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Sample records for prp106-126 prion peptide

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2005-01-01

    One of the major pathological hallmarks of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) is the accumulation of a pathogenic (scrapie) isoform (PrPSc) of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) primarily in the central nervous system. The synthetic prion peptide PrP106-126 shares many characteristics...... with PrPSc in that it shows PrPC-dependent neurotoxicity both in vivo and in vitro. Moreover, PrP106-126 in vitro neurotoxicity has been closely associated with the ability to form fibrils. Here, we studied the in vivo neurotoxicity of molecular variants of PrP106-126 toward retinal neurons using...

  2. 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...

  3. Interaction of the human prion PrP(106-126) sequence with copper(II), manganese(II), and zinc(II): NMR and EPR studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaggelli, Elena; Bernardi, Francesca; Molteni, Elena; Pogni, Rebecca; Valensin, Daniela; Valensin, Gianni; Remelli, Maurizio; Luczkowski, Marek; Kozlowski, Henryk

    2005-01-26

    The synthetic peptide encompassing residues 106-126 (PrP106-126, KTNMKHMAGAAAAGAVVGGLG) of the human prion protein was considered for its binding properties toward copper(II), manganese(II) and zinc(II) at pH 5.7. 1H and 13C 1D spectra, 1H spin-lattice relaxation rates, and 1H-15N and 1H-13C HSQC 2D experiments were obtained in the absence and in the presence of metal ions. While Zn(II) was found to yield negligible effects upon any NMR parameter, metal-peptide association was demonstrated by the paramagnetic effects of Cu(II) and Mn(II) upon 1D and 2D spectra. Delineation of structures of metal complexes was sought by interpreting the paramagnetic effect on 1H spin-lattice relaxation rates. Exchange of peptide molecules from the metal coordination sphere was shown to provide sizable contribution to the observed relaxation rates. Such contribution was calculated in the case of Cu(II); whereas the faster paramagnetic rates of peptide molecules bound to Mn(II) were determining spin-lattice relaxation rates almost exclusively dominated by exchange. Proton-metal distances were therefore evaluated in the case of the Cu(II) complex only and used as restraints in molecular dynamics calculations where from the structure of the complex was obtained. The peptide was shown to bind copper through the imidazole nitrogen and the ionized amide nitrogen of His-111 and the amino-terminal group with the terminal carboxyl stabilizing the coordination sphere through ionic interactions. The data were interpreted as to demonstrate that the hydrophobic C-terminal region was not affecting the copper-binding properties of the peptide and that this hydrophobic tail is left free to interact with other target molecules. As for the complex with Mn(II), qualitative information was obtained on carbonyl oxygens of Gly-124 and Leu-125, beyond the terminal Gly-126 carboxyl, being at close distance from the metal ion, that also interacts, most likely, through a hydrogen bond of metal-bound water

  4. PrPSc-like prion protein peptide inhibits the function of cellular prion protein.

    OpenAIRE

    Brown, D.R.

    2000-01-01

    Mice lacking expression of the prion protein are protected against infection with prion disease. Neurodegeneration in prion disease requires the formation of the abnormal isoform of the prion protein (PrP(Sc)) from host prion protein. Therefore expression of normal host prion protein is necessary for prion disease. In the present investigation, it was demonstrated that PrP(Sc) and a peptide resembling PrP(Sc), PrP106-126, both bind to cellular prion protein at amino acid residues 112-119. Int...

  5. Gingerol-induced hypoxia-inducible factor 1 alpha inhibits human prion peptide-mediated neurotoxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeong, Jae-Kyo; Moon, Myung-Hee; Park, Yang-Gyu; Lee, Ju-Hee; Lee, You-Jin; Seol, Jae-Won; Park, Sang-Youel

    2013-08-01

    Prion diseases are a family member of neurodegenerative disorders caused by the accumulation of misfolded-prion proteins (scrapie form of PrP, PrP(Sc)). The accumulation of PrP(Sc) in the brain leads to neurotoxicity by the induction of mitochondrial-apoptotic pathways. Recent studies implicated gingerol in protection against neurodegeneration. However, the basis of the neuroprotection in prion disease remains unclear. Thus, we investigated the influence of gingerol on prion peptide-induced neuronal damage. Gingerol blocked PrP(106-126)-mediated neurotoxicity by protecting mitochondrial function. Moreover, the protective effect of gingerol against PrP(106-126)-induced mitochondrial damage was associated with hypoxia-inducible factor 1 alpha (HIF-1α) expression. Gingerol-induced HIF-1α expression inhibited the PrP(106-126)-induced mitochondrial dysfunction. On the other hand, inhibition of gingerol-induced HIF-1 α expression attenuated the gingerol-mediated neuroprotective effect. Here, we demonstrate for the first time that treatment with gingerol prevents prion peptide-mediated neuronal cell death and that the neuroprotection is induced by HIF-1α-mediated signals. This study suggests that treatment with gingerol may provide a novel therapeutic strategy for prion-mediated neurotoxicity. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  6. Role of Prion Protein Aggregation in Neurotoxicity

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    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. Sulforaphane-induced autophagy flux prevents prion protein-mediated neurotoxicity through AMPK pathway.

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    Lee, J-H; Jeong, J-K; Park, S-Y

    2014-10-10

    Prion diseases are neurodegenerative and infectious disorders that involve accumulation of misfolded scrapie prion protein, and which are characterized by spongiform degeneration. Autophagy, a major homeostatic process responsible for the degradation of cytoplasmic components, has garnered attention as the potential target for neurodegenerative diseases such as prion disease. We focused on protective effects of sulforaphane found in cruciferous vegetables on prion-mediated neurotoxicity and the mechanism of sulforaphane related to autophagy. In human neuroblastoma cells, sulforaphane protected prion protein (PrP) (106-126)-mediated neurotoxicity and increased autophagy flux marker microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3-II protein levels, following a decrease of p62 protein level. Pharmacological and genetical inhibition of autophagy by 3MA, wortmannin and knockdown of autophagy-related 5 (ATG5) led to block the effect of sulforaphane against PrP (106-126)-induced neurotoxicity. Furthermore we demonstrated that both sulforaphane-induced autophagy and protective effect of sulforaphane against PrP (106-126)-induced neurotoxicity are dependent on the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling. The present results indicated that sulforaphane of cruciferous vegetables enhanced autophagy flux led to the protection effects against prion-mediated neurotoxicity, which was regulated by AMPK signaling pathways in human neuron cells. Our data also suggest that sulforaphane has a potential value as a therapeutic tool in neurodegenerative disease including prion diseases. Copyright © 2014 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Lactoferrin from bovine colostrum regulates prolyl hydroxylase 2 activity and prevents prion protein-mediated neuronal cell damage via cellular prion protein.

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    Park, Y-G; Moon, J-H; Park, S-Y

    2014-08-22

    Prion disorders are associated with the conversion of normal cellular prion protein (PrPc) to the abnormal scrapie isoform of prion protein (PrPsc). Recent studies have shown that expression of normal PrPc is regulated by hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha (HIF-1α), and that lactoferrin increases full-length PrPc on the cell surface. Lactoferrin is an 80-kDa iron-binding glycoprotein with various biological activities, including iron-chelating ability. HIF-1α and the associated ubiquitin-proteasome pathway are regulated by HIF prolyl-hydroxylases 2 (PHD2). We hypothesized that lactoferrin regulates PHD2 expression and enzymatic activity, and the PHD2 regulation promotes HIF-1α stability and prevention of neuronal cell death mediated by prion protein (PrP) residues (106-126). Lactoferrin prevented PrP (106-126)-induced neurotoxicity by the induction of PrPc expression via promoting HIF-1α stability in neuronal cells. Our results demonstrated that lactoferrin prevented PrP (106-126)-induced neurotoxicity via the up-regulation of HIF-1α stability determined by PHD2 expression and enzymatic activity. These findings suggest that possible therapies such as PHD2 inhibition, or promotion of lactoferrin secretion, may have clinical benefits in neurodegenerative diseases, including prion disease. Copyright © 2014 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2004-01-01

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

  10. Reversion of prion protein conformational changes by synthetic beta-sheet breaker peptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soto, C; Kascsak, R J; Saborío, G P; Aucouturier, P; Wisniewski, T; Prelli, F; Kascsak, R; Mendez, E; Harris, D A; Ironside, J; Tagliavini, F; Carp, R I; Frangione, B

    2000-01-15

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are associated with a structural transition in the prion protein that results in the conversion of the physiological PrPc to pathological PrP(Sc). We investigated whether this conformational transition can be inhibited and reversed by peptides homologous to the PrP fragments implicated in the abnormal folding, which contain specific residues acting as beta-sheet blockers (beta-sheet breaker peptides). We studied the effect of a 13-residue beta-sheet breaker peptide (iPrP13) on the reversion of the abnormal structure and properties of PrP(Sc) purified from the brains of mice with experimental scrapie and from human beings affected by sporadic and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. In a cellular model of familial prion disease, we studied the effect of the peptide in the production of the abnormal form of PrP in intact cells. The influence of the peptide on prion infectivity was studied in vivo by incubation time assays in mice with experimental scrapie. The beta-sheet breaker peptide partly reversed in-vitro PrP(Sc) to a biochemical and structural state similar to that of PrPc. The effect of the peptide was also detected in intact cells. Treatment of prion infectious material with iPrP13 delayed the appearance of clinical symptoms and decreased infectivity by 90-95% in mice with experimental scrapie. Beta-sheet breaker peptides reverse PrP conformational changes implicated in the pathogenesis of spongiform encephalopathies. These peptides or their derivatives provide a useful tool to study the role of PrP conformation and might represent a novel therapeutic approach for prion-related disorders.

  11. Prions

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    W. Bodemer

    2016-09-01

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

  12. Leu138 in bovine prion peptide fibrils is involved in seeding discrimination related to codon 129 M/V polymorphism in the prion peptide seeding experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Tai-Yan; Lee, Lily Y-L; Chen, Rita P-Y

    2011-11-01

    The risk of acquiring variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is closely related to polymorphism at codon 129 of the human prion gene, because almost all variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease patients are Met/Met homozygotes. Although animal transmission experiments corroborated this seeding discrimination, the origin of the differential seeding efficiency of the bovine prion seed for human codon 129 polymorphism remained elusive. Here, we used a short prion protein (PrP) peptide as a model system to test whether seeding discrimination can be found in this simple system. We used a previously developed 'seed-titration method' and time-resolved CD spectroscopy to compare sequence-dependent seeding efficiency regarding codon 129 polymorphism. Our results showed that the Met→Val substitution on the human PrP (huPrP) peptide decreased seeding efficiency by 10 times when fibrils formed from bovine PrP (bPrP) peptide were used as the seed. To explore whether the different seeding barrier is due to the chemical and structural properties of Met and Val or whether another residue is involved in this peptide model, we constructed three bPrP mutants, V112M, L138I and N143S, in each of which one residue was replaced by the corresponding human residue. Our data showed that Leu138 in the bPrP seed might be the key residue causing the different seeding efficiencies related to 129M/V polymorphism and the interference effect of huPrP129V in the huPrP129M/V mixture. We propose a 'surface competition hypothesis' to explain the big seeding barrier caused by 129V in the PrP peptide seeding experiment. © 2011 The Authors Journal compilation © 2011 FEBS.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  14. Effect of electrostatics on aggregation of prion protein Sup35 peptide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Portillo, Alexander M.; Krasnoslobodtsev, Alexey V.; Lyubchenko, Yuri L.

    2012-04-01

    Self-assembly of misfolded proteins into ordered fibrillar structures is a fundamental property of a wide range of proteins and peptides. This property is also linked with the development of various neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Environmental conditions modulate the misfolding and aggregation processes. We used a peptide, CGNNQQNY, from yeast prion protein Sup35, as a model system to address effects of environmental conditions on aggregate formation. The GNNQQNY peptide self-assembles in fibrils with structural features that are similar to amyloidogenic proteins. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) and thioflavin T (ThT) fluorescence assay were employed to follow the aggregation process at various pHs and ionic strengths. We also used single molecule AFM force spectroscopy to probe interactions between the peptides under various conditions. The ThT fluorescence data showed that the peptide aggregates fast at pH values approaching the peptide isoelectric point (pI = 5.3) and the kinetics is 10 times slower at acidic pH (pH 2.0), suggesting that electrostatic interactions contribute to the peptide self-assembly into aggregates. This hypothesis was tested by experiments performed at low (11 mM) and high (150 mM) ionic strengths. Indeed, the aggregation lag time measured at pH 2 at low ionic strength (11 mM) is 195 h, whereas the lag time decreases ˜5 times when the ionic strength is increased to 150 mM. At conditions close to the pI value, pH 5.6, the aggregation lag time is 12 ± 6 h under low ionic strength, and there is minimal change to the lag time at 150 mM NaCl. The ionic strength also influences the morphology of aggregates visualized with AFM. In pH 2.0 and at high ionic strength, the aggregates are twofold taller than those formed at low ionic strength. In parallel, AFM force spectroscopy studies revealed minimal contribution of electrostatics to dissociation of transient peptide dimers.

  15. 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.

  16. Prion Fragment Peptides Are Digested with Membrane Type Matrix Metalloproteinases and Acquire Enzyme Resistance through Cu2+-Binding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aya Kojima

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Prions are the cause of neurodegenerative disease in humans and other mammals. The structural conversion of the prion protein (PrP from a normal cellular protein (PrPC to a protease-resistant isoform (PrPSc is thought to relate to Cu2+ binding to histidine residues. In this study, we focused on the membrane-type matrix metalloproteinases (MT-MMPs such as MT1-MMP and MT3-MMP, which are expressed in the brain as PrPC-degrading proteases. We synthesized 21 prion fragment peptides. Each purified peptide was individually incubated with recombinant MT1-MMP or MT3-MMP in the presence or absence of Cu2+ and the cleavage sites determined by LC-ESI-MS analysis. Recombinant MMP-7 and human serum (HS were also tested as control. hPrP61-90, from the octapeptide-repeat region, was cleaved by HS but not by the MMPs tested here. On the other hand, hPrP92-168 from the central region was cleaved by MT1-MMP and MT3-MMP at various sites. These cleavages were inhibited by treatment with Cu2+. The C-terminal peptides had higher resistance than the central region. The data obtained from this study suggest that MT-MMPs expressed in the brain might possess PrPC-degrading activity.

  17. 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.

  18. Use of capillary electrophoresis and fluorescent labeled peptides to detect the abnormal prion protein in the blood of animals that are infected with a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmerr, M J; Jenny, A L; Bulgin, M S; Miller, J M; Hamir, A N; Cutlip, R C; Goodwin, K R

    1999-08-20

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies in humans and in animals are fatal neuro-degenerative diseases with long incubation times. The putative cause of these diseases is a normal host protein, the prion protein, that becomes altered. This abnormal prion protein is found mostly in the brains of infected individuals in later stages of the disease, but also can be found in lymphoid and other tissues in lower amounts. In order to eradicate this disease in animals, it is important to develop a system that can concentrate the abnormal prion protein and an assay that is very sensitive. The sensitivity that can be achieved with capillary electrophoresis makes it possible to detect the abnormal protein in blood. A peptide from the carboxyl terminal region, amino acid positions 218-232, was labeled with fluorescein during the synthesis of the peptide at the amino terminus. Antibodies that have been produced to this peptide were affinity purified and used in a capillary electrophoresis immunoassay. The amount of fluorescein labeled peptide in the capillary was 50 amol. Blood was obtained from normal sheep and elk, from sheep infected with scrapie and elk infected with chronic wasting disease. Buffy coats and plasma were prepared by a conventional method. After treatment with proteinase K, which destroys the normal protein but not the altered one, the blood fractions were extracted and tested in the capillary electrophoresis immunoassay for the abnormal prion protein. The abnormal prion protein was detected in fractions from blood from infected animals but not from normal animals. This assay makes a pre-clinical assay possible for these diseases and could be adapted to test for the abnormal prion protein in process materials that are used for manufacture of pharmaceuticals and products for human consumption.

  19. Absolute Quantification of Prion Protein (90-231) Using Stable Isotope-Labeled Chymotryptic Peptide Standards in a LC-MRM AQUA Workflow

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    Sturm, Robert; Sheynkman, Gloria; Booth, Clarissa; Smith, Lloyd M.; Pedersen, Joel A.; Li, Lingjun

    2012-09-01

    Substantial evidence indicates that the disease-associated conformer of the prion protein (PrPTSE) constitutes the etiologic agent in prion diseases. These diseases affect multiple mammalian species. PrPTSE has the ability to convert the conformation of the normal prion protein (PrPC) into a β-sheet rich form resistant to proteinase K digestion. Common immunological techniques lack the sensitivity to detect PrPTSE at subfemtomole levels, whereas animal bioassays, cell culture, and in vitro conversion assays offer higher sensitivity but lack the high-throughput the immunological assays offer. Mass spectrometry is an attractive alternative to the above assays as it offers high-throughput, direct measurement of a protein's signature peptide, often with subfemtomole sensitivities. Although a liquid chromatography-multiple reaction monitoring (LC-MRM) method has been reported for PrPTSE, the chemical composition and lack of amino acid sequence conservation of the signature peptide may compromise its accuracy and make it difficult to apply to multiple species. Here, we demonstrate that an alternative protease (chymotrypsin) can produce signature peptides suitable for a LC-MRM absolute quantification (AQUA) experiment. The new method offers several advantages, including: (1) a chymotryptic signature peptide lacking chemically active residues (Cys, Met) that can confound assay accuracy; (2) low attomole limits of detection and quantitation (LOD and LOQ); and (3) a signature peptide retaining the same amino acid sequence across most mammals naturally susceptible to prion infection as well as important laboratory models. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report on the use of a non-tryptic peptide in a LC-MRM AQUA workflow.

  20. Adult human microglia secrete cytokines when exposed to neurotoxic prion protein peptide: no intermediary role for prostaglandin E2

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veerhuis, Robert; Hoozemans, Jeroen J. M.; Janssen, Ingrid; Boshuizen, Ronald S.; Langeveld, Jan P. M.; Eikelenboom, Piet

    2002-01-01

    Prion diseases are characterized by accumulation of protease resistant isoforms of prion protein (termed PrP(SC)), glial activation and neurodegeneration. The time course of PrP deposition, appearance of activated microglia, and of neuronal apoptosis in experimentally-induced prion disease suggests

  1. Aptamers against prion proteins and prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilch, Sabine; Schätzl, Hermann M

    2009-08-01

    Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative and infectious disorders of humans and animals, characterized by structural transition of the host-encoded cellular prion protein (PrP(c)) into the aberrantly folded pathologic isoform PrP(Sc). RNA, DNA or peptide aptamers are classes of molecules which can be selected from complex combinatorial libraries for high affinity and specific binding to prion proteins and which might therefore be useful in diagnosis and therapy of prion diseases. Nucleic acid aptamers, which can be chemically synthesized, stabilized and immobilized, appear more suitable for diagnostic purposes, allowing use of PrP(Sc) as selection target. Peptide aptamers facilitate appropriate intracellular expression, targeting and re-routing without losing their binding properties to PrP, a requirement for potential therapeutic gene transfer experiments in vivo. Elucidation of structural properties of peptide aptamers might be used as basis for rational drug design, providing another attractive application of peptide aptamers in the search for effective anti-prion strategies.

  2. Inoculation of scrapie with the self-assembling RADA-peptide disrupts prion accumulation and extends hamster survival.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Hnasko

    Full Text Available Intracerebral inoculation of 263K Scrapie brain homogenate (PrPsc with a self-assembling RADA-peptide (RADA significantly delayed disease onset and increased hamster survival. Time of survival was dependent on the dose of RADA and pre-incubation with PrPsc prior to inoculation. RADA treatment resulted in the absence of detectable PrPsc at 40 d followed by an increased rate of PrPsc accumulation at 75 d up to sacrifice. In all PrPsc inoculated animals, clinical symptoms were observed approximately 10 d prior to sacrifice and brains showed spongiform degeneration with Congo red positive plaques. A time-dependent increase in reactive gliosis was observed in both groups with more GFAP detected in RADA treated animals at all time points. The PrP protein showed dose-dependent binding to RADA and this binding was competitively inhibited by Congo Red. We conclude that RADA disrupts the efficacy of prion transmission by altering the rate of PrPsc accumulation. This is the first demonstration that a self-assembling biomolecular peptide can interact with PrPsc, disrupt the course of Scrapie disease process, and extend survival.

  3. Characterization of prion protein (PrP)-derived peptides that discriminate full-length PrPSc from PrPC.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, Anthony L; Yam, Alice Y; Michelitsch, Melissa M D; Wang, Xuemei; Gao, Carol; Goodson, Robert J; Shimizu, Robert; Timoteo, Gulliver; Hall, John; Medina-Selby, Angelica; Coit, Doris; McCoin, Colin; Phelps, Bruce; Wu, Ping; Hu, Celine; Chien, David; Peretz, David

    2007-07-10

    On our initial discovery that prion protein (PrP)-derived peptides were capable of capturing the pathogenic prion protein (PrP(Sc)), we have been interested in how these peptides interact with PrP(Sc). After screening peptides from the entire human PrP sequence, we found two peptides (PrP(19-30) and PrP(100-111)) capable of binding full-length PrP(Sc) in plasma, a medium containing a complex mixture of other proteins including a vast excess of the normal prion protein (PrP(C)). The limit of detection for captured PrP(Sc) was calculated to be 8 amol from a approximately 10(5)-fold dilution of 10% (wt/vol) human variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease brain homogenate, with >3,800-fold binding specificity to PrP(Sc) over PrP(C). Through extensive analyses, we show that positively charged amino acids play an important, but not exclusive, role in the interaction between the peptides and PrP(Sc). Neither hydrophobic nor polar interactions appear to correlate with binding activity. The peptide-PrP(Sc) interaction was not sequence-specific, but amino acid composition affected binding. Binding occurs through a conformational domain that is only present in PrP(Sc), is species-independent, and is not affected by proteinase K digestion. These and other findings suggest a mechanism by which cationic domains of PrP(C) may play a role in the recruitment of PrP(C) to PrP(Sc).

  4. N-terminal Prion Protein Peptides (PrP(120-144)) Form Parallel In-register β-Sheets via Multiple Nucleation-dependent Pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yiming; Shao, Qing; Hall, Carol K

    2016-10-14

    The prion diseases are a family of fatal neurodegenerative diseases associated with the misfolding and accumulation of normal prion protein (PrP(C)) into its pathogenic scrapie form (PrP(Sc)). Understanding the fundamentals of prion protein aggregation and the molecular architecture of PrP(Sc) is key to unraveling the pathology of prion diseases. Our work investigates the early-stage aggregation of three prion protein peptides, corresponding to residues 120-144 of human (Hu), bank vole (BV), and Syrian hamster (SHa) prion protein, from disordered monomers to β-sheet-rich fibrillar structures. Using 12 μs discontinuous molecular dynamics simulations combined with the PRIME20 force field, we find that the Hu-, BV-, and SHaPrP(120-144) aggregate via multiple nucleation-dependent pathways to form U-shaped, S-shaped, and Ω-shaped protofilaments. The S-shaped HuPrP(120-144) protofilament is similar to the amyloid core structure of HuPrP(112-141) predicted by Zweckstetter. HuPrP(120-144) has a shorter aggregation lag phase than BVPrP(120-144) followed by SHaPrP(120-144), consistent with experimental findings. Two amino acid substitutions I138M and I139M retard the formation of parallel in-register β-sheet dimers during the nucleation stage by increasing side chain-side chain association and reducing side chain interaction specificity. On average, HuPrP(120-144) aggregates contain more parallel β-sheet content than those formed by BV- and SHaPrP(120-144). Deletion of the C-terminal residues 138-144 prevents formation of fibrillar structures in agreement with the experiment. This work sheds light on the amyloid core structures underlying prion strains and how I138M, I139M, and S143N affect prion protein aggregation kinetics. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  5. Biochemical Characterization of Prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiorini, Michele; Bongianni, Matilde; Monaco, Salvatore; Zanusso, Gianluigi

    2017-01-01

    Prion disease or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are characterized by the presence of the abnormal form of the prion protein (PrPSc). The pathological and transmissible properties of PrPSc are enciphered in its secondary and tertiary structures. Since it's well established that different strains of prions are linked to different conformations of PrPSc, biochemical characterization of prions seems a preliminary but reliable approach to detect, analyze, and compare prion strains. Experimental biochemical procedures might be helpful in distinguishing PrPSc physicochemical properties and include resistance to proteinase K (PK) digestion, insolubility in nonionic detergents, PK-resistance under denaturing conditions and sedimentation properties in sucrose gradients. This biochemical approach has been extensively applied in human prion disorders and subsequently expanded for PrPSc characterization in animals. In particular, in sporadic Creutzfedlt-Jakob disease (sCJD) PrPSc is characterized by two main glycotypes conventionally named Type 1 and Type 2, based on the apparent gel migration at 21 and 19kDa of the PrPSc PK-resistant fragment. An additional PrPSc type was identified in sCJD characterized by an unglycosylated dominant glycoform pattern and in 2010 a variably protease-sensitive prionopathy (VPSPr) was reported showing a PrPSc with an electrophoretic ladder like pattern. Additionally, the presence of PrPSc truncated fragments completes the electrophoretic characterization of different prion strains. By two-dimensional (2D) electrophoretic analysis additional PrPSc pattern was identified, since this procedure provides information about the isoelectric point and the different peptides length related to PK cleavage, as well as to glycosylation extent or GPI anchor presence. We here provide and extensive review on PrPSc biochemical analysis in human and animal prion disorders. Further, we show that PrPSc glycotypes observed in CJD share similarities with

  6. Inhibition of cytosolic Phospholipase A2 prevents prion peptide-induced neuronal damage and co-localisation with Beta III Tubulin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Last Victoria

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Activation of phospholipase A2 (PLA2 and the subsequent metabolism of arachidonic acid (AA to prostaglandins have been shown to play an important role in neuronal death in neurodegenerative disease. Here we report the effects of the prion peptide fragment HuPrP106-126 on the PLA2 cascade in primary cortical neurons and translocation of cPLA2 to neurites. Results Exposure of primary cortical neurons to HuPrP106-126 increased the levels of phosphorylated cPLA2 and caused phosphorylated cPLA2 to relocate from the cell body to the cellular neurite in a PrP-dependent manner, a previously unreported observation. HuPrP106-126 also induced significant AA release, an indicator of cPLA2 activation; this preceded synapse damage and subsequent cellular death. The novel translocation of p-cPLA2 postulated the potential for exposure to HuPrP106-126 to result in a re-arrangement of the cellular cytoskeleton. However p-cPLA2 did not colocalise significantly with F-actin, intermediate filaments, or microtubule-associated proteins. Conversely, p-cPLA2 did significantly colocalise with the cytoskeletal protein beta III tubulin. Pre-treatment with the PLA2 inhibitor, palmitoyl trifluoromethyl ketone (PACOCF3 reduced cPLA2 activation, AA release and damage to the neuronal synapse. Furthermore, PACOCF3 reduced expression of p-cPLA2 in neurites and inhibited colocalisation with beta III tubulin, resulting in protection against PrP-induced cell death. Conclusions Collectively, these findings suggest that cPLA2 plays a vital role in the action of HuPrP106-126 and that the colocalisation of p-cPLA2 with beta III tubulin could be central to the progress of neurodegeneration caused by prion peptides. Further work is needed to define exactly how PLA2 inhibitors protect neurons from peptide-induced toxicity and how this relates to intracellular structural changes occurring in neurodegeneration.

  7. One O-linked sugar can affect the coil-to-β structural transition of the prion peptide

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Pei-Yeh; Lin, Chun-Cheng; Chang, Yin-Ting; Lin, Su-Ching; Chan, Sunney I.

    2002-01-01

    It has been known that the structural transition from PrPC to PrPSc leads to the prion formation. This putative conformational change challenges the central dogma of the protein folding theory-"one sequence, one structure." Generally, scientists believe that there must be either a posttranslational modification or environmental factors involved in this event. However, all of the efforts to solve the mystery of the PrPC to PrPSc transition have ended in vain so far. Here we provide evidence li...

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. Inoculation of Scrapie with the Self-Assembling RADA-Peptide Disrupts Prion Accumulation and Extends Hamster Survival

    Science.gov (United States)

    Intercerebral inoculation of 263K Scrapie brain homogenate (PrPsc) with a self-assembling RADA-peptide (RADA) significantly delayed disease onset and increased hamster survival. Time of survival was dependent on the dose of RADA and pre-incubation with PrPsc prior to inoculation. RADA treatment resu...

  11. Prion topology and toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguzzi, Adriano; Steele, Andrew D

    2009-06-12

    Inactivation of mahogunin, an E3 ubiquitin ligase, causes a spongiform encephalopathy resembling prion disease. Chakrabarti and Hegde (2009) now report that prion proteins with aberrant topologies inactivate mahogunin, providing a plausible explanation for certain aspects of prion pathology.

  12. The Role of Side-Chain Interactions in the Early Steps of Aggregation: Molecular Dynamics Simulations of an Amyloid-Forming Peptide from the Yeast Prion Sup35

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Jörg Gsponer; Urs Haberthür; Amedeo Caflisch

    2003-01-01

    .... In this paper, aggregation of the heptapeptide GNNQQNY, from the N-terminal prion-determining domain of the yeast protein Sup35, was studied by 20 molecular dynamics runs for a total simulation time of 20 µs...

  13. Prions in Yeast

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liebman, Susan W.; Chernoff, Yury O.

    2012-01-01

    The concept of a prion as an infectious self-propagating protein isoform was initially proposed to explain certain mammalian diseases. It is now clear that yeast also has heritable elements transmitted via protein. Indeed, the “protein only” model of prion transmission was first proven using a yeast prion. Typically, known prions are ordered cross-β aggregates (amyloids). Recently, there has been an explosion in the number of recognized prions in yeast. Yeast continues to lead the way in understanding cellular control of prion propagation, prion structure, mechanisms of de novo prion formation, specificity of prion transmission, and the biological roles of prions. This review summarizes what has been learned from yeast prions. PMID:22879407

  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. Prion proteins leading to neurodegeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  16. Porcine prion protein amyloid

    OpenAIRE

    Hammarstr?m, Per; Nystr?m, Sofie

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT 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...

  17. Memory impairment in transgenic Alzheimer mice requires cellular prion protein

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2010-01-01

    ...). Recently, we reported that synthetic Abeta oligomers bind to cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) and that this interaction is required for suppression of synaptic plasticity in hippocampal slices by oligomeric Abeta peptide...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Activation of human microglia by fibrillar prion protein-related peptides is enhanced by amyloid-associated factors SAP and C1q

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veerhuis, Robert; Boshuizen, Ronald S.; Morbin, Michela; Mazzoleni, Giulia; Hoozemans, Jeroen J. M.; Langedijk, Johannes P. M.; Tagliavini, Fabrizio; Langeveld, Jan P. M.; Eikelenboom, Piet

    2005-01-01

    Complement activation products C1q and C3d, serum amyloid P component (SAP) and activated glial cells accumulate in amyloid deposits of conformationally changed prion protein (PrPSc) in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Gerstmann-Straussier-Scheinker disease and scrapie-infected mouse brain. Biological

  1. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Song, Zhiqi; Zhao, Deming; Yang, Lifeng

    2013-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy or prion disease is triggered by the conversion from cellular prion protein to pathogenic prion protein. Growing evidence has concentrated on prion protein configuration changes and their correlation with prion disease transmissibility and pathogenicity. In vivo and in vitro studies have shown that several cytosolic forms of prion protein with specific topological structure can destroy intracellular stability and contribute to prion protein pathogenicit...

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Porcine prion protein amyloid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammarström, Per; Nyström, Sofie

    2015-01-01

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

  6. ­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. PMID:24549098

  7. Increased expression and local accumulation of the Prion Protein, Alzheimer Aβ peptides, superoxide dismutase 1, and Nitric oxide synthases 1 & 2 in muscle in a rabbit model of diabetes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bitel Claudine L

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Muscle disease associated with different etiologies has been shown to produce localized accumulations of amyloid and oxidative stress-related proteins that are more commonly associated with neurodegeneration in the brain. In this study we examined changes in muscle tissue in a classic model of diabetes and hyperglycemia in rabbits to determine if similar dysregulation of Alzheimer Aβ peptides, the prion protein (PrP, and superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1, as well as nitric oxide synthases is produced in muscle in diabetic animals. This wild-type rabbit model includes systemic physiological expression of human-like Alzheimer precursor proteins and Aβ peptides that are considered key in Alzheimer protein studies. Results Diabetes was produced in rabbits by injection of the toxic glucose analogue alloxan, which selectively enters pancreatic beta cells and irreversibly decreases insulin production, similar to streptozotocin. Quadriceps muscle from rabbits 16 wks after onset of diabetes and hyperglycemia were analyzed with biochemical and in situ methods. Immunoblots of whole muscle protein samples demonstrated increased PrP, SOD1, as well as neuronal and inducible Nitric oxide synthases (NOS1 and NOS2 in diabetic muscle. In contrast, we detected little change in Alzheimer Aβ precursor protein expression, or BACE1 and Presenilin 1 levels. However, Aβ peptides measured by ELISA increased several fold in diabetic muscle, suggesting a key role for Aβ cleavage in muscle similar to Alzheimer neurodegeneration in this diabetes model. Histological changes in diabetic muscle included localized accumulations of PrP, Aβ, NOS1 and 2, and SOD1, and evidence of increased central nuclei and cell infiltration. Conclusions The present study provides evidence that several classic amyloid and oxidative stress-related disease proteins coordinately increase in overall expression and form localized accumulations in diabetic muscle. The present study

  8. Generating a Prion with Bacterially Expressed Recombinant Prion Protein**

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, Fei; Wang, Xinhe; Yuan, Chong-Gang; Ma, Jiyan

    2010-01-01

    The prion hypothesis posits that a misfolded form of prion protein (PrP) is responsible for the infectivity of prion disease. Using recombinant murine PrP purified from Escherichia coli, we created a recombinant prion with the hallmarks of the pathogenic PrP isoform: aggregated, protease-resistant, and self-perpetuating. After intracerebral injection of the recombinant prion, wild-type mice developed neurological signs in ~130 days and reached the terminal stage of disease in ~150 days. Chara...

  9. Prion diseases animals

    OpenAIRE

    Sedoshkina K.; Drozdova E.; Nikolayeva S.; Rystsova E.

    2017-01-01

    Priones are an absolutely new class of infectious agents, which basically differs from protozoa, bacterium’s, fungus and viral agents. They can evoke genetic, infectious and sporadic diseases with obligatory disturbance of the brain. The conversion of prione protein because of nature structure disturbance is the fundamental reason for a display of pathogenicity this protein. 

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    method for production of mouse monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against peptides representing two sites of interest in the bovine prion protein (boPrP), the causative agent of bovine spongiform encephalopathy ("mad cow disease") and new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob's disease (CJD) in humans, as well...... as a thorough characterization of their reactivity with a range of normal and pathogenic (misfolded) prion proteins. It is demonstrated that immunization of wild-type mice with ovalbumin-conjugated peptides formulated with Freund's adjuvant induces a good immune response, including high levels of specific anti...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Zhiqi; Zhao, Deming; Yang, Lifeng

    2013-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy or prion disease is triggered by the conversion from cellular prion protein to pathogenic prion protein. Growing evidence has concentrated on prion protein configuration changes and their correlation with prion disease transmissibility and pathogenicity. In vivo and in vitro studies have shown that several cytosolic forms of prion protein with specific topological structure can destroy intracellular stability and contribute to prion protein pathogenicity. In this study, the latest molecular chaperone system associated with endoplasmic reticulum-associated protein degradation, the endoplasmic reticulum resident protein quality-control system and the ubiquitination proteasome system, is outlined. The molecular chaperone system directly correlates with the prion protein degradation pathway. Understanding the molecular mechanisms will help provide a fascinating avenue for further investigations on prion disease treatment and prion protein-induced neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:25206608

  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. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Prion protein scrapie and the normal cellular prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkinson, Caroline J; Zhang, Kai; Munn, Alan L; Wiegmans, Adrian; Wei, Ming Q

    2016-01-01

    Prions are infectious proteins and over the past few decades, some prions have become renowned for their causative role in several neurodegenerative diseases in animals and humans. Since their discovery, the mechanisms and mode of transmission and molecular structure of prions have begun to be established. There is, however, still much to be elucidated about prion diseases, including the development of potential therapeutic strategies for treatment. The significance of prion disease is discussed here, including the categories of human and animal prion diseases, disease transmission, disease progression and the development of symptoms and potential future strategies for treatment. Furthermore, the structure and function of the normal cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) and its importance in not only in prion disease development, but also in diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer's disease will also be discussed.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Nanoimaging for prion related diseases

    OpenAIRE

    Krasnoslobodtsev, Alexey V.; Portillo, Alexander M.; Deckert-Gaudig, Tanja; Deckert, Volker; Lyubchenko, Yuri L.

    2010-01-01

    Misfolding and aggregation of prion proteins is linked to a number of neurodegenerative disorders such as Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease (CJD) and its variants: Kuru, Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker syndrome and fatal familial insomnia. In prion diseases, infectious particles are proteins that propagate by transmitting a misfolded state of a protein, leading to the formation of aggregates and ultimately to neurodegeneration. Prion phenomenon is not restricted to humans. There are a number of prion-...

  19. Genes contributing to prion pathogenesis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tamgüney, Gültekin; Giles, Kurt; Glidden, David V

    2008-01-01

    Prion diseases are caused by conversion of a normally folded, non-pathogenic isoform of the prion protein (PrP(C)) to a misfolded, pathogenic isoform (PrP(Sc)). Prion inoculation experiments in mice expressing homologous PrP(C) molecules on different genetic backgrounds displayed different...

  20. The sensitive [SWI (+)] prion: new perspectives on yeast prion diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hines, Justin K; Craig, Elizabeth A

    2011-01-01

    Yeast prions are heritable protein-based genetic elements which rely on molecular chaperone proteins for stable transmission to cell progeny. Within the past few years, five new prions have been validated and 18 additional putative prions identified in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The exploration of the physical and biological properties of these "nouveau prions" has begun to reveal the extent of prion diversity in yeast. We recently reported that one such prion, [SWI(+)], differs from the best studied, archetypal prion [PSI(+)] in several significant ways. ( 1) Notably, [SWI(+)] is highly sensitive to alterations in Hsp70 system chaperone activity and is lost upon growth at elevated temperatures. In that report we briefly noted a correlation amongst prions regarding amino acid composition, seed number and sensitivity to the activity of the Hsp70 chaperone system. Here we extend that analysis and put forth the idea that [SWI(+)] may be representative of a class of asparagine-rich yeast prions which also includes [URE3], [MOT3(+)] and [ISP(+)], distinct from the glutamine-rich prions such as [PSI(+)] and [RNQ(+)]. While much work remains, it is apparent that our understanding of the extent of the diversity of prion characteristics is in its infancy.

  1. Nanoimaging for prion related diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krasnoslobodtsev, Alexey V; Portillo, Alexander M; Deckert-Gaudig, Tanja; Deckert, Volker; Lyubchenko, Yuri L

    2010-01-01

    Misfolding and aggregation of prion proteins is linked to a number of neurodegenerative disorders such as Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease (CJD) and its variants: Kuru, Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker syndrome and fatal familial insomnia. In prion diseases, infectious particles are proteins that propagate by transmitting a misfolded state of a protein, leading to the formation of aggregates and ultimately to neurodegeneration. Prion phenomenon is not restricted to humans. There are a number of prion-related diseases in a variety of mammals, including bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, also known as "mad cow disease") in cattle. All known prion diseases, collectively called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), are untreatable and fatal. Prion proteins were also found in some fungi where they are responsible for heritable traits. Prion proteins in fungi are easily accessible and provide a powerful model for understanding the general principles of prion phenomenon and molecular mechanisms of mammalian prion diseases. Presently, several fundamental questions related to prions remain unanswered. For example, it is not clear how prions cause the disease. Other unknowns include the nature and structure of infectious agent and how prions replicate. Generally, the phenomenon of misfolding of the prion protein into infectious conformations that have the ability to propagate their properties via aggregation is of significant interest. Despite the crucial importance of misfolding and aggregation, very little is currently known about the molecular mechanisms of these processes. While there is an apparent critical need to study molecular mechanisms underlying misfolding and aggregation, the detailed characterization of these single molecule processes is hindered by the limitation of conventional methods. Although some issues remain unresolved, much progress has been recently made primarily due to the application of nanoimaging tools. The use of nanoimaging methods shows

  2. Ethics in prion disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bechtel, Kendra; Geschwind, Michael D

    2013-11-01

    This paper is intended to discuss some of the scientific and ethical issues that are created by increased research efforts towards earlier diagnosis, as well as to treatment of, human prion diseases (and related dementias), including the resulting consequences for individuals, their families, and society. Most patients with prion disease currently are diagnosed when they are about 2/3 of the way through their disease course (Geschwind et al., 2010a; Paterson et al., 2012b), when the disease has progressed so far that even treatments that stop the disease process would probably have little benefit. Although there are currently no treatments available for prion diseases, we and others have realized that we must diagnose patients earlier and with greater accuracy so that future treatments have hope of success. As approximately 15% of prion diseases have a autosomal dominant genetic etiology, this further adds to the complexity of ethical issues, particularly regarding when to conduct genetic testing, release of genetic results, and when or if to implement experimental therapies. Human prion diseases are both infectious and transmissible; great care is required to balance the needs of the family and individual with both public health needs and strained hospital budgets. It is essential to proactively examine and address the ethical issues involved, as well as to define and in turn provide best standards of care. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  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. Human prion diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thakur, Rajeev; Vincent, Yasmeen Marbaniang; Chaturvedi, Sujata

    2002-01-01

    Prion diseases is another name for a group of 'transmissible spongiform encephalopathies'. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the first prion disease described in humans, occurs in sporadic, familial or iatrogenic form. Other transmissible spongiform encephalopathies in humans such as familial Creutzfeldt-]akob disease, Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker disease and fatal familial Insomnia have been shown to be associated with specific prion protein gene mutations. In 1996, a new variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease was reported in the United Kingdom among young patients with unusual clinical features and unique neuropathological findings. This new form could be due to transmission to humans of the agent causing bovine spongiform encephalopathy. While examination of brain tissue is the key to making a diagnosis, it is not always possible antemortem. Immunological tests such as ELISA or western blot assays along with tests for 1 4-3-3 protein in the cerebrospinal fluid remain the main tools of diagnosis. Conventional disinfection and sterilization practices are Ineffective for these agents. The unusual properties of prions pose a challenge for treatment, surveillance and control of these diseases.

  7. 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.

  8. Protease-Sensitive Synthetic Prions

    OpenAIRE

    Colby, David W.; Wain, Rachel; Baskakov, Ilia V.; Legname, Giuseppe; Palmer, Christina G.; Nguyen, Hoang-Oanh B.; Lemus, Azucena; Cohen, Fred E.; DeArmond, Stephen J.; Prusiner, Stanley B.

    2010-01-01

    Prions arise when the cellular prion protein (PrPC) undergoes a self-propagating conformational change; the resulting infectious conformer is designated PrPSc. Frequently, PrPSc 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 no...

  9. Prion protein dynamics before aggregation

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Srivastava, Kinshuk Raj; Lapidusa, Lisa J

    2017-01-01

      Prion diseases, like Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson disease, are rapidly progressive neurodegenerative disorders caused by misfolding followed by aggregation and accumulation of protein deposits in neuronal cells...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Prion disease: chemotherapeutic strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sim, Valerie L

    2012-04-01

    Prion diseases, also known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, are invariably fatal neurodegenerative diseases for which there are no efficacious treatments. Thousands of compounds have been screened for anti-prion effect, and yet of those that have effect in vitro, very few show effect in vivo, especially if administered in the later stages of disease. However, with new techniques for early diagnosis being developed, and with further insight into the pathogenesis of early disease, including the role of oligomers and the contribution of accessory molecules and signalling cascades, the chance of finding a therapeutic strategy is increasing. Beyond clinical therapy, there is increasing need to find effective decontaminants for blood supplies, as variant Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease (vCJD) is transmissible by blood. Non-toxic preventative therapies are also needed, with ongoing cases of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) and the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) being a growing concern. A primary target for therapy has been the conversion of the normal form of prion protein (PrPC) to its abnormal counterpart (PrPSc). Many of the chemotherapeutic agents with antiprion effect share structural similarities, often being polyanionic or polycyclic. They may directly bind PrPC or PrPSc, or they may redistribute, sequester, or down-regulate PrPC, thus preventing its conversion. There have also been some novel approaches, including trapping PrPSc in a multimeric form such that it can no longer cause conversion, increasing clearance of PrPSc, targeting accessory molecules which play a role in conversion, targeting pathways which lead to neurodegeneration, and stem cell therapy. It may be that a combination of compounds will be necessary for maximal effect and there is evidence that synergistic responses occur with dual therapy. This updated review focuses primarily on chemicalbased treatments in light of developments in diagnostic technologies, including

  14. An acoustic prion assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gordon Hayward

    2016-12-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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 ...

  17. [Molecular bases of prion diseases].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pokrovskiĭ, V I; Kiselev, O I

    1998-01-01

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

  18. Statistical Mechanics of Prion Diseases

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2001-07-30

    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.

  19. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  1. Creationism and Evolutionism in Prions

    OpenAIRE

    Gambetti, Pierluigi

    2013-01-01

    This Commentary highlights the article by Ghaemmaghami et al, who investigated the nature of synthetic prion transformation and demonstrated that these can assume multiple intermediate conformations before converting into one conformation optimized for in vivo propagation.

  2. Conformational biosensor for diagnosis of prion diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tcherkasskaya, Olga; Davidson, Eugene A; Schmerr, Mary Jo; Orser, Cindy S

    2005-05-01

    A fluorescence technology to monitor the proliferation of amyloidogenic neurological disorders is proposed. A crude brain homogenate (0.01%) from animals infected with a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy is employed as a catalytic medium initiating conformational changes in 520 nM polypeptide biosensors (Tris/trifluoroethanol 50% mixture at pH 7). The fluorescence methods utilize pyrene residues covalently attached to the peptide ends. The coil-to-beta-strand transitions in biosensor molecules cause elevation of a distinct fluorescence band of the pyrene aggregates (i.e. excimers). This approach enables the detection of infectious prion proteins at fmol, does not require antibody binding or protease treatment. Technology might be adopted for diagnosing a large variety of conformational disorders as well as for generic high-throughput screening of the amyloidogenic potential in plasma.

  3. 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

  4. Prions: Beyond a Single Protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Alvin S; Zou, Wen-Quan

    2016-07-01

    Since the term protein was first coined in 1838 and protein was discovered to be the essential component of fibrin and albumin, all cellular proteins were presumed to play beneficial roles in plants and mammals. However, in 1967, Griffith proposed that proteins could be infectious pathogens and postulated their involvement in scrapie, a universally fatal transmissible spongiform encephalopathy in goats and sheep. Nevertheless, this novel hypothesis had not been evidenced until 1982, when Prusiner and coworkers purified infectious particles from scrapie-infected hamster brains and demonstrated that they consisted of a specific protein that he called a "prion." Unprecedentedly, the infectious prion pathogen is actually derived from its endogenous cellular form in the central nervous system. Unlike other infectious agents, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi, prions do not contain genetic materials such as DNA or RNA. The unique traits and genetic information of prions are believed to be encoded within the conformational structure and posttranslational modifications of the proteins. Remarkably, prion-like behavior has been recently observed in other cellular proteins-not only in pathogenic roles but also serving physiological functions. The significance of these fascinating developments in prion biology is far beyond the scope of a single cellular protein and its related disease. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  5. A receptor for infectious and cellular prion protein

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V.R. Martins

    1999-07-01

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

  6. Loss of Octarepeats in Two Processed Prion Pseudogenes in the Red Squirrel, Sciurus vulgaris

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Madsen, O.; Kortum, T.T.; Hupkes, H.; Kohlen, W.; Rheede, T.; Jong, de W.W.

    2010-01-01

    The N-terminal region of the mammalian prion protein (PrP) contains an 'octapeptide' repeat which is involved in copper binding. This eight- or nine-residue peptide is repeated four to seven times, depending on the species, and polymorphisms in repeat number do occur. Alleles with three repeats are

  7. Prions, protein homeostasis, and phenotypic diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halfmann, Randal; Alberti, Simon; Lindquist, Susan

    2010-03-01

    Prions are fascinating but often misunderstood protein aggregation phenomena. The traditional association of the mammalian prion protein with disease has overshadowed a potentially more interesting attribute of prions: their ability to create protein-based molecular memories. In fungi, prions alter the relationship between genotype and phenotype in a heritable way that diversifies clonal populations. Recent findings in yeast indicate that prions might be much more common than previously realized. Moreover, prion-driven phenotypic diversity increases under stress, and can be amplified by the dynamic maturation of prion-initiating states. In this article, we suggest that these qualities allow prions to act as 'bet-hedging' devices that facilitate the adaptation of yeasts to stressful environments, and might speed the evolution of new traits.

  8. The effects of amino acid composition on yeast prion formation and prion domain interactions

    OpenAIRE

    Ross, Eric D; Toombs, James A.

    2010-01-01

    Yeast prions provide a powerful model system for examining prion formation and propagation in vivo. Yeast prion formation is driven primarily by amino acid composition, not by primary amino acid sequence. However, although yeast prion domains are consistently glutamine/asparagine-rich, they otherwise vary significantly in their compositions. Therefore, elucidating the exact compositional requirements for yeast prion formation has proven challenging. We have developed an in vivo method that al...

  9. Enhanced neuroinvasion by smaller, soluble prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bett, Cyrus; Lawrence, Jessica; Kurt, Timothy D; Orru, Christina; Aguilar-Calvo, Patricia; Kincaid, Anthony E; Surewicz, Witold K; Caughey, Byron; Wu, Chengbiao; Sigurdson, Christina J

    2017-04-21

    Infectious prion aggregates can propagate from extraneural sites into the brain with remarkable efficiency, likely transported via peripheral nerves. Yet not all prions spread into the brain, and the physical properties of a prion that is capable of transit within neurons remain unclear. We hypothesized that small, diffusible aggregates spread into the CNS via peripheral nerves. Here we used a structurally diverse panel of prion strains to analyze how the prion conformation impacts transit into the brain. Two prion strains form fibrils visible ultrastructurally in the brain in situ, whereas three strains form diffuse, subfibrillar prion deposits and no visible fibrils. The subfibrillar strains had significantly higher levels of soluble prion aggregates than the fibrillar strains. Primary neurons internalized both the subfibrillar and fibril-forming prion strains by macropinocytosis, and both strain types were transported from the axon terminal to the cell body in vitro. However in mice, only the predominantly soluble, subfibrillar prions, and not the fibrillar prions, were efficiently transported from the tongue to the brain. Sonicating a fibrillar prion strain increased the solubility and enabled prions to spread into the brain in mice, as evident by a 40% increase in the attack rate, indicating that an increase in smaller particles enhances prion neuroinvasion. Our data suggest that the small, highly soluble prion particles have a higher capacity for transport via nerves. These findings help explain how prions that predominantly assemble into subfibrillar states can more effectively traverse into and out of the CNS, and suggest that promoting fibril assembly may slow the neuron-to-neuron spread of protein aggregates.

  10. Complement Regulatory Protein Factor H Is a Soluble Prion Receptor That Potentiates Peripheral Prion Pathogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kane, Sarah J; Farley, Taylor K; Gordon, Elizabeth O; Estep, Joshua; Bender, Heather R; Moreno, Julie A; Bartz, Jason; Telling, Glenn C; Pickering, Matthew C; Zabel, Mark D

    2017-12-01

    Several complement proteins exacerbate prion disease, including C3, C1q, and CD21/35. These proteins of the complement cascade likely increase uptake, trafficking, and retention of prions in the lymphoreticular system, hallmark sites of early prion propagation. Complement regulatory protein factor H (fH) binds modified host proteins and lipids to prevent C3b deposition and, thus, autoimmune cell lysis. Previous reports show that fH binds various conformations of the cellular prion protein, leading us to question the role of fH in prion disease. In this article, we report that transgenic mice lacking Cfh alleles exhibit delayed peripheral prion accumulation, replication, and pathogenesis and onset of terminal disease in a gene-dose manner. We also report a biophysical interaction between purified fH and prion rods enriched from prion-diseased brain. fH also influences prion deposition in brains of infected mice. We conclude from these data and previous findings that the interplay between complement and prions likely involves a complex balance of prion sequestration and destruction via local tissue macrophages, prion trafficking by B and dendritic cells within the lymphoreticular system, intranodal prion replication by B and follicular dendritic cells, and potential prion strain selection by CD21/35 and fH. These findings reveal a novel role for complement-regulatory proteins in prion disease. Copyright © 2017 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego La Mendola

    2014-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Mendola, Diego; Rizzarelli, Enrico

    2014-01-01

    Prion disorders are a group of fatal neurodegenerative conditions of mammals. The key molecular event in the pathogenesis of such diseases is the conformational conversion of prion protein, PrPC, into a misfolded form rich in β-sheet structure, PrPSc, but the detailed mechanistic aspects of prion protein conversion remain enigmatic. There is uncertainty on the precise physiological function of PrPC in healthy individuals. Several evidences support the notion of its role in copper homeostasis. PrPC binds Cu2+ mainly through a domain composed by four to five repeats of eight amino acids. In addition to mammals, PrP homologues have also been identified in birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish. The globular domain of protein is retained in the different species, suggesting that the protein carries out an essential common function. However, the comparison of amino acid sequences indicates that prion protein has evolved differently in each vertebrate class. The primary sequences are strongly conserved in each group, but these exhibit a low similarity with those of mammals. The N-terminal domain of different prions shows tandem amino acid repeats with an increasing amount of histidine residues going from amphibians to mammals. The difference in the sequence affects the number of copper binding sites, the affinity and the coordination environment of metal ions, suggesting that the involvement of prion in metal homeostasis may be a specific characteristic of mammalian prion protein. In this review, we describe the similarities and the differences in the metal binding of different species’ prion protein, as revealed by studies carried out on the entire protein and related peptide fragments. PMID:24970230

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alain Van Dorsselaer

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Detection of infectious prions in urine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez-Romero, Dennisse; Barria, Marcelo A; Leon, Patricia; Morales, Rodrigo; Soto, Claudio

    2008-09-22

    Prions are the infectious agents responsible for prion diseases, which appear to be composed exclusively by the misfolded prion protein (PrP(Sc)). The mechanism of prion transmission is unknown. In this study, we attempted to detect prions in urine of experimentally infected animals. PrP(Sc) was detected in approximately 80% of the animals studied, whereas no false positives were observed among the control animals. Semi-quantitative calculations suggest that PrP(Sc) concentration in urine is around 10-fold lower than in blood. Interestingly, PrP(Sc) present in urine maintains its infectious properties. Our data indicate that low quantities of infectious prions are excreted in the urine. These findings suggest that urine is a possible source of prion transmission.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Characterisation of new monoclonal antibodies reacting with prions from both human and animal brain tissues

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hvass, Henriette Cordes; Bergström, Ann-Louise; Ohm, Jakob

    2008-01-01

    Post-mortem diagnosis of transmissible spongiform encephalopaties (prion diseases) is primarily based on the detection of a protease resistant, misfolded disease associated isoform (PrPSc) of the prion protein (PrPc) on neuronal cells. These methods depend on antibodies directed aganinst Pr......Pc and capable of reacting with PrpSc in situ (immunohistochemistry on nervous tissue sections) or with the unfolded form of the protein (western and paraffin embedded tissue (PET) blotting). Here, high-affinity monoclonal antibodies (mAbs 1.5D7, 1.6F4) were produced against synthetic PrP peptides in wild......-type mice and used for western blotting and immunohistochemistry to detect several types of human prion-disease associated PrPSc, including sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) (subtypes MM1 and V"), familial CJD and Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker (GSS) disease PrPSc as well as PrPSc of bovine...

  3. Hijacking PrPC-dependent signal transduction: when prions impair Αβ clearance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia eHernandez-Rapp

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The cellular prion protein PrPC is the normal counterpart of the scrapie prion protein PrPSc, the main component of the infectious agent of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies. The recent discovery that PrPC can serve as a receptor for the amyloid Αβ peptide and relay its neurotoxicity is sparking renewed interest on this protein and its involvement in signal transduction processes. Disease-associated PrPSc shares with Αβ the ability to hijack PrPC-dependent signalling cascades, and thereby instigate pathogenic events. Among these is an impairment of Αβ clearance, uncovered in prion-infected neuronal cells. These findings add another facet to the intricate interplay between PrPC and Αβ. Here, we summarize the connection between PrP-mediated signalling and Αβ clearance and discuss its pathological implications.

  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. 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 (PrPC). Ligands that bind to PrPC 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 PrPC, 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 PrPC and emphasize the bidirectional nature of the interplay between Aβ and PrPC 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.

  6. The complexity and implications of yeast prion domains

    OpenAIRE

    Du, Zhiqiang

    2011-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Cross-seeding of prions by aggregated α-synuclein leads to transmissible spongiform encephalopathy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizaveta Katorcha

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Aggregation of misfolded proteins or peptides is a common feature of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's, prion and other diseases. Recent years have witnessed a growing number of reports of overlap in neuropathological features that were once thought to be unique to only one neurodegenerative disorder. However, the origin for the overlap remains unclear. One possibility is that diseases with mixed brain pathologies might arise from cross-seeding of one amyloidogenic protein by aggregated states of unrelated proteins. In the current study we examined whether prion replication can be induced by cross-seeding by α-synuclein or Aβ peptide. We found that α-synuclein aggregates formed in cultured cells or in vitro display cross-seeding activity and trigger misfolding of the prion protein (PrPC in serial Protein Misfolding Cyclic Amplification reactions, producing self-replicating PrP states characterized by a short C-terminal proteinase K (PK-resistant region referred to as PrPres. Non-fibrillar α-synuclein or fibrillar Aβ failed to cross-seed misfolding of PrPC. Remarkably, PrPres triggered by aggregated α-synuclein in vitro propagated in animals and, upon serial transmission, produced PrPSc and clinical prion disease characterized by spongiosis and astrocytic gliosis. The current study demonstrates that aggregated α-synuclein is potent in cross-seeding of prion protein misfolding and aggregation in vitro, producing self-replicating states that can lead to transmissible prion diseases upon serial passaging in wild type animals. In summary, the current work documents direct cross-seeding between unrelated amyloidogenic proteins associated with different neurodegenerative diseases. This study suggests that early interaction between unrelated amyloidogenic proteins might underlie the etiology of mixed neurodegenerative proteinopathies.

  9. Cross-seeding of prions by aggregated α-synuclein leads to transmissible spongiform encephalopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katorcha, Elizaveta; Makarava, Natallia; Lee, Young Jin; Lindberg, Iris; Monteiro, Mervyn J; Kovacs, Gabor G; Baskakov, Ilia V

    2017-08-01

    Aggregation of misfolded proteins or peptides is a common feature of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's, prion and other diseases. Recent years have witnessed a growing number of reports of overlap in neuropathological features that were once thought to be unique to only one neurodegenerative disorder. However, the origin for the overlap remains unclear. One possibility is that diseases with mixed brain pathologies might arise from cross-seeding of one amyloidogenic protein by aggregated states of unrelated proteins. In the current study we examined whether prion replication can be induced by cross-seeding by α-synuclein or Aβ peptide. We found that α-synuclein aggregates formed in cultured cells or in vitro display cross-seeding activity and trigger misfolding of the prion protein (PrPC) in serial Protein Misfolding Cyclic Amplification reactions, producing self-replicating PrP states characterized by a short C-terminal proteinase K (PK)-resistant region referred to as PrPres. Non-fibrillar α-synuclein or fibrillar Aβ failed to cross-seed misfolding of PrPC. Remarkably, PrPres triggered by aggregated α-synuclein in vitro propagated in animals and, upon serial transmission, produced PrPSc and clinical prion disease characterized by spongiosis and astrocytic gliosis. The current study demonstrates that aggregated α-synuclein is potent in cross-seeding of prion protein misfolding and aggregation in vitro, producing self-replicating states that can lead to transmissible prion diseases upon serial passaging in wild type animals. In summary, the current work documents direct cross-seeding between unrelated amyloidogenic proteins associated with different neurodegenerative diseases. This study suggests that early interaction between unrelated amyloidogenic proteins might underlie the etiology of mixed neurodegenerative proteinopathies.

  10. Mechanisms of triggering H1 helix in prion proteins unfolding revealed by molecular dynamic simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tseng, Chih-Yuan; Lee, H. C.

    2006-03-01

    In template-assistance model, normal Prion protein (PrP^C), the pathogen to cause several prion diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob (CJD) in human, Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in cow, and scrapie in sheep, converts to infectious prion (PrP^Sc) through a transient interaction with PrP^Sc. Furthermore, conventional studies showed S1-H1-S2 region in PrP^C to be the template of S1-S2 β-sheet in PrP^Sc, and Prion protein's conformational conversion may involve an unfolding of H1 and refolding into β-sheet. Here we prepare several mouse prion peptides that contain S1-H1-S2 region with specific different structures, which are corresponding to specific interactions, to investigate possible mechanisms to trigger H1 α-helix unfolding process via molecular dynamic simulation. Three properties, conformational transition, salt-bridge in H1, and hydrophobic solvent accessible surface (SAS) are analyzed. From these studies, we found the interaction that triggers H1 unfolding to be the one that causes dihedral angle at residue Asn^143 changes. Whereas interactions that cause S1 segment's conformational changes play a minor in this process. These studies offers an additional evidence for template-assistance model.

  11. 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.

  12. A brief history of prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zabel, Mark D; Reid, Crystal

    2015-12-01

    Proteins were described as distinct biological molecules and their significance in cellular processes was recognized as early as the 18th century. At the same time, Spanish shepherds observed a disease that compelled their Merino sheep to pathologically scrape against fences, a defining clinical sign that led to the disease being named scrapie. In the late 19th century, Robert Koch published his postulates for defining causative agents of disease. In the early 20th century, pathologists Creutzfeldt and Jakob described a neurodegenerative disease that would later be included with scrapie into a group of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). Later that century, mounting evidence compelled a handful of scientists to betray the prevailing biological dogma governing pathogen replication that Watson and Crick so convincingly explained by cracking the genetic code just two decades earlier. Because TSEs seemed to defy these new rules, J.S. Griffith theorized mechanisms by which a pathogenic protein could encipher its own replication blueprint without a genetic code. Stanley Prusiner called this proteinaceous infectious pathogen a prion. Here we offer a concise account of the discovery of prions, the causative agent of TSEs, in the wider context of protein biochemistry and infectious disease. We highlight the discovery of prions in yeast and discuss the implication of prions as epigenomic carriers of biological and pathological information. We also consider expanding the prion hypothesis to include other proteins whose alternate isoforms confer new biological or pathological properties. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Yeast prions (infectious proteins) were discovered by their outré genetic properties and have become important models for an array of human prion and amyloid diseases. A single prion protein can become any of many distinct amyloid forms (called prion variants or strains), each of which is self-propagating, but with different biological properties (eg, lethal vs mild). The folded in-register parallel β sheet architecture of the yeast prion amyloids naturally suggests a mechanism by which prion variant information can be faithfully transmitted for many generations. The yeast prions rely on cellular chaperones for their propagation, but can be cured by various chaperone imbalances. The Btn2/Cur1 system normally cures most variants of the [URE3] prion that arise. Although most variants of the [PSI+] and [URE3] prions are toxic or lethal, some are mild in their effects. Even the most mild forms of these prions are rare in the wild, indicating that they too are detrimental to yeast. The beneficial [Het-s] prion of Podospora anserina poses an important contrast in its structure, biology, and evolution to the yeast prions characterized thus far. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. The Molecular Pathology of Prion Diseases

    OpenAIRE

    Vassallo, Neville; Herms, Jochen; Kretzschmar, Hans A.

    2004-01-01

    Prion diseases, or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), are a group of invariably fatal neurodegenerative disorders. Uniquely, they may present as sporadic, inherited, or infectious forms, all of which involve conversion of the normal cellular prion protein (PrPC) into a pathogenic likeness of itself (PrPSc). Formation of neurotoxic PrPSc and/or loss of the normal function of native PrPC result in activation of cellular pathways ultimately leading to neuronal death. Prion disease...

  19. Dissociation of recombinant prion autocatalysis from infectivity

    OpenAIRE

    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 ...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2000-07-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Lichens: unexpected anti-prion agents?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Biochemical properties of highly neuroinvasive prion strains.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cyrus Bett

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Infectious prions propagate from peripheral entry sites into the central nervous system (CNS, where they cause progressive neurodegeneration that ultimately leads to death. Yet the pathogenesis of prion disease can vary dramatically depending on the strain, or conformational variant of the aberrantly folded and aggregated protein, PrP(Sc. Although most prion strains invade the CNS, some prion strains cannot gain entry and do not cause clinical signs of disease. The conformational basis for this remarkable variation in the pathogenesis among strains is unclear. Using mouse-adapted prion strains, here we show that highly neuroinvasive prion strains primarily form diffuse aggregates in brain and are noncongophilic, conformationally unstable in denaturing conditions, and lead to rapidly lethal disease. These neuroinvasive strains efficiently generate PrP(Sc over short incubation periods. In contrast, the weakly neuroinvasive prion strains form large fibrillary plaques and are stable, congophilic, and inefficiently generate PrP(Sc over long incubation periods. Overall, these results indicate that the most neuroinvasive prion strains are also the least stable, and support the concept that the efficient replication and unstable nature of the most rapidly converting prions may be a feature linked to their efficient spread into the CNS.

  4. 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.

  5. Role of misfolded prion protein in neurodegeneration

    OpenAIRE

    Alibhai, James David

    2015-01-01

    Chronic neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, prion diseases and many others are unified by the aberrant folding of a host encoded protein to a disease-associated isoform and the predictable cell-to-cell spread of disease-associated misfolded proteins via a putative prion-like mechanism. Prion diseases, for example, are associated with the aberrant folding of host encoded prion protein (PrPC) to a disease-associated isoform, which acts as a seed for the furth...

  6. Host Determinants of Prion Strain Diversity Independent of Prion Protein Genotype

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowell, Jenna; Hughson, Andrew; Caughey, Byron

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Phenotypic diversity in prion diseases can be specified by prion strains in which biological traits are propagated through an epigenetic mechanism mediated by distinct PrPSc conformations. We investigated the role of host-dependent factors on phenotypic diversity of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in different host species that express the same prion protein gene (Prnp). Two CWD strains that have distinct biological, biochemical, and pathological features were identified in transgenic mice that express the Syrian golden hamster (SGH) Prnp. The CKY strain of CWD had a shorter incubation period than the WST strain of CWD, but after transmission to SGH, the incubation period of CKY CWD was ∼150 days longer than WST CWD. Limited proteinase K digestion revealed strain-specific PrPSc polypeptide patterns that were maintained in both hosts, but the solubility and conformational stability of PrPSc differed for the CWD strains in a host-dependent manner. WST CWD produced PrPSc amyloid plaques in the brain of the SGH that were partially insoluble and stable at a high concentration of protein denaturant. However, in transgenic mice, PrPSc from WST CWD did not assemble into plaques, was highly soluble, and had low conformational stability. Similar studies using the HY and DY strains of transmissible mink encephalopathy resulted in minor differences in prion biological and PrPSc properties between transgenic mice and SGH. These findings indicate that host-specific pathways that are independent of Prnp can alter the PrPSc conformation of certain prion strains, leading to changes in the biophysical properties of PrPSc, neuropathology, and clinical prion disease. IMPORTANCE Prions are misfolded pathogenic proteins that cause neurodegeneration in humans and animals. Transmissible prion diseases exhibit a spectrum of disease phenotypes and the basis of this diversity is encoded in the structure of the pathogenic prion protein and propagated by an epigenetic mechanism. In

  7. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cyrus Bett

    Full Text Available Infectious prions cause diverse clinical signs and form an extraordinary range of structures, from amorphous aggregates to fibrils. How the conformation of a prion dictates the disease phenotype remains unclear. Mice expressing GPI-anchorless or GPI-anchored prion protein exposed to the same infectious prion develop fibrillar or nonfibrillar aggregates, respectively, and show a striking divergence in the disease pathogenesis. To better understand how a prion's physical properties govern the pathogenesis, infectious anchorless prions were passaged in mice expressing anchorless prion protein and the resulting prions were biochemically characterized. Serial passage of anchorless prions led to a significant decrease in the incubation period to terminal disease and altered the biochemical properties, consistent with a transmission barrier effect. After an intraperitoneal exposure, anchorless prions were only weakly neuroinvasive, as prion plaques rarely occurred in the brain yet were abundant in extracerebral sites such as heart and adipose tissue. Anchorless prions consistently showed very high stability in chaotropes or when heated in SDS, and were highly resistant to enzyme digestion. Consistent with the results in mice, anchorless prions from a human patient were also highly stable in chaotropes. These findings reveal that anchorless prions consist of fibrillar and highly stable conformers. The additional finding from our group and others that both anchorless and anchored prion fibrils are poorly neuroinvasive strengthens the hypothesis that a fibrillar prion structure impedes efficient CNS invasion.

  9. 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....

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Transmission of new bovine prion to mice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  13. Review: Contribution of transgenic models to understanding human prion disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wadsworth, J D F; Asante, E A; Collinge, J

    2010-01-01

    J. D. F. Wadsworth, E. A. Asante and J. Collinge (2010) Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology36, 576–597Contribution of transgenic models to understanding human prion disease Transgenic mice expressing human prion protein in the absence of endogenous mouse prion protein faithfully replicate human prions. These models reproduce all of the key features of human disease, including long clinically silent incubation periods prior to fatal neurodegeneration with neuropathological phenotypes that mirror human prion strain diversity. Critical contributions to our understanding of human prion disease pathogenesis and aetiology have only been possible through the use of transgenic mice. These models have provided the basis for the conformational selection model of prion transmission barriers and have causally linked bovine spongiform encephalopathy with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. In the future these models will be essential for evaluating newly identified potentially zoonotic prion strains, for validating effective methods of prion decontamination and for developing effective therapeutic treatments for human prion disease. PMID:20880036

  14. Chronic Lymphocytic Inflammation Specifies the Organ Tropism of Prions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-02-01

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

  15. 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...

  16. Axonal and Transynaptic Spread of Prions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shearin, Harold

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Natural transmission of prion diseases depends upon the spread of prions from the nervous system to excretory or secretory tissues, but the mechanism of prion transport in axons and into peripheral tissue is unresolved. Here, we examined the temporal and spatial movement of prions from the brain stem along cranial nerves into skeletal muscle as a model of axonal transport and transynaptic spread. The disease-specific isoform of the prion protein, PrPSc, was observed in nerve fibers of the tongue approximately 2 weeks prior to PrPSc deposition in skeletal muscle. Initially, PrPSc deposits had a small punctate pattern on the edge of muscle cells that colocalized with synaptophysin, a marker for the neuromuscular junction (NMJ), in >50% of the cells. At later time points PrPSc was widely distributed in muscle cells, but PrPSc deposition at the NMJ, suggesting additional prion replication and dissemination within muscle cells. In contrast to the NMJ, PrPSc was not associated with synaptophysin in nerve fibers but was found to colocalize with LAMP-1 and cathepsin D during early stages of axonal spread. We propose that PrPSc-bound endosomes can lead to membrane recycling in which PrPSc is directed to the synapse, where it either moves across the NMJ into the postsynaptic muscle cell or induces PrPSc formation on muscle cells across the NMJ. IMPORTANCE Prion diseases are transmissible and fatal neurodegenerative diseases in which prion dissemination to excretory or secretory tissues is necessary for natural disease transmission. Despite the importance of this pathway, the cellular mechanism of prion transport in axons and into peripheral tissue is unresolved. This study demonstrates anterograde spread of prions within nerve fibers prior to infection of peripheral synapses (i.e., neuromuscular junction) and infection of peripheral tissues (i.e., muscle cells). Within nerve fibers prions were associated with the endosomal-lysosomal pathway prior to entry into

  17. Healthy goats naturally devoid of prion protein

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benestad Sylvie L

    2012-12-01

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

  18. In silico strategies on prion pathogenic conversion and inhibition from PrPC-PrPSc.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pagadala, Nataraj S; Syed, Khajamohiddin; Bhat, Rakesh

    2017-03-01

    To date, various therapeutic strategies identified numerous anti-prion compounds and antibodies that stabilize PrP C , block the conversion of PrP C -PrP Sc and increased effect on PrP Sc clearance. However, no suitable drug has been identified clinically so far due to the poor oral absorption, low blood-brain-barrier [BBB] penetration, and high toxicity. Although some of the drugs were proven to be effective in prion-infected cell culture and whole animal models, none of them increased the rate of survival compared to placebo. Areas covered: In this review, the authors highlight the importance of in silico approaches like molecular docking, virtual screening, pharmacophore analysis, molecular dynamics, QSAR, CoMFA and CoMSIA applied to detect molecular mechanisms of prion inhibition and conversion from PrP C -PrP Sc . Expert opinion: Several in silico approaches combined with experimental studies have provided many structural and functional clues on the stability and physiological activity of prion mutants. Further, various studies of in silico and in vivo approaches were also shown to identify several new small organic anti-scrapie compounds to decrease the accumulation of PrP res in cell culture, inhibit the aggregation of a PrP C peptide, and possess pharmacokinetic characteristics that confirm the drug-likeness of these compounds.

  19. Serial propagation of distinct strains of Aβ prions from Alzheimer’s disease patients

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    An increasing number of studies argues that self-propagating protein conformations (i.e., prions) feature in the pathogenesis of several common neurodegenerative diseases. Mounting evidence contends that aggregates of the amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide become self-propagating in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients. An important characteristic of prions is their ability to replicate distinct strains, the biological information for which is enciphered within different conformations of protein aggregates. To investigate whether distinct strains of Aβ prions can be discerned in AD patients, we performed transmission studies in susceptible transgenic mice using brain homogenates from sporadic or heritable (Arctic and Swedish) AD cases. Mice inoculated with the Arctic AD sample exhibited a pathology that could be distinguished from mice inoculated with the Swedish or sporadic AD samples, which was judged by differential accumulation of Aβ isoforms and the morphology of cerebrovascular Aβ deposition. Unlike Swedish AD- or sporadic AD-inoculated animals, Arctic AD-inoculated mice, like Arctic AD patients, displayed a prominent Aβ38-containing cerebral amyloid angiopathy. The divergent transmission behavior of the Arctic AD sample compared with the Swedish and sporadic AD samples was maintained during second passage in mice, showing that Aβ strains are serially transmissible. We conclude that at least two distinct strains of Aβ prions can be discerned in the brains of AD patients and that strain fidelity was preserved on serial passage in mice. Our results provide a potential explanation for the clinical and pathological heterogeneity observed in AD patients. PMID:24982139

  20. Asymptomatic deer excrete infectious prions in faeces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamgüney, Gültekin; Miller, Michael W; Wolfe, Lisa L; Sirochman, Tracey M; Glidden, David V; Palmer, Christina; Lemus, Azucena; DeArmond, Stephen J; Prusiner, Stanley B

    2009-09-24

    Infectious prion diseases-scrapie of sheep and chronic wasting disease (CWD) of several species in the deer family-are transmitted naturally within affected host populations. Although several possible sources of contagion have been identified in excretions and secretions from symptomatic animals, the biological importance of these sources in sustaining epidemics remains unclear. Here we show that asymptomatic CWD-infected mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) excrete CWD prions in their faeces long before they develop clinical signs of prion disease. Intracerebral inoculation of irradiated deer faeces into transgenic mice overexpressing cervid prion protein (PrP) revealed infectivity in 14 of 15 faecal samples collected from five deer at 7-11 months before the onset of neurological disease. Although prion concentrations in deer faeces were considerably lower than in brain tissue from the same deer collected at the end of the disease, the estimated total infectious dose excreted in faeces by an infected deer over the disease course may approximate the total contained in a brain. Prolonged faecal prion excretion by infected deer provides a plausible natural mechanism that might explain the high incidence and efficient horizontal transmission of CWD within deer herds, as well as prion transmission among other susceptible cervids.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Interaction networks of prion, prionogenic and prion-like proteins in budding yeast, and their role in gene regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harbi, Djamel; Harrison, Paul M

    2014-01-01

    Prions are transmissible, propagating alternative states of proteins. Prions in budding yeast propagate heritable phenotypes and can function in large-scale gene regulation, or in some cases occur as diseases of yeast. Other 'prionogenic' proteins are likely prions that have been determined experimentally to form amyloid in vivo, and to have prion-like domains that are able to propagate heritable states. Furthermore, there are over 300 additional 'prion-like' yeast proteins that have similar amino-acid composition to prions (primarily a bias for asparagines and glutamines). Here, we examine the protein functional and interaction networks that involve prion, prionogenic and prion-like proteins. Set against a marked overall preference for N/Q-rich prion-like proteins not to interact with each other, we observe a significant tendency of prion/prionogenic proteins to interact with other, N/Q-rich prion-like proteins. This tendency is mostly due to a small number of networks involving the proteins NUP100p, LSM4p and PUB1p. In general, different data analyses of functional and interaction networks converge to indicate a strong linkage of prionogenic and prion-like proteins, to stress-granule assembly and related biological processes. These results further elucidate how prions may impact gene regulation, and reveal a broader horizon for the functional relevance of N/Q-rich prion-like domains.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watts, Joel C; Prusiner, Stanley B

    2014-07-18

    Prions are self-propagating protein conformers that cause a variety of neurodegenerative disorders in humans and animals. Mouse models have played key roles in deciphering the biology of prions and in assessing candidate therapeutics. The development of transgenic mice that form prions spontaneously in the brain has advanced our understanding of sporadic and genetic prion diseases. Furthermore, the realization that many proteins can become prions has necessitated the development of mouse models for assessing the potential transmissibility of common neurodegenerative diseases. As the universe of prion diseases continues to expand, mouse models will remain crucial for interrogating these devastating illnesses. © 2014 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  6. Prion diseases and sleep disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ZHAN Shu-qin

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Prion diseases (PrD are a group of encephalopathies with neurodegenerative changes caused by prion protein (PrP whose characteristic datum is transmissibility. In most cases they occur in a sporadic form although a group of them are familial associated with mutations in PrP gene. Phenotypicvariability of fatal familial insomnia (FFI versus familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease178 (fCJD178 seems to determine the different methionine-valine polymorphism at codon 129 of the PrP gene. Sleep disorders is one of the important clinical features for the diagnosis and definition of PrD. FFI, a hereditary disorder characterized by loss of physiological sleep with oneiric stupor, autonomic and motor hyperactivity. The polysomnography (PSG shows disappearance of the physiological pattern of non-rapid eye movement (NREM and rapid eye movement (REM sleep, as well as sleep spindles and K-complexes were absent. The hypothesis of the origin of these disorders is thalamic neuronal loss, especially in the anterior and dorsomedial nuclei, described in the neuropathology of these patients; besides, PET reveals hypofunction of thalamic nuclei, centres responsible for controlling wake-sleep. In CJD the wake-sleep disorders is not considered characteristic; nonetheless, frequent alterations have been found in the electroencephalographic registers of sleep. Besides thalamic neurodegeneration, there could be common etiopathogenic mechanisms in PrD in relation to the biological function of PrP.

  7. Peptide aptamers expressed in the secretory pathway interfere with cellular PrPSc formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilch, Sabine; Kehler, Claudia; Schätzl, Hermann M

    2007-08-10

    Prion diseases are rare and obligatory fatal neurodegenerative disorders caused by the accumulation of a misfolded isoform (PrPSc) of the host-encoded prion protein (PrPc). Prophylactic and therapeutic regimens against prion diseases are very limited. To extend such strategies we selected peptide aptamers binding to PrP from a combinatorial peptide library presented on the Escherichia coli thioredoxin A (trxA) protein as a scaffold. In a yeast two-hybrid screen employing full-length murine PrP (aa 23-231) as a bait we identified three peptide aptamers that reproducibly bind to PrP. Treatment of prion-infected cells with recombinantly expressed aptamers added to the culture medium abolished PrPSc conversion with an IC50 between 350 and 700 nM. For expression in eukaryotic cells, peptide aptamers were fused to an N-terminal signal peptide for entry of the secretory pathway. The C terminus was modified by a glycosyl-phosphatidyl-inositol-(GPI) anchoring signal, a KDEL retention motif and the transmembrane and cytosolic domain of LAMP-I, respectively. These peptide aptamers retained their binding properties to PrPc and, depending on peptide sequence and C-terminal modification, interfered with endogenous PrPSc conversion upon expression in prion-infected cells. Notably, infection of cell cultures could be prevented by expression of KDEL peptide aptamers. For the first time, we show that trxA-based peptide aptamers can be targeted to the secretory pathway, thereby not losing the affinity for their target protein. Beside their inhibitory effect on prion conversion, these molecules could be used as fundament for rational drug design.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. Asymptomatic deer excrete infectious prions in feces

    OpenAIRE

    Tamg?ney, G?ltekin; Miller, Michael W.; Wolfe, Lisa L.; Sirochman, Tracey M.; Glidden, David V.; Palmer, Christina; Lemus, Azucena; DeArmond, Stephen J.; Prusiner, Stanley B.

    2009-01-01

    Infectious prion diseases 1 ? scrapie of sheep 2 and chronic wasting disease (CWD) of several species in the deer family 3,4 ? are transmitted naturally within affected host populations. Although several possible sources of contagion have been identified in excretions and secretions from symptomatic animals 5?8 , the biological importance of these sources in sustaining epidemics remains unclear. Here we show that asymptomatic CWD-infected mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) excrete CWD prions in ...

  12. Asymptomatic deer excrete infectious prions in faeces

    OpenAIRE

    Tamgüney, G; Miller, MW; Wolfe, LL; Sirochman, TM; Glidden, DV; Palmer, C; Lemus, A; Dearmond, SJ; Prusiner, SB

    2009-01-01

    Infectious prion diseasesĝ€"scrapie of sheep and chronic wasting disease (CWD) of several species in the deer familyĝ€" are transmitted naturally within affected host populations. Although several possible sources of contagion have been identified in excretions and secretions from symptomatic animals, the biological importance of these sources in sustaining epidemics remains unclear. Here we show that asymptomatic CWD-infected mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) excrete CWD prions in their faeces...

  13. The role of dimerization in prion replication.

    OpenAIRE

    Tompa, Peter; Tusnády, Gábor E; Friedrich, Peter; Simon, István

    2002-01-01

    The central theme in prion diseases is the conformational transition of a cellular protein from a physiologic to a pathologic (so-called scrapie) state. Currently, two alternative models exist for the mechanism of this autocatalytic process; in the template assistance model the prion is assumed to be a monomer of the scrapie conformer, whereas in the nucleated polymerization model it is thought to be an amyloid rod. A recent variation on the latter assumes disulfide reshuffling as the mechani...

  14. Prion diseases and the immune system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aucouturier, P; Frangione, B; Wisniewski, T

    1999-02-01

    Unlike other infectious diseases, transmissible spongiform encephalopathies elicit no specific immune response. Indeed, because the infectious agent, the prion, seems to be essentially composed of a protein with a primary structure identical to a host encoded protein, the lymphoid system is naturally tolerant. However, lymphoid organs are strongly implicated in the early peripheral steps of the disease. Paradoxically, immunodeficient animals, which are more susceptible to infections by usual pathogens, appear to be partially or completely resistant to experimental infection by prions by peripheral route. Several studies suggest that in normal subjects, cells of the immune system support the replication of prions and might allow their spreading from the periphery to the central nervous system. Thus, the lymphoid system appears to behave as a Trojan horse rather than a protective fortification in the process of prion infection. A greater understanding of the pathophysiology of these aspects of prion diseases could lead to immunomanipulation strategies aimed at preventing prion spread into the central nervous system, once peripheral exposure has occurred.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Asymptomatic deer excrete infectious prions in feces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamgüney, Gültekin; Miller, Michael W.; Wolfe, Lisa L.; Sirochman, Tracey M.; Glidden, David V.; Palmer, Christina; Lemus, Azucena; DeArmond, Stephen J.; Prusiner, Stanley B.

    2011-01-01

    Infectious prion diseases 1 – scrapie of sheep 2 and chronic wasting disease (CWD) of several species in the deer family 3,4 – are transmitted naturally within affected host populations. Although several possible sources of contagion have been identified in excretions and secretions from symptomatic animals 5–8, the biological importance of these sources in sustaining epidemics remains unclear. Here we show that asymptomatic CWD-infected mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) excrete CWD prions in their feces long before they develop clinical signs of prion disease. Intracerebral (i.c.) inoculation of irradiated deer feces into transgenic (Tg) mice overexpressing cervid PrP revealed infectivity in 14 of 15 fecal samples collected from 5 deer at 7–11 months before the onset of neurological disease. Although prion concentrations in deer feces were considerably lower than in brain tissue from the same deer collected at the disease terminus, the estimated total infectious dose excreted in feces by an infected deer over the disease course may approximate the total contained in brain tissue. Prolonged fecal prion excretion by infected deer provides a plausible natural mechanism that might explain the high incidence and efficient horizontal transmission of CWD within deer herds 3,4,9, as well as prion transmission between susceptible deer species. PMID:19741608

  18. An overview of animal prion diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Imran Muhammad

    2011-11-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Expanding the yeast prion world: Active prion conversion of non-glutamine/asparagine-rich Mod5 for cell survival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Genjiro; Tanaka, Motomasa

    2013-01-01

    Mammalian and fungal prion proteins form self-perpetuating β-sheet-rich fibrillar aggregates called amyloid. Prion inheritance is based on propagation of the regularly oriented amyloid structures of the prion proteins. All yeast prion proteins identified thus far contain aggregation-prone glutamine/asparagine (Gln/Asn)-rich domains, although the mammalian prion protein and fungal prion protein HET-s do not contain such sequences. In order to fill this gap, we searched for novel yeast prion proteins lacking Gln/Asn-rich domains via a genome-wide screen based on cross-seeding between two heterologous proteins and identified Mod5, a yeast tRNA isopentenyltransferase, as a novel non-Gln/Asn-rich yeast prion protein. Mod5 formed self-propagating amyloid fibers in vitro and the introduction of Mod5 amyloids into non-prion yeast induced dominantly and cytoplasmically heritable prion state [MOD (+) ], which harbors aggregates of endogenous Mod5. [MOD (+) ] yeast showed an increased level of membrane lipid ergosterol and acquired resistance to antifungal agents. Importantly, enhanced de novo formation of [MOD (+) ] was observed when non-prion yeast was grown under selective pressures from antifungal drugs. Our findings expand the family of yeast prions to non-Gln/Asn-rich proteins and reveal the acquisition of a fitness advantage for cell survival through active prion conversion.

  1. The kinetics of proteinase K digestion of linear prion polymers

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Joanna Masel; Vincent A. A. Jansen

    1999-01-01

    ...conversion. Prion digestion by proteinase K (PK) is predicted to be biphasic. The second phase of digestion should be virtually independent of the PK concentration and should depend on the initial size distribution of prion polymers...

  2. Destabilizing polymorphism in cervid prion protein hydrophobic core determines prion conformation and conversion efficiency.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samia Hannaoui

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Prion diseases are infectious neurodegenerative disorders of humans and animals caused by misfolded forms of the cellular prion protein PrPC. Prions cause disease by converting PrPC into aggregation-prone PrPSc. Chronic wasting disease (CWD is the most contagious prion disease with substantial lateral transmission, affecting free-ranging and farmed cervids. Although the PrP primary structure is highly conserved among cervids, the disease phenotype can be modulated by species-specific polymorphisms in the prion protein gene. How the resulting amino-acid substitutions impact PrPC and PrPSc structure and propagation is poorly understood. We investigated the effects of the cervid 116A>G substitution, located in the most conserved PrP domain, on PrPC structure and conversion and on 116AG-prion conformation and infectivity. Molecular dynamics simulations revealed structural de-stabilization of 116G-PrP, which enhanced its in vitro conversion efficiency when used as recombinant PrP substrate in real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC. We demonstrate that 116AG-prions are conformationally less stable, show lower activity as a seed in RT-QuIC and exhibit reduced infectivity in vitro and in vivo. Infectivity of 116AG-prions was significantly enhanced upon secondary passage in mice, yet conformational features were retained. These findings indicate that structurally de-stabilized PrPC is readily convertible by cervid prions of different genetic background and results in a prion conformation adaptable to cervid wild-type PrP. Conformation is an important criterion when assessing transmission barrier, and conformational variants can target a different host range. Therefore, a thorough analysis of CWD isolates and re-assessment of species-barriers is important in order to fully exclude a zoonotic potential of CWD.

  3. Destabilizing polymorphism in cervid prion protein hydrophobic core determines prion conformation and conversion efficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannaoui, Samia; Amidian, Sara; Cheng, Yo Ching; Duque Velásquez, Camilo; Law, Sampson; Telling, Glenn; Stepanova, Maria; McKenzie, Debbie

    2017-01-01

    Prion diseases are infectious neurodegenerative disorders of humans and animals caused by misfolded forms of the cellular prion protein PrPC. Prions cause disease by converting PrPC into aggregation-prone PrPSc. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is the most contagious prion disease with substantial lateral transmission, affecting free-ranging and farmed cervids. Although the PrP primary structure is highly conserved among cervids, the disease phenotype can be modulated by species-specific polymorphisms in the prion protein gene. How the resulting amino-acid substitutions impact PrPC and PrPSc structure and propagation is poorly understood. We investigated the effects of the cervid 116A>G substitution, located in the most conserved PrP domain, on PrPC structure and conversion and on 116AG-prion conformation and infectivity. Molecular dynamics simulations revealed structural de-stabilization of 116G-PrP, which enhanced its in vitro conversion efficiency when used as recombinant PrP substrate in real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC). We demonstrate that 116AG-prions are conformationally less stable, show lower activity as a seed in RT-QuIC and exhibit reduced infectivity in vitro and in vivo. Infectivity of 116AG-prions was significantly enhanced upon secondary passage in mice, yet conformational features were retained. These findings indicate that structurally de-stabilized PrPC is readily convertible by cervid prions of different genetic background and results in a prion conformation adaptable to cervid wild-type PrP. Conformation is an important criterion when assessing transmission barrier, and conformational variants can target a different host range. Therefore, a thorough analysis of CWD isolates and re-assessment of species-barriers is important in order to fully exclude a zoonotic potential of CWD. PMID:28800624

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Newly identified prions in budding yeast, and their possible functions

    OpenAIRE

    Crow, Emily T.; Li, Liming

    2011-01-01

    Yeast prions are atypical genetic elements that are transmitted as heritable protein conformations. [PSI+], [URE3], and [PIN+] are three well-studied prions in the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In the last three years, several additional prions have been reported in yeast, including [SWI+], [OCT+], [MCA], [GAR+], [MOT3+], [ISP+], and [NSI+]. The growing number of yeast prions suggests that protein-based inheritance might be a widespread biological phenomenon. In this review, we sum...

  7. Glimepiride reduces the expression of PrPc, prevents PrPSc formation and protects against prion mediated neurotoxicity in cell lines.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clive Bate

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: A hallmark of the prion diseases is the conversion of the host-encoded cellular prion protein (PrP(C into a disease related, alternatively folded isoform (PrP(Sc. The accumulation of PrP(Sc within the brain is associated with synapse loss and ultimately neuronal death. Novel therapeutics are desperately required to treat neurodegenerative diseases including the prion diseases. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Treatment with glimepiride, a sulphonylurea approved for the treatment of diabetes mellitus, induced the release of PrP(C from the surface of prion-infected neuronal cells. The cell surface is a site where PrP(C molecules may be converted to PrP(Sc and glimepiride treatment reduced PrP(Sc formation in three prion infected neuronal cell lines (ScN2a, SMB and ScGT1 cells. Glimepiride also protected cortical and hippocampal neurones against the toxic effects of the prion-derived peptide PrP82-146. Glimepiride treatment significantly reduce both the amount of PrP82-146 that bound to neurones and PrP82-146 induced activation of cytoplasmic phospholipase A(2 (cPLA(2 and the production of prostaglandin E(2 that is associated with neuronal injury in prion diseases. Our results are consistent with reports that glimepiride activates an endogenous glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI-phospholipase C which reduced PrP(C expression at the surface of neuronal cells. The effects of glimepiride were reproduced by treatment of cells with phosphatidylinositol-phospholipase C (PI-PLC and were reversed by co-incubation with p-chloromercuriphenylsulphonate, an inhibitor of endogenous GPI-PLC. CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, these results indicate that glimepiride may be a novel treatment to reduce PrP(Sc formation and neuronal damage in prion diseases.

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2016-01-15

    Jan 15, 2016 ... prion protein-specific mRNA in scrapie-infected and uninfected brain. Nature 315 331–333. Colby DW and Prusiner SB 2011 Prions. Cold Spring Harb. Perspect. Biol. 3 a006833. Fournier JG, Escaig-Haye F and Grigoriev V 2000 Ultrastructural localization of prion proteins: physiological and pathological.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    McKenzie Debbie

    2009-07-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Diffusion of protease into meat & bone meal for solubility improvement and potential inactivation of the BSE prion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian A Coll

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Government-imposed feed bans have created a need for new applications for meat & bone meal (MBM. Many potential new applications require MBM protein to be both soluble and free of infectious prion. Treatment with protease is generally effective in reducing insoluble, thermally-denatured proteins to soluble peptides. It has been reported in the literature that certain proteases, including Versazyme, are able to degrade infectious prions in a system where the prions are readily accessible to proteolytic attack. Prions distributed within MBM, however, may conceivably be protected from proteases.The overall rate of proteolytic MBM digestion depends greatly on whether the protease can penetrate deep within individual particles, or if the protease can only act near the surface of the particle. This research examined the barriers to the diffusion of Versazyme into particles of MBM. Confocal microscopy demonstrated differences in the density distributions between the bone and the soft tissue particles of MBM. By tracking the diffusion of fluorescently labeled Versazyme through individual particles, it was found that bone particles show full Versazyme penetration within 30 minutes, while penetration of soft tissue particles can take up to four hours, depending on the particle's diameter. From the variety of normal proteins comprising MBM, a specific protein was chosen to serve as a prion surrogate based on characteristics including size, solubility, distribution and abundance. This surrogate was used to measure the effect of several factors on Versazyme diffusion.Results showed that surrogate distributed in bone particles was more susceptible to degradation than that in soft tissue particles. Three factors controllable by unit operations in an industrial-scale process were also tested. It was found that removing the lipid content and hydrating MBM prior to incubation both significantly increased the rate of surrogate degradation. In a test of particle

  17. Activation of microglial NADPH oxidase is synergistic with glial iNOS expression in inducing neuronal death: a dual-key mechanism of inflammatory neurodegeneration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brown Guy C

    2005-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Inflammation-activated glia are seen in many CNS pathologies and may kill neurons through the release of cytotoxic mediators, such as nitric oxide from inducible NO synthase (iNOS, and possibly superoxide from NADPH oxidase (NOX. We set out to determine the relative role of these species in inducing neuronal death, and to test the dual-key hypothesis that the production of both species simultaneously is required for significant neuronal death. Methods Primary co-cultures of cerebellar granule neurons and glia from rats were used to investigate the effect of NO (from iNOS, following lipopolysaccharide (LPS and/or cytokine addition or superoxide/hydrogen peroxide (from NOX, following phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA, ATP analogue (BzATP, interleukin-1β (IL-1β or arachidonic acid (AA addition on neuronal survival. Results Induction of glial iNOS caused little neuronal death. Similarly, activation of NOX alone resulted in little or no neuronal death. However, if NOX was activated (by PMA or BzATP in the presence of iNOS (induced by LPS and interferon-γ then substantial delayed neuronal death occurred over 48 hours, which was prevented by inhibitors of iNOS (1400W, NOX (apocynin or a peroxynitrite decomposer (FeTPPS. Neurons and glia were also found to stain positive for nitrotyrosine (a putative marker of peroxynitrite only when both iNOS and NOX were simultaneously active. If NOX was activated by weak stimulators (IL-1β, AA or the fibrillogenic prion peptide PrP106-126 in the presence of iNOS, it caused microglial proliferation and delayed neurodegeneration over 6 days, which was prevented by iNOS or NOX inhibitors, a peroxynitrite decomposer or a NMDA-receptor antagonist (MK-801. Conclusion These results suggest a dual-key mechanism, whereby glial iNOS or microglial NOX activation alone is relatively benign, but if activated simultaneously are synergistic in killing neurons, through generating peroxynitrite. This

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  2. Emergence and evolution of yeast prion and prion-like proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Lu; Fitzpatrick, David; Harrison, Paul M

    2016-01-25

    Prions are transmissible, propagating alternative states of proteins, and are usually made from the fibrillar, beta-sheet-rich assemblies termed amyloid. Prions in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae propagate heritable phenotypes, uncover hidden genetic variation, function in large-scale gene regulation, and can act like diseases. Almost all these amyloid prions have asparagine/glutamine-rich (N/Q-rich) domains. Other proteins, that we term here 'prionogenic amyloid formers' (PAFs), have been shown to form amyloid in vivo, and to have N/Q-rich domains that can propagate heritable states in yeast cells. Also, there are >200 other S.cerevisiae proteins with prion-like N/Q-rich sequence composition. Furthermore, human proteins with such N/Q-rich composition have been linked to the pathomechanisms of neurodegenerative amyloid diseases. Here, we exploit the increasing abundance of complete fungal genomes to examine the ancestry of prions/PAFs and other N/Q-rich proteins across the fungal kingdom. We find distinct evolutionary behavior for Q-rich and N-rich prions/PAFs; those of ancient ancestry (outside the budding yeasts, Saccharomycetes) are Q-rich, whereas N-rich cases arose early in Saccharomycetes evolution. This emergence of N-rich prion/PAFs is linked to a large-scale emergence of N-rich proteins during Saccharomycetes evolution, with Saccharomycetes showing a distinctive trend for population sizes of prion-like proteins that sets them apart from all the other fungi. Conversely, some clades, e.g. Eurotiales, have much fewer N/Q-rich proteins, and in some cases likely lose them en masse, perhaps due to greater amyloid intolerance, although they contain relatively more non-N/Q-rich predicted prions. We find that recent mutational tendencies arising during Saccharomycetes evolution (i.e., increased numbers of N residues and a tendency to form more poly-N tracts), contributed to the expansion/development of the prion phenomenon. Variation in these

  3. Prions and lymphoid organs: solved and remaining mysteries.

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25981035

  7. Molecular Dynamics Studies on the Buffalo Prion Protein

    CERN Document Server

    Zhang, Jiapu

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gino Miele

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashe, Karen H; Aguzzi, Adriano

    2013-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Treatment with a Non-toxic, Self-replicating Anti-prion Delays or Prevents Prion Disease In vivo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz-Espinoza, Rodrigo; Morales, Rodrigo; Concha-Marambio, Luis; Moreno-Gonzalez, Ines; Moda, Fabio; Soto, Claudio

    2017-01-01

    SUMMARY Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs) are fatal neurological disorders caused by prions, which are composed of a misfolded protein (PrPSc) that self-propagates in the brain of infected individuals by converting the normal prion protein (PrPC) into the pathological isoform. Here, we report a novel experimental strategy for preventing prion disease based on producing a self-replicating, but innocuous PrPSc-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 PrPSc 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. PMID:28630454

  14. Kuru prions and sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease prions have equivalent transmission properties in transgenic and wild-type mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wadsworth, Jonathan D F; Joiner, Susan; Linehan, Jacqueline M; Desbruslais, Melanie; Fox, Katie; Cooper, Sharon; Cronier, Sabrina; Asante, Emmanuel A; Mead, Simon; Brandner, Sebastian; Hill, Andrew F; Collinge, John

    2008-03-11

    Kuru provides our principal experience of an epidemic human prion disease and primarily affected the Fore linguistic group of the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea. Kuru was transmitted by the practice of consuming dead relatives as a mark of respect and mourning (transumption). To date, detailed information of the prion strain type propagated in kuru has been lacking. Here, we directly compare the transmission properties of kuru prions with sporadic, iatrogenic, and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) prions in Prnp-null transgenic mice expressing human prion protein and in wild-type mice. Molecular and neuropathological data from these transmissions show that kuru prions are distinct from variant CJD and have transmission properties equivalent to those of classical (sporadic) CJD prions. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that kuru originated from chance consumption of an individual with sporadic CJD.

  15. Kuru prions and sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease prions have equivalent transmission properties in transgenic and wild-type mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wadsworth, Jonathan D. F.; Joiner, Susan; Linehan, Jacqueline M.; Desbruslais, Melanie; Fox, Katie; Cooper, Sharon; Cronier, Sabrina; Asante, Emmanuel A.; Mead, Simon; Brandner, Sebastian; Hill, Andrew F.; Collinge, John

    2008-01-01

    Kuru provides our principal experience of an epidemic human prion disease and primarily affected the Fore linguistic group of the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea. Kuru was transmitted by the practice of consuming dead relatives as a mark of respect and mourning (transumption). To date, detailed information of the prion strain type propagated in kuru has been lacking. Here, we directly compare the transmission properties of kuru prions with sporadic, iatrogenic, and variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD) prions in Prnp-null transgenic mice expressing human prion protein and in wild-type mice. Molecular and neuropathological data from these transmissions show that kuru prions are distinct from variant CJD and have transmission properties equivalent to those of classical (sporadic) CJD prions. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that kuru originated from chance consumption of an individual with sporadic CJD. PMID:18316717

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin C. Gough

    2015-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gough, Kevin C.; Rees, Helen C.; Ives, Sarah E.; Maddison, Ben C.

    2015-01-01

    Prions are an enigma amongst infectious disease agents as they lack a genome yet confer specific pathologies thought to be dictated mainly, if not solely, by the conformation of the disease form of the prion protein (PrPSc). Prion diseases affect humans and animals, the latter including the food-producing ruminant species cattle, sheep, goats and deer. Importantly, it has been shown that the disease agent of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) is zoonotic, causing variant Creutzfeldt Jakob disease (vCJD) in humans. Current diagnostic tests can distinguish different prion types and in food-producing animals these focus on the differentiation of BSE from the non-zoonotic agents. Whilst BSE cases are now rare, atypical forms of both scrapie and BSE have been reported, as well as two types of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in cervids. Typing of animal prion isolates remains an important aspect of prion diagnosis and is now becoming more focused on identifying the range of prion types that are present in food-producing animals and also developing tests that can screen for emerging, novel prion diseases. Here, we review prion typing methodologies in light of current and emerging prion types in food-producing animals. PMID:26580664

  3. 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.

  4. 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 PrPSc, 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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,

  8. The role of dimerization in prion replication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tompa, Peter; Tusnády, Gábor E; Friedrich, Peter; Simon, István

    2002-04-01

    The central theme in prion diseases is the conformational transition of a cellular protein from a physiologic to a pathologic (so-called scrapie) state. Currently, two alternative models exist for the mechanism of this autocatalytic process; in the template assistance model the prion is assumed to be a monomer of the scrapie conformer, whereas in the nucleated polymerization model it is thought to be an amyloid rod. A recent variation on the latter assumes disulfide reshuffling as the mechanism of polymerization. The existence of stable dimers, let alone their mechanistic role, is not taken into account in either of these models. In this paper we review evidence supporting that the dimerization of either the normal or the scrapie state, or both, has a decisive role in prion replication. The contribution of redox changes, i.e., the temporary opening and possible rearrangement of the intramolecular disulfide bridge is also considered. We present a model including these features largely ignored so far and show that it adheres satisfactorily to the observed phenomenology of prion replication.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. The prion hypothesis: from biological anomaly to basic regulatory mechanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuite, Mick F; Serio, Tricia R

    2010-01-01

    Preface Prions are unusual proteinaceous infectious agents that are typically associated with a class of fatal degenerative diseases of the mammalian brain. However, the discovery of fungal prions, which are not associated with disease, suggests that we must now consider the impact of these factors on basic cellular physiology in a different light. Fungal prions are epigenetic determinants that can alter a range of cellular processes, including metabolism and gene expression pathways, and these changes can lead to a range of prion-associated phenotypes. The mechanistic similarities between prion propagation in mammals and fungi suggest that prions are not a biological anomaly but instead are a new appreciated and perhaps ubiquitous regulatory mechanism. PMID:21081963

  17. Intriguing nucleic-acid-binding features of mammalian prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Jerson L; Lima, Luís Maurício T R; Foguel, Debora; Cordeiro, Yraima

    2008-03-01

    In transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, the infectious material consists chiefly of a protein, the scrapie prion protein PrP(Sc), that carries no genetic coding material; however, prions are likely to have accomplices that chaperone their activity and promote the conversion of the cellular prion protein PrP(C) into the disease-causing isoform (PrP(Sc)). Recent studies from several laboratories indicate that PrP(C) recognizes many nucleic acids (NAs) with high affinities, and we correlate these findings with a possible pathophysiological role for this interaction. Thus, of the chaperones, NA is the most likely candidate for prions. The participation of NAs in prion propagation opens new avenues for developing new diagnostic tools and therapeutics to target prion diseases, as well as for understanding the function of PrP(C), probably as a NA chaperone.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rayman, Joseph B; Kandel, Eric R

    2017-05-01

    Prions are self-propagating protein conformations that are traditionally regarded as agents of neurodegenerative disease in animals. However, it has become evident that prion-like aggregation of endogenous proteins can also occur under normal physiological conditions (e.g., during memory storage or activation of the immune response). In this review, we focus on the functional prion-related protein TIA-1, an RNA-binding protein that is involved in multiple aspects of RNA metabolism but is best understood in terms of its role in stress granule assembly during the cellular stress response. We propose that stress granule formation provides a useful conceptual framework with which to address the positive role of TIA-1 prion-like aggregation. Elucidating the function of TIA-1 prion-like aggregation will advance our understanding of how prion-based molecular switches are used in normal physiological settings. Copyright © 2017 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.

  19. 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.

  20. Asparagine and glutamine ladders promote cross-species prion conversion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurt, Timothy D; Aguilar-Calvo, Patricia; Jiang, Lin; Rodriguez, José A; Alderson, Nazilla; Eisenberg, David S; Sigurdson, Christina J

    2017-09-20

    Prion transmission between species is governed in part by primary sequence similarity between the infectious prion aggregate, PrPSc, and the cellular prion protein of the host, PrPC A puzzling feature of prion formation is that certain PrPC sequences, such as that of bank vole, can be converted by a remarkably broad array of different mammalian prions, whereas others, such as rabbit, show robust resistance to cross-species prion conversion. To examine the structural determinants that confer susceptibility or resistance to prion conversion, we systematically tested over 40 PrPC variants of susceptible and resistant PrPC sequences in a prion conversion assay. Five key residue positions markedly impacted prion conversion, four of which were in steric zipper segments where side chains from amino acids tightly interdigitate in a dry interface. Strikingly, all 5 residue substitutions modulating prion conversion involved the gain or loss of an asparagine or glutamine residue. For 2 of 4 positions, N and Q residues were not interchangeable, revealing a strict requirement for either an N or Q residue. Bank voles have a high number of N and Q residues and a high N:Q ratio. These findings suggest that a high number of N and Q residues at specific positions may stabilize β-sheets and lower the energy barrier for crossspecies prion transmission, potentially due to hydrogen bond networks from side chain amides forming extended N/Q ladders. These data also suggest that multiple PrPC segments containing N/Q residues may act in concert along a replicative interface to promote prion conversion. Copyright © 2017, The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  1. Semi-synthesis of murine prion protein by native chemical ligation and chemical activation for preparation of polypeptide-α-thioester.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Lei; Chen, Huai; Zhang, Si-Yu; Chu, Ting-Ting; Zhao, Yu-Fen; Chen, Yong-Xiang; Li, Yan-Mei

    2017-06-01

    Prions are suspected as pathogen of the fatal transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. Strategies to access homogenous prion protein (PrP) are required to fully comprehend the molecular mechanism of prion diseases. However, the polypeptide fragments from PrP show a high tendency to form aggregates, which is a gigantic obstacle of protein synthesis and purification. In this study, murine prion sequence 90 to 230 that is the core three-dimensional structure domain was constructed from three segments murine PrP (mPrP)(90-177), mPrP(178-212), and mPrP(213-230) by combining protein expression, chemical synthesis and chemical ligation. The protein sequence 90 to 177 was obtained from expression and finally converted into the polypeptide hydrazide by chemical activation of a cysteine in the tail. The other two polypeptide fragments of the C-terminal were obtained by chemical synthesis, which utilized the strategies of isopeptide and pseudoproline building blocks to complete the synthesis of such difficult sequences. The three segments were finally assembled by sequentially using native chemical ligation. This strategy will allow more straightforward access to homogeneously modified PrP variants. Copyright © 2017 European Peptide Society and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2017 European Peptide Society and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  2. Solid-state NMR studies of the prion protein H1 fragment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heller, J.; Kolbert, A. C.; Larsen, R.; Ernst, M.; Bekker, T.; Baldwin, M.; Prusiner, S. B.; Pines, A.; Wemmer, D. E.

    1996-01-01

    Conformational changes in the prion protein (PrP) seem to be responsible for prion diseases. We have used conformation-dependent chemical-shift measurements and rotational-resonance distance measurements to analyze the conformation of solid-state peptides lacking long-range order, corresponding to a region of PrP designated H1. This region is predicted to undergo a transformation of secondary structure in generating the infectious form of the protein. Solid-state NMR spectra of specifically 13C-enriched samples of H1, residues 109-122 (MKHMAGAAAAGAVV) of Syrian hamster PrP, have been acquired under cross-polarization and magic-angle spinning conditions. Samples lyophilized from 50% acetonitrile/50% water show chemical shifts characteristic of a beta-sheet conformation in the region corresponding to residues 112-121, whereas samples lyophilized from hexafluoroisopropanol display shifts indicative of alpha-helical secondary structure in the region corresponding to residues 113-117. Complete conversion to the helical conformation was not observed and conversion from alpha-helix back to beta-sheet, as inferred from the solid-state NMR spectra, occurred when samples were exposed to water. Rotational-resonance experiments were performed on seven doubly 13C-labeled H1 samples dried from water. Measured distances suggest that the peptide is in an extended, possibly beta-strand, conformation. These results are consistent with the experimental observation that PrP can exist in different conformational states and with structural predictions based on biological data and theoretical modeling that suggest that H1 may play a key role in the conformational transition involved in the development of prion diseases. PMID:8844854

  3. Targeted knock-down of cellular prion protein expression in myelinating Schwann cells does not alter mouse prion pathogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halliez, Sophie; Chesnais, Nathalie; Mallucci, Giovanna; Vilotte, Marthe; Langevin, Christelle; Jaumain, Emilie; Laude, Hubert; Vilotte, Jean-Luc; Béringue, Vincent

    2013-06-01

    In naturally acquired transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, the pathogenic agents or prions spread from the sites of initial peripheral uptake or replication to the brain where they cause progressive and fatal neurodegeneration. Routing via the peripheral nervous system is considered to be one of the main pathways to the central nervous system. Replication of prions in Schwann cells is viewed as a potentially important mechanism for efficient prion spread along nerves. Here we used a Cre-loxP mouse transgenetic approach to disrupt host-encoded prion protein (PrP(C)) specifically in myelinating Schwann cells. Despite the use of infection routes targeting highly myelinated nerves, there was no alteration in mouse prion pathogenesis, suggesting that conversion-dependent, centripetal spread of prions does not crucially rely on PrP(C) expressed by myelinating Schwann cells.

  4. 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.

  5. Redox behaviors of the neurotoxic portion in human prion protein, HuPrP(106-126)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamoto, Norifumi; Kuwata, Kazuo

    2010-09-01

    A peptide fragment of human prion protein, HuPrP(106-126), has been reported to mimic the pathological features underlying prion diseases. Although the actual neurotoxic mechanism of HuPrP(106-126) has not been elucidated, several hypotheses has been proposed based on the role for copper. In this study, to understand the toxic function of HuPrP(106-126) from a viewpoint of electrochemical competence, we investigated redox properties of copper ion complexes with four different binding motifs of a model of HuPrP(106-126) based on density functional theory calculations. We found that the HuPrP(106-126)-derived models exhibited diverse redox activities that depended on copper-binding conformations.

  6. MSA prions exhibit remarkable stability and resistance to inactivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woerman, Amanda L; Kazmi, Sabeen A; Patel, Smita; Freyman, Yevgeniy; Oehler, Abby; Aoyagi, Atsushi; Mordes, Daniel A; Halliday, Glenda M; Middleton, Lefkos T; Gentleman, Steve M; Olson, Steven H; Prusiner, Stanley B

    2018-01-01

    In multiple system atrophy (MSA), progressive neurodegeneration results from the protein α-synuclein misfolding into a self-templating prion conformation that spreads throughout the brain. MSA prions are transmissible to transgenic (Tg) mice expressing mutated human α-synuclein (TgM83+/-), inducing neurological disease following intracranial inoculation with brain homogenate from deceased patient samples. Noting the similarities between α-synuclein prions and PrP scrapie (PrPSc) prions responsible for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), we investigated MSA transmission under conditions known to result in PrPSc transmission. When peripherally exposed to MSA via the peritoneal cavity, hind leg muscle, and tongue, TgM83+/- mice developed neurological signs accompanied by α-synuclein prions in the brain. Iatrogenic CJD, resulting from PrPSc prion adherence to surgical steel instruments, has been investigated by incubating steel sutures in contaminated brain homogenate before implantation into mouse brain. Mice studied using this model for MSA developed disease, whereas wire incubated in control homogenate had no effect on the animals. Notably, formalin fixation did not inactivate α-synuclein prions. Formalin-fixed MSA patient samples also transmitted disease to TgM83+/- mice, even after incubating in fixative for 244 months. Finally, at least 10% sarkosyl was found to be the concentration necessary to partially inactivate MSA prions. These results demonstrate the robustness of α-synuclein prions to denaturation. Moreover, they establish the parallel characteristics between PrPSc and α-synuclein prions, arguing that clinicians should exercise caution when working with materials that might contain α-synuclein prions to prevent disease.

  7. [Methods for diagnosis of prion diseases].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grigor'ev, V B; Pokidyshev, A N; Kal'nov, S L; Klimenko, S M

    2009-01-01

    The epidemic of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in the United Kingdom, its related occurrence of a new type of Creutzfeld-Jacob disease and proven cases of this type of the disease transmitted by blood transfusion initiated intensive studies to develop a inexpensive, prompt, and sensitive method for the early lifetime diagnosis of prion diseases. This would permit initiation of the timely treatment of the patients and prevention of contamination of foodstuffs. However, despite significant progress made in this direction, this objective has not yet been achieved. The present review highlights the currently available methods for the diagnosis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, as well as the latest developments in the ultrasensitive detection of these diseases, which is based on the misfolded prion protein complex.

  8. Interaction of prion protein with acetylcholinesterase: potential pathobiological implications in prion diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torrent, Joan; Vilchez-Acosta, Alba; Muñoz-Torrero, Diego; Trovaslet, Marie; Nachon, Florian; Chatonnet, Arnaud; Grznarova, Katarina; Acquatella-Tran Van Ba, Isabelle; Le Goffic, Ronan; Herzog, Laetitia; Béringue, Vincent; Rezaei, Human

    2015-04-03

    The prion protein (PrP) binds to various molecular partners, but little is known about their potential impact on the pathogenesis of prion diseases Here, we show that PrP can interact in vitro with acetylcholinesterase (AChE), a key protein of the cholinergic system in neural and non-neural tissues. This heterologous association induced aggregation of monomeric PrP and modified the structural properties of PrP amyloid fibrils. Following its recruitment into PrP fibrils, AChE loses its enzymatic activity and enhances PrP-mediated cytotoxicity. Using several truncated PrP variants and specific tight-binding AChE inhibitors (AChEis), we then demonstrate that the PrP-AChE interaction requires two mutually exclusive sub-sites in PrP N-terminal domain and an aromatic-rich region at the entrance of AChE active center gorge. We show that AChEis that target this site impair PrP-AChE complex formation and also limit the accumulation of pathological prion protein (PrPSc) in prion-infected cell cultures. Furthermore, reduction of AChE levels in prion-infected heterozygous AChE knock-out mice leads to slightly but significantly prolonged incubation time. Finally, we found that AChE levels were altered in prion-infected cells and tissues, suggesting that AChE might be directly associated with abnormal PrP. Our results indicate that AChE deserves consideration as a new actor in expanding pathologically relevant PrP morphotypes and as a therapeutic target.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. The structural core of prion disease

    OpenAIRE

    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 can be observed in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In TSEs, Alzheimer’s disease, and some more protein folding diseases a key factor in the pathogenesis is the deposition of aggregated aber...

  13. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefanie A.G. Black

    2014-08-01

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

  15. The Structure of PrPSc Prions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holger Wille

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available PrPSc (scrapie isoform of the prion protein prions are the infectious agent behind diseases such as Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease in humans, bovine spongiform encephalopathy in cattle, chronic wasting disease in cervids (deer, elk, moose, and reindeer, as well as goat and sheep scrapie. PrPSc is an alternatively folded variant of the cellular prion protein, PrPC, which is a regular, GPI-anchored protein that is present on the cell surface of neurons and other cell types. While the structure of PrPC is well studied, the structure of PrPSc resisted high-resolution determination due to its general insolubility and propensity to aggregate. Cryo-electron microscopy, X-ray fiber diffraction, and a variety of other approaches defined the structure of PrPSc as a four-rung β-solenoid. A high-resolution structure of PrPSc still remains to be solved, but the four-rung β-solenoid architecture provides a molecular framework for the autocatalytic propagation mechanism that gives rise to the alternative conformation of PrPSc. Here, we summarize the current knowledge regarding the structure of PrPSc and speculate about the molecular conversion mechanisms that leads from PrPC to PrPSc.

  16. The Structure of PrPScPrions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wille, Holger; Requena, Jesús R

    2018-02-07

    PrP Sc (scrapie isoform of the prion protein) prions are the infectious agent behind diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans, bovine spongiform encephalopathy in cattle, chronic wasting disease in cervids (deer, elk, moose, and reindeer), as well as goat and sheep scrapie. PrP Sc is an alternatively folded variant of the cellular prion protein, PrP C , which is a regular, GPI-anchored protein that is present on the cell surface of neurons and other cell types. While the structure of PrP C is well studied, the structure of PrP Sc resisted high-resolution determination due to its general insolubility and propensity to aggregate. Cryo-electron microscopy, X-ray fiber diffraction, and a variety of other approaches defined the structure of PrP Sc as a four-rung β-solenoid. A high-resolution structure of PrP Sc still remains to be solved, but the four-rung β-solenoid architecture provides a molecular framework for the autocatalytic propagation mechanism that gives rise to the alternative conformation of PrP Sc . Here, we summarize the current knowledge regarding the structure of PrP Sc and speculate about the molecular conversion mechanisms that leads from PrP C to PrP Sc .

  17. Olfactory sex recognition investigated in Antarctic prions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco Bonadonna

    Full Text Available Chemical signals can yield information about an animal such as its identity, social status or sex. Such signals have rarely been considered in birds, but recent results have shown that chemical signals are actually used by different bird species to find food and to recognize their home and nest. This is particularly true in petrels whose olfactory anatomy is among the most developed in birds. Recently, we have demonstrated that Antarctic prions, Pachyptila desolata, are also able to recognize and follow the odour of their partner in a Y-maze.However, the experimental protocol left unclear whether this choice reflected an olfactory recognition of a particular individual (i.e. partner or a more general sex recognition mechanism. To test this second hypothesis, male and female birds' odours were presented simultaneously to 54 Antarctic prions in a Y-maze. Results showed random behaviour by the tested bird, independent of its sex or reproductive status. Present results do not support the possibility that Antarctic prions can distinguish the sex of a conspecific through its odour but indirectly support the hypothesis that they can distinguish individual odours.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  19. Abnormal brain iron homeostasis in human and animal prion disorders

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Singh, Ajay; Isaac, Alfred Orina; Luo, Xiu; Mohan, Maradumane L; Cohen, Mark L; Chen, Fusong; Kong, Qingzhong; Bartz, Jason; Singh, Neena

    2009-01-01

    ...)), a beta-sheet rich isoform of a normal cell-surface glycoprotein, the prion protein (PrP(C)). Limited reports suggest imbalance of brain iron homeostasis as a significant associated cause of neurotoxicity in prion-infected cell and mouse models...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Genetic variations such as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in prion protein coding gene, Prnp, greatly affect susceptibility to prion diseases in mammals. Here, the coding region of Prnp was screened for polymorphisms in redeared turtle, Trachemys scripta. Four polymorphisms, L203V, N205I, V225A and M237V, ...

  2. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel E Saunders

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mays, Charles E.; Kim, Chae; Haldiman, Tracy; van der Merwe, Jacques; Lau, Agnes; Yang, Jing; Grams, Jennifer; Di Bari, Michele A.; Nonno, Romolo; Telling, Glenn C.; Kong, Qingzhong; Langeveld, Jan; McKenzie, Debbie; Westaway, David; Safar, Jiri 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 (Sho) glycoprotein. Given the overlapping cellular environments for PrPC and Sho, we inferred that PrPC levels might also be altered as part of a host response during prion infection. Using rodent models, we found that, in addition to changes in PrPC glycosylation and proteolytic processing, net reductions in PrPC occur in a wide range of prion diseases, including sheep scrapie, human Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and cervid chronic wasting disease. The reduction in PrPC results in decreased prion replication, as measured by the protein misfolding cyclic amplification technique for generating PrPSc in vitro. While PrPC downregulation is not discernible in animals with unusually short incubation periods and high PrPC expression, slowly evolving prion infections exhibit downregulation of the PrPC substrate required for new PrPSc synthesis and as a receptor for pathogenic signaling. Our data reveal PrPC downregulation as a previously unappreciated element of disease pathogenesis that defines the extensive, presymptomatic period for many prion strains. PMID:24430187

  5. 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.

  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. Mouse Prion Protein (PrP) Segment 100 to 104 Regulates Conversion of PrPC to PrPSc in Prion-Infected Neuroblastoma Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hara, Hideyuki; Okemoto-Nakamura, Yuko; Shinkai-Ouchi, Fumiko; Hanada, Kentaro; Yamakawa, Yoshio

    2012-01-01

    Prion diseases are characterized by the replicative propagation of disease-associated forms of prion protein (PrPSc; PrP refers to prion protein). The propagation is believed to proceed via two steps; the initial binding of the normal form of PrP (PrPC) to PrPSc and the subsequent conversion of PrPC to PrPSc. We have explored the two-step model in prion-infected mouse neuroblastoma (ScN2a) cells by focusing on the mouse PrP (MoPrP) segment 92-GGTHNQWNKPSKPKTN-107, which is within a region previously suggested to be part of the binding interface or shown to differ in its accessibility to anti-PrP antibodies between PrPC and PrPSc. Exchanging the MoPrP segment with the corresponding chicken PrP segment (106-GGSYHNQKPWKPPKTN-121) revealed the necessity of MoPrP residues 99 to 104 for the chimeras to achieve the PrPSc state, while segment 95 to 98 was replaceable with the chicken sequence. An alanine substitution at position 100, 102, 103, or 104 of MoPrP gave rise to nonconvertible mutants that associated with MoPrPSc and interfered with the conversion of endogenous MoPrPC. The interference was not evoked by a chimera (designated MCM2) in which MoPrP segment 95 to 104 was changed to the chicken sequence, though MCM2 associated with MoPrPSc. Incubation of the cells with a synthetic peptide composed of MoPrP residues 93 to 107 or alanine-substituted cognates did not inhibit the conversion, whereas an anti-P8 antibody recognizing the above sequence in PrPC reduced the accumulation of PrPSc after 10 days of incubation of the cells. These results suggest the segment 100 to 104 of MoPrPC plays a key role in conversion after binding to MoPrPSc. PMID:22398286

  8. Extra N-terminal residues have a profound effect on the aggregation properties of the potential yeast prion protein Mca1.

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    Marc Erhardt

    Full Text Available The metacaspase Mca1 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae displays a Q/N-rich region at its N-terminus reminiscent of yeast prion proteins. In this study, we show that the ability of Mca1 to form insoluble aggregates is modulated by a peptide stretch preceding its putative prion-forming domain. Based on its genomic locus, three potential translational start sites of Mca1 can give rise to two slightly different long Mca1 proteins or a short version, Mca1(451/453 and Mca1(432, respectively, although under normal physiological conditions Mca1(432 is the predominant form expressed. All Mca1 variants exhibit the Q/N-rich regions, while only the long variants Mca1(451/453 share an extra stretch of 19 amino acids at their N-terminal end. Strikingly, only long versions of Mca1 but not Mca1(432 revealed pronounced aggregation in vivo and displayed prion-like properties when fused to the C-terminal domain of Sup35 suggesting that the N-terminal peptide element promotes the conformational switch of Mca1 protein into an insoluble state. Transfer of the 19 N-terminal amino acid stretch of Mca1(451 to the N-terminus of firefly luciferase resulted in increased aggregation of luciferase, suggesting a protein destabilizing function of the peptide element. We conclude that the aggregation propensity of the potential yeast prion protein Mca1 in vivo is strongly accelerated by a short peptide segment preceding its Q/N-rich region and we speculate that such a conformational switch might occur in vivo via the usage of alternative translational start sites.

  9. Blessings in disguise: biological benefits of prion-like mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newby, Gregory A; Lindquist, Susan

    2013-06-01

    Prions and amyloids are often associated with disease, but related mechanisms provide beneficial functions in nature. Prion-like mechanisms (PriLiMs) are found from bacteria to humans, where they alter the biological and physical properties of prion-like proteins. We have proposed that prions can serve as heritable bet-hedging devices for diversifying microbial phenotypes. Other, more dynamic proteinaceous complexes may be governed by similar self-templating conformational switches. Additional PriLiMs continue to be identified and many share features of self-templating protein structure (including amyloids) and dependence on chaperone proteins. Here, we discuss several PriLiMs and their functions, intending to spur discussion and collaboration on the subject of beneficial prion-like behaviors. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Allelic variants of hereditary prions: The bimodularity principle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tikhodeyev, Oleg N; Tarasov, Oleg V; Bondarev, Stanislav A

    2017-01-02

    Modern biology requires modern genetic concepts equally valid for all discovered mechanisms of inheritance, either "canonical" (mediated by DNA sequences) or epigenetic. Applying basic genetic terms such as "gene" and "allele" to protein hereditary factors is one of the necessary steps toward these concepts. The basic idea that different variants of the same prion protein can be considered as alleles has been previously proposed by Chernoff and Tuite. In this paper, the notion of prion allele is further developed. We propose the idea that any prion allele is a bimodular hereditary system that depends on a certain DNA sequence (DNA determinant) and a certain epigenetic mark (epigenetic determinant). Alteration of any of these 2 determinants may lead to establishment of a new prion allele. The bimodularity principle is valid not only for hereditary prions; it seems to be universal for any epigenetic hereditary factor.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-16

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

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

    CERN Document Server

    Zhang, Jiapu

    2011-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Chimeric elk/mouse prion proteins in transgenic mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamgüney, Gültekin; Giles, Kurt; Oehler, Abby; Johnson, Natrina L; DeArmond, Stephen J; Prusiner, Stanley B

    2013-02-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) of deer and elk is a highly communicable neurodegenerative disorder caused by prions. Investigations of CWD are hampered by slow bioassays in transgenic (Tg) mice. Towards the development of Tg mice that will be more susceptible to CWD prions, we created a series of chimeric elk/mouse transgenes that encode the N terminus of elk PrP (ElkPrP) up to residue Y168 and the C terminus of mouse PrP (MoPrP) beyond residue 169 (mouse numbering), designated Elk3M(SNIVVK). Between codons 169 and 219, six residues distinguish ElkPrP from MoPrP: N169S, T173N, V183I, I202V, I214V and R219K. Using chimeric elk/mouse PrP constructs, we generated 12 Tg mouse lines and determined incubation times after intracerebral inoculation with the mouse-passaged RML scrapie or Elk1P CWD prions. Unexpectedly, one Tg mouse line expressing Elk3M(SNIVVK) exhibited incubation times of 250 days for RML prions. Tg(Elk3M,SNIVVK) mice were less susceptible to CWD prions than Tg(ElkPrP) mice. Changing three C-terminal mouse residues (202, 214 and 219) to those of elk doubled the incubation time for mouse RML prions and rendered the mice resistant to Elk1P CWD prions. Mutating an additional two residues from mouse to elk at codons 169 and 173 increased the incubation times for mouse prions to >300 days, but made the mice susceptible to CWD prions. Our findings highlight the role of C-terminal residues in PrP that control the susceptibility and replication of prions.

  15. Rapid Antemortem Detection of CWD Prions in Deer Saliva

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haley, Nicholas J.; Denkers, Nathaniel D.; Nalls, Amy V.; Mathiason, Candace K.; Caughey, Byron; Hoover, Edward A.

    2013-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is an efficiently transmitted prion disease of cervids, now identified in 22 United States, 2 Canadian provinces and Korea. One hallmark of CWD is the shedding of infectious prions in saliva, as demonstrated by bioassay in deer. It is also clear that the concentration of prions in saliva, blood, urine and feces is much lower than in the nervous system or lymphoid tissues. Rapid in vitro detection of CWD (and other) prions in body fluids and excreta has been problematic due to the sensitivity limits of direct assays (western blotting, ELISA) and the presence of inhibitors in these complex biological materials that hamper detection. Here we use real-time quaking induced conversion (RT-QuIC) to demonstrate CWD prions in both diluted and prion-enriched saliva samples from asymptomatic and symptomatic white-tailed deer. CWD prions were detected in 14 of 24 (58.3%) diluted saliva samples from CWD-exposed white-tailed deer, including 9 of 14 asymptomatic animals (64.2%). In addition, a phosphotungstic acid enrichment enhanced the RT-QuIC assay sensitivity, enabling detection in 19 of 24 (79.1%) of the above saliva samples. Bioassay in Tg[CerPrP] mice confirmed the presence of infectious prions in 2 of 2 RT-QuIC-positive saliva samples so examined. The modified RT-QuIC analysis described represents a non-invasive, rapid ante-mortem detection of prions in complex biologic fluids, excreta, or environmental samples as well as a tool for exploring prion trafficking, peripheralization, and dissemination. PMID:24040235

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Davin M Henderson

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-08-15

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

  18. Prion peripheralization is a host-driven trait of prion infection, independent of strain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD), like scrapie of sheep, is a horizontally transmissible spongiform encephalopathy. Proposed natural routes of transmission for both agents include saliva, urine, and feces, and are likely related to an accumulation of misfolded prion proteins in peripheral excretory tis...

  19. 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.

  20. Fate of pathological prion (PrP(sc)92-138) in soil and water: prion-clay nanoparticle molecular dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapron, Yves; Charlet, Laurent; Sahai, Nita

    2014-01-01

    Pathogenic prion protein scrapie (PrP(sc)) may contaminate soils for decades and remain in water in colloidal suspension, providing infection pathways for animals through the inhalation of ingested dust and soil particles, and drinking water. We used molecular dynamics simulations to understand the strong binding mechanism of this pathogenic peptide with clay mineral surfaces and compared our results to experimental works. We restricted our model to the moiety PrP(92-138), which is a portion of the whole PrP(sc) molecule responsible for infectivity and modeled it using explicit solvating water molecules in contact with a pyrophyllite cleavage plane. Pyrophyllite is taken as a model for common soil clay, but it has no permanent structural charge. However, partial residual negative charges occur on the cleavage plane slab surface due to a slab charge unbalance. The charge is isotropic in 2D and it was balanced with K(+) ions. After partially removing potassium ions, the peptide anchors to the clay surface via up to 10 hydrogen bonds, between protonated lysine or histidine residues and the oxygen atoms of the siloxane cavities. Our results provide insight to the mechanism responsible for the strong association between the PrP(sc) peptide and clay nanoparticles and the associations present in contaminated soil and water which may lead to the infection of animals.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makarava, Natallia; Kovacs, Gabor G; Savtchenko, Regina; Alexeeva, Irina; Budka, Herbert; Rohwer, Robert G; Baskakov, Ilia V

    2011-12-01

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natallia Makarava

    2011-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leliveld, Sirik Rutger; Dame, Remus Thei; Wuite, Gijs J L; Stitz, Lothar; Korth, Carsten

    2006-02-10

    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 (PrPC) into the pathogenic conformer PrPSc, which subsequently induces further conversion in an autocatalytic manner. Apparently, an expanded octarepeat domain directs folding of PrP toward the PrPSc conformation and initiates a self-replicating conversion process. Here, based on three main observations, we have provided a model on how altered molecular interactions between wild-type and mutant PrP set the stage for familial Creutzfeldt Jakob disease with octarepeat insertions. First, we showed that wild-type octarepeat domains interact in a copper-dependent and reversible manner, a "copper switch." This interaction becomes irreversible upon domain expansion, possibly reflecting a loss of function. Second, expanded octarepeat domains of increasing length gradually form homogenous globular multimers of 11-21 nm in the absence of copper ions when expressed as soluble glutathione S-transferase fusion proteins. Third, octarepeat domain expansion causes a gain of function with at least 10 repeats selectively binding PrPSc in a denaturant-resistant complex in the absence of copper ions. Thus, the combination of both a loss and gain of function profoundly influences homomeric interaction behavior of PrP with an expanded octarepeat domain. A multimeric cluster of prion proteins carrying expanded octarepeat domains may therefore capture and incorporate spontaneously arising short-lived PrPSc-like conformers, thereby providing a matrix for their conversion.

  4. Analysis of Conformational Stability of Abnormal Prion Protein Aggregates across the Spectrum of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Prions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cescatti, Maura; Saverioni, Daniela; Capellari, Sabina; Tagliavini, Fabrizio; Kitamoto, Tetsuyuki; Ironside, James; Giese, Armin

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The wide phenotypic variability of prion diseases is thought to depend on the interaction of a host genotype with prion strains that have self-perpetuating biological properties enciphered in distinct conformations of the misfolded prion protein PrPSc. This concept is largely based on indirect approaches studying the effect of proteases or denaturing agents on the physicochemical properties of PrPSc aggregates. Furthermore, most data come from studies on rodent-adapted prion strains, making current understanding of the molecular basis of strains and phenotypic variability in naturally occurring diseases, especially in humans, more limited. To fill this gap, we studied the effects of guanidine hydrochloride (GdnHCl) and heating on PrPSc aggregates extracted from 60 sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) and 6 variant CJD brains. While denaturation curves obtained after exposure of PrPSc to increasing GdnHCl concentrations showed similar profiles among the 7 CJD types analyzed, PrPSc exposure to increasing temperature revealed significantly different and type-specific responses. In particular, MM1 and VV2, the most prevalent and fast-replicating CJD types, showed stable and highly resistant PrPSc aggregates, whereas VV1, a rare and slowly propagating type, revealed unstable aggregates that easily dissolved at low temperature. Taken together, our results indicate that the molecular interactions mediating the aggregation state of PrPSc, possibly enciphering strain diversity, are differently targeted by GdnHCl, temperature, and proteases. Furthermore, the detected positive correlation between the thermostability of PrPSc aggregates and disease transmission efficiency makes inconsistent the proposed hypothesis that a decrease in conformational stability of prions results in an increase in their replication efficiency. IMPORTANCE Prion strains are defined as infectious isolates propagating distinctive phenotypic traits after transmission to syngeneic hosts

  5. Analysis of Conformational Stability of Abnormal Prion Protein Aggregates across the Spectrum of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cescatti, Maura; Saverioni, Daniela; Capellari, Sabina; Tagliavini, Fabrizio; Kitamoto, Tetsuyuki; Ironside, James; Giese, Armin; Parchi, Piero

    2016-07-15

    The wide phenotypic variability of prion diseases is thought to depend on the interaction of a host genotype with prion strains that have self-perpetuating biological properties enciphered in distinct conformations of the misfolded prion protein PrP(Sc) This concept is largely based on indirect approaches studying the effect of proteases or denaturing agents on the physicochemical properties of PrP(Sc) aggregates. Furthermore, most data come from studies on rodent-adapted prion strains, making current understanding of the molecular basis of strains and phenotypic variability in naturally occurring diseases, especially in humans, more limited. To fill this gap, we studied the effects of guanidine hydrochloride (GdnHCl) and heating on PrP(Sc) aggregates extracted from 60 sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) and 6 variant CJD brains. While denaturation curves obtained after exposure of PrP(Sc) to increasing GdnHCl concentrations showed similar profiles among the 7 CJD types analyzed, PrP(Sc) exposure to increasing temperature revealed significantly different and type-specific responses. In particular, MM1 and VV2, the most prevalent and fast-replicating CJD types, showed stable and highly resistant PrP(Sc) aggregates, whereas VV1, a rare and slowly propagating type, revealed unstable aggregates that easily dissolved at low temperature. Taken together, our results indicate that the molecular interactions mediating the aggregation state of PrP(Sc), possibly enciphering strain diversity, are differently targeted by GdnHCl, temperature, and proteases. Furthermore, the detected positive correlation between the thermostability of PrP(Sc) aggregates and disease transmission efficiency makes inconsistent the proposed hypothesis that a decrease in conformational stability of prions results in an increase in their replication efficiency. Prion strains are defined as infectious isolates propagating distinctive phenotypic traits after transmission to syngeneic hosts. Although

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Biochemical Characterization of Prion Strains in Bank Voles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Romolo Nonno

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Prions exist as different strains exhibiting distinct disease phenotypes. Currently, the identification of prion strains is still based on biological strain typing in rodents. However, it has been shown that prion strains may be associated with distinct PrPSc biochemical types. Taking advantage of the availability of several prion strains adapted to a novel rodent model, the bank vole, we investigated if any prion strain was actually associated with distinctive PrPSc biochemical characteristics and if it was possible to univocally identify strains through PrPSc biochemical phenotypes. We selected six different vole-adapted strains (three human-derived and three animal-derived and analyzed PrPSc from individual voles by epitope mapping of protease resistant core of PrPSc (PrPres and by conformational stability and solubility assay. Overall, we discriminated five out of six prion strains, while two different scrapie strains showed identical PrPSc types. Our results suggest that the biochemical strain typing approach here proposed was highly discriminative, although by itself it did not allow us to identify all prion strains analyzed.

  10. The Structure of Human Prions: From Biology to Structural Models — Considerations and Pitfalls

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acevedo-Morantes, Claudia Y.; Wille, Holger

    2014-01-01

    Prion diseases are a family of transmissible, progressive, and uniformly fatal neurodegenerative disorders that affect humans and animals. Although cross-species transmissions of prions are usually limited by an apparent “species barrier”, the spread of a prion disease to humans by ingestion of contaminated food, or via other routes of exposure, indicates that animal prions can pose a significant public health risk. The infectious agent responsible for the transmission of prion diseases is a misfolded conformer of the prion protein, PrPSc, a pathogenic isoform of the host-encoded, cellular prion protein, PrPC. The detailed mechanisms of prion conversion and replication, as well as the high-resolution structure of PrPSc, are unknown. This review will discuss the general background related to prion biology and assess the structural models proposed to date, while highlighting the experimental challenges of elucidating the structure of PrPSc. PMID:25333467

  11. Protease-resistant prions selectively decrease Shadoo protein.

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    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.

  12. Relationship between magnetism and prion protein

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    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.

  13. Human prion diseases in the United States.

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    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.

  14. The Antemortem Detection and Conformational Switches of Prion Proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-07-01

    PrPsc to detect individual cells that contain PrPsc . Sensitivity studies suggest that it can detect as low as 10 prion-infected cells in 5 x 105 WBCs...The amyloidogenic PrPSc is the only proven surrogate marker for the diagnosis of prion diseases. Therefore almost all of the efforts for diagnosing...prion diseases are directed at detecting PrPsc . Since the only difference between the normal cellular PrPc and the pathological PrPsc is their

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

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    Aurélie Alleaume-Butaux

    2015-08-01

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

  19. Prion switching in response to environmental stress.

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    Jens Tyedmers

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Evolution depends on the manner in which genetic variation is translated into new phenotypes. There has been much debate about whether organisms might have specific mechanisms for "evolvability," which would generate heritable phenotypic variation with adaptive value and could act to enhance the rate of evolution. Capacitor systems, which allow the accumulation of cryptic genetic variation and release it under stressful conditions, might provide such a mechanism. In yeast, the prion [PSI(+] exposes a large array of previously hidden genetic variation, and the phenotypes it thereby produces are advantageous roughly 25% of the time. The notion that [PSI(+] is a mechanism for evolvability would be strengthened if the frequency of its appearance increased with stress. That is, a system that mediates even the haphazard appearance of new phenotypes, which have a reasonable chance of adaptive value would be beneficial if it were deployed at times when the organism is not well adapted to its environment. In an unbiased, high-throughput, genome-wide screen for factors that modify the frequency of [PSI(+] induction, signal transducers and stress response genes were particularly prominent. Furthermore, prion induction increased by as much as 60-fold when cells were exposed to various stressful conditions, such as oxidative stress (H2O2 or high salt concentrations. The severity of stress and the frequency of [PSI(+] induction were highly correlated. These findings support the hypothesis that [PSI(+] is a mechanism to increase survival in fluctuating environments and might function as a capacitor to promote evolvability.

  20. 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

  1. Soil humic substances hinder the propagation of prions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leita, Liviana; Giachin, Gabriele; Margon, Alja; Narkiewicz, Joanna; Legname, Giuseppe

    2013-04-01

    Prions are infectious pathogens causing fatal neurodegenerative disorders, known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), or prion diseases, which affect different mammalian species. TSEs include scrapie in sheep, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle, chronic wasting disease (CWD) in mule deer, elk, and moose (cervids), and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans. The prominent, if not only, component of prions is a misfolded conformer (PrPSc) of a constitutive sialoglycoprotein, the cellular prion protein (PrPC). A notable feature of prion diseases is horizontal transmission between grazing animals, implying that contaminated soil may serve to propagate the disease. In this respect, it has been reported that grazing animals ingest from tens to hundreds grams of soil per day, either incidentally through the diet, or deliberately in answering salt needs, and that mule deer can develop CWD after grazing in locations that previously housed infected animals. Prions may enter the environment through different routes, including animal excreta and secreta which mainly contribute to soil contamination. Recent studies have proven that prions can be retained in soil, which could act as a carrier of infectivity even several years after the contamination. However, within the large spread of potentially infected lands, prion diseases have become endemic only in geographically limited regions. The reasons for this geographical distribution remain unknown, but it suggests a role of the different kinds of soil in either enhancing or attenuating prion infectivity. The extent of prion transmission from the contaminated environment is unknown. Several studies have tried to address the issue of prion interaction with soil, but, at the present, different approaches show several drawbacks and technical difficulties, as soil is a complex, multi-component system of both mineral and organic interacting substances. Most research has focused on the adsorption

  2. Atomic-resolution structures of prion AGAAAAGA amyloid fibrils

    CERN Document Server

    Zhang, Jiapu

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Consideration of Prions as a Pest under FIFRA

    Science.gov (United States)

    This is the record of decision regarding prions should be considered to be a “pest” the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), as amended. It includes information about EPA regulation of pesticides based on this decision.

  4. Recent developments in mucosal vaccines against prion diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakaguchi, Suehiro; Arakawa, Takeshi

    2007-02-01

    Bovine spongiform encephalopathy in cattle is highly suspected to be orally transmitted to humans through contaminated food, causing new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. However, no prophylactic procedures against these diseases, such as vaccines, in particular those stimulating mucosal protective immunity, have been established. The causative agents of these diseases, termed prions, consist of the host-encoded prion protein (PrP). Therefore, prions are immunologically tolerated, inducing no host antibody responses. This immune tolerance to PrP has hampered the development of vaccines against prions. We and others recently reported that the immune tolerance could be successfully broken and mucosal immunity could be stimulated by mucosal immunization of mice with PrP fused with bacterial enterotoxin or delivered using an attenuated Salmonella strain, eliciting significantly higher immunoglobulin A and G antibody responses against PrP. In this review, we will discuss these reports.

  5. Sulphated glycosaminoglycans prevent the neurotoxicity of a human prion protein fragment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez, M; Wandosell, F; Colaço, C; Avila, J

    1998-10-15

    Although a number of features distinguish the disease isoform of the prion protein (PrPSc) from its normal cellular counterpart (PrPC) in the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), the neuropathogenesis of these diseases remains an enigma. The amyloid fibrils formed by fragments of human PrP have, however, been shown to be directly neurotoxic in vitro. We show here that sulphated polysaccharides (heparin, keratan and chondroitin) inhibit the neurotoxicity of these amyloid fibrils and this appears to be mediated via inhibition of the polymerization of the PrP peptide into fibrils. This provides a rationale for the therapeutic effects of sulphated polysaccharides and suggests a rapid in vitro functional screen for TSE therapeutics.

  6. Prions amplify through degradation of the VPS10P sorting receptor sortilin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomita, Mitsuru; Yano, Masashi; Hara, Hideyuki; Nykjaer, Anders

    2017-01-01

    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. PMID:28665987

  7. Prions amplify through degradation of the VPS10P sorting receptor sortilin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keiji Uchiyama

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Thermodynamics of model prions and its implications for the problem of prion protein folding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, P M; Chan, H S; Prusiner, S B; Cohen, F E

    1999-02-19

    Prion disease is caused by the propagation of a particle containing PrPSc, a misfolded form of the normal cellular prion protein (PrPC). PrPC can re-fold to form PrPSc with loss of alpha-helical structure and formation of extensive beta-sheet structure. Here, we model this prion folding problem with a simple, low-resolution lattice model of protein folding. If model proteins are allowed to re-fold upon dimerization, a minor proportion of them (up to approximately 17%) encrypts an alternative native state as a homodimer. The structures in this homodimeric native state re-arrange so that they are very different in conformation from the monomeric native state. We find that model proteins that are relatively less stable as monomers are more susceptible to the formation of alternative native states as homodimers. These results suggest that less-stable proteins have a greater need for a well-designed energy landscape for protein folding to overcome an increased chance of encrypting substantially different native conformations stabilized by multimeric interactions. This conceptual framework for aberrant folding should be relevant in Alzheimer's disease and other disorders associated with protein aggregation. Copyright 1999 Academic Press.

  10. Sialylation of prion protein controls the rate of prion amplification, the cross-species barrier, the ratio of PrPSc glycoform and prion infectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katorcha, Elizaveta; Makarava, Natallia; Savtchenko, Regina; D'Azzo, Alessandra; Baskakov, Ilia V

    2014-09-01

    The central event underlying prion diseases involves conformational change of the cellular form of the prion protein (PrP(C)) into the disease-associated, transmissible form (PrP(Sc)). Pr(PC) is a sialoglycoprotein that contains two conserved N-glycosylation sites. Among the key parameters that control prion replication identified over the years are amino acid sequence of host PrP(C) and the strain-specific structure of PrPSc. The current work highlights the previously unappreciated role of sialylation of PrP(C) glycans in prion pathogenesis, including its role in controlling prion replication rate, infectivity, cross-species barrier and PrP(Sc) glycoform ratio. The current study demonstrates that undersialylated PrP(C) is selected during prion amplification in Protein Misfolding Cyclic Amplification (PMCAb) at the expense of oversialylated PrP(C). As a result, PMCAb-derived PrP(Sc) was less sialylated than brain-derived PrP(Sc). A decrease in PrPSc sialylation correlated with a drop in infectivity of PMCAb-derived material. Nevertheless, enzymatic de-sialylation of PrP(C) using sialidase was found to increase the rate of PrP(Sc) amplification in PMCAb from 10- to 10,000-fold in a strain-dependent manner. Moreover, de-sialylation of PrP(C) reduced or eliminated a species barrier of for prion amplification in PMCAb. These results suggest that the negative charge of sialic acid controls the energy barrier of homologous and heterologous prion replication. Surprisingly, the sialylation status of PrP(C) was also found to control PrP(Sc) glycoform ratio. A decrease in Pr(PC) sialylation levels resulted in a higher percentage of the diglycosylated glycoform in PrP(Sc). 2D analysis of charge distribution revealed that the sialylation status of brain-derived PrP(C) differed from that of spleen-derived PrP(C). Knocking out lysosomal sialidase Neu1 did not change the sialylation status of brain-derived PrP(C), suggesting that Neu1 is not responsible for desialylation of Pr

  11. Sialylation of prion protein controls the rate of prion amplification, the cross-species barrier, the ratio of PrPSc glycoform and prion infectivity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizaveta Katorcha

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The central event underlying prion diseases involves conformational change of the cellular form of the prion protein (PrP(C into the disease-associated, transmissible form (PrP(Sc. Pr(PC is a sialoglycoprotein that contains two conserved N-glycosylation sites. Among the key parameters that control prion replication identified over the years are amino acid sequence of host PrP(C and the strain-specific structure of PrPSc. The current work highlights the previously unappreciated role of sialylation of PrP(C glycans in prion pathogenesis, including its role in controlling prion replication rate, infectivity, cross-species barrier and PrP(Sc glycoform ratio. The current study demonstrates that undersialylated PrP(C is selected during prion amplification in Protein Misfolding Cyclic Amplification (PMCAb at the expense of oversialylated PrP(C. As a result, PMCAb-derived PrP(Sc was less sialylated than brain-derived PrP(Sc. A decrease in PrPSc sialylation correlated with a drop in infectivity of PMCAb-derived material. Nevertheless, enzymatic de-sialylation of PrP(C using sialidase was found to increase the rate of PrP(Sc amplification in PMCAb from 10- to 10,000-fold in a strain-dependent manner. Moreover, de-sialylation of PrP(C reduced or eliminated a species barrier of for prion amplification in PMCAb. These results suggest that the negative charge of sialic acid controls the energy barrier of homologous and heterologous prion replication. Surprisingly, the sialylation status of PrP(C was also found to control PrP(Sc glycoform ratio. A decrease in Pr(PC sialylation levels resulted in a higher percentage of the diglycosylated glycoform in PrP(Sc. 2D analysis of charge distribution revealed that the sialylation status of brain-derived PrP(C differed from that of spleen-derived PrP(C. Knocking out lysosomal sialidase Neu1 did not change the sialylation status of brain-derived PrP(C, suggesting that Neu1 is not responsible for desialylation of Pr

  12. 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.

  13. Hippocampal synaptic plasticity in mice devoid of cellular prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maglio, Laura E; Perez, Mariela F; Martins, Vilma R; Brentani, Ricardo R; Ramirez, Oscar A

    2004-11-24

    The cellular prion protein plays a role in the etiology of transmissible and inherited spongiform encephalopathies. However, the physiological role of the cellular prion protein is still under debate. Results regarding the synaptic transmission using the same strain of animals where the cellular prion protein gene was ablated are controversial, and need further investigation. In this work, we have studied the hippocampal synaptic transmission in mice devoid of normal cellular prion protein, and have shown that these animals present an increased excitability in this area by the lower threshold (20 Hz) to generate long-term potentiation (LTP) in hippocampal dentate gyrus when compared to wild-type animals. The mice devoid of normal cellular prion protein are also more sensitive to the blocking effects of dizocilpine and 2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid on the hippocampal long-term potentiation generation. In situ hydridization experiments demonstrated overexpression of the mRNAs for the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor NR2A and NR2B subunits in mice devoid of normal cellular prion protein. Therefore, our results indicate that these animals have an increased hippocampal synaptic plasticity which can be explained by a facilitated glutamatergic transmission. The higher expression of specific N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor subunits may account for these effects.

  14. Prion infection of epithelial Rov cells is a polarized event.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paquet, Sophie; Sabuncu, Elifsu; Delaunay, Jean-Louis; Laude, Hubert; Vilette, Didier

    2004-07-01

    During prion infections, the cellular glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored glycoprotein PrP is converted into a conformational isoform. This abnormal conformer is thought to recruit and convert the normal cellular PrP into a likeness of itself and is proposed to be the infectious agent. We investigated the distribution of the PrP protein on the surface of Rov cells, an epithelial cell line highly permissive to prion multiplication, and we found that PrP is primarily expressed on the apical side. We further show that prion transmission to Rov cells is much more efficient if infectivity contacts the apical side, indicating that the apical and basolateral sides of Rov cells are not equally competent for prion infection and adding prions to the list of the conventional infectious agents (viruses and bacteria) that infect epithelial cells in a polarized manner. These data raise the possibility that apically expressed PrP may be involved in this polarized process of infection. This would add further support for a crucial role of PrP at the cell surface in prion infection of target cells.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

    2016-01-01

    Prions are composed of the misfolded prion protein (PrPSc) organized in a variety of aggregates. An important question in the prion field has been to determine the identity of functional PrPSc aggregates. In this study, we used equilibrium sedimentation in sucrose density gradients to separate PrPSc aggregates from three hamster prion strains (Hyper, Drowsy, SSLOW) subjected to minimal manipulations. We show that PrPSc 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 PrPSc aggregates and the incubation periods for the strains studied. The relative presence of PrPSc 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 PrPSc aggregates in prion-induced neurodegeneration. PMID:26877167

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. Prion biology and bovine spongiform encephalopathy Biología del prion y encefalopatía espongiforme bovina

    OpenAIRE

    Peralta OA

    2011-01-01

    The complex nature of prions has intrigued the scientific community during the last 70 years. Since the first indication of scrapie infectivity and the experimental transmission of the scrapie agent in 1937, prions and their associated transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) have been under constant investigation. TSEs are neurodegenerative and fatal diseases with no early diagnosis, treatment or cure. Despite their diverse presentations, all TSEs stem from the infectious, spontaneou...

  2. Pathogenic mutations within the hydrophobic domain of the prion protein lead to the formation of protease-sensitive prion species with increased lethality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coleman, Bradley M; Harrison, Christopher F; Guo, Belinda; Masters, Colin L; Barnham, Kevin J; Lawson, Victoria A; Hill, Andrew F

    2014-03-01

    Prion diseases are a group of fatal and incurable neurodegenerative diseases affecting both humans and animals. The principal mechanism of these diseases involves the misfolding the host-encoded cellular prion protein, PrP(C), into the disease-associated isoform, PrP(Sc). Familial forms of human prion disease include those associated with the mutations G114V and A117V, which lie in the hydrophobic domain of PrP. Here we have studied the murine homologues (G113V and A116V) of these mutations using cell-based and animal models of prion infection. Under normal circumstances, the mutant forms of PrP(C) share similar processing, cellular localization, and physicochemical properties with wild-type mouse PrP (MoPrP). However, upon exposure of susceptible cell lines expressing these mutants to infectious prions, very low levels of protease-resistant aggregated PrP(Sc) are formed. Subsequent mouse bioassay revealed high levels of infectivity present in these cells. Thus, these mutations appear to limit the formation of aggregated PrP(Sc), giving rise to the accumulation of a relatively soluble, protease sensitive, prion species that is highly neurotoxic. Given that these mutations lie next to the glycine-rich region of PrP that can abrogate prion infection, these findings provide further support for small, protease-sensitive prion species having a significant role in the progression of prion disease and that the hydrophobic domain is an important determinant of PrP conversion. Prion diseases are transmissible neurodegenerative diseases associated with an infectious agent called a prion. Prions are comprised of an abnormally folded form of the prion protein (PrP) that is normally resistant to enzymes called proteases. In humans, prion disease can occur in individuals who inherited mutations in the prion protein gene. Here we have studied the effects of two of these mutations and show that they influence the properties of the prions that can be formed. We show that the

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Kaczmarczyk, Lech; Mende, Ylva; Zevnik, Branko; Jackson, Walker S

    2016-01-01

    The mammalian prion protein (PrP, encoded by Prnp) is most infamous for its central role in prion diseases, invariably fatal neurodegenerative diseases affecting humans, food animals, and animals in the wild...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Moudjou, Mohammed; Chapuis, J?r?me; Mekrouti, M?riem; Reine, Fabienne; Herzog, Laetitia; Sibille, Pierre; Laude, Hubert; Vilette, Didier; Andr?oletti, Olivier; Rezaei, Human; Dron, Michel; B?ringue, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    Prions are formed of misfolded assemblies (PrPSc) of the variably N-glycosylated cellular prion protein (PrPC). In infected species, prions replicate by seeding the conversion and polymerization of host PrPC. Distinct prion strains can be recognized, exhibiting defined PrPSc biochemical properties such as the glycotype and specific biological traits. While strain information is encoded within the conformation of PrPSc assemblies, the storage of the structural information and the molecular req...

  6. Patients with Prion: Blocking Precautions Epidemiological

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liarine Fernandes Bedin

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To present the epidemiological blocking measures carried out in the hospital care of patients with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Methodology: retrospective case series of four patients admitted to a referral hospital in southern Brazil, from June 2012 to June 2015. Results: Epidemiological profile: female, aged between 56 and 65anos only one with comorbid preview, all in palliative care, one death, a tall, two transfers to source hospitals. epidemiological blocking measures taken: mandatory notification of registration of CJD; standard precautions, identification and packaging materials for risk of transmission; disinfecting materials preceding sterilization; and handling of warranty and place of proper disposal of waste. Conclusions: The epidemiological control measures and resolutions regarding the management of these patients are recent. It is important that the health team appropriates the theme in order to provide proper care and quality. KEY WORDS: Prions. Creutzfeldt-Jakob Syndrome. Epidemiological Monitoring.

  7. NMR solution structure and membrane interaction of the N-terminal sequence (1-30) of the bovine prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biverståhl, Henrik; Andersson, August; Gräslund, Astrid; Mäler, Lena

    2004-11-30

    The structure and membrane interaction of the N-terminal sequence (1-30) of the bovine prion protein (bPrPp) has been investigated by NMR spectroscopy in phospholipid membrane mimetic systems. CD spectroscopy revealed that the peptide adopts a largely alpha-helical structure in zwitterionic bicelles as well as in DHPC micelles but has a less degree of alpha-helix structure in partly charged bicelles. The solution structure of bPrPp was determined in DHPC micelles, and an alpha-helix was found between residues Ser8 and Ile21. The residues within the helical region show slow amide hydrogen exchange. Translational diffusion measurements in zwitterionic q = 0.5 bicelles show that the peptide does not induce aggregation of the bicelles. Increased quadrupolar splittings were observed in the outer part of the (2)H spectrum of DMPC in q = 3.5 bicelles, indicating that the peptide induces a certain degree of order in the bilayer. The amide hydrogen exchange and the (2)H NMR results are consistent with a slight positive hydrophobic mismatch and that bPrPp forms a stable helix that inserts in a transmembrane location in the bilayer. The structure of bPrPp and its position in the membrane may be relevant for the understanding of how the N-terminal (1-30) part of the bovine PrP functions as a cell-penetrating peptide. These findings may lead to a better understanding of how the prion protein accumulates at the membrane surface and also how the conversion into the scrapie form is carried out.

  8. Correlation of cellular factors and differential scrapie prion permissiveness in ovine microglia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders by which the native cellular prion protein (PrP-C) is misfolded into an accumulating, disease-associated isoform (PrP-D). To improve the understanding of prion pathogenesis and develop effective treatments, it is essential to elucidate factors con...

  9. Mechanical Deformation Mechanisms and Properties of Prion Fibrils Probed by Atomistic Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Bumjoon; Kim, Taehee; Ahn, Eue Soo; Lee, Sang Woo; Eom, Kilho

    2017-03-01

    Prion fibrils, which are a hallmark for neurodegenerative diseases, have recently been found to exhibit the structural diversity that governs disease pathology. Despite our recent finding concerning the role of the disease-specific structure of prion fibrils in determining their elastic properties, the mechanical deformation mechanisms and fracture properties of prion fibrils depending on their structures have not been fully characterized. In this work, we have studied the tensile deformation mechanisms of prion and non-prion amyloid fibrils by using steered molecular dynamics simulations. Our simulation results show that the elastic modulus of prion fibril, which is formed based on left-handed β-helical structure, is larger than that of non-prion fibril constructed based on right-handed β-helix. However, the mechanical toughness of prion fibril is found to be less than that of non-prion fibril, which indicates that infectious prion fibril is more fragile than non-infectious (non-prion) fibril. Our study sheds light on the role of the helical structure of amyloid fibrils, which is related to prion infectivity, in determining their mechanical deformation mechanisms and properties.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  11. Using Mass Spectrometry to Diagnose Prion diseases: Can we do that?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prions (PrPSc) are infectious proteins. They are able to convert a normal cellular protein (PrPC) into a prion and, thereby, propagate an infection. We have used mass spectrometry to quantitate the prions present in infected hamsters, mice, and sheep. Calibration curves relating the area ratios of t...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  13. Cell-biological aspects of the prion protein in transgenic Xenopus intermediate pituitary cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rosmalen, J.W.G. van

    2007-01-01

    In mammals, prions are the causative agents of various neurodegenerative diseases (e.g. scrapie, mad cow and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease) in which the three-dimensional structure of the normal cellular form of the prion protein (PrPC) is misfolded into the infectious scrapie form (PrPSc or prion). In

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jansen, C.; Parchi, P.; Capellari, S.; Vermeij, A.J.; Corrado, P.; Baas, F.; Strammiello, R.; van Gool, W.A.; van Swieten, J.C.; Rozemuller, A.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 (PrP

  16. Toll-like receptor-mediated immune response inhibits prion propagation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Sang-Gyun; Kim, Chiye; Cortez, Leonardo M; Carmen Garza, María; Yang, Jing; Wille, Holger; Sim, Valerie L; Westaway, David; McKenzie, Debbie; Aiken, Judd

    2016-06-01

    Prion diseases are progressive neurodegenerative disorders affecting humans and various mammals. The prominent neuropathological change in prion diseases is neuroinflammation characterized by activation of neuroglia surrounding prion deposition. The cause and effect of this cellular response, however, is unclear. We investigated innate immune defenses against prion infection using primary mixed neuronal and glial cultures. Conditional prion propagation occurred in glial cultures depending on their immune status. Preconditioning of the cells with the toll-like receptor (TLR) ligand, lipopolysaccharide, resulted in a reduction in prion propagation, whereas suppression of the immune responses with the synthetic glucocorticoid, dexamethasone, increased prion propagation. In response to recombinant prion fibrils, glial cells up-regulated TLRs (TLR1 and TLR2) expression and secreted cytokines (tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β, interleukin-6, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, and interferon-β). Preconditioning of neuronal and glial cultures with recombinant prion fibrils inhibited prion replication and altered microglial and astrocytic populations. Our results provide evidence that, in early stages of prion infection, glial cells respond to prion infection through TLR-mediated innate immunity. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  19. Selective propagation of mouse-passaged scrapie prions with long incubation period from a mixed prion population using GT1-7 cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyazawa, Kohtaro; Masujin, Kentaro; Okada, Hiroyuki; Ushiki-Kaku, Yuko; Matsuura, Yuichi; Yokoyama, Takashi

    2017-01-01

    In our previous study, we demonstrated the propagation of mouse-passaged scrapie isolates with long incubation periods (L-type) derived from natural Japanese sheep scrapie cases in murine hypothalamic GT1-7 cells, along with disease-associated prion protein (PrPSc) accumulation. We here analyzed the susceptibility of GT1-7 cells to scrapie prions by exposure to infected mouse brains at different passages, following interspecies transmission. Wild-type mice challenged with a natural sheep scrapie case (Kanagawa) exhibited heterogeneity of transmitted scrapie prions in early passages, and this mixed population converged upon one with a short incubation period (S-type) following subsequent passages. However, when GT1-7 cells were challenged with these heterologous samples, L-type prions became dominant. This study demonstrated that the susceptibility of GT1-7 cells to L-type prions was at least 105 times higher than that to S-type prions and that L-type prion-specific biological characteristics remained unchanged after serial passages in GT1-7 cells. This suggests that a GT1-7 cell culture model would be more useful for the economical and stable amplification of L-type prions at the laboratory level. Furthermore, this cell culture model might be used to selectively propagate L-type scrapie prions from a mixed prion population.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina D Orrú

    2015-06-01

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

  1. Genetic predictions of prion disease susceptibility in carnivore species based on variability of the prion gene coding region.

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    Paula Stewart

    Full Text Available Mammalian species vary widely in their apparent susceptibility to prion diseases. For example, several felid species developed prion disease (feline spongiform encephalopathy or FSE during the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE epidemic in the United Kingdom, whereas no canine BSE cases were detected. Whether either of these or other groups of carnivore species can contract other prion diseases (e.g. chronic wasting disease or CWD remains an open question. Variation in the host-encoded prion protein (PrP(C largely explains observed disease susceptibility patterns within ruminant species, and may explain interspecies differences in susceptibility as well. We sequenced and compared the open reading frame of the PRNP gene encoding PrP(C protein from 609 animal samples comprising 29 species from 22 genera of the Order Carnivora; amongst these samples were 15 FSE cases. Our analysis revealed that FSE cases did not encode an identifiable disease-associated PrP polymorphism. However, all canid PrPs contained aspartic acid or glutamic acid at codon 163 which we propose provides a genetic basis for observed susceptibility differences between canids and felids. Among other carnivores studied, wolverine (Gulo gulo and pine marten (Martes martes were the only non-canid species to also express PrP-Asp163, which may impact on their prion diseases susceptibility. Populations of black bear (Ursus americanus and mountain lion (Puma concolor from Colorado showed little genetic variation in the PrP protein and no variants likely to be highly resistant to prions in general, suggesting that strain differences between BSE and CWD prions also may contribute to the limited apparent host range of the latter.

  2. Genetic predictions of prion disease susceptibility in carnivore species based on variability of the prion gene coding region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, Paula; Campbell, Lauren; Skogtvedt, Susan; Griffin, Karen A; Arnemo, Jon M; Tryland, Morten; Girling, Simon; Miller, Michael W; Tranulis, Michael A; Goldmann, Wilfred

    2012-01-01

    Mammalian species vary widely in their apparent susceptibility to prion diseases. For example, several felid species developed prion disease (feline spongiform encephalopathy or FSE) during the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) epidemic in the United Kingdom, whereas no canine BSE cases were detected. Whether either of these or other groups of carnivore species can contract other prion diseases (e.g. chronic wasting disease or CWD) remains an open question. Variation in the host-encoded prion protein (PrP(C)) largely explains observed disease susceptibility patterns within ruminant species, and may explain interspecies differences in susceptibility as well. We sequenced and compared the open reading frame of the PRNP gene encoding PrP(C) protein from 609 animal samples comprising 29 species from 22 genera of the Order Carnivora; amongst these samples were 15 FSE cases. Our analysis revealed that FSE cases did not encode an identifiable disease-associated PrP polymorphism. However, all canid PrPs contained aspartic acid or glutamic acid at codon 163 which we propose provides a genetic basis for observed susceptibility differences between canids and felids. Among other carnivores studied, wolverine (Gulo gulo) and pine marten (Martes martes) were the only non-canid species to also express PrP-Asp163, which may impact on their prion diseases susceptibility. Populations of black bear (Ursus americanus) and mountain lion (Puma concolor) from Colorado showed little genetic variation in the PrP protein and no variants likely to be highly resistant to prions in general, suggesting that strain differences between BSE and CWD prions also may contribute to the limited apparent host range of the latter.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-07-01

    form of the prion protein ( PrPSc ). However, there is mounting evidence that PrPSc is not directly toxic to neurons; it may require interaction with...Hegde et al. 1999]. This hypothesis suggests that 4 PrPSc itself is not toxic per se, but it causes disease by leading to the aberrant generation of...However, this does not rule out the separate hypothesis that CtmPrP and PrPSc may be separately activating a common neurodegenerative pathway

  4. Interaction of Prions Causes Heritable Traits in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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    Anton A Nizhnikov

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The concept of "protein-based inheritance" defines prions as epigenetic determinants that cause several heritable traits in eukaryotic microorganisms, such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Podospora anserina. Previously, we discovered a non-chromosomal factor, [NSI+], which possesses the main features of yeast prions, including cytoplasmic infectivity, reversible curability, dominance, and non-Mendelian inheritance in meiosis. This factor causes omnipotent suppression of nonsense mutations in strains of S. cerevisiae bearing a deleted or modified Sup35 N-terminal domain. In this work, we identified protein determinants of [NSI+] using an original method of proteomic screening for prions. The suppression of nonsense mutations in [NSI+] strains is determined by the interaction between [SWI+] and [PIN+] prions. Using genetic and biochemical methods, we showed that [SWI+] is the key determinant of this nonsense suppression, whereas [PIN+] does not cause nonsense suppression by itself but strongly enhances the effect of [SWI+]. We demonstrated that interaction of [SWI+] and [PIN+] causes inactivation of SUP45 gene that leads to nonsense suppression. Our data show that prion interactions may cause heritable traits in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

  5. Structure-based view on [PSI(+)] prion properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bondarev, Stanislav A; Zhouravleva, Galina A; Belousov, Mikhail V; Kajava, Andrey V

    2015-01-01

    Yeast [PSI(+)] prion is one of the most suitable and well characterized system for the investigation of the prion phenomenon. However, until recently, the lack of data on the 3D arrangement of Sup35p prion fibrils hindered progress in this area. The recent arrival in this field of new experimental techniques led to the parallel and in-register superpleated β-structure as a consensus model for Sup35p fibrils. Here, we analyzed the effect of amino acid substitutions of the Sup35 protein through the prism of this structural model. Application of a newly developed computational approach, called ArchCandy, gives us a better understanding of the effect caused by mutations on the fibril forming potential of Sup35 protein. This bioinformatics tool can be used for the design of new mutations with desired modification of prion properties. Thus, we provide examples of how today, having progress toward elucidation of the structural arrangement of Sup35p fibrils, researchers can advance more efficiently to a better understanding of prion [PSI(+)] stability and propagation.

  6. Application of “omics” to Prion Biomarker Discovery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rhiannon L. C. H. Huzarewich

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The advent of genomics and proteomics has been a catalyst for the discovery of biomarkers able to discriminate biological processes such as the pathogenesis of complex diseases. Prompt detection of prion diseases is particularly desirable given their transmissibility, which is responsible for a number of human health risks stemming from exogenous sources of prion protein. Diagnosis relies on the ability to detect the biomarker PrPSc, a pathological isoform of the host protein PrPC, which is an essential component of the infectious prion. Immunochemical detection of PrPSc is specific and sensitive enough for antemortem testing of brain tissue, however, this is not the case in accessible biological fluids or for the detection of recently identified novel prions with unique biochemical properties. A complementary approach to the detection of PrPSc itself is to identify alternative, “surrogate” gene or protein biomarkers indicative of disease. Biomarkers are also useful to track the progress of disease, especially important in the assessment of therapies, or to identify individuals “at risk”. In this review we provide perspective on current progress and pitfalls in the use of “omics” technologies to screen body fluids and tissues for biomarker discovery in prion diseases.

  7. Prions adhere to soil minerals and remain infectious.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher J Johnson

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available An unidentified environmental reservoir of infectivity contributes to the natural transmission of prion diseases (transmissible spongiform encephalopathies [TSEs] in sheep, deer, and elk. Prion infectivity may enter soil environments via shedding from diseased animals and decomposition of infected carcasses. Burial of TSE-infected cattle, sheep, and deer as a means of disposal has resulted in unintentional introduction of prions into subsurface environments. We examined the potential for soil to serve as a TSE reservoir by studying the interaction of the disease-associated prion protein (PrP(Sc with common soil minerals. In this study, we demonstrated substantial PrP(Sc adsorption to two clay minerals, quartz, and four whole soil samples. We quantified the PrP(Sc-binding capacities of each mineral. Furthermore, we observed that PrP(Sc desorbed from montmorillonite clay was cleaved at an N-terminal site and the interaction between PrP(Sc and Mte was strong, making desorption of the protein difficult. Despite cleavage and avid binding, PrP(Sc bound to Mte remained infectious. Results from our study suggest that PrP(Sc released into soil environments may be preserved in a bioavailable form, perpetuating prion disease epizootics and exposing other species to the infectious agent.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisa Isopi

    2015-07-01

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

  9. Quantifying prion disease penetrance using large population control cohorts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minikel, Eric Vallabh; Vallabh, Sonia M; Lek, Monkol; Estrada, Karol; Samocha, Kaitlin E; Sathirapongsasuti, J Fah; McLean, Cory Y; Tung, Joyce Y; Yu, Linda P C; Gambetti, Pierluigi; Blevins, Janis; Zhang, Shulin; Cohen, Yvonne; Chen, Wei; Yamada, Masahito; Hamaguchi, Tsuyoshi; Sanjo, Nobuo; Mizusawa, Hidehiro; Nakamura, Yosikazu; Kitamoto, Tetsuyuki; Collins, Steven J; Boyd, Alison; Will, Robert G; Knight, Richard; Ponto, Claudia; Zerr, Inga; Kraus, Theo F J; Eigenbrod, Sabina; Giese, Armin; Calero, Miguel; de Pedro-Cuesta, Jesús; Haïk, Stéphane; Laplanche, Jean-Louis; Bouaziz-Amar, Elodie; Brandel, Jean-Philippe; Capellari, Sabina; Parchi, Piero; Poleggi, Anna; Ladogana, Anna; O'Donnell-Luria, Anne H; Karczewski, Konrad J; Marshall, Jamie L; Boehnke, Michael; Laakso, Markku; Mohlke, Karen L; Kähler, Anna; Chambert, Kimberly; McCarroll, Steven; Sullivan, Patrick F; Hultman, Christina M; Purcell, Shaun M; Sklar, Pamela; van der Lee, Sven J; Rozemuller, Annemieke; Jansen, Casper; Hofman, Albert; Kraaij, Robert; van Rooij, Jeroen G J; Ikram, M Arfan; Uitterlinden, André G; van Duijn, Cornelia M; Daly, Mark J; MacArthur, Daniel G

    2016-01-20

    More than 100,000 genetic variants are reported to cause Mendelian disease in humans, but the penetrance-the probability that a carrier of the purported disease-causing genotype will indeed develop the disease-is generally unknown. We assess the impact of variants in the prion protein gene (PRNP) on the risk of prion disease by analyzing 16,025 prion disease cases, 60,706 population control exomes, and 531,575 individuals genotyped by 23andMe Inc. We show that missense variants in PRNP previously reported to be pathogenic are at least 30 times more common in the population than expected on the basis of genetic prion disease prevalence. Although some of this excess can be attributed to benign variants falsely assigned as pathogenic, other variants have genuine effects on disease susceptibility but confer lifetime risks ranging from <0.1 to ~100%. We also show that truncating variants in PRNP have position-dependent effects, with true loss-of-function alleles found in healthy older individuals, a finding that supports the safety of therapeutic suppression of prion protein expression. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  10. Novel prion protein insert mutation associated with prolonged neurodegenerative illness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, V; Collins, S; Hill, A F; Boyd, A; McLean, C A; Smith, M; Masters, C L

    2003-05-27

    Mutations in the prion protein gene (PRNP) are found in approximately 13 to 15% of persons classified as dying from a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy. Point and octapeptide repeat insert and deletion mutations are described in the open reading frame (ORF) of PRNP. The authors present a clinicopathologic study of a patient with a family history of a lengthy and progressive neurodegenerative disorder associated with a novel large octapeptide repeat insert mutation. Neuropathologic examination, including immunohistochemistry for the prion protein, was undertaken. The ORF of PRNP was amplified by PCR, cloned, and sequenced. Homogenate of cerebral tissue underwent Western blot analysis for the prion protein before and after proteinase K treatment. The proband died after a 16-year illness commencing at age 29 years. Confident premortem clinical diagnosis was not achieved despite a brain biopsy. Autopsy examination of the brain confirmed a spongiform encephalopathy. Prion protein immunohistochemistry revealed occasional granular deposits in the cerebellar granular layer. The proband was found to harbor a novel PRNP 168 base pair (bp) insert mutation. The authors have identified a novel 168 bp octapeptide repeat insert mutation. Prion protein immunohistochemistry differs from previous cases harboring seven octapeptide repeat and other long insert mutations. Optimization of PRNP analysis, especially PCR conditions, is essential to avoid overlooking this type of mutation and delay the correct molecular genetic diagnosis.

  11. Yeast prion architecture explains how proteins can be genes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickner, Reed

    2013-03-01

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

  12. Targeting the Prion-like Aggregation of Mutant p53 to Combat Cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Jerson L; Cino, Elio A; Soares, Iaci N; Ferreira, Vitor F; A P de Oliveira, Guilherme

    2018-01-16

    Prion-like behavior of several amyloidogenic proteins has been demonstrated in recent years. Despite having functional roles in some cases, irregular aggregation can have devastating consequences. The most commonly known amyloid diseases are Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs). The pathophysiology of prion-like diseases involves the structural transformation of wild-type (wt) proteins to transmissible forms that can convert healthy proteins, generating aggregates. The mutant form of tumor suppressor protein, p53, has recently been shown to exhibit prion-like properties. Within the context of p53 aggregation and the search for ways to avert it, this review emphasizes discoveries, approaches, and research from our laboratory and others. Although its standard functions are strongly connected to tumor suppression, p53 mutants and aggregates are involved in cancer progression. p53 aggregates are heterogeneous assemblies composed of amorphous aggregates, oligomers, and amyloid-like fibrils. Evidence of these structures in tumor tissues, the in vitro capability for p53 mutants to coaggregate with wt protein, and the detection of cell-to-cell transmission indicate that cancer has the basic characteristics of prion and prion-like diseases. Various approaches aim to restore p53 functions in cancer. Methods include the use of small-molecule and peptide stabilizers of mutant p53, zinc administration, gene therapy, alkylating and DNA intercalators, and blockage of p53-MDM2 interaction. A primary challenge in developing small-molecule inhibitors of p53 aggregation is the large number of p53 mutations. Another issue is the inability to recover p53 function by dissociating mature fibrils. Consequently, efforts have emerged to target the intermediate species of the aggregation reaction. Φ-value analysis has been used to characterize the kinetics of the early phases of p53 aggregation. Our experiments using high hydrostatic pressure (HHP

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Functions of yeast Hsp40 chaperone Sis1p dispensable for prion propagation but important for prion curing and protection from prion toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirkland, P Aaron; Reidy, Michael; Masison, Daniel C

    2011-07-01

    Replication of amyloid-based yeast prions [PSI(+)], [URE3], and [PIN(+)] depends on the protein disaggregation machinery that includes Hsp104, Hsp70, and Hsp40 molecular chaperones. Yet, overexpressing Hsp104 cures cells of [PSI(+)] prions. An Hsp70 mutant (Ssa1-21p) antagonizes propagation of [PSI(+)] in a manner resembling elevated Hsp104. The major cytosolic Hsp40 Sis1p is the only Hsp40 required for replication of these prions, but its role in [PSI(+)] curing is unknown. Here we find that all nonessential functional regions of Sis1p are dispensable for [PSI(+)] propagation, suggesting that other Hsp40's might provide Hsp40 functions required for [PSI(+)] replication. Conversely, several Sis1p functions were important for promoting antiprion effects of both Ssa1-21p and Hsp104, which implies a link between the antiprion effects of these chaperones and suggests that Sis1p is a specific Hsp40 important for [PSI(+)] curing. These contrasting findings suggest that the functions of Hsp104 that are important for propagation and elimination of [PSI(+)] are either distinct or specified by different Hsp40's. This work also uncovered a growth inhibition caused by [PSI(+)] when certain functions of Sis1p were absent, suggesting that Sis1p protects cells from cytotoxicity caused by [PSI(+)] prions.

  15. Bioactive Peptides

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    Eric Banan-Mwine Daliri

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available The increased consumer awareness of the health promoting effects of functional foods and nutraceuticals is the driving force of the functional food and nutraceutical market. Bioactive peptides are known for their high tissue affinity, specificity and efficiency in promoting health. For this reason, the search for food-derived bioactive peptides has increased exponentially. Over the years, many potential bioactive peptides from food have been documented; yet, obstacles such as the need to establish optimal conditions for industrial scale production and the absence of well-designed clinical trials to provide robust evidence for proving health claims continue to exist. Other important factors such as the possibility of allergenicity, cytotoxicity and the stability of the peptides during gastrointestinal digestion would need to be addressed. This review discusses our current knowledge on the health effects of food-derived bioactive peptides, their processing methods and challenges in their development.

  16. Bioactive Peptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daliri, Eric Banan-Mwine; Oh, Deog H; Lee, Byong H

    2017-04-26

    The increased consumer awareness of the health promoting effects of functional foods and nutraceuticals is the driving force of the functional food and nutraceutical market. Bioactive peptides are known for their high tissue affinity, specificity and efficiency in promoting health. For this reason, the search for food-derived bioactive peptides has increased exponentially. Over the years, many potential bioactive peptides from food have been documented; yet, obstacles such as the need to establish optimal conditions for industrial scale production and the absence of well-designed clinical trials to provide robust evidence for proving health claims continue to exist. Other important factors such as the possibility of allergenicity, cytotoxicity and the stability of the peptides during gastrointestinal digestion would need to be addressed. This review discusses our current knowledge on the health effects of food-derived bioactive peptides, their processing methods and challenges in their development.

  17. 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

  18. A Simple, Versatile and Sensitive Cell-Based Assay for Prions from Various Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arellano-Anaya, Zaira E.; Savistchenko, Jimmy; Mathey, Jacinthe; Huor, Alvina; Lacroux, Caroline; Andréoletti, Olivier; Vilette, Didier

    2011-01-01

    Detection and quantification of prion infectivity is a crucial step for various fundamental and applied aspects of prion research. Identification of cell lines highly sensitive to prion infection led to the development of cell-based titration procedures aiming at replacing animal bioassays, usually performed in mice or hamsters. However, most of these cell lines are only permissive to mouse-adapted prions strains and do not allow titration of prions from other species. In this study, we show that epithelial RK13, a cell line permissive to mouse and bank vole prion strains and to natural prion agents from sheep and cervids, enables a robust and sensitive detection of mouse and ovine-derived prions. Importantly, the cell culture work is strongly reduced as the RK13 cell assay procedure designed here does not require subcultivation of the inoculated cultures. We also show that prions effectively bind to culture plastic vessel and are quantitatively detected by the cell assay. The possibility to easily quantify a wider range of prions, including rodent experimental strains but also natural agents from sheep and cervids, should prompt the spread of cell assays for routine prion titration and lead to valuable information in fundamental and applied studies. PMID:21655184

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  20. Disruption of Amyloid Prion Protein Aggregates by Cationic Pyridylphenylene Dendrimers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorokina, Svetlana A; Stroylova, Yulia Yu; Shifrina, Zinaida B; Muronetz, Vladimir I

    2016-02-01

    Disruption of amyloid protein aggregates is one of the potential therapies for treatment of neurodegenerative disorders such as prion diseases. Here, for the first time we report that pH-independent cationic pyridylphenylene dendrimers are able to disrupt amyloid protein aggregates at physiological pH as exemplified by inclusion bodies of ovine prion protein. The results show that exposure of inclusion bodies to the dendrimers leads to its partial disaggregation and release of the nanosize protein-dendrimer complexes. The complexes were characterized by SDS PAGE, DLS, and Western blotting methods. Thioflavin T fluorescence clearly demonstrated a decrease of amyloidogenic capability of the prion protein upon exposure to the dendrimers. The complexes formed are stable and do not show further aggregation. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  1. Amino acid sequence of the Amur tiger prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Changde; Pang, Wanyong; Zhao, Deming

    2006-10-01

    Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders in human and animal associated with conformational conversion of a cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) into the pathologic isoform (PrP(Sc)). Various data indicate that the polymorphisms within the open reading frame (ORF) of PrP are associated with the susceptibility and control the species barrier in prion diseases. In the present study, partial Prnp from 25 Amur tigers (tPrnp) were cloned and screened for polymorphisms. Four single nucleotide polymorphisms (T423C, A501G, C511A, A610G) were found; the C511A and A610G nucleotide substitutions resulted in the amino acid changes Lysine171Glutamine and Alanine204Threoine, respectively. The tPrnp amino acid sequence is similar to house cat (Felis catus ) and sheep, but differs significantly from other two cat Prnp sequences that were previously deposited in GenBank.

  2. Humic substances interfere with detection of pathogenic prion protein

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. What Makes a Prion: Infectious Proteins From Animals to Yeast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacLea, K S

    2017-01-01

    While philosophers in ancient times had many ideas for the cause of contagion, the modern study of infective agents began with Fracastoro's 1546 proposal that invisible "spores" spread infectious disease. However, firm categorization of the pathogens of the natural world would need to await a mature germ theory that would not arise for 300 years. In the 19th century, the earliest pathogens described were bacteria and other cellular microbes. By the close of that century, the work of Ivanovsky and Beijerinck introduced the concept of a virus, an infective particle smaller than any known cell. Extending into the early-mid-20th century there was an explosive growth in pathogenic microbiology, with a cellular or viral cause identified for nearly every transmissible disease. A few occult pathogens remained to be discovered, including the infectious proteins (prions) proposed by Prusiner in 1982. This review discusses the prions identified in mammals, yeasts, and other organisms, focusing on the amyloid-based prions. I discuss the essential biochemical properties of these agents and the application of this knowledge to diseases of protein misfolding and aggregation, as well as the utility of yeast as a model organism to study prion and amyloid proteins that affect human and animal health. Further, I summarize the ideas emerging out of these studies that the prion concept may go beyond proteinaceous infectious particles and that prions may be a subset of proteins having general nucleating or seeding functions involved in noninfectious as well as infectious pathogenic protein aggregation. © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Peptide YY.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandarana, Keval; Batterham, Rachel

    2008-02-01

    This review discusses recent studies examining the effects of peptide YY on energy homeostasis, highlights the emerging hedonic effects of peptide YY and evaluates the therapeutic potential of the peptide YY system. A role for exogenous PYY3-36 as an anorectic agent in obese humans and rodents has been established and weight loss effects demonstrated in obese rodents. New lines of evidence support a role for endogenous peptide YY in regulating energy homeostasis. The NPY-Y2 receptor mediates the anorectic actions of PYY3-36 with rodent studies implicating the hypothalamus, vagus and brainstem as key target sites. Functional imaging in humans has confirmed that PYY3-36 activates brainstem and hypothalamic regions. The greatest effects, however, were observed within the orbitofrontal cortex, a brain region involved in reward processing. Further evidence for a hedonic role for PYY3-36 is supported by rodent studies showing that PYY3-36 decreases the motivation to seek high-fat food. Rodent studies using selective Y2 agonists and strategies combining PYY3-36/Y2 agonists with other anorectic agents have revealed increased anorectic and weight-reducing effects. Peptide YY plays a role in the integrative regulation of metabolism. The emerging hedonic effects of peptide YY together with the weight-reducing effects observed in obese rodents suggest that targeting the peptide YY system may offer a therapeutic strategy for obesity.

  5. Crystal structures of Hsp104 N-terminal domains from Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida albicans suggest the mechanism for the function of Hsp104 in dissolving prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Peng; Li, Jingzhi; Weaver, Clarissa; Lucius, Aaron; Sha, Bingdong

    2017-04-01

    Hsp104 is a yeast member of the Hsp100 family which functions as a molecular chaperone to disaggregate misfolded polypeptides. To understand the mechanism by which the Hsp104 N-terminal domain (NTD) interacts with its peptide substrates, crystal structures of the Hsp104 NTDs from Saccharomyces cerevisiae (ScHsp104NTD) and Candida albicans (CaHsp104NTD) have been determined at high resolution. The structures of ScHsp104NTD and CaHsp104NTD reveal that the yeast Hsp104 NTD may utilize a conserved putative peptide-binding groove to interact with misfolded polypeptides. In the crystal structures ScHsp104NTD forms a homodimer, while CaHsp104NTD exists as a monomer. The consecutive residues Gln105, Gln106 and Lys107, and Lys141 around the putative peptide-binding groove mediate the monomer-monomer interactions within the ScHsp104NTD homodimer. Dimer formation by ScHsp104NTD suggests that the Hsp104 NTD may specifically interact with polyQ regions of prion-prone proteins. The data may reveal the mechanism by which Hsp104 NTD functions to suppress and/or dissolve prions.

  6. Prion potency in stem cells biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopes, Marilene H; Santos, Tiago G

    2012-01-01

    Prion protein (PrP) can be considered a pivotal molecule because it interacts with several partners to perform a diverse range of critical biological functions that might differ in embryonic and adult cells. In recent years, there have been major advances in elucidating the putative role of PrP in the basic biology of stem cells in many different systems. Here, we review the evidence indicating that PrP is a key molecule involved in driving different aspects of the potency of embryonic and tissue-specific stem cells in self-perpetuation and differentiation in many cell types. It has been shown that PrP is involved in stem cell self-renewal, controlling pluripotency gene expression, proliferation, and neural and cardiomyocyte differentiation. PrP also has essential roles in distinct processes that regulate tissue-specific stem cell biology in nervous and hematopoietic systems and during muscle regeneration. Results from our own investigations have shown that PrP is able to modulate self-renewal and proliferation in neural stem cells, processes that are enhanced by PrP interactions with stress inducible protein 1 (STI1). Thus, the available data reveal the influence of PrP in acting upon the maintenance of pluripotent status or the differentiation of stem cells from the early embryogenesis through adulthood.

  7. FTIR-Microspectroscopy of Prion-Infected Nervous Tissue

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  8. Prion diseases of the brain; Prionenerkrankung des Gehirns

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-09-15

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  10. Role of the prion protein family in the gonads

    OpenAIRE

    Allais-Bonnet , Aurélie; Pailhoux, Eric

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Analyses of Protease Resistance and Aggregation State of Abnormal Prion Protein across the Spectrum of Human Prions*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saverioni, Daniela; Notari, Silvio; Capellari, Sabina; Poggiolini, Ilaria; Giese, Armin; Kretzschmar, Hans A.; Parchi, Piero

    2013-01-01

    Prion diseases are characterized by tissue accumulation of a misfolded, β-sheet-enriched isoform (scrapie prion protein (PrPSc)) of the cellular prion protein (PrPC). At variance with PrPC, PrPSc shows a partial resistance to protease digestion and forms highly aggregated and detergent-insoluble polymers, two properties that have been consistently used to distinguish the two proteins. In recent years, however, the idea that PrPSc itself comprises heterogeneous species has grown. Most importantly, a putative proteinase K (PK)-sensitive form of PrPSc (sPrPSc) is being increasingly investigated for its possible role in prion infectivity, neurotoxicity, and strain variability. The study of sPrPSc, however, remains technically challenging because of the need of separating it from PrPC without using proteases. In this study, we have systematically analyzed both PK resistance and the aggregation state of purified PrPSc across the whole spectrum of the currently characterized human prion strains. The results show that PrPSc isolates manifest significant strain-specific differences in their PK digestion profile that are only partially explained by differences in the size of aggregates, suggesting that other factors, likely acting on PrPSc aggregate stability, determine its resistance to proteolysis. Fully protease-sensitive low molecular weight aggregates were detected in all isolates but in a limited proportion of the overall PrPSc (i.e. PrPSc in the biogenesis of prion strains. Finally, we highlight the limitations of current operational definitions of sPrPSc and of the quantitative analytical measurements that are not based on the isolation of a fully PK-sensitive PrPSc form. PMID:23897825

  12. 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.

  13. How do PrPSc Prions Spread between Host Species, and within Hosts?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neil A. Mabbott

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Prion diseases are sub-acute neurodegenerative diseases that affect humans and some domestic and free-ranging animals. Infectious prion agents are considered to comprise solely of abnormally folded isoforms of the cellular prion protein known as PrPSc. Pathology during prion disease is restricted to the central nervous system where it causes extensive neurodegeneration and ultimately leads to the death of the host. The first half of this review provides a thorough account of our understanding of the various ways in which PrPSc prions may spread between individuals within a population, both horizontally and vertically. Many natural prion diseases are acquired peripherally, such as by oral exposure, lesions to skin or mucous membranes, and possibly also via the nasal cavity. Following peripheral exposure, some prions accumulate to high levels within the secondary lymphoid organs as they make their journey from the site of infection to the brain, a process termed neuroinvasion. The replication of PrPSc prions within secondary lymphoid organs is important for their efficient spread to the brain. The second half of this review describes the key tissues, cells and molecules which are involved in the propagation of PrPSc prions from peripheral sites of exposure (such as the lumen of the intestine to the brain. This section also considers how additional factors such as inflammation and aging might influence prion disease susceptibility.

  14. How do PrPScPrions Spread between Host Species, and within Hosts?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mabbott, Neil A

    2017-11-24

    Prion diseases are sub-acute neurodegenerative diseases that affect humans and some domestic and free-ranging animals. Infectious prion agents are considered to comprise solely of abnormally folded isoforms of the cellular prion protein known as PrP Sc . Pathology during prion disease is restricted to the central nervous system where it causes extensive neurodegeneration and ultimately leads to the death of the host. The first half of this review provides a thorough account of our understanding of the various ways in which PrP Sc prions may spread between individuals within a population, both horizontally and vertically. Many natural prion diseases are acquired peripherally, such as by oral exposure, lesions to skin or mucous membranes, and possibly also via the nasal cavity. Following peripheral exposure, some prions accumulate to high levels within the secondary lymphoid organs as they make their journey from the site of infection to the brain, a process termed neuroinvasion. The replication of PrP Sc prions within secondary lymphoid organs is important for their efficient spread to the brain. The second half of this review describes the key tissues, cells and molecules which are involved in the propagation of PrP Sc prions from peripheral sites of exposure (such as the lumen of the intestine) to the brain. This section also considers how additional factors such as inflammation and aging might influence prion disease susceptibility.

  15. Rapid cell-surface prion protein conversion revealed using a novel cell system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goold, R.; Rabbanian, S.; Sutton, L.; Andre, R.; Arora, P.; Moonga, J.; Clarke, A.R.; Schiavo, G.; Jat, P.; Collinge, J.; Tabrizi, S.J.

    2011-01-01

    Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders with unique transmissible properties. The infectious and pathological agent is thought to be a misfolded conformer of the prion protein. Little is known about the initial events in prion infection because the infecting prion source has been immunologically indistinguishable from normal cellular prion protein (PrPC). Here we develop a unique cell system in which epitope-tagged PrPC is expressed in a PrP knockdown (KD) neuroblastoma cell line. The tagged PrPC, when expressed in our PrP-KD cells, supports prion replication with the production of bona fide epitope-tagged infectious misfolded PrP (PrPSc). Using this epitope-tagged PrPSc, we study the earliest events in cellular prion infection and PrP misfolding. We show that prion infection of cells is extremely rapid occurring within 1 min of prion exposure, and we demonstrate that the plasma membrane is the primary site of prion conversion. PMID:21505437

  16. Pharmacological prion protein silencing accelerates central nervous system autoimmune disease via T cell receptor signalling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Wei; Nessler, Stefan; Hemmer, Bernhard; Eagar, Todd N; Kane, Lawrence P; Leliveld, S Rutger; Müller-Schiffmann, Andreas; Gocke, Anne R; Lovett-Racke, Amy; Ben, Li-Hong; Hussain, Rehana Z; Breil, Andreas; Elliott, Jeffrey L; Puttaparthi, Krishna; Cravens, Petra D; Singh, Mahendra P; Petsch, Benjamin; Stitz, Lothar; Racke, Michael K; Korth, Carsten; Stüve, Olaf

    2010-02-01

    The primary biological function of the endogenous cellular prion protein has remained unclear. We investigated its biological function in the generation of cellular immune responses using cellular prion protein gene-specific small interfering ribonucleic acid in vivo and in vitro. Our results were confirmed by blocking cellular prion protein with monovalent antibodies and by using cellular prion protein-deficient and -transgenic mice. In vivo prion protein gene-small interfering ribonucleic acid treatment effects were of limited duration, restricted to secondary lymphoid organs and resulted in a 70% reduction of cellular prion protein expression in leukocytes. Disruption of cellular prion protein signalling augmented antigen-specific activation and proliferation, and enhanced T cell receptor signalling, resulting in zeta-chain-associated protein-70 phosphorylation and nuclear factor of activated T cells/activator protein 1 transcriptional activity. In vivo prion protein gene-small interfering ribonucleic acid treatment promoted T cell differentiation towards pro-inflammatory phenotypes and increased survival of antigen-specific T cells. Cellular prion protein silencing with small interfering ribonucleic acid also resulted in the worsening of actively induced and adoptively transferred experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Finally, treatment of myelin basic protein(1-11) T cell receptor transgenic mice with prion protein gene-small interfering ribonucleic acid resulted in spontaneous experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Thus, central nervous system autoimmune disease was modulated at all stages of disease: the generation of the T cell effector response, the elicitation of T effector function and the perpetuation of cellular immune responses. Our findings indicate that cellular prion protein regulates T cell receptor-mediated T cell activation, differentiation and survival. Defects in autoimmunity are restricted to the immune system and not the central

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  18. Role of the prion protein family in the gonads.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allais-Bonnet, Aurélie; Pailhoux, Eric

    2014-01-01

    The prion-gene family comprises four members named PRNP (PRP(c)), PRND (Doppel), PRNT (PRT), and SPRN (Shadoo). According to species, PRND is located 16-52 kb downstream from the PRNP locus, whereas SPRN is located on another chromosome. The fourth prion-family gene, PRNT, belongs to the same genomic cluster as PRNP and PRND in humans and bovidae. PRNT and PRND possibly resulted from a duplication event of PRND and PRNP, respectively, that occurred early during eutherian species divergence. Although most of the studies concerning the prion-family has been done on PRP(c) and its involvement in transmissible neurodegenerative disorders, different works report some potential roles of these proteins in the reproductive function of both sexes. Among them, a clear role of PRND, that encodes for the Doppel protein, in male fertility has been demonstrated through gene targeting studies in mice. In other species, Doppel seems to play a role in testis and ovary development but its cellular localization is variable according to the gonadal developmental stage and to the mammalian species considered. For the other three genes, their roles in reproductive function appear ill-defined and/or controversial. The present review aimed to synthesize all the available data on these prion-family members and their relations with reproductive processes, mainly in the gonad of both sexes.

  19. Differential Toxicity of Antibodies to the Prion Protein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Regina R Reimann

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Antibodies against the prion protein PrPC can antagonize prion replication and neuroinvasion, and therefore hold promise as possible therapeutics against prion diseases. However, the safety profile of such antibodies is controversial. It was originally reported that the monoclonal antibody D13 exhibits strong target-related toxicity, yet a subsequent study contradicted these findings. We have reported that several antibodies against certain epitopes of PrPC, including antibody POM1, are profoundly neurotoxic, yet antibody ICSM18, with an epitope that overlaps with POM1, was reported to be innocuous when injected into mouse brains. In order to clarify this confusing situation, we assessed the neurotoxicity of antibodies D13 and ICSM18 with dose-escalation studies using diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging and various histological techniques. We report that both D13 and ICSM18 induce rapid, dose-dependent, on-target neurotoxicity. We conclude that antibodies directed to this region may not be suitable as therapeutics. No such toxicity was found when antibodies against the flexible tail of PrPC were administered. Any attempt at immunotherapy or immunoprophylaxis of prion diseases should account for these potential untoward effects.

  20. Prion protein degradation by lichens of the genus Cladonia

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. Prion Protein Gene Polymorphisms in Turkish Native Goat Breeds ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Navya

    Prion Protein Gene Polymorphisms in Turkish Native Goat Breeds. HASAN MEYDAN1,*, ERKAN PEHLİVAN2, MUSTAFA MUHIP ÖZKAN2,. MEHMET ALI YILDIZ2, WILFRED GOLDMANN3. 1 Akdeniz University, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Antalya, Turkey. 2 Ankara University, Faculty of ...

  2. Highly Efficient Prion Transmission by Blood Transfusion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andréoletti, Olivier; Litaise, Claire; Simmons, Hugh; Corbière, Fabien; Lugan, Séverine; Costes, Pierrette; Schelcher, François; Vilette, Didier; Grassi, Jacques; Lacroux, Caroline

    2012-01-01

    It is now clearly established that the transfusion of blood from variant CJD (v-CJD) infected individuals can transmit the disease. Since the number of asymptomatic infected donors remains unresolved, inter-individual v-CJD transmission through blood and blood derived products is a major public health concern. Current risk assessments for transmission of v-CJD by blood and blood derived products by transfusion rely on infectious titers measured in rodent models of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSE) using intra-cerebral (IC) inoculation of blood components. To address the biological relevance of this approach, we compared the efficiency of TSE transmission by blood and blood components when administrated either through transfusion in sheep or by intra-cerebral inoculation (IC) in transgenic mice (tg338) over-expressing ovine PrP. Transfusion of 200 µL of blood from asymptomatic infected donor sheep transmitted prion disease with 100% efficiency thereby displaying greater virulence than the transfusion of 200 mL of normal blood spiked with brain homogenate material containing 103ID50 as measured by intracerebral inoculation of tg338 mice (ID50 IC in tg338). This was consistent with a whole blood titer greater than 103.6 ID50 IC in tg338 per mL. However, when the same blood samples were assayed by IC inoculation into tg338 the infectious titers were less than 32 ID per mL. Whereas the transfusion of crude plasma to sheep transmitted the disease with limited efficacy, White Blood Cells (WBC) displayed a similar ability to whole blood to infect recipients. Strikingly, fixation of WBC with paraformaldehyde did not affect the infectivity titer as measured in tg338 but dramatically impaired disease transmission by transfusion in sheep. These results demonstrate that TSE transmission by blood transfusion can be highly efficient and that this efficiency is more dependent on the viability of transfused cells than the level of infectivity measured by IC

  3. The Priority position paper: Protecting Europe's food chain from prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Requena, Jesús R; Kristensson, Krister; Korth, Carsten; Zurzolo, Chiara; Simmons, Marion; Aguilar-Calvo, Patricia; Aguzzi, Adriano; Andreoletti, Olivier; Benestad, Sylvie L; Böhm, Reinhard; Brown, Karen; Calgua, Byron; Del Río, José Antonio; Espinosa, Juan Carlos; Girones, Rosina; Godsave, Sue; Hoelzle, Ludwig E; Knittler, Michael R; Kuhn, Franziska; Legname, Giuseppe; Laeven, Paul; Mabbott, Neil; Mitrova, Eva; Müller-Schiffmann, Andreas; Nuvolone, Mario; Peters, Peter J; Raeber, Alex; Roth, Klaus; Schmitz, Matthias; Schroeder, Björn; Sonati, Tiziana; Stitz, Lothar; Taraboulos, Albert; Torres, Juan María; Yan, Zheng-Xin; Zerr, Inga

    2016-05-03

    Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) created a global European crisis in the 1980s and 90s, with very serious health and economic implications. Classical BSE now appears to be under control, to a great extent as a result of a global research effort that identified the sources of prions in meat and bone meal (MBM) and developed new animal-testing tools that guided policy. Priority ( www.prionpriority.eu ) was a European Union (EU) Framework Program 7 (FP7)-funded project through which 21 European research institutions and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) joined efforts between 2009 and 2014, to conduct coordinated basic and applied research on prions and prion diseases. At the end of the project, the Priority consortium drafted a position paper ( www.prionpriority.eu/Priority position paper) with its main conclusions. In the present opinion paper, we summarize these conclusions. With respect to the issue of re-introducing ruminant protein into the feed-chain, our opinion is that sustaining an absolute ban on feeding ruminant protein to ruminants is essential. In particular, the spread and impact of non-classical forms of scrapie and BSE in ruminants is not fully understood and the risks cannot be estimated. Atypical prion agents will probably continue to represent the dominant form of prion diseases in the near future in Europe. Atypical L-type BSE has clear zoonotic potential, as demonstrated in experimental models. Similarly, there are now data indicating that the atypical scrapie agent can cross various species barriers. More epidemiological data from large cohorts are necessary to reach any conclusion on the impact of its transmissibility on public health. Re-evaluations of safety precautions may become necessary depending on the outcome of these studies. Intensified searching for molecular determinants of the species barrier is recommended, since this barrier is key for important policy areas and risk assessment. Understanding the structural basis for

  4. Abnormal brain iron homeostasis in human and animal prion disorders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ajay Singh

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Neurotoxicity in all prion disorders is believed to result from the accumulation of PrP-scrapie (PrP(Sc, a beta-sheet rich isoform of a normal cell-surface glycoprotein, the prion protein (PrP(C. Limited reports suggest imbalance of brain iron homeostasis as a significant associated cause of neurotoxicity in prion-infected cell and mouse models. However, systematic studies on the generality of this phenomenon and the underlying mechanism(s leading to iron dyshomeostasis in diseased brains are lacking. In this report, we demonstrate that prion disease-affected human, hamster, and mouse brains show increased total and redox-active Fe (II iron, and a paradoxical increase in major iron uptake proteins transferrin (Tf and transferrin receptor (TfR at the end stage of disease. Furthermore, examination of scrapie-inoculated hamster brains at different timepoints following infection shows increased levels of Tf with time, suggesting increasing iron deficiency with disease progression. Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD-affected human brains show a similar increase in total iron and a direct correlation between PrP and Tf levels, implicating PrP(Sc as the underlying cause of iron deficiency. Increased binding of Tf to the cerebellar Purkinje cell neurons of sCJD brains further indicates upregulation of TfR and a phenotype of neuronal iron deficiency in diseased brains despite increased iron levels. The likely cause of this phenotype is sequestration of iron in brain ferritin that becomes detergent-insoluble in PrP(Sc-infected cell lines and sCJD brain homogenates. These results suggest that sequestration of iron in PrP(Sc-ferritin complexes induces a state of iron bio-insufficiency in prion disease-affected brains, resulting in increased uptake and a state of iron dyshomeostasis. An additional unexpected observation is the resistance of Tf to digestion by proteinase-K, providing a reliable marker for iron levels in postmortem human brains. These

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  6. Nonmendelian inheritance of the HET-s prion or HET-s prion domains determines the het-S spore killing system in Podospora anserina

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2005-01-01

    Two alleles of the het-s/S locus occur naturally in the filamentous fungus Podospora anserina, het-s and het-S. The het-s encoded protein can form a prion that propagates a self-perpetuating amyloid aggregate, resulting in two phenotypes for the het-s strains. The prion-infected [Het-s] shows an

  7. Contrasting Effects of Two Lipid Cofactors of Prion Replication on the Conformation of the Prion Protein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saurabh Srivastava

    Full Text Available Recent studies introduced two experimental protocols for converting full-length recombinant prion protein (rPrP purified from E.coli into the infectious prion state (PrPSc with high infectivity titers. Both protocols employed protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA for generating PrPSc de novo, but used two different lipids, 1-palmitoyl-2-oleolyl-sn-glycero-3-phospho(1'-rac-glycerol (POPG or phosphatidylethanolamine (PE, as conversion cofactors. The current study compares the effect of POPG and PE on the physical properties of native, α-helical full-length mouse rPrP under the solvent conditions used for converting rPrP into PrPSc. Surprisingly, the effects of POPG and PE on rPrP physical properties, including its conformation, thermodynamic stability, aggregation state and interaction with a lipid, were found to be remarkably different. PE was shown to have minimal, if any, effects on rPrP thermodynamic stability, cooperativity of unfolding, immediate solvent environment or aggregation state. In fact, little evidence indicates that PE interacts with rPrP directly. In contrast, POPG was found to bind to and induce dramatic changes in rPrP structure, including a loss of α-helical conformation and formation of large lipid-protein aggregates that were resistant to partially denaturing conditions. These results suggest that the mechanisms by which lipids assist conversion of rPrP into PrPSc might be fundamentally different for POPG and PE.

  8. Differential overexpression of SERPINA3 in human prion diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanni, S; Moda, F; Zattoni, M; Bistaffa, E; De Cecco, E; Rossi, M; Giaccone, G; Tagliavini, F; Haïk, S; Deslys, J P; Zanusso, G; Ironside, J W; Ferrer, I; Kovacs, G G; Legname, G

    2017-11-15

    Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders with sporadic, genetic or acquired etiologies. The molecular alterations leading to the onset and the spreading of these diseases are still unknown. In a previous work we identified a five-gene signature able to distinguish intracranially BSE-infected macaques from healthy ones, with SERPINA3 showing the most prominent dysregulation. We analyzed 128 suitable frontal cortex samples, from prion-affected patients (variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) n = 20, iatrogenic CJD (iCJD) n = 11, sporadic CJD (sCJD) n = 23, familial CJD (gCJD) n = 17, fatal familial insomnia (FFI) n = 9, Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS)) n = 4), patients with Alzheimer disease (AD, n = 14) and age-matched controls (n = 30). Real Time-quantitative PCR was performed for SERPINA3 transcript, and ACTB, RPL19, GAPDH and B2M were used as reference genes. We report SERPINA3 to be strongly up-regulated in the brain of all human prion diseases, with only a mild up-regulation in AD. We show that this striking up-regulation, both at the mRNA and at the protein level, is present in all types of human prion diseases analyzed, although to a different extent for each specific disorder. Our data suggest that SERPINA3 may be involved in the pathogenesis and the progression of prion diseases, representing a valid tool for distinguishing different forms of these disorders in humans.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-09-23

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

  10. A novel and rapid method for obtaining high titre intact prion strains from mammalian brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wenborn, Adam; Terry, Cassandra; Gros, Nathalie; Joiner, Susan; D’Castro, Laura; Panico, Silvia; Sells, Jessica; Cronier, Sabrina; Linehan, Jacqueline M.; Brandner, Sebastian; Saibil, Helen R.; Collinge, John; Wadsworth, Jonathan D. F.

    2015-01-01

    Mammalian prions exist as multiple strains which produce characteristic and highly reproducible phenotypes in defined hosts. How this strain diversity is encoded by a protein-only agent remains one of the most interesting and challenging questions in biology with wide relevance to understanding other diseases involving the aggregation or polymerisation of misfolded host proteins. Progress in understanding mammalian prion strains has however been severely limited by the complexity and variability of the methods used for their isolation from infected tissue and no high resolution structures have yet been reported. Using high-throughput cell-based prion bioassay to re-examine prion purification from first principles we now report the isolation of prion strains to exceptional levels of purity from small quantities of infected brain and demonstrate faithful retention of biological and biochemical strain properties. The method’s effectiveness and simplicity should facilitate its wide application and expedite structural studies of prions. PMID:25950908

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  12. Prion Diagnosis: Application of Real-Time Quaking-Induced Conversion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hae-Eun Kang

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Prions composed of pathogenic scrapie prion protein (PrPSc are infectious pathogens that cause progressive neurological conditions known as prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. Although these diseases pose considerable risk to public health, procedures for early diagnosis have not been established. One of the most recent attempts at sensitive and specific detection of prions is the real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC method, which measures the activity of PrPSc aggregates or amyloid formation triggered by PrPSc seeds in the presence of recombinant PrP. In this review, we summarize prions, prion diseases, and current approaches to diagnosis, including the principle, conditions for assay performance, and current diagnostic applications of RT-QuIC.

  13. The "Jekyll and Hyde" Actions of Nucleic Acids on the Prion-like Aggregation of Proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Jerson L; Cordeiro, Yraima

    2016-07-22

    Protein misfolding results in devastating degenerative diseases and cancer. Among the culprits involved in these illnesses are prions and prion-like proteins, which can propagate by converting normal proteins to the wrong conformation. For spongiform encephalopathies, a real prion can be transmitted among individuals. In other disorders, the bona fide prion characteristics are still under investigation. Besides inducing misfolding of native proteins, prions bind nucleic acids and other polyanions. Here, we discuss how nucleic acid binding might influence protein misfolding for both disease-related and benign, functional prions and why the line between bad and good amyloids might be more subtle than previously thought. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  14. Prion pathogenesis is unaltered in the absence of SIRPα-mediated "don't-eat-me" signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuvolone, Mario; Paolucci, Marta; Sorce, Silvia; Kana, Veronika; Moos, Rita; Matozaki, Takashi; Aguzzi, Adriano

    2017-01-01

    Prion diseases are neurodegenerative conditions caused by misfolding of the prion protein, leading to conspicuous neuronal loss and intense microgliosis. Recent experimental evidence point towards a protective role of microglia against prion-induced neurodegeneration, possibly through elimination of prion-containing apoptotic bodies. The molecular mechanisms by which microglia recognize and eliminate apoptotic cells in the context of prion diseases are poorly defined. Here we investigated the possible involvement of signal regulatory protein α (SIRPα), a key modulator of host cell phagocytosis; SIRPα is encoded by the Sirpa gene that is genetically linked to the prion gene Prnp. We found that Sirpa transcripts are highly enriched in microglia cells within the brain. However, Sirpa mRNA levels were essentially unaltered during the course of experimental prion disease despite upregulation of other microglia-enriched transcripts. To study the involvement of SIRPα in prion pathogenesis in vivo, mice expressing a truncated SIRPα protein unable to inhibit phagocytosis were inoculated with rodent-adapted scrapie prions of the 22L strain. Homozygous and heterozygous Sirpa mutants and wild-type mice experienced similar incubation times after inoculation with either of two doses of 22L prions. Moreover, the extent of neuronal loss, microgliosis and abnormal prion protein accumulation was not significantly affected by Sirpa genotypes. Collectively, these data indicate that SIRPα-mediated phagocytosis is not a major determinant in prion disease pathogenesis. It will be important to search for additional candidates mediating prion phagocytosis, as this mechanism may represent an important target of antiprion therapies.

  15. Gingerol prevents prion protein-mediated neuronal toxicity by regulating HIF prolyl hydroxylase 2 and prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Yang-Gyu; Park, Sang-Youel

    2014-11-01

    Prion diseases are a family of progressive neurodegenerative disorders, which are fatal in the majority of cases and affect both humans and domestic animals. Prion protein (PrP) (106-126) retains the neurotoxic properties of the entire pathological PrPsc and it is generally used as a reasonable model to study the mechanisms responsible for prion diseases. In our previous studies, we demonstrated that hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α is involved in the gingerol-mediated protection of neuronal cells. HIF mediates cellular adaptations to low oxygen. Prolyl hydroxylase domain-containing protein 2 (PHD2) is an oxygen sensor that hydroxylates the HIF-α-subunit, promoting its proteasomal degradation under normoxic conditions. Thus, in the present study we wished to determine whether gingerol inhibits the catalytic activity of PHD2 and prevents HIF-1α protein proteasomal degradation, thereby preventing the occurrence of PrP (106-126)-induced neuronal apoptosis. We used the pharmacological inhibition of PHD2 by dimethyloxalylglycine (DMOG) or deferoxamine (DFO) and the genetic inhibition of HIF-1α by HIF-1α small interfering RNA (siRNA) to block the effects of gingerol against PrP (106-126)-induced neurotoxicity. Our results demonstrated that gingerol prevented PrP (106‑126)-induced neuronal apoptosis by upregulating HIF-1α and inhibiting the catalytic activity of PHD2 under normoxic conditions. Moreover, the protective effects of gingerol against PrP (106-126)-induced neuronal apoptosis were associated with the upregulation of the expression of cellular prion protein (PrPc). In conclusion, our results indicate that gingerol has therapeutic potential for use in the treatment or prevention of prion diseases, and its inhibitory effects on the catalytic activity of PHD2 may be of clinical benefit.

  16. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anja M Oelschlegel

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uli S Herrmann

    2015-02-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

    The trafficking of normal cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) is believed to control its conversion to the altered conformation (designated PrP(Sc)) associated with prion disease. Although anchored to the membrane by means of glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI), PrP(C) on neurons is rapidly and consti......The trafficking of normal cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) is believed to control its conversion to the altered conformation (designated PrP(Sc)) associated with prion disease. Although anchored to the membrane by means of glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI), PrP(C) on neurons is rapidly...

  1. Sialic Acid on the Glycosylphosphatidylinositol Anchor Regulates PrP-mediated Cell Signaling and Prion Formation*

    OpenAIRE

    Bate, Clive; Nolan, William; Williams, Alun Edward

    2015-01-01

    The prion diseases occur following the conversion of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) into disease-related isoforms (PrPSc). In this study, the role of the glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor attached to PrPC in prion formation was examined using a cell painting technique. PrPSc formation in two prion-infected neuronal cell lines (ScGT1 and ScN2a cells) and in scrapie-infected primary cortical neurons was increased following the introduction of PrPC. In contrast, PrPC containing a GPI ...

  2. Inactivation of animal and human prions by hydrogen peroxide gas plasma sterilization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogez-Kreuz, C; Yousfi, R; Soufflet, C; Quadrio, I; Yan, Z-X; Huyot, V; Aubenque, C; Destrez, P; Roth, K; Roberts, C; Favero, M; Clayette, P

    2009-08-01

    Prions cause various transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. They are highly resistant to the chemical and physical decontamination and sterilization procedures routinely used in healthcare facilities. The decontamination procedures recommended for the inactivation of prions are often incompatible with the materials used in medical devices. In this study, we evaluated the use of low-temperature hydrogen peroxide gas plasma sterilization systems and other instrument-processing procedures for inactivating human and animal prions. We provide new data concerning the efficacy of hydrogen peroxide against prions from in vitro or in vivo tests, focusing on the following: the efficiency of hydrogen peroxide sterilization and possible interactions with enzymatic or alkaline detergents, differences in the efficiency of this treatment against different prion strains, and the influence of contaminating lipids. We found that gaseous hydrogen peroxide decreased the infectivity of prions and/or the level of the protease-resistant form of the prion protein on different surface materials. However, the efficiency of this treatment depended strongly on the concentration of hydrogen peroxide and the delivery system used in medical devices, because these effects were more pronounced for the new generation of Sterrad technology. The Sterrad NX sterilizer is 100% efficient (0% transmission and no protease-resistant form of the prion protein signal detected on the surface of the material for the mouse-adapted bovine spongiform encephalopathy 6PB1 strain and a variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease strain). Thus, gaseous or vaporized hydrogen peroxide efficiently inactivates prions on the surfaces of medical devices.

  3. Prion formation, but not clearance, is supported by protein misfolding cyclic amplification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shikiya, Ronald A; Eckland, Thomas E; Young, Alan J; Bartz, Jason C

    2014-01-01

    Prion diseases are fatal transmissible neurodegenerative disorders that affect animals including humans. The kinetics of prion infectivity and PrP(Sc) accumulation can differ between prion strains and within a single strain in different tissues. The net accumulation of PrP(Sc) in animals is controlled by the relationship between the rate of PrP(Sc) formation and clearance. Protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) is a powerful technique that faithfully recapitulates PrP(Sc) formation and prion infectivity in a cell-free system. PMCA has been used as a surrogate for animal bioassay and can model species barriers, host range, strain co-factors and strain interference. In this study we investigated if degradation of PrP(Sc) and/or prion infectivity occurs during PMCA. To accomplish this we performed PMCA under conditions that do not support PrP(Sc) formation and did not observe either a reduction in PrP(Sc) abundance or an extension of prion incubation period, compared to untreated control samples. These results indicate that prion clearance does not occur during PMCA. These data have significant implications for the interpretation of PMCA based experiments such as prion amplification rate, adaptation to new species and strain interference where production and clearance of prions can affect the outcome.

  4. Polypeptide chain folding in the hydrophobic core of hamster scrapie prion: analysis by X-ray diffraction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inouye, H; Kirschner, D A

    1998-01-01

    Conversion of the noninfectious, cellular form of the scrapie prion (PrPC) to the infectious form (PrPSc) is thought to be driven by an alpha-helical to beta-sheet conformational transition. The N-truncated polypeptide PrP27-30, which encompasses residues 90-231 of PrPSc and from which the truncated peptide is derived by limited proteolysis, assembles into amyloid rods that are rich in the beta-sheet conformation. The N-terminal half of PrP27-30, which includes residues 90-145 of PrP (SHa90-145) and contains the two putative alpha-helical domains H1 (PrP109-122) and H2 (PrP129-141), appears to be particularly crucial in the alpha --> beta conversion. To assess their role in this conformational transition, we have analyzed in detail X-ray diffraction patterns from the prion-related peptides A8A (PrP113-120), H1, and SHa90-145. We used iterative Fourier synthesis with beta-silk as an initial model for assigning phases. For H1, the lyophilized and acetonitrile-solubilized/dehydrated specimens gave two different electron density maps. The former showed that the beta-sheets were composed of small side chains as in A8A. The latter showed two types of beta-sheets having smaller and larger side chains, suggesting a turn. Such a turn was not observed in the lyophilized H1, indicating that the internal turn in H1 depends on the physical-chemical environment. In SHa90-145, the beta-chains are assembled in approximately 40 A-wide crystal domains (termed beta-crystallites), and the electron density maps of these crystallites showed evidence for turns within both the H1 and H2 domains. The molecular folding of H1-H2 is compared here with the recent NMR solution structure of recombinant hamster prion, and the effect of pH on the conformational change is discussed. The most compact structure based on the X-ray diffraction analysis showed that the N-terminal, smaller residues of H2 fold back and are hydrogen-bonded with the C-terminal, smaller residues of H1. Similar folding is

  5. Pathways of Prion Spread during Early Chronic Wasting Disease in Deer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, Clare E; Davenport, Kristen A; Henderson, Davin M; Denkers, Nathaniel D; Mathiason, Candace K; Soto, Claudio; Zabel, Mark D; Hoover, Edward A

    2017-05-15

    Among prion infections, two scenarios of prion spread are generally observed: (i) early lymphoid tissue replication or (ii) direct neuroinvasion without substantial antecedent lymphoid amplification. In nature, cervids are infected with chronic wasting disease (CWD) prions by oral and nasal mucosal exposure, and studies of early CWD pathogenesis have implicated pharyngeal lymphoid tissue as the earliest sites of prion accumulation. However, knowledge of chronological events in prion spread during early infection remains incomplete. To investigate this knowledge gap in early CWD pathogenesis, we exposed white-tailed deer to CWD prions by mucosal routes and performed serial necropsies to assess PrP(CWD) tissue distribution by real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC) and tyramide signal amplification immunohistochemistry (TSA-IHC). Although PrP(CWD) was not detected by either method in the initial days (1 and 3) postexposure, we observed PrP(CWD) seeding activity and follicular immunoreactivity in oropharyngeal lymphoid tissues at 1 and 2 months postexposure (MPE). At 3 MPE, PrP(CWD) replication had expanded to all systemic lymphoid tissues. By 4 MPE, the PrP(CWD) burden in all lymphoid tissues had increased and approached levels observed in terminal disease, yet there was no evidence of nervous system invasion. These results indicate the first site of CWD prion entry is in the oropharynx, and the initial phase of prion amplification occurs in the oropharyngeal lymphoid tissues followed by rapid dissemination to systemic lymphoid tissues. This lymphoid replication phase appears to precede neuroinvasion.IMPORTANCE Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a universally fatal transmissible spongiform encephalopathy affecting cervids, and natural infection occurs through oral and nasal mucosal exposure to infectious prions. Terminal disease is characterized by PrP(CWD) accumulation in the brain and lymphoid tissues of affected animals. However, the initial sites of prion

  6. Ovine leukocyte profiles do not associate with variation in the prion gene, but are breed-dependent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prion genotype in sheep confer resistance to scrapie. In cattle, lymphocyte profile has been found to be associated with prion genotype. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine if variations in the sheep prion gene were associated with leukocyte populations as measured by complete blood ce...

  7. 75 FR 38958 - Declaration of Prion as a Pest under FIFRA and Amendment of EPA's Regulatory Definition of Pests...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-07

    ... AGENCY 40 CFR Part 152 Declaration of Prion as a Pest under FIFRA and Amendment of EPA's Regulatory Definition of Pests to Include Prion; Notification to the Secretaries of Agriculture and Health and Human...). The draft rule proposes to declare a prion (i.e., proteinaceous infectious particle) a ``pest'' under...

  8. Co-existence of Distinct Prion Types Enables Conformational Evolution of Human PrPSc by Competitive Selection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haldiman, T.; Kim, C.; Cohen, Y.; Chen, W.; Blevins, J.; Qing, L.; Cohen, M.L.; Langeveld, J.P.M.; Telling, G.C.; Kong, Q.; Safar, J.G.

    2013-01-01

    The unique phenotypic characteristics of mammalian prions are thought to be encoded in the conformation of pathogenic prion proteins (PrPSc). The molecular mechanism responsible for the adaptation, mutation, and evolution of prions observed in cloned cells and upon crossing the species barrier

  9. Scrapie susceptibility-linked polymorphisms modulate the in vitro conversion of sheep prion protein to protease-resistant forms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bossers, A.; Belt, P.B.G.M.; Raymond, G.J.; Caughey, B.; Vries, de R.; Smits, M.

    1997-01-01

    Prion diseases are natural transmissible neurodegenerative disorders in humans and animals. They are characterized by the accumulation of a protease-resistant scrapie-associated prion protein (PrPSc) of the host-encoded cellular prion protein (PrPC) mainly in the central nervous system.

  10. Using mass spectrometry and small molecule reagents to detect distinctive structural features of different prion conformations (strains)

    Science.gov (United States)

    A prion (PrPSc) is a conformer of a normal cellular prion protein (PrPC). Although they are isosequential, PrPSc is an infectious protein able to convert PrPC into the prion conformation and thereby propagate an infection. PrPC is monomeric while PrPSc is a multimer. PrPSc can adopt more than one co...

  11. 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

  12. Gene-Based Antibody Strategies for Prion Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessio Cardinale

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE are a group of neurodegenerative and infectious disorders characterized by the conversion of a normal cellular protein PrPC into a pathological abnormally folded form, termed PrPSc. There are neither available therapies nor diagnostic tools for an early identification of individuals affected by these diseases. New gene-based antibody strategies are emerging as valuable therapeutic tools. Among these, intrabodies are chimeric molecules composed by recombinant antibody fragments fused to intracellular trafficking sequences, aimed at inhibiting, in vivo, the function of specific therapeutic targets. The advantage of intrabodies is that they can be selected against a precise epitope of target proteins, including protein-protein interaction sites and cytotoxic conformers (i.e., oligomeric and fibrillar assemblies. Herein, we address and discuss in vitro and in vivo applications of intrabodies in prion diseases, focussing on their therapeutic potential.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millhauser, Glenn L.

    2007-05-01

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

  14. A systematic review of prion therapeutics in experimental models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trevitt, Clare R; Collinge, John

    2006-09-01

    Prion diseases are transmissible, invariably fatal, neurodegenerative diseases which include Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans and bovine spongiform encephalopathy and scrapie in animals. A large number of putative treatments have been studied in experimental models over the past 30 years, with at best modest disease-modifying effects. The arrival of variant CJD in the UK in the 1990s has intensified the search for effective therapeutic agents, using an increasing number of animal, cellular and in vitro models with some recent promising proof of principle studies. Here, for the first time, we present a comprehensive systematic, rather than selective, review of published data on experimental approaches to prion therapeutics to provide a scientific resource for informing future therapeutics research, both in laboratory models and in clinical studies.

  15. Absence of the prion protein homologue Doppel causes male sterility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behrens, Axel; Genoud, Nicolas; Naumann, Heike; Rülicke, Thomas; Janett, Fredi; Heppner, Frank L; Ledermann, Birgit; Aguzzi, Adriano

    2002-07-15

    The agent that causes prion diseases is thought to be identical with PrP(Sc), a conformer of the normal prion protein PrP(C). PrP(C)-deficient mice do not exhibit major pathologies, perhaps because they express a protein termed Dpl, which shares significant biochemical and structural homology with PrP(C). To investigate the physiological function of Dpl, we generated mice harbouring a homozygous disruption of the Prnd gene that encodes Dpl. Dpl deficiency did not interfere with embryonic and postnatal development, but resulted in male sterility. Dpl protein was expressed at late stages of spermiogenesis, and spermatids of Dpl mutants were reduced in numbers, immobile, malformed and unable to fertilize oocytes in vitro. Mechanical dissection of the zona pellucida partially restored in vitro fertilization. We conclude that Dpl regulates male fertility by controlling several aspects of male gametogenesis and sperm-egg interaction.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodak, Miroslav; Bernholc, Jerry

    2012-02-01

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

  17. Sensitive detection of aggregated prion protein via proximity ligation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammond, Maria; Wik, Lotta; Deslys, Jean-Philippe; Comoy, Emmanuel; Linné, Tommy; Landegren, Ulf; Kamali-Moghaddam, Masood

    2014-01-01

    The DNA assisted solid-phase proximity ligation assay (SP-PLA) provides a unique opportunity to specifically detect prion protein (PrP) aggregates by investigating the collocation of 3 or more copies of the specific protein. We have developed an SP-PLA that can detect PrP aggregates in brain homogenates from infected hamsters even after a 10(7)-fold dilution. In contrast, brain homogenate from uninfected animals did not generate a detectable signal at 100-fold higher concentration. Using either of the 2 monoclonal anti-PrP antibodies, 3F4 and 6H4, we successfully detected low concentrations of aggregated PrP. The presented results provide a proof of concept that this method might be an interesting tool in the development of diagnostic approaches of prion diseases.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  19. Logical design of anti-prion agents using NAGARA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ma, Biao; Yamaguchi, Keiichi; Fukuoka, Mayuko [United Graduate School of Drug Discovery and Medical Information Sciences, Gifu University, 1-1 Yanagido, Gifu 501-1193 (Japan); Kuwata, Kazuo, E-mail: kuwata@gifu-u.ac.jp [United Graduate School of Drug Discovery and Medical Information Sciences, Gifu University, 1-1 Yanagido, Gifu 501-1193 (Japan); Department of Gene and Development, Graduate School of Medicine, Gifu University, 1-1 Yanagido, Gifu 501-1193 (Japan)

    2016-01-22

    To accelerate the logical drug design procedure, we created the program “NAGARA,” a plugin for PyMOL, and applied it to the discovery of small compounds called medical chaperones (MCs) that stabilize the cellular form of a prion protein (PrP{sup C}). In NAGARA, we constructed a single platform to unify the docking simulation (DS), free energy calculation by molecular dynamics (MD) simulation, and interfragment interaction energy (IFIE) calculation by quantum chemistry (QC) calculation. NAGARA also enables large-scale parallel computing via a convenient graphical user interface. Here, we demonstrated its performance and its broad applicability from drug discovery to lead optimization with full compatibility with various experimental methods including Western blotting (WB) analysis, surface plasmon resonance (SPR), and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) measurements. Combining DS and WB, we discovered anti-prion activities for two compounds and tegobuvir (TGV), a non-nucleoside non-structural protein NS5B polymerase inhibitor showing activity against hepatitis C virus genotype 1. Binding profiles predicted by MD and QC are consistent with those obtained by SPR and NMR. Free energy analyses showed that these compounds stabilize the PrP{sup C} conformation by decreasing the conformational fluctuation of the PrP{sup C}. Because TGV has been already approved as a medicine, its extension to prion diseases is straightforward. Finally, we evaluated the affinities of the fragmented regions of TGV using QC and found a clue for its further optimization. By repeating WB, MD, and QC recursively, we were able to obtain the optimum lead structure. - Highlights: • NAGARA integrates docking simulation, molecular dynamics, and quantum chemistry. • We found many compounds, e.g., tegobuvir (TGV), that exhibit anti-prion activities. • We obtained insights into the action mechanism of TGV as a medical chaperone. • Using QC, we obtained useful information for optimization of the

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    The prion protein (PrP) seems to exert both neuroprotective and neurotoxic activities. The toxic activities are associated with the C-terminal globular parts in the absence of the flexible N terminus, specifically the hydrophobic domain (HD) or the central region (CR). The wild type prion protein (PrP-WT), having an intact flexible part, exhibits neuroprotective qualities by virtue of diminishing many of the cytotoxic effects of these mutant prion proteins (PrPΔHD and PrPΔCR) when coexpressed...

  1. A panel of monoclonal antibodies against the prion protein proves that there is no prion protein in human pancreatic ductal epithelial cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Liheng; Zhang, Yan; Hu, Lipeng; Zhu, Ying; Sy, Man-Sun; Li, Chaoyang

    2014-08-01

    Prion diseases are a group of neurodegenerative diseases that are fatal. The study of these unique diseases in China is hampered by a lack of resources. Amongst the most important resources for biological study are monoclonal antibodies. Here, we characterize a panel of monoclonal antibodies specific for cellular prion protein by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), immunofluorescent staining, flow cytometry, and western blotting. We identify several antibodies that can be used for specific applications and we demonstrate that there is no prion protein expression in human pancreatic ductal epithelial cells (HPDC).

  2. Prion inhibition with multivalent PrPSc binding compounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mays, Charles E; Joy, Shaon; Li, Lei; Yu, Linghui; Genovesi, Sacha; West, Frederick G; Westaway, David

    2012-10-01

    Quinacrine and related heterocyclic compounds have antiprion activity. Since the infectious pathogen of prion diseases is composed of multimeric PrP(Sc) assemblies, we hypothesized that this antiprion property could be enhanced by attaching multiple quinacrine-derived chloroquinoline or acridine moieties to a scaffold. In addition to exploring Congo red dye and tetraphenylporphyrin tetracarboxylic acid scaffolds, which already possess intrinsic prion-binding ability; trimesic acid was used in this role. In practice, Congo red itself could not be modified with chloroquinoline or acridine units, and a modified dicarboxyl analog was also unreactive. The latter also lacked antiprion activity in infected cultured cells. While addition of chloroquinoline to a tetraphenylporphyrin tetracarboxylic acid scaffold resulted in some reduction of PrP(Sc), moieties attached to a trimesic acid scaffold exhibited sub-micromolar IC(50)'s as well as a toxicity profile superior to quinacrine. Antiprion activity of these molecules was influenced by the length, polarity, and rigidity associated with the variable linear or cyclic polyamine tethers, and in some instances was modulated by host-cell and/or strain type. Unexpectedly, several compounds in our series increased PrP(Sc) levels. Overall, inhibitory and enhancing properties of these multivalent compounds offer new avenues for structure-based investigation of prion biology. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Neurodegeneration Induced by Clustering of Sialylated Glycosylphosphatidylinositols of Prion Proteins*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bate, Clive; Williams, Alun

    2012-01-01

    The transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, more commonly known as the prion diseases, are associated with the production and aggregation of disease-related isoforms of the prion protein (PrPSc). The mechanisms by which PrPSc accumulation causes neurodegeneration in these diseases are poorly understood. In cultured neurons, the addition of PrPSc alters cell membranes, increasing cholesterol, activating cytoplasmic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2), and triggering synapse damage. These effects of PrPSc are dependent upon its glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor, suggesting that it is the increased density of GPIs that occurs following the aggregation of PrPSc molecules that triggers neurodegeneration. This hypothesis was supported by observations that cross-linkage of the normal cellular prion protein (PrPC) also increased membrane cholesterol, activated cPLA2, and triggered synapse damage. These effects were not seen after cross-linkage of Thy-1, another GPI-anchored protein, and were dependent on the GPI anchor attached to PrPC containing two acyl chains and sialic acid. We propose that the aggregation of PrPSc, or the cross-linkage of PrPC, causes the clustering of sialic acid-containing GPI anchors at high densities, resulting in altered membrane composition, the pathological activation of cPLA2, and synapse damage. PMID:22262833

  4. Implications of prion diseases for dentistry: an update.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palacios-Sánchez, Begoña; Esparza-Gómez, Germán C; Campo-Trapero, Julián; Cerero-Lapiedra, Rocío

    2008-03-01

    Prions are normal proteins present in all mammals, especially in the central nervous system (CNS) and lymphoreticular tissue. Their transformation into a highly infectious molecule gives rise to a group of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), which cause vacuolar degeneration of gray matter and produce a fatal neurodegenerative disorder. Prion diseases have attracted considerable attention in recent years, and this review of the literature was designed to determine their implications for dentistry, studying the possibility of cross-transmission in the dental office and describing their oral manifestations. The main oral manifestations are dysphagia, dysarthria, paresthesias, dysesthesias, and dysgeusia. The most frequently involved oral tissues are the trigeminal ganglion, posterior third of the tongue, tonsils, and, much less commonly, alveolar nerves, gingiva, and salivary glands. Although no contagion has been reported in the dental setting to date, prions resist the usual dental sterilization systems and transmission of this type of disease remains a potential risk. It is therefore important for dentists to be aware of these diseases, to identify high-risk patients by obtaining an adequate clinical history, and to know the appropriate procedures to be followed.

  5. Assessing Prion Infectivity of Human Urine in Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Notari, Silvio; Qing, Liuting; Pocchiari, Maurizio; Dagdanova, Ayuna; Hatcher, Kristin; Dogterom, Arend; Groisman, Jose F.; Lumholtz, Ib Bo; Puopolo, Maria; Lasmezas, Corinne; Chen, Shu G.; Kong, Qingzhong

    2012-01-01

    Prion diseases are neurodegenerative conditions associated with a misfolded and infectious protein, scrapie prion protein (PrPSc). PrPSc propagate prion diseases within and between species and thus pose risks to public health. Prion infectivity or PrPSc presence has been demonstrated in urine of experimentally infected animals, but there are no recent studies of urine from patients with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). We performed bioassays in transgenic mice expressing human PrP to assess prion infectivity in urine from patients affected by a common subtype of sporadic CJD, sCJDMM1. We tested raw urine and 100-fold concentrated and dialyzed urine and assessed the sensitivity of the bioassay along with the effect of concentration and dialysis on prion infectivity. Intracerebral inoculation of transgenic mice with urine from 3 sCJDMM1 patients failed to demonstrate prion disease transmission, indicating that prion infectivity in urine from sCJDMM1 patients is either not present or is <0.38 infectious units/mL. PMID:22260924

  6. Prions, prionoid complexes and amyloids: the bad, the good and something in between.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hafner Bratkovič, Iva

    2017-04-19

    Prions are infectious agents causing transmissible spongiform encephalopathies in humans and animals. These protein-based particles template conformational changes in a host-encoded prion protein to an insoluble self-like conformation. Prions are also present in yeast, where they support protein-based epigenetic inheritance. There is emerging evidence that prion-like (prionoid) particles can support a variety of pathological and beneficial functions. The recent data on the prionoid spread of other pathological amyloids are discussed in light of differences between prions and prion-like aggregates. On the other hand, prion-like action has also been found to support important functions such as memory, and amyloids were shown to have a variety of physiological roles from storage to scaffolding in simple organisms and in humans. Higher-order protein complexes play important roles in signalling. Many death-fold domains can polymerise upon nucleation to enhance sensitivity and induce a robust response. Although these polymers are structurally different from amyloids, some of them are characterised by prionoid activities, such as intercellular spread. The initial activation of these complexes is vital for organismal health, whereas prolonged activation leading to unresolved inflammation underlies autoinflammatory and other diseases. Prionoid complexes play important roles far beyond prion diseases and neurodegeneration.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  9. Lack of prion transmission by sexual or parental routes in experimentally infected hamsters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morales, Rodrigo; Pritzkow, Sandra; Hu, Ping Ping; Duran-Aniotz, Claudia; Soto, Claudio

    2013-01-01

    Prion diseases are a group of neurodegenerative disorders affecting humans as well as captive and wild animals. The mechanisms and routes governing the natural spread of prions are not completely understood and several hypotheses have been proposed. In this study, we analyzed the effect of gender in prion incubation period, as well as the possibility of prion transmission by sexual and parental contact using 263K infected hamsters as a model. Our results show that males have significantly longer incubation periods compared with females when exposed to the same quantity of infectious material. Importantly, no evidence of sexual or parental prion transmission was found, even 500 d after sexual contact or birth, respectively. Western blotting and PMCA were unable to detect sub-clinical levels of PrP(Sc) in experimental subjects, suggesting a complete absence of prion transmission by these routes. Our results show that sexual and parental transmission of prions does not occur in this model. It remains to be studied whether this conclusion is valid also for other prion strains and species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-13

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  12. Determining the relative susceptibility of four prion protein genotypes to atypical scrapie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atypical scrapie is a sheep prion (PrPSc) disease whose epidemiology is consistent with a sporadic origin and is associated with specific polymorphisms of the normal cellular prion protein (PrPC). We describe a mass spectrometry-based method of detecting and quantifying the polymorphisms of sheep P...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiri G Safar

    2015-04-01

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

  14. Characterization of Truncated Forms of Abnormal Prion Protein in Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Notari, S.; Strammiello, R.; Capellari, S.; Giese, A.; Cescatti, M.; Grassi, J.; Ghetti, B.; Langeveld, J.P.M.; Zou, W.Q.; Gambetti, P.; Kretzschmar, H.A.; Parchi, P.

    2008-01-01

    In prion disease, the abnormal conformer of the cellular prion protein, PrPSc, deposits in fibrillar protein aggregates in brain and other organs. Limited exposure of PrPSc to proteolytic digestion in vitro generates a core fragment of 19-21 kDa, named PrP27-30, which is also found in vivo. Recent

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  17. Unraveling the key to the resistance of canids to prion diseases.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalia Fernández-Borges

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available One of the characteristics of prions is their ability to infect some species but not others and prion resistant species have been of special interest because of their potential in deciphering the determinants for susceptibility. Previously, we developed different in vitro and in vivo models to assess the susceptibility of species that were erroneously considered resistant to prion infection, such as members of the Leporidae and Equidae families. Here we undertake in vitro and in vivo approaches to understand the unresolved low prion susceptibility of canids. Studies based on the amino acid sequence of the canine prion protein (PrP, together with a structural analysis in silico, identified unique key amino acids whose characteristics could orchestrate its high resistance to prion disease. Cell- and brain-based PMCA studies were performed highlighting the relevance of the D163 amino acid in proneness to protein misfolding. This was also investigated by the generation of a novel transgenic mouse model carrying this substitution and these mice showed complete resistance to disease despite intracerebral challenge with three different mouse prion strains (RML, 22L and 301C known to cause disease in wild-type mice. These findings suggest that dog D163 amino acid is primarily, if not totally, responsible for the prion resistance of canids.

  18. Metal induced conformational changes of prion protein into Β-sheet ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Metal induced conformational changes of prion protein into Β-sheet isoforms similar to amyloid. ... Animal Research International ... The transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are characterized by the conversion of the normal cellular prion protein to its abnormal pathogenic isoform which has an increased ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Allen Herbst

    Full Text Available Prion diseases are driven by the strain-specific, template-dependent transconformation of the normal cellular prion protein (PrP(C into a disease specific isoform PrP(Sc. Cell culture models of prion infection generally use replicating cells resulting in lower levels of prion accumulation compared to animals. Using non-replicating cells allows the accumulation of higher levels of PrP(Sc and, thus, greater amounts of infectivity. Here, we infect non-proliferating muscle fiber myotube cultures prepared from differentiated myoblasts. We demonstrate that prion-infected myotubes generate substantial amounts of PrP(Sc and that the level of infectivity produced in these post-mitotic cells, 10(5.5 L.D.50/mg of total protein, approaches that observed in vivo. Exposure of the myotubes to different mouse-adapted agents demonstrates strain-specific replication of infectious agents. Mouse-derived myotubes could not be infected with hamster prions suggesting that the species barrier effect is intact. We suggest that non-proliferating myotubes will be a valuable model system for generating infectious prions and for screening compounds for anti-prion activity.

  20. Loss of prion protein induces a primed state of type I interferon-responsive genes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Malachin, Giulia; Reiten, Malin R.; Salvesen, Øyvind

    2017-01-01

    The cellular prion protein (PrPC) has been extensively studied because of its pivotal role in prion diseases; however, its functions remain incompletely understood. A unique line of goats has been identified that carries a nonsense mutation that abolishes synthesis of PrPC. In these animals, the Pr...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Tau prions are thought to aggregate in the central nervous system, resulting in neurodegeneration. Among the tauopathies, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common, whereas argyrophilic grain disease (AGD), corticobasal degeneration (CBD), chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), Pick’s disease (PiD), and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) are less prevalent. Brain extracts from deceased individuals with PiD, a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by three-repeat (3R) tau prions, were used to infect HEK293T cells expressing 3R tau fused to yellow fluorescent protein (YFP). Extracts from AGD, CBD, and PSP patient samples, which contain four-repeat (4R) tau prions, were transmitted to HEK293 cells expressing 4R tau fused to YFP. These studies demonstrated that prion propagation in HEK cells requires isoform pairing between the infecting prion and the recipient substrate. Interestingly, tau aggregates in AD and CTE, containing both 3R and 4R isoforms, were unable to robustly infect either 3R- or 4R-expressing cells. However, AD and CTE prions were able to replicate in HEK293T cells expressing both 3R and 4R tau. Unexpectedly, increasing the level of 4R isoform expression alone supported the propagation of both AD and CTE prions. These results allowed us to determine the levels of tau prions in AD and CTE brain extracts. PMID:27911827

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  3. Review. The origin of the prion agent of kuru: molecular and biological strain typing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wadsworth, Jonathan D F; Joiner, Susan; Linehan, Jacqueline M; Asante, Emmanuel A; Brandner, Sebastian; Collinge, John

    2008-11-27

    Kuru is an acquired human prion disease that primarily affected the Fore linguistic group of the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea. The central clinical feature of kuru is progressive cerebellar ataxia and, in sharp contrast to most cases of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), dementia is a less prominent and usually late clinical feature. In this regard, kuru is more similar to variant CJD, which also has similar prodromal symptoms of sensory disturbance and joint pains in the legs and psychiatric and behavioural changes. Since a significant part of the clinicopathological diversity seen in human prion disease is likely to relate to the propagation of distinct human prion strains, we have compared the transmission properties of kuru prions with those isolated from patients with sporadic, iatrogenic and variant CJD in both transgenic and wild-type mice. These data have established that kuru prions have prion strain properties equivalent to those of classical (sporadic and iatrogenic) CJD prions but distinct from variant CJD prions. Here, we review these findings and discuss how peripheral routes of infection and other factors may be critical modifiers of the kuru phenotype.

  4. The origin of the prion agent of kuru: molecular and biological strain typing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wadsworth, Jonathan D.F.; Joiner, Susan; Linehan, Jacqueline M.; Asante, Emmanuel A.; Brandner, Sebastian; Collinge, John

    2008-01-01

    Kuru is an acquired human prion disease that primarily affected the Fore linguistic group of the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea. The central clinical feature of kuru is progressive cerebellar ataxia and, in sharp contrast to most cases of sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD), dementia is a less prominent and usually late clinical feature. In this regard, kuru is more similar to variant CJD, which also has similar prodromal symptoms of sensory disturbance and joint pains in the legs and psychiatric and behavioural changes. Since a significant part of the clinicopathological diversity seen in human prion disease is likely to relate to the propagation of distinct human prion strains, we have compared the transmission properties of kuru prions with those isolated from patients with sporadic, iatrogenic and variant CJD in both transgenic and wild-type mice. These data have established that kuru prions have prion strain properties equivalent to those of classical (sporadic and iatrogenic) CJD prions but distinct from variant CJD prions. Here, we review these findings and discuss how peripheral routes of infection and other factors may be critical modifiers of the kuru phenotype. PMID:18849291

  5. Incongruity between Prion Conversion and Incubation Period following Coinfection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langenfeld, Katie A.; Shikiya, Ronald A.; Kincaid, Anthony E.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT When multiple prion strains are inoculated into the same host, they can interfere with each other. Strains with long incubation periods can suppress conversion of strains with short incubation periods; however, nothing is known about the conversion of the long-incubation-period strain during strain interference. To investigate this, we inoculated hamsters in the sciatic nerve with long-incubation-period strain 139H prior to superinfection with the short-incubation-period hyper (HY) strain of transmissible mink encephalopathy (TME). First, we found that 139H is transported along the same neuroanatomical tracks as HY TME, adding to the growing body of evidence indicating that PrPSc favors retrograde transneuronal transport. In contrast to a previous report, we found that 139H interferes with HY TME infection, which is likely due to both strains targeting the same population of neurons following sciatic nerve inoculation. Under conditions where 139H blocked HY TME from causing disease, the strain-specific properties of PrPSc corresponded with the strain that caused disease, consistent with our previous findings. In the groups of animals where incubation periods were not altered, we found that the animals contained a mixture of 139H and HY TME PrPSc. This finding expands the definition of strain interference to include conditions where PrPSc formation is altered yet disease outcome is unaltered. Overall, these results contradict the premise that prion strains are static entities and instead suggest that strain mixtures are dynamic regardless of incubation period or clinical outcome of disease. IMPORTANCE Prions can exist as a mixture of strains in naturally infected animals, where they are able to interfere with the conversion of each other and to extend incubation periods. Little is known, however, about the dynamics of strain conversion under conditions where incubation periods are not affected. We found that inoculation of the same animal with two strains

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sano, Kazunori; Atarashi, Ryuichiro; Nishida, Noriyuki

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Heterogeneous seeding of HET-s(218–289) and the mutability of prion structures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wan, William; Stubbs, Gerald

    2014-02-18

    One fundamental property of prions is the formation of strains—prions that have distinct biological effects, despite a common amino acid sequence. The strain phenomenon is thought to be caused by the formation of different molecular structures, each encoding for a particular biological activity. While the precise mechanism of the formation of strains is unknown, they tend to arise following environmental changes, such as passage between different species. One possible mechanism discussed here is heterogeneous seeding; the formation of a prion nucleated by a different molecular structure. While heterogeneous seeding is not the only mechanism of prion mutation, it is consistent with some observations on species adaptation and drug resistance. Heterogeneous seeding provides a useful framework to understand how prions can adapt to new environmental conditions and change biological phenotypes.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanae Takatsuki, PhD

    2016-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kurt C VerCauteren

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

  10. Quantum dots and prion proteins: is this a new challenge for neurodegenerative diseases imaging?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobrova, Pavlina; Blazkova, Iva; Chomoucka, Jana; Drbohlavova, Jana; Vaculovicova, Marketa; Kopel, Pavel; Hubalek, Jaromir; Kizek, Rene; Adam, Vojtech

    2013-01-01

    A diagnostics of infectious diseases can be done by the immunologic methods or by the amplification of nucleic acid specific to contagious agent using polymerase chain reaction. However, in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, the infectious agent, prion protein (PrP(Sc)), has the same sequence of nucleic acids as a naturally occurring protein. The other issue with the diagnosing based on the PrP(Sc) detection is that the pathological form of prion protein is abundant only at late stages of the disease in a brain. Therefore, the diagnostics of prion protein caused diseases represent a sort of challenges as that hosts can incubate infectious prion proteins for many months or even years. Therefore, new in vivo assays for detection of prion proteins and for diagnosis of their relation to neurodegenerative diseases are summarized. Their applicability and future prospects in this field are discussed with particular aim at using quantum dots as fluorescent labels.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joel C Watts

    2014-04-01

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

  12. Characterizing affinity epitopes between prion protein and β-amyloid using an epitope mapping immunoassay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Mino; Kim, Su Yeon; An, Seong Soo A; Ju, Young Ran

    2013-08-02

    Cellular prion protein, a membrane protein, is expressed in all mammals. Prion protein is also found in human blood as an anchorless protein, and this protein form is one of the many potential sources of misfolded prion protein replication during transmission. Many studies have suggested that β-amyloid1-42 oligomer causes neurotoxicity associated with Alzheimer's disease, which is mediated by the prion protein that acts as a receptor and regulates the hippocampal potentiation. The prevention of the binding of these proteins has been proposed as a possible preventative treatment for Alzheimer's disease; therefore, a greater understanding of the binding hot-spots between the two molecules is necessary. In this study, the epitope mapping immunoassay was employed to characterize binding epitopes within the prion protein and complementary epitopes in β-amyloid. Residues 23-39 and 93-119 in the prion protein were involved in binding to β-amyloid1-40 and 1-42, and monomers of this protein interacted with prion protein residues 93-113 and 123-166. Furthermore, β-amyloid antibodies against the C-terminus detected bound β-amyloid1-42 at residues 23-40, 104-122 and 159-175. β-Amyloid epitopes necessary for the interaction with prion protein were not determined. In conclusion, charged clusters and hydrophobic regions of the prion protein were involved in binding to β-amyloid1-40 and 1-42. The 3D structure appears to be necessary for β-amyloid to interact with prion protein. In the future, these binding sites may be utilized for 3D structure modeling, as well as for the pharmaceutical intervention of Alzheimer's disease.

  13. Exploration of the main sites for the transformation of normal prion protein (PrPC into pathogenic prion protein (PrPsc

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liu Xi-Lin

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: The functions and mechanisms of prion proteins (PrPC are currently unknown, but most experts believe that deformed or pathogenic prion proteins (PrPSc originate from PrPC, and that there may be plural main sites for the conversion of normal PrPC into PrPSc. In order to better understand the mechanism of PrPC transformation to PrPSc, the most important step is to determine the replacement or substitution site.

  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

    2013-07-26

    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.

  15. Characterisation of new monoclonal antibodies reacting with prions from both human and animal brain tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordes, Henriette; Bergström, Ann-Louise; Ohm, Jakob; Laursen, Henning; Heegaard, Peter M H

    2008-09-15

    Post-mortem diagnosis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (prion diseases) is primarily based on the detection of a protease resistant, misfolded disease associated isoform (PrP(Sc)) of the prion protein (PrP(C)) on neuronal cells. These methods depend on antibodies directed against PrP(C) and capable of reacting with PrP(Sc)in situ (immunohistochemistry on nervous tissue sections) or with the unfolded form of the protein (western and paraffin embedded tissue (PET) blotting). Here, high-affinity monoclonal antibodies (mAbs 1.5D7, 1.6F4) were produced against synthetic PrP peptides in wild-type mice and used for western blotting and immunohistochemistry to detect several types of human prion-disease associated PrP(Sc), including sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) (subtypes MM1 and VV2), familial CJD and Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker (GSS) disease PrP(Sc) as well as PrP(Sc) of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (bovine brain), scrapie (ovine brain) and experimental scrapie in hamster and in mice. The antibodies were also used for PET-blotting in which PrP(Sc) blotted from brain tissue sections onto a nitrocellulose membrane is visualized with antibodies after protease and denaturant treatment allowing the detection of protease resistant PrP forms (PrP(RES)) in situ. Monoclonal antibodies 1.5D7 and 1.6F4 were raised against the reported epitope (PrP153-165) of the commercial antibody 6H4. While 1.5D7 and 1.6F4 were completely inhibitable by PrP153-165, 6H4 was not, indicating that the specificity of 6H4 is not defined completely by PrP153-165. The two antibodies performed similarly to 6H4 in western blotting with human samples, but showed less reactivity and enhanced background staining with animal samples in this method. In immunohistochemistry 1.5D7 and 1.6F4 performed better than 6H4 suggesting that the binding affinity of 1.5D7 and 1.6F4 with native (aggregated) PrP(Sc)in situ was higher than that of 6H4. On the other hand in PET-blotting, 6H4

  16. Orally administered indomethacin acutely reduces cellular prion protein in the small intestine and modestly increases survival of mice exposed to infectious prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Gary R; Sharkey, Keith A; Jirik, Frank R

    2015-05-01

    The oral uptake of infectious prions represents a common way to acquire a prion disease; thus, host factors, such as gut inflammation and intestinal "leakiness", have the potential to influence infectivity. For example, the ingestion of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is known to induce intestinal inflammation and increase intestinal permeability. Previously, we reported that normal cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) expression was increased in experimental colitis, and since the level of PrP(C) expressed is a determinant of prion disease propagation, we hypothesized that NSAID administration prior to the oral inoculation of mice with infectious prions would increase intestinal PrP(C) expression and accelerate the onset of neurological disease. In the long-term experiments, one group of mice was gavaged with indomethacin, followed by a second gavage with brain homogenate containing mouse-adapted scrapie (ME7). Control mice received ME7 brain homogenate alone. Brain and splenic tissues were harvested at several time points for immunoblotting, including at the onset of clinical signs of disease. In a second series of experiments, mice were gavaged with indomethacin to assess the acute effects of this treatment on intestinal PrP(C) expression. Acutely, NSAID treatment reduced intestinal PrP(C) expression, and chronically, there was a modest delay in the onset of neurological disease. In contrast to our hypothesis, brief exposure to an NSAID decreased intestinal PrP(C) expression and led to a modest survival advantage following oral ingestion of infectious prions.

  17. Crystal structures of Hsp104 N-terminal domains from Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida albicans suggest the mechanism for the function of Hsp104 in dissolving prions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Peng; Li, Jingzhi; Weaver, Clarissa; Lucius, Aaron; Sha, Bingdong

    2017-03-31

    Hsp104 is a yeast member of the Hsp100 family which functions as a molecular chaperone to disaggregate misfolded polypeptides. To understand the mechanism by which the Hsp104 N-terminal domain (NTD) interacts with its peptide substrates, crystal structures of the Hsp104 NTDs fromSaccharomyces cerevisiae(ScHsp104NTD) andCandida albicans(CaHsp104NTD) have been determined at high resolution. The structures of ScHsp104NTD and CaHsp104NTD reveal that the yeast Hsp104 NTD may utilize a conserved putative peptide-binding groove to interact with misfolded polypeptides. In the crystal structures ScHsp104NTD forms a homodimer, while CaHsp104NTD exists as a monomer. The consecutive residues Gln105, Gln106 and Lys107, and Lys141 around the putative peptide-binding groove mediate the monomer–monomer interactions within the ScHsp104NTD homodimer. Dimer formation by ScHsp104NTD suggests that the Hsp104 NTD may specifically interact with polyQ regions of prion-prone proteins. The data may reveal the mechanism by which Hsp104 NTD functions to suppress and/or dissolve prions.

  18. Human peptide transporters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Carsten Uhd; Brodin, Birger; Jørgensen, Flemming Steen

    2002-01-01

    Peptide transporters are epithelial solute carriers. Their functional role has been characterised in the small intestine and proximal tubules, where they are involved in absorption of dietary peptides and peptide reabsorption, respectively. Currently, two peptide transporters, PepT1 and PepT2...... to peptide transporters, as well as their role in drug delivery and in potential future drug design and targeted tissue delivery of peptides and peptidomimetics....

  19. Prion Protein Devoid of the Octapeptide Repeat Region Delays Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Pathogenesis in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hara, Hideyuki; Miyata, Hironori; Das, Nandita Rani; Chida, Junji; Yoshimochi, Tatenobu; Uchiyama, Keiji; Watanabe, Hitomi; Kondoh, Gen; Yokoyama, Takashi; Sakaguchi, Suehiro

    2018-01-01

    Conformational conversion of the cellular isoform of prion protein, PrPC, into the abnormally folded, amyloidogenic isoform, PrPSc, is a key pathogenic event in prion diseases, including Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans and scrapie and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in animals. We previously reported that the octapeptide repeat (OR) region could be dispensable for converting PrPC into PrPSc after infection with RML prions. We demonstrated that mice transgenically expressing mouse PrP with deletion of the OR region on the PrP knockout background, designated Tg(PrPΔOR)/Prnp0/0 mice, did not show reduced susceptibility to RML scrapie prions, with abundant accumulation of PrPScΔOR in their brains. We show here that Tg(PrPΔOR)/Prnp0/0 mice were highly resistant to BSE prions, developing the disease with markedly elongated incubation times after infection with BSE prions. The conversion of PrPΔOR into PrPScΔOR was markedly delayed in their brains. These results suggest that the OR region may have a crucial role in the conversion of PrPC into PrPSc after infection with BSE prions. However, Tg(PrPΔOR)/Prnp0/0 mice remained susceptible to RML and 22L scrapie prions, developing the disease without elongated incubation times after infection with RML and 22L prions. PrPScΔOR accumulated only slightly less in the brains of RML- or 22L-infected Tg(PrPΔOR)/Prnp0/0 mice than PrPSc in control wild-type mice. Taken together, these results indicate that the OR region of PrPC could play a differential role in the pathogenesis of BSE prions and RML or 22L scrapie prions.IMPORTANCE Structure-function relationship studies of PrPC conformational conversion into PrPSc are worthwhile to understand the mechanism of the conversion of PrPC into PrPSc We show here that, by inoculating Tg(PrPΔOR)/Prnp0/0 mice with the three different strains of RML, 22L, and BSE prions, the OR region could play a differential role in the conversion of PrPC into PrPSc after infection with RML

  20. Enzymatic formulation capable of degrading scrapie prion under mild digestion conditions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emeka A Okoroma

    Full Text Available The prion agent is notoriously resistant to common proteases and conventional sterilisation procedures. The current methods known to destroy prion infectivity such as incineration, alkaline and thermal hydrolysis are harsh, destructive, environmentally polluting and potentially hazardous, thus limit their applications for decontamination of delicate medical and laboratory devices, remediation of prion contaminated environment and for processing animal by-products including specified risk materials and carcases. Therefore, an environmentally friendly, non-destructive enzymatic degradation approach is highly desirable. A feather-degrading Bacillus licheniformis N22 keratinase has been isolated which degraded scrapie prion to undetectable level of PrP(Sc signals as determined by Western Blot analysis. Prion infectivity was verified by ex vivo cell-based assay. An enzymatic formulation combining N22 keratinase and biosurfactant derived from Pseudomonas aeruginosa degraded PrP(Sc at 65 °C in 10 min to undetectable level -. A time-course degradation analysis carried out at 50 °C over 2 h revealed the progressive attenuation of PrP(Sc intensity. Test of residual infectivity by standard cell culture assay confirmed that the enzymatic formulation reduced PrP(Sc infectivity to undetectable levels as compared to cells challenged with untreated standard scrapie sheep prion (SSBP/1 (p-value = 0.008 at 95% confidence interval. This novel enzymatic formulation has significant potential application for prion decontamination in various environmentally friendly systems under mild treatment conditions.

  1. Prion protein-specific antibodies-development, modes of action and therapeutics application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rovis, Tihana Lenac; Legname, Giuseppe

    2014-10-01

    Prion diseases or Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs) are lethal neurodegenerative disorders involving the misfolding of the host encoded cellular prion protein, PrPC. This physiological form of the protein is expressed throughout the body, and it reaches the highest levels in the central nervous system where the pathology occurs. The conversion into the pathogenic isoform denoted as prion or PrPSc is the key event in prion disorders. Prominent candidates for the treatment of prion diseases are antibodies and their derivatives. Anti-PrPC antibodies are able to clear PrPSc from cell culture of infected cells. Furthermore, application of anti-PrPC antibodies suppresses prion replication in experimental animal models. Major drawbacks of immunotherapy are immune tolerance, the risks of neurotoxic side effects, limited ability of compounds to cross the blood-brain barrier and their unfavorable pharmacokinetic. The focus of this review is to recapitulate the current understanding of the molecular mechanisms for antibody mediated anti-prion activity. Although relevant for designing immunotherapeutic tools, the characterization of key antibody parameters shaping the molecular mechanism of the PrPC to PrPSc conversion remains elusive. Moreover, this review illustrates the various attempts towards the development of anti-PrP antibody compounds and discusses therapeutic candidates that modulate PrP expression.

  2. Genome-wide association study of behavioural and psychiatric features in human prion disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, A G B; Uphill, J; Lowe, J; Porter, M-C; Lukic, A; Carswell, C; Rudge, P; MacKay, A; Collinge, J; Mead, S

    2015-04-21

    Prion diseases are rare neurodegenerative conditions causing highly variable clinical syndromes, which often include prominent neuropsychiatric symptoms. We have recently carried out a clinical study of behavioural and psychiatric symptoms in a large prospective cohort of patients with prion disease in the United Kingdom, allowing us to operationalise specific behavioural/psychiatric phenotypes as traits in human prion disease. Here, we report exploratory genome-wide association analysis on 170 of these patients and 5200 UK controls, looking for single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with three behavioural/psychiatric phenotypes in the context of prion disease. We also specifically examined a selection of candidate SNPs that have shown genome-wide association with psychiatric conditions in previously published studies, and the codon 129 polymorphism of the prion protein gene, which is known to modify various aspects of the phenotype of prion disease. No SNPs reached genome-wide significance, and there was no evidence of altered burden of known psychiatric risk alleles in relevant prion cases. SNPs showing suggestive evidence of association (Panalysis that may shed clearer light on the biological basis of these complex disease manifestations, and the diseases themselves.

  3. The story of stolen chaperones: how overexpression of Q/N proteins cures yeast prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derkatch, Irina L; Liebman, Susan W

    2013-01-01

    Prions are self-seeding alternate protein conformations. Most yeast prions contain glutamine/asparagine (Q/N)-rich domains that promote the formation of amyloid-like prion aggregates. Chaperones, including Hsp104 and Sis1, are required to continually break these aggregates into smaller "seeds." Decreasing aggregate size and increasing the number of growing aggregate ends facilitates both aggregate transmission and growth. Our previous work showed that overexpression of 11 proteins with Q/N-rich domains facilitates the de novo aggregation of Sup35 into the [PSI(+)] prion, presumably by a cross-seeding mechanism. We now discuss our recent paper, in which we showed that overexpression of most of these same 11 Q/N-rich proteins, including Pin4C and Cyc8, destabilized pre-existing Q/N rich prions. Overexpression of both Pin4C and Cyc8 caused [PSI(+)] aggregates to enlarge. This is incompatible with a previously proposed "capping" model where the overexpressed Q/N-rich protein poisons, or "caps," the growing aggregate ends. Rather the data match what is expected of a reduction in prion severing by chaperones. Indeed, while Pin4C overexpression does not alter chaperone levels, Pin4C aggregates sequester chaperones away from the prion aggregates. Cyc8 overexpression cures [PSI(+)] by inducing an increase in Hsp104 levels, as excess Hsp104 binds to [PSI(+)] aggregates in a way that blocks their shearing.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masison, Daniel C; Reidy, Michael

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Emergence of two prion subtypes in ovine PrP transgenic mice infected with human MM2-cortical Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapuis, Jérôme; Moudjou, Mohammed; Reine, Fabienne; Herzog, Laetitia; Jaumain, Emilie; Chapuis, Céline; Quadrio, Isabelle; Boulliat, Jacques; Perret-Liaudet, Armand; Dron, Michel; Laude, Hubert; Rezaei, Human; Béringue, Vincent

    2016-02-05

    Mammalian prions are proteinaceous pathogens responsible for a broad range of fatal neurodegenerative diseases in humans and animals. These diseases can occur spontaneously, such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans, or be acquired or inherited. Prions are primarily formed of macromolecular assemblies of the disease-associated prion protein PrP(Sc), a misfolded isoform of the host-encoded prion protein PrP(C). Within defined host-species, prions can exist as conformational variants or strains. Based on both the M/V polymorphism at codon 129 of PrP and the electrophoretic signature of PrP(Sc) in the brain, sporadic CJD is classified in different subtypes, which may encode different strains. A transmission barrier, the mechanism of which remains unknown, limits prion cross-species propagation. To adapt to the new host, prions have the capacity to 'mutate' conformationally, leading to the emergence of a variant with new biological properties. Here, we transmitted experimentally one rare subtype of human CJD, designated cortical MM2 (129 MM with type 2 PrP(Sc)), to transgenic mice overexpressing either human or the VRQ allele of ovine PrP(C). In marked contrast with the reported absence of transmission to knock-in mice expressing physiological levels of human PrP, this subtype transmitted faithfully to mice overexpressing human PrP, and exhibited unique strain features. Onto the ovine PrP sequence, the cortical MM2 subtype abruptly evolved on second passage, thereby allowing emergence of a pair of strain variants with distinct PrP(Sc) biochemical characteristics and differing tropism for the central and lymphoid tissues. These two strain components exhibited remarkably distinct replicative properties in cell-free amplification assay, allowing the 'physical' cloning of the minor, lymphotropic component, and subsequent isolation in ovine PrP mice and RK13 cells. Here, we provide in-depth assessment of the transmissibility and evolution of one rare subtype of

  6. Prions in Milk from Ewes Incubating Natural Scrapie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lacroux, Caroline; Simon, Stéphanie; Benestad, Sylvie L.; Maillet, Séverine; Mathey, Jacinthe; Lugan, Séverine; Corbière, Fabien; Cassard, Hervé; Costes, Pierrette; Bergonier, Dominique; Weisbecker, Jean-Louis; Moldal, Torffin; Simmons, Hugh; Lantier, Frederic; Feraudet-Tarisse, Cécile; Morel, Nathalie; Schelcher, François; Grassi, Jacques; Andréoletti, Olivier

    2008-01-01

    Since prion infectivity had never been reported in milk, dairy products originating from transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE)-affected ruminant flocks currently enter unrestricted into the animal and human food chain. However, a recently published study brought the first evidence of the presence of prions in mammary secretions from scrapie-affected ewes. Here we report the detection of consistent levels of infectivity in colostrum and milk from sheep incubating natural scrapie, several months prior to clinical onset. Additionally, abnormal PrP was detected, by immunohistochemistry and PET blot, in lacteal ducts and mammary acini. This PrPSc accumulation was detected only in ewes harbouring mammary ectopic lymphoid follicles that developed consequent to Maedi lentivirus infection. However, bioassay revealed that prion infectivity was present in milk and colostrum, not only from ewes with such lympho-proliferative chronic mastitis, but also from those displaying lesion-free mammary glands. In milk and colostrum, infectivity could be recovered in the cellular, cream, and casein-whey fractions. In our samples, using a Tg 338 mouse model, the highest per ml infectious titre measured was found to be equivalent to that contained in 6 µg of a posterior brain stem from a terminally scrapie-affected ewe. These findings indicate that both colostrum and milk from small ruminants incubating TSE could contribute to the animal TSE transmission process, either directly or through the presence of milk-derived material in animal feedstuffs. It also raises some concern with regard to the risk to humans of TSE exposure associated with milk products from ovine and other TSE-susceptible dairy species. PMID:19079578

  7. Insights into the physiological function of cellular prion protein

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martins V.R.

    2001-01-01

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

  8. Prion gene haplotypes of U.S. cattle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harhay Gregory P

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE is a fatal neurological disorder characterized by abnormal deposits of a protease-resistant isoform of the prion protein. Characterizing linkage disequilibrium (LD and haplotype networks within the bovine prion gene (PRNP is important for 1 testing rare or common PRNP variation for an association with BSE and 2 interpreting any association of PRNP alleles with BSE susceptibility. The objective of this study was to identify polymorphisms and haplotypes within PRNP from the promoter region through the 3'UTR in a diverse sample of U.S. cattle genomes. Results A 25.2-kb genomic region containing PRNP was sequenced from 192 diverse U.S. beef and dairy cattle. Sequence analyses identified 388 total polymorphisms, of which 287 have not previously been reported. The polymorphism alleles define PRNP by regions of high and low LD. High LD is present between alleles in the promoter region through exon 2 (6.7 kb. PRNP alleles within the majority of intron 2, the entire coding sequence and the untranslated region of exon 3 are in low LD (18.0 kb. Two haplotype networks, one representing the region of high LD and the other the region of low LD yielded nineteen different combinations that represent haplotypes spanning PRNP. The haplotype combinations are tagged by 19 polymorphisms (htSNPS which characterize variation within and across PRNP. Conclusion The number of polymorphisms in the prion gene region of U.S. cattle is nearly four times greater than previously described. These polymorphisms define PRNP haplotypes that may influence BSE susceptibility in cattle.

  9. Prions in milk from ewes incubating natural scrapie.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline Lacroux

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Since prion infectivity had never been reported in milk, dairy products originating from transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE-affected ruminant flocks currently enter unrestricted into the animal and human food chain. However, a recently published study brought the first evidence of the presence of prions in mammary secretions from scrapie-affected ewes. Here we report the detection of consistent levels of infectivity in colostrum and milk from sheep incubating natural scrapie, several months prior to clinical onset. Additionally, abnormal PrP was detected, by immunohistochemistry and PET blot, in lacteal ducts and mammary acini. This PrP(Sc accumulation was detected only in ewes harbouring mammary ectopic lymphoid follicles that developed consequent to Maedi lentivirus infection. However, bioassay revealed that prion infectivity was present in milk and colostrum, not only from ewes with such lympho-proliferative chronic mastitis, but also from those displaying lesion-free mammary glands. In milk and colostrum, infectivity could be recovered in the cellular, cream, and casein-whey fractions. In our samples, using a Tg 338 mouse model, the highest per ml infectious titre measured was found to be equivalent to that contained in 6 microg of a posterior brain stem from a terminally scrapie-affected ewe. These findings indicate that both colostrum and milk from small ruminants incubating TSE could contribute to the animal TSE transmission process, either directly or through the presence of milk-derived material in animal feedstuffs. It also raises some concern with regard to the risk to humans of TSE exposure associated with milk products from ovine and other TSE-susceptible dairy species.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dalton Kevin

    2006-08-01

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

  11. Logical design of anti-prion agents using NAGARA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Biao; Yamaguchi, Keiichi; Fukuoka, Mayuko; Kuwata, Kazuo

    2016-01-22

    To accelerate the logical drug design procedure, we created the program "NAGARA," a plugin for PyMOL, and applied it to the discovery of small compounds called medical chaperones (MCs) that stabilize the cellular form of a prion protein (PrP(C)). In NAGARA, we constructed a single platform to unify the docking simulation (DS), free energy calculation by molecular dynamics (MD) simulation, and interfragment interaction energy (IFIE) calculation by quantum chemistry (QC) calculation. NAGARA also enables large-scale parallel computing via a convenient graphical user interface. Here, we demonstrated its performance and its broad applicability from drug discovery to lead optimization with full compatibility with various experimental methods including Western blotting (WB) analysis, surface plasmon resonance (SPR), and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) measurements. Combining DS and WB, we discovered anti-prion activities for two compounds and tegobuvir (TGV), a non-nucleoside non-structural protein NS5B polymerase inhibitor showing activity against hepatitis C virus genotype 1. Binding profiles predicted by MD and QC are consistent with those obtained by SPR and NMR. Free energy analyses showed that these compounds stabilize the PrP(C) conformation by decreasing the conformational fluctuation of the PrP(C). Because TGV has been already approved as a medicine, its extension to prion diseases is straightforward. Finally, we evaluated the affinities of the fragmented regions of TGV using QC and found a clue for its further optimization. By repeating WB, MD, and QC recursively, we were able to obtain the optimum lead structure. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Solid state nuclear magnetic resonance studies of prion peptides and proteins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heller, Jonathan [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)

    1997-08-01

    High-resolution structural studies using x-ray diffraction and solution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) are not feasible for proteins of low volubility and high tendency to aggregate. Solid state NMR (SSNMR) is in principle capable of providing structural information in such systems, however to do this efficiently and accurately, further SSNMR tools must be developed This dissertation describes the development of three new methods and their application to a biological system of interest, the priori protein (PrP).

  13. Homogenous photocatalytic decontamination of prion infected stainless steel and titanium surfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berberidou, Chrysanthi; Xanthopoulos, Konstantinos; Paspaltsis, Ioannis; Lourbopoulos, Athanasios; Polyzoidou, Eleni; Sklaviadis, Theodoros; Poulios, Ioannis

    2013-01-01

    Prions are notorious for their extraordinary resistance to traditional methods of decontamination, rendering their transmission a public health risk. Iatrogenic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (iCJD) via contaminated surgical instruments and medical devices has been verified both experimentally and clinically. Standard methods for prion inactivation by sodium hydroxide or sodium hypochlorite have failed, in some cases, to fully remove prion infectivity, while they are often impractical for routine applications. Prion accumulation in peripheral tissues and indications of human-to-human bloodborne prion transmission, highlight the need for novel, efficient, yet user-friendly methods of prion inactivation. Here we show both in vitro and in vivo that homogenous photocatalytic oxidation, mediated by the photo-Fenton reagent, has the potential to inactivate the pathological prion isoform adsorbed on metal substrates. Photocatalytic oxidation with 224 μg mL(-1) Fe (3+), 500 μg mL(-1) h(-1) H 2O 2, UV-A for 480 min lead to 100% survival in golden Syrian hamsters after intracranial implantation of stainless steel wires infected with the 263K prion strain. Interestingly, photocatalytic treatment of 263K infected titanium wires, under the same experimental conditions, prolonged the survival interval significantly, but failed to eliminate infectivity, a result that we correlate with the increased adsorption of PrP(Sc) on titanium, in comparison to stainless steel. Our findings strongly indicate that our, user--and environmentally--friendly protocol can be safely applied to the decontamination of prion infected stainless steel surfaces.

  14. Dissociation of Infectivity from Seeding Ability in Prions with Alternate Docking Mechanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Michael B.; Geoghegan, James C.; Supattapone, Surachai

    2011-01-01

    Previous studies identified two mammalian prion protein (PrP) polybasic domains that bind the disease-associated conformer PrPSc, suggesting that these domains of cellular prion protein (PrPC) serve as docking sites for PrPSc during prion propagation. To examine the role of polybasic domains in the context of full-length PrPC, we used prion proteins lacking one or both polybasic domains expressed from Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells as substrates in serial protein misfolding cyclic amplification (sPMCA) reactions. After ∼5 rounds of sPMCA, PrPSc molecules lacking the central polybasic domain (ΔC) were formed. Surprisingly, in contrast to wild-type prions, ΔC-PrPSc prions could bind to and induce quantitative conversion of all the polybasic domain mutant substrates into PrPSc molecules. Remarkably, ΔC-PrPSc and other polybasic domain PrPSc molecules displayed diminished or absent biological infectivity relative to wild-type PrPSc, despite their ability to seed sPMCA reactions of normal mouse brain homogenate. Thus, ΔC-PrPSc prions interact with PrPC molecules through a novel interaction mechanism, yielding an expanded substrate range and highly efficient PrPSc propagation. Furthermore, polybasic domain deficient PrPSc molecules provide the first example of dissociation between normal brain homogenate sPMCA seeding ability from biological prion infectivity. These results suggest that the propagation of PrPSc molecules may not depend on a single stereotypic mechanism, but that normal PrPC/PrPSc interaction through polybasic domains may be required to generate prion infectivity. PMID:21779169

  15. Homogenous photocatalytic decontamination of prion infected stainless steel and titanium surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berberidou, Chrysanthi; Xanthopoulos, Konstantinos; Paspaltsis, Ioannis; Lourbopoulos, Athanasios; Polyzoidou, Eleni; Sklaviadis, Theodoros; Poulios, Ioannis

    2013-01-01

    Prions are notorious for their extraordinary resistance to traditional methods of decontamination, rendering their transmission a public health risk. Iatrogenic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (iCJD) via contaminated surgical instruments and medical devices has been verified both experimentally and clinically. Standard methods for prion inactivation by sodium hydroxide or sodium hypochlorite have failed, in some cases, to fully remove prion infectivity, while they are often impractical for routine applications. Prion accumulation in peripheral tissues and indications of human-to-human bloodborne prion transmission, highlight the need for novel, efficient, yet user-friendly methods of prion inactivation. Here we show both in vitro and in vivo that homogenous photocatalytic oxidation, mediated by the photo-Fenton reagent, has the potential to inactivate the pathological prion isoform adsorbed on metal substrates. Photocatalytic oxidation with 224 μg mL−1 Fe3+, 500 μg mL−1 h−1 H2O2, UV-A for 480 min lead to 100% survival in golden Syrian hamsters after intracranial implantation of stainless steel wires infected with the 263K prion strain. Interestingly, photocatalytic treatment of 263K infected titanium wires, under the same experimental conditions, prolonged the survival interval significantly, but failed to eliminate infectivity, a result that we correlate with the increased adsorption of PrPSc on titanium, in comparison to stainless steel. Our findings strongly indicate that our, user- and environmentally friendly protocol can be safely applied to the decontamination of prion infected stainless steel surfaces. PMID:24247293

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Court, L; Hauw, J-J

    2015-12-01

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

  17. Rapid end-point quantitation of prion seeding activity with sensitivity comparable to bioassays.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason M Wilham

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available A major problem for the effective diagnosis and management of prion diseases is the lack of rapid high-throughput assays to measure low levels of prions. Such measurements have typically required prolonged bioassays in animals. Highly sensitive, but generally non-quantitative, prion detection methods have been developed based on prions' ability to seed the conversion of normally soluble protease-sensitive forms of prion protein to protease-resistant and/or amyloid fibrillar forms. Here we describe an approach for estimating the relative amount of prions using a new prion seeding assay called real-time quaking induced conversion assay (RT-QuIC. The underlying reaction blends aspects of the previously described quaking-induced conversion (QuIC and amyloid seeding assay (ASA methods and involves prion-seeded conversion of the alpha helix-rich form of bacterially expressed recombinant PrP(C to a beta sheet-rich amyloid fibrillar form. The RT-QuIC is as sensitive as the animal bioassay, but can be accomplished in 2 days or less. Analogous to end-point dilution animal bioassays, this approach involves testing of serial dilutions of samples and statistically estimating the seeding dose (SD giving positive responses in 50% of replicate reactions (SD(50. Brain tissue from 263K scrapie-affected hamsters gave SD(50 values of 10(11-10(12/g, making the RT-QuIC similar in sensitivity to end-point dilution bioassays. Analysis of bioassay-positive nasal lavages from hamsters affected with transmissible mink encephalopathy gave SD(50 values of 10(3.5-10(5.7/ml, showing that nasal cavities release substantial prion infectivity that can be rapidly detected. Cerebral spinal fluid from 263K scrapie-affected hamsters contained prion SD(50 values of 10(2.0-10(2.9/ml. RT-QuIC assay also discriminated deer chronic wasting disease and sheep scrapie brain samples from normal control samples. In principle, end-point dilution quantitation can be applied to many types of

  18. Influence of the N-terminal domain on the aggregation properties of the prion protein

    OpenAIRE

    Frankenfield, Kristen N.; Powers, Evan T.; Kelly, Jeffery W.

    2005-01-01

    Prion diseases appear to be caused by the aggregation of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) into an infectious form denoted PrPSc. The in vitro aggregation of the prion protein has been extensively investigated, yet many of these studies utilize truncated polypeptides. Because the C-terminal portion of PrPSc is protease-resistant and retains infectivity, it is assumed that studies on this fragment are most relevant. The full-length protein can be distinguished from the truncated protein becaus...

  19. Tracing Conformational Transition of Abnormal Prion Proteins during Interspecies Transmission by Using Novel Antibodies*

    OpenAIRE

    Ushiki-Kaku, Yuko; Endo, Ryo; Iwamaru, Yoshifumi; Shimizu, Yoshihisa; Imamura, Morikazu; Masujin, Kentaro; Yamamoto, Takuji; Hattori, Shunji; Itohara, Shigeyoshi; Irie, Shinkichi; Yokoyama, Takashi

    2010-01-01

    Conformational differences in abnormal prion proteins (PrPSc) have been postulated to produce different prion phenotypes. During the interspecies transmission of prions, the conformation of PrPSc may change with passage; however, little is known about the mechanism of PrPSc transition. In this study, novel PrPSc-specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) were developed that could detect the PrPSc of mouse but not that of sheep. By using these mAbs, we attempted to examine PrPSc accumulated in mice...

  20. Alternative fates of newly formed PrPSc upon prion conversion on the plasma membrane

    OpenAIRE

    Goold, Rob; McKinnon, Chris; Rabbanian, Samira; Collinge, John; Schiavo, Giampietro; Tabrizi, Sarah J.

    2013-01-01

    Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative diseases characterised by the accumulation of misfolded prion protein (PrPSc) in the brain. They are caused by the templated misfolding of normal cellular protein, PrPC, by PrPSc. We have recently generated a unique cell system in which epitope-tagged PrPC competent to produce bona fide PrPSc is expressed in neuroblastoma cells. Using this system we demonstrated that PrPSc forms on the cell surface within minutes of prion exposure. Here, we describe ...

  1. Herencia y memoria: ¿un nuevo rol para los priones?

    OpenAIRE

    Vladimir Ávila Ávila; Andrés Jagua Gualdrón

    2008-01-01

    Los priones causan las encefalopatías espongiformes enmamíferos y humanos. Los agregados de proteínaspresentes en estas entidades son similares a las de otrasenfermedades neurodegenerativas como la enfermedad deAlzheimer. Sin embargo, hallazgos recientes sugieren quebajo circunstancias específicas los priones podríanparticipar de muchos procesos biológicos. En organismosdel reino fungi los priones actúan como elementosgenéticos para la herencia de fenotipos ante condicionesmedio ambientales a...

  2. Current evidence on the transmissibility of chronic wasting disease prions to humans-A systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waddell, L; Greig, J; Mascarenhas, M; Otten, A; Corrin, T; Hierlihy, K

    2018-02-01

    A number of prion diseases affect humans, including Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; most of these are due to genetic mutations in the affected individual and occur sporadically, but some result from transmission of prion proteins from external sources. Of the known animal prion diseases, only bovine spongiform encephalopathy prions have been shown to be transmissible from animals to humans under non-experimental conditions. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a prion disease that affects cervids (e.g., deer and elk) in North America and isolated populations in Korea and Europe. Systematic review methodology was used to identify, select, critically appraise and analyse data from relevant research. Studies were evaluated for adherence to good conduct based on their study design following the Cochrane collaboration's approach to grading the quality of evidence and the strength of recommendations (GRADE). Twenty-three studies were included after screening 800 citations from the literature search and evaluating 78 full papers. Studies examined the transmissibility of CWD prions to humans using epidemiological study design, in vitro and in vivo experiments. Five epidemiological studies, two studies on macaques and seven studies on humanized transgenic mice provided no evidence to support the possibility of transmission of CWD prions to humans. Ongoing surveillance in the United States and Canada has not documented CWD transmission to humans. However, two studies on squirrel monkeys provided evidence that transmission of CWD prions resulting in prion disease is possible in these monkeys under experimental conditions and seven in vitro experiments provided evidence that CWD prions can convert human prion protein to a misfolded state. Therefore, future discovery of CWD transmission to humans cannot be entirely ruled out on the basis of current studies, particularly in the light of possible decades-long incubation periods for CWD prions in humans. It would be prudent to continue

  3. Sup35p in Its Soluble and Prion States Is Packaged inside Extracellular Vesicles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kabani, Mehdi; Melki, Ronald

    2015-08-18

    The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae harbors several prions that constitute powerful models to investigate the mechanisms of epigenetic structural inheritance. [PSI(+)] is undoubtedly the best-known yeast prion and results from the conversion of the translation termination factor Sup35p into self-perpetuating protein aggregates. Structurally different conformers of Sup35p aggregates can lead to [PSI(+)] strains with weak or strong prion phenotypes. Yeast prions are faithfully transmitted from mother to daughter cells during cell division, upon cytoplasmic mixing during mating, or when Sup35p fibrils made in test tubes are introduced into spheroplasts. Virtually all living cells in the three domains of life, Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukarya, secrete small membrane vesicles in the extracellular space. These extracellular vesicles (EV) have gained increasing interest as vehicles for the intercellular transfer of signaling molecules, nucleic acids, and pathogenic factors, as well as prion-like protein aggregates associated with neurodegenerative diseases. To begin to explore the question of whether EV could represent a natural mean for yeast prion transmission from cell to cell, we purified these extracellular vesicles and assessed whether they contained Sup35p. Here, we show that Sup35p is secreted within EV released in the extracellular medium of yeast cultures. We demonstrate that Sup35p within EV isolated from strong and weak [PSI(+)] cells is in an infectious prion conformation. Among the possible implications of our work is the possibility of previously unsuspected EV-mediated horizontal cell-to-cell transfer of fungal prions. Most living cells in the three domains of life, Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukarya, secrete small membrane vesicles in the extracellular space. These extracellular vesicles (EV) were long viewed as "trash cans" by which cells disposed of unwanted macromolecules. EV gained renewed interest as their roles as vehicles for the cell-to-cell transfer of

  4. CWDPRNP: A tool for cervid prion sequence analysis in program R

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, William L.; Walter, William D.

    2017-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease is a fatal, neurological disease caused by an infectious prion protein, which affects economically and ecologically important members of the family Cervidae. Single nucleotide polymorphisms within the prion protein gene have been linked to differential susceptibility to the disease in many species. Wildlife managers are seeking to determine the frequencies of disease-associated alleles and genotypes and delineate spatial genetic patterns. The CWDPRNP package, implemented in program R, provides a unified framework for analyzing prion protein gene variability and spatial structure.

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    The prevalence of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in the population remains uncertain, although it has been estimated that 1 in 2000 people in the United Kingdom are positive for abnormal prion protein (PrPTSE) by a recent survey of archived appendix tissues. The prominent lymphotropism of vCJD prions raises the possibility that some surgical procedures may be at risk of iatrogenic vCJD transmission in healthcare facilities. It is therefore vital that decontamination procedures applied to medical devices before their reprocessing are thoroughly validated. A current limitation is the lack of a rapid model permissive to human prions. Here, we developed a prion detection assay based on protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) technology combined with stainless-steel wire surfaces as carriers of prions (Surf-PMCA). This assay allowed the specific detection of minute quantities (10−8 brain dilution) of either human vCJD or ovine scrapie PrPTSE adsorbed onto a single steel wire, within a two week timeframe. Using Surf-PMCA we evaluated the performance of several reference and commercially available prion-specific decontamination procedures. Surprisingly, we found the efficiency of several marketed reagents to remove human vCJD PrPTSE was lower than expected. Overall, our results demonstrate that Surf-PMCA can be used as a rapid and ultrasensitive assay for the detection of human vCJD PrPTSE adsorbed onto a metallic surface, therefore facilitating the development and validation of decontamination procedures against human prions. PMID:26800081

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maxime Belondrade

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  9. Antimicrobial peptides in action

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leontiadou, Hari; Mark, Alan E.; Marrink, Siewert J.

    2006-01-01

    Molecular dynamics simulations of the magainin MG-H2 peptide interacting with a model phospholipid membrane have been used to investigate the mechanism by which antimicrobial peptides act. Multiple copies of the peptide were randomly placed in solution close to the membrane. The peptide readily

  10. Both Met(109) and Met(112) are Utilized for Cu(II) Coordination to the Amyloidogenic Fragment of the Human Prion Protein

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shearer, J.; Soh, P; Lentz, S

    2008-01-01

    The prion protein is a ubiquitous neuronal membrane protein. Misfolding of the prion protein has been implicated in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (prion diseases). It has been demonstrated that the human prion protein (PrP) is capable of coordinating at least five Cu{sup II} ions under physiological conditions; four copper binding sites can be found in the octarepeat domain between residues 61 and 91, while another copper binding site can be found in the unstructured 'amyloidogenic' domain between residues 91 and 126 PrP(91-126). Herein we expand upon a previous study (J. Shearer, P. Soh, Inorg. Chem. 46 (2007) 710-719) where we demonstrated that the physiologically relevant high affinity Cu{sup II} coordination site within PrP(91-126) is found between residues 106 and 114. It was shown that Cu{sup II} is contained within a square planar (N/O){sub 3}S coordination environment with one His imidazole ligand (H(111)) and one Met thioether ligand (either M(109) or M(112)). The identity of the Met thioether ligand was not identified in that study. In this study we perform a detailed investigation of the Cu{sup II} coordination environment within the PrP fragment containing residues 106-114 (PrP(106-114)) involving optical, X-ray absorption, EPR, and fluorescence spectroscopies in conjunction with electronic structure calculations. By using derivatives of PrP(106-114) with systematic Met {yields} Ile 'mutations' we show that the Cu{sup II} coordination environment within PrP(106-114) is actually comprised of a mixture of two major species; one CuII(N/O){sub 3}S center with the M(109) thioether coordinated to Cu{sup II} and another Cu{sup II}(N/O){sub 3}S center with the M(112) thioether coordinated to Cu{sup II}. Furthermore, deletion of one or more Met residues from the primary sequence of PrP(106-114) both reduces the Cu{sup II} affinity of the peptide by two to seven fold, and renders the resulting Cu{sup II} metallopeptides redox

  11. Transport of the Pathogenic Prion Protein through Landfill Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, Kurt H.; Lee, Seunghak; McKenzie, Debbie; Benson, Craig H.; Pedersen, Joel A.

    2009-01-01

    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 (PrPTSE) is the major, if not sole, component of the infectious agent. Recent TSE outbreaks in domesticated and wild animal populations has created the need for safe and effective disposal of large quantities of potentially infected materials. Here, we report the results of a study to evaluate the potential for transport of PrPTSE derived from carcasses and associated wastes in a municipal solid waste (MSW) landfill. Column experiments were conducted to evaluate PrPTSE transport in quartz sand, two fine-textured burial soils currently used in landfill practice, a green waste residual material (a potential burial material), and fresh and aged MSW. PrPTSE was retained by quartz sand and the fine-textured burial soils, with no detectable PrPTSE eluted over more than 40 pore volumes. In contrast, PrPTSE was more mobile in MSW and green waste residual. Transport parameters were estimated from the experimental data and used to model PrPTSE migration in a MSW landfill. To the extent that the PrPTSE used mimics that released from decomposing carcasses, burial of CWD-infected materials at MSW landfills could provide secure containment of PrPTSE provided reasonable burial strategies (e.g., encasement in soil) are used. PMID:19368208

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Restelli

    2010-10-01

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

  13. Prion proteins: physiological functions and role in neurological disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Wei; Kieseier, Bernd; Frohman, Elliot; Eagar, Todd N; Rosenberg, Roger N; Hartung, Hans-Peter; Stüve, Olaf

    2008-01-15

    Stanley Prusiner was the first to promote the concept of misfolded proteins as a cause for neurological disease. It has since been shown by him and other investigators that the scrapie isoform of prion protein (PrP(Sc)) functions as an infectious agent in numerous human and non-human disorders of the central nervous system (CNS). Interestingly, other organ systems appear to be less affected, and do not appear to lead to major co-morbidities. The physiological function of the endogenous cellular form of the prion protein (PrP(C)) is much less clear. It is intriguing that PrP(c) is expressed on most tissues in mammals, suggesting not only biological functions outside the CNS, but also a role other than the propagation of its misfolded isotype. In this review, we summarize accumulating in vitro and in vivo evidence regarding the physiological functions of PrP(C) in the nervous system, as well as in lymphoid organs.

  14. The prion protein and New World primate phylogeny

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor Schneider

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available The PrP C prion protein contains 250 amino acids with some variation among species and is expressed in several cell types. PrP C is converted to PrP Sc by a post-translational process in which it acquires amino acid sequences of three-dimensional conformation of beta-sheets. Variations in the prion protein gene were observed among 16 genera of New World primates (Platyrrhini, and resulted in amino acid substitutions when compared with the human sequence. Seven substitutions not yet described in the literature were found: W -> R at position 31 in Cebuella, T -> A at position 95 in Cacajao and Chiropotes, N-> S at position 100 in Brachyteles, L -> Q at position 130 in Leontopithecus (in the sequence responsible for generating the beta-sheet 1, D -> E at position 144 in Lagothrix (in the sequence responsible for the alpha-helix 1, D-> G at position 147 in Saguinus (also located in the alpha-helix 1 region, and M -> I at position 232 in Alouatta. The phylogenetic trees generated by parsimony, neighbor-joining and Bayesian analyses strongly support the monophyletic status of the platyrrhines, but did not resolve relationships among families. However, the results do corroborate previous findings, which indicate that the three platyrrhine families radiated rapidly from an ancient split.

  15. Conserved roles of the prion protein domains on subcellular localization and cell-cell adhesion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gonzalo P Solis

    Full Text Available Analyses of cultured cells and transgenic mice expressing prion protein (PrP deletion mutants have revealed that some properties of PrP -such as its ability to misfold, aggregate and trigger neurotoxicity- are controlled by discrete molecular determinants within its protein domains. Although the contributions of these determinants to PrP biosynthesis and turnover are relatively well characterized, it is still unclear how they modulate cellular functions of PrP. To address this question, we used two defined activities of PrP as functional readouts: 1 the recruitment of PrP to cell-cell contacts in Drosophila S2 and human MCF-7 epithelial cells, and 2 the induction of PrP embryonic loss- and gain-of-function phenotypes in zebrafish. Our results show that homologous mutations in mouse and zebrafish PrPs similarly affect their subcellular localization patterns as well as their in vitro and in vivo activities. Among PrP's essential features, the N-terminal leader peptide was sufficient to drive targeting of our constructs to cell contact sites, whereas lack of GPI-anchoring and N-glycosylation rendered them inactive by blocking their cell surface expression. Importantly, our data suggest that the ability of PrP to homophilically trans-interact and elicit intracellular signaling is primarily encoded in its globular domain, and modulated by its repetitive domain. Thus, while the latter induces the local accumulation of PrPs at discrete punctae along cell contacts, the former counteracts this effect by promoting the continuous distribution of PrP. In early zebrafish embryos, deletion of either domain significantly impaired PrP's ability to modulate E-cadherin cell adhesion. Altogether, these experiments relate structural features of PrP to its subcellular distribution and in vivo activity. Furthermore, they show that despite their large evolutionary history, the roles of PrP domains and posttranslational modifications are conserved between mouse and

  16. Cellular prion protein (PrPC) in the development of Merlin-deficient tumours.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Provenzano, L; Ryan, Y; Hilton, D A; Lyons-Rimmer, J; Dave, F; Maze, E A; Adams, C L; Rigby-Jones, R; Ammoun, S; Hanemann, C O

    2017-11-02

    Loss of function mutations in the neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2) gene, coding for a tumour suppressor, Merlin, cause multiple tumours of the nervous system such as schwannomas, meningiomas and ependymomas. These tumours may occur sporadically or as part of the hereditary condition neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2). Current treatment is confined to (radio) surgery and no targeted drug therapies exist. NF2 mutations and/or Merlin inactivation are also seen in other cancers including some mesothelioma, breast cancer, colorectal carcinoma, melanoma and glioblastoma. To study the relationship between Merlin deficiency and tumourigenesis, we have developed an in vitro model comprising human primary schwannoma cells, the most common Merlin-deficient tumour and the hallmark for NF2. Using this model, we show increased expression of cellular prion protein (PrPC) in schwannoma cells and tissues. In addition, a strong overexpression of PrPC is observed in human Merlin-deficient mesothelioma cell line TRA and in human Merlin-deficient meningiomas. PrPC contributes to increased proliferation, cell-matrix adhesion and survival in schwannoma cells acting via 37/67 kDa non-integrin laminin receptor (LR/37/67 kDa) and downstream ERK1/2, PI3K/AKT and FAK signalling pathways. PrPC protein is also strongly released from schwannoma cells via exosomes and as a free peptide suggesting that it may act in an autocrine and/or paracrine manner. We suggest that PrPC and its interactor, LR/37/67 kDa, could be potential therapeutic targets for schwannomas and other Merlin-deficient tumours.

  17. Modeling amyloid-beta as homogeneous dodecamers and in complex with cellular prion protein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven L Gallion

    Full Text Available Soluble amyloid beta (Aβ peptide has been linked to the pathology of Alzheimer's disease. A variety of soluble oligomers have been observed to be toxic, ranging from dimers to protofibrils. No tertiary structure has been identified as a single biologically relevant form, though many models are comprised of highly ordered β-sheets. Evidence exists for much less ordered toxic oligomers. The mechanism of toxicity remains highly debated and probably involves multiple pathways. Interaction of Aβ oligomers with the N-terminus of the cellular form of the prion protein (PrP(c has recently been proposed. The intrinsically disordered nature of this protein and the highly polymorphic nature of Aβ oligomers make structural resolution of the complex exceptionally challenging. In this study, molecular dynamics simulations are performed for dodecameric assemblies of Aβ comprised of monomers having a single, short antiparallel β-hairpin at the C-terminus. The resulting models, devoid of any intermolecular hydrogen bonds, are shown to correlate well with experimental data and are found to be quite stable within the hydrophobic core, whereas the α-helical N-termini transform to a random coil state. This indicates that highly ordered assemblies are not required for stability and less ordered oligomers are a viable component in the population of soluble oligomers. In addition, a tentative model is proposed for the association of Aβ dimers with a double deletion mutant of the intrinsically disordered N-terminus of PrP(c. This may be useful as a conceptual working model for the binding of higher order oligomers and in the design of further experiments.

  18. The fate of PrP GPI-anchor signal peptide is modulated by P238S pathogenic mutation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guizzunti, Gianni; Zurzolo, Chiara

    2014-01-01

    Glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored proteins are localized to the plasma membrane via a C-terminally linked GPI anchor. The GPI anchor is added concomitantly to the cleavage of the carboxy-terminal GPI-anchor signal sequence, thereby causing the release of a C-terminal hydrophobic peptide, whose fate has not yet been investigated. Here we followed the fate of the GPI-attachment signal of the prion protein (PrP), a protein implicated in various types of transmissible neurodegenerative spongiform encephalopathies (TSE). The PrP GPI-anchor signal sequence shows a remarkable and unusual degree of conservation across the species and contains two point mutations (M232R/T and P238S) that are responsible for genetic forms of prion disorders. We show that the PrP GPI-anchor signal peptide (SP), but not the one from an unrelated GPI-anchored protein (folate receptor), undergoes degradation via the proteasome. Moreover, the P238S point mutation partially protects the PrP GPI-anchor SP from degradation. Our data provide the first attempt to address the fate of a GPI-anchor SP and identify a role for the P238S mutation, suggesting the possibility that the PrP GPI-anchor SP could play a role in neurodegenerative prion diseases. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Comparison of the Anti-Prion Mechanism of Four Different Anti-Prion Compounds, Anti-PrP Monoclonal Antibody 44B1, Pentosan Polysulfate, Chlorpromazine, and U18666A, in Prion-Infected Mouse Neuroblastoma Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    Molecules that inhibit the formation of an abnormal isoform of prion protein (PrPSc) in prion-infected cells are candidate therapeutic agents for prion diseases. Understanding how these molecules inhibit PrPSc formation provides logical basis for proper evaluation of their therapeutic potential. In this study, we extensively analyzed the effects of the anti-PrP monoclonal antibody (mAb) 44B1, pentosan polysulfate (PPS), chlorpromazine (CPZ) and U18666A on the intracellular dynamics of a cellular isoform of prion protein (PrPC) and PrPSc in prion-infected mouse neuroblastoma cells to re-evaluate the effects of those agents. MAb 44B1 and PPS rapidly reduced PrPSc levels without altering intracellular distribution of PrPSc. PPS did not change the distribution and levels of PrPC, whereas mAb 44B1 appeared to inhibit the trafficking of cell surface PrPC to organelles in the endocytic-recycling pathway that are thought to be one of the sites for PrPSc formation. In contrast, CPZ and U18666A initiated the redistribution of PrPSc from organelles in the endocytic-recycling pathway to late endosomes/lysosomes without apparent changes in the distribution of PrPC. The inhibition of lysosomal function by monensin or bafilomycin A1 after the occurrence of PrPSc redistribution by CPZ or U18666A partly antagonized PrPSc degradation, suggesting that the transfer of PrPSc to late endosomes/lysosomes, possibly via alteration of the membrane trafficking machinery of cells, leads to PrPSc degradation. This study revealed that precise analysis of the intracellular dynamics of PrPC and PrPSc provides important information for understanding the mechanism of anti-prion agents. PMID:25181483

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Terry Linda A

    2011-05-01

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

  1. Discovering putative prion sequences in complete proteomes using probabilistic representations of Q/N-rich domains

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Espinosa Angarica, Vladimir; Ventura, Salvador; Sancho, Javier

    2013-01-01

    .... It has been suggested that prions contain specific sequential domains with distinctive amino acid composition and physicochemical properties that allow them to control the switch between soluble and β...

  2. Prion Strain Characterization of a Novel Subtype of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galeno, Roberta; Di Bari, Michele Angelo; Nonno, Romolo; Cardone, Franco; Sbriccoli, Marco; Graziano, Silvia; Ingrosso, Loredana; Fiorini, Michele; Valanzano, Angelina; Pasini, Giulia; Poleggi, Anna; Vinci, Ramona; Ladogana, Anna; Puopolo, Maria; Monaco, Salvatore; Agrimi, Umberto; Zanusso, Gianluigi; Pocchiari, Maurizio

    2017-06-01

    In 2007, we reported a patient with an atypical form of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) heterozygous for methionine-valine (MV) at codon 129 who showed a novel pathological prion protein (PrP(TSE)) conformation with an atypical glycoform (AG) profile and intraneuronal PrP deposition. In the present study, we further characterize the conformational properties of this pathological prion protein (PrP(TSE) MV(AG)), showing that PrP(TSE) MV(AG) is composed of multiple conformers with biochemical properties distinct from those of PrP(TSE) type 1 and type 2 of MV sporadic CJD (sCJD). Experimental transmission of CJD-MV(AG) to bank voles and gene-targeted transgenic mice carrying the human prion protein gene (TgHu mice) showed unique transmission rates, survival times, neuropathological changes, PrP(TSE) deposition patterns, and PrP(TSE) glycotypes that are distinct from those of sCJD-MV1 and sCJD-MV2. These biochemical and experimental data suggest the presence of a novel prion strain in CJD-MV(AG)IMPORTANCE Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is caused by the misfolding of the cellular prion protein, which assumes two different major conformations (type 1 and type 2) and, together with the methionine/valine polymorphic codon 129 of the prion protein gene, contribute to the occurrence of distinct clinical-pathological phenotypes. Inoculation in laboratory rodents of brain tissues from the six possible combinations of pathological prion protein types with codon 129 genotypes results in the identification of 3 or 4 strains of prions. We report on the identification of a novel strain of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease isolated from a patient who carried an abnormally glycosylated pathological prion protein. This novel strain has unique biochemical characteristics, does not transmit to humanized transgenic mice, and shows exclusive transmission properties in bank voles. The identification of a novel human prion strain improves our understanding of the pathogenesis of the disease and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kabir, M Enamul; Safar, Jiri G

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wagner Wibke

    2012-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  6. Prion-mediated neurodegeneration is associated with early impairment of the ubiquitin?proteasome system

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    Prion diseases are a group of fatal neurodegenerative disorders characterised by the accumulation of misfolded prion protein (PrPSc) in the brain. The critical relationship between aberrant protein misfolding and neurotoxicity currently remains unclear. The accumulation of aggregation-prone proteins has been linked to impairment of the ubiquitin?proteasome system (UPS) in a variety of neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer?s, Parkinson?s and Huntington?s diseases. As the principal r...

  7. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victoria A Lawson

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

  9. Heritable yeast prions have a highly organized three-dimensional architecture with interfiber structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saibil, Helen R; Seybert, Anja; Habermann, Anja; Winkler, Juliane; Eltsov, Mikhail; Perkovic, Mario; Castaño-Diez, Daniel; Scheffer, Margot P; Haselmann, Uta; Chlanda, Petr; Lindquist, Susan; Tyedmers, Jens; Frangakis, Achilleas S

    2012-09-11

    Yeast prions constitute a "protein-only" mechanism of inheritance that is widely deployed by wild yeast to create diverse phenotypes. One of the best-characterized prions, [PSI(+)], is governed by a conformational change in the prion domain of Sup35, a translation-termination factor. When this domain switches from its normal soluble form to an insoluble amyloid, the ensuing change in protein synthesis creates new traits. Two factors make these traits heritable: (i) the amyloid conformation is self-templating; and (ii) the protein-remodeling factor heat-shock protein (Hsp)104 (acting together with Hsp70 chaperones) partitions the template to daughter cells with high fidelity. Prions formed by several other yeast proteins create their own phenotypes but share the same mechanistic basis of inheritance. Except for the amyloid fibril itself, the cellular architecture underlying these protein-based elements of inheritance is unknown. To study the 3D arrangement of prion assemblies in their cellular context, we examined yeast [PSI(+)] prions in the native, hydrated state in situ, taking advantage of recently developed methods for cryosectioning of vitrified cells. Cryo-electron tomography of the vitrified sections revealed the prion assemblies as aligned bundles of regularly spaced fibrils in the cytoplasm with no bounding structures. Although the fibers were widely spaced, other cellular complexes, such as ribosomes, were excluded from the fibril arrays. Subtomogram image averaging, made possible by the organized nature of the assemblies, uncovered the presence of an additional array of densities between the fibers. We suggest these structures constitute a self-organizing mechanism that coordinates fiber deposition and the regulation of prion inheritance.

  10. 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