protein (residues 23-230) is an effective substrate for the sensitive RT-QuIC detection of all of the different prion types that we have tested so far--a total of 28 from humans, cattle, sheep, cervids and rodents, including several that have previously been undetectable by RT-QuIC or Protein Misfolding Cyclic Amplification. Furthermore, comparison of the relative abilities of different prions to seed positive RT-QuIC reactions with bank vole and not other recombinant prion proteins allowed discrimination of prion strains such as classical and atypical L-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy, classical and atypical Nor98 scrapie in sheep, and sporadic and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. Comparison of protease-resistant RT-QuIC conversion products also aided strain discrimination and suggested the existence of several distinct classes of prion templates among the many strains tested.

  5. Bank Vole Prion Protein As an Apparently Universal Substrate for RT-QuIC-Based Detection and Discrimination of Prion Strains.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina D Orrú

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Prions propagate as multiple strains in a wide variety of mammalian species. The detection of all such strains by a single ultrasensitive assay such as Real Time Quaking-induced Conversion (RT-QuIC would facilitate prion disease diagnosis, surveillance and research. Previous studies have shown that bank voles, and transgenic mice expressing bank vole prion protein, are susceptible to most, if not all, types of prions. Here we show that bacterially expressed recombinant bank vole prion protein (residues 23-230 is an effective substrate for the sensitive RT-QuIC detection of all of the different prion types that we have tested so far--a total of 28 from humans, cattle, sheep, cervids and rodents, including several that have previously been undetectable by RT-QuIC or Protein Misfolding Cyclic Amplification. Furthermore, comparison of the relative abilities of different prions to seed positive RT-QuIC reactions with bank vole and not other recombinant prion proteins allowed discrimination of prion strains such as classical and atypical L-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy, classical and atypical Nor98 scrapie in sheep, and sporadic and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. Comparison of protease-resistant RT-QuIC conversion products also aided strain discrimination and suggested the existence of several distinct classes of prion templates among the many strains tested.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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. 朊蛋白PrPc在Enneking III期骨肉瘤中的表达及预后相关性分析%Expressions of cellular prion protein and the correlation analysis of prognosis in osteosarcoma of Enneking III

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    白云鹏; 董扬; 张智长; 杨庆诚; 徐泽全; 阎洪亮

    2014-01-01

    目的:探讨朊蛋白PrPc(cellularprionprotein)在EnnekingIII期骨肉瘤中的表达以及分析其与骨肉瘤转移和患者预后的相关性。方法采用免疫组织化学法(SP法)对初诊已发生肺转移的EnnekingIII期骨肉瘤15例以及相应瘤旁组织中朊蛋白 PrPc 的表达进行检测。同时,检测同期收治的初诊未转移骨肉瘤标本33例作为对照组。比较已有转移的骨肉瘤和未转移骨肉瘤中 PrPc 蛋白的表达水平。对2006年1月至2009年12月收住院的两组骨肉瘤患者的临床资料进行回顾性分析。收集年龄、性别、肿瘤部位、肿瘤大小、病理性骨折、生存时间等资料。应用 Kaplan-Meier 法计算患者生存年率,应用 Log-rank 检验进行单因素分析,应用Cox回归模型进行多因素分析,探讨PrPc的表达和不同的临床特征与骨肉瘤患者预后生存率之间的关系。结果 PrPc蛋白在骨肉瘤组织中普遍表达,在瘤旁组织中不表达;EnnekingIII骨肉瘤中PrPc的表达要显著高于Enneking II期对照组( P=0.006)。Kaplan-Meier生存分析和Log-rank检验显示PrPc的表达水平与骨肉瘤患者预后相关( P=0.010),Enneking分期与预后相关( P=0.025)。多因素分析显示,PrPc表达水平和肿瘤的Enneking分期可以作为骨肉瘤预后的独立影响因素。结论朊蛋白PrPc在已有转移的EnnekingIII骨肉瘤中的表达高于未转移患者。PrPc高表达的骨肉瘤患者预后较差。PrPc的高表达可能与骨肉瘤预后不良有一定相关性。%Objective To investigate the expressions of cellular prion protein ( PrPc ) in Enneking III osteosarcoma and analyze its correlation with the metastasis and prognosis.Methods Immunohistochemistry streptavidin-perosidase ( SP ) method was used to detect the expressions of PrPc in 15 patients with osteosarcoma of Enneking III who had pulmonary metastases at the ifrst visit and in the corresponding adjacent tissues. By contrast, the

  8. Prion protein expression and processing in human mononuclear cells: the impact of the codon 129 prion gene polymorphism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christiane Segarra

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: So far, all clinical cases of new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD, thought to result from the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE prion agent, have shown Methionine-Methionine (M/M homozygosity at the M129V polymorphism of the PRNP gene. Although established, this relationship is still not understood. In both vCJD and experimental BSE models prion agents do reach the bloodstream, raising concerns regarding disease transmission through blood transfusion. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We investigated the impact of the M129V polymorphism on the expression and processing of the prion protein in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs from three blood donor populations with Methionine-Methionine (M/M, Valine-Valine (V/V and M/V genotypes. Using real-time PCR, ELISA and immunoblot assays we were unable to find differences in prion protein expression and processing relating to the M129V polymorphism. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These results suggest that in PBMCs, the M129V PrP polymorphism has no significant impact on PrP expression, processing and the apparent glycoform distribution. Prion propagation should be investigated further in other cell types or tissues.

  9. Prion Protein-specific antibodies that detect multiple TSE Agents with high sensitivity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    McCutcheon, S.; Langeveld, J.P.M.; Tan, B.C.; Gill, A.C.; Wolf, de C.A.; Martin, S.; Gonzalez, L.; Alibhai, J.; Alejo Blanco, A.R.; Campbell, L.; Hunter, N.; Houston, E.F.

    2014-01-01

    This paper describes the generation, characterisation and potential applications of a panel of novel anti-prion protein monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). The mAbs were generated by immunising PRNP null mice, using a variety of regimes, with a truncated form of recombinant ovine prion protein spanning re

  10. High CJD infectivity remains after prion protein is destroyed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyazawa, Kohtaro; Emmerling, Kaitlin; Manuelidis, Laura

    2011-12-01

    The hypothesis that host prion protein (PrP) converts into an infectious prion form rests on the observation that infectivity progressively decreases in direct proportion to the decrease of PrP with proteinase K (PK) treatment. PrP that resists limited PK digestion (PrP-res, PrP(sc)) has been assumed to be the infectious form, with speculative types of misfolding encoding the many unique transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) agent strains. Recently, a PK sensitive form of PrP has been proposed as the prion. Thus we re-evaluated total PrP (sensitive and resistant) and used a cell-based assay for titration of infectious particles. A keratinase (NAP) known to effectively digest PrP was compared to PK. Total PrP in FU-CJD infected brain was reduced to ≤0.3% in a 2 h PK digest, yet there was no reduction in titer. Remaining non-PrP proteins were easily visualized with colloidal gold in this highly infectious homogenate. In contrast to PK, NAP digestion left 0.8% residual PrP after 2 h, yet decreased titer by >2.5 log; few residual protein bands remained. FU-CJD infected cells with 10× the infectivity of brain by both animal and cell culture assays were also evaluated. NAP again significantly reduced cell infectivity (>3.5 log). Extreme PK digestions were needed to reduce cell PrP to report on maximal PrP destruction and titer. It is likely that one or more residual non-PrP proteins may protect agent nucleic acids in infectious particles.

  11. Classifying prion and prion-like phenomena.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harbi, Djamel; Harrison, Paul M

    2014-01-01

    The universe of prion and prion-like phenomena has expanded significantly in the past several years. Here, we overview the challenges in classifying this data informatically, given that terms such as "prion-like", "prion-related" or "prion-forming" do not have a stable meaning in the scientific literature. We examine the spectrum of proteins that have been described in the literature as forming prions, and discuss how "prion" can have a range of meaning, with a strict definition being for demonstration of infection with in vitro-derived recombinant prions. We suggest that although prion/prion-like phenomena can largely be apportioned into a small number of broad groups dependent on the type of transmissibility evidence for them, as new phenomena are discovered in the coming years, a detailed ontological approach might be necessary that allows for subtle definition of different "flavors" of prion / prion-like phenomena.

  12. Almost a century of prion protein(s): From pathology to physiology, and back to pathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peggion, Caterina; Bertoli, Alessandro; Sorgato, M Catia

    2017-02-19

    Prions are one of the few pathogens whose name is renowned at all population levels, after the dramatic years pervaded by the fear of eating prion-infected food. If now this, somehow irrational, scare of bovine meat inexorably transmitting devastating brain disorders is largely subdued, several prion-related issues are still unsolved, precluding the design of therapeutic approaches that could slow, if not halt, prion diseases. One unsolved issue is, for example, the role of the prion protein (PrP(C)), whole conformational misfolding originates the prion but whose physiologic reason d'etre in neurons, and in cells at large, remains enigmatic. Preceded by a historical outline, the present review will discuss the functional pleiotropicity ascribed to PrP(C), and whether this aspect could fall, at least in part, into a more concise framework. It will also be devoted to radically different perspectives for PrP(C), which have been recently brought to the attention of the scientific world with unexpected force. Finally, it will discuss the possible reasons allowing an evolutionary conserved and benign protein, as PrP(C) is, to turn into a high affinity receptor for pathologic misfolded oligomers, and to transmit their toxic message into neurons.

  13. Applying the tools of chemistry (mass spectrometry and covalent modification by small molecule reagents) to the detection of prions and the study of their structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prions are molecular pathogens, able to convert a normal cellular prion protein PrPC into a prion PrPSc. The information necessary for this conversion is contained in the conformation of PrPSc. Mass spectrometry and small-molecule covalent reactions have recently been used to study prions. This w...

  14. Yeast and Fungal Prions: Amyloid-Handling Systems, Amyloid Structure, and Prion Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickner, R B; Edskes, H K; Gorkovskiy, A; Bezsonov, E E; Stroobant, E E

    2016-01-01

    Yeast prions (infectious proteins) were discovered by their outré genetic properties and have become important models for an array of human prion and amyloid diseases. A single prion protein can become any of many distinct amyloid forms (called prion variants or strains), each of which is self-propagating, but with different biological properties (eg, lethal vs mild). The folded in-register parallel β sheet architecture of the yeast prion amyloids naturally suggests a mechanism by which prion variant information can be faithfully transmitted for many generations. The yeast prions rely on cellular chaperones for their propagation, but can be cured by various chaperone imbalances. The Btn2/Cur1 system normally cures most variants of the [URE3] prion that arise. Although most variants of the [PSI+] and [URE3] prions are toxic or lethal, some are mild in their effects. Even the most mild forms of these prions are rare in the wild, indicating that they too are detrimental to yeast. The beneficial [Het-s] prion of Podospora anserina poses an important contrast in its structure, biology, and evolution to the yeast prions characterized thus far.

  15. The comprehensive native interactome of a fully functional tagged prion protein.

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    Dorothea Rutishauser

    Full Text Available The enumeration of the interaction partners of the cellular prion protein, PrP(C, may help clarifying its elusive molecular function. Here we added a carboxy proximal myc epitope tag to PrP(C. When expressed in transgenic mice, PrP(myc carried a GPI anchor, was targeted to lipid rafts, and was glycosylated similarly to PrP(C. PrP(myc antagonized the toxicity of truncated PrP, restored prion infectibility of PrP(C-deficient mice, and was physically incorporated into PrP(Sc aggregates, indicating that it possessed all functional characteristics of genuine PrP(C. We then immunopurified myc epitope-containing protein complexes from PrP(myc transgenic mouse brains. Gentle differential elution with epitope-mimetic decapeptides, or a scrambled version thereof, yielded 96 specifically released proteins. Quantitative mass spectrometry with isotope-coded tags identified seven proteins which co-eluted equimolarly with PrP(C and may represent component of a multiprotein complex. Selected PrP(C interactors were validated using independent methods. Several of these proteins appear to exert functions in axomyelinic maintenance.

  16. Co-existence of scrapie prion protein types 1 and 2 in sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease: its effect on the phenotype and prion-type characteristics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cali, I.; Castellani, R.; Alshekhlee, A.; Cohen, Y.; Blevins, J.; Yuan, J.; Langeveld, J.P.M.; Parchi, P.; Safar, J.G.; Zou, W.Q.; Gambetti, P.

    2009-01-01

    Five phenotypically distinct subtypes have been identified in sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD), based on the methionine/valine polymorphic genotype of codon 129 of the prion protein (PrP) gene and the presence of either one of the two protease K-resistant scrapie prion protein (PrPSc) types

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

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    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.

  18. Recombinant prion protein refolded with lipid and RNA has the biochemical hallmarks of a prion but lacks in vivo infectivity.

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    Andrew G Timmes

    Full Text Available During prion infection, the normal, protease-sensitive conformation of prion protein (PrP(C is converted via seeded polymerization to an abnormal, infectious conformation with greatly increased protease-resistance (PrP(Sc. In vitro, protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA uses PrP(Sc in prion-infected brain homogenates as an initiating seed to convert PrP(C and trigger the self-propagation of PrP(Sc over many cycles of amplification. While PMCA reactions produce high levels of protease-resistant PrP, the infectious titer is often lower than that of brain-derived PrP(Sc. More recently, PMCA techniques using bacterially derived recombinant PrP (rPrP in the presence of lipid and RNA but in the absence of any starting PrP(Sc seed have been used to generate infectious prions that cause disease in wild-type mice with relatively short incubation times. These data suggest that lipid and/or RNA act as cofactors to facilitate the de novo formation of high levels of prion infectivity. Using rPrP purified by two different techniques, we generated a self-propagating protease-resistant rPrP molecule that, regardless of the amount of RNA and lipid used, had a molecular mass, protease resistance and insolubility similar to that of PrP(Sc. However, we were unable to detect prion infectivity in any of our reactions using either cell-culture or animal bioassays. These results demonstrate that the ability to self-propagate into a protease-resistant insoluble conformer is not unique to infectious PrP molecules. They suggest that the presence of RNA and lipid cofactors may facilitate the spontaneous refolding of PrP into an infectious form while also allowing the de novo formation of self-propagating, but non-infectious, rPrP-res.

  19. Variably protease-sensitive prionopathy: a new sporadic disease of the prion protein

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zou, W.Q.; Puoti, G.; Xiao, X.; Yuan, J.; Qing, L.; Cali, I.; Shimoji, M.; Langeveld, J.P.M.; Castellani, R.; Notari, S.; Crain, B.; Schmidt, R.; Geschwind, M.; DeArmond, S.J.; Cairns, N.; Dickson, D.; Honig, I.; Torres, J.M.; Mastrianni, J.; Capellari, S.; Giaccone, G.; Belay, E.D.; Schonberger, L.B.; Cohen, M.; Perry, G.; Kong, Q.; Parchi, P.; Tagliavini, F.; Gambetti, P.

    2010-01-01

    Objective: The objective of the study is to report 2 new genotypic forms of protease-sensitive prionopathy (PSPr), a novel prion disease described in 2008, in 11 subjects all homozygous for valine at codon 129 of the prion protein (PrP) gene (129VV). The 2 new PSPr forms affect individuals who are e

  20. Detection of type 1 prion protein in variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yull, H.M.; Ritchie, D.L.; Langeveld, J.P.M.; Zijderveld, van F.G.; Bruce, M.E.; Ironside, J.W.; Head, M.W.

    2006-01-01

    Molecular typing of the abnormal form of the prion protein (PrPSc) has come to be regarded as a powerful tool in the investigation of the prion diseases. All evidence thus far presented indicates a single PrPSc molecular type in variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (termed type 2B), presumably resultin

  1. Prions mediated neurodegenerative disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, W-J; Chen, W-W; Zhang, X

    2015-11-01

    Prions are unprecedented infectious pathogens that are devoid of nucleic acid and cause a group of rare and invariably fatal neurodegenerative disorders, affecting approximately 1 person per 1 million inhabitants annually worldwide. These disorders include Creutzfeld-Jacob disease (CJD), Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS), kuru, fatal insomnia (FI), and variable protease-sensitive prionopathy (VPSPr), all of which involve a conformational change of the normal cellular prion protein (PrPC) into the abnormal scrapie prion protein (PrPSc) through a posttranslational process during which PrPc acquires high β-sheet content. This structural change is accompanied by profound changes in the physicochemical properties of PrPC, rendering the molecule resistant to proteolysis. The conformational change of PrPC can occur due to either spontaneous conversion, dominant mutations in the prion protein (PRNP) gene encoding PrPC, or infection with pathogenic isoform PrPsc from exogenous sources. There is general agreement that PrPC serves as a substrate for conversion to abnormal PrPSc. This latter multiplies exponentially and aggregates in the brain, forming deposits that are associated with the neurodegenerative changes. Although the understanding of the primary causes of prion-induced neurodegeneration is still limited, propagation of PrPSc and neurotoxic signaling seem to interplay in pathogenic process of prions. Here, we review recent findings that have provided fresh insights into this process, and present an overview of incidence, causes and spectrum of related disorders.

  2. The Biological Function of the Prion Protein: A Cell Surface Scaffold of Signaling Modules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linden, Rafael

    2017-01-01

    The prion glycoprotein (PrPC) is mostly located at the cell surface, tethered to the plasma membrane through a glycosyl-phosphatydil inositol (GPI) anchor. Misfolding of PrPC is associated with the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), whereas its normal conformer serves as a receptor for oligomers of the β-amyloid peptide, which play a major role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). PrPC is highly expressed in both the nervous and immune systems, as well as in other organs, but its functions are controversial. Extensive experimental work disclosed multiple physiological roles of PrPC at the molecular, cellular and systemic levels, affecting the homeostasis of copper, neuroprotection, stem cell renewal and memory mechanisms, among others. Often each such process has been heralded as the bona fide function of PrPC, despite restricted attention paid to a selected phenotypic trait, associated with either modulation of gene expression or to the engagement of PrPC with a single ligand. In contrast, the GPI-anchored prion protein was shown to bind several extracellular and transmembrane ligands, which are required to endow that protein with the ability to play various roles in transmembrane signal transduction. In addition, differing sets of those ligands are available in cell type- and context-dependent scenarios. To account for such properties, we proposed that PrPC serves as a dynamic platform for the assembly of signaling modules at the cell surface, with widespread consequences for both physiology and behavior. The current review advances the hypothesis that the biological function of the prion protein is that of a cell surface scaffold protein, based on the striking similarities of its functional properties with those of scaffold proteins involved in the organization of intracellular signal transduction pathways. Those properties are: the ability to recruit spatially restricted sets of binding molecules involved in specific signaling

  3. Perturbation of the Secondary Structure of the Scrapie Prion Protein Under Conditions that Alter Infectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gasset, Maria; Baldwin, Michael A.; Fletterick, Robert J.; Prusiner, Stanley B.

    1993-01-01

    Limited proteolysis of the scrapie prion protein (PrPSc) generates PrP 27-30, which polymerizes into amyloid. By attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, PrP 27-30 polymers contained 54% β-sheet, 25% α-helix, 10% turns, and 11% random coil; dispersion into detergent-lipid-protein-complexes preserved infectivity and secondary structure. Almost 60% of the β-sheet was low-frequency infrared-absorbing, reflecting intermolecular aggregation. Decreased low-frequency β-sheet and increased turn content were found after SDS/PAGE, which disassembled the amyloid polymers, denatured PrP 27-30, and diminished scrapie infectivity. Acid-induced transitions were reversible, whereas alkali produced an irreversible transition centered at pH 10 under conditions that diminished infectivity. Whether PrPSc synthesis involves a transition in the secondary structure of one or more domains of the cellular prion protein from α-helical, random coil, or turn into β-sheet remains to be established.

  4. Instability of buried hydration sites increases protein subdomains fluctuations in the human prion protein by the pathogenic mutation T188R

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomobe, Katsufumi; Yamamoto, Eiji; Akimoto, Takuma; Yasui, Masato; Yasuoka, Kenji

    2016-05-01

    The conformational change from the cellular prion protein (PrPc) to scrapie prion protein (PrPsc) is a key process in prion diseases. The prion protein has buried water molecules which significantly contribute to the stability of the protein; however, there has been no report investigating the influence on the buried hydration sites by a pathogenic mutation not adjacent to the buried hydration sites. Here, we perform molecular dynamics simulations of wild type (WT) PrPc and pathogenic point mutant T188R to investigate conformational changes and the buried hydration sites. In WT-PrPc, four buried hydration sites are identified by residence time and rotational relaxation analysis. However, there are no stable buried hydration sites in one of T188R simulations, which indicates that T188R sometimes makes the buried hydration sites fragile. We also find that fluctuations of subdomains S1-H1-S2 and H1-H2 increase in T188R when the buried hydration sites become unstable. Since the side chain of arginine which is replaced from threonine in T188R is larger than of threonine, the side chain cannot be embedded in the protein, which is one of the causes of the instability of subdomains. These results show correlations between the buried hydration sites and the mutation which is far from them, and provide a possible explanation for the instability by mutation.

  5. Instability of buried hydration sites increases protein subdomains fluctuations in the human prion protein by the pathogenic mutation T188R

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    Katsufumi Tomobe

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The conformational change from the cellular prion protein (PrPc to scrapie prion protein (PrPsc is a key process in prion diseases. The prion protein has buried water molecules which significantly contribute to the stability of the protein; however, there has been no report investigating the influence on the buried hydration sites by a pathogenic mutation not adjacent to the buried hydration sites. Here, we perform molecular dynamics simulations of wild type (WT PrPc and pathogenic point mutant T188R to investigate conformational changes and the buried hydration sites. In WT-PrPc, four buried hydration sites are identified by residence time and rotational relaxation analysis. However, there are no stable buried hydration sites in one of T188R simulations, which indicates that T188R sometimes makes the buried hydration sites fragile. We also find that fluctuations of subdomains S1-H1-S2 and H1-H2 increase in T188R when the buried hydration sites become unstable. Since the side chain of arginine which is replaced from threonine in T188R is larger than of threonine, the side chain cannot be embedded in the protein, which is one of the causes of the instability of subdomains. These results show correlations between the buried hydration sites and the mutation which is far from them, and provide a possible explanation for the instability by mutation.

  6. Transcriptomic determinants of scrapie prion propagation in cultured ovine microglia

    Science.gov (United States)

    While infection by scrapie prions is dependent on expression of cellular prion protein (PrP-C), other factors must play a role since not all cells that express equivalent levels of PrP-C are permissive to infection. The aim of this study was to determine the cellular factors associated with permissi...

  7. [Molecular bases of prion diseases].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pokrovskiĭ, V I; Kiselev, O I

    1998-01-01

    The paper briefly analyzes the origin of priones and their association with the cellular gene and homologous protein of diseases in man and animals. There is evidence for a direct relationship of the agents that cause spongious encephalitis in the cattle and a new type of Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease in man. The molecular organization of priones and the conformational cellular protein changes underlying the infectious activation of the cell homologue of priones. Emphasis is first laid on the capacity of the cell homologue of priones and their infectiously active derivative to bind to DNA or RNA. In the context of concepts of the priones yeasts an attempt was made to explain the reproduction through the altered control of translation of mRNA that encodes the cellular homologue of priones, which accounts for the duration of the incubation period of the disease. The infections caused by priones are referred to as the so-called slow infections. But in the context of the proposed hypothesis, an infective process in the tissues did not really have some typical signs of infection and resembles accumulation diseases more without the replicative burst typical of infectious processes. The paper gives data on the vital cycle of priones in infected animals and changes in the accumulation of an infective agent. This assesses the currently available diagnostic methods and gives preference to the methods which will be based on the use of monoclonal antibodies that specifically recognize the conformationally altered form of an infectious prione or on the identification of primary oligomeric forms which manifest the onset of amyloidization of the damaged tissues. The main conclusion of the paper is that protein prionization is a common biological phenomenon and the diseases caused by these processes will increase in number in the near future, which makes it necessary to develop diagnostic methods and universal treatments of diseases, such as bacterial infections by using antibiotics.

  8. Using small molecule reagents to help distinguish among prion structural models

    Science.gov (United States)

    The only demonstrated difference between infectious prions (PrPSc) and the isosequential normal cellular prion protein (PrPC) is conformation. The structure of PrPC has been determined by a variety of instrumental techniques. The structure of prions remains uncertain. Recent instrumental analysis h...

  9. α-Helical to β-Helical Conformation Change in the C-Terminal of the Mammalian Prion Protein

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Jesse; Whitford, Paul; Hayre, Natha; Cox, Daniel; Onuchic, José.

    2011-03-01

    We employ all-atom structure-based models with mixed basis contact maps to explore whether there are any significant geometric or energetic constraints limiting conjectured conformational transitions between the alpha-helical (α H) and the left handed beta helical (LHBH) conformations for the C-terminal (residues 166-226) of the mammalian prion protein. The LHBH structure has been proposed to describe infectious oligomers and one class of in vitro grown fibrils, as well as possibly self- templating the conversion of normal cellular prion protein to the infectious form. Our results confirm that the kinetics of the conformation change are not strongely limited by large scale geometry modification and there exists an overall preference for the LHBH conformation.

  10. Glycoform-selective prion formation in sporadic and familial forms of prion disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Xiao, X.; Yuan, J.; Haïk, S.; Cali, I.; Zhan, Y.; Moudjou, M.; Li, B.; Laplanche, J.L.; Laude, H.; Langeveld, J.P.M.; Gambetti, P.

    2013-01-01

    The four glycoforms of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) variably glycosylated at the two N-linked glycosylation sites are converted into their pathological forms (PrP(Sc)) in most cases of sporadic prion diseases. However, a prominent molecular characteristic of PrP(Sc) in the recently identified

  11. Prions efficiently cross the intestinal barrier after oral administration: Study of the bioavailability, and cellular and tissue distribution in vivo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urayama, Akihiko; Concha-Marambio, Luis; Khan, Uffaf; Bravo-Alegria, Javiera; Kharat, Vineetkumar; Soto, Claudio

    2016-01-01

    Natural forms of prion diseases frequently originate by oral (p.o.) infection. However, quantitative information on the gastro-intestinal (GI) absorption of prions (i.e. the bioavailability and subsequent biodistribution) is mostly unknown. The main goal of this study was to evaluate the fate of prions after oral administration, using highly purified radiolabeled PrPSc. The results showed a bi-phasic reduction of PrPSc with time in the GI, except for the ileum and colon which showed sustained increases peaking at 3–6 hr, respectively. Plasma and whole blood 125I-PrPSc reached maximal levels by 30 min and 3 hr, respectively, and blood levels were constantly higher than plasma. Upon crossing the GI-tract 125I-PrPSc became associated to blood cells, suggesting that binding to cells decreased the biological clearance of the agent. Size-exclusion chromatography revealed that oligomeric 125I-PrPSc were transported from the intestinal tract, and protein misfolding cyclic amplification showed that PrPSc in organs and blood retained the typical prion self-replicating ability. Pharmacokinetic analysis found the oral bioavailability of 125I-PrPSc to be 33.6%. Interestingly, 125I-PrPSc reached the brain in a quantity equivalent to the minimum amount needed to initiate prion disease. Our findings provide a comprehensive and quantitative study of the fate of prions upon oral infection. PMID:27573341

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. Protease-sensitive synthetic prions.

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    David W Colby

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Prions arise when the cellular prion protein (PrP(C undergoes a self-propagating conformational change; the resulting infectious conformer is designated PrP(Sc. Frequently, PrP(Sc is protease-resistant but protease-sensitive (s prions have been isolated in humans and other animals. We report here that protease-sensitive, synthetic prions were generated in vitro during polymerization of recombinant (rec PrP into amyloid fibers. In 22 independent experiments, recPrP amyloid preparations, but not recPrP monomers or oligomers, transmitted disease to transgenic mice (n = 164, denoted Tg9949 mice, that overexpress N-terminally truncated PrP. Tg9949 control mice (n = 174 did not spontaneously generate prions although they were prone to late-onset spontaneous neurological dysfunction. When synthetic prion isolates from infected Tg9949 mice were serially transmitted in the same line of mice, they exhibited sPrP(Sc and caused neurodegeneration. Interestingly, these protease-sensitive prions did not shorten the life span of Tg9949 mice despite causing extensive neurodegeneration. We inoculated three synthetic prion isolates into Tg4053 mice that overexpress full-length PrP; Tg4053 mice are not prone to developing spontaneous neurological dysfunction. The synthetic prion isolates caused disease in 600-750 days in Tg4053 mice, which exhibited sPrP(Sc. These novel synthetic prions demonstrate that conformational changes in wild-type PrP can produce mouse prions composed exclusively of sPrP(Sc.

  14. Molecular Pathology of Human Prion Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative conditions in humans and animals. In this review, we summarize the molecular background of phenotypic variability, relation of prion protein (PrP to other proteins associated with neurodegenerative diseases, and pathogenesis of neuronal vulnerability. PrP exists in different forms that may be present in both diseased and non-diseased brain, however, abundant disease-associated PrP together with tissue pathology characterizes prion diseases and associates with transmissibility. Prion diseases have different etiological background with distinct pathogenesis and phenotype. Mutations of the prion protein gene are associated with genetic forms. The codon 129 polymorphism in combination with the Western blot pattern of PrP after proteinase K digestion serves as a basis for molecular subtyping of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Tissue damage may result from several parallel, interacting or subsequent pathways that involve cellular systems associated with synapses, protein processing, oxidative stress, autophagy, and apoptosis.

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

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    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. Prions: what are they good for?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Si, Kausik

    2015-01-01

    Prions, a self-templating amyloidogenic state of normal cellular proteins such as PrP, have been identified as the basis of a number of disease states, particularly diseases of the nervous system. This finding has led to the notion that protein aggregation, namely prionogenic aggregates and amyloids, is primarily harmful for the organism. However, identification of proteins in a prion-like state that are not harmful and may even be beneficial has begun to change this perception. This review discusses when and how a prion-based protein conformational switch may be utilized to generate a sustained physiological change in response to a transient stimulus.

  17. Kosmotropic anions promote conversion of recombinant prion protein into a PrPSc-like misfolded form.

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    Rodrigo Diaz-Espinoza

    Full Text Available Prions are self-propagating proteins involved in transmissible spongiform encephalopaties in mammals. An aberrant conformation with amyloid-like features of a cell surface protein, termed prion protein (PrP, is thought to be the essential component of the infectious particle, though accessory co-factor molecules such as lipids and nucleotides may be involved. The cellular co-factors and environmental conditions implicated in PrP misfolding are not completely understood. To address this issue, several studies have been done inducing misfolding of recombinant PrP (recPrP into classical amyloid structures using partially denaturing conditions. In this work, we report that misfolding of recPrP into PrP(Sc-like aggregates can be induced by simply incubating the protein in the presence of kosmotropic salts at concentrations that are known to retain or increase the stability of the protein. We used a simple experimental reaction (protein, buffer and salts submitted to agitation/incubation cycles at physiological temperature and pH. The formation of protease resistant-recPrP was time and salt-concentration dependent and required the presence of kosmotropic anions such as F(- or SO(4(-2. The molecular weights of the protease resistant recPrP fragments are reminiscent of those found in degradation assays of bona fide PrP(Sc. The aggregates also exhibited PrP(Sc-like ultrastructural features including rod-shape morphology under electron microscope, high beta-sheet content and thioflavin-T positive signal. The formation of recPrP aggregates with PrP(Sc biochemical features under conditions closer to physiological in the absence of organic co-factor molecules provides a simple setup that may prove helpful to understand the molecular mechanism of PrP misfolding.

  18. A mutant prion protein sensitizes neurons to glutamate-induced excitotoxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biasini, Emiliano; Unterberger, Ursula; Solomon, Isaac H; Massignan, Tania; Senatore, Assunta; Bian, Hejiao; Voigtlaender, Till; Bowman, Frederick P; Bonetto, Valentina; Chiesa, Roberto; Luebke, Jennifer; Toselli, Paul; Harris, David A

    2013-02-06

    Growing evidence suggests that a physiological activity of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) plays a crucial role in several neurodegenerative disorders, including prion and Alzheimer's diseases. However, how the functional activity of PrP(C) is subverted to deliver neurotoxic signals remains uncertain. Transgenic (Tg) mice expressing PrP with a deletion of residues 105-125 in the central region (referred to as ΔCR PrP) provide important insights into this problem. Tg(ΔCR) mice exhibit neonatal lethality and massive degeneration of cerebellar granule neurons, a phenotype that is dose dependently suppressed by the presence of wild-type PrP. When expressed in cultured cells, ΔCR PrP induces large, ionic currents that can be detected by patch-clamping techniques. Here, we tested the hypothesis that abnormal ion channel activity underlies the neuronal death seen in Tg(ΔCR) mice. We find that ΔCR PrP induces abnormal ionic currents in neurons in culture and in cerebellar slices and that this activity sensitizes the neurons to glutamate-induced, calcium-mediated death. In combination with ultrastructural and biochemical analyses, these results demonstrate a role for glutamate-induced excitotoxicity in PrP-mediated neurodegeneration. A similar mechanism may operate in other neurodegenerative disorders attributable to toxic, β-rich oligomers that bind to PrP(C).

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  20. Crystallographic studies of prion protein (PrP) segments suggest how structural changes encoded by polymorphism at residue 129 modulate susceptibility to human prion disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apostol, Marcin I; Sawaya, Michael R; Cascio, Duilio; Eisenberg, David

    2010-09-24

    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 β-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.

  1. 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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belondrade, Maxime; Nicot, Simon; Béringue, Vincent; Coste, Joliette; Lehmann, Sylvain; Bougard, Daisy

    2016-01-01

    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.

  2. 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.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  3. Structural conservation of prion strain specificities in recombinant prion protein fibrils in real-time quaking-induced conversion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sano, Kazunori; Atarashi, Ryuichiro; Nishida, Noriyuki

    2015-01-01

    A major unsolved issue of prion biology is the existence of multiple strains with distinct phenotypes and this strain phenomenon is postulated to be associated with the conformational diversity of the abnormal prion protein (PrP(Sc)). Real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QUIC) assay that uses Escherichia coli-derived recombinant prion protein (rPrP) for the sensitive detection of PrP(Sc) results in the formation of rPrP-fibrils seeded with various strains. We demonstrated that there are differences in the secondary structures, especially in the β-sheets, and conformational stability between 2 rPrP-fibrils seeded with either Chandler or 22L strains in the first round of RT-QUIC. In particular, the differences in conformational properties of these 2 rPrP-fibrils were common to those of the original PrP(Sc). However, the strain specificities of rPrP-fibrils seen in the first round were lost in subsequent rounds. Instead, our findings suggest that nonspecific fibrils became the major species, probable owing to their selective growth advantage in the RT-QUIC. This study shows that at least some strain-specific conformational properties of the original PrP(Sc) can be transmitted to rPrP-fibrils in vitro, but further conservation appears to require unknown cofactors or environmental conditions or both.

  4. Viruses and prions of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickner, Reed B; Fujimura, Tsutomu; Esteban, Rosa

    2013-01-01

    Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been a key experimental organism for the study of infectious diseases, including dsRNA viruses, ssRNA viruses, and prions. Studies of the mechanisms of virus and prion replication, virus structure, and structure of the amyloid filaments that are the basis of yeast prions have been at the forefront of such studies in these classes of infectious entities. Yeast has been particularly useful in defining the interactions of the infectious elements with cellular components: chromosomally encoded proteins necessary for blocking the propagation of the viruses and prions, and proteins involved in the expression of viral components. Here, we emphasize the L-A dsRNA virus and its killer-toxin-encoding satellites, the 20S and 23S ssRNA naked viruses, and the several infectious proteins (prions) of yeast.

  5. Introducing a rigid loop structure from deer into mouse prion protein increases its propensity for misfolding in vitro.

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    Leah M Kyle

    Full Text Available Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders characterized by misfolding of the cellular prion protein (PrP(c into the disease-associated isoform (PrP(Sc that has increased β-sheet content and partial resistance to proteolytic digestion. Prion diseases from different mammalian species have varying propensities for transmission upon exposure of an uninfected host to the infectious agent. Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD is a highly transmissible prion disease that affects free ranging and farmed populations of cervids including deer, elk and moose, as well as other mammals in experimental settings. The molecular mechanisms allowing CWD to maintain comparatively high transmission rates have not been determined. Previous work has identified a unique structural feature in cervid PrP, a rigid loop between β-sheet 2 and α-helix 2 on the surface of the protein. This study was designed to test the hypothesis that the rigid loop has a direct influence on the misfolding process. The rigid loop was introduced into murine PrP as the result of two amino acid substitutions: S170N and N174T. Wild-type and rigid loop murine PrP were expressed in E. coli and purified. Misfolding propensity was compared for the two proteins using biochemical techniques and cell free misfolding and conversion systems. Murine PrP with a rigid loop misfolded in cell free systems with greater propensity than wild type murine PrP. In a lipid-based conversion assay, rigid loop PrP converted to a PK resistant, aggregated isoform at lower concentrations than wild-type PrP. Using both proteins as substrates in real time quaking-induced conversion, rigid loop PrP adopted a misfolded isoform more readily than wild type PrP. Taken together, these findings may help explain the high transmission rates observed for CWD within cervids.

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

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    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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. Non-targeted identification of prions and amyloid-forming proteins from yeast and mammalian cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kryndushkin, Dmitry; Pripuzova, Natalia; Burnett, Barrington G; Shewmaker, Frank

    2013-09-20

    The formation of amyloid aggregates is implicated both as a primary cause of cellular degeneration in multiple human diseases and as a functional mechanism for providing extraordinary strength to large protein assemblies. The recent identification and characterization of several amyloid proteins from diverse organisms argues that the amyloid phenomenon is widespread in nature. Yet identifying new amyloid-forming proteins usually requires a priori knowledge of specific candidates. Amyloid fibers can resist heat, pressure, proteolysis, and denaturation by reagents such as urea or sodium dodecyl sulfate. Here we show that these properties can be exploited to identify naturally occurring amyloid-forming proteins directly from cell lysates. This proteomic-based approach utilizes a novel purification of amyloid aggregates followed by identification by mass spectrometry without the requirement for special genetic tools. We have validated this technique by blind identification of three amyloid-based yeast prions from laboratory and wild strains and disease-related polyglutamine proteins expressed in both yeast and mammalian cells. Furthermore, we found that polyglutamine aggregates specifically recruit some stress granule components, revealing a possible mechanism of toxicity. Therefore, core amyloid-forming proteins as well as strongly associated proteins can be identified directly from cells of diverse origin.

  10. Interspecies transmission of prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afanasieva, E G; Kushnirov, V V; Ter-Avanesyan, M D

    2011-12-01

    Mammalian prions are infectious agents of proteinaceous nature that cause several incurable neurodegenerative diseases. Interspecies transmission of prions is usually impeded or impossible. Barriers in prion transmission are caused by small interspecies differences in the primary structure of prion proteins. The barriers can also depend on the strain (variant) of a transmitted prion. Interspecies barriers were also shown for yeast prions, which define some heritable phenotypes. Yeast prions reproduce all the main traits of prion transmission barriers observed for mammals. This allowed to show that the barrier in prion transmission can be observed even upon copolymerization of two prionogenic proteins. Available data allow elucidation of the mechanisms that impede prion transmission or make it impossible.

  11. Expression patterns of prion protein gene in differential genotypes sheep: quantification using molecular beacon real-time RT-PCR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chuan; Wu, Run; Li, Fa-Di; Liu, Lei; Zhang, Xiao-Li; Zhao, Chun-Lin; Diao, Xiao-Long; Guan, Hong-Wei

    2011-06-01

    Determination of the transcription level of cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) is essential for understanding its role in organisms and revealing mechanism of susceptibility and resistance to scrapie. However, the expression of prion protein (PrP) mRNA in sheep has not been quantified in great detail in digestive tract which is important during scrapie spread through oral route. Herein, we report on measurement of sheep PrP mRNA using absolute quantitative real-time RT-PCR. Total RNA was isolated from five different regions of the central nervous system (CNS), four regions of lymphoid system, eleven regions of digestive tract, and two reproductive organ tissues of eight sheep of two different genotypes (ARR/ARQ and ARH/ARQ) and PrP mRNA was quantified by real-time RT-PCR using molecular beacon. The results showed that highest levels of PrP mRNA were expressed in thalamus and cerebrum (P mRNA expression in sheep for further studies of pathogenesis of prion diseases.

  12. A pitfall in diagnosis of human prion diseases using detection of protease-resistant prion protein in urine. Contamination with bacterial outer membrane proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furukawa, Hisako; Doh-ura, Katsumi; Okuwaki, Ryo; Shirabe, Susumu; Yamamoto, Kazuo; Udono, Heiichiro; Ito, Takashi; Katamine, Shigeru; Niwa, Masami

    2004-05-28

    Because a definite diagnosis of prion diseases relies on the detection of the abnormal isoform of prion protein (PrPSc), it has been urgently necessary to establish a non-invasive diagnostic test to detect PrPSc in human prion diseases. To evaluate diagnostic usefulness and reliability of the detection of protease-resistant prion protein in urine, we extensively analyzed proteinase K (PK)-resistant proteins in patients affected with prion diseases and control subjects by Western blot, a coupled liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry analysis, and N-terminal sequence analysis. The PK-resistant signal migrating around 32 kDa previously reported by Shaked et al. (Shaked, G. M., Shaked, Y., Kariv-Inbal, Z., Halimi, M., Avraham, I., and Gabizon, R. (2001) J. Biol. Chem. 276, 31479-31482) was not observed in this study. Instead, discrete protein bands with an apparent molecular mass of approximately 37 kDa were detected in the urine of many patients affected with prion diseases and two diseased controls. Although these proteins also gave strong signals in the Western blot using a variety of anti-PrP antibodies as a primary antibody, we found that the signals were still detectable by incubation of secondary antibodies alone, i.e. in the absence of the primary anti-PrP antibodies. Mass spectrometry and N-terminal protein sequencing analysis revealed that the majority of the PK-resistant 37-kDa proteins in the urine of patients were outer membrane proteins (OMPs) of the Enterobacterial species. OMPs isolated from these bacteria were resistant to PK and the PK-resistant OMPs from the Enterobacterial species migrated around 37 kDa on SDS-PAGE. Furthermore, nonspecific binding of OMPs to antibodies could be mistaken for PrPSc. These findings caution that bacterial contamination can affect the immunological detection of prion protein. Therefore, the presence of Enterobacterial species should be excluded in the immunological tests for PrPSc in clinical samples, in

  13. Discovery of a novel, monocationic, small-molecule inhibitor of scrapie prion accumulation in cultured sheep microglia and rov cells PLoS one

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prion diseases, including sheep scrapie are neurodegenerative diseases with the fundamental pathogenesis involving conversion of normal cellular prion protein (PrPC) to disease-associated prion protein (PrPSc). An aromatic monocationic furamidine analogue (DB772), which has previously demonstrated a...

  14. Combined copper/zinc attachment to prion protein

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Zi; Hong, Joo Y; Derkatch, Irina L; Liebman, Susan W

    2013-01-01

    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(+)].

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

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    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(+].

  17. Conformational change in hamster scrapie prion protein (PrP27-30) associated with proteinase K resistance and prion infectivity.

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    Suzuki, Sachiko Y; Takata, Masuhiro; Teruya, Kenta; Shinagawa, Morikazu; Mohri, Shirou; Yokoyama, Takashi

    2008-02-01

    The scrapie prion protein (PrP27-30) is a crucial component of the prion and is responsible for its transmissibility. Structural information on this protein is limited because it is insoluble and shows aggregated properties. In this study, PrP27-30 was effectively dispersed using sonication under the weak alkaline condition. Subsequently, the small PrP27-30 aggregates were subjected to different pH, heat, and denaturing conditions. The loss of proteinase K (PK) resistance of PrP27-30 and prion infectivity were monitored along with spectroscopic changes. Prion inactivation could not be achieved by the loss of PK resistance alone; a significant loss of the PrP27-30 amyloid structure, which was represented by a decrease in thioflavin T fluorescence, was required for the loss of transmissibility.

  18. Expression of the Prion Protein Family Member Shadoo Causes Drug Hypersensitivity That Is Diminished by the Coexpression of the Wild Type Prion Protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyeste, Antal; Bencsura, Petra; Vida, István; Hegyi, Zoltán; Homolya, László; Fodor, Elfrieda; Welker, Ervin

    2016-02-26

    The prion protein (PrP) seems to exert both neuroprotective and neurotoxic activities. The toxic activities are associated with the C-terminal globular parts in the absence of the flexible N terminus, specifically the hydrophobic domain (HD) or the central region (CR). The wild type prion protein (PrP-WT), having an intact flexible part, exhibits neuroprotective qualities by virtue of diminishing many of the cytotoxic effects of these mutant prion proteins (PrPΔHD and PrPΔCR) when coexpressed. The prion protein family member Doppel, which possesses a three-dimensional fold similar to the C-terminal part of PrP, is also harmful to neuronal and other cells in various models, a phenotype that can also be eliminated by the coexpression of PrP-WT. In contrast, another prion protein family member, Shadoo (Sho), a natively disordered protein possessing structural features similar to the flexible N-terminal tail of PrP, exhibits PrP-WT-like protective properties. Here, we report that, contrary to expectations, Sho expression in SH-SY5Y or HEK293 cells induces the same toxic phenotype of drug hypersensitivity as PrPΔCR. This effect is exhibited in a dose-dependent manner and is also counteracted by the coexpression of PrP-WT. The opposing effects of Shadoo in different model systems revealed here may be explored to help discern the relationship of the various toxic activities of mutant PrPs with each other and the neurotoxic effects seen in neurodegenerative diseases, such as transmissible spongiform encephalopathy and Alzheimer disease.

  19. In vivo generation of neurotoxic prion protein: role for hsp70 in accumulation of misfolded isoforms.

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    Pedro Fernandez-Funez

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Prion diseases are incurable neurodegenerative disorders in which the normal cellular prion protein (PrP(C converts into a misfolded isoform (PrP(Sc with unique biochemical and structural properties that correlate with disease. In humans, prion disorders, such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, present typically with a sporadic origin, where unknown mechanisms lead to the spontaneous misfolding and deposition of wild type PrP. To shed light on how wild-type PrP undergoes conformational changes and which are the cellular components involved in this process, we analyzed the dynamics of wild-type PrP from hamster in transgenic flies. In young flies, PrP demonstrates properties of the benign PrP(C; in older flies, PrP misfolds, acquires biochemical and structural properties of PrP(Sc, and induces spongiform degeneration of brain neurons. Aged flies accumulate insoluble PrP that resists high concentrations of denaturing agents and contains PrP(Sc-specific conformational epitopes. In contrast to PrP(Sc from mammals, PrP is proteinase-sensitive in flies. Thus, wild-type PrP rapidly converts in vivo into a neurotoxic, protease-sensitive isoform distinct from prototypical PrP(Sc. Next, we investigated the role of molecular chaperones in PrP misfolding in vivo. Remarkably, Hsp70 prevents the accumulation of PrP(Sc-like conformers and protects against PrP-dependent neurodegeneration. This protective activity involves the direct interaction between Hsp70 and PrP, which may occur in active membrane microdomains such as lipid rafts, where we detected Hsp70. These results highlight the ability of wild-type PrP to spontaneously convert in vivo into a protease-sensitive isoform that is neurotoxic, supporting the idea that protease-resistant PrP(Sc is not required for pathology. Moreover, we identify a new role for Hsp70 in the accumulation of misfolded PrP. Overall, we provide new insight into the mechanisms of spontaneous accumulation of neurotoxic PrP and uncover

  20. ING proteins in cellular senescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menéndez, Camino; Abad, María; Gómez-Cabello, Daniel; Moreno, Alberto; Palmero, Ignacio

    2009-05-01

    Cellular senescence is an effective anti-tumor barrier that acts by restraining the uncontrolled proliferation of cells carrying potentially oncogenic alterations. ING proteins are putative tumor suppressor proteins functionally linked to the p53 pathway and to chromatin regulation. ING proteins exert their tumor-protective action through different types of responses. Here, we review the evidence on the participation of ING proteins, mainly ING1 and ING2, in the implementation of the senescent response. The currently available data support an important role of ING proteins as regulators of senescence, in connection with the p53 pathway and chromatin organization.

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

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    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.

  2. Glycosaminoglycan Sulphation Affects the Seeded Misfolding of a Mutant Prion Protein

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Victoria A.; Lumicisi, Brooke; Welton, Jeremy; Machalek, Dorothy; Gouramanis, Katrina; Klemm, Helen M.; Stewart, James D.; Masters, Colin L.; Hoke, David E.; Collins, Steven J.; Hill, Andrew F.

    2010-01-01

    Background The accumulation of protease resistant conformers of the prion protein (PrPres) 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 PrPres formation using brain tissue or cell line derived murine PrP. Enzymatic depletion of endogenous nucleic acids or heparan sulphate (HS) from the PrPC substrate was found to specifically prevent PrPres formation seeded by mouse derived PrPSc. 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 PrPres formation, while having no effect on PrPres 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 PrPres 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. PMID:20808809

  3. Characterization of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease prions in prion protein-humanized mice carrying distinct codon 129 genotypes.

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    Takeuchi, Atsuko; Kobayashi, Atsushi; Ironside, James W; Mohri, Shirou; Kitamoto, Tetsuyuki

    2013-07-26

    To date, all clinical variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) patients are homozygous for methionine at polymorphic codon 129 (129M/M) of the prion protein (PrP) gene. However, the appearance of asymptomatic secondary vCJD infection in individuals with a PRNP codon 129 genotype other than M/M and transmission studies using animal models have raised the concern that all humans might be susceptible to vCJD prions, especially via secondary infection. To reevaluate this possibility and to analyze in detail the transmission properties of vCJD prions to transgenic animals carrying distinct codon 129 genotype, we performed intracerebral inoculation of vCJD prions to humanized knock-in mice carrying all possible codon 129 genotypes (129M/M, 129M/V, or 129V/V). All humanized knock-in mouse lines were susceptible to vCJD infection, although the attack rate gradually decreased from 129M/M to 129M/V and to 129V/V. The amount of PrP deposition including florid/amyloid plaques in the brain also gradually decreased from 129M/M to 129M/V and to 129V/V. The biochemical properties of protease-resistant abnormal PrP in the brain and transmissibility of these humanized mouse-passaged vCJD prions upon subpassage into knock-in mice expressing bovine PrP were not affected by the codon 129 genotype. These results indicate that individuals with the 129V/V genotype may be more susceptible to secondary vCJD infection than expected and may lack the neuropathological characteristics observed in vCJD patients with the 129M/M genotype. Besides the molecular typing of protease-resistant PrP in the brain, transmission studies using knock-in mice carrying bovine PrP may aid the differential diagnosis of secondary vCJD infection, especially in individuals with the 129V/V genotype.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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

  5. Prion protein gene frequencies in three Sicilian dairy sheep populations

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    Santo Caracappa

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this paper was to investigate the prion protein (PrP genotype and haplotype frequencies in three Sicilian dairy sheep populations. The three populations were: (1 1096 Valle del Belice animals, (2 1143 Comisana animals, and (3 1771 individuals from 5 flocks with scrapie outbreaks, in which the animals were crossbreds derived from indigenous Sicilian dairy breeds. PrP genotypes are described for the three codons 136 (Alanine or Valine; A, V, 154 (Histidine or Arginine; H, R, and 171 (Glutamine, Arginine or Histidine; Q, R, H which represent polymorphisms known to be linked with scrapie susceptibility. The Valle del Belice haplotype frequencies were 32.3% ARR, 6.5% AHQ, 1.0% ARH, 58.8% ARQ, and 1.4% VRQ. The Comisana frequencies were 39.4% ARR, 2.9% AHQ, 2.9% ARH, 50.9% ARQ, and 3.9% VRQ. In the flocks with scrapie outbreaks the frequencies were 32.8% ARR, 2.4% AHQ, 1.7% ARH, 59.1% ARQ, and 3.9% VRQ. In all three populations ARQ and ARR were the most frequent haplotypes. Multiple generations of strong selection will be needed to fixate the most resistant ARR haplotype.

  6. Regulation of embryonic cell adhesion by the prion protein.

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    Edward Málaga-Trillo

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Prion proteins (PrPs are key players in fatal neurodegenerative disorders, yet their physiological functions remain unclear, as PrP knockout mice develop rather normally. We report a strong PrP loss-of-function phenotype in zebrafish embryos, characterized by the loss of embryonic cell adhesion and arrested gastrulation. Zebrafish and mouse PrP mRNAs can partially rescue this knockdown phenotype, indicating conserved PrP functions. Using zebrafish, mouse, and Drosophila cells, we show that PrP: (1 mediates Ca(+2-independent homophilic cell adhesion and signaling; and (2 modulates Ca(+2-dependent cell adhesion by regulating the delivery of E-cadherin to the plasma membrane. In vivo time-lapse analyses reveal that the arrested gastrulation in PrP knockdown embryos is due to deficient morphogenetic cell movements, which rely on E-cadherin-based adhesion. Cell-transplantation experiments indicate that the regulation of embryonic cell adhesion by PrP is cell-autonomous. Moreover, we find that the local accumulation of PrP at cell contact sites is concomitant with the activation of Src-related kinases, the recruitment of reggie/flotillin microdomains, and the reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton, consistent with a role of PrP in the modulation of cell adhesion via signaling. Altogether, our data uncover evolutionarily conserved roles of PrP in cell communication, which ultimately impinge on the stability of adherens cell junctions during embryonic development.

  7. BSE case associated with prion protein gene mutation.

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    Jürgen A Richt

    Full Text Available Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE of cattle and was first detected in 1986 in the United Kingdom. It is the most likely cause of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD in humans. The origin of BSE remains an enigma. Here we report an H-type BSE case associated with the novel mutation E211K within the prion protein gene (Prnp. Sequence analysis revealed that the animal with H-type BSE was heterozygous at Prnp nucleotides 631 through 633. An identical pathogenic mutation at the homologous codon position (E200K in the human Prnp has been described as the most common cause of genetic CJD. This finding represents the first report of a confirmed case of BSE with a potential pathogenic mutation within the bovine Prnp gene. A recent epidemiological study revealed that the K211 allele was not detected in 6062 cattle from commercial beef processing plants and 42 cattle breeds, indicating an extremely low prevalence of the E211K variant (less than 1 in 2000 in cattle.

  8. Protein Folding Activity of the Ribosome is involved in Yeast Prion Propagation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blondel, Marc; Soubigou, Flavie; Evrard, Justine; Nguyen, Phu hai; Hasin, Naushaba; Chédin, Stéphane; Gillet, Reynald; Contesse, Marie-Astrid; Friocourt, Gaëlle; Stahl, Guillaume; Jones, Gary W.; Voisset, Cécile

    2016-01-01

    6AP and GA are potent inhibitors of yeast and mammalian prions and also specific inhibitors of PFAR, the protein-folding activity borne by domain V of the large rRNA of the large subunit of the ribosome. We therefore explored the link between PFAR and yeast prion [PSI+] using both PFAR-enriched mutants and site-directed methylation. We demonstrate that PFAR is involved in propagation and de novo formation of [PSI+]. PFAR and the yeast heat-shock protein Hsp104 partially compensate each other for [PSI+] propagation. Our data also provide insight into new functions for the ribosome in basal thermotolerance and heat-shocked protein refolding. PFAR is thus an evolutionarily conserved cell component implicated in the prion life cycle, and we propose that it could be a potential therapeutic target for human protein misfolding diseases. PMID:27633137

  9. Protein Folding Activity of the Ribosome is involved in Yeast Prion Propagation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blondel, Marc; Soubigou, Flavie; Evrard, Justine; Nguyen, Phu Hai; Hasin, Naushaba; Chédin, Stéphane; Gillet, Reynald; Contesse, Marie-Astrid; Friocourt, Gaëlle; Stahl, Guillaume; Jones, Gary W; Voisset, Cécile

    2016-09-16

    6AP and GA are potent inhibitors of yeast and mammalian prions and also specific inhibitors of PFAR, the protein-folding activity borne by domain V of the large rRNA of the large subunit of the ribosome. We therefore explored the link between PFAR and yeast prion [PSI(+)] using both PFAR-enriched mutants and site-directed methylation. We demonstrate that PFAR is involved in propagation and de novo formation of [PSI(+)]. PFAR and the yeast heat-shock protein Hsp104 partially compensate each other for [PSI(+)] propagation. Our data also provide insight into new functions for the ribosome in basal thermotolerance and heat-shocked protein refolding. PFAR is thus an evolutionarily conserved cell component implicated in the prion life cycle, and we propose that it could be a potential therapeutic target for human protein misfolding diseases.

  10. Interaction of human laminin receptor with Sup35, the [PSI⁺] prion-forming protein from S. cerevisiae: a yeast model for studies of LamR interactions with amyloidogenic proteins.

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    Christine Pampeno

    Full Text Available The laminin receptor (LamR is a cell surface receptor for extracellular matrix laminin, whereas the same protein within the cell interacts with ribosomes, nuclear proteins and cytoskeletal fibers. LamR has been shown to be a receptor for several bacteria and viruses. Furthermore, LamR interacts with both cellular and infectious forms of the prion protein, PrP(C and PrP(Sc. Indeed, LamR is a receptor for PrP(C. Whether LamR interacts with PrP(Sc exclusively in a capacity of the PrP receptor, or LamR specifically recognizes prion determinants of PrP(Sc, is unclear. In order to explore whether LamR has a propensity to interact with prions and amyloids, we examined LamR interaction with the yeast prion-forming protein, Sup35. Sup35 is a translation termination factor with no homology or functional relationship to PrP. Plasmids expressing LamR or LamR fused with the green fluorescent protein (GFP were transformed into yeast strain variants differing by the presence or absence of the prion conformation of Sup35, respectively [PSI⁺] and [psi⁻]. Analyses by immunoprecipitation, centrifugal fractionation and fluorescent microscopy reveal interaction between LamR and Sup35 in [PSI⁺] strains. The presence of [PSI⁺] promotes LamR co-precipitation with Sup35 as well as LamR aggregation. In [PSI⁺] cells, LamR tagged with GFP or mCherry forms bright fluorescent aggregates that co-localize with visible [PSI⁺] foci. The yeast prion model will facilitate studying the interaction of LamR with amyloidogenic prions in a safe and easily manipulated system that may lead to a better understanding and treatment of amyloid diseases.

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

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    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.

  12. Flexibility damps macromolecular crowding effects on protein folding dynamics: Application to the murine prion protein (121-231)

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    Bergasa-Caceres, Fernando; Rabitz, Herschel A.

    2014-01-01

    A model of protein folding kinetics is applied to study the combined effects of protein flexibility and macromolecular crowding on protein folding rate and stability. It is found that the increase in stability and folding rate promoted by macromolecular crowding is damped for proteins with highly flexible native structures. The model is applied to the folding dynamics of the murine prion protein (121-231). It is found that the high flexibility of the native isoform of the murine prion protein (121-231) reduces the effects of macromolecular crowding on its folding dynamics. The relevance of these findings for the pathogenic mechanism are discussed.

  13. Polymorphisms in the prion protein gene and in the doppel gene increase susceptibility for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    E.A. Croes (Esther); B.Z. Alizadeh (Behrooz); A.M. Bertoli Avella (Aida); T.A.M. Rademaker (Tessa); J. Vergeer-Drop (Jeannette); B. Dermaut (Bart); J.J. Houwing-Duistermaat (Jeanine); D.P.W.M. Wientjens (Dorothee); A. Hofman (Albert); C. van Broeckhoven (Christine); C.M. van Duijn (Cock)

    2004-01-01

    textabstractThe prion protein gene (PRNP) plays a central role in the origin of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), but there is growing interest in other polymorphisms that may be involved in CJD. Polymorphisms upstream of PRNP that may modulate the prion protein production as well as polymorphisms in

  14. Crystal structure of human prion protein fragment reveals a motif for oligomer formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apostol, Marcin I.; Perry, Kay; Surewicz, Witold K.

    2013-01-01

    The structural transition of the prion protein from α-helical to β-sheet rich underlies its conversion into infectious and disease-associated isoforms. Here we describe the crystal structure of a fragment from human prion protein consisting of the disulfide bond linked portions of helices 2 and 3. Instead of forming a pair-of-sheets steric zipper structure characteristic of amyloid fibers, this fragment crystallized into an β-sheet rich assembly of hexameric oligomers. This study reveals a never before observed structural motif for ordered protein aggregates, and suggests a possible mechanism for self-propagation of misfolded conformations by such non-amyloid oligomers. PMID:23808589

  15. Crystal structure of a human prion protein fragment reveals a motif for oligomer formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apostol, Marcin I; Perry, Kay; Surewicz, Witold K

    2013-07-17

    The structural transition of the prion protein from α-helical- to β-sheet-rich underlies its conversion into infectious and disease-associated isoforms. Here we describe the crystal structure of a fragment from human prion protein consisting of the disulfide-bond-linked portions of helices 2 and 3. Instead of forming a pair-of-sheets steric zipper structure characteristic of amyloid fibers, this fragment crystallized into a β-sheet-rich assembly of hexameric oligomers. This study reveals a never before observed structural motif for ordered protein aggregates and suggests a possible mechanism for self-propagation of misfolded conformations by such nonamyloid oligomers.

  16. Neuroimmunoendocrine regulation of the prion protein in neutrophils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mariante, Rafael M; Nóbrega, Alberto; Martins, Rodrigo A P; Areal, Rômulo B; Bellio, Maria; Linden, Rafael

    2012-10-12

    The prion protein (PrP(C)) is a cell surface protein expressed mainly in the nervous system. In addition to the role of its abnormal conformer in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, normal PrP(C) may be implicated in other degenerative conditions often associated with inflammation. PrP(C) is also present in cells of hematopoietic origin, including T cells, dendritic cells, and macrophages, and it has been shown to modulate their functions. Here, we investigated the impact of inflammation and stress on the expression and function of PrP(C) in neutrophils, a cell type critically involved in both acute and chronic inflammation. We found that systemic injection of LPS induced transcription and translation of PrP(C) in mouse neutrophils. Up-regulation of PrP(C) was dependent on the serum content of TGF-β and glucocorticoids (GC), which, in turn, are contingent on the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in response to systemic inflammation. GC and TGF-β, either alone or in combination, directly up-regulated PrP(C) in neutrophils, and accordingly, the blockade of GC receptors in vivo curtailed the LPS-induced increase in the content of PrP(C). Moreover, GC also mediated up-regulation of PrP(C) in neutrophils following noninflammatory restraint stress. Finally, neutrophils with up-regulated PrP(C) presented enhanced peroxide-dependent cytotoxicity to endothelial cells. The data demonstrate a novel interplay of the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems upon both the expression and function of PrP(C) in neutrophils, which may have a broad impact upon the physiology and pathology of various organs and systems.

  17. Cystatin F is a biomarker of prion pathogenesis in mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorce, Silvia; Moos, Rita; Schori, Christian; Beerli, Roger R.; Bauer, Monika; Saudan, Philippe; Dietmeier, Klaus; Lachmann, Ingolf; Linnebank, Michael; Martin, Roland; Kallweit, Ulf; Kana, Veronika; Rushing, Elisabeth J.; Budka, Herbert

    2017-01-01

    Misfolding of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) into the scrapie prion protein (PrPSc) results in progressive, fatal, transmissible neurodegenerative conditions termed prion diseases. Experimental and epidemiological evidence point toward a protracted, clinically silent phase in prion diseases, yet there is no diagnostic test capable of identifying asymptomatic individuals incubating prions. In an effort to identify early biomarkers of prion diseases, we have compared global transcriptional profiles in brains from pre-symptomatic prion-infected mice and controls. We identified Cst7, which encodes cystatin F, as the most strongly upregulated transcript in this model. Early and robust upregulation of Cst7 mRNA levels and of its cognate protein was validated in additional mouse models of prion disease. Surprisingly, we found no significant increase in cystatin F levels in both cerebrospinal fluid or brain parenchyma of patients with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease compared to Alzheimer’s disease or non-demented controls. Our results validate cystatin F as a useful biomarker of early pathogenesis in experimental models of prion disease, and point to unexpected species-specific differences in the transcriptional responses to prion infections. PMID:28178353

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mabbott, Neil 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 feature of the prion diseases, when compared with other protein-misfolding diseases, is their transmissibility. Following peripheral exposure, some prion diseases accumulate to high levels within lymphoid tissues. The replication of prions within lymphoid tissue has been shown to be important for the efficient spread of disease to the brain. This article describes recent progress in our understanding of the cellular mechanisms that influence the propagation of prions from peripheral sites of exposure (such as the lumen of the intestine) to the brain. A thorough understanding of these events will lead to the identification of important targets for therapeutic intervention, or alternatively, reveal additional processes that influence disease susceptibility to peripherally-acquired prion diseases.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

  20. Immunohistochemical detection of disease-associated prion protein in the intestine of cattle naturally affected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy by using an alkaline-based chemical antigen retrieval method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okada, Hiroyuki; Iwamaru, Yoshihumi; Imamura, Morikazu; Masujin, Kentaro; Yokoyama, Takashi; Mohri, Shirou

    2010-11-01

    An alkaline-based chemical antigen retrieval pretreatment step was used to enhance immunolabeling of disease-associated prion protein (PrP(Sc)) in formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded tissue sections from cattle naturally affected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). The modified chemical method used in this study amplified the PrP(Sc) signal by unmasking PrP(Sc) compared with the normal cellular prion protein. In addition, this method reduced nonspecific background immunolabeling that resulted from the destruction of the residual normal cellular form of prion protein, and reduced the treatment time compared with the usual autoclave pretreatment step. Immunolabeled PrP(Sc) was thereby clearly detected in the myenteric plexus of the ileum in naturally occurring BSE cattle.

  1. Elucidation of Prion Protein Conformational Changes Associated with Infectivity by Fluorescence Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-06-01

    Exposure of tryptophanyl residues in proteins. Quantitative determination by fluorescence quenching studies. Biochemistry 1976, 15(3):672-680. 11 1c ...V: Molecular mechanism for low pH triggered misfolding of the human prion protein. Biochemistry 2007, 46(11):3045-3054. 115. Arnold JE, Tipler C

  2. The Antemortem Detection and Conformational Switches of Prion Proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-07-01

    The amyloidogenic PrPSc is the only proven surrogate marker for the diagnosis of prion diseases. Therefore almost all of the efforts for diagnosing...promising one. So far the only proven surrogate marker for the diagnosis of prion diseases is PrPSc. By detecting PrPSc, one would be able to avoid the...to the CNS in mouse scrapie . J. Clin. Invest. 108, 703-708. Bosque, P.J. and Prusiner, S.B. (2000) Cultured cell sublines highly susceptible to

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. The role of the unusual threonine string in the conversion of prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abskharon, Romany; Wang, Fei; Vander Stel, Kayla J; Sinniah, Kumar; Ma, Jiyan

    2016-12-16

    The conversion of normal prion protein (PrP) into pathogenic PrP conformers is central to prion disease, but the mechanism remains unclear. The α-helix 2 of PrP contains a string of four threonines, which is unusual due to the high propensity of threonine to form β-sheets. This structural feature was proposed as the basis for initiating PrP conversion, but experimental results have been conflicting. We studied the role of the threonine string on PrP conversion by analyzing mouse Prnp(a) and Prnp(b) polymorphism that contains a polymorphic residue at the beginning of the threonine string, and PrP mutants in which threonine 191 was replaced by valine, alanine, or proline. The PMCA (protein misfolding cyclic amplification) assay was able to recapitulate the in vivo transmission barrier between PrP(a) and PrP(b). Relative to PMCA, the amyloid fibril growth assay is less restrictive, but it did reflect certain properties of in vivo prion transmission. Our results suggest a plausible theory explaining the apparently contradictory results in the role of the threonine string in PrP conversion and provide novel insights into the complicated relationship among PrP stability, seeded conformational change, and prion structure, which is critical for understanding the molecular basis of prion infectivity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steele, Andrew D

    2008-05-01

    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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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....

  7. Cross-species transmission of CWD prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurt, Timothy D; Sigurdson, Christina J

    2016-01-01

    Prions cause fatal neurodegenerative diseases in humans and animals and can be transmitted zoonotically. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a highly transmissible prion disease of wild deer and elk that affects cervids over extensive regions of the United States and Canada. The risk of cross-species CWD transmission has been experimentally evaluated in a wide array of mammals, including non-human primates and mouse models expressing human cellular prion protein. Here we review the determinants of cross-species CWD transmission, and propose a model that may explain a structural barrier for CWD transmission to humans.

  8. Prion Protein Self Interactions; a gateway to novel therapeutic strategies?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rigter, A.; Langeveld, J.P.M.; Zijderveld, van F.G.; Bossers, A.

    2010-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) or prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders and include among others Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease in humans, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle, and scrapie in sheep. The central event in disease development in TSEs is the refol

  9. A distinct proteinase K resistant prion protein fragment in goats with no signs of disease in a classical scrapie outbreak

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bouzalas, I.; Lörtscher, F.; Dovas, C.; Oevermann, A.; Langeveld, J.P.M.; Papanastassopoulou, M.; Papadopoulos, O.; Zurbriggen, A.; Seuberlich, T.

    2011-01-01

    Considerable efforts have been directed toward the identification of small-ruminant prion diseases, i.e., classical and atypical scrapie as well as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Here we report the in-depth molecular analysis of the proteinase K-resistant prion protein core fragment (PrPres

  10. 3D local structure around copper site of rabbit prion-related protein: Quantitative determination by XANES spectroscopy combined with multiple-scattering calculations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, P. X.; Lian, F. L.; Wang, Y.; Wen, Yi; Chu, W. S.; Zhao, H. F.; Zhang, S.; Li, J.; Lin, D. H.; Wu, Z. Y.

    2014-02-01

    Prion-related protein (PrP), a cell-surface copper-binding glycoprotein, is considered to be responsible for a number of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). The structural conversion of PrP from the normal cellular isoform (PrPC) to the post-translationally modified form (PrPSc) is thought to be relevant to Cu2+ binding to histidine residues. Rabbits are one of the few mammalian species that appear to be resistant to TSEs, because of the structural characteristics of the rabbit prion protein (RaPrPC) itself. Here we determined the three-dimensional local structure around the C-terminal high-affinity copper-binding sites using X-ray absorption near-edge structure combined with ab initio calculations in the framework of the multiple-scattering (MS) theory. Result shows that two amino acid resides, Gln97 and Met108, and two histidine residues, His95 and His110, are involved in binding this copper(II) ion. It might help us understand the roles of copper in prion conformation conversions, and the molecular mechanisms of prion-involved diseases.

  11. Variably Protease-Sensitive Prionopathy: A New Sporadic Disease of the Prion Protein

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Wen-Quan; Puoti, Gianfranco; Xiao, Xiangzhu; Yuan, Jue; Qing, Liuting; Cali, Ignazio; Shimoji, Miyuki; Langeveld, Jan P. M.; Castellani, Rudy; Notari, Silvio; Crain, Barbara; Schmidt, Robert E.; Geschwind, Michael; DeArmond, Stephen J.; Cairns, Nigel J.; Dickson, Dennis; Honig, Lawrence; Torres, Juan Maria; Mastrianni, James; Capellari, Sabina; Giaccone, Giorgio; Belay, Ermias D.; Schonberger, Lawrence B.; Cohen, Mark; Perry, George; Kong, Qingzhong; Parchi, Piero; Tagliavini, Fabrizio; Gambetti, Pierluigi

    2011-01-01

    Objective The objective of the study is to report 2 new genotypic forms of protease-sensitive prionopathy (PSPr), a novel prion disease described in 2008, in 11 subjects all homozygous for valine at codon 129 of the prion protein (PrP) gene (129VV). The 2 new PSPr forms affect individuals who are either homozygous for methionine (129MM) or heterozygous for methionine/valine (129MV). Methods Fifteen affected subjects with 129MM, 129MV, and 129VV underwent comparative evaluation at the National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center for clinical, histopathologic, immunohistochemical, genotypical, and PrP characteristics. Results Disease duration (between 22 and 45 months) was significantly different in the 129VV and 129MV subjects. Most other phenotypic features along with the PrP electrophoretic profile were similar but distinguishable in the 3 129 genotypes. A major difference laid in the sensitivity to protease digestion of the disease-associated PrP, which was high in 129VV but much lower, or altogether lacking, in 129MV and 129MM. This difference prompted the substitution of the original designation with “variably protease-sensitive prionopathy” (VPSPr). None of the subjects had mutations in the PrP gene coding region. Interpretation Because all 3 129 genotypes are involved, and are associated with distinguishable phenotypes, VPSPr becomes the second sporadic prion protein disease with this feature after Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, originally reported in 1920. However, the characteristics of the abnormal prion protein suggest that VPSPr is different from typical prion diseases, and perhaps more akin to subtypes of Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker disease. PMID:20695009

  12. Amyloid-β Activates Microglia and Regulates Protein Expression in a Manner Similar to Prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tu, Jian; Chen, Baian; Yang, Lifeng; Qi, Kezong; Lu, Jing; Zhao, Deming

    2015-06-01

    Prions are the only convincingly demonstrated proteinaceous infectious particle, yet recent studies find that amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) aggregates are capable of self-propagation, which induces amyloidosis pathology in Alzheimer's disease (AD) model mice that is similar to the self-propagation phenomenon of prions in neurons. Gliosis is a common hallmark of AD and prion diseases, in which activated microglia accumulate around abnormal protein deposits. Analyses of the characteristics of activated microglia induced by Aβ in comparison with those induced by prions will provide new insight into the pathogenesis of AD. Therefore, we compared the characteristics of BV-2 cells (model microglia) activated by Aβ fibrillar peptides (Aβ1-42) and prions (PrP106-126). Aβ1-42 and PrP106-126, as well as the supernatants of the media collected from BV-2 cells cocultured with Aβ1-42 and PrP106-126, were potent activators of BV-2 microglial activity, but the chemotaxis index (CI) induced by Aβ1-42 was significantly higher than that induced by PrP106-126 at each concentration. Aβ1-42 and PrP106-126 increased the proliferation index (PI) and upregulated monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) and transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1) expression after 12 h of exposure. Our results show that Aβ activates microglia and regulates microglial protein expression in a manner similar to prions and, thus, provide new insight into the pathogenesis of AD.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. Brain immune interactions and air pollution: macrophage inhibitory factor (MIF), prion cellular protein (PrP(C)), Interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin 1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra), and interleukin-2 (IL-2) in cerebrospinal fluid and MIF in serum differentiate urban children exposed to severe vs. low air pollution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calderón-Garcidueñas, Lilian; Cross, Janet V; Franco-Lira, Maricela; Aragón-Flores, Mariana; Kavanaugh, Michael; Torres-Jardón, Ricardo; Chao, Chih-Kai; Thompson, Charles; Chang, Jing; Zhu, Hongtu; D'Angiulli, Amedeo

    2013-01-01

    Mexico City Metropolitan Area children chronically exposed to high concentrations of air pollutants exhibit an early brain imbalance in genes involved in oxidative stress, inflammation, innate and adaptive immune responses along with accumulation of misfolded proteins observed in the early stages of Alzheimer and Parkinson's diseases. A complex modulation of serum cytokines and chemokines influences children's brain structural and gray/white matter volumetric responses to air pollution. The search for biomarkers associating systemic and CNS inflammation to brain growth and cognitive deficits in the short term and neurodegeneration in the long-term is our principal aim. We explored and compared a profile of cytokines, chemokines (Multiplexing LASER Bead Technology) and Cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) in normal cerebro-spinal-fluid (CSF) of urban children with high vs. low air pollution exposures. PrP(C) and macrophage inhibitory factor (MIF) were also measured in serum. Samples from 139 children ages 11.91 ± 4.2 years were measured. Highly exposed children exhibited significant increases in CSF MIF (p = 0.002), IL6 (p = 0.006), IL1ra (p = 0.014), IL-2 (p = 0.04), and PrP(C) (p = 0.039) vs. controls. MIF serum concentrations were higher in exposed children (p = 0.009). Our results suggest CSF as a MIF, IL6, IL1Ra, IL-2, and PrP(C) compartment that can possibly differentiate air pollution exposures in children. MIF, a key neuro-immune mediator, is a potential biomarker bridge to identify children with CNS inflammation. Fine tuning of immune-to-brain communication is crucial to neural networks appropriate functioning, thus the short and long term effects of systemic inflammation and dysregulated neural immune responses are of deep concern for millions of exposed children. Defining the linkage and the health consequences of the brain / immune system interactions in the developing brain chronically exposed to air pollutants ought to be of pressing importance for public

  15. Brain immune interactions and air pollution: macrophage inhibitory factor (MIF), prion cellular protein (PrPC), Interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin 1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra), and interleukin-2 (IL-2) in cerebrospinal fluid and MIF in serum differentiate urban children exposed to severe vs. low air pollution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calderón-Garcidueñas, Lilian; Cross, Janet V.; Franco-Lira, Maricela; Aragón-Flores, Mariana; Kavanaugh, Michael; Torres-Jardón, Ricardo; Chao, Chih-kai; Thompson, Charles; Chang, Jing; Zhu, Hongtu; D'Angiulli, Amedeo

    2013-01-01

    Mexico City Metropolitan Area children chronically exposed to high concentrations of air pollutants exhibit an early brain imbalance in genes involved in oxidative stress, inflammation, innate and adaptive immune responses along with accumulation of misfolded proteins observed in the early stages of Alzheimer and Parkinson's diseases. A complex modulation of serum cytokines and chemokines influences children's brain structural and gray/white matter volumetric responses to air pollution. The search for biomarkers associating systemic and CNS inflammation to brain growth and cognitive deficits in the short term and neurodegeneration in the long-term is our principal aim. We explored and compared a profile of cytokines, chemokines (Multiplexing LASER Bead Technology) and Cellular prion protein (PrPC) in normal cerebro-spinal-fluid (CSF) of urban children with high vs. low air pollution exposures. PrPC and macrophage inhibitory factor (MIF) were also measured in serum. Samples from 139 children ages 11.91 ± 4.2 years were measured. Highly exposed children exhibited significant increases in CSF MIF (p = 0.002), IL6 (p = 0.006), IL1ra (p = 0.014), IL-2 (p = 0.04), and PrPC (p = 0.039) vs. controls. MIF serum concentrations were higher in exposed children (p = 0.009). Our results suggest CSF as a MIF, IL6, IL1Ra, IL-2, and PrPC compartment that can possibly differentiate air pollution exposures in children. MIF, a key neuro-immune mediator, is a potential biomarker bridge to identify children with CNS inflammation. Fine tuning of immune-to-brain communication is crucial to neural networks appropriate functioning, thus the short and long term effects of systemic inflammation and dysregulated neural immune responses are of deep concern for millions of exposed children. Defining the linkage and the health consequences of the brain / immune system interactions in the developing brain chronically exposed to air pollutants ought to be of pressing importance for public health

  16. Brain immune interactions and air pollution: Macrophage inhibitory factor (MIF, Prion cellular protein (PrPC, Interleukin-6 (IL-6, Interleukin 1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra, and Interleukin-2 (IL-2 in cerebrospinal fluid and MIF in serum differentiate urban children exposed to severe versus low air pollution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lilian eCalderon-Garciduenas

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Mexico City Metropolitan Area children chronically exposed to high concentrations of air pollutants exhibit an early brain imbalance in genes involved in oxidative stress, inflammation, innate and adaptive immune responses along with accumulation of misfolded proteins observed in the early stages of Alzheimer and Parkinson’s diseases. A complex modulation of serum cytokines and chemokines influences children’s brain structural and gray/white matter volumetric responses to air pollution. The search for biomarkers associating systemic and CNS inflammation to brain growth and cognitive deficits in the short term and neurodegeneration in the long-term is our principal aim. We explored and compared a profile of cytokines, chemokines (Multiplexing LASER Bead Technology and Cellular prion protein (PrPC in normal cerebro-spinal-fluid (CSF of urban children with high versus low air pollution exposures. PrPC and macrophage inhibitory factor (MIF were also measured in serum. Samples from 139 children ages 11.91±4.2 y were measured. Highly exposed children exhibited significant increases in CSF MIF (p=0.002, IL6 (p=0.006, IL1ra (p=0.014, IL-2 (p=0.04, and PrPC (p=0.039 v controls. MIF serum concentrations were higher in exposed children (p=0.009. Our results suggest CSF as a MIF, IL6, IL1Ra, IL-2, and PrPC compartment that can possibly differentiate air pollution exposures in children. MIF, a key neuro-immune mediator, is a potential biomarker bridge to identify children with CNS inflammation. Fine tuning of immune-to-brain communication is crucial to neural networks appropriate functioning, thus the short and long term effects of systemic inflammation and dysregulated neural immune responses are of deep concern for millions of exposed children. Defining the linkage and the health consequences of the brain/ immune system interactions in the developing brain chronically exposed to air pollutants ought to be of pressing importance for public health.

  17. Transmissibility of atypical scrapie in ovine transgenic mice: major effects of host prion protein expression and donor prion genotype.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Noël Arsac

    Full Text Available Atypical scrapie or Nor98 has been identified as a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE that is clearly distinguishable from classical scrapie and BSE, notably regarding the biochemical features of the protease-resistant prion protein PrP(res and the genetic factors involved in susceptibility to the disease. In this study we transmitted the disease from a series of 12 French atypical scrapie isolates in a transgenic mouse model (TgOvPrP4 overexpressing in the brain approximately 0.25, 1.5 or 6x the levels of the PrP(ARQ ovine prion protein under the control of the neuron-specific enolase promoter. We used an approach based on serum PrP(c measurements that appeared to reflect the different PrP(c expression levels in the central nervous system. We found that transmission of atypical scrapie, much more than in classical scrapie or BSE, was strongly influenced by the PrP(c expression levels of TgOvPrP4 inoculated mice. Whereas TgOvPrP4 mice overexpressing approximately 6x the normal PrP(c level died after a survival periods of 400 days, those with approximately 1.5x the normal PrP(c level died at around 700 days. The transmission of atypical scrapie in TgOvPrP4 mouse line was also strongly influenced by the prnp genotypes of the animal source of atypical scrapie. Isolates carrying the AF(141RQ or AHQ alleles, associated with increased disease susceptibility in the natural host, showed a higher transmissibility in TgOvPrP4 mice. The biochemical analysis of PrP(res in TgOvPrP4 mouse brains showed a fully conserved pattern, compared to that in the natural host, with three distinct PrP(res products. Our results throw light on the transmission features of atypical scrapie and suggest that the risk of transmission is intrinsically lower than that of classical scrapie or BSE, especially in relation to the expression level of the prion protein.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

  20. A brief history of prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zabel, Mark D; Reid, Crystal

    2015-12-01

    Proteins were described as distinct biological molecules and their significance in cellular processes was recognized as early as the 18th century. At the same time, Spanish shepherds observed a disease that compelled their Merino sheep to pathologically scrape against fences, a defining clinical sign that led to the disease being named scrapie. In the late 19th century, Robert Koch published his postulates for defining causative agents of disease. In the early 20th century, pathologists Creutzfeldt and Jakob described a neurodegenerative disease that would later be included with scrapie into a group of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). Later that century, mounting evidence compelled a handful of scientists to betray the prevailing biological dogma governing pathogen replication that Watson and Crick so convincingly explained by cracking the genetic code just two decades earlier. Because TSEs seemed to defy these new rules, J.S. Griffith theorized mechanisms by which a pathogenic protein could encipher its own replication blueprint without a genetic code. Stanley Prusiner called this proteinaceous infectious pathogen a prion. Here we offer a concise account of the discovery of prions, the causative agent of TSEs, in the wider context of protein biochemistry and infectious disease. We highlight the discovery of prions in yeast and discuss the implication of prions as epigenomic carriers of biological and pathological information. We also consider expanding the prion hypothesis to include other proteins whose alternate isoforms confer new biological or pathological properties.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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. Identification of prion protein gene polymorphisms in goats from Italian scrapie outbreaks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Acutis, P.L.; Bossers, A.; Priem, J.; Riina, M.V.; Peletto, S.; Mazza, M.; Casalone, C.; Forloni, G.; Ru, G.; Caramelli, M.

    2006-01-01

    Susceptibility to scrapie in sheep is influenced by polymorphisms of the prion protein (PrP) gene, whereas no strong association between genetics and scrapie has yet been determined in goats due to the limited number of studies on these animals. In this case¿control study on 177 goats from six Itali

  3. Immunohistochemical detection of prion protein in lymphoid tissues of sheep with natural scrapie

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Keulen, van L.J.M.; Schreuder, B.E.C.; Meloen, R.H.; Mooij-Harkes, G.; Vromans, M.E.W.; Langeveld, J.P.M.

    1996-01-01

    The scrapie-associated form of the prion protein (PrP(Sc)) accumulates in the brain and lymphoid tissues of sheep with scrapie. In order to assess whether detecting PrP(Sc) in lymphoid tissue could he used as a diagnostic test for scrapie, we studied the localization and distribution of PrP(Sc) in v

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  5. Molecular approaches to detecting and discriminating among prions, a class of pathogenic molecules(Abstract)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prions (PrPSc)are the pathogens that cause a set of fatal neurological diseases that include scrapie and chronic wasting disease (CWD). They are composed solely of protein and unlike viral, bacterial, or fungal pathogens, the information necessary to convert the normal cellular prion protein (PrPC) ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-03-10

    Prions are composed solely of an alternatively folded isoform of the prion protein (PrP), designated PrP(Sc). N-terminally truncated PrP(Sc), 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 bound to 2D crystals treated with 3 M urea. These same antibodies did not bind to either native PrP(Sc) or untreated 2D crystals. By using small, spherical POMs with Keggin-type structures, the central heteroatom was found to determine whether prion rods or 2D crystals were preferentially formed. An example of a Keggin-type POM with a phosphorous heteroatom is the phosphotungstate anion (PTA). Both PTA and a Keggin-type POM with a silicon heteratom have low-charge densities and favor formation of prion rods. In contrast, POMs with boron or hydrogen heteroatoms exhibiting higher negative charges encouraged 2D crystal formation. The 2D crystals of PrP 27-30 produced by selective precipitation with POMs were larger and more well ordered than those obtained by sucrose gradient centrifugation. Our findings argue that the negative charge of Keggin-type POMs determines the quaternary structure adopted by PrP 27-30. The mechanism by which POMs function in competing prion polymerization pathways--one favoring 2D crystals and the other, amyloid fibrils--remains to be established.

  7. Detection of prion protein particles in blood plasma of scrapie infected sheep.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oliver Bannach

    Full Text Available Prion diseases are transmissible neurodegenerative diseases affecting humans and animals. The agent of the disease is the prion consisting mainly, if not solely, of a misfolded and aggregated isoform of the host-encoded prion protein (PrP. Transmission of prions can occur naturally but also accidentally, e.g. by blood transfusion, which has raised serious concerns about blood product safety and emphasized the need for a reliable diagnostic test. In this report we present a method based on surface-FIDA (fluorescence intensity distribution analysis, that exploits the high state of molecular aggregation of PrP as an unequivocal diagnostic marker of the disease, and show that it can detect infection in blood. To prepare PrP aggregates from blood plasma we introduced a detergent and lipase treatment to separate PrP from blood lipophilic components. Prion protein aggregates were subsequently precipitated by phosphotungstic acid, immobilized on a glass surface by covalently bound capture antibodies, and finally labeled with fluorescent antibody probes. Individual PrP aggregates were visualized by laser scanning microscopy where signal intensity was proportional to aggregate size. After signal processing to remove the background from low fluorescence particles, fluorescence intensities of all remaining PrP particles were summed. We detected PrP aggregates in plasma samples from six out of ten scrapie-positive sheep with no false positives from uninfected sheep. Applying simultaneous intensity and size discrimination, ten out of ten samples from scrapie sheep could be differentiated from uninfected sheep. The implications for ante mortem diagnosis of prion diseases are discussed.

  8. Primary transmission of chronic wasting disease versus scrapie prions from small ruminants to transgenic mice expressing ovine or cervid prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madsen-Bouterse, Sally A; Schneider, David A; Zhuang, Dongyue; Dassanayake, Rohana P; Balachandran, Aru; Mitchell, Gordon B; O'Rourke, Katherine I

    2016-09-01

    Development of mice expressing either ovine (Tg338) or cervid (TgElk) prion protein (PrP) have aided in characterization of scrapie and chronic wasting disease (CWD), respectively. Experimental inoculation of sheep with CWD prions has demonstrated the potential for interspecies transmission but, infection with CWD versus classical scrapie prions may be difficult to differentiate using validated diagnostic platforms. In this study, mouse bioassay in Tg338 and TgElk was utilized to evaluate transmission of CWD versus scrapie prions from small ruminants. Mice (≥5 per homogenate) were inoculated with brain homogenates from clinically affected sheep or goats with naturally acquired classical scrapie, white-tailed deer with naturally acquired CWD (WTD-CWD) or sheep with experimentally acquired CWD derived from elk (sheep-passaged-CWD). Survival time (time to clinical disease) and attack rates (brain accumulation of protease resistant PrP, PrPres) were determined. Inoculation with classical scrapie prions resulted in clinical disease and 100 % attack rates in Tg338, but no clinical disease at endpoint (>300 days post-inoculation, p.i.) and low attack rates (6.8 %) in TgElk. Inoculation with WTD-CWD prions yielded no clinical disease or brain PrPres accumulation in Tg338 at endpoint (>500 days p.i.), but rapid onset of clinical disease (~121 days p.i.) and 100 % attack rate in TgElk. Sheep-passaged-CWD resulted in transmission to both mouse lines with 100 % attack rates at endpoint in Tg338 and an attack rate of ~73 % in TgElk with some culled due to clinical disease. These primary transmission observations demonstrate the potential of bioassay in Tg338 and TgElk to help differentiate possible infection with CWD versus classical scrapie prions in sheep and goats.

  9. Human Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and sheep scrapie PrP (res) detection using seeded conversion of recombinant prion protein.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Orrú, C.D.; Wilham, J.M.; Hughson, A.G.; Raymond, L.D.; McNally, K.L.; Bossers, A.; Ligios, C.; Caughey, B.

    2009-01-01

    The pathological isoform of the prion protein (PrPres) can serve as a marker for prion diseases, but more practical tests are needed for preclinical diagnosis and sensitive detection of many prion infections. Previously we showed that the quaking-induced conversion (QuIC) assay can detect sub-femtog

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bitter, Hans-Marcus L. [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)

    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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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

  12. Increased oxidation, glycoxidation, and lipoxidation of brain proteins in prion disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pamplona, Reinald; Naudí, Alba; Gavín, Rosalina; Pastrana, Miguel A; Sajnani, Gustavo; Ilieva, Ekaterina V; Del Río, José Antonio; Portero-Otín, Manuel; Ferrer, Isidre; Requena, Jesús R

    2008-10-15

    The basic molecular underpinnings of the pathological changes that unfold in prion disease remain elusive. A key role of increased oxidative stress has been hypothesized. Given the transient nature of most intermediate molecules implicated, increased oxidative stress is better assessed by quantitating the damage it causes to macromolecules. We used mass spectrometry-based methods to measure specific products of protein oxidation, glycoxidation, and lipoxidation in brains from patients suffering from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and Syrian hamsters affected by scrapie. In both cases, increased amounts of glutamic and aminoadipic semialdehydes, products of metal-catalyzed oxidation, malondialdehydelysine (a product of lipoxidation), N-epsilon-carboxyethyllysine (a product of glycoxidation), and N-epsilon-carboxymethyllysine (generated by lipoxidation and glycoxidation) were measured. PrP(Sc), the infectious isoform of the prion protein that accumulates in prion disease, was itself shown to be a target of increased oxidative modification. These changes were accompanied by alterations in fatty acid composition and increased phosphorylation of ERK(1/2) and p38, protein kinases known to respond to increased flows of ROS. These data support an important role of oxidative damage in the pathology of prion disease.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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).

  14. Heterogeneity of abnormal prion protein (PrP(Sc)) in murine scrapie prions determined by PrP(Sc)-specific monoclonal antibodies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ushiki-Kaku, Yuko; Shimizu, Yoshihisa; Tabeta, Naoko; Iwamaru, Yoshifumi; Ogawa-Goto, Kiyoko; Hattori, Shunji; Yokoyama, Takashi

    2014-03-01

    In prion diseases, abnormal prion protein (PrP(Sc)) is considered as the main component of the infectious agent. Delineation of PrP(Sc) conformation is expected to be a critical factor in understanding properties of prions. However, practical methods to differentiate between conformers of PrP(Sc) are inadequate. Here, we used two PrP(Sc)-specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), 3B7 and 3H6, and found that mAb 3H6 detected a limited portion of PrP(Sc) in five mice-adapted prion strains. The quantity of mAb 3H6-precipitated PrP(Sc) was significantly lesser in 22L compared to other strains. This result provides a direct evidence of the conformational heterogeneity of PrP(Sc) within the prion strains. Conformation-specific probes, like these mAbs, have the potential to be powerful tools for investigating conformational variations in PrP(Sc).

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  16. Conformational diversity in prion protein variants influences intermolecular [beta]-sheet formation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Seungjoo; Antony, Lizamma; Hartmann, Rune; Knaus, Karen J.; Surewicz, Krystyna; Surewicz, Witold K.; Yee, Vivien C. (Case Western); (Cleveland Clinic)

    2010-04-19

    A conformational transition of normal cellular prion protein (PrP{sup C}) to its pathogenic form (PrP{sup Sc}) is believed to be a central event in the transmission of the devastating neurological diseases known as spongiform encephalopathies. The common methionine/valine polymorphism at residue 129 in the PrP influences disease susceptibility and phenotype. We report here seven crystal structures of human PrP variants: three of wild-type (WT) PrP containing V129, and four of the familial variants D178N and F198S, containing either M129 or V129. Comparison of these structures with each other and with previously published WT PrP structures containing M129 revealed that only WT PrPs were found to crystallize as domain-swapped dimers or closed monomers; the four mutant PrPs crystallized as non-swapped dimers. Three of the four mutant PrPs aligned to form intermolecular {beta}-sheets. Several regions of structural variability were identified, and analysis of their conformations provides an explanation for the structural features, which can influence the formation and conformation of intermolecular {beta}-sheets involving the M/V129 polymorphic residue.

  17. Plasma soluble prion protein, a potential biomarker for sport-related concussions: a pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pham, Nam; Akonasu, Hungbo; Shishkin, Rhonda; Taghibiglou, Changiz

    2015-01-01

    Sport-related mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) or concussion is a significant health concern to athletes with potential long-term consequences. The diagnosis of sport concussion and return to sport decision making is one of the greatest challenges facing health care clinicians working in sports. Blood biomarkers have recently demonstrated their potential in assisting the detection of brain injury particularly, in those cases with no obvious physical injury. We have recently discovered plasma soluble cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) as a potential reliable biomarker for blast induced TBI (bTBI) in a rodent animal model. In order to explore the application of this novel TBI biomarker to sport-related concussion, we conducted a pilot study at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) by recruiting athlete and non-athlete 18 to 30 year-old students. Using a modified quantitative ELISA method, we first established normal values for the plasma soluble PrP(C) in male and female students. The measured plasma soluble PrP(C) in confirmed concussion cases demonstrated a significant elevation of this analyte in post-concussion samples. Data collected from our pilot study indicates that the plasma soluble PrP(C) is a potential biomarker for sport-related concussion, which may be further developed into a clinical diagnostic tool to assist clinicians in the assessment of sport concussion and return-to-play decision making.

  18. Plasma soluble prion protein, a potential biomarker for sport-related concussions: a pilot study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nam Pham

    Full Text Available Sport-related mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI or concussion is a significant health concern to athletes with potential long-term consequences. The diagnosis of sport concussion and return to sport decision making is one of the greatest challenges facing health care clinicians working in sports. Blood biomarkers have recently demonstrated their potential in assisting the detection of brain injury particularly, in those cases with no obvious physical injury. We have recently discovered plasma soluble cellular prion protein (PrP(C as a potential reliable biomarker for blast induced TBI (bTBI in a rodent animal model. In order to explore the application of this novel TBI biomarker to sport-related concussion, we conducted a pilot study at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S by recruiting athlete and non-athlete 18 to 30 year-old students. Using a modified quantitative ELISA method, we first established normal values for the plasma soluble PrP(C in male and female students. The measured plasma soluble PrP(C in confirmed concussion cases demonstrated a significant elevation of this analyte in post-concussion samples. Data collected from our pilot study indicates that the plasma soluble PrP(C is a potential biomarker for sport-related concussion, which may be further developed into a clinical diagnostic tool to assist clinicians in the assessment of sport concussion and return-to-play decision making.

  19. Unexpected tolerance of alpha-cleavage of the prion protein to sequence variations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José B Oliveira-Martins

    Full Text Available The cellular form of the prion protein, PrP(C, undergoes extensive proteolysis at the alpha site (109K [see text]H110. Expression of non-cleavable PrP(C mutants in transgenic mice correlates with neurotoxicity, suggesting that alpha-cleavage is important for PrP(C physiology. To gain insights into the mechanisms of alpha-cleavage, we generated a library of PrP(C mutants with mutations in the region neighbouring the alpha-cleavage site. The prevalence of C1, the carboxy adduct of alpha-cleavage, was determined for each mutant. In cell lines of disparate origin, C1 prevalence was unaffected by variations in charge and hydrophobicity of the region neighbouring the alpha-cleavage site, and by substitutions of the residues in the palindrome that flanks this site. Instead, alpha-cleavage was size-dependently impaired by deletions within the domain 106-119. Almost no cleavage was observed upon full deletion of this domain. These results suggest that alpha-cleavage is executed by an alpha-PrPase whose activity, despite surprisingly limited sequence specificity, is dependent on the size of the central region of PrP(C.

  20. The neutral sphingomyelinase pathway regulates packaging of the prion protein into exosomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Belinda B; Bellingham, Shayne A; Hill, Andrew F

    2015-02-06

    Prion diseases are a group of transmissible, fatal neurodegenerative disorders associated with the misfolding of the host-encoded prion protein, PrP(C), into a disease-associated form, PrP(Sc). The transmissible prion agent is principally formed of PrP(Sc) itself and is associated with extracellular vesicles known as exosomes. Exosomes are released from cells both in vitro and in vivo, and have been proposed as a mechanism by which prions spread intercellularly. The biogenesis of exosomes occurs within the endosomal system, through formation of intraluminal vesicles (ILVs), which are subsequently released from cells as exosomes. ILV formation is known to be regulated by the endosomal sorting complexes required for transport (ESCRT) machinery, although an alternative neutral sphingomyelinase (nSMase) pathway has been suggested to also regulate this process. Here, we investigate a role for the nSMase pathway in exosome biogenesis and packaging of PrP into these vesicles. Inhibition of the nSMase pathway using GW4869 revealed a role for the nSMase pathway in both exosome formation and PrP packaging. In agreement, targeted knockdown of nSMase1 and nSMase2 in mouse neurons using lentivirus-mediated RNAi also decreases exosome release, demonstrating the nSMase pathway regulates the biogenesis and release of exosomes. We also demonstrate that PrP(C) packaging is dependent on nSMase2, whereas the packaging of disease-associated PrP(Sc) into exosomes occurs independently of nSMase2. These findings provide further insight into prion transmission and identify a pathway which directly assists exosome-mediated transmission of prions.

  1. Stability of the β-structure in prion protein: A molecular dynamics study based on polarized force field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Zhijun; Lazim, Raudah; Mei, Ye; Zhang, Dawei

    2012-06-01

    Conformational changes of the antiparallel β-sheet in normal cellular prion protein (PrPC) of rat, bovine, and human are investigated by molecular dynamics simulations in both neutral and acidic environment. Using a recently developed simulation method based on an on-the-fly polarized protein-specific charge (PPC) update scheme during the simulation process, we evaluate and compare the cross-species performances of the β-sheet during the early stage transition from the PrPC to its mutant configuration. Through this study, we observe the growth of the β-sheet structure in all species studied with the extent of elongation in β-sheet being different across the three species.

  2. Primary transmission of chronic wasting disease versus scrapie prions from small ruminants to transgenic mice expressing ovine and cervid prion protein

    Science.gov (United States)

    Identifying transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) reservoirs that could lead to disease re-emergence is imperative to U.S. scrapie eradication efforts. Transgenic mice expressing the cervid (TgElk) or ovine (Tg338) prion protein have aided characterization of chronic wasting disease (CWD) an...

  3. A single amino acid (Asp159) from the dog prion protein suppresses the toxicity of the mouse prion protein in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez-Garcia, J; Jensen, K; Zhang, Y; Rincon-Limas, D E; Fernandez-Funez, P

    2016-11-01

    Misfolding of the prion protein (PrP) is the key step in the transmission of spongiform pathologies in humans and several animals. Although PrP is highly conserved in mammals, a few changes in the sequence of endogenous PrP are proposed to confer protection to dogs, which were highly exposed to prion during the mad-cow epidemics. D159 is a unique amino acid found in PrP from dogs and other canines that was shown to alter surface charge, but its functional relevance has never been tested in vivo. Here, we show in transgenic Drosophila that introducing the N159D substitution on mouse PrP decreases its turnover. Additionally, mouse PrP-N159D demonstrates no toxicity and accumulates no pathogenic conformations, suggesting that a single D159 substitution is sufficient to prevent PrP conformational change and pathogenesis. Understanding the mechanisms mediating the protective activity of D159 is likely to lessen the burden of prion diseases in humans and domestic animals.

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  5. Mammalian prions and their wider relevance in neurodegenerative diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collinge, John

    2016-11-10

    Prions are notorious protein-only infectious agents that cause invariably fatal brain diseases following silent incubation periods that can span a lifetime. These diseases can arise spontaneously, through infection or be inherited. Remarkably, prions are composed of self-propagating assemblies of a misfolded cellular protein that encode information, generate neurotoxicity and evolve and adapt in vivo. Although parallels have been drawn with Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative conditions involving the deposition of assemblies of misfolded proteins in the brain, insights are now being provided into the usefulness and limitations of prion analogies and their aetiological and therapeutic relevance.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  7. Prion infection impairs lysosomal degradation capacity by interfering with rab7 membrane attachment in neuronal cells

    OpenAIRE

    Su Yeon Shim; Srinivasarao Karri; Sampson Law; Schatzl, Hermann M.; Sabine Gilch

    2016-01-01

    Prions are proteinaceous infectious particles which cause fatal neurodegenerative disorders in humans and animals. They consist of a mostly β-sheeted aggregated isoform (PrPSc) of the cellular prion protein (PrPc). Prions replicate autocatalytically in neurons and other cell types by inducing conformational conversion of PrPc into PrPSc. Within neurons, PrPSc accumulates at the plasma membrane and in vesicles of the endocytic pathway. To better understand the mechanisms underlying neuronal dy...

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  12. Antimicrobial activity of human prion protein is mediated by its N-terminal region.

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    Mukesh Pasupuleti

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Cellular prion-related protein (PrP(c is a cell-surface protein that is ubiquitously expressed in the human body. The multifunctionality of PrP(c, and presence of an exposed cationic and heparin-binding N-terminus, a feature characterizing many antimicrobial peptides, made us hypothesize that PrP(c could exert antimicrobial activity. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Intact recombinant PrP exerted antibacterial and antifungal effects at normal and low pH. Studies employing recombinant PrP and N- and C-terminally truncated variants, as well as overlapping peptide 20mers, demonstrated that the antimicrobial activity is mediated by the unstructured N-terminal part of the protein. Synthetic peptides of the N-terminus of PrP killed the Gram-negative bacteria Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and the Gram-positive Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus, as well as the fungus Candida parapsilosis. Fluorescence studies of peptide-treated bacteria, paired with analysis of peptide effects on liposomes, showed that the peptides exerted membrane-breaking effects similar to those seen after treatment with the "classical" human antimicrobial peptide LL-37. In contrast to LL-37, however, no marked helix induction was detected for the PrP-derived peptides in presence of negatively charged (bacteria-mimicking liposomes. PrP furthermore showed an inducible expression during wounding of human skin ex vivo and in vivo, as well as stimulation of keratinocytes with TGF-alpha in vitro. CONCLUSIONS: The demonstration of an antimicrobial activity of PrP, localisation of its activity to the N-terminal and heparin-binding region, combined with results showing an increased expression of PrP during wounding, indicate that PrPs could have a previously undisclosed role in host defense.

  13. Monitoring Conformational Landscape of Ovine Prion Protein Monomer Using Ion Mobility Coupled to Mass Spectrometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van der Rest, Guillaume; Rezaei, Human; Halgand, Frédéric

    2017-02-01

    Prion protein is involved in deadly neurodegenerative diseases. Its pathogenicity is linked to its structural conversion (α-helix to β-strand transition). However, recent studies suggest that prion protein can follow a plurality of conversion pathways, which hints towards different conformers that might coexist in solution. To gain insights on the plasticity of the ovine prion protein (PrP) monomer, wild type (A136, R154, Q171), mutants and deletions of ARQ were studied by traveling wave ion mobility experiments coupled to mass spectrometry. In order to perform the analysis of a large body of data sets, we designed and evaluated the performance of a processing pipeline based on Driftscope peak detection and a homemade script for automated peak assignment, annotation, and quantification on specific multiply charged protein data. Using this approach, we showed that in the gas phase, PrPs are represented by at least three conformer families differing in both charge state distribution and collisional cross-section, in agreement with the work of Hilton et al. (2010). We also showed that this plasticity is borne both by the N- and C-terminal domains. Effect of protein concentration, pH and temperature were also assessed, showing that (1) pH does not affect conformer distributions, (2) protein concentration modifies the conformational landscape of one mutant (I208M) only, and (3) heating leads to other unfolded species and to a modification of the conformer intensity ratios.

  14. The roles of the conserved tyrosine in the β2-α2 loop of the prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Danzhi; Caflisch, Amedeo

    2015-01-01

    Prions cause neurodegenerative diseases for which no cure exists. Despite decades of research activities the function of the prion protein (PrP) in mammalians is not known. Moreover, little is known on the molecular mechanisms of the self-assembly of the PrP from its monomeric state (cellular PrP, PrP(C)) to the multimeric state. The latter state includes the toxic species (scrapie PrP, PrP(Sc)) knowledge of which would facilitate the development of drugs against prion diseases. Here we analyze the role of a tyrosine residue (Y169) which is strictly conserved in mammalian PrPs. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy studies of many mammalian PrP(C) proteins have provided evidence of a conformational equilibrium between a 3(10)-helical turn and a type I β turn conformation in the β2-α2 loop (residues 165-175). In vitro cell-free experiments of the seeded conversion of PrP(C) indicate that non-aromatic residues at position 169 reduce the formation of proteinase K-resistant PrP. Recent molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of monomeric PrP and several single-point mutants show that Y169 stabilizes the 3(10)-helical turn conformation more than single-point mutants at position 169 or residues in contact with it. In the 3(10)-helical turn conformation the hydrophobic and aggregation-prone segment 169-YSNQNNF-175 is buried and thus not-available for self-assembly. From the combined analysis of simulation and experimental results it emerges that Y169 is an aggregation gatekeeper with a twofold role. Mutations related to 3 human prion diseases are interpreted on the basis of the gatekeeper role in the monomeric state. Another potential role of the Y169 side chain is the stabilization of the ordered aggregates, i.e., reduction of frangibility of filamentous protofibrils and fibrils, which is likely to reduce the generation of toxic species.

  15. Single methyl group determines prion propagation and protein degradation activities of yeast heat shock protein (Hsp)-70 chaperones Ssa1p and Ssa2p.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Deepak; Masison, Daniel C

    2011-08-16

    Organisms encode multiple homologous heat shock protein (Hsp)-70s, which are essential protein chaperones that play the major role in cellular protein "quality control." Although Hsp70s are functionally redundant and highly homologous, many possess distinct functions. A regulatory motif underlying such distinctions, however, is unknown. The 98% identical cytoplasmic Hsp70s Ssa1p and Ssa2p function differently with regard to propagation of yeast [URE3] prions and in the vacuolar-mediated degradation of gluconeogenesis enzymes, such as FBPase. Here, we show that the Hsp70 nucleotide binding domain (NBD) regulates these functional specificities. We find little difference in ATPase, protein refolding, and amyloid inhibiting activities of purified Ssa1p and Ssa2p, but show that interchanging NBD residue alanine 83 (Ssa1p) and glycine 83 (Ssa2p) switched functions of Ssa1p and Ssa2p in [URE3] propagation and FBPase degradation. Disrupting the degradation pathway did not affect prion propagation, however, indicating these are two distinct processes where Ssa1/2p chaperones function differently. Our results suggest that the primary evolutionary pressure for Hsp70 functional distinctions is not to specify interactions of Hsp70 with substrate, but to specify the regulation of this activity. Our data suggest a rationale for maintaining multiple Hsp70s and suggest that subtle differences among Hsp70s evolved to provide functional specificity without affecting overall enzymatic activity.

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  17. Increased expression of Hsp40 chaperones, transcriptional factors, and ribosomal protein Rpp0 can cure yeast prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kryndushkin, Dmitry S; Smirnov, Vladimir N; Ter-Avanesyan, Michael D; Kushnirov, Vitaly V

    2002-06-28

    The Sup35 (eRF3) translation termination factor of Saccharomyces cerevisiae can undergo a prion-like conformational conversion, thus resulting in the [PSI(+)] nonsense-suppressor determinant. In vivo this process depends critically on the chaperone Hsp104, whose lack or overexpression can cure [PSI(+)]. The use of artificial prion [PSI(+)PS] based on a hybrid Sup35PS with prion domain from the yeast Pichia methanolica allowed us to uncover three more chaperones, Ssb1, Ssa1, and Ydj1, whose overexpression can cure prion determinants. Here, we used the [PSI(+)PS] to search a multicopy yeast genomic library for novel factors able to cure prions. It was found that overexpression of the Hsp40 family chaperones Sis1 and Ynl077w, chaperone Sti1, transcriptional factors Sfl1 and Ssn8, and acidic ribosomal protein Rpp0 can interfere with propagation and manifestation of [PSI(+)PS] in a prion strain-specific manner. Some of these factors also affected the manifestation and propagation of conventional [PSI(+)]. Excess of Sfl1, Ssn8, and Rpp0 influenced at least one of the tested chaperone-specific promoters, SSA4, HSP104, and model promoters, with either the heat shock or stress response elements. Thus, the induction of chaperone expression by these proteins could explain their prion-curing effects.

  18. Quantitating PrP polymorphisms present in prions from heterozygous scrapie-infected sheep

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scrapie is a prion (PrPSc) disease of sheep. The incubation period of sheep scrapie is strongly influenced by polymorphisms at positions 136, 154, and 171 of a sheep’s normal cellular prion protein (PrPC). Chymotrypsin was used to digest sheep recombinant PrP to identify a set of characteristic pept...

  19. Conformational stability of mammalian prion protein amyloid fibrils is dictated by a packing polymorphism within the core region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cobb, Nathan J; Apostol, Marcin I; Chen, Shugui; Smirnovas, Vytautas; Surewicz, Witold K

    2014-01-31

    Mammalian prion strains are believed to arise from the propagation of distinct conformations of the misfolded prion protein PrP(Sc). One key operational parameter used to define differences between strains has been conformational stability of PrP(Sc) as defined by resistance to thermal and/or chemical denaturation. However, the structural basis of these stability differences is unknown. To bridge this gap, we have generated two strains of recombinant human prion protein amyloid fibrils that show dramatic differences in conformational stability and have characterized them by a number of biophysical methods. Backbone amide hydrogen/deuterium exchange experiments revealed that, in sharp contrast to previously studied strains of infectious amyloid formed from the yeast prion protein Sup35, differences in β-sheet core size do not underlie differences in conformational stability between strains of mammalian prion protein amyloid. Instead, these stability differences appear to be dictated by distinct packing arrangements (i.e. steric zipper interfaces) within the amyloid core, as indicated by distinct x-ray fiber diffraction patterns and large strain-dependent differences in hydrogen/deuterium exchange kinetics for histidine side chains within the core region. Although this study was limited to synthetic prion protein amyloid fibrils, a similar structural basis for strain-dependent conformational stability may apply to brain-derived PrP(Sc), especially because large strain-specific differences in PrP(Sc) stability are often observed despite a similar size of the PrP(Sc) core region.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. Conformational Stability of Mammalian Prion Protein Amyloid Fibrils Is Dictated by a Packing Polymorphism within the Core Region*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cobb, Nathan J.; Apostol, Marcin I.; Chen, Shugui; Smirnovas, Vytautas; Surewicz, Witold K.

    2014-01-01

    Mammalian prion strains are believed to arise from the propagation of distinct conformations of the misfolded prion protein PrPSc. One key operational parameter used to define differences between strains has been conformational stability of PrPSc as defined by resistance to thermal and/or chemical denaturation. However, the structural basis of these stability differences is unknown. To bridge this gap, we have generated two strains of recombinant human prion protein amyloid fibrils that show dramatic differences in conformational stability and have characterized them by a number of biophysical methods. Backbone amide hydrogen/deuterium exchange experiments revealed that, in sharp contrast to previously studied strains of infectious amyloid formed from the yeast prion protein Sup35, differences in β-sheet core size do not underlie differences in conformational stability between strains of mammalian prion protein amyloid. Instead, these stability differences appear to be dictated by distinct packing arrangements (i.e. steric zipper interfaces) within the amyloid core, as indicated by distinct x-ray fiber diffraction patterns and large strain-dependent differences in hydrogen/deuterium exchange kinetics for histidine side chains within the core region. Although this study was limited to synthetic prion protein amyloid fibrils, a similar structural basis for strain-dependent conformational stability may apply to brain-derived PrPSc, especially because large strain-specific differences in PrPSc stability are often observed despite a similar size of the PrPSc core region. PMID:24338015

  2. Anti-prion activity of Brilliant Blue G.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoshifumi Iwamaru

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders with no effective therapy currently available. Accumulating evidence has implicated over-activation of P2X7 ionotropic purinergic receptor (P2X7R in the progression of neuronal loss in several neurodegenerative diseases. This has led to the speculation that simultaneous blockade of this receptor and prion replication can be an effective therapeutic strategy for prion diseases. We have focused on Brilliant Blue G (BBG, a well-known P2X7R antagonist, possessing a chemical structure expected to confer anti-prion activity and examined its inhibitory effect on the accumulation of pathogenic isoforms of prion protein (PrPres in a cellular and a mouse model of prion disease in order to determine its therapeutic potential. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: BBG prevented PrPres accumulation in infected MG20 microglial and N2a neural cells at 50% inhibitory concentrations of 14.6 and 3.2 µM, respectively. Administration of BBG in vivo also reduced PrPres accumulation in the brains of mice with prion disease. However, it did not appear to alleviate the disease progression compared to the vehicle-treated controls, implying a complex role of P2X7R on the neuronal degeneration in prion diseases. SIGNIFICANCE: These results provide novel insights into the pathophysiology of prion diseases and have important implications for the treatment.

  3. Uncovering molecular structural mechanisms of signaling mediated by the prion protein

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Romano, Sebastian A.; Linden, Rafael [Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (IBCCF/UFRl), RJ (Brazil). Inst. de Biofisica Carlos Chagas Filho; Cordeiro, Yraima; Rocha e Lima, Luis M.T. da [Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (FF/UFRl), RJ (Brazil). Fac. de Farmacia; Lopes, Marilene H. [Instituto Ludwig de Pesquisa de Cancer, Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil); Silva, Jerson L.; Foguel, Debora [Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (IBqM/UFRl), RJ (Brazil). Inst. de Bioquimica Medica

    2009-07-01

    The glycosyl phosphatidylinositol (GPI) - anchored prion protein (PrP{sup c}), usually associated with neurodegenerative diseases, modulates various cellular responses and may scaffold multiprotein cell surface signaling complexes. Engagement of PrP{sup c} with the secretable cochaperone hop/STI 1 induces neurotrophic transmembrane signals through unknown molecular mechanisms. We addressed whether interaction of Pr P{sup c} and hop STI 1 entails structural rearrangements relevant for signaling. Circular dichroism and fluorescence spectroscopy showed that PrP{sup c}:hop/STI 1 interaction triggers loss of PrP helical structures, involving at least a perturbation of the Pr P{sup c}{sub 143-153} beta-helix. Novel SAXS models revealed a significant C-terminal compaction of hop/STI 1 when bound to PrP{sup c}. Differing from a recent dimeric model of human hop/STI 1, both size exclusion chromatography and SAXS data support a monomeric form of free murine hop/STI 1. Changes in the Pr P{sup c}{sub 143-153} beta-helix may engage the transmembrane signaling protein laminin receptor precursor and neural cell adhesion molecule, both of which bind that domain of Pr P{sup c}, and further ligands may be engaged by the tertiary structural changes of hop/STI 1. These reciprocal structural modifications indicate a versatile mechanism for signaling mediated by Pr P{sup c}:hop/STI 1 interaction, consistent with the hypothesis that Pr P{sup c} scaffolds multiprotein signaling complexes at the cell surface. (author)

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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. Elongation of mouse prion protein amyloid-like fibrils: effect of temperature and denaturant concentration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katazyna Milto

    Full Text Available Prion protein is known to have the ability to adopt a pathogenic conformation, which seems to be the basis for protein-only infectivity. The infectivity is based on self-replication of this pathogenic prion structure. One of possible mechanisms for such replication is the elongation of amyloid-like fibrils. We measured elongation kinetics and thermodynamics of mouse prion amyloid-like fibrils at different guanidine hydrochloride (GuHCl concentrations. Our data show that both increases in temperature and GuHCl concentration help unfold monomeric protein and thus accelerate elongation. Once the monomers are unfolded, further increases in temperature raise the rate of elongation, whereas the addition of GuHCl decreases it. We demonstrated a possible way to determine different activation energies of amyloid-like fibril elongation by using folded and unfolded protein molecules. This approach separates thermodynamic data for fibril-assisted monomer unfolding and for refolding and formation of amyloid-like structure.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

  7. Cellular prion protein-mediated hippocampal neuron axon elongation impairment involved in cognitive impairment induced by sleep deprivation%细胞型朊蛋白介导的海马神经元轴突延伸障碍可能参与睡眠剥夺后认知障碍

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    窦伟; 李振; 张照环; 黄流清; 赵忠新

    2015-01-01

    Objective To investigate the effect of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep deprivation on spatial memory and hippocampal cellular prion protein (PrPC) expression and to explore the underlying mechanism of cognitive impairment induced by sleep deprivation.Methods Adult Sprague-Dawley rats were sorted by weight,randomly divided into three groups:the cage control (CC) group,the tank control (TC) group,and the sleep deprivation (SD) group.Rats were deprived of REM sleep for 72 h using the modified multiple platform method.The Morris water maze task was used to assess hippocampal-dependent spatial memory.After sleep deprivation,the rats were sacrificed and their brain tissue was analyzed for PrPC protein expression via Western blotting.Hippocampal neuron axon elongation was examined as well after lentivector-mediated RNA interference (RNAi) of PrPC in primary cultured rat hippocampal neurons.Results REM sleep deprivation for 72 h resulted in spatial memory impairment.The number of times of rats passing through the platform was decreased significantly in the SD group (3.17 ±0.95) compared with the CC (7.17 ±0.95) and TC (6.50 ±0.62) groups (Z =2.026 6,Z =2.026 6,P <0.05),the mean value of proximity to the platform (mm) was greater for rats of the SD group (711.74 ± 33.99) compared to those of theCC (592.32±31.31) andTC (580.86±11.36) groups (Z=-2.001 6,Z=-2.4820,P < 0.05).REM sleep deprivation for 72 h resulted in reduced PrPC level in the hippocampus (0.33 ± 0.10) compared with the CC (1.01 ±0.33) and TC (0.96 ±0.27) groups (Z=2.152 9,Z=2.152 9,P < 0.05).In primary cultured hippocampal neurons,axon elongation(μm) was inhibited 7 days in infected neurons (326.28 ± 12.53) compared with normal (555.00 ±30.43) or negative control (558.70 ±23.10) cells (Z =4.768 4,Z =4.877 0,P < 0.05).Conclusion These findings suggest that PrPC-mediated hippocampal neuron axon elongation inhibition is probably involved in spatial memory impairment induced by sleep deprivation

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Torrent, Joan [INSERM U128, IFR 122, 1919 Route de Mende, F-34293 Montpellier cedex 5 (France); Alvarez-Martinez, Maria Teresa [INSERM U431, IFR 122, Place Eugene Bataillon, F-34095 Montpellier cedex 5 (France); Heitz, Frederic [CRBM, CNRS-UPR 1086, IFR 122, 1919 Route de Mende, F-34293 Montpellier cedex 5 (France); Liautard, Jean-Pierre [INSERM U431, IFR 122, Place Eugene Bataillon, F-34095 Montpellier cedex 5 (France); Balny, Claude [INSERM U128, IFR 122, 1919 Route de Mende, F-34293 Montpellier cedex 5 (France); Lange, Reinhard [INSERM U128, IFR 122, 1919 Route de Mende, F-34293 Montpellier cedex 5 (France)

    2004-04-14

    The critical step in the pathogenesis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) appears to be a conformational transition of a normal prion protein (PrP{sup C}) into a misfolded isoform (PrP{sup Sc}). 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 {alpha}-helical structure is changed into a highly aggregated {beta}-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.

  9. Life cycle of cytosolic prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmann, Julia; Vorberg, Ina

    2013-01-01

    Prions are self-templating protein aggregates that were originally identified as the causative agent of prion diseases in mammals, but have since been discovered in other kingdoms. Mammalian prions represent a unique class of infectious agents that are composed of misfolded prion protein. Prion proteins usually exist as soluble proteins but can refold and assemble into highly ordered, self-propagating prion polymers. The prion concept is also applicable to a growing number of non-Mendelian elements of inheritance in lower eukaryotes. While prions identified in mammals are clearly pathogens, prions in lower eukaryotes can be either detrimental or beneficial to the host. Prion phenotypes in fungi are transmitted vertically from mother to daughter cells during cell division and horizontally during mating or abortive mating, but extracellular phases have not been reported. Recent findings now demonstrate that in a mammalian cell environment, protein aggregates derived from yeast prion domains exhibit a prion life cycle similar to mammalian prions propagated ex vivo. This life cycle includes a soluble state of the protein, an induction phase by exogenous prion fibrils, stable replication of prion entities, vertical transmission to progeny and natural horizontal transmission to neighboring cells. Our data reveal that mammalian cells contain all co-factors required for cytosolic prion propagation and dissemination. This has important implications for understanding prion-like properties of disease-related protein aggregates. In light of the growing number of identified functional amyloids, cell-to-cell propagation of cytosolic protein conformers might not only be relevant for the spreading of disease-associated proteins, but might also be of more general relevance under non-disease conditions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  11. Pressure-assisted dissociation and degradation of "proteinase K-resistant" fibrils prepared by seeding with scrapie-infected hamster prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akasaka, Kazuyuki; Maeno, Akihiro; Murayama, Taichi; Tachibana, Hideki; Fujita, Yuzo; Yamanaka, Hitoki; Nishida, Noriyuki; Atarashi, Ryuichiro

    2014-01-01

    The crucial step for the fatal neurodegenerative prion diseases involves the conversion of a normal cellular protein, PrP(C), into a fibrous pathogenic form, PrP(Sc), which has an unusual stability against heat and resistance against proteinase K digestion. A successful challenge to reverse the reaction from PrP(Sc) into PrP(C) is considered valuable, as it would give a key to dissolving the complex molecular events into thermodynamic and kinetic analyses and may also provide a means to prevent the formation of PrP(Sc) from PrP(C) eventually in vivo. Here we show that, by applying pressures at kbar range, the "proteinase K-resistant" fibrils (rHaPrP(res)) prepared from hamster prion protein (rHaPrP [23-231]) by seeding with brain homogenate of scrapie-infected hamster, becomes easily digestible. The result is consistent with the notion that rHaPrP(res) fibrils are dissociated into rHaPrP monomers under pressure and that the formation of PrP(Sc) from PrP(C) is thermodynamically controlled. Moreover, the efficient degradation of prion fibrils under pressure provides a novel means of eliminating infectious PrP(Sc) from various systems of pathogenic concern.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  13. Solution structure and dynamics of the I214V mutant of the rabbit prion protein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yi Wen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The conformational conversion of the host-derived cellular prion protein (PrP(C into the disease-associated scrapie isoform (PrP(Sc is responsible for the pathogenesis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs. Various single-point mutations in PrP(Cs could cause structural changes and thereby distinctly influence the conformational conversion. Elucidation of the differences between the wild-type rabbit PrP(C (RaPrP(C and various mutants would be of great help to understand the ability of RaPrP(C to be resistant to TSE agents. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We determined the solution structure of the I214V mutant of RaPrP(C(91-228 and detected the backbone dynamics of its structured C-terminal domain (121-228. The I214V mutant displays a visible shift of surface charge distribution that may have a potential effect on the binding specificity and affinity with other chaperones. The number of hydrogen bonds declines dramatically. Urea-induced transition experiments reveal an obvious decrease in the conformational stability. Furthermore, the NMR dynamics analysis discloses a significant increase in the backbone flexibility on the pico- to nanosecond time scale, indicative of lower energy barrier for structural rearrangement. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results suggest that both the surface charge distribution and the intrinsic backbone flexibility greatly contribute to species barriers for the transmission of TSEs, and thereby provide valuable hints for understanding the inability of the conformational conversion for RaPrP(C.

  14. Prion and prion-like diseases in animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilar-Calvo, Patricia; García, Consolación; Espinosa, Juan Carlos; Andreoletti, Olivier; Torres, Juan María

    2015-09-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopaties (TSEs) are fatal neurodegenerative diseases characterized by the aggregation and accumulation of the misfolded prion protein in the brain. Other proteins such as β-amyloid, tau or Serum Amyloid-A (SAA) seem to share with prions some aspects of their pathogenic mechanism; causing a variety of so called prion-like diseases in humans and/or animals such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's, Type II diabetes mellitus or amyloidosis. The question remains whether these misfolding proteins have the ability to self-propagate and transmit in a similar manner to prions. In this review, we describe the prion and prion-like diseases affecting animals as well as the recent findings suggesting the prion-like transmissibility of certain non-prion proteins.

  15. Nanopore analysis of wild-type and mutant prion protein (PrP(C: single molecule discrimination and PrP(C kinetics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nahid N Jetha

    Full Text Available Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative diseases associated with the conversion of cellular prion protein (PrP(C in the central nervous system into the infectious isoform (PrP(Sc. The mechanics of conversion are almost entirely unknown, with understanding stymied by the lack of an atomic-level structure for PrP(Sc. A number of pathogenic PrP(C mutants exist that are characterized by an increased propensity for conversion into PrP(Sc and that differ from wild-type by only a single amino-acid point mutation in their primary structure. These mutations are known to perturb the stability and conformational dynamics of the protein. Understanding of how this occurs may provide insight into the mechanism of PrP(C conversion. In this work we sought to explore wild-type and pathogenic mutant prion protein structure and dynamics by analysis of the current fluctuations through an organic α-hemolysin nanometer-scale pore (nanopore in which a single prion protein has been captured electrophoretically. In doing this, we find that wild-type and D178N mutant PrP(C, (a PrP(C mutant associated with both Fatal Familial Insomnia and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, exhibit easily distinguishable current signatures and kinetics inside the pore and we further demonstrate, with the use of Hidden Markov Model signal processing, accurate discrimination between these two proteins at the single molecule level based on the kinetics of a single PrP(C capture event. Moreover, we present a four-state model to describe wild-type PrP(C kinetics in the pore as a first step in our investigation on characterizing the differences in kinetics and conformational dynamics between wild-type and D178N mutant PrP(C. These results demonstrate the potential of nanopore analysis for highly sensitive, real-time protein and small molecule detection based on single molecule kinetics inside a nanopore, and show the utility of this technique as an assay to probe differences in stability between

  16. De novo appearance and "strain" formation of yeast prion [PSI+] are regulated by the heat-shock transcription factor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Kyung-Won; Hahn, Ji-Sook; Fan, Qing; Thiele, Dennis J; Li, Liming

    2006-05-01

    Yeast prions are non-Mendelian genetic elements that are conferred by altered and self-propagating protein conformations. Such a protein conformation-based transmission is similar to that of PrP(Sc), the infectious protein responsible for prion diseases. Despite recent progress in understanding the molecular nature and epigenetic transmission of prions, the underlying mechanisms governing prion conformational switch and determining prion "strains" are not understood. We report here that the evolutionarily conserved heat-shock transcription factor (HSF) strongly influences yeast prion formation and strain determination. An hsf1 mutant lacking the amino-terminal activation domain inhibits the yeast prion [PSI+] formation whereas a mutant lacking the carboxyl-terminal activation domain promotes [PSI+] formation. Moreover, specific [PSI+] strains are preferentially formed in these mutants, demonstrating the importance of genetic makeup in determining de novo appearance of prion strains. Although these hsf1 mutants preferentially support the formation of certain [PSI+] strains, they are capable of receiving and faithfully propagating nonpreferable strains, suggesting that prion initiation and propagation are distinct processes requiring different cellular components. Our findings establish the importance of HSF in prion initiation and strain determination and imply a similar regulatory role of mammalian HSFs in the complex etiology of prion disease.

  17. Reconstructing prions: fibril assembly from simple yeast to complex mammals

    OpenAIRE

    Sigurdson, C B; Polymenidou, M; Aguzzi, A

    2005-01-01

    With the epizootics of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in North American cattle, BSE infections in goats, new forms of human Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) and the spread of chronic wasting disease in North American deer and elk, one wonders whether we are gaining control over the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). Although many basic scientific questions in the prion field remain hotly debated and unresolved [1], including the function of the cellular prion protein (Pr...

  18. Identification and removal of proteins that co-purify with infectious prion protein improves the analysis of its secondary structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Roger A; Timmes, Andrew G; Wilmarth, Phillip A; Safronetz, David; Priola, Suzette A

    2011-10-01

    Prion diseases are neurodegenerative disorders associated with the accumulation of an abnormal isoform of the mammalian prion protein (PrP). Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) has previously been used to show that the conformation of aggregated, infectious PrP (PrP(Sc) ) varies between prion strains and these unique conformations may determine strain-specific disease phenotypes. However, the relative amounts of α-helix, β-sheet and other secondary structures have not always been consistent between studies, suggesting that other proteins might be confounding the analysis of PrP(Sc) secondary structure. We have used FTIR and LC-MS/MS to analyze enriched PrP(Sc) from mouse and hamster prion strains both before and after the removal of protein contaminants that commonly co-purify with PrP(Sc) . Our data show that non-PrP proteins do contribute to absorbances that have been associated with α-helical, loop, turn and β-sheet structures attributed to PrP(Sc) . The major contaminant, the α-helical protein ferritin, absorbs strongly at 1652 cm(-1) in the FTIR spectrum associated with PrP(Sc) . However, even the removal of more than 99% of the ferritin from PrP(Sc) did not completely abolish absorbance at 1652 cm(-1) . Our results show that contaminating proteins alter the FTIR spectrum attributed to PrP(Sc) and suggest that the α-helical, loop/turn and β-sheet secondary structure that remains following their removal are derived from PrP(Sc) itself.

  19. A simple quantitative model of macromolecular crowding effects on protein folding: Application to the murine prion protein(121-231)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergasa-Caceres, Fernando; Rabitz, Herschel A.

    2013-06-01

    A model of protein folding kinetics is applied to study the effects of macromolecular crowding on protein folding rate and stability. Macromolecular crowding is found to promote a decrease of the entropic cost of folding of proteins that produces an increase of both the stability and the folding rate. The acceleration of the folding rate due to macromolecular crowding is shown to be a topology-dependent effect. The model is applied to the folding dynamics of the murine prion protein (121-231). The differential effect of macromolecular crowding as a function of protein topology suffices to make non-native configurations relatively more accessible.

  20. Mouse-hamster chimeric prion protein (PrP) devoid of N-terminal residues 23-88 restores susceptibility to 22L prions, but not to RML prions in PrP-knockout mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uchiyama, Keiji; Miyata, Hironori; Yano, Masashi; Yamaguchi, Yoshitaka; Imamura, Morikazu; Muramatsu, Naomi; Das, Nandita Rani; Chida, Junji; Hara, Hideyuki; Sakaguchi, Suehiro

    2014-01-01

    Prion infection induces conformational conversion of the normal prion protein PrPC, into the pathogenic isoform PrPSc, in prion diseases. It has been shown that PrP-knockout (Prnp0/0) mice transgenically reconstituted with a mouse-hamster chimeric PrP lacking N-terminal residues 23-88, or Tg(MHM2Δ23-88)/Prnp 0/0 mice, neither developed the disease nor accumulated MHM2ScΔ23-88 in their brains after inoculation with RML prions. In contrast, RML-inoculated Tg(MHM2Δ23-88)/Prnp 0/+ mice developed the disease with abundant accumulation of MHM2ScΔ23-88 in their brains. These results indicate that MHM2Δ23-88 itself might either lose or greatly reduce the converting capacity to MHM2ScΔ23-88, and that the co-expressing wild-type PrPC can stimulate the conversion of MHM2Δ23-88 to MHM2ScΔ23-88 in trans. In the present study, we confirmed that Tg(MHM2Δ23-88)/Prnp 0/0 mice remained resistant to RML prions for up to 730 days after inoculation. However, we found that Tg(MHM2Δ23-88)/Prnp 0/0 mice were susceptible to 22L prions, developing the disease with prolonged incubation times and accumulating MHM2ScΔ23-88 in their brains. We also found accelerated conversion of MHM2Δ23-88 into MHM2ScΔ23-88 in the brains of RML- and 22L-inoculated Tg(MHM2Δ23-88)/Prnp 0/+ mice. However, wild-type PrPSc accumulated less in the brains of these inoculated Tg(MHM2Δ23-88)/Prnp 0/+ mice, compared with RML- and 22L-inoculated Prnp 0/+ mice. These results show that MHM2Δ23-88 itself can convert into MHM2ScΔ23-88 without the help of the trans-acting PrPC, and that, irrespective of prion strains inoculated, the co-expressing wild-type PrPC stimulates the conversion of MHM2Δ23-88 into MHM2ScΔ23-88, but to the contrary, the co-expressing MHM2Δ23-88 disturbs the conversion of wild-type PrPC into PrPSc.

  1. Prions, From Structure to Epigenetics and Neuronal Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindquist, Susan

    2012-02-01

    Prions are a unique type of protein that can misfold and convert other proteins to the same shape. The well-characterized yeast prion [PSI+] is formed from an inactive amyloid fiber conformation of the translation-termination factor, Sup35. This altered conformation is passed from mother cells to daughters, acting as a template to perpetuate the prion state and providing a mechanism of protein-based inheritance. We employed a variety of methods to determine the structure of Sup35 amyloid fibrils. First, using fluorescent tags and cross-linking we identified specific segments of the protein monomer that form intermolecular contacts in a ``Head-to-Head,'' ``Tail-to-Tail'' fashion while a central region forms intramolecular contacts. Then, using peptide arrays we mapped the region responsible for the prion transmission barrier between two different yeast species. We have also used optical tweezers to reveal that the non-covalent intermolecular contacts between monomers are unusually strong, and maintain fibril integrity even under forces that partially unfold individual monomers and extend fibril length. Based on the handful of known yeast prion proteins we predicted sequences that could be responsible for prion-like amyloid folding. Our screen identified 19 new candidate prions, whose protein-folding properties and diverse cellular functions we have characterized using a combination of genetic and biochemical techniques. Prion-driven phenotypic diversity increases under stress, and can be amplified by the dynamic maturation of prion-initiating states. These qualities allow prions to act as ``bet-hedging'' devices that facilitate the adaptation of yeast to stressful environments, and might speed the evolution of new traits. Together with Kandel and Si, we have also found that a regulatory protein that plays an important role in synaptic plasticity behaves as a prion in yeast. Cytoplasmic polyAdenylation element binding protein, CPEB, maintains synapses by promoting

  2. Do prion protein gene polymorphisms induce apoptosis in non-mammals?

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Tugce Birkan; Mesut Sahin; Zubeyde Oztel; Erdal Balcan

    2016-03-01

    Genetic variations such as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in prion protein coding gene, Prnp, greatly affect susceptibility to prion diseases in mammals. Here, the coding region of Prnp was screened for polymorphisms in redeared turtle, Trachemys scripta. Four polymorphisms, L203V, N205I, V225A and M237V, were common in 15 out of 30 turtles; in one sample, three SNPs, L203V, N205I and M237V, and in the remaining 14 samples, only L203V and N205I polymorphisms, were investigated. Besides, C658T, C664T, C670A and C823A SNPs were silent mutations. To elucidate the relationship between the SNPs and apoptosis, TUNEL assays and active caspase-3 immunodetection techniques in brain sections of the polymorphic samples were performed. The results revealed that TUNEL-positive cells and active caspase-3-positive cells in the turtles with four polymorphisms were significantly increased compared with those of the turtles with two polymorphisms (P<0.01 and P<0.05, respectively). In conclusion, this study provides preliminary information about the possible relationship between SNPs within the Prnp locus and apoptosis in a non-mammalian species, Trachemys scripta, in which prion disease has never been reported.

  3. Intraepithelial and interstitial deposition of pathological prion protein in kidneys of scrapie-affected sheep.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ciriaco Ligios

    Full Text Available Prions have been documented in extra-neuronal and extra-lymphatic tissues of humans and various ruminants affected by Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy (TSE. The presence of prion infectivity detected in cervid and ovine blood tempted us to reason that kidney, the organ filtrating blood derived proteins, may accumulate disease associated PrP(Sc. We collected and screened kidneys of experimentally, naturally scrapie-affected and control sheep for renal deposition of PrP(Sc from distinct, geographically separated flocks. By performing Western blot, PET blot analysis and immunohistochemistry we found intraepithelial (cortex, medulla and papilla and occasional interstitial (papilla deposition of PrP(Sc in kidneys of scrapie-affected sheep. Interestingly, glomerula lacked detectable signals indicative of PrP(Sc. PrP(Sc was also detected in kidneys of subclinical sheep, but to significantly lower degree. Depending on the stage of the disease the incidence of PrP(Sc in kidney varied from approximately 27% (subclinical to 73.6% (clinical in naturally scrapie-affected sheep. Kidneys from flocks without scrapie outbreak were devoid of PrP(Sc. Here we demonstrate unexpectedly frequent deposition of high levels of PrP(Sc in ovine kidneys of various flocks. Renal deposition of PrP(Sc is likely to be a pre-requisite enabling prionuria, a possible co-factor of horizontal prion-transmission in sheep.

  4. Preclinical deposition of pathological prion protein in muscle of experimentally infected primates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susanne Krasemann

    Full Text Available Prion diseases are transmissible fatal neurodegenerative disorders affecting humans and animals. A central step in disease progression is the accumulation of a misfolded form (PrP(Sc of the host encoded prion protein (PrP(C in neuronal and non-neuronal tissues. The involvement of peripheral tissues in preclinical states increases the risk of accidental transmission. On the other hand, detection of PrP(Sc in non-neuronal easy-accessible compartments such as muscle may offer a novel diagnostic tool. Primate models have proven invaluable to investigate prion diseases. We have studied the deposition of PrP(Sc in muscle and central nervous system of rhesus monkeys challenged with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD, variant CJD (vCJD and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE in preclinical and clinical stage using biochemical and morphological methods. Here, we show the preclinical presence of PrP(Sc in muscle and central nervous system of rhesus monkeys experimentally infected with vCJD.

  5. Sponging of Cellular Proteins by Viral RNAs

    OpenAIRE

    Charley, Phillida A.; Wilusz, Jeffrey

    2014-01-01

    Viral RNAs accumulate to high levels during infection and interact with a variety of cellular factors including miRNAs and RNA-binding proteins. Although many of these interactions exist to directly modulate replication, translation and decay of viral transcripts, evidence is emerging that abundant viral RNAs may in certain cases serve as a sponge to sequester host non coding RNAs and proteins. By effectively reducing the ability of cellular RNA binding proteins to regulate host cell gene exp...

  6. Neuronal death induced by misfolded prion protein is due to NAD+ depletion and can be relieved in vitro and in vivo by NAD+ replenishment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Minghai; Ottenberg, Gregory; Sferrazza, Gian Franco; Hubbs, Christopher; Fallahi, Mohammad; Rumbaugh, Gavin; Brantley, Alicia F; Lasmézas, Corinne I

    2015-04-01

    The mechanisms of neuronal death in protein misfolding neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and prion diseases are poorly understood. We used a highly toxic misfolded prion protein (TPrP) model to understand neurotoxicity induced by prion protein misfolding. We show that abnormal autophagy activation and neuronal demise is due to severe, neuron-specific, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD(+)) depletion. Toxic prion protein-exposed neuronal cells exhibit dramatic reductions of intracellular NAD(+) followed by decreased ATP production, and are completely rescued by treatment with NAD(+) or its precursor nicotinamide because of restoration of physiological NAD(+) levels. Toxic prion protein-induced NAD(+) depletion results from PARP1-independent excessive protein ADP-ribosylations. In vivo, toxic prion protein-induced degeneration of hippocampal neurons is prevented dose-dependently by intracerebral injection of NAD(+). Intranasal NAD(+) treatment of prion-infected sick mice significantly improves activity and delays motor impairment. Our study reveals NAD(+) starvation as a novel mechanism of autophagy activation and neurodegeneration induced by a misfolded amyloidogenic protein. We propose the development of NAD(+) replenishment strategies for neuroprotection in prion diseases and possibly other protein misfolding neurodegenerative diseases.

  7. The physical relationship between infectivity and prion protein aggregates is strain-dependent.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philippe Tixador

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Prions are unconventional infectious agents thought to be primarily composed of PrP(Sc, a multimeric misfolded conformer of the ubiquitously expressed host-encoded prion protein (PrP(C. They cause fatal neurodegenerative diseases in both animals and humans. The disease phenotype is not uniform within species, and stable, self-propagating variations in PrP(Sc conformation could encode this 'strain' diversity. However, much remains to be learned about the physical relationship between the infectious agent and PrP(Sc aggregation state, and how this varies according to the strain. We applied a sedimentation velocity technique to a panel of natural, biologically cloned strains obtained by propagation of classical and atypical sheep scrapie and BSE infectious sources in transgenic mice expressing ovine PrP. Detergent-solubilized, infected brain homogenates were used as starting material. Solubilization conditions were optimized to separate PrP(Sc aggregates from PrP(C. The distribution of PrP(Sc and infectivity in the gradient was determined by immunoblotting and mouse bioassay, respectively. As a general feature, a major proteinase K-resistant PrP(Sc peak was observed in the middle part of the gradient. This population approximately corresponds to multimers of 12-30 PrP molecules, if constituted of PrP only. For two strains, infectivity peaked in a markedly different region of the gradient. This most infectious component sedimented very slowly, suggesting small size oligomers and/or low density PrP(Sc aggregates. Extending this study to hamster prions passaged in hamster PrP transgenic mice revealed that the highly infectious, slowly sedimenting particles could be a feature of strains able to induce a rapidly lethal disease. Our findings suggest that prion infectious particles are subjected to marked strain-dependent variations, which in turn could influence the strain biological phenotype, in particular the replication dynamics.

  8. The ribosome-associated complex antagonizes prion formation in yeast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amor, Alvaro J; Castanzo, Dominic T; Delany, Sean P; Selechnik, Daniel M; van Ooy, Alex; Cameron, Dale M

    2015-01-01

    The number of known fungal proteins capable of switching between alternative stable conformations is steadily increasing, suggesting that a prion-like mechanism may be broadly utilized as a means to propagate altered cellular states. To gain insight into the mechanisms by which cells regulate prion formation and toxicity we examined the role of the yeast ribosome-associated complex (RAC) in modulating both the formation of the [PSI(+)] prion - an alternative conformer of Sup35 protein - and the toxicity of aggregation-prone polypeptides. The Hsp40 RAC chaperone Zuo1 anchors the RAC to ribosomes and stimulates the ATPase activity of the Hsp70 chaperone Ssb. We found that cells lacking Zuo1 are sensitive to over-expression of some aggregation-prone proteins, including the Sup35 prion domain, suggesting that co-translational protein misfolding increases in Δzuo1 strains. Consistent with this finding, Δzuo1 cells exhibit higher frequencies of spontaneous and induced prion formation. Cells expressing mutant forms of Zuo1 lacking either a C-terminal charged region required for ribosome association, or the J-domain responsible for Ssb ATPase stimulation, exhibit similarly high frequencies of prion formation. Our findings are consistent with a role for the RAC in chaperoning nascent Sup35 to regulate folding of the N-terminal prion domain as it emerges from the ribosome.

  9. Accumulation of pathological prion protein PrPSc in the skin of animals with experimental and natural scrapie.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Achim Thomzig

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Prion infectivity and its molecular marker, the pathological prion protein PrP(Sc, accumulate in the central nervous system and often also in lymphoid tissue of animals or humans affected by transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. Recently, PrP(Sc was found in tissues previously considered not to be invaded by prions (e.g., skeletal muscles. Here, we address the question of whether prions target the skin and show widespread PrP(Sc deposition in this organ in hamsters perorally or parenterally challenged with scrapie. In hamsters fed with scrapie, PrP(Sc was detected before the onset of symptoms, but the bulk of skin-associated PrP(Sc accumulated in the clinical phase. PrP(Sc was localized in nerve fibres within the skin but not in keratinocytes, and the deposition of PrP(Sc in skin showed no dependence from the route of infection and lymphotropic dissemination. The data indicated a neurally mediated centrifugal spread of prions to the skin. Furthermore, in a follow-up study, we examined sheep naturally infected with scrapie and detected PrP(Sc by Western blotting in skin samples from two out of five animals. Our findings point to the skin as a potential reservoir of prions, which should be further investigated in relation to disease transmission.

  10. Dissection and design of yeast prions.

    OpenAIRE

    Osherovich, Lev Z.; Cox, Brian S; Tuite, Mick F; Weissman, Jonathan S.

    2004-01-01

    Many proteins can misfold into beta-sheet-rich, self-seeding polymers (amyloids). Prions are exceptional among such aggregates in that they are also infectious. In fungi, prions are not pathogenic but rather act as epigenetic regulators of cell physiology, providing a powerful model for studying the mechanism of prion replication. We used prion-forming domains from two budding yeast proteins (Sup35p and New1p) to examine the requirements for prion formation and inheritance. In both proteins, ...

  11. The complexity and implications of yeast prion domains

    OpenAIRE

    Du, Zhiqiang

    2011-01-01

    Prions are infectious proteins with altered conformations converted from otherwise normal host proteins. While there is only one known mammalian prion protein, PrP, a handful of prion proteins have been identified in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Yeast prion proteins usually have a defined region called prion domain (PrD) essential for prion properties, which are typically rich in glutamine (Q) and asparagine (N). Despite sharing several common features, individual yeast PrDs are genera...

  12. Efficient inhibition of infectious prions multiplication and release by targeting the exosomal pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vilette, Didier; Laulagnier, Karine; Huor, Alvina; Alais, Sandrine; Simoes, Sabrina; Maryse, Romao; Provansal, Monique; Lehmann, Sylvain; Andreoletti, Olivier; Schaeffer, Laurent; Raposo, Graça; Leblanc, Pascal

    2015-11-01

    Exosomes are secreted membrane vesicles of endosomal origin present in biological fluids. Exosomes may serve as shuttles for amyloidogenic proteins, notably infectious prions, and may participate in their spreading in vivo. To explore the significance of the exosome pathway on prion infectivity and release, we investigated the role of the endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) machinery and the need for ceramide, both involved in exosome biogenesis. Silencing of HRS-ESCRT-0 subunit drastically impairs the formation of cellular infectious prion due to an altered trafficking of cholesterol. Depletion of Tsg101-ESCRT-I subunit or impairment of the production of ceramide significantly strongly decreases infectious prion release. Together, our data reveal that ESCRT-dependent and -independent pathways can concomitantly regulate the exosomal secretion of infectious prion, showing that both pathways operate for the exosomal trafficking of a particular cargo. These data open up a new avenue to regulate prion release and propagation.

  13. An overview of animal prion diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Imran Muhammad

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Prion diseases are transmissible neurodegenerative conditions affecting human and a wide range of animal species. The pathogenesis of prion diseases is associated with the accumulation of aggregates of misfolded conformers of host-encoded cellular prion protein (PrPC. Animal prion diseases include scrapie of sheep and goats, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or mad cow disease, transmissible mink encephalopathy, feline spongiform encephalopathy, exotic ungulate spongiform encephalopathy, chronic wasting disease of cervids and spongiform encephalopathy of primates. Although some cases of sporadic atypical scrapie and BSE have also been reported, animal prion diseases have basically occurred via the acquisition of infection from contaminated feed or via the exposure to contaminated environment. Scrapie and chronic wasting disease are naturally sustaining epidemics. The transmission of BSE to human has caused more than 200 cases of variant Cruetzfeldt-Jacob disease and has raised serious public health concerns. The present review discusses the epidemiology, clinical neuropathology, transmissibility and genetics of animal prion diseases.

  14. Covalent Surface Modification of Prions: A Mass Spectrometry-Based Means of Detecting Distinctive Structural Features of Prion Strains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Christopher J; Erickson-Beltran, Melissa L; Dynin, Irina C

    2016-02-16

    Prions (PrP(Sc)) are molecular pathogens that are able to convert the isosequential normal cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) into a prion. The only demonstrated difference between PrP(C) and PrP(Sc) is conformational: they are isoforms. A given host can be infected by more than one kind or strain of prion. Five strains of hamster-adapted scrapie [Sc237 (=263K), drowsy, 139H, 22AH, and 22CH] and recombinant PrP were reacted with five different concentrations (0, 1, 5, 10, and 20 mM) of reagent (N-hydroxysuccinimide ester of acetic acid) that acetylates lysines. The extent of lysine acetylation was quantitated by mass spectrometry. The lysines in rPrP react similarly. The lysines in the strains react differently from one another in a given strain and react differently when strains are compared. Lysines in the C-terminal region of prions have different strain-dependent reactivity. The results are consistent with a recently proposed model for the structure of a prion. This model proposes that prions are composed of a four-rung β-solenoid structure comprised of four β-sheets that are joined by loops and turns of amino acids. Variation in the amino acid composition of the loops and β-sheet structures is thought to result in different strains of prions.

  15. Molecular dynamics studies on the NMR structures of rabbit prion protein wild-type and mutants: surface electrostatic charge distributions

    CERN Document Server

    Zhang, Jiapu

    2014-01-01

    Prion is a misfolded protein found in mammals that causes infectious diseases of the nervous system in humans and animals. Prion diseases are invariably fatal and highly infectious neurodegenerative diseases that affect a wide variety of mammalian species such as sheep and goats, cattle, deer, elk and humans etc. Recent studies have shown that rabbits have a low susceptibility to be infected by prion diseases with respect to other animals including humans. The present study employs molecular dynamics (MD) means to unravel the mechanism of rabbit prion proteins (RaPrPC) based on the recently available rabbit NMR structures (of the wild-type and its two mutants of two surface residues). The electrostatic charge distributions on the protein surface are the focus when analysing the MD trajectories. It is found that we can conclude that surface electrostatic charge distributions indeed contribute to the structural stability of wild-type RaPrPC; this may be useful for the medicinal treatment of prion diseases.

  16. De novo design of synthetic prion domains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toombs, James A; Petri, Michelina; Paul, Kacy R; Kan, Grace Y; Ben-Hur, Asa; Ross, Eric D

    2012-04-24

    Prions are important disease agents and epigenetic regulatory elements. Prion formation involves the structural conversion of proteins from a soluble form into an insoluble amyloid form. In many cases, this structural conversion is driven by a glutamine/asparagine (Q/N)-rich prion-forming domain. However, our understanding of the sequence requirements for prion formation and propagation by Q/N-rich domains has been insufficient for accurate prion propensity prediction or prion domain design. By focusing exclusively on amino acid composition, we have developed a prion aggregation prediction algorithm (PAPA), specifically designed to predict prion propensity of Q/N-rich proteins. Here, we show not only that this algorithm is far more effective than traditional amyloid prediction algorithms at predicting prion propensity of Q/N-rich proteins, but remarkably, also that PAPA is capable of rationally designing protein domains that function as prions in vivo.

  17. Novel epitopes identified by Anti-PrP monoclonal antibodies produced following immunization of Prnp0/0 Balb/cJ mice with purified scrapie prions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prions, or infectious proteins, cause a class of uniformly fatal neurodegenerative diseases. Prions are composed solely of an aberrantly folded isoform(PrPSc)of a normal cellular protein (PrPC). Shared sequence identity of PrPSc with PrPC has limited the detection sensitivity of immunochemical assay...

  18. Biophysical and morphological studies on the dual interaction of non-octarepeat prion protein peptides with copper and nucleic acids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaves, Juliana A P; Sanchez-López, Carolina; Gomes, Mariana P B; Sisnande, Tháyna; Macedo, Bruno; de Oliveira, Vanessa End; Braga, Carolina A C; Rangel, Luciana P; Silva, Jerson L; Quintanar, Liliana; Cordeiro, Yraima

    2014-08-01

    Conversion of prion protein (PrP) to an altered conformer, the scrapie PrP (PrP(Sc)), is a critical step in the development of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. Both Cu(II) and nucleic acid molecules have been implicated in this conversion. Full-length PrP can bind up to six copper ions; four Cu(II) binding sites are located in the octarepeat domain (residues 60-91), and His-96 and His-111 coordinate two additional copper ions. Experimental evidence shows that PrP binds different molecules, resulting in diverse cellular signaling events. However, there is little information about the interaction of macromolecular ligands with Cu(II)-bound PrP. Both RNA and DNA sequences can bind PrP, and this interaction results in reciprocal conformational changes. Here, we investigated the interaction of Cu(II) and nucleic acids with amyloidogenic non-octarepeat PrP peptide models (comprising human PrP residues 106-126 and hamster PrP residues 109-149) that retain His-111 as the copper-anchoring residue. The effect of Cu(II) and DNA or RNA sequences in the aggregation, conformation, and toxicity of PrP domains was investigated at low and neutral pH. Circular dichroism and EPR spectroscopy data indicate that interaction of the PrP peptides with Cu(II) and DNA occurs at pH 7. This dual interaction induces conformational changes in the peptides, modulating their aggregation, and affecting the morphology of the aggregated species, resulting in different cytotoxic effects. These results provide new insights into the role of Cu(II) and nucleic acid sequences in the structural conversion and aggregation of PrP, which are both critical events related to prion pathogenesis.

  19. Stimulating the Release of Exosomes Increases the Intercellular Transfer of Prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Belinda B; Bellingham, Shayne A; Hill, Andrew F

    2016-03-04

    Exosomes are small extracellular vesicles released by cells and play important roles in intercellular communication and pathogen transfer. Exosomes have been implicated in several neurodegenerative diseases, including prion disease and Alzheimer disease. Prion disease arises upon misfolding of the normal cellular prion protein, PrP(C), into the disease-associated isoform, PrP(Sc). The disease has a unique transmissible etiology, and exosomes represent a novel and efficient method for prion transmission. The precise mechanism by which prions are transmitted from cell to cell remains to be fully elucidated, although three hypotheses have been proposed: direct cell-cell contact, tunneling nanotubes, and exosomes. Given the reported presence of exosomes in biological fluids and in the lipid and nucleic acid contents of exosomes, these vesicles represent an ideal mechanism for encapsulating prions and potential cofactors to facilitate prion transmission. This study investigates the relationship between exosome release and intercellular prion dissemination. Stimulation of exosome release through treatment with an ionophore, monensin, revealed a corresponding increase in intercellular transfer of prion infectivity. Conversely, inhibition of exosome release using GW4869 to target the neutral sphingomyelinase pathway induced a decrease in intercellular prion transmission. Further examination of the effect of monensin on PrP conversion revealed that monensin also alters the conformational stability of PrP(C), leading to increased generation of proteinase K-resistant prion protein. The findings presented here provide support for a positive relationship between exosome release and intercellular transfer of prion infectivity, highlighting an integral role for exosomes in facilitating the unique transmissible nature of prions.

  20. Degradation of the Disease-Associated Prion Protein by a Serine Protease from Lichens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Christopher J.; Bennett, James P.; Biro, Steven M.; Duque-Velasquez, Juan Camilo; Rodriguez, Cynthia M.; Bessen, Richard A.; Rocke, Tonie E.

    2011-01-01

    The disease-associated prion protein (PrPTSE), the probable etiological agent of the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), is resistant to degradation and can persist in the environment. Lichens, mutualistic symbioses containing fungi, algae, bacteria and occasionally cyanobacteria, are ubiquitous in the environment and have evolved unique biological activities allowing their survival in challenging ecological niches. We investigated PrPTSE inactivation by lichens and found acetone extracts of three lichen species (Parmelia sulcata, Cladonia rangiferina and Lobaria pulmonaria) have the ability to degrade prion protein (PrP) from TSE-infected hamsters, mice and deer. Immunoblots measuring PrP levels and protein misfolding cyclic amplification indicated at least two logs of reductions in PrPTSE. Degradative activity was not found in closely related lichen species or in algae or a cyanobacterium that inhabit lichens. Degradation was blocked by Pefabloc SC, a serine protease inhibitor, but not inhibitors of other proteases or enzymes. Additionally, we found that PrP levels in PrPTSE-enriched preps or infected brain homogenates are also reduced following exposure to freshly-collected P. sulcata or an aqueous extract of the lichen. Our findings indicate that these lichen extracts efficiently degrade PrPTSE and suggest that some lichens could have potential to inactivate TSE infectivity on the landscape or be a source for agents to degrade prions. Further work to clone and characterize the protease, assess its effect on TSE infectivity and determine which organism or organisms present in lichens produce or influence the protease activity is warranted. PMID:21589935

  1. Degradation of the disease-associated prion protein by a serine protease from lichens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, C.J.; Bennett, J.P.; Biro, S.M.; Duque-Velasquez, J. C.; Rodriguez, C.M.; Bessen, R.A.; Rocke, T.E.

    2011-01-01

    The disease-associated prion protein (PrPTSE), the probable etiological agent of the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), is resistant to degradation and can persist in the environment. Lichens, mutualistic symbioses containing fungi, algae, bacteria and occasionally cyanobacteria, are ubiquitous in the environment and have evolved unique biological activities allowing their survival in challenging ecological niches. We investigated PrPTSE inactivation by lichens and found acetone extracts of three lichen species (Parmelia sulcata, Cladonia rangiferina and Lobaria pulmonaria) have the ability to degrade prion protein (PrP) from TSE-infected hamsters, mice and deer. Immunoblots measuring PrP levels and protein misfolding cyclic amplification indicated at least two logs of reductions in PrPTSE. Degradative activity was not found in closely related lichen species or in algae or a cyanobacterium that inhabit lichens. Degradation was blocked by Pefabloc SC, a serine protease inhibitor, but not inhibitors of other proteases or enzymes. Additionally, we found that PrP levels in PrPTSE-enriched preps or infected brain homogenates are also reduced following exposure to freshly-collected P. sulcata or an aqueous extract of the lichen. Our findings indicate that these lichen extracts efficiently degrade PrPTSE and suggest that some lichens could have potential to inactivate TSE infectivity on the landscape or be a source for agents to degrade prions. Further work to clone and characterize the protease, assess its effect on TSE infectivity and determine which organism or organisms present in lichens produce or influence the protease activity is warranted.

  2. Degradation of the disease-associated prion protein by a serine protease from lichens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Christopher J; Bennett, James P; Biro, Steven M; Duque-Velasquez, Juan Camilo; Rodriguez, Cynthia M; Bessen, Richard A; Rocke, Tonie E

    2011-05-11

    The disease-associated prion protein (PrP(TSE)), the probable etiological agent of the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), is resistant to degradation and can persist in the environment. Lichens, mutualistic symbioses containing fungi, algae, bacteria and occasionally cyanobacteria, are ubiquitous in the environment and have evolved unique biological activities allowing their survival in challenging ecological niches. We investigated PrP(TSE) inactivation by lichens and found acetone extracts of three lichen species (Parmelia sulcata, Cladonia rangiferina and Lobaria pulmonaria) have the ability to degrade prion protein (PrP) from TSE-infected hamsters, mice and deer. Immunoblots measuring PrP levels and protein misfolding cyclic amplification indicated at least two logs of reductions in PrP(TSE). Degradative activity was not found in closely related lichen species or in algae or a cyanobacterium that inhabit lichens. Degradation was blocked by Pefabloc SC, a serine protease inhibitor, but not inhibitors of other proteases or enzymes. Additionally, we found that PrP levels in PrP(TSE)-enriched preps or infected brain homogenates are also reduced following exposure to freshly-collected P. sulcata or an aqueous extract of the lichen. Our findings indicate that these lichen extracts efficiently degrade PrP(TSE) and suggest that some lichens could have potential to inactivate TSE infectivity on the landscape or be a source for agents to degrade prions. Further work to clone and characterize the protease, assess its effect on TSE infectivity and determine which organism or organisms present in lichens produce or influence the protease activity is warranted.

  3. Degradation of the disease-associated prion protein by a serine protease from lichens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher J Johnson

    Full Text Available The disease-associated prion protein (PrP(TSE, the probable etiological agent of the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs, is resistant to degradation and can persist in the environment. Lichens, mutualistic symbioses containing fungi, algae, bacteria and occasionally cyanobacteria, are ubiquitous in the environment and have evolved unique biological activities allowing their survival in challenging ecological niches. We investigated PrP(TSE inactivation by lichens and found acetone extracts of three lichen species (Parmelia sulcata, Cladonia rangiferina and Lobaria pulmonaria have the ability to degrade prion protein (PrP from TSE-infected hamsters, mice and deer. Immunoblots measuring PrP levels and protein misfolding cyclic amplification indicated at least two logs of reductions in PrP(TSE. Degradative activity was not found in closely related lichen species or in algae or a cyanobacterium that inhabit lichens. Degradation was blocked by Pefabloc SC, a serine protease inhibitor, but not inhibitors of other proteases or enzymes. Additionally, we found that PrP levels in PrP(TSE-enriched preps or infected brain homogenates are also reduced following exposure to freshly-collected P. sulcata or an aqueous extract of the lichen. Our findings indicate that these lichen extracts efficiently degrade PrP(TSE and suggest that some lichens could have potential to inactivate TSE infectivity on the landscape or be a source for agents to degrade prions. Further work to clone and characterize the protease, assess its effect on TSE infectivity and determine which organism or organisms present in lichens produce or influence the protease activity is warranted.

  4. Degradation of the disease-associated prion protein by a serine protease from lichens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Christopher J.; Bennett, James P.; Biro, S.M.; Duque-Velasquez, J. C.; Rodriguez, Cynthia M.; Bessen, R.A.; Rocke, Tonie E.

    2011-01-01

    The disease-associated prion protein (PrPTSE), the probable etiological agent of the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), is resistant to degradation and can persist in the environment. Lichens, mutualistic symbioses containing fungi, algae, bacteria and occasionally cyanobacteria, are ubiquitous in the environment and have evolved unique biological activities allowing their survival in challenging ecological niches. We investigated PrPTSE inactivation by lichens and found acetone extracts of three lichen species (Parmelia sulcata, Cladonia rangiferina and Lobaria pulmonaria) have the ability to degrade prion protein (PrP) from TSE-infected hamsters, mice and deer. Immunoblots measuring PrP levels and protein misfolding cyclic amplification indicated at least two logs of reductions in PrPTSE. Degradative activity was not found in closely related lichen species or in algae or a cyanobacterium that inhabit lichens. Degradation was blocked by Pefabloc SC, a serine protease inhibitor, but not inhibitors of other proteases or enzymes. Additionally, we found that PrP levels in PrPTSE-enriched preps or infected brain homogenates are also reduced following exposure to freshly-collected P. sulcata or an aqueous extract of the lichen. Our findings indicate that these lichen extracts efficiently degrade PrPTSE and suggest that some lichens could have potential to inactivate TSE infectivity on the landscape or be a source for agents to degrade prions. Further work to clone and characterize the protease, assess its effect on TSE infectivity and determine which organism or organisms present in lichens produce or influence the protease activity is warranted.

  5. Ubiquitin ligase gp78 targets unglycosylated prion protein PrP for ubiquitylation and degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shao, Jia; Choe, Vitnary; Cheng, Haili; Tsai, Yien Che; Weissman, Allan M; Luo, Shiwen; Rao, Hai

    2014-01-01

    Prion protein PrP is a central player in several devastating neurodegenerative disorders, including mad cow disease and Creutzfeltd-Jacob disease. Conformational alteration of PrP into an aggregation-prone infectious form PrPSc can trigger pathogenic events. How levels of PrP are regulated is poorly understood. Human PrP is known to be degraded by the proteasome, but the specific proteolytic pathway responsible for PrP destruction remains elusive. Here, we demonstrate that the ubiquitin ligase gp78, known for its role in protein quality control, is critical for unglycosylated PrP ubiquitylation and degradation. Furthermore, C-terminal sequences of PrP protein are crucial for its ubiquitylation and degradation. Our study reveals the first ubiquitin ligase specifically involved in prion protein PrP degradation and PrP sequences crucial for its turnover. Our data may lead to a new avenue to control PrP level and pathogenesis.

  6. Ubiquitin Ligase gp78 Targets Unglycosylated Prion Protein PrP for Ubiquitylation and Degradation

    OpenAIRE

    Jia Shao; Vitnary Choe; Haili Cheng; Yien Che Tsai; Weissman, Allan M.; Shiwen Luo; Hai Rao

    2014-01-01

    Prion protein PrP is a central player in several devastating neurodegenerative disorders, including mad cow disease and Creutzfeltd-Jacob disease. Conformational alteration of PrP into an aggregation-prone infectious form PrPSc can trigger pathogenic events. How levels of PrP are regulated is poorly understood. Human PrP is known to be degraded by the proteasome, but the specific proteolytic pathway responsible for PrP destruction remains elusive. Here, we demonstrate that the ubiquitin ligas...

  7. Prion protein (PrP) gene-knockout cell lines: insight into functions of the PrP

    OpenAIRE

    Sakudo, Akikazu; Onodera, Takashi

    2015-01-01

    Elucidation of prion protein (PrP) functions is crucial to fully understand prion diseases. A major approach to studying PrP functions is the use of PrP gene-knockout (Prnp −/−) mice. So far, six types of Prnp −/− mice have been generated, demonstrating the promiscuous functions of PrP. Recently, other PrP family members, such as Doppel and Shadoo, have been found. However, information obtained from comparative studies of structural and functional analyses of these PrP family proteins do not ...

  8. A Review on the Salt Bridge Between ASP177 and ARG163 of Wild-Type Rabbit Prion Protein

    CERN Document Server

    Zhang, Jiapu

    2014-01-01

    Prion diseases are invariably fatal and highly infectious neurodegenerative diseases that affect a wide variety of mammalian species such as sheep and goats, cattle, deer, elks, humans and mice etc., but rabbits have a low susceptibility to be infected by prion diseases with respect to other species. The stability of rabbit prion protein is due to its highly ordered beta2-alpha2 loop [PLoS One 5 (10) e13273 (2010); Journal of Biological Chemistry 285 (41) 31682-31693 (2010)] and a helix-capping motif within this loop [PLoS One 8 (5) e63047 (2013)]. The beta2-alpha2 loop has been a focus in prion studies. For this loop we found a salt bridge linkage ASP177-ARG163 (O-N) [Journal of Theoretical Biology 342 (7 February 2014) 70-82 (2014)]. Some scientists said on the 2FJ3.pdb NMR file of the rabbit prion protein, the distance of ASP177-ARG163 (O-N) gives the salt bridge of about 10 angstroms which is nearly null in terms of energy thus think our result is wrong. This opinion is clearly wrong simply due to the 3O7...

  9. The prion protein constitutively controls neuronal store-operated Ca2+ entry through Fyn kinase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agnese eDe Mario

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The prion protein (PrPC is a cell surface glycoprotein mainly expressed in neurons, whose misfolded isoforms generate the prion responsible for incurable neurodegenerative disorders. Whereas PrPC involvement in prion propagation is well established, PrPC physiological function is still enigmatic despite suggestions that it could act in cell signal transduction by modulating phosphorylation cascades and Ca2+ homeostasis. Because PrPC binds neurotoxic protein aggregates with high-affinity, it has also been proposed that PrPC acts as receptor for amyloid-β (Aβ oligomers associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD, and that PrPC-Aβ binding mediates AD-related synaptic dysfunctions following activation of the tyrosine kinase Fyn.Here, use of gene-encoded Ca2+ probes targeting different cell domains in primary cerebellar granule neurons expressing, or not, PrPC allowed us to investigate whether PrPC regulates store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE and the implication of Fyn in this control. Our findings show that PrPC attenuates SOCE, and Ca2+ accumulation in the cytosol and mitochondria, by constitutively restraining Fyn activation and tyrosine phosphorylation of STIM1, a key molecular component of SOCE. This data establishes the existence of a PrPC-Fyn-SOCE triad in neurons.We also demonstrate that treating cerebellar granule and cortical neurons with soluble Aβ(1-42 oligomers abrogates the control of PrPC over Fyn and SOCE, suggesting a PrPC-dependent mechanism for Aβ-induced neuronal Ca2+ dyshomeostasis.

  10. Single-particle tracking of quantum dot-conjugated prion proteins inside yeast cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tsuji, Toshikazu; Kawai-Noma, Shigeko [Department of Biomolecular Engineering, Graduate School of Biosciences and Biotechnology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, B56, 4259 Nagatsuta, Midori-ku, Yokohama 226-8501 (Japan); Pack, Chan-Gi [Cellular Informatics Laboratory, RIKEN Advanced Science Institute, Wako-shi, Saitama 351-0198 (Japan); Terajima, Hideki [Department of Biomolecular Engineering, Graduate School of Biosciences and Biotechnology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, B56, 4259 Nagatsuta, Midori-ku, Yokohama 226-8501 (Japan); Yajima, Junichiro; Nishizaka, Takayuki [Department of Physics, Gakushuin University, 1-5-1 Mejiro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo 171-8588 (Japan); Kinjo, Masataka [Laboratory of Molecular Cell Dynamics, Graduate School of Life Sciences, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 001-0021 (Japan); Taguchi, Hideki, E-mail: taguchi@bio.titech.ac.jp [Department of Biomolecular Engineering, Graduate School of Biosciences and Biotechnology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, B56, 4259 Nagatsuta, Midori-ku, Yokohama 226-8501 (Japan)

    2011-02-25

    Research highlights: {yields} We develop a method to track a quantum dot-conjugated protein in yeast cells. {yields} We incorporate the conjugated quantum dot proteins into yeast spheroplasts. {yields} We track the motions by conventional or 3D tracking microscopy. -- Abstract: Yeast is a model eukaryote with a variety of biological resources. Here we developed a method to track a quantum dot (QD)-conjugated protein in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We chemically conjugated QDs with the yeast prion Sup35, incorporated them into yeast spheroplasts, and tracked the motions by conventional two-dimensional or three-dimensional tracking microscopy. The method paves the way toward the individual tracking of proteins of interest inside living yeast cells.

  11. Temporal resolution of misfolded prion protein transport, accumulation, glial activation, and neuronal death in the retinas of mice inoculated with scrapie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Currently, there is a lack of pathologic landmarks to describe the progression of prion disease in vivo. The goal of this work was to determine the temporal relationship between the transport of misfolded prion protein from the brain to the retina, the accumulation of PrPSc in the retina, the respon...

  12. Cellular regulation by protein phosphorylation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Edmond H

    2013-01-11

    A historical account of the discovery of reversible protein phosphorylation is presented. This process was uncovered in the mid 1950s in a study undertaken with Edwin G. Krebs to elucidate the complex hormonal regulation of skeletal muscle glycogen phosphorylase. Contrary to the known activation of this enzyme by AMP which serves as an allosteric effector, its hormonal regulation results from a phosphorylation of the protein by phosphorylase kinase following the activation of the latter by Ca(2+) and ATP. The study led to the establishment of the first hormonal cascade of successive enzymatic reactions, kinases acting on kinases, initiated by cAMP discovered by Earl Sutherland. It also showed how two different physiological processes, carbohydrate metabolism and muscle contraction, could be regulated in concert.

  13. Prion infections and anti-PrP antibodies trigger converging neurotoxic pathways.

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    Uli S Herrmann

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Prions induce lethal neurodegeneration and consist of PrPSc, an aggregated conformer of the cellular prion protein PrPC. Antibody-derived ligands to the globular domain of PrPC (collectively termed GDL are also neurotoxic. Here we show that GDL and prion infections activate the same pathways. Firstly, both GDL and prion infection of cerebellar organotypic cultured slices (COCS induced the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS. Accordingly, ROS scavenging, which counteracts GDL toxicity in vitro and in vivo, prolonged the lifespan of prion-infected mice and protected prion-infected COCS from neurodegeneration. Instead, neither glutamate receptor antagonists nor inhibitors of endoplasmic reticulum calcium channels abolished neurotoxicity in either model. Secondly, antibodies against the flexible tail (FT of PrPC reduced neurotoxicity in both GDL-exposed and prion-infected COCS, suggesting that the FT executes toxicity in both paradigms. Thirdly, the PERK pathway of the unfolded protein response was activated in both models. Finally, 80% of transcriptionally downregulated genes overlapped between prion-infected and GDL-treated COCS. We conclude that GDL mimic the interaction of PrPSc with PrPC, thereby triggering the downstream events characteristic of prion infection.

  14. Cavitation during the protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) method – The trigger for de novo prion generation?

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    Haigh, Cathryn L., E-mail: chaigh@unimelb.edu.au [Department of Pathology, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 (Australia); Drew, Simon C., E-mail: sdrew@unimelb.edu.au [Florey Department of Neuroscience and Mental Health, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 (Australia)

    2015-06-05

    The protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) technique has become a widely-adopted method for amplifying minute amounts of the infectious conformer of the prion protein (PrP). PMCA involves repeated cycles of 20 kHz sonication and incubation, during which the infectious conformer seeds the conversion of normally folded protein by a templating interaction. Recently, it has proved possible to create an infectious PrP conformer without the need for an infectious seed, by including RNA and the phospholipid POPG as essential cofactors during PMCA. The mechanism underpinning this de novo prion formation remains unknown. In this study, we first establish by spin trapping methods that cavitation bubbles formed during PMCA provide a radical-rich environment. Using a substrate preparation comparable to that employed in studies of de novo prion formation, we demonstrate by immuno-spin trapping that PrP- and RNA-centered radicals are generated during sonication, in addition to PrP-RNA cross-links. We further show that serial PMCA produces protease-resistant PrP that is oxidatively modified. We suggest a unique confluence of structural (membrane-mimetic hydrophobic/hydrophilic bubble interface) and chemical (ROS) effects underlie the phenomenon of de novo prion formation by PMCA, and that these effects have meaningful biological counterparts of possible relevance to spontaneous prion formation in vivo. - Highlights: • Sonication during PMCA generates free radicals at the surface of cavitation bubbles. • PrP-centered and RNA-centered radicals are formed in addition to PrP-RNA adducts. • De novo prions may result from ROS and structural constraints during cavitation.

  15. Codon 129 polymorphism of prion protein gene in is not a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease

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    Jerusa Smid

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Interaction of prion protein and amyloid-b oligomers has been demonstrated recently. Homozygosity at prion protein gene (PRNP codon 129 is associated with higher risk for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. This polymorphism has been addressed as a possible risk factor in Alzheimer disease (AD. Objective To describe the association between codon 129 polymorphisms and AD. Methods We investigated the association of codon 129 polymorphism of PRNP in 99 AD patients and 111 controls, and the association between this polymorphism and cognitive performance. Other polymorphisms of PRNP and additive effect of apolipoprotein E gene (ApoE were evaluated. Results Codon 129 genotype distribution in AD 45.5% methionine (MM, 42.2% methionine valine (MV, 12.1% valine (VV; and 39.6% MM, 50.5% MV, 9.9% VV among controls (p>0.05. There were no differences of cognitive performance concerning codon 129. Stratification according to ApoE genotype did not reveal difference between groups. Conclusion Codon 129 polymorphism is not a risk factor for AD in Brazilian patients.

  16. Manipulating the Prion Protein Gene Sequence and Expression Levels with CRISPR/Cas9.

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    Lech Kaczmarczyk

    Full Text Available The mammalian prion protein (PrP, encoded by Prnp is most infamous for its central role in prion diseases, invariably fatal neurodegenerative diseases affecting humans, food animals, and animals in the wild. However, PrP is also hypothesized to be an important receptor for toxic protein conformers in Alzheimer's disease, and is associated with other clinically relevant processes such as cancer and stroke. Thus, key insights into important clinical areas, as well as into understanding PrP functions in normal physiology, can be obtained from studying transgenic mouse models and cell culture systems. However, the Prnp locus is difficult to manipulate by homologous recombination, making modifications of the endogenous locus rarely attempted. Fortunately in recent years genome engineering technologies, like TALENs or CRISPR/Cas9 (CC9, have brought exceptional new possibilities for manipulating Prnp. Herein, we present our observations made during systematic experiments with the CC9 system targeting the endogenous mouse Prnp locus, to either modify sequences or to boost PrP expression using CC9-based synergistic activation mediators (SAMs. It is our hope that this information will aid and encourage researchers to implement gene-targeting techniques into their research program.

  17. β-sheet-like formation during the mechanical unfolding of prion protein

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, Weiwei; Yoon, Gwonchan; Cao, Penghui; Eom, Kilho; Park, Harold S.

    2015-09-01

    Single molecule experiments and simulations have been widely used to characterize the unfolding and folding pathways of different proteins. However, with few exceptions, these tools have not been applied to study prion protein, PrPC, whose misfolded form PrPSc can induce a group of fatal neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we apply novel atomistic modeling based on potential energy surface exploration to study the constant force unfolding of human PrP at time scales inaccessible with standard molecular dynamics. We demonstrate for forces around 100 pN, prion forms a stable, three-stranded β-sheet-like intermediate configuration containing residues 155-214 with a lifetime exceeding hundreds of nanoseconds. A mutant without the disulfide bridge shows lower stability during the unfolding process but still forms the three-stranded structure. The simulations thus not only show the atomistic details of the mechanically induced structural conversion from the native α-helical structure to the β-rich-like form but also lend support to the structural theory that there is a core of the recombinant PrP amyloid, a misfolded form reported to induce transmissible disease, mapping to C-terminal residues ≈160-220.

  18. β-sheet-like formation during the mechanical unfolding of prion protein

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tao, Weiwei; Cao, Penghui; Park, Harold S., E-mail: parkhs@bu.edu [Department of Mechanical Engineering, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts 02215 (United States); Yoon, Gwonchan [Department of Mechanical Engineering, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts 02215 (United States); Department of Mechanical Engineering, Korea University, Seoul 136-701 (Korea, Republic of); Eom, Kilho [Biomechanics Laboratory, College of Sport Science, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon 16419 (Korea, Republic of)

    2015-09-28

    Single molecule experiments and simulations have been widely used to characterize the unfolding and folding pathways of different proteins. However, with few exceptions, these tools have not been applied to study prion protein, PrP{sup C}, whose misfolded form PrP{sup Sc} can induce a group of fatal neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we apply novel atomistic modeling based on potential energy surface exploration to study the constant force unfolding of human PrP at time scales inaccessible with standard molecular dynamics. We demonstrate for forces around 100 pN, prion forms a stable, three-stranded β-sheet-like intermediate configuration containing residues 155-214 with a lifetime exceeding hundreds of nanoseconds. A mutant without the disulfide bridge shows lower stability during the unfolding process but still forms the three-stranded structure. The simulations thus not only show the atomistic details of the mechanically induced structural conversion from the native α-helical structure to the β-rich-like form but also lend support to the structural theory that there is a core of the recombinant PrP amyloid, a misfolded form reported to induce transmissible disease, mapping to C-terminal residues ≈160-220.

  19. Synthetic prions and other human neurodegenerative proteinopathies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le, Nhat Tran Thanh; Narkiewicz, Joanna; Aulić, Suzana; Salzano, Giulia; Tran, Hoa Thanh; Scaini, Denis; Moda, Fabio; Giachin, Gabriele; Legname, Giuseppe

    2015-09-02

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) are a heterogeneous group of neurodegenerative disorders. The common feature of these diseases is the pathological conversion of the normal cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) into a β-structure-rich conformer-termed PrP(Sc). The latter can induce a self-perpetuating process leading to amplification and spreading of pathological protein assemblies. Much evidence suggests that PrP(Sc) itself is able to recruit and misfold PrP(C) into the pathological conformation. Recent data have shown that recombinant PrP(C) can be misfolded in vitro and the resulting synthetic conformers are able to induce the conversion of PrP(C) into PrP(Sc)in vivo. In this review we describe the state-of-the-art of the body of literature in this field. In addition, we describe a cell-based assay to test synthetic prions in cells, providing further evidence that synthetic amyloids are able to template conversion of PrP into prion inclusions. Studying prions might help to understand the pathological mechanisms governing other neurodegenerative diseases. Aggregation and deposition of misfolded proteins is a common feature of several neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other disorders. Although the proteins implicated in each of these diseases differ, they share a common prion mechanism. Recombinant proteins are able to aggregate in vitro into β-rich amyloid fibrils, sharing some features of the aggregates found in the brain. Several studies have reported that intracerebral inoculation of synthetic aggregates lead to unique pathology, which spread progressively to distal brain regions and reduced survival time in animals. Here, we review the prion-like features of different proteins involved in neurodegenerative disorders, such as α-synuclein, superoxide dismutase-1, amyloid-β and tau.

  20. A mathematical model of the dynamics of prion aggregates with chaperone-mediated fragmentation.

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    Davis, Jason K; Sindi, Suzanne S

    2016-05-01

    Prions are proteins most commonly associated with fatal neurodegenerative diseases in mammals but are also responsible for a number of harmless heritable phenotypes in yeast. These states arise when a misfolded form of a protein appears and, rather than be removed by cellular quality control mechanisms, persists. The misfolded prion protein forms aggregates and is capable of converting normally folded protein to the misfolded state through direct interaction between the two forms. The dominant mathematical model for prion aggregate dynamics has been the nucleated polymerization model (NPM) which considers the dynamics of only the normal protein and the aggregates. However, for yeast prions the molecular chaperone Hsp104 is essential for prion propagation. Further, although mammals do not express Hsp104, experimental assays have shown Hsp104 also interacts with mammalian prion aggregates. In this study, we generalize the NPM to account for molecular chaperones and develop what we call the enzyme-limited nucleated polymerization model (ELNPM). We discuss existence, uniqueness and stability of solutions to our model and demonstrate that the NPM represents a quasi-steady-state reduction of our model. We validate the ELNPM by demonstrating agreement with experimental results on the yeast prion PSI(+) that could not be supported by the NPM. Finally, we demonstrate that, in contrast to the NPM, the ELNPM permits the coexistence of multiple prion strains.

  1. Processing of the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy-Specific Prion Protein by Dendritic Cells

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    Rybner-Barnier, Catherine; Jacquemot, Catherine; Cuche, Céline; Doré, Grégory; Majlessi, Laleh; Gabellec, Marie-Madeleine; Moris, Arnaud; Schwartz, Olivier; Di Santo, James; Cumano, Ana; Leclerc, Claude; Lazarini, Françoise

    2006-01-01

    Dendritic cells (DC) are suspected to be involved in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, including bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). We detected the disease-specific, protease-resistant prion protein (PrPbse) in splenic DC purified by magnetic cell sorting 45 days after intraperitoneal inoculation of BSE prions in immunocompetent mice. We showed that bone marrow-derived DC (BMDC) from wild-type or PrP-null mice acquired both PrPbse and prion infectivity within 2 h of in vitro culture with a BSE inoculum. BMDC cleared PrPbse within 2 to 3 days of culture, while BMDC infectivity was only 10-fold diminished between days 1 and 6 of culture, suggesting that the infectious unit in BMDC is not removed at the same rate as PrPbse is removed from these cells. Bone marrow-derived plasmacytoid DC and bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMM) also acquired and degraded PrPbse when incubated with a BSE inoculum, with kinetics very similar to those of BMDC. PrPbse capture is probably specific to antigen-presenting cells since no uptake of PrPbse was observed when splenic B or T lymphocytes were incubated with a BSE inoculum in vitro. Lipopolysaccharide activation of BMDC or BMM prior to BSE infection resulted in an accelerated breakdown of PrPbse. Injected by the intraperitoneal route, BMDC were not infectious for alymphoid recombination-activated gene 20/common cytokine γ chain-deficient mice, suggesting that these cells are not capable of directly propagating BSE infectivity to nerve endings. PMID:16641258

  2. Processing of the bovine spongiform encephalopathy-specific prion protein by dendritic cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rybner-Barnier, Catherine; Jacquemot, Catherine; Cuche, Céline; Doré, Grégory; Majlessi, Laleh; Gabellec, Marie-Madeleine; Moris, Arnaud; Schwartz, Olivier; Di Santo, James; Cumano, Ana; Leclerc, Claude; Lazarini, Françoise

    2006-05-01

    Dendritic cells (DC) are suspected to be involved in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, including bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). We detected the disease-specific, protease-resistant prion protein (PrP(bse)) in splenic DC purified by magnetic cell sorting 45 days after intraperitoneal inoculation of BSE prions in immunocompetent mice. We showed that bone marrow-derived DC (BMDC) from wild-type or PrP-null mice acquired both PrP(bse) and prion infectivity within 2 h of in vitro culture with a BSE inoculum. BMDC cleared PrP(bse) within 2 to 3 days of culture, while BMDC infectivity was only 10-fold diminished between days 1 and 6 of culture, suggesting that the infectious unit in BMDC is not removed at the same rate as PrP(bse) is removed from these cells. Bone marrow-derived plasmacytoid DC and bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMM) also acquired and degraded PrP(bse) when incubated with a BSE inoculum, with kinetics very similar to those of BMDC. PrP(bse) capture is probably specific to antigen-presenting cells since no uptake of PrP(bse) was observed when splenic B or T lymphocytes were incubated with a BSE inoculum in vitro. Lipopolysaccharide activation of BMDC or BMM prior to BSE infection resulted in an accelerated breakdown of PrP(bse). Injected by the intraperitoneal route, BMDC were not infectious for alymphoid recombination-activated gene 2(0)/common cytokine gamma chain-deficient mice, suggesting that these cells are not capable of directly propagating BSE infectivity to nerve endings.

  3. Ablation of Prion Protein in Wild Type Human Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP Transgenic Mice Does Not Alter The Proteolysis of APP, Levels of Amyloid-β or Pathologic Phenotype.

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    Isobel J Whitehouse

    Full Text Available The cellular prion protein (PrPC has been proposed to play an important role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. In cellular models PrPC inhibited the action of the β-secretase BACE1 on wild type amyloid precursor protein resulting in a reduction in amyloid-β (Aβ peptides. Here we have assessed the effect of genetic ablation of PrPC in transgenic mice expressing human wild type amyloid precursor protein (line I5. Deletion of PrPC had no effect on the α- and β-secretase proteolysis of the amyloid precursor protein (APP nor on the amount of Aβ38, Aβ40 or Aβ42 in the brains of the mice. In addition, ablation of PrPC did not alter Aβ deposition or histopathology phenotype in this transgenic model. Thus using this transgenic model we could not provide evidence to support the hypothesis that PrPC regulates Aβ production.

  4. Emerging principles of conformation-based prion inheritance.

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    Chien, Peter; Weissman, Jonathan S; DePace, Angela H

    2004-01-01

    The prion hypothesis proposes that proteins can act as infectious agents. Originally formulated to explain transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), the prion hypothesis has been extended with the finding that several non-Mendelian traits in fungi are due to heritable changes in protein conformation, which may in some cases be beneficial. Although much remains to be learned about the specific role of cellular cofactors, mechanistic parallels between the mammalian and yeast prion phenomena point to universal features of conformation-based infection and inheritance involving propagation of ordered beta-sheet-rich protein aggregates commonly referred to as amyloid. Here we focus on two such features and discuss recent efforts to explain them in terms of the physical properties of amyloid-like aggregates. The first is prion strains, wherein chemically identical infectious particles cause distinct phenotypes. The second is barriers that often prohibit prion transmission between different species. There is increasing evidence suggesting that both of these can be manifestations of the same phenomenon: the ability of a protein to misfold into multiple self-propagating conformations. Even single mutations can change the spectrum of favored misfolded conformations. In turn, changes in amyloid conformation can shift the specificity of propagation and alter strain phenotypes. This model helps explain many common and otherwise puzzling features of prion inheritance as well as aspects of noninfectious diseases involving toxic misfolded proteins.

  5. Yeast prions form infectious amyloid inclusion bodies in bacteria

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    Espargaró Alba

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Prions were first identified as infectious proteins associated with fatal brain diseases in mammals. However, fungal prions behave as epigenetic regulators that can alter a range of cellular processes. These proteins propagate as self-perpetuating amyloid aggregates being an example of structural inheritance. The best-characterized examples are the Sup35 and Ure2 yeast proteins, corresponding to [PSI+] and [URE3] phenotypes, respectively. Results Here we show that both the prion domain of Sup35 (Sup35-NM and the Ure2 protein (Ure2p form inclusion bodies (IBs displaying amyloid-like properties when expressed in bacteria. These intracellular aggregates template the conformational change and promote the aggregation of homologous, but not heterologous, soluble prionogenic molecules. Moreover, in the case of Sup35-NM, purified IBs are able to induce different [PSI+] phenotypes in yeast, indicating that at least a fraction of the protein embedded in these deposits adopts an infectious prion fold. Conclusions An important feature of prion inheritance is the existence of strains, which are phenotypic variants encoded by different conformations of the same polypeptide. We show here that the proportion of infected yeast cells displaying strong and weak [PSI+] phenotypes depends on the conditions under which the prionogenic aggregates are formed in E. coli, suggesting that bacterial systems might become useful tools to generate prion strain diversity.

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

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    Abskharon Romany NN

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available 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 Sulfhydryl OXidase (QSOX, a human chaperone with thiol/disulfide oxidase activity, in the cytoplasm of E. coli produces soluble recombinant PrP. The structural integrity of the soluble PrP has been confirmed by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, demonstrating that properly folded PrP can be easily expressed in bacteria. Furthermore, the soluble recombinant PrP produced with this method can be used for functional and structural studies.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-10

    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 Sulfhydryl OXidase (QSOX), a human chaperone with thiol/disulfide oxidase activity, in the cytoplasm of E. coli produces soluble recombinant PrP. The structural integrity of the soluble PrP has been confirmed by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, demonstrating that properly folded PrP can be easily expressed in bacteria. Furthermore, the soluble recombinant PrP produced with this method can be used for functional and structural studies.

  8. A role for cytosolic hsp70 in yeast [PSI(+)] prion propagation and [PSI(+)] as a cellular stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, G; Jones, G; Wegrzyn, R D; Masison, D C

    2000-10-01

    [PSI(+)] is a prion (infectious protein) of Sup35p, a subunit of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae translation termination factor. We isolated a dominant allele, SSA1-21, of a gene encoding an Hsp70 chaperone that impairs [PSI(+)] mitotic stability and weakens allosuppression caused by [PSI(+)]. While [PSI(+)] stability is normal in strains lacking SSA1, SSA2, or both, SSA1-21 strains with a deletion of SSA2 cannot propagate [PSI(+)]. SSA1-21 [PSI(+)] strains are hypersensitive to curing of [PSI(+)] by guanidine-hydrochloride and partially cured of [PSI(+)] by rapid induction of the heat-shock response but not by growth at 37 degrees. The number of inheritable [PSI(+)] particles is significantly reduced in SSA1-21 cells. SSA1-21 effects on [PSI(+)] appear to be independent of Hsp104, another stress-inducible protein chaperone known to be involved in [PSI(+)] propagation. We propose that cytosolic Hsp70 is important for the formation of Sup35p polymers characteristic of [PSI(+)] from preexisting material and that Ssa1-21p both lacks and interferes with this activity. We further demonstrate that the negative effect of heat stress on [PSI(+)] phenotype directly correlates with solubility of Sup35p and find that in wild-type strains the presence of [PSI(+)] causes a stress that elevates basal expression of Hsp104 and SSA1.

  9. PrionHome: a database of prions and other sequences relevant to prion phenomena.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harbi, Djamel; Parthiban, Marimuthu; Gendoo, Deena M A; Ehsani, Sepehr; Kumar, Manish; Schmitt-Ulms, Gerold; Sowdhamini, Ramanathan; Harrison, Paul M

    2012-01-01

    Prions are units of propagation of an altered state of a protein or proteins; prions can propagate from organism to organism, through cooption of other protein copies. Prions contain no necessary nucleic acids, and are important both as both pathogenic agents, and as a potential force in epigenetic phenomena. The original prions were derived from a misfolded form of the mammalian Prion Protein PrP. Infection by these prions causes neurodegenerative diseases. Other prions cause non-Mendelian inheritance in budding yeast, and sometimes act as diseases of yeast. We report the bioinformatic construction of the PrionHome, a database of >2000 prion-related sequences. The data was collated from various public and private resources and filtered for redundancy. The data was then processed according to a transparent classification system of prionogenic sequences (i.e., sequences that can make prions), prionoids (i.e., proteins that propagate like prions between individual cells), and other prion-related phenomena. There are eight PrionHome classifications for sequences. The first four classifications are derived from experimental observations: prionogenic sequences, prionoids, other prion-related phenomena, and prion interactors. The second four classifications are derived from sequence analysis: orthologs, paralogs, pseudogenes, and candidate-prionogenic sequences. Database entries list: supporting information for PrionHome classifications, prion-determinant areas (where relevant), and disordered and compositionally-biased regions. Also included are literature references for the PrionHome classifications, transcripts and genomic coordinates, and structural data (including comparative models made for the PrionHome from manually curated alignments). We provide database usage examples for both vertebrate and fungal prion contexts. Using the database data, we have performed a detailed analysis of the compositional biases in known budding-yeast prionogenic sequences, showing

  10. PrionHome: a database of prions and other sequences relevant to prion phenomena.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Djamel Harbi

    Full Text Available Prions are units of propagation of an altered state of a protein or proteins; prions can propagate from organism to organism, through cooption of other protein copies. Prions contain no necessary nucleic acids, and are important both as both pathogenic agents, and as a potential force in epigenetic phenomena. The original prions were derived from a misfolded form of the mammalian Prion Protein PrP. Infection by these prions causes neurodegenerative diseases. Other prions cause non-Mendelian inheritance in budding yeast, and sometimes act as diseases of yeast. We report the bioinformatic construction of the PrionHome, a database of >2000 prion-related sequences. The data was collated from various public and private resources and filtered for redundancy. The data was then processed according to a transparent classification system of prionogenic sequences (i.e., sequences that can make prions, prionoids (i.e., proteins that propagate like prions between individual cells, and other prion-related phenomena. There are eight PrionHome classifications for sequences. The first four classifications are derived from experimental observations: prionogenic sequences, prionoids, other prion-related phenomena, and prion interactors. The second four classifications are derived from sequence analysis: orthologs, paralogs, pseudogenes, and candidate-prionogenic sequences. Database entries list: supporting information for PrionHome classifications, prion-determinant areas (where relevant, and disordered and compositionally-biased regions. Also included are literature references for the PrionHome classifications, transcripts and genomic coordinates, and structural data (including comparative models made for the PrionHome from manually curated alignments. We provide database usage examples for both vertebrate and fungal prion contexts. Using the database data, we have performed a detailed analysis of the compositional biases in known budding-yeast prionogenic

  11. Mass spectrometric detection of proteins in non-aqueous media : the case of prion proteins in biodiesel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Douma, M.D.; Kerr, G.M.; Brown, R.S.; Keller, B.O.; Oleschuk, R.D. [Queen' s Univ., Kingston, ON (Canada). Dept. of Chemistry

    2008-08-15

    This paper presented a filtration method for detecting protein traces in non-aqueous media. The extraction technique used a mixture of acetonitrile, non-ionic detergent and water along with filter disks with embedded C{sub 8}-modified silica particles to capture the proteins from non-aqueous samples. The extraction process was then followed by an elution of the protein from the filter disk and direct mass spectrometric detection and tryptic digestion with peptide mapping and MS/MS fragmentation of protein-specific peptides. The method was used to detect prion proteins in spiked biodiesel samples. A tryptic peptide with the sequence YGQGSPGGNR was used for unambiguous identification. Results of the study showed that the method is suitable for the large-scale testing of protein impurities in tallow-based biodiesel production processes. 33 refs., 6 figs.

  12. Computational Calculation Of The Ionization Energies Of The Human Prion Protein By The Coarse-grain Method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyu, Justin; Andrianarijaona, V. M.

    2016-05-01

    The causes of the misfolding of prion protein -i.e. the transformation of PrPC to PrPSc - have not been clearly elucidated. Many studies have focused on identifying possible chemical conditions, such as pH, temperature and chemical denaturation, that may trigger the pathological transformation of prion proteins (Weiwei Tao, Gwonchan Yoon, Penghui Cao, `` β-sheet-like formation during the mechanical unfolding of prion protein'', The Journal of Chemical Physics, 2015, 143, 125101). Here, we attempt to calculate the ionization energies of the prion protein, which will be able to shed light onto the possible causes of the misfolding. We plan on using the coarse-grain method which allows for a more feasible calculation time by means of approximation. We believe that by being able to approximate the ionization potential, particularly that of the regions known to form stable β-strands of the PrPSc form, the possible sources of denaturation, be it chemical or mechanical, may be narrowed down.

  13. Metal Dyshomeostasis and Their Pathological Role in Prion and Prion-Like Diseases: The Basis for a Nutritional Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toni, Mattia; Massimino, Maria L.; De Mario, Agnese; Angiulli, Elisa; Spisni, Enzo

    2017-01-01

    Metal ions are key elements in organisms' life acting like cofactors of many enzymes but they can also be potentially dangerous for the cell participating in redox reactions that lead to the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Any factor inducing or limiting a metal dyshomeostasis, ROS production and cell injury may contribute to the onset of neurodegenerative diseases or play a neuroprotective action. Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), also known as prion diseases, are a group of fatal neurodegenerative disorders affecting the central nervous system (CNS) of human and other mammalian species. The causative agent of TSEs is believed to be the scrapie prion protein PrPSc, the β sheet-rich pathogenic isoform produced by the conformational conversion of the α-helix-rich physiological isoform PrPC. The peculiarity of PrPSc is its ability to self-propagate in exponential fashion in cells and its tendency to precipitate in insoluble and protease-resistance amyloid aggregates leading to neuronal cell death. The expression “prion-like diseases” refers to a group of neurodegenerative diseases that share some neuropathological features with prion diseases such as the involvement of proteins (α-synuclein, amyloid β, and tau) able to precipitate producing amyloid deposits following conformational change. High social impact diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's belong to prion-like diseases. Accumulating evidence suggests that the exposure to environmental metals is a risk factor for the development of prion and prion-like diseases and that metal ions can directly bind to prion and prion-like proteins affecting the amount of amyloid aggregates. The diet, source of metal ions but also of natural antioxidant and chelating agents such as polyphenols, is an aspect to take into account in addressing the issue of neurodegeneration. Epidemiological data suggest that the Mediterranean diet, based on the abundant consumption of fresh vegetables and

  14. Free energy and hidden barriers of the β-sheet structure of prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paz, S Alexis; Abrams, Cameron F

    2015-10-13

    On-the-fly free-energy parametrization is a new collective variable biasing approach akin to metadynamics with one important distinction: rather than acquiring an accelerated distribution via a history-dependent bias potential, sampling on this distribution is achieved from the beginning of the simulation using temperature-accelerated molecular dynamics. In the present work, we compare the performance of both approaches to compute the free-energy profile along a scalar collective variable measuring the H-bond registry of the β-sheet structure of the mouse Prion protein. Both methods agree on the location of the free-energy minimum, but free-energy profiles from well-tempered metadynamics are subject to a much higher degree of statistical noise due to hidden barriers. The sensitivity of metadynamics to hidden barriers is shown to be a consequence of the history dependence of the bias potential, and we detail the nature of these barriers for the prion β-sheet. In contrast, on-the-fly parametrization is much less sensitive to these barriers and thus displays improved convergence behavior relative to that of metadynamics. While hidden barriers are a frequent and central issue in free-energy methods, on-the-fly free-energy parametrization appears to be a robust and preferable method to confront this issue.

  15. Crystal Structures of Polymorphic Prion Protein β1 Peptides Reveal Variable Steric Zipper Conformations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Lu; Lee, Seung-Joo; Yee, Vivien C

    2015-06-16

    The pathogenesis of prion diseases is associated with the conformational conversion of normal, predominantly α-helical prion protein (PrP(C)) into a pathogenic form that is enriched with β-sheets (PrP(Sc)). Several PrP(C) crystal structures have revealed β1-mediated intermolecular sheets, suggesting that the β1 strand may contribute to a possible initiation site for β-sheet-mediated PrP(Sc) propagation. This β1 strand contains the polymorphic residue 129 that influences disease susceptibility and phenotype. To investigate the effect of the residue 129 polymorphism on the conformation of amyloid-like continuous β-sheets formed by β1, crystal structures of β1 peptides containing each of the polymorphic residues were determined. To probe the conformational influence of the peptide construct design, four different lengths of β1 peptides were studied. From the 12 peptides studied, 11 yielded crystal structures ranging in resolution from 0.9 to 1.4 Å. This ensemble of β1 crystal structures reveals conformational differences that are influenced by both the nature of the polymorphic residue and the extent of the peptide construct, indicating that comprehensive studies in which peptide constructs vary are a more rigorous approach to surveying conformational possibilities.

  16. Comparative analysis of the prion protein (PrP) gene in cetacean species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acutis, Pier Luigi; Peletto, Simone; Grego, Elena; Colussi, Silvia; Riina, Maria Vittoria; Rosati, Sergio; Mignone, Walter; Caramelli, Maria

    2007-05-01

    The partial PrP gene sequence and the deduced protein of eight cetacean species, seven of which have never been reported so far, have been determined in order to extend knowledge of sequence variability of the PrP genes in different species and to aid in speculation on cetacean susceptibility to prions. Both the nucleotide and the deduced amino acid sequences have been analysed in comparison with some of the known mammalian PrPs. Cetacean PrPs present typical features of eutherian PrPs. The PrP gene from the species of the family Delphinidae gave identical nucleic acid sequences, while differences in the PrP gene were found in Balaenopteridae and Ziphidae. The phylogenetic tree resulting from analysis of the cetacean PrP gene sequences, together with reported sequences of some ungulates, carnivores and primates, showed that the PrP gene phylogenesis mirrors the species phylogenesis. The PrP gene of cetaceans is very close to species where natural forms of TSEs are known. From an analysis of the sequences and the phylogenesis of the PrP gene, susceptibility to or occurrence of prion diseases in cetaceans can not be excluded.

  17. Brain transcriptional stability upon prion protein-encoding gene invalidation in zygotic or adult mouse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Béringue Vincent

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The physiological function of the prion protein remains largely elusive while its key role in prion infection has been expansively documented. To potentially assess this conundrum, we performed a comparative transcriptomic analysis of the brain of wild-type mice with that of transgenic mice invalidated at this locus either at the zygotic or at the adult stages. Results Only subtle transcriptomic differences resulting from the Prnp knockout could be evidenced, beside Prnp itself, in the analyzed adult brains following microarray analysis of 24 109 mouse genes and QPCR assessment of some of the putatively marginally modulated loci. When performed at the adult stage, neuronal Prnp disruption appeared to sequentially induce a response to an oxidative stress and a remodeling of the nervous system. However, these events involved only a limited number of genes, expression levels of which were only slightly modified and not always confirmed by RT-qPCR. If not, the qPCR obtained data suggested even less pronounced differences. Conclusions These results suggest that the physiological function of PrP is redundant at the adult stage or important for only a small subset of the brain cell population under classical breeding conditions. Following its early reported embryonic developmental regulation, this lack of response could also imply that PrP has a more detrimental role during mouse embryogenesis and that potential transient compensatory mechanisms have to be searched for at the time this locus becomes transcriptionally activated.

  18. Prion protein (PrP knock-out mice show altered iron metabolism: a functional role for PrP in iron uptake and transport.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ajay Singh

    Full Text Available Despite overwhelming evidence implicating the prion protein (PrP in prion disease pathogenesis, the normal function of this cell surface glycoprotein remains unclear. In previous reports we demonstrated that PrP mediates cellular iron uptake and transport, and aggregation of PrP to the disease causing PrP-scrapie (PrP(Sc form results in imbalance of iron homeostasis in prion disease affected human and animal brains. Here, we show that selective deletion of PrP in transgenic mice (PrP(KO alters systemic iron homeostasis as reflected in hematological parameters and levels of total iron and iron regulatory proteins in the plasma, liver, spleen, and brain of PrP(KO mice relative to matched wild type controls. Introduction of radiolabeled iron ((59FeCl(3 to Wt and PrP(KO mice by gastric gavage reveals inefficient transport of (59Fe from the duodenum to the blood stream, an early abortive spike of erythropoiesis in the long bones and spleen, and eventual decreased (59Fe content in red blood cells and all major organs of PrP(KO mice relative to Wt controls. The iron deficient phenotype of PrP(KO mice is reversed by expressing Wt PrP in the PrP(KO background, demonstrating a functional role for PrP in iron uptake and transport. Since iron is required for essential metabolic processes and is also potentially toxic if mismanaged, these results suggest that loss of normal function of PrP due to aggregation to the PrP(Sc form induces imbalance of brain iron homeostasis, resulting in disease associated neurotoxicity.

  19. Copper-binding peptides from human prion protein and newly designed peroxidative biocatalysts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kagenishi, Tomoko; Yokawa, Ken; Kadono, Takashi; Uezu, Kazuya; Kawano, Tomonori

    2011-01-01

    A previous work suggested that peptides from the histidine-containing copper-binding motifs in human prion protein (PrP) function as peroxidase-like biocatalysts catalyzing the generation of superoxide anion radicals in the presence of neurotransmitters (aromatic monoamines) and phenolics such as tyrosine and tyrosyl residues on proteins. In this study, using various phenolic substrates, the phenol-dependent superoxide-generating activities of PrP-derived peptide sequences were compared. Among the peptides tested, the GGGTH pentapeptide was shown to be the most active catalyst for phenol-dependent reactions. Based on these results, we designed a series of oligoglycyl-histidines as novel peroxidative biocatalysts, and their catalytic performances including kinetics, heat tolerance, and freezing tolerance were analysed.

  20. Cloning and expression analysis of a prion protein encoding gene in guppy ( Poecilia reticulata)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Suihan; Wei, Qiwei; Yang, Guanpin; Wang, Dengqiang; Zou, Guiwei; Chen, Daqing

    2008-11-01

    The full length cDNA of a prion protein (PrP) encoding gene of guppy ( Poecilia reticulata) and the corresponding genomic DNA were cloned. The cDNA was 2245 bp in length and contained an open reading frame (ORF) of 1545 bp encoding a protein of 515 amino acids, which held all typical structural characteristics of the functional PrP. The cloned genomic DNA fragment corresponding to the cDNA was 3720 bp in length, consisting of 2 introns and 2 exons. The 5' untranslated region of cDNA originated from the 2 exons, while the ORF originated from the second exon. Although the gene was transcribed in diverse tissues including brain, eye, liver, intestine, muscle and tail, its transcript was most abundant in the brain. In addition, the transcription of the gene was enhanced by 5 salinity, implying that it was associated with the response of guppy to saline stress.

  1. The saga of prion: to cut or not to cut

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Man-Sun Sy

    2009-01-01

    @@ Transmissible Spongiform Enceph-aiopathies (TSE), commonly referred to as prion diseases, are a group of rare, infectious and fatal neurodegenerative diseases in mammals [1]. All prion diseases are thought to share a common pathogenic mechanism, which is based on the conversion of the normal cellu-lar prion, PrPC, into the infectious and pathogenic scrapie prion protein, PrPSc [2, 3]. The accumulation ofPrPSc in the CNS is then thought to impair function, induce structural damage, and cause disease. In addition to gain of toxic function, loss of normal PrPC function, a consequence of conversion to PrPSc may also contribute to pathogenesis [4].

  2. Protein S-palmitoylation in cellular differentiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Mingzi M.

    2017-01-01

    Reversible protein S-palmitoylation confers spatiotemporal control of protein function by modulating protein stability, trafficking and activity, as well as protein–protein and membrane–protein associations. Enabled by technological advances, global studies revealed S-palmitoylation to be an important and pervasive posttranslational modification in eukaryotes with the potential to coordinate diverse biological processes as cells transition from one state to another. Here, we review the strategies and tools to analyze in vivo protein palmitoylation and interrogate the functions of the enzymes that put on and take off palmitate from proteins. We also highlight palmitoyl proteins and palmitoylation-related enzymes that are associated with cellular differentiation and/or tissue development in yeasts, protozoa, mammals, plants and other model eukaryotes. PMID:28202682

  3. Long-term memory consolidation: The role of RNA-binding proteins with prion-like domains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sudhakaran, Indulekha P; Ramaswami, Mani

    2016-10-11

    Long-term and short-term memories differ primarily in the duration of their retention. At a molecular level, long-term memory (LTM) is distinguished from short-term memory (STM) by its requirement for new gene expression. In addition to transcription (nuclear gene expression) the translation of stored mRNAs is necessary for LTM formation. The mechanisms and functions for temporal and spatial regulation of mRNAs required for LTM is a major contemporary problem, of interest from molecular, cell biological, neurobiological and clinical perspectives. This review discusses primary evidence in support for translational regulatory events involved in LTM and a model in which different phases of translation underlie distinct phases of consolidation of memories. However, it focuses largely on mechanisms of memory persistence and the role of prion-like domains in this defining aspect of long-term memory. We consider primary evidence for the concept that Cytoplasmic Polyadenylation Element Binding (CPEB) protein enables the persistence of formed memories by transforming in prion-like manner from a soluble monomeric state to a self-perpetuating and persistent polymeric translationally active state required for maintaining persistent synaptic plasticity. We further discuss prion-like domains prevalent on several other RNA-binding proteins involved in neuronal translational control underlying LTM. Growing evidence indicates that such RNA regulatory proteins are components of mRNP (RiboNucleoProtein) granules. In these proteins, prion-like domains, being intrinsically disordered, could mediate weak transient interactions that allow the assembly of RNP granules, a source of silenced mRNAs whose translation is necessary for LTM. We consider the structural bases for RNA granules formation as well as functions of disordered domains and discuss how these complicate the interpretation of existing experimental data relevant to general mechanisms by which prion-domain containing RBPs

  4. The Prion Protein N1 and N2 Cleavage Fragments Bind to Phosphatidylserine and Phosphatidic Acid; Relevance to Stress-Protection Responses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cathryn L Haigh

    Full Text Available Internal cleavage of the cellular prion protein generates two well characterised N-terminal fragments, N1 and N2. These fragments have been shown to bind to anionic phospholipids at low pH. We sought to investigate binding with other lipid moieties and queried how such interactions could be relevant to the cellular functions of these fragments. Both N1 and N2 bound phosphatidylserine (PS, as previously reported, and a further interaction with phosphatidic acid (PA was also identified. The specificity of this interaction required the N-terminus, especially the proline motif within the basic amino acids at the N-terminus, together with the copper-binding region (unrelated to copper saturation. Previously, the fragments have been shown to be protective against cellular stresses. In the current study, serum deprivation was used to induce changes in the cellular lipid environment, including externalisation of plasma membrane PS and increased cellular levels of PA. When copper-saturated, N2 could reverse these changes, but N1 could not, suggesting that direct binding of N2 to cellular lipids may be part of the mechanism by which this peptide signals its protective response.

  5. Anti-prion activity of DB772 and related monothiophene/furan-based analogs in a persistently infected ovine microglia culture system

    Science.gov (United States)

    The transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are fatal neurodegenerative disorders characterized by the misfolding of the native cellular prion protein (PrP-C) into the accumulating, disease-associated isoform (PrP-Sc). Despite extensive research into the inhibition of prion accumulation, no effect...

  6. Amidation and structure relaxation abolish the neurotoxicity of the prion peptide PrP106-126 in vivo and in vitro

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bergstrøm, Linda Alice; Hvass, Henriette Cordes; Zsurger, N.;

    2005-01-01

    One of the major pathological hallmarks of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) is the accumulation of a pathogenic (scrapie) isoform (PrPSc) of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) primarily in the central nervous system. The synthetic prion peptide PrP106-126 shares many characteristics...

  7. The many shades of prion strain adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baskakov, Ilia V

    2014-01-01

    In several recent studies transmissible prion disease was induced in animals by inoculation with recombinant prion protein amyloid fibrils produced in vitro. Serial transmission of amyloid fibrils gave rise to a new class of prion strains of synthetic origin. Gradual transformation of disease phenotypes and PrP(Sc) properties was observed during serial transmission of synthetic prions, a process that resembled the phenomenon of prion strain adaptation. The current article discusses the remarkable parallels between phenomena of prion strain adaptation that accompanies cross-species transmission and the evolution of synthetic prions occurring within the same host. Two alternative mechanisms underlying prion strain adaptation and synthetic strain evolution are discussed. The current article highlights the complexity of the prion transmission barrier and strain adaptation and proposes that the phenomenon of prion adaptation is more common than previously thought.

  8. Complement protein C3 exacerbates prion disease in a mouse model of chronic wasting disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michel, Brady; Ferguson, Adam; Johnson, Theodore; Bender, Heather; Meyerett-Reid, Crystal; Wyckoff, A Christy; Pulford, Bruce; Telling, Glenn C; Zabel, Mark D

    2013-12-01

    Accumulating evidence shows a critical role of the complement system in facilitating attachment of prions to both B cells and follicular dendritic cells and assisting in prion replication. Complement activation intensifies disease in prion-infected animals, and elimination of complement components inhibits prion accumulation, replication and pathogenesis. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a highly infectious prion disease of captive and free-ranging cervid populations that utilizes the complement system for efficient peripheral prion replication and most likely efficient horizontal transmission. Here we show that complete genetic or transient pharmacological depletion of C3 prolongs incubation times and significantly delays splenic accumulation in a CWD transgenic mouse model. Using a semi-quantitative prion amplification scoring system we show that C3 impacts disease progression in the early stages of disease by slowing the rate of prion accumulation and/or replication. The delayed kinetics in prion replication correlate with delayed disease kinetics in mice deficient in C3. Taken together, these data support a critical role of C3 in peripheral CWD prion pathogenesis.

  9. Is the presence of abnormal prion protein in the renal glomeruli of feline species presenting with FSE authentic?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bencsik Anna A

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract In a recent paper written by Hilbe et al (BMC vet res, 2009, the nature and specificity of the prion protein deposition in the kidney of feline species affected with feline spongiform encephalopathy (FSE were clearly considered doubtful. This article was brought to our attention because we published several years ago an immunodetection of abnormal prion protein in the kidney of a cheetah affected with FSE. At this time we were convinced of its specificity but without having all the possibilities to demonstrate it. As previously published by another group, the presence of abnormal prion protein in some renal glomeruli in domestic cats affected with FSE is indeed generally considered as doubtful mainly because of low intensity detected in this organ and because control kidneys from safe animals present also a weak prion immunolabelling. Here we come back on these studies and thought it would be helpful to relay our last data to the readers of BMC Vet res for future reference on this subject. Here we come back on our material as it is possible to study and demonstrate the specificity of prion immunodetection using the PET-Blot method (Paraffin Embedded Tissue - Blot. It is admitted that this method allows detecting the Proteinase K (PK resistant form of the abnormal prion protein (PrPres without any confusion with unspecific immunoreaction. We re-analysed the kidney tissue versus adrenal gland and brain samples from the same cheetah affected with TSE using this PET-Blot method. The PET-Blot analysis revealed specific PrPres detection within the brain, adrenal gland and some glomeruli of the kidney, with a complete identicalness compared to our previous detection using immunohistochemistry. In conclusion, these new data enable us to confirm with assurance the presence of specific abnormal prion protein in the adrenal gland and in the kidney of the cheetah affected with FSE. It also emphasizes the usefulness for the re-examination of any

  10. Truncated prion protein PrP226* - A structural view on its role in amyloid disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovač, Valerija; Zupančič, Blaž; Ilc, Gregor; Plavec, Janez; Čurin Šerbec, Vladka

    2017-02-26

    In the brain of patients with transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, besides PrP(Sc) aggregates, deposition of truncated PrP molecules was described. Jansen et al. reported two clinical cases with deposition of C-terminally truncated PrP, one of them ending with Tyr226. We have previously described the discovery of monoclonal antibody V5B2 that selectively recognizes this version of the prion protein, which we called PrP226*. Using monoclonal antibody V5B2 we showed that accumulation of PrP226* is characteristic for most types of human and animal TSEs. Its distribution correlates to the distribution of PrP(Sc) aggregates. To gain insight into the structural basis of its presence and distribution in PrP aggregates, we have determined the NMR structure of recombinant PrP226*. The structure of the protein consists of a disordered N-terminal part (residues 90-125) and a structured C-terminal part (residues 126-226). The C-terminal segment consists of four α-helices and a short antiparallel β-sheet. Our model predicts a break in the C-terminal helix and reorganized hydrophobic interactions between helix α3 and β2-α2 loop due to the shorter C-terminus. The structural model gives information on the possible role of the protein in the development of amyloid disease and can serve as a foundation to develop tools for prevention and treatment of prion diseases.

  11. Prions are affected by evolution at two levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickner, Reed B; Kelly, Amy C

    2016-03-01

    Prions, infectious proteins, can transmit diseases or be the basis of heritable traits (or both), mostly based on amyloid forms of the prion protein. A single protein sequence can be the basis for many prion strains/variants, with different biological properties based on different amyloid conformations, each rather stably propagating. Prions are unique in that evolution and selection work at both the level of the chromosomal gene encoding the protein, and on the prion itself selecting prion variants. Here, we summarize what is known about the evolution of prion proteins, both the genes and the prions themselves. We contrast the one known functional prion, [Het-s] of Podospora anserina, with the known disease prions, the yeast prions [PSI+] and [URE3] and the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies of mammals.

  12. Are the interactions between recombinant prion proteins and polymeric surfaces related to the hydrophilic/hydrophobic balance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vrlinic, Tjasa; Debarnot, Dominique; Legeay, Gilbert; Coudreuse, Arnaud; El Moualij, Benaissa; Zorzi, Willy; Perret-Liaudet, Armand; Quadrio, Isabelle; Mozetic, Miran; Poncin-Epaillard, Fabienne

    2012-06-01

    New non-fouling tubes are developed and their influence on the adhesion of neuroproteins is studied. Recombinant prion proteins are considered as a single component representative of hydrophobic proteins. Samples are stored for 24 h at 4 °C in tubes coated with two different coatings: poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) as a hydrophilic surface and a plasma-fluorinated coating as a hydrophobic one. The protein adhesion is monitored by ELISA tests, XPS and confocal microscopy. It appears that the highest recovery of recombinant prion protein in the liquid phase is obtained with the hydrophilic surface while the hydrophobic character of the storage tube induces an important amount of biological loss. However, the recovery is not complete even for tubes coated with poly(N-isopropylacrylamide).

  13. Human prion diseases: surgical lessons learned from iatrogenic prion transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonda, David J; Manjila, Sunil; Mehndiratta, Prachi; Khan, Fahd; Miller, Benjamin R; Onwuzulike, Kaine; Puoti, Gianfranco; Cohen, Mark L; Schonberger, Lawrence B; Cali, Ignazio

    2016-07-01

    The human prion diseases, or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, have captivated our imaginations since their discovery in the Fore linguistic group in Papua New Guinea in the 1950s. The mysterious and poorly understood "infectious protein" has become somewhat of a household name in many regions across the globe. From bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly identified as mad cow disease, to endocannibalism, media outlets have capitalized on these devastatingly fatal neurological conditions. Interestingly, since their discovery, there have been more than 492 incidents of iatrogenic transmission of prion diseases, largely resulting from prion-contaminated growth hormone and dura mater grafts. Although fewer than 9 cases of probable iatrogenic neurosurgical cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) have been reported worldwide, the likelihood of some missed cases and the potential for prion transmission by neurosurgery create considerable concern. Laboratory studies indicate that standard decontamination and sterilization procedures may be insufficient to completely remove infectivity from prion-contaminated instruments. In this unfortunate event, the instruments may transmit the prion disease to others. Much caution therefore should be taken in the absence of strong evidence against the presence of a prion disease in a neurosurgical patient. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) have devised risk assessment and decontamination protocols for the prevention of iatrogenic transmission of the prion diseases, incidents of possible exposure to prions have unfortunately occurred in the United States. In this article, the authors outline the historical discoveries that led from kuru to the identification and isolation of the pathological prion proteins in addition to providing a brief description of human prion diseases and iatrogenic forms of CJD, a brief history of prion disease nosocomial transmission

  14. Induced prion protein controls immune-activated retroviruses in the mouse spleen.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marius Lötscher

    Full Text Available The prion protein (PrP is crucially involved in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE, but neither its exact role in disease nor its physiological function are known. Here we show for mice, using histological, immunochemical and PCR-based methods, that stimulation of innate resistance was followed by appearance of numerous endogenous retroviruses and ensuing PrP up-regulation in germinal centers of the spleen. Subsequently, the activated retroviruses disappeared in a PrP-dependent manner. Our results reveal the regular involvement of endogenous retroviruses in murine immune responses and provide evidence for an essential function of PrP in the control of the retroviral activity. The interaction between PrP and ubiquitous endogenous retroviruses may allow new interpretations of TSE pathophysiology and explain the evolutionary conservation of PrP.

  15. High-level expression and secondary structure analysis of the bovine mature prion protein

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

    By using the recombinant DNA technology, the gene of the bovine mature prion protein (bPrPCL) has been cloned into pET30a and the resulting plasmid has been expressed in E.coli BL21(DE3). After solubilizing in 8 mol/L urea, the expression product was purified by cation ion exchange chromatography. The purified product was refolded by dilution and the recovery was about 15%. Analysis of mass spectrum, circular dichroism (CD) spectrum and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrum demonstrate that the molecular weight of the bPrPCL is 23 630 u, the bPrPCL has a high α-helix content (36.1%) and low β-sheet content (11.9%).

  16. Polymorphism of the prion protein gene (PRNP) in Polish cattle affected by classical bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gurgul, Artur; Czarnik, Urszula; Urszula, Czarnik; Larska, Magdalena; Polak, Mirosław P; Strychalski, Janusz; Słota, Ewa

    2012-05-01

    Recent attempts to discover genetic factors affecting cattle resistance/susceptibility to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) have led to the identification of two insertion/deletion (indel) polymorphisms, located within the promoter and intron 1 of the prion protein gene PRNP, showing a significant association with the occurrence of classical form of the disease. Because the effect of the polymorphisms was studied only in few populations, in this study we investigated whether previously described association of PRNP indel polymorphisms with BSE susceptibility in cattle is also present in Polish cattle population. We found a significant relation between the investigated PRNP indel polymorphisms (23 and 12 bp indels), and susceptibility of Polish Holstein-Friesian cattle to classical BSE (P < 0.05). The deletion variants of both polymorphisms were related to increased susceptibility, whereas insertion variants were protective against BSE.

  17. Distinct transmissibility features of TSE sources derived from ruminant prion diseases by the oral route in a transgenic mouse model (TgOvPrP4 overexpressing the ovine prion protein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Noël Arsac

    Full Text Available Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs are a group of fatal neurodegenerative diseases associated with a misfolded form of host-encoded prion protein (PrP. Some of them, such as classical bovine spongiform encephalopathy in cattle (BSE, transmissible mink encephalopathy (TME, kuru and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans, are acquired by the oral route exposure to infected tissues. We investigated the possible transmission by the oral route of a panel of strains derived from ruminant prion diseases in a transgenic mouse model (TgOvPrP4 overexpressing the ovine prion protein (A136R154Q171 under the control of the neuron-specific enolase promoter. Sources derived from Nor98, CH1641 or 87V scrapie sources, as well as sources derived from L-type BSE or cattle-passaged TME, failed to transmit by the oral route, whereas those derived from classical BSE and classical scrapie were successfully transmitted. Apart from a possible effect of passage history of the TSE agent in the inocula, this implied the occurrence of subtle molecular changes in the protease-resistant prion protein (PrPres following oral transmission that can raises concerns about our ability to correctly identify sheep that might be orally infected by the BSE agent in the field. Our results provide proof of principle that transgenic mouse models can be used to examine the transmissibility of TSE agents by the oral route, providing novel insights regarding the pathogenesis of prion diseases.

  18. Prion Induction by the Short-lived Stress Induced Protein Lsb2 Is Regulated by Ubiquitination and Association with the Actin Cytoskeleton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chernova, Tatiana A.; Romanyuk, Andrey V.; Karpova, Tatiana S.; Shanks, John R.; Ali, Moiez; Moffatt, Nela; Howie, Rebecca L.; O'Dell, Andrew; McNally, James G.; Liebman, Susan W.; Chernoff, Yury O.; Wilkinson, Keith D.

    2011-01-01

    SUMMARY Yeast prions are self-perpetuating QN-rich amyloids, that control heritable traits and serve as a model for mammalian amyloidoses. De novo prion formation by overproduced prion protein is facilitated by other aggregated QN-rich protein(s), and is influenced by alterations of protein homeostasis. Here we explore the mechanism by which the Las17-binding protein Lsb2 (Pin3) promotes conversion of the translation termination factor Sup35 into its prion form [PSI+]. We show that Lsb2 localizes with some Sup35 aggregates and that Lsb2 is a short-lived protein whose levels are controlled via the ubiquitin-proteasome system and are dramatically increased by stress. Loss of Lsb2 decreases stability of [PSI+] after brief heat shock. Mutations interfering with Lsb2 ubiquitination increase prion induction, while a mutation eliminating association of Lsb2 with the actin cytoskeleton blocks its aggregation and prion–inducing ability. These findings directly implicate the UPS and actin cytoskeleton in regulating prions via a stress-inducible QN-rich protein. PMID:21777813

  19. Double-Edge Sword of Sustained ROCK Activation in Prion Diseases through Neuritogenesis Defects and Prion Accumulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alleaume-Butaux, Aurélie; Nicot, Simon; Pietri, Mathéa; Baudry, Anne; Dakowski, Caroline; Tixador, Philippe; Ardila-Osorio, Hector; Haeberlé, Anne-Marie; Bailly, Yannick; Peyrin, Jean-Michel; Launay, Jean-Marie; Kellermann, Odile; Schneider, Benoit

    2015-08-01

    In prion diseases, synapse dysfunction, axon retraction and loss of neuronal polarity precede neuronal death. The mechanisms driving such polarization defects, however, remain unclear. Here, we examined the contribution of RhoA-associated coiled-coil containing kinases (ROCK), key players in neuritogenesis, to prion diseases. We found that overactivation of ROCK signaling occurred in neuronal stem cells infected by pathogenic prions (PrPSc) and impaired the sprouting of neurites. In reconstructed networks of mature neurons, PrPSc-induced ROCK overactivation provoked synapse disconnection and dendrite/axon degeneration. This overactivation of ROCK also disturbed overall neurotransmitter-associated functions. Importantly, we demonstrated that beyond its impact on neuronal polarity ROCK overactivity favored the production of PrPSc through a ROCK-dependent control of 3-phosphoinositide-dependent kinase 1 (PDK1) activity. In non-infectious conditions, ROCK and PDK1 associated within a complex and ROCK phosphorylated PDK1, conferring basal activity to PDK1. In prion-infected neurons, exacerbated ROCK activity increased the pool of PDK1 molecules physically interacting with and phosphorylated by ROCK. ROCK-induced PDK1 overstimulation then canceled the neuroprotective α-cleavage of normal cellular prion protein PrPC by TACE α-secretase, which physiologically precludes PrPSc production. In prion-infected cells, inhibition of ROCK rescued neurite sprouting, preserved neuronal architecture, restored neuronal functions and reduced the amount of PrPSc. In mice challenged with prions, inhibition of ROCK also lowered brain PrPSc accumulation, reduced motor impairment and extended survival. We conclude that ROCK overactivation exerts a double detrimental effect in prion diseases by altering neuronal polarity and triggering PrPSc accumulation. Eventually ROCK emerges as therapeutic target to combat prion diseases.

  20. How does domain replacement affect fibril formation of the rabbit/human prion proteins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xu Yan

    Full Text Available It is known that in vivo human prion protein (PrP have the tendency to form fibril deposits and are associated with infectious fatal prion diseases, while the rabbit PrP does not readily form fibrils and is unlikely to cause prion diseases. Although we have previously demonstrated that amyloid fibrils formed by the rabbit PrP and the human PrP have different secondary structures and macromolecular crowding has different effects on fibril formation of the rabbit/human PrPs, we do not know which domains of PrPs cause such differences. In this study, we have constructed two PrP chimeras, rabbit chimera and human chimera, and investigated how domain replacement affects fibril formation of the rabbit/human PrPs.As revealed by thioflavin T binding assays and Sarkosyl-soluble SDS-PAGE, the presence of a strong crowding agent dramatically promotes fibril formation of both chimeras. As evidenced by circular dichroism, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and proteinase K digestion assays, amyloid fibrils formed by human chimera have secondary structures and proteinase K-resistant features similar to those formed by the human PrP. However, amyloid fibrils formed by rabbit chimera have proteinase K-resistant features and secondary structures in crowded physiological environments different from those formed by the rabbit PrP, and secondary structures in dilute solutions similar to the rabbit PrP. The results from transmission electron microscopy show that macromolecular crowding caused human chimera but not rabbit chimera to form short fibrils and non-fibrillar particles.We demonstrate for the first time that the domains beyond PrP-H2H3 (β-strand 1, α-helix 1, and β-strand 2 have a remarkable effect on fibrillization of the rabbit PrP but almost no effect on the human PrP. Our findings can help to explain why amyloid fibrils formed by the rabbit PrP and the human PrP have different secondary structures and why macromolecular crowding has different

  1. Infectious prions accumulate to high levels in non proliferative C2C12 myotubes.

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    Allen Herbst

    Full Text Available Prion diseases are driven by the strain-specific, template-dependent transconformation of the normal cellular prion protein (PrP(C into a disease specific isoform PrP(Sc. Cell culture models of prion infection generally use replicating cells resulting in lower levels of prion accumulation compared to animals. Using non-replicating cells allows the accumulation of higher levels of PrP(Sc and, thus, greater amounts of infectivity. Here, we infect non-proliferating muscle fiber myotube cultures prepared from differentiated myoblasts. We demonstrate that prion-infected myotubes generate substantial amounts of PrP(Sc and that the level of infectivity produced in these post-mitotic cells, 10(5.5 L.D.50/mg of total protein, approaches that observed in vivo. Exposure of the myotubes to different mouse-adapted agents demonstrates strain-specific replication of infectious agents. Mouse-derived myotubes could not be infected with hamster prions suggesting that the species barrier effect is intact. We suggest that non-proliferating myotubes will be a valuable model system for generating infectious prions and for screening compounds for anti-prion activity.

  2. Prion Protein Deficiency Causes Diverse Proteome Shifts in Cell Models That Escape Detection in Brain Tissue.

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    Mehrabian, Mohadeseh; Brethour, Dylan; Williams, Declan; Wang, Hansen; Arnould, Hélène; Schneider, Benoit; Schmitt-Ulms, Gerold

    2016-01-01

    A popular method for studying the function of a given protein is to generate and characterize a suitable model deficient for its expression. For the prion protein (PrP), best known for its role in several invariably fatal neurodegenerative diseases, a natural choice, therefore, would be to undertake such studies with brain samples. We recently documented the surprising observation that PrP deficiency caused a loss or enhancement of NCAM1 polysialylation, dependent on the cell model used. To identify possible causes for this disparity, we set out to systematically investigate the consequence of PrP deficiency on the global proteome in brain tissue and in four distinct cell models. Here we report that PrP deficiency causes robust but surprisingly divergent changes to the global proteomes of cell models but has no discernible impact on the global brain proteome. Amongst >1,500 proteins whose levels were compared in wild-type and PrP-deficient models, members of the MARCKS protein family exhibited pronounced, yet cell model-dependent changes to their steady-state levels. Follow-up experiments revealed that PrP collaborates with members of the MARCKS protein family in its control of NCAM1 polysialylation. We conclude that the physiological function of PrP may be masked in analyses of complex brain samples but its cell-type specific influence on a lipid raft-based NCAM1-related cell biology comes to the fore in investigations of specific cell types.

  3. A Neuronal Culture System to Detect Prion Synaptotoxicity.

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    Cheng Fang

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic pathology is an early feature of prion as well as other neurodegenerative diseases. Although the self-templating process by which prions propagate is well established, the mechanisms by which prions cause synaptotoxicity are poorly understood, due largely to the absence of experimentally tractable cell culture models. Here, we report that exposure of cultured hippocampal neurons to PrPSc, the infectious isoform of the prion protein, results in rapid retraction of dendritic spines. This effect is entirely dependent on expression of the cellular prion protein, PrPC, by target neurons, and on the presence of a nine-amino acid, polybasic region at the N-terminus of the PrPC molecule. Both protease-resistant and protease-sensitive forms of PrPSc cause dendritic loss. This system provides new insights into the mechanisms responsible for prion neurotoxicity, and it provides a platform for characterizing different pathogenic forms of PrPSc and testing potential therapeutic agents.

  4. WD40 proteins propel cellular networks.

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    Stirnimann, Christian U; Petsalaki, Evangelia; Russell, Robert B; Müller, Christoph W

    2010-10-01

    Recent findings indicate that WD40 domains play central roles in biological processes by acting as hubs in cellular networks; however, they have been studied less intensely than other common domains, such as the kinase, PDZ or SH3 domains. As suggested by various interactome studies, they are among the most promiscuous interactors. Structural studies suggest that this property stems from their ability, as scaffolds, to interact with diverse proteins, peptides or nucleic acids using multiple surfaces or modes of interaction. A general scaffolding role is supported by the fact that no WD40 domain has been found with intrinsic enzymatic activity despite often being part of large molecular machines. We discuss the WD40 domain distributions in protein networks and structures of WD40-containing assemblies to demonstrate their versatility in mediating critical cellular functions.

  5. Functional Prions in the Brain.

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    Rayman, Joseph B; Kandel, Eric R

    2017-01-03

    Prions are proteins that can adopt self-perpetuating conformations and are traditionally regarded as etiological agents of infectious neurodegenerative diseases in humans, such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, kuru, and transmissible encephalopathies. More recently, a growing consensus has emerged that prion-like, self-templating mechanisms also underlie a variety of neurodegenerative disorders, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, and Huntington's disease. Perhaps most surprising, not all prion-like aggregates are associated with pathological changes. There are now several examples of prion-like proteins in mammals that serve positive biological functions in their aggregated state. In this review, we discuss functional prions in the nervous system, with particular emphasis on the cytoplasmic polyadenylation element-binding protein (CPEB) and the role of its prion-like aggregates in synaptic plasticity and memory. We also mention a more recent example of a functional prion-like protein in the brain, TIA-1, and its role during stress. These studies of functional prion-like proteins have provided a number of generalizable insights on how prion-based protein switches may operate to serve physiological functions in higher eukaryotes.

  6. Hydrolysis of the amyloid prion protein and nonpathogenic meat and bone meal by anaerobic thermophilic prokaryotes and streptomyces subspecies.

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    Tsiroulnikov, Kirill; Rezai, Human; Bonch-Osmolovskaya, Elisaveta; Nedkov, Peter; Gousterova, Adriana; Cueff, Valérie; Godfroy, Anne; Barbier, Georges; Métro, François; Chobert, Jean-Marc; Clayette, Pascal; Dormont, Dominique; Grosclaude, Jeanne; Haertlé, Thomas

    2004-10-06

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are caused by accumulation of highly resistant misfolded amyloid prion protein PrPres and can be initiated by penetration of such pathogen molecules from infected tissue to intact organism. Decontamination of animal meal containing amyloid prion protein is proposed thanks to the use of proteolytic enzymes secreted by thermophilic bacteria Thermoanaerobacter, Thermosipho, and Thermococcus subsp. and mesophilic soil bacteria Streptomyces subsp. Keratins alpha and beta, which resemble amyloid structures, were used as the substrates for the screening for microorganisms able to grow on keratins and producing efficient proteases specific for hydrolysis of beta-sheeted proteic structures, hence amyloids. Secretion of keratin-degrading proteases was evidenced by a zymogram method. Enzymes from thermophilic strains VC13, VC15, and S290 and Streptomyces subsp. S6 were strongly active against amyloid recombinant ovine prion protein and animal meal proteins. The studied proteases displayed broad primary specificities hydrolyzing low molecular mass peptide model substrates. Strong amyloidolytic activity of detected proteases was confirmed by experiments of hydrolysis of PrPres in SAFs produced from brain homogenates of mice infected with the 6PB1 BSE strain. The proteases from Thermoanaerobacter subsp. S290 and Streptomyces subsp. S6 are the best candidates for neutralization/elimination of amyloids in meat and bone meal and other protein-containing substances and materials.

  7. Prions, prion-like prionoids, and neurodegenerative disorders.

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    Verma, Ashok

    2016-01-01

    Prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are fatal neurodegenerative diseases characterized by the aggregation and deposition of the misfolded prion protein in the brain. α-synuclein (α-syn)-associated multiple system atrophy has been recently shown to be caused by a bona fide α-syn prion strain. Several other misfolded native proteins such as β-amyloid, tau and TDP-43 share some aspects of prions although none of them is shown to be transmissible in nature or in experimental animals. However, these prion-like "prionoids" are causal to a variety of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The remarkable recent discovery of at least two new α-syn prion strains and their transmissibility in transgenic mice and in vitro cell models raises a distinct question as to whether some specific strain of other prionoids could have the capability of disease transmission in a manner similar to prions. In this overview, we briefly describe human and other mammalian prion diseases and comment on certain similarities between prion and prionoid and the possibility of prion-like transmissibility of some prionoid strains.

  8. Prions, prion-like prionoids, and neurodegenerative disordersVacancy

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    Ashok Verma

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are fatal neurodegenerative diseases characterized by the aggregation and deposition of the misfolded prion protein in the brain. α-synuclein (α-syn-associated multiple system atrophy has been recently shown to be caused by a bona fide α-syn prion strain. Several other misfolded native proteins such as β-amyloid, tau and TDP-43 share some aspects of prions although none of them is shown to be transmissible in nature or in experimental animals. However, these prion-like “prionoids” are causal to a variety of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The remarkable recent discovery of at least two new α-syn prion strains and their transmissibility in transgenic mice and in vitro cell models raises a distinct question as to whether some specific strain of other prionoids could have the capability of disease transmission in a manner similar to prions. In this overview, we briefly describe human and other mammalian prion diseases and comment on certain similarities between prion and prionoid and the possibility of prion-like transmissibility of some prionoid strains.

  9. Polymorphisms of the prion protein gene (PRNP) in a Korean population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeong, Byung-Hoon; Nam, Jae-Hwan; Lee, Yun-Jung; Lee, Kyung-Hee; Jang, Myoung-Kuk; Carp, Richard I; Lee, Ho-Dong; Ju, Young-Ran; Ahn Jo, Sangmee; Park, Keun-Yong; Kim, Yong-Sun

    2004-01-01

    Human prion protein gene (PRNP) has been considered to be involved in the susceptibility of humans to prion diseases. Polymorphisms of methionine (Met)/valine (Val) at codon 129 and of glutamic acid (Glu)/lysine (Lys) at codon 219 are thought to play an important role in susceptibility to sporadic, iatrogenic and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). Although the genotype distribution of polymorphisms in PRNP open reading frame (ORF) has been reported in many European populations, among Asian groups, it has been reported only in the Japanese population. We examined the PRNP polymorphisms in 529 healthy Koreans. We observed that genotype frequencies at codon 129 was 94.33% Met/Met, 5.48% Met/Val, and 0.19% Val/Val with an allele frequency of 0.971:0.029 Met:Val, and that genotype frequencies at codon 219 was 92.06% Glu/Glu, 7.94% Glu/Lys, and 0% Lys/Lys with an allele frequency of 0.96:0.04 Glu:Lys. The frequencies of the Glu/Glu genotype ( chi(2)=10.075, P=0.0015) and of the Glu allele ( chi(2)=9.486, P=0.0021) at codon 219 were significantly higher in the Korean population than the Japanese population. In addition, the genotype frequency of heterozygotes (12.7%) at codons 129 or/and 219 was significantly lower in Koreans than in people from Great Britain ( chi(2)=89.52, P<0.0001). The deletion rate of one octarepeat (R2 deletion) was 0.38%, with 99.62% undeleted homozygotes and 0% deleted homozygote. To our knowledge, the R2 octarepeat deletion has never been found in people from countries other than Korea. The data of PRNP polymorphism at codon 219 suggest that Koreans may be more sensitive to sporadic CJD than the Japanese population.

  10. Prevalence of the prion protein gene E211K variant in U.S. cattle

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    Chase Chad C

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In 2006, an atypical U.S. case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE was discovered in Alabama and later reported to be polymorphic for glutamate (E and lysine (K codons at position 211 in the bovine prion protein gene (Prnp coding sequence. A bovine E211K mutation is important because it is analogous to the most common pathogenic mutation in humans (E200K which causes hereditary Creutzfeldt – Jakob disease, an autosomal dominant form of prion disease. The present report describes a high-throughput matrix-associated laser desorption/ionization-time-of-flight mass spectrometry assay for scoring the Prnp E211K variant and its use to determine an upper limit for the K211 allele frequency in U.S. cattle. Results The K211 allele was not detected in 6062 cattle, including those from five commercial beef processing plants (3892 carcasses and 2170 registered cattle from 42 breeds. Multiple nearby polymorphisms in Prnp coding sequence of 1456 diverse purebred cattle (42 breeds did not interfere with scoring E211 or K211 alleles. Based on these results, the upper bounds for prevalence of the E211K variant was estimated to be extremely low, less than 1 in 2000 cattle (Bayesian analysis based on 95% quantile of the posterior distribution with a uniform prior. Conclusion No groups or breeds of U.S. cattle are presently known to harbor the Prnp K211 allele. Because a carrier was not detected, the number of additional atypical BSE cases with K211 will also be vanishingly low.

  11. Neuroanatomical distribution of abnormal prion protein in naturally occurring atypical scrapie cases in Great Britain.

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    Moore, Sarah Jo; Simmons, Marion; Chaplin, Melanie; Spiropoulos, John

    2008-11-01

    Scrapie belongs to a group of diseases known as the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies or prion diseases. Two different categories of naturally occurring scrapie have been identified: classical scrapie, which was first recorded around 1750, and atypical scrapie or 'Nor-98', which was first identified in Norway in 1998. The molecular characteristics of atypical scrapie have been well defined, but detailed descriptions of the neuropathological phenotype are rare since the majority of cases have been detected through active surveillance programmes where only brainstem and cerebellum are collected for statutory diagnosis. In order to characterise the neuropathology of naturally occurring atypical scrapie in sheep, we examined multiple brain levels from 15 whole brains from field cases of atypical scrapie, both clinical suspects and fallen stock, collected in Great Britain between 2004 and 2006. We found that the distribution of disease-associated prion protein (PrP(Sc)) and vacuolation in atypical scrapie cases are very different to both classical scrapie and experimental bovine spongiform encephalopathy in sheep. Immunolabelling for PrP(Sc) is mild and restricted at the obex and more intense and widespread rostrally, particularly in the cerebellum, substantia nigra, thalamus and basal nuclei. Intracellular immunolabelling types are not seen, but distinctive white matter immunolabelling is widespread. Vacuolation associated with PrP(Sc) deposits was not observed in the brainstem neuroanatomical areas commonly affected in classical scrapie and bovine spongiform encephalopathy, but was instead most prominent in the cerebellar cortex and neocortex. This is the largest comprehensive descriptive study of atypical scrapie pathology to date, and provides baseline data against which other natural or experimental cases can be compared. It also reinforces the current recommendation to collect cerebellum in addition to brainstem to enable confident confirmation of this

  12. Prion protein gene sequence and chronic wasting disease susceptibility in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus).

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    Brandt, Adam L; Kelly, Amy C; Green, Michelle L; Shelton, Paul; Novakofski, Jan; Mateus-Pinilla, Nohra E

    2015-01-01

    The sequence of the prion protein gene (PRNP) affects susceptibility to spongiform encephalopathies, or prion diseases in many species. In white-tailed deer, both coding and non-coding single nucleotide polymorphisms have been identified in this gene that correlate to chronic wasting disease (CWD) susceptibility. Previous studies examined individual nucleotide or amino acid mutations; here we examine all nucleotide polymorphisms and their combined effects on CWD. A 626 bp region of PRNP was examined from 703 free-ranging white-tailed deer. Deer were sampled between 2002 and 2010 by hunter harvest or government culling in Illinois and Wisconsin. Fourteen variable nucleotide positions were identified (4 new and 10 previously reported). We identified 68 diplotypes comprised of 24 predicted haplotypes, with the most common diplotype occurring in 123 individuals. Diplotypes that were found exclusively among positive or negative animals were rare, each occurring in less than 1% of the deer studied. Only one haplotype (C, odds ratio 0.240) and 2 diplotypes (AC and BC, odds ratios of 0.161 and 0.108 respectively) has significant associations with CWD resistance. Each contains mutations (one synonymous nucleotide 555C/T and one nonsynonymous nucleotide 286G/A) at positions reported to be significantly associated with reduced CWD susceptibility. Results suggest that deer populations with higher frequencies of haplotype C or diplotypes AC and BC might have a reduced risk for CWD infection--while populations with lower frequencies may have higher risk for infection. Understanding the genetic basis of CWD has improved our ability to assess herd susceptibility and direct management efforts within CWD infected areas.

  13. Prion protein polymorphisms in white-tailed deer influence susceptibility to chronic wasting disease.

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    Johnson, Chad; Johnson, Jody; Vanderloo, Joshua P; Keane, Delwyn; Aiken, Judd M; McKenzie, Debbie

    2006-07-01

    The primary sequence of the prion protein affects susceptibility to transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, or prion diseases, in mice, sheep and humans. The Prnp gene sequence of free-ranging, Wisconsin white-tailed deer was determined and the Prnp genotypes of chronic wasting disease (CWD)-positive and CWD-negative deer were compared. Six amino acid changes were identified, two of which were located in pseudogenes. Two alleles, a Q-->K polymorphism at codon 226 and a single octapeptide repeat insertion into the pseudogene, have not been reported previously. The predominant alleles--wild-type (Q95, G96 and Q226) and a G96S polymorphism--comprised almost 98% of the Prnp alleles in the Wisconsin white-tailed deer population. Comparison of the allelic frequencies in the CWD-positive and CWD-negative deer suggested that G96S and a Q95H polymorphism were linked to a reduced susceptibility to CWD. The G96S allele did not, however, provide complete resistance, as a CWD-positive G96S/G96S deer was identified. The G96S allele was also linked to slower progression of the disease in CWD-positive deer based on the deposition of PrP(CWD) in the obex region of the medulla oblongata. Although the reduced susceptibility of deer with at least one copy of the Q95H or G96S allele is insufficient to serve as a genetic barrier, the presence of these alleles may modulate the impact of CWD on white-tailed deer populations.

  14. Heritable yeast prions have a highly organized three-dimensional architecture with interfiber structures.

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    Saibil, Helen R; Seybert, Anja; Habermann, Anja; Winkler, Juliane; Eltsov, Mikhail; Perkovic, Mario; Castaño-Diez, Daniel; Scheffer, Margot P; Haselmann, Uta; Chlanda, Petr; Lindquist, Susan; Tyedmers, Jens; Frangakis, Achilleas S

    2012-09-11

    Yeast prions constitute a "protein-only" mechanism of inheritance that is widely deployed by wild yeast to create diverse phenotypes. One of the best-characterized prions, [PSI(+)], is governed by a conformational change in the prion domain of Sup35, a translation-termination factor. When this domain switches from its normal soluble form to an insoluble amyloid, the ensuing change in protein synthesis creates new traits. Two factors make these traits heritable: (i) the amyloid conformation is self-templating; and (ii) the protein-remodeling factor heat-shock protein (Hsp)104 (acting together with Hsp70 chaperones) partitions the template to daughter cells with high fidelity. Prions formed by several other yeast proteins create their own phenotypes but share the same mechanistic basis of inheritance. Except for the amyloid fibril itself, the cellular architecture underlying these protein-based elements of inheritance is unknown. To study the 3D arrangement of prion assemblies in their cellular context, we examined yeast [PSI(+)] prions in the native, hydrated state in situ, taking advantage of recently developed methods for cryosectioning of vitrified cells. Cryo-electron tomography of the vitrified sections revealed the prion assemblies as aligned bundles of regularly spaced fibrils in the cytoplasm with no bounding structures. Although the fibers were widely spaced, other cellular complexes, such as ribosomes, were excluded from the fibril arrays. Subtomogram image averaging, made possible by the organized nature of the assemblies, uncovered the presence of an additional array of densities between the fibers. We suggest these structures constitute a self-organizing mechanism that coordinates fiber deposition and the regulation of prion inheritance.

  15. Selective vulnerability to neurodegenerative disease: the curious case of Prion Protein.

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    Jackson, Walker S

    2014-01-01

    The mechanisms underlying the selective targeting of specific brain regions by different neurodegenerative diseases is one of the most intriguing mysteries in medicine. For example, it is known that Alzheimer's disease primarily affects parts of the brain that play a role in memory, whereas Parkinson's disease predominantly affects parts of the brain that are involved in body movement. However, the reasons that other brain regions remain unaffected in these diseases are unknown. A better understanding of the phenomenon of selective vulnerability is required for the development of targeted therapeutic approaches that specifically protect affected neurons, thereby altering the disease course and preventing its progression. Prion diseases are a fascinating group of neurodegenerative diseases because they exhibit a wide phenotypic spectrum caused by different sequence perturbations in a single protein. The possible ways that mutations affecting this protein can cause several distinct neurodegenerative diseases are explored in this Review to highlight the complexity underlying selective vulnerability. The premise of this article is that selective vulnerability is determined by the interaction of specific protein conformers and region-specific microenvironments harboring unique combinations of subcellular components such as metals, chaperones and protein translation machinery. Given the abundance of potential contributory factors in the neurodegenerative process, a better understanding of how these factors interact will provide invaluable insight into disease mechanisms to guide therapeutic discovery.

  16. High hydrophobic amino acid exposure is responsible of the neurotoxic effects induced by E200K or D202N disease-related mutations of the human prion protein.

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    Corsaro, Alessandro; Thellung, Stefano; Bucciarelli, Tonino; Scotti, Luca; Chiovitti, Katia; Villa, Valentina; D'Arrigo, Cristina; Aceto, Antonio; Florio, Tullio

    2011-03-01

    Mutations in prion protein are thought to be causative of inherited prion diseases favoring the spontaneous conversion of the normal prion protein into the scrapie-like pathological prion protein. We previously reported that, by controlled thermal denaturation, human prion protein fragment 90-231 acquires neurotoxic properties when transformed in a β-rich conformation, resembling the scrapie-like conformation. In this study we generated prion protein fragment 90-231 bearing mutations identified in familial prion diseases (D202N and E200K), to analyze their role in the induction of a neurotoxic conformation. Prion protein fragment 90-231(wild type) and the D202N mutant were not toxic in native conformation but induced cell death only after thermal denaturation. Conversely, prion protein fragment 90-231(E200K) was highly toxic in its native structure, suggesting that E200K mutation per se favors the acquisition of a peptide neurotoxic conformation. To identify the structural determinants of prion protein fragment 90-231 toxicity, we show that while the wild type peptide is structured in α-helix, hPrP90-231 E200K is spontaneously refolded in a β-structured conformer characterized by increased proteinase K resistance and propensity to generate fibrils. However, the most significant difference induced by E200K mutation in prion protein fragment 90-231 structure in native conformation we observed, was an increase in the exposure of hydrophobic amino-acids on protein surface that was detected in wild type and D202N proteins only after thermal denaturation. In conclusion, we propose that increased hydrophobicity is one of the main determinants of toxicity induced by different mutations in prion protein-derived peptides.

  17. Prion subcellular fractionation reveals infectivity spectrum, with a high titre-low PrPres level disparity

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    Lewis Victoria

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Prion disease transmission and pathogenesis are linked to misfolded, typically protease resistant (PrPres conformers of the normal cellular prion protein (PrPC, with the former posited to be the principal constituent of the infectious 'prion'. Unexplained discrepancies observed between detectable PrPres and infectivity levels exemplify the complexity in deciphering the exact biophysical nature of prions and those host cell factors, if any, which contribute to transmission efficiency. In order to improve our understanding of these important issues, this study utilized a bioassay validated cell culture model of prion infection to investigate discordance between PrPres levels and infectivity titres at a subcellular resolution. Findings Subcellular fractions enriched in lipid rafts or endoplasmic reticulum/mitochondrial marker proteins were equally highly efficient at prion transmission, despite lipid raft fractions containing up to eight times the levels of detectable PrPres. Brain homogenate infectivity was not differentially enhanced by subcellular fraction-specific co-factors, and proteinase K pre-treatment of selected fractions modestly, but equally reduced infectivity. Only lipid raft associated infectivity was enhanced by sonication. Conclusions This study authenticates a subcellular disparity in PrPres and infectivity levels, and eliminates simultaneous divergence of prion strains as the explanation for this phenomenon. On balance, the results align best with the concept that transmission efficiency is influenced more by intrinsic characteristics of the infectious prion, rather than cellular microenvironment conditions or absolute PrPres levels.

  18. Localization of A11-reactive oligomeric species in prion diseases

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aidt, Frederik H; Hasholt, Lis F; Christiansen, Michael;

    2013-01-01

    To investigate in prion diseases the in-situ localization of prion protein oligomers sharing a common epitope with amyloid oligomers involved in a range of neurodegenerative diseases.......To investigate in prion diseases the in-situ localization of prion protein oligomers sharing a common epitope with amyloid oligomers involved in a range of neurodegenerative diseases....

  19. Comparison of electrostatic potential around proteins calculated from Amber and AM1 charges: application to mutants of prion protein

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuegg, Johannes; Bliznyuk, Andrey A.; Gready, Jill E.

    On the basis of arguments of complementary fit of shape and charge polarity or hydrophobicity, molecular electrostatic potentials (MEPs) around proteins are commonly used to deduce likely sites for interaction with ligands or other proteins, including for variations such as mutations. But protein MEPs calculated classically from fixed force field descriptions, including those with implicit solvent models such as in Delphi, do not allow for repolarization of protein residues within the protein system; hence, their representations are likely to be variably inaccurate. Linear-scaling methods now allow calculation of MEPs quantum mechanically for systems as large as proteins, and can account for polarization explicitly. Here we compare MEPs derived from AM1 charge distributions calculated by Mopac2000 with those from the classical Amber force field. Our models are mutants of prion protein (PrP), a protein with an unusually high number of charged residues. The results demonstrate that static point charges, as used in most current force fields, cannot reproduce the MEP of macromolecules. Also, it is not sufficient to account for the influence of nearby atoms connected by chemical bonds; the influence of nearby atoms in space is at least as important. Thus, further progress in the accuracy and wider applicability of force fields requires proper accounting for polarization. Mopac2000 calculations can provide the necessary data for checking new force fields and/or parameter fitting.

  20. Translation of the prion protein mRNA is robust in astrocytes but does not amplify during reactive astrocytosis in the mouse brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Walker S; Krost, Clemens; Borkowski, Andrew W; Kaczmarczyk, Lech

    2014-01-01

    Prion diseases induce neurodegeneration in specific brain areas for undetermined reasons. A thorough understanding of the localization of the disease-causing molecule, the prion protein (PrP), could inform on this issue but previous studies have generated conflicting conclusions. One of the more intriguing disagreements is whether PrP is synthesized by astrocytes. We developed a knock-in reporter mouse line in which the coding sequence of the PrP expressing gene (Prnp), was replaced with that for green fluorescent protein (GFP). Native GFP fluorescence intensity varied between and within brain regions. GFP was present in astrocytes but did not increase during reactive gliosis induced by scrapie prion infection. Therefore, reactive gliosis associated with prion diseases does not cause an acceleration of local PrP production. In addition to aiding in Prnp gene activity studies, this reporter mouse line will likely prove useful for analysis of chimeric animals produced by stem cell and tissue transplantation experiments.

  1. Interaction between misfolded PrP and the ubiquitin-proteasome system in prion-mediated neurodegeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Zhu; Zhao, Deming; Yang, Lifeng

    2013-06-01

    Prion diseases are associated with the conformational conversion of cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) to pathological β-sheet isoforms (PrP(Sc)), which is the infectious agent beyond comprehension. Increasing evidence indicated that an unknown toxic gain of function of PrP(sc) underlies neuronal death. Conversely, strong evidence indicated that cellular prion protein might be directly cytotoxic by mediating neurotoxic signaling of β-sheet-rich conformers independent of prion replication. Furthermore, the common properties of β-sheet-rich isoform such as PrP(Sc) and β amyloid protein become the lynchpin that interprets the general pathological mechanism of protein misfolding diseases. Dysfunction of the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) has been implicated in various protein misfolding diseases. However, the mechanisms of this impairment remain unknown in many cases. In prion disease, prion-infected mouse brains have increased levels of ubiquitin conjugates, which correlate with decreased proteasome function. Both PrP(C) and PrP(Sc) accumulate in cells after proteasome inhibition, which leads to increased cell death. A direct interaction between 20S core particle and PrP isoforms was demonstrated. Here we review the ability of misfolded PrP and UPS to affect each other, which might contribute to the pathological features of prion-mediated neurodegeneration.

  2. Insight into molecular basis of curing of [PSI+] prion by overexpression of 104-kDa heat shock protein (Hsp104).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helsen, Christopher W; Glover, John R

    2012-01-02

    Yeast prions are a powerful model for understanding the dynamics of protein aggregation associated with a number of human neurodegenerative disorders. The AAA+ protein disaggregase Hsp104 can sever the amyloid fibrils produced by yeast prions. This action results in the propagation of "seeds" that are transmitted to daughter cells during budding. Overexpression of Hsp104 eliminates the [PSI+] prion but not other prions. Using biochemical methods we identified Hsp104 binding sites in the highly charged middle domain of Sup35, the protein determinant of [PSI+]. Deletion of a short segment of the middle domain (amino acids 129-148) diminishes Hsp104 binding and strongly affects the ability of the middle domain to stimulate the ATPase activity of Hsp104. In yeast, [PSI+] maintained by Sup35 lacking this segment, like other prions, is propagated by Hsp104 but cannot be cured by Hsp104 overexpression. These results provide new insight into the enigmatic specificity of Hsp104-mediated curing of yeast prions and sheds light on the limitations of the ability of Hsp104 to eliminate aggregates produced by other aggregation-prone proteins.

  3. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray crystallographic analysis of yeast prion protein Ure2p with shortened N-terminal

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    An orthorhombic crystal form of a recombinant yeast prion protein with shortened N-terminal, 90Ure2p, has been obtained. Crystals were grown by the vapordiffusion technique against a mother liquor containing imidazole. Crystals belong to the primitive orthorhombic lattice with the cell parameters a = 54.5 ?, b = 74.7 ?, c = 131.0 ?. The crystals diffract to beyond 3.0 ? resolution at a synchrotron beamline.

  4. The natural history of yeast prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuite, Mick F

    2013-01-01

    Although prions were first discovered through their link to severe brain degenerative diseases in animals, the emergence of prions as regulators of the phenotype of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the filamentous fungus Podospora anserina has revealed a new facet of prion biology. In most cases, fungal prions are carried without apparent detriment to the host cell, representing a novel form of epigenetic inheritance. This raises the question of whether or not yeast prions are beneficial survival factors or actually gives rise to a "disease state" that is selected against in nature. To date, most studies on the impact of fungal prions have focused on laboratory-cultivated "domesticated" strains of S. cerevisiae. At least eight prions have now been described in this species, each with the potential to impact on a wide range of cellular processes. The discovery of prions in nondomesticated strains of S. cerevisiae and P. anserina has confirmed that prions are not simply an artifact of "domestication" of this species. In this review, I describe what we currently know about the phenotypic impact of fungal prions. I then describe how the interplay between host genotype and the prion-mediated changes can generate a wide array of phenotypic diversity. How such prion-generated diversity may be of benefit to the host in survival in a fluctuating, often hazardous environment is then outlined. Prion research has now entered a new phase in which we must now consider their biological function and evolutionary significance in the natural world.

  5. Impact of SDS surfactant on the interactions of Cu(2+) ions with the amyloidogenic region of human prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hecel, Aleksandra; Migliorini, Caterina; Valensin, Daniela; Luczkowski, Marek; Kozlowski, Henryk

    2015-08-01

    Prion diseases, known as Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs), are a group of fatal neuronal, and to some extent infectious disorders, associated with a pathogenic protein agent called prion protein (PrP). The human prion protein (hPrP) fragment encompassing the 91-127 region, also known as the amyloidogenic domain, comprises two copper-binding sites corresponding to His-96 and His-111 residues that act as anchors for Cu(2+) binding. In this work, we investigated Cu(2+) interaction with hPrP91-127 in the presence of the anionic surfactant sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), which induces a partial α-helix folding of the peptide. Our data indicate that the Cu(2+) coordination ability of the amyloidogenic fragment in the presence of SDS micelles is significantly different to that observed in aqueous solution. This is mainly due to the fact that SDS micelles strongly stabilize the formation of the α-helical structure of the peptide backbone, which is well conserved also upon Cu(2+) binding, contrary to the random coil conformation mainly assumed by hPrP91-127 in aqueous solutions. Potentiometric and spectroscopic studies clearly indicate that in the case of SDS containing solutions, Cu(2+) ions coordinate simultaneously to both imidazoles, while in the case of water solutions, metal ion coordination involves only a single His side chain, which individually acts as an independent Cu(2+) anchoring site.

  6. Use of proteinase K nonspecific digestion for selective and comprehensive identification of interpeptide cross-links: application to prion proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrotchenko, Evgeniy V; Serpa, Jason J; Hardie, Darryl B; Berjanskii, Mark; Suriyamongkol, Bow P; Wishart, David S; Borchers, Christoph H

    2012-07-01

    Chemical cross-linking combined with mass spectrometry is a rapidly developing technique for structural proteomics. Cross-linked proteins are usually digested with trypsin to generate cross-linked peptides, which are then analyzed by mass spectrometry. The most informative cross-links, the interpeptide cross-links, are often large in size, because they consist of two peptides that are connected by a cross-linker. In addition, trypsin targets the same residues as amino-reactive cross-linkers, and cleavage will not occur at these cross-linker-modified residues. This produces high molecular weight cross-linked peptides, which complicates their mass spectrometric analysis and identification. In this paper, we examine a nonspecific protease, proteinase K, as an alternative to trypsin for cross-linking studies. Initial tests on a model peptide that was digested by proteinase K resulted in a "family" of related cross-linked peptides, all of which contained the same cross-linking sites, thus providing additional verification of the cross-linking results, as was previously noted for other post-translational modification studies. The procedure was next applied to the native (PrP(C)) and oligomeric form of prion protein (PrPβ). Using proteinase K, the affinity-purifiable CID-cleavable and isotopically coded cross-linker cyanurbiotindipropionylsuccinimide and MALDI-MS cross-links were found for all of the possible cross-linking sites. After digestion with proteinase K, we obtained a mass distribution of the cross-linked peptides that is very suitable for MALDI-MS analysis. Using this new method, we were able to detect over 60 interpeptide cross-links in the native PrP(C) and PrPβ prion protein. The set of cross-links for the native form was used as distance constraints in developing a model of the native prion protein structure, which includes the 90-124-amino acid N-terminal portion of the protein. Several cross-links were unique to each form of the prion protein, including

  7. Prion and Fish Prion Proteins:Current Research Status%与朊毒体相关的鱼类朊蛋白研究概况

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    兰邹然; 王志亮; 张学成

    2006-01-01

    疯牛病(mad cow disease),即牛传染性海绵状脑病(bovine transmissible spongiform encephalopathy,BSE)的俗称,是一种慢性消耗性、致死性、中枢神经系统退行性疾病.疯牛病被认为与朊毒体(Prion)有关,朊毒体是由正常朊蛋白(Prion protein,或者prpC)发生构象改变后形成的异常蛋白(PrPSc).疯牛病的发生引起了世界各国政府和科学界的高度重视,PrP的起源及其功能研究已成为研究热点.鱼类PrP相关蛋白的研究正在展开中,由于鱼类PrP相关蛋白与朊蛋白的结构相似,鱼类感染TSE类似病存在理论上的风险.本文全面地综述了疯牛病的概况、朊毒体的特性、朊毒体与哺乳动物朊蛋白、鱼类PrP相关蛋白(PrP1、PrP2和PrP3)及鱼类其他PrP相关蛋白的研究情况,为国内水生动物PrP相关蛋白研究提供参考.

  8. The structure of prion: is it enough for interpreting the diverse phenotypes of prion diseases?

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chan Tian; Xiaoping Dong

    2013-01-01

    Prion diseases,or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies,are neurodegenerative diseases,which affect human and many species of animals with 100% fatality rate.The most accepted etiology for prion disease is 'prion',which arises from the conversion from cellular PrPC to the pathological PrPsc.This review discussed the characteristic structure of PrP,including PRNP gene,PrPC,PrPSc,PrP amyloid,and prion strains.

  9. Prions and prion-like pathogens in neurodegenerative disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peggion, Caterina; Sorgato, Maria Catia; Bertoli, Alessandro

    2014-02-18

    Prions are unique elements in biology, being able to transmit biological information from one organism to another in the absence of nucleic acids. They have been identified as self-replicating proteinaceous agents responsible for the onset of rare and fatal neurodegenerative disorders-known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, or prion diseases-which affect humans and other animal species. More recently, it has been proposed that other proteins associated with common neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, can self-replicate like prions, thus sustaining the spread of neurotoxic entities throughout the nervous system. Here, we review findings that have contributed to expand the prion concept, and discuss if the involved toxic species can be considered bona fide prions, including the capacity to infect other organisms, or whether these pathogenic aggregates share with prions only the capability to self-replicate.

  10. Transcriptomic Determinants of Scrapie Prion Propagation in Cultured Ovine Microglia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Gutiérrez, Juan F; Pierlé, Sebastián Aguilar; Schneider, David A; Baszler, Timothy V; Stanton, James B

    2016-01-01

    Susceptibility to infection by prions is highly dependent on the amino acid sequence and host expression of the cellular prion protein (PrPC); however, cellular expression of a genetically susceptible PrPC is insufficient. As an example, it has been shown in cultured cells that permissive and resistant sublines derived from the same parental population often have similar expression levels of PrPC. Thus, additional cellular factors must influence susceptibility to prion infection. The aim of this study was to elucidate the factors associated with relative permissiveness and resistance to scrapie prions in cultured cells derived from a naturally affected species. Two closely related ovine microglia clones with different prion susceptibility, but no detectable differences in PrPC expression levels, were inoculated with either scrapie-positive or scrapie-negative sheep brainstem homogenates. Five passages post-inoculation, the transcriptional profiles of mock and infected clones were sequenced using Illumina technology. Comparative transcriptional analyses identified twenty-two differentially transcribed genes, most of which were upregulated in poorly permissive microglia. This included genes encoding for selenoprotein P, endolysosomal proteases, and proteins involved in extracellular matrix remodeling. Furthermore, in highly permissive microglia, transforming growth factor β-induced, retinoic acid receptor response 1, and phosphoserine aminotranspherase 1 gene transcripts were upregulated. Gene Set Enrichment Analysis identified proteolysis, translation, and mitosis as the most affected pathways and supported the upregulation trend of several genes encoding for intracellular proteases and ribosomal proteins in poorly permissive microglia. This study identifies new genes potentially involved in scrapie prion propagation, corroborates results from other studies, and extends those results into another cell culture model.

  11. Pharmacological chaperone reshapes the energy landscape for folding and aggregation of the prion protein

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Amar Nath; Neupane, Krishna; Rezajooei, Negar; Cortez, Leonardo M.; Sim, Valerie L.; Woodside, Michael T.

    2016-06-01

    The development of small-molecule pharmacological chaperones as therapeutics for protein misfolding diseases has proven challenging, partly because their mechanism of action remains unclear. Here we study Fe-TMPyP, a tetrapyrrole that binds to the prion protein PrP and inhibits misfolding, examining its effects on PrP folding at the single-molecule level with force spectroscopy. Single PrP molecules are unfolded with and without Fe-TMPyP present using optical tweezers. Ligand binding to the native structure increases the unfolding force significantly and alters the transition state for unfolding, making it more brittle and raising the barrier height. Fe-TMPyP also binds the unfolded state, delaying native refolding. Furthermore, Fe-TMPyP binding blocks the formation of a stable misfolded dimer by interfering with intermolecular interactions, acting in a similar manner to some molecular chaperones. The ligand thus promotes native folding by stabilizing the native state while also suppressing interactions driving aggregation.

  12. Pre-symptomatic detection of prions by cyclic amplification of protein misfolding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soto, Claudio; Anderes, Laurence; Suardi, Silvia; Cardone, Franco; Castilla, Joaquin; Frossard, Marie-Jose; Peano, Sergio; Saa, Paula; Limido, Lucia; Carbonatto, Michaela; Ironside, James; Torres, Juan-Maria; Pocchiari, Maurizio; Tagliavini, Fabrizio

    2005-01-31

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are neurodegenerative disorders affecting humans and animals. At present, it is not possible to recognize individuals incubating the disease before the clinical symptoms appear. We investigated the effectiveness of the "Protein Misfolding Cyclic Amplification" (PMCA) technology to detect the protease-resistance disease-associated prion protein (PrP(res)) in pre-symptomatic stages. PMCA allowed detection of PrP(res) in the brain of pre-symptomatic hamsters, enabling a clear identification of infected animals as early as two weeks after inoculation. Furthermore, PMCA was able to amplify minute quantities of PrP(res) from a variety of experimental and natural TSEs. Finally, PMCA allowed the demonstration of PrP(res) in an experimentally infected cow 32 month post-inoculation, that did not show clinical signs and was negative by standard Western blot analysis. Our findings indicate that PMCA may be useful for the development of an ultra-sensitive diagnostic test to minimize the risk of further propagation of TSEs.

  13. Affinity Association Between Polynucleotide, Glycoprotein, or Sulfated Polysaccharides and Disease-Associated Prion Protein

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kazuo Tsukui

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Proteinase-K resistant prion protein (PrPres has the property to aggregate in TSE-injured animal tissues. We have developed a test method to discriminate scrapie-infected and mock-infected hamsters by detecting the PrPres in plasma. It seemed that aggregation of the PrPres with some heterogeneous molecule(s enabled successful detection by this method. In order to investigate which molecule became the partner in the PrPres aggregates; we examined some molecules that could presumably have this ability. As a result, we found synthetic Poly-A RNA, especially in its denatured form, to be the most effective entity although glycoprotein, sulfated polysaccharide showed less effectiveness. DNA in the denatured form also has a high affinity, although in the presence of protein the effectiveness unsuccessful. On the basis of this result, it is possible that the PrPres aggregate in scrapie-infected hamster plasma is composed of PrPres and RNA.

  14. Cloning and Expression Analysis of a Prion Protein Encoding Gene in Guppy (Poecilia reticulata)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WU Suihan; WEI Qiwei; YANG Guanpin; WANG Dengqiang; ZOU Guiwei; CHEN Daqing

    2008-01-01

    The full length eDNA of a prion protein (PrP) encoding gene of guppy (Poecilia reticulata) and the corresponding ge-nomic DNA were cloned.The cDNA was 2245 bp in length and contained an open reading frame (ORF) of 1545 bp encoding a pro-tein of 515 amino acids,which held all typical structural characteristics of the functional PrP.The cloned genomic DNA fragmentcorresponding to the eDNA was 3720 bp in length,consisting of 2 introns and 2 exons.The 5' untranslated region of eDNA origi-nated from the 2 exons,while the ORF originated from the second exon.Although the gene was transcribed in diverse tissues in-cluding brain,eye,liver,intestine,muscle and tail,its transcript was most abundant in the brain.In addition,the transcription of thegene was enhanced by 5 salinity,implying that it was associated with the response of guppy to saline stress.

  15. Redox behaviors of the neurotoxic portion in human prion protein, HuPrP(106-126)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamoto, Norifumi; Kuwata, Kazuo

    2010-09-01

    A peptide fragment of human prion protein, HuPrP(106-126), has been reported to mimic the pathological features underlying prion diseases. Although the actual neurotoxic mechanism of HuPrP(106-126) has not been elucidated, several hypotheses has been proposed based on the role for copper. In this study, to understand the toxic function of HuPrP(106-126) from a viewpoint of electrochemical competence, we investigated redox properties of copper ion complexes with four different binding motifs of a model of HuPrP(106-126) based on density functional theory calculations. We found that the HuPrP(106-126)-derived models exhibited diverse redox activities that depended on copper-binding conformations.

  16. Prion Protein Deficiency Causes Diverse Proteome Shifts in Cell Models That Escape Detection in Brain Tissue.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohadeseh Mehrabian

    Full Text Available A popular method for studying the function of a given protein is to generate and characterize a suitable model deficient for its expression. For the prion protein (PrP, best known for its role in several invariably fatal neurodegenerative diseases, a natural choice, therefore, would be to undertake such studies with brain samples. We recently documented the surprising observation that PrP deficiency caused a loss or enhancement of NCAM1 polysialylation, dependent on the cell model used. To identify possible causes for this disparity, we set out to systematically investigate the consequence of PrP deficiency on the global proteome in brain tissue and in four distinct cell models. Here we report that PrP deficiency causes robust but surprisingly divergent changes to the global proteomes of cell models but has no discernible impact on the global brain proteome. Amongst >1,500 proteins whose levels were compared in wild-type and PrP-deficient models, members of the MARCKS protein family exhibited pronounced, yet cell model-dependent changes to their steady-state levels. Follow-up experiments revealed that PrP collaborates with members of the MARCKS protein family in its control of NCAM1 polysialylation. We conclude that the physiological function of PrP may be masked in analyses of complex brain samples but its cell-type specific influence on a lipid raft-based NCAM1-related cell biology comes to the fore in investigations of specific cell types.

  17. New insights into metal interactions with the prion protein: EXAFS analysis and structure calculations of copper binding to a single octarepeat from the prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonald, Alex; Pushie, M Jake; Millhauser, Glenn L; George, Graham N

    2013-11-07

    Copper coordination to the prion protein (PrP) has garnered considerable interest for almost 20 years, due in part to the possibility that this interaction may be part of the normal function of PrP. The most characterized form of copper binding to PrP has been Cu(2+) interaction with the conserved tandem repeats in the N-terminal domain of PrP, termed the octarepeats, with many studies focusing on single and multiple repeats of PHGGGWGQ. Extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) spectroscopy has been used in several previous instances to characterize the solution structure of Cu(2+) binding into the peptide backbone in the HGGG portion of the octarepeats. All previous EXAFS studies, however, have benefitted from crystallographic structure information for [Cu(II) (Ac-HGGGW-NH2)(-2H)] but have not conclusively demonstrated that the complex EXAFS spectrum represents the same coordination environment for Cu(2+) bound to the peptide backbone. Density functional structure calculations as well as full multiple scattering EXAFS curve fitting analysis are brought to bear on the predominant coordination mode for Cu(2+) with the Ac-PHGGGWGQ-NH2 peptide at physiological pH, under high Cu(2+) occupancy conditions. In addition to the structure calculations, which provide a thermodynamic link to structural information, methods are also presented for extensive deconvolution of the EXAFS spectrum. We demonstrate how the EXAFS data can be analyzed to extract the maximum structural information and arrive at a structural model that is significantly improved over previous EXAFS characterizations. The EXAFS spectrum for the chemically reduced form of copper binding to the Ac-PHGGGWGQ-NH2 peptide is presented, which is best modeled as a linear two-coordinate species with a single His imidazole ligand and a water molecule. The extent of in situ photoreduction of the copper center during standard data collection is also presented, and EXAFS curve fitting of the photoreduced species

  18. Molecular barriers to zoonotic transmission of prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barria, Marcelo A; Balachandran, Aru; Morita, Masanori; Kitamoto, Tetsuyuki; Barron, Rona; Manson, Jean; Knight, Richard; Ironside, James W; Head, Mark W

    2014-01-01

    The risks posed to human health by individual animal prion diseases cannot be determined a priori and are difficult to address empirically. The fundamental event in prion disease pathogenesis is thought to be the seeded conversion of normal prion protein to its pathologic isoform. We used a rapid molecular conversion assay (protein misfolding cyclic amplification) to test whether brain homogenates from specimens of classical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), atypical BSE (H-type BSE and L-type BSE), classical scrapie, atypical scrapie, and chronic wasting disease can convert normal human prion protein to the abnormal disease-associated form. None of the tested prion isolates from diseased animals were as efficient as classical BSE in converting human prion protein. However, in the case of chronic wasting disease, there was no absolute barrier to conversion of the human prion protein.

  19. Genes contributing to prion pathogenesis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tamgüney, Gültekin; Giles, Kurt; Glidden, David V;

    2008-01-01

    incubation times, indicating that the conversion reaction may be influenced by other gene products. To identify genes that contribute to prion pathogenesis, we analysed incubation times of prions in mice in which the gene product was inactivated, knocked out or overexpressed. We tested 20 candidate genes...... show that many genes previously implicated in prion replication have no discernible effect on the pathogenesis of prion disease. While most genes tested did not significantly affect survival times, ablation of the amyloid beta (A4) precursor protein (App) or interleukin-1 receptor, type I (Il1r1...

  20. Exacerbation of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in prion protein (PrPc-null mice: evidence for a critical role of the central nervous system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gourdain Pauline

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The cellular prion protein (PrPc is a host-encoded glycoprotein whose transconformation into PrP scrapie (PrPSc initiates prion diseases. The role of PrPc in health is still obscure, but many candidate functions have been attributed to the protein, both in the immune and the nervous systems. Recent data show that experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE is worsened in mice lacking PrPc. Disease exacerbation has been attributed to T cells that would differentiate into more aggressive effectors when deprived of PrPc. However, alternative interpretations such as reduced resistance of neurons to autoimmune insult and exacerbated gliosis leading to neuronal deficits were not considered. Method To better discriminate the contribution of immune cells versus neural cells, reciprocal bone marrow chimeras with differential expression of PrPc in the lymphoid or in the central nervous system (CNS were generated. Mice were subsequently challenged with MOG35-55 peptide and clinical disease as well as histopathology were compared in both groups. Furthermore, to test directly the T cell hypothesis, we compared the encephalitogenicity of adoptively transferred PrPc-deficient versus PrPc-sufficient, anti-MOG T cells. Results First, EAE exacerbation in PrPc-deficient mice was confirmed. Irradiation exacerbated EAE in all the chimeras and controls, but disease was more severe in mice with a PrPc-deleted CNS and a normal immune system than in the reciprocal construction. Moreover, there was no indication that anti-MOG responses were different in PrPc-sufficient and PrPc-deficient mice. Paradoxically, PrPc-deficient anti-MOG 2D2 T cells were less pathogenic than PrPc-expressing 2D2 T cells. Conclusions In view of the present data, it can be concluded that the origin of EAE exacerbation in PrPc-ablated mice resides in the absence of the prion protein in the CNS. Furthermore, the absence of PrPc on both neural and immune cells does not

  1. Yeast prions help identify and define chaperone interaction networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reidy, Michael; Masison, Daniel C

    2014-01-01

    Proteins in the cell experience various stressful conditions that can affect their ability to attain and maintain the structural conformations they need to perform effectively. Protein chaperones are an important part of a cellular protein quality control system that protects the integrity of the proteome in the face of such challenges. Chaperones from different conserved families have multiple members that cooperate to regulate each other's activity and produce machines that perform a variety of tasks. The large numbers of related chaperones with both functionally overlapping and distinct activities allows fine-tuning of the machinery for specific tasks, but presents a daunting degree of complexity. Yeast prions are misfolded forms of cellular proteins whose propagation depends on the action of protein chaperones. Studying how propagation of yeast prions is affected by alterations in functions of various chaperones provides an approach to understanding this complexity.

  2. Strategies for identifying new prions in yeast

    OpenAIRE

    MacLea, Kyle S.; Ross, Eric D.

    2011-01-01

    The unexpected discovery of two prions, [URE3] and [PSI+], in Saccharomyces cerevisiae led to questions about how many other proteins could undergo similar prion-based structural conversions. However, [URE3] and [PSI+] were discovered by serendipity in genetic screens. Cataloging the full range of prions in yeast or in other organisms will therefore require more systematic search methods. Taking advantage of some of the unique features of prions, various researchers have developed bioinformat...

  3. Prion Diseases of Yeast: Amyloid Structure and Biology

    OpenAIRE

    Reed B Wickner; Edskes, Herman K.; Kryndushkin, Dmitry; McGlinchey, Ryan; Bateman, David; Kelly, Amy

    2011-01-01

    Prion “variants” or “strains” are prions with the identical protein sequence, but different characteristics of the prion infection: e.g. different incubation period for scrapie strains or different phenotype intensity for yeast prion variants. We have shown that infectious amyloids of the yeast prions [PSI+], [URE3] and [PIN+] each have an in-register parallel β-sheet architecture. Moreover, we have pointed out that this amyloid architecture can explain how one protein can faithfully transmit...

  4. Dynamically-expressed prion-like proteins form a cuticle in the pharynx of Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia B. George-Raizen

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available In molting animals, a cuticular extracellular matrix forms the first barrier to infection and other environmental insults. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans there are two types of cuticle: a well-studied collagenous cuticle lines the body, and a poorly-understood chitinous cuticle lines the pharynx. In the posterior end of the pharynx is the grinder, a tooth-like cuticular specialization that crushes food prior to transport to the intestine for digestion. We here show that the grinder increases in size only during the molt. To gain molecular insight into the structure of the grinder and pharyngeal cuticle, we performed a microarray analysis to identify mRNAs increased during the molt. We found strong transcriptional induction during the molt of 12 of 15 previously identified abu genes encoding Prion-like (P glutamine (Q and asparagine (N rich PQN proteins, as well as 15 additional genes encoding closely related PQN proteins. abu/pqn genes, which we name the abu/pqn paralog group (APPG genes, were expressed in pharyngeal cells and the proteins encoded by two APPG genes we tested localized to the pharyngeal cuticle. Deleting the APPG gene abu-14 caused abnormal pharyngeal cuticular structures and knocking down other APPG genes resulted in abnormal cuticular function. We propose that APPG proteins promote the assembly and function of a unique cuticular structure. The strong developmental regulation of the APPG genes raises the possibility that such genes would be identified in transcriptional profiling experiments in which the animals' developmental stage is not precisely staged.

  5. Scrapie-associated prion protein accumulates in astrocytes during scrapie infection.

    OpenAIRE

    Diedrich, J F; Bendheim, P E; Kim, Y. S.; Carp, R. I.; Haase, A T

    1991-01-01

    In the course of scrapie, a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy caused by an unconventional agent, a normal cellular protein is converted to an abnormal form that copurifies with infectivity and aggregates to form deposits of amyloid. We have used immunocytochemistry and methods that enhance detection of amyloidogenic proteins to investigate the types of cells in the central nervous system which are involved in the formation of the abnormal scrapie-associated protein. We show that this pr...

  6. Copper attachment to prion protein at a non-octarepeat site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodak, Miroslav; Bernholc, Jerry

    2011-03-01

    Prion protein (PrP) plays a causative role in a group of neurodegenerative diseases, which include ``mad cow disease'' or its human form variant Creutzfeld-Jacob disease. Normal function of PrP remains unknown, but it is now well established that PrP can efficiently bind copper ions and this ability has been linked to its function. The primary binding sites are located in the so-called octarepeat region located between residues 60-91. While these are by now well characterized, the sites located outside these region remain mostly undetermined. In this work, we investigate the properties of Cu binding site located at His 111 using recently developed hybrid Kohn-Sham/orbital-free density functional simulations. Experimental data indicate that copper is coordinated by either four nitrogens or three nitrogens and one oxygen. We investigate both possibilities, comparing their energetics and attachment geometries. Similarities and differences with other binding sites and implications for PrP function will also be discussed.

  7. Activation and function of murine primary microglia in the absence of the prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinheiro, Lívia P; Linden, Rafael; Mariante, Rafael M

    2015-09-15

    The prion protein (PrP(C)) is predominantly expressed in the nervous and immune systems and is involved in relevant cell signaling. Microglia participate in neuroimmune interactions, and their regulatory mechanisms are critical for both health and disease. Despite recent reports with a microglial cell line, little is known about the relevance of PrP(C) in brain microglia. We investigated the role of PrP(C) in mouse primary microglia, and found no differences between wild type and Prnp-null cells in cell morphology or the expression of a microglial marker. Translocation of NF-κB to the nucleus also did not differ, nor did cytokine production. The levels of iNOS were also similar and, finally, microglia of either genotype showed no differences in either rates of phagocytosis or migration, even following activation. Thus, functional roles of PrP(C) in primary microglial cells are - if present - much more subtle than in transformed microglial cell lines.

  8. Diversity in neuroanatomical distribution of abnormal prion protein in atypical scrapie.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alice Nentwig

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Scrapie is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE in sheep and goats. In recent years, atypical scrapie cases were identified that differed from classical scrapie in the molecular characteristics of the disease-associated pathological prion protein (PrP(sc. In this study, we analyze the molecular and neuropathological phenotype of nine Swiss TSE cases in sheep and goats. One sheep was identified as classical scrapie, whereas six sheep, as well as two goats, were classified as atypical scrapie. The latter revealed a uniform electrophoretic mobility pattern of the proteinase K-resistant core fragment of PrP(sc distinct from classical scrapie regardless of the genotype, the species, and the neuroanatomical structure. Remarkably different types of neuroanatomical PrP(sc distribution were observed in atypical scrapie cases by both western immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry. Our findings indicate that the biodiversity in atypical scrapie is larger than expected and thus impacts on current sampling and testing strategies in small ruminant TSE surveillance.

  9. Distribution of abnormal prion protein in a sheep affected with L-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuura, Y; Iwamaru, Y; Masujin, K; Imamura, M; Mohri, S; Yokoyama, T; Okada, H

    2013-07-01

    To investigate the topographical distribution and patterns of deposition of immunolabelled abnormal prion protein (PrP(Sc)), interspecies transmission of atypical L-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) to Cheviot ewes (ARQ/ARQ genotype) was performed. L-type BSE was successfully transmitted via the intracerebral route to a ewe, with an incubation period of 1,562 days. Minimal vacuolar change was detected in the basal ganglia, thalamus and brainstem, and PrP(Sc) accumulated throughout the brain. The L-type BSE-affected sheep was characterized by conspicuous fine particulate deposits in the neuropil, particulate and/or granular intraneuronal and intraglial deposits, and the absence of PrP(Sc) plaques or stellate deposits. In addition, immunohistochemical and western blot analyses revealed that PrP(Sc) accumulation was present in peripheral nervous tissues (including the trigeminal ganglia and dorsal root ganglion) and adrenal glands, but was absent in lymphoid tissues. These results suggest that L-type BSE has distinct and distinguishable characteristics as well as PrP(Sc) tissue tropism in sheep.

  10. Molecular Dynamics Simulations Capture the Misfolding of the Bovine Prion Protein at Acidic pH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chin Jung Cheng

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or mad cow disease, is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that is transmissible to humans and that is currently incurable. BSE is caused by the prion protein (PrP, which adopts two conformers; PrPC is the native innocuous form, which is α-helix rich; and PrPSc is the β-sheet rich misfolded form, which is infectious and forms neurotoxic species. Acidic pH induces the conversion of PrPC to PrPSc. We have performed molecular dynamics simulations of bovine PrP at various pH regimes. An acidic pH environment induced conformational changes that were not observed in neutral pH simulations. Putative misfolded structures, with nonnative β-strands formed in the flexible N-terminal domain, were found in acidic pH simulations. Two distinct pathways were observed for the formation of nonnative β-strands: at low pH, hydrophobic contacts with M129 nucleated the nonnative β-strand; at mid-pH, polar contacts involving Q168 and D178 facilitated the formation of a hairpin at the flexible N-terminus. These mid- and low pH simulations capture the process of nonnative β-strand formation, thereby improving our understanding of how PrPC misfolds into the β-sheet rich PrPSc and how pH factors into the process.

  11. Insect cell-derived cofactors become fully functional after proteinase K and heat treatment for high-fidelity amplification of glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored recombinant scrapie and BSE prion proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imamura, Morikazu; Kato, Nobuko; Okada, Hiroyuki; Yoshioka, Miyako; Iwamaru, Yoshifumi; Shimizu, Yoshihisa; Mohri, Shirou; Yokoyama, Takashi; Murayama, Yuichi

    2013-01-01

    The central event in prion infection is the conformational conversion of host-encoded cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) into the pathogenic isoform (PrP(Sc)). Diverse mammalian species possess the cofactors required for in vitro replication of PrP(Sc) by protein-misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA), but lower organisms, such as bacteria, yeasts, and insects, reportedly lack the essential cofactors. Various cellular components, such as RNA, lipids, and other identified cofactor molecules, are commonly distributed in both eukaryotes and prokaryotes, but the reasons for the absence of cofactor activity in lower organisms remain to be elucidated. Previously, we reported that brain-derived factors were necessary for the in vitro replication of glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored baculovirus-derived recombinant PrP (Bac-PrP). Here, we demonstrate that following protease digestion and heat treatment, insect cell lysates had the functional cofactor activity required for Bac-PrP replication by PMCA. Mammalian PrP(Sc) seeds and Bac-PrP(Sc) generated by PMCA using Bac-PrP and insect cell-derived cofactors showed similar pathogenicity and produced very similar lesions in the brains of inoculated mice. These results suggested that the essential cofactors required for the high-fidelity replication of mammalian PrP(Sc) were present in the insect cells but that the cofactor activity was masked or inhibited in the native state. We suggest that not only RNA, but also DNA, are the key components of PMCA, although other cellular factors were necessary for the expression of the cofactor activity of nucleic acids. PMCA using only insect cell-derived substances (iPMCA) was highly useful for the ultrasensitive detection of PrP(Sc) of some prion strains.

  12. Therapy in prion diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forloni, Gianluigi; Artuso, Vladimiro; Roiter, Ignazio; Morbin, Michela; Tagliavini, Fabrizio

    2013-01-01

    In the last two decades, knowledge of the neurobiology of prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) has significantly advanced, but a successful therapy to stop or delay the progression of these disorders remains one of the most challenging goals of biomedical research. Several obstacles to this achievement are in common with other neurodegenerative disorders: difficulties to move from experimental level to clinical stage; appropriate timing of intervention; correct set up of clinical trial. Also in terms of molecular bases of disease, TSE and the other neurodegenerative disorders associated with protein misfolding such as Alzheimer, Parkinson and Huntington diseases, share a central pathogenic role of soluble small aggregates, named oligomers, considered the culprit of neuronal dysfunction: accordingly, these disorders could by termed oligomeropathies. However, the rapid progression of TSE, together with their clinical and molecular heterogeneity, make the therapeutic approach particularly problematic. The main target of the antiprion strategy has been the pathological form of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) termed PrP(Sc), invariably associated with the diseases. Several compounds have been found to affect PrP(Sc) formation or enhance its clearance in in vitro models, and prolong survival in experimental animals. However, few of them such as quinacrine and pentosan polysulfate have reached the clinical evaluation; more recently, we have conducted a clinical trial with doxycycline in patients with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease without satisfactory results. In experimental conditions, active and passive immunization with antibodies against PrP and mucosal vaccination have shown to protect from peripheral infection. Other studies have proposed new potentially effective molecules targeting PrP oligomers. Furthermore, the possibility to interfere with PrP(C) to PrP(Sc) conversion by an active control of PrP(C) is another interesting approach

  13. Autophagy protects against de novo formation of the [PSI+] prion in yeast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Speldewinde, Shaun H; Doronina, Victoria A; Grant, Chris M

    2015-12-15

    Prions are self-propagating, infectious proteins that underlie several neurodegenerative diseases. The molecular basis underlying their sporadic formation is poorly understood. We show that autophagy protects against de novo formation of [PSI(+)], which is the prion form of the yeast Sup35 translation termination factor. Autophagy is a cellular degradation system, and preventing autophagy by mutating its core components elevates the frequency of spontaneous [PSI(+)] formation. Conversely, increasing autophagic flux by treating cells with the polyamine spermidine suppresses prion formation in mutants that normally show a high frequency of de novo prion formation. Autophagy also protects against the de novo formation of another prion, namely the Rnq1/[PIN(+)] prion, which is not related in sequence to the Sup35/[PSI(+)] prion. We show that growth under anaerobic conditions in the absence of molecular oxygen abrogates Sup35 protein damage and suppresses the high frequency of [PSI(+)] formation in an autophagy mutant. Autophagy therefore normally functions to remove oxidatively damaged Sup35, which accumulates in cells grown under aerobic conditions, but in the absence of autophagy, damaged/misfolded Sup35 undergoes structural transitions favoring its conversion to the propagatable [PSI(+)] form.

  14. Salivary prions in sheep and deer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamgüney, Gültekin; Richt, Jürgen A; Hamir, Amir N; Greenlee, Justin J; Miller, Michael W; Wolfe, Lisa L; Sirochman, Tracey M; Young, Alan J; Glidden, David V; Johnson, Natrina L; Giles, Kurt; DeArmond, Stephen J; Prusiner, Stanley B

    2012-01-01

    Scrapie of sheep and chronic wasting disease (CWD) of cervids are transmissible prion diseases. Milk and placenta have been identified as sources of scrapie prions but do not explain horizontal transmission. In contrast, CWD prions have been reported in saliva, urine and feces, which are thought to be responsible for horizontal transmission. While the titers of CWD prions have been measured in feces, levels in saliva or urine are unknown. Because sheep produce ~17 L/day of saliva, and scrapie prions are present in tongue and salivary glands of infected sheep, we asked if scrapie prions are shed in saliva. We inoculated transgenic (Tg) mice expressing ovine prion protein, Tg(OvPrP) mice, with saliva from seven Cheviot sheep with scrapie. Six of seven samples transmitted prions to Tg(OvPrP) mice with titers of -0.5 to 1.7 log ID₅₀ U/ml. Similarly, inoculation of saliva samples from two mule deer with CWD transmitted prions to Tg(ElkPrP) mice with titers of -1.1 to -0.4 log ID₅₀ U/ml. Assuming similar shedding kinetics for salivary prions as those for fecal prions of deer, we estimated the secreted salivary prion dose over a 10-mo period to be as high as 8.4 log ID₅₀ units for sheep and 7.0 log ID₅₀ units for deer. These estimates are similar to 7.9 log ID₅₀ units of fecal CWD prions for deer. Because saliva is mostly swallowed, salivary prions may reinfect tissues of the gastrointestinal tract and contribute to fecal prion shedding. Salivary prions shed into the environment provide an additional mechanism for horizontal prion transmission.

  15. Soil humic substances hinder the propagation of prions

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    Leita, Liviana; Giachin, Gabriele; Margon, Alja; Narkiewicz, Joanna; Legname, Giuseppe

    2013-04-01

    Prions are infectious pathogens causing fatal neurodegenerative disorders, known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), or prion diseases, which affect different mammalian species. TSEs include scrapie in sheep, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle, chronic wasting disease (CWD) in mule deer, elk, and moose (cervids), and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans. The prominent, if not only, component of prions is a misfolded conformer (PrPSc) of a constitutive sialoglycoprotein, the cellular prion protein (PrPC). A notable feature of prion diseases is horizontal transmission between grazing animals, implying that contaminated soil may serve to propagate the disease. In this respect, it has been reported that grazing animals ingest from tens to hundreds grams of soil per day, either incidentally through the diet, or deliberately in answering salt needs, and that mule deer can develop CWD after grazing in locations that previously housed infected animals. Prions may enter the environment through different routes, including animal excreta and secreta which mainly contribute to soil contamination. Recent studies have proven that prions can be retained in soil, which could act as a carrier of infectivity even several years after the contamination. However, within the large spread of potentially infected lands, prion diseases have become endemic only in geographically limited regions. The reasons for this geographical distribution remain unknown, but it suggests a role of the different kinds of soil in either enhancing or attenuating prion infectivity. The extent of prion transmission from the contaminated environment is unknown. Several studies have tried to address the issue of prion interaction with soil, but, at the present, different approaches show several drawbacks and technical difficulties, as soil is a complex, multi-component system of both mineral and organic interacting substances. Most research has focused on the adsorption

  16. A comparison of classical and H-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy associated with E211K prion protein polymorphism in wild type and EK211 cattle following intracranial inoculation

    Science.gov (United States)

    In 2006, a case of H-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE-H) was diagnosed in a cow that was associated with a heritable polymorphism in the bovine prion protein gene (PRNP) resulting in a lysine for glutamine amino acid substitution at codon 211 (called E211K) of the prion protein. Although t...

  17. Quantitative phosphoproteomic analysis of prion-infected neuronal cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Löwer Johannes

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs are fatal diseases associated with the conversion of the cellular prion protein (PrPC to the abnormal prion protein (PrPSc. Since the molecular mechanisms in pathogenesis are widely unclear, we analyzed the global phospho-proteome and detected a differential pattern of tyrosine- and threonine phosphorylated proteins in PrPSc-replicating and pentosan polysulfate (PPS-rescued N2a cells in two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. To quantify phosphorylated proteins, we performed a SILAC (stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture analysis and identified 105 proteins, which showed a regulated phosphorylation upon PrPSc infection. Among those proteins, we validated the dephosphorylation of stathmin and Cdc2 and the induced phosphorylation of cofilin in PrPSc-infected N2a cells in Western blot analyses. Our analysis showed for the first time a differentially regulated phospho-proteome in PrPSc infection, which could contribute to the establishment of novel protein markers and to the development of novel therapeutic intervention strategies in targeting prion-associated disease.

  18. Defining the conformational features of anchorless, poorly neuroinvasive prions.

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    Cyrus Bett

    Full Text Available Infectious prions cause diverse clinical signs and form an extraordinary range of structures, from amorphous aggregates to fibrils. How the conformation of a prion dictates the disease phenotype remains unclear. Mice expressing GPI-anchorless or GPI-anchored prion protein exposed to the same infectious prion develop fibrillar or nonfibrillar aggregates, respectively, and show a striking divergence in the disease pathogenesis. To better understand how a prion's physical properties govern the pathogenesis, infectious anchorless prions were passaged in mice expressing anchorless prion protein and the resulting prions were biochemically characterized. Serial passage of anchorless prions led to a significant decrease in the incubation period to terminal disease and altered the biochemical properties, consistent with a transmission barrier effect. After an intraperitoneal exposure, anchorless prions were only weakly neuroinvasive, as prion plaques rarely occurred in the brain yet were abundant in extracerebral sites such as heart and adipose tissue. Anchorless prions consistently showed very high stability in chaotropes or when heated in SDS, and were highly resistant to enzyme digestion. Consistent with the results in mice, anchorless prions from a human patient were also highly stable in chaotropes. These findings reveal that anchorless prions consist of fibrillar and highly stable conformers. The additional finding from our group and others that both anchorless and anchored prion fibrils are poorly neuroinvasive strengthens the hypothesis that a fibrillar prion structure impedes efficient CNS invasion.

  19. Defining the conformational features of anchorless, poorly neuroinvasive prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bett, Cyrus; Kurt, Tim D; Lucero, Melanie; Trejo, Margarita; Rozemuller, Annemieke J; Kong, Qingzhong; Nilsson, K Peter R; Masliah, Eliezer; Oldstone, Michael B; Sigurdson, Christina J

    2013-01-01

    Infectious prions cause diverse clinical signs and form an extraordinary range of structures, from amorphous aggregates to fibrils. How the conformation of a prion dictates the disease phenotype remains unclear. Mice expressing GPI-anchorless or GPI-anchored prion protein exposed to the same infectious prion develop fibrillar or nonfibrillar aggregates, respectively, and show a striking divergence in the disease pathogenesis. To better understand how a prion's physical properties govern the pathogenesis, infectious anchorless prions were passaged in mice expressing anchorless prion protein and the resulting prions were biochemically characterized. Serial passage of anchorless prions led to a significant decrease in the incubation period to terminal disease and altered the biochemical properties, consistent with a transmission barrier effect. After an intraperitoneal exposure, anchorless prions were only weakly neuroinvasive, as prion plaques rarely occurred in the brain yet were abundant in extracerebral sites such as heart and adipose tissue. Anchorless prions consistently showed very high stability in chaotropes or when heated in SDS, and were highly resistant to enzyme digestion. Consistent with the results in mice, anchorless prions from a human patient were also highly stable in chaotropes. These findings reveal that anchorless prions consist of fibrillar and highly stable conformers. The additional finding from our group and others that both anchorless and anchored prion fibrils are poorly neuroinvasive strengthens the hypothesis that a fibrillar prion structure impedes efficient CNS invasion.

  20. The Pathogenic A116V Mutation Enhances Ion-Selective Channel Formation by Prion Protein in Membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabareesan, Ambadi Thody; Singh, Jogender; Roy, Samrat; Udgaonkar, Jayant B; Mathew, M K

    2016-04-26

    Prion diseases are a group of fatal neurodegenerative disorders that afflict mammals. Misfolded and aggregated forms of the prion protein (PrP(Sc)) have been associated with many prion diseases. A transmembrane form of PrP favored by the pathogenic mutation A116V is associated with Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome, but no accumulation of PrP(Sc) is detected. However, the role of the transmembrane form of PrP in pathological processes leading to neuronal death remains unclear. This study reports that the full-length mouse PrP (moPrP) significantly increases the permeability of living cells to K(+), and forms K(+)- and Ca(2+)-selective channels in lipid membranes. Importantly, the pathogenic mutation A116V greatly increases the channel-forming capability of moPrP. The channels thus formed are impermeable to sodium and chloride ions, and are blocked by blockers of voltage-gated ion channels. Hydrogen-deuterium exchange studies coupled with mass spectrometry (HDX-MS) show that upon interaction with lipid, the central hydrophobic region (109-132) of the protein is protected against exchange, making it a good candidate for inserting into the membrane and lining the channel. HDX-MS also shows a dramatic increase in the protein-lipid stoichiometry for A116V moPrP, providing a rationale for its increased channel-forming capability. The results suggest that ion channel formation may be a possible mechanism of PrP-mediated neurodegeneration by the transmembrane forms of PrP.

  1. Assessing the susceptibility of transgenic mice overexpressing deer prion protein to bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vickery, Christopher M; Lockey, Richard; Holder, Thomas M; Thorne, Leigh; Beck, Katy E; Wilson, Christina; Denyer, Margaret; Sheehan, John; Marsh, Sarah; Webb, Paul R; Dexter, Ian; Norman, Angela; Popescu, Emma; Schneider, Amanda; Holden, Paul; Griffiths, Peter C; Plater, Jane M; Dagleish, Mark P; Martin, Stuart; Telling, Glenn C; Simmons, Marion M; Spiropoulos, John

    2014-02-01

    Several transgenic mouse models have been developed which facilitate the transmission of chronic wasting disease (CWD) of cervids and allow prion strain discrimination. The present study was designed to assess the susceptibility of the prototypic mouse line, Tg(CerPrP)1536(+/-), to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) prions, which have the ability to overcome species barriers. Tg(CerPrP)1536(+/-) mice challenged with red deer-adapted BSE resulted in 90% to 100% attack rates, and BSE from cattle failed to transmit, indicating agent adaptation in the deer.

  2. Interaction between misfolded PrP and the ubiquitin-proteasome system in prion-mediated neurodegeneration

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhu Lin; Deming Zhao; Lifeng Yang

    2013-01-01

    Prion diseases are associated with the conformational conversion of cellular prion protein (PrPC) to pathological β-sheet isoforms (PrpSc),which is the infectious agent beyond comprehension.Increasing evidence indicated that an unknown toxic gain of function of PrPSc underlies neuronal death.Conversely,strong evidence indicated that cellular prion protein might be directly cytotoxic by mediating neurotoxic signaling of β-sheet-rich conformers independent of prion replication.Furthermore,the common properties of β-sheet-rich isoform such as PrPSc and β amyloid protein become the lynchpin that interprets the general pathological mechanism of protein misfolding diseases.Dysfunction of the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) has been implicated in various protein misfolding diseases.However,the mechanisms of this impairment remain unknown in many cases.In prion disease,prioninfected mouse brains have increased levels of ubiquitin conjugates,which correlate with decreased proteasome function.Both PrPC and PrPsc accumulate in cells after proteasome inhibition,which leads to increased cell death.A direct interaction between 20S core particle and PrP isoforms was demonstrated.Here we review the ability of misfolded PrP and UPS to affect each other,which might contribute to the pathological features of prion-mediated neurodegeneration.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGovern, Gillian; Jeffrey, Martin

    2013-01-01

    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.

  4. Dynamic changes and surveillance function of prion protein expression in gastric cancer drug resistance

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ji-Heng Wang; Jing-Ping Du; Ying-Hai Zhang; Xiao-Jun Zhao; Ru-Ying Fan; Zhi-Hong Wang; Zi-Tao Wu; Ying Han

    2011-01-01

    AIM: To explore the dynamic changes of prion protein (PrPc) in the process of gastric cancer drug resistance and the role of PrPc expression in the prognosis of gastric cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. METHODS: A series of gastric cancer cell lines resistant to different concentrations of adriamycin was established,and the expression of PrPc, Bcl-2 and Bax was detected in these cells. Apoptosis was determined using Annexin V staining. Western blotting and immunohistochemistry were performed to detect the expression of PrPc in patients receiving chemotherapy and to explore the role of PrPc expression in predicting the chemosensitivity and the outcome of gastric cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. Follow-up was performed for 2 years. RESULTS: PrPc expression was increased with the increase in drug resistance. Bcl-2, together with PrPc, increased the level of anti-apoptosis of cancer cells. Increased PrPc expression predicted the enhanced level of anti-apoptosis and resistance to anticancer drugs. PrPc expression could be used as a marker for predicting the efficacy of chemotherapy and the prognosis of gastric cancer. Increased PrPc expression predicted both poor chemosensitivity and a low 2-year survival rate. Contrarily, low PrPc expression predicted favorable chemosensitivity and a relatively high 2-year survival rate.CONCLUSION: PrPc expression is associated with histological types and differentiation of gastric cancer cells; The PrPc expression level might be a valuable marker in predicting the efficacy of chemotherapy and the prognosis of gastric cancer patients receiving chemotherapy.

  5. Prion protein gene polymorphism and genetic risk evaluation for scrapie in all Turkish native sheep breeds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meydan, H; Yüceer, B; Degirmenci, R; Özkan, M M; Yildiz, M A

    2012-08-01

    The aim of this study was to identify the prion protein (PrP) gene polymorphism in a total of 1,110 healthy sheep from 18 Turkish native sheep breeds. There were nine alleles and 22 genotypes observed based on codons 136, 154, and 171 of the PrP gene. The ARQ allele was predominant for all breeds. The most resistant allele to scrapie, ARR, was present in all breeds. The VRQ allele, associated with the highest susceptibility to scrapie, was detected at low frequencies in İvesi (0.06), Kıvırcık (0.021), Sakız (0.010), Karayaka (0.011), Çine Çaparı (0.012), and Güneykaraman (0.017). In general, the ARQ/ARQ genotype was predominant in all breeds. The most resistant genotype to scrapie, ARR/ARR, was found with the frequency lower than 0.180. The most susceptible genotype, VRQ/VRQ, was found in only Kıvırcık. The TRR and TRH alleles and the genotypes of ARR/TRR, ARR/ARK, and ARH/TRH have been found for the first time in Turkish native sheep breeds. According to these results, all breeds belong to risk group R3 followed by R2. It is propounded that the susceptibility to scrapie increased from eastern to western part of Turkey. Our findings of Turkish native sheep breeds with PrP gene polymorphisms will assist the sheep breeding program for selection of scrapie resistance genotypes to reduce the risk of scrapie.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  7. Prion protein prevents heavy metals overloading of cells and thus protects them against their toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prčina, M; Kontseková, E; Novák, M

    2015-06-01

    Physiological function of a prion protein (PrP) is not known yet. Regarding the relation of PrP to heavy metals it is known that PrP is able to bind divalent ions of copper, zinc, manganese and nickel through its octarepeat region. It has been hypothesized but not yet confirmed that PrP could play a role in copper metabolism. In this study, cells expressing human full-length PrP (HuPrP1) and PrP-knockout (PrP0/0/1) cells were incubated with various concentrations of copper, zinc, manganese and nickel for 4 days and then were assayed for intracellular content of these metals and cell viability. The results showed that HuPrP1 cells accumulated less heavy metals than PrP0/0/1 cells when concentrations of heavy metals exceeded physiological level. In conclusion, HuPrP1 cells are more resistant to chronic overload with copper, manganese, zinc or nickel than PrP0/0/1 cells. The resistance to metals overload is caused solely by the presence of PrP, since HuPrP1 and PrP0/0/1 cells differ only in the expression of PrP. These results indicate that one of the functions of PrP can be the modulation of trace heavy metal concentrations in cells and protection of cells against heavy metals overload and subsequent oxidative stress.

  8. Effect of electrostatics on aggregation of prion protein Sup35 peptide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Portillo, Alexander M.; Krasnoslobodtsev, Alexey V.; Lyubchenko, Yuri L.

    2012-04-01

    Self-assembly of misfolded proteins into ordered fibrillar structures is a fundamental property of a wide range of proteins and peptides. This property is also linked with the development of various neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Environmental conditions modulate the misfolding and aggregation processes. We used a peptide, CGNNQQNY, from yeast prion protein Sup35, as a model system to address effects of environmental conditions on aggregate formation. The GNNQQNY peptide self-assembles in fibrils with structural features that are similar to amyloidogenic proteins. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) and thioflavin T (ThT) fluorescence assay were employed to follow the aggregation process at various pHs and ionic strengths. We also used single molecule AFM force spectroscopy to probe interactions between the peptides under various conditions. The ThT fluorescence data showed that the peptide aggregates fast at pH values approaching the peptide isoelectric point (pI = 5.3) and the kinetics is 10 times slower at acidic pH (pH 2.0), suggesting that electrostatic interactions contribute to the peptide self-assembly into aggregates. This hypothesis was tested by experiments performed at low (11 mM) and high (150 mM) ionic strengths. Indeed, the aggregation lag time measured at pH 2 at low ionic strength (11 mM) is 195 h, whereas the lag time decreases ˜5 times when the ionic strength is increased to 150 mM. At conditions close to the pI value, pH 5.6, the aggregation lag time is 12 ± 6 h under low ionic strength, and there is minimal change to the lag time at 150 mM NaCl. The ionic strength also influences the morphology of aggregates visualized with AFM. In pH 2.0 and at high ionic strength, the aggregates are twofold taller than those formed at low ionic strength. In parallel, AFM force spectroscopy studies revealed minimal contribution of electrostatics to dissociation of transient peptide dimers.

  9. Effect of electrostatics on aggregation of prion protein Sup35 peptide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Portillo, Alexander M; Krasnoslobodtsev, Alexey V; Lyubchenko, Yuri L

    2012-04-25

    Self-assembly of misfolded proteins into ordered fibrillar structures is a fundamental property of a wide range of proteins and peptides. This property is also linked with the development of various neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Environmental conditions modulate the misfolding and aggregation processes. We used a peptide, CGNNQQNY, from yeast prion protein Sup35, as a model system to address effects of environmental conditions on aggregate formation. The GNNQQNY peptide self-assembles in fibrils with structural features that are similar to amyloidogenic proteins. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) and thioflavin T (ThT) fluorescence assay were employed to follow the aggregation process at various pHs and ionic strengths. We also used single molecule AFM force spectroscopy to probe interactions between the peptides under various conditions. The ThT fluorescence data showed that the peptide aggregates fast at pH values approaching the peptide isoelectric point (pI = 5.3) and the kinetics is 10 times slower at acidic pH (pH 2.0), suggesting that electrostatic interactions contribute to the peptide self-assembly into aggregates. This hypothesis was tested by experiments performed at low (11 mM) and high (150 mM) ionic strengths. Indeed, the aggregation lag time measured at pH 2 at low ionic strength (11 mM) is 195 h, whereas the lag time decreases ~5 times when the ionic strength is increased to 150 mM. At conditions close to the pI value, pH 5.6, the aggregation lag time is 12 ± 6 h under low ionic strength, and there is minimal change to the lag time at 150 mM NaCl. The ionic strength also influences the morphology of aggregates visualized with AFM. In pH 2.0 and at high ionic strength, the aggregates are twofold taller than those formed at low ionic strength. In parallel, AFM force spectroscopy studies revealed minimal contribution of electrostatics to dissociation of transient peptide dimers.

  10. Pathogenic prion protein fragment (PrP106–126) promotes human immunodeficiency virus type-1 infection in peripheral blood monocyte-derived macrophages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacot, Silvia M.; Feldman, Gerald M.; Yamada, Kenneth M.; Dhawan, Subhash

    2017-01-01

    Transfusion of blood and blood products contaminated with the pathogenic form of prion protein Prpsc, thought to be the causative agent of variant a Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (vCJD), may result in serious consequences in recipients with a compromised immune system, for example, as seen in HIV-1 infection. In the present study, we demonstrate that treatment of peripheral blood monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) with PrP106–126, a synthetic domain of PrPsc that has intrinsic functional activities related to the full-length protein, markedly increased their susceptibility to HIV-1 infection, induced cytokine secretion, and enhanced their migratory behavior in response to N-formyl-L-methionyl-L-leucyl-L-phenylalanine (fMLP). Live-cell imaging of MDM cultured in the presence of PrP106–126 showed large cell clusters indicative of cellular activation. Tyrosine kinase inhibitor STI-571, protein kinase C inhibitor K252B, and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor olomoucine attenuated PrP106–126-induced altered MDM functions. These findings delineate a previously undefined functional role of PrP106–126-mediated host cell response in promoting HIV-1 pathogenesis. PMID:25589240

  11. Small protease sensitive oligomers of PrPSc in distinct human prions determine conversion rate of PrP(C.

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    Chae Kim

    Full Text Available The mammalian prions replicate by converting cellular prion protein (PrP(C into pathogenic conformational isoform (PrP(Sc. Variations in prions, which cause different disease phenotypes, are referred to as strains. The mechanism of high-fidelity replication of prion strains in the absence of nucleic acid remains unsolved. We investigated the impact of different conformational characteristics of PrP(Sc on conversion of PrP(C in vitro using PrP(Sc seeds from the most frequent human prion disease worldwide, the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD. The conversion potency of a broad spectrum of distinct sCJD prions was governed by the level, conformation, and stability of small oligomers of the protease-sensitive (s PrP(Sc. The smallest most potent prions present in sCJD brains were composed only of∼20 monomers of PrP(Sc. The tight correlation between conversion potency of small oligomers of human sPrP(Sc observed in vitro and duration of the disease suggests that sPrP(Sc conformers are an important determinant of prion strain characteristics that control the progression rate of the disease.