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Sample records for clinical prion disease

  1. [Prion diseases].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarranz, J J

    2006-10-01

    Prion diseases are one of the paradigms of modern neurological nosology founded on molecular grounds. Their incidence is low, however the public health challenges derived from their transmissibility, especially due to the appearance of a variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) confers them a preferential place among health care authority concerns. The evolution of data from the European surveillance systems suggests a generalized underdiagnosis of prion diseases and casts doubts about their ability to detect a possible second wave of atypical vCJD, especially if their clinical-pathological characteristics change. Recent data also challenge the feasibility of a subclassification of prion diseases according to their genetic-molecular features

  2. Impaired axonal transport in motor neurons correlates with clinical prion disease.

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    Vladimir Ermolayev

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders causing motor dysfunctions, dementia and neuropathological changes such as spongiosis, astroglyosis and neuronal loss. The chain of events leading to the clinical disease and the role of distinct brain areas are still poorly understood. The role of nervous system integrity and axonal properties in prion pathology are still elusive. There is no evidence of both the functional axonal impairments in vivo and their connection with prion disease. We studied the functional axonal impairments in motor neurons at the onset of clinical prion disease using the combination of tracing as a functional assay for axonal transport with immunohistochemistry experiments. Well-established and novel confocal and ultramicroscopy techniques were used to image and quantify labeled neurons. Despite profound differences in the incubation times, 30% to 45% of neurons in the red nucleus of different mouse lines showed axonal transport impairments at the disease onset bilaterally after intracerebral prion inoculation and unilaterally -- after inoculation into the right sciatic nerve. Up to 94% of motor cortex neurons also demonstrated transport defects upon analysis by alternative imaging methods. Our data connect axonal transport impairments with disease symptoms for different prion strains and inoculation routes and establish further insight on the development of prion pathology in vivo. The alterations in localization of the proteins involved in the retrograde axonal transport allow us to propose a mechanism of transport disruption, which involves Rab7-mediated cargo attachment to the dynein-dynactin pathway. These findings suggest novel targets for therapeutic and diagnostic approaches in the early stages of prion disease.

  3. Continuous intraventricular infusion of pentosan polysulfate: clinical trial against prion diseases.

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    Tsuboi, Yoshio; Doh-Ura, Katsumi; Yamada, Tatsuo

    2009-10-01

    Prion diseases are progressive neurological disorders due to abnormal prion protein (PrP(Sc)) deposition in the central nervous system. At present, there is no effective treatment available for any form of prion disease. Pentosan polysulfate (PPS) has been shown to prolong significantly the incubation period in mice with PrP(Sc) infection when administered to the cerebral ventricles in preclinical trials. In human studies conducted in European countries and Japan, intraventricular PPS was administered to patients with different forms of prion disease and was well tolerated. We report 11 patients with prion disease treated with intraventricular PPS at Fukuoka University from 2004. Cases included three familial CJD (two with V180I mutation, one GSS with P102L mutation), two iatrogenic CJD, and six sporadic CJD cases. At present, average survival period after treatment was 24.2 months (range, 4-49). Seven cases died of sepsis and pneumonia. Subdural effusion with various degrees was seen on CT scan in most cases. Except for these, adverse effects did not occur in the treatment period. Although our preliminary study of the new treatment with PPS by continuous intraventricular infusion showed no apparent improvement of clinical features in patients with prion disease, the possibility of extended survival in some patients receiving long-term PPS was suggested.

  4. Neil3 induced neurogenesis protects against prion disease during the clinical phase

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    Jalland, Clara M. O.; Scheffler, Katja; Benestad, Sylvie L.; Moldal, Torfinn; Ersdal, Cecilie; Gunnes, Gjermund; Suganthan, Rajikala; Bjørås, Magnar; Tranulis, Michael A.

    2016-01-01

    Base excision repair (BER) is the major pathway for repair of oxidative DNA damage. Mice with genetic knockout of the BER enzyme Neil3 display compromised neurogenesis in the sub-ventricular zone of the lateral ventricle and sub-granular layer of the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. To elucidate the impact of oxidative DNA damage-induced neurogenesis on prion disease we applied the experimental prion disease model on Neil3-deficient mice. The incubation period for the disease was similar in both wild type and Neil3−/− mice and the overall neuropathology appeared unaffected by Neil3 function. However, disease in the Neil3−/− mice was of shorter clinical duration. We observed a mildly reduced astrogliosis in the hippocampus and striatum in the Neil3-deficient mice. Brain expression levels of neuronal progenitor markers, nestin (Nestin), sex determining region Box 2 (Sox2), Class III beta-tubulin (Tuj1) decreased towards end-stage prion disease whereas doublecortin (Dcx) levels were less affected. Neuronal nuclei (NeuN), a marker for mature neurons declined during prion disease and more pronounced in the Neil3−/− group. Microglial activation was prominent and appeared unaffected by loss of Neil3. Our data suggest that neurogenesis induced by Neil3 repair of oxidative DNA damage protects against prion disease during the clinical phase. PMID:27886261

  5. Therapy in prion diseases.

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    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

  6. Prion diseases: immunotargets and therapy

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    Burchell, Jennifer T; Panegyres, Peter K

    2016-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephathalopathies or prion diseases are a group of neurological disorders characterized by neuronal loss, spongiform degeneration, and activation of astrocytes or microglia. These diseases affect humans and animals with an extremely high prevalence in some species such as deer and elk in North America. Although rare in humans, they result in a devastatingly swift neurological progression with dementia and ataxia. Patients usually die within a year of diagnosis. Prion diseases are familial, sporadic, iatrogenic, or transmissible. Human prion diseases include Kuru, sporadic, iatrogenic, and familial forms of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease, variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease, Gerstmann–Sträussler–Scheinker disease, and fatal familial insomnia. The causative agent is a misfolded version of the physiological prion protein called PrPSc in the brain. There are a number of therapeutic options currently under investigation. A number of small molecules have had some success in delaying disease progression in animal models and mixed results in clinical trials, including pentosan polysulfate, quinacrine, and amphotericin B. More promisingly, immunotherapy has reported success in vitro and in vivo in animal studies and clinical trials. The three main branches of immunotherapy research are focus on antibody vaccines, dendritic cell vaccines, and adoptive transfer of physiological prion protein-specific CD4+ T-lymphocytes. Vaccines utilizing antibodies generally target disease-specific epitopes that are only exposed in the misfolded PrPSc conformation. Vaccines utilizing antigen-loaded dendritic cell have the ability to bypass immune tolerance and prime CD4+ cells to initiate an immune response. Adoptive transfer of CD4+ T-cells is another promising target as this cell type can orchestrate the adaptive immune response. Although more research into mechanisms and safety is required, these immunotherapies offer novel therapeutic targets for prion

  7. Prion diseases: immunotargets and therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Burchell JT

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Jennifer T Burchell, Peter K Panegyres Neurodegenerative Disorders Research Pty Ltd, West Perth, Western Australia, Australia Abstract: Transmissible spongiform encephathalopathies or prion diseases are a group of neurological disorders characterized by neuronal loss, spongiform degeneration, and activation of astrocytes or microglia. These diseases affect humans and animals with an extremely high prevalence in some species such as deer and elk in North America. Although rare in humans, they result in a devastatingly swift neurological progression with dementia and ataxia. Patients usually die within a year of diagnosis. Prion diseases are familial, sporadic, iatrogenic, or transmissible. Human prion diseases include Kuru, sporadic, iatrogenic, and familial forms of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease, variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease, Gerstmann–Sträussler–Scheinker disease, and fatal familial insomnia. The causative agent is a misfolded version of the physiological prion protein called PrPSc in the brain. There are a number of therapeutic options currently under investigation. A number of small molecules have had some success in delaying disease progression in animal models and mixed results in clinical trials, including pentosan polysulfate, quinacrine, and amphotericin B. More promisingly, immunotherapy has reported success in vitro and in vivo in animal studies and clinical trials. The three main branches of immunotherapy research are focus on antibody vaccines, dendritic cell vaccines, and adoptive transfer of physiological prion protein-specific CD4+ T-lymphocytes. Vaccines utilizing antibodies generally target disease-specific epitopes that are only exposed in the misfolded PrPSc conformation. Vaccines utilizing antigen-loaded dendritic cell have the ability to bypass immune tolerance and prime CD4+ cells to initiate an immune response. Adoptive transfer of CD4+ T-cells is another promising target as this cell type can orchestrate the

  8. Calcineurin inhibition at the clinical phase of prion disease reduces neurodegeneration, improves behavioral alterations and increases animal survival.

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    Abhisek Mukherjee

    Full Text Available Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders characterized by a long pre-symptomatic phase followed by rapid and progressive clinical phase. Although rare in humans, the unconventional infectious nature of the disease raises the potential for an epidemic. Unfortunately, no treatment is currently available. The hallmark event in prion diseases is the accumulation of a misfolded and infectious form of the prion protein (PrP(Sc. Previous reports have shown that PrP(Sc induces endoplasmic reticulum stress and changes in calcium homeostasis in the brain of affected individuals. In this study we show that the calcium-dependent phosphatase Calcineurin (CaN is hyperactivated both in vitro and in vivo as a result of PrP(Sc formation. CaN activation mediates prion-induced neurodegeneration, suggesting that inhibition of this phosphatase could be a target for therapy. To test this hypothesis, prion infected wild type mice were treated intra-peritoneally with the CaN inhibitor FK506 at the clinical phase of the disease. Treated animals exhibited reduced severity of the clinical abnormalities and increased survival time compared to vehicle treated controls. Treatment also led to a significant increase in the brain levels of the CaN downstream targets pCREB and pBAD, which paralleled the decrease of CaN activity. Importantly, we observed a lower degree of neurodegeneration in animals treated with the drug as revealed by a higher number of neurons and a lower quantity of degenerating nerve cells. These changes were not dependent on PrP(Sc formation, since the protein accumulated in the brain to the same levels as in the untreated mice. Our findings contribute to an understanding of the mechanism of neurodegeneration in prion diseases and more importantly may provide a novel strategy for therapy that is beneficial at the clinical phase of the disease.

  9. Prions

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    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.

  10. An overview of animal prion diseases

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    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.

  11. Prion and prion-like diseases in animals.

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    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.

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

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    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

  13. Can prion disease suspicion be supported earlier? Clinical, radiological and laboratory findings in a series of cases.

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    González-Duarte, Alejandra; Medina, Zaira; Balaguer, Rainier Rodriguez; Calleja, Jesus Higuera

    2011-01-01

    The subacute spongiform encephalopathies are prion diseases characterized by acute and rapid neurodegeneration that lead to the death of the patient within months to a few years. The epidemiology of CJD is complicated and the frequency in Mexico is unknown. We aim to describe the cases of prion disease in Mexico. Consecutive patients who met the diagnostic criteria by the WHO were enrolled. We describe 26 patients with clinical manifestations, imaging and laboratory studies compatible with prion disease. The mean age at onset was 52 years old. The main clinical manifestations were cognitive alterations (69%) followed by extrapyramidal movements (50%), abnormal cerebellar function (46%), behavioral alterations (46%), myoclonus (46%), and mood depression (23%), among other features. Half of the patients progressed rapidly to a state of akinetic mutism (53%). Only 2 (7.6%) patients had a family history of a similar disease. Time interval between onset and diagnosis varied between 71 days to 24 months, with a median of 6 months. The classical bilateral basal ganglia hyperintensities were present in the very early stage of the disease. Protein 14-3-3 immuneassay in the CSF was positive in all measured cases. Bilateral basal ganglia hyperintensities was the most important early finding, while protein 14-3-3 was a late finding and the results were usually obtained after the patient was discharged. Around 1.5 cases of CJD cases per year are reported in our country. When suspected, MRI can support the diagnosis earlier than other studies.

  14. [Molecular bases of prion diseases].

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    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. [Human prion diseases in the Czech Republic].

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    Rohan, Z; Rusina, R; Marešová, M; Matěj, R

    2015-09-01

    Human prion diseases are a group of very rare diseases with a unique pathogenesis and, due to an inauspicious prognosis and unavailability of therapy, with fatal consequences. The etiopathogenetic background is the presence of pathologically misfolded prion protein, highly resistant to denaturation, the aggregation and presence of which in the brain tissue causes irreversible neuronal damage. The most frequent prion disease in humans is Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) which occurs in sporadic, hereditary/familial, or acquired/infectious/iatrogenic forms. A new form of CJD, variant CJD, is considered to be linked to dietary exposure to beef products from cattle infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and to infection via blood transfusion. The clinical picture of these diseases is characterized by a rapidly progressing dementia, cerebellar and extrapyramidal symptoms, and rather specific MRI, EEG, and CSF findings. Clinically, the diagnosis is described as possible or probable prion disease and needs to be confirmed by neuropathological or immunological investigation of the brain tissue. Epidemiological data from the Czech Republic spanning the last decade are presented.

  18. Defining the limits of prion disease.

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    Ridley, R M

    1994-08-01

    The term prion disease applies to any disease in which there is an accumulation in brain of the abnormal isoform of prion protein, known as PrPsc. These diseases include all the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies of humans and animals and their related atypical forms. Although there are clear clinical and neuropathological indicators in the majority of cases, the atypical forms present particular diagnostic difficulties because their clinical presentation may closely resemble much more common forms of dementia. On pathological examination the brain may show no spongiform encephalopathy, and attempts at transmission are often not successful in these cases. There are various biochemical and immunohistochemical ways in which prion disease can be detected. Some of these require the use of fresh/frozen tissue which is often not available unless prion disease is already suspected. Some previously unsuspected cases have been detected by genetic analysis of the PrP gene. This approach must be used with caution since there are several rare polymorphisms in the PrP gene which are not pathogenic and possession of a pathogenic mutation does not prevent the occurrence of more common neurological disorders at an earlier age, some of which may be treatable.

  19. 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

  20. Prion disease detection, PMCA kinetics, and IgG in urine from sheep naturally/experimentally infected with scrapie and deer with preclinical/clinical chronic wasting disease.

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    Rubenstein, Richard; Chang, Binggong; Gray, Perry; Piltch, Martin; Bulgin, Marie S; Sorensen-Melson, Sharon; Miller, Michael W

    2011-09-01

    Prion diseases, also known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, are fatal neurodegenerative disorders. Low levels of infectious agent and limited, infrequent success of disease transmissibility and PrP(Sc) detection have been reported with urine from experimentally infected clinical cervids and rodents. We report the detection of prion disease-associated seeding activity (PASA) in urine from naturally and orally infected sheep with clinical scrapie agent and orally infected preclinical and infected white-tailed deer with clinical chronic wasting disease (CWD). This is the first report on PASA detection of PrP(Sc) from the urine of naturally or preclinical prion-diseased ovine or cervids. Detection was achieved by using the surround optical fiber immunoassay (SOFIA) to measure the products of limited serial protein misfolding cyclic amplification (sPMCA). Conversion of PrP(C) to PrP(Sc) was not influenced by the presence of poly(A) during sPMCA or by the homogeneity of the PrP genotypes between the PrP(C) source and urine donor animals. Analysis of the sPMCA-SOFIA data resembled a linear, rather than an exponential, course. Compared to uninfected animals, there was a 2- to 4-log increase of proteinase K-sensitive, light chain immunoglobulin G (IgG) fragments in scrapie-infected sheep but not in infected CWD-infected deer. The higher-than-normal range of IgG levels found in the naturally and experimentally infected clinical scrapie-infected sheep were independent of their genotypes. Although analysis of urine samples throughout the course of infection would be necessary to determine the usefulness of altered IgG levels as a disease biomarker, detection of PrP(Sc) from PASA in urine points to its potential value for antemortem diagnosis of prion diseases.

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

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    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.

  2. Lesion of the olfactory epithelium accelerates prion neuroinvasion and disease onset when prion replication is restricted to neurons.

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    Jenna Crowell

    Full Text Available Natural prion diseases of ruminants are moderately contagious and while the gastrointestinal tract is the primary site of prion agent entry, other mucosae may be entry sites in a subset of infections. In the current study we examined prion neuroinvasion and disease induction following disruption of the olfactory epithelium in the nasal mucosa since this site contains environmentally exposed olfactory sensory neurons that project directly into the central nervous system. Here we provide evidence for accelerated prion neuroinvasion and clinical onset from the olfactory mucosa after disruption and regeneration of the olfactory epithelium and when prion replication is restricted to neurons. In transgenic mice with neuron restricted replication of prions, there was a reduction in survival when the olfactory epithelium was disrupted prior to intranasal inoculation and there was >25% decrease in the prion incubation period. In a second model, the neurotropic DY strain of transmissible mink encephalopathy was not pathogenic in hamsters by the nasal route, but 50% of animals exhibited brain infection and/or disease when the olfactory epithelium was disrupted prior to intranasal inoculation. A time course analysis of prion deposition in the brain following loss of the olfactory epithelium in models of neuron-restricted prion replication suggests that neuroinvasion from the olfactory mucosa is via the olfactory nerve or brain stem associated cranial nerves. We propose that induction of neurogenesis after damage to the olfactory epithelium can lead to prion infection of immature olfactory sensory neurons and accelerate prion spread to the brain.

  3. [Investigation of the clinical course and treatment of prion disease patients in the akinetic mutism state in Japan].

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    Iwasaki, Yasushi; Mori, Keiko; Ito, Masumi

    2012-01-01

    Twelve cases (one Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome (P102L; definite), one genetic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) (V180I; definite) and ten sporadic CJD (7 MM1-type definite, 3 probable)), who reached the akinetic mutism state, were investigated with regard to their clinical course and treatment. They were hospitalized for a total of 3,968 days in the akinetic mutism state. In the nine definite cases, the median period from the akinetic mutism state to death was 22 months (average: 27.0 ± 23.3 months, range: 3-80 months) and median total disease duration was 27 months (average: 34.2 ± 30.1 months, range: 5-102 months). In the seven definite sporadic CJD cases, the median period from akinetic mutism to death was 21 months (average: 17.0 ± 9.6 months, range 3-28 months), and median total disease duration was 24 months (average: 20.6 ± 10.0 months, range: 5-31 months). Nasal-tube feeding was performed in all cases. Symptomatic treatments such as parenteral nutrition and antibiotic drugs were administered for complications such as respitory and urinary tract infections and digestive symptoms. Patients received rehabilitation and hot spring therapy regularly until death. Gastrostomy and/or tracheotomy was not performed in any case, the patients were not intubated nor was mechanical ventilation (including non-invasive positive pressure ventilation) applied. Vasoactive drugs were not administered. Clonazepam was administered for myoclonus in four patients but not in another three when myoclonus appeared. It is unclear whether the treatment influenced the duration of myoclonus. Our observations indicate that the extended survival period among Japanese prion disease patients is likely due to the management procedures implemented for prion disease in Japan, which are usually continued after the patients reach the akinetic mutism state. We speculate that nasal-tube feeding is the crucial factor that results in the prolonged disease duration of prion disease

  4. Can prion disease suspicion be supported earlier?

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    Medina, Zaira; Balaguer, Rainier Rodriguez; Calleja, Jesus Higuera

    2011-01-01

    The subacute spongiform encephalopathies are prion diseases characterized by acute and rapid neurodegeneration that lead to the death of the patient within months to a few years. The epidemiology of CJD is complicated and the frequency in Mexico is unknown. We aim to describe the cases of prion disease in Mexico. Consecutive patients who met the diagnostic criteria by the WHO were enrolled. We describe 26 patients with clinical manifestations, imaging and laboratory studies compatible with prion disease. The mean age at onset was 52 years old. The main clinical manifestations were cognitive alterations (69%) followed by extrapyramidal movements (50%), abnormal cerebellar function (46%), behavioral alterations (46%), myoclonus (46%) and mood depression (23%), among other features. Half of the patients progressed rapidly to a state of akinetic mutism (53%). Only 2 (7.6%) patients had a family history of a similar disease. Time interval between onset and diagnosis varied between 71 days to 24 months, with a median of 6 months. The classical bilateral basal ganglia hyperintensities were present in the very early stage of the disease. Protein 14-3-3 immuneassay in the CSF was positive in all measured cases. Bilateral basal ganglia hyperintensities was the most important early finding, while protein 14-3-3 was a late finding and the results were usually obtained after the patient was discharged. Around 1.5 cases of CJD cases per year are reported in our country. When suspected, MRI can support the diagnosis earlier than other studies. PMID:21869605

  5. Prions: a model of conformational disease?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morinet, F

    2014-04-01

    The discovery that a protein could mimic viral and bacterial pathogens around 1980 by Stanley Prusiner was unexpected. Evidence shows now that Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and related disorders are caused by prions. Prions and, for example neurodegeneratives diseases, arise from the same general disease mechanism. In each, there is abnormal unfolding and then aggregation of proteins. The protein conformational changes associated with the pathogenesis of protein misfolding disorders produce β sheet rich oligomers that are partially resistant to proteolysis and have a high tendency to form amyloid-like aggregates. It is important to distinguish between prions and amyloids: prions need not to polymerize into amyloid fibrils and can undergo self-propagation as oligomers. The prion diseases are characterized by the conformational conversion of PrP(c) to PrP(sc), the fundamental even underlying prion diseases. Despite the obvious differences between prions and conventional infectious microorganisms, prions fulfill the Koch's postulates. Meaningful treatments are likely to require cocktails of drugs that interfere with the conversion of precursor into prions and enhance the clearance of prions; such an approach may find application in the more common degenerative diseases.

  6. 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.

  7. 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....

  8. 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

  9. Prion疾病%Prion disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    范学工

    1999-01-01

    @@ 人和动物的慢性中枢神经系统退行性疾病,如羊瘙痒症(scapie)、人克雅病(Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease,CJD)和库鲁病(kuru)的病因一直不明,美国加州大学旧金山医学院的Prusiner教授经过近20年的研究,在1982年提出了Prion是CJD的病原因子假说,指出这是一种不同于细菌、病毒、真菌和寄生虫等病原微生物的新的致病蛋白质因子,并构建了prion-词[1].由Prion所引起的疾病称为Prion病(Prion Diseases).目前认为,Prion是所有传染性海绵状脑病(transmissible spongiform encephalopathies,TSE)的病原因子.

  10. Prion diseases of the brain; Prionenerkrankung des Gehirns

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lutz, Kira; Urbach, Horst [Universitaetsklinik Freiburg (Germany). Klinik fuer Neuroradiologie

    2015-09-15

    The prion diseases of the brain, especially Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, are rare fatal neurodegenerative disorders. A definitive CJD diagnosis is currently only possible by a brain biopsy or post mortem autopsy. The diagnosis of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is based on clinical signs, pathognomonic EEG, on typical MRI findings and the examination of the cerebrospinal fluid. Using the MRI the diagnosis Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease can be confirmed or excluded with high certainty. The MRI examination should contain diffusion-weighted and FLAIR imaging sequences. This review article provides an overview of the prion diseases of the brain with the corresponding imaging findings.

  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. 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.

  13. Quinacrine promotes replication and conformational mutation of chronic wasting disease prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bian, Jifeng; Kang, Hae-Eun; Telling, Glenn C

    2014-04-22

    Quinacrine's ability to reduce levels of pathogenic prion protein (PrP(Sc)) in mouse cells infected with experimentally adapted prions led to several unsuccessful clinical studies in patients with prion diseases, a 10-y investment to understand its mechanism of action, and the production of related compounds with expectations of greater efficacy. We show here, in stark contrast to this reported inhibitory effect, that quinacrine enhances deer and elk PrP(Sc) accumulation and promotes propagation of prions causing chronic wasting disease (CWD), a fatal, transmissible, neurodegenerative disorder of cervids of uncertain zoonotic potential. Surprisingly, despite increased prion titers in quinacrine-treated cells, transmission of the resulting prions produced prolonged incubation times and altered PrP(Sc) deposition patterns in the brains of diseased transgenic mice. This unexpected outcome is consistent with quinacrine affecting the intrinsic properties of the CWD prion. Accordingly, quinacrine-treated CWD prions were comprised of an altered PrP(Sc) conformation. Our findings provide convincing evidence for drug-induced conformational mutation of prions without the prerequisite of generating drug-resistant variants of the original strain. More specifically, they show that a drug capable of restraining prions in one species/strain setting, and consequently used to treat human prion diseases, improves replicative ability in another and therefore force reconsideration of current strategies to screen antiprion compounds.

  14. Genesis of mammalian prions: from non-infectious amyloid fibrils to a transmissible prion disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natallia Makarava

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The transmissible agent of prion disease consists of a prion protein in its abnormal, β-sheet rich state (PrP(Sc, which is capable of replicating itself according to the template-assisted mechanism. This mechanism postulates that the folding pattern of a newly recruited polypeptide chain accurately reproduces that of a PrP(Sc template. Here we report that authentic PrP(Sc and transmissible prion disease can be generated de novo in wild type animals by recombinant PrP (rPrP amyloid fibrils, which are structurally different from PrP(Sc and lack any detectable PrP(Sc particles. When induced by rPrP fibrils, a long silent stage that involved two serial passages preceded development of the clinical disease. Once emerged, the prion disease was characterized by unique clinical, neuropathological, and biochemical features. The long silent stage to the disease was accompanied by significant transformation in neuropathological properties and biochemical features of the proteinase K-resistant PrP material (PrPres before authentic PrP(Sc evolved. The current work illustrates that transmissible prion diseases can be induced by PrP structures different from that of authentic PrP(Sc and suggests that a new mechanism different from the classical templating exists. This new mechanism designated as "deformed templating" postulates that a change in the PrP folding pattern from the one present in rPrP fibrils to an alternative specific for PrP(Sc can occur. The current work provides important new insight into the mechanisms underlying genesis of the transmissible protein states and has numerous implications for understanding the etiology of neurodegenerative diseases.

  15. [New findings on the diagnosis and therapy of prion diseases].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Begić, Lejla; Mulaomerović, Adaleta; Berbić, Selma; Zigić, Zlata

    2002-01-01

    Spongiform encephalopathies are the fatal diseases, that affect the brain tissue of mammals. They are caused by a conformational changed prion protein. There is no adequate diagnostic test for in vivo identification of prion protein. Disease can be diagnosed only by clinical sings and EEG in new variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Post mortem, histopathological examination of brain tissue reveals spongiform changes and immunohistochemistry detects disease-related prion protein. Appropriate diagnostic in vivo tests are not developed yet; therefore extensive researches are ongoing aimed to introduce such methods. This review describes a few promising experimental methods, which may develop into diagnostic tests in the future: detection of prions in urine samples, PMCA (protein misfolding cyclic amplification), DATAS (differential analysis of transcripts with alternative splicing), SELEX (in vitro selection), detection of prions in tonsils and detection of copper and manganese dysbalance in tissues. Current therapy strategy is based on testing of some known drugs (quinacrine, chlorpromazine), and antioxidant and antibody treatments. The detection of NSE (neuron-specific enolase) and cholesterol in meat products reveals the presence of brain and spinal cord tissue. The spreading of spongiform encephalopathies can be diminished by utilising the adequate in vivo diagnostic tests, effective therapy strategy and preventive steps.

  16. The expanding universe of prion diseases.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joel C Watts

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Prions cause fatal and transmissible neurodegenerative disease. These etiological infectious agents are formed in greater part from a misfolded cell-surface protein called PrP(C. Several mammalian species are affected by the diseases, and in the case of "mad cow disease" (BSE the agent has a tropism for humans, with negative consequences for agribusiness and public health. Unfortunately, the known universe of prion diseases is expanding. At least four novel prion diseases--including human diseases variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD and sporadic fatal insomnia (sFI, bovine amyloidotic spongiform encephalopathy (BASE, and Nor98 of sheep--have been identified in the last ten years, and chronic wasting disease (CWD of North American deer (Odocoileus Specis and Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni is undergoing a dramatic spread across North America. While amplification (BSE and dissemination (CWD, commercial sourcing of cervids from the wild and movement of farmed elk can be attributed to human activity, the origins of emergent prion diseases cannot always be laid at the door of humankind. Instead, the continued appearance of new outbreaks in the form of "sporadic" disease may be an inevitable outcome in a situation where the replicating pathogen is host-encoded.

  17. The expanding universe of prion diseases.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Prions cause fatal and transmissible neurodegenerative disease. These etiological infectious agents are formed in greater part from a misfolded cell-surface protein called PrP(C. Several mammalian species are affected by the diseases, and in the case of "mad cow disease" (BSE the agent has a tropism for humans, with negative consequences for agribusiness and public health. Unfortunately, the known universe of prion diseases is expanding. At least four novel prion diseases-including human diseases variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD and sporadic fatal insomnia (sFI, bovine amyloidotic spongiform encephalopathy (BASE, and Nor98 of sheep-have been identified in the last ten years, and chronic wasting disease (CWD of North American deer (Odocoileus Specis and Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni is undergoing a dramatic spread across North America. While amplification (BSE and dissemination (CWD, commercial sourcing of cervids from the wild and movement of farmed elk can be attributed to human activity, the origins of emergent prion diseases cannot always be laid at the door of humankind. Instead, the continued appearance of new outbreaks in the form of "sporadic" disease may be an inevitable outcome in a situation where the replicating pathogen is host-encoded.

  18. Prion Disease: Learn the Facts. Avoid Exposure.

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2011-05-23

    This podcast discusses prion diseases and the risk of exposure associated with some common activities.  Created: 5/23/2011 by National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID).   Date Released: 5/23/2011.

  19. 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

  20. Evidence of subclinical prion disease in aged mice following exposure to bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Karen L; Mabbott, Neil A

    2014-01-01

    The occurrence of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob (vCJD) disease in humans was almost certainly the result of consumption of food contaminated with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) prions. Despite probable widespread exposure of the UK population to BSE-contaminated food in the 1980s, vCJD has been identified predominantly in young individuals, and there have been fewer cases of clinical disease than anticipated. The reasons for this are uncertain. Following peripheral exposure, many prions replicate within the lymphoid tissues before infecting the central nervous system. We have shown that the effects of host age on the microarchitecture of the spleen significantly impair susceptibility to mouse-adapted prions after peripheral exposure. The transmission of prions between different mammalian species is considered to be limited by the 'species barrier', which is dependent on several factors, including an intact immune system. Thus, cross-species prion transmission may be much less efficient in aged individuals. To test this hypothesis, we compared prion pathogenesis in groups of young (6-8 weeks old) and aged (600 days old) mice injected with primary BSE brain homogenate. We showed that prion pathogenesis was impaired dramatically in aged mice when compared with young animals. Whereas most young mice succumbed to clinical prion disease, all aged mice failed to develop clinical disease during their lifespans. However, the demonstration that prion accumulation was detected in the lymphoid tissues of some aged mice after injection with primary BSE brain homogenate, in the absence of clinical signs of prion disease, has important implications for human health.

  1. Prion Disease Induces Alzheimer Disease-Like Neuropathologic Changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tousseyn, Thomas; Bajsarowicz, Krystyna; Sánchez, Henry; Gheyara, Ania; Oehler, Abby; Geschwind, Michael; DeArmond, Bernadette; DeArmond, Stephen J.

    2016-01-01

    We examined the brains of 266 patients with prion diseases (PrionD) and found that 46 (17%) had Alzheimer disease (AD)-like changes. To explore potential mechanistic links between PrionD and AD, we exposed human brain aggregates (Hu BrnAggs) to brain homogenate from a patient with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) and found that the neurons in the Hu BrnAggs produced many β-amyloid (β42) inclusions, whereas uninfected, control-exposed Hu BrnAggs did not. Western blots of 20-pooled CJD-infected BrnAggs verified higher Aβ42 levels than controls. We next examined the CA1 region of the hippocampus from 14 patients with PrionD and found that 5 patients had low levels of scrapie-associated prion protein (PrPSc), many Aβ42 intraneuronal inclusions, low APOE-4, and no significant nerve cell loss. Seven patients had high levels of PrPSc, low Aβ42, high APOE-4 and 40% nerve cell loss, suggesting that APOE-4 and PrPSc together cause neuron loss in PrionD. There were also increased levels of hyperphosphorylated tau protein (Hτ) and Hτ-positive neuropil threads and neuron bodies in both PrionD and AD groups. The brains of 6 age-matched control patients without dementia did not contain Aβ42 deposits; however, there were rare Hτ-positive threads in 5 controls and 2 controls had a few Hτ-positive nerve cell bodies. We conclude that PrionD may trigger biochemical changes similar to AD and suggest that PrionD are diseases of PrPSc, Aβ42, APOE-4 and abnormal tau. PMID:26226132

  2. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. All clinically-relevant blood components transmit prion disease following a single blood transfusion: a sheep model of vCJD.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra McCutcheon

    Full Text Available Variant CJD (vCJD is an incurable, infectious human disease, likely arising from the consumption of BSE-contaminated meat products. Whilst the epidemic appears to be waning, there is much concern that vCJD infection may be perpetuated in humans by the transfusion of contaminated blood products. Since 2004, several cases of transfusion-associated vCJD transmission have been reported and linked to blood collected from pre-clinically affected donors. Using an animal model in which the disease manifested resembles that of humans affected with vCJD, we examined which blood components used in human medicine are likely to pose the greatest risk of transmitting vCJD via transfusion. We collected two full units of blood from BSE-infected donor animals during the pre-clinical phase of infection. Using methods employed by transfusion services we prepared red cell concentrates, plasma and platelets units (including leucoreduced equivalents. Following transfusion, we showed that all components contain sufficient levels of infectivity to cause disease following only a single transfusion and also that leucoreduction did not prevent disease transmission. These data suggest that all blood components are vectors for prion disease transmission, and highlight the importance of multiple control measures to minimise the risk of human to human transmission of vCJD by blood transfusion.

  8. 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.

  9. Human prion diseases in the United States.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert C Holman

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Prion diseases are a family of rare, progressive, neurodegenerative disorders that affect humans and animals. The most common form of human prion disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD, occurs worldwide. Variant CJD (vCJD, a recently emerged human prion disease, is a zoonotic foodborne disorder that occurs almost exclusively in countries with outbreaks of bovine spongiform encephalopathy. This study describes the occurrence and epidemiology of CJD and vCJD in the United States. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Analysis of CJD and vCJD deaths using death certificates of US residents for 1979-2006, and those identified through other surveillance mechanisms during 1996-2008. Since CJD is invariably fatal and illness duration is usually less than one year, the CJD incidence is estimated as the death rate. During 1979 through 2006, an estimated 6,917 deaths with CJD as a cause of death were reported in the United States, an annual average of approximately 247 deaths (range 172-304 deaths. The average annual age-adjusted incidence for CJD was 0.97 per 1,000,000 persons. Most (61.8% of the CJD deaths occurred among persons >or=65 years of age for an average annual incidence of 4.8 per 1,000,000 persons in this population. Most deaths were among whites (94.6%; the age-adjusted incidence for whites was 2.7 times higher than that for blacks (1.04 and 0.40, respectively. Three patients who died since 2004 were reported with vCJD; epidemiologic evidence indicated that their infection was acquired outside of the United States. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Surveillance continues to show an annual CJD incidence rate of about 1 case per 1,000,000 persons and marked differences in CJD rates by age and race in the United States. Ongoing surveillance remains important for monitoring the stability of the CJD incidence rates, and detecting occurrences of vCJD and possibly other novel prion diseases in the United States.

  10. Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (Prion Diseases)

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Craniosynostosis Information Page Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Information Page Cushing's Syndrome Information Page Dandy-Walker Syndrome Information Page Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson's Disease Information Page Dementia Information ...

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Quantitative EEG parameters correlate with the progression of human prion diseases

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    Wehner, Tim; Lowe, Jessica; Porter, Marie-Claire; Kenny, Joanna; Thompson, Andrew; Rudge, Peter; Collinge, John; Mead, Simon

    2016-01-01

    Background Prion diseases are universally fatal and often rapidly progressive neurodegenerative diseases. EEG has long been used in the diagnosis of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; however, the characteristic waveforms do not occur in all types of prion diseases. Here, we re-evaluate the utility of EEG by focusing on the development of biomarkers. We test whether abnormal quantitative EEG parameters can be used to measure disease progression in prion diseases or predict disease onset in healthy individuals at risk of disease. Methods In the National Prion Monitoring Cohort study, we did quantitative encephalography on 301 occasions in 29 healthy controls and 67 patients with prion disease. The patients had either inherited prion disease or sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. We computed the main background frequency, the α and θ power and the α/θ power ratio, then averaged these within 5 electrode groups. These measurements were then compared among participant groups and correlated with functional and cognitive scores cross-sectionally and longitudinally. Results We found lower main background frequency, α power and α/θ power ratio and higher θ power in patients compared to control participants. The main background frequency, the power in the α band and the α/θ power ratio also differed in a consistent way among the patient groups. Moreover, the main background frequency and the α/θ power ratio correlated significantly with functional and cognitive scores. Longitudinally, change in these parameters also showed significant correlation with the change in clinical and cognitive scores. Conclusions Our findings support the use of quantitative EEG to follow the progression of prion disease, with potential to help evaluate the treatment effects in future clinical-trials. PMID:27413165

  15. Infectious prion diseases in humans: cannibalism, iatrogenicity and zoonoses.

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    Haïk, Stéphane; Brandel, Jean-Philippe

    2014-08-01

    In contrast with other neurodegenerative disorders associated to protein misfolding, human prion diseases include infectious forms (also called transmitted forms) such as kuru, iatrogenic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The transmissible agent is thought to be solely composed of the abnormal isoform (PrP(Sc)) of the host-encoded prion protein that accumulated in the central nervous system of affected individuals. Compared to its normal counterpart, PrP(Sc) is β-sheet enriched and aggregated and its propagation is based on an autocatalytic conversion process. Increasing evidence supports the view that conformational variations of PrP(Sc) encoded the biological properties of the various prion strains that have been isolated by transmission studies in experimental models. Infectious forms of human prion diseases played a pivotal role in the emergence of the prion concept and in the characterization of the very unconventional properties of prions. They provide a unique model to understand how prion strains are selected and propagate in humans. Here, we review and discuss how genetic factors interplay with strain properties and route of transmission to influence disease susceptibility, incubation period and phenotypic expression in the light of the kuru epidemics due to ritual endocannibalism, the various series iatrogenic diseases secondary to extractive growth hormone treatment or dura mater graft and the epidemics of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease linked to dietary exposure to the agent of bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

  16. The Medical Research Council prion disease rating scale: a new outcome measure for prion disease therapeutic trials developed and validated using systematic observational studies.

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    Thompson, Andrew G B; Lowe, Jessica; Fox, Zoe; Lukic, Ana; Porter, Marie-Claire; Ford, Liz; Gorham, Michele; Gopalakrishnan, Gosala S; Rudge, Peter; Walker, A Sarah; Collinge, John; Mead, Simon

    2013-04-01

    Progress in therapeutics for rare disorders like prion disease is impeded by the lack of validated outcome measures and a paucity of natural history data derived from prospective observational studies. The first analysis of the U.K. National Prion Monitoring Cohort involved 1337 scheduled clinical assessments and 479 telephone assessments in 437 participants over 373 patient-years of follow-up. Scale development has included semi-quantitative and qualitative carer interviews, item response modelling (Rasch analysis), inter-rater reliability testing, construct analysis and correlation with several existing scales. The proposed 20-point Medical Research Council prion disease rating scale assesses domains of cognitive function, speech, mobility, personal care/feeding and continence, according to their relative importance documented by carer interviews. It is quick and simple to administer, and has been validated for use by doctors and nurses and for use over the telephone, allowing for frequent assessments that capture the rapid change typical of these diseases. The Medical Research Council Scale correlates highly with widely used cognitive and single item scales, but has substantial advantages over these including minimal floor effects. Three clear patterns of decline were observed using the scale: fast linear decline, slow linear decline (usually inherited prion disease) and in some patients, decline followed by a prolonged preterminal plateau at very low functional levels. Rates of decline and progress through milestones measured using the scale vary between sporadic, acquired and inherited prion diseases following clinical expectations. We have developed and validated a new functionally-oriented outcome measure and propose that future clinical trials in prion disease should collect data compatible with this scale, to allow for combined and comparative analyses. Such approaches may be advantageous in orphan conditions, where single studies of feasible duration will

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

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    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.

  18. Sex effects in mouse prion disease incubation time.

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    Shaheen Akhtar

    Full Text Available Prion disease incubation time in mice is determined by many factors including PrP expression level, Prnp alleles, genetic background, prion strain and route of inoculation. Sex differences have been described in age of onset for vCJD and in disease duration for both vCJD and sporadic CJD and have also been shown in experimental models. The sex effects reported for mouse incubation times are often contradictory and detail only one strain of mice or prions, resulting in broad generalisations and a confusing picture. To clarify the effect of sex on prion disease incubation time in mice we have compared male and female transmission data from twelve different inbred lines of mice inoculated with at least two prion strains, representing both mouse-adapted scrapie and BSE. Our data show that sex can have a highly significant difference on incubation time. However, this is limited to particular mouse and prion strain combinations. No sex differences were seen in endogenous PrP(C levels nor in the neuropathological markers of prion disease: PrP(Sc distribution, spongiosis, neuronal loss and gliosis. These data suggest that when comparing incubation times between experimental groups, such as testing the effects of modifier genes or therapeutics, single sex groups should be used.

  19. Prion diseases and adult neurogenesis: how do prions counteract the brain's endogenous repair machinery?

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    Relaño-Ginés, Aroa; Lehmann, Sylvain; Crozet, Carole

    2014-01-01

    Scientific advances in stem cell biology and adult neurogenesis have raised the hope that neurodegenerative disorders could benefit from stem cell-based therapy. Adult neurogenesis might be part of the physiological regenerative process, however it might become impaired by the disease's mechanism and therefore contribute to neurodegeneration. In prion disorders this endogenous repair system has rarely been studied. Whether adult neurogenesis plays a role or not in brain repair or in the propagation of prion pathology remains unclear. We have recently investigated the status of adult neural stem cells isolated from prion-infected mice. We were able to show that neural stem cells accumulate and replicate prions thus resulting in an alteration of their neuronal destiny. We also reproduced these results in adult neural stem cells, which were infected in vitro. The fact that endogenous adult neurogenesis could be altered by the accumulation of misfolded prion protein represents another great challenge. Inhibiting prion propagation in these cells would thus help the endogenous neurogenesis to compensate for the injured neuronal system. Moreover, understanding the endogenous modulation of the neurogenesis system would help develop effective neural stem cell-based therapies.

  20. Transmission of chronic wasting disease identifies a prion strain causing cachexia and heart infection in hamsters.

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    Richard A Bessen

    Full Text Available Chronic wasting disease (CWD is an emerging prion disease of free-ranging and captive cervids in North America. In this study we established a rodent model for CWD in Syrian golden hamsters that resemble key features of the disease in cervids including cachexia and infection of cardiac muscle. Following one to three serial passages of CWD from white-tailed deer into transgenic mice expressing the hamster prion protein gene, CWD was subsequently passaged into Syrian golden hamsters. In one passage line there were preclinical changes in locomotor activity and a loss of body mass prior to onset of subtle neurological symptoms around 340 days. The clinical symptoms included a prominent wasting disease, similar to cachexia, with a prolonged duration. Other features of CWD in hamsters that were similar to cervid CWD included the brain distribution of the disease-specific isoform of the prion protein, PrP(Sc, prion infection of the central and peripheral neuroendocrine system, and PrP(Sc deposition in cardiac muscle. There was also prominent PrP(Sc deposition in the nasal mucosa on the edge of the olfactory sensory epithelium with the lumen of the nasal airway that could have implications for CWD shedding into nasal secretions and disease transmission. Since the mechanism of wasting disease in prion diseases is unknown this hamster CWD model could provide a means to investigate the physiological basis of cachexia, which we propose is due to a prion-induced endocrinopathy. This prion disease phenotype has not been described in hamsters and we designate it as the 'wasting' or WST strain of hamster CWD.

  1. Alteration of the chronic wasting disease species barrier by in vitro prion amplification

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    Kurt, Timothy D.; Seelig, Davis M.; Schneider, Jay R.; Johnson, Christopher J.; Telling, Glenn C.; Heisey, Dennis M.; Hoover, Edward A.

    2011-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) of cervids now detected in 19 states of the United States, three Canadian provinces, and South Korea. Whether noncervid species can be infected by CWD and thereby serve as reservoirs for the infection is not known. To investigate this issue, we previously used serial protein misfolding cyclic amplification (sPMCA) to demonstrate that CWD prions can amplify in brain homogenates from several species sympatric with cervids, including prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) and field mice (Peromyscus spp.). Here, we show that prairie voles are susceptible to mule deer CWD prions in vivo and that sPMCA amplification of CWD prions in vole brain enhances the infectivity of CWD for this species. Prairie voles inoculated with sPMCA products developed clinical signs of TSE disease approximately 300 days prior to, and more consistently than, those inoculated with CWD prions from deer brain. Moreover, the deposition patterns and biochemical properties of protease-resistant form of PrP (PrPRES) in the brains of affected voles differed from those in cervidized transgenic (CerPrP) mice infected with CWD. In addition, voles inoculated orally with sPMCA products developed clinical signs of TSE and were positive for PrPRES deposition, whereas those inoculated orally with deer-origin CWD prions did not. These results demonstrate that transspecies sPMCA of CWD prions can enhance the infectivity and adapt the host range of CWD prions and thereby may be useful to assess determinants of prion species barriers.

  2. Prion-seeding activity in cerebrospinal fluid of deer with chronic wasting disease.

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    Nicholas J Haley

    Full Text Available Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs, or prion diseases, are a uniformly fatal family of neurodegenerative diseases in mammals that includes chronic wasting disease (CWD of cervids. The early and ante-mortem identification of TSE-infected individuals using conventional western blotting or immunohistochemistry (IHC has proven difficult, as the levels of infectious prions in readily obtainable samples, including blood and bodily fluids, are typically beyond the limits of detection. The development of amplification-based seeding assays has been instrumental in the detection of low levels of infectious prions in clinical samples. In the present study, we evaluated the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF of CWD-exposed (n=44 and naïve (n=4 deer (n=48 total for CWD prions (PrP(d using two amplification assays: serial protein misfolding cyclic amplification with polytetrafluoroethylene beads (sPMCAb and real-time quaking induced conversion (RT-QuIC employing a truncated Syrian hamster recombinant protein substrate. Samples were evaluated blindly in parallel with appropriate positive and negative controls. Results from amplification assays were compared to one another and to obex immunohistochemistry, and were correlated to available clinical histories including CWD inoculum source (e.g. saliva, blood, genotype, survival period, and duration of clinical signs. We found that both sPMCAb and RT-QuIC were capable of amplifying CWD prions from cervid CSF, and results correlated well with one another. Prion seeding activity in either assay was observed in approximately 50% of deer with PrP(d detected by IHC in the obex region of the brain. Important predictors of amplification included duration of clinical signs and time of first tonsil biopsy positive results, and ultimately the levels of PrP(d identified in the obex by IHC. Based on our findings, we expect that both sPMCAb and RT-QuIC may prove to be useful detection assays for the detection of prions in

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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    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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

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    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

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

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    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.

  10. Porcine prion protein amyloid.

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    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.

  11. Prion disease resembling frontotemporal dementia and parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17

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    Nitrini Ricardo

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To compare the clinical features of a familial prion disease with those of frontotemporal dementia and parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17 (FTDP-17. BACKGROUND: Prion diseases are not usually considered in the differential diagnosis of FTDP-17, since familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD, the most common inherited prion disease, often manifests as a rapidly progressive dementia. Conversely, FTDP-17 usually has an insidious onset in the fifth decade, with abnormal behavior and parkinsonian features. METHOD: We present the clinical features of 12 patients from a family with CJD associated with a point mutation at codon 183 of the prion protein gene. RESULTS: The mean age at onset was 44.0 ± 3.7; the duration of the symptoms until death ranged from two to nine years. Behavioral disturbances were the predominant presenting symptoms. Nine patients were first seen by psychiatrists. Eight patients manifested parkinsonian signs. CONCLUSION: These clinical features bear a considerable resemblance to those described in FTDP-17.

  12. [Prion neuroinfections].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tichý, J

    2004-01-01

    Prion neuroinfections represent an emergent problem namely after the epidemic brake out of the bovine spongiform encephalopathies, which culminated in 1993. Isolated cases can still emerge. The next case was the discovery of a new variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in the comparatively young persons with proved alimentary infection route--about 140 cases has been described. Physiological prions are glycoproteins, affixed to the rafts of cell membranes (namely in neurons) by glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor. They act as signalling molecules and participate in the cooper metabolism. Despite the intensive study in many prestigious laboratories, the way how the pathogenic isoform of prions, given by the prevalence of beta-conformations in the polypeptide chain develops has not been proved yet. Pathogenic isoforms are formed intracellulary after the precedent endocytosis. Aggregations of abnormal prion molecules build up prion amyloid deposits in the form of fibrils or plaques. The loss of neurons brings about the neurological symptoms, which are not directly related to the amounts of amyloid deposits. Characteristic findings of spongiosis and the immunohistochemical evidence of protease-resistant prions belong to the only reliable tests. Reliable intravital test in the blood or urine is not yet available. All forms of human and animal transmissible spongiform encephalopathies develop only in genetically sensitive individuals. A brief overview of clinical forms and some biochemical and genetic aspects of the disease are given.

  13. Familial prion diseases in the Basque Country (Spain).

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    Zarranz, Juan J; Digon, Anton; Atarés, Begoña; Arteagoitia, José M; Carrera, Nieves; Fernández-Manchola, Iñaki; Fernández-Martínez, Manuel; Fernández-Maiztegui, Covadonga; Forcadas, Isabel; Galdos, Luis; Ibáñez, Agustín; Lezcano, Elena; Martí-Massó, José F; Mendibe, María M; Urtasun, Miguel; Uterga, Juan M; Saracibar, Nieves; Velasco, Fernando; González de Galdeano, Luis

    2005-01-01

    In 1995, a surveillance system for prion diseases was set up in the Basque Country, an autonomous region in northern Spain (2.1 million inhabitants). In the period from January 1993 to December 2003, we diagnosed 21 patients with familial prion diseases prospectively and another 4 patients retrospectively. They represent 35% of all the cases referred to the epidemiological registry. Two main possible explanations for this unusual high incidence of familial prion diseases are proposed: first, comprehensive case ascertainment by public health neurologists; second, a probable cluster of the D178N mutation within families of Basque origin related to a still unconfirmed common ancestor. Further genetic and genealogical studies should resolve this issue.

  14. 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

  15. Differentiation of prions from L-type BSE versus sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

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    Nicot, Simon; Bencsik, Anna; Morignat, Eric; Mestre-Francés, Nadine; Perret-Liaudet, Armand; Baron, Thierry

    2012-12-01

    We compared transmission characteristics for prions from L-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy and MM2-cortical sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in the Syrian golden hamster and an ovine prion protein-transgenic mouse line and isolated distinct prion strains. Our findings suggest the absence of a causal relationship between these diseases, but further investigation is warranted.

  16. 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.

  17. Early and Non-Invasive Detection of Chronic Wasting Disease Prions in Elk Feces by Real-Time Quaking Induced Conversion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Yo Ching; Hannaoui, Samia; John, Theodore R.; Dudas, Sandor; Czub, Stefanie; Gilch, Sabine

    2016-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal prion disease of wild and captive cervids in North America. Prions are infectious agents composed of a misfolded version of a host-encoded protein, termed PrPSc. Infected cervids excrete and secrete prions, contributing to lateral transmission. Geographical distribution is expanding and case numbers in wild cervids are increasing. Recently, the first European cases of CWD have been reported in a wild reindeer and two moose from Norway. Therefore, methods to detect the infection early in the incubation time using easily available samples are desirable to facilitate effective disease management. We have adapted the real-time quaking induced conversion (RT-QuIC) assay, a sensitive in vitro prion amplification method, for pre-clinical detection of prion seeding activity in elk feces. Testing fecal samples from orally inoculated elk taken at various time points post infection revealed early shedding and detectable prion seeding activity throughout the disease course. Early shedding was also found in two elk encoding a PrP genotype associated with reduced susceptibility for CWD. In summary, we suggest that detection of CWD prions in feces by RT-QuIC may become a useful tool to support CWD surveillance in wild and captive cervids. The finding of early shedding independent of the elk’s prion protein genotype raises the question whether prolonged survival is beneficial, considering accumulation of environmental prions and its contribution to CWD transmission upon extended duration of shedding. PMID:27829062

  18. 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.

  19. Metabolic patterns in prion diseases: an FDG PET voxel-based analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Prieto, Elena; Dominguez-Prado, Ines; Jesus Ribelles, Maria; Arbizu, Javier [Clinica Universidad de Navarra, Nuclear Medicine Department, Pamplona (Spain); Riverol, Mario; Ortega-Cubero, Sara; Rosario Luquin, Maria; Castro, Purificacion de [Clinica Universidad de Navarra, Neurology Department, Pamplona (Spain)

    2015-09-15

    Clinical diagnosis of human prion diseases can be challenging since symptoms are common to other disorders associated with rapidly progressive dementia. In this context, {sup 18}F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) might be a useful complementary tool. The aim of this study was to determine the metabolic pattern in human prion diseases, particularly sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD), the new variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) and fatal familial insomnia (FFI). We retrospectively studied 17 patients with a definitive, probable or possible prion disease who underwent FDG PET in our institution. Of these patients, 12 were diagnosed as sCJD (9 definitive, 2 probable and 1 possible), 1 was diagnosed as definitive vCJD and 4 were diagnosed as definitive FFI. The hypometabolic pattern of each individual and comparisons across the groups of subjects (control subjects, sCJD and FFI) were evaluated using a voxel-based analysis. The sCJD group exhibited a pattern of hypometabolism that affected both subcortical (bilateral caudate, thalamus) and cortical (frontal cortex) structures, while the FFI group only presented a slight hypometabolism in the thalamus. Individual analysis demonstrated a considerable variability of metabolic patterns among patients, with the thalamus and basal ganglia the most frequently affected areas, combined in some cases with frontal and temporal hypometabolism. Patients with a prion disease exhibit a characteristic pattern of brain metabolism presentation in FDG PET imaging. Consequently, in patients with rapidly progressive cognitive impairment, the detection of these patterns in the FDG PET study could orient the diagnosis to a prion disease. (orig.)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. 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

  2. Presence of voltage-gated potassium channel complex antibody in a case of genetic prion disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jammoul, Adham; Lederman, Richard J; Tavee, Jinny; Li, Yuebing

    2014-06-05

    Voltage-gated potassium channel (VGKC) complex antibody-mediated encephalitis is a recently recognised entity which has been reported to mimic the clinical presentation of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). Testing for the presence of this neuronal surface autoantibody in patients presenting with subacute encephalopathy is therefore crucial as it may both revoke the bleak diagnosis of prion disease and allow institution of potentially life-saving immunotherapy. Tempering this optimistic view is the rare instance when a positive VGKC complex antibody titre occurs in a definite case of prion disease. We present a pathologically and genetically confirmed case of CJD with elevated serum VGKC complex antibody titres. This case highlights the importance of interpreting the result of a positive VGKC complex antibody with caution and in the context of the overall clinical manifestation.

  3. 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

  4. Virus Infections on Prion Diseased Mice Exacerbate Inflammatory Microglial Response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lins, Nara; Mourão, Luiz; Trévia, Nonata; Passos, Aline; Farias, José Augusto; Assunção, Jarila; Bento-Torres, João; Consentino Kronka Sosthenes, Marcia; Diniz, José Antonio Picanço; Vasconcelos, Pedro Fernando da Costa

    2016-01-01

    We investigated possible interaction between an arbovirus infection and the ME7 induced mice prion disease. C57BL/6, females, 6-week-old, were submitted to a bilateral intrahippocampal injection of ME7 prion strain (ME7) or normal brain homogenate (NBH). After injections, animals were organized into two groups: NBH (n = 26) and ME7 (n = 29). At 15th week after injections (wpi), animals were challenged intranasally with a suspension of Piry arbovirus 0.001% or with NBH. Behavioral changes in ME7 animals appeared in burrowing activity at 14 wpi. Hyperactivity on open field test, errors on rod bridge, and time reduction in inverted screen were detected at 15th, 19th, and 20th wpi respectively. Burrowing was more sensitive to earlier hippocampus dysfunction. However, Piry-infection did not significantly affect the already ongoing burrowing decline in the ME7-treated mice. After behavioral tests, brains were processed for IBA1, protease-resistant form of PrP, and Piry virus antigens. Although virus infection in isolation did not change the number of microglia in CA1, virus infection in prion diseased mice (at 17th wpi) induced changes in number and morphology of microglia in a laminar-dependent way. We suggest that virus infection exacerbates microglial inflammatory response to a greater degree in prion-infected mice, and this is not necessarily correlated with hippocampal-dependent behavioral deficits. PMID:28003864

  5. Spontaneous generation of infectious prion disease in transgenic mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, Juan-María; Castilla, Joaquín; Pintado, Belén; Gutiérrez-Adan, Alfonso; Andréoletti, Olivier; Aguilar-Calvo, Patricia; Arroba, Ana-Isabel; Parra-Arrondo, Beatriz; Ferrer, Isidro; Manzanares, Jorge; Espinosa, Juan-Carlos

    2013-12-01

    We generated transgenic mice expressing bovine cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) with a leucine substitution at codon 113 (113L). This protein is homologous to human protein with mutation 102L, and its genetic link with Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome has been established. This mutation in bovine PrP(C) causes a fully penetrant, lethal, spongiform encephalopathy. This genetic disease was transmitted by intracerebral inoculation of brain homogenate from ill mice expressing mutant bovine PrP to mice expressing wild-type bovine PrP, which indicated de novo generation of infectious prions. Our findings demonstrate that a single amino acid change in the PrP(C) sequence can induce spontaneous generation of an infectious prion disease that differs from all others identified in hosts expressing the same PrP(C) sequence. These observations support the view that a variety of infectious prion strains might spontaneously emerge in hosts displaying random genetic PrP(C) mutations.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  7. Serial propagation of distinct strains of Aβ prions from Alzheimer's disease patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watts, Joel C; Condello, Carlo; Stöhr, Jan; Oehler, Abby; Lee, Joanne; DeArmond, Stephen J; Lannfelt, Lars; Ingelsson, Martin; Giles, Kurt; Prusiner, Stanley B

    2014-07-15

    An increasing number of studies argues that self-propagating protein conformations (i.e., prions) feature in the pathogenesis of several common neurodegenerative diseases. Mounting evidence contends that aggregates of the amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide become self-propagating in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. An important characteristic of prions is their ability to replicate distinct strains, the biological information for which is enciphered within different conformations of protein aggregates. To investigate whether distinct strains of Aβ prions can be discerned in AD patients, we performed transmission studies in susceptible transgenic mice using brain homogenates from sporadic or heritable (Arctic and Swedish) AD cases. Mice inoculated with the Arctic AD sample exhibited a pathology that could be distinguished from mice inoculated with the Swedish or sporadic AD samples, which was judged by differential accumulation of Aβ isoforms and the morphology of cerebrovascular Aβ deposition. Unlike Swedish AD- or sporadic AD-inoculated animals, Arctic AD-inoculated mice, like Arctic AD patients, displayed a prominent Aβ38-containing cerebral amyloid angiopathy. The divergent transmission behavior of the Arctic AD sample compared with the Swedish and sporadic AD samples was maintained during second passage in mice, showing that Aβ strains are serially transmissible. We conclude that at least two distinct strains of Aβ prions can be discerned in the brains of AD patients and that strain fidelity was preserved on serial passage in mice. Our results provide a potential explanation for the clinical and pathological heterogeneity observed in AD patients.

  8. Defining the conformational features of anchorless, poorly neuroinvasive prions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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 ...

  11. Simulations of Oligomeric Intermediates in Prion Diseases

    CERN Document Server

    Mobley, D L; Singh, R R P; Kulkarni, R V; Slepoy, A; Mobley, David L.; Cox, Daniel L.; Singh, Rajiv R. P.; Kulkarni, Rahul V.; Slepoy, Alexander

    2003-01-01

    We extend our previous stochastic cellular automata based model for areal aggregation of prion proteins on neuronal surfaces. The new anisotropic model allow us to simulate both strong beta-sheet and weaker attachment bonds between proteins. Constraining binding directions allows us to generate aggregate structures with the hexagonal lattice symmetry found in recently observed in vitro experiments. We argue that these constraints on rules may correspond to underlying steric constraints on the aggregation process. We find that monomer dominated growth of the areal aggregate is too slow to account for some observed doubling time-to-incubation time ratios inferred from data, and so consider aggregation dominated by relatively stable but non-infectious oligomeric intermediates. We compare a kinetic theory analysis of oligomeric aggregation to spatially explicit simulations of the process. We find that with suitable rules for misfolding of oligomers, possibly due to water exclusion by the surrounding aggregate, th...

  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. Increased Abundance of M Cells in the Gut Epithelium Dramatically Enhances Oral Prion Disease Susceptibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donaldson, David S; Sehgal, Anuj; Rios, Daniel; Williams, Ifor R; Mabbott, Neil A

    2016-12-01

    Many natural prion diseases of humans and animals are considered to be acquired through oral consumption of contaminated food or pasture. Determining the route by which prions establish host infection will identify the important factors that influence oral prion disease susceptibility and to which intervention strategies can be developed. After exposure, the early accumulation and replication of prions within small intestinal Peyer's patches is essential for the efficient spread of disease to the brain. To replicate within Peyer's patches, the prions must first cross the gut epithelium. M cells are specialised epithelial cells within the epithelia covering Peyer's patches that transcytose particulate antigens and microorganisms. M cell-development is dependent upon RANKL-RANK-signalling, and mice in which RANK is deleted only in the gut epithelium completely lack M cells. In the specific absence of M cells in these mice, the accumulation of prions within Peyer's patches and the spread of disease to the brain was blocked, demonstrating a critical role for M cells in the initial transfer of prions across the gut epithelium in order to establish host infection. Since pathogens, inflammatory stimuli and aging can modify M cell-density in the gut, these factors may also influence oral prion disease susceptibility. Mice were therefore treated with RANKL to enhance M cell density in the gut. We show that prion uptake from the gut lumen was enhanced in RANKL-treated mice, resulting in shortened survival times and increased disease susceptibility, equivalent to a 10-fold higher infectious titre of prions. Together these data demonstrate that M cells are the critical gatekeepers of oral prion infection, whose density in the gut epithelium directly limits or enhances disease susceptibility. Our data suggest that factors which alter M cell-density in the gut epithelium may be important risk factors which influence host susceptibility to orally acquired prion diseases.

  14. The Features of Genetic Prion Diseases Based on Chinese Surveillance Program.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qi Shi

    Full Text Available To identify the features of Chinese genetic prion diseases.Suspected Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD cases that were reported under CJD surveillance were diagnosed and subtyped using the diagnostic criteria issued by the WHO. The general information concerning the patient, their clinical, MRI and EEG data, and the results of CSF 14-3-3 and PRNP sequencing were carefully collected from the database of the national CJD surveillance program and analyzed using the SPSS 11.5 statistical software program.Since 2006, 69 patients were diagnosed with genetic prion diseases and as having 15 different mutations. The median age of the 69 patients at disease onset was 53.5 years, varying from 19 to 80 years. The majority of patients displaying clinical symptoms were in the 50-59 years of age. FFI, T188K gCJD and E200K were the three most common subtypes. The disease appeared in the family histories of 43.48% of the patients. The clinical manifestations varied considerably among the various diseases. Patients who carried mutations in the N-terminus displayed a younger age of onset, were CSF 14-3-3 negative, had a family history of the condition, and experienced a longer duration of the condition. The clinical courses of T188K were significantly shorter than those of FFI and E200K gCJD, while the symptoms in the FFI group appeared at a younger age and for a longer duration. Moreover, the time intervals between the initial neurologist visit to the final diagnosis were similar among patients with FFI, T188K gCJD, E200K gCJD and other diseases.The features of Chinese genetic prion diseases are different from those seen in Europe and other Asian countries.

  15. Searching for Factors that Distinguish Disease-Prone and Disease-Resistant Prions via Sequence Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lukasz Kurgan

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available The exact mechanisms of prion misfolding and factors that predispose an individual to prion diseases are largely unknown. Our approach to identifying candidate factors in-silico relies on contrasting the C-terminal domain of PrPC sequences from two groups of vertebrate species: those that have been found to suffer from prion diseases, and those that have not. We propose that any significant differences between the two groups are candidate factors that may predispose individuals to develop prion disease, which should be further analyzed by wet-lab investigations. Using an array of computational methods we identified possible point mutations that could predispose PrPC to misfold into PrPSc. Our results include confirmatory findings such as the V210I mutation, and new findings including P137M, G142D, G142N, D144P, K185T, V189I, H187Y and T191P mutations, which could impact structural stability. We also propose new hypotheses that give insights into the stability of helix-2 and -3. These include destabilizing effects of Histidine and T188-T193 segment in helix-2 in the disease-prone prions, and a stabilizing effect of Leucine on helix-3 in the disease-resistant prions.

  16. 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...

  17. The human prion diseases. A review with special emphasis on new variant CJD and comments on surveillance.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Keohane, C

    2012-02-03

    The transmissible spongiform encephalopathies or prion diseases represent a new group of diseases with unique clinical and neuropathological features, the transmission of which is both genetic and infectious. The responsible agent is unconventional and appears to be largely composed of a glycoprotein, the prion protein PrP. This is normally present on different cells. In prion diseases, it becomes converted to the pathogenic form PrPres which is resistant to proteinase and accumulates within the brain and this process is accompanied by the development of spongiform change, gliosis and neuronal loss. The human prion diseases include Kuru a progressive cerebellar degeneration with late dementia affecting Fore tribes in New-Guinea, now almost extinct, regarded as being related to cannibalism. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is the more frequent human prion disease. Its incidence is approximately one case per million per year. Four variants are now recognized: sporadic, familial, iatrogenic and the new variant. The latter represents a distinct clinico-pathological entity. It is now widely accepted that it is due to the same agent responsible for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy in cattle. Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker disease is a very rare inherited disorder due to a number of different mutations in the PRP gene, characterized by abundant deposits of plaque PrPres in the cerebral grey matter. Fatal familial insomnia is another inherited disorder due to a mutation at codon 178 of the PRP gene associated with methionine on codon 129 of the mutant allele. The main neuropathological change is neuronal loss in the thalamus with little or no spongiosis and usually no PrPres deposition. Following the emergence of new variant CJD in 1996, surveillance of all forms of prion diseases has been now been actively introduced in many European nations in order to determine the true incidence and geographic distribution of these rare disorders in humans.

  18. Infectious Prions in the Saliva and Blood of Deer with Chronic Wasting Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathiason, Candace K.; Powers, Jenny G.; Dahmes, Sallie J.; Osborn, David A.; Miller, Karl V.; Warren, Robert J.; Mason, Gary L.; Hays, Sheila A.; Hayes-Klug, Jeanette; Seelig, Davis M.; Wild, Margaret A.; Wolfe, Lisa L.; Spraker, Terry R.; Miller, Michael W.; Sigurdson, Christina J.; Telling, Glenn C.; Hoover, Edward A.

    2006-10-01

    A critical concern in the transmission of prion diseases, including chronic wasting disease (CWD) of cervids, is the potential presence of prions in body fluids. To address this issue directly, we exposed cohorts of CWD-naïve deer to saliva, blood, or urine and feces from CWD-positive deer. We found infectious prions capable of transmitting CWD in saliva (by the oral route) and in blood (by transfusion). The results help to explain the facile transmission of CWD among cervids and prompt caution concerning contact with body fluids in prion infections.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiangzhu Xiao

    Full Text Available 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 variably protease-sensitive prionopathy (VPSPr is the absence of a diglycosylated form, also notable in familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (fCJD, which is linked to mutations in PrP either from Val to Ile at residue 180 (fCJD(V180I or from Thr to Ala at residue 183 (fCJD(T183A. Here we report that fCJD(V180I, but not fCJD(T183A, exhibits a proteinase K (PK-resistant PrP (PrP(res that is markedly similar to that observed in VPSPr, which exhibits a five-step ladder-like electrophoretic profile, a molecular hallmark of VPSPr. Remarkably, the absence of the diglycosylated PrP(res species in both fCJD(V180I and VPSPr is likewise attributable to the absence of PrP(res glycosylated at the first N-linked glycosylation site at residue 181, as in fCJD(T183A. In contrast to fCJD(T183A, both VPSPr and fCJD(V180I exhibit glycosylation at residue 181 on di- and monoglycosylated (mono181 PrP prior to PK-treatment. Furthermore, PrP(V180I with a typical glycoform profile from cultured cells generates detectable PrP(res that also contains the diglycosylated PrP in addition to mono- and unglycosylated forms upon PK-treatment. Taken together, our current in vivo and in vitro studies indicate that sporadic VPSPr and familial CJD(V180I share a unique glycoform-selective prion formation pathway in which the conversion of diglycosylated and mono181 PrP(C to PrP(Sc is inhibited, probably by a dominant-negative effect, or by other co-factors.

  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. [Doctor Francoise Cathala and history of prions diseases].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Court, L; Hauw, J-J

    2015-12-01

    Doctor Françoise Cathala Pagesy, MD, MS, born on July 7, 1921 in Paris, passed away peacefully at home on November 5, 2012. Unconventional, passionate and enthusiastic neurologist and virologist, she devoted her life to research on latent and slow viral infections, specializing mainly on unconventional transmissible agents or prions. As a research member of Inserm (French Institute for Medical Research), she soon joined the team of Carlton Gajdusek (the NINCDS - National Institute of Nervous Central System and Stroke - of NIH), who first demonstrated the transmissibility of kuru and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease to monkeys. When she came back to Paris, where she was followed by one of NIH members, Paul Brown, she joined the Centre de Recherches du Service de Santé des Armées (Army Health Research Center), in Percy-Clamart, where she found the experimental design and the attentive help needed for her research, which appeared heretical to many French virologists, including some authorities. A large number of research programs were set up with numerous collaborations involving CEA (Center for Atomic Energy) and other institutions in Paris and Marseilles on epidemiology, results of tissue inoculation, electrophysiology and neuropathology of human and animal prions diseases, and resistance of the infectious agent. International symposia were set up, where met, in the Val-de-Grâce hospital in Paris, the research community on "slow viral diseases". Stanley Prusiner introduced the concept - then badly accepted and still in evolution - of prion, a protein only infectious agent. Before retiring from Inserm, Françoise Cathala predicted and was involved in some of the huge sanitary crises in France. These were, first, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease from contaminated growth hormone extracted from cadavers, which led parents to instigate legal procedure - a quite unusual practice in France. The second was Mad cow disease in the United Kingdom then in France, followed by new variant

  2. Prominent pancreatic endocrinopathy and altered control of food intake disrupt energy homeostasis in prion diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, J.D.; Berardinelli, J.G.; Rocke, T.E.; Bessen, R.A.

    2008-01-01

    Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative diseases that can induce endocrinopathies. The basis of altered endocrine function in prion diseases is not well understood, and the purpose of this study was to investigate the spatiotemporal relationship between energy homeostasis and prion infection in hamsters inoculated with either the 139H strain of scrapie agent, which induces preclinical weight gain, or the HY strain of transmissible mink encephalopathy (TME), which induces clinical weight loss. Temporal changes in body weight, feed, and water intake were measured as well as both non-fasted and fasted concentrations of serum glucose, insulin, glucagon, ??-ketones, and leptin. In 139H scrapie-infected hamsters, polydipsia, hyperphagia, non-fasted hyperinsulinemia with hyperglycemia, and fasted hyperleptinemia were found at preclinical stages and are consistent with an anabolic syndrome that has similarities to type II diabetes mellitus and/or metabolic syndrome X. In HY TME-infected hamsters, hypodipsia, hypersecretion of glucagon (in both non-fasted and fasted states), increased fasted ??-ketones, fasted hypoglycemia, and suppressed non-fasted leptin concentrations were found while feed intake was normal. These findings suggest a severe catabolic syndrome in HY TME infection mediated by chronic increases in glucagon secretion. In both models, alterations of pancreatic endocrine function were not associated with PrPSc deposition in the pancreas. The results indicate that prominent endocrinopathy underlies alterations in body weight, pancreatic endocrine function, and intake of food. The prion-induced alterations of energy homeostasis in 139H scrapie- or HY TME-infected hamsters could occur within areas of the hypothalamus that control food satiety and/or within autonomic centers that provide neural outflow to the pancreas. ?? 2008 Society for Endocrinology.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Transgenic fatal familial insomnia mice indicate prion infectivity-independent mechanisms of pathogenesis and phenotypic expression of disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ihssane Bouybayoune

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Fatal familial insomnia (FFI and a genetic form of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD178 are clinically different prion disorders linked to the D178N prion protein (PrP mutation. The disease phenotype is determined by the 129 M/V polymorphism on the mutant allele, which is thought to influence D178N PrP misfolding, leading to the formation of distinctive prion strains with specific neurotoxic properties. However, the mechanism by which misfolded variants of mutant PrP cause different diseases is not known. We generated transgenic (Tg mice expressing the mouse PrP homolog of the FFI mutation. These mice synthesize a misfolded form of mutant PrP in their brains and develop a neurological illness with severe sleep disruption, highly reminiscent of FFI and different from that of analogously generated Tg(CJD mice modeling CJD178. No prion infectivity was detectable in Tg(FFI and Tg(CJD brains by bioassay or protein misfolding cyclic amplification, indicating that mutant PrP has disease-encoding properties that do not depend on its ability to propagate its misfolded conformation. Tg(FFI and Tg(CJD neurons have different patterns of intracellular PrP accumulation associated with distinct morphological abnormalities of the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi, suggesting that mutation-specific alterations of secretory transport may contribute to the disease phenotype.

  6. Transgenic fatal familial insomnia mice indicate prion infectivity-independent mechanisms of pathogenesis and phenotypic expression of disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouybayoune, Ihssane; Mantovani, Susanna; Del Gallo, Federico; Bertani, Ilaria; Restelli, Elena; Comerio, Liliana; Tapella, Laura; Baracchi, Francesca; Fernández-Borges, Natalia; Mangieri, Michela; Bisighini, Cinzia; Beznoussenko, Galina V; Paladini, Alessandra; Balducci, Claudia; Micotti, Edoardo; Forloni, Gianluigi; Castilla, Joaquín; Fiordaliso, Fabio; Tagliavini, Fabrizio; Imeri, Luca; Chiesa, Roberto

    2015-04-01

    Fatal familial insomnia (FFI) and a genetic form of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD178) are clinically different prion disorders linked to the D178N prion protein (PrP) mutation. The disease phenotype is determined by the 129 M/V polymorphism on the mutant allele, which is thought to influence D178N PrP misfolding, leading to the formation of distinctive prion strains with specific neurotoxic properties. However, the mechanism by which misfolded variants of mutant PrP cause different diseases is not known. We generated transgenic (Tg) mice expressing the mouse PrP homolog of the FFI mutation. These mice synthesize a misfolded form of mutant PrP in their brains and develop a neurological illness with severe sleep disruption, highly reminiscent of FFI and different from that of analogously generated Tg(CJD) mice modeling CJD178. No prion infectivity was detectable in Tg(FFI) and Tg(CJD) brains by bioassay or protein misfolding cyclic amplification, indicating that mutant PrP has disease-encoding properties that do not depend on its ability to propagate its misfolded conformation. Tg(FFI) and Tg(CJD) neurons have different patterns of intracellular PrP accumulation associated with distinct morphological abnormalities of the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi, suggesting that mutation-specific alterations of secretory transport may contribute to the disease phenotype.

  7. Tau prions from Alzheimer's disease and chronic traumatic encephalopathy patients propagate in cultured cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woerman, Amanda L; Aoyagi, Atsushi; Patel, Smita; Kazmi, Sabeen A; Lobach, Iryna; Grinberg, Lea T; McKee, Ann C; Seeley, William W; Olson, Steven H; Prusiner, Stanley B

    2016-12-13

    Tau prions are thought to aggregate in the central nervous system, resulting in neurodegeneration. Among the tauopathies, Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common, whereas argyrophilic grain disease (AGD), corticobasal degeneration (CBD), chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), Pick's disease (PiD), and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) are less prevalent. Brain extracts from deceased individuals with PiD, a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by three-repeat (3R) tau prions, were used to infect HEK293T cells expressing 3R tau fused to yellow fluorescent protein (YFP). Extracts from AGD, CBD, and PSP patient samples, which contain four-repeat (4R) tau prions, were transmitted to HEK293 cells expressing 4R tau fused to YFP. These studies demonstrated that prion propagation in HEK cells requires isoform pairing between the infecting prion and the recipient substrate. Interestingly, tau aggregates in AD and CTE, containing both 3R and 4R isoforms, were unable to robustly infect either 3R- or 4R-expressing cells. However, AD and CTE prions were able to replicate in HEK293T cells expressing both 3R and 4R tau. Unexpectedly, increasing the level of 4R isoform expression alone supported the propagation of both AD and CTE prions. These results allowed us to determine the levels of tau prions in AD and CTE brain extracts.

  8. Prion-Seeding Activity Is widely Distributed in Tissues of Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanae Takatsuki, PhD

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Human prion diseases are neurodegenerative disorders caused by abnormally folded prion proteins in the central nervous system. These proteins can be detected using the quaking-induced conversion assay. Compared with other bioassays, this assay is extremely sensitive and was used in the present study to determine prion distribution in sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease patients at autopsy. Although infectivity of the sporadic form is thought to be restricted within the central nervous system, results showed that prion-seeding activities reach 106/g from a 50% seeding dose in non-neuronal tissues, suggesting that prion-seeding activity exists in non-neural organs, and we suggested that non-neural tissues of 106/g SD50 did not exist the infectivity.

  9. 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

  10. The research progress of prion diseases%朊病毒病的研究进展

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    卢韦华琳

    2013-01-01

      朊病毒病是一类由朊病毒引起的致死性神经退行性疾病,对人类社会的危害日益明显。本文就朊病毒病的致病机制、检测及治疗的研究进展做一综述。%Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative diseases caused by prions,the harm to the human society is increasingly evident.This article do a review on the pathogenic mechanisms、 detection and treatment of prion diseases.

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Emerging prion disease drives host selection in a wildlife population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Stacie J; Samuel, Michael D; Johnson, Chad J; Adams, Marie; McKenzie, Debbie I

    2012-04-01

    Infectious diseases are increasingly recognized as an important force driving population dynamics, conservation biology, and natural selection in wildlife populations. Infectious agents have been implicated in the decline of small or endangered populations and may act to constrain population size, distribution, growth rates, or migration patterns. Further, diseases may provide selective pressures that shape the genetic diversity of populations or species. Thus, understanding disease dynamics and selective pressures from pathogens is crucial to understanding population processes, managing wildlife diseases, and conserving biological diversity. There is ample evidence that variation in the prion protein gene (PRNP) impacts host susceptibility to prion diseases. Still, little is known about how genetic differences might influence natural selection within wildlife populations. Here we link genetic variation with differential susceptibility of white-tailed deer to chronic wasting disease (CWD), with implications for fitness and disease-driven genetic selection. We developed a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) assay to efficiently genotype deer at the locus of interest (in the 96th codon of the PRNP gene). Then, using a Bayesian modeling approach, we found that the more susceptible genotype had over four times greater risk of CWD infection; and, once infected, deer with the resistant genotype survived 49% longer (8.25 more months). We used these epidemiological parameters in a multi-stage population matrix model to evaluate relative fitness based on genotype-specific population growth rates. The differences in disease infection and mortality rates allowed genetically resistant deer to achieve higher population growth and obtain a long-term fitness advantage, which translated into a selection coefficient of over 1% favoring the CWD-resistant genotype. This selective pressure suggests that the resistant allele could become dominant in the population within an

  15. "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.

  16. Utilizing NMR and EPR spectroscopy to probe the role of copper in prion diseases

    KAUST Repository

    Emwas, Abdul-Hamid M.

    2013-02-24

    Copper is an essential nutrient for the normal development of the brain and nervous system, although the hallmark of several neurological diseases is a change in copper concentrations in the brain and central nervous system. Prion protein (PrP) is a copper-binding, cell-surface glycoprotein that exists in two alternatively folded conformations: a normal isoform (PrPC) and a disease-associated isoform (PrPSc). Prion diseases are a group of lethal neurodegenerative disorders that develop as a result of conformational conversion of PrPC into PrPSc. The pathogenic mechanism that triggers this conformational transformation with the subsequent development of prion diseases remains unclear. It has, however, been shown repeatedly that copper plays a significant functional role in the conformational conversion of prion proteins. In this review, we focus on current research that seeks to clarify the conformational changes associated with prion diseases and the role of copper in this mechanism, with emphasis on the latest applications of NMR and EPR spectroscopy to probe the interactions of copper with prion proteins. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  17. Implications of prion adaptation and evolution paradigm for human neurodegenerative diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kabir, M Enamul; Safar, Jiri G

    2014-01-01

    There is a growing body of evidence indicating that number of human neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, fronto-temporal dementias, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, propagate in the brain via prion-like intercellular induction of protein misfolding. Prions cause lethal neurodegenerative diseases in humans, the most prevalent being sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD); they self-replicate and spread by converting the cellular form of prion protein (PrP(C)) to a misfolded pathogenic conformer (PrP(Sc)). The extensive phenotypic heterogeneity of human prion diseases is determined by polymorphisms in the prion protein gene, and by prion strain-specific conformation of PrP(Sc). Remarkably, even though informative nucleic acid is absent, prions may undergo rapid adaptation and evolution in cloned cells and upon crossing the species barrier. In the course of our investigation of this process, we isolated distinct populations of PrP(Sc) particles that frequently co-exist in sCJD. The human prion particles replicate independently and undergo competitive selection of those with lower initial conformational stability. Exposed to mutant substrate, the winning PrP(Sc) conformers are subject to further evolution by natural selection of the subpopulation with the highest replication rate due to the lowest stability. Thus, the evolution and adaptation of human prions is enabled by a dynamic collection of distinct populations of particles, whose evolution is governed by the selection of progressively less stable, faster replicating PrP(Sc) conformers. This fundamental biological mechanism may explain the drug resistance that some prions gained after exposure to compounds targeting PrP(Sc). Whether the phenotypic heterogeneity of other neurodegenerative diseases caused by protein misfolding is determined by the spectrum of misfolded conformers (strains) remains to be established. However, the prospect that these conformers may evolve and

  18. BSE inoculation to prion diseases-resistant sheep reveals tricky silent carriers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronzon, Frédéric; Bencsik, Anna; Lezmi, Stéphane; Vulin, Johann; Kodjo, Angeli; Baron, Thierry

    2006-12-01

    The possible transmission of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) agent to sheep contributed to select genetically sheep considered as resistant to prion diseases i.e., with PrP ARR/ARR genotype. Here, we report the infection of two PrP ARR/ARR genotype sheep using the cattle BSE agent inoculated by peripheral routes. Disease-associated prion protein (PrP(d)) was detected in the brain for one case (at 2191 days post-infection (dpi)) and only in the nervous enteric system for the other one (at 673dpi). The electrophoretic pattern of PrP(d) from the obex region in this BSE challenged sheep was shown to be closer from that found in naturally scrapie-affected sheep with regard to the apparent molecular mass of the unglycosylated PrP(d). Importantly, the absence of any clinical symptoms up to 6 years following experimental challenge suggests that silent carriers of the BSE agent may exist among ARR homozygous sheep.

  19. Sod1 deficiency reduces incubation time in mouse models of prion disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaheen Akhtar

    Full Text Available Prion infections, causing neurodegenerative conditions such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and kuru in humans, scrapie in sheep and BSE in cattle are characterised by prolonged and variable incubation periods that are faithfully reproduced in mouse models. Incubation time is partly determined by genetic factors including polymorphisms in the prion protein gene. Quantitative trait loci studies in mice and human genome-wide association studies have confirmed that multiple genes are involved. Candidate gene approaches have also been used and identified App, Il1-r1 and Sod1 as affecting incubation times. In this study we looked for an association between App, Il1-r1 and Sod1 representative SNPs and prion disease incubation time in the Northport heterogeneous stock of mice inoculated with the Chandler/RML prion strain. No association was seen with App, however, significant associations were seen with Il1-r1 (P = 0.02 and Sod1 (P<0.0001 suggesting that polymorphisms at these loci contribute to the natural variation observed in incubation time. Furthermore, following challenge with Chandler/RML, ME7 and MRC2 prion strains, Sod1 deficient mice showed highly significant reductions in incubation time of 20, 13 and 24%, respectively. No differences were detected in Sod1 expression or activity. Our data confirm the protective role of endogenous Sod1 in prion disease.

  20. 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.

  1. Meat and bone meal and mineral feed additives may increase the risk of oral prion disease transmission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Christopher J.; McKenzie, Debbie; Pedersen, Joel A.; Aiken, Judd M.

    2011-01-01

    Ingestion of prion-contaminated materials is postulated to be a primary route of prion disease transmission. Binding of prions to soil (micro)particles dramatically enhances peroral disease transmission relative to unbound prions, and it was hypothesized that micrometer-sized particles present in other consumed materials may affect prion disease transmission via the oral route of exposure. Small, insoluble particles are present in many substances, including soil, human foods, pharmaceuticals, and animal feeds. It is known that meat and bone meal (MBM), a feed additive believed responsible for the spread of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), contains particles smaller than 20 μm and that the pathogenic prion protein binds to MBM. The potentiation of disease transmission via the oral route by exposure to MBM or three micrometer-sized mineral feed additives was determined. Data showed that when the disease agent was bound to any of the tested materials, the penetrance of disease was increased compared to unbound prions. Our data suggest that in feed or other prion-contaminated substances consumed by animals or, potentially, humans, the addition of MBM or the presence of microparticles could heighten risks of prion disease acquisition.

  2. Meat and bone meal and mineral feed additives may increase the risk of oral prion disease transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Christopher J; McKenzie, Debbie; Pedersen, Joel A; Aiken, Judd M

    2011-01-01

    Ingestion of prion-contaminated materials is postulated to be a primary route of prion disease transmission. Binding of prions to soil (micro)particles dramatically enhances peroral disease transmission relative to unbound prions, and it was hypothesized that micrometer-sized particles present in other consumed materials may affect prion disease transmission via the oral route of exposure. Small, insoluble particles are present in many substances, including soil, human foods, pharmaceuticals, and animal feeds. It is known that meat and bone meal (MBM), a feed additive believed responsible for the spread of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), contains particles smaller than 20 μm and that the pathogenic prion protein binds to MBM. The potentiation of disease transmission via the oral route by exposure to MBM or three micrometer-sized mineral feed additives was determined. Data showed that when the disease agent was bound to any of the tested materials, the penetrance of disease was increased compared to unbound prions. Our data suggest that in feed or other prion-contaminated substances consumed by animals or, potentially, humans, the addition of MBM or the presence of microparticles could heighten risks of prion disease acquisition.

  3. 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.

  4. Detection of Chronic Wasting Disease Prions in Salivary, Urinary, and Intestinal Tissues of Deer: Potential Mechanisms of Prion Shedding and Transmission▿

    OpenAIRE

    Haley, Nicholas J.; Mathiason, Candace K.; Carver, Scott; Zabel, Mark; Glenn C. Telling; Hoover, Edward A.

    2011-01-01

    Efficient horizontal transmission is a signature trait of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in cervids. Infectious prions shed into excreta appear to play a key role in this facile transmission, as has been demonstrated by bioassays of cervid and transgenic species and serial protein misfolding cyclic amplification (sPMCA). However, the source(s) of infectious prions in these body fluids has yet to be identified. In the present study, we analyzed tissues proximate to saliva, urine, and fecal prod...

  5. [Comments on present-day spread and epidemiology of BSE and prion diseases].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodemer, W; Kaup, F-J

    2004-02-01

    Prion diseases of animals and man are neurological diseases with amyloidal deposition of the respective proteins. As to prion disease, the cellular prion protein is in its abnormal isoform(s) an essential component of prion protein aggregates found in affected tissue. In contrast to all neurodegenerative diseases like Morbus Alzheimer or Huntington's disease, prion diseases are transmissible. Therefore, prion diseases were designated Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSE). The diseases have been well known for decades. Scrapie was first described around 1750, a BSE case was reported in the 1850-ties most likely a misdiagnosis, and in 1920/1930 the human Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) had been described. Transmission of CJD i. e. Kuru had been suspected in the early 1950 s and was erroneously classified as slow virus disease. The CJD transmission posed a problem to humans when transplants from CJD cases were used for treatment. Fortunately, these iatrogenic transmissions remained limited. But with the advent of BSE and appearance of variant CJD cases in the UK and some places in Europe scientists suspected that transmission from cattle to man could have happened. From animal models we know of successful transmission via several routes. Species barriers do not completely prevent transmission. Rather, transmission barriers might exist controlling individual susceptibility against prions. Modes of transmission, susceptibility to transmission, identification of receptor molecules as well as molecular mechanisms of the transmission process are being investigated with great intensity. Current knowledge leads us to assume that inapparent stages of prion infection wrongly suggest a (non-existent) species barrier. This inapparent infection precedes overt disease, and, hence, most research focuses on the development of highly sensitive assay systems for detection of minute amounts of pathological prion protein in suspected cases. Inapparence also should warn us to

  6. Can plants serve as a vector for prions causing chronic wasting disease?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasmussen, Jay; Gilroyed, Brandon H; Reuter, Tim; Dudas, Sandor; Neumann, Norman F; Balachandran, Aru; Kav, Nat N V; Graham, Catherine; Czub, Stefanie; McAllister, Tim A

    2014-01-01

    Prions, the causative agent of chronic wasting disease (CWD) enter the environment through shedding of bodily fluids and carcass decay, posing a disease risk as a result of their environmental persistence. Plants have the ability to take up large organic particles, including whole proteins, and microbes. This study used wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) to investigate the uptake of infectious CWD prions into roots and their transport into aerial tissues. The roots of intact wheat plants were exposed to infectious prions (PrP(TSE)) for 24 h in three replicate studies with PrP(TSE) in protein extracts being detected by western blot, IDEXX and Bio-Rad diagnostic tests. Recombinant prion protein (PrP(C)) bound to roots, but was not detected in the stem or leaves. Protease-digested CWD prions (PrP(TSE)) in elk brain homogenate interacted with root tissue, but were not detected in the stem. This suggests wheat was unable to transport sufficient PrP(TSE) from the roots to the stem to be detectable by the methods employed. Undigested PrP(TSE) did not associate with roots. The present study suggests that if prions are transported from the roots to the stems it is at levels that are below those that are detectable by western blot, IDEXX or Bio-Rad diagnostic kits.

  7. A novel form of human disease with a protease-sensitive prion protein and heterozygosity methionine/valine at codon 129: Case report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bilbao Miren J

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD is a rare neurodegenerative disorder in humans included in the group of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies or prion diseases. The vast majority of sCJD cases are molecularly classified according to the abnormal prion protein (PrPSc conformations along with polymorphism of codon 129 of the PRNP gene. Recently, a novel human disease, termed "protease-sensitive prionopathy", has been described. This disease shows a distinct clinical and neuropathological phenotype and it is associated to an abnormal prion protein more sensitive to protease digestion. Case presentation We report the case of a 75-year-old-man who developed a clinical course and presented pathologic lesions compatible with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and biochemical findings reminiscent of "protease-sensitive prionopathy". Neuropathological examinations revealed spongiform change mainly affecting the cerebral cortex, putamen/globus pallidus and thalamus, accompanied by mild astrocytosis and microgliosis, with slight involvement of the cerebellum. Confluent vacuoles were absent. Diffuse synaptic PrP deposits in these regions were largely removed following proteinase treatment. PrP deposition, as revealed with 3F4 and 1E4 antibodies, was markedly sensitive to pre-treatment with proteinase K. Molecular analysis of PrPSc showed an abnormal prion protein more sensitive to proteinase K digestion, with a five-band pattern of 28, 24, 21, 19, and 16 kDa, and three aglycosylated isoforms of 19, 16 and 6 kDa. This PrPSc was estimated to be 80% susceptible to digestion while the pathogenic prion protein associated with classical forms of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease were only 2% (type VV2 and 23% (type MM1 susceptible. No mutations in the PRNP gene were found and genotype for codon 129 was heterozygous methionine/valine. Conclusions A novel form of human disease with abnormal prion protein sensitive to protease and

  8. 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

  9. Phosphatidylinositol-glycan-phospholipase D is involved in neurodegeneration in prion disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jae-Kwang Jin

    Full Text Available PrPSc is formed from a normal glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI-anchored prion protein (PrPC by a posttranslational modification. Most GPI-anchored proteins have been shown to be cleaved by GPI phospholipases. Recently, GPI-phospholipase D (GPI-PLD was shown to be a strictly specific enzyme for GPI anchors. To investigate the involvement of GPI-PLD in the processes of neurodegeneration in prion diseases, we examined the mRNA and protein expression levels of GPI-PLD in the brains of a prion animal model (scrapie, and in both the brains and cerebrospinal fluids (CSF of sporadic and familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD patients. We found that compared with controls, the expression of GPI-PLD was dramatically down-regulated in the brains of scrapie-infected mice, especially in the caveolin-enriched membrane fractions. Interestingly, the observed decrease in GPI-PLD expression levels began at the same time that PrPSc began to accumulate in the infected brains and this decrease was also observed in both the brain and CSF of CJD patients; however, no differences in expression were observed in either the brains or CSF specimens from Alzheimer's disease patients. Taken together, these results suggest that the down-regulation of GPI-PLD protein may be involved in prion propagation in the brains of prion diseases.

  10. Structure-Based Drug Discovery for Prion Disease Using a Novel Binding Simulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daisuke Ishibashi

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The accumulation of abnormal prion protein (PrPSc converted from the normal cellular isoform of PrP (PrPC is assumed to induce pathogenesis in prion diseases. Therefore, drug discovery studies for these diseases have focused on the protein conversion process. We used a structure-based drug discovery algorithm (termed Nagasaki University Docking Engine: NUDE that ran on an intensive supercomputer with a graphic-processing unit to identify several compounds with anti-prion effects. Among the candidates showing a high-binding score, the compounds exhibited direct interaction with recombinant PrP in vitro, and drastically reduced PrPSc and protein-aggresomes in the prion-infected cells. The fragment molecular orbital calculation showed that the van der Waals interaction played a key role in PrPC binding as the intermolecular interaction mode. Furthermore, PrPSc accumulation and microgliosis were significantly reduced in the brains of treated mice, suggesting that the drug candidates provided protection from prion disease, although further in vivo tests are needed to confirm these findings. This NUDE-based structure-based drug discovery for normal protein structures is likely useful for the development of drugs to treat other conformational disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease.

  11. 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

  12. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Dendritic Cells during Prion Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neil Andrew Mabbott

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Prions are a unique group of proteinaceous pathogens which cause neurodegenerative disease and can be transmitted by a variety of exposure routes. After peripheral exposure, the accumulation and replication of prions within secondary lymphoid organs are obligatory for their efficient spread from the periphery to the brain where they ultimately cause neurodegeneration and death. Mononuclear phagocytes (MNP are a heterogeneous population of dendritic cells (DC and macrophages. These cells are abundant throughout the body and display a diverse range of roles based on their anatomical locations. For example, some MNP are strategically situated to provide a first line of defence against pathogens by phagocytosing and destroying them. Conventional DC are potent antigen presenting cells and migrate via the lymphatics to the draining lymphoid tissue where they present the antigens to lymphocytes. The diverse roles of MNP are also reflected in various ways in which they interact with prions and in doing so impact on disease pathogenesis. Indeed, some studies suggest that prions exploit conventional DC to infect the host. Here we review our current understanding of the influence of MNP in the pathogenesis of the acquired prion diseases with particular emphasis on the role of conventional DC.

  13. Potential contribution of exosomes to the prion-like propagation of lesions in Alzheimer’s disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valerie eVingtdeux

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Since the discovery of prion diseases, the concept that a transmissible pathogen could be a protein has emerged. As such, this transmissible protein agent can transfer its pathological mis-folded shape to the same but normally folded protein thus leading to the propagation of a disease. This idea is now extrapolate to several neurological diseases associated with protein mis-folding and aggregation, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease (AD is a slowly developing dementing disease characterized by the coexistence of two types of lesions: the parenchymal amyloid deposits and the intraneuronal neurofibrillary tangles (NFT. Amyloid deposits are composed of amyloid-beta peptides that derive from sequential cleavages of its precursor named amyloid protein precursor. Neurofibrillary tangle is characterized by intraneuronal aggregation of abnormally modified microtubule-associated Tau proteins. A synergistic relationship between the two lesions may trigger the progression of the disease. Thus, starting in the medial temporal lobe and slowly progressing through temporal, frontal, parietal and occipital cortex, the progression of NFT is well correlated with clinical expression of the disease. However, little is known about the mechanism driving the spatiotemporal propagation of these lesions ultimately leading to the disease. A growing number of studies suggest a prion-like diffusion of amyloid deposits and NFT. In the present chapter, we will develop the current hypotheses regarding the molecular and cellular mechanisms driving the development and spreading of Alzheimer disease lesions from the window of multivesicular bodies and exosomes.

  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. 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.

  16. Lesion profiling and subcellular prion localization of cervid chronic wasting disease in domestic cats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seelig, D M; Nalls, A V; Flasik, M; Frank, V; Eaton, S; Mathiason, C K; Hoover, E A

    2015-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is an efficiently transmitted, fatal, and progressive prion disease of cervids with an as yet to be fully clarified host range. While outbred domestic cats (Felis catus) have recently been shown to be susceptible to experimental CWD infection, the neuropathologic features of the infection are lacking. Such information is vital to provide diagnostic power in the event of natural interspecies transmission and insights into host and strain interactions in interspecies prion infection. Using light microscopy and immunohistochemistry, we detail the topographic pattern of neural spongiosis (the "lesion profile") and the distribution of misfolded prion protein in the primary and secondary passage of feline CWD (Fel(CWD)). We also evaluated cellular and subcellular associations between misfolded prion protein (PrP(D)) and central nervous system neurons and glial cell populations. From these studies, we (1) describe the novel neuropathologic profile of Fel(CWD), which is distinct from either cervid CWD or feline spongiform encephalopathy (FSE), and (2) provide evidence of serial passage-associated interspecies prion adaptation. In addition, we demonstrate through confocal analysis the successful co-localization of PrP(D) with neurons, astrocytes, microglia, lysosomes, and synaptophysin, which, in part, implicates each of these in the neuropathology of Fel(CWD). In conclusion, this work illustrates the simultaneous role of both host and strain in the development of a unique Fel(CWD) neuropathologic profile and that such a profile can be used to discriminate between Fel(CWD) and FSE.

  17. 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....

  18. Diagnosing Prion Diseases: Mass Spectrometry-Based Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mass spectrometry is an established means of quantitating the prions present in infected hamsters. Calibration curves relating the area ratios of the selected analyte peptides and their oxidized analogs to stable isotope labeled internal standards were prepared. The limit of detection (LOD) and limi...

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  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. Morphological and functional abnormalities in mitochondria associated with synaptic degeneration in prion disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-09-01

    Synaptic and dendritic pathology is a well-documented component of prion disease. In common with other neurodegenerative diseases that contain an element of protein misfolding, little is known about the underlying mechanisms of synaptic degeneration. In particular, in prion disease the relationship between synaptic malfunction, degeneration, and mitochondria has been neglected. We investigated a wide range of mitochondrial parameters, including changes in mitochondrial density, inner membrane ultrastructure, functional properties and nature of mitochondrial DNA from hippocampal tissue of mice with prion disease, which have ongoing synaptic pathology. Our results indicate that despite a lack of detectable changes in either mitochondrial density or expression of the mitochondrial proteins, mitochondrial function was impaired when compared with age-matched control animals. We observed changes in mitochondrial inner membrane morphology and a reduction in the cytochrome c oxidase activity relative to a sustained level of mitochondrial proteins such as porin and individual, functionally important subunits of complex II and complex IV. These data support the idea that mitochondrial dysfunction appears to occur due to inhibition or modification of respiratory complex rather than deletions of mitochondrial DNA. Indeed, these changes were seen in the stratum radiatum where synaptic pathology is readily detected, indicating that mitochondrial function is impaired and could potentially contribute to or even initiate the synaptic pathology in prion disease.

  4. Antioxidant and Metal Chelation-Based Therapies in the Treatment of Prion Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brazier, Marcus W; Wedd, Anthony G; Collins, Steven J

    2014-04-21

    Many neurodegenerative disorders involve the accumulation of multimeric assemblies and amyloid derived from misfolded conformers of constitutively expressed proteins. In addition, the brains of patients and experimental animals afflicted with prion disease display evidence of heightened oxidative stress and damage, as well as disturbances to transition metal homeostasis. Utilising a variety of disease model paradigms, many laboratories have demonstrated that copper can act as a cofactor in the antioxidant activity displayed by the prion protein while manganese has been implicated in the generation and stabilisation of disease-associated conformers. This and other evidence has led several groups to test dietary and chelation therapy-based regimens to manipulate brain metal concentrations in attempts to influence the progression of prion disease in experimental mice. Results have been inconsistent. This review examines published data on transition metal dyshomeostasis, free radical generation and subsequent oxidative damage in the pathogenesis of prion disease. It also comments on the efficacy of trialed therapeutics chosen to combat such deleterious changes.

  5. Antioxidant and Metal Chelation-Based Therapies in the Treatment of Prion Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcus W. Brazier

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Many neurodegenerative disorders involve the accumulation of multimeric assemblies and amyloid derived from misfolded conformers of constitutively expressed proteins. In addition, the brains of patients and experimental animals afflicted with prion disease display evidence of heightened oxidative stress and damage, as well as disturbances to transition metal homeostasis. Utilising a variety of disease model paradigms, many laboratories have demonstrated that copper can act as a cofactor in the antioxidant activity displayed by the prion protein while manganese has been implicated in the generation and stabilisation of disease-associated conformers. This and other evidence has led several groups to test dietary and chelation therapy-based regimens to manipulate brain metal concentrations in attempts to influence the progression of prion disease in experimental mice. Results have been inconsistent. This review examines published data on transition metal dyshomeostasis, free radical generation and subsequent oxidative damage in the pathogenesis of prion disease. It also comments on the efficacy of trialed therapeutics chosen to combat such deleterious changes.

  6. Prions and prion-like proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. MicroRNA and prion disease%MicroRNA与朊病毒疾病

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘志培; 李忠义; 孟轲音; 杜鹏; 徐静; 万家余; 韩烨

    2013-01-01

    microRNA regulates the expression of cellular protein at post-transcriptional levels, and plays a major role in regulating the development, differentiation and functions of nervous system. Growing evidence indicates that miRNA is involved in the pathogensis of prion disease. Prion disease is a kind of neurodegenerative disease, which has some morphological characteristics, such as ataxia and dementia. In order to explain the pathogenesis, it is also very important to identify these changes in gene expression levels. Therefore, investigation of the roles of miRNA in the pathogenesis of prion disease is very helpful in exploring the mechanisms of prion disease. In this paper, miRNA and neurodegenerative diseases - prion disease research progress are reviewed.%microRNA通过转录后水平调控细胞的蛋白质表达,在神经系统的发育、分化及功能行使中发挥着重要作用.越来越多的证据表明,miRNA与朊病毒疾病的发生有关.朊病毒疾病是一种以共济失调、痴呆为主要特征的神经退行性疾病.为了解释朊病毒疾病的发病机制,在基因表达水平鉴定疾病相关的改变是很重要的.因此,对miRNA在朊病毒疾病中作用的研究不仅有利于疾病发病机制的诠释,也有利于miRNA调控机制的探讨.就miRNA与神经退行性疾病——朊病毒疾病发生的相关研究进展作一综述.

  10. 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.

  11. Infectivity versus Seeding in Neurodegenerative Diseases Sharing a Prion-Like Mechanism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalia Fernández-Borges

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Prions are considered the best example to prove that the biological information can be transferred protein to protein through a conformational change. The term “prion-like” is used to describe molecular mechanisms that share similarities with the mammalian prion protein self-perpetuating aggregation and spreading characteristics. Since prions are presumably composed only of protein and are infectious, the more similar the mechanisms that occur in the different neurodegenerative diseases, the more these processes will resemble an infection. In vitro and in vivo experiments carried out during the last decade in different neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD, Parkinson's diseases (PD, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS have shown a convergence toward a unique mechanism of misfolded protein propagation. In spite of the term “infection” that could be used to explain the mechanism governing the diversity of the pathological processes, other concepts as “seeding” or “de novo induction” are being used to describe the in vivo propagation and transmissibility of misfolded proteins. The current studies are demanding an extended definition of “disease-causing agents” to include those already accepted as well as other misfolded proteins. In this new scenario, “seeding” would be a type of mechanism by which an infectious agent can be transmitted but should not be used to define a whole “infection” process.

  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. FATE AND TRANSPORT OF PRIONS FROM CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE (CWD) WASTE IN MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE LANDFILLS

    Science.gov (United States)

    CWD is a fatal neurologic disease of deer and elk caused by an infectious abnormal protein called a prion. Infected free-ranging or captive deer and elk have been found in several states including Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota in Region 5. The management of CWD may call for...

  14. Prion replication occurs in endogenous adult neural stem cells and alters their neuronal fate: involvement of endogenous neural stem cells in prion diseases.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aroa Relaño-Ginès

    Full Text Available Prion diseases are irreversible progressive neurodegenerative diseases, leading to severe incapacity and death. They are characterized in the brain by prion amyloid deposits, vacuolisation, astrocytosis, neuronal degeneration, and by cognitive, behavioural and physical impairments. There is no treatment for these disorders and stem cell therapy therefore represents an interesting new approach. Gains could not only result from the cell transplantation, but also from the stimulation of endogenous neural stem cells (NSC or by the combination of both approaches. However, the development of such strategies requires a detailed knowledge of the pathology, particularly concerning the status of the adult neurogenesis and endogenous NSC during the development of the disease. During the past decade, several studies have consistently shown that NSC reside in the adult mammalian central nervous system (CNS and that adult neurogenesis occurs throughout the adulthood in the subventricular zone of the lateral ventricle or the Dentate Gyrus of the hippocampus. Adult NSC are believed to constitute a reservoir for neuronal replacement during normal cell turnover or after brain injury. However, the activation of this system does not fully compensate the neuronal loss that occurs during neurodegenerative diseases and could even contribute to the disease progression. We investigated here the status of these cells during the development of prion disorders. We were able to show that NSC accumulate and replicate prions. Importantly, this resulted in the alteration of their neuronal fate which then represents a new pathologic event that might underlie the rapid progression of the disease.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Modeling routes of chronic wasting disease transmission: Environmental prion persistence promotes deer population decline and extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almberg, Emily S.; Cross, Paul C.; Johnson, Christopher J.; Heisey, Dennis M.; Richards, Bryan J.

    2011-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal disease of deer, elk, and moose transmitted through direct, animal-to-animal contact, and indirectly, via environmental contamination. Considerable attention has been paid to modeling direct transmission, but despite the fact that CWD prions can remain infectious in the environment for years, relatively little information exists about the potential effects of indirect transmission on CWD dynamics. In the present study, we use simulation models to demonstrate how indirect transmission and the duration of environmental prion persistence may affect epidemics of CWD and populations of North American deer. Existing data from Colorado, Wyoming, and Wisconsin's CWD epidemics were used to define plausible short-term outcomes and associated parameter spaces. Resulting long-term outcomes range from relatively low disease prevalence and limited host-population decline to host-population collapse and extinction. Our models suggest that disease prevalence and the severity of population decline is driven by the duration that prions remain infectious in the environment. Despite relatively low epidemic growth rates, the basic reproductive number, R0, may be much larger than expected under the direct-transmission paradigm because the infectious period can vastly exceed the host's life span. High prion persistence is expected to lead to an increasing environmental pool of prions during the early phases (i.e. approximately during the first 50 years) of the epidemic. As a consequence, over this period of time, disease dynamics will become more heavily influenced by indirect transmission, which may explain some of the observed regional differences in age and sex-specific disease patterns. This suggests management interventions, such as culling or vaccination, will become increasingly less effective as CWD epidemics progress.

  18. The Use of Monoclonal Antibodies in Human Prion Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodemer, Walter

    Detection of PrP and its pathological isoform(s) is the key to understanding the etiology and pathogenesis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy. There is ample evidence that PrP isoforms constitute a major component of an unknown and perhaps unconventional infectious agent. An etiological relationship between human and zoonotic transmissible spongiform encephalopathies may be revealed with monoclonal antibodies. Knowledge of the conformational transition rendering a nonpathogenic, almost ubiquitous cellular protein into a pathogenic one is crucial to defining pathomechanisms. The stepwise or even continuous formation of pathogenic molecules can be monitored. Any improvement in the early diagnosis could help to conceive new therapeutic measures which are not currently available. Determination of PrP isoforms in tissue, cells, or body fluids may be of prognostic value. Many experimental approaches in molecular medicine and molecular biology of the prion protein already rely on monoclonal antibodies. Recombinant antibodies such as the single-chain Fv may soon replace traditional hybridoma techniques. Binding affinity can easily be manipulated by a number of techniques, including in vitro mutagenesis - a step which could never be carried out using the traditional hybridoma technology. Monoclonal antibodies are and will remain an essential support for ongoing research on the prion protein in general and on the unconventional infectious prions.

  19. 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.

  20. Mathematical models for the diffusion magnetic resonance signal abnormality in patients with prion diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matteo Figini

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In clinical practice signal hyperintensity in the cortex and/or in the striatum on magnetic resonance (MR diffusion-weighted images (DWIs is a marker of sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob Disease (sCJD. MR diagnostic accuracy is greater than 90%, but the biophysical mechanisms underpinning the signal abnormality are unknown. The aim of this prospective study is to combine an advanced DWI protocol with new mathematical models of the microstructural changes occurring in prion disease patients to investigate the cause of MR signal alterations. This underpins the later development of more sensitive and specific image-based biomarkers. DWI data with a wide a range of echo times and diffusion weightings were acquired in 15 patients with suspected diagnosis of prion disease and in 4 healthy age-matched subjects. Clinical diagnosis of sCJD was made in nine patients, genetic CJD in one, rapidly progressive encephalopathy in three, and Gerstmann–Sträussler–Scheinker syndrome in two. Data were analysed with two bi-compartment models that represent different hypotheses about the histopathological alterations responsible for the DWI signal hyperintensity. A ROI-based analysis was performed in 13 grey matter areas located in affected and apparently unaffected regions from patients and healthy subjects. We provide for the first time non-invasive estimate of the restricted compartment radius, designed to reflect vacuole size, which is a key discriminator of sCJD subtypes. The estimated vacuole size in DWI hyperintense cortex was in the range between 3 and 10 µm that is compatible with neuropathology measurements. In DWI hyperintense grey matter of sCJD patients the two bi-compartment models outperform the classic mono-exponential ADC model. Both new models show that T2 relaxation times significantly increase, fast and slow diffusivities reduce, and the fraction of the compartment with slow/restricted diffusion increases compared to unaffected grey matter of

  1. Mathematical models for the diffusion magnetic resonance signal abnormality in patients with prion diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Figini, Matteo; Alexander, Daniel C.; Redaelli, Veronica; Fasano, Fabrizio; Grisoli, Marina; Baselli, Giuseppe; Gambetti, Pierluigi; Tagliavini, Fabrizio; Bizzi, Alberto

    2014-01-01

    In clinical practice signal hyperintensity in the cortex and/or in the striatum on magnetic resonance (MR) diffusion-weighted images (DWIs) is a marker of sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob Disease (sCJD). MR diagnostic accuracy is greater than 90%, but the biophysical mechanisms underpinning the signal abnormality are unknown. The aim of this prospective study is to combine an advanced DWI protocol with new mathematical models of the microstructural changes occurring in prion disease patients to investigate the cause of MR signal alterations. This underpins the later development of more sensitive and specific image-based biomarkers. DWI data with a wide a range of echo times and diffusion weightings were acquired in 15 patients with suspected diagnosis of prion disease and in 4 healthy age-matched subjects. Clinical diagnosis of sCJD was made in nine patients, genetic CJD in one, rapidly progressive encephalopathy in three, and Gerstmann–Sträussler–Scheinker syndrome in two. Data were analysed with two bi-compartment models that represent different hypotheses about the histopathological alterations responsible for the DWI signal hyperintensity. A ROI-based analysis was performed in 13 grey matter areas located in affected and apparently unaffected regions from patients and healthy subjects. We provide for the first time non-invasive estimate of the restricted compartment radius, designed to reflect vacuole size, which is a key discriminator of sCJD subtypes. The estimated vacuole size in DWI hyperintense cortex was in the range between 3 and 10 µm that is compatible with neuropathology measurements. In DWI hyperintense grey matter of sCJD patients the two bi-compartment models outperform the classic mono-exponential ADC model. Both new models show that T2 relaxation times significantly increase, fast and slow diffusivities reduce, and the fraction of the compartment with slow/restricted diffusion increases compared to unaffected grey matter of patients and

  2. Detection of prions in blood from patients with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Concha-Marambio, Luis; Pritzkow, Sandra; Moda, Fabio; Tagliavini, Fabrizio; Ironside, James W; Schulz, Paul E; Soto, Claudio

    2016-12-21

    Human prion diseases are infectious and invariably fatal neurodegenerative diseases. They include sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD), the most common form, and variant CJD (vCJD), which is caused by interspecies transmission of prions from cattle infected by bovine spongiform encephalopathy. Development of a biochemical assay for the sensitive, specific, early, and noninvasive detection of prions (PrP(Sc)) in the blood of patients affected by prion disease is a top medical priority to increase the safety of the blood supply. vCJD has already been transmitted from human to human by blood transfusion, and the number of asymptomatic carriers of vCJD in the U.K. alone is estimated to be 1 in 2000 people. We used the protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) technique to analyze blood samples from 14 cases of vCJD and 153 controls, including patients affected by sCJD and other neurodegenerative or neurological disorders as well as healthy subjects. Our results showed that PrP(Sc) could be detected with 100% sensitivity and specificity in blood samples from vCJD patients. Detection was possible in any of the blood fractions analyzed and could be done with as little as a few microliters of sample volume. The PrP(Sc) concentration in blood was estimated to be ~0.5 pg/ml. Our findings suggest that PMCA may be useful for premortem noninvasive diagnosis of vCJD and to identify prion contamination of the blood supply. Further studies are needed to fully validate the technology.

  3. Allelic origin of protease-sensitive and protease-resistant prion protein isoforms in Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker disease with the P102L mutation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvatore Monaco

    Full Text Available Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker (GSS disease is a dominantly inherited prion disease associated with point mutations in the Prion Protein gene. The most frequent mutation associated with GSS involves a proline-to-leucine substitution at residue 102 of the prion protein, and is characterized by marked variability at clinical, pathological and molecular levels. Previous investigations of GSS P102L have shown that disease-associated pathological prion protein, or PrP(Sc, consists of two main conformers, which under exogenous proteolysis generates a core fragment of 21 kDa and an internal fragment of 8 kDa. Both conformers are detected in subjects with spongiform degeneration, whereas only the 8 kDa fragment is recovered in cases lacking spongiosis. Several studies have reported an exclusive derivation of protease-resistant PrP(Sc isoforms from the mutated allele; however, more recently, the propagation of protease-resistant wild-type PrP(Sc has been described. Here we analyze the molecular and pathological phenotype of six GSS P102L cases characterized by the presence of 21 and 8 kDa PrP fragments and two subjects with only the 8 kDa PrP fragment. Using sensitive protein separation techniques and Western blots with antibodies differentially recognizing wild-type and mutant PrP we observed a range of PrP(Sc allelic conformers, either resistant or sensitive to protease treatment in all investigated subjects. Additionally, tissue deposition of protease-sensitive wild-type PrP(Sc molecules was seen by conventional PrP immunohistochemistry and paraffin-embedded tissue blot. Our findings enlarge the spectrum of conformational allelic PrP(Sc quasispecies propagating in GSS P102L thus providing a molecular support to the spectrum of disease phenotypes, and, in addition, impact the diagnostic role of PrP immunohistochemistry in prion diseases.

  4. Neuroanatomical distribution of disease-associated prion protein in experimental bovine spongiform encephalopathy in cattle after intracerebral inoculation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukuda, Shigeo; Onoe, Sadao; Nikaido, Satoshi; Fujii, Kei; Kageyama, Soichi; Iwamaru, Yoshifumi; Imamura, Morikazu; Masujin, Kentaro; Matsuura, Yuichi; Shimizu, Yoshihisa; Kasai, Kazuo; Yoshioka, Miyako; Murayama, Yuichi; Mohri, Shirou; Yokoyama, Takashi; Okada, Hiroyuki

    2012-01-01

    The pathologic disease-associated prion protein (PrP(Sc)) has been shown to be expressed in the central nervous system of Holstein cattle inoculated intracerebrally with 3 sources of classical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) isolates. Several regions of the brain and spinal cord were analyzed for PrP(Sc) expression by immunohistochemical and Western blotting analyses. Animals euthanized at 10 months post-inoculation (mpi) showed PrP(Sc) deposits in the brainstem and thalamus, but no vacuolation; this suggested that the BSE agent might exhibit area-dependent tropism in the brain. At 16 and 18 mpi, a small amount of vacuolation was detected in the brainstem and thalamus, but not in the cerebral cortices. At 20 to 24 mpi, when clinical symptoms were apparent, heavy PrP(Sc) deposits were evident throughout the brain and spinal cord. The mean time to the appearance of clinical symptoms was 19.7 mpi, and the mean survival time was 22.7 mpi. These findings show that PrP(Sc) accumulation was detected approximately 10 months before the clinical symptoms of BSE became apparent. In addition, the 3 sources of BSE prion induced no detectable differences in the clinical signs, incubation periods, neuroanatomical location of vacuoles, or distribution and pattern of PrP(Sc) depositions in the brain.

  5. Detection of chronic wasting disease prions in salivary, urinary, and intestinal tissues of deer: potential mechanisms of prion shedding and transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haley, Nicholas J; Mathiason, Candace K; Carver, Scott; Zabel, Mark; Telling, Glenn C; Hoover, Edward A

    2011-07-01

    Efficient horizontal transmission is a signature trait of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in cervids. Infectious prions shed into excreta appear to play a key role in this facile transmission, as has been demonstrated by bioassays of cervid and transgenic species and serial protein misfolding cyclic amplification (sPMCA). However, the source(s) of infectious prions in these body fluids has yet to be identified. In the present study, we analyzed tissues proximate to saliva, urine, and fecal production by sPMCA in an attempt to elucidate this unique aspect of CWD pathogenesis. Oropharyngeal, urogenital, and gastrointestinal tissues along with blood and obex from CWD-exposed cervids (comprising 27 animals and >350 individual samples) were analyzed and scored based on the apparent relative CWD burden. PrP(CWD)-generating activity was detected in a range of tissues and was highest in the salivary gland, urinary bladder, and distal intestinal tract. In the same assays, blood from the same animals and unseeded normal brain homogenate controls (n = 116 of 117) remained negative. The PrP-converting activity in peripheral tissues varied from 10(-11)- to 10(0)-fold of that found in brain of the same animal. Deer with highest levels of PrP(CWD) amplification in the brain had higher and more widely disseminated prion amplification in excretory tissues. Interestingly, PrP(CWD) was not demonstrable in these excretory tissues by conventional Western blotting, suggesting a low prion burden or the presence of protease-sensitive infectious prions destroyed by harsh proteolytic treatments. These findings offer unique insights into the transmission of CWD in particular and prion infection and trafficking overall.

  6. Infectivity-associated PrP(Sc) and disease duration-associated PrP(Sc) of mouse BSE prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyazawa, Kohtaro; Okada, Hiroyuki; Masujin, Kentaro; Iwamaru, Yoshifumi; Yokoyama, Takashi

    2015-01-01

    Disease-related prion protein (PrP(Sc)), which is a structural isoform of the host-encoded cellular prion protein, is thought to be a causative agent of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. However, the specific role of PrP(Sc) in prion pathogenesis and its relationship to infectivity remain controversial. A time-course study of prion-affected mice was conducted, which showed that the prion infectivity was not simply proportional to the amount of PrP(Sc) in the brain. Centrifugation (20,000 ×g) of the brain homogenate showed that most of the PrP(Sc) was precipitated into the pellet, and the supernatant contained only a slight amount of PrP(Sc). Interestingly, mice inoculated with the obtained supernatant showed incubation periods that were approximately 15 d longer than those of mice inoculated with the crude homogenate even though both inocula contained almost the same infectivity. Our results suggest that a small population of fine PrP(Sc) may be responsible for prion infectivity and that large, aggregated PrP(Sc) may contribute to determining prion disease duration.

  7. MM2-thalamic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease: neuropathological, biochemical and transmission studies identify a distinctive prion strain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moda, Fabio; Suardi, Silvia; Di Fede, Giuseppe; Indaco, Antonio; Limido, Lucia; Vimercati, Chiara; Ruggerone, Margherita; Campagnani, Ilaria; Langeveld, Jan; Terruzzi, Alessandro; Brambilla, Antonio; Zerbi, Pietro; Fociani, Paolo; Bishop, Matthew T; Will, Robert G; Manson, Jean C; Giaccone, Giorgio; Tagliavini, Fabrizio

    2012-09-01

    In Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), molecular typing based on the size of the protease resistant core of the disease-associated prion protein (PrP(Sc) ) and the M/V polymorphism at codon 129 of the PRNP gene correlates with the clinico-pathologic subtypes. Approximately 95% of the sporadic 129MM CJD patients are characterized by cerebral deposition of type 1 PrP(Sc) and correspond to the classic clinical CJD phenotype. The rare 129MM CJD patients with type 2 PrP(Sc) are further subdivided in a cortical and a thalamic form also indicated as sporadic fatal insomnia. We observed two young patients with MM2-thalamic CJD. Main neuropathological features were diffuse, synaptic PrP immunoreactivity in the cerebral cortex and severe neuronal loss and gliosis in the thalamus and olivary nucleus. Western blot analysis showed the presence of type 2A PrP(Sc) . Challenge of transgenic mice expressing 129MM human PrP showed that MM2-thalamic sporadic CJD (sCJD) was able to transmit the disease, at variance with MM2-cortical sCJD. The affected mice showed deposition of type 2A PrP(Sc) , a scenario that is unprecedented in this mouse line. These data indicate that MM2-thalamic sCJD is caused by a prion strain distinct from the other sCJD subtypes including the MM2-cortical form.

  8. Prions in the Urine of Patients with Variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moda, Fabio; Gambetti, Pierluigi; Notari, Silvio; Concha-Marambio, Luis; Catania, Marcella; Park, Kyung-Won; Maderna, Emanuela; Suardi, Silvia; Haïk, Stéphane; Brandel, Jean-Philippe; Ironside, James; Knight, Richard; Tagliavini, Fabrizio; Soto, Claudio

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND Prions, the infectious agents responsible for transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, consist mainly of the misfolded prion protein (PrPSc). The unique mechanism of transmission and the appearance of a variant form of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease, which has been linked to consumption of prion-contaminated cattle meat, have raised concerns about public health. Evidence suggests that variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease prions circulate in body fluids from people in whom the disease is silently incubating. METHODS To investigate whether PrPSc can be detected in the urine of patients with variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease, we used the protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) technique to amplify minute quantities of PrPSc, enabling highly sensitive detection of the protein. We analyzed urine samples from several patients with various transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (variant and sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease and genetic forms of prion disease), patients with other degenerative or nondegenerative neurologic disorders, and healthy persons. RESULTS PrPSc was detectable only in the urine of patients with variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease and had the typical electrophoretic profile associated with this disease. PrPSc was detected in 13 of 14 urine samples obtained from patients with variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease and in none of the 224 urine samples obtained from patients with other neurologic diseases and from healthy controls, resulting in an estimated sensitivity of 92.9% (95% confidence interval [CI], 66.1 to 99.8) and a specificity of 100.0% (95% CI, 98.4 to 100.0). The PrPSc concentration in urine calculated by means of quantitative PMCA was estimated at 1×10−16 g per milliliter, or 3×10−21 mol per milliliter, which extrapolates to approximately 40 to 100 oligomeric particles of PrPSc per milliliter of urine. CONCLUSIONS Urine samples obtained from patients with variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease contained minute

  9. 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.

  10. Prion疾病疫苗研究策略%Strategies of Vaccines against Prion Disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    郭燕; 董小平

    2009-01-01

    朊病毒病是一类侵袭人类及多种动物中枢神经系统的致死性退行性脑病,目前缺乏有效的预防和治疗方法.朊病毒病的重组蛋白亚单位疫苗、DNA疫苗、合成肽疫苗、病毒样颗粒疫苗、树突状细胞疫苗、黏膜免疫疫苗等已取得一定进展,但现有的免疫策略仅能部分克服免疫耐受,诱导较低或中等滴度的抗体,对PrP~(Sc)感染动物模型只能提供部分保护,Prion疫苗研究任重而道远.%Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders which can be acquired by human and many kinds of animals.At present,there are no effective preventive and therapeutic methods.Recombinant protein subunit vaccine,DNA vaccine,synthetic peptide vaccine,viral like particles,dendritic cell vaccine and musocal vaccine against Prion diseases have achieved certain progress.However,strategies used now can only partially overcome immune tolerance,induce only low and moderate degree of antibody,and provide inadequate protection in animal models.Therefore,strategy of vaccines against Prion diseases is thorny but imminent.

  11. Estimating prion adsorption capacity of soil by BioAssay of Subtracted Infectivity from Complex Solutions (BASICS.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A Christy Wyckoff

    Full Text Available Prions, the infectious agent of scrapie, chronic wasting disease and other transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, are misfolded proteins that are highly stable and resistant to degradation. Prions are known to associate with clay and other soil components, enhancing their persistence and surprisingly, transmissibility. Currently, few detection and quantification methods exist for prions in soil, hindering an understanding of prion persistence and infectivity in the environment. Variability in apparent infectious titers of prions when bound to soil has complicated attempts to quantify the binding capacity of soil for prion infectivity. Here, we quantify the prion adsorption capacity of whole, sandy loam soil (SLS typically found in CWD endemic areas in Colorado; and purified montmorillonite clay (Mte, previously shown to bind prions, by BioAssay of Subtracted Infectivity in Complex Solutions (BASICS. We incubated prion positive 10% brain homogenate from terminally sick mice infected with the Rocky Mountain Lab strain of mouse-adapted prions (RML with 10% SLS or Mte. After 24 hours samples were centrifuged five minutes at 200 × g and soil-free supernatant was intracerebrally inoculated into prion susceptible indicator mice. We used the number of days post inoculation to clinical disease to calculate the infectious titer remaining in the supernatant, which we subtracted from the starting titer to determine the infectious prion binding capacity of SLS and Mte. BASICS indicated SLS bound and removed ≥ 95% of infectivity. Mte bound and removed lethal doses (99.98% of prions from inocula, effectively preventing disease in the mice. Our data reveal significant prion-binding capacity of soil and the utility of BASICS to estimate prion loads and investigate persistence and decomposition in the environment. Additionally, since Mte successfully rescued the mice from prion disease, Mte might be used for remediation and decontamination protocols.

  12. Brain delivery of AAV9 expressing an anti-PrP monovalent antibody delays prion disease in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moda, Fabio; Vimercati, Chiara; Campagnani, Ilaria; Ruggerone, Margherita; Giaccone, Giorgio; Morbin, Michela; Zentilin, Lorena; Giacca, Mauro; Zucca, Ileana; Legname, Giuseppe; Tagliavini, Fabrizio

    2012-01-01

    Prion diseases are caused by a conformational modification of the cellular prion protein (PrP (C)) into disease-specific forms, termed PrP (Sc), that have the ability to interact with PrP (C) promoting its conversion to PrP (Sc). In vitro studies demonstrated that anti-PrP antibodies inhibit this process. In particular, the single chain variable fragment D18 antibody (scFvD18) showed high efficiency in curing chronically prion-infected cells. This molecule binds the PrP (C) region involved in the interaction with PrP (Sc) thus halting further prion formation. These findings prompted us to test the efficiency of scFvD18 in vivo. A recombinant Adeno-Associated Viral vector serotype 9 was used to deliver scFvD18 to the brain of mice that were subsequently infected by intraperitoneal route with the mouse-adapted scrapie strain RML. We found that the treatment was safe, prolonged the incubation time of scrapie-infected animals and decreased the burden of total proteinase-resistant PrP (Sc) in the brain, suggesting that scFvD18 interferes with prion replication in vivo. This approach is relevant for designing new therapeutic strategies for prion diseases and other disorders characterized by protein misfolding.

  13. Intranasal inoculation of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus with lyophilized chronic wasting disease prion particulate complexed to montmorillonite clay.

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    Tracy A Nichols

    Full Text Available Chronic wasting disease (CWD, the only known prion disease endemic in wildlife, is a persistent problem in both wild and captive North American cervid populations. This disease continues to spread and cases are found in new areas each year. Indirect transmission can occur via the environment and is thought to occur by the oral and/or intranasal route. Oral transmission has been experimentally demonstrated and although intranasal transmission has been postulated, it has not been tested in a natural host until recently. Prions have been shown to adsorb strongly to clay particles and upon oral inoculation the prion/clay combination exhibits increased infectivity in rodent models. Deer and elk undoubtedly and chronically inhale dust particles routinely while living in the landscape while foraging and rutting. We therefore hypothesized that dust represents a viable vehicle for intranasal CWD prion exposure. To test this hypothesis, CWD-positive brain homogenate was mixed with montmorillonite clay (Mte, lyophilized, pulverized and inoculated intranasally into white-tailed deer once a week for 6 weeks. Deer were euthanized at 95, 105, 120 and 175 days post final inoculation and tissues examined for CWD-associated prion proteins by immunohistochemistry. Our results demonstrate that CWD can be efficiently transmitted utilizing Mte particles as a prion carrier and intranasal exposure.

  14. 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 ...

  15. Pentosan polysulfate as a prophylactic and therapeutic agent against prion disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dealler, Stephen; Rainov, Nikolai G

    2003-05-01

    Pentosan polysulfate (PPS) acts by imitating the physiological roles of the heparans. It binds to heparan binding sites on proteins and alters the physiological actions of these proteins. PPS acts as a prophylactic agent against infection with prions both in vivo and in vitro. Low concentrations (10 mg/ml) are needed extracellularly for this effect to be seen but, due to cellular uptake, it is believed that a much higher concentration is found intracellularly. The prophylactic effect of PPS is observed if the drug is administered to mice between 3 months before and approximately 30 days after the inoculation of the disease. After that point it is considered that the infection has entered the nervous system, and that the drug cannot penetrate the blood-brain barrier. The prophylaxis of humans with oral PPS and the current therapeutic activity of the drug when given by intracerebroventricular infusion to symptomatic, prion-infected animals are discussed.

  16. Semi-purification procedures of prions from a prion-infected brain using sucrose has no influence on the nonenzymatic glycation of the disease-associated prion isoform.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Yeong-Gon; Kim, Jae-Il; Choi, Eun-Kyoung; Carp, Richard I; Kim, Yong-Sun

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that the Nε-carboxymethyl group is linked to not only one or more N-terminal Lys residues but also to one or more Lys residues of the protease-resistant core region of the pathogenic prion isoform (PrPSc) in prion-infected brains. Using an anti-advanced glycation end product (AGE) antibody, we detected nonenzymatically glycated PrPSc (AGE-PrPSc) in prion-infected brains following concentration by a series of ultracentrifugation steps with a sucrose cushion. In the present study, the levels of in vitro nonenzymatic glycation of PrPSc using sucrose were investigated to determine whether sucrose cushion can artificially and nonenzymatically induce in vitro glycation during ultracentrifugation. The first insoluble pellet fraction following the first ultracentrifugation (PU1st) collected from 263K scrapie-infected brains was incubated with sucrose, glucose or colloidal silica coated with polyvinylpyrrolidone (percoll). None of the compounds in vitro resulted in AGE-PrPSc. Nonetheless, glucose and percoll produced AGEs in vitro from other proteins within PU1st of the infected brains. This reaction could lead to the AGE-modified polymer(s) of nonenzymatic glycation-prone protein(s). This study showed that PrPSc is not nonenzymatically glycated in vitro with sucrose, glucose or percoll and that AGE-modified PrPSc can be isolated and enriched from prion-infected brains.

  17. Transmission Properties of Human PrP 102L Prions Challenge the Relevance of Mouse Models of GSS.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

    Inherited prion disease (IPD) is caused by autosomal-dominant pathogenic mutations in the human prion protein (PrP) gene (PRNP). A proline to leucine substitution at PrP residue 102 (P102L) is classically associated with Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker (GSS) disease but shows marked clinical and neuropathological variability within kindreds that may be caused by variable propagation of distinct prion strains generated from either PrP 102L or wild type PrP. To-date the transmission properties of prions propagated in P102L patients remain ill-defined. Multiple mouse models of GSS have focused on mutating the corresponding residue of murine PrP (P101L), however murine PrP 101L, a novel PrP primary structure, may not have the repertoire of pathogenic prion conformations necessary to accurately model the human disease. Here we describe the transmission properties of prions generated in human PrP 102L expressing transgenic mice that were generated after primary challenge with ex vivo human GSS P102L or classical CJD prions. We show that distinct strains of prions were generated in these mice dependent upon source of the inoculum (either GSS P102L or CJD brain) and have designated these GSS-102L and CJD-102L prions, respectively. GSS-102L prions have transmission properties distinct from all prion strains seen in sporadic and acquired human prion disease. Significantly, GSS-102L prions appear incapable of transmitting disease to conventional mice expressing wild type mouse PrP, which contrasts strikingly with the reported transmission properties of prions generated in GSS P102L-challenged mice expressing mouse PrP 101L. We conclude that future transgenic modeling of IPDs should focus exclusively on expression of mutant human PrP, as other approaches may generate novel experimental prion strains that are unrelated to human disease.

  18. Panencephalopathic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease with distinct pattern of prion protein deposition in a patient with D178N mutation and homozygosity for valine at codon 129 of the prion protein Gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcon, Gabriella; Indaco, Antonio; Di Fede, Giuseppe; Suardi, Silvia; Finato, Nicoletta; Moretti, Valentino; Micoli, Sandro; Fociani, Paolo; Zerbi, Pietro; Pincherle, Alessandro; Redaelli, Veronica; Tagliavini, Fabrizio; Giaccone, Giorgio

    2014-03-01

    Prion diseases include sporadic, acquired and genetic forms linked to mutations of the prion protein (PrP) gene (PRNP). In subjects carrying the D178N PRNP mutation, distinct phenotypes can be observed, depending on the methionine/valine codon 129 polymorphism. We present here a 53-year-old woman with D178N mutation in the PRNP gene and homozygosity for valine at codon 129. The disease started at age 47 with memory deficits, progressive cognitive impairment and ataxia. The clinical picture slowly worsened to a state of akinetic mutism in about 2 years and the disease course was 6 years. The neuropathologic examination demonstrated severe diffuse cerebral atrophy with neuronal loss, spongiosis and marked myelin loss and tissue rarefaction in the hemispheric white matter, configuring panencephalopathic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. PrP deposition was present in the cerebral cortex, basal ganglia and cerebellum with diffuse synaptic-type pattern of immunoreactivity and clusters of countless, small PrP deposits, particularly evident in the lower cortical layers, in the striatum and in the molecular layer of the cerebellum. Western blot analysis showed the presence of type 1 PrP(Sc) (Parchi classification). These findings underline the clear-cut distinction between the neuropathological features of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease associated with D178N PRNP mutation and those of fatal familial insomnia.

  19. 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.

  20. Prion protein polymorphisms affect chronic wasting disease progression.

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    Chad J Johnson

    Full Text Available Analysis of the PRNP gene in cervids naturally infected with chronic wasting disease (CWD suggested that PRNP polymorphisms affect the susceptibility of deer to infection. To test this effect, we orally inoculated 12 white-tailed deer with CWD agent. Three different PRNP alleles, wild-type (wt; glutamine at amino acid 95 and glycine at 96, Q95H (glutamine to histidine at amino acid position 95 and G96S (glycine to serine at position 96 were represented in the study cohort with 5 wt/wt, 3 wt/G96S, and 1 each wt/Q95H and Q95H/G96S. Two animals were lost to follow-up due to intercurrent disease. The inoculum was prepared from Wisconsin hunter-harvested homozygous wt/wt animals. All infected deer presented with clinical signs of CWD; the orally infected wt/wt had an average survival period of 693 days post inoculation (dpi and G96S/wt deer had an average survival period of 956 dpi. The Q95H/wt and Q95H/G96S deer succumbed to CWD at 1,508 and 1,596 dpi respectively. These data show that polymorphisms in the PRNP gene affect CWD incubation period. Deer heterozygous for the PRNP alleles had extended incubation periods with the Q95H allele having the greatest effect.

  1. Prion protein polymorphisms affect chronic wasting disease progression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Chad J; Herbst, Allen; Duque-Velasquez, Camilo; Vanderloo, Joshua P; Bochsler, Phil; Chappell, Rick; McKenzie, Debbie

    2011-01-01

    Analysis of the PRNP gene in cervids naturally infected with chronic wasting disease (CWD) suggested that PRNP polymorphisms affect the susceptibility of deer to infection. To test this effect, we orally inoculated 12 white-tailed deer with CWD agent. Three different PRNP alleles, wild-type (wt; glutamine at amino acid 95 and glycine at 96), Q95H (glutamine to histidine at amino acid position 95) and G96S (glycine to serine at position 96) were represented in the study cohort with 5 wt/wt, 3 wt/G96S, and 1 each wt/Q95H and Q95H/G96S. Two animals were lost to follow-up due to intercurrent disease. The inoculum was prepared from Wisconsin hunter-harvested homozygous wt/wt animals. All infected deer presented with clinical signs of CWD; the orally infected wt/wt had an average survival period of 693 days post inoculation (dpi) and G96S/wt deer had an average survival period of 956 dpi. The Q95H/wt and Q95H/G96S deer succumbed to CWD at 1,508 and 1,596 dpi respectively. These data show that polymorphisms in the PRNP gene affect CWD incubation period. Deer heterozygous for the PRNP alleles had extended incubation periods with the Q95H allele having the greatest effect.

  2. Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease: Prion Pathology in Medulla Oblongata—Possible Routes of Infection and Host Susceptibility

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    Diego Iacono

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD, the most frequent human prion disorder, is characterized by remarkable phenotypic variability, which is influenced by the conformation of the pathologic prion protein and the methionine/valine polymorphic codon 129 of the prion protein gene. While the etiology of sCJD remains unknown, it has been hypothesized that environmental exposure to prions might occur through conjunctival/mucosal contact, oral ingestion, inhalation, or simultaneous involvement of the olfactory and enteric systems. We studied 21 subjects with definite sCJD to assess neuropathological involvement of the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus and other medullary nuclei and to evaluate possible associations with codon 129 genotype and prion protein conformation. The present data show that prion protein deposition was detected in medullary nuclei of distinct sCJD subtypes, either valine homozygous or heterozygous at codon 129. These findings suggest that an “environmental exposure” might occur, supporting the hypothesis that external sources of contamination could contribute to sCJD in susceptible hosts. Furthermore, these novel data could shed the light on possible causes of sCJD through a “triple match” hypothesis that identify environmental exposure, host genotype, and direct exposure of specific anatomical regions as possible pathogenetic factors.

  3. Is Parkinson’s Disease Truly a Prion-Like Disorder? An Appraisal of Current Evidence

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    Aneesha Chauhan

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Parkinson’s disease (PD is the world’s second most common neurodegenerative disease and most common movement disorder. Characterised by a loss of dopaminergic neurons and the development of intraneuronal inclusions known as Lewy bodies, it has classically been thought of as a cell-autonomous disease. However, in 2008, two groups reported the startling observation of Lewy bodies within embryonic neuronal grafts transplanted into PD patients little more than a decade previously, suggesting that PD pathology can be propagated to neighbouring cells and calling basic assumptions of our understanding of the disease into question. Subsequent research has largely served to confirm this interpretation, pointing towards a prion-like intercellular transfer of misfolded α-synuclein, the main component of Lewy bodies, as central to PD. This shift in thinking offers a revolutionary approach to PD treatment, potentially enabling a transition from purely symptomatic therapy to direct targeting of the pathology that drives disease progression. In this short review, we appraise current experimental support for PD as a prion-like disease, whilst highlighting areas of controversy or inconsistency which must be resolved. We also offer a brief discussion of the therapeutic implications of these discoveries.

  4. The presence of disease-associated prion protein in skeletal muscle of cattle infected with classical bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okada, Hiroyuki; Miyazawa, Kohtaro; Fukuda, Shigeo; Iwamaru, Yoshifumi; Imamura, Morikazu; Masujin, Kentaro; Matsuura, Yuichi; Fujii, Takashi; Fujii, Kei; Kageyama, Soichi; Yoshioka, Miyako; Murayama, Yuichi; Yokoyama, Takashi

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of disease-associated prion protein (PrP(Sc)) in the skeletal muscle of cattle infected with classical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (C-BSE). The study was carried out systematically in 12 different muscle samples from 43 (3 field and 40 experimental) cases of C-BSE; however, muscle spindles were not available in many of these cases. Therefore, analysis became restricted to a total of 31 muscles in 23 cattle. Even after this restriction, low levels of PrP(Sc) were detected in the muscle spindles of the masseter, intercostal, triceps brachii, psoas major, quadriceps femoris and semitendinosus muscles from 3 field and 6 experimental clinical-stage cases. The present data indicate that small amounts of PrP(Sc) are detectable by immunohistochemistry in the skeletal muscles of animals terminally affected with C-BSE.

  5. Clinical and pathologic features of H-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy associated with E211K prion protein polymorphism.

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    Justin J Greenlee

    Full Text Available The majority of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE cases have been ascribed to the classical form of the disease. H-type and L-type BSE cases have atypical molecular profiles compared to classical BSE and are thought to arise spontaneously. However, one case of H-type BSE was associated with a heritable E211K mutation in the prion protein gene. The purpose of this study was to describe transmission of this unique isolate of H-type BSE when inoculated into a calf of the same genotype by the intracranial route. Electroretinograms were used to demonstrate preclinical deficits in retinal function, and optical coherence tomography was used to demonstrate an antemortem decrease in retinal thickness. The calf rapidly progressed to clinical disease (9.4 months and was necropsied. Widespread distribution of abnormal prion protein was demonstrated within neural tissues by western blot and immunohistochemistry. While this isolate is categorized as BSE-H due to a higher molecular mass of the unglycosylated PrP(Sc isoform, a strong labeling of all 3 PrP(Sc bands with monoclonal antibodies 6H4 and P4, and a second unglycosylated band at approximately 14 kDa when developed with antibodies that bind in the C-terminal region, it is unique from other described cases of BSE-H because of an additional band 23 kDa demonstrated on western blots of the cerebellum. This work demonstrates that this isolate is transmissible, has a BSE-H phenotype when transmitted to cattle with the K211 polymorphism, and has molecular features that distinguish it from other cases of BSE-H described in the literature.

  6. Clinical and pathologic features of H-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy associated with E211K prion protein polymorphism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenlee, Justin J; Smith, Jodi D; West Greenlee, M Heather; Nicholson, Eric M

    2012-01-01

    The majority of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) cases have been ascribed to the classical form of the disease. H-type and L-type BSE cases have atypical molecular profiles compared to classical BSE and are thought to arise spontaneously. However, one case of H-type BSE was associated with a heritable E211K mutation in the prion protein gene. The purpose of this study was to describe transmission of this unique isolate of H-type BSE when inoculated into a calf of the same genotype by the intracranial route. Electroretinograms were used to demonstrate preclinical deficits in retinal function, and optical coherence tomography was used to demonstrate an antemortem decrease in retinal thickness. The calf rapidly progressed to clinical disease (9.4 months) and was necropsied. Widespread distribution of abnormal prion protein was demonstrated within neural tissues by western blot and immunohistochemistry. While this isolate is categorized as BSE-H due to a higher molecular mass of the unglycosylated PrP(Sc) isoform, a strong labeling of all 3 PrP(Sc) bands with monoclonal antibodies 6H4 and P4, and a second unglycosylated band at approximately 14 kDa when developed with antibodies that bind in the C-terminal region, it is unique from other described cases of BSE-H because of an additional band 23 kDa demonstrated on western blots of the cerebellum. This work demonstrates that this isolate is transmissible, has a BSE-H phenotype when transmitted to cattle with the K211 polymorphism, and has molecular features that distinguish it from other cases of BSE-H described in the literature.

  7. A BRIEF DISCUSSION REGARDING PRION DISEASES AND SARS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Recent diagnoses of Mad Cow disease in Canadian and American cattle has increased concern for this disease and other TSEs in North America. This presentation provides a quick review of the important features of Mad Cow disease as well as SARS as they might relate to land applicat...

  8. The retinoic acid receptor beta (Rarb region of Mmu14 is associated with prion disease incubation time in mouse.

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    Julia Grizenkova

    Full Text Available In neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's and prion disease it has been shown that host genetic background can have a significant effect on susceptibility. Indeed, human genome-wide association studies (GWAS have implicated several candidate genes. Understanding such genetic susceptibility is relevant to risks of developing variant CJD (vCJD in populations exposed to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE and understanding mechanisms of neurodegeneration. In mice, aspects of prion disease susceptibility can be modelled by examining the incubation period following experimental inoculation. Quantitative trait linkage studies have already identified multiple candidate genes; however, it is also possible to take an individual candidate gene approach. Rarb and Stmn2 were selected as candidates based on the known association with vCJD. Because of the increasing overlap described between prion and Alzheimer's diseases we also chose Clu, Picalm and Cr1, which were identified as part of Alzheimer's disease GWAS. Clusterin (Clu was considered to be of particular interest as it has already been implicated in prion disease. Approximately 1,000 heterogeneous stock (HS mice were inoculated intra-cerebrally with Chandler/RML prions and incubation times were recorded. Candidate genes were evaluated by sequencing the whole transcript including exon-intron boundaries and potential promoters in the parental lines of the HS mice. Representative SNPs were genotyped in the HS mice. No SNPs were identified in Cr1 and no statistical association with incubation time was seen for Clu (P = 0.96 and Picalm (P = 0.91. Significant associations were seen for both Stmn2 (P = 0.04 and Rarb (P = 0.0005, however, this was only highly significant for Rarb. This data provides significant further support for a role for the Rarb region of Mmu14 and Stmn2 in prion disease.

  9. Mad Cows and CJD A Physicist's View of Prion Brain Diseases

    CERN Document Server

    Morrison, Douglas Robert Ogston

    1997-01-01

    The research of Carleton Gajdusek on a stone-age tribe in Papua New Guinea, who suffered from a mysterious disease, kuru, spread by cannibalism, is described and short extracts from his films will be shown. Some deaths from kuru are still occuring after 45 years. This disease is believed to be caused by an entirely new mechanism, not a virus or bacteria, but by a small molecule known as a prion that occurs naturally in many living forms. The Prion Only hypothesis of Stan Prusiner is discussed critically. It has been calculated that 900,000 cows in Britain had the Mad Cow disease, BSE, but most were slaughtered before symptoms were recognised. This epidemic started with 10 cases in the first year, and finally 160,000 were officially classified as having BSE; it is now slowly dying out. The human epidemic, caused by a new version of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, nvCJD, affects mainly young people, has just begun with 10 cases in the first year. The average incubation time may be about 14 years then death follows i...

  10. MM2-Thalamic Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease: Neuropathological, Biochemical and Transmission Studies Identify a Distinctive Prion Strain

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moda, F.; Suardi, S.; Fede, Di G.; Indaco, A.; Limido, L.; Vimercati, C.; Ruggerone, M.; Campagnani, I.; Langeveld, J.P.M.; Terruzzi, A.; Brambilla, A.; Zerbi, P.; Fociani, P.; Bishop, T.; Will, G.W.; Manson, J.C.; Giaccone, G.; Tagliavini, F.

    2012-01-01

    In CreutzfeldtJakob disease (CJD), molecular typing based on the size of the protease resistant core of the disease-associated prion protein (PrPSc) and the M/V polymorphism at codon 129 of the PRNP gene correlates with the clinico-pathologic subtypes. Approximately 95% of the sporadic 129MM CJD pat

  11. Inhibition of protease-resistant prion protein formation in a transformed deer cell line infected with chronic wasting disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Raymond, G.J.; Olsen, E.A.; Lee, K.S.; Raymond, L.D.; Bryant, P.K.; Baron, G.S.; Caughey, W.S.; Kocisko, D.A.; McHolland, L.E.; Favara, C.; Langeveld, J.P.M.; Zijderveld, van F.G.; Mayer, R.T.; Miller, M.W.; Williams, E.S.; Caughey, B.

    2006-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is an emerging transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (prion disease) of North American cervids, i.e., mule deer, white-tailed deer, and elk (wapiti). To facilitate in vitro studies of CWD, we have developed a transformed deer cell line that is persistently infected wi

  12. Seeded fibrillation as molecular basis of the species barrier in human prion diseases.

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    Lars Luers

    Full Text Available Prion diseases are transmissible spongiform encephalopathies in humans and animals, including scrapie in sheep, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE in cattle, chronic wasting disease (CWD in deer, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD in humans. The hallmark of prion diseases is the conversion of the host-encoded prion protein (PrP(C to its pathological isoform PrP(Sc, which is accompanied by PrP fibrillation. Transmission is not restricted within one species, but can also occur between species. In some cases a species barrier can be observed that results in limited or unsuccessful transmission. The mechanism behind interspecies transmissibility or species barriers is not completely understood. To analyse this process at a molecular level, we previously established an in vitro fibrillation assay, in which recombinant PrP (recPrP as substrate can be specifically seeded by PrP(Sc as seed. Seeding with purified components, with no additional cellular components, is a direct consequence of the "prion-protein-only" hypothesis. We therefore hypothesise, that the species barrier is based on the interaction of PrP(C and PrP(Sc. Whereas in our earlier studies, the interspecies transmission in animal systems was analysed, the focus of this study lies on the transmission from animals to humans. We therefore combined seeds from species cattle, sheep and deer (BSE, scrapie, CWD with human recPrP. Homologous seeding served as a control. Our results are consistent with epidemiology, other in vitro aggregation studies, and bioassays investigating the transmission between humans, cattle, sheep, and deer. In contrast to CJD and BSE seeds, which show a seeding activity we can demonstrate a species barrier for seeds from scrapie and CWD in vitro. We could show that the seeding activity and therewith the molecular interaction of PrP as substrate and PrP(Sc as seed is sufficient to explain the phenomenon of species barriers. Therefore our data supports the hypothesis

  13. Localization of disease-related PrP in Danish patients with different subtypes of prion disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bergström, A. L.; Heegaard, Peter M. H.; Dyrbye, H.;

    2009-01-01

    Objective: The transmissible spongiform encephalopaties are characterized by vacuolization, neuronal loss, gliosis and deposition of a misfilded and Proteinase K resistant isoform of the prion protein (PrPSc) in the central nervous system. Methods, materials and patients: Paraffin-embedded tissue...... blot (PET-blot), immunohistochemistry (IHC) and Western blotting (WB) were combined to stydy the morphology and localization of disease related PrP in Danish patients with different subtypes of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, familiar Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and Gertsmann...

  14. Localization of disease-related PrP in Danish patients with different subtypes of prion disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bergstrom, A.L.; Heegaard, P.M.; Dyrbye, H.;

    2009-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: The transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are characterized by vacuolization, neuronal loss, gliosis and deposition of a misfolded and Proteinase K resistant isoform of the prion protein (PrP(Sc)) in the central nervous system. METHODS MATERIALS AND PATIENTS: Paraffin-embedded tiss...... blot (PET-blot), immunohistochemistry (IHC) and Western blotting (WB) were combined to study the morphology and localization of disease related PrP in Danish patients with different subtypes of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, familiar Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and Gerstmann...

  15. Prion病与睡眠障碍%Prion diseases and sleep disorders

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    詹淑琴; 郭彩凤; 王玉平; 贾建平

    2013-01-01

    Prion diseases (PrD) are a group of encephalopathies with neurodegenerative changes caused by prion protein (PrP) whose characteristic datum is transmissibility.In most cases they occur in a sporadic form although a group of them are familial associated with mutations in PrP gene.Phenotypic variability of fatal familial insomnia (FFI) versus familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease178 (fCJD178) seems to determine the different methionine-valine polymorphism at codon 129 of the PrP gene.Sleep disorders is one of the important clinical features for the diagnosis and definition of PrD.FFI,a hereditary disorder characterized by loss of physiological sleep with oneiric stupor,autonomic and motor hyperactivity.The polysomnography (PSG) shows disappearance of the physiological pattern of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep,as well as sleep spindles and K-complexes were absent.The hypothesis of the origin of these disorders is thalamic neuronal loss,especially in the anterior and dorsomedial nuclei,described in the neuropathology of these patients; besides,PET reveals hypofunction of thalamic nuclei,centres responsible for controlling wake-sleep.In CJD the wake-sleep disorders is not considered characteristic; nonetheless,frequent alterations have been found in the electroencephalographic registers of sleep.Besides thalamic neurodegeneration,there could be common etiopathogenic mechanisms in PrD in relation to the biological function of PrP.%Prion病是由传染性朊蛋白侵袭中枢神经系统引起的致死性神经变性脑病,睡眠障碍在Prion病中十分常见,也是其诊断特征之一.其中致死性家族性失眠症表现为严重的生理睡眠缺失及特殊梦幻状态、自主神经功能失调和过度运动;多导睡眠图早期睡眠纺锤波和K复合波消失,无法产生快速眼动和非快速眼动睡眠生理循环.除PET扫描呈现丘脑低代谢,神经病理学观察可见丘脑神经元大量缺失,尤其是丘脑

  16. Atomic structures suggest determinants of transmission barriers in mammalian prion disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apostol, Marcin I; Wiltzius, Jed J W; Sawaya, Michael R; Cascio, Duilio; Eisenberg, David

    2011-04-05

    Prion represents a unique class of pathogens devoid of nucleic acid. The deadly diseases transmitted by it between members of one species and, in certain instances, to members of other species present a public health concern. Transmissibility and the barriers to transmission between species have been suggested to arise from the degree to which a pathological protein conformation from an individual of one species can seed a pathological conformation in another species. However, this hypothesis has never been illustrated at an atomic level. Here we present three X-ray atomic structures of the same segment from human, mouse, and hamster PrP, which is critical for forming amyloid and confers species specificity in PrP seeding experiments. The structures reveal that different sequences encode different steric zippers and suggest that the degree of dissimilarity of these zipper structures gives rise to transmission barriers in prion disease, such as those that protect humans from acquiring bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and chronic wasting disease (CWD).

  17. 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.

  18. [From the Scrapie syndrome of sheep and goat to the mad cow disease - the history of the discovery of prion].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Rui; Weng, Yi

    2009-05-01

    Since the discovery of Scrapie Syndrome in sheep and goats in 1730, there emerged a series of diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, kuru disease and mad cow disease etc. In the research of kuru disease, the American scientist D. Carlteton Gajdusek found a new virus without the characteristic of DNA and RNA, which was awarded the Nobel Prize in physiology in 1976. Since then another American scientist, Stanley B. Prusiner, found a new virus-prion, taking protein as the genetic medium, which was awarded the Nobel prize in physiology and medicine in 1997. The discovery of prion is a great landmark in the research of life science, which laid a theoretical foundation for people to conquer a series of diseases such as Scrapie syndrome in sheep and goats, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, kuru disease and mad cow disease etc.

  19. Prions, prion-like prionoids, and neurodegenerative disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. Prions, prion-like prionoids, and neurodegenerative disordersVacancy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  1. The Overview of Methods for Detecting Prion Disease%朊病毒检测方法综述

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    鲁云; 李滋薇; 杨利峰; 赵德明

    2011-01-01

    Prion diseases are transmissible neurodegenerative disorders affecting humans and various mammal animals. The infectious agent, prion,is composed by a misfolded form of the prion protein (PrPSc) that propagates in the absence of nucleic acid. Due to PrPSc mainly expressed in the brain and low expression in other organs, hence the most important objective in prion research is to find effective and accurate methods to detect the disease and prevent it. In this paper,we mainly described the established detecting methods for prions based on prion features and pathogenic characteristics, we hoped that could be helpful for people to understand this disease well and find effective way for the early diagnoses, as well as helpful for food safety and human health.%传染性海绵状脑病(transmissible spongiform encephalopathies,TSEs)是由朊病毒引起的人和多种哺乳动物以神经退行性变化为主要特征的一种慢性消耗性传染病,也称作朊病毒病;其是由体内正常细胞表面的PrPC转变成PrPSc蛋白所导致.但PrpSc主要在脑内表达,在其他组织表达量很低,因此快捷准确的诊断方法对于该病有重要意义.作者重点介绍以朊病毒的致病特点为依据建立的检测方法,便于对该疾病的早期诊断、预防以及食品安全检测提供帮助,保障畜牧业的有序发展以及人类的健康.

  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.

    2011-01-01

    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

  3. 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.

  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, 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. All major prion types recognised by a multiplex immunofluorometric assay for disease screening and confirmation in sheep

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tang, Y.; gielbert, A.; Jacobs, J.G.; Baron, T.; Andreoletti, O.; Langeveld, J.P.M.; Sauer, M.J.

    2012-01-01

    Prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) in small ruminants are presented in many forms: classical scrapie, Nor98/atypical scrapie, CH1641 scrapie and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). We previously described a multiplex immunofluorometric assay (mIFMA), based on a be

  10. Genetic Prion Disease Caused by PRNP Q160X Mutation Presenting with an Orbitofrontal Syndrome, Cyclic Diarrhea, and Peripheral Neuropathy

    OpenAIRE

    Fong, Jamie C.; Rojas, Julio C.; Bang, Jee; Legati, Andrea; Rankin, Katherine P.; Forner, Sven; Miller, Zachary A.; Karydas, Anna M.; Coppola, Giovanni; Grouse, Carrie K.; Ralph, Jeffrey; Miller, Bruce L.; Geschwind, Michael D.

    2016-01-01

    Patients with pathogenic truncating mutations in the prion gene (PRNP) usually present with prolonged disease courses with severe neurofibrillary tangle and cerebral amyloidosis pathology, but more atypical phenotypes also occur, including those with dysautonomia and peripheral neuropathy. We describe the neurological, cognitive, neuroimaging, and electrophysiological features of a 31-year-old man presenting with an orbitofrontal syndrome, gastrointestinal symptoms, and peripheral neuropathy ...

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Prion diseases: a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liberski, Paweł P

    2008-01-01

    It is now widely accepted that many structurally diverse proteins can misfold and cause so-called "conformational diseases", including the most common neurodegenerations, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. The conversion of largely a-helical or random coil proteins into cross-beta-pleated sheet conformations that form first oligomers and then fibrils underlies these disorders. However, this alpha- to beta-structure transition seems to be a generic propensity of all globular proteins, not only those involved in neurodegenerations, not to mention "prion diseases". Metaphorically, all these neurodegenerations are "infectious" in the sense that misfolded beta-sheeted conformers are formed in a nucleation process in which preformed metastable oligomer acts as a seed (a nucleus) to convert a normal into an abnormal protein. However, in none but transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) has infectivity in a microbiological sense ever been observed, and even in TSEs the formation of misfolded protein is not necessarily accompanied by the generation of infectivity de novo. Furthermore, certain "prion diseases" are not TSEs but just "proteinopathies" caused by accumulation of abnormally misfolded PrPd. The presence of a massive amount of PrP-amyloid and no infectivity casts doubts on whether TSEs are really infectious amyloidoses. The misfolding of PrP may yet prove to be an epiphenomenon secondary to infection with a still unknown infectious agent. If, on the other hand, the purely proteinaceous character of the replicating unit of TSE infectivity is ultimately found to be correct, the critical issues become 1) the mechanism by which a misfolded PrP template induces normal protein molecules to adopt the same pathologically misfolded conformation, and 2) the intracellular conditions that are responsible for strain differences in these molecules.

  15. Anti-prion activity generated by a novel vaccine formulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilon, John; Loiacono, Christina; Okeson, Danelle; Lund, Sharon; Vercauteren, Kurt; Rhyan, Jack; Miller, Lowell

    2007-12-18

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) of domestic and wild cervids in North America. To address possible prevention regimens for CWD, we have used a mouse model system and the Rocky Mountain Laboratory (RML) mouse-adapted scrapie prion strain to screen efficacy of potential vaccine candidates. Three peptides derived from the primary amino acid sequence of the prion protein were conjugated to blue carrier protein (BCP) and formulated in an adjuvant containing M. avium subsp. avium. CL57/BL6 mice were vaccinated and boosted with 50 microg of the carrier protein-peptide conjugate formulation; all vaccines produced a humoral immune response as measured by ELISA. Disease challenge with the RML scrapie prion strain revealed anti-prion activity was generated by the vaccine formulations as measured by a delay in clinical disease onset and prolonged survivorship.

  16. Parasitic, fungal and prion zoonoses: an expanding universe of candidates for human disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akritidis, N

    2011-03-01

    Zoonotic infections have emerged as a burden for millions of people in recent years, owing to re-emerging or novel pathogens often causing outbreaks in the developing world in the presence of inadequate public health infrastructure. Among zoonotic infections, those caused by parasitic pathogens are the ones that affect millions of humans worldwide, who are also at risk of developing chronic disease. The present review discusses the global effect of protozoan pathogens such as Leishmania sp., Trypanosoma sp., and Toxoplasma sp., as well as helminthic pathogens such as Echinococcus sp., Fasciola sp., and Trichinella sp. The zoonotic aspects of agents that are not essentially zoonotic are also discussed. The review further focuses on the zoonotic dynamics of fungal pathogens and prion diseases as observed in recent years, in an evolving environment in which novel patient target groups have developed for agents that were previously considered to be obscure or of minimal significance.

  17. Selective vulnerability to neurodegenerative disease: the curious case of Prion Protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. 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.

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    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.

  19. 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.

  20. Brain region specific pre-synaptic and post-synaptic degeneration are early components of neuropathology in prion disease.

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    Zuzana Šišková

    Full Text Available Synaptic abnormalities, one of the key features of prion disease pathogenesis, gives rise to functional deficits and contributes to the devastating clinical outcome. The synaptic compartment is the first to succumb in several neurodegenerative diseases linked with protein misfolding but the mechanisms underpinning this are poorly defined. In our current study we document that a focal intrahippocampal injection of the mouse-adapted 22L scrapie strain produces a complex, region-specific pathology in the brain. Our findings reveal that early synaptic changes in the stratum radiatum of the hippocampus, identical to those observed with the ME7 strain, occur when 22L strain is introduced into the hippocampus. The pathology was defined by degenerating Type I pre-synaptic elements progressively enveloped by the post-synaptic density of the dendritic spine. In contrast, the pathology in the cerebellum suggested that dendritic disintegration rather than pre-synaptic abnormalities dominate the early degenerative changes associated with the Purkinje cells. Indeed, both of the major synaptic inputs into the cerebellum, which arise from the parallel and climbing fibers, remained intact even at late stage disease. Immunolabeling with pathway selective antibodies reinforced these findings. These observations demonstrate that neuronal vulnerability to pathological protein misfolding is strongly dependent on the structure and function of the target neurons.

  1. 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.

  2. Prion protein polymorphisms in white-tailed deer influence susceptibility to chronic wasting disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  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. Role of Prion Replication in the Strain-dependent Brain Regional Distribution of Prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Ping Ping; Morales, Rodrigo; Duran-Aniotz, Claudia; Moreno-Gonzalez, Ines; Khan, Uffaf; Soto, Claudio

    2016-06-10

    One intriguing feature of prion diseases is their strain variation. Prion strains are differentiated by the clinical consequences they generate in the host, their biochemical properties, and their potential to infect other animal species. The selective targeting of these agents to specific brain structures have been extensively used to characterize prion strains. However, the molecular basis dictating strain-specific neurotropism are still elusive. In this study, isolated brain structures from animals infected with four hamster prion strains (HY, DY, 139H, and SSLOW) were analyzed for their content of protease-resistant PrP(Sc) Our data show that these strains have different profiles of PrP deposition along the brain. These patterns of accumulation, which were independent of regional PrP(C) production, were not reproduced by in vitro replication when different brain regions were used as substrate for the misfolding-amplification reaction. On the contrary, our results show that in vitro replication efficiency depended exclusively on the amount of PrP(C) present in each part of the brain. Our results suggest that the variable regional distribution of PrP(Sc) in distinct strains is not determined by differences on prion formation, but on other factors or cellular pathways. Our findings may contribute to understand the molecular mechanisms of prion pathogenesis and strain diversity.

  5. Prion Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Respond to Pre-Award Requests Manage Your Award Negotiation & Initial Award After Award ... New Trial Launched in West Africa to Evaluate Three Vaccination Strategies , April 6, 2017 Monoclonal Antibody Cures Marburg Infection ...

  6. Prion protein gene sequence and chronic wasting disease susceptibility in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. MicroRNAs as a molecular basis for mental retardation, Alzheimer's and prion diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Provost, Patrick

    2010-06-18

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, approximately 21- to 23-nucleotide (nt) non-coding RNA species that act as key regulators of gene expression along a central and well-defined cellular process known as RNA silencing, and involving the recognition and translational control of specific messenger RNA (mRNAs). Generated through the well-orchestrated and sequential processing of miRNA precursor molecules, mature miRNAs are subsequently incorporated into miRNA-containing ribonucleoprotein effector complexes to regulate mRNA translation through the recognition of specific binding sites of imperfect complementarity located mainly in the 3' untranslated region. Predicted to regulate up to 90% of the genes in humans, miRNAs may thus control cellular processes in all cells and tissues of the human body. Likely to play a central role in health and disease, a dysfunctional miRNA-based regulation of gene expression may represent the main etiologic factor underlying diseases affecting major organs, such as the brain. In this review article, the molecular mechanisms underlying the role and function of miRNAs in the regulation of genes involved in neurological and neurodegenerative diseases will be discussed, with a focus on the fragile X syndrome, Alzheimer's disease (AD) and prion disease.

  9. Functional Prions in the Brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  10. Prion sequence polymorphisms and chronic wasting disease resistance in Illinois white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Amy C; Mateus-Pinilla, Nohra E; Diffendorfer, Jay; Jewell, Emily; Ruiz, Marilyn O; Killefer, John; Shelton, Paul; Beissel, Tom; Novakofski, Jan

    2008-01-01

    Nucleic acid sequences of the prion gene (PRNP) were examined and genotypes compiled for 76 white-tailed deer from northern Illinois, which previously tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD), and 120 negative animals selected to control for geographic location and age. Nine nucleotide polymorphisms, seven silent and two coding, were found in the sampled population. All observed polymorphisms except two of very low frequency were observed in both negative and positive animals, although five polymorphic loci had significantly different distributions of alleles between infected and non-infected individuals. Nucleotide base changes 60C/T, 285A/C, 286G/A and 555C/T were observed with higher than expected frequencies in CWD negative animals suggesting disease resistance, while 153C/T was observed more than expected in positive animals, suggesting susceptibility. The two coding polymorphisms, 285A/C (Q95H) and 286G/A (G96S), have been described in white-tailed deer populations sampled in Colorado and Wisconsin. Frequency distributions of coding polymorphisms in Wisconsin and Illinois deer populations were different, an unexpected result considering the sampled areas are less than 150 km apart. The total number of polymorphisms per animal, silent or coding, was negatively correlated to disease status. The potential importance of silent polymorphisms (60C/T, 153C/T, 555C/T), either individually or cumulatively, in CWD disease status has not been previously reported.

  11. Human prion disease with a G114V mutation and epidemiological studies in a Chinese family: a case series

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ye Jing

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Introduction Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are a group of neurodegenerative diseases of humans and animals. Genetic Creutzfeldt-Jakob diseases, in which mutations in the PRNP gene predispose to disease by causing the expression of abnormal PrP protein, include familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker syndrome and fatal familial insomnia. Case presentation A 47-year-old Han-Chinese woman was hospitalized with a 2-year history of progressive dementia, tiredness, lethargy and mild difficulty in falling asleep. On neurological examination, there was severe apathy, spontaneous myoclonus of the lower limbs, generalized hyperreflexia and bilateral Babinski signs. A missense mutation (T to G was identified at the position of nt 341 in one PRNP allele, leading to a change from glycine (Gly to valine (Val at codon 114. PK-resistant PrPSc was detected in brain tissues by Western blotting and immunohistochemical assays. Information on pedigree was collected notably by interviews with family members. A further four suspected patients in five consecutive generations of the family have been identified. One of them was hospitalized for progressive memory impairment at the age of 32. On examination, he had impairment of memory, calculation and comprehension, mild ataxia of the limbs, tremor and a left Babinski sign. He is still alive. Conclusion This family with G114V inherited prion disease is the first to be described in China and represents the second family worldwide in which this mutation has been identified. Three other suspected cases have been retrospectively identified in this family, and a further case with suggestive clinical manifestations has been shown by gene sequencing to have the causal mutation.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. New variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob (vCJD disease and other human prion diseases under epidemiological surveillance in Brazil

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    Vera Lúcia Gattás

    Full Text Available Abstract To increase the timeliness of detection of human cases of the new variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD and to reduce the risk of transmission, the Brazilian Ministry of Health has established and standardized rules and control measures. These include the definition of criteria for suspect cases, reporting, monitoring, and control measures for illness prevention and transmission. Guidelines to be used by the team of health care staff were published and distributed to health workers. A detailed proposal for a simplified system of surveillance for prion diseases was developed and mandatory reporting introduced. Additional effort is necessary to increase vCJD case detection, thus making it necessary to establish a partnership with health care services for best identification of suspected cases and dissemination of information to all involved in the service dealing with vCJD investigation.

  15. Evidence for varied aetiologies regulating the transmission of prion disease: implications for understanding the heritable basis of prion incubation times.

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    Conrad O Iyegbe

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs are a group of progressive fatal neurodegenerative disorders, triggered by abnormal folding of the endogenous prion protein molecule. The encoding gene is a major biological factor influencing the length of the asymptomatic period after infection. It remains unclear the extent to which the variation between quantitative trait loci (QTLs reported in mouse models is due to methodological differences between approaches or genuine differences between traits. With this in mind, our approach to identifying genetic factors has sought to extend the linkage mapping approach traditionally applied, to a series of additional traits, while minimising methodological variability between them. Our approach allows estimations of heritability to be derived, as well as predictions to be made about possible existence of genetic overlap between the various traits. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Our data indicate a surprising degree of heritability (up to 60%. Correlations between traits are also identified. A series of QTLs on chromosomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 11 and 18 accompany our heritability estimates. However, only a locus on chromosome 11 has a general effect across all 4 models explored. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We have achieved some success in detecting novel and pre-existing QTLs associated with incubation time. However, aside from the general effects described, the model-specific nature of the broader host genetic architecture has also been brought into clearer focus. This suggests that genetic overlap can only partially account for the general heritability of incubation time when factors, such as the nature of the TSE agent and the route of administration are considered. This point is highly relevant to vCJD (a potential threat to public health where the route of primary importance is oral, while the QTLs being sought derive exclusively from studies of the ic route. Our results highlight the

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Age and Environment Influences on Mouse Prion Disease Progression: Behavioral Changes and Morphometry and Stereology of Hippocampal Astrocytes

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    J. Bento-Torres

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Because enriched environment (EE and exercise increase and aging decreases immune response, we hypothesized that environmental enrichment and aging will, respectively, delay and increase prion disease progression. Mice dorsal striatum received bilateral stereotaxic intracerebral injections of normal or ME7 prion infected mouse brain homogenates. After behavior analysis, animals were euthanized and their brains processed for astrocyte GFAP immunolabeling. Our analysis related to the environmental influence are limited to young adult mice, whereas age influence refers to aged mice raised on standard cages. Burrowing activity began to reduce in ME7-SE two weeks before ME7-EE, while no changes were apparent in ME7 aged mice (ME7-A. Object placement recognition was impaired in ME7-SE, NBH-A, and ME7-A but normal in all other groups. Object identity recognition was impaired in ME7-A. Cluster analysis revealed two morphological families of astrocytes in NBH-SE animals, three in NBH-A and ME7-A, and four in NBH-EE, ME7-SE, and ME7-EE. As compared with control groups, astrocytes from DG and CA3 prion-diseased animals show significant numerical and morphological differences and environmental enrichment did not reverse these changes but induced different morphological changes in GFAP+ hippocampal astroglia. We suggest that environmental enrichment and aging delayed hippocampal-dependent behavioral and neuropathological signs of disease progression.

  19. Development of a multivalent, PrP(Sc)-specific prion vaccine through rational optimization of three disease-specific epitopes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marciniuk, Kristen; Määttänen, Pekka; Taschuk, Ryan; Airey, T Dean; Potter, Andrew; Cashman, Neil R; Griebel, Philip; Napper, Scott

    2014-04-07

    Prion diseases represent a novel form of infectivity caused by the propagated misfolding of a self-protein (PrP(C)) into a pathological, infectious conformation (PrP(Sc)). Efforts to develop a prion vaccine have been complicated by challenges and potential dangers associated with induction of strong immune responses to a self protein. There is considerable value in the development of vaccines that are specifically targeted to the misfolded conformation. Conformation specific immunotherapy depends on identification and optimization of disease-specific epitopes (DSEs)(1) that are uniquely exposed upon misfolding. Previously, we reported development of a PrP(Sc)-specific vaccine through empirical expansions of a YYR DSE. Here we describe optimization of two additional prion DSEs, YML of β-sheet 1 and a rigid loop (RL) linking β-sheet 2 to α-helix 2, through in silico predictions of B cell epitopes and further translation of these epitopes into PrP(Sc)-specific vaccines. The optimized YML and RL vaccines retain their properties of immunogenicity, specificity and safety when delivered individually or in a multivalent format. This investigation supports the utility of combining DSE prediction models with algorithms to infer logical peptide expansions to optimize immunogenicity. Incorporation of optimized DSEs into established vaccine formulation and delivery strategies enables rapid development of peptide-based vaccines for protein misfolding diseases.

  20. Age and Environment Influences on Mouse Prion Disease Progression: Behavioral Changes and Morphometry and Stereology of Hippocampal Astrocytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bento-Torres, J.; Sobral, L. L.; de Oliveira, R. B.; Anthony, D. C.; Vasconcelos, P. F. C.

    2017-01-01

    Because enriched environment (EE) and exercise increase and aging decreases immune response, we hypothesized that environmental enrichment and aging will, respectively, delay and increase prion disease progression. Mice dorsal striatum received bilateral stereotaxic intracerebral injections of normal or ME7 prion infected mouse brain homogenates. After behavior analysis, animals were euthanized and their brains processed for astrocyte GFAP immunolabeling. Our analysis related to the environmental influence are limited to young adult mice, whereas age influence refers to aged mice raised on standard cages. Burrowing activity began to reduce in ME7-SE two weeks before ME7-EE, while no changes were apparent in ME7 aged mice (ME7-A). Object placement recognition was impaired in ME7-SE, NBH-A, and ME7-A but normal in all other groups. Object identity recognition was impaired in ME7-A. Cluster analysis revealed two morphological families of astrocytes in NBH-SE animals, three in NBH-A and ME7-A, and four in NBH-EE, ME7-SE, and ME7-EE. As compared with control groups, astrocytes from DG and CA3 prion-diseased animals show significant numerical and morphological differences and environmental enrichment did not reverse these changes but induced different morphological changes in GFAP+ hippocampal astroglia. We suggest that environmental enrichment and aging delayed hippocampal-dependent behavioral and neuropathological signs of disease progression.

  1. PrPSc accumulation in neuronal plasma membranes links Notch-1 activation to dendritic degeneration in prion diseases

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    DeArmond Stephen J

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Prion diseases are disorders of protein conformation in which PrPC, the normal cellular conformer, is converted to an abnormal, protease-resistant conformer rPrPSc. Approximately 80% of rPrPSc accumulates in neuronal plasma membranes where it changes their physical properties and profoundly affects membrane functions. In this review we explain how rPrPSc is transported along axons to presynaptic boutons and how we envision the conversion of PrPC to rPrPSc in the postsynaptic membrane. This information is a prerequisite to the second half of this review in which we present evidence that rPrPSc accumulation in synaptic regions links Notch-1 signaling with the dendritic degeneration. The hypothesis that the Notch-1 intracellular domain, NICD, is involved in prion disease was tested by treating prion-infected mice with the γ-secretase inhibitor (GSI LY411575, with quinacrine (Qa, and with the combination of GSI + Qa. Surprisingly, treatment with GSI alone markedly decreased NICD but did not prevent dendritic degeneration. Qa alone produced near normal dendritic trees. The combined GSI + Qa treatment resulted in a richer dendritic tree than in controls. We speculate that treatment with GSI alone inhibited both stimulators and inhibitors of dendritic growth. With the combined GSI + Qa treatment, Qa modulated the effect of GSI perhaps by destabilizing membrane rafts. GSI + Qa decreased PrPSc in the neocortex and the hippocampus by 95%, but only by 50% in the thalamus where disease was begun by intrathalamic inoculation of prions. The results of this study indicate that GSI + Qa work synergistically to prevent dendrite degeneration and to block formation of PrPSc.

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Prion Amplification and Hierarchical Bayesian Modeling Refine Detection of Prion Infection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyckoff, A. Christy; Galloway, Nathan; Meyerett-Reid, Crystal; Powers, Jenny; Spraker, Terry; Monello, Ryan J.; Pulford, Bruce; Wild, Margaret; Antolin, Michael; Vercauteren, Kurt; Zabel, Mark

    2015-02-01

    Prions are unique infectious agents that replicate without a genome and cause neurodegenerative diseases that include chronic wasting disease (CWD) of cervids. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) is currently considered the gold standard for diagnosis of a prion infection but may be insensitive to early or sub-clinical CWD that are important to understanding CWD transmission and ecology. We assessed the potential of serial protein misfolding cyclic amplification (sPMCA) to improve detection of CWD prior to the onset of clinical signs. We analyzed tissue samples from free-ranging Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) and used hierarchical Bayesian analysis to estimate the specificity and sensitivity of IHC and sPMCA conditional on simultaneously estimated disease states. Sensitivity estimates were higher for sPMCA (99.51%, credible interval (CI) 97.15-100%) than IHC of obex (brain stem, 76.56%, CI 57.00-91.46%) or retropharyngeal lymph node (90.06%, CI 74.13-98.70%) tissues, or both (98.99%, CI 90.01-100%). Our hierarchical Bayesian model predicts the prevalence of prion infection in this elk population to be 18.90% (CI 15.50-32.72%), compared to previous estimates of 12.90%. Our data reveal a previously unidentified sub-clinical prion-positive portion of the elk population that could represent silent carriers capable of significantly impacting CWD ecology.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Protease-resistant PrP and PrP oligomers in the brain in human prion diseases after intraventricular pentosan polysulfate infusion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honda, Hiroyuki; Sasaki, Kensuke; Minaki, Haruhiko; Masui, Kenta; Suzuki, Satoshi O; Doh-Ura, Katsumi; Iwaki, Toru

    2012-04-01

    Intraventricular infusion of pentosan polysulfate (PPS) as a treatment for various human prion diseases has been applied in Japan. To evaluate the influence of PPS treatment we performed pathological examination and biochemical analyses of PrP molecules in autopsied brains treated with PPS (one case of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD, case 1), two cases of dura mater graft-associated CJD (dCJD, cases 2 and 4), and one case of Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker disease (GSS, case 3). Six cases of sCJD without PPS treatment were examined for comparison. Protease-resistant PrP (PrP(res) ) in the frontal lobe was evaluated by Western blotting after proteinase K digestion. Further, the degree of polymerization of PrP molecules was examined by the size-exclusion gel chromatography assay. PPS infusions were started 3-10 months after disease onset, but the treatment did not achieve any clinical improvements. Postmortem examinations of the treated cases revealed symmetrical brain lesions, including neuronal loss, spongiform change and gliosis. Noteworthy was GFAP in the cortical astrocytes reduced in all treated cases despite astrogliosis. Immunohistochemistry for PrP revealed abnormal synaptic deposits in all treated cases and further plaque-type PrP deposition in case 3 of GSS and case 4 of dCJD. Western blotting showed relatively low ratios of PrP(res) in case 2 of dCJD and case 3 of GSS, while in the treated sCJD (case 1), the ratio of PrP(res) was comparable with untreated cases. The indices of oligomeric PrP were reduced in one sCJD (case 1) and one dCJD (case 2). Although intraventricular PPS infusion might modify the accumulation of PrP oligomers in the brains of patients with prion diseases, the therapeutic effects are still uncertain.

  10. Protease-sensitive synthetic prions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  11. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orrú, Christina D; Wilham, Jason M; Hughson, Andrew G; Raymond, Lynne D; McNally, Kristin L; Bossers, Alex; Ligios, Ciriaco; Caughey, Byron

    2009-08-01

    The pathological isoform of the prion protein (PrP(res)) 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-femtogram levels of PrP(res) in scrapie-infected hamster brain tissue and distinguish cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) samples from normal and scrapie-infected hamsters. We now report the adaptation of the QuIC reaction to prion diseases of medical and agricultural interest: human variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) and sheep scrapie. PrP(res)-positive and -negative brain homogenates from humans and sheep were discriminated within 1-2 days with a sensitivity of 10-100 fg PrP(res). More importantly, in as little as 22 h we were able to distinguish CSF samples from scrapie-infected and uninfected sheep. These results suggest the presence of prions in CSF from scrapie-infected sheep. This new method enables the relatively rapid and sensitive detection of human CJD and sheep scrapie PrP(res) and may facilitate the development of practical preclinical diagnostic and high-throughput interference tests.

  13. Resistance of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE prions to inactivation.

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    Kurt Giles

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Distinct prion strains often exhibit different incubation periods and patterns of neuropathological lesions. Strain characteristics are generally retained upon intraspecies transmission, but may change on transmission to another species. We investigated the inactivation of two related prions strains: BSE prions from cattle and mouse-passaged BSE prions, termed 301V. Inactivation was manipulated by exposure to sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS, variations in pH, and different temperatures. Infectivity was measured using transgenic mouse lines that are highly susceptible to either BSE or 301V prions. Bioassays demonstrated that BSE prions are up to 1,000-fold more resistant to inactivation than 301V prions while Western immunoblotting showed that short acidic SDS treatments reduced protease-resistant PrP(Sc from BSE prions and 301V prions at similar rates. Our findings argue that despite being derived from BSE prions, mouse 301V prions are not necessarily a reliable model for cattle BSE prions. Extending these comparisons to human sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and hamster Sc237 prions, we found that BSE prions were 10- and 10(6-fold more resistant to inactivation, respectively. Our studies contend that any prion inactivation procedures must be validated by bioassay against the prion strain for which they are intended to be used.

  14. Resistance of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) prions to inactivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giles, Kurt; Glidden, David V; Beckwith, Robyn; Seoanes, Rose; Peretz, David; DeArmond, Stephen J; Prusiner, Stanley B

    2008-11-01

    Distinct prion strains often exhibit different incubation periods and patterns of neuropathological lesions. Strain characteristics are generally retained upon intraspecies transmission, but may change on transmission to another species. We investigated the inactivation of two related prions strains: BSE prions from cattle and mouse-passaged BSE prions, termed 301V. Inactivation was manipulated by exposure to sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), variations in pH, and different temperatures. Infectivity was measured using transgenic mouse lines that are highly susceptible to either BSE or 301V prions. Bioassays demonstrated that BSE prions are up to 1,000-fold more resistant to inactivation than 301V prions while Western immunoblotting showed that short acidic SDS treatments reduced protease-resistant PrP(Sc) from BSE prions and 301V prions at similar rates. Our findings argue that despite being derived from BSE prions, mouse 301V prions are not necessarily a reliable model for cattle BSE prions. Extending these comparisons to human sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and hamster Sc237 prions, we found that BSE prions were 10- and 10(6)-fold more resistant to inactivation, respectively. Our studies contend that any prion inactivation procedures must be validated by bioassay against the prion strain for which they are intended to be used.

  15. 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.

  16. Naturally prion resistant mammals: a utopia?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Mouse models for studying the formation and propagation of prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watts, Joel C; Prusiner, Stanley B

    2014-07-18

    Prions are self-propagating protein conformers that cause a variety of neurodegenerative disorders in humans and animals. Mouse models have played key roles in deciphering the biology of prions and in assessing candidate therapeutics. The development of transgenic mice that form prions spontaneously in the brain has advanced our understanding of sporadic and genetic prion diseases. Furthermore, the realization that many proteins can become prions has necessitated the development of mouse models for assessing the potential transmissibility of common neurodegenerative diseases. As the universe of prion diseases continues to expand, mouse models will remain crucial for interrogating these devastating illnesses.

  18. High hydrophobic amino acid exposure is responsible of the neurotoxic effects induced by E200K or D202N disease-related mutations of the human prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. Detection of prions in the faeces of sheep naturally infected with classical scrapie

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    Terry Linda A

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Classical scrapie is a naturally transmitted prion disease of sheep and goats. Contaminated environments may contribute to the spread of disease and evidence from animal models has implicated urine, blood, saliva, placenta and faeces as possible sources of the infection. Here we sought to determine whether sheep naturally infected with classical scrapie shed prions in their faeces. We used serial protein misfolding cyclic amplification (sPMCA along with two extraction methods to examine faeces from sheep during both the clinical and preclinical phases of the disease and showed amplification of PrPSc in 7 of 15 and 14 of 14 sheep respectively. However PrPSc was not amplified from the faeces of 25 sheep not exposed to scrapie. These data represent the first demonstration of prion shedding in faeces from a naturally infected host and thus a likely source of prion contamination in the environment.

  20. Celiac disease: clinical observations

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    Yu. A. Emel’yanova

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Presented clinical cases of patients with a diagnosis of gluten enteropathy in treatment in the department of gastroenterology Regional Clinical Hospital. The case is of interest to doctors of different specialties for the differential diagnosis of anemia and malabsorption syndrome, demonstrate both the classic version, and atypical forms of the disease course. Diagnosis of celiac disease is based on three key positions: clinical findings, histology and serological markers. The clinical picture of celiac disease is characterized by pronounced polymorphism, by going beyond the a gastroenterological pathology. For screening of gluten sensitive celiac typically used an antibody to tissue transglutaminase. Morphological research of the mucous membrane of the small intestine is the determining criterion in the diagnosis of celiac disease. The use of specific gluten-free diet leads to the positive dynamics of the disease and improve the quality of life of patients.

  1. 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.

  2. In utero transmission and tissue distribution of chronic wasting disease-associated prions in free-ranging Rocky Mountain elk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selariu, Anca; Powers, Jenny G; Nalls, Amy; Brandhuber, Monica; Mayfield, Amber; Fullaway, Stephenie; Wyckoff, Christy A; Goldmann, Wilfred; Zabel, Mark M; Wild, Margaret A; Hoover, Edward A; Mathiason, Candace K

    2015-11-01

    The presence of disease-associated prions in tissues and bodily fluids of chronic wasting disease (CWD)-infected cervids has received much investigation, yet little is known about mother-to-offspring transmission of CWD. Our previous work demonstrated that mother-to-offspring transmission is efficient in an experimental setting. To address the question of relevance in a naturally exposed free-ranging population, we assessed maternal and fetal tissues derived from 19 elk dam-calf pairs collected from free-ranging Rocky Mountain elk from north-central Colorado, a known CWD endemic region. Conventional immunohistochemistry identified three of 19 CWD-positive dams, whereas a more sensitive assay [serial protein misfolding cyclic amplification (sPMCA)] detected CWD prion seeding activity (PrPCWD) in 15 of 19 dams. PrPCWD distribution in tissues was widespread, and included the central nervous system (CNS), lymphoreticular system, and reproductive, secretory, excretory and adipose tissues. Interestingly, five of 15 sPMCA-positive dams showed no evidence of PrPCWD in either CNS or lymphoreticular system, sites typically assessed in diagnosing CWD. Analysis of fetal tissues harvested from the 15 sPMCA-positive dams revealed PrPCWD in 80 % of fetuses (12 of 15), regardless of gestational stage. These findings demonstrated that PrPCWD is more abundant in peripheral tissues of CWD-exposed elk than current diagnostic methods suggest, and that transmission of prions from mother to offspring may contribute to the efficient transmission of CWD in naturally exposed cervid populations.

  3. Temporal resolution of PrPSc transport, PrPSc accumulation, activation of glia and neuronal death in retinas from C57Bl/6 mice inoculated with RML scrapie: Relevance to biomarkers of prion disease progression

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2006-06-15

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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Unaltered Prion Pathogenesis in a Mouse Model of High-Fat Diet-Induced Insulin Resistance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caihong Zhu

    Full Text Available Epidemiological, clinical, and experimental animal studies suggest a strong correlation between insulin resistance and Alzheimer's disease. In fact, type-2 diabetes is considered an important risk factor of developing Alzheimer's disease. In addition, impaired insulin signaling in the Alzheimer's disease brain may promote Aβ production, impair Aβ clearance and induce tau hyperphosphorylation, thereby leading to deterioration of the disease. The pathological prion protein, PrPSc, deposits in the form of extracellular aggregates and leads to dementia, raising the question as to whether prion pathogenesis may also be affected by insulin resistance. We therefore established high-fat diet-induced insulin resistance in tga20 mice, which overexpress the prion protein. We then inoculated the insulin-resistant mice with prions. We found that insulin resistance in tga20 mice did not affect prion disease progression, PrPSc deposition, astrogliosis or microglial activation, and had no effect on survival. Our study demonstrates that in a mouse model, insulin resistance does not significantly contribute to prion pathogenesis.

  8. Consensus classification of human prion disease histotypes allows reliable identification of molecular subtypes: an inter-rater study among surveillance centres in Europe and USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Boni, Laura; Saverioni, Daniela; Cohen, Mark L.; Ferrer, Isidro; Gambetti, Pierluigi; Gelpi, Ellen; Giaccone, Giorgio; Hauw, Jean-Jacques; Höftberger, Romana; Ironside, James W.; Jansen, Casper; Kovacs, Gabor G.; Rozemuller, Annemieke; Seilhean, Danielle; Tagliavini, Fabrizio; Giese, Armin

    2013-01-01

    The current classification of human sporadic prion diseases recognizes six major phenotypic subtypes with distinctive clinicopathological features, which largely correlate at the molecular level with the genotype at the polymorphic codon 129 (methionine, M, or valine, V) in the prion protein gene and with the size of the protease-resistant core of the abnormal prion protein, PrPSc (i.e. type 1 migrating at 21 kDa and type 2 at 19 kDa). We previously demonstrated that PrPSc typing by Western blotting is a reliable means of strain typing and disease classification. Limitations of this approach, however, particularly in the interlaboratory setting, are the association of PrPSc types 1 or 2 with more than one clinicopathological phenotype, which precludes definitive case classification if not supported by further analysis, and the difficulty of fully recognizing cases with mixed phenotypic features. In this study, we tested the inter-rater reliability of disease classification based only on histopathological criteria. Slides from 21 cases covering the whole phenotypic spectrum of human sporadic prion diseases, and also including two cases of variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD), were distributed blindly to 13 assessors for classification according to given instructions. The results showed good-to-excellent agreement between assessors in the classification of cases. In particular, there was full agreement (100 %) for the two most common sporadic CJD subtypes and variant CJD, and very high concordance in general for all pure phenotypes and the most common subtype with mixed phenotypic features. The present data fully support the basis for the current classification of sporadic human prion diseases and indicate that, besides molecular PrPSc typing, histopathological analysis permits reliable disease classification with high interlaboratory accuracy. PMID:22744790

  9. 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.

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

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    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.

  11. Relationship of PrPSc molecular properties with incubation time in a natural prion disease host: a characterization of three isolates of U.S. sheep scrapie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Determination of aspects of tertiary and quaternary structure of PrPSc associated with differences in disease presentation in the host is a key area of interest in the prion field. Previously, we determined that a U.S. scrapie isolate (136-VDEP) with a short incubation time upon passage in sheep als...

  12. 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

  13. Mass Spectrometry of Prions: Approaches to Conformational Distinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prions are the agents that cause a set of fatal neurological diseases that include Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Prions are composed solely of protein. Unlike viral, bacterial, or fungal pathogens, the information necessary to propagate the infection is contained in the conformation of the prion isofor...

  14. BSE-associated prion-amyloid cardiomyopathy in primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krasemann, Susanne; Mearini, Giulia; Krämer, Elisabeth; Wagenführ, Katja; Schulz-Schaeffer, Walter; Neumann, Melanie; Bodemer, Walter; Kaup, Franz-Josef; Beekes, Michael; Carrier, Lucie; Aguzzi, Adriano; Glatzel, Markus

    2013-06-01

    Prion amyloidosis occurred in the heart of 1 of 3 macaques intraperitoneally inoculated with bovine spongiform encephalopathy prions. This macaque had a remarkably long duration of disease and signs of cardiac distress. Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, caused by transmission of bovine spongiform encephalopathy to humans, may manifest with cardiac symptoms from prion-amyloid cardiomyopathy.

  15. Pompe disease: clinical perspectives

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    Cabello JF

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Juan Francisco Cabello,1 Deborah Marsden21Genetics and Metabolic Disease Laboratory, Nutrition and Food Technology Institute (INTA, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile; 2Division of Genetics and Genomics, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA Abstract: Pompe disease (acid alpha-glucosidase deficiency, OMIM 232300 is a rare lysosomal storage disorder due to autosomal recessive mutations in the GAA gene. It has also been called acid maltase deficiency and glycogen storage disease type II. There is a broad clinical presentation: the most severe form that presents in the first few months of life with cardiomyopathy and generalized muscle weakness that rapidly progresses to death from cardio-respiratory failure in the first year of life (infant-onset Pompe disease. A more slowly progressive disease, with little or no cardiac involvement, presents with proximal myopathy and/or pulmonary insufficiency, from the second year of life to late adulthood (late-onset Pompe disease. The recent development and introduction of enzyme replacement therapy with intravenous infusion of recombinant human acid alpha-glucosidase have made a major improvement in the morbidity and mortality of this disease. New therapies are also in development. With the availability of treatment, diagnostic methods have also improved, allowing for earlier recognition and potential early therapeutic intervention. The advent of newborn screening for Pompe disease may identify patients who can be treated before significant irreversible disease has occurred. Keywords: Pompe disease, glycogen storage disease, lysosomal storage disease, enzyme replacement therapy, gene therapy, chaperone therapy, genotype/phenotype, newborn screening

  16. Lichens: unexpected anti-prion agents?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    The prion diseases sheep scrapie and cervid chronic wasting disease are transmitted, in part, via an environmental reservoir of infectivity; prions released from infected animals persist in the environment and can cause disease years later. Central to controlling disease transmission is the identification of methods capable of inactivating these agents on the landscape. We have found that certain lichens, common, ubiquitous, symbiotic organisms, possess a serine protease capable of degrading prion protein (PrP) from prion-infected animals. The protease functions against a range of prion strains from various hosts and reduces levels of abnormal PrP by at least two logs. We have now tested more than 20 lichen species from several geographical locations and from various taxa and found that approximately half of these species degrade PrP. Critical next steps include examining the effect of lichens on prion infectivity and cloning the protease responsible for PrP degradation. The impact of lichens on prions in the environment remains unknown. We speculate that lichens could have the potential to degrade prions when they are shed from infected animals onto lichens or into environments where lichens are abundant. In addition, lichens are frequently consumed by cervids and many other animals and the effect of dietary lichens on prion disease transmission should also be considered.

  17. Lichens: unexpected anti-prion agents?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    The prion diseases sheep scrapie and cervid chronic wasting disease are transmitted, in part, via an environmental reservoir of infectivity; prions released from infected animals persist in the environment and can cause disease years later. Central to controlling disease transmission is the identification of methods capable of inactivating these agents on the landscape. We have found that certain lichens, common, ubiquitous, symbiotic organisms, possess a serine protease capable of degrading prion protein (PrP) from prion-infected animals. The protease functions against a range of prion strains from various hosts and reduces levels of abnormal PrP by at least two logs. We have now tested more than twenty lichen species from several geographical locations and from various taxa and found that approximately half of these species degrade PrP. Critical next steps include examining the effect of lichens on prion infectivity and cloning the protease responsible for PrP degradation. The impact of lichens on prions in the environment remains unknown. We speculate that lichens could have the potential to degrade prions when they are shed from infected animals onto lichens or into environments where lichens are abundant. In addition, lichens are frequently consumed by cervids and many other animals and the effect of dietary lichens on prion disease transmission should also be considered.

  18. Comparison of CR36, a new heparan mimetic, and pentosan polysulfate in the treatment of prion diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larramendy-Gozalo, Claire; Barret, Agnès; Daudigeos, Estelle; Mathieu, Emilie; Antonangeli, Lucie; Riffet, Cécile; Petit, Emmanuel; Papy-Garcia, Dulce; Barritault, Denis; Brown, Paul; Deslys, Jean-Philippe

    2007-03-01

    Sulfated polyanions, including pentosan polysulfate (PPS) and heparan mimetics, number among the most effective drugs that have been used in experimental models of prion disease and are presumed to act in competition with endogenous heparan sulfate proteoglycans as co-receptors for prion protein (PrP) on the cell surface. PPS has been shown to prolong the survival of animals after intracerebral perfusion and is in limited use for the experimental treatment of human transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). Here, PPS is compared with CR36, a new heparan mimetic. Ex vivo, CR36 was more efficient than PPS in reducing PrPres in scrapie-infected cell cultures and showed long-lasting activity. In vivo, CR36 showed none of the acute toxicity observed with PPS and reduced PrPres accumulation in spleens, but had only a marginal effect on the survival time of mice infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy. In contrast, mice treated with PPS that survived the initial toxic mortality had no detectable PrPres in the spleens and lived 185 days longer than controls (+55%). These results show, once again, that anti-TSE drugs cannot be encouraged for human therapeutic trials solely on the basis of in vitro or ex vivo observations, but must first be subjected to in vivo animal studies.

  19. 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.

  20. 加强对朊病毒的研究和朊病毒病的防控%Enforcement of prion research and prevalence of prion disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    董小平

    2007-01-01

    朊病毒病(prion disease),又称可传播性海绵状脑病(Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies,TSE),是一类侵袭人类及多种动物中枢神经系统的传染性退行性脑病,潜伏期长,病死率100%。

  1. An acoustic prion assay

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    Gordon Hayward

    2016-12-01

    The response of the sensor aligns with a conformational shift in the surface protein and with the propagation mechanism of the disease. This alignment is evident in the response timing and shape, dependence on concentration, cross species behaviour and impact of blood plasma. This alignment is far from sufficient to prove the mechanism of the sensor but it does offer the possibility of a rapid and inexpensive additional tool to explore prion disease.

  2. Detection of prion infectivity in fat tissues of scrapie-infected mice.

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    Brent Race

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Distribution of prion infectivity in organs and tissues is important in understanding prion disease pathogenesis and designing strategies to prevent prion infection in animals and humans. Transmission of prion disease from cattle to humans resulted in banning human consumption of ruminant nervous system and certain other tissues. In the present study, we surveyed tissue distribution of prion infectivity in mice with prion disease. We show for the first time detection of infectivity in white and brown fat. Since high amounts of ruminant fat are consumed by humans and also incorporated into animal feed, fat-containing tissues may pose a previously unappreciated hazard for spread of prion infection.

  3. 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...

  4. Accelerated high fidelity prion amplification within and across prion species barriers.

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    Kristi M Green

    Full Text Available Experimental obstacles have impeded our ability to study prion transmission within and, more particularly, between species. Here, we used cervid prion protein expressed in brain extracts of transgenic mice, referred to as Tg(CerPrP, as a substrate for in vitro generation of chronic wasting disease (CWD prions by protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA. Characterization of this infectivity in Tg(CerPrP mice demonstrated that serial PMCA resulted in the high fidelity amplification of CWD prions with apparently unaltered properties. Using similar methods to amplify mouse RML prions and characterize the resulting novel cervid prions, we show that serial PMCA abrogated a transmission barrier that required several hundred days of adaptation and subsequent stabilization in Tg(CerPrP mice. While both approaches produced cervid prions with characteristics distinct from CWD, the subtly different properties of the resulting individual prion isolates indicated that adaptation of mouse RML prions generated multiple strains following inter-species transmission. Our studies demonstrate that combined transgenic mouse and PMCA approaches not only expedite intra- and inter-species prion transmission, but also provide a facile means of generating and characterizing novel prion strains.

  5. Review: A review on classical and atypical scrapie in caprine: Prion protein gene polymorphisms and their role in the disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curcio, L; Sebastiani, C; Di Lorenzo, P; Lasagna, E; Biagetti, M

    2016-10-01

    Scrapie is a naturally occurring transmissible spongiform encephalopathy in sheep and goat. It has been known for ~250 years and is characterised by the accumulation of an abnormal isoform of a host-encoded prion protein that leads to progressive neurodegeneration and death. Scrapie is recognised in two forms, classical and atypical scrapie. The susceptibility to both types of scrapie is influenced by polymorphisms of the prion protein gene (PRNP). Sheep susceptibility or resistance to classical scrapie is strongly regulated by the polymorphisms at codons 136, 154 and 171 of the PRNP. The genetic role in atypical scrapie in sheep has been defined by polymorphisms at codons 141, 154 and 171, which are associated with different degrees of risk in the occurrence of the ovine disease. Progress has been achieved in the prevention of scrapie in sheep due to efficient genetic breeding programmes based on eradication and control of the disease. In Europe, the success of these programmes has been verified by applying eradication and genetic selection plans. In general terms, the ovine selection plans aim to eliminate and reduce the susceptible allele and to enrich the resistant allele ARR. During outbreaks all susceptible animals are slaughtered, only ARR/ARR resistant rams and sheep and semi-resistant females are preserved. In the occurrence of scrapie positive goats a complete cull of the flock (stamping out) is performed with great economic loss and severe risk of extinction for the endangered breeds. The ability to select scrapie-resistant animals allows to define new breeding strategies aimed to boost genetic progress while reducing costs during scrapie outbreaks. Allelic variants of PRNP can be protective for caprine scrapie, and the knowledge of their distribution in goats has become very important. Over the past few years, the integration of genetic information on goat populations could be used to make selection decisions, commonly referred to as genetic selection

  6. Urinary alpha1-antichymotrypsin: a biomarker of prion infection.

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    Gino Miele

    Full Text Available The occurrence of blood-borne prion transmission incidents calls for identification of potential prion carriers. However, current methods for intravital diagnosis of prion disease rely on invasive tissue biopsies and are unsuitable for large-scale screening. Sensitive biomarkers may help meeting this need. Here we scanned the genome for transcripts elevated upon prion infection and encoding secreted proteins. We found that alpha(1-antichymotrypsin (alpha(1-ACT was highly upregulated in brains of scrapie-infected mice. Furthermore, alpha(1-ACT levels were dramatically increased in urine of patients suffering from sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and increased progressively throughout the disease. Increased alpha(1-ACT excretion was also found in cases of natural prion disease of animals. Therefore measurement of urinary alpha(1-ACT levels may be useful for monitoring the efficacy of therapeutic regimens for prion disease, and possibly also for deferring blood and organ donors that may be at risk of transmitting prion infections.

  7. 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.

  8. Accelerating Yeast Prion Biology using Droplet Microfluidics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ung, Lloyd; Rotem, Assaf; Jarosz, Daniel; Datta, Manoshi; Lindquist, Susan; Weitz, David

    2012-02-01

    Prions are infectious proteins in a misfolded form, that can induce normal proteins to take the misfolded state. Yeast prions are relevant, as a model of human prion diseases, and interesting from an evolutionary standpoint. Prions may also be a form of epigenetic inheritance, which allow yeast to adapt to stressful conditions at rates exceeding those of random mutations and propagate that adaptation to their offspring. Encapsulation of yeast in droplet microfluidic devices enables high-throughput measurements with single cell resolution, which would not be feasible using bulk methods. Millions of populations of yeast can be screened to obtain reliable measurements of prion induction and loss rates. The population dynamics of clonal yeast, when a fraction of the cells are prion expressing, can be elucidated. Furthermore, the mechanism by which certain strains of bacteria induce yeast to express prions in the wild can be deduced. Integrating the disparate fields of prion biology and droplet microfluidics reveals a more complete picture of how prions may be more than just diseases and play a functional role in yeast.

  9. Healthy goats naturally devoid of prion protein

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    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.

  10. Intraperitoneal Infection of Wild-Type Mice with Synthetically Generated Mammalian Prion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xinhe; McGovern, Gillian; Zhang, Yi; Wang, Fei; Zha, Liang; Jeffrey, Martin; Ma, Jiyan

    2015-07-01

    The prion hypothesis postulates that the infectious agent in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) is an unorthodox protein conformation based agent. Recent successes in generating mammalian prions in vitro with bacterially expressed recombinant prion protein provide strong support for the hypothesis. However, whether the pathogenic properties of synthetically generated prion (rec-Prion) recapitulate those of naturally occurring prions remains unresolved. Using end-point titration assay, we showed that the in vitro prepared rec-Prions have infectious titers of around 104 LD50/μg. In addition, intraperitoneal (i.p.) inoculation of wild-type mice with rec-Prion caused prion disease with an average survival time of 210-220 days post inoculation. Detailed pathological analyses revealed that the nature of rec-Prion induced lesions, including spongiform change, disease specific prion protein accumulation (PrP-d) and the PrP-d dissemination amongst lymphoid and peripheral nervous system tissues, the route and mechanisms of neuroinvasion were all typical of classical rodent prions. Our results revealed that, similar to naturally occurring prions, the rec-Prion has a titratable infectivity and is capable of causing prion disease via routes other than direct intra-cerebral challenge. More importantly, our results established that the rec-Prion caused disease is pathogenically and pathologically identical to naturally occurring contagious TSEs, supporting the concept that a conformationally altered protein agent is responsible for the infectivity in TSEs.

  11. Intraperitoneal Infection of Wild-Type Mice with Synthetically Generated Mammalian Prion.

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    Xinhe Wang

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The prion hypothesis postulates that the infectious agent in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs is an unorthodox protein conformation based agent. Recent successes in generating mammalian prions in vitro with bacterially expressed recombinant prion protein provide strong support for the hypothesis. However, whether the pathogenic properties of synthetically generated prion (rec-Prion recapitulate those of naturally occurring prions remains unresolved. Using end-point titration assay, we showed that the in vitro prepared rec-Prions have infectious titers of around 104 LD50/μg. In addition, intraperitoneal (i.p. inoculation of wild-type mice with rec-Prion caused prion disease with an average survival time of 210-220 days post inoculation. Detailed pathological analyses revealed that the nature of rec-Prion induced lesions, including spongiform change, disease specific prion protein accumulation (PrP-d and the PrP-d dissemination amongst lymphoid and peripheral nervous system tissues, the route and mechanisms of neuroinvasion were all typical of classical rodent prions. Our results revealed that, similar to naturally occurring prions, the rec-Prion has a titratable infectivity and is capable of causing prion disease via routes other than direct intra-cerebral challenge. More importantly, our results established that the rec-Prion caused disease is pathogenically and pathologically identical to naturally occurring contagious TSEs, supporting the concept that a conformationally altered protein agent is responsible for the infectivity in TSEs.

  12. 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.

  13. Atypical scrapie isolates involve a uniform prion species with a complex molecular signature.

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    Dorothea R Götte

    Full Text Available The pathobiology of atypical scrapie, a prion disease affecting sheep and goats, is still poorly understood. In a previous study, we demonstrated that atypical scrapie affecting small ruminants in Switzerland differs in the neuroanatomical distribution of the pathological prion protein (PrP(d. To investigate whether these differences depend on host-related vs. pathogen-related factors, we transmitted atypical scrapie to transgenic mice over-expressing the ovine prion protein (tg338. The clinical, neuropathological, and molecular phenotype of tg338 mice is similar between mice carrying the Swiss atypical scrapie isolates and the Nor98, an atypical scrapie isolate from Norway. Together with published data, our results suggest that atypical scrapie is caused by a uniform type of prion, and that the observed phenotypic differences in small ruminants are likely host-dependant. Strikingly, by using a refined SDS-PAGE technique, we established that the prominent proteinase K-resistant prion protein fragment in atypical scrapie consists of two separate, unglycosylated peptides with molecular masses of roughly 5 and 8 kDa. These findings show similarities to those for other prion diseases in animals and humans, and lay the groundwork for future comparative research.

  14. Atypical scrapie isolates involve a uniform prion species with a complex molecular signature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Götte, Dorothea R; Benestad, Sylvie L; Laude, Hubert; Zurbriggen, Andreas; Oevermann, Anna; Seuberlich, Torsten

    2011-01-01

    The pathobiology of atypical scrapie, a prion disease affecting sheep and goats, is still poorly understood. In a previous study, we demonstrated that atypical scrapie affecting small ruminants in Switzerland differs in the neuroanatomical distribution of the pathological prion protein (PrP(d)). To investigate whether these differences depend on host-related vs. pathogen-related factors, we transmitted atypical scrapie to transgenic mice over-expressing the ovine prion protein (tg338). The clinical, neuropathological, and molecular phenotype of tg338 mice is similar between mice carrying the Swiss atypical scrapie isolates and the Nor98, an atypical scrapie isolate from Norway. Together with published data, our results suggest that atypical scrapie is caused by a uniform type of prion, and that the observed phenotypic differences in small ruminants are likely host-dependant. Strikingly, by using a refined SDS-PAGE technique, we established that the prominent proteinase K-resistant prion protein fragment in atypical scrapie consists of two separate, unglycosylated peptides with molecular masses of roughly 5 and 8 kDa. These findings show similarities to those for other prion diseases in animals and humans, and lay the groundwork for future comparative research.

  15. Prion pathogenesis is faithfully reproduced in cerebellar organotypic slice cultures.

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    Jeppe Falsig

    Full Text Available Prions cause neurodegeneration in vivo, yet prion-infected cultured cells do not show cytotoxicity. This has hampered mechanistic studies of prion-induced neurodegeneration. Here we report that prion-infected cultured organotypic cerebellar slices (COCS experienced progressive spongiform neurodegeneration closely reproducing prion disease, with three different prion strains giving rise to three distinct patterns of prion protein deposition. Neurodegeneration did not occur when PrP was genetically removed from neurons, and a comprehensive pharmacological screen indicated that neurodegeneration was abrogated by compounds known to antagonize prion replication. Prion infection of COCS and mice led to enhanced fodrin cleavage, suggesting the involvement of calpains or caspases in pathogenesis. Accordingly, neurotoxicity and fodrin cleavage were prevented by calpain inhibitors but not by caspase inhibitors, whereas prion replication proceeded unimpeded. Hence calpain inhibition can uncouple prion replication from its neurotoxic sequelae. These data validate COCS as a powerful model system that faithfully reproduces most morphological hallmarks of prion infections. The exquisite accessibility of COCS to pharmacological manipulations was instrumental in recognizing the role of calpains in neurotoxicity, and significantly extends the collection of tools necessary for rigorously dissecting prion pathogenesis.

  16. 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.

  17. Evidence for zoonotic potential of ovine scrapie prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassard, Hervé; Torres, Juan-Maria; Lacroux, Caroline; Douet, Jean-Yves; Benestad, Sylvie L; Lantier, Frédéric; Lugan, Séverine; Lantier, Isabelle; Costes, Pierrette; Aron, Naima; Reine, Fabienne; Herzog, Laetitia; Espinosa, Juan-Carlos; Beringue, Vincent; Andréoletti, Olivier

    2014-12-16

    Although Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) is the cause of variant Creutzfeldt Jakob disease (vCJD) in humans, the zoonotic potential of scrapie prions remains unknown. Mice genetically engineered to overexpress the human prion protein (tgHu) have emerged as highly relevant models for gauging the capacity of prions to transmit to humans. These models can propagate human prions without any apparent transmission barrier and have been used used to confirm the zoonotic ability of BSE. Here we show that a panel of sheep scrapie prions transmit to several tgHu mice models with an efficiency comparable to that of cattle BSE. The serial transmission of different scrapie isolates in these mice led to the propagation of prions that are phenotypically identical to those causing sporadic CJD (sCJD) in humans. These results demonstrate that scrapie prions have a zoonotic potential and raise new questions about the possible link between animal and human prions.

  18. Transmission of new bovine prion to mice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baron, T.G.M.; Biacabe, A.G.; Bencsik, A.; Langeveld, J.P.M.

    2006-01-01

    We previously reported that cattle were affected by a prion disorder that differed from bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) by showing distinct molecular features of disease-associated protease-resistant prion protein (PrPres). We show that intracerebral injection of such isolates into C57BL/6 mi

  19. 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.

  20. Propagation of prions causing synucleinopathies in cultured cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woerman, Amanda L; Stöhr, Jan; Aoyagi, Atsushi; Rampersaud, Ryan; Krejciova, Zuzana; Watts, Joel C; Ohyama, Takao; Patel, Smita; Widjaja, Kartika; Oehler, Abby; Sanders, David W; Diamond, Marc I; Seeley, William W; Middleton, Lefkos T; Gentleman, Steve M; Mordes, Daniel A; Südhof, Thomas C; Giles, Kurt; Prusiner, Stanley B

    2015-09-01

    Increasingly, evidence argues that many neurodegenerative diseases, including progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), are caused by prions, which are alternatively folded proteins undergoing self-propagation. In earlier studies, PSP prions were detected by infecting human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells expressing a tau fragment [TauRD(LM)] fused to yellow fluorescent protein (YFP). Here, we report on an improved bioassay using selective precipitation of tau prions from human PSP brain homogenates before infection of the HEK cells. Tau prions were measured by counting the number of cells with TauRD(LM)-YFP aggregates using confocal fluorescence microscopy. In parallel studies, we fused α-synuclein to YFP to bioassay α-synuclein prions in the brains of patients who died of multiple system atrophy (MSA). Previously, MSA prion detection required ∼120 d for transmission into transgenic mice, whereas our cultured cell assay needed only 4 d. Variation in MSA prion levels in four different brain regions from three patients provided evidence for three different MSA prion strains. Attempts to demonstrate α-synuclein prions in brain homogenates from Parkinson's disease patients were unsuccessful, identifying an important biological difference between the two synucleinopathies. Partial purification of tau and α-synuclein prions facilitated measuring the levels of these protein pathogens in human brains. Our studies should facilitate investigations of the pathogenesis of both tau and α-synuclein prion disorders as well as help decipher the basic biology of those prions that attack the CNS.

  1. Amyloidosis, synucleinopathy, and prion encephalopathy in a neuropathic lysosomal storage disease: the CNS-biomarker potential of peripheral blood.

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    Bartholomew J Naughton

    Full Text Available Mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS IIIB is a devastating neuropathic lysosomal storage disease with complex pathology. This study identifies molecular signatures in peripheral blood that may be relevant to MPS IIIB pathogenesis using a mouse model. Genome-wide gene expression microarrays on pooled RNAs showed dysregulation of 2,802 transcripts in blood from MPS IIIB mice, reflecting pathological complexity of MPS IIIB, encompassing virtually all previously reported and as yet unexplored disease aspects. Importantly, many of the dysregulated genes are reported to be tissue-specific. Further analyses of multiple genes linked to major pathways of neurodegeneration demonstrated a strong brain-blood correlation in amyloidosis and synucleinopathy in MPS IIIB. We also detected prion protein (Prnp deposition in the CNS and Prnp dysregulation in the blood in MPS IIIB mice, suggesting the involvement of Prnp aggregation in neuropathology. Systemic delivery of trans-BBB-neurotropic rAAV9-hNAGLU vector mediated not only efficient restoration of functional α-N-acetylglucosaminidase and clearance of lysosomal storage pathology in the central nervous system (CNS and periphery, but also the correction of impaired neurodegenerative molecular pathways in the brain and blood. Our data suggest that molecular changes in blood may reflect pathological status in the CNS and provide a useful tool for identifying potential CNS-specific biomarkers for MPS IIIB and possibly other neurological diseases.

  2. Grass plants bind, retain, uptake, and transport infectious prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pritzkow, Sandra; Morales, Rodrigo; Moda, Fabio; Khan, Uffaf; Telling, Glenn C; Hoover, Edward; Soto, Claudio

    2015-05-26

    Prions are the protein-based infectious agents responsible for prion diseases. Environmental prion contamination has been implicated in disease transmission. Here, we analyzed the binding and retention of infectious prion protein (PrP(Sc)) to plants. Small quantities of PrP(Sc) contained in diluted brain homogenate or in excretory materials (urine and feces) can bind to wheat grass roots and leaves. Wild-type hamsters were efficiently infected by ingestion of prion-contaminated plants. The prion-plant interaction occurs with prions from diverse origins, including chronic wasting disease. Furthermore, leaves contaminated by spraying with a prion-containing preparation retained PrP(Sc) for several weeks in the living plant. Finally, plants can uptake prions from contaminated soil and transport them to aerial parts of the plant (stem and leaves). These findings demonstrate that plants can efficiently bind infectious prions and act as carriers of infectivity, suggesting a possible role of environmental prion contamination in the horizontal transmission of the disease.

  3. Grass Plants Bind, Retain, Uptake, and Transport Infectious Prions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra Pritzkow

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Prions are the protein-based infectious agents responsible for prion diseases. Environmental prion contamination has been implicated in disease transmission. Here, we analyzed the binding and retention of infectious prion protein (PrPSc to plants. Small quantities of PrPSc contained in diluted brain homogenate or in excretory materials (urine and feces can bind to wheat grass roots and leaves. Wild-type hamsters were efficiently infected by ingestion of prion-contaminated plants. The prion-plant interaction occurs with prions from diverse origins, including chronic wasting disease. Furthermore, leaves contaminated by spraying with a prion-containing preparation retained PrPSc for several weeks in the living plant. Finally, plants can uptake prions from contaminated soil and transport them to aerial parts of the plant (stem and leaves. These findings demonstrate that plants can efficiently bind infectious prions and act as carriers of infectivity, suggesting a possible role of environmental prion contamination in the horizontal transmission of the disease.

  4. Fate of prions in soil: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Christen B; Booth, Clarissa J; Pedersen, Joel A

    2011-01-01

    Prions are the etiological agents of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSSEs), a class of fatal neurodegenerative diseases affecting humans and other mammals. The pathogenic prion protein is a misfolded form of the host-encoded prion protein and represents the predominant, if not sole, component of the infectious agent. Environmental routes of TSE transmission areimplicated in epizootics of sheep scrapie and chronic wasting disease (CWD) of deer, elk, and moose. Soil represents a plausible environmental reservoir of scrapie and CWD agents, which can persist in the environment for years. Attachment to soil particles likely influences the persistence and infectivity of prions in the environment. Effective methods to inactivate TSE agents in soil are currently lacking, and the effects of natural degradation mechanisms on TSE infectivity are largely unknown. An improved understanding of the processes affecting the mobility, persistence, and bioaviailability of prions in soil is needed for the management of TSE-contaminated environments.

  5. 微小 RNA 在朊病毒病等神经退行性疾病中的研究进展%Current research progress on microRNAs in neurodegenerative diseases including prion diseases

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    魏静; 高晨

    2016-01-01

    朊病毒病是一类具有传染性、不可逆且致命的神经退行性疾病,其致病机制为体内正常编码的细胞型朊蛋白(cellular prion protein ,PrPC )构象发生变化,形成了具有感染性的异常痒病型朊病毒(scrapie prion protein ,PrPSc ),但具体机制不清楚,目前为止尚无有效治疗方法。微小 RNA(microRNA ,miRNA)可在转录水平调控细胞蛋白表达,对神经系统发育及功能起重要作用。近年来,对一些特定miRNA在朊病毒病中相应调控机制、自发免疫、炎症信号转导及靶基因预测方面的研究可为治疗朊病毒病提供新的角度。本文就miRNA在朊病毒病发生中的相关研究进展进行综述,并详细探讨其中研究较为深入的miRNA。%Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) ,or prion diseases ,are irreversible and fatal neurodegenerative disorders associated with the conformational conversion of cellular prion protein (PrPC ) , a normal cellular protein ,into scrapie prion protein (PrPSc ) ,a structural isoform that is infectious and with no effective treatment yet .MicroRNA can regulate cellular protein expression at transcriptional level and may play an critical role in the development process of central nervous system .Recent studies indicate that some specific microRNAs involved in the regulation of innate immune response and inflammation signaling pathways may also be implicated in prion diseases and provide some new insights into the treatment of prion diseases .This review highlights the progress on microRNAs in the occurrence of prion diseases and discusses the leading microRNAs in detail .

  6. Methods for Differentiating Prion Types in Food-Producing Animals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin C. Gough

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Prions are an enigma amongst infectious disease agents as they lack a genome yet confer specific pathologies thought to be dictated mainly, if not solely, by the conformation of the disease form of the prion protein (PrPSc. Prion diseases affect humans and animals, the latter including the food-producing ruminant species cattle, sheep, goats and deer. Importantly, it has been shown that the disease agent of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE is zoonotic, causing variant Creutzfeldt Jakob disease (vCJD in humans. Current diagnostic tests can distinguish different prion types and in food-producing animals these focus on the differentiation of BSE from the non-zoonotic agents. Whilst BSE cases are now rare, atypical forms of both scrapie and BSE have been reported, as well as two types of chronic wasting disease (CWD in cervids. Typing of animal prion isolates remains an important aspect of prion diagnosis and is now becoming more focused on identifying the range of prion types that are present in food-producing animals and also developing tests that can screen for emerging, novel prion diseases. Here, we review prion typing methodologies in light of current and emerging prion types in food-producing animals.

  7. Direct detection of soil-bound prions.

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    Sacha Genovesi

    Full Text Available Scrapie and chronic wasting disease are contagious prion diseases affecting sheep and cervids, respectively. Studies have indicated that horizontal transmission is important in sustaining these epidemics, and that environmental contamination plays an important role in this. In the perspective of detecting prions in soil samples from the field by more direct methods than animal-based bioassays, we have developed a novel immuno-based approach that visualises in situ the major component (PrP(Sc of prions sorbed onto agricultural soil particles. Importantly, the protocol needs no extraction of the protein from soil. Using a cell-based assay of infectivity, we also report that samples of agricultural soil, or quartz sand, acquire prion infectivity after exposure to whole brain homogenates from prion-infected mice. Our data provide further support to the notion that prion-exposed soils retain infectivity, as recently determined in Syrian hamsters intracerebrally or orally challenged with contaminated soils. The cell approach of the potential infectivity of contaminated soil is faster and cheaper than classical animal-based bioassays. Although it suffers from limitations, e.g. it can currently test only a few mouse prion strains, the cell model can nevertheless be applied in its present form to understand how soil composition influences infectivity, and to test prion-inactivating procedures.

  8. Different prion disease phenotypes result from inoculation of cattle with two temporally separated sources of sheep scrapie from Great Britain

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    Hawkins Steve AC

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Given the theoretical proposal that bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE could have originated from sheep scrapie, this study investigated the pathogenicity for cattle, by intracerebral (i.c. inoculation, of two pools of scrapie agents sourced in Great Britain before and during the BSE epidemic. Two groups of ten cattle were each inoculated with pools of brain material from sheep scrapie cases collected prior to 1975 and after 1990. Control groups comprised five cattle inoculated with sheep brain free from scrapie, five cattle inoculated with saline, and for comparison with BSE, naturally infected cattle and cattle i.c. inoculated with BSE brainstem homogenate from a parallel study. Phenotypic characterisation of the disease forms transmitted to cattle was conducted by morphological, immunohistochemical, biochemical and biological methods. Results Disease occurred in 16 cattle, nine inoculated with the pre-1975 inoculum and seven inoculated with the post-1990 inoculum, with four cattle still alive at 83 months post challenge (as at June 2006. The different inocula produced predominantly two different disease phenotypes as determined by histopathological, immunohistochemical and Western immunoblotting methods and biological characterisation on transmission to mice, neither of which was identical to BSE. Whilst the disease presentation was uniform in all scrapie-affected cattle of the pre-1975 group, the post-1990 inoculum produced a more variable disease, with two animals sharing immunohistochemical and molecular profile characteristics with animals in the pre-1975 group. Conclusion The study has demonstrated that cattle inoculated with different pooled scrapie sources can develop different prion disease phenotypes, which were not consistent with the phenotype of BSE of cattle and whose isolates did not have the strain typing characteristics of the BSE agent on transmission to mice.

  9. 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.

  10. Coexistence of two forms of disease-associated prion protein in extracerebral tissues of cattle infected with H-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okada, Hiroyuki; Miyazawa, Kohtaro; Masujin, Kentaro; Yokoyama, Takashi

    2016-08-01

    H-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy (H-BSE) is an atypical form of BSE in aged cattle. H-BSE is characterized by the presence of two proteinase K-resistant forms of disease-associated prion protein (PrP(Sc)), identified as PrP(Sc) #1 and PrP(Sc) #2, in the brain. To investigate the coexistence of different PrP(Sc) forms in the extracerebral tissues of cattle experimentally infected with H-BSE, immunohistochemical and molecular analyses were performed by using N-terminal-, core-region- and C-terminal-specific anti-prion protein antibodies. Our results demonstrated that two distinct forms of PrP(Sc) coexisted in the various extracerebral tissues.

  11. 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.

  12. Affinity Association Between Polynucleotide, Glycoprotein, or Sulfated Polysaccharides and Disease-Associated Prion Protein

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    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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

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    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.

  16. Age at Death of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in subsequent family generation carrying the E200K mutation of the prion protein gene.

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    Maurizio Pocchiari

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The E200K mutation of the prion protein gene (PRNP is the most frequent amino acid substitution in genetic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and is the only one responsible for the appearance of clustered cases in the world. In the Israel and Slovakian clusters, age of disease onset was reduced in successive generations but the absence of a clear molecular basis raised the possibility that this event was an observational bias. The aim of the present study was to investigate possible selection biases or confounding factors related to anticipation in E200K CJD patients belonging to a cluster in Southern Italy. METHODS: Clinical and demographical data of 41 parent-offspring pairs from 19 pedigrees of the Italian cluster of E200K patients were collected. Age at death of parents was compared with age at death of E200K CJD offspring. Subgroup analyses were performed for controlling possible selection biases, confounding factors, or both. RESULTS: The mean age at death/last follow-up of the parent generation was 71.4 years while that of CJD offspring was 59.3 years with an estimated anticipation of 12.1 years. When the same analysis was performed including only parents with CJD or carrying the E200K mutation (n = 26, the difference between offspring and parents increased to 14.8 years. CONCLUSIONS: These results show that early age at death occurs in offspring of families carrying the E200K PRNP mutation and that this event is not linked to observational biases. Although molecular or environmental bases for this occurrence remain unsettled, this information is important for improving the accuracy of information to give to mutated carriers.

  17. [Wilson's disease: clinical spectrum of liver disease].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ochoa Palominos, Alejandra; Ibáñez Samaniego, Luis; Catalina Rodríguez, María-Vega; Pajares Díaz, José; Clemente Ricote, Gerardo

    2013-02-01

    Wilson's disease is a hereditary autosomal recessive disorder of copper metabolism,characterized by copper accumulation in the liver and brain. This rare entity, which has a broad clinical spectrum, is often difficult to diagnose and should therefore always be suspected in patients with liver disease of unclear cause. We describe two types of manifestation of liver disease in two patients; the first developed fulminant hepatic failure requiring urgent liver transplantation and the second showed advanced chronic liver disease and received standard medical treatment. The objective of this clinical observation is to analyze the diagnosis of Wilson's disease in two patients with distinct onset, illustrating the broad clinical spectrum of the disease, and its treatment.

  18. Anti-prion activity of Brilliant Blue G.

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    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.

  19. Epigenetic dominance of prion conformers.

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    Eri Saijo

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Although they share certain biological properties with nucleic acid based infectious agents, prions, the causative agents of invariably fatal, transmissible neurodegenerative disorders such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, sheep scrapie, and human Creutzfeldt Jakob disease, propagate by conformational templating of host encoded proteins. Once thought to be unique to these diseases, this mechanism is now recognized as a ubiquitous means of information transfer in biological systems, including other protein misfolding disorders such as those causing Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. To address the poorly understood mechanism by which host prion protein (PrP primary structures interact with distinct prion conformations to influence pathogenesis, we produced transgenic (Tg mice expressing different sheep scrapie susceptibility alleles, varying only at a single amino acid at PrP residue 136. Tg mice expressing ovine PrP with alanine (A at (OvPrP-A136 infected with SSBP/1 scrapie prions propagated a relatively stable (S prion conformation, which accumulated as punctate aggregates in the brain, and produced prolonged incubation times. In contrast, Tg mice expressing OvPrP with valine (V at 136 (OvPrP-V136 infected with the same prions developed disease rapidly, and the converted prion was comprised of an unstable (U, diffusely distributed conformer. Infected Tg mice co-expressing both alleles manifested properties consistent with the U conformer, suggesting a dominant effect resulting from exclusive conversion of OvPrP-V136 but not OvPrP-A136. Surprisingly, however, studies with monoclonal antibody (mAb PRC5, which discriminates OvPrP-A136 from OvPrP-V136, revealed substantial conversion of OvPrP-A136. Moreover, the resulting OvPrP-A136 prion acquired the characteristics of the U conformer. These results, substantiated by in vitro analyses, indicated that co-expression of OvPrP-V136 altered the conversion potential of OvPrP-A136 from the S to

  20. Mammalian prion biology: one century of evolving concepts.

    OpenAIRE

    Aguzzi, A; Polymenidou, M

    2004-01-01

    Prions have been responsible for an entire century of tragic episodes. Fifty years ago, kuru decimated the population of Papua New Guinea. Then, iatrogenic transmission of prions caused more than 250 cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. More recently, transmission of bovine spongiform encephalopathy to humans caused a widespread health scare. On the other hand, the biology of prions represents a fascinating and poorly understood phenomenon, which may account for more than just diseases and may...

  1. Clinical patterns in Parkinson's disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rooden, Stephanie Maria van

    2012-01-01

    The clinical heterogeneity of Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients may reflect the existence of subtypes of the disease. PD subtypes have often been defined by a classification according to researcher-specified criteria, such as age-at-onset or predominant clinical motor features. The general objective

  2. Asynchronous onset of clinical disease in BSE-infected macaques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montag, Judith; Schulz-Schaeffer, Walter; Schrod, Annette; Hunsmann, Gerhard; Motzkus, Dirk

    2013-07-01

    To estimate the effect of the variability of prion disease onset on primary bovine spongiform encephalopathy transmission to humans, we studied 6 cynomolgus macaques. The preclinical incubation period was significantly prolonged in 2 animals, implying that onset of variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease in humans could be more diverse than previously expected.

  3. 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

  4. Prion infectivity detected in swine challenged with chronic wasting disease via the intracerebral or oral route

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a naturally-occurring, fatal neurodegenerative disease of North American cervids. The potential for swine to serve as a host for the agent of chronic wasting disease is unknown. In the US, feeding of ruminant by-products to ruminants is prohibited, but feeding of rum...

  5. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  7. 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...

  8. 疯牛病毒蛋白自由基-大与小的结合%Prion radicals, a marriage between the big and the small

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chi Ming Yang

    1999-01-01

      When all the experimental evidence from prion research are reconciled, my interpretation of the available data argues that persuasive evidence suggests that putative forms of persistent sequence-specific prion radicals in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) can be responsible for the infectious agent. A mechanism corresponding to the self-replication of scrapie protein mediated by prion radicals is proposed. My analysis argues that prions replicate via a prion radical-mediated chain process and the generation of the prion radicals is associated with reactive oxidative species. All of the unusual nature of prion diseases in mammals can be explained by invokingthe prion protein radicals.

  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. Molecular Modeling of Prion Transmission to Humans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Etienne Levavasseur

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Using different prion strains, such as the variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease agent and the atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy agents, and using transgenic mice expressing human or bovine prion protein, we assessed the reliability of protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA to model interspecies and genetic barriers to prion transmission. We compared our PMCA results with in vivo transmission data characterized by attack rates, i.e., the percentage of inoculated mice that developed the disease. Using 19 seed/substrate combinations, we observed that a significant PMCA amplification was only obtained when the mouse line used as substrate is susceptible to the corresponding strain. Our results suggest that PMCA provides a useful tool to study genetic barriers to transmission and to study the zoonotic potential of emerging prion strains.

  11. 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.

  12. H-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy-complex molecular featrues and similarities with some human prion diseases

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Biacabe, A.G.; Jacobs, J.G.; Bencsik, A.; Langeveld, J.P.M.; Baron, T.G.M.

    2007-01-01

    We previously reported that some cattle affected by bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) showed distinct molecular features of the protease-resistant prion protein (PrPres) in Western blot, with a 1-2 kDa higher apparent molecular mass of the unglycosylated PrPres associated with labelling by anti

  13. The epsilon isoform of 14-3-3 protein is a component of the prion protein amyloid deposits of Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Fede, Giuseppe; Giaccone, Giorgio; Limido, Lucia; Mangieri, Michela; Suardi, Silvia; Puoti, Gianfranco; Morbin, Michela; Mazzoleni, Giulia; Ghetti, Bernardino; Tagliavini, Fabrizio

    2007-02-01

    The 14-3-3 proteins are highly conserved, ubiquitous molecules involved in a variety of biologic events, such as transduction pathway modulation, cell cycle control, and apoptosis. Seven isoforms have been identified that are abundant in the brain, preferentially localized in neurons. Remarkable increases in 14-3-3 are seen in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), and it has been found in pathologic inclusions of several neurodegenerative diseases. Moreover, the zeta isoform has been detected in prion protein (PrP) amyloid deposits of CJD patients. To further investigate the cerebral distribution of 14-3-3 in prion-related encephalopathies, we carried out an immunohistochemical and biochemical analysis of brain tissue from patients with Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker disease (GSS) and sporadic, familial and acquired forms of CJD, using specific antibodies against the seven 14-3-3 isoforms. The study showed a strong immunoreactivity of PrP amyloid plaques of GSS patients for the 14-3-3 epsilon isoform, but not for the other isoforms. The epsilon isoform of 14-3-3 was not found in PrP deposits of CJD. These results indicate that the epsilon isoform of 14-3-3 is a component of PrP amyloid deposits of GSS and suggest that this is the sole 14-3-3 isoform specifically involved in the neuropathologic changes associated with this disorder.

  14. Clinical neurogenetics: huntington disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bordelon, Yvette M

    2013-11-01

    Huntington disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant, adult-onset, progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by the triad of abnormal movements (typically chorea), cognitive impairment, and psychiatric problems. It is caused by an expanded CAG repeat in the gene encoding the protein huntingtin on chromosome 4 and causes progressive atrophy of the striatum as well as cortical and other extrastriatal structures. Genetic testing has been available since 1993 to confirm diagnosis in affected adults and for presymptomatic testing in at-risk individuals. This review covers HD signs, symptoms, and pathophysiology; current genetic testing issues; and current and future treatment strategies.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Theoretical Modeling of Molecular Mechanisms, Time Scales and Strains in Prion Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    E., E. Rojas, and H. B. Pollard. 1993. Alzheimer disease amyloid b protein forms calcium channels in bilayer membranes: blockade by tromethane and... aluminum . Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 90:567–571. Baumgaertner, A. 1996. Insertion and hairpin formation of membrane proteins: a Monte Carlo study

  19. Prionic diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abelardo Q-C Araujo

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Prion diseases are neurodegenerative illnesses due to the accumulation of small infectious pathogens containing protein but apparently lacking nucleic acid, which have long incubation periods and progress inexorably once clinical symptoms appear. Prions are uniquely resistant to a number of normal decontaminating procedures. The prionopathies [Kuru, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD and its variants, Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker (GSS syndrome and fatal familial insomnia (FFI] result from accumulation of abnormal isoforms of the prion protein in the brains of normal animals on both neuronal and non-neuronal cells. The accumulation of this protein or fragments of it in neurons leads to apoptosis and cell death. There is a strong link between mutations in the gene encoding the normal prion protein in humans (PRNP - located on the short arm of chromosome 20 – and forms of prion disease with a familial predisposition (familial CJD, GSS, FFI. Clinically a prionopathy should be suspected in any case of a fast progressing dementia with ataxia, myoclonus, or in individuals with pathological insomnia associated with dysautonomia. Magnetic resonance imaging, identification of the 14-3-3 protein in the cerebrospinal fluid, tonsil biopsy and genetic studies have been used for in vivo diagnosis circumventing the need of brain biopsy. Histopathology, however, remains the only conclusive method to reach a confident diagnosis. Unfortunately, despite numerous treatment efforts, prionopathies remain short-lasting and fatal diseases.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Chronic wasting disease and atypical forms of bovine spongiform encephalopathy and scrapie are not transmissible to mice expressing wild-type levels of human prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Rona; Plinston, Chris; Hunter, Nora; Casalone, Cristina; Corona, Cristiano; Tagliavini, Fabrizio; Suardi, Silvia; Ruggerone, Margherita; Moda, Fabio; Graziano, Silvia; Sbriccoli, Marco; Cardone, Franco; Pocchiari, Maurizio; Ingrosso, Loredana; Baron, Thierry; Richt, Juergen; Andreoletti, Olivier; Simmons, Marion; Lockey, Richard; Manson, Jean C; Barron, Rona M

    2012-07-01

    The association between bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) has demonstrated that cattle transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) can pose a risk to human health and raises the possibility that other ruminant TSEs may be transmissible to humans. In recent years, several novel TSEs in sheep, cattle and deer have been described and the risk posed to humans by these agents is currently unknown. In this study, we inoculated two forms of atypical BSE (BASE and H-type BSE), a chronic wasting disease (CWD) isolate and seven isolates of atypical scrapie into gene-targeted transgenic (Tg) mice expressing the human prion protein (PrP). Upon challenge with these ruminant TSEs, gene-targeted Tg mice expressing human PrP did not show any signs of disease pathology. These data strongly suggest the presence of a substantial transmission barrier between these recently identified ruminant TSEs and humans.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Soil clay content underlies prion infection odds

    Science.gov (United States)

    David, Walter W.; Walsh, D.P.; Farnsworth, Matthew L.; Winkelman, D.L.; Miller, M.W.

    2011-01-01

    Environmental factors-especially soil properties-have been suggested as potentially important in the transmission of infectious prion diseases. Because binding to montmorillonite (an aluminosilicate clay mineral) or clay-enriched soils had been shown to enhance experimental prion transmissibility, we hypothesized that prion transmission among mule deer might also be enhanced in ranges with relatively high soil clay content. In this study, we report apparent influences of soil clay content on the odds of prion infection in free-ranging deer. Analysis of data from prion-infected deer herds in northern Colorado, USA, revealed that a 1% increase in the clay-sized particle content in soils within the approximate home range of an individual deer increased its odds of infection by up to 8.9%. Our findings suggest that soil clay content and related environmental properties deserve greater attention in assessing risks of prion disease outbreaks and prospects for their control in both natural and production settings. ?? 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

  7. Patología del sueño en las enfermedades priónicas Sleep disorders in prion diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Ayuso

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Las enfermedades priónicas son un grupo de encefalopatías con cambios neurodegenerativos causados por una proteína alterada denominada prión cuyo dato característico es la transmisibilidad. Ocurren la mayoría de las veces de forma esporádica aunque un grupo de ellas son familiares asociadas a mutaciones en el gen de la proteína priónica. El polimorfismo genético parece determinar las diferentes variantes familiares. Una de las más enigmáticas e inhabituales es el Insomnio Letal Familiar (ILF, trastorno hereditario caracterizado por pérdida del sueño fisiológico con estupor onírico, hiperactividad autonómica y motora, y anomalías motoras. La polisomnografía de esta entidad refleja la incapacidad para producir un patrón fisiológico del sueño NREM y REM, así como de las fluctuaciones circadianas hormonales y vegetativas; la transición de vigilia a sueño está marcadamente alterada con desaparición precoz de los husos de sueño. La hipótesis del origen de estos trastornos es la pérdida neuronal talámica, especialmente en los núcleos anterior y dorsomedial, descrita en la neuropatología de estos pacientes; además la PET revela hipofunción de núcleos talámicos, centros responsables del control vigilia-sueño. En la enfermedad de Creutzfeldt-Jakob las alteraciones de sueño-vigilia no se han considerado características, no obstante, se han encontrado frecuentes alteraciones en los registros electroencefalográficos de sueño. Además de la neurodegeneración talámica puede haber mecanismos etiopatogénicos comunes en las enfermedades priónicas en relación con la función biológica de la proteína priónica.Prion diseases are a group of encephalopathies with neurodegenerative changes caused by an altered protein named prion whose characteristic datum is transmissibility. In most cases they occur in a sporadic form although a group of them are familial associated with mutations in the gene of the prion protein

  8. Clinic Analysis of Behcet Disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jingjun Lin; Hongni Li; Yixia Huang; Kangkeng Zheng; Zhongxia Zhou; Xiaofeng Lin

    2004-01-01

    Purpose: To analyze the clinic manifestation and prognosis of Behcet disease.Method: Twenty patients requiring inpatient treatment with Behcet disease were retrospectively analyzed.Results: The morbidity of Behcet disease is 5.5/100 000. In the systemic damage, stomatocace and skin lesion are 95%, eye lesion and genital ulcer 50%, joint lesion 45%,gastrointestinal lesion 35%, Uveitis is the major disease in eye lesion, and followed in order by retinal vasculitis and obstruction of retinal artery. Attack age average 30.3 years old. Diagnosis age average 34.8 years old. The patients stay in hospital for 41 days on the average. Cure rate is 55%, improvement rate 40%, blinding rate of eye lesion is 36%.Conclusions: Behcet disease is a multisystem lesion disease. Stomatocace and skin lesion is the major lesion, the next in common occurrence are eye and genital lesions. Repeated attack of uveitis, complicated cataract and secondary glaucoma are the major causes of blindness.

  9. 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

  10. Prion Strain Differences in Accumulation of PrPSc on Neurons and Glia Are Associated with Similar Expression Profiles of Neuroinflammatory Genes: Comparison of Three Prion Strains.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James A Carroll

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Misfolding and aggregation of host proteins are important features of the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, frontotemporal dementia and prion diseases. In all these diseases, the misfolded protein increases in amount by a mechanism involving seeded polymerization. In prion diseases, host prion protein is misfolded to form a pathogenic protease-resistant form, PrPSc, which accumulates in neurons, astroglia and microglia in the CNS. Here using dual-staining immunohistochemistry, we compared the cell specificity of PrPSc accumulation at early preclinical times post-infection using three mouse scrapie strains that differ in brain regional pathology. PrPSc from each strain had a different pattern of cell specificity. Strain 22L was mainly associated with astroglia, whereas strain ME7 was mainly associated with neurons and neuropil. In thalamus and cortex, strain RML was similar to 22L, but in substantia nigra, RML was similar to ME7. Expression of 90 genes involved in neuroinflammation was studied quantitatively using mRNA from thalamus at preclinical times. Surprisingly, despite the cellular differences in PrPSc accumulation, the pattern of upregulated genes was similar for all three strains, and the small differences observed correlated with variations in the early disease tempo. Gene upregulation correlated with activation of both astroglia and microglia detected in early disease prior to vacuolar pathology or clinical signs. Interestingly, the profile of upregulated genes in scrapie differed markedly from that seen in two acute viral CNS diseases (LaCrosse virus and BE polytropic Friend retrovirus that had reactive gliosis at levels similar to our prion-infected mice.

  11. Lions and prions and deer demise.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael W Miller

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Contagious prion diseases--scrapie of sheep and chronic wasting disease of several species in the deer family--give rise to epidemics that seem capable of compromising host population viability. Despite this prospect, the ecological consequences of prion disease epidemics in natural populations have received little consideration. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using a cohort study design, we found that prion infection dramatically lowered survival of free-ranging adult (>2-year-old mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus: estimated average life expectancy was 5.2 additional years for uninfected deer but only 1.6 additional years for infected deer. Prion infection also increased nearly fourfold the rate of mountain lions (Puma concolor preying on deer, suggesting that epidemics may alter predator-prey dynamics by facilitating hunting success. Despite selective predation, about one fourth of the adult deer we sampled were infected. High prevalence and low survival of infected deer provided a plausible explanation for the marked decline in this deer population since the 1980s. CONCLUSION: Remarkably high infection rates sustained in the face of intense predation show that even seemingly complete ecosystems may offer little resistance to the spread and persistence of contagious prion diseases. Moreover, the depression of infected populations may lead to local imbalances in food webs and nutrient cycling in ecosystems in which deer are important herbivores.

  12. 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.

  13. Remarkable reduction of MAP2 in the brains of scrapie-infected rodents and human prion disease possibly correlated with the increase of calpain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan Guo

    Full Text Available Microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2 belongs to the family of heat stable MAPs, which takes part in neuronal morphogenesis, maintenance of cellular architecture and internal organization, cell division and cellular processes. To obtain insight into the possible alteration and the role of MAP2 in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs, the MAP2 levels in the brain tissues of agent 263K-infected hamsters and human prion diseases were evaluated. Western blots and IHC revealed that at the terminal stages of the diseases, MAP2 levels in the brain tissues of scrapie infected hamsters, a patient with genetic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (G114V gCJD and a patient with fatal familial insomnia (FFI were almost undetectable. The decline of MAP2 was closely related with prolonged incubation time. Exposure of SK-N-SH neuroblastoma cell line to cytotoxic PrP106-126 peptide significantly down-regulated the cellular MAP2 level and remarkably disrupted the microtubule structure, but did not alter the level of tubulin. Moreover, the levels of calpain, which mediated the degradation of a broad of cytoskeletal proteins, were significantly increased in both PrP106-126 treated SK-N-SH cells and brain tissues of 263K prion-infected hamsters. Our data indicate that the decline of MAP2 is a common phenomenon in TSEs, which seems to occur at an early stage of incubation period. Markedly increased calpain level might contribute to the reduction of MAP2.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. Trichinella infection and clinical disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clausen, M R; Meyer, C N; Krantz, T;

    1996-01-01

    Trichinellosis is caused by ingestion of insufficiently cooked meat contaminated with infective larvae of Trichinella species. The clinical course is highly variable, ranging from no apparent infection to severe and even fatal disease. We report two illustrative cases of trichinellosis. Returning....... Life-threatening cardiopulmonary, renal and central nervous system complications developed. The patient recovered after several months. Her husband, who also ate the pork, did not have clinical symptoms, but an increased eosinophil count and a single larva in a muscle biopsy confirmed infection...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. A functional SNP catalog of overlapping miRNA-binding sites in genes implicated in prion disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saba, Reuben; Medina, Sarah J; Booth, Stephanie A

    2014-10-01

    The involvement of SNPs in miRNA target sites remains poorly investigated in neurodegenerative disease. In addition to associations with disease risk, such genetic variations can also provide novel insight into mechanistic pathways that may be responsible for disease etiology and/or pathobiology. To identify SNPs associated specifically with degenerating neurons, we restricted our analysis to genes that are dysregulated in CA1 hippocampal neurons of mice during early, preclinical phase of Prion disease. The 125 genes chosen are also implicated in other numerous degenerative and neurological diseases and disorders and are therefore likely to be of fundamental importance. We predicted those SNPs that could increase, decrease, or have neutral effects on miRNA binding. This group of genes was more likely to possess DNA variants than were genes chosen at random. Furthermore, many of the SNPs are common within the human population, and could contribute to the growing awareness that miRNAs and associated SNPs could account for detrimental neurological states. Interestingly, SNPs that overlapped miRNA-binding sites in the 3'-UTR of GABA-receptor subunit coding genes were particularly enriched. Moreover, we demonstrated that SNP rs9291296 would strengthen miR-26a-5p binding to a highly conserved site in the 3'-UTR of gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor subunit alpha-4.

  20. Rapid transepithelial transport of prions following inhalation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kincaid, Anthony E; Hudson, Kathryn F; Richey, Matthew W; Bartz, Jason C

    2012-12-01

    Prion infection and pathogenesis are dependent on the agent crossing an epithelial barrier to gain access to the recipient nervous system. Several routes of infection have been identified, but the mechanism(s) and timing of in vivo prion transport across an epithelium have not been determined. The hamster model of nasal cavity infection was used to determine the temporal and spatial parameters of prion-infected brain homogenate uptake following inhalation and to test the hypothesis that prions cross the nasal mucosa via M cells. A small drop of infected or uninfected brain homogenate was placed below each nostril, where it was immediately inhaled into the nasal cavity. Regularly spaced tissue sections through the entire extent of the nasal cavity were processed immunohistochemically to identify brain homogenate and the disease-associated isoform of the prion protein (PrP(d)). Infected or uninfected brain homogenate was identified adhering to M cells, passing between cells of the nasal mucosa, and within lymphatic vessels of the nasal cavity at all time points examined. PrP(d) was identified within a limited number of M cells 15 to 180 min following inoculation, but not in the adjacent nasal mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (NALT). While these results support M cell transport of prions, larger amounts of infected brain homogenate were transported paracellularly across the respiratory, olfactory, and follicle-associated epithelia of the nasal cavity. These results indicate that prions can immediately cross the nasal mucosa via multiple routes and quickly enter lymphatics, where they can spread systemically via lymph draining the nasal cavity.

  1. Resistance of soil-bound prions to rumen digestion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel E Saunders

    Full Text Available Before prion uptake and infection can occur in the lower gastrointestinal system, ingested prions are subjected to anaerobic digestion in the rumen of cervids and bovids. The susceptibility of soil-bound prions to rumen digestion has not been evaluated previously. In this study, prions from infectious brain homogenates as well as prions bound to a range of soils and soil minerals were subjected to in vitro rumen digestion, and changes in PrP levels were measured via western blot. Binding to clay appeared to protect noninfectious hamster PrP(c from complete digestion, while both unbound and soil-bound infectious PrP(Sc proved highly resistant to rumen digestion. In addition, no change in intracerebral incubation period was observed following active rumen digestion of unbound hamster HY TME prions and HY TME prions bound to a silty clay loam soil. These results demonstrate that both unbound and soil-bound prions readily survive rumen digestion without a reduction in infectivity, further supporting the potential for soil-mediated transmission of chronic wasting disease (CWD and scrapie in the environment.

  2. Mutability of prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jiali; Mahal, Sukhvir P; Demczyk, Cheryl A; Weissmann, Charles

    2011-12-01

    Murine prions transferred from brain to cultured cells gradually adapt to the new environment. Brain-derived 22L prions can infect neuroblastoma-derived PK1 cells in the presence of swainsonine (swa); that is, they are 'swa resistant'. PK1 cell-adapted 22L prions are swa sensitive; however, propagation in swa results in selection of swa-resistant substrains. Cloned, PK1 cell-adapted 22L prions were initially unable to develop swa resistance ('swa incompetent'); however, after serial propagation for 30-90 doublings, four of nine clones became swa competent, showing that swa-resistant 'mutants' arose during replication. Mutations in the case of prions are attributed to heritable changes in PrP(Sc) conformation. One clone remained swa incompetent even after 10(35)-fold expansion; surprisingly, after propagation in brain, it yielded swa-resistant prions, indistinguishable from the original 22L population. Thus, cell-adapted 22L prions assumed either mutable or virtually immutable conformations; however, when passaged through the brain all became mutable. Mutability is thus a substrain-specific attribute.

  3. 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.

  4. Huntington's disease: a clinical review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roos Raymund AC

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Huntington disease (HD is a rare neurodegenerative disorder of the central nervous system characterized by unwanted choreatic movements, behavioral and psychiatric disturbances and dementia. Prevalence in the Caucasian population is estimated at 1/10,000-1/20,000. Mean age at onset of symptoms is 30-50 years. In some cases symptoms start before the age of 20 years with behavior disturbances and learning difficulties at school (Juvenile Huntington's disease; JHD. The classic sign is chorea that gradually spreads to all muscles. All psychomotor processes become severely retarded. Patients experience psychiatric symptoms and cognitive decline. HD is an autosomal dominant inherited disease caused by an elongated CAG repeat (36 repeats or more on the short arm of chromosome 4p16.3 in the Huntingtine gene. The longer the CAG repeat, the earlier the onset of disease. In cases of JHD the repeat often exceeds 55. Diagnosis is based on clinical symptoms and signs in an individual with a parent with proven HD, and is confirmed by DNA determination. Pre-manifest diagnosis should only be performed by multidisciplinary teams in healthy at-risk adult individuals who want to know whether they carry the mutation or not. Differential diagnoses include other causes of chorea including general internal disorders or iatrogenic disorders. Phenocopies (clinically diagnosed cases of HD without the genetic mutation are observed. Prenatal diagnosis is possible by chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis. Preimplantation diagnosis with in vitro fertilization is offered in several countries. There is no cure. Management should be multidisciplinary and is based on treating symptoms with a view to improving quality of life. Chorea is treated with dopamine receptor blocking or depleting agents. Medication and non-medical care for depression and aggressive behavior may be required. The progression of the disease leads to a complete dependency in daily life, which

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Prion疾病与生物无机化学%Prion Diseases and Bio-inorganic Chemistry

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    黄仲贤; 陆君霞; 王韵华

    2000-01-01

    介绍了除病菌、病毒以外的第三种病原体-病蛋白Prion.这种病原蛋白的本质是正常蛋白的异常折叠,因此又被称为蛋白分子的"构象病".还介绍了这种病蛋白的可能致病机理.铜离子对这种病蛋白生成的重要作用,充分显示了生物无机化学这门新兴学科的重要性和前沿性.

  8. Rapid antemortem detection of CWD prions in deer saliva.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Davin M Henderson

    Full Text Available Chronic wasting disease (CWD is an efficiently transmitted prion disease of cervids, now identified in 22 United States, 2 Canadian provinces and Korea. One hallmark of CWD is the shedding of infectious prions in saliva, as demonstrated by bioassay in deer. It is also clear that the concentration of prions in saliva, blood, urine and feces is much lower than in the nervous system or lymphoid tissues. Rapid in vitro detection of CWD (and other prions in body fluids and excreta has been problematic due to the sensitivity limits of direct assays (western blotting, ELISA and the presence of inhibitors in these complex biological materials that hamper detection. Here we use real-time quaking induced conversion (RT-QuIC to demonstrate CWD prions in both diluted and prion-enriched saliva samples from asymptomatic and symptomatic white-tailed deer. CWD prions were detected in 14 of 24 (58.3% diluted saliva samples from CWD-exposed white-tailed deer, including 9 of 14 asymptomatic animals (64.2%. In addition, a phosphotungstic acid enrichment enhanced the RT-QuIC assay sensitivity, enabling detection in 19 of 24 (79.1% of the above saliva samples. Bioassay in Tg[CerPrP] mice confirmed the presence of infectious prions in 2 of 2 RT-QuIC-positive saliva samples so examined. The modified RT-QuIC analysis described represents a non-invasive, rapid ante-mortem detection of prions in complex biologic fluids, excreta, or environmental samples as well as a tool for exploring prion trafficking, peripheralization, and dissemination.

  9. Rapid antemortem detection of CWD prions in deer saliva.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henderson, Davin M; Manca, Matteo; Haley, Nicholas J; Denkers, Nathaniel D; Nalls, Amy V; Mathiason, Candace K; Caughey, Byron; Hoover, Edward A

    2013-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is an efficiently transmitted prion disease of cervids, now identified in 22 United States, 2 Canadian provinces and Korea. One hallmark of CWD is the shedding of infectious prions in saliva, as demonstrated by bioassay in deer. It is also clear that the concentration of prions in saliva, blood, urine and feces is much lower than in the nervous system or lymphoid tissues. Rapid in vitro detection of CWD (and other) prions in body fluids and excreta has been problematic due to the sensitivity limits of direct assays (western blotting, ELISA) and the presence of inhibitors in these complex biological materials that hamper detection. Here we use real-time quaking induced conversion (RT-QuIC) to demonstrate CWD prions in both diluted and prion-enriched saliva samples from asymptomatic and symptomatic white-tailed deer. CWD prions were detected in 14 of 24 (58.3%) diluted saliva samples from CWD-exposed white-tailed deer, including 9 of 14 asymptomatic animals (64.2%). In addition, a phosphotungstic acid enrichment enhanced the RT-QuIC assay sensitivity, enabling detection in 19 of 24 (79.1%) of the above saliva samples. Bioassay in Tg[CerPrP] mice confirmed the presence of infectious prions in 2 of 2 RT-QuIC-positive saliva samples so examined. The modified RT-QuIC analysis described represents a non-invasive, rapid ante-mortem detection of prions in complex biologic fluids, excreta, or environmental samples as well as a tool for exploring prion trafficking, peripheralization, and dissemination.

  10. Influence of breed and genotype on the onset and distribution of infectivity and disease-associated prion protein in sheep following oral infection with the bovine spongiform encephalopathy agent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGovern, G; Martin, S; Jeffrey, M; Bellworthy, S J; Spiropoulos, J; Green, R; Lockey, R; Vickery, C M; Thurston, L; Dexter, G; Hawkins, S A C; González, L

    2015-01-01

    The onset and distribution of infectivity and disease-specific prion protein (PrP(d)) accumulation was studied in Romney and Suffolk sheep of the ARQ/ARQ, ARQ/ARR and ARR/ARR prion protein gene (Prnp) genotypes (where A stands for alanine, R for arginine and Q for glutamine at codons 136, 154 and 171 of PrP), following experimental oral infection with cattle-derived bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) agent. Groups of sheep were killed at regular intervals and a wide range of tissues taken for mouse bioassay or immunohistochemistry (IHC), or both. Bioassay results for infectivity were mostly coincident with those of PrP(d) detection by IHC both in terms of tissues and time post infection. Neither PrP(d) nor infectivity was detected in any tissues of BSE-dosed ARQ/ARR or ARR/ARR sheep or of undosed controls. Moreover, four ARQ/ARQ Suffolk sheep, which were methionine (M)/threonine heterozygous at codon 112 of the Prnp gene, did not show any biological or immunohistochemical evidence of infection, while those homozygous for methionine (MARQ/MARQ) did. In MARQ/MARQ sheep of both breeds, initial PrP(d) accumulation was identified in lymphoreticular system (LRS) tissues followed by the central nervous system (CNS) and enteric nervous system (ENS) and finally by the autonomic nervous system and peripheral nervous system and other organs. Detection of infectivity closely mimicked this sequence. No PrP(d) was observed in the ENS prior to its accumulation in the CNS, suggesting that ENS involvement occurred simultaneously to that of, or followed centrifugal spread from, the CNS. The distribution of PrP(d) within the ENS further suggested a progressive spread from the ileal plexus to other ENS segments via neuronal connections of the gut wall. Differences between the two breeds were noted in terms of involvement of LRS and ENS tissues, with Romney sheep showing a more delayed and less consistent PrP(d) accumulation than Suffolk sheep in such tissues. Whether this

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  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. Inactivation of prion infectivity by ionizing rays

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gominet, M.; Vadrot, C.; Austruy, G.; Darbord, J. C.

    2007-11-01

    Inactivation of prion deposits on medical devices or prion contamination in pharmaceutical raw materials is considered as impossible by using gamma irradiation. Early, the guideline WHO/CDS/CSR/APH/2000 has described irradiation as an ineffective process. But, in 2003, S. Miekka et al. noted radiation inactivation of prions in a particular application to purify human albumin, shown by the physical denaturation of the infectious protein (PrP). The aim of our study was to determine the inactivation of prions with a scrapie model (strain C506M3) by irradiating standardised preparations. Results: Gamma irradiation was partially effective, showing a 4-5 log reduction on exposure to 50 kGy. A characteristic effect-dose curve was not observed (25, 50 and 100 kGy), only an increase in the incubation period of the murine disease (229 days with 25 kGy to 290 days with 100 kGy) compared with 170 days without irradiation. Since the inactivation was not a total one, the observed effect is significant. It is proposed that further work be undertaken with the model to investigate the application of gamma radiation known levels of prion contamination.

  15. Inactivation of prion infectivity by ionizing rays

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gominet, M. [Ionisos, ZI les Chatinieres, F01120 Dagneux (France); Vadrot, C.; Austruy, G. [Paris V University, Central Pharmacy of Hospitals, 4 avenue de l' Observatoire, F-75006, Paris (France); Darbord, J.C. [Paris V University, Central Pharmacy of Hospitals, 4 avenue de l' Observatoire, F-75006, Paris (France)], E-mail: darbord@pharmacie.univ-paris5.fr

    2007-11-15

    Inactivation of prion deposits on medical devices or prion contamination in pharmaceutical raw materials is considered as impossible by using gamma irradiation. Early, the guideline WHO/CDS/CSR/APH/2000 has described irradiation as an ineffective process. But, in 2003, S. Miekka et al. noted radiation inactivation of prions in a particular application to purify human albumin, shown by the physical denaturation of the infectious protein (PrP). The aim of our study was to determine the inactivation of prions with a scrapie model (strain C506M3) by irradiating standardised preparations. Results: Gamma irradiation was partially effective, showing a 4-5 log reduction on exposure to 50 kGy. A characteristic effect-dose curve was not observed (25, 50 and 100 kGy), only an increase in the incubation period of the murine disease (229 days with 25 kGy to 290 days with 100 kGy) compared with 170 days without irradiation. Since the inactivation was not a total one, the observed effect is significant. It is proposed that further work be undertaken with the model to investigate the application of gamma radiation known levels of prion contamination.

  16. 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.

  17. Role of lipid in forming an infectious prion?

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Fei Wang; Jiyan Ma

    2013-01-01

    The infectious agent of the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies,or prion diseases,has been the center of intense debate for decades.Years of studies have provided overwhelming evidence to support the prion hypothesis that posits a protein conformal infectious agent is responsible for the transmissibility of the disease.The recent studies that generate prion infectivity with purified bacterially expressed recombinant prion protein not only provides convincing evidence supporting the core of the prion hypothesis,that a pathogenic conformer of host prion protein is able to seed the conversion of its normal counterpart to the likeness of itself resulting in the replication of the pathogenic conformer and occurrence of disease,they also indicate the importance of cofactors,particularly lipid or lipid-like molecules,in forming the protein conformation-based infectious agent.This article reviews the literature regarding the chemical nature of the infectious agent and the potential contribution from lipid molecules to prion infectivity,and discusses the important remaining questions in this research area.

  18. 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].

  19. Tetracyclines and prion infectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forloni, Gianluigi; Salmona, Mario; Marcon, Gabriella; Tagliavini, Fabrizio

    2009-02-01

    In the last decade information has accumulated on the potential anti-prion activity of polycyclic compounds. Initially we showed that the antitumoral idodoxorubicin reduced the infectivity in experimental scrapie. On the basis of the chemical homology with anthracyclines, we rapidly moved to tetracyclines, compounds that are safer and widely used as antibiotics in clinical practice. The tetracyclines, essentially doxycycline and minocycline, were characterized as a therapeutical tool in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) through the cell-free condition, in cellular and animal models and they are now being investigated clinically with this indication. Tetracyclines interact with aggregates obtained by synthetic PrP peptides or pathological PrP (PrPsc) extracted from TSE brains, and they destabilize the structure of amyloid fibrils, reducing their resistance to digestion by proteinase K. Tetracyclines also interact with peptide oligomeric structures and inhibit the protein misfolding associated with PrPsc formation. These activities have been accompanied by a reduction of infectivity, verified by doxycycline treatment in experimental scrapie, and some curative effects after either peripheral or intracerebral infection. The anti-amyloidogenic activity of tetracyclines was tested in other forms of peripheral and central amyloidosis, with interesting results. This article analyzes the development of tetracyclines as a therapeutic tool in TSE in the light of recent results obtained in our laboratories.

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Animal models for testing anti-prion drugs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Borges, Natalia; Elezgarai, Saioa R; Eraña, Hasier; Castilla, Joaquín

    2013-01-01

    Prion diseases belong to a group of fatal infectious diseases with no effective therapies available. Throughout the last 35 years, less than 50 different drugs have been tested in different experimental animal models without hopeful results. An important limitation when searching for new drugs is the existence of appropriate models of the disease. The three different possible origins of prion diseases require the existence of different animal models for testing anti-prion compounds. Wild type, over-expressing transgenic mice and other more sophisticated animal models have been used to evaluate a diversity of compounds which some of them were previously tested in different in vitro experimental models. The complexity of prion diseases will require more pre-screening studies, reliable sporadic (or spontaneous) animal models and accurate chemical modifications of the selected compounds before having an effective therapy against human prion diseases. This review is intended to put on display the more relevant animal models that have been used in the search of new antiprion therapies and describe some possible procedures when handling chemical compounds presumed to have anti-prion activity prior to testing them in animal models.

  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. 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,...

  6. Replication efficiency of soil-bound prions varies with soil type.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saunders, Samuel E; Shikiya, Ronald A; Langenfeld, Katie; Bartelt-Hunt, Shannon L; Bartz, Jason C

    2011-06-01

    Prion sorption to soil is thought to play an important role in the transmission of scrapie and chronic wasting disease (CWD) via the environment. Sorption of PrP to soil and soil minerals is influenced by the strain and species of PrP(Sc) and by soil characteristics. However, the ability of soil-bound prions to convert PrP(c) to PrP(Sc) under these wide-ranging conditions remains poorly understood. We developed a semiquantitative protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) protocol to evaluate replication efficiency of soil-bound prions. Binding of the hyper (HY) strain of transmissible mink encephalopathy (TME) (hamster) prions to a silty clay loam soil yielded a greater-than-1-log decrease in PMCA replication efficiency with a corresponding 1.3-log reduction in titer. The increased binding of PrP(Sc) to soil over time corresponded with a decrease in PMCA replication efficiency. The PMCA efficiency of bound prions varied with soil type, where prions bound to clay and organic surfaces exhibited significantly lower replication efficiencies while prions bound to sand exhibited no apparent difference in replication efficiency compared to unbound controls. PMCA results from hamster and CWD agent-infected elk prions yielded similar findings. Given that PrP(Sc) adsorption affinity varies with soil type, the overall balance between prion adsorption affinity and replication efficiency for the dominant soil types of an area may be a significant determinant in the environmental transmission of prion diseases.

  7. Evaluation of the human transmission risk of an atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy prion strain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kong, Qingzhong; Zheng, Mengjie; Casalone, Cristina; Qing, Liuting; Huang, Shenghai; Chakraborty, Bikram; Wang, Ping; Chen, Fusong; Cali, Ignazio; Corona, Cristiano; Martucci, Francesca; Iulini, Barbara; Acutis, Pierluigi; Wang, Lan; Liang, Jingjing; Wang, Meiling; Li, Xinyi; Monaco, Salvatore; Zanusso, Gianluigi; Zou, Wen-Quan; Caramelli, Maria; Gambetti, Pierluigi

    2008-04-01

    Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), the prion disease in cattle, was widely believed to be caused by only one strain, BSE-C. BSE-C causes the fatal prion disease named new variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease in humans. Two atypical BSE strains, bovine amyloidotic spongiform encephalopathy (BASE, also named BSE-L) and BSE-H, have been discovered in several countries since 2004; their transmissibility and phenotypes in humans are unknown. We investigated the infectivity and human phenotype of BASE strains by inoculating transgenic (Tg) mice expressing the human prion protein with brain homogenates from two BASE strain-infected cattle. Sixty percent of the inoculated Tg mice became infected after 20 to 22 months of incubation, a transmission rate higher than those reported for BSE-C. A quarter of BASE strain-infected Tg mice, but none of the Tg mice infected with prions causing a sporadic human prion disease, showed the presence of pathogenic prion protein isoforms in the spleen, indicating that the BASE prion is intrinsically lymphotropic. The pathological prion protein isoforms in BASE strain-infected humanized Tg mouse brains are different from those from the original cattle BASE or sporadic human prion disease. Minimal brain spongiosis and long incubation times are observed for the BASE strain-infected Tg mice. These results suggest that in humans, the BASE strain is a more virulent BSE strain and likely lymphotropic.

  8. Aerosols transmit prions to immunocompetent and immunodeficient mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johannes Haybaeck

    Full Text Available Prions, the agents causing transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, colonize the brain of hosts after oral, parenteral, intralingual, or even transdermal uptake. However, prions are not generally considered to be airborne. Here we report that inbred and crossbred wild-type mice, as well as tga20 transgenic mice overexpressing PrP(C, efficiently develop scrapie upon exposure to aerosolized prions. NSE-PrP transgenic mice, which express PrP(C selectively in neurons, were also susceptible to airborne prions. Aerogenic infection occurred also in mice lacking B- and T-lymphocytes, NK-cells, follicular dendritic cells or complement components. Brains of diseased mice contained PrP(Sc and transmitted scrapie when inoculated into further mice. We conclude that aerogenic exposure to prions is very efficacious and can lead to direct invasion of neural pathways without an obligatory replicative phase in lymphoid organs. This previously unappreciated risk for airborne prion transmission may warrant re-thinking on prion biosafety guidelines in research and diagnostic laboratories.

  9. Repetitive immunization enhances the susceptibility of mice to peripherally administered prions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliane Bremer

    Full Text Available The susceptibility of humans and animals to prion infections is determined by the virulence of the infectious agent, by genetic modifiers, and by hitherto unknown host and environmental risk factors. While little is known about the latter two, the activation state of the immune system was surmised to influence prion susceptibility. Here we administered prions to mice that were repeatedly immunized by two initial injections of CpG oligodeoxynucleotides followed by repeated injections of bovine serum albumin/alum. Immunization greatly reduced the required dosage of peripherally administered prion inoculum necessary to induce scrapie in 50% of mice. No difference in susceptibility was observed following intracerebral prion challenge. Due to its profound impact onto scrapie susceptibility, the host immune status may determine disease penetrance after low-dose prion exposure, including those that may give rise to iatrogenic and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

  10. Atomic-resolution structures of prion AGAAAAGA amyloid fibrils

    CERN Document Server

    Zhang, Jiapu

    2011-01-01

    To the best of the author's knowledge, there is little structural data available on the AGAAAAGA palindrome in the hydrophobic region (113-120) of prion proteins due to the unstable, noncrystalline and insoluble nature of the amyloid fibril, although many experimental studies have shown that this region has amyloid fibril forming properties and plays an important role in prion diseases. In view of this, the present study is devoted to address this problem from computational approaches such as local optimization steepest descent, conjugate gradient, discrete gradient and Newton methods, global optimization simulated annealing and genetic algorithms, canonical dual optimization theory, and structural bioinformatics. The optimal atomic-resolution structures of prion AGAAAAGA amyloid fibils reported in this Chapter have a value to the scientific community in its drive to find treatments for prion diseases or at least be useful for the goals of medicinal chemistry.

  11. Polymorphisms at codons 56 and 174 of the prion-like protein gene (PRND) are not associated with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeong, Byung-Hoon; Kim, Nam-Ho; Kim, Jae-Il; Carp, Richard I; Kim, Yong-Sun

    2005-01-01

    Association between sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) and the prion-like protein gene (PRND) has been reported in the German population. To investigate whether the PRND polymorphisms are associated with an increased risk for developing sporadic CJD in the Korean population, we compared the genotype and allele frequencies of PRND polymorphisms in 110 sporadic CJD patients with those in 102 healthy Koreans. Two polymorphisms (P56L, T174 M) in Koreans were found in the open reading frame (ORF) of PRND. One heterozygote of P56L was observed in normal controls but not in sporadic CJD patients. A strong significant difference of PRND genotype frequency at codon 174 was found between the normal Korean population and various European populations. In contrast to results in the German population, our study did not show a significant difference in PRND genotype or allele frequency at codon 174 between sporadic CJD and normal controls. This was the first genetic association study of the ORF of PRND in an Asian CJD population.

  12. 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.

  13. Prion protein gene heterogeneity in free-ranging white-tailed deer within the chronic wasting disease affected region of Wisconsin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Chad; Johnson, Jody; Clayton, Murray; McKenzie, Debbie; Aiken, Judd

    2003-07-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) was first identified in Wisconsin (USA) in whitetailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in February 2002. To determine if prion protein gene (Prnp) allelic variability was associated with CWD in white-tailed deer from Wisconsin, we sequenced Prnp from 26 CWD-positive and 100 CWD-negative deer. Sequence analysis of Prnp suggests that at least 86-96% of the white-tailed deer in this region have Prnp allelic combinations that will support CWD infection. Four Prnp alleles were identified in the deer population, one of which, resulting in a glutamine to histidine change at codon 95, has not been previously reported. The predominant allele in the population encodes for glutamine at codon 95, glycine at codon 96, and serine at codon 138 (QGS). Less abundant alleles encoded QSS, QGN, and HGS at the three variable positions. Comparison of CWD-positive with CWD-negative deer suggested a trend towards an over-representation of the QGS allele and an under-representation of the QSS allele.

  14. Immunohistochemical detection of disease-associated prion protein in the peripheral nervous system in experimental H-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okada, H; Iwamaru, Y; Yokoyama, T; Mohri, S

    2013-07-01

    H-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) has been identified in aged cattle in Europe and North America. To determine the localization of disease-associated prion protein (PrP(Sc)) in the peripheral nerve tissues of cattle affected with H-type BSE, we employed highly sensitive immunohistochemical and immunofluorescence techniques with the tyramide signal amplification (TSA) system. PrP(Sc) deposition was detected in the inferior ganglia, sympathetic nerve trunk, vagus nerve, spinal nerves, cauda equina, and adrenal medulla, using this system. Notably, granular PrP(Sc) deposits were present mainly in the Schwann cells and fibroblast-like cells and occasionally along certain nerve fibers at the surface of the axons. In the adrenal gland, PrP(Sc) immunolabeling was observed within the sympathetic nerve fibers and nerve endings in the adrenal medulla. Although our results were limited to only 3 experimental cases, these results suggest that the TSA system, a highly sensitive immunohistochemical procedure, may help in elucidating the peripheral pathogenesis of H-type BSE.

  15. Detection of disease-associated prion protein in the optic nerve and the adrenal gland of cattle with bovine spongiform encephalopathy by using highly sensitive immunolabeling procedures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okada, Hiroyuki; Iwamaru, Yoshifumi; Fukuda, Shigeo; Yokoyama, Takashi; Mohri, Shirou

    2012-04-01

    A sensitive immunohistochemical procedure, the tyramide signal amplification (TSA) system, was applied to detect the localization of immunolabeled disease-associated prion protein (PrP(Sc)) in cattle affected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). In this procedure, immunolabeling could be visualized in the optic nerve and the adrenal medulla. In the optic nerve, the dual immunofluorescent technique showed that the granular PrP(Sc) was occasionally detected in the astrocytes, microglia, and myelin sheath adjacent to the axon. Clustered PrP(Sc) was also scattered in association with microglial cells and astrocytes of the optic nerve. In the adrenal gland, PrP(Sc) immunolabeling was confined within the sympathetic nerve fibers and endings. The results suggest that (1) PrP(Sc) might centrifugally spread within and between glial cells and/or the non-axonal (also known as ad-axonal) region of nerve fibers, rather than the axonal and/or extracellular space pathway in the optic nerve, and (2) the sympathetic innervations might be important for the trafficking of BSE agent in the adrenal glands of cattle. This study also suggests that tyramide-based immunochemical analysis should be performed to detect immunolabeled PrP(Sc) in the extracerebral tissues of BSE-affected cattle.

  16. Clinical studies on thyroid diseases

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eskes, S.A.

    2014-01-01

    This thesis focuses on some aspects of thyroid disease: prevention of autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD), diagnosis of related conditions as autoimmune hypophysitis in autoimmune hypothyroidism (Hashimoto’s disease), and treatment of amiodarone-induced thyrotoxicosis (AIT).

  17. 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.

  18. MDS clinical diagnostic criteria for Parkinson's disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Postuma, R.B.; Berg, D; Stern, M.; Poewe, W.; Olanow, C.W.; Oertel, W.; Obeso, J.; Marek, K.; Litvan, I.; Lang, A.E.; Halliday, G.; Goetz, C.G.; Gasser, T.; Dubois, B.; Chan, P.; Bloem, B.R.; Adler, C.H.; Deuschl, G.

    2015-01-01

    This document presents the Movement Disorder Society Clinical Diagnostic Criteria for Parkinson's disease (PD). The Movement Disorder Society PD Criteria are intended for use in clinical research but also may be used to guide clinical diagnosis. The benchmark for these criteria is expert clinical di

  19. 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) ...

  20. Medulla oblongata transcriptome changes during presymptomatic natural scrapie and their associaition with prion-related lesions.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Filali, H.; Martin-Burriel, I.; Harders, F.; Varona, L.; Serrano, C.; Acín, C.; Badiola, J.J.; Bossers, A.; Bolea, R.

    2012-01-01

    Background The pathogenesis of natural scrapie and other prion diseases is still poorly understood. Determining the variations in the transcriptome in the early phases of the disease might clarify some of the molecular mechanisms of the prion-induced pathology and allow for the development of new bi

  1. Infectious Disease Clinical Research Program (IDCRP)

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — Our mission is to conduct infectious disease clinical research of importance to the military through a unique, adaptive, and collaborative network, to inform health...

  2. Soil humic substances hinder the propagation of prions

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  3. 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.

  4. Prion-induced and spontaneous formation of transmissible toxicity in PrP transgenic Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thackray, Alana M; Di, Ying; Zhang, Chang; Wolf, Hanna; Pradl, Lydia; Vorberg, Ina; Andréoletti, Olivier; Bujdoso, Raymond

    2014-10-01

    Prion diseases are fatal transmissible neurodegenerative diseases of various mammalian species. Central to these conditions is the conversion of the normal host prion protein PrP(C) into the abnormal prion conformer PrP(Sc). Mature PrP(C) is attached to the plasma membrane by a glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor, whereas during biosynthesis and metabolism cytosolic and secreted forms of the protein may arise. The role of topological PrP(C) variants in the mechanism of prion formation and prion-induced neurotoxicity during prion disease remains undefined. In the present study we investigated whether Drosophila transgenic for ovine PrP targeted to the plasma membrane, to the cytosol or for secretion, could produce transmissible toxicity following exposure to exogenous ovine prions. Although all three topological variants of PrP were efficiently expressed in Drosophila, cytosolic PrP was conformationally distinct and required denaturation before recognition by immunobiochemical methods. Adult Drosophila transgenic for pan neuronally expressed ovine PrP targeted to the plasma membrane, to the cytosol or for secretion exhibited a decreased locomotor activity after exposure at the larval stage to ovine prions. Proteinase K-resistant PrP(Sc) was detected by protein misfolding cyclic amplification in prion-exposed Drosophila transgenic for membrane-targeted PrP. Significantly, head homogenate from all three variants of prion-exposed PrP transgenic Drosophila induced a decreased locomotor activity when transmitted to PrP recipient flies. Drosophila transgenic for PrP targeted for secretion exhibited a spontaneous locomotor defect in the absence of prion exposure that was transmissible in PrP transgenic flies. Our data are consistent with the formation of transmissible prions in PrP transgenic Drosophila.

  5. Exosome release from infected dendritic cells: a clue for a fast spread of prions in the periphery?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klöhn, Peter-Christian; Castro-Seoane, Rocio; Collinge, John

    2013-11-01

    Prion diseases are incurable transmissible neurological disorders. In many natural and experimental prion diseases, infectious prions can be detected in the lymphoreticular system (LRS) long before they reach the brain where they cause a fatal rapidly progressive degeneration. Although major cell types that contribute to prion accumulation have been identified, the mode of prion dissemination in the LRS remains elusive. Recent evidence of a remarkably fast splenic prion accumulation after peripheral infection of mice, resulting in high prion titers in dendritic cells (DCs) and a release of prions from infected DCs via exosomes suggest that intercellular dissemination may contribute to rapid prion colonization in the LRS. A vast body of evidence from retroviral infections shows that DCs and other antigen-presenting cells (APCs) share viral antigens by intercellular transfer to warrant immunity against viruses if APCs remain uninfected. Evolved to adapt the immune response to evading pathogens, these pathways may constitute a portal for unimpeded prion dissemination owing to the tolerance of the immune system against host-encoded prion protein. In this review we summarize current paradigms for antigen-sharing pathways which may be relevant to better understand dissemination of rogue neurotoxic proteins.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Clostridium difficile: clinical disease and diagnosis.

    OpenAIRE

    Knoop, F C; Owens, M.; Crocker, I C

    1993-01-01

    Clostridium difficile is an opportunistic pathogen that causes a spectrum of disease ranging from antibiotic-associated diarrhea to pseudomembranous colitis. Although the disease was first described in 1893, the etiologic agent was not isolated and identified until 1978. Since clinical and pathological features of C. difficile-associated disease are not easily distinguished from those of other gastrointestinal diseases, including ulcerative colitis, chronic inflammatory bowel disease, and Cro...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Transmission of multiple system atrophy prions to transgenic mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watts, Joel C; Giles, Kurt; Oehler, Abby; Middleton, Lefkos; Dexter, David T; Gentleman, Steve M; DeArmond, Stephen J; Prusiner, Stanley B

    2013-11-26

    Prions are proteins that adopt alternative conformations, which become self-propagating. Increasing evidence argues that prions feature in the synucleinopathies that include Parkinson's disease, Lewy body dementia, and multiple system atrophy (MSA). Although TgM83(+/+) mice homozygous for a mutant A53T α-synuclein transgene begin developing CNS dysfunction spontaneously at ∼10 mo of age, uninoculated TgM83(+/-) mice (hemizygous for the transgene) remain healthy. To determine whether MSA brains contain α-synuclein prions, we inoculated the TgM83(+/-) mice with brain homogenates from two pathologically confirmed MSA cases. Inoculated TgM83(+/-) mice developed progressive signs of neurologic disease with an incubation period of ∼100 d, whereas the same mice inoculated with brain homogenates from spontaneously ill TgM83(+/+) mice developed neurologic dysfunction in ∼210 d. Brains of MSA-inoculated mice exhibited prominent astrocytic gliosis and microglial activation as well as widespread deposits of phosphorylated α-synuclein that were proteinase K sensitive, detergent insoluble, and formic acid extractable. Our results provide compelling evidence that α-synuclein aggregates formed in the brains of MSA patients are transmissible and, as such, are prions. The MSA prion represents a unique human pathogen that is lethal upon transmission to Tg mice and as such, is reminiscent of the prion causing kuru, which was transmitted to chimpanzees nearly 5 decades ago.

  13. Prion remains infectious after passage through digestive system of American crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos.

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    Kurt C VerCauteren

    Full Text Available Avian scavengers, such as American crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos, have potential to translocate infectious agents (prions of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE diseases including chronic wasting disease, scrapie, and bovine spongiform encephalopathy. We inoculated mice with fecal extracts obtained from 20 American crows that were force-fed material infected with RML-strain scrapie prions. These mice all evinced severe neurological dysfunction 196-231 d postinoculation (x =198; 95% CI: 210-216 and tested positive for prion disease. Our results suggest a large proportion of crows that consume prion-positive tissue are capable of passing infectious prions in their feces (ˆp=1.0; 95% CI: 0.8-1.0. Therefore, this common, migratory North American scavenger could play a role in the geographic spread of TSE diseases.

  14. Pin1 and neurodegeneration: a new player for prion disorders?

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    Elisa Isopi

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Pin1 is a peptidyl-prolyl isomerase that catalyzes the cis/trans conversion of phosphorylated proteins at serine or threonine residues which precede a proline. The peptidyl-prolyl isomerization induces a conformational change of the proteins involved in cell signaling process. Pin1 dysregulation has been associated with some neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease. Proline-directed phosphorylation is a common regulator of these pathologies and a recent work showed that it is also involved in prion disorders. In fact, prion protein phosphorylation at the Ser-43-Pro motif induces prion protein conversion into a disease-associated form. Furthermore, phosphorylation at Ser-43-Pro has been observed to increase in the cerebral spinal fluid of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease patients. These findings provide new insights into the pathogenesis of prion disorders, suggesting Pin1 as a potential new player in the disease. In this paper, we review the mechanisms underlying Pin1 involvement in the aforementioned neurodegenerative pathologies focusing on the potential role of Pin1 in prion disorders.

  15. Circulation of prions within dust on a scrapie affected farm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gough, Kevin C; Baker, Claire A; Simmons, Hugh A; Hawkins, Steve A; Maddison, Ben C

    2015-04-16

    Prion diseases are fatal neurological disorders that affect humans and animals. Scrapie of sheep/goats and Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) of deer/elk are contagious prion diseases where environmental reservoirs have a direct link to the transmission of disease. Using protein misfolding cyclic amplification we demonstrate that scrapie PrP(Sc) can be detected within circulating dusts that are present on a farm that is naturally contaminated with sheep scrapie. The presence of infectious scrapie within airborne dusts may represent a possible route of infection and illustrates the difficulties that may be associated with the effective decontamination of such scrapie affected premises.

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

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    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.

  17. Changes in retinal function and morphology are early clinical signs of disease in cattle with bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

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    M Heather West Greenlee

    Full Text Available Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE belongs to a group of fatal, transmissible protein misfolding diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs. All TSEs are caused by accumulation of misfolded prion protein (PrPSc throughout the central nervous system (CNS, which results in neuronal loss and ultimately death. Like other protein misfolding diseases including Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease, TSEs are generally not diagnosed until the onset of disease after the appearance of unequivocal clinical signs. As such, identification of the earliest clinical signs of disease may facilitate diagnosis. The retina is the most accessible part of the central nervous system, and retinal pathology in TSE affected animals has been previously reported. Here we describe antemortem changes in retinal function and morphology that are detectable in BSE inoculated animals several months (up to 11 months prior to the appearance of any other signs of clinical disease. We also demonstrate that differences in the severity of these clinical signs reflect the amount of PrPSc accumulation in the retina and the resulting inflammatory response of the tissue. These results are the earliest reported clinical signs associated with TSE infection and provide a basis for understanding the pathology and evaluating therapeutic interventions.

  18. Changes in retinal function and morphology are early clinical signs of disease in cattle with bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenlee, M Heather West; Smith, Jodi D; Platt, Ekundayo M; Juarez, Jessica R; Timms, Leo L; Greenlee, Justin J

    2015-01-01

    Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) belongs to a group of fatal, transmissible protein misfolding diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). All TSEs are caused by accumulation of misfolded prion protein (PrPSc) throughout the central nervous system (CNS), which results in neuronal loss and ultimately death. Like other protein misfolding diseases including Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease, TSEs are generally not diagnosed until the onset of disease after the appearance of unequivocal clinical signs. As such, identification of the earliest clinical signs of disease may facilitate diagnosis. The retina is the most accessible part of the central nervous system, and retinal pathology in TSE affected animals has been previously reported. Here we describe antemortem changes in retinal function and morphology that are detectable in BSE inoculated animals several months (up to 11 months) prior to the appearance of any other signs of clinical disease. We also demonstrate that differences in the severity of these clinical signs reflect the amount of PrPSc accumulation in the retina and the resulting inflammatory response of the tissue. These results are the earliest reported clinical signs associated with TSE infection and provide a basis for understanding the pathology and evaluating therapeutic interventions.

  19. Clinical presentation of juvenile Huntington disease

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    Ruocco Heloísa H.

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To describe the clinical presentation a group of patients with juvenile onset of Huntington disease. METHOD: All patients were interviewed following a structured clinical questioner. Patients were genotyped for the trinucleotide cytosine-adenine-guanine (CAG repeat in the Huntington Disease gene. High resolution brain MRI was performed in all patients. RESULTS: We identified 4 patients with juvenile onset of disease among 50 patients with Huntington disease followed prospectively in our Neurogenetics clinic. Age at onset varied from 3 to 13 years, there were 2 boys, and 3 patients had a paternal inheritance of the disease. Expanded Huntington disease allele sizes varied from 41 to 69 trinucleotide repeats. The early onset patients presented with rigidity, bradykinesia, dystonia, dysarthria, seizures and ataxia. MRI showed severe volume loss of caudate and putamen nuclei (p=0.001 and reduced cerebral and cerebellum volumes (p=0.01. CONCLUSION: 8% of Huntington disease patients seen in our clinic had juvenile onset of the disease. They did not present with typical chorea as seen in adult onset Huntington disease. There was a predominance of rigidity and bradykinesia. Two other important clinical features were seizures and ataxia, which related with the imaging findings of early cortical atrophy and cerebellum volume loss.

  20. 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

  1. Clinical characteristics of caroli's disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ozlem Yonem; Yusuf Bayraktar

    2007-01-01

    Caroli's disease is a rare congenital condition characterized by non-obstructive saccular or fusiform dilatation of larger intrahepatic bile ducts. Cholangitis,liver cirrhosis, and cholangiocarcinoma are its potential complications. The diagnosis of Caroli's disease depends on demonstrating that the cystic lesions are in continuity with the biliary tree which can be showed by ultrasonography, computerized tomography, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography or magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography. Treatment of Caroli's disease relies on the location of the biliary abnormalities. While localized forms confined to one lobe can be treated with surgery, liver transplantation is the only effective modality for diffuse forms. Although a rare disorder;Caroli's disease should always be considered in the differential diagnosis of chronic cholestasis of unknown cause.

  2. Classical scrapie prions in ovine blood are associated with B lymphocytes and platelets-rich plasma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Classical scrapie is a naturally occurring fatal brain disease of sheep and goats which is caused by prions, a novel class of infectious agent, and is accompanied by the accumulation of abnormal isoforms of prion protein (PrP-Sc) in certain neural and lymphoid tissues. Although collection of a blood...

  3. Prion type-dependent deposition of PRNP allelic products in heterozygous sheep

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Langeveld, J.P.M.; Jacobs, J.G.; Hunter, N.; Keulen, van L.J.M.; Lantier, F.; Zijderveld, van F.G.; Bossers, A.

    2016-01-01

    Susceptibility or resistance to prion infection in humans and animals depends on single prion protein (PrP) amino acid substitutions in the host, but the agent's modulating role has not been well investigated. Compared to disease incubation times in wild-type homozygous ARQ/ARQ (where each triple

  4. Sensitive, Preclinical Detection of Prions in Brain by nanospray liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    More sensitive detection of prions in brain is important because it would allow early detection of disease in young animals and assure a safer food supply. We quantitated the amount of proteinase K-resistant prion protein (PrP 27-30) by use of nano-scale liquid chromatography coupled to a tandem ma...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. Emerging principles of conformation-based prion inheritance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Magnetic microparticle-based multimer detection system for the detection of prion oligomers in sheep

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    Lim K

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Kuntaek Lim,1 Su Yeon Kim,2 Byoungsub Lee,1 Christiane Segarra,3 Sungmin Kang,1 Youngran Ju,2 Mary Jo Schmerr,4 Joliette Coste,3 Sang Yun Kim,5 Takashi Yokoyama,6 Seong Soo A An7 1Department of Research and Development, PeopleBio Inc., 2Department of Arborbiology, Korean Center for Diseases and Control (KCDC, Seoul, Republic of Korea; 3Department of Blood Screening, Etablissement Français Du Sang (EFS, Montpellier, France; 4Ames Laboratories, US Department of Energy (USDOE, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA; 5Department of Neurology, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Sungnam-si, Republic of Korea; 6Department of Prion Research, National Institute of Animal Health, Tsukuba, Japan; 7Department of Bionano Technology, Gachon University, Sungnam-si, Republic of Korea Abstract: Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs are zoonotic fatal neurodegenerative diseases in animals and humans. TSEs are commonly known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy in cattle, scrapie in sheep and goats, chronic wasting disease in cervids, and Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease in humans. The putative transmissible agents are infectious prion proteins (PrPSc, which are formed by the conversion of the normal prion protein on the glycoprotein cell surface in the presence of other PrPSc. Reports of the transmission of TSEs through blood raised considerable concern about the safety of blood and blood products. To address this issue, many laboratories attempted to develop a sensitive and accurate blood diagnostic test to detect PrPSc. Previously, we reported that, compared to normal controls, the multimer detection system (MDS was more efficient in detecting PrPSc in infected hamster brain homogenate, mouse plasma spiked with purified PrPSc from scrapie mouse brain, and scrapie-infected hamster plasmas. MDS differentiates prion multimers from the cellular monomer through the multimeric expression of epitopes on prion multimers, in contrast to the monomeric form

  11. Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease- A Clinical Viewpoint

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    Amirala Khalessi

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Recent developments in medicine have given us a better insight into a group of disorders known as autoimmune diseases. In particular, advances have occurred in our understanding of the Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease (AIED. In this article, the authors review the different postulated theories in the pathogenesis of this disease. The clinical presentation, the available para-clinical diagnostic tools, and the important differential diagnoses will be summarized. The management methods, including steroid therapy, immunosuppressive medications, other biological agents and intra-tympanic injections, will be addressed. Cochlear implantation as a final solution to the advanced stages of the disease, causing total deafness, will also be discussed.

  12. A bovine cell line that can be infected by natural sheep scrapie prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oelschlegel, Anja M; Geissen, Markus; Lenk, Matthias; Riebe, Roland; Angermann, Marlies; Schatzl, Herman; Schaetzl, Hermann; Groschup, Martin H

    2015-01-01

    Cell culture systems represent a crucial part in basic prion research; yet, cell lines that are susceptible to prions, especially to field isolated prions that were not adapted to rodents, are very rare. The purpose of this study was to identify and characterize a cell line that was susceptible to ruminant-derived prions and to establish a stable prion infection within it. Based on species and tissue of origin as well as PrP expression rate, we pre-selected a total of 33 cell lines that were then challenged with natural and with mouse propagated BSE or scrapie inocula. Here, we report the successful infection of a non-transgenic bovine cell line, a sub-line of the bovine kidney cell line MDBK, with natural sheep scrapie prions. This cell line retained the scrapie infection for more than 200 passages. Selective cloning resulted in cell populations with increased accumulation of PrPres, although this treatment was not mandatory for retaining the infection. The infection remained stable, even under suboptimal culture conditions. The resulting infectivity of the cells was confirmed by mouse bioassay (Tgbov mice, Tgshp mice). We believe that PES cells used together with other prion permissive cell lines will prove a valuable tool for ongoing efforts to understand and defeat prions and prion diseases.

  13. A bovine cell line that can be infected by natural sheep scrapie prions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anja M Oelschlegel

    Full Text Available Cell culture systems represent a crucial part in basic prion research; yet, cell lines that are susceptible to prions, especially to field isolated prions that were not adapted to rodents, are very rare. The purpose of this study was to identify and characterize a cell line that was susceptible to ruminant-derived prions and to establish a stable prion infection within it. Based on species and tissue of origin as well as PrP expression rate, we pre-selected a total of 33 cell lines that were then challenged with natural and with mouse propagated BSE or scrapie inocula. Here, we report the successful infection of a non-transgenic bovine cell line, a sub-line of the bovine kidney cell line MDBK, with natural sheep scrapie prions. This cell line retained the scrapie infection for more than 200 passages. Selective cloning resulted in cell populations with increased accumulation of PrPres, although this treatment was not mandatory for retaining the infection. The infection remained stable, even under suboptimal culture conditions. The resulting infectivity of the cells was confirmed by mouse bioassay (Tgbov mice, Tgshp mice. We believe that PES cells used together with other prion permissive cell lines will prove a valuable tool for ongoing efforts to understand and defeat prions and prion diseases.

  14. Clinical update in sexually transmitted diseases-2014.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fanfair, Robyn Neblett; Workowski, Kimberly A

    2014-02-01

    Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and their associated syndromes are extremely common in clinical practice. Early diagnosis, appropriate treatment, and partner management are important to ensure sexual, physical, and reproductive health in our patients.

  15. Huntington's disease: clinical characteristics, pathogenesis and therapies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Ken; Aminoff, Michael J

    2007-02-01

    Huntington's disease is a devastating disorder with no known cure. The disease results from an expanded sequence of CAG repeats in the huntingtin gene and leads to a movement disorder with associated cognitive and systemic deficits. Huntington's disease is diagnosed by genetic testing and disease progression can be followed with a variety of imaging modalities. The accumulation of aggregated huntingtin with associated striatal degeneration is evident at autopsy. The pathophysiology of Huntington's disease remains unknown, although protein aggregation, excitotoxicity, deficits in energy metabolism, transcriptional dysregulation and apoptosis may all be involved. Current pharmacologic therapy for Huntington's disease is limited and exclusively symptomatic. However, the disease is being heavily researched, and a wide range of disease-modifying therapies is currently under development. The efficacy of these therapies is being evaluated in transgenic models of Huntington's disease and in preliminary clinical trials.

  16. Clinical subgroups in bilateral Meniere disease

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    Meniere disease (MD) is a heterogeneous clinical condition characterized by sensorineural hearing loss, episodic vestibular symptoms and tinnitus associated with several comorbidities such as migraine or autoimmune disorders (AD). The frequency of bilateral involvement may range from 5-50% and it depends on the duration of the disease. We have performed a two-step cluster analysis in 398 patients with bilateral MD to identify the best predictors to define clinical subgroups with a potential d...

  17. Prion pathogenesis is unaltered following down-regulation of SIGN-R1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradford, Barry M; Brown, Karen L; Mabbott, Neil A

    2016-10-01

    Prion diseases are infectious neurodegenerative disorders characterised by accumulations of abnormal prion glycoprotein in affected tissues. Following peripheral exposure, many prion strains replicate upon follicular dendritic cells (FDC) in lymphoid tissues before infecting the brain. An intact splenic marginal zone is important for the efficient delivery of prions to FDC. The marginal zone contains a ring of specific intercellular adhesion molecule-3-grabbing non-integrin related 1 (SIGN-R1)-expressing macrophages. This lectin binds dextran and capsular pneumococcal polysaccharides, and also enhances the clearance of apoptotic cells via interactions with complement components. Since prions are acquired as complement-opsonized complexes we determined the role of SIGN-R1 in disease pathogenesis. We show that transient down-regulation of SIGN-R1 prior to intravenous prion exposure had no effect on the early accumulation of prions upon splenic FDC or their subsequent spread to the brain. Thus, SIGN-R1 expression by marginal zone macrophages is not rate-limiting for peripheral prion disease pathogenesis.

  18. Structural determinants of phenotypic diversity and replication rate of human prions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiri G Safar

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The infectious pathogen responsible for prion diseases is the misfolded, aggregated form of the prion protein, PrPSc. In contrast to recent progress in studies of laboratory rodent-adapted prions, current understanding of the molecular basis of human prion diseases and, especially, their vast phenotypic diversity is very limited. Here, we have purified proteinase resistant PrPSc aggregates from two major phenotypes of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD, determined their conformational stability and replication tempo in vitro, as well as characterized structural organization using recently emerged approaches based on hydrogen/deuterium (H/D exchange coupled with mass spectrometry. Our data clearly demonstrate that these phenotypically distant prions differ in a major way with regard to their structural organization, both at the level of the polypeptide backbone (as indicated by backbone amide H/D exchange data as well as the quaternary packing arrangements (as indicated by H/D exchange kinetics for histidine side chains. Furthermore, these data indicate that, in contrast to previous observations on yeast and some murine prion strains, the replication rate of sCJD prions is primarily determined not by conformational stability but by specific structural features that control the growth rate of prion protein aggregates.

  19. FTIR-Microspectroscopy of Prion-Infected Nervous Tissue

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kretlow,A.; Wang, Q.; Kneipp, J.; Lasch, P.; Beekes, M.; Miller, L.; Naumann, D.

    2006-01-01

    The family of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE), also termed prion diseases, is a group of fatal, neurodegenerative diseases characterized by the accumulation of a misfolded protein, the disease-associated prion protein PrPSc. This glycoprotein differs in secondary structure from its normal, cellular isoform PrPC, which is physiologically expressed mostly by neurons. Scrapie is a prion disease first described in the 18th century in sheep and goats, and has been established as a model in rodents to study the pathogenesis and pathology of prion diseases. Assuming a multitude of molecular parameters change in the tissue in the course of the disease, FTIR microspectroscopy has been proposed as a valuable new method to study and identify prion-affected tissues due to its ability to detect a variety of changes in molecular structure and composition simultaneously. This paper reviews and discusses results from previous FTIR microspectroscopic studies on nervous tissue of scrapie-infected hamsters in the context of histological and molecular alterations known from conventional pathogenesis studies. In particular, data from studies reporting on disease-specific changes of protein structure characteristics, and also results of a recent study on hamster dorsal root ganglia (DRG) are discussed. These data include an illustration on how the application of a brilliant IR synchrotron light source enables the in situ investigation of localized changes in protein structure and composition in nervous cells or tissue due to PrPSc deposition, and a demonstration on how the IR spectral information can be correlated with results of complementary studies using immunohistochemistry and x-ray fluorescence techniques. Using IR microspectroscopy, some neurons exhibited a high accumulation of disease-associated prion protein evidenced by an increased amount of beta-sheet at narrow regions in or around the infected nervous cells. However, not all neurons from terminally diseased

  20. Infectious prions accumulate to high levels in non proliferative C2C12 myotubes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  1. Clay Components in Soil Dictate Environmental Stability and Bioavailability of Cervid Prions in Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyckoff, A. Christy; Kane, Sarah; Lockwood, Krista; Seligman, Jeff; Michel, Brady; Hill, Dana; Ortega, Aimee; Mangalea, Mihnea R.; Telling, Glenn C.; Miller, Michael W.; Vercauteren, Kurt; Zabel, Mark D.

    2016-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) affects cervids and is the only known prion disease to affect free-ranging wildlife populations. CWD spread continues unabated, and exact mechanisms of its seemingly facile spread among deer and elk across landscapes in North America remain elusive. Here we confirm that naturally contaminated soil contains infectious CWD prions that can be transmitted to susceptible model organisms. We show that smectite clay content of soil potentiates prion binding capacity of different soil types from CWD endemic and non-endemic areas, likely contributing to environmental stability of bound prions. The smectite clay montmorillonite (Mte) increased prion retention and bioavailability in vivo. Trafficking experiments in live animals fed bound and unbound prions showed that mice retained significantly more Mte-bound than unbound prions. Mte promoted rapid uptake of prions from the stomach to the intestines via enterocytes and M cells, and then to macrophages and eventually CD21+ B cells in Peyer's patches and spleens. These results confirm clay components in soil as an important vector in CWD transmission at both environmental and organismal levels. PMID:27933048

  2. Prion-Specific Antibodies Produced in Wild-Type Mice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heegaard, Peter M. H.; Bergström, Ann-Louise; Andersen, Heidi Gertz;

    2015-01-01

    method for production of mouse monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against peptides representing two sites of interest in the bovine prion protein (boPrP), the causative agent of bovine spongiform encephalopathy ("mad cow disease") and new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob's disease (CJD) in humans, as well...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie Nemecek

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Clinical presentation of adult coeliac disease.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Tajuddin, T

    2012-02-01

    The mode of presentation of coeliac disease has been changing to more atypical or silent disease. Few studies described the clinical presentation of adult coeliac disease in Ireland in recent years. We retrospectively collected the clinical data for all patients who had a diagnosis of coeliac disease made in our centre between January 07 and December 08. Forty seven adults, predominantly females (n = 30), had a confirmed diagnosis of coeliac disease made during the study period. In our patient cohort, the presenting symptom was diarrhoea in 19 (40%) patients, while 16 patients (34%) did not have any G.I. symptoms, 10 (21%) presented with anaemia. Females presented at a significantly younger age compared to males, with median ages at diagnosis of 44.5 and 57 years, respectively (p = 0.04). Females also presented more commonly with non G.I. symptoms (p = 0.07). The reasons behind this gender difference need further study.

  6. 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, ...

  7. 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

  8. [Clinical aspects of the Niigata Minamata disease].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimohata, Takayoshi; Hirota, Koichi; Takahashi, Hitoshi; Nishizawa, Masatoyo

    2015-01-01

    The Minamata disease was discovered in the Minamata region, Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan, in 1956. Symptoms of this disease included cerebellar ataxia, sensory disturbance, narrowing of the visual field, and hearing and speech disturbances. In 1965, similar conditions were identified in persons living around the Agano River area, Niigata Prefecture, Japan and accordingly termed as the Niigata Minamata disease or the second Minamata disease. Both the diseases have been attributed to poisoning with methyl mercury that was generated during the production of acetaldehyde using mercury as a catalyst. The discharged methyl mercury accumulated in fishes and shellfishes and caused poisoning on consumption. This review discusses the history, clinical presentation including atypical forms, and autopsy findings of the Niigata Minamata disease. In addition, it highlights the problems about criteria for official recognition and the therapeutic trial for this disease.

  9. Transmission of scrapie prions to primate after an extended silent incubation period.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comoy, Emmanuel E; Mikol, Jacqueline; Luccantoni-Freire, Sophie; Correia, Evelyne; Lescoutra-Etchegaray, Nathalie; Durand, Valérie; Dehen, Capucine; Andreoletti, Olivier; Casalone, Cristina; Richt, Juergen A; Greenlee, Justin J; Baron, Thierry; Benestad, Sylvie L; Brown, Paul; Deslys, Jean-Philippe

    2015-06-30

    Classical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (c-BSE) is the only animal prion disease reputed to be zoonotic, causing variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in humans and having guided protective measures for animal and human health against animal prion diseases. Recently, partial transmissions to humanized mice showed that the zoonotic potential of scrapie might be similar to c-BSE. We here report the direct transmission of a natural classical scrapie isolate to cynomolgus macaque, a highly relevant model for human prion diseases, after a 10-year silent incubation period, with features similar to those reported for human cases of sporadic CJD. Scrapie is thus actually transmissible to primates with incubation periods compatible with their life expectancy, although fourfold longer than BSE. Long-term experimental transmission studies are necessary to better assess the zoonotic potential of other prion diseases with high prevalence, notably Chronic Wasting Disease of deer and elk and atypical/Nor98 scrapie.

  10. 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.

  11. Evidence that bank vole PrP is a universal acceptor for prions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joel C Watts

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Bank voles are uniquely susceptible to a wide range of prion strains isolated from many different species. To determine if this enhanced susceptibility to interspecies prion transmission is encoded within the sequence of the bank vole prion protein (BVPrP, we inoculated Tg(M109 and Tg(I109 mice, which express BVPrP containing either methionine or isoleucine at polymorphic codon 109, with 16 prion isolates from 8 different species: humans, cattle, elk, sheep, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, and meadow voles. Efficient disease transmission was observed in both Tg(M109 and Tg(I109 mice. For instance, inoculation of the most common human prion strain, sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD subtype MM1, into Tg(M109 mice gave incubation periods of ∼200 days that were shortened slightly on second passage. Chronic wasting disease prions exhibited an incubation time of ∼250 days, which shortened to ∼150 days upon second passage in Tg(M109 mice. Unexpectedly, bovine spongiform encephalopathy and variant CJD prions caused rapid neurological dysfunction in Tg(M109 mice upon second passage, with incubation periods of 64 and 40 days, respectively. Despite the rapid incubation periods, other strain-specified properties of many prion isolates--including the size of proteinase K-resistant PrPSc, the pattern of cerebral PrPSc deposition, and the conformational stability--were remarkably conserved upon serial passage in Tg(M109 mice. Our results demonstrate that expression of BVPrP is sufficient to engender enhanced susceptibility to a diverse range of prion isolates, suggesting that BVPrP may be a universal acceptor for prions.

  12. Procedures for identifying infectious prions after passage through the digestive system of an avian species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Justin W; Nichols, Tracy A; Phillips, Gregory E; VerCauteren, Kurt C

    2013-11-06

    Infectious prion (PrP(Res)) material is likely the cause of fatal, neurodegenerative transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) diseases(1). Transmission of TSE diseases, such as chronic wasting disease (CWD), is presumed to be from animal to animal(2,3) as well as from environmental sources(4-6). Scavengers and carnivores have potential to translocate PrP(Res) material through consumption and excretion of CWD-contaminated carrion. Recent work has documented passage of PrP(Res) material through the digestive system of American crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos), a common North American scavenger(7). We describe procedures used to document passage of PrP(Res) material through American crows. Crows were gavaged with RML-strain mouse-adapted scrapie and their feces were collected 4 hr post gavage. Crow feces were then pooled and injected intraperitoneally into C57BL/6 mice. Mice were monitored daily until they expressed clinical signs of mouse scrapie and were thereafter euthanized. Asymptomatic mice were monitored until 365 days post inoculation. Western blot analysis was conducted to confirm disease status. Results revealed that prions remain infectious after traveling through the digestive system of crows and are present in the feces, causing disease in test mice.

  13. [Lyme disease--clinical manifestations and treatment].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stock, Ingo

    2016-05-01

    Lyme disease (Lyme borreliosis) is a systemic infectious disease that can present in a variety of clinical manifestations. The disease is caused by a group of spirochaetes--Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato or Lyme borrelia--that are transmitted to humans by the bite of Ixodes ticks. Lyme disease is the most common arthropode-borne infectious disease in many European countries including Germany. Early localized infection is typically manifested by an erythema migrans skin lesion, in rarer cases as a borrelial lymphocytoma. The most common early disseminated manifestation is (early) neuroborreliosis. In adults, neuroborreliosis appears typically as meningoradiculoneuritis. Neuroborreliosis in children, however, is typically manifested by meningitis. In addition, multiple erythema migrans lesions and Lyme carditis occur relatively frequently. The most common manifestation oflate Lyme disease is Lyme arthritis. Early manifestations (and usually also late manifestations) of Lyme disease can be treated successfully by application of suitable antibacterial agents. For the treatment of Lyme disease, doxycycline, certain penicillins such as amoxicillin and some cephalosporins (ceftriaxone, cefotaxime, cefuroxime axetil) are recommended in current guidelines. A major challenge is the treatment of chronic, non-specific disorders, i. e., posttreatment Lyme disease syndrome and "chronic Lyme disease". Prevention of Lyme disease is mainly accomplished by protecting against tick bites. Prophylactic administration of doxycycline after tick bites is generally not recommended in Germany. There is no vaccine available for human beings.

  14. ["Ledderhose" disease. Plantar fibromatosis--clinical aspects].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parnitzke, B; Decker, O; Neumann, U

    1991-01-01

    The Ledderhose's diseases is a relatively rare and not well known clinical picture. Even there are tight pathomorphological and clinical relations to the Dupuytren's contracture, the genesis is also here quite unknown. Because of inefficiency of conventional therapy the surgical treatment is the only alternative. On the sample of 12 operations in 7 patients from 1979 to 1989 surgical procedure and long-term results are discussed.

  15. 朊毒病(Prion Disease)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    谭永康

    2004-01-01

    凡由朊毒(Prion)引起的人畜共患病(Zoonosis)统称为朊毒病,这种疾病均为中枢神经系统致死性的慢性退化性疾病(The fatal,chronic degradative disease of central nervous system),其中包括20世纪20年代发现的人类克-雅氏病(Creuzfeldt—Jacob disease CJD):1986年起源于英国,流行

  16. Harnessing prions as test agents for the development of broad-range disinfectants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagenführ, Katja; Beekes, Michael

    2012-01-01

    The development of disinfectants with broad-range efficacy against bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa and prions constitutes an ongoing challenge. Prions, the causative agents of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) or its variant (vCJD) rank among the pathogens with the highest resistance to disinfection. Pilot studies have shown that procedures devised for prion disinfection were also highly effective against microbial pathogens. This fueled the idea to systematically exploit prions as test pathogens for the identification of new potential broad-range disinfectants. Prions essentially consist of misfolded, aggregated prion protein (PrP) and putatively replicate by nucleation-dependent, or seeded PrP polymerization. Recently, we have been able to establish PrP seeding activity as a quantitative in vitro indicator for the disinfection of 263K scrapie prions on steel wires used as surrogates for medical instruments. The seeding activity on wires re-processed in different disinfectants could be (1) biochemically determined by quantitative protein misfolding cyclic amplification (qPMCA), (2) biologically detected after qPMCA in a cell assay and (3) correctly translated into residual titres of scrapie infectivity. Our approach will substantially facilitate the identification of disinfectants with efficacy against prions as promising candidates for a further microbiological validation of broad-range activity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. New hospital disinfection processes for both conventional and prion infectious agents compatible with thermosensitive medical equipment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehmann, S; Pastore, M; Rogez-Kreuz, C; Richard, M; Belondrade, M; Rauwel, G; Durand, F; Yousfi, R; Criquelion, J; Clayette, P; Perret-Liaudet, A

    2009-08-01

    With the detection of prions in specific tissues in variant and sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob diseases, efficient decontamination for human transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) agents, that is compatible with medical equipment, has become a major issue. We previously described the cleavage of prions on exposure to copper (Cu) and hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) and have used this property to develop efficient prion decontamination processes. To validate this approach, in-vitro assays on genuine human and animal prions using both brain homogenates and steel wires to mimic contamination of medical equipment were conducted. In-vivo experiments using steel wire in the hamster 263 K model were then used to evaluate the effect on prion infectivity. Assays on classical pathogens following international norms completed these prion experiments. In-vitro data confirmed the full decontamination efficacy of H(2)O(2)/Cu on different TSE strains. Combination of Cu with peracetic acid, used for endoscope disinfection, also revealed improved prion decontamination. Animal assay demonstrated efficacy on TSE infectivity of H(2)O(2)/Cu alone or in combination with detergents (reduction factor > or =5.25 log(10)). Assays on classical pathogens confirmed the disinfection properties of the different processes. Taken together, these new disinfection processes are efficient for both conventional and prion infectious agents and are, compatible with thermosensitive medical equipment. They can be adapted to hospitals' and practitioners' routine use, and they present reduced risks for the environment and for healthcare professionals.

  19. 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.

  20. Detection of Atypical H-Type Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy and Discrimination of Bovine Prion Strains by Real-Time Quaking-Induced Conversion.

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    Masujin, Kentaro; Orrú, Christina D; Miyazawa, Kohtaro; Groveman, Bradley R; Raymond, Lynne D; Hughson, Andrew G; Caughey, Byron

    2016-03-01

    Prion diseases of cattle include the classical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (C-BSE) and the atypical H-type BSE (H-BSE) and L-type BSE (L-BSE) strains. Although the C- and L-BSE strains can be detected and discriminated by ultrasensitive real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC) assays, no such test has yet been described for the detection of H-BSE or the discrimination of each of the major bovine prion strains. Here, we demonstrate an RT-QuIC assay for H-BSE that can detect as little as 10(-9) dilutions of brain tissue and neat cerebrospinal fluid samples from clinically affected cattle. Moreover, comparisons of the reactivities with different recombinant prion protein substrates and/or immunoblot band profiles of proteinase K-treated RT-QuIC reaction products indicated that H-, L-, and C-BSE have distinctive prion seeding activities and can be discriminated by RT-QuIC on this basis.

  1. Key points concerning amyloid infectivity and prion-like neuronal invasion

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    Alba eEspargaró

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Amyloid aggregation has been related to an increasing number of human illnesses, from Alzheimer and Parkinson’s diseases to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Traditionally only prions have been considered as infectious agents with a high capacity of propagation. Although recent publications have showed that many amyloid proteins, including amyloid β-peptide, α-synuclein and tau protein, also propagate in a prion-like manner, the link between propagation of pathological proteins and neurotoxicity has not been evidenced. The extremely low infectivity in natural conditions of the most of non-prion amyloids is far from the spreading capacity displayed by the prions. However, it is important to elucidate the key factors that cause non-prion amyloids become infectious agents. In recent years, important advances in the understanding of the amyloid processes of amyloid-like proteins and unrelated prions (i.e., yeast and fungal prions have yielded essential information that can be applied to shed light on the prion phenomenon in mammals and humans. As shown in this review, recent evidences suggest that there are key factors that could dramatically modulate the prion capacity of proteins in the amyloid conformation. The concentration of nuclei, the presence of oligomers, and the toxicity, resistance and localization of these aggregates could be key factors affecting their spreading. In short, those factors that favor the high concentration of extracellular nuclei or oligomers, characterized by a small size, with a low toxicity could dramatically increase prion propensity; whereas low concentrations of highly toxic intracellular amyloids, with a large size, would prevent infectivity.

  2. Detection of CWD prions in urine and saliva of deer by transgenic mouse bioassay.

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    Nicholas J Haley

    Full Text Available Chronic wasting disease (CWD is a prion disease affecting captive and free-ranging cervids (e.g. deer, elk, and moose. The mechanisms of CWD transmission are poorly understood, though bodily fluids are thought to play an important role. Here we report the presence of infectious prions in the urine and saliva of deer with chronic wasting disease (CWD. Prion infectivity was detected by bioassay of concentrated, dialyzed urine and saliva in transgenic mice expressing the cervid PrP gene (Tg[CerPrP] mice. In addition, PrP(CWD was detected in pooled and concentrated urine by protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA. The concentration of abnormal prion protein in bodily fluids was very low, as indicated by: undetectable PrP(CWD levels by traditional assays (western blot, ELISA and prolonged incubation periods and incomplete TSE attack rates in inoculated Tg(CerPrP mice (373(+/-3 days in 2 of 9 urine-inoculated mice and 342(+/-109 days in 8 of 9 saliva-inoculated mice. These findings help extend our understanding of CWD prion shedding and transmission and portend the detection of infectious prions in body fluids in other prion infections.

  3. 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.

  4. Fungal prion HET-s as a model for structural complexity and self-propagation in prions.

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    Wan, William; Stubbs, Gerald

    2014-04-01

    The highly ordered and reproducible structure of the fungal prion HET-s makes it an excellent model system for studying the inherent properties of prions, self-propagating infectious proteins that have been implicated in a number of fatal diseases. In particular, the HET-s prion-forming domain readily folds into a relatively complex two-rung β-solenoid amyloid. The faithful self-propagation of this fold involves a diverse array of inter- and intramolecular structural features. These features include a long flexible loop connecting the two rungs, buried polar residues, salt bridges, and asparagine ladders. We have used site-directed mutagenesis and X-ray fiber diffraction to probe the relative importance of these features for the formation of β-solenoid structure, as well as the cumulative effects of multiple mutations. Using fibrillization kinetics and chemical stability assays, we have determined the biophysical effects of our mutations on the assembly and stability of the prion-forming domain. We have found that a diversity of structural features provides a level of redundancy that allows robust folding and stability even in the face of significant sequence alterations and suboptimal environmental conditions. Our findings provide fundamental insights into the structural interactions necessary for self-propagation. Propagation of prion structure seems to require an obligatory level of complexity that may not be reproducible in short peptide models.

  5. 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.

  6. CLINICAL STUDY OF HEART DISEASE COMPLICATING PREGNANCY

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    Richa

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Introduction-Heart disease complicating pregnancy is considered as a high risk situation. Increased cardiac demands during the course of pregnancy potentially increase morbidity and mortality in women with underlying heart disease. AIM: To determine maternal and fetal outcome in women with heart disease complicating pregnancy, To emphasize on proper protocol for managing pregnancy complicated by heart disease, To correlate the time of booking & NYHA grading with maternal & fetal outcome. Risk of adverse outcome is more in rural population as compared to its urban counterpart. METHOD: A prospective clinical study of 25 cases of pregnancy complicated by heart disease, reporting to tertiary care hospital for delivery, was carried out to find out the incidence and maternal and fetal outcome. RESULTS: The incidence of heart disease in pregnancy in the present study was 0.6%. Most of the women (91% belonged to low socioeconomic class in the rural population. Rheumatic heart lesions constituted 77% of the cases. Mitral stenosis was the commonest lesion in 40% of cases. Ten (40% women delivered spontaneously vaginally at term. Cesarean section was performed in 14 cases (56%. There were 5 maternal deaths. There were no perinatal deaths. CONCLUSION: Early diagnosis of heart disease, regular antenatal check-up, institutional delivery, limiting family size can reduce the maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity associated with heart disease

  7. 从羊瘙痒症到疯牛病——朊病毒发现史%From the Scrapie Syndrome of sheep and goats to the mad cow disease-the history of the discovery of prion

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘锐; 翁屹

    2009-01-01

    从1730年人们发现羊瘙痒症开始,克-雅氏症、库鲁病、疯牛病等一系列疾病随之出现.在库鲁病的研究中,美国科学家盖达塞克发现其病原体不具有DNA或RNA特性,并因此获得了1976年的诺贝尔生理学医学奖.其后,另一位美国科学家普鲁塞纳在进一步研究中,发现了以蛋白质为遗传媒介的新型病毒--朊病毒,并因此获得了1997年诺贝尔生理学医学奖.朊病毒的发现是生命科学研究中的重大事件,为人类战胜羊瘙痒症、克-雅氏症、库鲁病和疯牛病等一系列疾病奠定了理论基础.%Since the discovery of Scrapie Syndrome in sheep and goats in 1730, there emerged a series of diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, kuru disease and mad cow disease etc. In the research of kuru disease, the American scientist D. Carlteton Gajdusek found a new virus without the characteristic of DNA and RNA, which was awarded the Nobel Prize in physiology in 1976. Since then another American sci-entist, Stanley B. Prusiner, found a new virus-prion, taking protein as the genetic medium, which was awar-ded the Nobel prize in physiology and medicine in 1997. The discovery of prion is a great landmark in the re-search of life science, which laid a theoretical foundation for people to conquer n series of diseases such as Scrapie syndrome in sheep and goats, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, kuru disease and mad cow disease etc.

  8. Prion protein degradation by lichens of the genus Cladonia

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    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.

  9. Smart Technology in Lung Disease Clinical Trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geller, Nancy L; Kim, Dong-Yun; Tian, Xin

    2016-01-01

    This article describes the use of smart technology by investigators and patients to facilitate lung disease clinical trials and make them less costly and more efficient. By "smart technology" we include various electronic media, such as computer databases, the Internet, and mobile devices. We first describe the use of electronic health records for identifying potential subjects and then discuss electronic informed consent. We give several examples of using the Internet and mobile technology in clinical trials. Interventions have been delivered via the World Wide Web or via mobile devices, and both have been used to collect outcome data. We discuss examples of new electronic devices that recently have been introduced to collect health data. While use of smart technology in clinical trials is an exciting development, comparison with similar interventions applied in a conventional manner is still in its infancy. We discuss advantages and disadvantages of using this omnipresent, powerful tool in clinical trials, as well as directions for future research.

  10. Cell surface expression of PrP-c and the presence of scrapie prions in the blood of goats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Classical scrapie is a naturally occurring fatal brain disease of goats and sheep which is caused by prions, a novel class of infectious agent, and is accompanied by the accumulation of abnormal isoforms of prion protein (PrP-Sc) in certain neural and lymphoid tissues. Although collection of a blood...

  11. 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...