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Sample records for prions oligomers amyloids

  1. 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.

  2. Binding Sites for AmyloidOligomers and Synaptic Toxicity

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    Smith, Levi M.; Strittmatter, Stephen M.

    2017-01-01

    In Alzheimer’s disease (AD), insoluble and fibrillary amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide accumulates in plaques. However, soluble Aβ oligomers are most potent in creating synaptic dysfunction and loss. Therefore, receptors for Aβ oligomers are hypothesized to be the first step in a neuronal cascade leading to dementia. A number of cell-surface proteins have been described as Aβ binding proteins, and one or more are likely to mediate Aβ oligomer toxicity in AD. Cellular prion protein (PrPC) is a high-affinity Aβ oligomer binding site, and a range of data delineates a signaling pathway leading from Aβ complexation with PrPC to neuronal impairment. Further study of Aβ binding proteins will define the molecular basis of this crucial step in AD pathogenesis. PMID:27940601

  3. 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....

  4. 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.

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

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    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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Amyloid oligomers and protofibrils, but not filaments, self-replicate from native lysozyme.

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    Mulaj, Mentor; Foley, Joseph; Muschol, Martin

    2014-06-25

    Self-assembly of amyloid fibrils is the molecular mechanism best known for its connection with debilitating human disorders such as Alzheimer's disease but is also associated with various functional cellular responses. There is increasing evidence that amyloid formation proceeds along two distinct assembly pathways involving either globular oligomers and protofibrils or rigid monomeric filaments. Oligomers, in particular, have been implicated as the dominant molecular species responsible for pathogenesis. Yet the molecular mechanisms regulating their self-assembly have remained elusive. Here we show that oligomers/protofibrils and monomeric filaments, formed along distinct assembly pathways, display critical differences in their ability to template amyloid growth at physiological vs denaturing temperatures. At physiological temperatures, amyloid filaments remained stable but could not seed growth of native monomers. In contrast, oligomers and protofibrils not only remained intact but were capable of self-replication using native monomers as the substrate. Kinetic data further suggested that this prion-like growth mode of oligomers/protofibrils involved two distinct activities operating orthogonal from each other: autocatalytic self-replication of oligomers from native monomers and nucleated polymerization of oligomers into protofibrils. The environmental changes to stability and templating competence of these different amyloid species in different environments are likely to be important for understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying both pathogenic and functional amyloid self-assembly.

  7. Shaking alone induces de novo conversion of recombinant prion proteins to β-sheet rich oligomers and fibrils.

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    Carol L Ladner-Keay

    Full Text Available The formation of β-sheet rich prion oligomers and fibrils from native prion protein (PrP is thought to be a key step in the development of prion diseases. Many methods are available to convert recombinant prion protein into β-sheet rich fibrils using various chemical denaturants (urea, SDS, GdnHCl, high temperature, phospholipids, or mildly acidic conditions (pH 4. Many of these methods also require shaking or another form of agitation to complete the conversion process. We have identified that shaking alone causes the conversion of recombinant PrP to β-sheet rich oligomers and fibrils at near physiological pH (pH 5.5 to pH 6.2 and temperature. This conversion does not require any denaturant, detergent, or any other chemical cofactor. Interestingly, this conversion does not occur when the water-air interface is eliminated in the shaken sample. We have analyzed shaking-induced conversion using circular dichroism, resolution enhanced native acidic gel electrophoresis (RENAGE, electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, thioflavin T fluorescence and proteinase K resistance. Our results show that shaking causes the formation of β-sheet rich oligomers with a population distribution ranging from octamers to dodecamers and that further shaking causes a transition to β-sheet fibrils. In addition, we show that shaking-induced conversion occurs for a wide range of full-length and truncated constructs of mouse, hamster and cervid prion proteins. We propose that this method of conversion provides a robust, reproducible and easily accessible model for scrapie-like amyloid formation, allowing the generation of milligram quantities of physiologically stable β-sheet rich oligomers and fibrils. These results may also have interesting implications regarding our understanding of prion conversion and propagation both within the brain and via techniques such as protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA and quaking induced conversion (QuIC.

  8. Preparation of Stable AmyloidOligomers Without Perturbative Methods.

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    Kotler, Samuel A; Ramamoorthy, Ayyalusamy

    2018-01-01

    Soluble amyloid-β (Aβ) oligomers have become a focal point in the study of Alzheimer's disease due to their ability to elicit cytotoxicity. A number of recent studies have concentrated on the structural characterization of soluble Aβ oligomers to gain insight into their mechanism of toxicity. Consequently, providing reproducible protocols for the preparation of such oligomers is of utmost importance. The method presented in this chapter details a protocol for preparing an Aβ oligomer, with a primarily disordered secondary structure, without the need for chemical modification or amino acid substitution. Due to the stability of these disordered Aβ oligomers and the reproducibility with which they form, they are amenable for biophysical and high-resolution structural characterization.

  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. Formation of soluble amyloid oligomers and amyloid fibrils by the multifunctional protein vitronectin

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    Langen Ralf

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The multifunctional protein vitronectin is present within the deposits associated with Alzheimer disease (AD, age-related macular degeneration (AMD, atherosclerosis, systemic amyloidoses, and glomerulonephritis. The extent to which vitronectin contributes to amyloid formation within these plaques, which contain misfolded, amyloidogenic proteins, and the role of vitronectin in the pathophysiology of the aforementioned diseases is currently unknown. The investigation of vitronectin aggregation is significant since the formation of oligomeric and fibrillar structures are common features of amyloid proteins. Results We observed vitronectin immunoreactivity in senile plaques of AD brain, which exhibited overlap with the amyloid fibril-specific OC antibody, suggesting that vitronectin is deposited at sites of amyloid formation. Of particular interest is the growing body of evidence indicating that soluble nonfibrillar oligomers may be responsible for the development and progression of amyloid diseases. In this study we demonstrate that both plasma-purified and recombinant human vitronectin readily form spherical oligomers and typical amyloid fibrils. Vitronectin oligomers are toxic to cultured neuroblastoma and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE cells, possibly via a membrane-dependent mechanism, as they cause leakage of synthetic vesicles. Oligomer toxicity was attenuated in RPE cells by the anti-oligomer A11 antibody. Vitronectin fibrils contain a C-terminal protease-resistant fragment, which may approximate the core region of residues essential to amyloid formation. Conclusion These data reveal the propensity of vitronectin to behave as an amyloid protein and put forth the possibilities that accumulation of misfolded vitronectin may contribute to aggregate formation seen in age-related amyloid diseases.

  11. Amyloid cores in prion domains: Key regulators for prion conformational conversion.

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    Fernández, María Rosario; Batlle, Cristina; Gil-García, Marcos; Ventura, Salvador

    2017-01-02

    Despite the significant efforts devoted to decipher the particular protein features that encode for a prion or prion-like behavior, they are still poorly understood. The well-characterized yeast prions constitute an ideal model system to address this question, because, in these proteins, the prion activity can be univocally assigned to a specific region of their sequence, known as the prion forming domain (PFD). These PFDs are intrinsically disordered, relatively long and, in many cases, of low complexity, being enriched in glutamine/asparagine residues. Computational analyses have identified a significant number of proteins having similar domains in the human proteome. The compositional bias of these regions plays an important role in the transition of the prions to the amyloid state. However, it is difficult to explain how composition alone can account for the formation of specific contacts that position correctly PFDs and provide the enthalpic force to compensate for the large entropic cost of immobilizing these domains in the initial assemblies. We have hypothesized that short, sequence-specific, amyloid cores embedded in PFDs can perform these functions and, accordingly, act as preferential nucleation centers in both spontaneous and seeded aggregation. We have shown that the implementation of this concept in a prediction algorithm allows to score the prion propensities of putative PFDs with high accuracy. Recently, we have provided experimental evidence for the existence of such amyloid cores in the PFDs of Sup35, Ure2, Swi1, and Mot3 yeast prions. The fibrils formed by these short stretches may recognize and promote the aggregation of the complete proteins inside cells, being thus a promising tool for targeted protein inactivation.

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

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    Daus, Martin L

    2016-01-04

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

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

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    Martin L. Daus

    2016-01-01

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

  14. PrP(Sc-specific antibodies with the ability to immunodetect prion oligomers.

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    Mourad Tayebi

    Full Text Available The development of antibodies with binding capacity towards soluble oligomeric forms of PrPSc recognised in the aggregation process in early stage of the disease would be of paramount importance in diagnosing prion diseases before extensive neuropathology has ensued. As blood transfusion appears to be efficient in the transmission of the infectious prion agent, there is an urgent need to develop reagents that would specifically recognize oligomeric forms of the abnormally folded prion protein, PrPSc.To that end, we show that anti-PrP monoclonal antibodies (called PRIOC mAbs derived from mice immunised with native PrP-coated microbeads are able to immunodetect oligomers/multimers of PrPSc. Oligomer-specific immunoreactivity displayed by these PRIOC mAbs was demonstrated as large aggregates of immunoreactive deposits in prion-permissive neuroblastoma cell lines but not in equivalent non-infected or prn-p(0/0 cell lines. In contrast, an anti-monomer PrP antibody displayed diffuse immunoreactivity restricted to the cell membrane. Furthermore, our PRIOC mAbs did not display any binding with monomeric recombinant and cellular prion proteins but strongly detected PrPSc oligomers as shown by a newly developed sensitive and specific ELISA. Finally, PrioC antibodies were also able to bind soluble oligomers formed of Aβ and α-synuclein. These findings demonstrate the potential use of anti-prion antibodies that bind PrPSc oligomers, recognised in early stage of the disease, for the diagnosis of prion diseases in blood and other body fluids.

  15. Inactivation of Prions and Amyloid Seeds with Hypochlorous Acid.

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    Andrew G Hughson

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Hypochlorous acid (HOCl is produced naturally by neutrophils and other cells to kill conventional microbes in vivo. Synthetic preparations containing HOCl can also be effective as microbial disinfectants. Here we have tested whether HOCl can also inactivate prions and other self-propagating protein amyloid seeds. Prions are deadly pathogens that are notoriously difficult to inactivate, and standard microbial disinfection protocols are often inadequate. Recommended treatments for prion decontamination include strongly basic (pH ≥~12 sodium hypochlorite bleach, ≥1 N sodium hydroxide, and/or prolonged autoclaving. These treatments are damaging and/or unsuitable for many clinical, agricultural and environmental applications. We have tested the anti-prion activity of a weakly acidic aqueous formulation of HOCl (BrioHOCl that poses no apparent hazard to either users or many surfaces. For example, BrioHOCl can be applied directly to skin and mucous membranes and has been aerosolized to treat entire rooms without apparent deleterious effects. Here, we demonstrate that immersion in BrioHOCl can inactivate not only a range of target microbes, including spores of Bacillus subtilis, but also prions in tissue suspensions and on stainless steel. Real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC assays showed that BrioHOCl treatments eliminated all detectable prion seeding activity of human Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, cervine chronic wasting disease, sheep scrapie and hamster scrapie; these findings indicated reductions of ≥103- to 106-fold. Transgenic mouse bioassays showed that all detectable hamster-adapted scrapie infectivity in brain homogenates or on steel wires was eliminated, representing reductions of ≥~105.75-fold and >104-fold, respectively. Inactivation of RT-QuIC seeding activity correlated with free chlorine concentration and higher order aggregation or destruction of proteins generally, including prion

  16. A hydrogel biosensor for high selective and sensitive detection of amyloid-beta oligomers

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    Sun LP

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Liping Sun,1 Yong Zhong,1 Jie Gui,1 Xianwu Wang,1 Xiaorong Zhuang,2 Jian Weng1 1Key Laboratory of Biomedical Engineering of Fujian Province, Research Center of Biomedical Engineering of Xiamen, Department of Biomaterials, College of Materials, Xiamen University, 2Department of Neurology, The Affiliated Zhongshan Hospital of Xiamen University, Xiamen, People’s Republic of China Background: Alzheimer’s disease (AD is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive cognitive and memory impairment. It is the most common neurological disease that causes dementia. Soluble amyloid-beta oligomers (AβO in blood or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF are the pathogenic biomarker correlated with AD. Methods: A simple electrochemical biosensor using graphene oxide/gold nanoparticles (GNPs hydrogel electrode was developed in this study. Thiolated cellular prion protein (PrPC peptide probe was immobilized on GNPs of the hydrogel electrode to construct an AβO biosensor. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy was utilized for AβO analysis. Results: The specific binding between AβO and PrPC probes on the hydrogel electrode resulted in an increase in the electron-transfer resistance. The biosensor showed high specificity and sensitivity for AβO detection. It could selectively differentiate AβO from amyloid-beta (Aβ monomers or fibrils. Meanwhile, it was highly sensitive to detect as low as 0.1 pM AβO in artificial CSF or blood plasma. The linear range for AβO detection is from 0.1 pM to 10 nM. Conclusion: This biosensor could be used as a cost-effective tool for early diagnosis of AD due to its high electrochemical performance and bionic structure. Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, amyloid-beta oligomer, graphene, gold nanoparticles, biosensor

  17. Hsp40 function in yeast prion propagation: Amyloid diversity necessitates chaperone functional complexity.

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    Sporn, Zachary A; Hines, Justin K

    2015-01-01

    Yeast prions are heritable protein-based elements, most of which are formed of amyloid aggregates that rely on the action of molecular chaperones for transmission to progeny. Prions can form distinct amyloid structures, known as 'strains' in mammalian systems, that dictate both pathological progression and cross-species infection barriers. In yeast these same amyloid structural polymorphisms, called 'variants', dictate the intensity of prion-associated phenotypes and stability in mitosis. We recently reported that [PSI(+)] prion variants differ in the fundamental domain requirements for one chaperone, the Hsp40/J-protein Sis1, which are mutually exclusive between 2 different yeast prions, demonstrating a functional plurality for Sis1. Here we extend that analysis to incorporate additional data that collectively support the hypothesis that Sis1 has multiple functional roles that can be accomplished by distinct sets of domains. These functions are differentially required by distinct prions and prion variants. We also present new data regarding Hsp104-mediated prion elimination and show that some Sis1 functions, but not all, are conserved in the human homolog Hdj1/DNAJB1. Importantly, of the 10 amyloid-based prions indentified to date in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the chaperone requirements of only 4 are known, leaving a great diversity of amyloid structures, and likely modes of amyloid-chaperone interaction, largely unexplored.

  18. Neuroinflammation and common mechanism in Alzheimer's disease and prion amyloidosis: amyloid-associated proteins, neuroinflammation and neurofibrillary degeneration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rozemuller, A.J.M.; Jansen, C.; Carrano, A.; van Haastert, E.S.; Hondius, D.; van der Vies, S.M.; Hoozemans, J.J.M.

    2012-01-01

    Background: In cases with a long (>1 year) clinical duration of prion disease, the prion protein can form amyloid deposits. These cases do not show accumulation of 4-kDa β-amyloid, which is observed in amyloid deposits in Alzheimer's disease (AD). In AD, amyloid is associated with inflammation and

  19. A hydrogel biosensor for high selective and sensitive detection of amyloid-beta oligomers.

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    Sun, Liping; Zhong, Yong; Gui, Jie; Wang, Xianwu; Zhuang, Xiaorong; Weng, Jian

    2018-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive cognitive and memory impairment. It is the most common neurological disease that causes dementia. Soluble amyloid-beta oligomers (AβO) in blood or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) are the pathogenic biomarker correlated with AD. A simple electrochemical biosensor using graphene oxide/gold nanoparticles (GNPs) hydrogel electrode was developed in this study. Thiolated cellular prion protein (PrP C ) peptide probe was immobilized on GNPs of the hydrogel electrode to construct an AβO biosensor. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy was utilized for AβO analysis. The specific binding between AβO and PrP C probes on the hydrogel electrode resulted in an increase in the electron-transfer resistance. The biosensor showed high specificity and sensitivity for AβO detection. It could selectively differentiate AβO from amyloid-beta (Aβ) monomers or fibrils. Meanwhile, it was highly sensitive to detect as low as 0.1 pM AβO in artificial CSF or blood plasma. The linear range for AβO detection is from 0.1 pM to 10 nM. This biosensor could be used as a cost-effective tool for early diagnosis of AD due to its high electrochemical performance and bionic structure.

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

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    Victoria Lewis

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

  1. Amyloid-β Peptide Induces Prion Protein Amyloid Formation: Evidence for Its Widespread Amyloidogenic Effect.

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    Honda, Ryo

    2018-04-12

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy is associated with misfolding of prion protein (PrP) into an amyloid β-rich aggregate. Previous studies have indicated that PrP interacts with Alzheimer's disease amyloid-β peptide (Aβ), but it remains elusive how this interaction impacts on the misfolding of PrP. This study presents the first in vitro evidence that Aβ induces PrP-amyloid formation at submicromolar concentrations. Interestingly, systematic mutagenesis of PrP revealed that Aβ requires no specific amino acid sequences in PrP, and induces the misfolding of other unrelated proteins (insulin and lysozyme) into amyloid fibrils in a manner analogous to PrP. This unanticipated nonspecific amyloidogenic effect of Aβ indicates that this peptide might be involved in widespread protein aggregation, regardless of the amino acid sequences of target proteins, and exacerbate the pathology of many neurodegenerative diseases. © 2018 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  2. Comparing the Folds of Prions and Other Pathogenic Amyloids

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    José Miguel Flores-Fernández

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Pathogenic amyloids are the main feature of several neurodegenerative disorders, such as Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. High resolution structures of tau paired helical filaments (PHFs, amyloid-β(1-42 (Aβ(1-42 fibrils, and α-synuclein fibrils were recently reported using cryo-electron microscopy. A high-resolution structure for the infectious prion protein, PrPSc, is not yet available due to its insolubility and its propensity to aggregate, but cryo-electron microscopy, X-ray fiber diffraction, and other approaches have defined the overall architecture of PrPSc as a 4-rung β-solenoid. Thus, the structure of PrPSc must have a high similarity to that of the fungal prion HET-s, which is part of the fungal heterokaryon incompatibility system and contains a 2-rung β-solenoid. This review compares the structures of tau PHFs, Aβ(1-42, and α-synuclein fibrils, where the β-strands of each molecule stack on top of each other in a parallel in-register arrangement, with the β-solenoid folds of HET-s and PrPSc.

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

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    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.

  4. Amyloid oligomer structure characterization from simulations: A general method

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    Nguyen, Phuong H., E-mail: phuong.nguyen@ibpc.fr [Laboratoire de Biochimie Théorique, UPR 9080, CNRS Université Denis Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité IBPC, 13 rue Pierre et Marie Curie, 75005 Paris (France); Li, Mai Suan [Institute of Physics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Al. Lotnikow 32/46, 02-668 Warsaw (Poland); Derreumaux, Philippe, E-mail: philippe.derreumaux@ibpc.fr [Laboratoire de Biochimie Théorique, UPR 9080, CNRS Université Denis Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité IBPC, 13 rue Pierre et Marie Curie, 75005 Paris (France); Institut Universitaire de France, 103 Bvd Saint-Germain, 75005 Paris (France)

    2014-03-07

    Amyloid oligomers and plaques are composed of multiple chemically identical proteins. Therefore, one of the first fundamental problems in the characterization of structures from simulations is the treatment of the degeneracy, i.e., the permutation of the molecules. Second, the intramolecular and intermolecular degrees of freedom of the various molecules must be taken into account. Currently, the well-known dihedral principal component analysis method only considers the intramolecular degrees of freedom, and other methods employing collective variables can only describe intermolecular degrees of freedom at the global level. With this in mind, we propose a general method that identifies all the structures accurately. The basis idea is that the intramolecular and intermolecular states are described in terms of combinations of single-molecule and double-molecule states, respectively, and the overall structures of oligomers are the product basis of the intramolecular and intermolecular states. This way, the degeneracy is automatically avoided. The method is illustrated on the conformational ensemble of the tetramer of the Alzheimer's peptide Aβ{sub 9−40}, resulting from two atomistic molecular dynamics simulations in explicit solvent, each of 200 ns, starting from two distinct structures.

  5. Amyloid β oligomers in Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis, treatment, and diagnosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viola, Kirsten L; Klein, William L

    2015-02-01

    Protein aggregation is common to dozens of diseases including prionoses, diabetes, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. Over the past 15 years, there has been a paradigm shift in understanding the structural basis for these proteinopathies. Precedent for this shift has come from investigation of soluble Aβ oligomers (AβOs), toxins now widely regarded as instigating neuron damage leading to Alzheimer's dementia. Toxic AβOs accumulate in AD brain and constitute long-lived alternatives to the disease-defining Aβ fibrils deposited in amyloid plaques. Key experiments using fibril-free AβO solutions demonstrated that while Aβ is essential for memory loss, the fibrillar Aβ in amyloid deposits is not the agent. The AD-like cellular pathologies induced by AβOs suggest their impact provides a unifying mechanism for AD pathogenesis, explaining why early stage disease is specific for memory and accounting for major facets of AD neuropathology. Alternative ideas for triggering mechanisms are being actively investigated. Some research favors insertion of AβOs into membrane, while other evidence supports ligand-like accumulation at particular synapses. Over a dozen candidate toxin receptors have been proposed. AβO binding triggers a redistribution of critical synaptic proteins and induces hyperactivity in metabotropic and ionotropic glutamate receptors. This leads to Ca(2+) overload and instigates major facets of AD neuropathology, including tau hyperphosphorylation, insulin resistance, oxidative stress, and synapse loss. Because different species of AβOs have been identified, a remaining question is which oligomer is the major pathogenic culprit. The possibility has been raised that more than one species plays a role. Despite some key unknowns, the clinical relevance of AβOs has been established, and new studies are beginning to point to co-morbidities such as diabetes and hypercholesterolemia as etiological factors. Because pathogenic AβOs appear early in the disease, they

  6. Distinct Prion Domain Sequences Ensure Efficient Amyloid Propagation by Promoting Chaperone Binding or Processing In Vivo.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine R Langlois

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Prions are a group of proteins that can adopt a spectrum of metastable conformations in vivo. These alternative states change protein function and are self-replicating and transmissible, creating protein-based elements of inheritance and infectivity. Prion conformational flexibility is encoded in the amino acid composition and sequence of the protein, which dictate its ability not only to form an ordered aggregate known as amyloid but also to maintain and transmit this structure in vivo. But, while we can effectively predict amyloid propensity in vitro, the mechanism by which sequence elements promote prion propagation in vivo remains unclear. In yeast, propagation of the [PSI+] prion, the amyloid form of the Sup35 protein, has been linked to an oligopeptide repeat region of the protein. Here, we demonstrate that this region is composed of separable functional elements, the repeats themselves and a repeat proximal region, which are both required for efficient prion propagation. Changes in the numbers of these elements do not alter the physical properties of Sup35 amyloid, but their presence promotes amyloid fragmentation, and therefore maintenance, by molecular chaperones. Rather than acting redundantly, our observations suggest that these sequence elements make complementary contributions to prion propagation, with the repeat proximal region promoting chaperone binding to and the repeats promoting chaperone processing of Sup35 amyloid.

  7. Small protease sensitive oligomers of PrPSc in distinct human prions determine conversion rate of PrP(C.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  8. Protein misfolding cyclic amplification induces the conversion of recombinant prion protein to PrP oligomers causing neuronal apoptosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Zhen; Yang, Lifeng; Chen, Baian; Zhu, Ting; Hassan, Mohammad Farooque; Yin, Xiaomin; Zhou, Xiangmei; Zhao, Deming

    2015-06-01

    The formation of neurotoxic prion protein (PrP) oligomers is thought to be a key step in the development of prion diseases. Recently, it was determined that the sonication and shaking of recombinant PrP can convert PrP monomers into β-state oligomers. Herein, we demonstrate that β-state oligomeric PrP can be generated through protein misfolding cyclic amplification from recombinant full-length hamster, human, rabbit, and mutated rabbit PrP, and that these oligomers can be used for subsequent research into the mechanisms of PrP-induced neurotoxicity. We have characterized protein misfolding cyclic amplification-induced monomer-to-oligomer conversion of PrP from three species using western blotting, circular dichroism, size-exclusion chromatography, and resistance to proteinase K (PK) digestion. We have further shown that all of the resulting β-oligomers are toxic to primary mouse cortical neurons independent of the presence of PrP(C) in the neurons, whereas the corresponding monomeric PrP were not toxic. In addition, we found that this toxicity is the result of oligomer-induced apoptosis via regulation of Bcl-2, Bax, and caspase-3 in both wild-type and PrP(-/-) cortical neurons. It is our hope that these results may contribute to our understanding of prion transformation within the brain. We found that β-state oligomeric PrPs can be generated through protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) from recombinant full-length hamster, human, rabbit, and mutated rabbit PrP. β-oligomers are toxic to primary mouse cortical neurons independent of the presence of PrP(C) in the neurons, while the corresponding monomeric PrPs were not toxic. This toxicity is the result of oligomers-induced apoptosis via regulation of Bcl-2, Bax, and caspase-3. These results may contribute to our understanding of prion transformation within the brain. © 2015 International Society for Neurochemistry.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ewan West

    2015-06-01

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

  10. Fibril specific, conformation dependent antibodies recognize a generic epitope common to amyloid fibrils and fibrillar oligomers that is absent in prefibrillar oligomers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rasool Suhail

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Amyloid-related degenerative diseases are associated with the accumulation of misfolded proteins as amyloid fibrils in tissue. In Alzheimer disease (AD, amyloid accumulates in several distinct types of insoluble plaque deposits, intracellular Aβ and as soluble oligomers and the relationships between these deposits and their pathological significance remains unclear. Conformation dependent antibodies have been reported that specifically recognize distinct assembly states of amyloids, including prefibrillar oligomers and fibrils. Results We immunized rabbits with a morphologically homogeneous population of Aβ42 fibrils. The resulting immune serum (OC specifically recognizes fibrils, but not random coil monomer or prefibrillar oligomers, indicating fibrils display a distinct conformation dependent epitope that is absent in prefibrillar oligomers. The fibril epitope is also displayed by fibrils of other types of amyloids, indicating that the epitope is a generic feature of the polypeptide backbone. The fibril specific antibody also recognizes 100,000 × G soluble fibrillar oligomers ranging in size from dimer to greater than 250 kDa on western blots. The fibrillar oligomers recognized by OC are immunologically distinct from prefibrillar oligomers recognized by A11, even though their sizes overlap broadly, indicating that size is not a reliable indicator of oligomer conformation. The immune response to prefibrillar oligomers and fibrils is not sequence specific and antisera of the same specificity are produced in response to immunization with islet amyloid polypeptide prefibrillar oligomer mimics and fibrils. The fibril specific antibodies stain all types of amyloid deposits in human AD brain. Diffuse amyloid deposits stain intensely with anti-fibril antibody although they are thioflavin S negative, suggesting that they are indeed fibrillar in conformation. OC also stains islet amyloid deposits in transgenic mouse models of type

  11. Direct Correlation Between Ligand-Induced α-Synuclein Oligomers and Amyloid-like Fibril Growth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Martin Nors; Foderà, Vito; Horvath, Istvan

    2015-01-01

    link to disease related degenerative activity. Fibrils formed in the presence and absence of FN075 are indistinguishable on microscopic and macroscopic levels. Using small angle X-ray scattering, we reveal that FN075 induced oligomers are similar, but not identical, to oligomers previously observed......Aggregation of proteins into amyloid deposits is the hallmark of several neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. The suggestion that intermediate oligomeric species may be cytotoxic has led to intensified investigations of pre-fibrillar oligomers, which...

  12. A Fluorescent Oligothiophene-Bis-Triazine ligand interacts with PrP fibrils and detects SDS-resistant oligomers in human prion diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imberdis, Thibaut; Ayrolles-Torro, Adeline; Duarte Rodrigues, Alysson; Torrent, Joan; Alvarez-Martinez, Maria Teresa; Kovacs, Gabor G; Verdier, Jean-Michel; Robitzer, Mike; Perrier, Véronique

    2016-01-26

    Prion diseases are characterized by the accumulation in the central nervous system of an abnormally folded isoform of the prion protein, named PrP(Sc). Aggregation of PrP(Sc) into oligomers and fibrils is critically involved in the pathogenesis of prion diseases. Oligomers are supposed to be the key neurotoxic agents in prion disease, so modulation of prion aggregation pathways with small molecules can be a valuable strategy for studying prion pathogenicity and for developing new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. We previously identified thienyl pyrimidine compounds that induce SDS-resistant PrP(Sc) (rSDS-PrP(Sc)) oligomers in prion-infected samples. Due to the low effective doses of the thienyl pyrimidine hits, we synthesized a quaterthiophene-bis-triazine compound, called MR100 to better evaluate their diagnostic and therapeutic potentials. This molecule exhibits a powerful activity inducing rSDS-PrP(Sc) oligomers at nanomolar concentrations in prion-infected cells. Fluorescence interaction studies of MR100 with mouse PrP fibrils showed substantial modification of the spectrum, and the interaction was confirmed in vitro by production of rSDS-oligomer species upon incubation of MR100 with fibrils in SDS-PAGE gel. We further explored whether MR100 compound has a potential to be used in the diagnosis of prion diseases. Our results showed that: (i) MR100 can detect rSDS-oligomers in prion-infected brain homogenates of various species, including human samples from CJD patients; (ii) A protocol, called "Rapid Centrifugation Assay" (RCA), was developed based on MR100 property of inducing rSDS-PrP(Sc) oligomers only in prion-infected samples, and avoiding the protease digestion step. RCA allows the detection of both PK-sensitive and PK-resistant PrP(Sc) species in rodents samples but also from patients with different CJD forms (sporadic and new variant); (iii) A correlation could be established between the amount of rSDS-PrP(Sc) oligomers revealed by MR100 and the

  13. Amyloidoligomer detection by ELISA in cerebrospinal fluid and brain tissue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruggink, Kim A; Jongbloed, Wesley; Biemans, Elisanne A L M; Veerhuis, Rob; Claassen, Jurgen A H R; Kuiperij, H Bea; Verbeek, Marcel M

    2013-02-15

    Amyloid-β (Aβ) deposits are important pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Aβ aggregates into fibrils; however, the intermediate oligomers are believed to be the most neurotoxic species and, therefore, are of great interest as potential biomarkers. Here, we have developed an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) specific for Aβ oligomers by using the same capture and (labeled) detection antibody. The ELISA predominantly recognizes relatively small oligomers (10-25 kDa) and not monomers. In brain tissue of APP/PS1 transgenic mice, we found that Aβ oligomer levels increase with age. However, for measurements in human samples, pretreatment to remove human anti-mouse antibodies (HAMAs) was required. In HAMA-depleted human hippocampal extracts, the Aβ oligomer concentration was significantly increased in AD compared with nondemented controls. Aβ oligomer levels could also be quantified in pretreated cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples; however, no difference was detected between AD and control groups. Our data suggest that levels of small oligomers might not be suitable as biomarkers for AD. In addition, we demonstrate the importance of avoiding HAMA interference in assays to quantify Aβ oligomers in human body fluids. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Orientation of aromatic residues in amyloid cores: Structural insights into prion fiber diversity

    KAUST Repository

    Reymer, Anna

    2014-11-17

    Structural conversion of one given protein sequence into different amyloid states, resulting in distinct phenotypes, is one of the most intriguing phenomena of protein biology. Despite great efforts the structural origin of prion diversity remains elusive, mainly because amyloids are insoluble yet noncrystalline and therefore not easily amenable to traditional structural-biology methods. We investigate two different phenotypic prion strains, weak and strong, of yeast translation termination factor Sup35 with respect to angular orientation of tyrosines using polarized light spectroscopy. By applying a combination of alignment methods the degree of fiber orientation can be assessed, which allows a relatively accurate determination of the aromatic ring angles. Surprisingly, the strains show identical average orientations of the tyrosines, which are evenly spread through the amyloid core. Small variations between the two strains are related to the local environment of a fraction of tyrosines outside the core, potentially reflecting differences in fibril packing.

  15. The prion protein as a receptor for amyloid-beta

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kessels, Helmut W.; Nguyen, Louis N.; Nabavi, Sadegh; Malinow, Roberto

    2010-01-01

    Increased levels of brain amyloid-beta, a secreted peptide cleavage product of amyloid precursor protein (APP), is believed to be critical in the aetiology of Alzheimer's disease. Increased amyloid-beta can cause synaptic depression, reduce the number of spine protrusions (that is, sites of synaptic

  16. Structural fingerprints and their evolution during oligomeric vs. oligomer-free amyloid fibril growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foley, Joseph; Hill, Shannon E; Miti, Tatiana; Mulaj, Mentor; Ciesla, Marissa; Robeel, Rhonda; Persichilli, Christopher; Raynes, Rachel; Westerheide, Sandy; Muschol, Martin

    2013-09-28

    Deposits of fibrils formed by disease-specific proteins are the molecular hallmark of such diverse human disorders as Alzheimer's disease, type II diabetes, or rheumatoid arthritis. Amyloid fibril formation by structurally and functionally unrelated proteins exhibits many generic characteristics, most prominently the cross β-sheet structure of their mature fibrils. At the same time, amyloid formation tends to proceed along one of two separate assembly pathways yielding either stiff monomeric filaments or globular oligomers and curvilinear protofibrils. Given the focus on oligomers as major toxic species, the very existence of an oligomer-free assembly pathway is significant. Little is known, though, about the structure of the various intermediates emerging along different pathways and whether the pathways converge towards a common or distinct fibril structures. Using infrared spectroscopy we probed the structural evolution of intermediates and late-stage fibrils formed during in vitro lysozyme amyloid assembly along an oligomeric and oligomer-free pathway. Infrared spectroscopy confirmed that both pathways produced amyloid-specific β-sheet peaks, but at pathway-specific wavenumbers. We further found that the amyloid-specific dye thioflavin T responded to all intermediates along either pathway. The relative amplitudes of thioflavin T fluorescence responses displayed pathway-specific differences and could be utilized for monitoring the structural evolution of intermediates. Pathway-specific structural features obtained from infrared spectroscopy and Thioflavin T responses were identical for fibrils grown at highly acidic or at physiological pH values and showed no discernible effects of protein hydrolysis. Our results suggest that late-stage fibrils formed along either pathway are amyloidogenic in nature, but have distinguishable structural fingerprints. These pathway-specific fingerprints emerge during the earliest aggregation events and persist throughout the

  17. Structural fingerprints and their evolution during oligomeric vs. oligomer-free amyloid fibril growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foley, Joseph; Hill, Shannon E.; Miti, Tatiana; Mulaj, Mentor; Ciesla, Marissa; Robeel, Rhonda; Persichilli, Christopher; Raynes, Rachel; Westerheide, Sandy; Muschol, Martin

    2013-09-01

    Deposits of fibrils formed by disease-specific proteins are the molecular hallmark of such diverse human disorders as Alzheimer's disease, type II diabetes, or rheumatoid arthritis. Amyloid fibril formation by structurally and functionally unrelated proteins exhibits many generic characteristics, most prominently the cross β-sheet structure of their mature fibrils. At the same time, amyloid formation tends to proceed along one of two separate assembly pathways yielding either stiff monomeric filaments or globular oligomers and curvilinear protofibrils. Given the focus on oligomers as major toxic species, the very existence of an oligomer-free assembly pathway is significant. Little is known, though, about the structure of the various intermediates emerging along different pathways and whether the pathways converge towards a common or distinct fibril structures. Using infrared spectroscopy we probed the structural evolution of intermediates and late-stage fibrils formed during in vitro lysozyme amyloid assembly along an oligomeric and oligomer-free pathway. Infrared spectroscopy confirmed that both pathways produced amyloid-specific β-sheet peaks, but at pathway-specific wavenumbers. We further found that the amyloid-specific dye thioflavin T responded to all intermediates along either pathway. The relative amplitudes of thioflavin T fluorescence responses displayed pathway-specific differences and could be utilized for monitoring the structural evolution of intermediates. Pathway-specific structural features obtained from infrared spectroscopy and Thioflavin T responses were identical for fibrils grown at highly acidic or at physiological pH values and showed no discernible effects of protein hydrolysis. Our results suggest that late-stage fibrils formed along either pathway are amyloidogenic in nature, but have distinguishable structural fingerprints. These pathway-specific fingerprints emerge during the earliest aggregation events and persist throughout the

  18. Distinct prion-like strains of amyloid beta implicated in phenotypic diversity of Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Mark; Appleby, Brian; Safar, Jiri G

    2016-01-01

    Vast evidence on human prions demonstrates that variable disease phenotypes, rates of propagation, and targeting of distinct brain structures are determined by unique conformers (strains) of pathogenic prion protein (PrP(Sc)). Recent progress in the development of advanced biophysical tools that inventory structural characteristics of amyloid beta (Aβ) in the brain cortex of phenotypically diverse Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients, revealed unique spectrum of oligomeric particles in the cortex of rapidly progressive cases, implicating these structures in variable rates of propagation in the brain, and in distict disease manifestation. Since only ∼30% of phenotypic diversity of AD can be explained by polymorphisms in risk genes, these and transgenic bioassay data argue that structurally distinct Aβ particles play a major role in the diverse pathogenesis of AD, and may behave as distinct prion-like strains encoding diverse phenotypes. From these observations and our growing understanding of prions, there is a critical need for new strain-specific diagnostic strategies for misfolded proteins causing these elusive disorders. Since targeted drug therapy can induce mutation and evolution of prions into new strains, effective treatments of AD will require drugs that enhance clearance of pathogenic conformers, reduce the precursor protein, or inhibit the conversion of precursors into prion-like states.

  19. Toxic prefibrillar α-synuclein amyloid oligomers adopt a distinctive antiparallel β-sheet structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Celej, María Soledad; Sarroukh, Rabia; Goormaghtigh, Erik; Fidelio, Gerardo D; Ruysschaert, Jean-Marie; Raussens, Vincent

    2012-05-01

    Parkinson's disease is an age-related movement disorder characterized by the presence in the mid-brain of amyloid deposits of the 140-amino-acid protein AS (α-synuclein). AS fibrillation follows a nucleation polymerization pathway involving diverse transient prefibrillar species varying in size and morphology. Similar to other neurodegenerative diseases, cytotoxicity is currently attributed to these prefibrillar species rather than to the insoluble aggregates. Nevertheless, the underlying molecular mechanisms responsible for cytotoxicity remain elusive and structural studies may contribute to the understanding of both the amyloid aggregation mechanism and oligomer-induced toxicity. It is already recognized that soluble oligomeric AS species adopt β-sheet structures that differ from those characterizing the fibrillar structure. In the present study we used ATR (attenuated total reflection)-FTIR (Fourier-transform infrared) spectroscopy, a technique especially sensitive to β-sheet structure, to get a deeper insight into the β-sheet organization within oligomers and fibrils. Careful spectral analysis revealed that AS oligomers adopt an antiparallel β-sheet structure, whereas fibrils adopt a parallel arrangement. The results are discussed in terms of regions of the protein involved in the early β-sheet interactions and the implications of such conformational arrangement for the pathogenicity associated with AS oligomers.

  20. Rationally designed turn promoting mutation in the amyloid-β peptide sequence stabilizes oligomers in solution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jayakumar Rajadas

    Full Text Available Enhanced production of a 42-residue beta amyloid peptide (Aβ(42 in affected parts of the brain has been suggested to be the main causative factor for the development of Alzheimer's Disease (AD. The severity of the disease depends not only on the amount of the peptide but also its conformational transition leading to the formation of oligomeric amyloid-derived diffusible ligands (ADDLs in the brain of AD patients. Despite being significant to the understanding of AD mechanism, no atomic-resolution structures are available for these species due to the evanescent nature of ADDLs that hinders most structural biophysical investigations. Based on our molecular modeling and computational studies, we have designed Met35Nle and G37p mutations in the Aβ(42 peptide (Aβ(42Nle35p37 that appear to organize Aβ(42 into stable oligomers. 2D NMR on the Aβ(42Nle35p37 peptide revealed the occurrence of two β-turns in the V24-N27 and V36-V39 stretches that could be the possible cause for the oligomer stability. We did not observe corresponding NOEs for the V24-N27 turn in the Aβ(21-43Nle35p37 fragment suggesting the need for the longer length amyloid peptide to form the stable oligomer promoting conformation. Because of the presence of two turns in the mutant peptide which were absent in solid state NMR structures for the fibrils, we propose, fibril formation might be hindered. The biophysical information obtained in this work could aid in the development of structural models for toxic oligomer formation that could facilitate the development of therapeutic approaches to AD.

  1. Causative factors for formation of toxic islet amyloid polypeptide oligomer in type 2 diabetes mellitus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeong HR

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Hye Rin Jeong, Seong Soo A AnDepartment of Bionano Technology, Gachon Medical Research Institute, Gachon University, Gyeonggi-do, Republic of KoreaAbstract: Human islet amyloid polypeptide (h-IAPP is a peptide hormone that is synthesized and cosecreted with insulin from insulin-secreting pancreatic β-cells. Recently, h-IAPP was proposed to be the main component responsible for the cytotoxic pancreatic amyloid deposits in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM. Since the causative factors of IAPP (or amylin oligomer aggregation are not fully understood, this review will discuss the various forms of h-IAPP aggregation. Not all forms of IAPP aggregates trigger the destruction of β-cell function and loss of β-cell mass; however, toxic oligomers do trigger these events. Once these toxic oligomers form under abnormal metabolic conditions in T2DM, they can lead to cell disruption by inducing cell membrane destabilization. In this review, the various factors that have been shown to induce toxic IAPP oligomer formation will be presented, as well as the potential mechanism of oligomer and fibril formation from pro-IAPPs. Initially, pro-IAPPs undergo enzymatic reactions to produce the IAPP monomers, which can then develop into oligomers and fibrils. By this mechanism, toxic oligomers could be generated by diverse pathway components. Thus, the interconnections between factors that influence amyloid aggregation (eg, absence of PC2 enzyme, deamidation, reduction of disulfide bonds, environmental factors in the cell, genetic mutations, copper metal ions, and heparin will be presented. Hence, this review will aid in understanding the fundamental causative factors contributing to IAPP oligomer formation and support studies for investigating novel T2DM therapeutic approaches, such as the development of inhibitory agents for preventing oligomerization at the early stages of diabetic pathology.Keywords: amyloid aggregation, causative factor, IAPP, islet

  2. Natural amyloidoligomers acutely impair the formation of a contextual fear memory in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kittelberger, Kara A; Piazza, Fabrizio; Tesco, Giuseppina; Reijmers, Leon G

    2012-01-01

    Memory loss is one of the hallmark symptoms of Alzheimer's disease (AD). It has been proposed that soluble amyloid-beta (Abeta) oligomers acutely impair neuronal function and thereby memory. We here report that natural Abeta oligomers acutely impair contextual fear memory in mice. A natural Abeta oligomer solution containing Abeta monomers, dimers, trimers, and tetramers was derived from the conditioned medium of 7PA2 cells, a cell line that expresses human amyloid precursor protein containing the Val717Phe familial AD mutation. As a control we used 7PA2 conditioned medium from which Abeta oligomers were removed through immunodepletion. Separate groups of mice were injected with Abeta and control solutions through a cannula into the lateral brain ventricle, and subjected to fear conditioning using two tone-shock pairings. One day after fear conditioning, mice were tested for contextual fear memory and tone fear memory in separate retrieval trials. Three experiments were performed. For experiment 1, mice were injected three times: 1 hour before and 3 hours after fear conditioning, and 1 hour before context retrieval. For experiments 2 and 3, mice were injected a single time at 1 hour and 2 hours before fear conditioning respectively. In all three experiments there was no effect on tone fear memory. Injection of Abeta 1 hour before fear conditioning, but not 2 hours before fear conditioning, impaired the formation of a contextual fear memory. In future studies, the acute effect of natural Abeta oligomers on contextual fear memory can be used to identify potential mechanisms and treatments of AD associated memory loss.

  3. Natural Amyloid-Beta Oligomers Acutely Impair the Formation of a Contextual Fear Memory in Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kittelberger, Kara A.; Piazza, Fabrizio; Tesco, Giuseppina; Reijmers, Leon G.

    2012-01-01

    Memory loss is one of the hallmark symptoms of Alzheimer's disease (AD). It has been proposed that soluble amyloid-beta (Abeta) oligomers acutely impair neuronal function and thereby memory. We here report that natural Abeta oligomers acutely impair contextual fear memory in mice. A natural Abeta oligomer solution containing Abeta monomers, dimers, trimers, and tetramers was derived from the conditioned medium of 7PA2 cells, a cell line that expresses human amyloid precursor protein containing the Val717Phe familial AD mutation. As a control we used 7PA2 conditioned medium from which Abeta oligomers were removed through immunodepletion. Separate groups of mice were injected with Abeta and control solutions through a cannula into the lateral brain ventricle, and subjected to fear conditioning using two tone-shock pairings. One day after fear conditioning, mice were tested for contextual fear memory and tone fear memory in separate retrieval trials. Three experiments were performed. For experiment 1, mice were injected three times: 1 hour before and 3 hours after fear conditioning, and 1 hour before context retrieval. For experiments 2 and 3, mice were injected a single time at 1 hour and 2 hours before fear conditioning respectively. In all three experiments there was no effect on tone fear memory. Injection of Abeta 1 hour before fear conditioning, but not 2 hours before fear conditioning, impaired the formation of a contextual fear memory. In future studies, the acute effect of natural Abeta oligomers on contextual fear memory can be used to identify potential mechanisms and treatments of AD associated memory loss. PMID:22238679

  4. Natural amyloidoligomers acutely impair the formation of a contextual fear memory in mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kara A Kittelberger

    Full Text Available Memory loss is one of the hallmark symptoms of Alzheimer's disease (AD. It has been proposed that soluble amyloid-beta (Abeta oligomers acutely impair neuronal function and thereby memory. We here report that natural Abeta oligomers acutely impair contextual fear memory in mice. A natural Abeta oligomer solution containing Abeta monomers, dimers, trimers, and tetramers was derived from the conditioned medium of 7PA2 cells, a cell line that expresses human amyloid precursor protein containing the Val717Phe familial AD mutation. As a control we used 7PA2 conditioned medium from which Abeta oligomers were removed through immunodepletion. Separate groups of mice were injected with Abeta and control solutions through a cannula into the lateral brain ventricle, and subjected to fear conditioning using two tone-shock pairings. One day after fear conditioning, mice were tested for contextual fear memory and tone fear memory in separate retrieval trials. Three experiments were performed. For experiment 1, mice were injected three times: 1 hour before and 3 hours after fear conditioning, and 1 hour before context retrieval. For experiments 2 and 3, mice were injected a single time at 1 hour and 2 hours before fear conditioning respectively. In all three experiments there was no effect on tone fear memory. Injection of Abeta 1 hour before fear conditioning, but not 2 hours before fear conditioning, impaired the formation of a contextual fear memory. In future studies, the acute effect of natural Abeta oligomers on contextual fear memory can be used to identify potential mechanisms and treatments of AD associated memory loss.

  5. High-resolution NMR characterization of low abundance oligomers of amyloid-β without purification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotler, Samuel A; Brender, Jeffrey R; Vivekanandan, Subramanian; Suzuki, Yuta; Yamamoto, Kazutoshi; Monette, Martine; Krishnamoorthy, Janarthanan; Walsh, Patrick; Cauble, Meagan; Holl, Mark M Banaszak; Marsh, E Neil G; Ramamoorthy, Ayyalusamy

    2015-07-03

    Alzheimer's disease is characterized by the misfolding and self-assembly of the amyloidogenic protein amyloid-β (Aβ). The aggregation of Aβ leads to diverse oligomeric states, each of which may be potential targets for intervention. Obtaining insight into Aβ oligomers at the atomic level has been a major challenge to most techniques. Here, we use magic angle spinning recoupling (1)H-(1)H NMR experiments to overcome many of these limitations. Using (1)H-(1)H dipolar couplings as a NMR spectral filter to remove both high and low molecular weight species, we provide atomic-level characterization of a non-fibrillar aggregation product of the Aβ1-40 peptide using non-frozen samples without isotopic labeling. Importantly, this spectral filter allows the detection of the specific oligomer signal without a separate purification procedure. In comparison to other solid-state NMR techniques, the experiment is extraordinarily selective and sensitive. A resolved 2D spectra could be acquired of a small population of oligomers (6 micrograms, 7% of the total) amongst a much larger population of monomers and fibers (93% of the total). By coupling real-time (1)H-(1)H NMR experiments with other biophysical measurements, we show that a stable, primarily disordered Aβ1-40 oligomer 5-15 nm in diameter can form and coexist in parallel with the well-known cross-β-sheet fibrils.

  6. Molecular architecture of human prion protein amyloid: a parallel, in-register beta-structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cobb, Nathan J; Sönnichsen, Frank D; McHaourab, Hassane; Surewicz, Witold K

    2007-11-27

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) represent a group of fatal neurodegenerative diseases that are associated with conformational conversion of the normally monomeric and alpha-helical prion protein, PrP(C), to the beta-sheet-rich PrP(Sc). This latter conformer is believed to constitute the main component of the infectious TSE agent. In contrast to high-resolution data for the PrP(C) monomer, structures of the pathogenic PrP(Sc) or synthetic PrP(Sc)-like aggregates remain elusive. Here we have used site-directed spin labeling and EPR spectroscopy to probe the molecular architecture of the recombinant PrP amyloid, a misfolded form recently reported to induce transmissible disease in mice overexpressing an N-terminally truncated form of PrP(C). Our data show that, in contrast to earlier, largely theoretical models, the con formational conversion of PrP(C) involves major refolding of the C-terminal alpha-helical region. The core of the amyloid maps to C-terminal residues from approximately 160-220, and these residues form single-molecule layers that stack on top of one another with parallel, in-register alignment of beta-strands. This structural insight has important implications for understanding the molecular basis of prion propagation, as well as hereditary prion diseases, most of which are associated with point mutations in the region found to undergo a refolding to beta-structure.

  7. The role of stable α-synuclein oligomers in the molecular events underlying amyloid formation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lorenzen, Nikolai; Nielsen, Søren Bang; Buell, Alexander K.

    2014-01-01

    α-synuclein (αSN), whose aggregation is strongly implicated in the development of Parkinson’s disease (PD). The two types of oligomers are both formed under conditions where amyloid fibril formation is observed but differ in molecular weight by an order of magnitude. Both possess a degree of β......, either as precursors of fibrils or as species involved in the fibril elongation process or instead if they are associated with an aggregation process that is distinct from that generating mature fibrils. Here we describe and characterize in detail two well-defined oligomeric species formed by the protein...

  8. Thermodynamically stable amyloid-β monomers have much lower membrane affinity than the small oligomers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bidyut eSarkar

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Amyloid beta (Aβ is an extracellular 39-43 residue long peptide present in the mammalian cerebrospinal fluid, whose aggregation is associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Small oligomers of Aβ are currently thought to be the key to toxicity. However, it is not clear why the monomers of Aβ are non-toxic, and at what stage of aggregation toxicity emerges. Interactions of Aβ with cell membranes is thought to be the initiator of toxicity, but membrane-binding studies with different preparations of monomers and oligomers have not settled this issue. We have earlier found that thermodynamically stable Aβ monomers emerge spontaneously from oligomeric mixtures upon long term incubation in physiological solutions (Nag et al, JBC, 2011. Here we show that the membrane-affinity of these stable Aβ monomers is much lower than that of a mixture of small oligomers (containing dimers to decamers, providing a clue to the emergence of toxicity. Fluorescently labeled Aβ40 monomers show negligible binding to cell membranes of a neuronal cell line (RN46A at physiological concentrations (250 nM, while oligomers at the same concentrations show strong binding within 30 minutes of incubation. The increased affinity most likely does not require any specific neuronal receptor, since this difference in membrane-affinity was also observed in a somatic cell-line (HEK 293T. Similar results are also obtained for Aβ42 monomers and oligomers. Minimal amount of cell death is observed at these concentrations even after 36 hours of incubation. It is likely that membrane binding precedes subsequent slower toxic events induced by Aβ. Our results a provide an explanation for the non-toxic nature of Aβ monomers, b suggest that Aβ toxicity emerges at the initial oligomeric phase, and c provide a quick assay for monitoring the benign-to-toxic transformation of Aβ.

  9. Ginkgolide B inhibits the neurotoxicity of prions or amyloid-β1-42

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Williams Alun

    2004-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neuronal loss in Alzheimer's or prion diseases is preceded by the accumulation of fibrillar aggregates of toxic proteins (amyloid-β1-42 or the prion protein. Since some epidemiological studies have demonstrated that the EGb 761 extract, from the leaves of the Ginkgo biloba tree, has a beneficial effect on Alzheimer's disease, the effect of some of the major components of the EGb 761 extract on neuronal responses to amyloid-β1-42, or to a synthetic miniprion (sPrP106, were investigated. Methods Components of the EGb 761 extract were tested in 2 models of neurodegeneration. SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells were pre-treated with ginkgolides A or B, quercetin or myricetin, and incubated with amyloid-β1-42, sPrP106, or other neurotoxins. After 24 hours neuronal survival and the production of prostaglandin E2 that is closely associated with neuronal death was measured. In primary cortical neurons apoptosis (caspase-3 in response to amyloid-β1-42 or sPrP106 was measured, and in co-cultures the effects of the ginkgolides on the killing of amyloid-β1-42 or sPrP106 damaged neurons by microglia was tested. Results Neurons treated with ginkgolides A or B were resistant to amyloid-β1-42 or sPrP106. Ginkgolide-treated cells were also resistant to platelet activating factor or arachidonic acid, but remained susceptible to hydrogen peroxide or staurosporine. The ginkgolides reduced the production of prostaglandin E2 in response to amyloid-β1-42 or sPrP106. In primary cortical neurons, the ginkgolides reduced caspase-3 responses to amyloid-β1-42 or sPrP106, and in co-culture studies the ginkgolides reduced the killing of amyloid-β1-42 or sPrP106 damaged neurons by microglia. Conclusion Nanomolar concentrations of the ginkgolides protect neurons against the otherwise toxic effects of amyloid-β1-42 or sPrP106. The ginkgolides also prevented the neurotoxicity of platelet activating factor and reduced the production of prostaglandin E2 in

  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. Rapid and Quantitative Assay of Amyloid-Seeding Activity in Human Brains Affected with Prion Diseases.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanae Takatsuki

    Full Text Available The infectious agents of the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are composed of amyloidogenic prion protein, PrPSc. Real-time quaking-induced conversion can amplify very small amounts of PrPSc seeds in tissues/body fluids of patients or animals. Using this in vitro PrP-amyloid amplification assay, we quantitated the seeding activity of affected human brains. End-point assay using serially diluted brain homogenates of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease patients demonstrated that 50% seeding dose (SD50 is reached approximately 10(10/g brain (values varies 10(8.79-10.63/g. A genetic case (GSS-P102L yielded a similar level of seeding activity in an autopsy brain sample. The range of PrPSc concentrations in the samples, determined by dot-blot assay, was 0.6-5.4 μg/g brain; therefore, we estimated that 1 SD50 unit was equivalent to 0.06-0.27 fg of PrPSc. The SD50 values of the affected brains dropped more than three orders of magnitude after autoclaving at 121°C. This new method for quantitation of human prion activity provides a new way to reduce the risk of iatrogenic prion transmission.

  12. Amyloid- and FDG-PET in sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease: Correlation with pathological prion protein in neuropathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matías-Guiu, Jordi A; Guerrero-Márquez, Carmen; Cabrera-Martín, María Nieves; Gómez-Pinedo, Ulises; Romeral, María; Mayo, Diego; Porta-Etessam, Jesús; Moreno-Ramos, Teresa; Carreras, José Luis; Matías-Guiu, Jorge

    2017-05-04

    The role of positron emission tomography (PET) in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is less defined than in other neurodegenerative diseases. We studied the correlation between the uptake of 18 F-florbetaben and 18 F-fluorodeoxyglucose with pathological prion protein deposition in histopathology in a case. A patient with 80 y old with a rapid neurological deterioration with a confirmed diagnosis of CJD was studied. PET and MRI studies were performed between 13-20 d before the death. A region of interest analysis was performed using Statistical Parametric Mapping. MRI showed atrophy with no other alterations. FDG-PET showed extensive areas of hypometabolism including left frontoparietal lobes as well as bilateral thalamus. Correlation between uptake of 18 F-florbetaben and pathological prion protein deposition was r = 0.786 (p < 0.05). Otherwise, correlation between uptake of 18 F-FDG and pathological prion protein was r = 0.357 (p = 0.385). Immunohistochemistry with β-amyloid did not show amyloid deposition or neuritic plaques. Our study supports the use of FDG-PET in the assessment of CJD. FDG-PET may be especially useful in cases of suspected CJD and negative MRI. Furthermore, this case report provides more evidence about the behavioral of amyloid tracers, and the possibility of a low-affinity binding to other non-amyloid proteins, such as the pathological prion protein, is discussed.

  13. α-Synuclein Amyloids Hijack Prion Protein to Gain Cell Entry, Facilitate Cell-to-Cell Spreading and Block Prion Replication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aulić, Suzana; Masperone, Lara; Narkiewicz, Joanna; Isopi, Elisa; Bistaffa, Edoardo; Ambrosetti, Elena; Pastore, Beatrice; De Cecco, Elena; Scaini, Denis; Zago, Paola; Moda, Fabio; Tagliavini, Fabrizio; Legname, Giuseppe

    2017-08-30

    The precise molecular mechanism of how misfolded α-synuclein (α-Syn) accumulates and spreads in synucleinopathies is still unknown. Here, we show the role of the cellular prion protein (PrP C ) in mediating the uptake and the spread of recombinant α-Syn amyloids. The in vitro data revealed that the presence of PrP C fosters the higher uptake of α-Syn amyloid fibrils, which was also confirmed in vivo in wild type (Prnp +/+ ) compared to PrP knock-out (Prnp -/- ) mice. Additionally, the presence of α-Syn amyloids blocked the replication of scrapie prions (PrP Sc ) in vitro and ex vivo, indicating a link between the two proteins. Indeed, whilst PrP C is mediating the internalization of α-Syn amyloids, PrP Sc is not able to replicate in their presence. This observation has pathological relevance, since several reported case studies show that the accumulation of α-Syn amyloid deposits in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease patients is accompanied by a longer disease course.

  14. ENVIRONMENTAL ENRICHMENT STRENGTHENS CORTICOCORTICAL INTERACTIONS AND REDUCES AMYLOIDOLIGOMERS IN AGED MICE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco eMainardi

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Brain aging is characterized by global changes which are thought to underlie age-related cognitive decline. These include variations in brain activity and the progressive increase in the concentration of soluble amyloid-β (Aβ oligomers, directly impairing synaptic function and plasticity even in the absence of any neurodegenerative disorder. Considering the high social impact of the decline in brain performance associated to aging, there is an urgent need to better understand how it can be prevented or contrasted. Lifestyle components, such as social interaction, motor exercise and cognitive activity, are thought to modulate brain physiology and its susceptibility to age-related pathologies. However, the precise functional and molecular factors that respond to environmental stimuli and might mediate their protective action again pathological aging still need to be clearly identified. To address this issue, we exploited environmental enrichment (EE, a reliable model for studying the effect of experience on the brain based on the enhancement of cognitive, social and motor experience, in aged wild-type mice. We analyzed the functional consequences of EE on aged brain physiology by performing in vivo local field potential (LFP recordings with chronic implants. In addition, we also investigated changes induced by EE on molecular markers of neural plasticity and on the levels of soluble Aβ oligomers. We report that EE induced profound changes in the activity of the primary visual and auditory cortices and in their functional interaction. At the molecular level, EE enhanced plasticity by an upward shift of the cortical excitation/inhibition balance. In addition, EE reduced brain Aβ oligomers and increased synthesis of the Aβ-degrading enzyme neprilysin. Our findings strengthen the potential of EE procedures as a non-invasive paradigm for counteracting brain aging processes.

  15. IMPY, a potential {beta}-amyloid imaging probe for detection of prion deposits in scrapie-infected mice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Song, P.-J. [INSERM, U619, F-37000 Tours (France); Universite Francois-Rabelais, F-37000 Tours (France); IFR135, F-37000 Tours (France); Bernard, Serge [IFR135, F-37000 Tours (France); INRA, UR1282, IASP, 37380 Nouzilly (France)], E-mail: bernard@tours.inra.fr; Sarradin, Pierre [INRA, UR1282, IASP, 37380 Nouzilly (France); Vergote, Jackie [INSERM, U619, F-37000 Tours (France); Universite Francois-Rabelais, F-37000 Tours (France); IFR135, F-37000 Tours (France); Barc, Celine [INRA, UR1282, IASP, 37380 Nouzilly (France); Chalon, Sylvie [INSERM, U619, F-37000 Tours (France); Universite Francois-Rabelais, F-37000 Tours (France); IFR135, F-37000 Tours (France); Kung, M.-P.; Kung, Hank F. [Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (United States); Department of Pharmacology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (United States); Guilloteau, Denis [INSERM, U619, F-37000 Tours (France); Universite Francois-Rabelais, F-37000 Tours (France); IFR135, F-37000 Tours (France)

    2008-02-15

    Introduction: A potential single-photon emission computed tomography imaging agent for labeling of A{beta} plaques of Alzheimer's disease, IMPY (2-(4'-dimethylaminophenyl)-6-iodo-imidazo[1,2-a]pyridine), would be effective in detection of prion amyloid deposits in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). Methods: In vitro autoradiographic studies were carried out with [{sup 125}I]IMPY on brain sections from scrapie-infected mice and age-matched controls. Competition study was performed to evaluate the prion deposit binding specificity with nonradioactive IMPY. Results: Binding of [{sup 125}I]IMPY was observed in infected brain sections, while on age-matched control brain sections, there was no or very low labeling. Prion deposit binding was confirmed by histoblots with prion protein-specific monoclonal antibody 2D6. In the presence of nonradioactive IMPY, the binding of [{sup 125}I]IMPY was significantly inhibited in all regions studied. Conclusions: These findings indicate that IMPY can detect the prion deposits in vitro in scrapie-infected mice. Labeled with {sup 123}I, this ligand may be useful to quantitate prion deposit burdens in TSEs by in vivo imaging.

  16. IMPY, a potential β-amyloid imaging probe for detection of prion deposits in scrapie-infected mice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Song, P.-J.; Bernard, Serge; Sarradin, Pierre; Vergote, Jackie; Barc, Celine; Chalon, Sylvie; Kung, M.-P.; Kung, Hank F.; Guilloteau, Denis

    2008-01-01

    Introduction: A potential single-photon emission computed tomography imaging agent for labeling of Aβ plaques of Alzheimer's disease, IMPY (2-(4'-dimethylaminophenyl)-6-iodo-imidazo[1,2-a]pyridine), would be effective in detection of prion amyloid deposits in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). Methods: In vitro autoradiographic studies were carried out with [ 125 I]IMPY on brain sections from scrapie-infected mice and age-matched controls. Competition study was performed to evaluate the prion deposit binding specificity with nonradioactive IMPY. Results: Binding of [ 125 I]IMPY was observed in infected brain sections, while on age-matched control brain sections, there was no or very low labeling. Prion deposit binding was confirmed by histoblots with prion protein-specific monoclonal antibody 2D6. In the presence of nonradioactive IMPY, the binding of [ 125 I]IMPY was significantly inhibited in all regions studied. Conclusions: These findings indicate that IMPY can detect the prion deposits in vitro in scrapie-infected mice. Labeled with 123 I, this ligand may be useful to quantitate prion deposit burdens in TSEs by in vivo imaging

  17. In vivo detection of prion amyloid plaques using [{sup 11}C]BF-227 PET

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Okamura, Nobuyuki; Yanai, Kazuhiko [Tohoku University School of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology, Sendai (Japan); Shiga, Yusei; Itoyama, Yasuhito [Tohoku University School of Medicine, Department of Neurology, Sendai (Japan); Furumoto, Shozo [Tohoku University School of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology, Sendai (Japan); Tohoku University, Division of Radiopharmaceutical Chemistry, Cyclotron and Radioisotope Center, Sendai (Japan); Tashiro, Manabu [Tohoku University, Division of Cyclotron Nuclear Medicine, Cyclotron and Radioisotope Center, Sendai (Japan); Tsuboi, Yoshio [Fukuoka University School of Medicine, Department of Neurology, Fukuoka (Japan); Furukawa, Katsutoshi; Arai, Hiroyuki [Institute of Development, Aging, and Cancer, Tohoku University, Department of Geriatrics and Gerontology, Division of Brain Sciences, Sendai (Japan); Iwata, Ren [Tohoku University, Division of Radiopharmaceutical Chemistry, Cyclotron and Radioisotope Center, Sendai (Japan); Kudo, Yukitsuka [Tohoku University, Innovation of New Biomedical Engineering Center, Sendai (Japan); Doh-ura, Katsumi [Tohoku University School of Medicine, Department of Prion Research, 2-1 Seiryo-machi, Aoba-ku, Sendai (Japan)

    2010-05-15

    In vivo detection of pathological prion protein (PrP) in the brain is potentially useful for the diagnosis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). However, there are no non-invasive ante-mortem means for detection of pathological PrP deposition in the brain. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the amyloid imaging tracer BF-227 with positron emission tomography (PET) for the non-invasive detection of PrP amyloid in the brain. The binding ability of BF-227 to PrP amyloid was investigated using autoradiography and fluorescence microscopy. Five patients with TSEs, including three patients with Gerstmann-Straeussler-Scheinker disease (GSS) and two patients with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), underwent [{sup 11}C]BF-227 PET scans. Results were compared with data from 10 normal controls and 17 patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). The regional to pons standardized uptake value ratio was calculated as an index of BF-227 retention. Binding of BF-227 to PrP plaques was confirmed using brain samples from autopsy-confirmed GSS cases. In clinical PET study, significantly higher retention of BF-227 was detected in the cerebellum, thalamus and lateral temporal cortex of GSS patients compared to that in the corresponding tissues of normal controls. GSS patients also showed higher retention of BF-227 in the cerebellum, thalamus and medial temporal cortex compared to AD patients. In contrast, the two CJD patients showed no obvious retention of BF-227 in the brain. Although [{sup 11}C]BF-227 is a non-specific imaging marker of cerebral amyloidosis, it is useful for in vivo detection of PrP plaques in the human brain in GSS, based on the regional distribution of the tracer. PET amyloid imaging might provide a means for both early diagnosis and non-invasive disease monitoring of certain forms of TSEs. (orig.)

  18. In vivo detection of prion amyloid plaques using [11C]BF-227 PET

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Okamura, Nobuyuki; Yanai, Kazuhiko; Shiga, Yusei; Itoyama, Yasuhito; Furumoto, Shozo; Tashiro, Manabu; Tsuboi, Yoshio; Furukawa, Katsutoshi; Arai, Hiroyuki; Iwata, Ren; Kudo, Yukitsuka; Doh-ura, Katsumi

    2010-01-01

    In vivo detection of pathological prion protein (PrP) in the brain is potentially useful for the diagnosis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). However, there are no non-invasive ante-mortem means for detection of pathological PrP deposition in the brain. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the amyloid imaging tracer BF-227 with positron emission tomography (PET) for the non-invasive detection of PrP amyloid in the brain. The binding ability of BF-227 to PrP amyloid was investigated using autoradiography and fluorescence microscopy. Five patients with TSEs, including three patients with Gerstmann-Straeussler-Scheinker disease (GSS) and two patients with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), underwent [ 11 C]BF-227 PET scans. Results were compared with data from 10 normal controls and 17 patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). The regional to pons standardized uptake value ratio was calculated as an index of BF-227 retention. Binding of BF-227 to PrP plaques was confirmed using brain samples from autopsy-confirmed GSS cases. In clinical PET study, significantly higher retention of BF-227 was detected in the cerebellum, thalamus and lateral temporal cortex of GSS patients compared to that in the corresponding tissues of normal controls. GSS patients also showed higher retention of BF-227 in the cerebellum, thalamus and medial temporal cortex compared to AD patients. In contrast, the two CJD patients showed no obvious retention of BF-227 in the brain. Although [ 11 C]BF-227 is a non-specific imaging marker of cerebral amyloidosis, it is useful for in vivo detection of PrP plaques in the human brain in GSS, based on the regional distribution of the tracer. PET amyloid imaging might provide a means for both early diagnosis and non-invasive disease monitoring of certain forms of TSEs. (orig.)

  19. Intrahippocampal Administration of Amyloid-β1–42 Oligomers Acutely Impairs Spatial Working Memory, Insulin Signaling, and Hippocampal Metabolism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearson-Leary, Jiah; McNay, Ewan C.

    2017-01-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that abnormal brain accumulation of amyloid-β1–42 (Aβ1–42) oligomers plays a causal role in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and in particular may cause the cognitive deficits that are the hallmark of AD. In vitro, Aβ1–42 oligomers impair insulin signaling and suppress neural functioning. We previously showed that endogenous insulin signaling is an obligatory component of normal hippocampal function, and that disrupting this signaling led to a rapid impairment of spatial working memory, while delivery of exogenous insulin to the hippocampus enhanced both memory and metabolism; diet-induced insulin resistance both impaired spatial memory and prevented insulin from increasing metabolism or cognitive function. Hence, we tested the hypothesis that Aβ1–42 oligomers could acutely impair hippocampal metabolic and cognitive processes in vivo in the rat. Our findings support this hypothesis: Aβ1–42 oligomers impaired spontaneous alternation behavior while preventing the task-associated dip in hippocampal ECF glucose observed in control animals. In addition, Aβ1–42 oligomers decreased plasma membrane translocation of the insulin-sensitive glucose transporter 4 (GluT4), and impaired insulin signaling as measured by phosphorylation of Akt. These data show in vivo that Aβ1–42 oligomers can rapidly impair hippocampal cognitive and metabolic processes, and provide support for the hypothesis that elevated Aβ1–42 leads to cognitive impairment via interference with hippocampal insulin signaling. PMID:22430529

  20. Prions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Bodemer

    2016-09-01

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

  1. Heterogeneous Seeding of a Prion Structure by a Generic Amyloid Form of the Fungal Prion-forming Domain HET-s(218-289)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wan, William; Bian, Wen; McDonald, Michele; Kijac, Aleksandra; Wemmer, David E.; Stubbs, Gerald [UCB; (Vanderbilt); (LBNL)

    2013-11-13

    The fungal prion-forming domain HET-s(218–289) forms infectious amyloid fibrils at physiological pH that were shown by solid-state NMR to be assemblies of a two-rung β-solenoid structure. Under acidic conditions, HET-s(218–289) has been shown to form amyloid fibrils that have very low infectivity in vivo, but structural information about these fibrils has been very limited. We show by x-ray fiber diffraction that the HET-s(218–289) fibrils formed under acidic conditions have a stacked β-sheet architecture commonly found in short amyloidogenic peptides and denatured protein aggregates. At physiological pH, stacked β-sheet fibrils nucleate the formation of the infectious β-solenoid prions in a process of heterogeneous seeding, but do so with kinetic profiles distinct from those of spontaneous or homogeneous (seeded with infectious β-solenoid fibrils) fibrillization. Several serial passages of stacked β-sheet-seeded solutions lead to fibrillization kinetics similar to homogeneously seeded solutions. Our results directly show that structural mutation can occur between substantially different amyloid architectures, lending credence to the suggestion that the processes of strain adaptation and crossing species barriers are facilitated by structural mutation.

  2. Selective amyloid β oligomer assay based on abasic site-containing molecular beacon and enzyme-free amplification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Linling; Zhang, Junying; Wang, Fengyang; Wang, Ya; Lu, Linlin; Feng, Chongchong; Xu, Zhiai; Zhang, Wen

    2016-04-15

    Amyloid-beta (Aβ) oligomers are highly toxic species in the process of Aβ aggregation and are regarded as potent therapeutic targets and diagnostic markers for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Herein, a label-free molecular beacon (MB) system integrated with enzyme-free amplification strategy was developed for simple and highly selective assay of Aβ oligomers. The MB system was constructed with abasic site (AP site)-containing stem-loop DNA and a fluorescent ligand 2-amino-5,6,7-trimethyl-1,8-naphyridine (ATMND), of which the fluorescence was quenched upon binding to the AP site in DNA stem. Enzyme-free amplification was realized by target-triggered continuous opening of two delicately designed MBs (MB1 and MB2). Target DNA hybridization with MB1 and then MB2 resulted in the release of two ATMND molecules in one binding event. Subsequent target recycling could greatly amplify the detection sensitivity due to the greatly enhanced turn-on emission of ATMND fluorescence. Combining with Aβ oligomers aptamers, the strategy was applied to analyze Aβ oligomers and the results showed that it could quantify Aβ oligomers with high selectivity and monitor the Aβ aggregation process. This novel method may be conducive to improve the diagnosis and pathogenic study of Alzheimer's disease. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Amyloid β oligomers induce interleukin-1β production in primary microglia in a cathepsin B- and reactive oxygen species-dependent manner

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Taneo, Jun; Adachi, Takumi [Department of Animal Development and Physiology, Kyoto University, Yoshida-Konoe, Sakyo, Kyoto 606-8501 (Japan); Yoshida, Aiko; Takayasu, Kunio [Responses to Environmental Signals and Stresses, Graduate School of Biostudies, Kyoto University, Yoshida-Konoe, Sakyo, Kyoto, Kyoto 606-8501 (Japan); Takahara, Kazuhiko, E-mail: ktakahar@zoo.zool.kyoto-u.ac.jp [Department of Animal Development and Physiology, Kyoto University, Yoshida-Konoe, Sakyo, Kyoto 606-8501 (Japan); Japan Science and Technology Agency, Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology (CREST), Tokyo 102-0081 (Japan); Inaba, Kayo [Department of Animal Development and Physiology, Kyoto University, Yoshida-Konoe, Sakyo, Kyoto 606-8501 (Japan); Japan Science and Technology Agency, Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology (CREST), Tokyo 102-0081 (Japan)

    2015-03-13

    Amyloid β (Aβ) peptide, a causative agent of Alzheimer's disease, forms two types of aggregates: oligomers and fibrils. These aggregates induce inflammatory responses, such as interleukin-1β (IL-1β) production by microglia, which are macrophage-like cells located in the brain. In this study, we examined the effect of the two forms of Aβ aggregates on IL-1β production in mouse primary microglia. We prepared Aβ oligomer and fibril from Aβ (1–42) peptide in vitro. We analyzed the characteristics of these oligomers and fibrils by electrophoresis and atomic force microscopy. Interestingly, Aβ oligomers but not Aβ monomers or fibrils induced robust IL-1β production in the presence of lipopolysaccharide. Moreover, Aβ oligomers induced endo/phagolysosome rupture, which released cathepsin B into the cytoplasm. Aβ oligomer-induced IL-1β production was inhibited not only by the cathepsin B inhibitor CA-074-Me but also by the reactive oxygen species (ROS) inhibitor N-acetylcysteine. Random chemical crosslinking abolished the ability of the oligomers to induce IL-1β. Thus, multimerization and fibrillization causes Aβ oligomers to lose the ability to induce IL-1β. These results indicate that Aβ oligomers, but not fibrils, induce IL-1β production in primary microglia in a cathepsin B- and ROS-dependent manner. - Highlights: • We prepared amyloid β (Aβ) fibrils with minimum contamination of Aβ oligomers. • Primary microglia (MG) produced IL-1β in response to Aβ oligomers, but not fibrils. • Only Aβ oligomers induced leakage of cathepsin B from endo/phagolysosomes. • IL-1β production in response to Aβ oligomers depended on both cathepsin B and ROS. • Crosslinking reduced the ability of the Aβ oligomers to induce IL-1β from MG.

  4. 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.

  5. Evidence that a synthetic amyloidoligomer-binding peptide (ABP) targets amyloid-ß deposits in transgenic mouse brain and human Alzheimer's disease brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakravarthy, Balu; Ito, Shingo; Atkinson, Trevor; Gaudet, Chantal; Ménard, Michel; Brown, Leslie; Whitfield, James

    2014-03-14

    The synthetic ~5 kDa ABP (amyloid-ß binding peptide) consists of a region of the 228 kDa human pericentrioloar material-1 (PCM-1) protein that selectively and avidly binds in vitro Aβ1-42 oligomers, believed to be key co-drivers of Alzheimer's disease (AD), but not monomers (Chakravarthy et al., (2013) [3]). ABP also prevents Aß1-42 from triggering the apoptotic death of cultured human SHSY5Y neuroblasts, likely by sequestering Aß oligomers, suggesting that it might be a potential AD therapeutic. Here we support this possibility by showing that ABP also recognizes and binds Aβ1-42 aggregates in sections of cortices and hippocampi from brains of AD transgenic mice and human AD patients. More importantly, ABP targets Aβ1-42 aggregates when microinjected into the hippocampi of the brains of live AD transgenic mice. Crown Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

  7. Polymorphism of amyloid fibrils formed by a peptide from the yeast prion protein Sup35: AFM and Tip-Enhanced Raman Scattering studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Krasnoslobodtsev, Alexey V., E-mail: akrasnos@unomaha.edu [Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Nebraska Medical Center, 986025 Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198 (United States); Department of Physics, University of Nebraska Omaha, Omaha, NE 68182 (United States); Deckert-Gaudig, Tanja [IPHT-Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology, Albert-Einstein-Str. 9, D-07745 Jena (Germany); Zhang, Yuliang [Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Nebraska Medical Center, 986025 Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198 (United States); Deckert, Volker [IPHT-Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology, Albert-Einstein-Str. 9, D-07745 Jena (Germany); Institute for Physical Chemistry and Abbe Center of Photonics, University of Jena, Helmholtzweg 4, D-07743 Jena (Germany); Lyubchenko, Yuri L., E-mail: ylyubchenko@unmc.edu [Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Nebraska Medical Center, 986025 Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198 (United States)

    2016-06-15

    Aggregation of prion proteins is the cause of various prion related diseases. The infectious form of prions, amyloid aggregates, exist as multiple strains. The strains are thought to represent structurally different prion protein molecules packed into amyloid aggregates, but the knowledge on the structure of different types of aggregates is limited. Here we report on the use of AFM (Atomic Force Microscopy) and TERS (Tip-Enhanced Raman Scattering) to study morphological heterogeneity and access underlying conformational features of individual amyloid aggregates. Using AFM we identified the morphology of amyloid fibrils formed by the peptide (CGNNQQNY) from the yeast prion protein Sup35 that is critically involved in the aggregation of the full protein. TERS results demonstrate that morphologically different amyloid fibrils are composed of a distinct set of conformations. Fibrils formed at pH 5.6 are composed of a mixture of peptide conformations (β-sheets, random coil and α-helix) while fibrils formed in pH~2 solution primarily have β-sheets. Additionally, peak positions in the amide III region of the TERS spectra suggested that peptides have parallel arrangement of β-sheets for pH~2 fibrils and antiparallel arrangement for fibrils formed at pH 5.6. We also developed a methodology for detailed analysis of the peptide secondary structure by correlating intensity changes of Raman bands in different regions of TERS spectra. Such correlation established that structural composition of peptides is highly localized with large contribution of unordered secondary structures on a fibrillar surface. - Highlights: • Amyloid polymorphs were characterized by AFM and TERS. • A mixture of peptide secondary structures in fibrils were identified using TERS. • TERS recognizes packing arrangement (parallel versus antiparallel) of peptides. • TERS is a powerful tool for high resolution structural analysis of fibrils.

  8. Eckmaxol, a Phlorotannin Extracted from Ecklonia maxima, Produces Anti-β-amyloid Oligomer Neuroprotective Effects Possibly via Directly Acting on Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3β.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jialing; Zheng, Jiachen; Huang, Chunhui; Zhao, Jiaying; Lin, Jiajia; Zhou, Xuezhen; Naman, C Benjamin; Wang, Ning; Gerwick, William H; Wang, Qinwen; Yan, Xiaojun; Cui, Wei; He, Shan

    2018-04-10

    Alzheimer's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that mainly affects the elderly. Soluble β-amyloid oligomer, which can induce neurotoxicity, is generally regarded as the main neurotoxin in Alzheimer's disease. Here we report that eckmaxol, a phlorotannin extracted from the brown alga Ecklonia maxima, could produce neuroprotective effects in SH-SY5Y cells. Eckmaxol effectively prevented but did not rescue β-amyloid oligomer-induced neuronal apoptosis and increase of intracellular reactive oxygen species. Eckmaxol also significantly reversed the decreased expression of phospho-Ser9-glycogen synthase kinase 3β and increased expression of phospho-extracellular signal-regulated kinase, which was induced by Aβ oligomer. Moreover, both glycogen synthase kinase 3β and mitogen activated protein kinase inhibitors produced neuroprotective effects in SH-SY5Y cells. Furthermore, eckmaxol showed favorable interaction in the ATP binding site of glycogen synthase kinase 3β and mitogen activated protein kinase. These results suggested that eckmaxol might produce neuroprotective effects via concurrent inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase 3β and extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathways, possibly via directly acting on glycogen synthase kinase 3β and mitogen activated protein kinase. Based on the central role that β-amyloid oligomers play in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease and the high annual production of Ecklonia maxima for alginate and other nutritional ingredients, this report represents a new candidate for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, and also expands the potential application of Ecklonia maxima and its constituents in the field of pharmacology.

  9. Inhibiting and Remodeling Toxic Amyloid-Beta Oligomer Formation Using a Computationally Designed Drug Molecule That Targets Alzheimer's Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Downey, Matthew A.; Giammona, Maxwell J.; Lang, Christian A.; Buratto, Steven K.; Singh, Ambuj; Bowers, Michael T.

    2018-04-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is rapidly reaching epidemic status among a burgeoning aging population. Much evidence suggests the toxicity of this amyloid disease is most influenced by the formation of soluble oligomeric forms of amyloid β-protein, particularly the 42-residue alloform (Aβ42). Developing potential therapeutics in a directed, streamlined approach to treating this disease is necessary. Here we utilize the joint pharmacophore space (JPS) model to design a new molecule [AC0107] incorporating structural characteristics of known Aβ inhibitors, blood-brain barrier permeability, and limited toxicity. To test the molecule's efficacy experimentally, we employed ion mobility mass spectrometry (IM-MS) to discover [AC0107] inhibits the formation of the toxic Aβ42 dodecamer at both high (1:10) and equimolar concentrations of inhibitor. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) experiments reveal that [AC0107] prevents further aggregation of Aβ42, destabilizes preformed fibrils, and reverses Aβ42 aggregation. This trend continues for long-term interaction times of 2 days until only small aggregates remain with virtually no fibrils or higher order oligomers surviving. Pairing JPS with IM-MS and AFM presents a powerful and effective first step for AD drug development.

  10. PrP aggregation can be seeded by pre-formed recombinant PrP amyloid fibrils without the replication of infectious prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barron, Rona M; King, Declan; Jeffrey, Martin; McGovern, Gillian; Agarwal, Sonya; Gill, Andrew C; Piccardo, Pedro

    2016-10-01

    Mammalian prions are unusual infectious agents, as they are thought to consist solely of aggregates of misfolded prion protein (PrP). Generation of synthetic prions, composed of recombinant PrP (recPrP) refolded into fibrils, has been utilised to address whether PrP aggregates are, indeed, infectious prions. In several reports, neurological disease similar to transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) has been described following inoculation and passage of various forms of fibrils in transgenic mice and hamsters. However, in studies described here, we show that inoculation of recPrP fibrils does not cause TSE disease, but, instead, seeds the formation of PrP amyloid plaques in PrP-P101L knock-in transgenic mice (101LL). Importantly, both WT-recPrP fibrils and 101L-recPrP fibrils can seed plaque formation, indicating that the fibrillar conformation, and not the primary sequence of PrP in the inoculum, is important in initiating seeding. No replication of infectious prions or TSE disease was observed following both primary inoculation and subsequent subpassage. These data, therefore, argue against recPrP fibrils being infectious prions and, instead, indicate that these pre-formed seeds are acting to accelerate the formation of PrP amyloid plaques in 101LL Tg mice. In addition, these data reproduce a phenotype which was previously observed in 101LL mice following inoculation with brain extract containing in vivo-generated PrP amyloid fibrils, which has not been shown for other synthetic prion models. These data are reminiscent of the "prion-like" spread of aggregated forms of the beta-amyloid peptide (Aβ), α-synuclein and tau observed following inoculation of transgenic mice with pre-formed seeds of each misfolded protein. Hence, even when the protein is PrP, misfolding and aggregation do not reproduce the full clinicopathological phenotype of disease. The initiation and spread of protein aggregation in transgenic mouse lines following inoculation with pre

  11. Distinct thermodynamic signatures of oligomer generation in the aggregation of the amyloid-β peptide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Samuel I. A.; Cukalevski, Risto; Michaels, Thomas C. T.; Šarić, Andela; Törnquist, Mattias; Vendruscolo, Michele; Dobson, Christopher M.; Buell, Alexander K.; Knowles, Tuomas P. J.; Linse, Sara

    2018-05-01

    Mapping free-energy landscapes has proved to be a powerful tool for studying reaction mechanisms. Many complex biomolecular assembly processes, however, have remained challenging to access using this approach, including the aggregation of peptides and proteins into amyloid fibrils implicated in a range of disorders. Here, we generalize the strategy used to probe free-energy landscapes in protein folding to determine the activation energies and entropies that characterize each of the molecular steps in the aggregation of the amyloid-β peptide (Aβ42), which is associated with Alzheimer's disease. Our results reveal that interactions between monomeric Aβ42 and amyloid fibrils during fibril-dependent secondary nucleation fundamentally reverse the thermodynamic signature of this process relative to primary nucleation, even though both processes generate aggregates from soluble peptides. By mapping the energetic and entropic contributions along the reaction trajectories, we show that the catalytic efficiency of Aβ42 fibril surfaces results from the enthalpic stabilization of adsorbing peptides in conformations amenable to nucleation, resulting in a dramatic lowering of the activation energy for nucleation.

  12. A human scFv antibody that targets and neutralizes high molecular weight pathogenic amyloidoligomers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sebollela, Adriano; Cline, Erika N; Popova, Izolda; Luo, Kevin; Sun, Xiaoxia; Ahn, Jay; Barcelos, Milena A; Bezerra, Vanessa N; Lyra E Silva, Natalia M; Patel, Jason; Pinheiro, Nathalia R; Qin, Lei A; Kamel, Josette M; Weng, Anthea; DiNunno, Nadia; Bebenek, Adrian M; Velasco, Pauline T; Viola, Kirsten L; Lacor, Pascale N; Ferreira, Sergio T; Klein, William L

    2017-07-03

    Brain accumulation of soluble oligomers of the amyloid-β peptide (AβOs) is increasingly considered a key early event in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). A variety of AβO species have been identified, both in vitro and in vivo, ranging from dimers to 24mers and higher order oligomers. However, there is no consensus in the literature regarding which AβO species are most germane to AD pathogenesis. Antibodies capable of specifically recognizing defined subpopulations of AβOs would be a valuable asset in the identification, isolation, and characterization of AD-relevant AβO species. Here, we report the characterization of a human single chain antibody fragment (scFv) denoted NUsc1, one of a number of scFvs we have identified that stringently distinguish AβOs from both monomeric and fibrillar Aβ. NUsc1 readily detected AβOs previously bound to dendrites in cultured hippocampal neurons. In addition, NUsc1 blocked AβO binding and reduced AβO-induced neuronal oxidative stress and tau hyperphosphorylation in cultured neurons. NUsc1 further distinguished brain extracts from AD-transgenic mice from wild type (WT) mice, and detected endogenous AβOs in fixed AD brain tissue and AD brain extracts. Biochemical analyses indicated that NUsc1 targets a subpopulation of AβOs with apparent molecular mass greater than 50 kDa. Results indicate that NUsc1 targets a particular AβO species relevant to AD pathogenesis, and suggest that NUsc1 may constitute an effective tool for AD diagnostics and therapeutics. © 2017 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  13. A sensitive and selective electrochemical biosensor for the determination of beta-amyloid oligomer by inhibiting the peptide-triggered in situ assembly of silver nanoparticles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xing Y

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Yun Xing,1,2 Xiao-Zhen Feng,2 Lipeng Zhang,1 Jiating Hou,2 Guo-Cheng Han,2 Zhencheng Chen2 1Henan Province of Key Laboratory of New Optoelectronic Functional Materials, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Anyang Normal University, Anyang, 2School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Guilin University of Electronic Technology, Guilin, Guangxi, People’s Republic of China Abstract: Soluble beta-amyloid (Aβ oligomer is believed to be the most important toxic species in the brain of Alzheimer’s disease (AD patients. Thus, it is critical to develop a simple method for the selective detection of Aβ oligomer with low cost and high sensitivity. In this paper, we report an electrochemical method for the detection of Aβ oligomer with a peptide as the bioreceptor and silver nanoparticle (AgNP aggregates as the redox reporters. This strategy is based on the conversion of AgNP-based colorimetric assay into electrochemical analysis. Specifically, the peptide immobilized on the electrode surface and presented in solution triggered together the in situ formation of AgNP aggregates, which produced a well-defined electrochemical signal. However, the specific binding of Aβ oligomer to the immobilized peptide prevented the in situ assembly of AgNPs. As a result, a poor electrochemical signal was observed. The detection limit of the method was found to be 6 pM. Furthermore, the amenability of this method for the analysis of Aβ oligomer in serum and artificial cerebrospinal fluid (aCSF samples was demonstrated. Keywords: electrochemical biosensors, Alzheimer’s disease, beta-amyloid oligomer, peptide, silver nanoparticles

  14. Trans-caryophyllene inhibits amyloid β (Aβ) oligomer-induced neuroinflammation in BV-2 microglial cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Yawei; Zeng, Ziling; Wang, Baojie; Guo, Shougang

    2017-10-01

    Amyloid β (Aβ) is the major component of senile plaques (SP) in the brains of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients, and serves as an inflammatory stimulus for microglia. Trans-caryophyllene (TC), a major component in the essential oils derived from various species of medicinal plants, has displayed its neuro-protective effects in previous studies. However, whether TC has a protective role in AD remains unknown. In this study, the effects of TC on Aβ 1-42 -induced neuro-inflammation were investigated. We found that TC reduced the release of LDH in BV-2 microglial cells treated with Aβ 1-42 . In addition, pretreatment of BV2 microglia with TC at concentrations of 10, 25, and 50μM prior to Aβ stimulation led to significant inhibition of nitric oxide (NO) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production, expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Notably, our results indicate that TC remarkably attenuated Aβ 1-42 -activated overexpression of toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4). We further demonstrated that TC markedly reversed Aβ 1-42 -induced phosphorylation and degradation of IκBα, nuclear translocation of p65, and NF-κB transcriptional activity. These findings suggest that TC may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of AD. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  15. Role of the Disulfide Bond in Prion Protein Amyloid Formation: A Thermodynamic and Kinetic Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honda, Ryo

    2018-02-27

    Prion diseases are associated with the structural conversion of prion protein (PrP) to a β-sheet-rich aggregate, PrP Sc . Previous studies have indicated that a reduction of the disulfide bond linking C179 and C214 of PrP yields an amyloidlike β-rich aggregate in vitro. To gain mechanistic insights into the reduction-induced aggregation, here I characterized how disulfide bond reduction modulates the protein folding/misfolding landscape of PrP, by examining 1) the equilibrium stabilities of the native (N) and aggregated states relative to the unfolded (U) state, 2) the transition barrier separating the U and aggregated states, and 3) the final structure of amyloidlike misfolded aggregates. Kinetic and thermodynamic experiments revealed that disulfide bond reduction decreases the equilibrium stabilities of both the N and aggregated states by ∼3 kcal/mol, without changing either the amyloidlike aggregate structure, at least at the secondary structural level, or the transition barrier of aggregation. Therefore, disulfide bond reduction modulates the protein folding/misfolding landscape by entropically stabilizing disordered states, including the U and transition state of aggregation. This also indicates that the equilibrium stability of the N state, but not the transition barrier of aggregation, is the dominant factor determining the reduction-induced aggregation of PrP. Copyright © 2017 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Small heat shock proteins potentiate amyloid dissolution by protein disaggregases from yeast and humans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin L Duennwald

    Full Text Available How small heat shock proteins (sHsps might empower proteostasis networks to control beneficial prions or disassemble pathological amyloid is unknown. Here, we establish that yeast sHsps, Hsp26 and Hsp42, inhibit prionogenesis by the [PSI+] prion protein, Sup35, via distinct and synergistic mechanisms. Hsp42 prevents conformational rearrangements within molten oligomers that enable de novo prionogenesis and collaborates with Hsp70 to attenuate self-templating. By contrast, Hsp26 inhibits self-templating upon binding assembled prions. sHsp binding destabilizes Sup35 prions and promotes their disaggregation by Hsp104, Hsp70, and Hsp40. In yeast, Hsp26 or Hsp42 overexpression prevents [PSI+] induction, cures [PSI+], and potentiates [PSI+]-curing by Hsp104 overexpression. In vitro, sHsps enhance Hsp104-catalyzed disaggregation of pathological amyloid forms of α-synuclein and polyglutamine. Unexpectedly, in the absence of Hsp104, sHsps promote an unprecedented, gradual depolymerization of Sup35 prions by Hsp110, Hsp70, and Hsp40. This unanticipated amyloid-depolymerase activity is conserved from yeast to humans, which lack Hsp104 orthologues. A human sHsp, HspB5, stimulates depolymerization of α-synuclein amyloid by human Hsp110, Hsp70, and Hsp40. Thus, we elucidate a heretofore-unrecognized human amyloid-depolymerase system that could have applications in various neurodegenerative disorders.

  17. Signal Transduction by a Fungal NOD-Like Receptor Based on Propagation of a Prion Amyloid Fold

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Daskalov, A.; Habenstein, B.; Martinez, D.; Debets, A.J.M.; Sabate, R.; Loquet, A.; Saupe, S.J.

    2015-01-01

    In the fungus Podospora anserina, the [Het-s] prion induces programmed cell death by activating the HET-S pore-forming protein. The HET-s ß-solenoid prion fold serves as a template for converting the HET-S prion-forming domain into the same fold. This conversion, in turn, activates the HET-S

  18. 13C, 15N Resonance Assignment of Parts of the HET-s Prion Protein in its Amyloid Form

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Siemer, Ansgar B.; Ritter, Christiane; Steinmetz, Michel O.; Ernst, Matthias; Riek, Roland; Meier, Beat H.

    2006-01-01

    The partial 15 N and 13 C solid-state NMR resonance assignment of the HET-s prion protein fragment 218-289 in its amyloid form is presented. It is based on experiments measured at MAS frequencies in the range of 20-40 kHz using exclusively adiabatic polarization-transfer schemes. The resonance assignment within each residue is based on two-dimensional 13 C-- 13 C correlation spectra utilizing the DREAM mixing scheme. The sequential linking of the assigned residues used a set of two- and three-dimensional 15 N-- 13 C correlation experiments. Almost all cross peaks visible in the spectra are assigned, but only resonances from 43 of the 78 amino-acid residues could be detected. The missing residues are thought to be highly disordered and/or highly dynamic giving rise to broad resonance lines that escaped detection in the experiments applied. The line widths of the observed resonances are narrow and comparable to line widths observed in micro-crystalline samples. The 43 assigned residues are located in two fragments of about 20 residues

  19. Alzheimer's Toxic Amyloid Beta Oligomers: Unwelcome Visitors to the Na/K ATPase alpha3 Docking Station.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiChiara, Thomas; DiNunno, Nadia; Clark, Jeffrey; Bu, Riana Lo; Cline, Erika N; Rollins, Madeline G; Gong, Yuesong; Brody, David L; Sligar, Stephen G; Velasco, Pauline T; Viola, Kirsten L; Klein, William L

    2017-03-01

    Toxic amyloid beta oligomers (AβOs) are known to accumulate in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and in animal models of AD. Their structure is heterogeneous, and they are found in both intracellular and extracellular milieu. When given to CNS cultures or injected ICV into non-human primates and other non-transgenic animals, AβOs have been found to cause impaired synaptic plasticity, loss of memory function, tau hyperphosphorylation and tangle formation, synapse elimination, oxidative and ER stress, inflammatory microglial activation, and selective nerve cell death. Memory loss and pathology in transgenic models are prevented by AβO antibodies, while Aducanumab, an antibody that targets AβOs as well as fibrillar Aβ, has provided cognitive benefit to humans in early clinical trials. AβOs have now been investigated in more than 3000 studies and are widely thought to be the major toxic form of Aβ. Although much has been learned about the downstream mechanisms of AβO action, a major gap concerns the earliest steps: How do AβOs initially interact with surface membranes to generate neuron-damaging transmembrane events? Findings from Ohnishi et al (PNAS 2005) combined with new results presented here are consistent with the hypothesis that AβOs act as neurotoxins because they attach to particular membrane protein docks containing Na/K ATPase-α3, where they inhibit ATPase activity and pathologically restructure dock composition and topology in a manner leading to excessive Ca++ build-up. Better understanding of the mechanism that makes attachment of AβOs to vulnerable neurons a neurotoxic phenomenon should open the door to therapeutics and diagnostics targeting the first step of a complex pathway that leads to neural damage and dementia.

  20. Β-amyloid 1-42 oligomers impair function of human embryonic stem cell-derived forebrain cholinergic neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linn Wicklund

    Full Text Available Cognitive impairment in Alzheimer's disease (AD patients is associated with a decline in the levels of growth factors, impairment of axonal transport and marked degeneration of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons (BFCNs. Neurogenesis persists in the adult human brain, and the stimulation of regenerative processes in the CNS is an attractive prospect for neuroreplacement therapy in neurodegenerative diseases such as AD. Currently, it is still not clear how the pathophysiological environment in the AD brain affects stem cell biology. Previous studies investigating the effects of the β-amyloid (Aβ peptide on neurogenesis have been inconclusive, since both neurogenic and neurotoxic effects on progenitor cell populations have been reported. In this study, we treated pluripotent human embryonic stem (hES cells with nerve growth factor (NGF as well as with fibrillar and oligomeric Aβ1-40 and Aβ1-42 (nM-µM concentrations and thereafter studied the differentiation in vitro during 28-35 days. The process applied real time quantitative PCR, immunocytochemistry as well as functional studies of intracellular calcium signaling. Treatment with NGF promoted the differentiation into functionally mature BFCNs. In comparison to untreated cells, oligomeric Aβ1-40 increased the number of functional neurons, whereas oligomeric Aβ1-42 suppressed the number of functional neurons. Interestingly, oligomeric Aβ exposure did not influence the number of hES cell-derived neurons compared with untreated cells, while in contrast fibrillar Aβ1-40 and Aβ1-42 induced gliogenesis. These findings indicate that Aβ1-42 oligomers may impair the function of stem cell-derived neurons. We propose that it may be possible for future AD therapies to promote the maturation of functional stem cell-derived neurons by altering the brain microenvironment with trophic support and by targeting different aggregation forms of Aβ.

  1. Intracerebroventricular Administration of Amyloid β-protein Oligomers Selectively Increases Dorsal Hippocampal Dialysate Glutamate Levels in the Awake Rat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sean D. O’Shea

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Extensive evidence supports an important role for soluble oligomers of the amyloid β-protein (Aβ in Alzheimer’s Disease pathogenesis. In the present study we combined intracerebroventricular (icv injections with brain microdialysis technology in the fully conscious rat to assess the effects of icv administered SDS-stable low-n Aβ oligomers (principally dimers and trimers on excitatory and inhibitory amino acid transmission in the ipsilateral dorsal hippocampus. Microdialysis was employed to assess the effect of icv administration of Aβ monomers and Aβ oligomers on dialysate glutamate, aspartate and GABA levels in the dorsal hippocampus. Administration of Aβ oligomers was associated with a +183% increase (p<0.0001 vs. Aβ monomer-injected control in dorsal hippocampal glutamate levels which was still increasing at the end of the experiment (260 min, whereas aspartate and GABA levels were unaffected throughout. These findings demonstrate that icv administration and microdialysis technology can be successfully combined in the awake rat and suggests that altered dorsal hippocampal glutamate transmission may be a useful target for pharmacological intervention in Alzheimer’s Disease.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

    A prion is an infectious protein horizontally transmitting a disease or trait without a required nucleic acid. Yeast and fungal prions are nonchromosomal genes composed of protein, generally an altered form of a protein that catalyzes the same alteration of the protein. Yeast prions are thus transmitted both vertically (as genes composed of protein) and horizontally (as infectious proteins, or prions). Formation of amyloids (linear ordered β-sheet-rich protein aggregates with β-strands perpendicular to the long axis of the filament) underlies most yeast and fungal prions, and a single prion protein can have any of several distinct self-propagating amyloid forms with different biological properties (prion variants). Here we review the mechanism of faithful templating of protein conformation, the biological roles of these prions, and their interactions with cellular chaperones, the Btn2 and Cur1 aggregate-handling systems, and other cellular factors governing prion generation and propagation. Human amyloidoses include the PrP-based prion conditions and many other, more common amyloid-based diseases, several of which show prion-like features. Yeast prions increasingly are serving as models for the understanding and treatment of many mammalian amyloidoses. Patients with different clinical pictures of the same amyloidosis may be the equivalent of yeasts with different prion variants. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  3. Oxidation reduces the fibrillation but not the neurotoxicity of the prion peptide PrP106-126

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bergstrøm, Linda Alice; Chabry, J.; Bastholm, L.

    2007-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that soluble oligomers of misfolded protein may play a role in the pathogenesis of protein misfolding diseases including the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) where the protein involved is the prion protein, PrP. The effect of oxidation on fibrillation...... tendency and neurotoxicity of different molecular variants of the prion peptide PrP106-126 was investigated. It was found that methionine oxidation significantly reduced amyloid fibril formation and proteinase K resistance, but it did not reduce (but rather increase slightly) the neurotoxicity...

  4. The antigen-binding fragment of human gamma immunoglobulin prevents amyloid β-peptide folding into β-sheet to form oligomers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valls-Comamala, Victòria; Guivernau, Biuse; Bonet, Jaume; Puig, Marta; Perálvarez-Marín, Alex; Palomer, Ernest; Fernàndez-Busquets, Xavier; Altafaj, Xavier; Tajes, Marta; Puig-Pijoan, Albert; Vicente, Rubén; Oliva, Baldomero; Muñoz, Francisco J.

    2017-01-01

    The amyloid beta-peptide (Aβ) plays a leading role in Alzheimer's disease (AD) physiopathology. Even though monomeric forms of Aβ are harmless to cells, Aβ can aggregate into β-sheet oligomers and fibrils, which are both neurotoxic. Therefore, one of the main therapeutic approaches to cure or delay AD onset and progression is targeting Aβ aggregation. In the present study, we show that a pool of human gamma immunoglobulins (IgG) protected cortical neurons from the challenge with Aβ oligomers, as assayed by MTT reduction, caspase-3 activation and cytoskeleton integrity. In addition, we report the inhibitory effect of IgG on Aβ aggregation, as shown by Thioflavin T assay, size exclusion chromatography and atomic force microscopy. Similar results were obtained with Palivizumab, a human anti-sincitial virus antibody. In order to dissect the important domains, we cleaved the pool of human IgG with papain to obtain Fab and Fc fragments. Using these cleaved fragments, we functionally identified Fab as the immunoglobulin fragment inhibiting Aβ aggregation, a result that was further confirmed by an in silico structural model. Interestingly, bioinformatic tools show a highly conserved structure able to bind amyloid in the Fab region. Overall, our data strongly support the inhibitory effect of human IgG on Aβ aggregation and its neuroprotective role. PMID:28467807

  5. 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.

  6. Prion seeding activities of mouse scrapie strains with divergent PrPSc protease sensitivities and amyloid plaque content using RT-QuIC and eQuIC.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Vascellari

    Full Text Available Different transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE-associated forms of prion protein (e.g. PrP(Sc can vary markedly in ultrastructure and biochemical characteristics, but each is propagated in the host. PrP(Sc propagation involves conversion from its normal isoform, PrP(C, by a seeded or templated polymerization mechanism. Such a mechanism is also the basis of the RT-QuIC and eQuIC prion assays which use recombinant PrP (rPrP(Sen as a substrate. These ultrasensitive detection assays have been developed for TSE prions of several host species and sample tissues, but not for murine models which are central to TSE pathogenesis research. Here we have adapted RT-QuIC and eQuIC to various murine prions and evaluated how seeding activity depends on glycophosphatidylinositol (GPI anchoring and the abundance of amyloid plaques and protease-resistant PrP(Sc (PrP(Res. Scrapie brain dilutions up to 10(-8 and 10(-13 were detected by RT-QuIC and eQuIC, respectively. Comparisons of scrapie-affected wild-type mice and transgenic mice expressing GPI anchorless PrP showed that, although similar concentrations of seeding activity accumulated in brain, the heavily amyloid-laden anchorless mouse tissue seeded more rapid reactions. Next we compared seeding activities in the brains of mice with similar infectivity titers, but widely divergent PrP(Res levels. For this purpose we compared the 263K and 139A scrapie strains in transgenic mice expressing P101L PrP(C. Although the brains of 263K-affected mice had little immunoblot-detectable PrP(Res, RT-QuIC indicated that seeding activity was comparable to that associated with a high-PrP(Res strain, 139A. Thus, in this comparison, RT-QuIC seeding activity correlated more closely with infectivity than with PrP(Res levels. We also found that eQuIC, which incorporates a PrP(Sc immunoprecipitation step, detected seeding activity in plasma from wild-type and anchorless PrP transgenic mice inoculated with 22L, 79A and/or RML

  7. Efficacy of humidity retention bags for the reduced adsorption and improved cleaning of tissue proteins including prion-associated amyloid to surgical stainless steel surfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Secker, T J; Pinchin, H E; Hervé, R C; Keevil, C W

    2015-01-01

    Increasing drying time adversely affects attachment of tissue proteins and prion-associated amyloid to surgical stainless steel, and reduces the efficacy of commercial cleaning chemistries. This study tested the efficacy of commercial humidity retention bags to reduce biofouling on surgical stainless steel and to improve subsequent cleaning. Surgical stainless steel surfaces were contaminated with ME7-infected brain homogenates and left to dry for 15 to 1,440 min either in air, in dry polythene bags or within humidity retention bags. Residual contamination pre/post cleaning was analysed using Thioflavin T/SYPRO Ruby dual staining and microscope analysis. An increase in biofouling was observed with increased drying time in air or in sealed dry bags. Humidity retention bags kept both protein and prion-associated amyloid minimal across the drying times both pre- and post-cleaning. Therefore, humidity bags demonstrate a cheap, easy to implement solution to improve surgical instrument reprocessing and to potentially reduce associated hospital acquired infections.

  8. Amyloid β-sheet mimics that antagonize protein aggregation and reduce amyloid toxicity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Pin-Nan; Liu, Cong; Zhao, Minglei; Eisenberg, David; Nowick, James S.

    2012-11-01

    The amyloid protein aggregation associated with diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and type II diabetes (among many others) features a bewildering variety of β-sheet-rich structures in transition from native proteins to ordered oligomers and fibres. The variation in the amino-acid sequences of the β-structures presents a challenge to developing a model system of β-sheets for the study of various amyloid aggregates. Here, we introduce a family of robust β-sheet macrocycles that can serve as a platform to display a variety of heptapeptide sequences from different amyloid proteins. We have tailored these amyloid β-sheet mimics (ABSMs) to antagonize the aggregation of various amyloid proteins, thereby reducing the toxicity of amyloid aggregates. We describe the structures and inhibitory properties of ABSMs containing amyloidogenic peptides from the amyloid-β peptide associated with Alzheimer's disease, β2-microglobulin associated with dialysis-related amyloidosis, α-synuclein associated with Parkinson's disease, islet amyloid polypeptide associated with type II diabetes, human and yeast prion proteins, and Tau, which forms neurofibrillary tangles.

  9. Multielement analysis of swiss mice brains with Alzheimer's disease induced by beta amyloid oligomers using a portable total reflection X-ray fluorescence system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Almeida, Danielle S.; Brigido, Matheus M.; Anjos, Marcelino J.; Ferreira, Sergio S.; Souza, Amanda S.; Lopes, Ricardo T.

    2017-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive dementia that, in early stages, manifests as a profound inability to form new memories. The pathological features of AD include β-amyloid (Aβ) plaques, intracellular neurofibrillary tangles, loss of neurons and synapses, and activation of glia cells. Recently, several groups have raised the 'metal hypothesis' of AD. Metal ions, such as Cu and Zn, have been demonstrated to modulate amyloid aggregation along different pathways. Extensive research has been conducted on the effects of metals on Aβ aggregation and all of them have shown that both Cu and Zn accelerate the aggregation by shortening, or eliminating, the lag phase associated with the amyloid fibrillation process. The metal ions mentioned previously may have an important impact on the protein misfolding and the progression of the neurodegenerative process. The TXRF technique is very important, because can be used to identify and quantify trace elements present in the sample at very low concentrations (μg.g"-"1). In this work, three groups of females were studied: control, AD10 and AD100. The groups AD10 and AD100 were given a single intracerebroventricular injection of 10 pmol and 100 pmol of oligomers of β-amyloid peptide respectively to be induced AD. The TXRF measurements were performed using a portable total reflection X-ray fluorescence system developed in the Laboratory of Nuclear Instrumentation (LIN/UFRJ) that uses an X-ray tube with a molybdenum anode operating at 40 kV and 500 mA used for the excitation and a detector Si-PIN with energy resolution of 145 eV at 200 eV. It was possible to determine the concentrations of the following elements: P, S, K, Fe, Cu, Zn and Rubidium. Results showed differences in the elemental concentration in some brain regions between the AD groups and the control group. (author)

  10. Multielement analysis of swiss mice brains with Alzheimer's disease induced by beta amyloid oligomers using a portable total reflection X-ray fluorescence system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Almeida, Danielle S.; Brigido, Matheus M.; Anjos, Marcelino J.; Ferreira, Sergio S.; Souza, Amanda S.; Lopes, Ricardo T., E-mail: ricardo@lin.ufrj.br, E-mail: marcelin@uerj.br, E-mail: amandass@bioqmed.ufrj.br, E-mail: ferreira@bioqmed.ufrj.br, E-mail: amandass@bioqmed.ufrj.br [Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), RJ (Brazil); Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ), RJ (Brazil); Instituto de Fisica Armando Dias Tavares (Brazil)

    2017-11-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive dementia that, in early stages, manifests as a profound inability to form new memories. The pathological features of AD include β-amyloid (Aβ) plaques, intracellular neurofibrillary tangles, loss of neurons and synapses, and activation of glia cells. Recently, several groups have raised the 'metal hypothesis' of AD. Metal ions, such as Cu and Zn, have been demonstrated to modulate amyloid aggregation along different pathways. Extensive research has been conducted on the effects of metals on Aβ aggregation and all of them have shown that both Cu and Zn accelerate the aggregation by shortening, or eliminating, the lag phase associated with the amyloid fibrillation process. The metal ions mentioned previously may have an important impact on the protein misfolding and the progression of the neurodegenerative process. The TXRF technique is very important, because can be used to identify and quantify trace elements present in the sample at very low concentrations (μg.g{sup -1}). In this work, three groups of females were studied: control, AD10 and AD100. The groups AD10 and AD100 were given a single intracerebroventricular injection of 10 pmol and 100 pmol of oligomers of β-amyloid peptide respectively to be induced AD. The TXRF measurements were performed using a portable total reflection X-ray fluorescence system developed in the Laboratory of Nuclear Instrumentation (LIN/UFRJ) that uses an X-ray tube with a molybdenum anode operating at 40 kV and 500 mA used for the excitation and a detector Si-PIN with energy resolution of 145 eV at 200 eV. It was possible to determine the concentrations of the following elements: P, S, K, Fe, Cu, Zn and Rubidium. Results showed differences in the elemental concentration in some brain regions between the AD groups and the control group. (author)

  11. Keampferol-3-O-rhamnoside abrogates amyloid beta toxicity by modulating monomers and remodeling oligomers and fibrils to non-toxic aggregates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharoar Md

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Aggregation of soluble, monomeric β- amyloid (Aβ to oligomeric and then insoluble fibrillar Aβ is a key pathogenic feature in development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD. Increasing evidence suggests that toxicity is linked to diffusible Aβ oligomers, rather than to insoluble fibrils. The use of naturally occurring small molecules for inhibition of Aβ aggregation has recently attracted significant interest for development of effective therapeutic strategies against the disease. A natural polyphenolic flavone, Kaempferol-3-O-rhamnoside (K-3-rh, was utilized to investigate its effects on aggregation and cytotoxic effects of Aβ42 peptide. Several biochemical techniques were used to determine the conformational changes and cytotoxic effect of the peptide in the presence and absence of K-3-rh. Results K-3-rh showed a dose-dependent effect against Aβ42 mediated cytotoxicity. Anti-amyloidogenic properties of K-3-rh were found to be efficient in inhibiting fibrilogenesis and secondary structural transformation of the peptide. The consequence of these inhibitions was the accumulation of oligomeric structural species. The accumulated aggregates were smaller, soluble, non-β-sheet and non-toxic aggregates, compared to preformed toxic Aβ oligomers. K-3-rh was also found to have the remodeling properties of preformed soluble oligomers and fibrils. Both of these conformers were found to remodel into non-toxic aggregates. The results showed that K-3-rh interacts with different Aβ conformers, which affects fibril formation, oligomeric maturation and fibrillar stabilization. Conclusion K-3-rh is an efficient molecule to hinder the self assembly and to abrogate the cytotoxic effects of Aβ42 peptide. Hence, K-3-rh and small molecules with similar structure might be considered for therapeutic development against AD.

  12. Hsp40 interacts directly with the native state of the yeast prion protein Ure2 and inhibits formation of amyloid-like fibrils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lian, Hui-Yong; Zhang, Hong; Zhang, Zai-Rong; Loovers, Harriët M; Jones, Gary W; Rowling, Pamela J E; Itzhaki, Laura S; Zhou, Jun-Mei; Perrett, Sarah

    2007-04-20

    Ure2 is the protein determinant of the [URE3] prion phenotype in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and consists of a flexible N-terminal prion-determining domain and a globular C-terminal glutathione transferase-like domain. Overexpression of the type I Hsp40 member Ydj1 in yeast cells has been found to result in the loss of [URE3]. However, the mechanism of prion curing by Ydj1 remains unclear. Here we tested the effect of overexpression of Hsp40 members Ydj1, Sis1, and Apj1 and also Hsp70 co-chaperones Cpr7, Cns1, Sti1, and Fes1 in vivo and found that only Ydj1 showed a strong curing effect on [URE3]. We also investigated the interaction of Ydj1 with Ure2 in vitro. We found that Ydj1 was able to suppress formation of amyloid-like fibrils of Ure2 by delaying the process of fibril formation, as monitored by thioflavin T binding and atomic force microscopy imaging. Controls using bovine serum albumin, Sis1, or the human Hsp40 homologues Hdj1 or Hdj2 showed no significant inhibitory effect. Ydj1 was only effective when added during the lag phase of fibril formation, suggesting that it interacts with Ure2 at an early stage in fibril formation and delays the nucleation process. Using surface plasmon resonance and size exclusion chromatography, we demonstrated a direct interaction between Ydj1 and both wild type and N-terminally truncated Ure2. In contrast, Hdj2, which did not suppress fibril formation, did not show this interaction. The results suggest that Ydj1 inhibits Ure2 fibril formation by binding to the native state of Ure2, thus delaying the onset of oligomerization.

  13. Cross Talk Between Brain Innate Immunity and Serotonin Signaling Underlies Depressive-Like Behavior Induced by Alzheimer's AmyloidOligomers in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ledo, Jose Henrique; Azevedo, Estefania P; Beckman, Danielle; Ribeiro, Felipe C; Santos, Luis E; Razolli, Daniela S; Kincheski, Grasielle C; Melo, Helen M; Bellio, Maria; Teixeira, Antonio L; Velloso, Licio A; Foguel, Debora; De Felice, Fernanda G; Ferreira, Sergio T

    2016-11-30

    Considerable clinical and epidemiological evidence links Alzheimer's disease (AD) and depression. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this connection are largely unknown. We reported recently that soluble Aβ oligomers (AβOs), toxins that accumulate in AD brains and are thought to instigate synapse damage and memory loss, induce depressive-like behavior in mice. Here, we report that the mechanism underlying this action involves AβO-induced microglial activation, aberrant TNF-α signaling, and decreased brain serotonin levels. Inactivation or ablation of microglia blocked the increase in brain TNF-α and abolished depressive-like behavior induced by AβOs. Significantly, we identified serotonin as a negative regulator of microglial activation. Finally, AβOs failed to induce depressive-like behavior in Toll-like receptor 4-deficient mice and in mice harboring a nonfunctional TLR4 variant in myeloid cells. Results establish that AβOs trigger depressive-like behavior via a double impact on brain serotonin levels and microglial activation, unveiling a cross talk between brain innate immunity and serotonergic signaling as a key player in mood alterations in AD. Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder and the main cause of dementia in the world. Brain accumulation of amyloidoligomers (AβOs) is a major feature in the pathogenesis of AD. Although clinical and epidemiological data suggest a strong connection between AD and depression, the underlying mechanisms linking these two disorders remain largely unknown. Here, we report that aberrant activation of the brain innate immunity and decreased serotonergic tonus in the brain are key players in AβO-induced depressive-like behavior in mice. Our findings may open up new possibilities for the development of effective therapeutics for AD and depression aimed at modulating microglial function. Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/3612106-11$15.00/0.

  14. Self-propagative replication of Aβ oligomers suggests potential transmissibility in Alzheimer disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amit Kumar

    Full Text Available The aggregation of amyloid-β (Aβ peptide and its deposition in parts of the brain form the central processes in the etiology of Alzheimer disease (AD. The low-molecular weight oligomers of Aβ aggregates (2 to 30 mers are known to be the primary neurotoxic agents whose mechanisms of cellular toxicity and synaptic dysfunction have received substantial attention in the recent years. However, how these toxic agents proliferate and induce widespread amyloid deposition throughout the brain, and what mechanism is involved in the amplification and propagation of toxic oligomer species, are far from clear. Emerging evidence based on transgenic mice models indicates a transmissible nature of Aβ aggregates and implicates a prion-like mechanism of oligomer propagation, which manifests as the dissemination and proliferation of Aβ toxicity. Despite accumulating evidence in support of a transmissible nature of Aβ aggregates, a clear, molecular-level understanding of this intriguing mechanism is lacking. Recently, we reported the characterization of unique replicating oligomers of Aβ42 (12-24 mers in vitro called Large Fatty Acid-derived Oligomers (LFAOs (Kumar et al., 2012, J. Biol. Chem. In the current report, we establish that LFAOs possess physiological activity by activating NF-κB in human neuroblastoma cells, and determine the experimental parameters that control the efficiency of LFAO replication by self-propagation. These findings constitute the first detailed report on monomer - oligomer lateral propagation reactions that may constitute potential mechanism governing transmissibility among Aβ oligomers. These data support the previous reports on transmissible mechanisms observed in transgenic animal models.

  15. Engineered bacterial hydrophobic oligopeptide repeats in a synthetic yeast prion, [REP-PSI+

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fátima eGasset-Rosa

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The yeast translation termination factor Sup35p, by aggregating as the [PSI+] prion, enables ribosomes to read-through stop codons, thus expanding the diversity of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae proteome. Yeast prions are functional amyloids that replicate by templating their conformation on native protein molecules, then assembling as large aggregates and fibers. Prions propagate epigenetically from mother to daughter cells by fragmentation of such assemblies. In the N-terminal prion-forming domain, Sup35p has glutamine/asparagine-rich oligopeptide repeats (OPRs, which enable propagation through chaperone-elicited shearing. We have engineered chimeras by replacing the polar OPRs in Sup35p by up to five repeats of a hydrophobic amyloidogenic sequence from the synthetic bacterial prionoid RepA-WH1. The resulting hybrid, [REP-PSI+], i was functional in a stop codon read-through assay in S. cerevisiae; ii generates weak phenotypic variants upon both its expression or transformation into [psi-] cells; iii these variants correlated with high molecular weight aggregates resistant to SDS during electrophoresis; and iv according to fluorescence microscopy, the fusion of the prion domains from the engineered chimeras to the reporter protein mCherry generated perivacuolar aggregate foci in yeast cells. All these are signatures of bona fide yeast prions. As assessed through biophysical approaches, the chimeras assembled as oligomers rather than as the fibers characteristic of [PSI+]. These results suggest that it is the balance between polar and hydrophobic residues in OPRs what determines prion conformational dynamics. In addition, our findings illustrate the feasibility of enabling new propagation traits in yeast prions by engineering OPRs with heterologous amyloidogenic sequence repeats.

  16. 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...

  17. Aging Enables Ca2+ Overload and Apoptosis Induced by AmyloidOligomers in Rat Hippocampal Neurons: Neuroprotection by Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs and R-Flurbiprofen in Aging Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvo-Rodríguez, María; García-Durillo, Mónica; Villalobos, Carlos; Núñez, Lucía

    2016-07-22

    The most important risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD) is aging. Neurotoxicity in AD has been linked to dyshomeostasis of intracellular Ca2+ induced by small aggregates of the amyloid-β peptide 1-42 (Aβ42 oligomers). However, how aging influences susceptibility to neurotoxicity induced by Aβ42 oligomers is unknown. In this study, we used long-term cultures of rat hippocampal neurons, a model of neuronal in vitro aging, to investigate the contribution of aging to Ca2+ dishomeostasis and neuron cell death induced by Aβ42 oligomers. In addition, we tested whether non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and R-flurbiprofen prevent apoptosis acting on subcellular Ca2+ in aged neurons. We found that Aβ42 oligomers have no effect on young hippocampal neurons cultured for 2 days in vitro (2 DIV). However, they promoted apoptosis modestly in mature neurons (8 DIV) and these effects increased dramatically after 13 DIV, when neurons display many hallmarks of in vivo aging. Consistently, cytosolic and mitochondrial Ca2+ responses induced by Aβ42 oligomers increased dramatically with culture age. At low concentrations, NSAIDs and the enantiomer R-flurbiprofen lacking anti-inflammatory activity prevent Ca2+ overload and neuron cell death induced by Aβ42 oligomers in aged neurons. However, at high concentrations R-flurbiprofen induces apoptosis. Thus, Aβ42 oligomers promote Ca2+ overload and neuron cell death only in aged rat hippocampal neurons. These effects are prevented by low concentrations of NSAIDs and R-flurbiprofen acting on mitochondrial Ca2+ overload.

  18. Investigation of the structural preference and flexibility of the loop residues in amyloid fibrils of the HET-s prion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolenc, Jožica; Meier, Beat H; Rusu, Victor H; van Gunsteren, Wilfred F

    2016-02-17

    The structural variability of a 16-residue loop (residues 246-261) which is in part disordered and connects two layers of the β-solenoid formed by the prion-form of HET-s and its prion domain HET-s(218-289) is investigated using molecular dynamics computer simulation. A system of three HET-s(218-289) molecules in a β-sheet structure as in the fibril is simulated in aqueous solution. The trajectory structures appear to be consistent with the Cα chemical shift data obtained. In order to delineate the influence of the β-sheet core of the fibril upon the structural variability of the loop, the latter is also simulated without the β-sheet core, but with its N- and C-terminal residues restrained at their positions in the fibril. The analysis of the trajectories shows that the structural variability of the loop is restricted by the β-sheet core, least at its N-terminal end and most in the middle of the trimer.

  19. {sup 13}C, {sup 15}N Resonance Assignment of Parts of the HET-s Prion Protein in its Amyloid Form

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Siemer, Ansgar B. [Physical Chemistry (Switzerland); Ritter, Christiane [Salk Institute, Structural Biology Laboratory (United States); Steinmetz, Michel O. [Paul Scherrer Institut, Biomolecular Research, Structural Biology (Switzerland); Ernst, Matthias [Physical Chemistry (Switzerland); Riek, Roland [Salk Institute, Structural Biology Laboratory (United States); Meier, Beat H. [Physical Chemistry (Switzerland)

    2006-02-15

    The partial {sup 15}N and {sup 13}C solid-state NMR resonance assignment of the HET-s prion protein fragment 218-289 in its amyloid form is presented. It is based on experiments measured at MAS frequencies in the range of 20-40 kHz using exclusively adiabatic polarization-transfer schemes. The resonance assignment within each residue is based on two-dimensional {sup 13}C--{sup 13}C correlation spectra utilizing the DREAM mixing scheme. The sequential linking of the assigned residues used a set of two- and three-dimensional {sup 15}N--{sup 13}C correlation experiments. Almost all cross peaks visible in the spectra are assigned, but only resonances from 43 of the 78 amino-acid residues could be detected. The missing residues are thought to be highly disordered and/or highly dynamic giving rise to broad resonance lines that escaped detection in the experiments applied. The line widths of the observed resonances are narrow and comparable to line widths observed in micro-crystalline samples. The 43 assigned residues are located in two fragments of about 20 residues.

  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. Prion Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... with facebook share with twitter share with linkedin Prion Diseases Prion diseases are a related group of ... deer and elk. Why Is the Study of Prion Diseases a Priority for NIAID? Much about TSE ...

  2. Neuroinflammation, hyperphosphorylated tau, diffuse amyloid plaques, and down-regulation of the cellular prion protein in air pollution exposed children and young adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calderón-Garcidueñas, Lilian; Kavanaugh, Michael; Block, Michelle; D'Angiulli, Amedeo; Delgado-Chávez, Ricardo; Torres-Jardón, Ricardo; González-Maciel, Angelica; Reynoso-Robles, Rafael; Osnaya, Norma; Villarreal-Calderon, Rodolfo; Guo, Ruixin; Hua, Zhaowei; Zhu, Hongtu; Perry, George; Diaz, Philippe

    2012-01-01

    Air pollution exposures have been linked to neuroinflammation and neuropathology. Autopsy samples of the frontal cortex from control (n = 8) and pollution-exposed (n = 35) children and young adults were analyzed by RT-PCR (n = 43) and microarray analysis (n = 12) for gene expression changes in oxidative stress, DNA damage signaling, NFκB signaling, inflammation, and neurodegeneration pathways. The effect of apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype on the presence of protein aggregates associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology was also explored. Exposed urbanites displayed differential (>2-fold) regulation of 134 genes. Forty percent exhibited tau hyperphosphorylation with pre-tangle material and 51% had amyloid-β (Aβ) diffuse plaques compared with 0% in controls. APOE4 carriers had greater hyperphosphorylated tau and diffuse Aβ plaques versus E3 carriers (Q = 7.82, p = 0.005). Upregulated gene network clusters included IL1, NFκB, TNF, IFN, and TLRs. A 15-fold frontal down-regulation of the prion-related protein (PrP(C)) was seen in highly exposed subjects. The down-regulation of the PrP(C) is critical given its important roles for neuroprotection, neurodegeneration, and mood disorder states. Elevation of indices of neuroinflammation and oxidative stress, down-regulation of the PrP(C) and AD-associated pathology are present in young megacity residents. The inducible regulation of gene expression suggests they are evolving different mechanisms in an attempt to cope with the constant state of inflammation and oxidative stress related to their environmental exposures. Together, these data support a role for air pollution in CNS damage and its impact upon the developing brain and the potential etiology of AD and mood disorders.

  3. 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.

  4. The effects of amino acid composition of glutamine-rich domains on amyloid formation and fragmentation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander I Alexandrov

    Full Text Available Fragmentation of amyloid polymers by the chaperone Hsp104 allows them to propagate as prions in yeast. The factors which determine the frequency of fragmentation are unclear, though it is often presumed to depend on the physical strength of prion polymers. Proteins with long polyglutamine stretches represent a tractable model for revealing sequence elements required for polymer fragmentation in yeast, since they form poorly fragmented amyloids. Here we show that interspersion of polyglutamine stretches with various amino acid residues differentially affects the in vivo formation and fragmentation of the respective amyloids. Aromatic residues tyrosine, tryptophan and phenylalanine strongly stimulated polymer fragmentation, leading to the appearance of oligomers as small as dimers. Alanine, methionine, cysteine, serine, threonine and histidine also enhanced fragmentation, while charged residues, proline, glycine and leucine inhibited polymerization. Our data indicate that fragmentation frequency primarily depends on the recognition of fragmentation-promoting residues by Hsp104 and/or its co-chaperones, rather than on the physical stability of polymers. This suggests that differential exposure of such residues to chaperones defines prion variant-specific differences in polymer fragmentation efficiency.

  5. Exploring the influence of EGCG on the β-sheet-rich oligomers of human islet amyloid polypeptide (hIAPP1-37 and identifying its possible binding sites from molecular dynamics simulation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qianqian Wang

    Full Text Available EGCG possesses the ability of disaggregating the existing amyloid fibrils which were associated with many age-related degenerative diseases. However, the molecular mechanism of EGCG to disaggregate these fibrils is poorly known. In this work, to study the influence of EGCG on the full-length human islet amyloid polypeptide 1-37 (hIAPP1-37 oligomers, molecular dynamics simulations of hIAPP1-37 pentamer and decamer with EGCG were performed, respectively. The obtained results indicate that EGCG indeed destabilized the hIAPP1-37 oligomers. The nematic order parameter and secondary structure calculations coupled with the free-energy landscape indicate that EGCG broke the initial ordered pattern of two polymers, greatly reduced their β-sheet content and enlarged their conformational space. On this basis, three possible target sites were identified with the binding capacity order of S1>S2>S3. After a deeper analysis of each site, we found that S1 was the most possible site on which residues B-Ile26/Ala25, A-Phe23, B/C-Leu27 and E-Tyr37 played an important role for their binding. The proposal of this molecular mechanism can not only provide a prospective interaction figure between EGCG and β-sheet-rich fibrils of hIAPP1-37, but also is useful for further discovering other potential inhibitors.

  6. Amyloid Structure and Assembly: Insights from Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goldsbury, C.; Wall, J.; Baxa, U.; Simon, M. N.; Steven, A. C.; Engel, A.; Aebi, U.; Muller, S. A.

    2011-01-01

    Amyloid fibrils are filamentous protein aggregates implicated in several common diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and type II diabetes. Similar structures are also the molecular principle of the infectious spongiform encephalopathies such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans, scrapie in sheep, and of the so-called yeast prions, inherited non-chromosomal elements found in yeast and fungi. Scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) is often used to delineate the assembly mechanism and structural properties of amyloid aggregates. In this review we consider specifically contributions and limitations of STEM for the investigation of amyloid assembly pathways, fibril polymorphisms and structural models of amyloid fibrils. This type of microscopy provides the only method to directly measure the mass-per-length (MPL) of individual filaments. Made on both in vitro assembled and ex vivo samples, STEM mass measurements have illuminated the hierarchical relationships between amyloid fibrils and revealed that polymorphic fibrils and various globular oligomers can assemble simultaneously from a single polypeptide. The MPLs also impose strong constraints on possible packing schemes, assisting in molecular model building when combined with high-resolution methods like solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR).

  7. Mammalian amyloidogenic proteins promote prion nucleation in yeast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandramowlishwaran, Pavithra; Sun, Meng; Casey, Kristin L; Romanyuk, Andrey V; Grizel, Anastasiya V; Sopova, Julia V; Rubel, Aleksandr A; Nussbaum-Krammer, Carmen; Vorberg, Ina M; Chernoff, Yury O

    2018-03-02

    Fibrous cross-β aggregates (amyloids) and their transmissible forms (prions) cause diseases in mammals (including humans) and control heritable traits in yeast. Initial nucleation of a yeast prion by transiently overproduced prion-forming protein or its (typically, QN-rich) prion domain is efficient only in the presence of another aggregated (in most cases, QN-rich) protein. Here, we demonstrate that a fusion of the prion domain of yeast protein Sup35 to some non-QN-rich mammalian proteins, associated with amyloid diseases, promotes nucleation of Sup35 prions in the absence of pre-existing aggregates. In contrast, both a fusion of the Sup35 prion domain to a multimeric non-amyloidogenic protein and the expression of a mammalian amyloidogenic protein that is not fused to the Sup35 prion domain failed to promote prion nucleation, further indicating that physical linkage of a mammalian amyloidogenic protein to the prion domain of a yeast protein is required for the nucleation of a yeast prion. Biochemical and cytological approaches confirmed the nucleation of protein aggregates in the yeast cell. Sequence alterations antagonizing or enhancing amyloidogenicity of human amyloid-β (associated with Alzheimer's disease) and mouse prion protein (associated with prion diseases), respectively, antagonized or enhanced nucleation of a yeast prion by these proteins. The yeast-based prion nucleation assay, developed in our work, can be employed for mutational dissection of amyloidogenic proteins. We anticipate that it will aid in the identification of chemicals that influence initial amyloid nucleation and in searching for new amyloidogenic proteins in a variety of proteomes. © 2018 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  8. Yeast prions assembly and propagation: contributions of the prion and non-prion moieties and the nature of assemblies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kabani, Mehdi; Melki, Ronald

    2011-01-01

    Yeast prions are self-perpetuating protein aggregates that are at the origin of heritable and transmissible non-Mendelian phenotypic traits. Among these, [PSI+], [URE3] and [PIN+] are the most well documented prions and arise from the assembly of Sup35p, Ure2p and Rnq1p, respectively, into insoluble fibrillar assemblies. Fibril assembly depends on the presence of N- or C-terminal prion domains (PrDs) which are not homologous in sequence but share unusual amino-acid compositions, such as enrichment in polar residues (glutamines and asparagines) or the presence of oligopeptide repeats. Purified PrDs form amyloid fibrils that can convert prion-free cells to the prion state upon transformation. Nonetheless, isolated PrDs and full-length prion proteins have different aggregation, structural and infectious properties. In addition, mutations in the "non-prion" domains (non-PrDs) of Sup35p, Ure2p and Rnq1p were shown to affect their prion properties in vitro and in vivo. Despite these evidences, the implication of the functional non-PrDs in fibril assembly and prion propagation has been mostly overlooked. In this review, we discuss the contribution of non-PrDs to prion assemblies, and the structure-function relationship in prion infectivity in the light of recent findings on Sup35p and Ure2p assembly into infectious fibrils from our laboratory and others.

  9. Prion protein is decreased in Alzheimer's brain and inversely correlates with BACE1 activity, amyloid-β levels and Braak stage.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isobel J Whitehouse

    Full Text Available The cellular prion protein (PrP(C has been implicated in the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD. PrP(C decreases amyloid-β (Aβ production, which is involved in AD pathogenesis, by inhibiting β-secretase (BACE1 activity. Contactin 5 (CNTN5 has also been implicated in the development of AD by a genome-wide association study. Here we measured PrP(C and CNTN5 in frontal cortex samples from 24 sporadic AD and 24 age-matched control brains and correlated the expression of these proteins with markers of AD. PrP(C was decreased in sporadic AD compared to controls (by 49%, p = 0.014 but there was no difference in CNTN5 between sporadic AD and controls (p = 0.217. PrP(C significantly inversely correlated with BACE1 activity (rs = -0.358, p = 0.006, Aβ load (rs = -0.456, p = 0.001, soluble Aβ (rs = -0.283, p = 0.026 and insoluble Aβ (rs = -0.353, p = 0.007 and PrP(C also significantly inversely correlated with the stage of disease, as indicated by Braak tangle stage (rs = -0.377, p = 0.007. CNTN5 did not correlate with Aβ load (rs = 0.040, p = 0.393, soluble Aβ (rs = 0.113, p = 0.223 or insoluble Aβ (rs = 0.169, p = 0.125. PrP(C was also measured in frontal cortex samples from 9 Down's syndrome (DS and 8 age-matched control brains. In contrast to sporadic AD, there was no difference in PrP(C in the DS brains compared to controls (p = 0.625. These data are consistent with a role for PrP(C in regulating Aβ production and indicate that brain PrP(C level may be important in influencing the onset and progression of sporadic AD.

  10. Neuroinflammation in Alzheimer's disease and prion disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eikelenboom, P.; Bate, C.; van Gool, W. A.; Hoozemans, J. J. M.; Rozemuller, J. M.; Veerhuis, R.; Williams, A.

    2002-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) and prion disease are characterized neuropathologically by extracellular deposits of Abeta and PrP amyloid fibrils, respectively. In both disorders, these cerebral amyloid deposits are co-localized with a broad variety of inflammation-related proteins (complement factors,

  11. Use of bovine recombinant prion protein and real-time quaking-induced conversion to detect transmissible mink encephalopathy prions and discriminate classical and atypical L- and H-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prions are amyloid-forming proteins that cause transmissible spongiform encephalopathies through a process involving conversion from normal cellular prion protein to pathogenic misfolded conformation. This conversion has been used for in vitro assays including serial protein misfolding amplification...

  12. Soluble Aβ aggregates can inhibit prion propagation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarell, Claire J; Quarterman, Emma; Yip, Daniel C-M; Terry, Cassandra; Nicoll, Andrew J; Wadsworth, Jonathan D F; Farrow, Mark A; Walsh, Dominic M; Collinge, John

    2017-11-01

    Mammalian prions cause lethal neurodegenerative diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) and consist of multi-chain assemblies of misfolded cellular prion protein (PrP C ). Ligands that bind to PrP C can inhibit prion propagation and neurotoxicity. Extensive prior work established that certain soluble assemblies of the Alzheimer's disease (AD)-associated amyloid β-protein (Aβ) can tightly bind to PrP C , and that this interaction may be relevant to their toxicity in AD. Here, we investigated whether such soluble Aβ assemblies might, conversely, have an inhibitory effect on prion propagation. Using cellular models of prion infection and propagation and distinct Aβ preparations, we found that the form of Aβ assemblies which most avidly bound to PrP in vitro also inhibited prion infection and propagation. By contrast, forms of Aβ which exhibit little or no binding to PrP were unable to attenuate prion propagation. These data suggest that soluble aggregates of Aβ can compete with prions for binding to PrP C and emphasize the bidirectional nature of the interplay between Aβ and PrP C in Alzheimer's and prion diseases. Such inhibitory effects of Aβ on prion propagation may contribute to the apparent fall-off in the incidence of sporadic CJD at advanced age where cerebral Aβ deposition is common. © 2017 The Authors.

  13. Prion-based memory of heat stress in yeast.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-04

    Amyloids and amyloid-based prions are self-perpetuating protein aggregates which can spread by converting a normal protein of the same sequence into a prion form. They are associated with diseases in humans and mammals, and control heritable traits in yeast and other fungi. Some amyloids are implicated in biologically beneficial processes. As prion formation generates reproducible memory of a conformational change, prions can be considered as molecular memory devices.  We have demonstrated that in yeast, stress-inducible cytoskeleton-associated protein Lsb2 forms a metastable prion in response to high temperature. This prion promotes conversion of other proteins into prions and can persist in a fraction of cells for a significant number of cell generations after stress, thus maintaining the memory of stress in a population of surviving cells. Acquisition of an amino acid substitution required for Lsb2 to form a prion coincides with acquisition of increased thermotolerance in the evolution of Saccharomyces yeast. Thus the ability to form an Lsb2 prion in response to stress coincides with yeast adaptation to growth at higher temperatures. These findings intimately connect prion formation to the cellular response to environmental stresses.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jansen, Casper; Parchi, Piero; Capellari, Sabina; Vermeij, Ad J.; Corrado, Patrizia; Baas, Frank; Strammiello, Rosaria; van Gool, Willem A.; van Swieten, John C.; Rozemuller, Annemieke J. M.

    2010-01-01

    Stop 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 (PrPSc)

  15. Spermidine cures yeast of prions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaun H. Speldewinde

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Prions are self-perpetuating amyloid protein aggregates which underlie various neurodegenerative diseases in mammals. The molecular basis underlying their conversion from a normally soluble protein into the prion form remains largely unknown. Studies aimed at uncovering these mechanism(s are therefore essential if we are to develop effective therapeutic strategies to counteract these disease-causing entities. Autophagy is a cellular degradation system which has predominantly been considered as a non-selective bulk degradation process which recycles macromolecules in response to starvation conditions. We now know that autophagy also serves as a protein quality control mechanism which selectively degrades protein aggregates and damaged organelles. These are commonly accumulated in various neurodegenerative disorders including prion diseases. In our recent study [Speldewinde et al. Mol. Biol. Cell. (2015] we used the well-established yeast [PSI+]/Sup35 and [PIN­+]/Rnq1 prion models to show that autophagy prevents sporadic prion formation. Importantly, we found that spermidine, a polyamine that has been used to increase autophagic flux, acts as a protective agent which prevents spontaneous prion formation.

  16. Prion Protein and Aging

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    Lisa eGasperini

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The cellular prion protein (PrPC has been widely investigated ever since its conformational isoform, the prion (or PrPSc, was identified as the etiological agent of prion disorders. The high homology shared by the PrPC-encoding gene among mammals, its high turnover rate and expression in every tissue strongly suggest that PrPC may possess key physiological functions. Therefore, defining PrPC roles, properties and fate in the physiology of mammalian cells would be fundamental to understand its pathological involvement in prion diseases. Since the incidence of these neurodegenerative disorders is enhanced in aging, understanding PrPC functions in this life phase may be of crucial importance. Indeed, a large body of evidence suggests that PrPC plays a neuroprotective and antioxidant role. Moreover, it has been suggested that PrPC is involved in Alzheimer disease, another neurodegenerative pathology that develops predominantly in the aging population. In prion diseases, PrPC function is likely lost upon protein aggregation occurring in the course of the disease. Additionally, the aging process may alter PrPC biochemical properties, thus influencing its propensity to convert into PrPSc. Both phenomena may contribute to the disease development and progression. In Alzheimer disease, PrPC has a controversial role because its presence seems to mediate β-amyloid toxicity, while its down-regulation correlates with neuronal death. The role of PrPC in aging has been investigated from different perspectives, often leading to contrasting results. The putative protein functions in aging have been studied in relation to memory, behavior and myelin maintenance. In aging mice, PrPC changes in subcellular localization and post-translational modifications have been explored in an attempt to relate them to different protein roles and propensity to convert into PrPSc. Here we provide an overview of the most relevant studies attempting to delineate PrPC functions and

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agnese eDe Mario

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  19. Experience-dependent reduction of soluble β-amyloid oligomers and rescue of cognitive abilities in middle-age Ts65Dn mice, a model of Down syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sansevero, Gabriele; Begenisic, Tatjana; Mainardi, Marco; Sale, Alessandro

    2016-09-01

    Down syndrome (DS) is the most diffused genetic cause of intellectual disability and, after the age of forty, is invariantly associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD). In the last years, the prolongation of life expectancy in people with DS renders the need for intervention paradigms aimed at improving mental disability and counteracting AD pathology particularly urgent. At present, however, there are no effective therapeutic strategies for DS and concomitant AD in mid-life people. The most intensively studied mouse model of DS is the Ts65Dn line, which summarizes the main hallmarks of the DS phenotype, included severe learning and memory deficits and age-dependent AD-like pathology. Here we report for the first time that middle-age Ts65Dn mice display a marked increase in soluble Aβ oligomer levels in their hippocampus. Moreover, we found that long-term exposure to environmental enrichment (EE), a widely used paradigm that increases sensory-motor stimulation, reduces Aβ oligomers and rescues spatial memory abilities in trisomic mice. Our findings underscore the potential of EE procedures as a non-invasive paradigm for counteracting brain aging processes in DS subjects. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Mammalian prions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  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. Sporadic inclusion-body myositis: conformational multifactorial ageing-related degenerative muscle disease associated with proteasomal and lysosomal inhibition, endoplasmic reticulum stress, and accumulation of amyloid-β42 oligomers and phosphorylated tau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Askanas, Valerie; Engel, W King

    2011-04-01

    The pathogenesis of sporadic inclusion-body myositis (s-IBM), the most common muscle disease of older persons, is complex and multifactorial. Both the muscle fiber degeneration and the mononuclear-cell inflammation are components of the s-IBM pathology, but how each relates to the pathogenesis remains unsettled. We consider that the intramuscle fiber degenerative component plays the primary and the major pathogenic role leading to muscle fiber destruction and clinical weakness. In this article we review the newest research advances that provide a better understanding of the s-IBM pathogenesis. Cellular abnormalities occurring in s-IBM muscle fibers are discussed, including: several proteins that are accumulated in the form of aggregates within muscle fibers, including amyloid-β42 and its oligomers, and phosphorylated tau in the form of paired helical filaments, and we consider their putative detrimental influence; cellular mechanisms leading to protein misfolding and aggregation, including evidence of their inadequate disposal; pathogenic importance of endoplasmic reticulum stress and the unfolded protein response demonstrated in s-IBM muscle fibers; and decreased deacetylase activity of SIRT1. All these factors are combined with, and perhaps provoked by, an ageing intracellular milieu. Also discussed are the intriguing phenotypic similarities between s-IBM muscle fibers and the brains of Alzheimer and Parkinson's disease patients, the two most common neurodegenerative diseases associated with ageing. Muscle biopsy diagnostic criteria are also described and illustrated. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

    Mammalian prions are hypothesized to be fibrillar or amyloid forms of prion protein (PrP), but structures observed to date have not been definitively correlated with infectivity and the three-dimensional structure of infectious prions has remained obscure. Recently, we developed novel methods to obtain exceptionally pure preparations of prions from mouse brain and showed that pathogenic PrP in these high-titre preparations is assembled into rod-like assemblies. Here, we have used precise cell culture-based prion infectivity assays to define the physical relationship between the PrP rods and prion infectivity and have used electron tomography to define their architecture. We show that infectious PrP rods isolated from multiple prion strains have a common hierarchical assembly comprising twisted pairs of short fibres with repeating substructure. The architecture of the PrP rods provides a new structural basis for understanding prion infectivity and can explain the inability to systematically generate high-titre synthetic prions from recombinant PrP. © 2016 The Authors.

  4. Synthetic prions with novel strain-specified properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moda, Fabio; Le, Thanh-Nhat T; Aulić, Suzana; Bistaffa, Edoardo; Campagnani, Ilaria; Virgilio, Tommaso; Indaco, Antonio; Palamara, Luisa; Andréoletti, Olivier; Tagliavini, Fabrizio; Legname, Giuseppe

    2015-12-01

    Prions are infectious proteins that possess multiple self-propagating structures. The information for strains and structural specific barriers appears to be contained exclusively in the folding of the pathological isoform, PrP(Sc). Many recent studies determined that de novo prion strains could be generated in vitro from the structural conversion of recombinant (rec) prion protein (PrP) into amyloidal structures. Our aim was to elucidate the conformational diversity of pathological recPrP amyloids and their biological activities, as well as to gain novel insights in characterizing molecular events involved in mammalian prion conversion and propagation. To this end we generated infectious materials that possess different conformational structures. Our methodology for the prion conversion of recPrP required only purified rec full-length mouse (Mo) PrP and common chemicals. Neither infected brain extracts nor amplified PrP(Sc) were used. Following two different in vitro protocols recMoPrP converted to amyloid fibrils without any seeding factor. Mouse hypothalamic GT1 and neuroblastoma N2a cell lines were infected with these amyloid preparations as fast screening methodology to characterize the infectious materials. Remarkably, a large number of amyloid preparations were able to induce the conformational change of endogenous PrPC to harbor several distinctive proteinase-resistant PrP forms. One such preparation was characterized in vivo habouring a synthetic prion with novel strain specified neuropathological and biochemical properties.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-09-01

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. Prions in yeast

    OpenAIRE

    Bezdíčka, Martin

    2013-01-01

    The thesis describes yeast prions and their biological effects on yeast in general. It defines the basic characteristics of yeast prions, that distinguish prions from other proteins. The thesis introduces various possibilities of prion formation, and propagation as well as specific types of yeast prions, including various functions of most studied types of prions. The thesis also focuses on chaperones that affect the state of yeast prions in cells. Lastly, the thesis indicates similarities be...

  8. The effects of glutamine/asparagine content on aggregation and heterologous prion induction by yeast prion-like domains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shattuck, Jenifer E; Waechter, Aubrey C; Ross, Eric D

    2017-07-04

    Prion-like domains are low complexity, intrinsically disordered domains that compositionally resemble yeast prion domains. Many prion-like domains are involved in the formation of either functional or pathogenic protein aggregates. These aggregates range from highly dynamic liquid droplets to highly ordered detergent-insoluble amyloid-like aggregates. To better understand the amino acid sequence features that promote conversion to stable, detergent-insoluble aggregates, we used the prediction algorithm PAPA to identify predicted aggregation-prone prion-like domains with a range of compositions. While almost all of the predicted aggregation-prone domains formed foci when expressed in cells, the ability to form the detergent-insoluble aggregates was highly correlated with glutamine/asparagine (Q/N) content, suggesting that high Q/N content may specifically promote conversion to the amyloid state in vivo. We then used this data set to examine cross-seeding between prion-like proteins. The prion protein Sup35 requires the presence of a second prion, [PIN + ], to efficiently form prions, but this requirement can be circumvented by the expression of various Q/N-rich protein fragments. Interestingly, almost all of the Q/N-rich domains that formed SDS-insoluble aggregates were able to promote prion formation by Sup35, highlighting the highly promiscuous nature of these interactions.

  9. 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.

  10. PrionScan: an online database of predicted prion domains in complete proteomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espinosa Angarica, Vladimir; Angulo, Alfonso; Giner, Arturo; Losilla, Guillermo; Ventura, Salvador; Sancho, Javier

    2014-02-05

    Prions are a particular type of amyloids related to a large variety of important processes in cells, but also responsible for serious diseases in mammals and humans. The number of experimentally characterized prions is still low and corresponds to a handful of examples in microorganisms and mammals. Prion aggregation is mediated by specific protein domains with a remarkable compositional bias towards glutamine/asparagine and against charged residues and prolines. These compositional features have been used to predict new prion proteins in the genomes of different organisms. Despite these efforts, there are only a few available data sources containing prion predictions at a genomic scale. Here we present PrionScan, a new database of predicted prion-like domains in complete proteomes. We have previously developed a predictive methodology to identify and score prionogenic stretches in protein sequences. In the present work, we exploit this approach to scan all the protein sequences in public databases and compile a repository containing relevant information of proteins bearing prion-like domains. The database is updated regularly alongside UniprotKB and in its present version contains approximately 28000 predictions in proteins from different functional categories in more than 3200 organisms from all the taxonomic subdivisions. PrionScan can be used in two different ways: database query and analysis of protein sequences submitted by the users. In the first mode, simple queries allow to retrieve a detailed description of the properties of a defined protein. Queries can also be combined to generate more complex and specific searching patterns. In the second mode, users can submit and analyze their own sequences. It is expected that this database would provide relevant insights on prion functions and regulation from a genome-wide perspective, allowing researches performing cross-species prion biology studies. Our database might also be useful for guiding experimentalists

  11. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Prions, From Structure to Epigenetics and Neuronal Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindquist, Susan

    2012-02-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. The Prion Concept and Synthetic Prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legname, Giuseppe; Moda, Fabio

    2017-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies or prion diseases are a group of fatal neurodegenerative diseases caused by unconventional infectious agents, known as prions (PrP Sc ). Prions derive from a conformational conversion of the normally folded prion protein (PrP C ), which acquires pathological and infectious features. Moreover, PrP Sc is able to transmit the pathological conformation to PrP C through a mechanism that is still not well understood. The generation of synthetic prions, which behave like natural prions, is of fundamental importance to study the process of PrP C conversion and to assess the efficacy of therapeutic strategies to interfere with this process. Moreover, the ability of synthetic prions to induce pathology in animals confirms that the pathological properties of the prion strains are all enciphered in abnormal conformations, characterizing these infectious agents. © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Molecular dynamics study of the dominant-negative E219K polymorphism in human prion protein

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jahandideh, Samad; Jamalan, Mostafa; Faridounnia, Maryam|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/338666923

    2015-01-01

    Human prion diseases are associated with misfolding or aggregation of the Human Prion Protein (HuPrP). Missense mutations in the HuPrP gene, contribute to conversion of HuPrP(C) to HuPrP(Sc) and amyloid formation. Based on our previous comprehensive study, three missense mutations, from two

  16. Aβ seeds and prions: How close the fit?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasmussen, Jay; Jucker, Mathias; Walker, Lary C

    2017-07-04

    The prion paradigm is increasingly invoked to explain the molecular pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases involving the misfolding and aggregation of proteins other than the prion protein (PrP). Extensive evidence from in vitro and in vivo studies indicates that misfolded and aggregated Aβ peptide, which is the probable molecular trigger for Alzheimer's disease, manifests all of the key characteristics of canonical mammalian prions. These features include a β-sheet rich architecture, tendency to polymerize into amyloid, templated corruption of like protein molecules, ability to form structurally and functionally variant strains, systematic spread by neuronal transport, and resistance to inactivation by heat and formaldehyde. In addition to Aβ, a growing body of research supports the view that the prion-like molecular transformation of specific proteins drives the onset and course of a remarkable variety of clinicopathologically diverse diseases. As such, the expanded prion paradigm could conceptually unify fundamental and translational investigations of these disorders.

  17. Yeast prion architecture explains how proteins can be genes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickner, Reed

    2013-03-01

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

  18. Natural and synthetic prion structure from X-ray fiber diffraction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wille, Holger; Bian, Wen; McDonald, Michele; Kendall, Amy; Colby, David W.; Bloch, Lillian; Ollesch, Julian; Borovinskiy, Alexander L.; Cohen, Fred E.; Prusiner, Stanley B.; Stubbs, Gerald; (Vanderbilt); (UCSF)

    2009-10-21

    A conformational isoform of the mammalian prion protein (PrP{sup Sc}) is the sole component of the infectious pathogen that causes the prion diseases. We have obtained X-ray fiber diffraction patterns from infectious prions that show cross-{beta} diffraction: meridional intensity at 4.8 {angstrom} resolution, indicating the presence of {beta} strands running approximately at right angles to the filament axis and characteristic of amyloid structure. Some of the patterns also indicated the presence of a repeating unit along the fiber axis, corresponding to four {beta}-strands. We found that recombinant (rec) PrP amyloid differs substantially from highly infectious brain-derived prions, both in structure as demonstrated by the diffraction data, and in heterogeneity as shown by electron microscopy. In addition to the strong 4.8 {angstrom} meridional reflection, the recPrP amyloid diffraction is characterized by strong equatorial intensity at approximately 10.5 {angstrom}, absent from brain-derived prions, and indicating the presence of stacked {beta}-sheets. Synthetic prions recovered from transgenic mice inoculated with recPrP amyloid displayed structural characteristics and homogeneity similar to those of naturally occurring prions. The relationship between the structural differences and prion infectivity is uncertain, but might be explained by any of several hypotheses: only a minority of recPrP amyloid possesses a replication-competent conformation, the majority of recPrP amyloid has to undergo a conformational maturation to acquire replication competency, or inhibitory forms of recPrP amyloid interfere with replication during the initial transmission.

  19. Why are Functional Amyloids Non-Toxic in Humans?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew P. Jackson

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Amyloids were first identified in association with amyloidoses, human diseases in which proteins and peptides misfold into amyloid fibrils. Subsequent studies have identified an array of functional amyloid fibrils that perform physiological roles in humans. Given the potential for the production of toxic species in amyloid assembly reactions, it is remarkable that cells can produce these functional amyloids without suffering any obvious ill effect. Although the precise mechanisms are unclear, there are a number of ways in which amyloid toxicity may be prevented. These include regulating the level of the amyloidogenic peptides and proteins, minimising the production of prefibrillar oligomers in amyloid assembly reactions, sequestrating amyloids within membrane bound organelles, controlling amyloid assembly by other molecules, and disassembling the fibrils under physiological conditions. Crucially, a better understanding of how toxicity is avoided in the production of functional amyloids may provide insights into the prevention of amyloid toxicity in amyloidoses.

  20. Apolipoprotein E Regulates Amyloid Formation within Endosomes of Pigment Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guillaume van Niel

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Accumulation of toxic amyloid oligomers is a key feature in the pathogenesis of amyloid-related diseases. Formation of mature amyloid fibrils is one defense mechanism to neutralize toxic prefibrillar oligomers. This mechanism is notably influenced by apolipoprotein E variants. Cells that produce mature amyloid fibrils to serve physiological functions must exploit specific mechanisms to avoid potential accumulation of toxic species. Pigment cells have tuned their endosomes to maximize the formation of functional amyloid from the protein PMEL. Here, we show that ApoE is associated with intraluminal vesicles (ILV within endosomes and remain associated with ILVs when they are secreted as exosomes. ApoE functions in the ESCRT-independent sorting mechanism of PMEL onto ILVs and regulates the endosomal formation of PMEL amyloid fibrils in vitro and in vivo. This process secures the physiological formation of amyloid fibrils by exploiting ILVs as amyloid nucleating platforms.

  1. Substitution of proline32 by α-methylproline preorganizes β2-microglobulin for oligomerization but not for aggregation into amyloids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torbeev, Vladimir; Ebert, Marc-Olivier; Dolenc, Jozica; Hilvert, Donald

    2015-02-25

    Conversion of soluble folded proteins into insoluble amyloids generally proceeds in three distinct mechanistic stages: (1) initial protein misfolding into aggregation-competent conformers, (2) subsequent formation of oligomeric species and, finally, (3) self-assembly into extended amyloid fibrils. In the work reported herein, we interrogated the amyloidogenesis mechanism of human β2-microglobulin (β2m), which is thought to be triggered by a pivotal cis-trans isomerization of a proline residue at position 32 in the polypeptide, with nonstandard amino acids. Using chemical protein synthesis we prepared a β2m analogue in which Pro32 was replaced by the conformationally constrained amino acid α-methylproline (MePro). The strong propensity of MePro to adopt a trans prolyl bond led to enhanced population of a non-native [trans-MePro32]β2m protein conformer, which readily formed oligomers at neutral pH. In the presence of the antibiotic rifamycin SV, which inhibits amyloid growth of wild-type β2m, [MePro32]β2m was nearly quantitatively converted into different spherical oligomeric species. Self-assembly into amyloid fibrils was not observed in the absence of seeding, however, even at low pH (<3), where wild-type β2m spontaneously forms amyloids. Nevertheless, we found that aggregation-preorganized [MePro32]β2m can act in a prion-like fashion, templating misfolded conformations in a natively folded protein. Overall, these results provide detailed insight into the role of cis-trans isomerization of Pro32 and ensuing structural rearrangements that lead to initial β2m misfolding and aggregation. They corroborate the view that conformational protein dynamics enabled by reversible Pro32 cis-trans interconversion rather than simple population of the trans conformer is critical for both nucleation and subsequent growth of β2m amyloid structures.

  2. Patterns of [PSI+] aggregation allow insights into cellular organization of yeast prion aggregates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyedmers, Jens

    2012-01-01

    The yeast prion phenomenon is very widespread and mounting evidence suggests that it has an impact on cellular regulatory mechanisms related to phenotypic responses to changing environments. Studying the aggregation patterns of prion amyloids during different stages of the prion life cycle is a first key step to understand major principles of how and where cells generate, organize and turn-over prion aggregates. The induction of the [PSI+] state involves the actin cytoskeleton and quality control compartments such as the Insoluble Protein Deposit (IPOD). An initially unstable transitional induction state can be visualized by overexpression of the prion determinant and displays characteristic large ring- and ribbon-shaped aggregates consisting of poorly fragmented bundles of very long prion fibrils. In the mature prion state, the aggregation pattern is characterized by highly fragmented, shorter prion fibrils that form aggregates, which can be visualized through tagging with fluorescent proteins. The number of aggregates formed varies, ranging from a single large aggregate at the IPOD to multiple smaller ones, depending on several parameters discussed. Aggregate units below the resolution of light microscopy that are detectable by fluorescence correlation spectroscopy are in equilibrium with larger aggregates in this stage and can mediate faithful inheritance of the prion state. Loss of the prion state is often characterized by reduced fragmentation of prion fibrils and fewer, larger aggregates. PMID:22449721

  3. 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. © 2014 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  4. An ancient conserved role for prion protein in learning and memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia L. A. Leighton

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The misfolding of cellular prion protein (PrPC to form PrP Scrapie (PrPSc is an exemplar of toxic gain-of-function mechanisms inducing propagated protein misfolding and progressive devastating neurodegeneration. Despite this, PrPC function in the brain is also reduced and subverted during prion disease progression; thus understanding the normal function of PrPC in healthy brains is key. Disrupting PrPC in mice has led to a myriad of controversial functions that sometimes map onto disease symptoms, including a proposed role in memory or learning. Intriguingly, PrPC interaction with amyloid beta (Aβ oligomers at synapses has also linked its function to Alzheimer's disease and dementia in recent years. We set out to test the involvement of PrPC in memory using a disparate animal model, the zebrafish. Here we document an age-dependent memory decline in prp2−/− zebrafish, pointing to a conserved and ancient role of PrPC in memory. Specifically, we found that aged (3-year-old prp2−/− fish performed poorly in an object recognition task relative to age-matched prp2+/+ fish or 1-year-old prp2−/− fish. Further, using a novel object approach (NOA test, we found that aged (3-year-old prp2−/− fish approached the novel object more than either age-matched prp2+/+ fish or 1-year-old prp2−/− fish, but did not have decreased anxiety when we tested them in a novel tank diving test. Taken together, the results of the NOA and novel tank diving tests suggest an altered cognitive appraisal of the novel object in the 3-year-old prp2−/− fish. The learning paradigm established here enables a path forward to study PrPC interactions of relevance to Alzheimer's disease and prion diseases, and to screen for candidate therapeutics for these diseases. The findings underpin a need to consider the relative contributions of loss- versus gain-of-function of PrPC during Alzheimer's and prion diseases, and have implications upon the prospects of several

  5. Prions and lymphoid organs

    Science.gov (United States)

    O’Connor, Tracy; Aguzzi, Adriano

    2013-01-01

    Prion colonization of secondary lymphoid organs (SLOs) is a critical step preceding neuroinvasion in prion pathogenesis. Follicular dendritic cells (FDCs), which depend on both tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 (TNFR1) and lymphotoxin β receptor (LTβR) signaling for maintenance, are thought to be the primary sites of prion accumulation in SLOs. However, prion titers in RML-infected TNFR1−/− lymph nodes and rates of neuroinvasion in TNFR1−/− mice remain high despite the absence of mature FDCs. Recently, we discovered that TNFR1-independent prion accumulation in lymph nodes relies on LTβR signaling. Loss of LTβR signaling in TNFR1−/− lymph nodes coincided with the de-differentiation of high endothelial venules (HEVs)—the primary sites of lymphocyte entry into lymph nodes. These findings suggest that HEVs are the sites through which prions initially invade lymph nodes from the bloodstream. Identification of HEVs as entry portals for prions clarifies a number of previous observations concerning peripheral prion pathogenesis. However, a number of questions still remain: What is the mechanism by which prions are taken up by HEVs? Which cells are responsible for delivering prions to lymph nodes? Are HEVs the main entry site for prions into lymph nodes or do alternative routes also exist? These questions and others are considered in this article. PMID:23357827

  6. Amyloid-degrading ability of nattokinase from Bacillus subtilis natto.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Ruei-Lin; Lee, Kung-Ta; Wang, Jung-Hao; Lee, Lily Y-L; Chen, Rita P-Y

    2009-01-28

    More than 20 unrelated proteins can form amyloid fibrils in vivo which are related to various diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, prion disease, and systematic amyloidosis. Amyloid fibrils are an ordered protein aggregate with a lamellar cross-beta structure. Enhancing amyloid clearance is one of the targets of the therapy of these amyloid-related diseases. Although there is debate on whether the toxicity is due to amyloids or their precursors, research on the degradation of amyloids may help prevent or alleviate these diseases. In this study, we explored the amyloid-degrading ability of nattokinase, a fibrinolytic subtilisin-like serine protease, and determined the optimal conditions for amyloid hydrolysis. This ability is shared by proteinase K and subtilisin Carlsberg, but not by trypsin or plasmin.

  7. Advancing prion science: guidance for the National Prion Research Program

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Erdtmann, Rick; Sivitz, Laura

    2004-01-01

    ...€™s National Prion Research Program (NPRP). Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), also called prion diseases, are invariably fatal neurodegenerative infectious diseases that include bovine spongiform encephalopathy...

  8. Immunology of Prion Protein and Prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mabbott, Neil A

    2017-01-01

    Many natural prion diseases are acquired peripherally, such as following the oral consumption of contaminated food or pasture. After peripheral exposure many prion isolates initially accumulate to high levels within the host's secondary lymphoid tissues. The replication of prions within these tissues is essential for their efficient spread to the brain where they ultimately cause neurodegeneration. This chapter describes our current understanding of the critical tissues, cells, and molecules which the prions exploit to mediate their efficient propagation from the site of exposure (such as the intestine) to the brain. Interactions between the immune system and prions are not only restricted to the secondary lymphoid tissues. Therefore, an account of how the activation status of the microglial in the brain can also influence progression of prion disease pathogenesis is provided. Prion disease susceptibility may also be influenced by additional factors such as chronic inflammation, coinfection with other pathogens, and aging. Finally, the potential for immunotherapy to provide a means of safe and effective prophylactic or therapeutic intervention in these currently untreatable diseases is considered. © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Biophysical characterization data on Aβ soluble oligomers produced through a method enabling prolonged oligomer stability and biological buffer conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda C. Crisostomo

    2015-09-01

    Aβ1-40 soluble oligomers are produced that are suitable for biophysical studies requiring sufficient transient stability to exist in their “native” conformation in biological phosphate-saline buffers for extended periods of time. The production involves an initial preparation of highly monomeric Aβ in a phosphate saline buffer that transitions to fibrils and oligomers through time incubation alone, without added detergents or non-aqueous chemicals. This criteria ensures that the only difference between initial monomeric Aβ reactant and subsequent Aβ oligomer products is their degree of peptide assembly. A number of chemical and biophysical methods were used to characterize the monomeric reactants and soluble oligomer and amyloid fibril products, including chemical cross-linking, Western blots, fraction solubility, thioflvain T binding, size exclusion chromatography, transmission electron micrscopy, circular dichroism spectroscopy, and fluorescence resonance energy transfer.

  10. Cholesterol Balance in Prion Diseases and Alzheimer’s Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannaoui, Samia; Shim, Su Yeon; Cheng, Yo Ching; Corda, Erica; Gilch, Sabine

    2014-01-01

    Prion diseases are transmissible and fatal neurodegenerative disorders of humans and animals. They are characterized by the accumulation of PrPSc, an aberrantly folded isoform of the cellular prion protein PrPC, in the brains of affected individuals. PrPC is a cell surface glycoprotein attached to the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane by a glycosyl-phosphatidyl-inositol (GPI) anchor. Specifically, it is associated with lipid rafts, membrane microdomains enriched in cholesterol and sphinoglipids. It has been established that inhibition of endogenous cholesterol synthesis disturbs lipid raft association of PrPC and prevents PrPSc accumulation in neuronal cells. Additionally, prion conversion is reduced upon interference with cellular cholesterol uptake, endosomal export, or complexation at the plasma membrane. Altogether, these results demonstrate on the one hand the importance of cholesterol for prion propagation. On the other hand, growing evidence suggests that prion infection modulates neuronal cholesterol metabolism. Similar results were reported in Alzheimer’s disease (AD): whereas amyloid β peptide formation is influenced by cellular cholesterol, levels of cholesterol in the brains of affected individuals increase during the clinical course of the disease. In this review, we summarize commonalities of alterations in cholesterol homeostasis and discuss consequences for neuronal function and therapy of prion diseases and AD. PMID:25419621

  11. Cholesterol Balance in Prion Diseases and Alzheimer’s Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samia Hannaoui

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Prion diseases are transmissible and fatal neurodegenerative disorders of humans and animals. They are characterized by the accumulation of PrPSc, an aberrantly folded isoform of the cellular prion protein PrPC, in the brains of affected individuals. PrPC is a cell surface glycoprotein attached to the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane by a glycosyl-phosphatidyl-inositol (GPI anchor. Specifically, it is associated with lipid rafts, membrane microdomains enriched in cholesterol and sphinoglipids. It has been established that inhibition of endogenous cholesterol synthesis disturbs lipid raft association of PrPC and prevents PrPSc accumulation in neuronal cells. Additionally, prion conversion is reduced upon interference with cellular cholesterol uptake, endosomal export, or complexation at the plasma membrane. Altogether, these results demonstrate on the one hand the importance of cholesterol for prion propagation. On the other hand, growing evidence suggests that prion infection modulates neuronal cholesterol metabolism. Similar results were reported in Alzheimer’s disease (AD: whereas amyloid β peptide formation is influenced by cellular cholesterol, levels of cholesterol in the brains of affected individuals increase during the clinical course of the disease. In this review, we summarize commonalities of alterations in cholesterol homeostasis and discuss consequences for neuronal function and therapy of prion diseases and AD.

  12. Laser-Induced Population Inversion in Rhodamine 6G for Lysozyme Oligomer Detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanczyc, Piotr; Sznitko, Lech

    2017-06-06

    Fluorescence spectroscopy is a common method for detecting amyloid fibrils in which organic fluorophores are used as markers that exhibit an increase in quantum yield upon binding. However, most of the dyes exhibit enhanced emission only when bound to mature fibrils, and significantly weaker signals are obtained in the presence of amyloid oligomers. In the concept of population inversion, a laser is used as an excitation source to keep the major fraction of molecules in the excited state to create the pathways for the occurrence of stimulated emission. In the case of the proteins, the conformational changes lead to the self-ordering and thus different light scattering conditions that can influence the optical signatures of the generated light. Using this methodology, we show it is possible to optically detect amyloid oligomers using commonly available staining dyes in which population inversion can be induced. The results indicate that rhodamine 6G molecules are complexed with oligomers, and using a laser-assisted methodology, weakly emissive states can be detected. Significant spectral red-shifting of rhodamine 6G dispersed with amyloid oligomers and a notable difference determined by comparison of spectra of the fibrils suggest the existence of specific dye aggregates around the oligomer binding sites. This approach can provide new insights into intermediate oligomer states that are believed to be responsible for toxic seeding in neurodegeneration diseases.

  13. Effect of the electrostatic surface potential on the oligomerization of full-length human recombinant prion protein at single-molecule level

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Bin; Xu, Bingqian, E-mail: bxu@engr.uga.edu [Single Molecule Study Laboratory, College of Engineering and Nanoscale Science, and Engineering Center, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30605 (United States); Lou, Zhichao [Single Molecule Study Laboratory, College of Engineering and Nanoscale Science, and Engineering Center, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30605 (United States); College of Materials Science and Technology, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Nanjing 210016 (China); Zhang, Haiqian [College of Materials Science and Technology, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Nanjing 210016 (China)

    2016-03-21

    The electrostatic surface potential (ESP) of prion oligomers has critical influences on the aggregating processes of the prion molecules. The atomic force microscopy (AFM) and structural simulation were combined to investigate the molecular basis of the full-length human recombinant prion oligomerization on mica surfaces. The high resolution non-intrusive AFM images showed that the prion oligomers formed different patterns on mica surfaces at different buffer pH values. The basic binding units for the large oligomers were determined to be prion momoners (Ms), dimers (Ds), and trimers (Ts). The forming of the D and T units happened through the binding of hydrophobic β-sheets of the M units. In contrast, the α-helices of these M, D, and T units were the binding areas for the formation of large oligomers. At pH 4.5, the binding units M, D, and T showed clear polarized ESP distributions on the surface domains, while at pH 7.0, they showed more evenly distributed ESPs. Based on the conformations of oligomers observed from AFM images, the D and T units were more abundantly on mica surface at pH 4.5 because the ESP re-distribution of M units helped to stabilize these larger oligomers. The amino acid side chains involved in the binding interfaces were stabilized by hydrogen bonds and electrostatic interactions. The detailed analysis of the charged side chains at pH 4.5 indicated that the polarized ESPs induced the aggregations among M, D, and T to form larger oligomers. Therefore, the hydrogen bonds and electrostatic interactions worked together to form the stabilized prion oligomers.

  14. Effect of the electrostatic surface potential on the oligomerization of full-length human recombinant prion protein at single-molecule level

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Bin; Xu, Bingqian; Lou, Zhichao; Zhang, Haiqian

    2016-01-01

    The electrostatic surface potential (ESP) of prion oligomers has critical influences on the aggregating processes of the prion molecules. The atomic force microscopy (AFM) and structural simulation were combined to investigate the molecular basis of the full-length human recombinant prion oligomerization on mica surfaces. The high resolution non-intrusive AFM images showed that the prion oligomers formed different patterns on mica surfaces at different buffer pH values. The basic binding units for the large oligomers were determined to be prion momoners (Ms), dimers (Ds), and trimers (Ts). The forming of the D and T units happened through the binding of hydrophobic β-sheets of the M units. In contrast, the α-helices of these M, D, and T units were the binding areas for the formation of large oligomers. At pH 4.5, the binding units M, D, and T showed clear polarized ESP distributions on the surface domains, while at pH 7.0, they showed more evenly distributed ESPs. Based on the conformations of oligomers observed from AFM images, the D and T units were more abundantly on mica surface at pH 4.5 because the ESP re-distribution of M units helped to stabilize these larger oligomers. The amino acid side chains involved in the binding interfaces were stabilized by hydrogen bonds and electrostatic interactions. The detailed analysis of the charged side chains at pH 4.5 indicated that the polarized ESPs induced the aggregations among M, D, and T to form larger oligomers. Therefore, the hydrogen bonds and electrostatic interactions worked together to form the stabilized prion oligomers.

  15. Effect of the electrostatic surface potential on the oligomerization of full-length human recombinant prion protein at single-molecule level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bin; Lou, Zhichao; Zhang, Haiqian; Xu, Bingqian

    2016-03-01

    The electrostatic surface potential (ESP) of prion oligomers has critical influences on the aggregating processes of the prion molecules. The atomic force microscopy (AFM) and structural simulation were combined to investigate the molecular basis of the full-length human recombinant prion oligomerization on mica surfaces. The high resolution non-intrusive AFM images showed that the prion oligomers formed different patterns on mica surfaces at different buffer pH values. The basic binding units for the large oligomers were determined to be prion momoners (Ms), dimers (Ds), and trimers (Ts). The forming of the D and T units happened through the binding of hydrophobic β-sheets of the M units. In contrast, the α-helices of these M, D, and T units were the binding areas for the formation of large oligomers. At pH 4.5, the binding units M, D, and T showed clear polarized ESP distributions on the surface domains, while at pH 7.0, they showed more evenly distributed ESPs. Based on the conformations of oligomers observed from AFM images, the D and T units were more abundantly on mica surface at pH 4.5 because the ESP re-distribution of M units helped to stabilize these larger oligomers. The amino acid side chains involved in the binding interfaces were stabilized by hydrogen bonds and electrostatic interactions. The detailed analysis of the charged side chains at pH 4.5 indicated that the polarized ESPs induced the aggregations among M, D, and T to form larger oligomers. Therefore, the hydrogen bonds and electrostatic interactions worked together to form the stabilized prion oligomers.

  16. Stable, metastable, and kinetically trapped amyloid aggregate phases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miti, Tatiana; Mulaj, Mentor; Schmit, Jeremy D; Muschol, Martin

    2015-01-12

    Self-assembly of proteins into amyloid fibrils plays a key role in a multitude of human disorders that range from Alzheimer's disease to type II diabetes. Compact oligomeric species, observed early during amyloid formation, are reported as the molecular entities responsible for the toxic effects of amyloid self-assembly. However, the relation between early-stage oligomeric aggregates and late-stage rigid fibrils, which are the hallmark structure of amyloid plaques, has remained unclear. We show that these different structures occupy well-defined regions in a peculiar phase diagram. Lysozyme amyloid oligomers and their curvilinear fibrils only form after they cross a salt and protein concentration-dependent threshold. We also determine a boundary for the onset of amyloid oligomer precipitation. The oligomeric aggregates are structurally distinct from rigid fibrils and are metastable against nucleation and growth of rigid fibrils. These experimentally determined boundaries match well with colloidal model predictions that account for salt-modulated charge repulsion. The model also incorporates the metastable and kinetic character of oligomer phases. Similarities and differences of amyloid oligomer assembly to metastable liquid-liquid phase separation of proteins and to surfactant aggregation are discussed.

  17. Destabilization and recovery of a yeast prion after mild heat shock.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newnam, Gary P; Birchmore, Jennifer L; Chernoff, Yury O

    2011-05-06

    Yeast prion [PSI(+)] is a self-perpetuating amyloid of the translational termination factor Sup35. Although [PSI(+)] propagation is modulated by heat shock proteins (Hsps), high temperature was previously reported to have little or no effect on [PSI(+)]. Our results show that short-term exposure of exponentially growing yeast culture to mild heat shock, followed by immediate resumption of growth, leads to [PSI(+)] destabilization, sometimes persisting for several cell divisions after heat shock. Prion loss occurring in the first division after heat shock is preferentially detected in a daughter cell, indicating the impairment of prion segregation that results in asymmetric prion distribution between a mother cell and a bud. Longer heat shock or prolonged incubation in the absence of nutrients after heat shock led to [PSI(+)] recovery. Both prion destabilization and recovery during heat shock depend on protein synthesis. Maximal prion destabilization coincides with maximal imbalance between Hsp104 and other Hsps such as Hsp70-Ssa. Deletions of individual SSA genes increase prion destabilization and/or counteract recovery. The dynamics of prion aggregation during destabilization and recovery are consistent with the notion that efficient prion fragmentation and segregation require a proper balance between Hsp104 and other (e.g., Hsp70-Ssa) chaperones. In contrast to heat shock, [PSI(+)] destabilization by osmotic stressors does not always depend on cell proliferation and/or protein synthesis, indicating that different stresses may impact the prion via different mechanisms. Our data demonstrate that heat stress causes asymmetric prion distribution in a cell division and confirm that the effects of Hsps on prions are physiologically relevant. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. An acoustic prion assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gordon Hayward

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available An acoustic prion assay has been demonstrated for sheep brain samples. Only five false positives and no false negatives were observed in a test of 45 positive and 45 negative samples. The acoustic prion sensor was constructed using a thickness shear mode quartz resonator coated with a covalently bound recombinant prion protein. The characteristic indicator of a scrapie infected sheep brain sample was an observed shoulder in the frequency decrease in response to a sample.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. Keywords: Prions, Thickness shear mode quartz sensor

  19. Regulation of the Hsp104 middle domain activity is critical for yeast prion propagation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer E Dulle

    Full Text Available Molecular chaperones play a significant role in preventing protein misfolding and aggregation. Indeed, some protein conformational disorders have been linked to changes in the chaperone network. Curiously, in yeast, chaperones also play a role in promoting prion maintenance and propagation. While many amyloidogenic proteins are associated with disease in mammals, yeast prion proteins, and their ability to undergo conformational conversion into a prion state, are proposed to play a functional role in yeast biology. The chaperone Hsp104, a AAA+ ATPase, is essential for yeast prion propagation. Hsp104 fragments large prion aggregates to generate a population of smaller oligomers that can more readily convert soluble monomer and be transmitted to daughter cells. Here, we show that the middle (M domain of Hsp104, and its mobility, plays an integral part in prion propagation. We generated and characterized mutations in the M-domain of Hsp104 that are predicted to stabilize either a repressed or de-repressed conformation of the M-domain (by analogy to ClpB in bacteria. We show that the predicted stabilization of the repressed conformation inhibits general chaperone activity. Mutation to the de-repressed conformation, however, has differential effects on ATP hydrolysis and disaggregation, suggesting that the M-domain is involved in coupling these two activities. Interestingly, we show that changes in the M-domain differentially affect the propagation of different variants of the [PSI+] and [RNQ+] prions, which indicates that some prion variants are more sensitive to changes in the M-domain mobility than others. Thus, we provide evidence that regulation of the M-domain of Hsp104 is critical for efficient prion propagation. This shows the importance of elucidating the function of the M-domain in order to understand the role of Hsp104 in the propagation of different prions and prion variants.

  20. Parkinson's disease in the spotlight: unraveling nanoscale α-Synuclein oligomers using ultrasensitive single-molecule spectroscopy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zijlstra, Niels

    2014-01-01

    During the last 15 years, we have witnessed a major shift in the research focus to understand the cause of amyloid diseases. The attention has shifted from the fully matured amyloid fibrils to the nanometer sized aggregation intermediates called oligomers as the potentially cytotoxic species that

  1. 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.

  2. Biosafety of Prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bistaffa, Edoardo; Rossi, Martina; De Luca, Chiara M G; Moda, Fabio

    2017-01-01

    Prions are the infectious agents that cause devastating and untreatable disorders known as Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs). The pathologic events and the infectious nature of these transmissible agents are not completely understood yet. Due to the difficulties in inactivating prions, working with them requires specific recommendations and precautions. Moreover, with the advent of innovative technologies, such as the Protein Misfolding Cyclic Amplification (PMCA) and the Real Time Quaking-Induced Conversion (RT-QuIC), prions could be amplified in vitro and the infectious features of the amplified products need to be carefully assessed. © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Mitochondrion-derived reactive oxygen species lead to enhanced amyloid beta formation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leuner, K.; Schutt, T.; Kurz, C.; Eckert, S.H.; Schiller, C.; Occhipinti, A.; Mai, S.; Jendrach, M.; Eckert, G.P.; Kruse, S.E.; Palmiter, R.D.; Brandt, U.; Drose, S.; Wittig, I.; Willem, M.; Haass, C.; Reichert, A.S.; Muller, W.E.

    2012-01-01

    AIMS: Intracellular amyloid beta (Abeta) oligomers and extracellular Abeta plaques are key players in the progression of sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD). Still, the molecular signals triggering Abeta production are largely unclear. We asked whether mitochondrion-derived reactive oxygen species

  4. Proteomic screening for amyloid proteins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anton A Nizhnikov

    Full Text Available Despite extensive study, progress in elucidation of biological functions of amyloids and their role in pathology is largely restrained due to the lack of universal and reliable biochemical methods for their discovery. All biochemical methods developed so far allowed only identification of glutamine/asparagine-rich amyloid-forming proteins or proteins comprising amyloids that form large deposits. In this article we present a proteomic approach which may enable identification of a broad range of amyloid-forming proteins independently of specific features of their sequences or levels of expression. This approach is based on the isolation of protein fractions enriched with amyloid aggregates via sedimentation by ultracentrifugation in the presence of strong ionic detergents, such as sarkosyl or SDS. Sedimented proteins are then separated either by 2D difference gel electrophoresis or by SDS-PAGE, if they are insoluble in the buffer used for 2D difference gel electrophoresis, after which they are identified by mass-spectrometry. We validated this approach by detection of known yeast prions and mammalian proteins with established capacity for amyloid formation and also revealed yeast proteins forming detergent-insoluble aggregates in the presence of human huntingtin with expanded polyglutamine domain. Notably, with one exception, all these proteins contained glutamine/asparagine-rich stretches suggesting that their aggregates arose due to polymerization cross-seeding by human huntingtin. Importantly, though the approach was developed in a yeast model, it can easily be applied to any organism thus representing an efficient and universal tool for screening for amyloid proteins.

  5. Characteristics of tau oligomers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan eRen

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available In Alzheimer disease (AD and other tauopathies, microtubule-associated protein tau becomes hyperphosphorylated, undergoes conformational changes, aggregates, eventually becoming neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs. As accumulating evidence suggests that NFTs themselves may not be toxic, attention is now turning toward the role of intermediate tau oligomers in AD pathophysiology. Sarkosyl extraction is a standard protocol for investigating insoluble tau aggregates in brains. There is a growing consensus that sarkosyl-insoluble tau correlates with the pathological features of tauopathy. While sarkosyl-insoluble tau from tauopathy brains has been well characterized as a pool of filamentous tau, other dimers, multimers, and granules of tau are much less well understood. There are protocols for identifying these tau oligomers. In this mini review, we discuss the characteristics of tau oligomers isolated via different methods and materials.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, William; Stubbs, Gerald

    2014-04-08

    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.

  7. Hsp104 Overexpression Cures Saccharomyces cerevisiae [PSI+] by Causing Dissolution of the Prion Seeds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Yang-Nim; Zhao, Xiaohong; Yim, Yang-In; Todor, Horia; Ellerbrock, Robyn; Reidy, Michael; Eisenberg, Evan; Masison, Daniel C.

    2014-01-01

    The [PSI+] yeast prion is formed when Sup35 misfolds into amyloid aggregates. [PSI+], like other yeast prions, is dependent on the molecular chaperone Hsp104, which severs the prion seeds so that they pass on as the yeast cells divide. Surprisingly, however, overexpression of Hsp104 also cures [PSI+]. Several models have been proposed to explain this effect: inhibition of severing, asymmetric segregation of the seeds between mother and daughter cells, and dissolution of the prion seeds. First, we found that neither the kinetics of curing nor the heterogeneity in the distribution of the green fluorescent protein (GFP)-labeled Sup35 foci in partially cured yeast cells is compatible with Hsp104 overexpression curing [PSI+] by inhibiting severing. Second, we ruled out the asymmetric segregation model by showing that the extent of curing was essentially the same in mother and daughter cells and that the fluorescent foci did not distribute asymmetrically, but rather, there was marked loss of foci in both mother and daughter cells. These results suggest that Hsp104 overexpression cures [PSI+] by dissolution of the prion seeds in a two-step process. First, trimming of the prion seeds by Hsp104 reduces their size, and second, their amyloid core is eliminated, most likely by proteolysis. PMID:24632242

  8. The Structural Architecture of an Infectious Mammalian Prion Using Electron Cryomicroscopy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ester Vázquez-Fernández

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The structure of the infectious prion protein (PrPSc, which is responsible for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans and bovine spongiform encephalopathy, has escaped all attempts at elucidation due to its insolubility and propensity to aggregate. PrPSc replicates by converting the non-infectious, cellular prion protein (PrPC into the misfolded, infectious conformer through an unknown mechanism. PrPSc and its N-terminally truncated variant, PrP 27-30, aggregate into amorphous aggregates, 2D crystals, and amyloid fibrils. The structure of these infectious conformers is essential to understanding prion replication and the development of structure-based therapeutic interventions. Here we used the repetitive organization inherent to GPI-anchorless PrP 27-30 amyloid fibrils to analyze their structure via electron cryomicroscopy. Fourier-transform analyses of averaged fibril segments indicate a repeating unit of 19.1 Å. 3D reconstructions of these fibrils revealed two distinct protofilaments, and, together with a molecular volume of 18,990 Å3, predicted the height of each PrP 27-30 molecule as ~17.7 Å. Together, the data indicate a four-rung β-solenoid structure as a key feature for the architecture of infectious mammalian prions. Furthermore, they allow to formulate a molecular mechanism for the replication of prions. Knowledge of the prion structure will provide important insights into the self-propagation mechanisms of protein misfolding.

  9. Hsp104 overexpression cures Saccharomyces cerevisiae [PSI+] by causing dissolution of the prion seeds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Yang-Nim; Zhao, Xiaohong; Yim, Yang-In; Todor, Horia; Ellerbrock, Robyn; Reidy, Michael; Eisenberg, Evan; Masison, Daniel C; Greene, Lois E

    2014-05-01

    The [PSI(+)] yeast prion is formed when Sup35 misfolds into amyloid aggregates. [PSI(+)], like other yeast prions, is dependent on the molecular chaperone Hsp104, which severs the prion seeds so that they pass on as the yeast cells divide. Surprisingly, however, overexpression of Hsp104 also cures [PSI(+)]. Several models have been proposed to explain this effect: inhibition of severing, asymmetric segregation of the seeds between mother and daughter cells, and dissolution of the prion seeds. First, we found that neither the kinetics of curing nor the heterogeneity in the distribution of the green fluorescent protein (GFP)-labeled Sup35 foci in partially cured yeast cells is compatible with Hsp104 overexpression curing [PSI(+)] by inhibiting severing. Second, we ruled out the asymmetric segregation model by showing that the extent of curing was essentially the same in mother and daughter cells and that the fluorescent foci did not distribute asymmetrically, but rather, there was marked loss of foci in both mother and daughter cells. These results suggest that Hsp104 overexpression cures [PSI(+)] by dissolution of the prion seeds in a two-step process. First, trimming of the prion seeds by Hsp104 reduces their size, and second, their amyloid core is eliminated, most likely by proteolysis.

  10. Radiation curable oligomers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huemmer, T.F.; Edison, B.A.

    1977-01-01

    A process is described for the high energy radiation curing of oligomers for use as coatings. The method is particularly applicable to the reaction products of certain low molecular weight epoxy compounds and certain low molecular weight mono-hydroxy vinyl compounds having at least one vinylic unsaturation. The curable mixture is applied as a thin film and cured very quickly

  11. Electrorheology of aniline oligomers

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Mrlík, M.; Sedlačík, M.; Pavlínek, V.; Bober, Patrycja; Trchová, Miroslava; Stejskal, Jaroslav; Sáha, P.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 291, č. 9 (2013), s. 2079-2086 ISSN 0303-402X R&D Projects: GA ČR GA202/09/1626 Institutional support: RVO:61389013 Keywords : anilin e oligomers * polyaniline * electrorheology Subject RIV: JI - Composite Materials Impact factor: 2.410, year: 2013

  12. Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (Prion Diseases)

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... This research is aimed at determining how abnormal prion proteins lead to disease, at finding better tests ... This research is aimed at determining how abnormal prion proteins lead to disease, at finding better tests ...

  13. Recent progress on understanding the mechanisms of amyloid nucleation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatani, Eri; Yamamoto, Naoki

    2018-04-01

    Amyloid fibrils are supramolecular protein assemblies with a fibrous morphology and cross-β structure. The formation of amyloid fibrils typically follows a nucleation-dependent polymerization mechanism, in which a one-step nucleation scheme has widely been accepted. However, a variety of oligomers have been identified in early stages of fibrillation, and a nucleated conformational conversion (NCC) mechanism, in which oligomers serve as a precursor of amyloid nucleation and convert to amyloid nuclei, has been proposed. This development has raised the need to consider more complicated multi-step nucleation processes in addition to the simplest one-step process, and evidence for the direct involvement of oligomers as nucleation precursors has been obtained both experimentally and theoretically. Interestingly, the NCC mechanism has some analogy with the two-step nucleation mechanism proposed for inorganic and organic crystals and protein crystals, although a more dramatic conformational conversion of proteins should be considered in amyloid nucleation. Clarifying the properties of the nucleation precursors of amyloid fibrils in detail, in comparison with those of crystals, will allow a better understanding of the nucleation of amyloid fibrils and pave the way to develop techniques to regulate it.

  14. Prion protein inhibits microtubule assembly by inducing tubulin oligomerization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nieznanski, Krzysztof; Podlubnaya, Zoya A.; Nieznanska, Hanna

    2006-01-01

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

  15. Modulation of prion polymerization and toxicity by rationally designed peptidomimetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srivastava, Ankit; Sharma, Sakshi; Sadanandan, Sandhya; Gupta, Sakshi; Singh, Jasdeep; Gupta, Sarika; Haridas, V; Kundu, Bishwajit

    2017-01-01

    Misfolding and aggregation of cellular prion protein is associated with a large array of neurological disorders commonly called the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. Designing inhibitors against prions has remained a daunting task owing to limited information about mechanism(s) of their pathogenic self-assembly. Here, we explore the anti-prion properties of a combinatorial library of bispidine-based peptidomimetics (BPMs) that conjugate amino acids with hydrophobic and aromatic side chains. Keeping the bispidine unit unaltered, a series of structurally diverse BPMs were synthesized and tested for their prion-modulating properties. Administration of Leu- and Trp-BPMs delayed and completely inhibited the amyloidogenic conversion of human prion protein (HuPrP), respectively. We found that each BPM induced the HuPrP to form unique oligomeric nanostructures differing in their biophysical properties, cellular toxicities and response to conformation-specific antibodies. While Leu-BPMs were found to stabilize the oligomers, Trp-BPMs effected transient oligomerization, resulting in the formation of non-toxic, non-fibrillar aggregates. Yet another aromatic residue, Phe, however, accelerated the aggregation process in HuPrP. Molecular insights obtained through MD (molecular dynamics) simulations suggested that each BPM differently engages a conserved Tyr 169 residue at the α2-β2 loop of HuPrP and affects the stability of α2 and α3 helices. Our results demonstrate that this new class of molecules having chemical scaffolds conjugating hydrophobic/aromatic residues could effectively modulate prion aggregation and toxicity. © 2017 The Author(s); published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society.

  16. Sexual transmission of the [Het-s] prion leads to meiotic drive in Podospora anserina

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dalstra, H.J.P.; Swart, K.; Debets, A.J.M.; Saupe, S.J.; Hoekstra, R.F.

    2003-01-01

    In the filamentous fungus Podospora anserina, two phenomena are associated with polymorphism at the het-s locus, vegetative incompatibility and ascospore abortion. Two het-s alleles occur naturally, het-s and het-S. The het-s encoded protein is a prion propagating as a self-perpetuating amyloid

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  20. Assessment of the PrPc Amino-Terminal Domain in Prion Species Barriers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davenport, Kristen A; Henderson, Davin M; Mathiason, Candace K; Hoover, Edward A

    2016-12-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) in cervids and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle are prion diseases that are caused by the same protein-misfolding mechanism, but they appear to pose different risks to humans. We are interested in understanding the differences between the species barriers of CWD and BSE. We used real-time, quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC) to model the central molecular event in prion disease, the templated misfolding of the normal prion protein, PrP c , to a pathogenic, amyloid isoform, scrapie prion protein, PrP Sc We examined the role of the PrP c amino-terminal domain (N-terminal domain [NTD], amino acids [aa] 23 to 90) in cross-species conversion by comparing the conversion efficiency of various prion seeds in either full-length (aa 23 to 231) or truncated (aa 90 to 231) PrP c We demonstrate that the presence of white-tailed deer and bovine NTDs hindered seeded conversion of PrP c , but human and bank vole NTDs did the opposite. Additionally, full-length human and bank vole PrP c s were more likely to be converted to amyloid by CWD prions than were their truncated forms. A chimera with replacement of the human NTD by the bovine NTD resembled human PrP c The requirement for an NTD, but not for the specific human sequence, suggests that the NTD interacts with other regions of the human PrP c to increase promiscuity. These data contribute to the evidence that, in addition to primary sequence, prion species barriers are controlled by interactions of the substrate NTD with the rest of the substrate PrP c molecule. We demonstrate that the amino-terminal domain of the normal prion protein, PrP c , hinders seeded conversion of bovine and white-tailed deer PrP c s to the prion forms, but it facilitates conversion of the human and bank vole PrP c s to the prion forms. Additionally, we demonstrate that the amino-terminal domain of human and bank vole PrP c s requires interaction with the rest of the molecule to facilitate conversion by CWD

  1. Aniline oligomers versus polyaniline

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Stejskal, Jaroslav; Trchová, Miroslava

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 61, č. 2 (2012), s. 240-251 ISSN 0959-8103 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA400500905; GA AV ČR IAA100500902; GA ČR GA203/08/0686; GA ČR GA202/09/1626 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40500505 Keywords : polyaniline * anilin e oligomers * anilin e Subject RIV: CD - Macromolecular Chemistry Impact factor: 2.125, year: 2012

  2. Towards a Pharmacophore for Amyloid

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Landau, Meytal; Sawaya, Michael R.; Faull, Kym F.; Laganowsky, Arthur; Jiang, Lin; Sievers, Stuart A.; Liu, Jie; Barrio, Jorge R.; Eisenberg, David (UCLA)

    2011-09-16

    Diagnosing and treating Alzheimer's and other diseases associated with amyloid fibers remains a great challenge despite intensive research. To aid in this effort, we present atomic structures of fiber-forming segments of proteins involved in Alzheimer's disease in complex with small molecule binders, determined by X-ray microcrystallography. The fiber-like complexes consist of pairs of {beta}-sheets, with small molecules binding between the sheets, roughly parallel to the fiber axis. The structures suggest that apolar molecules drift along the fiber, consistent with the observation of nonspecific binding to a variety of amyloid proteins. In contrast, negatively charged orange-G binds specifically to lysine side chains of adjacent sheets. These structures provide molecular frameworks for the design of diagnostics and drugs for protein aggregation diseases. The devastating and incurable dementia known as Alzheimer's disease affects the thinking, memory, and behavior of dozens of millions of people worldwide. Although amyloid fibers and oligomers of two proteins, tau and amyloid-{beta}, have been identified in association with this disease, the development of diagnostics and therapeutics has proceeded to date in a near vacuum of information about their structures. Here we report the first atomic structures of small molecules bound to amyloid. These are of the dye orange-G, the natural compound curcumin, and the Alzheimer's diagnostic compound DDNP bound to amyloid-like segments of tau and amyloid-{beta}. The structures reveal the molecular framework of small-molecule binding, within cylindrical cavities running along the {beta}-spines of the fibers. Negatively charged orange-G wedges into a specific binding site between two sheets of the fiber, combining apolar binding with electrostatic interactions, whereas uncharged compounds slide along the cavity. We observed that different amyloid polymorphs bind different small molecules, revealing that a

  3. Biofilm inhibitors that target amyloid proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero, Diego; Sanabria-Valentín, Edgardo; Vlamakis, Hera; Kolter, Roberto

    2013-01-24

    Bacteria establish stable communities, known as biofilms, that are resistant to antimicrobials. Biofilm robustness is due to the presence of an extracellular matrix, which for several species-among them Bacillus subtilis-includes amyloid-like protein fibers. In this work, we show that B. subtilis biofilms can be a simple and reliable tool for screening of molecules with antiamyloid activity. We identified two molecules, AA-861 and parthenolide, which efficiently inhibited biofilms by preventing the formation of amyloid-like fibers. Parthenolide also disrupted pre-established biofilms. These molecules also impeded the formation of biofilms of other bacterial species that secrete amyloid proteins, such as Bacillus cereus and Escherichia coli. Furthermore, the identified molecules decreased the conversion of the yeast protein New1 to the prion state in a heterologous host, indicating the broad range of activity of the molecules. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Conformational dynamics of amyloid proteins at the aqueous interface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armbruster, Matthew; Horst, Nathan; Aoki, Brendy; Malik, Saad; Soto, Patricia

    2013-03-01

    Amyloid proteins is a class of proteins that exhibit distinct monomeric and oligomeric conformational states hallmark of deleterious neurological diseases for which there are not yet cures. Our goal is to examine the extent of which the aqueous/membrane interface modulates the folding energy landscape of amyloid proteins. To this end, we probe the dynamic conformational ensemble of amyloids (monomer prion protein and Alzheimer's Ab protofilaments) interacting with model bilayers. We will present the results of our coarse grain molecular modeling study in terms of the existence of preferential binding spots of the amyloid to the bilayer and the response of the bilayer to the interaction with the amyloid. NSF Nebraska EPSCoR First Award

  5. Incunabular Immunological Events in Prion Trafficking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michel, Brady; Meyerett-Reid, Crystal; Johnson, Theodore; Ferguson, Adam; Wyckoff, Christy; Pulford, Bruce; Bender, Heather; Avery, Anne; Telling, Glenn; Dow, Steven; Zabel, Mark D.

    2012-01-01

    While prions probably interact with the innate immune system immediately following infection, little is known about this initial confrontation. Here we investigated incunabular events in lymphotropic and intranodal prion trafficking by following highly enriched, fluorescent prions from infection sites to draining lymph nodes. We detected biphasic lymphotropic transport of prions from the initial entry site upon peripheral prion inoculation. Prions arrived in draining lymph nodes cell autonomously within two hours of intraperitoneal administration. Monocytes and dendritic cells (DCs) required Complement for optimal prion delivery to lymph nodes hours later in a second wave of prion trafficking. B cells constituted the majority of prion-bearing cells in the mediastinal lymph node by six hours, indicating intranodal prion reception from resident DCs or subcapsulary sinus macrophages or directly from follicular conduits. These data reveal novel, cell autonomous prion lymphotropism, and a prominent role for B cells in intranodal prion movement. PMID:22679554

  6. Small stress molecules inhibit aggregation and neurotoxicity of prion peptide 106-126

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kanapathipillai, Mathumai; Ku, Sook Hee; Girigoswami, Koyeli; Park, Chan Beum

    2008-01-01

    In prion diseases, the posttranslational modification of host-encoded prion protein PrP c yields a high β-sheet content modified protein PrP sc , which further polymerizes into amyloid fibrils. PrP106-126 initiates the conformational changes leading to the conversion of PrP c to PrP sc . Molecules that can defunctionalize such peptides can serve as a potential tool in combating prion diseases. In microorganisms during stressed conditions, small stress molecules (SSMs) are formed to prevent protein denaturation and maintain protein stability and function. The effect of such SSMs on PrP106-126 amyloid formation is explored in the present study using turbidity, atomic force microscopy (AFM), and cellular toxicity assay. Turbidity and AFM studies clearly depict that the SSMs-ectoine and mannosylglyceramide (MGA) inhibit the PrP106-126 aggregation. Our study also connotes that ectoine and MGA offer strong resistance to prion peptide-induced toxicity in human neuroblastoma cells, concluding that such molecules can be potential inhibitors of prion aggregation and toxicity

  7. A dominant-negative mutant inhibits multiple prion variants through a common mechanism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fen Pei

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Prions adopt alternative, self-replicating protein conformations and thereby determine novel phenotypes that are often irreversible. Nevertheless, dominant-negative prion mutants can revert phenotypes associated with some conformations. These observations suggest that, while intervention is possible, distinct inhibitors must be developed to overcome the conformational plasticity of prions. To understand the basis of this specificity, we determined the impact of the G58D mutant of the Sup35 prion on three of its conformational variants, which form amyloids in S. cerevisiae. G58D had been previously proposed to have unique effects on these variants, but our studies suggest a common mechanism. All variants, including those reported to be resistant, are inhibited by G58D but at distinct doses. G58D lowers the kinetic stability of the associated amyloid, enhancing its fragmentation by molecular chaperones, promoting Sup35 resolubilization, and leading to amyloid clearance particularly in daughter cells. Reducing the availability or activity of the chaperone Hsp104, even transiently, reverses curing. Thus, the specificity of inhibition is determined by the sensitivity of variants to the mutant dosage rather than mode of action, challenging the view that a unique inhibitor must be developed to combat each variant.

  8. PrP P102L and Nearby Lysine Mutations Promote Spontaneous In Vitro Formation of Transmissible Prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraus, Allison; Raymond, Gregory J; Race, Brent; Campbell, Katrina J; Hughson, Andrew G; Anson, Kelsie J; Raymond, Lynne D; Caughey, Byron

    2017-11-01

    Accumulation of fibrillar protein aggregates is a hallmark of many diseases. While numerous proteins form fibrils by prion-like seeded polymerization in vitro , only some are transmissible and pathogenic in vivo To probe the structural features that confer transmissibility to prion protein (PrP) fibrils, we have analyzed synthetic PrP amyloids with or without the human prion disease-associated P102L mutation. The formation of infectious prions from PrP molecules in vitro has required cofactors and/or unphysiological denaturing conditions. Here, we demonstrate that, under physiologically compatible conditions without cofactors, the P102L mutation in recombinant hamster PrP promoted prion formation when seeded by minute amounts of scrapie prions in vitro Surprisingly, combination of the P102L mutation with charge-neutralizing substitutions of four nearby lysines promoted spontaneous prion formation. When inoculated into hamsters, both of these types of synthetic prions initiated substantial accumulation of prion seeding activity and protease-resistant PrP without transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) clinical signs or notable glial activation. Our evidence suggests that PrP's centrally located proline and lysine residues act as conformational switches in the in vitro formation of transmissible PrP amyloids. IMPORTANCE Many diseases involve the damaging accumulation of specific misfolded proteins in thread-like aggregates. These threads (fibrils) are capable of growing on the ends by seeding the refolding and incorporation of the normal form of the given protein. In many cases such aggregates can be infectious and propagate like prions when transmitted from one individual host to another. Some transmitted aggregates can cause fatal disease, as with human iatrogenic prion diseases, while other aggregates appear to be relatively innocuous. The factors that distinguish infectious and pathogenic protein aggregates from more innocuous ones are poorly understood

  9. Metastable Amyloid Phases and their Conversion to Mature Fibrils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muschol, Martin; Miti, Tatiana; Mulaj, Mentor; Schmit, Jeremy

    Self-assembly of proteins into amyloid fibrils plays a key role in both functional biological responses and pathogenic disorders which include Alzheimer's disease and type II diabetes. Amyloid fibril assembly frequently generates compact oligomeric and curvilinear polymeric intermediates which are implicated to be toxic to cells. Yet, the relation between these early-stage oligomeric aggregates and late-stage rigid fibrils, which are the hallmark structure of amyloid plaques, has remained unclear. Our measurements indicate that lysozyme amyloid oligomers and their curvilinear fibrils only form after crossing a salt and protein concentration dependent threshold. These oligomeric aggregates are structurally distinct from rigid fibrils and are metastable against nucleation and growth of rigid fibrils. Our experimental transition boundaries match well with colloidal model predictions accounting for salt-modulated charge repulsion. We also report our preliminary findings on the mechanism by which these metastable oligomeric phases are converted into stable amyloid fibrils.

  10. Encephalopathy for prions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Colegial, Carlos; Silva, Federico; Perez, Carlos

    1999-01-01

    The encephalopathy spongyform for prions are neuro degenerative illness that can be sporadic or transferable, for infectious or hereditary mechanisms. Their investigation has outlined enormous challenges and in the historical journey in search of its cause two doctors have received the Nobel prize of medicine Carleton Gajdusek, for its works in New Guinea where it described the infectious transmission for cannibalistic rites that it took to studies of experimental transmission in chimpanzees and to its theory of the slow virus; later on, Stanley Prusiner developed its experimental works in hamsters, throwing to the neurobiology the prion concept (particles infectious proteinaceous not viral). The paper narrates the history of a patient that died in the San Juan de Dios of Bogota Hospital by cause of this prionic illness and clinical and pathological aspects are discussed

  11. Use of bovine recombinant prion protein and real-time quaking-induced conversion to detect cattle transmissible mink encephalopathy prions and discriminate classical and atypical L- and H-Type bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hwang, Soyoun; Greenlee, Justin J; Nicholson, Eric M

    2017-01-01

    Prions are amyloid-forming proteins that cause transmissible spongiform encephalopathies through a process involving conversion from the normal cellular prion protein to the pathogenic misfolded conformation (PrPSc). This conversion has been used for in vitro assays including serial protein misfolding amplification and real-time quaking induced conversion (RT-QuIC). RT-QuIC can be used for the detection of prions in a variety of biological tissues from humans and animals. Extensive work has been done to demonstrate that RT-QuIC is a rapid, specific, and highly sensitive prion detection assay. RT-QuIC uses recombinant prion protein to detect minute amounts of PrPSc. RT-QuIC has been successfully used to detect PrPSc from different prion diseases with a variety of substrates including hamster, human, sheep, bank vole, bovine and chimeric forms of prion protein. However, recombinant bovine prion protein has not been used to detect transmissible mink encephalopathy (TME) or to differentiate types of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in samples from cattle. We evaluated whether PrPSc from TME and BSE infected cattle can be detected with RT-QuIC using recombinant bovine prion proteins, and optimized the reaction conditions to specifically detect cattle TME and to discriminate between classical and atypical BSE by conversion efficiency. We also found that substrate composed of the disease associated E211K mutant protein can be effective for the detection of TME in cattle and that wild type prion protein appears to be a practical substrate to discriminate between the different types of BSEs.

  12. Brain amyloid β protein and memory disruption in Alzheimer’s disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weiming Xia

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Weiming XiaCenter for Neurologic Diseases, Department of Neurology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USAAbstract: The development of amyloid-containing neuritic plaques is an invariable characteristic of Alzheimer’s diseases (AD. The conversion from monomeric amyloid β protein (Aβ to oligomeric Aβ and finally neuritic plaques is highly dynamic. The specific Aß species that is correlated with disease severity remains to be discovered. Oligomeric Aβ has been detected in cultured cells, rodent and human brains, as well as human cerebrospinal fluid. Synthetic, cell, and brain derived Aβ oligomers have been found to inhibit hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP and this effect can be suppressed by the blockage of Aβ oligomer formation. A large body of evidence suggests that Aβ oligomers inhibit N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor dependent LTP; additional receptors have also been found to elicit downstream pathways upon binding to Aβ oligomers. Amyloid antibodies and small molecular compounds that reduce brain Aβ levels and block Aβ oligomer formation are capable of reversing synaptic dysfunction and these approaches hold a promising therapeutic potential to rescue memory disruption.Keywords: Alzheimer, amyloid, oligomer, long-term potentiation, NMDA

  13. High prevalence of a fungal prion

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Debets, A.J.M.; Dalstra, H.J.P.; Slakhorst, S.M.; Koopmanschap-Memelink, A.B.; Hoekstra, R.F.; Saupe, S.J.

    2012-01-01

    Prions are infectious proteins that cause fatal diseases in mammals. Prions have also been found in fungi, but studies on their role in nature are scarce. The proposed biological function of fungal prions is debated and varies from detrimental to benign or even beneficial. [Het-s] is a prion of the

  14. 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

  15. PIPERIDINE OLIGOMERS AND COMBINATORIAL LIBRARIES THEREOF

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    1999-01-01

    The present invention relates to piperidine oligomers, methods for the preparation of piperidine oligomers and compound libraries thereof, and the use of piperidine oligomers as drug substances. The present invention also relates to the use of combinatorial libraries of piperidine oligomers...... in libraries (arrays) of compounds especially suitable for screening purposes....

  16. Reversible unfolding of infectious prion assemblies reveals the existence of an oligomeric elementary brick.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angélique Igel-Egalon

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Mammalian prions, the pathogens that cause transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, propagate by self-perpetuating the structural information stored in the abnormally folded, aggregated conformer (PrPSc of the host-encoded prion protein (PrPC. To date, no structural model related to prion assembly organization satisfactorily describes how strain-specified structural information is encoded and by which mechanism this information is transferred to PrPC. To achieve progress on this issue, we correlated the PrPSc quaternary structural transition from three distinct prion strains during unfolding and refolding with their templating activity. We reveal the existence of a mesoscopic organization in PrPSc through the packing of a highly stable oligomeric elementary subunit (suPrP, in which the strain structural determinant (SSD is encoded. Once kinetically trapped, this elementary subunit reversibly loses all replicative information. We demonstrate that acquisition of the templating interface and infectivity requires structural rearrangement of suPrP, in concert with its condensation. The existence of such an elementary brick scales down the SSD support to a small oligomer and provide a basis of reflexion for prion templating process and propagation.

  17. The contrasting effect of macromolecular crowding on amyloid fibril formation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qian Ma

    Full Text Available Amyloid fibrils associated with neurodegenerative diseases can be considered biologically relevant failures of cellular quality control mechanisms. It is known that in vivo human Tau protein, human prion protein, and human copper, zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD1 have the tendency to form fibril deposits in a variety of tissues and they are associated with different neurodegenerative diseases, while rabbit prion protein and hen egg white lysozyme do not readily form fibrils and are unlikely to cause neurodegenerative diseases. In this study, we have investigated the contrasting effect of macromolecular crowding on fibril formation of different proteins.As revealed by assays based on thioflavin T binding and turbidity, human Tau fragments, when phosphorylated by glycogen synthase kinase-3β, do not form filaments in the absence of a crowding agent but do form fibrils in the presence of a crowding agent, and the presence of a strong crowding agent dramatically promotes amyloid fibril formation of human prion protein and its two pathogenic mutants E196K and D178N. Such an enhancing effect of macromolecular crowding on fibril formation is also observed for a pathological human SOD1 mutant A4V. On the other hand, rabbit prion protein and hen lysozyme do not form amyloid fibrils when a crowding agent at 300 g/l is used but do form fibrils in the absence of a crowding agent. Furthermore, aggregation of these two proteins is remarkably inhibited by Ficoll 70 and dextran 70 at 200 g/l.We suggest that proteins associated with neurodegenerative diseases are more likely to form amyloid fibrils under crowded conditions than in dilute solutions. By contrast, some of the proteins that are not neurodegenerative disease-associated are unlikely to misfold in crowded physiological environments. A possible explanation for the contrasting effect of macromolecular crowding on these two sets of proteins (amyloidogenic proteins and non-amyloidogenic proteins has been

  18. Scrapie prion liposomes and rods exhibit target sizes of 55,000 Da

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bellinger-Kawahara, C.G.; Kempner, E.; Groth, D.; Gabizon, R.; Prusiner, S.B.

    1988-01-01

    Scrapie is a degenerative neurologic disease in sheep and goats which can be experimentally transmitted to laboratory rodents. Considerable evidence suggests that the scrapie agent is composed largely, if not entirely, of an abnormal isoform of the prion protein (PrPSc). Inactivation of scrapie prions by ionizing radiation exhibited single-hit kinetics and gave a target size of 55,000 +/- 9000 mol wt. The inactivation profile was independent of the form of the prion. Scrapie agent infectivity in brain homogenates, microsomal fractions, detergent-extracted microsomes, purified amyloid rods, and liposomes exhibited the same inactivation profile. Our data are consistent with the hypothesis that the infectious particle causing scrapie contains approximately 2 PrPSc molecules

  19. Hyperforin prevents beta-amyloid neurotoxicity and spatial memory impairments by disaggregation of Alzheimer's amyloid-beta-deposits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dinamarca, M C; Cerpa, W; Garrido, J; Hancke, J L; Inestrosa, N C

    2006-11-01

    The major protein constituent of amyloid deposits in Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the amyloid beta-peptide (Abeta). In the present work, we have determined the effect of hyperforin an acylphloroglucinol compound isolated from Hypericum perforatum (St John's Wort), on Abeta-induced spatial memory impairments and on Abeta neurotoxicity. We report here that hyperforin: (1) decreases amyloid deposit formation in rats injected with amyloid fibrils in the hippocampus; (2) decreases the neuropathological changes and behavioral impairments in a rat model of amyloidosis; (3) prevents Abeta-induced neurotoxicity in hippocampal neurons both from amyloid fibrils and Abeta oligomers, avoiding the increase in reactive oxidative species associated with amyloid toxicity. Both effects could be explained by the capacity of hyperforin to disaggregate amyloid deposits in a dose and time-dependent manner and to decrease Abeta aggregation and amyloid formation. Altogether these evidences suggest that hyperforin may be useful to decrease amyloid burden and toxicity in AD patients, and may be a putative therapeutic agent to fight the disease.

  20. Extraneural manifestations of prion infection in GPI-anchorless transgenic mice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Andrew M.; Paulsson, Johan F.; Cruite, Justin; Andaya, Abegail A.; Trifilo, Matthew J.; Oldstone, Michael B.A.

    2011-01-01

    Earlier studies indicated that transgenic (tg) mice engineered to express prion protein (PrP) lacking the glycophosphatidylinositol (GPI -/- ) membrane anchor formed abnormal proteinase-resistant prion (PrPsc) amyloid deposits in their brains and hearts when infected with the RML strain of murine scrapie. In contrast, RML scrapie infection of normal mice with a GPI-anchored PrP did not deposit amyloid with PrPsc in the brain or the heart. Here we report that scrapie-infected GPI -/- PrP tg mice also deposit PrP and transmissible infectious material in the gut, kidneys, and islets of Langerhans. Similar to previously reported amyloid deposits in the brain and heart, amyloid deposits were found in the gut; however, no amyloid deposited in the islets. By high-resolution electron microscopy, we show PrP is located primarily in α cells and also β cells. Islets contain abundant insulin and there is no abnormality in glucose metabolism in infected GPI -/- PrP tg mice.

  1. [Amyloid goiter].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hrívó, A; Péter, I; Bánkúti, B; Péley, G; Baska, F; Besznyák, I

    1999-03-21

    Amyloid goitre is at an extremely rare occurrence. Authors review the origin of disease and its symptoms, diagnostic and therapeutic tools. The disease may be due to either primary or secondary systemic or local amyloidosis. Diagnosis may be made even before surgery on anamnestic data, on very rapid growth of thyroid glands, on diffuse appearance, on other symptoms of systemic amyloidosis, on findings of iconographic procedures and on detection of amyloid in aspirates. Final diagnosis is based on histology. Surgical therapy is aiming at avoidance of the existing and the threatening consequences of expanding mass. The outcome is independent from thyroid surgery, it is related to other manifestations of amyloidosis. Concerning with the present case the chronic superior vena cava syndrome and chylous pleural effusion as first described symptoms and asymptomatic hyperthyroxinaemia is emphasised. Neither other organ involvement, nor primary amyloidogenous molecula was found during the 18 months follow up, so patient has secondary and localised amyloidosis.

  2. Prions and neuro degenerative diseases | Nair | African Journal of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Prion is a disease-causing agent that is neither bacterial nor fungal nor viral and contains no genetic material. A prion is a protein that occurs normally in a harmless form. By folding into an aberrant shape, the normal prion turns into a rogue agent. It then co-opts other normal prions to become rogue prions. Prions have ...

  3. Aβ42 oligomers selectively disrupt neuronal calcium release.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazzari, Cristian; Kipanyula, Maulilio J; Agostini, Mario; Pozzan, Tullio; Fasolato, Cristina

    2015-02-01

    Accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides correlates with aging and progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Aβ peptides, which cause early synaptic dysfunctions, spine loss, and memory deficits, also disturb intracellular Ca(2+) homeostasis. By cytosolic and endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) measurements, we here define the short-term effects of synthetic Aβ42 on neuronal Ca(2+) dynamics. When applied acutely at submicromolar concentration, as either oligomers or monomers, Aβ42 did not cause Ca(2+) release or Ca(2+) influx. Similarly, 1-hour treatment with Aβ42 modified neither the resting cytosolic Ca(2+) level nor the long-lasting Ca(2+) influx caused by KCl-induced depolarization. In contrast, Aβ42 oligomers, but not monomers, significantly altered Ca(2+) release from stores with opposite effects on inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3)- and caffeine-induced Ca(2+) mobilization without alteration of the total store Ca(2+) content. Ca(2+) dysregulation by Aβ42 oligomers involves metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 and requires network activity and the intact exo-endocytotic machinery, being prevented by tetrodotoxin and tetanus toxin. These findings support the idea that Ca(2+) store dysfunction is directly involved in Aβ42 neurotoxicity and represents a potential therapeutic target in AD-like dementia. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Statistical Mechanics of Prion Diseases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Slepoy, A.; Singh, R. R. P.; Pazmandi, F.; Kulkarni, R. V.; Cox, D. L.

    2001-01-01

    We present a two-dimensional, lattice based, protein-level statistical mechanical model for prion diseases (e.g., mad cow disease) with concomitant prion protein misfolding and aggregation. Our studies lead us to the hypothesis that the observed broad incubation time distribution in epidemiological data reflect fluctuation dominated growth seeded by a few nanometer scale aggregates, while much narrower incubation time distributions for innoculated lab animals arise from statistical self-averaging. We model ''species barriers'' to prion infection and assess a related treatment protocol

  5. Synthetic Prions Provide Clues for Understanding Prion Diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imberdis, Thibaut; Harris, David A

    2016-04-01

    This Commentary highlights the article by Makarava et al that discusses the formation of synthetic prions and the role of substrate levels in their evolution. Copyright © 2016 American Society for Investigative Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Advancing prion science: guidance for the National Prion Research Program

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Erdtmann, Rick; Sivitz, Laura

    2004-01-01

    In Advancing Prion Science , the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies Assessment of Relevant Science recommends priorities for research and investment to the Department of Defenseâ...

  7. The Rho Termination Factor of Clostridium botulinum contains a Prion-Like Domain with a highly Amyloidogenic Core

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irantzu ePallares

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Prion-like proteins can switch between a soluble intrinsically disordered conformation and a highly ordered amyloid assembly. This conformational promiscuity is encoded in specific sequence regions, known as prion domains (PrDs. Prions are best known as the causative factors of neurological diseases in mammals. However, bioinformatics analyses reveal that proteins bearing PrDs are present in all kingdoms of life, including bacteria, thus supporting the idea that they serve conserved beneficial cellular functions. Despite the proportion of predicted prion-like proteins in bacterial proteomes is generally low, pathogenic species seem to have a higher prionic load, suggesting that these malleable proteins may favor pathogenic traits. In the present work, we performed a stringent computational analysis of the Clostridium botulinum pathogen proteome in the search for prion-like proteins. A total of 54 candidates were predicted for this anaerobic bacterium, including the transcription termination Rho factor. This RNA-binding protein has been shown to play a crucial role in bacterial adaptation to changing environments. We show here that the predicted disordered PrD domain of this RNA-binding protein contains an inner, highly polar, asparagine-rich short sequence able to spontaneously self-assemble into amyloid-like structures, bearing thus the potential to induce a Rho factor conformational switch that might rewire gene expression in response to environmental conditions.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zi Yang

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

  9. Structural Investigations of on-pathway Oligomers of α-Synuclein

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Martin Nors; Horvath, Istvan; Weise, Christoph F.

    Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 108(8): 3246-3251. Horvath, I., et al. (2012). "Mechanisms of protein oligomerization: In-hibitor of functional amyloids templates a-synuclein fibrilla-tion." Journal of the American Chemical Society. Spillantini, M. G., et al. (1997). "[alpha...... by decomposition of SAXS data from the evolving fibrillating solution (Giehm et al. 2011). NMR data have furthermore suggested that the C-terminal is exposed on oligomers obtained by incubation with the ligand FN075 (Horvath et al. 2012). In this study we aim at obtaining SAXS data from isolated stabilized...... oligomer (MAX-lab, May 2012); data analysis is in progress. ITC experiments are furthermore planned to more accurately determine the stoichiometry between α-synuclein and FN075. Horvath and co-workers have already shown that the FN075 stabilized oligomer is on pathway. We have shown that the in...

  10. The expanded octarepeat domain selectively binds prions and disrupts homomeric prion protein interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leliveld, S. R.; Dame, R.T.; Wuite, G.J.L.; Stitz, L.; Korth, C.

    2006-01-01

    Insertion of additional octarepeats into the prion protein gene has been genetically linked to familial Creutzfeldt Jakob disease and hence to de novo generation of infectious prions. The pivotal event during prion formation is the conversion of the normal prion protein (PrP

  11. Influence of dendrimer's structure on its activity against amyloid fibril formation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Klajnert, B.; Cortijo-Arellano, M.; Cladera, J.; Bryszewska, M.

    2006-01-01

    Inhibition of fibril assembly is a potential therapeutic strategy in neurodegenerative disorders such as prion and Alzheimer's diseases. Highly branched, globular polymers-dendrimers-are novel promising inhibitors of fibril formation. In this study, the effect of polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimers (generations 3rd, 4th, and 5th) on amyloid aggregation of the prion peptide PrP 185-208 and the Alzheimer's peptide Aβ 1-28 was examined. Amyloid fibrils were produced in vitro and their formation was monitored using the dye thioflavin T (ThT). Fluorescence studies were complemented with electron microscopy. The results show that the higher the dendrimer generation, the larger the degree of inhibition of the amyloid aggregation process and the more effective are dendrimers in disrupting the already existing fibrils. A hypothesis on dendrimer-peptide interaction mechanism is presented based on the dendrimers' molecular structure

  12. Prions: Beyond a Single Protein

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Alvin S.

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Co-existence of two different α-synuclein oligomers with different core structures determined by hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Paslawski, Wojciech; Mysling, Simon; Thomsen, Karen

    2014-01-01

    Neurodegenerative disorders are characterized by the formation of protein oligomers and amyloid fibrils, which in the case of Parkinson's disease involves the protein α-synuclein (αSN). Cytotoxicity is mainly associated with the oligomeric species, but we still know little about their assembly...... are protected from exchange with D2 O until they dissociate into monomeric αSN by EX1 exchange kinetics. Fewer residues are protected against exchange in oligomer type II, but this type does not revert to αSN monomers. Both oligomers are protected in the core sequence Y39-A89. Based on incubation studies...

  14. Defined α-synuclein prion-like molecular assemblies spreading in cell culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aulić, Suzana; Le, Tran Thanh Nhat; Moda, Fabio; Abounit, Saïda; Corvaglia, Stefania; Casalis, Loredana; Gustincich, Stefano; Zurzolo, Chiara; Tagliavini, Fabrizio; Legname, Giuseppe

    2014-06-04

    α-Synuclein (α-syn) plays a central role in the pathogenesis of synucleinopathies, a group of neurodegenerative disorders that includes Parkinson disease, dementia with Lewy bodies and multiple system atrophy. Several findings from cell culture and mouse experiments suggest intercellular α-syn transfer. Through a methodology used to obtain synthetic mammalian prions, we tested whether recombinant human α-syn amyloids can promote prion-like accumulation in neuronal cell lines in vitro. A single exposure to amyloid fibrils of human α-syn was sufficient to induce aggregation of endogenous α-syn in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells. Remarkably, endogenous wild-type α-syn was sufficient for the formation of these aggregates, and overexpression of the protein was not required. Our results provide compelling evidence that endogenous α-syn can accumulate in cell culture after a single exposure to exogenous α-syn short amyloid fibrils. Importantly, using α-syn short amyloid fibrils as seed, endogenous α-syn aggregates and accumulates over several passages in cell culture, providing an excellent tool for potential therapeutic screening of pathogenic α-syn aggregates.

  15. 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.

  16. Prion-Like Domains in Phagobiota

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George Tetz

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Prions are molecules characterized by self-propagation, which can undergo a conformational switch leading to the creation of new prions. Prion proteins have originally been associated with the development of mammalian pathologies; however, recently they have been shown to contribute to the environmental adaptation in a variety of prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. Bacteriophages are widespread and represent the important regulators of microbiota homeostasis and have been shown to be diverse across various bacterial families. Here, we examined whether bacteriophages contain prion-like proteins and whether these prion-like protein domains are involved in the regulation of homeostasis. We used a computational algorithm, prion-like amino acid composition, to detect prion-like domains in 370,617 publicly available bacteriophage protein sequences, which resulted in the identification of 5040 putative prions. We analyzed a set of these prion-like proteins, and observed regularities in their distribution across different phage families, associated with their interactions with the bacterial host cells. We found that prion-like domains could be found across all phages of various groups of bacteria and archaea. The results obtained in this study indicate that bacteriophage prion-like proteins are predominantly involved in the interactions between bacteriophages and bacterial cell, such as those associated with the attachment and penetration of bacteriophage in the cell, and the release of the phage progeny. These data allow the identification of phage prion-like proteins as novel regulators of the interactions between bacteriophages and bacterial cells.

  17. Protein Folding and Aggregation into Amyloid: The Interference by Natural Phenolic Compounds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Massimo Stefani

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Amyloid aggregation is a hallmark of several degenerative diseases affecting the brain or peripheral tissues, whose intermediates (oligomers, protofibrils and final mature fibrils display different toxicity. Consequently, compounds counteracting amyloid aggregation have been investigated for their ability (i to stabilize toxic amyloid precursors; (ii to prevent the growth of toxic oligomers or speed that of fibrils; (iii to inhibit fibril growth and deposition; (iv to disassemble preformed fibrils; and (v to favor amyloid clearance. Natural phenols, a wide panel of plant molecules, are one of the most actively investigated categories of potential amyloid inhibitors. They are considered responsible for the beneficial effects of several traditional diets being present in green tea, extra virgin olive oil, red wine, spices, berries and aromatic herbs. Accordingly, it has been proposed that some natural phenols could be exploited to prevent and to treat amyloid diseases, and recent studies have provided significant information on their ability to inhibit peptide/protein aggregation in various ways and to stimulate cell defenses, leading to identify shared or specific mechanisms. In the first part of this review, we will overview the significance and mechanisms of amyloid aggregation and aggregate toxicity; then, we will summarize the recent achievements on protection against amyloid diseases by many natural phenols.

  18. Real-time Quaking-induced Conversion Assay for Detection of CWD Prions in Fecal Material.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-29

    The RT-QuIC technique is a sensitive in vitro cell-free prion amplification assay based mainly on the seeded misfolding and aggregation of recombinant prion protein (PrP) substrate using prion seeds as a template for the conversion. RT-QuIC is a novel high-throughput technique which is analogous to real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Detection of amyloid fibril growth is based on the dye Thioflavin T, which fluoresces upon specific interaction with ᵦ-sheet rich proteins. Thus, amyloid formation can be detected in real time. We attempted to develop a reliable non-invasive screening test to detect chronic wasting disease (CWD) prions in fecal extract. Here, we have specifically adapted the RT-QuIC technique to reveal PrP Sc seeding activity in feces of CWD infected cervids. Initially, the seeding activity of the fecal extracts we prepared was relatively low in RT-QuIC, possibly due to potential assay inhibitors in the fecal material. To improve seeding activity of feces extracts and remove potential assay inhibitors, we homogenized the fecal samples in a buffer containing detergents and protease inhibitors. We also submitted the samples to different methodologies to concentrate PrP Sc on the basis of protein precipitation using sodium phosphotungstic acid, and centrifugal force. Finally, the feces extracts were tested by optimized RT-QuIC which included substrate replacement in the protocol to improve the sensitivity of detection. Thus, we established a protocol for sensitive detection of CWD prion seeding activity in feces of pre-clinical and clinical cervids by RT-QuIC, which can be a practical tool for non-invasive CWD diagnosis.

  19. BETASCAN: probable beta-amyloids identified by pairwise probabilistic analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Allen W Bryan

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Amyloids and prion proteins are clinically and biologically important beta-structures, whose supersecondary structures are difficult to determine by standard experimental or computational means. In addition, significant conformational heterogeneity is known or suspected to exist in many amyloid fibrils. Recent work has indicated the utility of pairwise probabilistic statistics in beta-structure prediction. We develop here a new strategy for beta-structure prediction, emphasizing the determination of beta-strands and pairs of beta-strands as fundamental units of beta-structure. Our program, BETASCAN, calculates likelihood scores for potential beta-strands and strand-pairs based on correlations observed in parallel beta-sheets. The program then determines the strands and pairs with the greatest local likelihood for all of the sequence's potential beta-structures. BETASCAN suggests multiple alternate folding patterns and assigns relative a priori probabilities based solely on amino acid sequence, probability tables, and pre-chosen parameters. The algorithm compares favorably with the results of previous algorithms (BETAPRO, PASTA, SALSA, TANGO, and Zyggregator in beta-structure prediction and amyloid propensity prediction. Accurate prediction is demonstrated for experimentally determined amyloid beta-structures, for a set of known beta-aggregates, and for the parallel beta-strands of beta-helices, amyloid-like globular proteins. BETASCAN is able both to detect beta-strands with higher sensitivity and to detect the edges of beta-strands in a richly beta-like sequence. For two proteins (Abeta and Het-s, there exist multiple sets of experimental data implying contradictory structures; BETASCAN is able to detect each competing structure as a potential structure variant. The ability to correlate multiple alternate beta-structures to experiment opens the possibility of computational investigation of prion strains and structural heterogeneity of amyloid

  20. Recombinant human prion protein inhibits prion propagation in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-09

    Prion diseases are associated with the conformational conversion of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) into the pathological scrapie isoform (PrP(Sc)) in the brain. Both the in vivo and in vitro conversion of PrP(C) into PrP(Sc) is significantly inhibited by differences in amino acid sequence between the two molecules. Using protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA), we now report that the recombinant full-length human PrP (rHuPrP23-231) (that is unglycosylated and lacks the glycophosphatidylinositol anchor) is a strong inhibitor of human prion propagation. Furthermore, rHuPrP23-231 also inhibits mouse prion propagation in a scrapie-infected mouse cell line. Notably, it binds to PrP(Sc), but not PrP(C), suggesting that the inhibitory effect of recombinant PrP results from blocking the interaction of brain PrP(C) with PrP(Sc). Our findings suggest a new avenue for treating prion diseases, in which a patient's own unglycosylated and anchorless PrP is used to inhibit PrP(Sc) propagation without inducing immune response side effects.

  1. Detection of prion seeding activity in the olfactory mucosa of patients with Fatal Familial Insomnia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redaelli, Veronica; Bistaffa, Edoardo; Zanusso, Gianluigi; Salzano, Giulia; Sacchetto, Luca; Rossi, Martina; De Luca, Chiara Maria Giulia; Di Bari, Michele; Portaleone, Sara Maria; Agrimi, Umberto; Legname, Giuseppe; Roiter, Ignazio; Forloni, Gianluigi; Tagliavini, Fabrizio; Moda, Fabio

    2017-04-07

    Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI) is a genetic prion disease caused by a point mutation in the prion protein gene (PRNP) characterized by prominent thalamic atrophy, diffuse astrogliosis and moderate deposition of PrP Sc in the brain. Here, for the first time, we demonstrate that the olfactory mucosa (OM) of patients with FFI contains trace amount of PrP Sc detectable by PMCA and RT-QuIC. Quantitative PMCA analysis estimated a PrP Sc concentration of about 1 × 10 -14  g/ml. In contrast, PrP Sc was not detected in OM samples from healthy controls and patients affected by other neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and frontotemporal dementia. These results indicate that the detection limit of these assays is in the order of a single PrP Sc oligomer/molecule with a specificity of 100%.

  2. Mitochondrial Ca2+ overload underlies Abeta oligomers neurotoxicity providing an unexpected mechanism of neuroprotection by NSAIDs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanz-Blasco, Sara; Valero, Ruth A; Rodríguez-Crespo, Ignacio; Villalobos, Carlos; Núñez, Lucía

    2008-07-23

    Dysregulation of intracellular Ca(2+) homeostasis may underlie amyloid beta peptide (Abeta) toxicity in Alzheimer's Disease (AD) but the mechanism is unknown. In search for this mechanism we found that Abeta(1-42) oligomers, the assembly state correlating best with cognitive decline in AD, but not Abeta fibrils, induce a massive entry of Ca(2+) in neurons and promote mitochondrial Ca(2+) overload as shown by bioluminescence imaging of targeted aequorin in individual neurons. Abeta oligomers induce also mitochondrial permeability transition, cytochrome c release, apoptosis and cell death. Mitochondrial depolarization prevents mitochondrial Ca(2+) overload, cytochrome c release and cell death. In addition, we found that a series of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) including salicylate, sulindac sulfide, indomethacin, ibuprofen and R-flurbiprofen depolarize mitochondria and inhibit mitochondrial Ca(2+) overload, cytochrome c release and cell death induced by Abeta oligomers. Our results indicate that i) mitochondrial Ca(2+) overload underlies the neurotoxicity induced by Abeta oligomers and ii) inhibition of mitochondrial Ca(2+) overload provides a novel mechanism of neuroprotection by NSAIDs against Abeta oligomers and AD.

  3. Mitochondrial Ca2+ overload underlies Abeta oligomers neurotoxicity providing an unexpected mechanism of neuroprotection by NSAIDs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Sanz-Blasco

    Full Text Available Dysregulation of intracellular Ca(2+ homeostasis may underlie amyloid beta peptide (Abeta toxicity in Alzheimer's Disease (AD but the mechanism is unknown. In search for this mechanism we found that Abeta(1-42 oligomers, the assembly state correlating best with cognitive decline in AD, but not Abeta fibrils, induce a massive entry of Ca(2+ in neurons and promote mitochondrial Ca(2+ overload as shown by bioluminescence imaging of targeted aequorin in individual neurons. Abeta oligomers induce also mitochondrial permeability transition, cytochrome c release, apoptosis and cell death. Mitochondrial depolarization prevents mitochondrial Ca(2+ overload, cytochrome c release and cell death. In addition, we found that a series of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs including salicylate, sulindac sulfide, indomethacin, ibuprofen and R-flurbiprofen depolarize mitochondria and inhibit mitochondrial Ca(2+ overload, cytochrome c release and cell death induced by Abeta oligomers. Our results indicate that i mitochondrial Ca(2+ overload underlies the neurotoxicity induced by Abeta oligomers and ii inhibition of mitochondrial Ca(2+ overload provides a novel mechanism of neuroprotection by NSAIDs against Abeta oligomers and AD.

  4. Alzheimer's-associated Aβ oligomers show altered structure, immunoreactivity and synaptotoxicity with low doses of oleocanthal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pitt, Jason; Roth, William; Lacor, Pascale; Smith, Amos B.; Blankenship, Matthew; Velasco, Pauline; De Felice, Fernanda; Breslin, Paul; Klein, William L.

    2009-01-01

    It now appears likely that soluble oligomers of amyloid-β 1-42 peptide, rather than insoluble fibrils, act as the primary neurotoxin in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Consequently, compounds capable of altering the assembly state of these oligomers (referred to as ADDLs) may have potential for AD therapeutics. Phenolic compounds are of particular interest for their ability to disrupt Aβ oligomerization and reduce pathogenicity. This study has focused on oleocanthal (OC), a naturally-occurring phenolic compound found in extra-virgin olive oil. OC increased the immunoreactivity of soluble Aβ species, when assayed with both sequence- and conformation-specific Aβ antibodies, indicating changes in oligomer structure. Analysis of oligomers in the presence of OC showed an upward shift in MW and a ladder-like distribution of SDS-stable ADDL subspecies. In comparison with control ADDLs, oligomers formed in the presence of OC (Aβ-OC) showed equivalent colocalization at synapses but exhibited greater immunofluorescence as a result of increased antibody recognition. The enhanced signal at synapses was not due to increased synaptic binding, as direct detection of fluorescently-labeled ADDLs showed an overall reduction in ADDL signal in the presence of OC. Decreased binding to synapses was accompanied by significantly less synaptic deterioration assayed by drebrin loss. Additionally, treatment with OC improved antibody clearance of ADDLs. These results indicate oleocanthal is capable of altering the oligomerization state of ADDLs while protecting neurons from the synaptopathological effects of ADDLs and suggest OC as a lead compound for development in AD therapeutics.

  5. Imaging β-amyloid fibrils in Alzheimer's disease: a critical analysis through simulation of amyloid fibril polymerization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shoghi-Jadid, Kooresh; Barrio, Jorge R.; Kepe, Vladimir; Wu, H.-M.; Small, Gary W.; Phelps, Michael E.; Huang, S.-C.

    2005-01-01

    The polymerization of β-amyloid (Aβ) peptides into fibrillary plaques is implicated, in part, in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. Aβ molecular imaging probes (Aβ-MIPs) have been introduced in an effort to quantify amyloid burden or load, in subjects afflicted with AD by invoking the classic PET receptor model for the quantitation of neuronal receptor density. In this communication, we explore conceptual differences between imaging the density of amyloid fibril polymers and neuronal receptors. We formulate a mathematical model for the polymerization of Aβ with parameters that are mapped to biological modulators of fibrillogenesis and introduce a universal measure for amyloid load to accommodate various interactions of Aβ-MIPs with fibrils. Subsequently, we hypothesize four Aβ-MIPs and utilize the fibrillogenesis model to simulate PET tissue time activity curves (TACs). Given the unique nature of polymer growth and resulting PET TAC, the four probes report differing amyloid burdens for a given brain pathology, thus complicating the interpretation of PET images. In addition, we introduce the notion of an MIP's resolution, apparent maximal binding site concentration, optimal kinetic topology and its resolving power in characterizing the pathological progression of AD and the effectiveness of drug therapy. The concepts introduced in this work call for a new paradigm that goes beyond the classic parameters B max and K D to include binding characteristics to polymeric peptide aggregates such as amyloid fibrils, neurofibrillary tangles and prions

  6. A brief history of prions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zabel, Mark D.; Reid, Crystal

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26449713

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Reduction and degradation of amyloid aggregates by a pulsed radio-frequency cold atmospheric plasma jet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bayliss, D L; Walsh, J L; Iza, F; Kong, M G; Shama, G

    2009-01-01

    Surface-borne amyloid aggregates with mature fibrils are used as a non-infectious prion model to evaluate cold atmospheric plasmas (CAPs) as a prion inactivation strategy. Using a helium-oxygen CAP jet with pulsed radio-frequency (RF) excitation, amyloid aggregates deposited on freshly cleaved mica discs are reduced substantially leaving only a few spherical fragments of sub-micrometer sizes in areas directly treated by the CAP jet. Outside the light-emitting part of the CAP jet, plasma treatment results in a 'skeleton' of much reduced amyloid stacks with clear evidence of fibril fragmentation. Analysis of possible plasma species and the physical configuration of the jet-sample interaction suggests that the skeleton structures observed are unlikely to have arisen as a result of physical forces of detachment, but instead by progressive diffusion of oxidizing plasma species into porous amyloid aggregates. Composition of chemical bonds of this reduced amyloid sample is very different from that of intact amyloid aggregates. These suggest the possibility of on-site degradation by CAP treatment with little possibility of spreading contamination elsewhere , thus offering a new reaction chemistry route to protein infectivity control with desirable implications for the practical implementation of CAP-based sterilization systems.

  10. Reduction and degradation of amyloid aggregates by a pulsed radio-frequency cold atmospheric plasma jet

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bayliss, D L; Walsh, J L; Iza, F; Kong, M G [Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Loughborough University, Leicestershire LE11 3TU (United Kingdom); Shama, G [Department of Chemical Engineering, Loughborough University, Leicestershire LE11 3TU (United Kingdom)], E-mail: m.g.kong@lboro.ac.uk

    2009-11-15

    Surface-borne amyloid aggregates with mature fibrils are used as a non-infectious prion model to evaluate cold atmospheric plasmas (CAPs) as a prion inactivation strategy. Using a helium-oxygen CAP jet with pulsed radio-frequency (RF) excitation, amyloid aggregates deposited on freshly cleaved mica discs are reduced substantially leaving only a few spherical fragments of sub-micrometer sizes in areas directly treated by the CAP jet. Outside the light-emitting part of the CAP jet, plasma treatment results in a 'skeleton' of much reduced amyloid stacks with clear evidence of fibril fragmentation. Analysis of possible plasma species and the physical configuration of the jet-sample interaction suggests that the skeleton structures observed are unlikely to have arisen as a result of physical forces of detachment, but instead by progressive diffusion of oxidizing plasma species into porous amyloid aggregates. Composition of chemical bonds of this reduced amyloid sample is very different from that of intact amyloid aggregates. These suggest the possibility of on-site degradation by CAP treatment with little possibility of spreading contamination elsewhere , thus offering a new reaction chemistry route to protein infectivity control with desirable implications for the practical implementation of CAP-based sterilization systems.

  11. Functional Amyloids in Reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hewetson, Aveline; Do, Hoa Quynh; Myers, Caitlyn; Muthusubramanian, Archana; Sutton, Roger Bryan; Wylie, Benjamin J; Cornwall, Gail A

    2017-06-29

    Amyloids are traditionally considered pathological protein aggregates that play causative roles in neurodegenerative disease, diabetes and prionopathies. However, increasing evidence indicates that in many biological systems nonpathological amyloids are formed for functional purposes. In this review, we will specifically describe amyloids that carry out biological roles in sexual reproduction including the processes of gametogenesis, germline specification, sperm maturation and fertilization. Several of these functional amyloids are evolutionarily conserved across several taxa, including human, emphasizing the critical role amyloids perform in reproduction. Evidence will also be presented suggesting that, if altered, some functional amyloids may become pathological.

  12. Differences in the curing of [PSI+] prion by various methods of Hsp104 inactivation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang-Nim Park

    Full Text Available [PSI(+] yeast, containing the misfolded amyloid conformation of Sup35 prion, is cured by inactivation of Hsp104. There has been controversy as to whether inactivation of Hsp104 by guanidine treatment or by overexpression of the dominant negative Hsp104 mutant, Hsp104-2KT, cures [PSI(+] by the same mechanism- inhibition of the severing of the prion seeds. Using live cell imaging of Sup35-GFP, overexpression of Hsp104-2KT caused the foci to increase in size, then decrease in number, and finally disappear when the cells were cured, similar to that observed in cells cured by depletion of Hsp104. In contrast, guanidine initially caused an increase in foci size but then the foci disappeared before the cells were cured. By starving the yeast to make the foci visible in cells grown with guanidine, the number of cells with foci was found to correlate exactly with the number of [PSI(+] cells, regardless of the curing method. Therefore, the fluorescent foci are the prion seeds required for maintenance of [PSI(+] and inactivation of Hsp104 cures [PSI(+] by preventing severing of the prion seeds. During curing with guanidine, the reduction in seed size is an Hsp104-dependent effect that cannot be explained by limited severing of the seeds. Instead, in the presence of guanidine, Hsp104 retains an activity that trims or reduces the size of the prion seeds by releasing Sup35 molecules that are unable to form new prion seeds. This Hsp104 activity may also occur in propagating yeast.

  13. Melanosomal formation of PMEL core amyloid is driven by aromatic residues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hee, Jia Shee; Mitchell, Susan M; Liu, Xinran; Leonhardt, Ralf M

    2017-03-08

    PMEL is a pigment cell protein that forms physiological amyloid in melanosomes. Many amyloids and/or their oligomeric precursors are toxic, causing or contributing to severe, incurable diseases including Alzheimer's and prion diseases. Striking similarities in intracellular formation pathways between PMEL and various pathological amyloids including Aβ and PrP Sc suggest PMEL is an excellent model system to study endocytic amyloid. Learning how PMEL fibrils assemble without apparent toxicity may help developing novel therapies for amyloid diseases. Here we identify the critical PMEL domain that forms the melanosomal amyloid core (CAF). An unbiased alanine-scanning screen covering the entire region combined with quantitative electron microscopy analysis of the full set of mutants uncovers numerous essential residues. Many of these rely on aromaticity for function suggesting a role for π-stacking in melanosomal amyloid assembly. Various mutants are defective in amyloid nucleation. This extensive data set informs the first structural model of the CAF and provides insights into how the melanosomal amyloid core forms.

  14. 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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23792955

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Epigenetic dominance of prion conformers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  18. Prion diseases of the brain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lutz, Kira; Urbach, Horst

    2015-01-01

    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.

  19. The inhibition of prions through blocking prion conversion by permanently charged branched polyamines of low cytotoxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Yong-beom; Mays, Charles E; Kim, Younghwan; Titlow, William B; Ryou, Chongsuk

    2010-03-01

    Branched polyamines are effective in inhibiting prions in a cationic surface charge density dependent manner. However, toxicity associated with branched polyamines, in general, often hampers the successful application of the compounds to treat prion diseases. Here, we report that constitutively maintained cationic properties in branched polyamines reduced the intrinsic toxicity of the compounds while retaining the anti-prion activities. In prion-infected neuroblastoma cells, quaternization of amines in polyethyleneimine (PEI) and polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimers markedly increased the nontoxic concentration ranges of the compounds and still supported, albeit reduced, an appreciable level of anti-prion activity in clearing prions from the infected cells. Furthermore, quaternized PEI was able to degrade prions at acidic pH conditions and inhibit the in vitro prion propagation facilitated by conversion of the normal prion protein isoform to its misfolded counterpart, although such activities were decreased by quaternization. Quaternized PAMAM was least effective in degrading prions but efficiently inhibited prion conversion with the same efficacy as unmodified PAMAM. Our results suggest that quaternization represents an effective strategy for developing nontoxic branched polyamines with potent anti-prion activity. This study highlights the importance of polyamine structural control for developing polyamine-based anti-prion agents and understanding of an action mechanism of quaternized branched polyamines. Copyright (c) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Prions And Prion Diseases | Obi | African Journal of Clinical and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Patients also may experience involuntary jerking movements called myoclonus, unusual sensation, insomnia, and confusion or memory problems. In the later stages of the disease, patients may have severe mental impairment (dementia) and may lose the ability to move or speak. Well known prion diseases include scrapie ...

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. Cellular Aspects of Prion Replication In Vitro

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grassmann, Andrea; Wolf, Hanna; Hofmann, Julia; Graham, James; Vorberg, Ina

    2013-01-01

    Prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are fatal neurodegenerative disorders in mammals that are caused by unconventional agents predominantly composed of aggregated misfolded prion protein (PrP). Prions self-propagate by recruitment of host-encoded PrP into highly ordered β-sheet rich aggregates. Prion strains differ in their clinical, pathological and biochemical characteristics and are likely to be the consequence of distinct abnormal prion protein conformers that stably replicate their alternate states in the host cell. Understanding prion cell biology is fundamental for identifying potential drug targets for disease intervention. The development of permissive cell culture models has greatly enhanced our knowledge on entry, propagation and dissemination of TSE agents. However, despite extensive research, the precise mechanism of prion infection and potential strain effects remain enigmatic. This review summarizes our current knowledge of the cell biology and propagation of prions derived from cell culture experiments. We discuss recent findings on the trafficking of cellular and pathologic PrP, the potential sites of abnormal prion protein synthesis and potential co-factors involved in prion entry and propagation. PMID:23340381

  4. A closer look at prion strains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solforosi, Laura; Milani, Michela; Mancini, Nicasio; Clementi, Massimo; Burioni, Roberto

    2013-01-01

    Prions are infectious proteins that are responsible for transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) and consist primarily of scrapie prion protein (PrPSc), a pathogenic isoform of the host-encoded cellular prion protein (PrPC). The absence of nucleic acids as essential components of the infectious prions is the most striking feature associated to these diseases. Additionally, different prion strains have been isolated from animal diseases despite the lack of DNA or RNA molecules. Mounting evidence suggests that prion-strain-specific features segregate with different PrPSc conformational and aggregation states. Strains are of practical relevance in prion diseases as they can drastically differ in many aspects, such as incubation period, PrPSc biochemical profile (e.g., electrophoretic mobility and glycoform ratio) and distribution of brain lesions. Importantly, such different features are maintained after inoculation of a prion strain into genetically identical hosts and are relatively stable across serial passages. This review focuses on the characterization of prion strains and on the wide range of important implications that the study of prion strains involves. PMID:23357828

  5. Prion protein β2-α2 loop conformational landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldarulo, Enrico; Barducci, Alessandro; Wüthrich, Kurt; Parrinello, Michele

    2017-09-05

    In transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), which are lethal neurodegenerative diseases that affect humans and a wide range of other mammalian species, the normal "cellular" prion protein ([Formula: see text]) is transformed into amyloid aggregates representing the "scrapie form" of the protein ([Formula: see text]). Continued research on this system is of keen interest, since new information on the physiological function of [Formula: see text] in healthy organisms is emerging, as well as new data on the mechanism of the transformation of [Formula: see text] to [Formula: see text] In this paper we used two different approaches: a combination of the well-tempered ensemble (WTE) and parallel tempering (PT) schemes and metadynamics (MetaD) to characterize the conformational free-energy surface of [Formula: see text] The focus of the data analysis was on an 11-residue polypeptide segment in mouse [Formula: see text](121-231) that includes the [Formula: see text]2-[Formula: see text]2 loop of residues 167-170, for which a correlation between structure and susceptibility to prion disease has previously been described. This study includes wild-type mouse [Formula: see text] and a variant with the single-residue replacement Y169A. The resulting detailed conformational landscapes complement in an integrative manner the available experimental data on [Formula: see text], providing quantitative insights into the nature of the structural transition-related function of the [Formula: see text]2-[Formula: see text]2 loop.

  6. Are Amyloid Fibrils RNA-Traps? A Molecular Dynamics Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Massimiliano Meli

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available The self-assembly of proteins and peptides into amyloids is a key feature of an increasing number of diseases. Amyloid fibrils display a unique surface reactivity endowing the sequestration of molecules such as MicroRNAs, which can be the active moiety of the toxic action. To test this hypothesis we studied the recognition between a model RNA and two different steric zipper spines using molecular dynamics simulations. We found that the interaction occurs and displays peptide-sequence dependence. Interestingly, interactions with polar zipper surfaces such as the formed by SNQNNF are more stable and favor the formation of β-barrel like complexes resembling the structures of toxic oligomers. These sequence-structure-recognition relationships of the two different assemblies may be exploited for the design of compounds targeting the fibers or competing with RNA-amyloid attachment

  7. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Genetics Home Reference: prion disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... which have overlapping signs and symptoms, include familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS), and fatal ... Sc . Sporadic forms of prion disease include sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD), sporadic fatal insomnia (sFI), and variably protease- ...

  9. The complexity and implications of yeast prion domains

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Prions are infectious proteins with altered conformations converted from otherwise normal host proteins. While there is only one known mammalian prion protein, PrP, a handful of prion proteins have been identified in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Yeast prion proteins usually have a defined region called prion domain (PrD) essential for prion properties, which are typically rich in glutamine (Q) and asparagine (N). Despite sharing several common features, individual yeast PrDs are generally intricate and divergent in their compositional characteristics, which potentially implicates their prion phenotypes, such as prion-mediated transcriptional regulations. PMID:22156731

  10. An insight into the complex prion-prion interaction network in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Zhiqiang; Valtierra, Stephanie; Li, Liming

    2014-01-01

    The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a valuable model system for studying prion-prion interactions as it contains multiple prion proteins. A recent study from our laboratory showed that the existence of Swi1 prion ([SWI(+)]) and overproduction of Swi1 can have strong impacts on the formation of 2 other extensively studied yeast prions, [PSI(+)] and [PIN(+)] ([RNQ(+)]) (Genetics, Vol. 197, 685-700). We showed that a single yeast cell is capable of harboring at least 3 heterologous prion elements and these prions can influence each other's appearance positively and/or negatively. We also showed that during the de novo [PSI(+)] formation process upon Sup35 overproduction, the aggregation patterns of a preexisting inducer ([RNQ(+)] or [SWI(+)]) can undergo significant remodeling from stably transmitted dot-shaped aggregates to aggregates that co-localize with the newly formed Sup35 aggregates that are ring/ribbon/rod- shaped. Such co-localization disappears once the newly formed [PSI(+)] prion stabilizes. Our finding provides strong evidence supporting the "cross-seeding" model for prion-prion interactions and confirms earlier reports that the interactions among different prions and their prion proteins mostly occur at the initiation stages of prionogenesis. Our results also highlight a complex prion interaction network in yeast. We believe that elucidating the mechanism underlying the yeast prion-prion interaction network will not only provide insight into the process of prion de novo generation and propagation in yeast but also shed light on the mechanisms that govern protein misfolding, aggregation, and amyloidogenesis in higher eukaryotes.

  11. Imaging and quantification of amyloid fibrillation in the cell nucleus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnhold, Florian; Scharf, Andrea; von Mikecz, Anna

    2015-01-01

    Xenobiotics, as well as intrinsic processes such as cellular aging, contribute to an environment that constantly challenges nuclear organization and function. While it becomes increasingly clear that proteasome-dependent proteolysis is a major player, the topology and molecular mechanisms of nuclear protein homeostasis remain largely unknown. We have shown previously that (1) proteasome-dependent protein degradation is organized in focal microenvironments throughout the nucleoplasm and (2) heavy metals as well as nanoparticles induce nuclear protein fibrillation with amyloid characteristics. Here, we describe methods to characterize the landscape of intranuclear amyloid on the global and local level in different systems such as cultures of mammalian cells and the soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Application of discrete mathematics to imaging data is introduced as a tool to develop pattern recognition of intracellular protein fibrillation. Since stepwise fibrillation of otherwise soluble proteins to insoluble amyloid-like protein aggregates is a hallmark of neurodegenerative protein-misfolding disorders including Alzheimer's disease, CAG repeat diseases, and the prion encephalopathies, investigation of intracellular amyloid may likewise aid to a better understanding of the pathomechanisms involved. We consider aggregate profiling as an important experimental approach to determine if nuclear amyloid has toxic or protective roles in various disease processes.

  12. ER stress signaling and neurodegeneration: At the intersection between Alzheimer's disease and Prion-related disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, Mauricio; Matamala, José Manuel; Duran-Aniotz, Claudia; Cornejo, Victor Hugo; Foley, Andrew; Hetz, Claudio

    2015-09-02

    Alzheimer's and Prion diseases are two neurodegenerative conditions sharing different pathophysiological characteristics. Disease symptoms are associated with the abnormal accumulation of protein aggregates, which are generated by the misfolding and oligomerization of specific proteins. Recent functional studies uncovered a key role of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and the unfolded protein response (UPR) in the occurrence of synaptic dysfunction and neurodegeneration in Prion-related disorders and Alzheimer's disease. Here we review common pathological features of both diseases, emphasizing the link between amyloid formation, its pathogenesis and alterations in ER proteostasis. The potential benefits of targeting the UPR as a therapeutic strategy is also discussed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Chronic wasting disease prions are not transmissible to transgenic mice overexpressing human prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandberg, Malin K; Al-Doujaily, Huda; Sigurdson, Christina J; Glatzel, Markus; O'Malley, Catherine; Powell, Caroline; Asante, Emmanuel A; Linehan, Jacqueline M; Brandner, Sebastian; Wadsworth, Jonathan D F; Collinge, John

    2010-10-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a prion disease that affects free-ranging and captive cervids, including mule deer, white-tailed deer, Rocky Mountain elk and moose. CWD-infected cervids have been reported in 14 USA states, two Canadian provinces and in South Korea. The possibility of a zoonotic transmission of CWD prions via diet is of particular concern in North America where hunting of cervids is a popular sport. To investigate the potential public health risks posed by CWD prions, we have investigated whether intracerebral inoculation of brain and spinal cord from CWD-infected mule deer transmits prion infection to transgenic mice overexpressing human prion protein with methionine or valine at polymorphic residue 129. These transgenic mice have been utilized in extensive transmission studies of human and animal prion disease and are susceptible to BSE and vCJD prions, allowing comparison with CWD. Here, we show that these mice proved entirely resistant to infection with mule deer CWD prions arguing that the transmission barrier associated with this prion strain/host combination is greater than that observed with classical BSE prions. However, it is possible that CWD may be caused by multiple prion strains. Further studies will be required to evaluate the transmission properties of distinct cervid prion strains as they are characterized.

  14. S. pombe placed on the prion map

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacqueline Hayles

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Schizosaccharomyces pombe has been used extensively as a model organism, however it is only recently that the first prion in this organism, a copper transporter protein encoded by ctr4, has been conclusively demonstrated. Prions are found in a wide range of organisms and have been implicated in a number of human neurodegenerative diseases. Research into the biology of prions has been carried out mainly in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, however there are many questions still to be addressed. Now, with the identification of the Ctr4 prion in S. pombe, further work in the two yeasts and comparisons of prion biology in these organisms should lead to a greater understanding of prions and their role in disease.

  15. Prions: the danger of biochemical weapons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Almeida Xavier

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The knowledge of biotechnology increases the risk of using biochemical weapons for mass destruction. Prions are unprecedented infectious pathogens that cause a group of fatal neurodegenerative diseases by a novel mechanism. They are transmissible particles that are devoid of nucleic acid. Due to their singular characteristics, Prions emerge as potential danger since they can be used in the development of such weapons. Prions cause fatal infectious diseases, and to date there is no therapeutic or prophylactic approach against these diseases. Furthermore, Prions are resistant to food-preparation treatments such as high heat and can find their way from the digestive system into the nervous system; recombinant Prions are infectious either bound to soil particles or in aerosols. Therefore, lethal Prions can be developed by malicious researchers who could use it to attack political enemies since such weapons cause diseases that could be above suspicion.

  16. Amyloid and immune homeostasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ying-Hui; Zhang, Yu-Gen

    2018-03-01

    Extracellular amyloid deposition defines a range of amyloidosis and amyloid-related disease. Addition to primary and secondary amyloidosis, amyloid-related disease can be observed in different tissue/organ that sharing the common pathogenesis based on the formation of amyloid deposition. Currently, both Alzheimer's disease and type 2 diabetes can be diagnosed with certainly only based on the autopsy results, by which amyloidosis of the associative tissue/organ is observed. Intriguingly, since it demonstrated that amyloid deposits trigger inflammatory reaction through the activation of cascaded immune response, wherein several lines of evidence implies a protective role of amyloid in preventing autoimmunity. Furthermore, attempts for preventing amyloid formation and/or removing amyloid deposits from the brain have caused meningoencephalitis and consequent deaths among the subjects. Hence, it is important to note that amyloid positively participates in maintaining immune homeostasis and contributes to irreversible inflammatory response. In this review, we will focus on the interactive relationship between amyloid and the immune system, discussing the potential functional roles of amyloid in immune tolerance and homeostasis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  17. A role for astroglia in prion diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguzzi, Adriano; Liu, Yingjun

    2017-12-04

    In this issue of JEM, Krejciova et al. (https://doi.org/10.1084/jem.20161547) report that astrocytes derived from human iPSCs can replicate human CJD prions. These observations provide a new, potentially very valuable model for studying human prions in cellula and for identifying antiprion compounds that might serve as clinical candidates. Furthermore, they add to the evidence that astrocytes may not be just innocent bystanders in prion diseases. © 2017 Aguzzi and Liu.

  18. Nanoscale Synaptic Membrane Mimetic Allows Unbiased High Throughput Screen That Targets Binding Sites for Alzheimer?s-Associated A? Oligomers

    OpenAIRE

    Wilcox, Kyle C.; Marunde, Matthew R.; Das, Aditi; Velasco, Pauline T.; Kuhns, Benjamin D.; Marty, Michael T.; Jiang, Haoming; Luan, Chi-Hao; Sligar, Stephen G.; Klein, William L.

    2015-01-01

    Despite their value as sources of therapeutic drug targets, membrane proteomes are largely inaccessible to high-throughput screening (HTS) tools designed for soluble proteins. An important example comprises the membrane proteins that bind amyloid β oligomers (AβOs). AβOs are neurotoxic ligands thought to instigate the synapse damage that leads to Alzheimer's dementia. At present, the identities of initial AβO binding sites are highly uncertain, largely because of extensive protein-protein int...

  19. Modulation of α-synuclein fibrillization by ring-fused 2-pyridones: templation and inhibition involve oligomers with different structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horvath, Istvan; Sellstedt, Magnus; Weise, Christoph; Nordvall, Lina-Maria; Krishna Prasad, G; Olofsson, Anders; Larsson, Göran; Almqvist, Fredrik; Wittung-Stafshede, Pernilla

    2013-04-15

    In a recent study we discovered that a ring-fused 2-pyridone compound triggered fibrillization of a key protein in Parkinson's disease, α-synuclein. To reveal how variations in compound structure affect protein aggregation, we now prepared a number of strategic analogs and tested their effects on α-synuclein amyloid fiber formation in vitro. We find that, in contrast to the earlier templating effect, some analogs inhibit α-synuclein fibrillization. For both templating and inhibiting compounds, the key species formed in the reactions are α-synuclein oligomers that contain compound. Despite similar macroscopic appearance, the templating and inhibiting oligomers are distinctly different in secondary structure content. When the inhibitory oligomers are added in seed amounts, they inhibit fresh α-synuclein aggregation reactions. Our study demonstrates that small chemical changes to the same central fragment can result in opposite effects on protein aggregation. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Optimization of the All-D Peptide D3 for Aβ Oligomer Elimination.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonia Nicole Klein

    Full Text Available The aggregation of amyloid-β (Aβ is postulated to be the crucial event in Alzheimer's disease (AD. In particular, small neurotoxic Aβ oligomers are considered to be responsible for the development and progression of AD. Therefore, elimination of thesis oligomers represents a potential causal therapy of AD. Starting from the well-characterized d-enantiomeric peptide D3, we identified D3 derivatives that bind monomeric Aβ. The underlying hypothesis is that ligands bind monomeric Aβ and stabilize these species within the various equilibria with Aβ assemblies, leading ultimately to the elimination of Aβ oligomers. One of the hereby identified d-peptides, DB3, and a head-to-tail tandem of DB3, DB3DB3, were studied in detail. Both peptides were found to: (i inhibit the formation of Thioflavin T-positive fibrils; (ii bind to Aβ monomers with micromolar affinities; (iii eliminate Aβ oligomers; (iv reduce Aβ-induced cytotoxicity; and (v disassemble preformed Aβ aggregates. The beneficial effects of DB3 were improved by DB3DB3, which showed highly enhanced efficacy. Our approach yielded Aβ monomer-stabilizing ligands that can be investigated as a suitable therapeutic strategy against AD.

  3. 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

  4. Formation of a stable oligomer of beta-2 microglobulin requires only transient encounter with Cu(II).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calabrese, Matthew F; Miranker, Andrew D

    2007-03-16

    Beta-2 Microglobulin (beta2m) is a small, globular protein, with high solubility under conditions comparable to human serum. A complication of hemodialysis in renal failure patients is the deposition of unmodified beta2m as amyloid fibers. In vitro, exposure of beta2m to equimolar Cu(2+) under near-physiological conditions can result in self-association leading to amyloid fiber formation. Previously, we have shown that the early steps in this process involve a catalyzed structural rearrangement followed by formation of discrete oligomers. These oligomers, however, have a continued requirement for Cu(2+) while mature fibers are resistant to addition of metal chelate. Here, we report that the transition from Cu(2+) dependent to chelate resistant states occurs in the context of small oligomers, dimeric to hexameric in size. These species require Cu(2+) to form, but once generated, do not need metal cation for stability. Importantly, this transition occurs gradually over several days and the resulting oligomers are isolatable and kinetically stable on timescales exceeding weeks. In addition, formation is enhanced by levels of urea similar to those found in hemodialysis patients. Our results are consistent with our hypothesis that transient encounter of full-length wild-type beta2m with transition metal cation at the dialysis membrane interface is causal to dialysis related amyloidosis.

  5. 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.

  6. QIAD assay for quantitating a compound’s efficacy in elimination of toxic Aβ oligomers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brener, Oleksandr; Dunkelmann, Tina; Gremer, Lothar; van Groen, Thomas; Mirecka, Ewa A.; Kadish, Inga; Willuweit, Antje; Kutzsche, Janine; Jürgens, Dagmar; Rudolph, Stephan; Tusche, Markus; Bongen, Patrick; Pietruszka, Jörg; Oesterhelt, Filipp; Langen, Karl-Josef; Demuth, Hans-Ulrich; Janssen, Arnold; Hoyer, Wolfgang; Funke, Susanne A.; Nagel-Steger, Luitgard; Willbold, Dieter

    2015-01-01

    Strong evidence exists for a central role of amyloid β-protein (Aβ) oligomers in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease. We have developed a fast, reliable and robust in vitro assay, termed QIAD, to quantify the effect of any compound on the Aβ aggregate size distribution. Applying QIAD, we studied the effect of homotaurine, scyllo-inositol, EGCG, the benzofuran derivative KMS88009, ZAβ3W, the D-enantiomeric peptide D3 and its tandem version D3D3 on Aβ aggregation. The predictive power of the assay for in vivo efficacy is demonstrated by comparing the oligomer elimination efficiency of D3 and D3D3 with their treatment effects in animal models of Alzheimer´s disease. PMID:26394756

  7. Functional amyloids in bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero, Diego; Kolter, Roberto

    2014-06-01

    The term amyloidosis is used to refer to a family of pathologies altering the homeostasis of human organs. Despite having a name that alludes to starch content, the amyloid accumulations are made up of proteins that polymerize as long and rigid fibers. Amyloid proteins vary widely with respect to their amino acid sequences but they share similarities in their quaternary structure; the amyloid fibers are enriched in β-sheets arranged perpendicular to the axis of the fiber. This structural feature provides great robustness, remarkable stability, and insolubility. In addition, amyloid proteins specifically stain with certain dyes such as Congo red and thioflavin-T. The aggregation into amyloid fibers, however, it is not restricted to pathogenic processes, rather it seems to be widely distributed among proteins and polypeptides. Amyloid fibers are present in insects, fungi and bacteria, and they are important in maintaining the homeostasis of the organism. Such findings have motivated the use of the term "functional amyloid" to differentiate these amyloid proteins from their toxic siblings. This review focuses on systems that have evolved in bacteria that control the expression and assembly of amyloid proteins on cell surfaces, such that the robustness of amyloid proteins are used towards a beneficial end. Copyright© by the Spanish Society for Microbiology and Institute for Catalan Studies.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristi M Green

    2008-08-01

    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.

  9. Neurotoxic Antibodies against the Prion Protein Do Not Trigger Prion Replication.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karl Frontzek

    Full Text Available Prions are the infectious agents causing transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE, progressive, inexorably lethal neurological diseases. Antibodies targeting the globular domain (GD of the cellular prion protein PrPC trigger a neurotoxic syndrome morphologically and molecularly similar to prion disease. This phenomenon raises the question whether such antibodies induce infectious prions de novo. Here we exposed cerebellar organotypic cultured slices (COCS to the neurotoxic antibody, POM1. We then inoculated COCS homogenates into tga20 mice, which overexpress PrPC and are commonly utilized as sensitive indicators of prion infectivity. None of the mice inoculated with COCS-derived lysates developed any signs of disease, and all mice survived for at least 200 days post-inoculation. In contrast, all mice inoculated with bona fide prions succumbed to TSE after 55-95 days. Post-mortem analyses did not reveal any signs of prion pathology in mice inoculated with POM1-COCS lysates. Also, lysates from POM1-exposed COCS were unable to convert PrP by quaking. Hence, anti-GD antibodies do not catalyze the generation of prion infectivity. These data indicate that prion replication can be separated from prion toxicity, and suggest that anti-GD antibodies exert toxicity by acting downstream of prion replication.

  10. Classical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy by Transmission of H-Type Prion in Homologous Prion Protein Context

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

    Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and BSE-related disorders have been associated with a single major prion strain. Recently, 2 atypical, presumably sporadic forms of BSE have been associated with 2 distinct prion strains that are characterized mainly by distinct Western blot profiles of abnormal protease-resistant prion protein (PrPres), named high-type (BSE-H) and low-type (BSE-L), that also differed from classical BSE. We characterized 5 atypical BSE-H isolates by analyzing their molecular and neuropathologic properties during transmission in transgenic mice expressing homologous bovine prion protein. Unexpectedly, in several inoculated animals, strain features emerged that were highly similar to those of classical BSE agent. These findings demonstrate the capability of an atypical bovine prion to acquire classical BSE–like properties during propagation in a homologous bovine prion protein context and support the view that the epidemic BSE agent could have originated from such a cattle prion. PMID:21888788

  11. 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.

  12. Synergistic influence of phosphorylation and metal ions on tau oligomer formation and coaggregation with α-synuclein at the single molecule level

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nübling Georg

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Fibrillar amyloid-like deposits and co-deposits of tau and α-synuclein are found in several common neurodegenerative diseases. Recent evidence indicates that small oligomers are the most relevant toxic aggregate species. While tau fibril formation is well-characterized, factors influencing tau oligomerization and molecular interactions of tau and α-synuclein are not well understood. Results We used a novel approach applying confocal single-particle fluorescence to investigate the influence of tau phosphorylation and metal ions on tau oligomer formation and its coaggregation with α-synuclein at the level of individual oligomers. We show that Al3+ at physiologically relevant concentrations and tau phosphorylation by GSK-3β exert synergistic effects on the formation of a distinct SDS-resistant tau oligomer species even at nanomolar protein concentration. Moreover, tau phosphorylation and Al3+ as well as Fe3+ enhanced both formation of mixed oligomers and recruitment of α-synuclein in pre-formed tau oligomers. Conclusions Our findings provide a new perspective on interactions of tau phosphorylation, metal ions, and the formation of potentially toxic oligomer species, and elucidate molecular crosstalks between different aggregation pathways involved in neurodegeneration.

  13. Direct Detection of Soil-Bound Prions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genovesi, Sacha; Leita, Liviana; Sequi, Paolo; Andrighetto, Igino; Sorgato, M. Catia; Bertoli, Alessandro

    2007-01-01

    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 (PrPSc) 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 challanged 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. PMID:17957252

  14. Direct detection of soil-bound prions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  15. Prion pathogenesis and secondary lymphoid organs (SLO)

    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 PrPSc, an abnormally folded isoform of the cellular prion protein (PrPC), 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. PMID:22895090

  16. Targeting α-synuclein oligomers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van Diggelen, Femke

    Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a complex disease, characterised by degeneration of neocortical, limbic and nigrostriatal neurons. It is unknown what initiates neurodegeneration, but soluble oligomers of the protein α-synuclein (αSn) seem to be particularly toxic, compared to insoluble fibrils...... unique characteristics, e.g. they were recognized by different conformational antibodies and DHA–αSOs also formed a second elongated species in addition to the dominant spherical species. Although further functional testing is needed, this suggests that each species has its own distinct toxic mechanism......+/K+ ATPase, V-type ATPase, VDAC, CaMKII and Rab-3A. The identification of these targets is a first step towards unravelling the toxic pathways which are activated upon synaptic binding of extracellularly added αSOs, and hopefully will contribute to the discovery of new disease modifying compounds, which can...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  18. Surface Mediated Self-Assembly of Amyloid Peptides

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fakhraai, Zahra

    2015-03-01

    Amyloid fibrils have been considered as causative agents in many neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, type II diabetes and amyloidosis. Amyloid fibrils form when proteins or peptides misfold into one dimensional crystals of stacked beta-sheets. In solution, amyloid fibrils form through a nucleation and growth mechanism. The rate limiting nucleation step requires a critical concentration much larger than those measured in physiological conditions. As such the exact origins of the seeds or oligomers that result in the formation of fully mature fibrils in the body remain topic intense studies. It has been suggested that surfaces and interfaces can enhance the fibrillization rate. However, studies of the mechanism and kinetics of the surface-mediated fibrillization are technologically challenging due to the small size of the oligomer and protofibril species. Using smart sample preparation technique to dry the samples after various incubation times we are able to study the kinetics of fibril formation both in solution and in the vicinity of various surfaces using high-resolution atomic force microscopy. These studies elucidate the role of surfaces in catalyzing amyloid peptide formation through a nucleation-free process. The nucleation free self-assembly is rapid and requires much smaller concentrations of peptides or proteins. We show that this process resembles diffusion limited aggregation and is governed by the peptide adhesion rate, two -dimensional diffusion of the peptides on the surface, and preferential interactions between the peptides. These studies suggest an alternative pathway for amyloid formation may exist, which could lead to new criteria for disease prevention and alternative therapies. Research was partially supported by a seed grant from the National Institute of Aging of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under Award Number P30AG010124 (PI: John Trojanowski) and the University of Pennsylvania.

  19. Brazilin inhibits amyloid β-protein fibrillogenesis, remodels amyloid fibrils and reduces amyloid cytotoxicity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Wen-Jie; Guo, Jing-Jing; Gao, Ming-Tao; Hu, Sheng-Quan; Dong, Xiao-Yan; Han, Yi-Fan; Liu, Fu-Feng; Jiang, Shaoyi; Sun, Yan

    2015-01-01

    Soluble amyloid β-protein (Aβ) oligomers, the main neurotoxic species, are predominantly formed from monomers through a fibril-catalyzed secondary nucleation. Herein, we virtually screened an in-house library of natural compounds and discovered brazilin as a dual functional compound in both Aβ42 fibrillogenesis inhibition and mature fibril remodeling, leading to significant reduction in Aβ42 cytotoxicity. The potent inhibitory effect of brazilin was proven by an IC50 of 1.5 +/- 0.3 μM, which was smaller than that of (-)-epigallocatechin gallate in Phase III clinical trials and about one order of magnitude smaller than those of curcumin and resveratrol. Most importantly, it was found that brazilin redirected Aβ42 monomers and its mature fibrils into unstructured Aβ aggregates with some β-sheet structures, which could prevent both the primary nucleation and the fibril-catalyzed secondary nucleation. Molecular simulations demonstrated that brazilin inhibited Aβ42 fibrillogenesis by directly binding to Aβ42 species via hydrophobic interactions and hydrogen bonding and remodeled mature fibrils by disrupting the intermolecular salt bridge Asp23-Lys28 via hydrogen bonding. Both experimental and computational studies revealed a different working mechanism of brazilin from that of known inhibitors. These findings indicate that brazilin is of great potential as a neuroprotective and therapeutic agent for Alzheimer's disease.

  20. A Free Energy Barrier Caused by the Refolding of an Oligomeric Intermediate Controls the Lag Time of Amyloid Formation by hIAPP.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serrano, Arnaldo L; Lomont, Justin P; Tu, Ling-Hsien; Raleigh, Daniel P; Zanni, Martin T

    2017-11-22

    Transiently populated oligomers formed en route to amyloid fibrils may constitute the most toxic aggregates associated with many amyloid-associated diseases. Most nucleation theories used to describe amyloid aggregation predict low oligomer concentrations and do not take into account free energy costs that may be associated with structural rearrangements between the oligomer and fiber states. We have used isotope labeling and two-dimensional infrared spectroscopy to spectrally resolve an oligomeric intermediate during the aggregation of the human islet amyloid protein (hIAPP or amylin), the protein associated with type II diabetes. A structural rearrangement includes the F 23 G 24 A 25 I 26 L 27 region of hIAPP, which starts from a random coil structure, evolves into ordered β-sheet oligomers containing at least 5 strands, and then partially disorders in the fibril structure. The supercritical concentration is measured to be between 150 and 250 μM, which is the thermodynamic parameter that sets the free energy of the oligomers. A 3-state kinetic model fits the experimental data, but only if it includes a concentration independent free energy barrier >3 kcal/mol that represents the free energy cost of refolding the oligomeric intermediate into the structure of the amyloid fibril; i.e., "oligomer activation" is required. The barrier creates a transition state in the free energy landscape that slows fibril formation and creates a stable population of oligomers during the lag phase, even at concentrations below the supercritical concentration. Largely missing in current kinetic models is a link between structure and kinetics. Our experiments and modeling provide evidence that protein structural rearrangements during aggregation impact the populations and kinetics of toxic oligomeric species.

  1. 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.

  2. Prion replication without host adaptation during interspecies transmissions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bian, Jifeng; Khaychuk, Vadim; Angers, Rachel C; Fernández-Borges, Natalia; Vidal, Enric; Meyerett-Reid, Crystal; Kim, Sehun; Calvi, Carla L; Bartz, Jason C; Hoover, Edward A; Agrimi, Umberto; Richt, Jürgen A; Castilla, Joaquín; Telling, Glenn C

    2017-01-31

    Adaptation of prions to new species is thought to reflect the capacity of the host-encoded cellular form of the prion protein (PrP C ) to selectively propagate optimized prion conformations from larger ensembles generated in the species of origin. Here we describe an alternate replicative process, termed nonadaptive prion amplification (NAPA), in which dominant conformers bypass this requirement during particular interspecies transmissions. To model susceptibility of horses to prions, we produced transgenic (Tg) mice expressing cognate PrP C Although disease transmission to only a subset of infected TgEq indicated a significant barrier to EqPrP C conversion, the resulting horse prions unexpectedly failed to cause disease upon further passage to TgEq. TgD expressing deer PrP C was similarly refractory to deer prions from diseased TgD infected with mink prions. In both cases, the resulting prions transmitted to mice expressing PrP C from the species of prion origin, demonstrating that transmission barrier eradication of the originating prions was ephemeral and adaptation superficial in TgEq and TgD. Horse prions produced in vitro by protein misfolding cyclic amplification of mouse prions using horse PrP C also failed to infect TgEq but retained tropism for wild-type mice. Concordant patterns of neuropathology and prion deposition in susceptible mice infected with NAPA prions and the corresponding prion of origin confirmed preservation of strain properties. The comparable responses of both prion types to guanidine hydrochloride denaturation indicated this occurs because NAPA precludes selection of novel prion conformations. Our findings provide insights into mechanisms regulating interspecies prion transmission and a framework to reconcile puzzling epidemiological features of certain prion disorders.

  3. Experimental approaches to the interaction of the prion protein with nucleic acids and glycosaminoglycans: Modulators of the pathogenic conversion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Jerson L; Vieira, Tuane C R G; Gomes, Mariana P B; Rangel, Luciana P; Scapin, Sandra M N; Cordeiro, Yraima

    2011-03-01

    The concept that transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are caused only by proteins has changed the traditional paradigm that disease transmission is due solely to an agent that carries genetic information. The central hypothesis for prion diseases proposes that the conversion of a cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) into a misfolded, β-sheet-rich isoform (PrP(Sc)) accounts for the development of (TSE). There is substantial evidence that the infectious material consists chiefly of a protein, PrP(Sc), with no genomic coding material, unlike a virus particle, which has both. However, prions seem to have other partners that chaperone their activities in converting the PrP(C) into the disease-causing isoform. Nucleic acids (NAs) and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are the most probable accomplices of prion conversion. Here, we review the recent experimental approaches that have been employed to characterize the interaction of prion proteins with nucleic acids and glycosaminoglycans. A PrP recognizes many nucleic acids and GAGs with high affinities, and this seems to be related to a pathophysiological role for this interaction. A PrP binds nucleic acids and GAGs with structural selectivity, and some PrP:NA complexes can become proteinase K-resistant, undergoing amyloid oligomerization and conversion to a β-sheet-rich structure. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that endogenous polyanions (such as NAs and GAGs) may accelerate the rate of prion disease progression by acting as scaffolds or lattices that mediate the interaction between PrP(C) and PrP(Sc) molecules. In addition to a still-possible hypothesis that nucleic acids and GAGs, especially those from the host, may modulate the conversion, the recent structural characterization of the complexes has raised the possibility of developing new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Star Polymers Reduce Islet Amyloid Polypeptide Toxicity via Accelerated Amyloid Aggregation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilkington, Emily H; Lai, May; Ge, Xinwei; Stanley, William J; Wang, Bo; Wang, Miaoyi; Kakinen, Aleksandr; Sani, Marc-Antonie; Whittaker, Michael R; Gurzov, Esteban N; Ding, Feng; Quinn, John F; Davis, Thomas P; Ke, Pu Chun

    2017-12-11

    Protein aggregation into amyloid fibrils is a ubiquitous phenomenon across the spectrum of neurodegenerative disorders and type 2 diabetes. A common strategy against amyloidogenesis is to minimize the populations of toxic oligomers and protofibrils by inhibiting protein aggregation with small molecules or nanoparticles. However, melanin synthesis in nature is realized by accelerated protein fibrillation to circumvent accumulation of toxic intermediates. Accordingly, we designed and demonstrated the use of star-shaped poly(2-hydroxyethyl acrylate) (PHEA) nanostructures for promoting aggregation while ameliorating the toxicity of human islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP), the peptide involved in glycemic control and the pathology of type 2 diabetes. The binding of PHEA elevated the β-sheet content in IAPP aggregates while rendering a new morphology of "stelliform" amyloids originating from the polymers. Atomistic molecular dynamics simulations revealed that the PHEA arms served as rodlike scaffolds for IAPP binding and subsequently accelerated IAPP aggregation by increased local peptide concentration. The tertiary structure of the star nanoparticles was found to be essential for driving the specific interactions required to impel the accelerated IAPP aggregation. This study sheds new light on the structure-toxicity relationship of IAPP and points to the potential of exploiting star polymers as a new class of therapeutic agents against amyloidogenesis.

  5. Interaction of amyloid inhibitor proteins with amyloid beta peptides: insight from molecular dynamics simulations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Payel Das

    Full Text Available Knowledge of the detailed mechanism by which proteins such as human αB- crystallin and human lysozyme inhibit amyloid beta (Aβ peptide aggregation is crucial for designing treatment for Alzheimer's disease. Thus, unconstrained, atomistic molecular dynamics simulations in explicit solvent have been performed to characterize the Aβ17-42 assembly in presence of the αB-crystallin core domain and of lysozyme. Simulations reveal that both inhibitor proteins compete with inter-peptide interaction by binding to the peptides during the early stage of aggregation, which is consistent with their inhibitory action reported in experiments. However, the Aβ binding dynamics appear different for each inhibitor. The binding between crystallin and the peptide monomer, dominated by electrostatics, is relatively weak and transient due to the heterogeneous amino acid distribution of the inhibitor surface. The crystallin-bound Aβ oligomers are relatively long-lived, as they form more extensive contact surface with the inhibitor protein. In contrast, a high local density of arginines from lysozyme allows strong binding with Aβ peptide monomers, resulting in stable complexes. Our findings not only illustrate, in atomic detail, how the amyloid inhibitory mechanism of human αB-crystallin, a natural chaperone, is different from that of human lysozyme, but also may aid de novo design of amyloid inhibitors.

  6. Elucidation of amyloid beta-protein oligomerization mechanisms: discrete molecular dynamics study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urbanc, B; Betnel, M; Cruz, L; Bitan, G; Teplow, D B

    2010-03-31

    Oligomers of amyloid beta-protein (Abeta) play a central role in the pathology of Alzheimer's disease. Of the two predominant Abeta alloforms, Abeta(1-40) and Abeta(1-42), Abeta(1-42) is more strongly implicated in the disease. We elucidated the structural characteristics of oligomers of Abeta(1-40) and Abeta(1-42) and their Arctic mutants, [E22G]Abeta(1-40) and [E22G]Abeta(1-42). We simulated oligomer formation using discrete molecular dynamics (DMD) with a four-bead protein model, backbone hydrogen bonding, and residue-specific interactions due to effective hydropathy and charge. For all four peptides under study, we derived the characteristic oligomer size distributions that were in agreement with prior experimental findings. Unlike Abeta(1-40), Abeta(1-42) had a high propensity to form paranuclei (pentameric or hexameric) structures that could self-associate into higher-order oligomers. Neither of the Arctic mutants formed higher-order oligomers, but [E22G]Abeta(1-40) formed paranuclei with a similar propensity to that of Abeta(1-42). Whereas the best agreement with the experimental data was obtained when the charged residues were modeled as solely hydrophilic, further assembly from spherical oligomers into elongated protofibrils was induced by nonzero electrostatic interactions among the charged residues. Structural analysis revealed that the C-terminal region played a dominant role in Abeta(1-42) oligomer formation whereas Abeta(1-40) oligomerization was primarily driven by intermolecular interactions among the central hydrophobic regions. The N-terminal region A2-F4 played a prominent role in Abeta(1-40) oligomerization but did not contribute to the oligomerization of Abeta(1-42) or the Arctic mutants. The oligomer structure of both Arctic peptides resembled Abeta(1-42) more than Abeta(1-40), consistent with their potentially more toxic nature.

  7. Prion protein immunocytochemistry helps to establish the true incidence of prion diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lantos, P L; McGill, I S; Janota, I; Doey, L J; Collinge, J; Bruce, M T; Whatley, S A; Anderton, B H; Clinton, J; Roberts, G W

    1992-11-23

    Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) and Gerstmann-Strüssler-Scheinker disease (GSSD) are transmissible spongiform encephalopathies or prion diseases affecting man. It has been reported that prion diseases may occur without the histological hallmarks of spongiform encephalopathies: vacuolation of the cerebral grey matter, neuronal loss and astrocytosis. These cases without characteristic neuropathology may go undiagnosed and consequently the true incidence of transmissible dementias is likely to have been under-estimated. Immunocytochemistry using antibodies to prion protein gives positive staining of these cases, albeit the pattern of immunostaining differs from that seen in typical forms. Accumulation of prion protein is a molecular hallmark of prion diseases, and thus a reproducible, speedy and cost-efficient immunocytochemical screening of unusual dementias may help to establish the true incidence of prion diseases.

  8. Membrane Incorporation, Channel Formation, and Disruption of Calcium Homeostasis by Alzheimer's β-Amyloid Protein

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masahiro Kawahara

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Oligomerization, conformational changes, and the consequent neurodegeneration of Alzheimer's β-amyloid protein (AβP play crucial roles in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD. Mounting evidence suggests that oligomeric AβPs cause the disruption of calcium homeostasis, eventually leading to neuronal death. We have demonstrated that oligomeric AβPs directly incorporate into neuronal membranes, form cation-sensitive ion channels (“amyloid channels”, and cause the disruption of calcium homeostasis via the amyloid channels. Other disease-related amyloidogenic proteins, such as prion protein in prion diseases or α-synuclein in dementia with Lewy bodies, exhibit similarities in the incorporation into membranes and the formation of calcium-permeable channels. Here, based on our experimental results and those of numerous other studies, we review the current understanding of the direct binding of AβP into membrane surfaces and the formation of calcium-permeable channels. The implication of composition of membrane lipids and the possible development of new drugs by influencing membrane properties and attenuating amyloid channels for the treatment and prevention of AD is also discussed.

  9. Boron-rich oligomers for BNCT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gula, M.; Perleberg, O.; Gabel, D.

    2000-01-01

    The synthesis of two BSH derivatives is described, which can be used for oligomerization in DNA-synthesizers. Synthesis pathways lead to final products in five and six steps, respectively. Because of chirality interesting results were expected. NMR-measurements confirm this expectation. Possible oligomers with high concentrations of boron can be attached to biomolecules. These oligomers can be explored with several imaging methods (EELS, PEM) to determine the lower detection limit of boron with these methods. (author)

  10. 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.

  11. Increased infectivity of anchorless mouse scrapie prions in transgenic mice overexpressing human prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

    Prion protein (PrP) is found in all mammals, mostly as a glycoprotein anchored to the plasma membrane by a C-terminal glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) linkage. Following prion infection, host protease-sensitive prion protein (PrPsen or PrPC) is converted into an abnormal, disease-associated, protease-resistant form (PrPres). Biochemical characteristics, such as the PrP amino acid sequence, and posttranslational modifications, such as glycosylation and GPI anchoring, can affect the transmissibility of prions as well as the biochemical properties of the PrPres generated. Previous in vivo studies on the effects of GPI anchoring on prion infectivity have not examined cross-species transmission. In this study, we tested the effect of lack of GPI anchoring on a species barrier model using mice expressing human PrP. In this model, anchorless 22L prions derived from tg44 mice were more infectious than 22L prions derived from C57BL/10 mice when tested in tg66 transgenic mice, which expressed wild-type anchored human PrP at 8- to 16-fold above normal. Thus, the lack of the GPI anchor on the PrPres from tg44 mice appeared to reduce the effect of the mouse-human PrP species barrier. In contrast, neither source of prions induced disease in tgRM transgenic mice, which expressed human PrP at 2- to 4-fold above normal. Prion protein (PrP) is found in all mammals, usually attached to cells by an anchor molecule called GPI. Following prion infection, PrP is converted into a disease-associated form (PrPres). While most prion diseases are species specific, this finding is not consistent, and species barriers differ in strength. The amino acid sequence of PrP varies among species, and this variability affects prion species barriers. However, other PrP modifications, including glycosylation and GPI anchoring, may also influence cross-species infectivity. We studied the effect of PrP GPI anchoring using a mouse-to-human species barrier model. Experiments showed that prions produced by

  12. Polymorphism of amyloid-like fibrils can be defined by the concentration of seeds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomas Sneideris

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Prions are infectious proteins where the same protein may express distinct strains. The strains are enciphered by different misfolded conformations. Strain-like phenomena have also been reported in a number of other amyloid-forming proteins. One of the features of amyloid strains is the ability to self-propagate, maintaining a constant set of physical properties despite being propagated under conditions different from those that allowed initial formation of the strain. Here we report a cross-seeding experiment using strains formed under different conditions. Using high concentrations of seeds results in rapid elongation and new fibrils preserve the properties of the seeding fibrils. At low seed concentrations, secondary nucleation plays the major role and new fibrils gain properties predicted by the environment rather than the structure of the seeds. Our findings could explain conformational switching between amyloid strains observed in a wide variety of in vivo and in vitro experiments.

  13. How does domain replacement affect fibril formation of the rabbit/human prion proteins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xu Yan

    Full Text Available It is known that in vivo human prion protein (PrP have the tendency to form fibril deposits and are associated with infectious fatal prion diseases, while the rabbit PrP does not readily form fibrils and is unlikely to cause prion diseases. Although we have previously demonstrated that amyloid fibrils formed by the rabbit PrP and the human PrP have different secondary structures and macromolecular crowding has different effects on fibril formation of the rabbit/human PrPs, we do not know which domains of PrPs cause such differences. In this study, we have constructed two PrP chimeras, rabbit chimera and human chimera, and investigated how domain replacement affects fibril formation of the rabbit/human PrPs.As revealed by thioflavin T binding assays and Sarkosyl-soluble SDS-PAGE, the presence of a strong crowding agent dramatically promotes fibril formation of both chimeras. As evidenced by circular dichroism, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and proteinase K digestion assays, amyloid fibrils formed by human chimera have secondary structures and proteinase K-resistant features similar to those formed by the human PrP. However, amyloid fibrils formed by rabbit chimera have proteinase K-resistant features and secondary structures in crowded physiological environments different from those formed by the rabbit PrP, and secondary structures in dilute solutions similar to the rabbit PrP. The results from transmission electron microscopy show that macromolecular crowding caused human chimera but not rabbit chimera to form short fibrils and non-fibrillar particles.We demonstrate for the first time that the domains beyond PrP-H2H3 (β-strand 1, α-helix 1, and β-strand 2 have a remarkable effect on fibrillization of the rabbit PrP but almost no effect on the human PrP. Our findings can help to explain why amyloid fibrils formed by the rabbit PrP and the human PrP have different secondary structures and why macromolecular crowding has different

  14. Electron beam curing of acrylic oligomers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seto, J.; Arakawa, S.; Ishimoto, C.; Miyashita, M.; Nagai, T.; Noguchi, T.; Shibata, A.

    1984-01-01

    The electron-beam curing process of acrylic oligomers, with and without γ-Fe 2 O 3 pigment filler and blended linear polymer, was investigated in terms of molecular structure and reaction mechanism. The polymerized fraction of trimethylolpropane-triacrylate (TMPTA) oligomers increases with increasing total dose, and is independent of the dose rate. Since the reaction rate is linearly dependent on the dose rate, the reaction mechanism involves monomolecular termination. The reaction rate does not depend on the number of functional groups of the oligomer at low doses, but above 0.3 Mrad the rate is slower for oligomers of higher functionality. A gel is formed more readily upon curing of a polyfunctional than a monofunctional oligomer, especially at high conversion to polymer; the resulting loss of flexibility of the polymer chains slows the reaction. Decrease of the molecular weight per functional group results in lower conversion; this is also due to the loss of chain flexibility, which is indicated as well by a higher glass-transition temperature. Modification of the acrylate oligomers with urethane results in more effective cross-linking reactions because of the more rigid molecular chains. Addition of γ-Fe 2 O 3 pigment reduces the reaction rate very little, but has the effect of providing added structural integrity, as indicated by the decrease of solvent-extractable material and the improvement of anti-abrasion properties. However, the flexibility of the coating and its adhesion to a PET base film are diminished. To increase the flexibility, linear polyvinylchloride and/or polyurethane were added to the acrylic oligomers. Final conversion to polymer was nearly 100 percent, and a higher elastic modulus and better antiabrasion properties were realized

  15. Spectroscopic study of Alzheimer's amyloid fibrils using terahertz time domain spectroscopy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jung, Euna; Kim, Jeonghoi; Han, Younho; Moon, Kiwon; Lim, Meehyun; Han, Haewook; Park, Joonhyuck; Kim, Sungjee [POSTECH, Pohang (Korea, Republic of)

    2008-11-15

    Alzheimer's disease, one of the most common neurodegenerative diseases, is characterized by extensive amyloid deposition. Amyloid deposits contain the abundant fibrils formed by amyloid β protein (Aβ). Because amyloid fibrils are associated with amyloid diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, type 2 diabetes, prion disease, Parkinson's disease, senile systemic amyloidosis and Huntington's disease, there has been considerable interest within the biomedical and biochemical research communities. In transmission electron microscopic (TEM)images, amyloid firils are 0.1∼10μm long and approximately 10nm wide. Amyloid fibrils commonly exhibit self assembled filaments, often described as twisted or parallel assemblies of finer protofilaments. They are formed by the spontaneous aggregation of a wide variety of peptides and proteins. Structural studies of amyloid fibrils have revealed that the common structural motif of virtually all amyloid fibrils consists of cross β sheets in which the peptide strands are arranged perpendicular to the long axis of the fiber. But little was known until recently about the molecular level structures of amyloid fibils. Therefore, spectroscopic investigation of both amyloid fibrils and Aβ at the molecular level can provide the significant evidence for the molecular understanding of amyloidogenesis and for the development of innovative therapeutic and diagnostic approaches. We used terahertz time domain spectroscopy (THz TDS)to investigate both Aβ and amyloid fibril. THz TDS, developed over the last two decades, is a powerful tool to extract the properties of biomaterials and provides unique spectral signatures of biomolecules within 0.1∼10THz, which exists between microwave and infrared frequency range. Current interest in THz radiation arises from its capability of probing the delocalized collective vibrational modes in proteins. Studying the collective modes of proteins in THz frequency range can play an

  16. Spectroscopic study of Alzheimer's amyloid fibrils using terahertz time domain spectroscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jung, Euna; Kim, Jeonghoi; Han, Younho; Moon, Kiwon; Lim, Meehyun; Han, Haewook; Park, Joonhyuck; Kim, Sungjee

    2008-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease, one of the most common neurodegenerative diseases, is characterized by extensive amyloid deposition. Amyloid deposits contain the abundant fibrils formed by amyloid β protein (Aβ). Because amyloid fibrils are associated with amyloid diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, type 2 diabetes, prion disease, Parkinson's disease, senile systemic amyloidosis and Huntington's disease, there has been considerable interest within the biomedical and biochemical research communities. In transmission electron microscopic (TEM)images, amyloid firils are 0.1∼10μm long and approximately 10nm wide. Amyloid fibrils commonly exhibit self assembled filaments, often described as twisted or parallel assemblies of finer protofilaments. They are formed by the spontaneous aggregation of a wide variety of peptides and proteins. Structural studies of amyloid fibrils have revealed that the common structural motif of virtually all amyloid fibrils consists of cross β sheets in which the peptide strands are arranged perpendicular to the long axis of the fiber. But little was known until recently about the molecular level structures of amyloid fibils. Therefore, spectroscopic investigation of both amyloid fibrils and Aβ at the molecular level can provide the significant evidence for the molecular understanding of amyloidogenesis and for the development of innovative therapeutic and diagnostic approaches. We used terahertz time domain spectroscopy (THz TDS)to investigate both Aβ and amyloid fibril. THz TDS, developed over the last two decades, is a powerful tool to extract the properties of biomaterials and provides unique spectral signatures of biomolecules within 0.1∼10THz, which exists between microwave and infrared frequency range. Current interest in THz radiation arises from its capability of probing the delocalized collective vibrational modes in proteins. Studying the collective modes of proteins in THz frequency range can play an important role in

  17. Propagation of Mammalian Prions in Yeast

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Harris, David A

    2006-01-01

    ...: the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This unicellular organism offers a number of potential advantages for the study of prion biology, including rapid generation time, ease of culturing, and facile genetics...

  18. 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.

  19. Protein Misfolding Cyclic Amplification of Infectious Prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moda, Fabio

    2017-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, or prion diseases, are a group of incurable disorders caused by the accumulation of an abnormally folded prion protein (PrP Sc ) in the brain. According to the "protein-only" hypothesis, PrP Sc is the infectious agent able to propagate the disease by acting as a template for the conversion of the correctly folded prion protein (PrP C ) into the pathological isoform. Recently, the mechanism of PrP C conversion has been mimicked in vitro using an innovative technique named protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA). This technology represents a great tool for studying diverse aspects of prion biology in the field of basic research and diagnosis. Moreover, PMCA can be expanded for the study of the misfolding process associated to other neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and frontotemporal lobar degeneration. © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Possible Function of Molecular Chaperones in Diseases Caused by Propagating Amyloid Aggregates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vladimir F. Lazarev

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The vast majority of neurodegenerative pathologies stem from the formation of toxic oligomers and aggregates composed of wrongly folded proteins. These protein complexes can be released from pathogenic cells and enthralled by other cells, causing the formation of new aggregates in a prion-like manner. By this mechanism, migrating complexes can transmit a disorder to distant regions of the brain and promote gradually transmitting degenerative processes. Molecular chaperones can counteract the toxicity of misfolded proteins. In this review, we discuss recent data on the possible cytoprotective functions of chaperones in horizontally transmitting neurological disorders.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine Pampeno

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

  2. Dissociation of recombinant prion autocatalysis from infectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noble, Geoffrey P; Supattapone, Surachai

    2015-01-01

    Within the mammalian prion field, the existence of recombinant prion protein (PrP) conformers with self-replicating (ie. autocatalytic) activity in vitro but little to no infectious activity in vivo challenges a key prediction of the protein-only hypothesis of prion replication--that autocatalytic PrP conformers should be infectious. To understand this dissociation of autocatalysis from infectivity, we recently performed a structural and functional comparison between a highly infectious and non-infectious pair of autocatalytic recombinant PrP conformers derived from the same initial prion strain. (1) We identified restricted, C-terminal structural differences between these 2 conformers and provided evidence that these relatively subtle differences prevent the non-infectious conformer from templating the conversion of native PrP(C) substrates containing a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor. (1) In this article we discuss a model, consistent with these findings, in which recombinant PrP, lacking post-translational modifications and associated folding constraints, is capable of adopting a wide variety of autocatalytic conformations. Only a subset of these recombinant conformers can be adopted by post-translationally modified native PrP(C), and this subset represents the recombinant conformers with high specific infectivity. We examine this model's implications for the generation of highly infectious recombinant prions and the protein-only hypothesis of prion replication.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Human Islet Amyloid Polypeptide

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kosicka, Iga

    2014-01-01

    Diabetes mellitus type II is a metabolic disease affecting millions of people worldwide. The disease is associated with occurence of insoluble, fibrillar, protein aggregates in islets of Langerhans in the pancreas - islet amyloid. The main constituent of these protein fibers is the human islet...... of diabetes type II, while revealing the structure(s) of islet amyloid fibrils is necessary for potential design of therapeutic agents....

  7. Indirubin Derivative 7-Bromoindirubin-3-Oxime (7Bio Attenuates Aβ Oligomer-Induced Cognitive Impairments in Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liping Chen

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Indirubins are natural occurring alkaloids extracted from indigo dye-containing plants. Indirubins could inhibit various kinases, and might be used to treat chronic myelocytic leukemia, cancer and neurodegenerative disorders. 7-bromoindirubin-3-oxime (7Bio, an indirubin derivative derived from indirubin-3-oxime, possesses inhibitory effects against cyclin-dependent kinase-5 (CDK5 and glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK3β, two pharmacological targets of Alzheimer's disease (AD. In this study, we have discovered that 2.3–23.3 μg/kg 7Bio effectively prevented β-amyloid (Aβ oligomer-induced impairments of spatial cognition and recognition without affecting bodyweight and motor functions in mice. Moreover, 7Bio potently inhibited Aβ oligomer-induced expression of interleukin-6 (IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α. Furthermore, 7Bio significantly prevented the decreased expression of synapsin-1 and PSD-95, biomarkers of pre-synaptic and post-synaptic proteins in Aβ oligomer-treated mice. The mean optical density (OD with hyper-phosphorylated tau (pTau, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP and CD45 positive staining in the hippocampus of 7Bio-treated mice were significantly decreased compared to those of Aβ oligomer-treated mice. In addition, Western blotting analysis showed that 7Bio attenuated Aβ oligomer-decreased expression of pSer9-GSK3β. Those results suggested that 7Bio could potently inhibit Aβ oligomer-induced neuroinflammation, synaptic impairments, tau hyper-phosphorylation, and activation of astrocytes and microglia, which may contribute to the neuroprotective effects of 7Bio. Based on these findings, we expected that 7Bio might be developed as a novel anti-AD lead compound.

  8. {beta} - amyloid imaging probes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jeong, Jae Min [Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2007-04-15

    Imaging distribution of {beta} - amyloid plaques in Alzheimer's disease is very important for early and accurate diagnosis. Early trial of the {beta} -amyloid plaques includes using radiolabeled peptides which can be only applied for peripheral {beta} - amyloid plaques due to limited penetration through the blood brain barrier (BBB). Congo red or Chrysamine G derivatives were labeled with Tc-99m for imaging {beta} - amyloid plaques of Alzheimer patient's brain without success due to problem with BBB penetration. Thioflavin T derivatives gave breakthrough for {beta} - amyloid imaging in vivo, and a benzothiazole derivative [C-11]6-OH-BTA-1 brought a great success. Many other benzothiazole, benzoxazole, benzofuran, imidazopyridine, and styrylbenzene derivatives have been labeled with F-18 and I-123 to improve the imaging quality. However, [C-11]6-OH-BTA-1 still remains as the best. However, short half-life of C-11 is a limitation of wide distribution of this agent. So, it is still required to develop an Tc-99m, F-18 or I-123 labeled agent for {beta} - amyloid imaging agent.

  9. β - amyloid imaging probes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jeong, Jae Min

    2007-01-01

    Imaging distribution of β - amyloid plaques in Alzheimer's disease is very important for early and accurate diagnosis. Early trial of the β -amyloid plaques includes using radiolabeled peptides which can be only applied for peripheral β - amyloid plaques due to limited penetration through the blood brain barrier (BBB). Congo red or Chrysamine G derivatives were labeled with Tc-99m for imaging β - amyloid plaques of Alzheimer patient's brain without success due to problem with BBB penetration. Thioflavin T derivatives gave breakthrough for β - amyloid imaging in vivo, and a benzothiazole derivative [C-11]6-OH-BTA-1 brought a great success. Many other benzothiazole, benzoxazole, benzofuran, imidazopyridine, and styrylbenzene derivatives have been labeled with F-18 and I-123 to improve the imaging quality. However, [C-11]6-OH-BTA-1 still remains as the best. However, short half-life of C-11 is a limitation of wide distribution of this agent. So, it is still required to develop an Tc-99m, F-18 or I-123 labeled agent for β - amyloid imaging agent

  10. Accumulation of murine amyloid-β mimics early Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krohn, Markus; Bracke, Alexander; Avchalumov, Yosef; Schumacher, Toni; Hofrichter, Jacqueline; Paarmann, Kristin; Fröhlich, Christina; Lange, Cathleen; Brüning, Thomas; von Bohlen Und Halbach, Oliver; Pahnke, Jens

    2015-08-01

    Amyloidosis mouse models of Alzheimer's disease are generally established by transgenic approaches leading to an overexpression of mutated human genes that are known to be involved in the generation of amyloid-β in Alzheimer's families. Although these models made substantial contributions to the current knowledge about the 'amyloid hypothesis' of Alzheimer's disease, the overproduction of amyloid-β peptides mimics only inherited (familiar) Alzheimer's disease, which accounts for patients with Alzheimer's disease. The inherited form is even regarded a 'rare' disease according to the regulations for funding of the European Union (www.erare.eu). Here, we show that mice that are double-deficient for neprilysin (encoded by Mme), one major amyloid-β-degrading enzyme, and the ABC transporter ABCC1, a major contributor to amyloid-β clearance from the brain, develop various aspects of sporadic Alzheimer's disease mimicking the clinical stage of mild cognitive impairment. Using behavioural tests, electrophysiology and morphological analyses, we compared different ABC transporter-deficient animals and found that alterations are most prominent in neprilysin × ABCC1 double-deficient mice. We show that these mice have a reduced probability to survive, show increased anxiety in new environments, and have a reduced working memory performance. Furthermore, we detected morphological changes in the hippocampus and amygdala, e.g. astrogliosis and reduced numbers of synapses, leading to defective long-term potentiation in functional measurements. Compared to human, murine amyloid-β is poorly aggregating, due to changes in three amino acids at N-terminal positions 5, 10, and 13. Interestingly, our findings account for the action of early occurring amyloid-β species/aggregates, i.e. monomers and small amyloidoligomers. Thus, neprilysin × ABCC1 double-deficient mice present a new model for early effects of amyloid-β-related mild cognitive impairment that allows investigations

  11. An infrared spectroscopy approach to follow β-sheet formation in peptide amyloid assemblies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seo, Jongcheol; Hoffmann, Waldemar; Warnke, Stephan; Huang, Xing; Gewinner, Sandy; Schöllkopf, Wieland; Bowers, Michael T.; von Helden, Gert; Pagel, Kevin

    2017-01-01

    Amyloidogenic peptides and proteins play a crucial role in a variety of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. These proteins undergo a spontaneous transition from a soluble, often partially folded form, into insoluble amyloid fibrils that are rich in β-sheets. Increasing evidence suggests that highly dynamic, polydisperse folding intermediates, which occur during fibril formation, are the toxic species in the amyloid-related diseases. Traditional condensed-phase methods are of limited use for characterizing these states because they typically only provide ensemble averages rather than information about individual oligomers. Here we report the first direct secondary-structure analysis of individual amyloid intermediates using a combination of ion mobility spectrometry-mass spectrometry and gas-phase infrared spectroscopy. Our data reveal that oligomers of the fibril-forming peptide segments VEALYL and YVEALL, which consist of 4-9 peptide strands, can contain a significant amount of β-sheet. In addition, our data show that the more-extended variants of each oligomer generally exhibit increased β-sheet content.

  12. PrP Knockout Cells Expressing Transmembrane PrP Resist Prion Infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Karen E; Hughson, Andrew; Vascellari, Sarah; Priola, Suzette A; Sakudo, Akikazu; Onodera, Takashi; Baron, Gerald S

    2017-01-15

    Glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchoring of the prion protein (PrP C ) influences PrP C misfolding into the disease-associated isoform, PrP res , as well as prion propagation and infectivity. GPI proteins are found in cholesterol- and sphingolipid-rich membrane regions called rafts. Exchanging the GPI anchor for a nonraft transmembrane sequence redirects PrP C away from rafts. Previous studies showed that nonraft transmembrane PrP C variants resist conversion to PrP res when transfected into scrapie-infected N2a neuroblastoma cells, likely due to segregation of transmembrane PrP C and GPI-anchored PrP res in distinct membrane environments. Thus, it remained unclear whether transmembrane PrP C might convert to PrP res if seeded by an exogenous source of PrP res not associated with host cell rafts and without the potential influence of endogenous expression of GPI-anchored PrP C To further explore these questions, constructs containing either a C-terminal wild-type GPI anchor signal sequence or a nonraft transmembrane sequence containing a flexible linker were expressed in a cell line derived from PrP knockout hippocampal neurons, NpL2. NpL2 cells have physiological similarities to primary neurons, representing a novel and advantageous model for studying transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) infection. Cells were infected with inocula from multiple prion strains and in different biochemical states (i.e., membrane bound as in brain microsomes from wild-type mice or purified GPI-anchorless amyloid fibrils). Only GPI-anchored PrP C supported persistent PrP res propagation. Our data provide strong evidence that in cell culture GPI anchor-directed membrane association of PrP C is required for persistent PrP res propagation, implicating raft microdomains as a location for conversion. Mechanisms of prion propagation, and what makes them transmissible, are poorly understood. Glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) membrane anchoring of the prion protein (PrP C

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

    According to the protein-only hypothesis, infectious mammalian prions, which exist as distinct strains with discrete biological properties, consist of multichain assemblies of misfolded cellular prion protein (PrP). A critical test would be to produce prion strains synthetically from defined components. Crucially, high-titre 'synthetic' prions could then be used to determine the structural basis of infectivity and strain diversity at the atomic level. While there have been multiple reports of production of prions from bacterially expressed recombinant PrP using various methods, systematic production of high-titre material in a form suitable for structural analysis remains a key goal. Here, we report a novel high-throughput strategy for exploring a matrix of conditions, additives and potential cofactors that might generate high-titre prions from recombinant mouse PrP, with screening for infectivity using a sensitive automated cell-based bioassay. Overall, approximately 20,000 unique conditions were examined. While some resulted in apparently infected cell cultures, this was transient and not reproducible. We also adapted published methods that reported production of synthetic prions from recombinant hamster PrP, but again did not find evidence of significant infectious titre when using recombinant mouse PrP as substrate. Collectively, our findings are consistent with the formation of prion infectivity from recombinant mouse PrP being a rare stochastic event and we conclude that systematic generation of prions from recombinant PrP may only become possible once the detailed structure of authentic ex vivo prions is solved. © 2015 The Authors.

  14. 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.

  15. AMYPdb: A database dedicated to amyloid precursor proteins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Delamarche Christian

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Misfolding and aggregation of proteins into ordered fibrillar structures is associated with a number of severe pathologies, including Alzheimer's disease, prion diseases, and type II diabetes. The rapid accumulation of knowledge about the sequences and structures of these proteins allows using of in silico methods to investigate the molecular mechanisms of their abnormal conformational changes and assembly. However, such an approach requires the collection of accurate data, which are inconveniently dispersed among several generalist databases. Results We therefore created a free online knowledge database (AMYPdb dedicated to amyloid precursor proteins and we have performed large scale sequence analysis of the included data. Currently, AMYPdb integrates data on 31 families, including 1,705 proteins from nearly 600 organisms. It displays links to more than 2,300 bibliographic references and 1,200 3D-structures. A Wiki system is available to insert data into the database, providing a sharing and collaboration environment. We generated and analyzed 3,621 amino acid sequence patterns, reporting highly specific patterns for each amyloid family, along with patterns likely to be involved in protein misfolding and aggregation. Conclusion AMYPdb is a comprehensive online database aiming at the centralization of bioinformatic data regarding all amyloid proteins and their precursors. Our sequence pattern discovery and analysis approach unveiled protein regions of significant interest. AMYPdb is freely accessible 1.

  16. Prion Infectivity in Fat of Deer with Chronic Wasting Disease▿

    OpenAIRE

    Race, Brent; Meade-White, Kimberly; Race, Richard; Chesebro, Bruce

    2009-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a neurodegenerative prion disease of cervids. Some animal prion diseases, such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, can infect humans; however, human susceptibility to CWD is unknown. In ruminants, prion infectivity is found in central nervous system and lymphoid tissues, with smaller amounts in intestine and muscle. In mice, prion infectivity was recently detected in fat. Since ruminant fat is consumed by humans and fed to animals, we determined infectivity t...

  17. Benzothiazole aniline tetra(ethylene glycol) and 3-amino-1,2,4-triazole inhibit neuroprotection against amyloid peptides by catalase overexpression in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chilumuri, Amrutha; Odell, Mark; Milton, Nathaniel G N

    2013-11-20

    Alzheimer's disease, Familial British dementia, Familial Danish dementia, Type 2 diabetes mellitus, plus Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease are associated with amyloid fibril deposition and oxidative stress. The antioxidant enzyme catalase is a neuroprotective amyloid binding protein. Herein the effects of catalase overexpression in SH-SY5Y neuronal cells on the toxicity of amyloid-β (Aβ), amyloid-Bri (ABri), amyloid-Dan (ADan), amylin (IAPP), and prion protein (PrP) peptides were determined. Results showed catalase overexpression was neuroprotective against Aβ, ABri, ADan, IAPP, and PrP peptides. The catalase inhibitor 3-amino-1,2,4-triazole (3-AT) and catalase-amyloid interaction inhibitor benzothiazole aniline tetra(ethylene glycol) (BTA-EG4) significantly enhanced neurotoxicity of amyloid peptides in catalase overexpressing neuronal cells. This suggests catalase neuroprotection involves breakdown of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) plus a direct binding interaction between catalase and the Aβ, ABri, ADan, IAPP, and PrP peptides. Kisspeptin 45-50 had additive neuroprotective actions against the Aβ peptide in catalase overexpressing cells. The effects of 3-AT had an intracellular site of action, while catalase-amyloid interactions had an extracellular component. These results suggest that the 3-AT and BTA-EG4 compounds may be able to inhibit endogenous catalase mediated neuroprotection. Use of BTA-EG4, or compounds that inhibit catalase binding to amyloid peptides, as potential therapeutics for Neurodegenerative diseases may therefore result in unwanted effects.

  18. Benzothiazole Aniline Tetra(ethylene glycol) and 3-Amino-1,2,4-triazole Inhibit Neuroprotection against Amyloid Peptides by Catalase Overexpression in Vitro

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease, Familial British dementia, Familial Danish dementia, Type 2 diabetes mellitus, plus Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease are associated with amyloid fibril deposition and oxidative stress. The antioxidant enzyme catalase is a neuroprotective amyloid binding protein. Herein the effects of catalase overexpression in SH-SY5Y neuronal cells on the toxicity of amyloid-β (Aβ), amyloid-Bri (ABri), amyloid-Dan (ADan), amylin (IAPP), and prion protein (PrP) peptides were determined. Results showed catalase overexpression was neuroprotective against Aβ, ABri, ADan, IAPP, and PrP peptides. The catalase inhibitor 3-amino-1,2,4-triazole (3-AT) and catalase-amyloid interaction inhibitor benzothiazole aniline tetra(ethylene glycol) (BTA-EG4) significantly enhanced neurotoxicity of amyloid peptides in catalase overexpressing neuronal cells. This suggests catalase neuroprotection involves breakdown of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) plus a direct binding interaction between catalase and the Aβ, ABri, ADan, IAPP, and PrP peptides. Kisspeptin 45–50 had additive neuroprotective actions against the Aβ peptide in catalase overexpressing cells. The effects of 3-AT had an intracellular site of action, while catalase-amyloid interactions had an extracellular component. These results suggest that the 3-AT and BTA-EG4 compounds may be able to inhibit endogenous catalase mediated neuroprotection. Use of BTA-EG4, or compounds that inhibit catalase binding to amyloid peptides, as potential therapeutics for Neurodegenerative diseases may therefore result in unwanted effects. PMID:23968537

  19. Expansion of the octarepeat domain alters the misfolding pathway but not the folding pathway of the prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leliveld, S Rutger; Stitz, Lothar; Korth, Carsten

    2008-06-10

    A misfolded conformation of the prion protein (PrP), PrP (Sc), is the essential component of prions, the infectious agents that cause transmissible neurodegenerative diseases. Insertional mutations that lead to an increase in the number of octarepeats (ORs) in PrP are linked to familial human prion disease. In this study, we investigated how expansion of the OR domain causes PrP to favor a prion-like conformation. Therefore, we compared the conformational and aggregation modulating properties of wild-type versus expanded OR domains, either as a fusion construct with the protein G B1 domain (GB1-OR) or as an integral part of full-length mouse PrP (MoPrP). Using circular dichroism spectroscopy, we first demonstrated that ORs are not unfolded but exist as an ensemble of three distinct conformers: polyproline helix-like, beta-turn, and "Trp-related". Domain expansion had little effect on the conformation of GB1-OR fusion proteins. When part of MoPrP however, OR domain expansion changed PrP's folding landscape, not by hampering the production of native alpha-helical monomers but by greatly reducing the propensity to form amyloid and by altering the assembly of misfolded, beta-rich aggregates. These features may relate to subtle pH-dependent conformational differences between wild-type and mutant monomers. In conclusion, we propose that PrP insertional mutations are pathogenic because they enhance specific misfolding pathways of PrP rather than by undermining native folding. This idea was supported by a trial bioassay in transgenic mice overexpressing wild-type MoPrP, where intracerebral injection of recombinant MoPrP with an expanded OR domain but not wild-type MoPrP caused prion disease.

  20. Applications of oligomers for nanostructured conducting polymers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yue; Tran, Henry D; Kaner, Richard B

    2011-01-03

    This Feature Article provides an overview of the distinctive nanostructures that aniline oligomers form and the applications of these oligomers for shaping the nanoscale morphologies and chirality of conducting polymers. We focus on the synthetic methods for achieving such goals and highlight the underlying mechanisms. The clear advantages of each method and their possible drawbacks are discussed. Assembly and applications of these novel organic (semi)conducting nanomaterials are also outlined. We conclude this article with our perspective on the main challenges, new opportunities, and future directions for this nascent yet vibrant field of research. Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  1. 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

  2. Defining the Conformational Features of Anchorless, Poorly Neuroinvasive Prions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bett, C.; Kurt, T.D.; Lucero, M.; Trejo, M.; Rozemuller, A.J.M.; Kong, Q.Z.; Nilsson, K.P.R.; Masliah, E.; Oldstone, M.B.; Sigurdson, C.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

  3. 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

  4. 76 FR 71294 - Prions; Proposed Amendment To Clarify Product Performance Data for Products With Prion-Related...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-17

    ... (FIFRA), and to amend its regulations to expressly include prion within the regulatory definition of pest... observed by the user including, but not limited to, microorganisms infectious to man in any area of the... prion within the regulatory definition of pest. EPA currently considers a prion to be a pest under FIFRA...

  5. Quantifying the relative amounts of PrP polymorphisms present in prions isolated from heterozygous prion-infected animals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prions cause protein misfolding diseases, such as transmissible spongiform encephalopathy. They propagate infections by converting a normal cellular prion protein into a prion (PrPSc). PrPC and PrPSc are isosequential and differ only in their respective conformations. PrPC is monomeric and sensit...

  6. Electrografting of conductive oligomers and polymers using diazonium electroreduction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lacroix, Jean Christophe; Trippe-Allard, Gaelle; Ghilane, Jalal; Martin, Pascal

    2014-01-01

    This paper describes the attachment of conjugated oligomers onto electrode surface through the reduction of diazonium compounds. In this connection some properties of conjugated oligomers and of layers grafted through diazonium electroreduction will first be briefly presented. The electrochemical behavior of conjugated oligomers grafted on a surface using diazonium electroreduction will then be discussed. (paper)

  7. Electrografting of conductive oligomers and polymers using diazonium electroreduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lacroix, Jean Christophe; Trippe-Allard, Gaelle; Ghilane, Jalal; Martin, Pascal

    2014-03-01

    This paper describes the attachment of conjugated oligomers onto electrode surface through the reduction of diazonium compounds. In this connection some properties of conjugated oligomers and of layers grafted through diazonium electroreduction will first be briefly presented. The electrochemical behavior of conjugated oligomers grafted on a surface using diazonium electroreduction will then be discussed.

  8. Synthesis and characterization of thermally stable oligomer-metal ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The thermal stabilities of the oligomer-metal complexes were compared by thermogravimetric (TG) and differential thermal (DTA) analyses. According to TG, oligomer-metal complexes were stable against to temperature and thermooxidative decomposition. The weight losses of oligomer-metal complexes were found to be 5 ...

  9. 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.

  10. Prions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zijderveld, van F.G.

    2007-01-01

    The report 'Zoonoses and Zoonotic Agents in Humans, Food, Animals and Feed in The Netherlands 2003 - 2006' is based on data that is reported annually to the European Commission, in accordance with the Directive 2003/99/EC on the monitoring of zoonoses and zoonotic agents. They are supplemented with

  11. Connecting macroscopic observables and microscopic assembly events in amyloid formation using coarse grained simulations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noah S Bieler

    Full Text Available The pre-fibrillar stages of amyloid formation have been implicated in cellular toxicity, but have proved to be challenging to study directly in experiments and simulations. Rational strategies to suppress the formation of toxic amyloid oligomers require a better understanding of the mechanisms by which they are generated. We report Dynamical Monte Carlo simulations that allow us to study the early stages of amyloid formation. We use a generic, coarse-grained model of an amyloidogenic peptide that has two internal states: the first one representing the soluble random coil structure and the second one the [Formula: see text]-sheet conformation. We find that this system exhibits a propensity towards fibrillar self-assembly following the formation of a critical nucleus. Our calculations establish connections between the early nucleation events and the kinetic information available in the later stages of the aggregation process that are commonly probed in experiments. We analyze the kinetic behaviour in our simulations within the framework of the theory of classical nucleated polymerisation, and are able to connect the structural events at the early stages in amyloid growth with the resulting macroscopic observables such as the effective nucleus size. Furthermore, the free-energy landscapes that emerge from these simulations allow us to identify pertinent properties of the monomeric state that could be targeted to suppress oligomer formation.

  12. Neuroprotective and nootropic drug noopept rescues α-synuclein amyloid cytotoxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Xueen; Gharibyan, Anna L; Öhman, Anders; Liu, Yonggang; Olofsson, Anders; Morozova-Roche, Ludmilla A

    2011-12-16

    Parkinson's disease is a common neurodegenerative disorder characterized by α-synuclein (α-Syn)-containing Lewy body formation and selective loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. We have demonstrated the modulating effect of noopept, a novel proline-containing dipeptide drug with nootropic and neuroprotective properties, on α-Syn oligomerization and fibrillation by using thioflavin T fluorescence, far-UV CD, and atomic force microscopy techniques. Noopept does not bind to a sterically specific site in the α-Syn molecule as revealed by heteronuclear two-dimensional NMR analysis, but due to hydrophobic interactions with toxic amyloid oligomers, it prompts their rapid sequestration into larger fibrillar amyloid aggregates. Consequently, this process rescues the cytotoxic effect of amyloid oligomers on neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells as demonstrated by using cell viability assays and fluorescent staining of apoptotic and necrotic cells and by assessing the level of intracellular oxidative stress. The mitigating effect of noopept against amyloid oligomeric cytotoxicity may offer additional benefits to the already well-established therapeutic functions of this new pharmaceutical. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Peptide oligomers for holographic data storage

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Berg, Rolf Henrik; Hvilsted, Søren; Ramanujam, P.S.

    1996-01-01

    SEVERAL classes of organic materials (such as photoanisotropic liquid-crystalline polymers(1-4) and photorefractive polymers(5-7)) are being investigated for the development of media for optical data storage. Here we describe a new family of organic materials-peptide oligomers containing azobenzene...

  14. Prions and animal transmissible spongiform encephalopathies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juntes Polona

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs or prion diseases are a unique group of neurodegenerative diseases of animals and humans, which always have a fatal outcome and are transmissible among animals of the same or different species. Scope and Approach. The aim of this work is to review some recent data about animal TSEs, with the emphasis on their causative agents and zoonotic potential, and to discuss why the surveillance and control measures over animal TSEs should remain in force. Key Findings and Conclusions. We still have incomplete knowledge of prions and prion diseases. Scrapie has been present for a very long time and controlled with varied success. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE emerged unnoticed, and spread within a few years to epidemic proportions, entailing enormous economic consequences and public concerns. Currently, the classical BSE epidemic is under control, but atypical cases do, and probably will, persist in bovine populations. The Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD of the cervids has been spreading in North America and has recently been detected in Europe. Preventive measures for the control of classical BSE remain in force, including the feed ban and removal of specified risk materials. However, active BSE surveillance has considerably decreased. In the absence of such preventive and control measures, atypical BSE cases in healthy slaughtered bovines might persist in the human food chain, and BSE prions might resurface. Moreover, other prion strains might emerge and spread undetected if the appropriate preventive and surveillance measures were to cease, leaving behind inestimable consequences.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Inactivation of prion infectivity by ionizing rays

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2007-01-01

    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

  18. Secretin receptor involvement in prion-infected cells and animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimura, Tomohiro; Nishizawa, Keiko; Oguma, Ayumi; Nishimura, Yuki; Sakasegawa, Yuji; Teruya, Kenta; Nishijima, Ichiko; Doh-ura, Katsumi

    2015-07-08

    The cellular mechanisms behind prion biosynthesis and metabolism remain unclear. Here we show that secretin signaling via the secretin receptor regulates abnormal prion protein formation in prion-infected cells. Animal studies demonstrate that secretin receptor deficiency slightly, but significantly, prolongs incubation time in female but not male mice. This gender-specificity is consistent with our finding that prion-infected cells are derived from females. Therefore, our results provide initial insights into the reasons why age of disease onset in certain prion diseases is reported to occur slightly earlier in females than males. Copyright © 2015 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Classical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy by Transmission of H-Type Prion in Homologous Prion Protein Context

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Experimental Models of Inherited PrP Prion Diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watts, Joel C; Prusiner, Stanley B

    2017-11-01

    The inherited prion protein (PrP) prion disorders, which include familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker disease, and fatal familial insomnia, constitute ∼10%-15% of all PrP prion disease cases in humans. Attempts to generate animal models of these disorders using transgenic mice expressing mutant PrP have produced variable results. Although many lines of mice develop spontaneous signs of neurological illness with accompanying prion disease-specific neuropathological changes, others do not. Furthermore, demonstrating the presence of protease-resistant PrP species and prion infectivity-two of the hallmarks of the PrP prion disorders-in the brains of spontaneously sick mice has proven particularly challenging. Here, we review the progress that has been made toward developing accurate mouse models of the inherited PrP prion disorders. Copyright © 2017 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.

  3. Prognostic role of ‘prion-like propagation’ in SOD1-linked familial ALS: an alternative view

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keizo eSugaya

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available ‘Prion-like propagation’ has recently been proposed for disease spread in Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1-linked familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. Pathological SOD1 conformers are presumed to propagate via cell-to-cell transmission. In this model, the risk-based kinetics of neuronal cell loss over time appears to be represented by a sigmoidal function that reflects the kinetics of intercellular transmission. Here, we describe an alternative view of prion-like propagation in SOD1-linked ALS−its relation to disease prognosis under the protective-aggregation hypothesis. Nucleation-dependent polymerization has been widely accepted as the molecular mechanism of prion propagation. If toxic species of misfolded SOD1, as soluble oligomers, are formed as on-pathway intermediates of nucleation-dependent polymerization, further fibril extension via sequential addition of monomeric mutant SOD1 would be protective against neurodegeneration. This is because the concentration of unfolded mutant SOD1 monomers, which serve as precursor of nucleation and toxic species of mutant SOD1, would decline in proportion to the extent of aggregation. The nucleation process requires that native conformers exist in an unfolded state that may result from escaping the cellular protein quality control machinery. However, prion-like propagation−SOD1 aggregated form self-propagates by imposing its altered conformation on normal SOD1−appears to antagonize the protective role of aggregate growth. The cross-seeding reaction with normal SOD1 would lead to a failure to reduce the concentration of unfolded mutant SOD1 monomers, resulting in continuous nucleation and subsequent generation of toxic species, and influence disease prognosis. In this alternative view, the kinetics of neuronal loss appears to be represented by an exponential function, with decreasing risk reflecting the protective role of aggregate and the potential for cross-seeding reactions between

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel E Saunders

    2011-04-01

    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.

  6. Lesion of the Olfactory Epithelium Accelerates Prion Neuroinvasion and Disease Onset when Prion Replication Is Restricted to Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowell, Jenna; Wiley, James A.; Bessen, Richard A.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25822718

  7. Treatment with a non-toxic, self-replicating anti-prion delays or prevents prion disease in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz-Espinoza, R; Morales, R; Concha-Marambio, L; Moreno-Gonzalez, I; Moda, F; Soto, C

    2018-03-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are fatal neurological disorders caused by prions, which are composed of a misfolded protein (PrP Sc ) that self-propagates in the brain of infected individuals by converting the normal prion protein (PrP C ) into the pathological isoform. Here, we report a novel experimental strategy for preventing prion disease based on producing a self-replicating, but innocuous PrP Sc -like form, termed anti-prion, which can compete with the replication of pathogenic prions. Our results show that a prophylactic inoculation of prion-infected animals with an anti-prion delays the onset of the disease and in some animals completely prevents the development of clinical symptoms and brain damage. The data indicate that a single injection of the anti-prion eliminated ~99% of the infectivity associated to pathogenic prions. Furthermore, this treatment caused significant changes in the profile of regional PrP Sc deposition in the brains of animals that were treated, but still succumbed to the disease. Our findings provide new insights for a mechanistic understanding of prion replication and support the concept that prion replication can be separated from toxicity, providing a novel target for therapeutic intervention.

  8. The role of Metals in Amyloid Aggregation: A Test Case for ab initio Simulations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2007-01-01

    First principle ab initio molecular dynamics simulations of the Car-Parrinello type have proved to be of invaluable help in understanding the microscopic mechanisms of chemical bonding both in solid state physics and in structural biophysics. In this work we present as test cases the study of the Cu coordination mode in two especially important examples: Prion protein and β-amyloids. Using medium size PC-clusters as well as larger parallel platforms, we are able to deal with systems comprising 300 to 500 atoms and 1000 to 1500 electrons for as long as 2-3 ps. We present structural results which confirm indications coming from NMR and XAS data

  9. Dodecylphosphocholine Micelles Induce Amyloid Formation of the PrP(110-136 Peptide via an α-Helical Metastable Conformation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Sauvé

    Full Text Available A peptide encompassing the conserved hydrophobic region and the first β-strand of the prion protein (PrP(110-136 shown to interact with the surface of dodecylphosphocholine micelles adopts an α-helical conformation that is localized below the head-group layer. This surface-bound peptide has a half-life of one day, and readily initiates the formation of amyloid fibrils. The presence of the latter was confirmed using birefringence microscopy upon Congo red binding and thioflavin T-binding induced fluorescence. The observation of this metastable α-helical conformer provides a unique snapshot of the early steps of the inter-conversion pathway. These findings together with the body of evidence from the prion literature allowed us to propose a mechanism for the conversion of PrPC to amyloid material.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leske, Henning; Hornemann, Simone; Herrmann, Uli Simon; Zhu, Caihong; Dametto, Paolo; Li, Bei; Laferriere, Florent; Polymenidou, Magdalini; Pelczar, Pawel; Reimann, Regina Rose; 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.

  11. 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...

  12. Shear-Induced Amyloid Formation in the Brain: I. Potential Vascular and Parenchymal Processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trumbore, Conrad N

    2016-09-06

    Shear distortion of amyloid-beta (Aβ) solutions accelerates amyloid cascade reactions that may yield different toxic oligomers than those formed in quiescent solutions. Recent experiments indicate that cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and interstitial fluid (ISF) containing Aβ flow through narrow brain perivascular pathways and brain parenchyma. This paper suggests that such flow causes shear distortion of Aβ molecules involving conformation changes that may be one of the initiating events in the etiology of Alzheimer's disease. Aβ shearing can occur in or around brain arteries and arterioles and is suggested as the origin of cerebral amyloid angiopathy deposits in cerebrovascular walls. Comparatively low flow rates of ISF within the narrow extracellular spaces (ECS) of the brain parenchyma are suggested as a possible initiating factor in both the formation of neurotoxic Aβ42 oligomers and amyloid fibrils. Aβ42 in slow-flowing ISF can gain significant shear energy at or near the walls of tortuous brain ECS flow paths, promoting the formation of a shear-distorted, excited state hydrophobic Aβ42* conformation. This Aβ42* molecule could possibly be involved in one of two paths, one involving rapid adsorption to a brain membrane surface, ultimately forming neurotoxic oligomers on membranes, and the other ultimately forming plaque within the ECS flow pathways. Rising Aβ concentrations combined with shear at or near critical brain membranes are proposed as contributing factors to Alzheimer's disease neurotoxicity. These hypotheses may be applicable in other neurodegenerative diseases, including tauopathies and alpha-synucleinopathies, in which shear-distorted proteins also may form in the brain ECS.

  13. 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.

  14. 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. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. Tau Oligomers as Pathogenic Seeds: Preparation and Propagation In Vitro and In Vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerson, Julia E; Sengupta, Urmi; Kayed, Rakez

    2017-01-01

    Tau oligomers have been shown to be the main toxic tau species in a number of neurodegenerative disorders. In order to study tau oligomers both in vitro and in vivo, we have established methods for the reliable preparation, isolation, and detection of tau oligomers. Methods for the seeding of tau oligomers, isolation of tau oligomers from tissue, and detection of tau oligomers using tau oligomer-specific antibodies by biochemical and immunohistochemical methods are detailed below.

  17. Glypican-1 mediates both prion protein lipid raft association and disease isoform formation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David R Taylor

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available In prion diseases, the cellular form of the prion protein, PrP(C, undergoes a conformational conversion to the infectious isoform, PrP(Sc. PrP(C associates with lipid rafts through its glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol (GPI anchor and a region in its N-terminal domain which also binds to heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs. We show that heparin displaces PrP(C from rafts and promotes its endocytosis, suggesting that heparin competes with an endogenous raft-resident HSPG for binding to PrP(C. We then utilised a transmembrane-anchored form of PrP (PrP-TM, which is targeted to rafts solely by its N-terminal domain, to show that both heparin and phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C can inhibit its association with detergent-resistant rafts, implying that a GPI-anchored HSPG targets PrP(C to rafts. Depletion of the major neuronal GPI-anchored HSPG, glypican-1, significantly reduced the raft association of PrP-TM and displaced PrP(C from rafts, promoting its endocytosis. Glypican-1 and PrP(C colocalised on the cell surface and both PrP(C and PrP(Sc co-immunoprecipitated with glypican-1. Critically, treatment of scrapie-infected N2a cells with glypican-1 siRNA significantly reduced PrP(Sc formation. In contrast, depletion of glypican-1 did not alter the inhibitory effect of PrP(C on the beta-secretase cleavage of the Alzheimer's amyloid precursor protein. These data indicate that glypican-1 is a novel cellular cofactor for prion conversion and we propose that it acts as a scaffold facilitating the interaction of PrP(C and PrP(Sc in lipid rafts.

  18. A closer look at prion strains: characterization and important implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solforosi, Laura; Milani, Michela; Mancini, Nicasio; Clementi, Massimo; Burioni, Roberto

    2013-01-01

    Prions are infectious proteins that are responsible for transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) and consist primarily of scrapie prion protein (PrP (Sc) ), a pathogenic isoform of the host-encoded cellular prion protein (PrP (C) ). The absence of nucleic acids as essential components of the infectious prions is the most striking feature associated to these diseases. Additionally, different prion strains have been isolated from animal diseases despite the lack of DNA or RNA molecules. Mounting evidence suggests that prion-strain-specific features segregate with different PrP (Sc) conformational and aggregation states. Strains are of practical relevance in prion diseases as they can drastically differ in many aspects, such as incubation period, PrP (Sc) biochemical profile (e.g., electrophoretic mobility and glycoform ratio) and distribution of brain lesions. Importantly, such different features are maintained after inoculation of a prion strain into genetically identical hosts and are relatively stable across serial passages. This review focuses on the characterization of prion strains and on the wide range of important implications that the study of prion strains involves.

  19. Self-assembly of aniline oligomers

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Zhao, Y.; Tomšík, Elena; Wang, J.; Morávková, Zuzana; Zhigunov, Alexander; Stejskal, Jaroslav; Trchová, Miroslava

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 8, č. 1 (2013), s. 129-137 ISSN 1861-4728 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA202/09/1626; GA ČR GAP205/12/0911 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40500505 Institutional support: RVO:61389013 Keywords : morphology * oligoaniline * oligomers Subject RIV: CD - Macromolecular Chemistry Impact factor: 3.935, year: 2013

  20. Photopolymerizable silicone monomers, oligomers, and resins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jacobine, A.F.; Nakos, S.T.

    1992-01-01

    The purpose of this chapter is to acquaint the general photopolymer researcher with the historical development of the chemistry and technology of photopolymerizable silicone monomers, fluids, and resins. The current status of research in these areas is assessed. The focus of this chapter is not only on the polymer chemistry and application of this technology, but also on important aspects of the synthetic chemistry involved in the preparation of UV-curable silicone monomers, oligomers, and resins. 236 refs., 6 tabs

  1. Efficient prion disease transmission through common environmental materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pritzkow, Sandra; Morales, Rodrigo; Lyon, Adam; Concha-Marambio, Luis; Urayama, Akihiko; Soto, Claudio

    2018-03-02

    Prion diseases are a group of fatal neurodegenerative diseases associated with a protein-based infectious agent, termed prion. Compelling evidence suggests that natural transmission of prion diseases is mediated by environmental contamination with infectious prions. We hypothesized that several natural and man-made materials, commonly found in the environments of wild and captive animals, can bind prions and may act as vectors for disease transmission. To test our hypothesis, we exposed surfaces composed of various common environmental materials ( i.e. wood, rocks, plastic, glass, cement, stainless steel, aluminum, and brass) to hamster-adapted 263K scrapie prions and studied their attachment and retention of infectivity in vitro and in vivo Our results indicated that these surfaces, with the sole exception of brass, efficiently bind, retain, and release prions. Prion replication was studied in vitro using the protein misfolding cyclic amplification technology, and infectivity of surface-bound prions was analyzed by intracerebrally challenging hamsters with contaminated implants. Our results revealed that virtually all prion-contaminated materials transmitted the disease at high rates. To investigate a more natural form of exposure to environmental contamination, we simply housed animals with large contaminated spheres made of the different materials under study. Strikingly, most of the hamsters developed classical clinical signs of prion disease and typical disease-associated brain changes. Our findings suggest that prion contamination of surfaces commonly present in the environment can be a source of disease transmission, thus expanding our understanding of the mechanisms for prion spreading in nature. © 2018 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Prion protein β2–α2 loop conformational landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldarulo, Enrico; Wüthrich, Kurt; Parrinello, Michele

    2017-01-01

    In transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), which are lethal neurodegenerative diseases that affect humans and a wide range of other mammalian species, the normal “cellular” prion protein (PrPC) is transformed into amyloid aggregates representing the “scrapie form” of the protein (PrPSc). Continued research on this system is of keen interest, since new information on the physiological function of PrPC in healthy organisms is emerging, as well as new data on the mechanism of the transformation of PrPC to PrPSc. In this paper we used two different approaches: a combination of the well-tempered ensemble (WTE) and parallel tempering (PT) schemes and metadynamics (MetaD) to characterize the conformational free-energy surface of PrPC. The focus of the data analysis was on an 11-residue polypeptide segment in mouse PrPC(121–231) that includes the β2–α2 loop of residues 167–170, for which a correlation between structure and susceptibility to prion disease has previously been described. This study includes wild-type mouse PrPC and a variant with the single-residue replacement Y169A. The resulting detailed conformational landscapes complement in an integrative manner the available experimental data on PrPC, providing quantitative insights into the nature of the structural transition-related function of the β2–α2 loop. PMID:28827331

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-09-28

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo Diaz-Espinoza

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

  7. Macroautophagy-generated increase of lysosomal amyloid β-protein mediates oxidant-induced apoptosis of cultured neuroblastoma cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zheng, Lin; Terman, Alexei; Hallbeck, Martin

    2011-01-01

    and accumulation of Aβ within lysosomes, induced apoptosis in differentiated SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells. Cells under hyperoxia showed: (1) increased numbers of autophagic vacuoles that contained amyloid precursor protein (APP) as well as Aβ monomers and oligomers, (2) increased reactive oxygen species production...... and resulting lysosomal Aβ accumulation are essential for oxidant-induced apoptosis in cultured neuroblastoma cells and provide additional support for the interactive role of oxidative stress and the lysosomal system in AD-related neurodegeneration....

  8. The structural core of prion disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boshuizen, R.S.

    2010-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) or prion diseases are serious neurological ailments, in which the brain tissue deteriorates by progressive loss of brain cells which results in the loss of a wide variety of brain functions, including memory, speech and locomotion. Similar conditions

  9. Chronic wasting disease: Bambi vs. the prion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) was first described in Colorado in 1967 and subsequently recognized as a prion disease in 1980. CWD has a long and asymptomatic incubation period (> 1 year) followed by a short disease course that ends in the death of the animal. There is no known treatment or cure for ...

  10. Prions: Protein Rebels with a Cause!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Karen E.; Serpell, Louise C.

    2017-01-01

    Traditionally we consider infection to arise from viruses, bacteria and parasites. Prions are infectious proteins without any nucleic acids, and therefore do not represent living things. Despite this, they have the ability to replicate themselves and cause diseases such as mad cow disease (bovine spongiform encepthalopathy) and human…

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. The expanding universe of prion diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watts, Joel C; Balachandran, Aru; Westaway, David

    2006-03-01

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. Automated solid-state NMR resonance assignment of protein microcrystals and amyloids

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schmidt, Elena [Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Center for Biomolecular Magnetic Resonance, Institute of Biophysical Chemistry (Germany); Gath, Julia [ETH Zurich, Physical Chemistry (Switzerland); Habenstein, Birgit [UMR 5086 CNRS/Universite de Lyon 1, Institut de Biologie et Chimie des Proteines (France); Ravotti, Francesco; Szekely, Kathrin; Huber, Matthias [ETH Zurich, Physical Chemistry (Switzerland); Buchner, Lena [Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Center for Biomolecular Magnetic Resonance, Institute of Biophysical Chemistry (Germany); Boeckmann, Anja, E-mail: a.bockmann@ibcp.fr [UMR 5086 CNRS/Universite de Lyon 1, Institut de Biologie et Chimie des Proteines (France); Meier, Beat H., E-mail: beme@ethz.ch [ETH Zurich, Physical Chemistry (Switzerland); Guentert, Peter, E-mail: guentert@em.uni-frankfurt.de [Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Center for Biomolecular Magnetic Resonance, Institute of Biophysical Chemistry (Germany)

    2013-07-15

    Solid-state NMR is an emerging structure determination technique for crystalline and non-crystalline protein assemblies, e.g., amyloids. Resonance assignment constitutes the first and often very time-consuming step to a structure. We present ssFLYA, a generally applicable algorithm for automatic assignment of protein solid-state NMR spectra. Application to microcrystals of ubiquitin and the Ure2 prion C-terminal domain, as well as amyloids of HET-s(218-289) and {alpha}-synuclein yielded 88-97 % correctness for the backbone and side-chain assignments that are classified as self-consistent by the algorithm, and 77-90 % correctness if also assignments classified as tentative by the algorithm are included.

  16. Automated solid-state NMR resonance assignment of protein microcrystals and amyloids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schmidt, Elena; Gath, Julia; Habenstein, Birgit; Ravotti, Francesco; Székely, Kathrin; Huber, Matthias; Buchner, Lena; Böckmann, Anja; Meier, Beat H.; Güntert, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Solid-state NMR is an emerging structure determination technique for crystalline and non-crystalline protein assemblies, e.g., amyloids. Resonance assignment constitutes the first and often very time-consuming step to a structure. We present ssFLYA, a generally applicable algorithm for automatic assignment of protein solid-state NMR spectra. Application to microcrystals of ubiquitin and the Ure2 prion C-terminal domain, as well as amyloids of HET-s(218–289) and α-synuclein yielded 88–97 % correctness for the backbone and side-chain assignments that are classified as self-consistent by the algorithm, and 77–90 % correctness if also assignments classified as tentative by the algorithm are included

  17. Guinea Pig Prion Protein Supports Rapid Propagation of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy and Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watts, Joel C; Giles, Kurt; Saltzberg, Daniel J; Dugger, Brittany N; Patel, Smita; Oehler, Abby; Bhardwaj, Sumita; Sali, Andrej; Prusiner, Stanley B

    2016-11-01

    The biochemical and neuropathological properties of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) prions are faithfully maintained upon transmission to guinea pigs. However, primary and secondary transmissions of BSE and vCJD in guinea pigs result in long incubation periods of ∼450 and ∼350 days, respectively. To determine if the incubation periods of BSE and vCJD prions could be shortened, we generated transgenic (Tg) mice expressing guinea pig prion protein (GPPrP). Inoculation of Tg(GPPrP) mice with BSE and vCJD prions resulted in mean incubation periods of 210 and 199 days, respectively, which shortened to 137 and 122 days upon serial transmission. In contrast, three different isolates of sporadic CJD prions failed to transmit disease to Tg(GPPrP) mice. Many of the strain-specified biochemical and neuropathological properties of BSE and vCJD prions, including the presence of type 2 protease-resistant PrP Sc , were preserved upon propagation in Tg(GPPrP) mice. Structural modeling revealed that two residues near the N-terminal region of α-helix 1 in GPPrP might mediate its susceptibility to BSE and vCJD prions. Our results demonstrate that expression of GPPrP in Tg mice supports the rapid propagation of BSE and vCJD prions and suggest that Tg(GPPrP) mice may serve as a useful paradigm for bioassaying these prion isolates. Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) prions are two of the prion strains most relevant to human health. However, propagating these strains in mice expressing human or bovine prion protein has been difficult because of prolonged incubation periods or inefficient transmission. Here, we show that transgenic mice expressing guinea pig prion protein are fully susceptible to vCJD and BSE prions but not to sporadic CJD prions. Our results suggest that the guinea pig prion protein is a better, more rapid substrate than either bovine or human prion protein for

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Saccharomyces cerevisiae: a sexy yeast with a prion problem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Amy C; Wickner, Reed B

    2013-01-01

    Yeast prions are infectious proteins that spread exclusively by mating. The frequency of prions in the wild therefore largely reflects the rate of spread by mating counterbalanced by prion growth slowing effects in the host. We recently showed that the frequency of outcross mating is about 1% of mitotic doublings with 23-46% of total matings being outcrosses. These findings imply that even the mildest forms of the [PSI+], [URE3] and [PIN+] prions impart > 1% growth/survival detriment on their hosts. Our estimate of outcrossing suggests that Saccharomyces cerevisiae is far more sexual than previously thought and would therefore be more responsive to the adaptive effects of natural selection compared with a strictly asexual yeast. Further, given its large effective population size, a growth/survival detriment of > 1% for yeast prions should strongly select against prion-infected strains in wild populations of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

  2. Bioinformatic Analysis of Deleterious Non-Synonymous Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (nsSNPs in the Coding Regions of Human Prion Protein Gene (PRNP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kourosh Bamdad

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Background & Objective: Single nucleotide polymorphisms are the cause of genetic variation to living organisms. Single nucleotide polymorphisms alter residues in the protein sequence. In this investigation, the relationship between prion protein gene polymorphisms and its relevance to pathogenicity was studied. Material & Method: Amino acid sequence of the main isoform from the human prion protein gene (PRNP was extracted from UniProt database and evaluated by FoldAmyloid and AmylPred servers. All non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (nsSNPs from SNP database (dbSNP were further analyzed by bioinformatics servers including SIFT, PolyPhen-2, I-Mutant-3.0, PANTHER, SNPs & GO, PHD-SNP, Meta-SNP, and MutPred to determine the most damaging nsSNPs. Results: The results of the first structure analyses by FoldAmyloid and AmylPerd servers implied that regions including 5-15, 174-178, 180-184, 211-217, and 240-252 were the most sensitive parts of the protein sequence to amyloidosis. Screening all nsSNPs of the main protein isoform using bioinformatic servers revealed that substitution of Aspartic acid with Valine at position 178 (ID code: rs11538766 was the most deleterious nsSNP in the protein structure. Conclusion:  Substitution of the Aspartic acid with Valine at position 178 (D178V was the most pathogenic mutation in the human prion protein gene. Analyses from the MutPred server also showed that beta-sheets’ increment in the secondary structure was the main reason behind the molecular mechanism of the prion protein aggregation.

  3. The Effect of Milk Constituents and Crowding Agents on Amyloid Fibril Formation by κ-Casein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jihua; Dehle, Francis C; Liu, Yanqin; Bahraminejad, Elmira; Ecroyd, Heath; Thorn, David C; Carver, John A

    2016-02-17

    When not incorporated into the casein micelle, κ-casein, a major milk protein, rapidly forms amyloid fibrils at physiological pH and temperature. In this study, the effects of milk components (calcium, lactose, lipids, and heparan sulfate) and crowding agents on reduced and carboxymethylated (RCM) κ-casein fibril formation was investigated using far-UV circular dichroism spectroscopy, thioflavin T binding assays, and transmission electron microscopy. Longer-chain phosphatidylcholine lipids, which form the lining of milk ducts and milk fat globules, enhanced RCM κ-casein fibril formation irrespective of whether the lipids were in a monomeric or micellar state, whereas shorter-chain phospholipids and triglycerides had little effect. Heparan sulfate, a component of the milk fat globule membrane and catalyst of amyloid deposition in extracellular tissue, had little effect on the kinetics of RCM κ-casein fibril formation. Major nutritional components such as calcium and lactose also had no significant effect. Macromolecular crowding enhances protein-protein interactions, but in contrast to other fibril-forming species, the extent of RCM κ-casein fibril formation was reduced by the presence of a variety of crowding agents. These data are consistent with a mechanism of κ-casein fibril formation in which the rate-determining step is dissociation from the oligomer to give the highly amyloidogenic monomer. We conclude that the interaction of κ-casein with membrane-associated phospholipids along its secretory pathway may contribute to the development of amyloid deposits in mammary tissue. However, the formation of spherical oligomers such as casein micelles is favored over amyloid fibrils in the crowded environment of milk, within which the occurrence of amyloid fibrils is low.

  4. Pigments and oligomers for inks - moving towards the best combination

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hutchinson, I.; Smith, S.; Grierson, W.; Devine, E.

    1999-01-01

    The formulation of UV curable printing inks depends on several complex factors. If the individual components of the ink are not complementary, then performance problems can arise. One critical combination is that between the pigment and the oligomer. In a new approach to improve understanding of pigment/oligomer interactions, the resources of a pigment manufacturer and an oligomer manufacturer have been combined to investigate the problem. Initial screening of process yellow pigments and several oligomer types highlighted performance variations which were then examined in more detail

  5. Anti-prion activity of Brilliant Blue G.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoshifumi Iwamaru

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

  6. Diabetes Drug Discovery: hIAPP1–37 Polymorphic Amyloid Structures as Novel Therapeutic Targets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isaac Fernández-Gómez

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Human islet amyloid peptide (hIAPP1–37 aggregation is an early step in Diabetes Mellitus. We aimed to evaluate a family of pharmaco-chaperones to act as modulators that provide dynamic interventions and the multi-target capacity (native state, cytotoxic oligomers, protofilaments and fibrils of hIAPP1–37 required to meet the treatment challenges of diabetes. We used a cross-functional approach that combines in silico and in vitro biochemical and biophysical methods to study the hIAPP1–37 aggregation-oligomerization process as to reveal novel potential anti-diabetic drugs. The family of pharmaco-chaperones are modulators of the oligomerization and fibre formation of hIAPP1–37. When they interact with the amino acid in the amyloid-like steric zipper zone, they inhibit and/or delay the aggregation-oligomerization pathway by binding and stabilizing several amyloid structures of hIAPP1–37. Moreover, they can protect cerebellar granule cells (CGC from the cytotoxicity produced by the hIAPP1–37 oligomers. The modulation of proteostasis by the family of pharmaco-chaperones A–F is a promising potential approach to limit the onset and progression of diabetes and its comorbidities.

  7. Diabetes Drug Discovery: hIAPP1-37 Polymorphic Amyloid Structures as Novel Therapeutic Targets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Gómez, Isaac; Sablón-Carrazana, Marquiza; Bencomo-Martínez, Alberto; Domínguez, Guadalupe; Lara-Martínez, Reyna; Altamirano-Bustamante, Nelly F; Jiménez-García, Luis Felipe; Pasten-Hidalgo, Karina; Castillo-Rodríguez, Rosa Angélica; Altamirano, Perla; Marrero, Suchitil Rivera; Revilla-Monsalve, Cristina; Valdés-Sosa, Peter; Salamanca-Gómez, Fabio; Garrido-Magaña, Eulalia; Rodríguez-Tanty, Chryslaine; Altamirano-Bustamante, Myriam M

    2018-03-19

    Human islet amyloid peptide (hIAPP 1-37 ) aggregation is an early step in Diabetes Mellitus. We aimed to evaluate a family of pharmaco-chaperones to act as modulators that provide dynamic interventions and the multi-target capacity (native state, cytotoxic oligomers, protofilaments and fibrils of hIAPP 1-37 ) required to meet the treatment challenges of diabetes. We used a cross-functional approach that combines in silico and in vitro biochemical and biophysical methods to study the hIAPP 1-37 aggregation-oligomerization process as to reveal novel potential anti-diabetic drugs. The family of pharmaco-chaperones are modulators of the oligomerization and fibre formation of hIAPP 1-37 . When they interact with the amino acid in the amyloid-like steric zipper zone, they inhibit and/or delay the aggregation-oligomerization pathway by binding and stabilizing several amyloid structures of hIAPP 1-37 . Moreover, they can protect cerebellar granule cells (CGC) from the cytotoxicity produced by the hIAPP 1-37 oligomers. The modulation of proteostasis by the family of pharmaco-chaperones A - F is a promising potential approach to limit the onset and progression of diabetes and its comorbidities.

  8. Structural characterization of POM6 Fab and mouse prion protein complex identifies key regions for prions conformational conversion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baral, Pravas Kumar; Swayampakula, Mridula; Aguzzi, Adriano; James, Michael N G

    2018-05-01

    Conversion of the cellular prion protein PrP C into its pathogenic isoform PrP S c is the hallmark of prion diseases, fatal neurodegenerative diseases affecting many mammalian species including humans. Anti-prion monoclonal antibodies can arrest the progression of prion diseases by stabilizing the cellular form of the prion protein. Here, we present the crystal structure of the POM6 Fab fragment, in complex with the mouse prion protein (moPrP). The prion epitope of POM6 is in close proximity to the epitope recognized by the purportedly toxic antibody fragment, POM1 Fab also complexed with moPrP. The POM6 Fab recognizes a larger binding interface indicating a likely stronger binding compared to POM1. POM6 and POM1 exhibit distinct biological responses. Structural comparisons of the bound mouse prion proteins from the POM6 Fab:moPrP and POM1 Fab:moPrP complexes reveal several key regions of the prion protein that might be involved in initiating mis-folding events. The structural data of moPrP:POM6 Fab complex are available in the PDB under the accession number www.rcsb.org/pdb/search/structidSearch.do?structureId=6AQ7. © 2018 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

  9. The celecoxib derivatives AR-12 and AR-14 induce autophagy and clear prion-infected cells from prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdulrahman, Basant A; Abdelaziz, Dalia; Thapa, Simrika; Lu, Li; Jain, Shubha; Gilch, Sabine; Proniuk, Stefan; Zukiwski, Alexander; Schatzl, Hermann M

    2017-12-14

    Prion diseases are fatal infectious neurodegenerative disorders that affect both humans and animals. The autocatalytic conversion of the cellular prion protein (PrP C ) into the pathologic isoform PrP Sc is a key feature in prion pathogenesis. AR-12 is an IND-approved derivative of celecoxib that demonstrated preclinical activity against several microbial diseases. Recently, AR-12 has been shown to facilitate clearance of misfolded proteins. The latter proposes AR-12 to be a potential therapeutic agent for neurodegenerative disorders. In this study, we investigated the role of AR-12 and its derivatives in controlling prion infection. We tested AR-12 in prion infected neuronal and non-neuronal cell lines. Immunoblotting and confocal microscopy results showed that AR-12 and its analogue AR-14 reduced PrP Sc levels after only 72 hours of treatment. Furthermore, infected cells were cured of PrP Sc after exposure of AR-12 or AR-14 for only two weeks. We partially attribute the influence of the AR compounds on prion propagation to autophagy stimulation, in line with our previous findings that drug-induced stimulation of autophagy has anti-prion effects in vitro and in vivo. Taken together, this study demonstrates that AR-12 and the AR-14 analogue are potential new therapeutic agents for prion diseases and possibly protein misfolding disorders involving prion-like mechanisms.

  10. Complex folding and misfolding effects of deer-specific amino acid substitutions in the β2-α2 loop of murine prion protein

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agarwal, Sonya; Döring, Kristina; Gierusz, Leszek A.; Iyer, Pooja; Lane, Fiona M.; Graham, James F.; Goldmann, Wilfred; Pinheiro, Teresa J. T.; Gill, Andrew C.

    2015-10-01

    The β2-α2 loop of PrPC is a key modulator of disease-associated prion protein misfolding. Amino acids that differentiate mouse (Ser169, Asn173) and deer (Asn169, Thr173) PrPC appear to confer dramatically different structural properties in this region and it has been suggested that amino acid sequences associated with structural rigidity of the loop also confer susceptibility to prion disease. Using mouse recombinant PrP, we show that mutating residue 173 from Asn to Thr alters protein stability and misfolding only subtly, whilst changing Ser to Asn at codon 169 causes instability in the protein, promotes oligomer formation and dramatically potentiates fibril formation. The doubly mutated protein exhibits more complex folding and misfolding behaviour than either single mutant, suggestive of differential effects of the β2-α2 loop sequence on both protein stability and on specific misfolding pathways. Molecular dynamics simulation of protein structure suggests a key role for the solvent accessibility of Tyr168 in promoting molecular interactions that may lead to prion protein misfolding. Thus, we conclude that ‘rigidity’ in the β2-α2 loop region of the normal conformer of PrP has less effect on misfolding than other sequence-related effects in this region.

  11. Involvement of Endogenous Retroviruses in Prion Diseases

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    Yong-Sun Kim

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available For millions of years, vertebrates have been continuously exposed to infection by retroviruses. Ancient retroviral infection of germline cells resulted in the formation and accumulation of inherited retrovirus sequences in host genomes. These inherited retroviruses are referred to as endogenous retroviruses (ERVs, and recent estimates have revealed that a significant portion of animal genomes is made up of ERVs. Although various host factors have suppressed ERV activation, both positive and negative functions have been reported for some ERVs in normal and abnormal physiological conditions, such as in disease states. Similar to other complex diseases, ERV activation has been observed in prion diseases, and this review will discuss the potential involvement of ERVs in prion diseases.

  12. Methods and Protocols for Developing Prion Vaccines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marciniuk, Kristen; Taschuk, Ryan; Napper, Scott

    2016-01-01

    Prion diseases denote a distinct form of infectivity that is based in the misfolding of a self-protein (PrP(C)) into a pathological, infectious conformation (PrP(Sc)). Efforts to develop vaccines for prion diseases have been complicated by the potential dangers that are associated with induction of immune responses against a self-protein. As a consequence, there is considerable appeal for vaccines that specifically target the misfolded prion conformation. Such conformation-specific immunotherapy is made possible through the identification of vaccine targets (epitopes) that are exclusively presented as a consequence of misfolding. An immune response directed against these targets, termed disease-specific epitopes (DSEs), has the potential to spare the function of the native form of the protein while clearing, or neutralizing, the infectious isomer. Although identification of DSEs represents a critical first step in the induction of conformation-specific immune responses, substantial efforts are required to translate these targets into functional vaccines. Due to the poor immunogenicity that is inherent to self-proteins, and that is often associated with short peptides, substantial efforts are required to overcome tolerance-to-self and maximize the resultant immune response following DSE-based immunization. This often includes optimization of target sequences in terms of immunogenicity and development of effective formulation and delivery strategies for the associated peptides. Further, these vaccines must satisfy additional criteria from perspectives of specificity (PrP(C) vs. PrP(Sc)) and safety (antibody-induced template-driven misfolding of PrP(C)). The emphasis of this report is on the steps required to translate DSEs into prion vaccines and subsequent evaluation of the resulting immune responses.

  13. 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.

  14. Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy

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    Mahmut Edip Gürol

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA is characterized by the accumulation of amyloid beta-peptides (Ab in the walls of leptomeningeal arteries, arterioles, and veins. Despite the fact that these pathological changes were first described in 1909, major advancement in our understanding of the clinicoradiological manifestations, neurobiology, and course of CAA has occurred only during the last 30 years. No significant associations have been shown between CAA and other systemic/visceral amyloidoses or vascular risk factors, including hypertension. CAA is well known as the most common cause of spontaneous and anticoagulant-related lobar parenchymal ICH in the elderly. It also causes lobar cerebral microbleeds (CMBs, small dot-like dark susceptibility artifacts visible with gradient recalled echo (GRE-magnetic resonance imaging (MRI. CMBs are important markers of disease severity and predictors of CAA progression. Amyloid angiopathy is also a common cause of ischemic microvascular white matter disease (WMD and deep cerebral infarctions. Such WMD is defined as subcortical and periventricular white matter changes without obvious infarction, as well as a dark appearance on computerized tomography (CT and a bright appearance on fluid attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR-MRI. CAA-related vascular dysfunction, with its hemorrhagic and ischemic complications, is a recognized contributor to vascular cognitive impairment in the elderly, an independent effect that is synergistically increased by Alzheimer pathologies, such as plaques and tangles. A set of clinicoradiological criteria was established for the accurate diagnosis of CAA. According to the Boston Criteria, patients aged 55 years and older with multiple hemorrhages (on CT or GRE-MRI restricted to the lobar, cortical, or corticosubcortical regions (cerebellar hemorrhage allowed are diagnosed as probable CAA when no other etiology is found; a single hemorrhage in the same region is classified as possible

  15. Oligomers and Polymers Based on Pentacene Building Blocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehnherr, Dan; Tykwinski, Rik R.

    2010-01-01

    Functionalized pentacene derivatives continue to provide unique materials for organic semiconductor applications. Although oligomers and polymers based on pentacene building blocks remain quite rare, recent synthetic achievements have provided a number of examples with varied structural motifs. This review highlights recent work in this area and, when possible, contrasts the properties of defined-length pentacene oligomers to those of mono- and polymeric systems.

  16. Evidence for a central role of PrP helix 2 in the nucleation of amyloid fibrils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honda, Ryo; Kuwata, Kazuo

    2018-02-01

    Amyloid fibrils are filamentous protein aggregates associated with the pathogenesis of a wide variety of human diseases. The formation of such aggregates typically follows nucleation-dependent kinetics, wherein the assembly and structural conversion of amyloidogenic proteins into oligomeric aggregates (nuclei) is the rate-limiting step of the overall reaction. In this study, we sought to gain structural insights into the oligomeric nuclei of the human prion protein (PrP) by preparing a series of deletion mutants lacking 14-44 of the C-terminal 107 residues of PrP and examined the kinetics and thermodynamics of these mutants in amyloid formation. An analysis of the experimental data using the concepts of the Φ-value analysis indicated that the helix 2 region (residues 168-196) acquires an amyloid-like β-sheet during nucleation, whereas the other regions preserves a relatively disordered structure in the nuclei. This finding suggests that the helix 2 region serves as the nucleation site for the assembly of amyloid fibrils.-Honda, R., Kuwata, K. Evidence for a central role of PrP helix 2 in the nucleation of amyloid fibrils.

  17. Fibrils from designed non-amyloid-related synthetic peptides induce AA-amyloidosis during inflammation in an animal model.

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    Per Westermark

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Mouse AA-amyloidosis is a transmissible disease by a prion-like mechanism where amyloid fibrils act by seeding. Synthetic peptides with no amyloid relationship can assemble into amyloid-like fibrils and these may have seeding capacity for amyloid proteins. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Several synthetic peptides, designed for nanotechnology, have been examined for their ability to produce fibrils with Congo red affinity and concomitant green birefringence, affinity for thioflavin S and to accelerate AA-amyloidosis in mice. It is shown that some amphiphilic fibril-forming peptides not only produced Congo red birefringence and showed affinity for thioflavin S, but they also shortened the lag phase for systemic AA-amyloidosis in mice when they were given intravenously at the time of inflammatory induction with silver nitride. Peptides, not forming amyloid-like fibrils, did not have such properties. CONCLUSIONS: These observations should caution researchers and those who work with synthetic peptides and their derivatives to be aware of the potential health concerns.

  18. Molecular Origin of Gerstmann-Str ussler-Scheinker Syndrome: Insight from Computer Simulation of an Amyloidogenic Prion Peptide

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Diadone, Isabella [University of L' Aquila, L' Aquila, Italy; DiNola, Alfredo [University of Rome; Smith, Jeremy C [ORNL

    2011-01-01

    Prion proteins become pathogenic through misfolding. Here, we characterize the folding of a peptide consisting of residues 109 122 of the Syrian hamster prion protein (the H1 peptide) and of a more amyloidogenic A117V point mutant that leads in humans to an inheritable form of the Gerstmann-Straeussler-Scheinker syndrome. Atomistic molecular dynamics simulations are performed for 2.5 s. Both peptides lose their -helical starting conformations and assume a -hairpin that is structurally similar in both systems. In each simulation several unfolding/refolding events occur, leading to convergence of the thermodynamics of the conformational states to within 1 kJ/mol. The similar stability of the -hairpin relative to the unfolded state is observed in the two peptides. However, substantial differences are found between the two unfolded states. A local minimum is found within the free energy unfolded basin of the A117V mutant populated by misfolded collapsed conformations of comparable stability to the -hairpin state, consistent with increased amyloidogenicity. This population, in which V117 stabilizes a hydrophobic core, is absent in the wild-type peptide. These results are supported by simulations of oligomers showing a slightly higher stability of the associated structures and a lower barrier to association for the mutated peptide. Hence, a single point mutation carrying only two additional methyl groups is here shown to be responsible for rather dramatic differences of structuring within the unfolded (misfolded) state.

  19. 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.

  20. Single-Molecule Fluorescence Reveals the Oligomerization and Folding Steps Driving the Prion-like Behavior of ASC.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gambin, Yann; Giles, Nichole; O'Carroll, Ailís; Polinkovsky, Mark; Hunter, Dominic; Sierecki, Emma

    2018-02-16

    Single-molecule fluorescence has the unique ability to quantify small oligomers and track conformational changes at a single-protein level. Here we tackled one of the most extreme protein behaviors, found recently in an inflammation pathway. Upon danger recognition in the cytosol, NLRP3 recruits its signaling adaptor, ASC. ASC start polymerizing in a prion-like manner and the system goes in "overdrive" by producing a single micron-sized "speck." By precisely controlling protein expression levels in an in vitro translation system, we could trigger the polymerization of ASC and mimic formation of specks in the absence of inflammasome nucleators. We utilized single-molecule spectroscopy to fully characterize prion-like behaviors and self-propagation of ASC fibrils. We next used our controlled system to monitor the conformational changes of ASC upon fibrillation. Indeed, ASC consists of a PYD and CARD domains, separated by a flexible linker. Individually, both domains have been found to form fibrils, but the structure of the polymers formed by the full-length ASC proteins remains elusive. For the first time, using single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer, we studied the relative positions of the CARD and PYD domains of full-length ASC. An unexpectedly large conformational change occurred upon ASC fibrillation, suggesting that the CARD domain folds back onto the PYD domain. However, contradicting current models, the "prion-like" conformer was not initiated by binding of ASC to the NLRP3 platform. Rather, using a new method, hybrid between Photon Counting Histogram and Number and Brightness analysis, we showed that NLRP3 forms hexamers with self-binding affinities around 300nM. Overall our data suggest a new mechanism, where NLRP3 can initiate ASC polymerization simply by increasing the local concentration of ASC above a supercritical level. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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

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    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. Disturbed vesicular trafficking of membrane proteins in prion disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uchiyama, Keiji; Miyata, Hironori; Sakaguchi, Suehiro

    2013-01-01

    The pathogenic mechanism of prion diseases remains unknown. We recently reported that prion infection disturbs post-Golgi trafficking of certain types of membrane proteins to the cell surface, resulting in reduced surface expression of membrane proteins and abrogating the signal from the proteins. The surface expression of the membrane proteins was reduced in the brains of mice inoculated with prions, well before abnormal symptoms became evident. Prions or pathogenic prion proteins were mainly detected in endosomal compartments, being particularly abundant in recycling endosomes. Some newly synthesized membrane proteins are delivered to the surface from the Golgi apparatus through recycling endosomes, and some endocytosed membrane proteins are delivered back to the surface through recycling endosomes. These results suggest that prions might cause neuronal dysfunctions and cell loss by disturbing post-Golgi trafficking of membrane proteins via accumulation in recycling endosomes. Interestingly, it was recently shown that delivery of a calcium channel protein to the cell surface was impaired and its function was abrogated in a mouse model of hereditary prion disease. Taken together, these results suggest that impaired delivery of membrane proteins to the cell surface is a common pathogenic event in acquired and hereditary prion diseases.

  3. Selfish prion of Rnq1 mutant in yeast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurahashi, Hiroshi; Shibata, Shoichiro; Ishiwata, Masao; Nakamura, Yoshikazu

    2009-05-01

    [PIN(+)] is a prion form of Rnq1 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and is necessary for the de novo induction of a second prion, [PSI(+)]. We previously isolated a truncated form of Rnq1, named Rnq1Delta100, as a [PSI(+)]-eliminating factor in S. cerevisiae. Rnq1Delta100 deletes the N-terminal non-prion domain of Rnq1, and eliminates [PSI(+)] in [PIN(+)] yeast. Here we found that [PIN(+)] is transmissible to Rnq1Delta100 in the absence of full-length Rnq1, forming a novel prion variant [RNQ1Delta100(+)]. [RNQ1Delta100(+)] has similar [PIN(+)] properties as it stimulates the de novo induction of [PSI(+)] and is eliminated by the null hsp104Delta mutation, but not by Hsp104 overproduction. In contrast, [RNQ1Delta100(+)] inherits the inhibitory activity and hampers the maintenance of [PSI(+)] though less efficiently than [PIN(+)] made of Rnq1-Rnq1Delta100 co-aggregates. Interestingly, [RNQ1Delta100(+)] prion was eliminated by de novo [PSI(+)] induction. Thus, the [RNQ1Delta100(+)] prion demonstrates selfish activity to eliminate a heterologous prion in S. cerevisiae, showing the first instance of a selfish prion variant in living organisms.

  4. Resistance of Soil-Bound Prions to Rumen Digestion

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    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 PrPc from complete digestion, while both unbound and soil-bound infectious PrPSc 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. PMID:22937149

  5. Do prion protein gene polymorphisms induce apoptosis in non ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2016-08-26

    Aug 26, 2016 ... Genetic variations such as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in prion protein coding gene, Prnp, greatly affect susceptibility to prion diseases in mammals. Here, the coding region of Prnp was screened for polymorphisms in redeared turtle, Trachemys scripta. Four polymorphisms, L203V, N205I, ...

  6. 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.

  7. Anti-Amyloid-?-Mediated Positron Emission Tomography Imaging in Alzheimer's Disease Mouse Brains

    OpenAIRE

    McLean, Daniel; Cooke, Michael J.; Wang, Yuanfei; Green, David; Fraser, Paul E.; George-Hyslop, Peter St; Shoichet, Molly S.

    2012-01-01

    Antibody-mediated imaging of amyloid β (Aβ) in Alzheimer's disease (AD) offers a promising strategy to detect and monitor specific Aβ species, such as oligomers, that have important pathological and therapeutic relevance. The major current limitation of antibodies as a diagnostic and imaging device is poor blood-brain-barrier permeability. A classical anti-Aβ antibody, 6E10, is modified with 10 kDa polyethylene glycol (PEG) and a positron emitting isotope, Copper-64 (t(½) = 12.7 h), and intra...

  8. Chronic wasting disease prion infection of differentiated neurospheres.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwamaru, Yoshifumi; Mathiason, Candace K; Telling, Glenn C; Hoover, Edward A

    2017-07-04

    A possible strategy to develop more diverse cell culture systems permissive to infection with naturally occurring prions is to exploit culture of neurospheres from transgenic mice expressing the normal prion protein (PrP) of the native host species. Accordingly, we developed differentiated neurosphere cultures from the cervid PrP-expressing mice to investigate whether this in vitro system would support replication of non-adapted cervid-origin chronic wasting disease (CWD) prions. Here we report the successful amplification of disease-associated PrP in differentiated neurosphere cultures within 3 weeks after exposure to CWD prions from both white-tailed deer or elk. This neurosphere culture system provides a new in vitro tool that can be used to assess non-adapted CWD prion propagation and transmission.

  9. Biological and biochemical characterization of mice expressing prion protein devoid of the octapeptide repeat region after infection with prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamaguchi, Yoshitaka; Miyata, Hironori; Uchiyama, Keiji; Ootsuyama, Akira; Inubushi, Sachiko; Mori, Tsuyoshi; Muramatsu, Naomi; Katamine, Shigeru; Sakaguchi, Suehiro

    2012-01-01

    Accumulating lines of evidence indicate that the N-terminal domain of prion protein (PrP) is involved in prion susceptibility in mice. In this study, to investigate the role of the octapeptide repeat (OR) region alone in the N-terminal domain for the susceptibility and pathogenesis of prion disease, we intracerebrally inoculated RML scrapie prions into tg(PrPΔOR)/Prnp(0/0) mice, which express mouse PrP missing only the OR region on the PrP-null background. Incubation times of these mice were not extended. Protease-resistant PrPΔOR, or PrP(Sc)ΔOR, was easily detectable but lower in the brains of these mice, compared to that in control wild-type mice. Consistently, prion titers were slightly lower and astrogliosis was milder in their brains. However, in their spinal cords, PrP(Sc)ΔOR and prion titers were abundant and astrogliosis was as strong as in control wild-type mice. These results indicate that the role of the OR region in prion susceptibility and pathogenesis of the disease is limited. We also found that the PrP(Sc)ΔOR, including the pre-OR residues 23-50, was unusually protease-resistant, indicating that deletion of the OR region could cause structural changes to the pre-OR region upon prion infection, leading to formation of a protease-resistant structure for the pre-OR region.

  10. Experimental sheep BSE prions generate the vCJD phenotype when serially passaged in transgenic mice expressing human prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joiner, Susan; Asante, Emmanuel A; Linehan, Jacqueline M; Brock, Lara; Brandner, Sebastian; Bellworthy, Susan J; Simmons, Marion M; Hope, James; Collinge, John; Wadsworth, Jonathan D F

    2018-03-15

    The epizootic prion disease of cattle, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), causes variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in humans following dietary exposure. While it is assumed that all cases of vCJD attributed to a dietary aetiology are related to cattle BSE, sheep and goats are susceptible to experimental oral challenge with cattle BSE prions and farmed animals in the UK were undoubtedly exposed to BSE-contaminated meat and bone meal during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Although no natural field cases of sheep BSE have been identified, it cannot be excluded that some BSE-infected sheep might have entered the European human food chain. Evaluation of the zoonotic potential of sheep BSE prions has been addressed by examining the transmission properties of experimental brain isolates in transgenic mice that express human prion protein, however to-date there have been relatively few studies. Here we report that serial passage of experimental sheep BSE prions in transgenic mice expressing human prion protein with methionine at residue 129 produces the vCJD phenotype that mirrors that seen when the same mice are challenged with vCJD prions from patient brain. These findings are congruent with those reported previously by another laboratory, and thereby strongly reinforce the view that sheep BSE prions could have acted as a causal agent of vCJD within Europe. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Prion Replication Elicits Cytopathic Changes in Differentiated Neurosphere Cultures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwamaru, Yoshifumi; Takenouchi, Takato; Imamura, Morikazu; Shimizu, Yoshihisa; Miyazawa, Kohtaro; Mohri, Shirou; Yokoyama, Takashi

    2013-01-01

    The molecular mechanisms of prion-induced cytotoxicity remain largely obscure. Currently, only a few cell culture models have exhibited the cytopathic changes associated with prion infection. In this study, we introduced a cell culture model based on differentiated neurosphere cultures isolated from the brains of neonatal prion protein (PrP)-null mice and transgenic mice expressing murine PrP (dNP0 and dNP20 cultures). Upon exposure to mouse Chandler prions, dNP20 cultures supported the de novo formation of abnormal PrP and the resulting infectivity, as assessed by bioassays. Furthermore, this culture was susceptible to various prion strains, including mouse-adapted scrapie, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, and Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome prions. Importantly, a subset of the cells in the infected culture that was mainly composed of astrocyte lineage cells consistently displayed late-occurring, progressive signs of cytotoxicity as evidenced by morphological alterations, decreased cell viability, and increased lactate dehydrogenase release. These signs of cytotoxicity were not observed in infected dNP0 cultures, suggesting the requirement of endogenous PrP expression for prion-induced cytotoxicity. Degenerated cells positive for glial fibrillary acidic protein accumulated abnormal PrP and exhibited features of apoptotic death as assessed by active caspase-3 and terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase nick-end staining. Furthermore, caspase inhibition provided partial protection from prion-mediated cell death. These results suggest that differentiated neurosphere cultures can provide an in vitro bioassay for mouse prions and permit the study of the molecular basis for prion-induced cytotoxicity at the cellular level. PMID:23740992

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

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    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.

  13. Structure and assembly properties of the N-terminal domain of the prion Ure2p in isolation and in its natural context.

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    Luc Bousset

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The aggregation of the baker's yeast prion Ure2p is at the origin of the [URE3] trait. The Q- and N-rich N-terminal part of the protein is believed to drive Ure2p assembly into fibrils of amyloid nature and the fibrillar forms of full-length Ure2p and its N-terminal part generated in vitro have been shown to induce [URE3] occurrence when introduced into yeast cells. This has led to the view that the fibrillar form of the N-terminal part of the protein is sufficient for the recruitment of constitutive Ure2p and that it imprints its amyloid structure to full-length Ure2p. RESULTS: Here we generate a set of Ure2p N-terminal fragments, document their assembly and structural properties and compare them to that of full-length Ure2p. We identify the minimal region critical for the assembly of Ure2p N-terminal part into amyloids and show that such fibrils are unable to seed the assembly of full length Ure2p unlike fibrils made of intact Ure2p. CONCLUSION: Our results clearly indicate that fibrillar Ure2p shares no structural similarities with the amyloid fibrils made of Ure2p N-terminal part. Our results further suggest that the induction of [URE3] by fibrils made of full-length Ure2p is likely the consequence of fibrils growth by depletion of cytosolic Ure2p while it is the consequence of de novo formation of prion particles following, for example, titration within the cells of a specific set of molecular chaperones when fibrils made of Ure2p N-terminal domain are introduced within the cytoplasm.

  14. Curcumin Attenuates Amyloid-β Aggregate Toxicity and Modulates Amyloid-β Aggregation Pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thapa, Arjun; Jett, Stephen D; Chi, Eva Y

    2016-01-20

    The abnormal misfolding and aggregation of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides into β-sheet enriched insoluble deposits initiates a cascade of events leading to pathological processes and culminating in cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease (AD). In particular, soluble oligomeric/prefibrillar Aβ have been shown to be potent neurotoxins. The naturally occurring polyphenol curcumin has been shown to exert a neuroprotective effect against age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as AD. However, its protective mechanism remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the effects of curcumin on the aggregation of Aβ40 as well as Aβ40 aggregate induced neurotoxicity. Our results show that the curcumin does not inhibit Aβ fibril formation, but rather enriches the population of "off-pathway" soluble oligomers and prefibrillar aggregates that were nontoxic. Curcumin also exerted a nonspecific neuroprotective effect, reducing toxicities induced by a range of Aβ conformers, including monomeric, oligomeric, prefibrillar, and fibrillar Aβ. The neuroprotective effect is possibly membrane-mediated, as curcumin reduced the extent of cell membrane permeabilization induced by Aβ aggregates. Taken together, our study shows that curcumin exerts its neuroprotective effect against Aβ induced toxicity through at least two concerted pathways, modifying the Aβ aggregation pathway toward the formation of nontoxic aggregates and ameliorating Aβ-induced toxicity possibly through a nonspecific pathway.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

    2015-02-10

    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.

  17. Macrocyclic 2,7-Anthrylene Oligomers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamoto, Yuta; Wakamatsu, Kan; Iwanaga, Tetsuo; Sato, Hiroyasu; Toyota, Shinji

    2016-05-06

    A macrocyclic compound consisting of six 2,7-anthrylene units was successfully synthesized by Ni-mediated coupling of the corresponding dibromo precursor as a novel π-conjugated compound. This compound was sufficiently stable and soluble in organic solvents due to the presence of mesityl groups. X-ray analysis showed that the molecule had a nonplanar and hexagonal wheel-shaped framework of approximately S6 symmetry. The dynamic process between two S6 structures was observed by using the dynamic NMR technique, the barrier being 58 kJ mol(-1) . The spectroscopic properties of the hexamer were compared with those of analogous linear oligomers. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  18. Design, synthesis, and characterization of biomimetic oligomers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laursen, Jonas Striegler

    a helical arrangement found by DFT calculations. The designed oligomer indeed proved the existence of a ß-peptoid helical conformation by X-ray. Further studies of these compounds indicated a structured display in solution. These helices thus definitively show that the ß-peptoids should be considered......Peptides and proteins made from the 20 canonical amino acids are responsible for many processes necessary for organisms to function. Beside their composition, proteins obtain their activity and unique selectivity through an ability to display functionalities accurately in the three......, for their ability to mimic the structural elements seen in proteins. Two prominent peptidomimetics are ß-peptides and a-peptoids (N-alkylglycines), which have been shown to fold into helical and sheet-like arrangements. To expand the chemical space available for mimicking protein structure their features have been...

  19. PT-symmetry management in oligomer systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Horne, R L; Cuevas, J; Kevrekidis, P G; Whitaker, N; Abdullaev, F Kh; Frantzeskakis, D J

    2013-01-01

    We study the effects of management of the PT-symmetric part of the potential within the setting of Schrödinger dimer and trimer oligomer systems. This is done by rapidly modulating in time the gain/loss profile. This gives rise to a number of interesting properties of the system, which are explored at the level of an averaged equation approach. Remarkably, this rapid modulation provides for a controllable expansion of the region of exact PT-symmetry, depending on the strength and frequency of the imposed modulation. The resulting averaged models are analysed theoretically and their exact stationary solutions are translated into time-periodic solutions through the averaging reduction. These are, in turn, compared with the exact periodic solutions of the full non-autonomous PT-symmetry managed problem and very good agreement is found between the two. (paper)

  20. Structural and functional properties of prefibrillar α-synuclein oligomers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pieri, Laura; Madiona, Karine; Melki, Ronald

    2016-04-14

    The deposition of fibrillar alpha-synuclein (α-syn) within inclusions (Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites) in neurons and glial cells is a hallmark of synucleinopathies. α-syn populates a variety of assemblies ranging from prefibrillar oligomeric species to fibrils whose specific contribution to neurodegeneration is still unclear. Here, we compare the specific structural and biological properties of distinct soluble prefibrillar α-syn oligomers formed either spontaneously or in the presence of dopamine and glutaraldehyde. We show that both on-fibrillar assembly pathway and distinct dopamine-mediated and glutaraldehyde-cross-linked α-syn oligomers are only slightly effective in perturbing cell membrane integrity and inducing cytotoxicity, while mature fibrils exhibit the highest toxicity. In contrast to low-molecular weight and unstable oligomers, large stable α-syn oligomers seed the aggregation of soluble α-syn within reporter cells although to a lesser extent than mature α-syn fibrils. These oligomers appear elongated in shape. Our findings suggest that α-syn oligomers represent a continuum of species ranging from unstable low molecular weight particles to mature fibrils via stable elongated oligomers composed of more than 15 α-syn monomers that possess seeding capacity.

  1. Exploring the early steps of aggregation of amyloid-forming peptide KFFE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wei Guanghong; Mousseau, Normand; Derreumaux, Philippe

    2004-01-01

    It has been shown recently that even a tetrapeptide can form amyloid fibrils sharing all the characteristics of amyloid fibrils built from large proteins. Recent experimental studies also suggest that the toxicity observed in several neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, is not only related to the mature fibrils themselves, but also to the soluble oligomers formed early in the process of fibrillogenesis. This raises the interest in studying the early steps of the aggregation process. Although fibril formation follows the nucleation-condensation process, characterized by the presence of lag phase, the exact pathways remain to be determined. In this study, we used the activation-relaxation technique and a generic energy model to explore the process of self-assembly and the structures of the resulting aggregates of eight KFFE peptides. Our simulations show, starting from different states with a preformed antiparallel dimer, that eight chains can self-assemble to adopt, with various orientations, four possible distant oligomeric well-aligned structures of similar energy. Two of these structures show a double-layer β-sheet organization, in agreement with the structure of amyloid fibrils as observed by x-ray diffraction; another two are mixtures of dimers and trimers. Our results also suggest that octamers are likely to be below the critical size for nucleation of amyloid fibrils for small peptides

  2. Exploring the early steps of aggregation of amyloid-forming peptide KFFE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wei Guanghong [Departement de Physique and Regroupement Quebecois sur les Materiaux de Pointe, Universite de Montreal, CP 6128, succursale centre-ville, Montreal, QC, H3C 3J7 (Canada); Mousseau, Normand [Departement de Physique and Regroupement Quebecois sur les Materiaux de Pointe, Universite de Montreal, CP 6128, succursale centre-ville, Montreal, QC, H3C 3J7 (Canada); Derreumaux, Philippe [Laboratoire de Biochimie, Theorique, UPR 9080 CNRS, IBPC, Universite Paris 7 Denis-Diderot, 13 rue Pierre et Marie Curie, 75005 Paris (France)

    2004-11-10

    It has been shown recently that even a tetrapeptide can form amyloid fibrils sharing all the characteristics of amyloid fibrils built from large proteins. Recent experimental studies also suggest that the toxicity observed in several neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, is not only related to the mature fibrils themselves, but also to the soluble oligomers formed early in the process of fibrillogenesis. This raises the interest in studying the early steps of the aggregation process. Although fibril formation follows the nucleation-condensation process, characterized by the presence of lag phase, the exact pathways remain to be determined. In this study, we used the activation-relaxation technique and a generic energy model to explore the process of self-assembly and the structures of the resulting aggregates of eight KFFE peptides. Our simulations show, starting from different states with a preformed antiparallel dimer, that eight chains can self-assemble to adopt, with various orientations, four possible distant oligomeric well-aligned structures of similar energy. Two of these structures show a double-layer {beta}-sheet organization, in agreement with the structure of amyloid fibrils as observed by x-ray diffraction; another two are mixtures of dimers and trimers. Our results also suggest that octamers are likely to be below the critical size for nucleation of amyloid fibrils for small peptides.

  3. Protein Polymers and Amyloids

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Risør, Michael Wulff

    2014-01-01

    Several human disorders are caused by a common general disease mechanism arising from abnormal folding and aggregation of the underlying protein. These include the prevalent dementias like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, where accumulation of protein fibrillar structures, known as amyloid fibrils......, is a general hallmark. They also include the α1-antitrypsin deficiency, where disease-causing mutations in the serine protease inhibitor, α1-antitrypsin (α1AT), leads to accumulation of the aberrant protein in the liver of these patients. The native metastable structure of α1AT constitutes a molecular trap...... that inhibits its target protease through a large conformational change but mutations compromise this function and cause premature structural collapse into hyperstable polymers. Understanding the conformational disorders at a molecular level is not only important for our general knowledge on protein folding...

  4. Electron beam curing polyurethane acrylate oligomer in air

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhu, Zhenkang; Chen, Xing; Zhou, Jichun; Ma, Zue-Teh

    1988-01-01

    It has been found according to our synthesis that a novel kind of polyurethane acrylate oligomer can be cured by electron beam in the presence of oxygen, even at normal atomospheric levels, without any additives. Irradiation of the oligomer with substantially complete cure to a solid non-tacky state is quite remarkable. It has the same gel content (90 %) in air as in nitrogen at dose of 33 kGy. Double bond conversion of the oligomer is about 50 % by I.R. (author)

  5. Is Supramolecular Filament Chirality the Underlying Cause of Major Morphology Differences in Amyloid Fibrils?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    The unique enhanced sensitivity of vibrational circular dichroism (VCD) to the formation and development of amyloid fibrils in solution is extended to four additional fibril-forming proteins or peptides where it is shown that the sign of the fibril VCD pattern correlates with the sense of supramolecular filament chirality and, without exception, to the dominant fibril morphology as observed in AFM or SEM images. Previously for insulin, it has been demonstrated that the sign of the VCD band pattern from filament chirality can be controlled by adjusting the pH of the incubating solution, above pH 2 for “normal” left-hand-helical filaments and below pH 2 for “reversed” right-hand-helical filaments. From AFM or SEM images, left-helical filaments form multifilament braids of left-twisted fibrils while the right-helical filaments form parallel filament rows of fibrils with a flat tape-like morphology, the two major classes of fibril morphology that from deep UV resonance Raman scattering exhibit the same cross-β-core secondary structure. Here we investigate whether fibril supramolecular chirality is the underlying cause of the major morphology differences in all amyloid fibrils by showing that the morphology (twisted versus flat) of fibrils of lysozyme, apo-α-lactalbumin, HET-s (218–289) prion, and a short polypeptide fragment of transthyretin, TTR (105–115), directly correlates to their supramolecular chirality as revealed by VCD. The result is strong evidence that the chiral supramolecular organization of filaments is the principal underlying cause of the morphological heterogeneity of amyloid fibrils. Because fibril morphology is linked to cell toxicity, the chirality of amyloid aggregates should be explored in the widely used in vitro models of amyloid-associated diseases. PMID:24484302

  6. Is supramolecular filament chirality the underlying cause of major morphology differences in amyloid fibrils?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurouski, Dmitry; Lu, Xuefang; Popova, Ludmila; Wan, William; Shanmugasundaram, Maruda; Stubbs, Gerald; Dukor, Rina K; Lednev, Igor K; Nafie, Laurence A

    2014-02-12

    The unique enhanced sensitivity of vibrational circular dichroism (VCD) to the formation and development of amyloid fibrils in solution is extended to four additional fibril-forming proteins or peptides where it is shown that the sign of the fibril VCD pattern correlates with the sense of supramolecular filament chirality and, without exception, to the dominant fibril morphology as observed in AFM or SEM images. Previously for insulin, it has been demonstrated that the sign of the VCD band pattern from filament chirality can be controlled by adjusting the pH of the incubating solution, above pH 2 for "normal" left-hand-helical filaments and below pH 2 for "reversed" right-hand-helical filaments. From AFM or SEM images, left-helical filaments form multifilament braids of left-twisted fibrils while the right-helical filaments form parallel filament rows of fibrils with a flat tape-like morphology, the two major classes of fibril morphology that from deep UV resonance Raman scattering exhibit the same cross-β-core secondary structure. Here we investigate whether fibril supramolecular chirality is the underlying cause of the major morphology differences in all amyloid fibrils by showing that the morphology (twisted versus flat) of fibrils of lysozyme, apo-α-lactalbumin, HET-s (218-289) prion, and a short polypeptide fragment of transthyretin, TTR (105-115), directly correlates to their supramolecular chirality as revealed by VCD. The result is strong evidence that the chiral supramolecular organization of filaments is the principal underlying cause of the morphological heterogeneity of amyloid fibrils. Because fibril morphology is linked to cell toxicity, the chirality of amyloid aggregates should be explored in the widely used in vitro models of amyloid-associated diseases.

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Physical, chemical and kinetic factors affecting prion infectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Properzi, Francesca; Badhan, Anjna; Klier, Steffi; Schmidt, Christian; Klöhn, Peter C; Wadsworth, Jonathan D F; Clarke, Anthony R; Jackson, Graham S; Collinge, John

    2016-05-03

    The mouse-adapted scrapie prion strain RML is one of the most widely used in prion research. The introduction of a cell culture-based assay of RML prions, the scrapie cell assay (SCA) allows more rapid and precise prion titration. A semi-automated version of this assay (ASCA) was applied to explore a range of conditions that might influence the infectivity and properties of RML prions. These include resistance to freeze-thaw procedures; stability to endogenous proteases in brain homogenate despite prolonged exposure to varying temperatures; distribution of infective material between pellet and supernatant after centrifugation, the effect of reducing agents and the influence of detergent additives on the efficiency of infection. Apparent infectivity is increased significantly by interaction with cationic detergents. Importantly, we have also elucidated the relationship between the duration of exposure of cells to RML prions and the transmission of infection. We established that the infection process following contact of cells with RML prions is rapid and followed an exponential time course, implying a single rate-limiting process.

  10. Molecular pathogenesis of sporadic prion diseases in man

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safar, Jiri G.

    2012-01-01

    The yeast, fungal and mammalian prions determine heritable and infectious traits that are encoded in alternative conformations of proteins. They cause lethal sporadic, familial and infectious neurodegenerative conditions in man, including Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS), kuru, sporadic fatal insomnia (SFI) and likely variable protease-sensitive prionopathy (VPSPr). The most prevalent of human prion diseases is sporadic (s)CJD. Recent advances in amplification and detection of prions led to considerable optimism that early and possibly preclinical diagnosis and therapy might become a reality. Although several drugs have already been tested in small numbers of sCJD patients, there is no clear evidence of any agent’s efficacy. Therefore, it remains crucial to determine the full spectrum of sCJD prion strains and the conformational features in the pathogenic human prion protein governing replication of sCJD prions. Research in this direction is essential for the rational development of diagnostic as well as therapeutic strategies. Moreover, there is growing recognition that fundamental processes involved in human prion propagation – intercellular induction of protein misfolding and seeded aggregation of misfolded host proteins – are of far wider significance. This insight leads to new avenues of research in the ever-widening spectrum of age-related human neurodegenerative diseases that are caused by protein misfolding and that pose a major challenge for healthcare. PMID:22421210

  11. Mammalian prions: tolerance to sequence changes-how far?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Cleaning, disinfection and sterilization of surface prion contamination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonnell, G; Dehen, C; Perrin, A; Thomas, V; Igel-Egalon, A; Burke, P A; Deslys, J P; Comoy, E

    2013-12-01

    Prion contamination is a risk during device reprocessing, being difficult to remove and inactivate. Little is known of the combined effects of cleaning, disinfection and sterilization during a typical reprocessing cycle in clinical practice. To investigate the combination of cleaning, disinfection and/or sterilization on reducing the risk of surface prion contamination. In vivo test methods were used to study the impact of cleaning alone and cleaning combined with thermal disinfection and high- or low-temperature sterilization processes. A standardized test method, based on contamination of stainless steel wires with high titres of scrapie-infected brain homogenates, was used to determine infectivity reduction. Traditional chemical methods of surface decontamination against prions were confirmed to be effective, but extended steam sterilization was more variable. Steam sterilization alone reduced the risk of prion contamination under normal or extended exposure conditions, but did show significant variation. Thermal disinfection had no impact in these studies. Cleaning with certain defined formulations in combination with steam sterilization can be an effective prion decontamination process, in particular with alkaline formulations. Low-temperature, gaseous hydrogen peroxide sterilization was also confirmed to reduce infectivity in the presence and absence of cleaning. Prion decontamination is affected by the full reprocessing cycle used on contaminated surfaces. The correct use of defined cleaning, disinfection and sterilization methods as tested in this report in the scrapie infectivity assay can provide a standard precaution against prion contamination. Copyright © 2013 The Healthcare Infection Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. Relationship between magnetism and prion protein

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Balzano

    2010-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 9,10-Anthraquinone hinders β-aggregation: How does a small molecule interfere with Aβ-peptide amyloid fibrillation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Convertino, Marino; Pellarin, Riccardo; Catto, Marco; Carotti, Angelo; Caflisch, Amedeo

    2009-01-01

    Amyloid aggregation is linked to a number of neurodegenerative syndromes, the most prevalent one being Alzheimer's disease. In this pathology, the β-amyloid peptides (Aβ) aggregate into oligomers, protofibrils, and fibrils and eventually into plaques, which constitute the characteristic hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. Several low-molecular-weight compounds able to impair the Aβ aggregation process have been recently discovered; yet, a detailed description of their interactions with oligomers and fibrils is hitherto missing. Here, molecular dynamics simulations are used to investigate the influence of two relatively similar tricyclic, planar compounds, that is, 9, 10-anthraquinone (AQ) and anthracene (AC), on the early phase of the aggregation of the Aβ heptapeptide segment H14QKLVFF20, the hydrophobic stretch that promotes the Aβ self-assembly. The simulations show that AQ interferes with β-sheet formation more than AC. In particular, AQ intercalates into the β-sheet because polar interactions between the compound and the peptide backbone destabilize the interstrand hydrogen bonds, thereby favoring disorder. The thioflavin T-binding assay indicates that AQ, but not AC, sensibly reduces the amount of aggregated Aβ1–40 peptide. Taken together, the in silico and in vitro results provide evidence that structural perturbations by AQ can remarkably affect ordered oligomerization. Moreover, the simulations shed light at the atomic level on the interactions between AQ and Aβ oligomers, providing useful insights for the design of small-molecule inhibitors of aggregation with therapeutic potential in Alzheimer's disease. PMID:19309732

  19. Spontaneous generation of rapidly transmissible prions in transgenic mice expressing wild-type bank vole prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watts, Joel C; Giles, Kurt; Stöhr, Jan; Oehler, Abby; Bhardwaj, Sumita; Grillo, Sunny K; Patel, Smita; DeArmond, Stephen J; Prusiner, Stanley B

    2012-02-28

    Currently, there are no animal models of the most common human prion disorder, sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), in which prions are formed spontaneously from wild-type (WT) prion protein (PrP). Interestingly, bank voles (BV) exhibit an unprecedented promiscuity for diverse prion isolates, arguing that bank vole PrP (BVPrP) may be inherently prone to adopting misfolded conformations. Therefore, we constructed transgenic (Tg) mice expressing WT BVPrP. Tg(BVPrP) mice developed spontaneous CNS dysfunction between 108 and 340 d of age and recapitulated the hallmarks of prion disease, including spongiform degeneration, pronounced astrogliosis, and deposition of alternatively folded PrP in the brain. Brain homogenates of ill Tg(BVPrP) mice transmitted disease to Tg(BVPrP) mice in ∼35 d, to Tg mice overexpressing mouse PrP in under 100 d, and to WT mice in ∼185 d. Our studies demonstrate experimentally that WT PrP can spontaneously form infectious prions in vivo. Thus, Tg(BVPrP) mice may be useful for studying the spontaneous formation of prions, and thus may provide insight into the etiology of sporadic CJD.

  20. 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.

  1. Autologous neural progenitor cell transplantation into newborn mice modeling for E200K genetic prion disease delays disease progression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frid, Kati; Binyamin, Orli; Fainstein, Nina; Keller, Guy; Ben-Hur, Tamir; Gabizon, Ruth

    2018-05-01

    TgMHu2ME199K mice, a transgenic line mimicking genetic prion disease, are born healthy and gradually deteriorate to a terminal neurological condition concomitant with the accumulation of disease-related PrP. To investigate whether transplantation of neural progenitor cells (NPCs) to these mice can delay disease aggravation, we first tested the properties of mutant PrP in homogenates and enriched NPCs from TgMHu2ME199K embryos, as compared to PrP in sick TgMHu2ME199K brains. Next, we tested the clinical effect of NPCs transplantation into newborn TgMHu2ME199K mice. We show that mutant PrP does not convert into a disease-related isoform while in progenitor cells. Most important, transplantation of both wild type and transgenic NPCs significantly delayed the progression of spontaneous prion disease in TgMHu2ME199K mice. While the strong clinical effect was not accompanied by a reduced accumulation of disease-related PrP, treated mouse brains presented a significant reduction in amyloid glycosaminoglycans and preservation of neurogenesis levels, indicating a strong neuroprotective effect. These results may encourage the investigation of new pathways for treatment in these terrible diseases. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Conjugated Polymers and Oligomers: Structural and Soft Matter Aspects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    This book identifies modern topics and current trends of structural and soft matter aspects of conjugated polymers and oligomers. Each chapter recognizes an active research line where structural perspective dominates research and therefore the book covers fundamental aspects of persistent...

  3. Diffusivities and Viscosities of Poly(ethylene oxide) Oligomers

    KAUST Repository

    Hong, Bingbing; Escobedo, Fernando; Panagiotopoulos, Athanassios Z.

    2010-01-01

    Diffusivities and viscosities of poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) oligomer melts with 1 to 12 repeat units have been obtained from equilibrium molecular dynamics simulations using the TraPPE-UA force field. The simulations generated diffusion coefficients

  4. Organic heterostructures based on arylenevinylene oligomers deposited by MAPLE

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Socol, M.; Preda, N.; Vacareanu, L.; Grigoras, M.; Socol, G.; Mihailescu, I. N.; Stanculescu, F.; Jelínek, Miroslav; Stanculescu, A.; Stoicanescu, M.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 302, May (2014), s. 216-222 ISSN 0169-4332 Institutional support: RVO:68378271 Keywords : organic heterostructures * MAPLE * oligomer * optoelectronica Subject RIV: BM - Solid Matter Physics ; Magnetism Impact factor: 2.711, year: 2014

  5. Astrocyte Transforming Growth Factor Beta 1 Protects Synapses against Aβ Oligomers in Alzheimer's Disease Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diniz, Luan Pereira; Tortelli, Vanessa; Matias, Isadora; Morgado, Juliana; Bérgamo Araujo, Ana Paula; Melo, Helen M; Seixas da Silva, Gisele S; Alves-Leon, Soniza V; de Souza, Jorge M; Ferreira, Sergio T; De Felice, Fernanda G; Gomes, Flávia Carvalho Alcantara

    2017-07-12

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by progressive cognitive decline, increasingly attributed to neuronal dysfunction induced by amyloidoligomers (AβOs). Although the impact of AβOs on neurons has been extensively studied, only recently have the possible effects of AβOs on astrocytes begun to be investigated. Given the key roles of astrocytes in synapse formation, plasticity, and function, we sought to investigate the impact of AβOs on astrocytes, and to determine whether this impact is related to the deleterious actions of AβOs on synapses. We found that AβOs interact with astrocytes, cause astrocyte activation and trigger abnormal generation of reactive oxygen species, which is accompanied by impairment of astrocyte neuroprotective potential in vitro We further show that both murine and human astrocyte conditioned media (CM) increase synapse density, reduce AβOs binding, and prevent AβO-induced synapse loss in cultured hippocampal neurons. Both a neutralizing anti-transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) antibody and siRNA-mediated knockdown of TGF-β1, previously identified as an important synaptogenic factor secreted by astrocytes, abrogated the protective action of astrocyte CM against AβO-induced synapse loss. Notably, TGF-β1 prevented hippocampal dendritic spine loss and memory impairment in mice that received an intracerebroventricular infusion of AβOs. Results suggest that astrocyte-derived TGF-β1 is part of an endogenous mechanism that protects synapses against AβOs. By demonstrating that AβOs decrease astrocyte ability to protect synapses, our results unravel a new mechanism underlying the synaptotoxic action of AβOs in AD. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Alzheimer's disease is characterized by progressive cognitive decline, mainly attributed to synaptotoxicity of the amyloidoligomers (AβOs). Here, we investigated the impact of AβOs in astrocytes, a less known subject. We show that astrocytes prevent synapse loss induced by A

  6. Generating Bona Fide Mammalian Prions with Internal Deletions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munoz-Montesino, Carola; Sizun, Christina; Moudjou, Mohammed; Herzog, Laetitia; Reine, Fabienne; Chapuis, Jérôme; Ciric, Danica; Igel-Egalon, Angelique; Laude, Hubert; Béringue, Vincent; Rezaei, Human; Dron, Michel

    2016-08-01

    Mammalian prions are PrP proteins with altered structures causing transmissible fatal neurodegenerative diseases. They are self-perpetuating through formation of beta-sheet-rich assemblies that seed conformational change of cellular PrP. Pathological PrP usually forms an insoluble protease-resistant core exhibiting beta-sheet structures but no more alpha-helical content, loosing the three alpha-helices contained in the correctly folded PrP. The lack of a high-resolution prion structure makes it difficult to understand the dynamics of conversion and to identify elements of the protein involved in this process. To determine whether completeness of residues within the protease-resistant domain is required for prions, we performed serial deletions in the helix H2 C terminus of ovine PrP, since this region has previously shown some tolerance to sequence changes without preventing prion replication. Deletions of either four or five residues essentially preserved the overall PrP structure and mutant PrP expressed in RK13 cells were efficiently converted into bona fide prions upon challenge by three different prion strains. Remarkably, deletions in PrP facilitated the replication of two strains that otherwise do not replicate in this cellular context. Prions with internal deletion were self-propagating and de novo infectious for naive homologous and wild-type PrP-expressing cells. Moreover, they caused transmissible spongiform encephalopathies in mice, with similar biochemical signatures and neuropathologies other than the original strains. Prion convertibility and transfer of strain-specific information are thus preserved despite shortening of an alpha-helix in PrP and removal of residues within prions. These findings provide new insights into sequence/structure/infectivity relationship for prions. Prions are misfolded PrP proteins that convert the normal protein into a replicate of their own abnormal form. They are responsible for invariably fatal neurodegenerative

  7. Orientation of aromatic residues in amyloid cores: Structural insights into prion fiber diversity

    KAUST Repository

    Reymer, Anna; Frederick, Kendra K.; Rocha, Sandra; Beke-Somfai, Tamá s; Kitts, Catherine C.; Lindquist, Susan; Nordé n, Bengt

    2014-01-01

    Sup35 with respect to angular orientation of tyrosines using polarized light spectroscopy. By applying a combination of alignment methods the degree of fiber orientation can be assessed, which allows a relatively accurate determination of the aromatic

  8. Oligomers and Polymers Based on Pentacene Building Blocks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dan Lehnherr

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Functionalized pentacene derivatives continue to provide unique materials for organic semiconductor applications. Although oligomers and polymers based on pentacene building blocks remain quite rare, recent synthetic achievements have provided a number of examples with varied structural motifs. This review highlights recent work in this area and, when possible, contrasts the properties of defined-length pentacene oligomers to those of mono- and polymeric systems.

  9. Prion protein induced signaling cascades in monocytes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krebs, Bjarne; Dorner-Ciossek, Cornelia; Schmalzbauer, Ruediger; Vassallo, Neville; Herms, Jochen; Kretzschmar, Hans A.

    2006-01-01

    Prion proteins play a central role in transmission and pathogenesis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. The cellular prion protein (PrP C ), whose physiological function remains elusive, is anchored to the surface of a variety of cell types including neurons and cells of the lymphoreticular system. In this study, we investigated the response of a mouse monocyte/macrophage cell line to exposure with PrP C fusion proteins synthesized with a human Fc-tag. PrP C fusion proteins showed an attachment to the surface of monocyte/macrophages in nanomolar concentrations. This was accompanied by an increase of cellular tyrosine phosphorylation as a result of activated signaling pathways. Detailed investigations exhibited activation of downstream pathways through a stimulation with PrP fusion proteins, which include phosphorylation of ERK 1,2 and Akt kinase. Macrophages opsonize and present antigenic structures, contact lymphocytes, and deliver cytokines. The findings reported here may become the basis of understanding the molecular function of PrP C in monocytes and macrophages

  10. The hunt for brain Aβ oligomers by peripherally circulating multi-functional nanoparticles: Potential therapeutic approach for Alzheimer disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mancini, Simona; Minniti, Stefania; Gregori, Maria; Sancini, Giulio; Cagnotto, Alfredo; Couraud, Pierre-Olivier; Ordóñez-Gutiérrez, Lara; Wandosell, Francisco; Salmona, Mario; Re, Francesca

    2016-01-01

    We previously showed the ability of liposomes bi-functionalized with phosphatidic acid and an ApoE-derived peptide (mApoE-PA-LIP) to reduce brain Aβ in transgenic Alzheimer mice. Herein we investigated the efficacy of mApoE-PA-LIP to withdraw Aβ peptide in different aggregation forms from the brain, using a transwell cellular model of the blood-brain barrier and APP/PS1 mice. The spontaneous efflux of Aβ oligomers (Aβo), but not of Aβ fibrils, from the 'brain' side of the transwell was strongly enhanced (5-fold) in presence of mApoE-PA-LIP in the 'blood' compartment. This effect is due to a withdrawal of Aβo exerted by peripheral mApoE-PA-LIP by sink effect, because, when present in the brain side, they did not act as Aβo carrier and limit the oligomer efflux. In vivo peripheral administration of mApoE-PA-LIP significantly increased the plasma Aβ level, suggesting that Aβ-binding particles exploiting the sink effect can be used as a therapeutic strategy for Alzheimer disease. From the Clinical Editor: Alzheimer disease (AD) at present is an incurable disease, which is thought to be caused by an accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides in the brain. Many strategies in combating this disease have been focused on either the prevention or dissolving these peptides. In this article, the authors showed the ability of liposomes bi-functionalized with phosphatidic acid and with an ApoE- derived peptide to withdraw amyloid peptides from the brain. The data would help the future design of more novel treatment for Alzheimer disease. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. The Off-rate of Monomers Dissociating from Amyloid-β Protofibrils*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grüning, Clara S. R.; Klinker, Stefan; Wolff, Martin; Schneider, Mario; Toksöz, Küpra; Klein, Antonia N.; Nagel-Steger, Luitgard; Willbold, Dieter; Hoyer, Wolfgang

    2013-01-01

    The interconversion of monomers, oligomers, and amyloid fibrils of the amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease. The determination of the kinetics of the individual association and dissociation reactions is hampered by the fact that forward and reverse reactions to/from different aggregation states occur simultaneously. Here, we report the kinetics of dissociation of Aβ monomers from protofibrils, prefibrillar high molecular weight oligomers previously shown to possess pronounced neurotoxicity. An engineered binding protein sequestering specifically monomeric Aβ was employed to follow protofibril dissociation by tryptophan fluorescence, precluding confounding effects of reverse or competing reactions. Aβ protofibril dissociation into monomers follows exponential decay kinetics with a time constant of ∼2 h at 25 °C and an activation energy of 80 kJ/mol, values typical for high affinity biomolecular interactions. This study demonstrates the high kinetic stability of Aβ protofibrils toward dissociation into monomers and supports the delineation of the Aβ folding and assembly energy landscape. PMID:24247242

  12. At the centre of neuronal, synaptic and axonal pathology in murine prion disease: degeneration of neuroanatomically linked thalamic and brainstem nuclei

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reis, Renata; Hennessy, Edel; Murray, Caoimhe; Griffin, Éadaoin W.

    2015-01-01

    Aims The processes by which neurons degenerate in chronic neurodegenerative diseases remain unclear. Synaptic loss and axonal pathology frequently precede neuronal loss and protein aggregation demonstrably spreads along neuroanatomical pathways in many neurodegenerative diseases. The spread of neuronal pathology is less studied. Methods We previously demonstrated severe neurodegeneration in the posterior thalamus of multiple prion disease strains. Here we used the ME7 model of prion disease to examine the nature of this degeneration in the posterior thalamus and the major brainstem projections into this region. Results We objectively quantified neurological decline between 16 and 18 weeks post‐inoculation and observed thalamic subregion‐selective neuronal, synaptic and axonal pathology while demonstrating relatively uniform protease‐resistant prion protein (PrP) aggregation and microgliosis across the posterior thalamus. Novel amyloid precursor protein (APP) pathology was particularly prominent in the thalamic posterior (PO) and ventroposterior lateral (VPL) nuclei. The brainstem nuclei forming the major projections to these thalamic nuclei were examined. Massive neuronal loss in the PO was not matched by significant neuronal loss in the interpolaris (Sp5I), while massive synaptic loss in the ventral posteromedial nucleus (VPM) did correspond with significant neuronal loss in the principal trigeminal nucleus. Likewise, significant VPL synaptic loss was matched by significant neuronal loss in the gracile and cuneate nuclei. Conclusion These findings demonstrate significant spread of neuronal pathology from the thalamus to the brainstem in prion disease. The divergent neuropathological features in adjacent neuronal populations demonstrates that there are discrete pathways to neurodegeneration in different neuronal populations. PMID:25727649

  13. Diagnostic approaches for viruses and prions in stem cell banks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cobo, Fernando; Talavera, Paloma; Concha, Angel

    2006-01-01

    Some stem cell lines may contain an endogenous virus or can be contaminated with exogenous viruses (even of animal origin) and may secrete viral particles or express viral antigens on their surface. Moreover, certain biotechnological products (e.g. bovine fetal serum, murine feeder cells) may contain prion particles. Viral and prion contamination of cell cultures and 'feeder' cells, which is a common risk in all biotechnological products derived from the cell lines, is the most challenging and potentially serious outcome to address, due to the difficulty involved in virus and prion detection and the potential to cause serious disease in recipients of these cell products. Stem cell banks should introduce adequate quality assurance programs like the microbiological control program and can provide researchers with valuable support in the standardization and safety of procedures and protocols used for the viral and prion testing and in validation programs to assure the quality and safety of the cells

  14. Current and future molecular diagnostics for prion diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehto, Marty T; Peery, Harry E; Cashman, Neil R

    2006-07-01

    It is now widely held that the infectious agents underlying the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are prions, which are primarily composed of a misfolded, protease-resistant isoform of the host prion protein. Untreatable prion disorders include some human diseases, such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and diseases of economically important animals, such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (cattle) and chronic wasting disease (deer and elk). Detection and diagnosis of prion disease (and presymptomatic incubation) is contingent upon developing novel assays, which exploit properties uniquely possessed by this misfolded protein complex, rather than targeting an agent-specific nucleic acid. This review highlights some of the conventional and disruptive technologies developed to respond to this challenge.

  15. Putting prions into focus: application of single molecule detection to the diagnosis of prion diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giese, A; Bieschke, J; Eigen, M; Kretzschmar, H A

    2000-01-01

    Prion diseases are characterized by the cerebral deposition of an aggregated pathological isoform of the prion protein (PrP(Sc)) which constitutes the principal component of the transmissible agent termed prion. In order to develop a highly sensitive method for the detection of PrP(Sc) aggregates in biological samples such as cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), we used a method based on Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS), a technique which allows detection of single fluorescently labeled molecules in solution. Within the FCS setup, fluorescent photons emitted by molecules passing an open volume element defined by the beam of an excitation laser focussed into a diffraction-limited spot are imaged confocally onto a single photon counting detector. Aggregates of PrP(Sc) could be labeled by co-aggregation of probe molecules such as monomeric recombinant PrP or PrP-specific antibodies tagged with a fluorescent dye. In addition to slow diffusion, labeled aggregates are characterized by high fluorescence intensity, which allows detection and quantification by analysis of fluorescence intensity distribution. To improve detection of rare target particles, the accessible volume element was increased by scanning for intensely fluorescent targets (SIFT). To further improve sensitivity and specificity, two different probes were used simultaneously in a two-color setup. In a diagnostic model system of CSF spiked with purified prion rods, dual-color SIFT was more sensitive than Western blot analysis. In addition, a PrP(Sc)-specific signal was also detected in a number of CSF samples derived from CJD patients but not in controls.

  16. Rutin improves spatial memory in Alzheimer's disease transgenic mice by reducing Aβ oligomer level and attenuating oxidative stress and neuroinflammation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Peng-Xin; Wang, Shao-Wei; Yu, Xiao-Lin; Su, Ya-Jing; Wang, Teng; Zhou, Wei-Wei; Zhang, He; Wang, Yu-Jiong; Liu, Rui-Tian

    2014-05-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease characterized by extracellular β-amyloid (Aβ) plaques and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles in the brain. Aβ aggregation is closely associated with neurotoxicity, oxidative stress, and neuronal inflammation. The soluble Aβ oligomers are believed to be the most neurotoxic form among all forms of Aβ aggregates. We have previously reported a polyphenol compound rutin that could inhibit Aβ aggregation and cytotoxicity, attenuate oxidative stress, and decrease the production of nitric oxide and proinflammatory cytokines in vitro. In the current study, we investigated the effect of rutin on APPswe/PS1dE9 transgenic mice. Results demonstrated that orally administered rutin significantly attenuated memory deficits in AD transgenic mice, decreased oligomeric Aβ level, increased super oxide dismutase (SOD) activity and glutathione (GSH)/glutathione disulfide (GSSG) ratio, reduced GSSG and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, downregulated microgliosis and astrocytosis, and decreased interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-6 levels in the brain. These results indicated that rutin is a promising agent for AD treatment because of its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and reducing Aβ oligomer activities. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Insights into mechanisms of transmission and pathogenesis from transgenic mouse models of prion diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, Julie A.; Telling, Glenn C.

    2018-01-01

    Prions represent a new paradigm of protein-mediated information transfer. In the case of mammals, prions are the cause of fatal, transmissible neurodegenerative diseases, sometimes referred to as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE’s), which frequently occur as epidemics. An increasing body of evidence indicates that the canonical mechanism of conformational corruption of cellular prion protein (PrPC) by the pathogenic isoform (PrPSc) that is the basis of prion formation in TSE’s, is common to a spectrum of proteins associated with various additional human neurodegenerative disorders, including the more common Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. The peerless infectious properties of TSE prions, and the unparalleled tools for their study, therefore enable elucidation of mechanisms of template-mediated conformational propagation that are generally applicable to these related disease states. Many unresolved issues remain including the exact molecular nature of the prion, the detailed cellular and molecular mechanisms of prion propagation, and the means by which prion diseases can be both genetic and infectious. In addition, we know little about the mechanism by which neurons degenerate during prion diseases. Tied to this, the physiological role of the normal form of the prion protein remains unclear and it is uncertain whether or not loss of this function contributes to prion pathogenesis. The factors governing the transmission of prions between species remain unclear, in particular the means by which prion strains and PrP primary structure interact to affect inter-species prion transmission. Despite all these unknowns, advances in our understanding of prions have occurred because of their transmissibility to experimental animals and the development of transgenic (Tg) mouse models has done much to further our understanding about various aspects of prion biology. In this review we will focus on advances in our understanding of prion biology that

  18. Prions amplify through degradation of the VPS10P sorting receptor sortilin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uchiyama, Keiji; Tomita, Mitsuru; Yano, Masashi; Chida, Junji; Hara, Hideyuki; Das, Nandita Rani; Nykjaer, Anders; Sakaguchi, Suehiro

    2017-06-01

    Prion diseases are a group of fatal neurodegenerative disorders caused by prions, which consist mainly of the abnormally folded isoform of prion protein, PrPSc. A pivotal pathogenic event in prion disease is progressive accumulation of prions, or PrPSc, in brains through constitutive conformational conversion of the cellular prion protein, PrPC, into PrPSc. However, the cellular mechanism by which PrPSc is progressively accumulated in prion-infected neurons remains unknown. Here, we show that PrPSc is progressively accumulated in prion-infected cells through degradation of the VPS10P sorting receptor sortilin. We first show that sortilin interacts with PrPC and PrPSc and sorts them to lysosomes for degradation. Consistently, sortilin-knockdown increased PrPSc accumulation in prion-infected cells. In contrast, overexpression of sortilin reduced PrPSc accumulation in prion-infected cells. These results indicate that sortilin negatively regulates PrPSc accumulation in prion-infected cells. The negative role of sortilin in PrPSc accumulation was further confirmed in sortilin-knockout mice infected with prions. The infected mice had accelerated prion disease with early accumulation of PrPSc in their brains. Interestingly, sortilin was reduced in prion-infected cells and mouse brains. Treatment of prion-infected cells with lysosomal inhibitors, but not proteasomal inhibitors, increased the levels of sortilin. Moreover, sortilin was reduced following PrPSc becoming detectable in cells after infection with prions. These results indicate that PrPSc accumulation stimulates sortilin degradation in lysosomes. Taken together, these results show that PrPSc accumulation of itself could impair the sortilin-mediated sorting of PrPC and PrPSc to lysosomes for degradation by stimulating lysosomal degradation of sortilin, eventually leading to progressive accumulation of PrPSc in prion-infected cells.

  19. Use of ade1 and ade2 mutations for development of a versatile red/white colour assay of amyloid-induced oxidative stress in saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bharathi, Vidhya; Girdhar, Amandeep; Prasad, Archana; Verma, Meenkshi; Taneja, Vibha; Patel, Basant K

    2016-12-01

    Mutations in adenine biosynthesis pathway genes ADE1 and ADE2 have been conventionally used to score for prion [PSI + ] in yeast. If ade1-14 mutant allele is present, which contains a premature stop codon, [psi - ] yeast appear red on YPD medium owing to accumulation of a red intermediate compound in vacuoles. In [PSI + ] yeast, partial inactivation of the translation termination factor, Sup35 protein, owing to its amyloid aggregation allows for read-through of the ade1-14 stop codon and the yeast appears white as the red intermediate pigment is not accumulated. The red colour development in ade1 and ade2 mutant yeast requires reduced-glutathione, which helps in transport of the intermediate metabolite P-ribosylaminoimidazole carboxylate into vacuoles, which develops the red colour. Here, we hypothesize that amyloid-induced oxidative stress would deplete reduced-glutathione levels and thus thwart the development of red colour in ade1 or ade2 yeast. Indeed, when we overexpressed amyloid-forming human proteins TDP-43, Aβ-42 and Poly-Gln-103 and the yeast prion protein Rnq1, the otherwise red ade1 yeast yielded some white colonies. Further, the white colour eventually reverted back to red upon turning off the amyloid protein's expression. Also, the aggregate-bearing yeast have increased oxidative stress and white phenotype yeast revert to red when grown on media with reducing agent. Furthermore, the red/white assay could also be emulated in ade2-1, ade2Δ, and ade1Δ mutant yeast and also in an ade1-14 mutant with erg6 gene deletion that increases cell-wall permeability. This model would be useful tool for drug-screening against general amyloid-induced oxidative stress and toxicity. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  20. A Neuronal Culture System to Detect Prion Synaptotoxicity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  1. Enzymatic Digestion of Chronic Wasting Disease Prions Bound to Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    SAUNDERS, SAMUEL E.; BARTZ, JASON C.; VERCAUTEREN, KURT C.; BARTELT-HUNT, SHANNON L.

    2010-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) and sheep scrapie can be transmitted via indirect environmental routes, and it is known that soil can serve as a reservoir of prion infectivity. Given the strong interaction between the prion protein (PrP) and soil, we hypothesized that binding to soil enhances prion resistance to enzymatic digestion, thereby facilitating prion longevity in the environment and providing protection from host degradation. We characterized the performance of a commercially available subtilisin enzyme, the Prionzyme, to degrade soil-bound and unbound CWD and HY TME PrP as a function of pH, temperature, and treatment time. The subtilisin enzyme effectively degraded PrP adsorbed to a wide range of soils and soil minerals below the limits of detection. Signal loss occurred rapidly at high pH (12.5) and within 7 d under conditions representative of the natural environment (pH 7.4, 22°C). We observed no apparent difference in enzyme effectiveness between bound and unbound CWD PrP. Our results show that although adsorbed prions do retain relative resistance to enzymatic digestion compared with other brain homogenate proteins, they can be effectively degraded when bound to soil. Our results also suggest a topical application of a subtilisin enzyme solution may be an effective decontamination method to limit disease transmission via environmental ‘hot spots’ of prion infectivity. PMID:20450190

  2. 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.

  3. Reduction of prion infectivity in packed red blood cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morales, Rodrigo; Buytaert-Hoefen, Kimberley A.; Gonzalez-Romero, Dennisse; Castilla, Joaquin; Hansen, Eric T.; Hlavinka, Dennis; Goodrich, Raymond P.; Soto, Claudio

    2008-01-01

    The link between a new variant form of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) and the consumption of prion contaminated cattle meat as well as recent findings showing that vCJD can be transmitted by blood transfusion have raised public health concerns. Currently, a reliable test to identify prions in blood samples is not available. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the possibility to remove scrapie prion protein (PrP Sc ) and infectivity from red blood cell (RBC) suspensions by a simple washing procedure using a cell separation and washing device. The extent of prion removal was assessed by Western blot, PMCA and infectivity bioassays. Our results revealed a substantial removal of infectious prions (≥3 logs of infectivity) by all techniques used. These data suggest that a significant amount of infectivity present in RBC preparations can be removed by a simple washing procedure. This technology may lead to increased safety of blood products and reduce the risk of further propagation of prion diseases.

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-15

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

  6. Disparate modes of evolution shaped modern prion (PRNP) and prion-related doppel (PRND) variation in domestic cattle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Previous investigations aimed at determining whether the mammalian prion protein actually facilitates tangible molecular aspects of either a discrete or pleiotropic functional niche have been debated, especially given the apparent absence of overt behavioral or physiological phenotypes associated wi...

  7. Development and characterization of a TAPIR-like mouse monoclonal antibody to amyloid-beta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jun; Hara, Hideo; Makifuchi, Takao; Tabira, Takeshi

    2008-06-01

    Tissue amyloid plaque immuno-reactive (TAPIR) antibody was better related to the effect of immunotherapy in Alzheimer's disease (AD) than ELISA antibody. Here we used a hybridoma technique to develop a TAPIR-like anti-human amyloid-beta (Abeta) mouse monoclonal antibody. The obtained monoclonal antibody, 3.4A10, was an IgG2b isotype and recognized N-terminal portion of Abeta1-42 without binding denatured or native amyloid-beta protein precursor. It had higher affinity to Abeta1-42 than to Abeta1-40 by Biacore affinity analysis and stained preferably the peripheral part of senile plaques and recognized the plaque core less than 4G8. It inhibited the Abeta1-42 fibril formation as well as degraded pre-aggregated Abeta1-42 peptide in a thioflavin T fluorescence spectrophotometry assay. The in vivo studies showed that 3.4A10 treatment decreased amyloid burden compared to the control group and significantly reduced Abeta42 levels rather than Abeta40 levels in brain lysates as well as the Abeta*56 oligomer (12mer) in TBS fraction of the brain lysates. 3.4A10 entered brain and decorated some plaques, which is surrounded by more Iba1-positive microglia. 3.4A10 therapy did not induce lymphocytic infiltration and obvious increase in microhemorrhage. We conclude that 3.4A10 is a TAPIR-like anti-human amyloid monoclonal antibody, and has a potential of therapeutic application for AD.

  8. Increased expression of p62/SQSTM1 in prion diseases and its association with pathogenic prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Homma, Takujiro; Ishibashi, Daisuke; Nakagaki, Takehiro; Satoh, Katsuya; Sano, Kazunori; Atarashi, Ryuichiro; Nishida, Noriyuki

    2014-03-28

    Prion diseases are neurodegenerative disorders characterized by the aggregation of abnormally folded prion protein (PrP(Sc)). In this study, we focused on the mechanism of clearance of PrP(Sc), which remains unclear. p62 is a cytosolic protein known to mediate both the formation and degradation of aggregates of abnormal proteins. The levels of p62 protein increased in prion-infected brains and persistently infected cell cultures. Upon proteasome inhibition, p62 co-localized with PrP(Sc), forming a large aggregate in the perinuclear region, hereafter referred to as PrP(Sc)-aggresome. These aggregates were surrounded with autophagosome marker LC3 and lysosomes in prion-infected cells. Moreover, transient expression of the phosphomimic form of p62, which has enhanced ubiquitin-binding activity, reduced the amount of PrP(Sc) in prion-infected cells, indicating that the activation of p62 could accelerate the clearance of PrP(Sc). Our findings would thus suggest that p62 could be a target for the therapeutic control of prion diseases.

  9. Hamster female protein, a pentameric oligomer capable of reassociation and hybrid formation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coe, J.E.; Ross, M.J.

    1987-01-01

    Syrian hamster female protein (SFP), a serum oligomer composed of five identical subunits, was reassociated in vitro monomer subunits. The reconstituted pentamer was genuine by morphologic, antigenic, and structural criteria. Another female protein (FP), a homologue from Armenian hamsters (AFP), also reassociated into a pentamer after dissociation with 5 M guanidine hydrochloride. These two FP's hybridized when a mixture of them was dissociated and then reassociated. Differences between the parent FP's were used to show that the recombinant pentamer contained monomer subunits from both SFP and AFP. Reassociation of both FP's was enhanced by increasing FP concentration and also by adding Ca 2+ during reassembly. The two FP's differed in their reassociation profile in that SFP was especially efficient in reassembly, whereas AFP was more dependent upon Ca 2+ . Female protein is a homologue of C-reactive protein and amyloid P component, and all of these proteins (pentraxins) share a similar structure. The in vitro dissociation-reassociation of female protein described herein may reflect an in vivo dissociation-reassociation which is functionally important and a common metabolic feature within this family of proteins

  10. Encefalopatía por priones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Colegial

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available Las encefalopatías espongiformes por priones son enfermedades neurodegenerativas que pueden ser esporádicas o transmisibles, ya sea por mecanismos infecciosos o hereditarios. Su investigación ha planteado enormes retos y en el recorrido histórico en busca de su causa dos médicos han recibido el premio Nobel de Medicina: Carleton Gajdusek, por sus trabajos en Nueva Guinea donde describió la transmisión infecciosa por ritos canibalísticos, que llevó a estudios de transmisión experimental en chimpancés y a su teoría de los "virus lentos" (por el largo período de incubación de la enfermedad.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-06-01

    is not known. Obtaining structural information on the misfolded isoform of prion may lead to preventative therapies and treatments of prion diseases...the misfolded prion isoform may allow for the development of drug therapies or early detection systems for prion diseases