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Sample records for survey identifies prions

  1. Prions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Bodemer

    2016-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

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

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    Richard A Bessen

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

  4. Prion protein genotype survey confirms low frequency of scrapie-resistant K222 allele in British goat herds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Goldmann, W.; Stewart, P.; Marier, E.; Konold, T.; Street, S.; Windl, O.; Ortiz-Pelaez, A.; Langeveld, J.

    2016-01-01

    Scrapie in goats is a transmissible, fatal prion disease, which is endemic in the British goat population. The recent success in defining caprine PRNP gene variants that provide resistance to experimental and natural classical scrapie has prompted the authors to conduct a survey of PRNP genotypes

  5. Prion Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  6. Prion protein genotype survey confirms low frequency of scrapie-resistant K222 allele in British goat herds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldmann, W; Marier, E; Stewart, P; Konold, T; Street, S; Langeveld, J; Windl, O; Ortiz-Pelaez, A

    2016-02-13

    Scrapie in goats is a transmissible, fatal prion disease, which is endemic in the British goat population. The recent success in defining caprine PRNP gene variants that provide resistance to experimental and natural classical scrapie has prompted the authors to conduct a survey of PRNP genotypes in 10 goat breeds and 52 herds to find goats with the resistant K222 allele. They report here the frequencies in 1236 tested animals of the resistance-associated K222 and several other alleles by breed and herd. Eight animals were found to be heterozygous QK222 goats (0.64 per cent genotype frequency, 95 per cent CI 0.28 to 1.27 per cent) but no homozygous KK222 goats were detected. The K222 allele was found in Saanen, Toggenburg and Anglo-Nubian goats. The fact that only a few goats with the K222 allele have been identified does not preclude the possibility to design and implement successful breeding programmes at national level. British Veterinary Association.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  8. Prion protein in milk.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola Franscini

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

  9. The complexity and implications of yeast prion domains

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Genes contributing to prion pathogenesis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

    incubation times, indicating that the conversion reaction may be influenced by other gene products. To identify genes that contribute to prion pathogenesis, we analysed incubation times of prions in mice in which the gene product was inactivated, knocked out or overexpressed. We tested 20 candidate genes...... show that many genes previously implicated in prion replication have no discernible effect on the pathogenesis of prion disease. While most genes tested did not significantly affect survival times, ablation of the amyloid beta (A4) precursor protein (App) or interleukin-1 receptor, type I (Il1r1...

  11. Travel history, hunting, and venison consumption related to prion disease exposure, 2006-2007 FoodNet Population Survey.

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    Abrams, Joseph Y; Maddox, Ryan A; Harvey, Alexis R; Schonberger, Lawrence B; Belay, Ermias D

    2011-06-01

    The transmission of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) to human beings and the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) among cervids have prompted concerns about zoonotic transmission of prion diseases. Travel to the United Kingdom and other European countries, hunting for deer or elk, and venison consumption could result in the exposure of US residents to the agents that cause BSE and CWD. The Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network 2006-2007 population survey was used to assess the prevalence of these behaviors among residents of 10 catchment areas across the United States. Of 17,372 survey respondents, 19.4% reported travel to the United Kingdom since 1980, and 29.5% reported travel to any of the nine European countries considered to be BSE-endemic since 1980. The proportion of respondents who had ever hunted deer or elk was 18.5%, and 1.2% had hunted deer or elk in a CWD-endemic area. More than two thirds (67.4%) reported having ever eaten deer or elk meat. Respondents who traveled spent more time in the United Kingdom (median 14 days) than in any other BSE-endemic country. Of the 11,635 respondents who had consumed venison, 59.8% ate venison at most one to two times during their year of highest consumption, and 88.6% had obtained all of their meat from the wild. The survey results were useful in determining the prevalence and frequency of behaviors that could be important factors for foodborne prion transmission. Copyright © 2011 American Dietetic Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Mammalian prions

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Classifying prion and prion-like phenomena.

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. 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...

  17. Identifiable Data Files - Health Outcomes Survey (HOS)

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — The Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (HOS) identifiable data files are comprised of the entire national sample for a given 2-year cohort (including both respondents...

  18. Cellular Aspects of Prion Replication In Vitro

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. A role for astroglia in prion diseases.

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    Aguzzi, Adriano; Liu, Yingjun

    2017-12-04

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

    In Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), molecular typing based on the size of the protease resistant core of the disease-associated prion protein (PrP(Sc) ) and the M/V polymorphism at codon 129 of the PRNP gene correlates with the clinico-pathologic subtypes. Approximately 95% of the sporadic 129MM CJD patients are characterized by cerebral deposition of type 1 PrP(Sc) and correspond to the classic clinical CJD phenotype. The rare 129MM CJD patients with type 2 PrP(Sc) are further subdivided in a cortical and a thalamic form also indicated as sporadic fatal insomnia. We observed two young patients with MM2-thalamic CJD. Main neuropathological features were diffuse, synaptic PrP immunoreactivity in the cerebral cortex and severe neuronal loss and gliosis in the thalamus and olivary nucleus. Western blot analysis showed the presence of type 2A PrP(Sc) . Challenge of transgenic mice expressing 129MM human PrP showed that MM2-thalamic sporadic CJD (sCJD) was able to transmit the disease, at variance with MM2-cortical sCJD. The affected mice showed deposition of type 2A PrP(Sc) , a scenario that is unprecedented in this mouse line. These data indicate that MM2-thalamic sCJD is caused by a prion strain distinct from the other sCJD subtypes including the MM2-cortical form. © 2012 The Authors; Brain Pathology © 2012 International Society of Neuropathology.

  1. Prion Protein and Aging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa eGasperini

    2014-08-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-05

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

  8. 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

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Erdtmann, Rick; Sivitz, Laura

    2004-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Porcine prion protein amyloid.

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    Hammarström, Per; Nyström, Sofie

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Identifying Careless Responses in Survey Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meade, Adam W.; Craig, S. Bartholomew

    2012-01-01

    When data are collected via anonymous Internet surveys, particularly under conditions of obligatory participation (such as with student samples), data quality can be a concern. However, little guidance exists in the published literature regarding techniques for detecting careless responses. Previously several potential approaches have been…

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-04

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

  15. An acoustic prion assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gordon Hayward

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available An acoustic prion assay has been demonstrated for sheep brain samples. Only five false positives and no false negatives were observed in a test of 45 positive and 45 negative samples. The acoustic prion sensor was constructed using a thickness shear mode quartz resonator coated with a covalently bound recombinant prion protein. The characteristic indicator of a scrapie infected sheep brain sample was an observed shoulder in the frequency decrease in response to a sample.The response of the sensor aligns with a conformational shift in the surface protein and with the propagation mechanism of the disease. This alignment is evident in the response timing and shape, dependence on concentration, cross species behaviour and impact of blood plasma. This alignment is far from sufficient to prove the mechanism of the sensor but it does offer the possibility of a rapid and inexpensive additional tool to explore prion disease. Keywords: Prions, Thickness shear mode quartz sensor

  16. 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.

  17. Molecular dynamics simulations of Hsp40 J-domain mutants identifies disruption of the critical HPD-motif as the key factor for impaired curing in vivo of the yeast prion [URE3].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, You-Lin; Wang, Hao; Riedy, Michael; Roberts, Brittany-Lee; Sun, Yuna; Song, Yong-Bo; Jones, Gary W; Masison, Daniel C; Song, Youtao

    2018-05-01

    Genetic screens using Saccharomyces cerevisiae have identified an array of Hsp40 (Ydj1p) J-domain mutants that are impaired in the ability to cure the yeast [URE3] prion through disrupting functional interactions with Hsp70. However, biochemical analysis of some of these Hsp40 J-domain mutants has so far failed to provide major insight into the specific functional changes in Hsp40-Hsp70 interactions. To explore the detailed structural and dynamic properties of the Hsp40 J-domain, 20 ns molecular dynamic simulations of 4 mutants (D9A, D36A, A30T, and F45S) and wild-type J-domain were performed, followed by Hsp70 docking simulations. Results demonstrated that although the Hsp70 interaction mechanism of the mutants may vary, the major structural change was targeted to the critical HPD motif of the J-domain. Our computational analysis fits well with previous yeast genetics studies regarding highlighting the importance of J-domain function in prion propagation. During the molecular dynamics simulations several important residues were identified and predicted to play an essential role in J-domain structure. Among these residues, Y26 and F45 were confirmed, using both in silico and in vivo methods, as being critical for Ydj1p function.

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-02

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-15

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

  1. Ovine recombinant PrP as an inhibitor of ruminant prion propagation in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Workman, Rob G; Maddison, Ben C; Gough, Kevin C

    2017-07-04

    Prion diseases are fatal and incurable neurodegenerative diseases of humans and animals. Despite years of research, no therapeutic agents have been developed that can effectively manage or reverse disease progression. Recently it has been identified that recombinant prion proteins (rPrP) expressed in bacteria can act as inhibitors of prion replication within the in vitro prion replication system protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA). Here, within PMCA reactions amplifying a range of ruminant prions including distinct Prnp genotypes/host species and distinct prion strains, recombinant ovine VRQ PrP displayed consistent inhibition of prion replication and produced IC50 values of 122 and 171 nM for ovine scrapie and bovine BSE replication, respectively. These findings illustrate the therapeutic potential of rPrPs with distinct TSE diseases.

  2. Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (Prion Diseases)

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  3. 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.

  4. Disrupting the cortical actin cytoskeleton points to two distinct mechanisms of yeast [PSI+] prion formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Speldewinde, Shaun H.; Tuite, Mick F.

    2017-01-01

    Mammalian and fungal prions arise de novo; however, the mechanism is poorly understood in molecular terms. One strong possibility is that oxidative damage to the non-prion form of a protein may be an important trigger influencing the formation of its heritable prion conformation. We have examined the oxidative stress-induced formation of the yeast [PSI+] prion, which is the altered conformation of the Sup35 translation termination factor. We used tandem affinity purification (TAP) and mass spectrometry to identify the proteins which associate with Sup35 in a tsa1 tsa2 antioxidant mutant to address the mechanism by which Sup35 forms the [PSI+] prion during oxidative stress conditions. This analysis identified several components of the cortical actin cytoskeleton including the Abp1 actin nucleation promoting factor, and we show that deletion of the ABP1 gene abrogates oxidant-induced [PSI+] prion formation. The frequency of spontaneous [PSI+] prion formation can be increased by overexpression of Sup35 since the excess Sup35 increases the probability of forming prion seeds. In contrast to oxidant-induced [PSI+] prion formation, overexpression-induced [PSI+] prion formation was only modestly affected in an abp1 mutant. Furthermore, treating yeast cells with latrunculin A to disrupt the formation of actin cables and patches abrogated oxidant-induced, but not overexpression-induced [PSI+] prion formation, suggesting a mechanistic difference in prion formation. [PIN+], the prion form of Rnq1, localizes to the IPOD (insoluble protein deposit) and is thought to influence the aggregation of other proteins. We show Sup35 becomes oxidized and aggregates during oxidative stress conditions, but does not co-localize with Rnq1 in an abp1 mutant which may account for the reduced frequency of [PSI+] prion formation. PMID:28369054

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashok Verma

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are fatal neurodegenerative diseases characterized by the aggregation and deposition of the misfolded prion protein in the brain. α-synuclein (α-syn-associated multiple system atrophy has been recently shown to be caused by a bona fide α-syn prion strain. Several other misfolded native proteins such as β-amyloid, tau and TDP-43 share some aspects of prions although none of them is shown to be transmissible in nature or in experimental animals. However, these prion-like “prionoids” are causal to a variety of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The remarkable recent discovery of at least two new α-syn prion strains and their transmissibility in transgenic mice and in vitro cell models raises a distinct question as to whether some specific strain of other prionoids could have the capability of disease transmission in a manner similar to prions. In this overview, we briefly describe human and other mammalian prion diseases and comment on certain similarities between prion and prionoid and the possibility of prion-like transmissibility of some prionoid strains.

  9. Clinically Unsuspected Prion Disease Among Patients With Dementia Diagnoses in an Alzheimer's Disease Database.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maddox, Ryan A; Blase, J L; Mercaldo, N D; Harvey, A R; Schonberger, L B; Kukull, W A; Belay, E D

    2015-12-01

    Brain tissue analysis is necessary to confirm prion diseases. Clinically unsuspected cases may be identified through neuropathologic testing. National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center (NACC) Minimum and Neuropathologic Data Set for 1984 to 2005 were reviewed. Eligible patients had dementia, underwent autopsy, had available neuropathologic data, belonged to a currently funded Alzheimer's Disease Center (ADC), and were coded as having an Alzheimer's disease clinical diagnosis or a nonprion disease etiology. For the eligible patients with neuropathology indicating prion disease, further clinical information, collected from the reporting ADC, determined whether prion disease was considered before autopsy. Of 6000 eligible patients in the NACC database, 7 (0.12%) were clinically unsuspected but autopsy-confirmed prion disease cases. The proportion of patients with dementia with clinically unrecognized but autopsy-confirmed prion disease was small. Besides confirming clinically suspected cases, neuropathology is useful to identify unsuspected clinically atypical cases of prion disease. © The Author(s) 2015.

  10. 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

  11. The expanding universe of prion diseases.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2006-03-01

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

  12. The expanding universe of prion diseases.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joel C Watts

    2006-03-01

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

  13. The expanding universe of prion diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-03-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Generating Bona Fide Mammalian Prions with Internal Deletions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munoz-Montesino, Carola; Sizun, Christina; Moudjou, Mohammed; Herzog, Laetitia; Reine, Fabienne; Chapuis, Jérôme; Ciric, Danica; Igel-Egalon, Angelique; Laude, Hubert; Béringue, Vincent; Rezaei, Human; Dron, Michel

    2016-08-01

    Mammalian prions are PrP proteins with altered structures causing transmissible fatal neurodegenerative diseases. They are self-perpetuating through formation of beta-sheet-rich assemblies that seed conformational change of cellular PrP. Pathological PrP usually forms an insoluble protease-resistant core exhibiting beta-sheet structures but no more alpha-helical content, loosing the three alpha-helices contained in the correctly folded PrP. The lack of a high-resolution prion structure makes it difficult to understand the dynamics of conversion and to identify elements of the protein involved in this process. To determine whether completeness of residues within the protease-resistant domain is required for prions, we performed serial deletions in the helix H2 C terminus of ovine PrP, since this region has previously shown some tolerance to sequence changes without preventing prion replication. Deletions of either four or five residues essentially preserved the overall PrP structure and mutant PrP expressed in RK13 cells were efficiently converted into bona fide prions upon challenge by three different prion strains. Remarkably, deletions in PrP facilitated the replication of two strains that otherwise do not replicate in this cellular context. Prions with internal deletion were self-propagating and de novo infectious for naive homologous and wild-type PrP-expressing cells. Moreover, they caused transmissible spongiform encephalopathies in mice, with similar biochemical signatures and neuropathologies other than the original strains. Prion convertibility and transfer of strain-specific information are thus preserved despite shortening of an alpha-helix in PrP and removal of residues within prions. These findings provide new insights into sequence/structure/infectivity relationship for prions. Prions are misfolded PrP proteins that convert the normal protein into a replicate of their own abnormal form. They are responsible for invariably fatal neurodegenerative

  16. Yeast prions form infectious amyloid inclusion bodies in bacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Espargaró Alba

    2012-06-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Reduction of prion infectivity in packed red blood cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morales, Rodrigo; Buytaert-Hoefen, Kimberley A.; Gonzalez-Romero, Dennisse; Castilla, Joaquin; Hansen, Eric T.; Hlavinka, Dennis; Goodrich, Raymond P.; Soto, Claudio

    2008-01-01

    The link between a new variant form of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) and the consumption of prion contaminated cattle meat as well as recent findings showing that vCJD can be transmitted by blood transfusion have raised public health concerns. Currently, a reliable test to identify prions in blood samples is not available. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the possibility to remove scrapie prion protein (PrP Sc ) and infectivity from red blood cell (RBC) suspensions by a simple washing procedure using a cell separation and washing device. The extent of prion removal was assessed by Western blot, PMCA and infectivity bioassays. Our results revealed a substantial removal of infectious prions (≥3 logs of infectivity) by all techniques used. These data suggest that a significant amount of infectivity present in RBC preparations can be removed by a simple washing procedure. This technology may lead to increased safety of blood products and reduce the risk of further propagation of prion diseases.

  19. 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.

  20. Encephalopathy for prions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Colegial, Carlos; Silva, Federico; Perez, Carlos

    1999-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Prion protein and scrapie susceptibility

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Prion disease. The characteristics and diagnostic points in Japan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sanjo, Nobuo; Mizusawa, Hidehiro

    2010-01-01

    Prion disease develops when normal prion proteins change into transmissible abnormal prion proteins and the converted proteins accumulate in the brain. The Japanese Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) Surveillance Committee has identified 1,320 patients with prion diseases in the 10 years since 1999 (classified into 3 types: sporadic, 77.2%; hereditary, 16.7%; and environmentally acquired, 6.1%). Compared with patients in other countries, a relatively larger number of Japanese patients characteristically have dura mater graft-associated CJD and hereditary prion diseases. All the environmentally acquired cases, except 1 case of variant CJD, were acquired from dura grafts. Although most patients were diagnosed with a classical subtype of sporadic CJD (sCJD), whose features include rapidly progressing dementia, myoclonus, hyperintensity in the cerebral cortex and basal ganglia in diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging, and periodic synchronous discharge in electroencephalography, the number of cases with atypical symptoms, such as MM2 (0.8%), MV2 (0.2%), VV1 (0%), and VV2 (0.2%) subtypes of sCJD cases, was not negligible. Appropriate diagnosis should be made based on clinical features, neuroradiological findings, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) findings (14-3-3 and total tau proteins), and genetic analysis of polymorphisms. Hereditary prion diseases are classified into 3 major phenotypes: familial CJD (fCJD); Gerstmann-Straeussler-Scheinker disease (GSS), which mainly presents as spinocerebellar ataxia; and fatal familial insomnia. Many mutations of the prion protein gene have been identified, but V1801 (fCJD), P102L (GSS), and E200K (fCJD) mutations were the most common among the fCJD cases in Japan. Without a family history, genetic testing is necessary to distinguish even seemingly ''sporadic'' CJD from fCJD. Accurate diagnosis is important for clarification of the pathological process, prevention of secondary infection, and also psychological support. (author)

  6. 70 DA WHITE DWARFS IDENTIFIED IN LAMOST PILOT SURVEY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhao, J. K.; Luo, A. L.; Zhao, G.; Oswalt, T. D.

    2013-01-01

    We present a spectroscopically identified catalog of 70 DA white dwarfs (WDs) from the LAMOST pilot survey. Thirty-five are found to be new identifications after cross-correlation with the Eisenstein et al. and Villanova catalogs. The effective temperature and gravity of these WDs are estimated by Balmer lines fitting. Most of them are hot WDs. The cooling times and masses of these WDs are estimated by interpolation in theoretical evolution tracks. The peak of the mass distribution is found to be ∼0.6 M ☉ , which is consistent with prior work in the literature. The distances of these WDs are estimated using the method of synthetic spectral distances. All of these WDs are found to be in the Galactic disk from our analysis of space motions. Our sample supports the expectation that WDs with high mass are concentrated near the plane of the Galactic disk.

  7. 70 DA WHITE DWARFS IDENTIFIED IN LAMOST PILOT SURVEY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhao, J. K.; Luo, A. L.; Zhao, G. [Key Laboratory of Optical Astronomy, National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100012 (China); Oswalt, T. D., E-mail: zjk@bao.ac.cn, E-mail: gzhao@bao.ac.cn, E-mail: lal@bao.ac.cn, E-mail: toswalt@fit.edu [Physics and Space Science Department, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL 32901 (United States)

    2013-06-01

    We present a spectroscopically identified catalog of 70 DA white dwarfs (WDs) from the LAMOST pilot survey. Thirty-five are found to be new identifications after cross-correlation with the Eisenstein et al. and Villanova catalogs. The effective temperature and gravity of these WDs are estimated by Balmer lines fitting. Most of them are hot WDs. The cooling times and masses of these WDs are estimated by interpolation in theoretical evolution tracks. The peak of the mass distribution is found to be {approx}0.6 M {sub Sun }, which is consistent with prior work in the literature. The distances of these WDs are estimated using the method of synthetic spectral distances. All of these WDs are found to be in the Galactic disk from our analysis of space motions. Our sample supports the expectation that WDs with high mass are concentrated near the plane of the Galactic disk.

  8. Genetic human prion disease modelled in PrP transgenic Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thackray, Alana M; Cardova, Alzbeta; Wolf, Hanna; Pradl, Lydia; Vorberg, Ina; Jackson, Walker S; Bujdoso, Raymond

    2017-09-20

    Inherited human prion diseases, such as fatal familial insomnia (FFI) and familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (fCJD), are associated with autosomal dominant mutations in the human prion protein gene PRNP and accumulation of PrP Sc , an abnormal isomer of the normal host protein PrP C , in the brain of affected individuals. PrP Sc is the principal component of the transmissible neurotoxic prion agent. It is important to identify molecular pathways and cellular processes that regulate prion formation and prion-induced neurotoxicity. This will allow identification of possible therapeutic interventions for individuals with, or at risk from, genetic human prion disease. Increasingly, Drosophila has been used to model human neurodegenerative disease. An important unanswered question is whether genetic prion disease with concomitant spontaneous prion formation can be modelled in Drosophila We have used pUAST/PhiC31-mediated site-directed mutagenesis to generate Drosophila transgenic for murine or hamster PrP (prion protein) that carry single-codon mutations associated with genetic human prion disease. Mouse or hamster PrP harbouring an FFI (D178N) or fCJD (E200K) mutation showed mild Proteinase K resistance when expressed in Drosophila Adult Drosophila transgenic for FFI or fCJD variants of mouse or hamster PrP displayed a spontaneous decline in locomotor ability that increased in severity as the flies aged. Significantly, this mutant PrP-mediated neurotoxic fly phenotype was transferable to recipient Drosophila that expressed the wild-type form of the transgene. Collectively, our novel data are indicative of the spontaneous formation of a PrP-dependent neurotoxic phenotype in FFI- or CJD-PrP transgenic Drosophila and show that inherited human prion disease can be modelled in this invertebrate host. © 2017 The Author(s).

  9. 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 ...

  10. Statistical Mechanics of Prion Diseases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Erdtmann, Rick; Sivitz, Laura

    2004-01-01

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

  13. 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 (PrPC) 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 PrPC 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. PMID:23236380

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. Identifying Correlates of Young Adults' Weight Behavior: Survey Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Nicole; Neumark-Sztainer, Dianne; Story, Mary; van den Berg, Patricia; Hannan, Peter J.

    2011-01-01

    Objective: To describe the development and psychometric properties of survey measures relevant to eating, physical activity, and weight-related behaviors among young adults. Methods: Focus groups and reliability testing guided the development of the Project EAT-III survey. The final survey was completed by 2287 young adults. Results: The…

  17. Differentially expressed genes in iron-induced prion protein conversion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Minsun; Kim, Eun-hee; Choi, Bo-Ran; Woo, Hee-Jong

    2016-01-01

    The conversion of the cellular prion protein (PrP C ) to the protease-resistant isoform is the key event in chronic neurodegenerative diseases, including transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). Increased iron in prion-related disease has been observed due to the prion protein-ferritin complex. Additionally, the accumulation and conversion of recombinant PrP (rPrP) is specifically derived from Fe(III) but not Fe(II). Fe(III)-mediated PK-resistant PrP (PrP res ) conversion occurs within a complex cellular environment rather than via direct contact between rPrP and Fe(III). In this study, differentially expressed genes correlated with prion degeneration by Fe(III) were identified using Affymetrix microarrays. Following Fe(III) treatment, 97 genes were differentially expressed, including 85 upregulated genes and 12 downregulated genes (≥1.5-fold change in expression). However, Fe(II) treatment produced moderate alterations in gene expression without inducing dramatic alterations in gene expression profiles. Moreover, functional grouping of identified genes indicated that the differentially regulated genes were highly associated with cell growth, cell maintenance, and intra- and extracellular transport. These findings showed that Fe(III) may influence the expression of genes involved in PrP folding by redox mechanisms. The identification of genes with altered expression patterns in neural cells may provide insights into PrP conversion mechanisms during the development and progression of prion-related diseases. - Highlights: • Differential genes correlated with prion degeneration by Fe(III) were identified. • Genes were identified in cell proliferation and intra- and extracellular transport. • In PrP degeneration, redox related genes were suggested. • Cbr2, Rsad2, Slc40a1, Amph and Mvd were expressed significantly.

  18. A survey to identify barriers of implementing an antibiotic checklist.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Daalen, F V; Geerlings, S E; Prins, J M; Hulscher, M E J L

    2016-04-01

    A checklist is an effective implementation tool, but addressing barriers that might impact on the effectiveness of its use is crucial. In this paper, we explore barriers to the uptake of an antibiotic checklist that aims to improve antibiotic use in daily hospital care. We performed an online questionnaire survey among medical specialists and residents with various professional backgrounds from nine Dutch hospitals. The questionnaire consisted of 23 statements on anticipated barriers hindering the uptake of the checklist. Furthermore, it gave the possibility to add comments. We included 219 completed questionnaires (122 medical specialists and 97 residents) in our descriptive analysis. The top six anticipated barriers included: (1) lack of expectation of improvement of antibiotic use, (2) lack of expected patients' satisfaction by checklist use, (3) lack of feasibility of the checklist, (4) negative previous experiences with other checklists, (5) the complexity of the antibiotic checklist and (6) lack of nurses' expectation of checklist use. Remarkably, 553 comments were made, mostly (436) about the content of the checklist. These insights can be used to improve the specific content of the checklist and to develop an implementation strategy that addresses the identified barriers.

  19. 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

  20. Role of galectin-3 in prion infections of the CNS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mok, Simon W.F.; Riemer, Constanze; Madela, Kazimierz; Hsu, Daniel K.; Liu, Fu-Tong; Gueltner, Sandra; Heise, Ines; Baier, Michael

    2007-01-01

    Galectin-3 is a multi-functional protein and participates in mediating inflammatory reactions. The pronounced overexpression of galectin-3 in prion-infected brain tissue prompted us to study the role of this protein in a murine prion model. Immunofluorescence double-labelling identified microglia as the major cell type expressing galectin-3. Ablation of galectin-3 did not affect PrP Sc -deposition and development of gliosis. However, galectin-3 -/- -mice showed prolonged survival times upon intracerebral and peripheral scrapie infections. Moreover, protein levels of the lysosomal activation marker LAMP-2 were markedly reduced in prion-infected galectin-3 -/- -mice suggesting a role of galectin-3 in regulation of lysosomal functions. Lower mRNA levels of Beclin-1 and Atg5 in prion-infected wild-type and galectin-3 -/- -mice indicated an impairment of autophagy although autophagosome formation was unchanged. The results point towards a detrimental role of galectin-3 in prion infections of the CNS and suggest that endo-/lysosomal dysfunction in combination with reduced autophagy may contribute to disease development

  1. Prions: Beyond a Single Protein

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Alvin S.

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Spermidine cures yeast of prions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaun H. Speldewinde

    2015-12-01

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

  3. Prion-Like Domains in Phagobiota

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George Tetz

    2017-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-09

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

  5. 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.

  6. Gene expression profiling en association with prion-related lesions in the medulla oblongata of symptomatic natural scrapie animals.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Filali, H.; Martin-Burriel, I.; Harders, F.; Varona, L.; Lyahyai, J.; Zaragoza, P.; Pumarola, M.; Badiola, J.J.; Bossers, A.; Bolea, R.

    2011-01-01

    The pathogenesis of natural scrapie and other prion diseases remains unclear. Examining transcriptome variations in infected versus control animals may highlight new genes potentially involved in some of the molecular mechanisms of prion-induced pathology. The aim of this work was to identify

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. How to identify tuberculosis cases in a prevalence survey

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Werf, M. J.; Enarson, D. A.; Borgdorff, M. W.

    2008-01-01

    The identification of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) cases in a prevalence Survey is a challenge, as diagnostic methods are labour-intensivc and large numbers of individuals need to be screened because the prevalence rate is low (almost never greater than 1200 per 100000 population). Three testing

  10. 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.

  11. Rebels with a cause: molecular features and physiological consequences of yeast prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, David M; Jarosz, Daniel F

    2014-02-01

    Prions are proteins that convert between structurally and functionally distinct states, at least one of which is self-perpetuating. The prion fold templates the conversion of native protein, altering its structure and function, and thus serves as a protein-based element of inheritance. Molecular chaperones ensure that these prion aggregates are divided and faithfully passed from mother cells to their daughters. Prions were originally identified as the cause of several rare neurodegenerative diseases in mammals, but the last decade has brought great progress in understanding their broad importance in biology and evolution. Most prion proteins regulate information flow in signaling networks, or otherwise affect gene expression. Consequently, switching into and out of prion states creates diverse new traits – heritable changes based on protein structure rather than nucleic acid. Despite intense study of the molecular mechanisms of this paradigm-shifting, epigenetic mode of inheritance, many key questions remain. Recent studies in yeast that support the view that prions are common, often beneficial elements of inheritance that link environmental stress to the appearance of new traits.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregor Ilc

    2013-08-01

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

  13. The tip of the iceberg: RNA-binding proteins with prion-like domains in neurodegenerative disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Oliver D.; Gitler, Aaron D.; Shorter, James

    2012-01-01

    Prions are self-templating protein conformers that are naturally transmitted between individuals and promote phenotypic change. In yeast, prion-encoded phenotypes can be beneficial, neutral or deleterious depending upon genetic background and environmental conditions. A distinctive and portable ‘prion domain’ enriched in asparagine, glutamine, tyrosine and glycine residues unifies the majority of yeast prion proteins. Deletion of this domain precludes prionogenesis and appending this domain to reporter proteins can confer prionogenicity. An algorithm designed to detect prion domains has successfully identified 19 domains that can confer prion behavior. Scouring the human genome with this algorithm enriches a select group of RNA-binding proteins harboring a canonical RNA recognition motif (RRM) and a putative prion domain. Indeed, of 210 human RRM-bearing proteins, 29 have a putative prion domain, and 12 of these are in the top 60 prion candidates in the entire genome. Startlingly, these RNA-binding prion candidates are inexorably emerging, one by one, in the pathology and genetics of devastating neurodegenerative disorders, including: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin-positive inclusions (FTLD-U), Alzheimer’s disease and Huntington’s disease. For example, FUS and TDP-43, which rank 1st and 10th among RRM-bearing prion candidates, form cytoplasmic inclusions in the degenerating motor neurons of ALS patients and mutations in TDP-43 and FUS cause familial ALS. Recently, perturbed RNA-binding proteostasis of TAF15, which is the 2nd ranked RRM-bearing prion candidate, has been connected with ALS and FTLD-U. We strongly suspect that we have now merely reached the tip of the iceberg. We predict that additional RNA-binding prion candidates identified by our algorithm will soon surface as genetic modifiers or causes of diverse neurodegenerative conditions. Indeed, simple prion-like transfer mechanisms involving the

  14. 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

  15. Prion diseases of the brain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lutz, Kira; Urbach, Horst

    2015-01-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. Human prion diseases in the United States.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert C Holman

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

  1. 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

  2. Soluble Aβ aggregates can inhibit prion propagation.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  3. Survey of operating experience from LERs to identify aging trends

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Murphy, G.A.

    1985-01-01

    The results of a study using the Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Nuclear Operations Analysis Center computer files of operating experience reports [licensee event reports (LERs), abnormal occurrences, etc.] are summarized in this study, specific time-related degradation mechanisms are identified as possible causes of a reportable occurrence. Data collected on domestic commercial nuclear power plants covering 1969 to 1982 yielded over 5800 events attributable to possible age related failures. Of these events, 2795 were attributable to instrument drift and are addressed separately in the report. The remaining events (3098) were reviewed, and data were collected for each event, which identified the specific system, component, and subpart: the information included the age-related mechanism, severity of the failure, and method of detection of the failure. About two-thirds of the failures were judged to be degraded, with one-third listed as catastrophic

  4. Genetics Home Reference: prion disease

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  5. 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.

  6. Nurse moral distress: A survey identifying predictors and potential interventions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rathert, Cheryl; May, Douglas R; Chung, Hye Sook

    2016-01-01

    Ethical dilemmas and conflicts are inherent in today's health care organizations and may lead to moral distress, which is often associated with physical and psychological symptoms. Although the existence of moral distress has been observed by scholars for decades, most of the research has been descriptive and has examined what types of health care conflicts lead to distress. This study tested a comprehensive model, underpinned by Social Cognitive Theory, that examined work environment and intrapersonal variables that may influence moral distress. We surveyed nursing staff employed in a U.S. acute care hospital (response rate=45%; n=290). More than half of the respondents reported they experience ethical dilemmas and conflicts from several times a month to daily, and nearly half reported they experience moral distress at least several times a month. Structural equation modeling analysis simultaneously examined the effects of five independent variables on moral distress and moral voice: (a) frequency of ethical dilemmas and conflicts; (b) moral efficacy; (c) ethics communication; (d) ethical environment; and (e) organizational ethics support. Results revealed significant independent effects of the frequency of ethics issues and organizational ethics support on moral distress. Bootstrapping analysis indicated that voice fully mediated the relationship between moral efficacy and moral distress, and partially mediated the relationship between organizational ethics support and distress. Supplemental analysis revealed that organizational ethics support moderated the moral efficacy-voice-moral distress relationship such that when organizational support was low, moral efficacy was negatively related to moral distress via voice. Although it may be impossible to eliminate all ethical dilemmas and conflicts, leaders and organizations may wish to help improve nurses' moral efficacy, which appears to give rise to voice, and reduced moral distress. Increasing organizational

  7. A stretch of residues within the protease-resistant core is not necessary for prion structure and infectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munoz-Montesino, Carola; Sizun, Christina; Moudjou, Mohammed; Herzog, Laetitia; Reine, Fabienne; Igel-Egalon, Angelique; Barbereau, Clément; Chapuis, Jérôme; Ciric, Danica; Laude, Hubert; Béringue, Vincent; Rezaei, Human; Dron, Michel

    2017-01-02

    Mapping out regions of PrP influencing prion conversion remains a challenging issue complicated by the lack of prion structure. The portion of PrP associated with infectivity contains the α-helical domain of the correctly folded protein and turns into a β-sheet-rich insoluble core in prions. Deletions performed so far inside this segment essentially prevented the conversion. Recently we found that deletion of the last C-terminal residues of the helix H2 was fully compatible with prion conversion in the RK13-ovPrP cell culture model, using 3 different infecting strains. This was in agreement with preservation of the overall PrP C structure even after removal of up to one-third of this helix. Prions with internal deletion were infectious for cells and mice expressing the wild-type PrP and they retained prion strain-specific characteristics. We thus identified a piece of the prion domain that is neither necessary for the conformational transition of PrP C nor for the formation of a stable prion structure.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

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    Warner Richard

    2009-02-01

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

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

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    Lukasz Kurgan

    2008-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Lichens: Unexpected anti-prion agents?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Prion diseases: immunotargets and therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Burchell JT

    2016-06-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristi M Green

    2008-08-01

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

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

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    Karl Frontzek

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

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

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    Victoria A Lawson

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

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

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    Diego La Mendola

    2014-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Mutated but Not Deleted Ovine PrP(C) N-Terminal Polybasic Region Strongly Interferes with Prion Propagation in Transgenic Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalifé, Manal; Reine, Fabienne; Paquet-Fifield, Sophie; Castille, Johan; Herzog, Laetitia; Vilotte, Marthe; Moudjou, Mohammed; Moazami-Goudarzi, Katayoun; Makhzami, Samira; Passet, Bruno; Andréoletti, Olivier; Vilette, Didier; Laude, Hubert; Béringue, Vincent; Vilotte, Jean-Luc

    2016-02-01

    Mammalian prions are proteinaceous infectious agents composed of misfolded assemblies of the host-encoded, cellular prion protein (PrP). Physiologically, the N-terminal polybasic region of residues 23 to 31 of PrP has been shown to be involved in its endocytic trafficking and interactions with glycosaminoglycans or putative ectodomains of membrane-associated proteins. Several recent reports also describe this PrP region as important for the toxicity of mutant prion proteins and the efficiency of prion propagation, both in vitro and in vivo. The question remains as to whether the latter observations made with mouse PrP and mouse prions would be relevant to other PrP species/prion strain combinations given the dramatic impact on prion susceptibility of minimal amino acid substitutions and structural variations in PrP. Here, we report that transgenic mouse lines expressing ovine PrP with a deletion of residues 23 to 26 (KKRP) or mutated in this N-terminal region (KQHPH instead of KKRPK) exhibited a variable, strain-dependent susceptibility to prion infection with regard to the proportion of affected mice and disease tempo relative to findings in their wild-type counterparts. Deletion has no major effect on 127S scrapie prion pathogenesis, whereas mutation increased by almost 3-fold the survival time of the mice. Deletion marginally affected the incubation time of scrapie LA19K and ovine bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) prions, whereas mutation caused apparent resistance to disease. Recent reports suggested that the N-terminal polybasic region of the prion protein could be a therapeutic target to prevent prion propagation or toxic signaling associated with more common neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. Mutating or deleting this region in ovine PrP completes the data previously obtained with the mouse protein by identifying the key amino acid residues involved. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  6. Nanomedicine for prion disease treatment: new insights into the role of dendrimers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCarthy, James M; Appelhans, Dietmar; Tatzelt, Jörg; Rogers, Mark S

    2013-01-01

    Despite their devastating impact, no effective therapeutic yet exists for prion diseases at the symptomatic stage in humans or animals. Progress is hampered by the difficulty in identifying compounds that affect PrP (Sc) and the necessity of any potential therapeutic to gain access to the CNS. Synthetic polymers known as dendrimers are a particularly promising candidate in this area. Studies with cell culture models of prion disease and prion infected brain homogenate have demonstrated that numerous species of dendrimers eliminate PrP (Sc) in a dose and time dependent fashion and specific glycodendrimers are capable of crossing the CNS. However, despite their potential a number of important questions remained unanswered such as what makes an effective dendrimer and how dendrimers eliminate prions intracellularly. In a number of recent studies we have tackled these questions and revealed for the first time that a specific dendrimer can inhibit the intracellular conversion of PrP (C) to PrP (Sc) and that a high density of surface reactive groups is a necessity for dendrimers in vitro anti-prion activity. Understanding how a therapeutic works is a vital component in maximising its activity and these studies therefore represent a significant development in the race to find effective treatments for prion diseases.

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

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    Shaheen Akhtar

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

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

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    Cyrus Bett

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

  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. Direct Detection of Soil-Bound Prions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

    Scrapie and chronic wasting disease are contagious prion diseases affecting sheep and cervids, respectively. Studies have indicated that horizontal transmission is important in sustaining these epidemics, and that environmental contamination plays an important role in this. In the perspective of detecting prions in soil samples from the field by more direct methods than animal-based bioassays, we have developed a novel immuno-based approach that visualises in situ the major component (PrPSc) of prions sorbed onto agricultural soil particles. Importantly, the protocol needs no extraction of the protein from soil. Using a cell-based assay of infectivity, we also report that samples of agricultural soil, or quartz sand, acquire prion infectivity after exposure to whole brain homogenates from prion-infected mice. Our data provide further support to the notion that prion-exposed soils retain infectivity, as recently determined in Syrian hamsters intracerebrally or orally challanged with contaminated soils. The cell approach of the potential infectivity of contaminated soil is faster and cheaper than classical animal-based bioassays. Although it suffers from limitations, e.g. it can currently test only a few mouse prion strains, the cell model can nevertheless be applied in its present form to understand how soil composition influences infectivity, and to test prion-inactivating procedures. PMID:17957252

  11. Direct detection of soil-bound prions.

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    Sacha Genovesi

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

  12. 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

  13. 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...

  14. Molecular Pathology of Human Prion Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2009-03-01

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

  15. Prion replication without host adaptation during interspecies transmissions.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-31

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

  16. Infrared microspectroscopy: a multiple-screening platform for investigating single-cell biochemical perturbations upon prion infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Didonna, Alessandro; Vaccari, Lisa; Bek, Alpan; Legname, Giuseppe

    2011-03-16

    Prion diseases are a group of fatal neurodegenerative disorders characterized by the accumulation of prions in the central nervous system. The pathogenic prion (PrP(Sc)) possesses the capability to convert the host-encoded cellular isoform of the prion protein, PrP(C), into nascent PrP(Sc). The present work aims at providing novel insight into cellular response upon prion infection evidenced by synchrotron radiation infrared microspectroscopy (SR-IRMS). This non-invasive, label-free analytical technique was employed to investigate the biochemical perturbations undergone by prion infected mouse hypothalamic GT1-1 cells at the cellular and subcellular level. A decrement in total cellular protein content upon prion infection was identified by infrared (IR) whole-cell spectra and validated by bicinchoninic acid assay and single-cell volume analysis by atomic force microscopy (AFM). Hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) of IR data discriminated between infected and uninfected cells and allowed to deduce an increment of lysosomal bodies within the cytoplasm of infected GT1-1 cells, a hypothesis further confirmed by SR-IRMS at subcellular spatial resolution and fluorescent microscopy. The purpose of this work, therefore, consists of proposing IRMS as a powerful multiscreening platform, drawing on the synergy with conventional biological assays and microscopy techniques in order to increase the accuracy of investigations performed at the single-cell level.

  17. Infrared Microspectroscopy: A Multiple-Screening Platform for Investigating Single-Cell Biochemical Perturbations upon Prion Infection

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Prion diseases are a group of fatal neurodegenerative disorders characterized by the accumulation of prions in the central nervous system. The pathogenic prion (PrPSc) possesses the capability to convert the host-encoded cellular isoform of the prion protein, PrPC, into nascent PrPSc. The present work aims at providing novel insight into cellular response upon prion infection evidenced by synchrotron radiation infrared microspectroscopy (SR-IRMS). This non-invasive, label-free analytical technique was employed to investigate the biochemical perturbations undergone by prion infected mouse hypothalamic GT1-1 cells at the cellular and subcellular level. A decrement in total cellular protein content upon prion infection was identified by infrared (IR) whole-cell spectra and validated by bicinchoninic acid assay and single-cell volume analysis by atomic force microscopy (AFM). Hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) of IR data discriminated between infected and uninfected cells and allowed to deduce an increment of lysosomal bodies within the cytoplasm of infected GT1-1 cells, a hypothesis further confirmed by SR-IRMS at subcellular spatial resolution and fluorescent microscopy. The purpose of this work, therefore, consists of proposing IRMS as a powerful multiscreening platform, drawing on the synergy with conventional biological assays and microscopy techniques in order to increase the accuracy of investigations performed at the single-cell level. PMID:22778865

  18. Using Helicopter Electromagnetic Surveys to Identify Potential Hazards at Mine Waste Impoundments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hammack, R.W.

    2008-01-01

    In July 2003, helicopter electromagnetic surveys were conducted at 14 coal waste impoundments in southern West Virginia. The purpose of the surveys was to detect conditions that could lead to impoundment failure either by structural failure of the embankment or by the flooding of adjacent or underlying mine works. Specifically, the surveys attempted to: 1) identify saturated zones within the mine waste, 2) delineate filtrate flow paths through the embankment or into adjacent strata and receiving streams, and 3) identify flooded mine workings underlying or adjacent to the waste impoundment. Data from the helicopter surveys were processed to generate conductivity/depth images. Conductivity/depth images were then spatially linked to georeferenced air photos or topographic maps for interpretation. Conductivity/depth images were found to provide a snapshot of the hydrologic conditions that exist within the impoundment. This information can be used to predict potential areas of failure within the embankment because of its ability to image the phreatic zone. Also, the electromagnetic survey can identify areas of unconsolidated slurry in the decant basin and beneath the embankment. Although shallow, flooded mineworks beneath the impoundment were identified by this survey, it cannot be assumed that electromagnetic surveys can detect all underlying mines. A preliminary evaluation of the data implies that helicopter electromagnetic surveys can provide a better understanding of the phreatic zone than the piezometer arrays that are typically used.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1992-11-23

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-26

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

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas J Haley

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  6. Prion disease susceptibility is affected by β-structure folding propensity and local side-chain interactions in PrP

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, M. Qasim; Sweeting, Braden; Mulligan, Vikram Khipple; Arslan, Pharhad Eli; Cashman, Neil R.; Pai, Emil F.; Chakrabartty, Avijit

    2010-01-01

    Prion diseases occur when the normally α-helical prion protein (PrP) converts to a pathological β-structured state with prion infectivity (PrPSc). Exposure to PrPSc from other mammals can catalyze this conversion. Evidence from experimental and accidental transmission of prions suggests that mammals vary in their prion disease susceptibility: Hamsters and mice show relatively high susceptibility, whereas rabbits, horses, and dogs show low susceptibility. Using a novel approach to quantify conformational states of PrP by circular dichroism (CD), we find that prion susceptibility tracks with the intrinsic propensity of mammalian PrP to convert from the native, α-helical state to a cytotoxic β-structured state, which exists in a monomer–octamer equilibrium. It has been controversial whether β-structured monomers exist at acidic pH; sedimentation equilibrium and dual-wavelength CD evidence is presented for an equilibrium between a β-structured monomer and octamer in some acidic pH conditions. Our X-ray crystallographic structure of rabbit PrP has identified a key helix-capping motif implicated in the low prion disease susceptibility of rabbits. Removal of this capping motif increases the β-structure folding propensity of rabbit PrP to match that of PrP from mouse, a species more susceptible to prion disease. PMID:21041683

  7. Prion disease susceptibility is affected by beta-structure folding propensity and local side-chain interactions in PrP.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, M Qasim; Sweeting, Braden; Mulligan, Vikram Khipple; Arslan, Pharhad Eli; Cashman, Neil R; Pai, Emil F; Chakrabartty, Avijit

    2010-11-16

    Prion diseases occur when the normally α-helical prion protein (PrP) converts to a pathological β-structured state with prion infectivity (PrP(Sc)). Exposure to PrP(Sc) from other mammals can catalyze this conversion. Evidence from experimental and accidental transmission of prions suggests that mammals vary in their prion disease susceptibility: Hamsters and mice show relatively high susceptibility, whereas rabbits, horses, and dogs show low susceptibility. Using a novel approach to quantify conformational states of PrP by circular dichroism (CD), we find that prion susceptibility tracks with the intrinsic propensity of mammalian PrP to convert from the native, α-helical state to a cytotoxic β-structured state, which exists in a monomer-octamer equilibrium. It has been controversial whether β-structured monomers exist at acidic pH; sedimentation equilibrium and dual-wavelength CD evidence is presented for an equilibrium between a β-structured monomer and octamer in some acidic pH conditions. Our X-ray crystallographic structure of rabbit PrP has identified a key helix-capping motif implicated in the low prion disease susceptibility of rabbits. Removal of this capping motif increases the β-structure folding propensity of rabbit PrP to match that of PrP from mouse, a species more susceptible to prion disease.

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zi Yang

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Glycoform-Selective Prion Formation in Sporadic and Familial Forms of Prion Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Xiangzhu; Yuan, Jue; Haïk, Stéphane; Cali, Ignazio; Zhan, Yian; Moudjou, Mohammed; Li, Baiya; Laplanche, Jean-Louis; Laude, Hubert; Langeveld, Jan; Gambetti, Pierluigi; Kitamoto, Tetsuyuki; Kong, Qingzhong; Brandel, Jean-Philippe; Cobb, Brian A.; Petersen, Robert B.; Zou, Wen-Quan

    2013-01-01

    The four glycoforms of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) variably glycosylated at the two N-linked glycosylation sites are converted into their pathological forms (PrPSc) in most cases of sporadic prion diseases. However, a prominent molecular characteristic of PrPSc in the recently identified variably protease-sensitive prionopathy (VPSPr) is the absence of a diglycosylated form, also notable in familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (fCJD), which is linked to mutations in PrP either from Val to Ile at residue 180 (fCJDV180I) or from Thr to Ala at residue 183 (fCJDT183A). Here we report that fCJDV180I, but not fCJDT183A, exhibits a proteinase K (PK)-resistant PrP (PrPres) that is markedly similar to that observed in VPSPr, which exhibits a five-step ladder-like electrophoretic profile, a molecular hallmark of VPSPr. Remarkably, the absence of the diglycosylated PrPres species in both fCJDV180I and VPSPr is likewise attributable to the absence of PrPres glycosylated at the first N-linked glycosylation site at residue 181, as in fCJDT183A. In contrast to fCJDT183A, both VPSPr and fCJDV180I exhibit glycosylation at residue 181 on di- and monoglycosylated (mono181) PrP prior to PK-treatment. Furthermore, PrPV180I with a typical glycoform profile from cultured cells generates detectable PrPres that also contains the diglycosylated PrP in addition to mono- and unglycosylated forms upon PK-treatment. Taken together, our current in vivo and in vitro studies indicate that sporadic VPSPr and familial CJDV180I share a unique glycoform-selective prion formation pathway in which the conversion of diglycosylated and mono181 PrPC to PrPSc is inhibited, probably by a dominant-negative effect, or by other co-factors. PMID:23527023

  15. Community Health Workers in the United States: Challenges in Identifying, Surveying, and Supporting the Workforce.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabo, Samantha; Allen, Caitlin G; Sutkowi, Katherine; Wennerstrom, Ashley

    2017-12-01

    Community health workers (CHWs) are members of a growing profession in the United States. Studying this dynamic labor force is challenging, in part because its members have more than 100 different job titles. The demand for timely, accurate information about CHWs is increasing as the profession gains recognition for its ability to improve health outcomes and reduce costs. Although numerous surveys of CHWs have been conducted, the field lacks well-delineated methods for gaining access to this hard-to-identify workforce. We outline methods for surveying CHWs and promising approaches to engage the workforce and other stakeholders in conducting local, state, and national studies. We also highlight successful strategies to overcome challenges in CHW surveys and future directions for surveying the field.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Survey of Poetry Reading Strategy as the Modern Tool to Identify Poetry Reading Strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebrahimi, Shirin Shafiei; Zainal, Zaidah

    2016-01-01

    This study examines common strategies that English as a Foreign language (EFL) students employ when reading English poetry. To identify the strategies, a survey was designed for data collection from TESL students. The result shows that students significantly tend to use the strategies that require their creativity to construct new ideas in the…

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iacono, Diego; Ferrari, Sergio; Gelati, Matteo; Zanusso, Gianluigi; Mariotto, Sara; Monaco, Salvatore

    2015-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. X-RAY-EMITTING STARS IDENTIFIED FROM THE ROSAT ALL-SKY SURVEY AND THE SLOAN DIGITAL SKY SURVEY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Agueeros, Marcel A.; Newsom, Emily R.; Anderson, Scott F.; Hawley, Suzanne L.; Silvestri, Nicole M.; Szkody, Paula; Covey, Kevin R.; Posselt, Bettina; Margon, Bruce; Voges, Wolfgang

    2009-01-01

    The ROSAT All-Sky Survey (RASS) was the first imaging X-ray survey of the entire sky. Combining the RASS Bright and Faint Source Catalogs yields an average of about three X-ray sources per square degree. However, while X-ray source counterparts are known to range from distant quasars to nearby M dwarfs, the RASS data alone are often insufficient to determine the nature of an X-ray source. As a result, large-scale follow-up programs are required to construct samples of known X-ray emitters. We use optical data produced by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) to identify 709 stellar X-ray emitters cataloged in the RASS and falling within the SDSS Data Release 1 footprint. Most of these are bright stars with coronal X-ray emission unsuitable for SDSS spectroscopy, which is designed for fainter objects (g > 15 [mag]). Instead, we use SDSS photometry, correlations with the Two Micron All Sky Survey and other catalogs, and spectroscopy from the Apache Point Observatory 3.5 m telescope to identify these stellar X-ray counterparts. Our sample of 707 X-ray-emitting F, G, K, and M stars is one of the largest X-ray-selected samples of such stars. We derive distances to these stars using photometric parallax relations appropriate for dwarfs on the main sequence, and use these distances to calculate L X . We also identify a previously unknown cataclysmic variable (CV) as a RASS counterpart. Separately, we use correlations of the RASS and the SDSS spectroscopic catalogs of CVs and white dwarfs (WDs) to study the properties of these rarer X-ray-emitting stars. We examine the relationship between (f X /f g ) and the equivalent width of the Hβ emission line for 46 X-ray-emitting CVs and discuss tentative classifications for a subset based on these quantities. We identify 17 new X-ray-emitting DA (hydrogen) WDs, of which three are newly identified WDs. We report on follow-up observations of three candidate cool X-ray-emitting WDs (one DA and two DB (helium) WDs); we have not

  4. WHITE-DWARF-MAIN-SEQUENCE BINARIES IDENTIFIED FROM THE LAMOST PILOT SURVEY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ren Juanjuan; Luo Ali; Li Yinbi; Wei Peng; Zhao Jingkun; Zhao Yongheng; Song Yihan; Zhao Gang

    2013-01-01

    We present a set of white-dwarf-main-sequence (WDMS) binaries identified spectroscopically from the Large sky Area Multi-Object fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST, also called the Guo Shou Jing Telescope) pilot survey. We develop a color selection criteria based on what is so far the largest and most complete Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) DR7 WDMS binary catalog and identify 28 WDMS binaries within the LAMOST pilot survey. The primaries in our binary sample are mostly DA white dwarfs except for one DB white dwarf. We derive the stellar atmospheric parameters, masses, and radii for the two components of 10 of our binaries. We also provide cooling ages for the white dwarf primaries as well as the spectral types for the companion stars of these 10 WDMS binaries. These binaries tend to contain hot white dwarfs and early-type companions. Through cross-identification, we note that nine binaries in our sample have been published in the SDSS DR7 WDMS binary catalog. Nineteen spectroscopic WDMS binaries identified by the LAMOST pilot survey are new. Using the 3σ radial velocity variation as a criterion, we find two post-common-envelope binary candidates from our WDMS binary sample

  5. Identifying Health Needs in Peru Through Use of a Community Survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renn, McCartney; Steffen, Lori

    2016-11-01

    Students and faculty from a Midwestern college conducted a neighborhood community needs assessment in an impoverished area of a Peruvian city to identify health needs of residents. Students interviewed residents in their homes, asking about the need for medical, dental, and ophthalmic care and screening for chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and tuberculosis. The survey provided necessary information to medical mission workers and allowed students to directly observe family living conditions while assessing psychosocial needs of the families interviewed. The challenges of this survey included differing expectations, language barriers, recruiting neighborhood volunteers, safety risks to students, and mistrust by neighborhood residents.

  6. Discovery of small molecules binding to the normal conformation of prion by combining virtual screening and multiple biological activity evaluation methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Lanlan; Wei, Wei; Jia, Wen-Juan; Zhu, Yongchang; Zhang, Yan; Chen, Jiang-Huai; Tian, Jiaqi; Liu, Huanxiang; He, Yong-Xing; Yao, Xiaojun

    2017-12-01

    Conformational conversion of the normal cellular prion protein, PrPC, into the misfolded isoform, PrPSc, is considered to be a central event in the development of fatal neurodegenerative diseases. Stabilization of prion protein at the normal cellular form (PrPC) with small molecules is a rational and efficient strategy for treatment of prion related diseases. However, few compounds have been identified as potent prion inhibitors by binding to the normal conformation of prion. In this work, to rational screening of inhibitors capable of stabilizing cellular form of prion protein, multiple approaches combining docking-based virtual screening, steady-state fluorescence quenching, surface plasmon resonance and thioflavin T fluorescence assay were used to discover new compounds interrupting PrPC to PrPSc conversion. Compound 3253-0207 that can bind to PrPC with micromolar affinity and inhibit prion fibrillation was identified from small molecule databases. Molecular dynamics simulation indicated that compound 3253-0207 can bind to the hotspot residues in the binding pocket composed by β1, β2 and α2, which are significant structure moieties in conversion from PrPC to PrPSc.

  7. 76 FR 71294 - Prions; Proposed Amendment To Clarify Product Performance Data for Products With Prion-Related...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-17

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

  8. 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...

  9. Mammalian amyloidogenic proteins promote prion nucleation in yeast.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-02

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

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyström, Sofie; Hammarström, Per

    2015-05-11

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

  12. Prions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zijderveld, van F.G.

    2007-01-01

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

  13. 40 CFR 141.723 - Requirements to respond to significant deficiencies identified in sanitary surveys performed by EPA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... deficiencies identified in sanitary surveys performed by EPA. 141.723 Section 141.723 Protection of Environment... performed by EPA, systems must respond in writing to significant deficiencies identified in sanitary survey... will address significant deficiencies noted in the survey. (d) Systems must correct significant...

  14. Prions and animal transmissible spongiform encephalopathies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juntes Polona

    2017-01-01

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

  15. Lions and prions and deer demise.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael W Miller

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

  16. Inactivation of prion infectivity by ionizing rays

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2007-11-15

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

  17. Inactivation of prion infectivity by ionizing rays

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-08

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-26

    Prions are the protein-based infectious agents responsible for prion diseases. Environmental prion contamination has been implicated in disease transmission. Here, we analyzed the binding and retention of infectious prion protein (PrP(Sc)) to plants. Small quantities of PrP(Sc) contained in diluted brain homogenate or in excretory materials (urine and feces) can bind to wheat grass roots and leaves. Wild-type hamsters were efficiently infected by ingestion of prion-contaminated plants. The prion-plant interaction occurs with prions from diverse origins, including chronic wasting disease. Furthermore, leaves contaminated by spraying with a prion-containing preparation retained PrP(Sc) for several weeks in the living plant. Finally, plants can uptake prions from contaminated soil and transport them to aerial parts of the plant (stem and leaves). These findings demonstrate that plants can efficiently bind infectious prions and act as carriers of infectivity, suggesting a possible role of environmental prion contamination in the horizontal transmission of the disease. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. NEWLY IDENTIFIED EXTENDED GREEN OBJECTS (EGOs) FROM THE SPITZER GLIMPSE II SURVEY. II. MOLECULAR CLOUD ENVIRONMENTS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen Xi; Gan Conggui; Shen Zhiqiang [Key Laboratory for Research in Galaxies and Cosmology, Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200030 (China); Ellingsen, Simon P.; Titmarsh, Anita [School of Mathematics and Physics, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania (Australia); He Jinhua, E-mail: chenxi@shao.ac.cn [Key Laboratory for the Structure and Evolution of Celestial Objects, Yunnan Astronomical Observatory/National Astronomical Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 110, Kunming 650011, Yunnan Province (China)

    2013-06-01

    We have undertaken a survey of molecular lines in the 3 mm band toward 57 young stellar objects using the Australia Telescope National Facility Mopra 22 m radio telescope. The target sources were young stellar objects with active outflows (extended green objects (EGOs)) newly identified from the GLIMPSE II survey. We observe a high detection rate (50%) of broad line wing emission in the HNC and CS thermal lines, which combined with the high detection rate of class I methanol masers toward these sources (reported in Paper I) further demonstrates that the GLIMPSE II EGOs are associated with outflows. The physical and kinematic characteristics derived from the 3 mm molecular lines for these newly identified EGOs are consistent with these sources being massive young stellar objects with ongoing outflow activity and rapid accretion. These findings support our previous investigations of the mid-infrared properties of these sources and their association with other star formation tracers (e.g., infrared dark clouds, methanol masers and millimeter dust sources) presented in Paper I. The high detection rate (64%) of the hot core tracer CH{sub 3}CN reveals that the majority of these new EGOs have evolved to the hot molecular core stage. Comparison of the observed molecular column densities with predictions from hot core chemistry models reveals that the newly identified EGOs from the GLIMPSE II survey are members of the youngest hot core population, with an evolutionary time scale of the order of 10{sup 3} yr.

  4. Experimental Models of Inherited PrP Prion Diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watts, Joel C; Prusiner, Stanley B

    2017-11-01

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

  5. Feasibility of identifying families for genetic studies of birth defects using the National Health Interview Survey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nolan Vikki G

    2004-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The purpose of this study was to determine whether the National Health Interview Survey is a useful source to identify informative families for genetic studies of birth defects. Methods The 1994/1995 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS was used to identify households where individuals with two or more birth defects reside. Four groups of households were identified: 1 single non-familial (one individual with one birth defect; 2 single familial (more than one individual with one birth defect; 3 multiple non-familial (one individual with more than one birth defect, and 4 multiple familial (more than one individual with more than one birth defect. The March 2000 U.S. Census on households was used to estimate the total number of households in which there are individuals with birth defects. Results Of a total of 28,094 households and surveyed about birth defects and impairments, 1,083 single non-familial, 55 multiple non-familial, 54 single familial, and 8 multiple familial households were identified. Based on the 2000 U.S. census, it is estimated that there are 4,472,385 households where at least one person has one birth defect in the United States and in 234,846 of them there are at least two affected individuals. Western states had the highest prevalence rates. Conclusions Population-based methods, such as the NHIS, are modestly useful to identify the number and the regions where candidate families for genetic studies of birth defects reside. Clinic based studies and birth defects surveillance systems that collect family history offer better probability of ascertainment.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel E Saunders

    2011-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Natural prion diseases of ruminants are moderately contagious and while the gastrointestinal tract is the primary site of prion agent entry, other mucosae may be entry sites in a subset of infections. In the current study we examined prion neuroinvasion and disease induction following disruption of the olfactory epithelium in the nasal mucosa since this site contains environmentally exposed olfactory sensory neurons that project directly into the central nervous system. Here we provide evidence for accelerated prion neuroinvasion and clinical onset from the olfactory mucosa after disruption and regeneration of the olfactory epithelium and when prion replication is restricted to neurons. In transgenic mice with neuron restricted replication of prions, there was a reduction in survival when the olfactory epithelium was disrupted prior to intranasal inoculation and there was >25% decrease in the prion incubation period. In a second model, the neurotropic DY strain of transmissible mink encephalopathy was not pathogenic in hamsters by the nasal route, but 50% of animals exhibited brain infection and/or disease when the olfactory epithelium was disrupted prior to intranasal inoculation. A time course analysis of prion deposition in the brain following loss of the olfactory epithelium in models of neuron-restricted prion replication suggests that neuroinvasion from the olfactory mucosa is via the olfactory nerve or brain stem associated cranial nerves. We propose that induction of neurogenesis after damage to the olfactory epithelium can lead to prion infection of immature olfactory sensory neurons and accelerate prion spread to the brain. PMID:25822718

  10. 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.

  11. Identifying Patient Attitudinal Clusters Associated with Asthma Control: The European REALISE Survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Molen, Thys; Fletcher, Monica; Price, David

    Asthma is a highly heterogeneous disease that can be classified into different clinical phenotypes, and treatment may be tailored accordingly. However, factors beyond purely clinical traits, such as patient attitudes and behaviors, can also have a marked impact on treatment outcomes. The objective of this study was to further analyze data from the REcognise Asthma and LInk to Symptoms and Experience (REALISE) Europe survey, to identify distinct patient groups sharing common attitudes toward asthma and its management. Factor analysis of respondent data (N = 7,930) from the REALISE Europe survey consolidated the 34 attitudinal variables provided by the study population into a set of 8 summary factors. Cluster analyses were used to identify patient clusters that showed similar attitudes and behaviors toward each of the 8 summary factors. Five distinct patient clusters were identified and named according to the key characteristics comprising that cluster: "Confident and self-managing," "Confident and accepting of their asthma," "Confident but dependent on others," "Concerned but confident in their health care professional (HCP)," and "Not confident in themselves or their HCP." Clusters showed clear variability in attributes such as degree of confidence in managing their asthma, use of reliever and preventer medication, and level of asthma control. The 5 patient clusters identified in this analysis displayed distinctly different personal attitudes that would require different approaches in the consultation room certainly for asthma but probably also for other chronic diseases. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Automated cross-identifying radio to infrared surveys using the LRPY algorithm: a case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weston, S. D.; Seymour, N.; Gulyaev, S.; Norris, R. P.; Banfield, J.; Vaccari, M.; Hopkins, A. M.; Franzen, T. M. O.

    2018-02-01

    Cross-identifying complex radio sources with optical or infra red (IR) counterparts in surveys such as the Australia Telescope Large Area Survey (ATLAS) has traditionally been performed manually. However, with new surveys from the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder detecting many tens of millions of radio sources, such an approach is no longer feasible. This paper presents new software (LRPY - Likelihood Ratio in PYTHON) to automate the process of cross-identifying radio sources with catalogues at other wavelengths. LRPY implements the likelihood ratio (LR) technique with a modification to account for two galaxies contributing to a sole measured radio component. We demonstrate LRPY by applying it to ATLAS DR3 and a Spitzer-based multiwavelength fusion catalogue, identifying 3848 matched sources via our LR-based selection criteria. A subset of 1987 sources have flux density values for all IRAC bands which allow us to use criteria to distinguish between active galactic nuclei (AGNs) and star-forming galaxies (SFG). We find that 936 radio sources ( ≈ 47 per cent) meet both of the Lacy and Stern AGN selection criteria. Of the matched sources, 295 have spectroscopic redshifts and we examine the radio to IR flux ratio versus redshift, proposing an AGN selection criterion below the Elvis radio-loud AGN limit for this dataset. Taking the union of all three AGNs selection criteria we identify 956 as AGNs ( ≈ 48 per cent). From this dataset, we find a decreasing fraction of AGNs with lower radio flux densities consistent with other results in the literature.

  13. A sample of galaxy pairs identified from the LAMOST spectral survey and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shen, Shi-Yin; Argudo-Fernández, Maria; Chen, Li; Feng, Shuai; Hou, Jin-Liang; Shao, Zheng-Yi; Chen, Xiao-Yan; Luo, A-Li; Wu, Hong; Yang, Hai-Feng; Yang, Ming; Hou, Yong-Hui; Wang, Yue-Fei; Jiang, Peng; Wang, Ting-Gui; Jing, Yi-Peng; Kong, Xu; Wang, Wen-Ting; Luo, Zhi-Jian; Wu, Xue-Bing

    2016-01-01

    A small fraction (< 10%) of the SDSS main galaxy (MG) sample has not been targeted with spectroscopy due to the effect of fiber collisions. These galaxies have been compiled into the input catalog of the LAMOST ExtraGAlactic Surveys and named the complementary galaxy sample. In this paper, we introduce this project and status of the spectroscopies associated with the complementary galaxies in the first two years of the LAMOST spectral survey (till Sep. of 2014). Moreover, we present a sample of 1102 galaxy pairs identified from the LAMOST complementary galaxies and SDSS MGs, which are defined as two members that have a projected distance smaller than 100 h −1 70 kpc and a recessional velocity difference smaller than 500 km s −1 . Compared with galaxy pairs that are only selected from SDSS, the LAMOST-SDSS pairs have the advantages of not being biased toward large separations and therefore act as a useful supplement in statistical studies of galaxy interaction and galaxy merging. (paper)

  14. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2009-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  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. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Efficient prion disease transmission through common environmental materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-02

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

  2. Role of Prion Protein Aggregation in Neurotoxicity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tullio Florio

    2012-07-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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,

  5. Chronic wasting disease: Bambi vs. the prion

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  6. 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…

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. PrPC expression and prion seeding activity in the alimentary tract and lymphoid tissue of deer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davenport, Kristen A; Hoover, Clare E; Bian, Jifeng; Telling, Glenn C; Mathiason, Candace K; Hoover, Edward A

    2017-01-01

    The agent responsible for prion diseases is a misfolded form of a normal protein (PrPC). The prion hypothesis stipulates that PrPC must be present for the disease to manifest. Cervid populations across the world are infected with chronic wasting disease, a horizontally-transmissible prion disease that is likely spread via oral exposure to infectious prions (PrPCWD). Though PrPCWD has been identified in many tissues, there has been little effort to characterize the overall PrPC expression in cervids and its relationship to PrPCWD accumulation. We used immunohistochemistry (IHC), western blot and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to describe PrPC expression in naïve white-tailed deer. We used real-time, quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC) to detect prion seeding activity in CWD-infected deer. We assessed tissues comprising the alimentary tract, alimentary-associated lymphoid tissue and systemic lymphoid tissue from 5 naïve deer. PrPC was expressed in all tissues, though expression was often very low compared to the level in the CNS. IHC identified specific cell types wherein PrPC expression is very high. To compare the distribution of PrPC to PrPCWD, we examined 5 deer with advanced CWD infection. Using RT-QuIC, we detected prion seeding activity in all 21 tissues. In 3 subclinical deer sacrificed 4 months post-inoculation, we detected PrPCWD consistently in alimentary-associated lymphoid tissue, irregularly in alimentary tract tissues, and not at all in the brain. Contrary to our hypothesis that PrPC levels dictate prion accumulation, PrPC expression was higher in the lower gastrointestinal tissues than in the alimentary-associated lymphoid system and was higher in salivary glands than in the oropharyngeal lymphoid tissue. These data suggest that PrPC expression is not the sole driver of prion accumulation and that alimentary tract tissues accumulate prions before centrifugal spread from the brain occurs.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Noël Arsac

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

  14. 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.

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

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    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.

  16. Evolution of Diagnostic Tests for Chronic Wasting Disease, a Naturally Occurring Prion Disease of Cervids

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    Nicholas J. Haley

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Since chronic wasting disease (CWD was first identified nearly 50 years ago in a captive mule deer herd in the Rocky Mountains of the United States, it has slowly spread across North America through the natural and anthropogenic movement of cervids and their carcasses. As the endemic areas have expanded, so has the need for rapid, sensitive, and cost effective diagnostic tests—especially those which take advantage of samples collected antemortem. Over the past two decades, strategies have evolved from the recognition of microscopic spongiform pathology and associated immunohistochemical staining of the misfolded prion protein to enzyme-linked immunoassays capable of detecting the abnormal prion conformer in postmortem samples. In a history that parallels the diagnosis of more conventional infectious agents, both qualitative and real-time amplification assays have recently been developed to detect minute quantities of misfolded prions in a range of biological and environmental samples. With these more sensitive and semi-quantitative approaches has come a greater understanding of the pathogenesis and epidemiology of this disease in the native host. Because the molecular pathogenesis of prion protein misfolding is broadly analogous to the misfolding of other pathogenic proteins, including Aβ and α-synuclein, efforts are currently underway to apply these in vitro amplification techniques towards the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other proteinopathies. Chronic wasting disease—once a rare disease of Colorado mule deer—now represents one of the most prevalent prion diseases, and should serve as a model for the continued development and implementation of novel diagnostic strategies for protein misfolding disorders in the natural host.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-21

    Human prion diseases are infectious and invariably fatal neurodegenerative diseases. They include sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD), the most common form, and variant CJD (vCJD), which is caused by interspecies transmission of prions from cattle infected by bovine spongiform encephalopathy. Development of a biochemical assay for the sensitive, specific, early, and noninvasive detection of prions (PrP Sc ) in the blood of patients affected by prion disease is a top medical priority to increase the safety of the blood supply. vCJD has already been transmitted from human to human by blood transfusion, and the number of asymptomatic carriers of vCJD in the U.K. alone is estimated to be 1 in 2000 people. We used the protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) technique to analyze blood samples from 14 cases of vCJD and 153 controls, including patients affected by sCJD and other neurodegenerative or neurological disorders as well as healthy subjects. Our results showed that PrP Sc could be detected with 100% sensitivity and specificity in blood samples from vCJD patients. Detection was possible in any of the blood fractions analyzed and could be done with as little as a few microliters of sample volume. The PrP Sc concentration in blood was estimated to be ~0.5 pg/ml. Our findings suggest that PMCA may be useful for premortem noninvasive diagnosis of vCJD and to identify prion contamination of the blood supply. Further studies are needed to fully validate the technology. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  18. Anti-prion activity of Brilliant Blue G.

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    Yoshifumi Iwamaru

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

  19. COOL WHITE DWARFS IDENTIFIED IN THE SECOND DATA RELEASE OF THE UKIRT INFRARED DEEP SKY SURVEY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lodieu, N.; Leggett, S. K.; Nitta, A.; Bergeron, P.

    2009-01-01

    We have paired the second data release of the Large Area Survey of the UKIRT Infrared Deep Sky Survey with the fifth data release of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to identify 10 cool white dwarf candidates, from their photometry and astrometry. Of these 10, one was previously known to be a very cool white dwarf. We have obtained optical spectroscopy for seven of the candidates using the GMOS-N spectrograph on Gemini North, and have confirmed all seven as white dwarfs. Our photometry and astrometry indicate that the remaining two objects are also white dwarfs. The model analysis of the photometry and available spectroscopy shows that the seven confirmed new white dwarfs, and the two new likely white dwarfs, have effective temperatures in the range of T eff = 5400-6600 K. Our analysis of the previously known white dwarf confirms that it is cool, with T eff = 3800 K. The cooling age for this dwarf is 8.7 Gyr, while that for the nine ∼ 6000 K white dwarfs is 1.8-3.6 Gyr. We are unable to determine the masses of the white dwarfs from the existing data, and therefore we cannot constrain the total ages of the white dwarfs. The large cooling age for the coolest white dwarf in the sample, combined with its low estimated tangential velocity, suggests that it is an old member of the thin disk, or a member of the thick disk of the Galaxy, with an age of 10-11 Gyr. The warmer white dwarfs appear to have velocities typical of the thick disk or even halo; these may be very old remnants of low-mass stars, or they may be relatively young thin-disk objects with unusually high space motion.

  20. Innovative treatment modalities for urinary incontinence: a European survey identifying experience and attitude of healthcare providers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kastelein, Arnoud W; Dicker, Maarten F A; Opmeer, Brent C; Angles, Sonia S; Raatikainen, Kaisa E; Alonso, Joan F; Tăut, Diana; Airaksinen, Olavi; Cardozo, Linda D; Roovers, Jan-Paul W R

    2017-11-01

    Urinary incontinence is a common condition in women, with a reported prevalence ranging from 25% to 51%. Of these women, an estimated 38% suffer from stress urinary incontinence (SUI). A European research consortium is investigating an innovative system based on information and communication technology for the conservative treatment of women with SUI. When introducing a new intervention, implementation barriers arise and need to be identified. Therefore, we investigated healthcare providers' experience with and attitude towards innovative care options. We performed an online survey to assess (1) the characteristics and practice of healthcare providers, (2) current protocols for SUI, (3) current use of biofeedback, and (4) knowledge about serious gaming. The survey was sent to members of professional societies in Europe (EUGA), UK (BSUG) and The Netherlands (DPFS). Of 341 questionnaires analyzed (response rate between 18% and 30%), 64% of the respondents had access to a protocol for the treatment of SUI, and 31% used biofeedback when treating patients with SUI. However, 92% considered that biofeedback has a clear or probable added value, and 97% of those who did not use biofeedback would change their practice if research evidence supported its use. Finally, 89% of respondents indicated that they had no experience of serious gaming, but 92% considered that it could be useful. Although inexperienced, European urogynecologists and physical therapists welcome innovative treatment options for the conservative treatment of SUI such as portable wireless biofeedback and serious gaming. Scientific evidence is considered a prerequisite to incorporate such innovations into clinical practice.

  1. Distribution and Quantitative Estimates of Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Prions in Tissues of Clinical and Asymptomatic Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douet, Jean Y; Lacroux, Caroline; Aron, Naima; Head, Mark W; Lugan, Séverine; Tillier, Cécile; Huor, Alvina; Cassard, Hervé; Arnold, Mark; Beringue, Vincent; Ironside, James W; Andréoletti, Olivier

    2017-06-01

    In the United-Kingdom, ≈1 of 2,000 persons could be infected with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD). Therefore, risk of transmission of vCJD by medical procedures remains a major concern for public health authorities. In this study, we used in vitro amplification of prions by protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) to estimate distribution and level of the vCJD agent in 21 tissues from 4 patients who died of clinical vCJD and from 1 asymptomatic person with vCJD. PMCA identified major levels of vCJD prions in a range of tissues, including liver, salivary gland, kidney, lung, and bone marrow. Bioassays confirmed that the quantitative estimate of levels of vCJD prion accumulation provided by PMCA are indicative of vCJD infectivity levels in tissues. Findings provide critical data for the design of measures to minimize risk for iatrogenic transmission of vCJD.

  2. A SPITZER c2d LEGACY SURVEY TO IDENTIFY AND CHARACTERIZE DISKS WITH INNER DUST HOLES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Merin, Bruno; Brown, Joanna M.; Herczeg, Gregory J.; Van Dishoeck, Ewine F.; Oliveira, Isa; Lahuis, Fred; Bottinelli, Sandrine; Augereau, Jean-Charles; Olofsson, Johan; Evans, Neal J.; Harvey, Paul M.; Cieza, Lucas; Spezzi, Loredana; Prusti, Timo; Alcala, Juan M.; Blake, Geoffrey A.; Bayo, Amelia; Geers, Vincent G.; Walter, Frederick M.; Chiu, Kuenley

    2010-01-01

    Understanding how disks dissipate is essential to studies of planet formation. However, identifying exactly how dust and gas dissipate is complicated due to the difficulty of finding objects that are clearly in the transition phase of losing their surrounding material. We use Spitzer Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) spectra to examine 35 photometrically selected candidate cold disks (disks with large inner dust holes). The infrared spectra are supplemented with optical spectra to determine stellar and accretion properties and 1.3 mm photometry to measure disk masses. Based on detailed spectral energy distribution modeling, we identify 15 new cold disks. The remaining 20 objects have IRS spectra that are consistent with disks without holes, disks that are observed close to edge-on, or stars with background emission. Based on these results, we determine reliable criteria to identify disks with inner holes from Spitzer photometry, and examine criteria already in the literature. Applying these criteria to the c2d surveyed star-forming regions gives a frequency of such objects of at least 4% and most likely of order 12% of the young stellar object population identified by Spitzer. We also examine the properties of these new cold disks in combination with cold disks from the literature. Hole sizes in this sample are generally smaller than in previously discovered disks and reflect a distribution in better agreement with exoplanet orbit radii. We find correlations between hole size and both disk and stellar masses. Silicate features, including crystalline features, are present in the overwhelming majority of the sample, although the 10 μm feature strength above the continuum declines for holes with radii larger than ∼7 AU. In contrast, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are only detected in 2 out of 15 sources. Only a quarter of the cold disk sample shows no signs of accretion, making it unlikely that photoevaporation is the dominant hole-forming process in most cases.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-14

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

  4. The Survey of Treatment Entry Pressures (STEP): identifying client's reasons for entering substance abuse treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dugosh, Karen Leggett; Festinger, David S; Lynch, Kevin G; Marlowe, Douglas B

    2014-10-01

    Systematically identifying reasons that clients enter substance abuse treatment may allow clinicians to immediately focus on issues of greatest relevance to the individual and enhance treatment engagement. We developed the Survey of Treatment Entry Pressures (STEP) to identify the specific factors that precipitated an individual's treatment entry. The instrument contains 121 items from 6 psychosocial domains (i.e., family, financial, social, medical, psychiatric, legal). The current study examined the STEP's psychometric properties. A total of 761 participants from various treatment settings and modalities completed the STEP prior to treatment admission and 4-7 days later. Analyses were performed to examine the instrument's psychometric properties including item response rates, test-retest reliability, internal consistency, and factor structure. The items displayed adequate test-retest reliability and internal consistency within each psychosocial domain. Generally, results from exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses support a 2-factor structure reflecting type of reinforcement schedule. The study provides preliminary support for the psychometric properties of the STEP. The STEP may provide a reliable way for clinicians to characterize and capitalize on a client's treatment motivation early on which may serve to improve treatment retention and therapeutic outcomes. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Involvement of Endogenous Retroviruses in Prion Diseases

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    Yong-Sun Kim

    2013-08-01

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

  6. Methods and Protocols for Developing Prion Vaccines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marciniuk, Kristen; Taschuk, Ryan; Napper, Scott

    2016-01-01

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

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

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    Xinhe Wang

    2015-07-01

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

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

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    Samuel E Saunders

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

  9. 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.

  10. Selfish prion of Rnq1 mutant in yeast.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-05-01

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

  11. 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

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2016-08-26

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carol L Ladner-Keay

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

  14. 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.

  15. A longitudinal genetic survey identifies temporal shifts in the population structure of Dutch house sparrows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cousseau, L; Husemann, M; Foppen, R; Vangestel, C; Lens, L

    2016-01-01

    Dutch house sparrow (Passer domesticus) densities dropped by nearly 50% since the early 1980s, and similar collapses in population sizes have been reported across Europe. Whether, and to what extent, such relatively recent demographic changes are accompanied by concomitant shifts in the genetic population structure of this species needs further investigation. Therefore, we here explore temporal shifts in genetic diversity, genetic structure and effective sizes of seven Dutch house sparrow populations. To allow the most powerful statistical inference, historical populations were resampled at identical locations and each individual bird was genotyped using nine polymorphic microsatellites. Although the demographic history was not reflected by a reduction in genetic diversity, levels of genetic differentiation increased over time, and the original, panmictic population (inferred from the museum samples) diverged into two distinct genetic clusters. Reductions in census size were supported by a substantial reduction in effective population size, although to a smaller extent. As most studies of contemporary house sparrow populations have been unable to identify genetic signatures of recent population declines, results of this study underpin the importance of longitudinal genetic surveys to unravel cryptic genetic patterns. PMID:27273323

  16. Chronic wasting disease prion infection of differentiated neurospheres.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-04

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-04

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

  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. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Gene Expression Profiling and Association with Prion-Related Lesions in the Medulla Oblongata of Symptomatic Natural Scrapie Animals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filali, Hicham; Martin-Burriel, Inmaculada; Harders, Frank; Varona, Luis; Lyahyai, Jaber; Zaragoza, Pilar; Pumarola, Martí; Badiola, Juan J.; Bossers, Alex; Bolea, Rosa

    2011-01-01

    The pathogenesis of natural scrapie and other prion diseases remains unclear. Examining transcriptome variations in infected versus control animals may highlight new genes potentially involved in some of the molecular mechanisms of prion-induced pathology. The aim of this work was to identify disease-associated alterations in the gene expression profiles of the caudal medulla oblongata (MO) in sheep presenting the symptomatic phase of natural scrapie. The gene expression patterns in the MO from 7 sheep that had been naturally infected with scrapie were compared with 6 controls using a Central Veterinary Institute (CVI) custom designed 4×44K microarray. The microarray consisted of a probe set on the previously sequenced ovine tissue library by CVI and was supplemented with all of the Ovis aries transcripts that are currently publicly available. Over 350 probe sets displayed greater than 2-fold changes in expression. We identified 148 genes from these probes, many of which encode proteins that are involved in the immune response, ion transport, cell adhesion, and transcription. Our results confirm previously published gene expression changes that were observed in murine models with induced scrapie. Moreover, we have identified new genes that exhibit differential expression in scrapie and could be involved in prion neuropathology. Finally, we have investigated the relationship between gene expression profiles and the appearance of the main scrapie-related lesions, including prion protein deposition, gliosis and spongiosis. In this context, the potential impacts of these gene expression changes in the MO on scrapie development are discussed. PMID:21629698

  2. Prion Replication Elicits Cytopathic Changes in Differentiated Neurosphere Cultures

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Prion amplification and hierarchical Bayesian modeling refine detection of prion infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-10

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

  5. Ethnopharmacological survey: a selection strategy to identify medicinal plants for a local phytotherapy program

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flávia Liparini Pereira

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Ethnopharmacological studies are important for documenting and protecting cultural and traditional knowledge associated with the medical use of biodiversity. In this paper, we present a survey on medicinal plants used by locals in a community of Nova Viçosa, Viçosa, MG, Brazil, as a strategy to select medicinal plants for a phytotherapy-based local healthcare program. Eleven knowledgeable local informants were chosen by snowball sampling and interviewed about the use of medicinal plants. Plant samples were collected, herborised and then identified using traditional techniques and specialised literature. We sampled 107 medicinal plant species belonging to 86 genera and 39 families, predominantly Asteraceae with 16 species. Costus spicatus (Jacq. Sw, M. pulegium L., Rosmarinus officinalis L. and Ruta graveolens L. were found to have Consensus of Main Use corrected (CMUc values above 50%, which were in agreement with the traditional uses described by the informants. However, species with CMUc values equal to or above 20%, combined with the scientific information survey, were also used to select medicinal plants for the phytotherapy-based local healthcare program. The selection of medicinal plants based on the CMUc index from this particular community, in combination with the scientific survey, appears to be an effective strategy for the implementation of phytotherapy programs.Estudos etnofarmacológicos são importantes no registro e na preservação de conhecimentos de uma cultura tradicional associada ao uso medicinal da biodiversidade. No presente trabalho, foi realizado o levantamento das plantas medicinais utilizadas por conhecedores populares na comunidade de Nova Viçosa, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brasil, como ferramenta para auxiliar na seleção de espécies vegetais visando à implantação de um programa de fitoterapia local na comunidade estudada. Participaram 11 conhecedores escolhidos por amostragem Bola de Neve e submetidos a

  6. 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...... genotypes. About 70% of these were classified as interferon-responsive genes. In goats without PrPC, the majority of type I interferon-responsive genes were in a primed, modestly upregulated state, with fold changes ranging from 1.4 to 3.7. Among these were ISG15, DDX58 (RIG-1), MX1, MX2, OAS1, OAS2...... and DRAM1, all of which have important roles in pathogen defense, cell proliferation, apoptosis, immunomodulation and DNA damage response. Our data suggest that PrPC contributes to the fine-tuning of resting state PBMCs expression level of type I interferon-responsive genes. The molecular mechanism...

  7. Identifying Pertinent Variables for Nonresponse Follow-Up Surveys. Lessons Learned from 4 Cases in Switzerland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline Vandenplas

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available All social surveys suffer from different types of errors, of which one of the most studied is non-response bias. Non-response bias is a systematic error that occurs because individuals differ in their accessibility and propensity to participate in a survey according to their own characteristics as well as those from the survey itself. The extent of the problem heavily depends on the correlation between response mechanisms and key survey variables. However, non-response bias is difficult to measure or to correct for due to the lack of relevant data about the whole target population or sample. In this paper, non-response follow-up surveys are considered as a possible source of information about non-respondents. Non-response follow-ups, however, suffer from two methodological issues: they themselves operate through a response mechanism that can cause potential non-response bias, and they pose a problem of comparability of measure, mostly because the survey design differs between main survey and non-response follow-up. In order to detect possible bias, the survey variables included in non-response surveys have to be related to the mechanism of participation, but not be sensitive to measurement effects due to the different designs. Based on accumulated experience of four similar non-response follow-ups, we studied the survey variables that fulfill these conditions. We differentiated socio-demographic variables that are measurement-invariant but have a lower correlation with non-response and variables that measure attitudes, such as trust, social participation, or integration in the public sphere, which are more sensitive to measurement effects but potentially more appropriate to account for the non-response mechanism. Our results show that education level, work status, and living alone, as well as political interest, satisfaction with democracy, and trust in institutions are pertinent variables to include in non-response follow-ups of general social

  8. Proteomics analyses for the global proteins in the brain tissues of different human prion diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Qi; Chen, Li-Na; Zhang, Bao-Yun; Xiao, Kang; Zhou, Wei; Chen, Cao; Zhang, Xiao-Mei; Tian, Chan; Gao, Chen; Wang, Jing; Han, Jun; Dong, Xiao-Ping

    2015-04-01

    Proteomics changes of brain tissues have been described in different neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. However, the brain proteomics of human prion disease remains less understood. In the study, the proteomics patterns of cortex and cerebellum of brain tissues of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, fatal familial insomnia, and G114V genetic CJD were analyzed with isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation combined with multidimensional liquid chromatography and MS analysis, with the brains from three normal individuals as controls. Global protein profiling, significant pathway, and functional categories were analyzed. In total, 2287 proteins were identified with quantitative information both in cortex and cerebellum regions. Cerebellum tissues appeared to contain more up- and down-regulated proteins (727 proteins) than cortex regions (312 proteins) of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, fatal familial insomnia, and G114V genetic CJD. Viral myocarditis, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, lysosome, oxidative phosphorylation, protein export, and drug metabolism-cytochrome P450 were the most commonly affected pathways of the three kinds of diseases. Almost coincident biological functions were identified in the brain tissues of the three diseases. In all, data here demonstrate that the brain tissues of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, fatal familial insomnia, and G114V genetic CJD have obvious proteomics changes at their terminal stages, which show the similarities not only among human prion diseases but also with other neurodegeneration diseases. This is the first study to provide a reference proteome map for human prion diseases and will be helpful for future studies focused on potential biomarkers for the diagnosis and therapy of human prion diseases. © 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  9. 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.

  10. Bering-Okhotsk Seal Survey (BOSS) Identified Hot Spots (2012-13)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — US surveys were conducted of the Bering Sea pack ice for bearded, spotted, ribbon, and ringed seals using digital cameras and thermal imagers mounted in the belly...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Physical, chemical and kinetic factors affecting prion infectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Properzi, Francesca; Badhan, Anjna; Klier, Steffi; Schmidt, Christian; Klöhn, Peter C; Wadsworth, Jonathan D F; Clarke, Anthony R; Jackson, Graham S; Collinge, John

    2016-05-03

    The mouse-adapted scrapie prion strain RML is one of the most widely used in prion research. The introduction of a cell culture-based assay of RML prions, the scrapie cell assay (SCA) allows more rapid and precise prion titration. A semi-automated version of this assay (ASCA) was applied to explore a range of conditions that might influence the infectivity and properties of RML prions. These include resistance to freeze-thaw procedures; stability to endogenous proteases in brain homogenate despite prolonged exposure to varying temperatures; distribution of infective material between pellet and supernatant after centrifugation, the effect of reducing agents and the influence of detergent additives on the efficiency of infection. Apparent infectivity is increased significantly by interaction with cationic detergents. Importantly, we have also elucidated the relationship between the duration of exposure of cells to RML prions and the transmission of infection. We established that the infection process following contact of cells with RML prions is rapid and followed an exponential time course, implying a single rate-limiting process.

  14. Molecular pathogenesis of sporadic prion diseases in man

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safar, Jiri G.

    2012-01-01

    The yeast, fungal and mammalian prions determine heritable and infectious traits that are encoded in alternative conformations of proteins. They cause lethal sporadic, familial and infectious neurodegenerative conditions in man, including Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS), kuru, sporadic fatal insomnia (SFI) and likely variable protease-sensitive prionopathy (VPSPr). The most prevalent of human prion diseases is sporadic (s)CJD. Recent advances in amplification and detection of prions led to considerable optimism that early and possibly preclinical diagnosis and therapy might become a reality. Although several drugs have already been tested in small numbers of sCJD patients, there is no clear evidence of any agent’s efficacy. Therefore, it remains crucial to determine the full spectrum of sCJD prion strains and the conformational features in the pathogenic human prion protein governing replication of sCJD prions. Research in this direction is essential for the rational development of diagnostic as well as therapeutic strategies. Moreover, there is growing recognition that fundamental processes involved in human prion propagation – intercellular induction of protein misfolding and seeded aggregation of misfolded host proteins – are of far wider significance. This insight leads to new avenues of research in the ever-widening spectrum of age-related human neurodegenerative diseases that are caused by protein misfolding and that pose a major challenge for healthcare. PMID:22421210

  15. Mammalian prions: tolerance to sequence changes-how far?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haïk, Stéphane; Brandel, Jean-Philippe

    2014-08-01

    In contrast with other neurodegenerative disorders associated to protein misfolding, human prion diseases include infectious forms (also called transmitted forms) such as kuru, iatrogenic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The transmissible agent is thought to be solely composed of the abnormal isoform (PrP(Sc)) of the host-encoded prion protein that accumulated in the central nervous system of affected individuals. Compared to its normal counterpart, PrP(Sc) is β-sheet enriched and aggregated and its propagation is based on an autocatalytic conversion process. Increasing evidence supports the view that conformational variations of PrP(Sc) encoded the biological properties of the various prion strains that have been isolated by transmission studies in experimental models. Infectious forms of human prion diseases played a pivotal role in the emergence of the prion concept and in the characterization of the very unconventional properties of prions. They provide a unique model to understand how prion strains are selected and propagate in humans. Here, we review and discuss how genetic factors interplay with strain properties and route of transmission to influence disease susceptibility, incubation period and phenotypic expression in the light of the kuru epidemics due to ritual endocannibalism, the various series iatrogenic diseases secondary to extractive growth hormone treatment or dura mater graft and the epidemics of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease linked to dietary exposure to the agent of bovine spongiform encephalopathy. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Cleaning, disinfection and sterilization of surface prion contamination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonnell, G; Dehen, C; Perrin, A; Thomas, V; Igel-Egalon, A; Burke, P A; Deslys, J P; Comoy, E

    2013-12-01

    Prion contamination is a risk during device reprocessing, being difficult to remove and inactivate. Little is known of the combined effects of cleaning, disinfection and sterilization during a typical reprocessing cycle in clinical practice. To investigate the combination of cleaning, disinfection and/or sterilization on reducing the risk of surface prion contamination. In vivo test methods were used to study the impact of cleaning alone and cleaning combined with thermal disinfection and high- or low-temperature sterilization processes. A standardized test method, based on contamination of stainless steel wires with high titres of scrapie-infected brain homogenates, was used to determine infectivity reduction. Traditional chemical methods of surface decontamination against prions were confirmed to be effective, but extended steam sterilization was more variable. Steam sterilization alone reduced the risk of prion contamination under normal or extended exposure conditions, but did show significant variation. Thermal disinfection had no impact in these studies. Cleaning with certain defined formulations in combination with steam sterilization can be an effective prion decontamination process, in particular with alkaline formulations. Low-temperature, gaseous hydrogen peroxide sterilization was also confirmed to reduce infectivity in the presence and absence of cleaning. Prion decontamination is affected by the full reprocessing cycle used on contaminated surfaces. The correct use of defined cleaning, disinfection and sterilization methods as tested in this report in the scrapie infectivity assay can provide a standard precaution against prion contamination. Copyright © 2013 The Healthcare Infection Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Aerosols transmit prions to immunocompetent and immunodeficient mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johannes Haybaeck

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

  19. Relationship between magnetism and prion protein

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Balzano

    2010-01-01

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

  20. Protease-resistant prions selectively decrease Shadoo protein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joel C Watts

    2011-11-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2007-03-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filali, Hicham; Martin-Burriel, Inmaculada; Harders, Frank; Varona, Luis; Serrano, Carmen; Acín, Cristina; Badiola, Juan J; Bossers, Alex; Bolea, Rosa

    2012-08-16

    The pathogenesis of natural scrapie and other prion diseases is still poorly understood. Determining the variations in the transcriptome in the early phases of the disease might clarify some of the molecular mechanisms of the prion-induced pathology and allow for the development of new biomarkers for diagnosis and therapy. This study is the first to focus on the identification of genes regulated during the preclinical phases of natural scrapie in the ovine medulla oblongata (MO) and the association of these genes with prion deposition, astrocytosis and spongiosis. A custom microarray platform revealed that 86 significant probes had expression changes greater than 2-fold. From these probes, we identified 32 genes with known function; the highest number of regulated genes was included in the phosphoprotein-encoding group. Genes encoding extracellular marker proteins and those involved in the immune response and apoptosis were also differentially expressed. In addition, we investigated the relationship between the gene expression profiles and the appearance of the main scrapie-associated brain lesions. Quantitative Real-time PCR was used to validate the expression of some of the regulated genes, thus showing the reliability of the microarray hybridization technology. Genes involved in protein and metal binding and oxidoreductase activity were associated with prion deposition. The expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) was associated with changes in the expression of genes encoding proteins with oxidoreductase and phosphatase activity, and the expression of spongiosis was related to genes encoding extracellular matrix components or transmembrane transporters. This is the first genome-wide expression study performed in naturally infected sheep with preclinical scrapie. As in previous studies, our findings confirm the close relationship between scrapie and other neurodegenerative diseases.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyu, Justin; Andrianarijaona, V. M.

    2016-05-01

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

  6. Prion protein induced signaling cascades in monocytes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krebs, Bjarne; Dorner-Ciossek, Cornelia; Schmalzbauer, Ruediger; Vassallo, Neville; Herms, Jochen; Kretzschmar, Hans A.

    2006-01-01

    Prion proteins play a central role in transmission and pathogenesis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. The cellular prion protein (PrP C ), whose physiological function remains elusive, is anchored to the surface of a variety of cell types including neurons and cells of the lymphoreticular system. In this study, we investigated the response of a mouse monocyte/macrophage cell line to exposure with PrP C fusion proteins synthesized with a human Fc-tag. PrP C fusion proteins showed an attachment to the surface of monocyte/macrophages in nanomolar concentrations. This was accompanied by an increase of cellular tyrosine phosphorylation as a result of activated signaling pathways. Detailed investigations exhibited activation of downstream pathways through a stimulation with PrP fusion proteins, which include phosphorylation of ERK 1,2 and Akt kinase. Macrophages opsonize and present antigenic structures, contact lymphocytes, and deliver cytokines. The findings reported here may become the basis of understanding the molecular function of PrP C in monocytes and macrophages

  7. A Survey of School Psychologists' Practices for Identifying Mentally Retarded Students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wodrich, David L.; Barry, Christine T.

    1991-01-01

    Surveyed school psychologists regarding identification of mentally retarded students. The Wechsler scales were the most frequently used tests for deriving intelligence quotient scores, which together with adaptive behavior scale scores were rated as most influential in identification-placement decisions. The Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales were…

  8. 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

  9. A nationwide survey concerning practices in pessary use for pelvic organ prolapse in The Netherlands : identifying needs for further research

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Velzel, Joost; Roovers, Jan Paul; van der Vaart, C. H.; Broekman, Bart; Vollebregt, Astrid; Hakvoort, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Introduction and hypothesis: To identify practice variation in management of patients with a vaginal pessary for pelvic organ prolapse (POP). Methods: A nationwide survey was sent to all Dutch gynecologists with a special interest in urogynecology. Results: The response rate was 59 %. Of the

  10. A nationwide survey concerning practices in pessary use for pelvic organ prolapse in The Netherlands: identifying needs for further research

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J. Velzel (Joost); J.P. Roovers (Jan Paul); C.H. Van der Vaart; B.M.W. Broekman (Bart); A. Vollebregt (Astrid); R. Hakvoort (Robert)

    2015-01-01

    textabstractIntroduction and hypothesis: To identify practice variation in management of patients with a vaginal pessary for pelvic organ prolapse (POP). Methods: A nationwide survey was sent to all Dutch gynecologists with a special interest in urogynecology. Results: The response rate was 59 %. Of

  11. A nationwide survey concerning practices in pessary use for pelvic organ prolapse in The Netherlands: identifying needs for further research

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Velzel, Joost; Roovers, Jan Paul; van der Vaart, C. H.; Broekman, Bart; Vollebregt, Astrid; Hakvoort, Robert

    2015-01-01

    To identify practice variation in management of patients with a vaginal pessary for pelvic organ prolapse (POP). A nationwide survey was sent to all Dutch gynecologists with a special interest in urogynecology. The response rate was 59 %. Of the respondents, 13 % had a written protocol for pessary

  12. Diagnostic approaches for viruses and prions in stem cell banks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cobo, Fernando; Talavera, Paloma; Concha, Angel

    2006-01-01

    Some stem cell lines may contain an endogenous virus or can be contaminated with exogenous viruses (even of animal origin) and may secrete viral particles or express viral antigens on their surface. Moreover, certain biotechnological products (e.g. bovine fetal serum, murine feeder cells) may contain prion particles. Viral and prion contamination of cell cultures and 'feeder' cells, which is a common risk in all biotechnological products derived from the cell lines, is the most challenging and potentially serious outcome to address, due to the difficulty involved in virus and prion detection and the potential to cause serious disease in recipients of these cell products. Stem cell banks should introduce adequate quality assurance programs like the microbiological control program and can provide researchers with valuable support in the standardization and safety of procedures and protocols used for the viral and prion testing and in validation programs to assure the quality and safety of the cells

  13. Current and future molecular diagnostics for prion diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehto, Marty T; Peery, Harry E; Cashman, Neil R

    2006-07-01

    It is now widely held that the infectious agents underlying the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are prions, which are primarily composed of a misfolded, protease-resistant isoform of the host prion protein. Untreatable prion disorders include some human diseases, such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and diseases of economically important animals, such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (cattle) and chronic wasting disease (deer and elk). Detection and diagnosis of prion disease (and presymptomatic incubation) is contingent upon developing novel assays, which exploit properties uniquely possessed by this misfolded protein complex, rather than targeting an agent-specific nucleic acid. This review highlights some of the conventional and disruptive technologies developed to respond to this challenge.

  14. Putting prions into focus: application of single molecule detection to the diagnosis of prion diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giese, A; Bieschke, J; Eigen, M; Kretzschmar, H A

    2000-01-01

    Prion diseases are characterized by the cerebral deposition of an aggregated pathological isoform of the prion protein (PrP(Sc)) which constitutes the principal component of the transmissible agent termed prion. In order to develop a highly sensitive method for the detection of PrP(Sc) aggregates in biological samples such as cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), we used a method based on Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS), a technique which allows detection of single fluorescently labeled molecules in solution. Within the FCS setup, fluorescent photons emitted by molecules passing an open volume element defined by the beam of an excitation laser focussed into a diffraction-limited spot are imaged confocally onto a single photon counting detector. Aggregates of PrP(Sc) could be labeled by co-aggregation of probe molecules such as monomeric recombinant PrP or PrP-specific antibodies tagged with a fluorescent dye. In addition to slow diffusion, labeled aggregates are characterized by high fluorescence intensity, which allows detection and quantification by analysis of fluorescence intensity distribution. To improve detection of rare target particles, the accessible volume element was increased by scanning for intensely fluorescent targets (SIFT). To further improve sensitivity and specificity, two different probes were used simultaneously in a two-color setup. In a diagnostic model system of CSF spiked with purified prion rods, dual-color SIFT was more sensitive than Western blot analysis. In addition, a PrP(Sc)-specific signal was also detected in a number of CSF samples derived from CJD patients but not in controls.

  15. Identifying Key Issues and Potential Solutions for Integrated Arrival, Departure, Surface Operations by Surveying Stakeholder Preferences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aponso, Bimal; Coppenbarger, Richard A.; Jung, Yoon; Quon, Leighton; Lohr, Gary; O’Connor, Neil; Engelland, Shawn

    2015-01-01

    NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) collaborates with the FAA and industry to provide concepts and technologies that enhance the transition to the next-generation air-traffic management system (NextGen). To facilitate this collaboration, ARMD has a series of Airspace Technology Demonstration (ATD) sub-projects that develop, demonstrate, and transitions NASA technologies and concepts for implementation in the National Airspace System (NAS). The second of these sub-projects, ATD-2, is focused on the potential benefits to NAS stakeholders of integrated arrival, departure, surface (IADS) operations. To determine the project objectives and assess the benefits of a potential solution, NASA surveyed NAS stakeholders to understand the existing issues in arrival, departure, and surface operations, and the perceived benefits of better integrating these operations. NASA surveyed a broad cross-section of stakeholders representing the airlines, airports, air-navigation service providers, and industry providers of NAS tools. The survey indicated that improving the predictability of flight times (schedules) could improve efficiency in arrival, departure, and surface operations. Stakeholders also mentioned the need for better strategic and tactical information on traffic constraints as well as better information sharing and a coupled collaborative planning process that allows stakeholders to coordinate IADS operations. To assess the impact of a potential solution, NASA sketched an initial departure scheduling concept and assessed its viability by surveying a select group of stakeholders for a second time. The objective of the departure scheduler was to enable flights to move continuously from gate to cruise with minimal interruption in a busy metroplex airspace environment using strategic and tactical scheduling enhanced by collaborative planning between airlines and service providers. The stakeholders agreed that this departure concept could improve schedule

  16. Insights into mechanisms of transmission and pathogenesis from transgenic mouse models of prion diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, Julie A.; Telling, Glenn C.

    2018-01-01

    Prions represent a new paradigm of protein-mediated information transfer. In the case of mammals, prions are the cause of fatal, transmissible neurodegenerative diseases, sometimes referred to as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE’s), which frequently occur as epidemics. An increasing body of evidence indicates that the canonical mechanism of conformational corruption of cellular prion protein (PrPC) by the pathogenic isoform (PrPSc) that is the basis of prion formation in TSE’s, is common to a spectrum of proteins associated with various additional human neurodegenerative disorders, including the more common Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. The peerless infectious properties of TSE prions, and the unparalleled tools for their study, therefore enable elucidation of mechanisms of template-mediated conformational propagation that are generally applicable to these related disease states. Many unresolved issues remain including the exact molecular nature of the prion, the detailed cellular and molecular mechanisms of prion propagation, and the means by which prion diseases can be both genetic and infectious. In addition, we know little about the mechanism by which neurons degenerate during prion diseases. Tied to this, the physiological role of the normal form of the prion protein remains unclear and it is uncertain whether or not loss of this function contributes to prion pathogenesis. The factors governing the transmission of prions between species remain unclear, in particular the means by which prion strains and PrP primary structure interact to affect inter-species prion transmission. Despite all these unknowns, advances in our understanding of prions have occurred because of their transmissibility to experimental animals and the development of transgenic (Tg) mouse models has done much to further our understanding about various aspects of prion biology. In this review we will focus on advances in our understanding of prion biology that

  17. 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.

  18. Identifying research priorities for public health research to address health inequalities: use of Delphi-like survey methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, S; Ollerhead, E; Cook, A

    2017-10-09

    In the funding of health research and public health research it is vital that research questions posed are important and that funded research meets a research need or a gap in evidence. Many methods are used in the identification of research priorities, however, these can be resource intensive, costly and logistically challenging. Identifying such research priorities can be particularly challenging for complex public health problems as there is a need to consult a number of experts across disciplines and with a range of expertise. This study investigated the use of Delphi-like survey methods in identifying important research priorities relating to health inequalities and framing tractable research questions for topic areas identified. The study was conducted in two phases, both using Delphi-like survey methods. Firstly, public health professionals with an interest in health inequalities were asked to identify research priorities. Secondly academic researchers were asked to frame tractable research questions relating to the priorities identified. These research priorities identified using Delphi-like survey methods were subsequently compared to those identified using different methods. A total of 52 public health professionals and 21 academics across the United Kingdom agreed to take part. The response rates were high, from public health professionals across three survey rounds (69%, 50% and 40%) and from academics across one round (52%), indicating that participants were receptive to the method and motivated to respond. The themes identified as encompassing the most important research priorities were mental health, healthy environment and health behaviours. Within these themes, the topic areas that emerged most strongly included community interventions for prevention of mental health problems and the food and alcohol environment. Some responses received from academic researchers were (as requested) in the form of tractable research questions, whereas others

  19. 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.

  20. Enzymatic Digestion of Chronic Wasting Disease Prions Bound to Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    SAUNDERS, SAMUEL E.; BARTZ, JASON C.; VERCAUTEREN, KURT C.; BARTELT-HUNT, SHANNON L.

    2010-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) and sheep scrapie can be transmitted via indirect environmental routes, and it is known that soil can serve as a reservoir of prion infectivity. Given the strong interaction between the prion protein (PrP) and soil, we hypothesized that binding to soil enhances prion resistance to enzymatic digestion, thereby facilitating prion longevity in the environment and providing protection from host degradation. We characterized the performance of a commercially available subtilisin enzyme, the Prionzyme, to degrade soil-bound and unbound CWD and HY TME PrP as a function of pH, temperature, and treatment time. The subtilisin enzyme effectively degraded PrP adsorbed to a wide range of soils and soil minerals below the limits of detection. Signal loss occurred rapidly at high pH (12.5) and within 7 d under conditions representative of the natural environment (pH 7.4, 22°C). We observed no apparent difference in enzyme effectiveness between bound and unbound CWD PrP. Our results show that although adsorbed prions do retain relative resistance to enzymatic digestion compared with other brain homogenate proteins, they can be effectively degraded when bound to soil. Our results also suggest a topical application of a subtilisin enzyme solution may be an effective decontamination method to limit disease transmission via environmental ‘hot spots’ of prion infectivity. PMID:20450190

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Animal models for testing anti-prion drugs.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Disparate modes of evolution shaped modern prion (PRNP) and prion-related doppel (PRND) variation in domestic cattle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Previous investigations aimed at determining whether the mammalian prion protein actually facilitates tangible molecular aspects of either a discrete or pleiotropic functional niche have been debated, especially given the apparent absence of overt behavioral or physiological phenotypes associated wi...

  7. Identifying electricity-saving potential in rural China: Empirical evidence from a household survey

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yu, Yihua; Guo, Jin

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, there has been a fast-growing body of literature examining energy-saving potential in relation to electricity. However, empirical studies focusing on non-Western nations are limited. To fill this gap, this study intends to examine the electricity-saving potential of rural households in China using a unique data set from the China Residential Electricity Consumption Survey (CRECS) in collaboration with the China General Social Survey (CGSS), conducted nationwide at the household level in rural China. We use a stochastic frontier model, which allows us to decompose residential electricity consumption into the minimum necessary amount of consumption based on physical characteristics (e.g. house size, house age, number of televisions or refrigerators) and estimate the consumption slack (i.e. the amount of electricity consumption that could be saved), which depends on various factors. We find that rural households in China are generally efficient in electricity saving and the saving potential is affected by (fast) information feedback and social-demographic characteristics, instead of by the (averaged) electricity price, or energy efficiency labelling signals. In addition, we find no evidence of regional heterogeneity on electricity saving potential for rural households. Policy implications are derived. - Highlights: •Electricity saving potential of rural households in China is examined. •Unique survey data from the CRECS in collaboration with the CGSS are used. •A stochastic frontier model is applied. •Information feedback and social-demographic characteristics matter. •Electricity price or energy efficiency tier rating does not matter.

  8. Surveying Libraries to Identify Best Practices for a Menu Approach for Library Instruction Requests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Candice Benjes-Small

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available A challenging situation has developed in regards to library instruction. With increases in both the quantity of information and the variety of information technologies being made available to researchers, the information literacy landscape is getting more complex. Simultaneously, the time allotted for library instruction is remaining essentially the same. In order to market the breadth of content available for library instruction sessions and to promote collaboration between librarians and teaching faculty in order to create optimal instruction sessions an 'a la carte menu' approach to library instruction requests was adopted by Radford University in 2004. Since the late 1990s a number of community colleges and universities have included some type of menu in their instruction request forms or documentation and the authors desired to understand what approach these institutions had taken and whether they were effective in marketing instruction and improving communication between library instructors and teaching faculty. They analyzed forty-seven adaptations of the menu available on the web and surveyed the librarians who created them. In this article the authors present the findings of the web analysis and the survey, and recommendations are given for using the menu approach to library instruction requests.

  9. Identifying Adolescent Patients at Risk for Sexually Transmitted Infections: Development of a Brief Sexual Health Screening Survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Victor, Elizabeth C; Chung, Richard; Thompson, Robert J

    2015-08-01

    This study examined the association between survey responses to health behaviors, personality/psychosocial factors, and self-reported sexually transmitted infections (STIs) to create a brief survey to identify youth at risk for contracting STIs. Participants included 200 racially diverse 14- to 18-year-old patients from a pediatric primary care clinic. Two sexual behavior variables and one peer norm variable were used to differentiate subgroups of individuals at risk of contracting a STI based on reported history of STIs using probability (decision tree) analyses. These items, as well as sexual orientation and having ever had oral sex, were used to create a brief sexual health screening (BSHS) survey. Each point increase in total BSHS score was associated with exponential growth in the percentage of sexually active adolescents reporting STIs. Findings suggest that the BSHS could serve as a useful tool for clinicians to quickly and accurately detect sexual risk among adolescent patients. © The Author(s) 2014.

  10. 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.

  11. Increased expression of p62/SQSTM1 in prion diseases and its association with pathogenic prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Homma, Takujiro; Ishibashi, Daisuke; Nakagaki, Takehiro; Satoh, Katsuya; Sano, Kazunori; Atarashi, Ryuichiro; Nishida, Noriyuki

    2014-03-28

    Prion diseases are neurodegenerative disorders characterized by the aggregation of abnormally folded prion protein (PrP(Sc)). In this study, we focused on the mechanism of clearance of PrP(Sc), which remains unclear. p62 is a cytosolic protein known to mediate both the formation and degradation of aggregates of abnormal proteins. The levels of p62 protein increased in prion-infected brains and persistently infected cell cultures. Upon proteasome inhibition, p62 co-localized with PrP(Sc), forming a large aggregate in the perinuclear region, hereafter referred to as PrP(Sc)-aggresome. These aggregates were surrounded with autophagosome marker LC3 and lysosomes in prion-infected cells. Moreover, transient expression of the phosphomimic form of p62, which has enhanced ubiquitin-binding activity, reduced the amount of PrP(Sc) in prion-infected cells, indicating that the activation of p62 could accelerate the clearance of PrP(Sc). Our findings would thus suggest that p62 could be a target for the therapeutic control of prion diseases.

  12. An international survey to identify the intrinsic and extrinsic factors of research studies most likely to change orthopaedic practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thornley, P; de Sa, D; Evaniew, N; Farrokhyar, F; Bhandari, M; Ghert, M

    2016-04-01

    Evidence -based medicine (EBM) is designed to inform clinical decision-making within all medical specialties, including orthopaedic surgery. We recently published a pilot survey of the Canadian Orthopaedic Association (COA) membership and demonstrated that the adoption of EBM principles is variable among Canadian orthopaedic surgeons. The objective of this study was to conduct a broader international survey of orthopaedic surgeons to identify characteristics of research studies perceived as being most influential in informing clinical decision-making. A 29-question electronic survey was distributed to the readership of an established orthopaedic journal with international readership. The survey aimed to analyse the influence of both extrinsic (journal quality, investigator profiles, etc.) and intrinsic characteristics (study design, sample size, etc.) of research studies in relation to their influence on practice patterns. A total of 353 surgeons completed the survey. Surgeons achieved consensus on the 'importance' of three key designs on their practices: randomised controlled trials (94%), meta-analyses (75%) and systematic reviews (66%). The vast majority of respondents support the use of current evidence over historical clinical training; however subjective factors such as journal reputation (72%) and investigator profile (68%) continue to influence clinical decision-making strongly. Although intrinsic factors such as study design and sample size have some influence on clinical decision-making, surgeon respondents are equally influenced by extrinsic factors such as investigator reputation and perceived journal quality.Cite this article: Dr M. Ghert. An international survey to identify the intrinsic and extrinsic factors of research studies most likely to change orthopaedic practice. Bone Joint Res 2016;5:130-136. DOI: 10.1302/2046-3758.54.2000578. © 2016 Ghert et al.

  13. Encefalopatía por priones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Colegial

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available Las encefalopatías espongiformes por priones son enfermedades neurodegenerativas que pueden ser esporádicas o transmisibles, ya sea por mecanismos infecciosos o hereditarios. Su investigación ha planteado enormes retos y en el recorrido histórico en busca de su causa dos médicos han recibido el premio Nobel de Medicina: Carleton Gajdusek, por sus trabajos en Nueva Guinea donde describió la transmisión infecciosa por ritos canibalísticos, que llevó a estudios de transmisión experimental en chimpancés y a su teoría de los "virus lentos" (por el largo período de incubación de la enfermedad.

  14. Survey to identify depth of penetration of critical incident reporting systems in Austrian healthcare facilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sendlhofer, Gerald; Eder, Harald; Leitgeb, Karina; Gorges, Roland; Jakse, Heidelinde; Raiger, Marianne; Türk, Silvia; Petschnig, Walter; Pregartner, Gudrun; Kamolz, Lars-Peter; Brunner, Gernot

    2018-01-01

    Incident reporting systems or so-called critical incident reporting systems (CIRS) were first recommended for use in health care more than 15 years ago. The uses of these CIRS are highly variable among countries, ranging from being used to report critical incidents, falls, or sentinel events resulting in death. In Austria, CIRS have only been introduced to the health care sector relatively recently. The goal of this work, therefore, was to determine whether and specifically how CIRS are used in Austria. A working group from the Austrian Society for Quality and Safety in Healthcare (ASQS) developed a survey on the topic of CIRS to collect information on penetration of CIRS in general and on how CIRS reports are used to increase patient safety. Three hundred seventy-one health care professionals from 274 health care facilities were contacted via e-mail. Seventy-eight respondents (21.0%) completed the online survey, thereof 66 from hospitals and 12 from other facilities (outpatient clinics, nursing homes). In all, 64.1% of the respondents indicated that CIRS were used in the entire health care facility; 20.6% had not yet introduced CIRS and 15.4% used CIRS only in particular areas. Most often, critical incidents without any harm to patients were reported (76.9%); however, some health care facilities also use their CIRS to report patient falls (16.7%), needle stick injuries (17.9%), technical problems (51.3%), or critical incidents involving health care professionals. CIRS are not yet extensively or homogeneously used in Austria. Inconsistencies exist with respect to which events are reported as well as how they are followed up and reported to health care professionals. Further recommendations for general use are needed to support the dissemination in Austrian health care environments.

  15. A comparative survey of chemistry-driven in silico methods to identify hazardous substances under REACH

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nendza, M.; Gabbert, S.G.M.; Kühne, R.; Lombardo, A.; Roncaglioni, A.; Benfenati, E.; Benigi, R.; Bossa, C.; Strempel, S.; Scheringer, M.; Fernandez, A.; Rallo, R.; Giralt, F.; Dimitrov, S.; Mekenyan, O.; Bringezu, F.; Schüürmann, G.

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents an inventory of in silico screening tools to identify substance properties of concern under the European chemicals’ legislation REACH. The objective is to support the selection and implementation of appropriate tools as building blocks within integrated testing strategies (ITS).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-06-01

    is not known. Obtaining structural information on the misfolded isoform of prion may lead to preventative therapies and treatments of prion diseases...the misfolded prion isoform may allow for the development of drug therapies or early detection systems for prion diseases, or illuminate mechanistic...showing fluorescence intensity as a function of time and energy for 2,6-p-toluidinonapththalene adsorbed to egg L-α- lecithin vesicles. The steady

  17. Gender, Sexual Orientation, and Rape Myth Acceptance: Preliminary Findings From a Sample of Primarily LGBQ-Identified Survey Respondents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulze, Corina; Koon-Magnin, Sarah

    2017-02-01

    This study is among the first to examine the relationship between sexual orientation and rape myth adherence using a nationwide survey of primarily lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer (LGBQ) respondents (n = 184). The more established Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance Scale and a modified Male Rape Survey serve as the primary instruments to test both rape myth adherence and instrument-appropriateness. Results suggest that respondents were most likely to support myths that discredit sexual assault allegations or excuse rape as a biological imperative and least likely to support myths related to physical resistance. Consistent with previous work, men exhibited higher levels of rape myth adherence than women. Regarding sexual orientation, respondents who identified as queer consistently exhibited lower levels of rape myth adherence than respondents who identified as gay.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  19. 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)

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Federica Agostini

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

  3. A methodological survey identified eight proposed frameworks for the adaptation of health related guidelines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darzi, Andrea; Abou-Jaoude, Elias A; Agarwal, Arnav; Lakis, Chantal; Wiercioch, Wojtek; Santesso, Nancy; Brax, Hneine; El-Jardali, Fadi; Schünemann, Holger J; Akl, Elie A

    2017-06-01

    Our objective was to identify and describe published frameworks for adaptation of clinical, public health, and health services guidelines. We included reports describing methods of adaptation of guidelines in sufficient detail to allow its reproducibility. We searched Medline and EMBASE databases. We also searched personal files, as well manuals and handbooks of organizations and professional societies that proposed methods of adaptation and adoption of guidelines. We followed standard systematic review methodology. Our search captured 12,021 citations, out of which we identified eight proposed methods of guidelines adaptation: ADAPTE, Adapted ADAPTE, Alberta Ambassador Program adaptation phase, GRADE-ADOLOPMENT, MAGIC, RAPADAPTE, Royal College of Nursing (RCN), and Systematic Guideline Review (SGR). The ADAPTE framework consists of a 24-step process to adapt guidelines to a local context taking into consideration the needs, priorities, legislation, policies, and resources. The Alexandria Center for Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines updated one of ADAPTE's tools, modified three tools, and added three new ones. In addition, they proposed optionally using three other tools. The Alberta Ambassador Program adaptation phase consists of 11 steps and focused on adapting good-quality guidelines for nonspecific low back pain into local context. GRADE-ADOLOPMENT is an eight-step process based on the GRADE Working Group's Evidence to Decision frameworks and applied in 22 guidelines in the context of national guideline development program. The MAGIC research program developed a five-step adaptation process, informed by ADAPTE and the GRADE approach in the context of adapting thrombosis guidelines. The RAPADAPTE framework consists of 12 steps based on ADAPTE and using synthesized evidence databases, retrospectively derived from the experience of producing a high-quality guideline for the treatment of breast cancer with limited resources in Costa Rica. The RCN outlines

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kohtaro Miyazawa

    Full Text Available 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.

  5. 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

    ... Prion as a Pest under FIFRA and Amendment of EPA's Regulatory Definition of Pests to Include Prion....e., proteinaceous infectious particle) a ``pest'' under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and... is adding prion to the list of pests in EPA's regulations. This amendment, together with the formal...

  6. 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

  7. A catalogue of clusters of galaxies identified from all sky surveys of 2MASS, WISE, and SuperCOSMOS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Z. L.; Han, J. L.; Yang, F.

    2018-03-01

    We identify 47 600 clusters of galaxies from photometric data of Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS), Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), and SuperCOSMOS, among which 26 125 clusters are recognized for the first time and mostly in the sky outside the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) area. About 90 per cent of massive clusters of M500 > 3 × 1014 M⊙ in the redshift range of 0.025 < z < 0.3 have been detected from such survey data, and the detection rate drops down to 50 per cent for clusters with a mass of M500 ˜ 1 × 1014 M⊙. Monte Carlo simulations show that the false detection rate for the whole cluster sample is less than 5 per cent. By cross-matching with ROSAT and XMM-Newton sources, we get 779 new X-ray cluster candidates which have X-ray counterparts within a projected offset of 0.2 Mpc.

  8. Identifying the factors influencing practice variation in thrombosis medicine: A qualitative content analysis of published practice-pattern surveys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skeith, Leslie; Gonsalves, Carol

    2017-11-01

    Practice variation, the differences in clinical management between physicians, is one reason why patient outcomes may differ. Identifying factors that contribute to practice variation in areas of clinical uncertainty or equipoise may have implications for understanding and improving patient care. To discern what factors may influence practice variation, we completed a qualitative content analysis of all practice-pattern surveys in thrombosis medicine in the last 10years. Out of 2117 articles screened using a systematic search strategy, 33 practice-pattern surveys met eligibility criteria. Themes were identified using constant comparative analysis of qualitative data. Practice variation was noted in all 33 practice-pattern surveys. Contributing factors to variation included lack of available evidence, lack of clear and specific guideline recommendations, past experience, patient context, institutional culture and the perceived risk and benefit of a particular treatment. Additional themes highlight the value placed on expertise in challenging clinical scenarios, the complexity of practice variation and the value placed on minimizing practice variation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Analysis of bathymetric surveys to identify coastal vulnerabilities at Cape Canaveral, Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, David M.; Plant, Nathaniel G.; Hansen, Mark E.

    2015-10-07

    Cape Canaveral, Florida, is a prominent feature along the Southeast U.S. coastline. The region includes Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, and a large portion of Canaveral National Seashore. The actual promontory of the modern Cape falls within the jurisdictional boundaries of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Erosion hazards result from winter and tropical storms, changes in sand resources, sediment budgets, and sea-level rise. Previous work by the USGS has focused on the vulnerability of the dunes to storms, where updated bathymetry and topography have been used for modeling efforts. Existing research indicates that submerged shoals, ridges, and sandbars affect patterns of wave refraction and height, coastal currents, and control sediment transport. These seabed anomalies indicate the availability and movement of sand within the nearshore environment, which may be directly related to the stability of the Cape Canaveral shoreline. Understanding the complex dynamics of the offshore bathymetry and associated sediment pathways can help identify current and future erosion vulnerabilities due to short-term (for example, hurricane and other extreme storms) and long-term (for example, sea-level rise) hazards.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  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. A students' survey of cultural competence as a basis for identifying gaps in the medical curriculum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seeleman, Conny; Hermans, Jessie; Lamkaddem, Majda; Suurmond, Jeanine; Stronks, Karien; Essink-Bot, Marie-Louise

    2014-10-11

    competence of medical students and physicians identified gaps in knowledge and culturally competent behaviour. Such data can be used to guide improvement efforts to the diversity content of educational curricula. Based on this study, improvements should focus on increasing knowledge and improving diversity-sensitive consultation behaviour and less on reflection skills. The weak association between overall self-perceived cultural competence and assessed knowledge, reflection ability and consultation behaviour supports the hypothesis that measures of sell-perceived competence are insufficient to assess actual cultural competence.

  15. A simple, versatile and sensitive cell-based assay for prions from various species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zaira E Arellano-Anaya

    Full Text Available 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.

  16. Gene knockout of tau expression does not contribute to the pathogenesis of prion disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Victoria A; Klemm, Helen M; Welton, Jeremy M; Masters, Colin L; Crouch, Peter; Cappai, Roberto; Ciccotosto, Giuseppe D

    2011-11-01

    Prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are a group of fatal and transmissible disorders affecting the central nervous system of humans and animals. The principal agent of prion disease transmission and pathogenesis is proposed to be an abnormal protease-resistant isoform of the normal cellular prion protein. The microtubule-associated protein tau is elevated in patients with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. To determine whether tau expression contributes to prion disease pathogenesis, tau knockout and control wild-type mice were infected with the M1000 strain of mouse-adapted human prions. Immunohistochemical analysis for total tau expression in prion-infected wild-type mice indicated tau aggregation in the cytoplasm of a subpopulation of neurons in regions associated with spongiform change. Western immunoblot analysis of brain homogenates revealed a decrease in total tau immunoreactivity and epitope-specific changes in tau phosphorylation. No significant difference in incubation period or other disease features were observed between tau knockout and wild-type mice with clinical prion disease. These results demonstrate that, in this model of prion disease, tau does not contribute to the pathogenesis of prion disease and that changes in the tau protein profile observed in mice with clinical prion disease occurs as a consequence of the prion-induced pathogenesis.

  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. Identifying the most informative variables for decision-making problems – a survey of recent approaches and accompanying problems

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pudil, Pavel; Somol, Petr

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 16, č. 4 (2008), s. 37-55 ISSN 0572-3043 R&D Projects: GA MŠk 1M0572 Grant - others:GA MŠk(CZ) 2C06019 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10750506 Keywords : variable selection * decision making Subject RIV: BD - Theory of Information http://library.utia.cas.cz/separaty/2008/RO/pudil-identifying%20the%20most%20informative%20variables%20for%20decision- making %20problems%20a%20survey%20of%20recent%20approaches%20and%20accompanying%20problems.pdf

  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. 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.

  1. Comparative analysis of the prion protein gene sequences in African lion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Chang-De; Pang, Wan-Yong; Zhao, De-Ming

    2006-10-01

    The prion protein gene of African lion (Panthera Leo) was first cloned and polymorphisms screened. The results suggest that the prion protein gene of eight African lions is highly homogenous. The amino acid sequences of the prion protein (PrP) of all samples tested were identical. Four single nucleotide polymorphisms (C42T, C81A, C420T, T600C) in the prion protein gene (Prnp) of African lion were found, but no amino acid substitutions. Sequence analysis showed that the higher homology is observed to felis catus AF003087 (96.7%) and to sheep number M31313.1 (96.2%) Genbank accessed. With respect to all the mammalian prion protein sequences compared, the African lion prion protein sequence has three amino acid substitutions. The homology might in turn affect the potential intermolecular interactions critical for cross species transmission of prion disease.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura McCulloch

    2011-12-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Prion propagation in cells expressing PrP glycosylation mutants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salamat, Muhammad K; Dron, Michel; Chapuis, Jérôme; Langevin, Christelle; Laude, Hubert

    2011-04-01

    Infection by prions involves conversion of a host-encoded cell surface protein (PrP(C)) to a disease-related isoform (PrP(Sc)). PrP(C) carries two glycosylation sites variably occupied by complex N-glycans, which have been suggested by previous studies to influence the susceptibility to these diseases and to determine characteristics of prion strains. We used the Rov cell system, which is susceptible to sheep prions, to generate a series of PrP(C) glycosylation mutants with mutations at one or both attachment sites. We examined their subcellular trafficking and ability to convert into PrP(Sc) and to sustain stable prion propagation in the absence of wild-type PrP. The susceptibility to infection of mutants monoglycosylated at either site differed dramatically depending on the amino acid substitution. Aglycosylated double mutants showed overaccumulation in the Golgi compartment and failed to be infected. Introduction of an ectopic glycosylation site near the N terminus fully restored cell surface expression of PrP but not convertibility into PrP(Sc), while PrP(C) with three glycosylation sites conferred cell permissiveness to infection similarly to the wild type. In contrast, predominantly aglycosylated molecules with nonmutated N-glycosylation sequons, produced in cells expressing glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchorless PrP(C), were able to form infectious PrP(Sc). Together our findings suggest that glycosylation is important for efficient trafficking of anchored PrP to the cell surface and sustained prion propagation. However, properly trafficked glycosylation mutants were not necessarily prone to conversion, thus making it difficult in such studies to discern whether the amino acid changes or glycan chain removal most influences the permissiveness to prion infection.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  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. Feasibility of a self-administered survey to identify primary care patients at risk of medication-related problems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Makowsky MJ

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Mark J Makowsky,1 Andrew J Cave,2 Scot H Simpson1 1Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada Background and objectives: Pharmacists working in primary care clinics are well positioned to help optimize medication management of community-dwelling patients who are at high risk of experiencing medication-related problems. However, it is often difficult to identify these patients. Our objective was to test the feasibility of a self-administered patient survey, to facilitate identification of patients at high risk of medication-related problems in a family medicine clinic. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional, paper-based survey at the University of Alberta Hospital Family Medicine Clinic in Edmonton, Alberta, which serves approximately 7,000 patients, with 25,000 consultations per year. Adult patients attending the clinic were invited to complete a ten-item questionnaire, adapted from previously validated surveys, while waiting to be seen by the physician. Outcomes of interest included: time to complete the questionnaire, staff feedback regarding impact on workflow, and the proportion of patients who reported three or more risk factors for medication-related problems. Results: The questionnaire took less than 5 minutes to complete, according to the patient's report on the last page of the questionnaire. The median age (and interquartile range of respondents was 57 (45–69 years; 59% were women; 47% reported being in very good or excellent health; 43 respondents of 100 had three or more risk factors, and met the definition for being at high risk of a medication-related problem. Conclusions: Distribution of a self-administered questionnaire did not disrupt patients, or the clinic workflow, and identified an important proportion of patients at high risk of medication-related problems. Keywords: screening tool, pharmacists, primary

  8. Ssb1 chaperone is a [PSI+] prion-curing factor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chacinska, A; Szczesniak, B; Kochneva-Pervukhova, N V; Kushnirov, V V; Ter-Avanesyan, M D; Boguta, M

    2001-04-01

    Yeast SUP7' or SUP11 nonsense suppressors have no phenotypic expression in strains deficient in the isopentenylation of A37 in tRNA. Here we show that such strains spontaneously produce cells with a nonsense suppressor phenotype which is related to the cytoplasmically inherited determinant and manifests all the key features of the [PSI+] prion. A screen of a multicopy yeast genomic library for genes that inactivate the [PSI+]-related suppressor phenotype resulted in the isolation of the SSB1 gene. Moreover, we demonstrate that multicopy plasmid encoding the Ssb1 chaperone cures cells of the [PSI+] prion.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Prions: Potential Threat to Mankind and Dental Implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ajay R Bhoosreddy

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Prion diseases are fatal, infectious, neurodegenerative disorders with special implications for infection control in the health care system. The causative agent is highly resistant to routine disinfection and sterilization processes and has been transmitted during health care interactions. Thus, it is important to use evidence gained through research and case reports to minimize risk of infection. There is no data suggesting that prions are transmitted easily during dental sittings but there remains a rare risk of such transmission if appropriate infection measures are not adhered to.

  12. Variation in the prion protein sequence in Dutch goat breeds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Windig, J J; Hoving, R A H; Priem, J; Bossers, A; van Keulen, L J M; Langeveld, J P M

    2016-10-01

    Scrapie is a neurodegenerative disease occurring in goats and sheep. Several haplotypes of the prion protein increase resistance to scrapie infection and may be used in selective breeding to help eradicate scrapie. In this study, frequencies of the allelic variants of the PrP gene are determined for six goat breeds in the Netherlands. Overall frequencies in Dutch goats were determined from 768 brain tissue samples in 2005, 766 in 2008 and 300 in 2012, derived from random sampling for the national scrapie surveillance without knowledge of the breed. Breed specific frequencies were determined in the winter 2013/2014 by sampling 300 breeding animals from the main breeders of the different breeds. Detailed analysis of the scrapie-resistant K222 haplotype was carried out in 2014 for 220 Dutch Toggenburger goats and in 2015 for 942 goats from the Saanen derived White Goat breed. Nine haplotypes were identified in the Dutch breeds. Frequencies for non-wild type haplotypes were generally low. Exception was the K222 haplotype in the Dutch Toggenburger (29%) and the S146 haplotype in the Nubian and Boer breeds (respectively 7 and 31%). The frequency of the K222 haplotype in the Toggenburger was higher than for any other breed reported in literature, while for the White Goat breed it was with 3.1% similar to frequencies of other Saanen or Saanen derived breeds. Further evidence was found for the existence of two M142 haplotypes, M142 /S240 and M142 /P240 . Breeds vary in haplotype frequencies but frequencies of resistant genotypes are generally low and consequently selective breeding for scrapie resistance can only be slow but will benefit from animals identified in this study. The unexpectedly high frequency of the K222 haplotype in the Dutch Toggenburger underlines the need for conservation of rare breeds in order to conserve genetic diversity rare or absent in other breeds. © 2016 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  13. Experimental Infection of Cattle With a Novel Prion Derived From Atypical H-Type Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okada, Hiroyuki; Masujin, Kentaro; Miyazawa, Kohtaro; Iwamaru, Yoshihumi; Imamura, Morikazu; Matsuura, Yuichi; Arai, Shozo; Fukuda, Shigeo; Murayama, Yuichi; Yokoyama, Takashi

    2017-11-01

    H-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy (H-BSE) is an atypical form of BSE in cattle. During passaging of H-BSE in transgenic bovinized (TgBoPrP) mice, a novel phenotype of BSE, termed BSE-SW emerged and was characterized by a short incubation time and host weight loss. To investigate the biological and biochemical properties of the BSE-SW prion, a transmission study was conducted in cattle, which were inoculated intracerebrally with brain homogenate from BSE-SW-infected TgBoPrP mice. The disease incubation period was approximately 15 months. The animals showed characteristic neurological signs of dullness, and severe spongiform changes and a widespread, uniform distribution of disease-associated prion protein (PrP Sc ) were observed throughout the brain of infected cattle. Immunohistochemical PrP Sc staining of the brain revealed the presence of intraglial accumulations and plaque-like deposits. No remarkable differences were identified in vacuolar lesion scores, topographical distribution patterns, and staining types of PrP Sc in the brains of BSE-SW- vs H-BSE-infected cattle. PrP Sc deposition was detected in the ganglia, vagus nerve, spinal nerve, cauda equina, adrenal medulla, and ocular muscle. Western blot analysis revealed that the specific biochemical properties of the BSE-SW prion, with an additional 10- to 12-kDa fragment, were well maintained after transmission. These findings indicated that the BSE-SW prion has biochemical properties distinct from those of H-BSE in cattle, although clinical and pathologic features of BSW-SW in cattle are indistinguishable from those of H-BSE. The results suggest that the 2 infectious agents, BSE-SW and H-BSE, are closely related strains.

  14. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of a specific VHH domain against mouse prion protein

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abskharon, Romany N. N.; Soror, Sameh H.; Pardon, Els; El Hassan, Hassan; Legname, Giuseppe; Steyaert, Jan; Wohlkonig, Alexandre

    2010-01-01

    The crystallization of a specific nanobody against mouse PrP C and preliminary diffraction analysis of a crystal that diffracted to 1.23 Å resolution are presented. Prion disorders are infectious diseases that are characterized by the conversion of the cellular prion protein PrP C into the pathogenic isoform PrP Sc . Specific antibodies that interact with the cellular prion protein have been shown to inhibit this transition. Recombinant VHHs (variable domain of dromedary heavy-chain antibodies) or nanobodies are single-domain antibodies, making them the smallest antigen-binding fragments. A specific nanobody (Nb-PrP-01) was raised against mouse PrP C . A crystallization condition for this recombinant nanobody was identified using high-throughput screening. The crystals were optimized using streak-seeding and the hanging-drop method. The crystals belonged to the orthorhombic space group P2 1 2 1 2 1 , with unit-cell parameters a = 30.04, b = 37.15, c = 83.00 Å, and diffracted to 1.23 Å resolution using synchrotron radiation. The crystal structure of this specific nanobody against PrP C together with the known PrP C structure may help in understanding the PrP C /PrP Sc transition mechanism

  15. Mutation and polymorphism of the prion protein gene in Libyan Jews with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gabizon, R.; Rosenmann, H.; Meiner, Z.; Kahana, I. (Hadassah Univ., Jerusalem (Israel)); Kahana, E. (Barzilai Medical Center, Ashkelon (Israel)); Shugart, Y.; Ott, J. (Columbia Univ., New York, NY (United States)); Prusiner, S.B. (Univ. of California, San Francisco, CA (United States))

    1993-10-01

    The inherited prion diseases are neurodegenerative disorders which are not only genetic but also transmissible. More than a dozen mutations in the prion protein gene that result in nonconservative amino acid substitutions segregate with the inherited prion diseases including familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). In Israel, the incidence of CJD is about 1 case/10[sup 4] Libyan Jews. A Lys[sub 200] substitution segregates with CJD and is reported here to be genetically linked to CJD with a lod score of >4.8. Some healthy elderly Lys[sub 200] carriers > age 65 years were identified, suggesting the possibility of incomplete penetrance. In contrast, no linkage was found between the development of familial CJD and a polymorphism encoding either Met[sub 129] or Val[sub 129]. All Libyan Jewish CJD patients with the Lys[sub 200] mutation encode a Met[sub 129] on the mutant allele. Homozygosity for Met[sub 129] did not correlate with age at disease onset or the duration of illness. The frequency of the Met[sub 129] allele was higher in the affected pedigrees than in a control population of Libyan Jews. The frequency of the Met[sub 129] and Val[sub 129] alleles in the control Libyan population was similar to that found in the general Caucasian population. The identification of three Libyan Jews homozygous for the Lys[sub 200] mutation suggests frequent intrafamilial marriages, a custom documented by genealogical investigations. 26 refs., 3 figs., 6 tabs.

  16. 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.

  17. Born to roam? Surveying cat owners in Tasmania, Australia, to identify the drivers and barriers to cat containment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLeod, Lynette J; Hine, Donald W; Bengsen, Andrew J

    2015-12-01

    Free-roaming domestic cats, Felis catus, are a major public nuisance in neighbourhoods across the world, and have been linked to biodiversity loss and a host of community health problems. Owners who let their cats roam, also place their cats at risk of serious injury. One management strategy that is gaining considerable support involves encouraging cat owners to contain their pets within their property. Contemporary behaviour change models highlight the importance of identifying drivers and barriers that encourage and discourage target behaviours such as cat containment. Results from a random dial phone survey of 356 cat owners in northern Tasmania identified four distinct cat containment profiles: owners who contained their cat all the time, owners who only contained their cat at night, owners who sporadically contained their cat with no set routine, and owners who made no attempt to contain their pet. Our results indicated that cat-owners' decisions to contain or not contain their cats were guided by a range of factors including owners' beliefs about their ability to implement an effective containment strategy and their views about the physical and psychological needs of their cats. The results are discussed in terms of improving the behavioural effectiveness of cat containment interventions by selecting appropriate behavioural change tools for the identified drivers and barriers, and developing targeted engagement strategies and messaging. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Conrad O Iyegbe

    2010-12-01

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

  19. A Review of Methods Applied by the U.S. Geological Survey in the Assessment of Identified Geothermal Resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Colin F.; Reed, Marshall J.; Mariner, Robert H.

    2008-01-01

    The U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) is conducting an updated assessment of geothermal resources in the United States. The primary method applied in assessments of identified geothermal systems by the USGS and other organizations is the volume method, in which the recoverable heat is estimated from the thermal energy available in a reservoir. An important focus in the assessment project is on the development of geothermal resource models consistent with the production histories and observed characteristics of exploited geothermal fields. The new assessment will incorporate some changes in the models for temperature and depth ranges for electric power production, preferred chemical geothermometers for estimates of reservoir temperatures, estimates of reservoir volumes, and geothermal energy recovery factors. Monte Carlo simulations are used to characterize uncertainties in the estimates of electric power generation. These new models for the recovery of heat from heterogeneous, fractured reservoirs provide a physically realistic basis for evaluating the production potential of natural geothermal reservoirs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katsufumi Tomobe

    2016-05-01

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

  2. Translational errors as an early event in prion conversion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatin, I; Bidou, L; Cullin, C; Rousset, J P

    2001-01-01

    A prion is an infectious, altered form of a cellular protein which can self-propagate and affect normal phenotype. Prion conversion has been observed for mammalian and yeast proteins but molecular mechanisms that trigger this process remain unclear. Up to now, only post-translational models have been explored. In this work, we tested the hypothesis that co-translational events may be implicated in the conformation changes of the Ure2p protein of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This protein can adopt a prion conformation leading to an [URE3] phenotype which can be easily assessed and quantified. We analyzed the effect of two antibiotics, known to affect translation, on [URE3] conversion frequency. For cells treated with G418 we observed a parallel increase of translational errors rate and frequency of [URE3] conversion. By contrast, cycloheximide which was not found to affect translational fidelity, has no influence on the induction of [URE3] phenotype. These results raise the possibility that the mechanism of prion conversion might not only involve alternative structures of strictly identical molecules but also aberrant proteins resulting from translational errors.

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Navya

    In these diseases, a neuronal glycoprotein known as prion protein PrPC ... sheep or goats in Turkey, but the OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) does not .... Turkish goat breeds was approximately 6.3%, which is a low starting point for ...

  4. 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

  5. Prion protein degradation by lichens of the genus Cladonia

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2016-01-15

    Jan 15, 2016 ... by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using the following forward and reverse .... A P-value less than 0.05 were deemed to indicate ..... drome in PrP is required to generate a productive PrPSc-PrPC complex that leads to prion ...

  7. Variation in the prion protein sequence in Dutch goat breeds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Windig, J.J.; Hoving, R.A.H.; Priem, J.; Bossers, A.; Keulen, van L.J.M.; Langeveld, J.P.M.

    2016-01-01

    Scrapie is a neurodegenerative disease occurring in goats and sheep. Several haplotypes of the prion protein increase resistance to scrapie infection and may be used in selective breeding to help eradicate scrapie. In this study, frequencies of the allelic variants of the PrP gene are determined

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Detection and diagnosis of prions, the causative agent for the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The technique is also a sensitive tool for studying and uncovering the mechanism of potential drugs that can inhibit or slow down the spread of TSE infection. It will advance the frontiers on the study of the mode of infection and conversion of prions and has significantly already contributed to the new paradigm that has ...

  10. Prying into the Prion Hypothesis for Parkinson's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brundin, Patrik; Melki, Ronald

    2017-10-11

    In Parkinson's disease, intracellular α-synuclein inclusions form in neurons. We suggest that prion-like behavior of α-synuclein is a key component in Parkinson's disease pathogenesis. Although multiple molecular changes are involved in the triggering of the disease process, we propose that neuron-to-neuron transfer is a crucial event that is essential for Lewy pathology to spread from one brain region to another. In this review, we describe key findings in human postmortem brains, cultured cells, and animal models of disease that support the idea that α-synuclein can act as a prion. We consider potential triggers of the α-synuclein misfolding and why the aggregates escape cellular degradation under disease conditions. We also discuss whether different strains of α-synuclein fibrils can underlie differences in cellular and regional distribution of aggregates in different synucleinopathies. Our conclusion is that α-synuclein probably acts as a prion in human diseases, and a deeper understanding of this step in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease can facilitate the development of disease-modifying therapies in the future. Dual Perspectives Companion Paper: Parkinson's Disease Is Not Simply a Prion Disorder, by D. James Surmeier, José A. Obeso, and Glenda M. Halliday. Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/379808-11$15.00/0.

  11. Critical significance of the region between Helix 1 and 2 for efficient dominant-negative inhibition by conversion-incompetent prion protein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuzuru Taguchi

    Full Text Available Prion diseases are fatal infectious neurodegenerative disorders in man and animals associated with the accumulation of the pathogenic isoform PrP(Sc of the host-encoded prion protein (PrP(c. A profound conformational change of PrP(c underlies formation of PrP(Sc and prion propagation involves conversion of PrP(c substrate by direct interaction with PrP(Sc template. Identifying the interfaces and modalities of inter-molecular interactions of PrPs will highly advance our understanding of prion propagation in particular and of prion-like mechanisms in general. To identify the region critical for inter-molecular interactions of PrP, we exploited here dominant-negative inhibition (DNI effects of conversion-incompetent, internally-deleted PrP (ΔPrP on co-expressed conversion-competent PrP. We created a series of ΔPrPs with different lengths of deletions in the region between first and second α-helix (H1∼H2 which was recently postulated to be of importance in prion species barrier and PrP fibril formation. As previously reported, ΔPrPs uniformly exhibited aberrant properties including detergent insolubility, limited protease digestion resistance, high-mannose type N-linked glycans, and intracellular localization. Although formerly controversial, we demonstrate here that ΔPrPs have a GPI anchor attached. Surprisingly, despite very similar biochemical and cell-biological properties, DNI efficiencies of ΔPrPs varied significantly, dependant on location and inversely correlated with the size of deletion. This data demonstrates that H1∼H2 and the region C-terminal to it are critically important for efficient DNI. It also suggests that this region is involved in PrP-PrP interaction and conversion of PrP(C into PrP(Sc. To reconcile the paradox of how an intracellular PrP can exert DNI, we demonstrate that ΔPrPs are subject to both proteasomal and lysosomal/autophagic degradation pathways. Using autophagy pathways ΔPrPs obtain access to the locale

  12. 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.

  13. Multiorgan detection and characterization of protease-resistant prion protein in a case of variant CJD examined in the United States.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvio Notari

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD is a prion disease thought to be acquired by the consumption of prion-contaminated beef products. To date, over 200 cases have been identified around the world, but mainly in the United Kingdom. Three cases have been identified in the United States; however, these subjects were likely exposed to prion infection elsewhere. Here we report on the first of these subjects.Neuropathological and genetic examinations were carried out using standard procedures. We assessed the presence and characteristics of protease-resistant prion protein (PrP(res in brain and 23 other organs and tissues using immunoblots performed directly on total homogenate or following sodium phosphotungstate precipitation to increase PrP(res detectability. The brain showed a lack of typical spongiform degeneration and had large plaques, likely stemming from the extensive neuronal loss caused by the long duration (32 months of the disease. The PrP(res found in the brain had the typical characteristics of the PrP(res present in vCJD. In addition to the brain and other organs known to be prion positive in vCJD, such as the lymphoreticular system, pituitary and adrenal glands, and gastrointestinal tract, PrP(res was also detected for the first time in the dura mater, liver, pancreas, kidney, ovary, uterus, and skin.Our results indicate that the number of organs affected in vCJD is greater than previously realized and further underscore the risk of iatrogenic transmission in vCJD.

  14. Quantitating PrP Polymorphisms Present in Prions from Heterozygous Scrapie-Infected Sheep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Christopher J; Erickson-Beltran, Melissa L; Hui, Colleen; Badiola, Juan José; Nicholson, Eric M; Requena, Jesús R; Bolea, Rosa

    2017-01-03

    Scrapie is a prion (PrP Sc ) 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 (PrP C ). Chymotrypsin was used to digest sheep recombinant PrP to identify a set of characteristic peptides [M 132 LGSXMSRPL 141 (X = A or V), Y 153 XENMY 158 (X,= H or R), and Y 166 RPVDXY 172 (X = H, K, Q, or R)] that could be used to detect and quantitate polymorphisms at positions 136, 154, and 171 of sheep PrP C or PrP Sc . These peptides were used to develop a multiple reaction monitoring method (MRM) to detect the amounts of a particular polymorphism in a sample of PrP Sc isolated from sheep heterozygous for their PrP C proteins. The limit of detection for these peptides was less than 50 attomole. Spinal cord tissue from heterozygous (ARQ/VRQ or ARH/ARQ) scrapie-infected Rasa Aragonesa sheep was analyzed using this MRM method. Both sets of heterozygotes show the presence of both polymorphisms in PrP Sc . This was true for samples containing both proteinase K (PK)-sensitive and PK-resistant PrP Sc and samples containing only the PK-resistant PrP Sc . These results show that heterozygous animals contain PrP Sc that is composed of significant amounts of both PrP polymorphisms.

  15. Comparative Study of Prions in Iatrogenic and Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Xiangzhu; Yuan, Jue; Qing, Liuting; Cali, Ignazio; Mikol, Jacqueline; Delisle, Marie-Bernadette; Uro-Coste, Emmanuelle; Zeng, Liang; Abouelsaad, Mai; Gazgalis, Dimitris; Martinez, Manuel Camacho; Wang, Gong-Xian; Brown, Paul; Ironside, James W.; Gambetti, Pierluigi; Kong, Qingzhong; Zou, Wen-Quan

    2014-01-01

    Differentiating iatrogenic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (iCJD) from sporadic CJD (sCJD) would be useful for the identification and prevention of human-to-human prion transmission. Currently, the diagnosis of iCJD depends on identification of a recognized source of contamination to which patients have been exposed, in addition to fulfilling basic requirements for the establishment of diagnosis of CJD. Attempts to identify differences in clinical manifestations, neuropathological changes and pathological prion protein (PrPSc) between iCJD and sCJD have been unsuccessful. In the present study, using a variety of more sophisticated methods including sucrose step gradient sedimentation, conformational stability immunoassay, protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA), fragment-mapping, and transmission study, we show no significant differences in gel profiles, oligomeric state, conformational stability and infectivity of PrPSc between iCJD and sCJD. However, using PMCA, we find that convertibility and amplification efficiency of PrPSc is greater in iCJD than in sCJD in a polymorphism-dependent manner. Moreover, two protease-resistant PrP C-terminal fragments (termed PrP-CTF12/13) were detected in all 9 cases of sCJD but not in 6 of 8 cases of iCJD tested in this study. The use of fragment mapping- and PMCA-based assays thus provides a means to distinguish most cases of iCJD from sCJD. PMID:25419482

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dorothea Rutishauser

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

  17. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliane Bremer

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

  19. Surgeon Reported Outcome Measure for Spine Trauma an International Expert Survey Identifying Parameters Relevant for The Outcome of Subaxial Cervical Spine Injuries

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sadiqi, Said; Verlaan, Jorrit Jan; Lehr, A. M.; Dvorak, Marcel F.; Kandziora, Frank; Rajasekaran, S.; Schnake, Klaus J.; Vaccaro, Alexander R.; Oner, F. C.

    2016-01-01

    STUDY DESIGN.: International web-based survey OBJECTIVE.: To identify clinical and radiological parameters that spine surgeons consider most relevant when evaluating clinical and functional outcomes of subaxial cervical spine trauma patients. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA.: While an outcome instrument

  20. A place to live: housing needs for people with psychotic disorders identified in the second Australian National Survey of Psychosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey, Carol; Killackey, Eoin; Groves, Aaron; Herrman, Helen

    2012-09-01

    Access to adequate housing consistent with personal preferences and needs is a human right and supports recovery from psychosis. This study aimed to: (1) describe people with psychosis living in different housing types, and their preferences and needs; (2) explore selected demographic and social inclusion correlates in relation to housing; and (3) compare two subgroups - participants living in supported group accommodation and supported housing - on key demographic, functional, clinical and social inclusion variables. Current housing, preferences, needs and assistance, and housing-related social inclusion variables were assessed in a two-phase prevalence survey conducted within seven catchment areas across five Australian states. Two supported housing models were compared: supported group accommodation and supported housing (rental accommodation with in-reach support). Descriptive statistics were used. Of the total participants (n = 1825), one half were living in public or private rented housing (48.6%) and 22.7% were waiting for public housing. Despite being the preferred form of housing, only 13.1% were living in their own home. One in 20 participants (5.2%) was currently homeless; 12.8% had been homeless in the previous 12 months. Residents of supported group accommodation felt safer in their locality than those in supported housing, but experienced less privacy and choice. Although fewer participants were homeless compared with the first Australian survey of psychosis, the proportion remains high. Housing difficulties are experienced by people with psychoses living in various accommodation and concern housing adequacy and safety as well as autonomy and choice. Access to public housing is restricted compared with the identified need. Since residents of supported group accommodation felt safer in their locality than those in supported housing, but experienced less privacy and choice, each supported housing model may offer different advantages to people with

  1. Region-specific protein misfolding cyclic amplification reproduces brain tropism of prion strains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Privat, Nicolas; Levavasseur, Etienne; Yildirim, Serfildan; Hannaoui, Samia; Brandel, Jean-Philippe; Laplanche, Jean-Louis; Béringue, Vincent; Seilhean, Danielle; Haïk, Stéphane

    2017-10-06

    Human prion diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease are transmissible brain proteinopathies, characterized by the accumulation of a misfolded isoform of the host cellular prion protein (PrP) in the brain. According to the prion model, prions are defined as proteinaceous infectious particles composed solely of this abnormal isoform of PrP (PrP Sc ). Even in the absence of genetic material, various prion strains can be propagated in experimental models. They can be distinguished by the pattern of disease they produce and especially by the localization of PrP Sc deposits within the brain and the spongiform lesions they induce. The mechanisms involved in this strain-specific targeting of distinct brain regions still are a fundamental, unresolved question in prion research. To address this question, we exploited a prion conversion in vitro assay, protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA), by using experimental scrapie and human prion strains as seeds and specific brain regions from mice and humans as substrates. We show here that region-specific PMCA in part reproduces the specific brain targeting observed in experimental, acquired, and sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob diseases. Furthermore, we provide evidence that, in addition to cellular prion protein, other region- and species-specific molecular factors influence the strain-dependent prion conversion process. This important step toward understanding prion strain propagation in the human brain may impact research on the molecular factors involved in protein misfolding and the development of ultrasensitive methods for diagnosing prion disease. © 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-05-06

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

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Identifying associated factors with social capital using path analysis: A population-based survey in Tehran, Iran (Urban HEART-2).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asadi-Lari, Mohsen; Hassanzadeh, Jafar; Torabinia, Mansour; Vaez-Mahdavi, Mohammad Reza; Montazeri, Ali; Ghaem, Haleh; Menati, Rostam; Niazi, Mohsen; Kassani, Aziz

    2016-01-01

    Background: Social capital has been defined as norms, networks, and social links that facilitate collective actions. Social capital is related to a number of main social and public health variables. Therefore, the present study aimed to determine the factors associated with social capital among the residents of Tehran, Iran. Methods: In this large cross-sectional population-based study, 31531 residents aged 20 years and above were selected through multi-stage sampling method from 22 districts of Tehran in 2011. The social capital questionnaire, 28-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28), and Short-Form Health Survey (SF-12) were used. Hypothetical causal models were designed to identify the pathways through which different variables influenced the components of social capital. Then, path analysis was conducted for identifying the determinants of social capital. Results: The most influential variables in 'individual trust' were job status (β=0.37, p=0.02), marital status (β=0.32, p=0.01), Physical Component Summary (PCS) (β=0.37, p=0.02), and age (β=0.34, p=0.03). On the other hand, education level (β=0.34, p=0.01), age (β=0.33, p=0.02), marital status (β=0.33, p=0.01), and job status (β=0.32, p=0.01) were effective in 'cohesion and social support'. Additionally, age (β=0.18, p=0.02), PCS (β=0.36, p=0.01), house ownership (β=0.23, p=0.03), and mental health (β=0.26, p=0.01) were influential in 'social trust/collective relations'. Conclusion: Social capital can be improved in communities by planning to improve education and occupation status, paying more attention to strengthening family bonds, and provision of local facilities and neighborhood bonds to reduce migration within the city.

  8. Identifying and Prioritizing the Key Factors Influencing Customer Decision Making in Buying Organizational Software (A survey about HAMKARAN Co.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    shahryar Azizi

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Expansion of adopting information systems, specially packed software, facilitate managing the organizational process, hence, identification the factors influence customer buying decision is vital for software providers. This mixed method study tried to identify the factors affecting decision making of buying new organizational software, classify and rank them beside. In-depth interviews with 10 customers of Hamkaran system that had the potential of buying new software have been done and content analysis of these interviews revealed some factors in five categories that became the base of questionnaire design. This study is applied in view of aim, and is descriptive-survey in view of entity. Sample of 177 customers of System Group Co. have been chosen for the study. Kruskal-Wallis test and T test of normality showed all factors to be effective. Then the factors have been prioritized using Frideman test which are as follows: buyer`s internal organizational factors, product feature, factors related to sellers organization, factors related to process and selling promotion, market and environmental factors.

  9. Estimating Prion Adsorption Capacity of Soil by BioAssay of Subtracted Infectivity from Complex Solutions (BASICS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyckoff, A. Christy; Lockwood, Krista L.; Meyerett-Reid, Crystal; Michel, Brady A.; Bender, Heather; VerCauteren, Kurt C.; Zabel, Mark D.

    2013-01-01

    Prions, the infectious agent of scrapie, chronic wasting disease and other transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, are misfolded proteins that are highly stable and resistant to degradation. Prions are known to associate with clay and other soil components, enhancing their persistence and surprisingly, transmissibility. Currently, few detection and quantification methods exist for prions in soil, hindering an understanding of prion persistence and infectivity in the environment. Variability in apparent infectious titers of prions when bound to soil has complicated attempts to quantify the binding capacity of soil for prion infectivity. Here, we quantify the prion adsorption capacity of whole, sandy loam soil (SLS) typically found in CWD endemic areas in Colorado; and purified montmorillonite clay (Mte), previously shown to bind prions, by BioAssay of Subtracted Infectivity in Complex Solutions (BASICS). We incubated prion positive 10% brain homogenate from terminally sick mice infected with the Rocky Mountain Lab strain of mouse-adapted prions (RML) with 10% SLS or Mte. After 24 hours samples were centrifuged five minutes at 200×g and soil-free supernatant was intracerebrally inoculated into prion susceptible indicator mice. We used the number of days post inoculation to clinical disease to calculate the infectious titer remaining in the supernatant, which we subtracted from the starting titer to determine the infectious prion binding capacity of SLS and Mte. BASICS indicated SLS bound and removed ≥ 95% of infectivity. Mte bound and removed lethal doses (99.98%) of prions from inocula, effectively preventing disease in the mice. Our data reveal significant prion-binding capacity of soil and the utility of BASICS to estimate prion loads and investigate persistence and decomposition in the environment. Additionally, since Mte successfully rescued the mice from prion disease, Mte might be used for remediation and decontamination protocols. PMID:23484043

  10. Identifying the site of granite uranium deposit with radon survey and soil-natural themoluminescence survey. A case study of Xiazhuang granite uranium field

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang Yaxin; Wu Yamei; Wu Xinmin; Chen Yue; Zheng Yongming; Zhang Ye; Wu Lieqin

    2007-01-01

    This paper briefly introduces the methods and procedures for field and indoor radon survey and themoluminescence (TL) survey. The application of these two methods to Xiazhuang uranium field in Guangdong province shows: (1) the positive anomalies of radon survey coincide well with fractured zone and the positive anomalies of TL survey response to uranium mineralization on granite type uranium deposit of silicated fracture zone, the uranium deposit can be effectively explored when these two kinds of anomalies match together. (2) the positive anomalies of radon survey coincide well with fractured zone and the positive anomalies of TL response to the position that intersection between the fractured zone and diabase dyke is projected on the ground. (authors)

  11. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer E Dulle

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

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. 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

  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. Mountain lions prey selectively on prion-infected mule deer

    OpenAIRE

    Krumm, Caroline E.; Conner, Mary M.; Hobbs, N. Thompson; Hunter, Don O.; Miller, Michael W.

    2009-01-01

    The possibility that predators choose prey selectively based on age or condition has been suggested but rarely tested. We examined whether mountain lions (Puma concolor) selectively prey upon mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) infected with chronic wasting disease, a prion disease. We located kill sites of mountain lions in the northern Front Range of Colorado, USA, and compared disease prevalence among lion-killed adult (?2 years old) deer with prevalence among sympatric deer taken by hunters i...

  1. Squalestatin alters the intracellular trafficking of a neurotoxic prion peptide

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Williams Alun

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neurotoxic peptides derived from the protease-resistant core of the prion protein are used to model the pathogenesis of prion diseases. The current study characterised the ingestion, internalization and intracellular trafficking of a neurotoxic peptide containing amino acids 105–132 of the murine prion protein (MoPrP105-132 in neuroblastoma cells and primary cortical neurons. Results Fluorescence microscopy and cell fractionation techniques showed that MoPrP105-132 co-localised with lipid raft markers (cholera toxin and caveolin-1 and trafficked intracellularly within lipid rafts. This trafficking followed a non-classical endosomal pathway delivering peptide to the Golgi and ER, avoiding classical endosomal trafficking via early endosomes to lysosomes. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer analysis demonstrated close interactions of MoPrP105-132 with cytoplasmic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2 and cyclo-oxygenase-1 (COX-1, enzymes implicated in the neurotoxicity of prions. Treatment with squalestatin reduced neuronal cholesterol levels and caused the redistribution of MoPrP105-132 out of lipid rafts. In squalestatin-treated cells, MoPrP105-132 was rerouted away from the Golgi/ER into degradative lysosomes. Squalestatin treatment also reduced the association between MoPrP105-132 and cPLA2/COX-1. Conclusion As the observed shift in peptide trafficking was accompanied by increased cell survival these studies suggest that the neurotoxicity of this PrP peptide is dependent on trafficking to specific organelles where it activates specific signal transduction pathways.

  2. An international survey of MRI qualification and certification frameworks with an emphasis on identifying elements of good practice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Castillo, J.; Caruana, C.J.; Morgan, P.S.; Westbrook, C.; Mizzi, A.

    2017-01-01

    The purpose of the study was to survey MRI qualification and certification frameworks in the major English-speaking countries (Australia, New Zealand, US, Canada, UK, Ireland) with the aim of identifying elements of good practice. The intention is to incorporate these elements in a national framework that could be used in supporting an MRI specialist register. The study was conducted using document analysis of MRI qualification and certification documents from these states with data triangulated through a web-based questionnaire amongst an expert group of MRI radiographers (n = 59) from the same states. Based on the results of the study, recommendations have been put forward for those countries that are in the process of developing such frameworks. The main recommendations include that a professional or regulatory body externally accredits MRI programmes and that learning outcomes be based on an MRI competence profile that addresses current and forecasted needs of the particular country. The MRI competence profile should encompass a novice-to expert continuum and be referenced directly to a national qualification framework. Ideally each level of expertise should be assessed and evidenced by a portfolio of CPD activities, including clinical and management case studies appropriate to that level. - Highlights: • Professional or regulatory bodies should accredit MRI academic programmes. • Competence profiles should reflect and support local MRI services. • MRI competence profiles should be structured in a novice-to-expert continuum format. • Competence profiles should reference national qualification/certification frameworks. • Mandatory certification could lead to registration in an MRI specialist register.

  3. RAVE J203843.2-002333: The First Highly R-process-enhanced Star Identified in the RAVE Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Placco, Vinicius M.; Holmbeck, Erika M.; Frebel, Anna; Beers, Timothy C.; Surman, Rebecca A.; Ji, Alexander P.; Ezzeddine, Rana; Points, Sean D.; Kaleida, Catherine C.; Hansen, Terese T.; Sakari, Charli M.; Casey, Andrew R.

    2017-07-01

    We report the discovery of RAVE J203843.2-002333, a bright (V = 12.73), very metal-poor ([{Fe}/{{H}}] = -2.91), r-process-enhanced ([{Eu}/{Fe}] = +1.64 and [{Ba}/{Eu}] = -0.81) star selected from the RAVE survey. This star was identified as a metal-poor candidate based on its medium-resolution (R ˜ 1600) spectrum obtained with the KPNO/Mayall Telescope, and followed up with high-resolution (R ˜ 66,000) spectroscopy with the Magellan/Clay Telescope, allowing for the determination of elemental abundances for 24 neutron-capture elements, including thorium and uranium. RAVE J2038-0023 is only the fourth metal-poor star with a clearly measured U abundance. The derived chemical abundance pattern exhibits good agreement with those of other known highly r-process-enhanced stars, and evidence suggests that it is not an actinide-boost star. Age estimates were calculated using U/X abundance ratios, yielding a mean age of 13.0 ± 1.1 Gyr. Based on observations gathered with the 6.5 m Magellan Telescopes located at Las Campanas Observatory, Chile; Kitt Peak National Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO Prop. ID: 14B-0231; PI: Placco), which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. The authors are honored to be permitted to conduct astronomical research on Iolkam Du’ag (Kitt Peak), a mountain with particular significance to the Tohono O’odham.

  4. Identifying the Barriers to Using Games and Simulations in Education: Creating a Valid and Reliable Survey Instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Justice, Lenora Jean

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to create a valid and reliable instrument to measure teacher perceived barriers to the adoption of games and simulations in instruction. Previous research, interviews with educators, a focus group, an expert review, and a think aloud protocol were used to design a survey instrument. After finalization, the survey was…

  5. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Development of a Rapid and Sensitive Test for the Detection of Prions in Cultured Cells

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Taraboulos, Albert

    2004-01-01

    .... Increase the level of prion/Prp(exp SC) amplification in the infected cells. 4. Design better ways to detect prion infection in cells, either by increasing the formation of PrP(exp SC) or by devising new, non-PrP(exp SC) surrogate' markers.

  8. 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...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vladimir Ávila Ávila

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available 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 adversas; un modelo en Aplysiamuestra que podrían existir proteínas de característicassimilares a los priones en organismos superiorescumpliendo funciones en los procesos de formación de lamemoria como la CPEB (Proteína de unión al elemento depoliadenilación. ¿Pueden los priones en realidad participaren los procesos biológicos? Aquí revisamos algunosdetalles de las enfermedades causadas por priones en elhombre, los priones como elementos genéticos y laimportancia de la capacidad de los priones para guardarinformación en los procesos de la memoria.

  13. Clay components in soil dictate environmental stability and bioavailability of cervid prions in mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Christy Wyckoff

    2016-11-01

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

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  16. Molecular Features of the Copper Binding Sites in the Octarepeat Domain of the Prion Protein†

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burns, Colin S.; Aronoff-Spencer, Eliah; Dunham, Christine M.; Lario, Paula; Avdievich, Nikolai I.; Antholine, William E.; Olmstead, Marilyn M.; Vrielink, Alice; Gerfen, Gary J.; Peisach, Jack; Scott, William G.; Millhauser, Glenn L.

    2010-01-01

    Recent evidence suggests that the prion protein (PrP) is a copper binding protein. The N-terminal region of human PrP contains four sequential copies of the highly conserved octarepeat sequence PHGGGWGQ spanning residues 60–91. This region selectively binds Cu2+ in vivo. In a previous study using peptide design, EPR, and CD spectroscopy, we showed that the HGGGW segment within each octarepeat comprises the fundamental Cu2+ binding unit [Aronoff-Spencer et al. (2000) Biochemistry 40, 13760–13771]. Here we present the first atomic resolution view of the copper binding site within an octarepeat. The crystal structure of HGGGW in a complex with Cu2+ reveals equatorial coordination by the histidine imidazole, two deprotonated glycine amides, and a glycine carbonyl, along with an axial water bridging to the Trp indole. Companion S-band EPR, X-band ESEEM, and HYSCORE experiments performed on a library of 15N-labeled peptides indicate that the structure of the copper binding site in HGGGW and PHGGGWGQ in solution is consistent with that of the crystal structure. Moreover, EPR performed on PrP(23–28, 57–91) and an 15N-labeled analogue demonstrates that the identified structure is maintained in the full PrP octarepeat domain. It has been shown that copper stimulates PrP endocytosis. The identified Gly–Cu linkage is unstable below pH ≈6.5 and thus suggests a pH-dependent molecular mechanism by which PrP detects Cu2+ in the extracellular matrix or releases PrP-bound Cu2+ within the endosome. The structure also reveals an unusual complementary interaction between copper-structured HGGGW units that may facilitate molecular recognition between prion proteins, thereby suggesting a mechanism for transmembrane signaling and perhaps conversion to the pathogenic form. PMID:11900542

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takatsuki, Hanae; Fuse, Takayuki; Nakagaki, Takehiro; Mori, Tsuyoshi; Mihara, Ban; Takao, Masaki; Iwasaki, Yasushi; Yoshida, Mari; Murayama, Shigeo; Atarashi, Ryuichiro; Nishida, Noriyuki; Satoh, Katsuya

    2016-10-01

    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 10 6 /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 10 6 /g SD50 did not exist the infectivity. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. 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.

  1. ALFAZOA Deep HI Survey to Identify Galaxies in the ZOA 37° ≦ l ≦ 43° and -2.5° ≦ b ≦ 3°

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palencia, Kelby; Robert Minchin, Monica Sanchez, Patricia Henning , Rhys Taylor

    2018-01-01

    The area where the galaxy lies, as viewed from the solar system, is called the Zone of Avoidance (ZOA). Due to extinction and confusion in the ZOA sources behind it appear to be blocked. This project is working with data from the Arecibo ALFAZOA Deep survey to identify galaxies in the ZOA amid 37° ≦ l ≦ 43° and -2.5° ≦ b ≦ 3° . The ALFAZOA Deep surveyed a part of the inner galaxy for the first time in the ZOA. The ALFAZOA Deep survey is a more sensitive survey than the previous survey the ALFAZOA Shallow. FRELLED and Miriad were used to identify and analyze the data in this region. With the data 57 sources where identified. Within these 57 sources, 51 were galaxies, which 3 were previously discovered galaxies; leaving 48 as new galaxies. The other 6 remaining sources from the 57, were follow-up sources. Two groups of galaxies were also identified, one lies around 1,500-3,200 km/s and the other between 10,600-11,700 km/s in redshift. The sources from the group in 10,600-11,700 km/s in redshift also need a follow up as they lie near the spectrum where the receiver signal starts to weaken.

  2. Identifying patients and clinical scenarios for use of long-acting injectable antipsychotics – expert consensus survey part 1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sajatovic M

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Martha Sajatovic,1,2 Ruth Ross,3 Susan N Legacy,4 Christoph U Correll,5,6 John M Kane,5,6 Faith DiBiasi,7 Heather Fitzgerald,8 Matthew Byerly9 1Department of Psychiatry, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Cleveland, OH, USA; 2Departments of Psychiatry and Neurology, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH, USA; 3Ross Editorial, Port Townsend, WA, USA; 4US Medical Affairs Neuroscience, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc., Princeton, NJ, USA; 5Psychiatry, The Zucker Hillside Hospital, Glen Oaks, NY, USA; 6Psychiatry, The Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, Glen Oaks, NY, USA; 7Scientific Communications, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc., Rockville, MD, USA; 8Medical Affairs, Lundbeck LLC, Deerfield, IL, USA; 9Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Center for Mental Health Research and Recovery, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT, USA Objective: To assess expert consensus on barriers and facilitators for long-acting injectable antipsychotic (LAI use and provide clinical recommendations on issues where clinical evidence is lacking, including identifying appropriate clinical situations for LAI use. Methods: A 50-question survey comprising 916 response options was distributed to 42 research experts and high prescribers with extensive LAI experience. Respondents rated options on relative appropriateness/importance using a 9-point scale. Consensus was determined using chi-square test of score distributions. Mean (standard deviation ratings were calculated. Responses to 29 questions (577 options relating to appropriate patients and clinical scenarios for LAI use are reported. Results: Recommendations aligned with research on risk factors for nonadherence and poor outcomes for patients with schizophrenia/schizoaffective or bipolar disorder. Findings suggested, contrary to general practice patterns, that LAI use may be appropriate earlier in

  3. Prion infectivity in the spleen of a PRNP heterozygous individual with subclinical variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, Matthew T; Diack, Abigail B; Ritchie, Diane L; Ironside, James W; Will, Robert G; Manson, Jean C

    2013-04-01

    Blood transfusion has been identified as a source of human-to-human transmission of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Three cases of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease have been identified following red cell transfusions from donors who subsequently developed variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and an asymptomatic red cell transfusion recipient, who did not die of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, has been identified with prion protein deposition in the spleen and a lymph node, but not the brain. This individual was heterozygous (MV) at codon 129 of the prion protein gene (PRNP), whereas all previous definite and probable cases of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease have been methionine homozygotes (MM). A critical question for public health is whether the prion protein deposition reported in peripheral tissues from this MV individual correlates with infectivity. Additionally it is important to establish whether the PRNP codon 129 genotype has influenced the transmission characteristics of the infectious agent. Brain and spleen from the MV blood recipient were inoculated into murine strains that have consistently demonstrated transmission of the variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease agent. Mice were assessed for clinical and pathological signs of disease and transmission data were compared with other transmission studies in variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, including those on the spleen and brain of the donor to the index case. Transmission of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease was observed from the MV blood recipient spleen, but not from the brain, whereas there was transmission from both spleen and brain tissues from the red blood cell donor. Longer incubation times were observed for the blood donor spleen inoculum compared with the blood donor brain inoculum, suggesting lower titres of infectivity in the spleen. The distribution of vacuolar pathology and abnormal prion protein in infected mice were similar following inoculation with both donor and recipient spleen

  4. Prion infectivity in the spleen of a PRNP heterozygous individual with subclinical variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, Matthew T.; Diack, Abigail B.; Ritchie, Diane L.; Ironside, James W.; Will, Robert G.

    2013-01-01

    Blood transfusion has been identified as a source of human-to-human transmission of variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease. Three cases of variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease have been identified following red cell transfusions from donors who subsequently developed variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease and an asymptomatic red cell transfusion recipient, who did not die of variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease, has been identified with prion protein deposition in the spleen and a lymph node, but not the brain. This individual was heterozygous (MV) at codon 129 of the prion protein gene (PRNP), whereas all previous definite and probable cases of variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease have been methionine homozygotes (MM). A critical question for public health is whether the prion protein deposition reported in peripheral tissues from this MV individual correlates with infectivity. Additionally it is important to establish whether the PRNP codon 129 genotype has influenced the transmission characteristics of the infectious agent. Brain and spleen from the MV blood recipient were inoculated into murine strains that have consistently demonstrated transmission of the variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease agent. Mice were assessed for clinical and pathological signs of disease and transmission data were compared with other transmission studies in variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease, including those on the spleen and brain of the donor to the index case. Transmission of variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease was observed from the MV blood recipient spleen, but not from the brain, whereas there was transmission from both spleen and brain tissues from the red blood cell donor. Longer incubation times were observed for the blood donor spleen inoculum compared with the blood donor brain inoculum, suggesting lower titres of infectivity in the spleen. The distribution of vacuolar pathology and abnormal prion protein in infected mice were similar following inoculation with both donor and

  5. Identification of novel putative-binding proteins for cellular prion protein and a specific interaction with the STIP1 homology and U-Box-containing protein 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gimenez, Ana Paula Lappas; Richter, Larissa Morato Luciani; Atherino, Mariana Campos; Beirão, Breno Castello Branco; Fávaro, Celso; Costa, Michele Dietrich Moura; Zanata, Silvio Marques; Malnic, Bettina; Mercadante, Adriana Frohlich

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Prion diseases involve the conversion of the endogenous cellular prion protein, PrPC, into a misfolded infectious isoform, PrPSc. Several functions have been attributed to PrPC, and its role has also been investigated in the olfactory system. PrPC is expressed in both the olfactory bulb (OB) and olfactory epithelium (OE) and the nasal cavity is an important route of transmission of diseases caused by prions. Moreover, Prnp−/− mice showed impaired behavior in olfactory tests. Given the high PrPC expression in OE and its putative role in olfaction, we screened a mouse OE cDNA library to identify novel PrPC-binding partners. Ten different putative PrPC ligands were identified, which were involved in functions such as cellular proliferation and apoptosis, cytoskeleton and vesicle transport, ubiquitination of proteins, stress response, and other physiological processes. In vitro binding assays confirmed the interaction of PrPC with STIP1 homology and U-Box containing protein 1 (Stub1) and are reported here for the first time. Stub1 is a co-chaperone with ubiquitin E3-ligase activity, which is associated with neurodegenerative diseases characterized by protein misfolding and aggregation. Physiological and pathological implications of PrPC-Stub1 interaction are under investigation. The PrPC-binding proteins identified here are not exclusive to the OE, suggesting that these interactions may occur in other tissues and play general biological roles. These data corroborate the proposal that PrPC is part of a multiprotein complex that modulates several cellular functions and provide a platform for further studies on the physiological and pathological roles of prion protein. PMID:26237451

  6. A Literature Survey to Identify Potentially Volatile Iodine-Bearing Species Present in Off-Gas Streams

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bruffey, S. H. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Spencer, B. B. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Strachan, D. M. [Strata-G, Knoxville, TN (United States); Jubin, R. T. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Soelberg, N. R. [Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States); Riley, B. J. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2015-06-30

    Four radionuclides have been identified as being sufficiently volatile in the reprocessing of nuclear fuel that their gaseous release needs to be controlled to meet regulatory requirements (Jubin et al. 2011, 2012). These radionuclides are 3H, 14C, 85Kr, and 129I. Of these, 129I has the longest half-life and potentially high biological impact. Accordingly, control of the release of 129I is most critical with respect to the regulations for the release of radioactive material in stack emissions. It is estimated that current EPA regulations (EPA 2010) would require any reprocessing plant in the United States to limit 129I release to less than 0.05 Ci/MTIHM for a typical fuel burnup of 55 gigawatt days per metric tonne (GWd/t) (Jubin 2011). The study of inorganic iodide in off-gas systems has been almost exclusively limited to I2 and the focus of organic iodide studies has been CH3I. In this document, we provide the results of an examination of publically available literature that is relevant to the presence and sources of both inorganic and organic iodine-bearing species in reprocessing plants. We especially focus on those that have the potential to be poorly sequestered with traditional capture methodologies. Based on the results of the literature survey and some limited thermodynamic modeling, the inorganic iodine species hypoiodous acid (HOI) and iodine monochloride (ICl) were identified as potentially low-sorbing iodine species that could present in off-gas systems. Organic species of interest included both short chain alkyl iodides such as methyl iodide (CH3I) and longer alkyl iodides up to iodododecane (C10H21I). It was found that fuel dissolution may provide conditions conducive to HOI formation and has been shown to result in volatile long-chain alkyl iodides, though these may not volatilize until later in the reprocessing sequence. Solvent extraction processes were found to be significant sources of various organic iodine-bearing species; formation of these

  7. 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.

  8. An assessment of the long-term persistence of prion infectivity in aquatic environments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marín-Moreno, Alba; Espinosa, Juan-Carlos; Fernández-Borges, Natalia; Píquer, Juan; Girones, Rosina; Andreoletti, Olivier; Torres, Juan-María

    2016-01-01

    The environment plays a key role in horizontal transmission of prion diseases, since prions are extremely resistant to classical inactivation procedures. In prior work, we observed the high stability of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) infectivity when these prions were incubated in aqueous media such as phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) or wastewater for nearly nine months. As a continuation of this experiment, the same samples were maintained in PBS or wastewater for five additional years and residual BSE infectivity was assessed in bovine PrP C transgenic mice. Over this long time period (more than six years), BSE infectivity was reduced by three and one orders of magnitude in wastewater and PBS respectively. To rule out a possible agent specific effect, sheep scrapie prions were subjected to the same experimental protocol, using eight years as the experimental end-point. No significant reduction in scrapie infectivity was observed over the first nine months of wastewater incubation while PBS incubation for eight years only produced a two logarithmic unit reduction in infectivity. By contrast, the dynamics of PrP Res persistence was different, disappearing progressively over the first year. The long persistence of prion infectivity observed in this study for two different agents provides supporting evidence of the assumed high stability of these agents in aquatic environments and that environmental processes or conventional wastewater treatments with low retention times would have little impact on prion infectivity. These results could have great repercussions in terms of risk assessment and safety for animals and human populations. - Highlights: • Prion infectivity resists long term incubations in aquatic environments. • Infectivity persistence in wastewater is reduced when compared to PBS. • In this study PrPRes fails as a marker for prion detection. • Mice bioassay is the most powerful tool for assessing prion presence. • Wastewater conventional

  9. An assessment of the long-term persistence of prion infectivity in aquatic environments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marín-Moreno, Alba; Espinosa, Juan-Carlos; Fernández-Borges, Natalia; Píquer, Juan [Centro de Investigación en Sanidad Animal, CISA-INIA, Carretera Algete-El Casar S/n, Valdeolmos, 28130 Madrid (Spain); Girones, Rosina [Department of Microbiology, University of Barcelona, Diagonal 643, 08028 Barcelona (Spain); Andreoletti, Olivier [UMR INRA-ENVT 1225, Interactions Hôte Agent Pathogène, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Toulouse, Toulouse (France); Torres, Juan-María, E-mail: jmtorres@inia.es [Centro de Investigación en Sanidad Animal, CISA-INIA, Carretera Algete-El Casar S/n, Valdeolmos, 28130 Madrid (Spain)

    2016-11-15

    The environment plays a key role in horizontal transmission of prion diseases, since prions are extremely resistant to classical inactivation procedures. In prior work, we observed the high stability of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) infectivity when these prions were incubated in aqueous media such as phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) or wastewater for nearly nine months. As a continuation of this experiment, the same samples were maintained in PBS or wastewater for five additional years and residual BSE infectivity was assessed in bovine PrP{sup C} transgenic mice. Over this long time period (more than six years), BSE infectivity was reduced by three and one orders of magnitude in wastewater and PBS respectively. To rule out a possible agent specific effect, sheep scrapie prions were subjected to the same experimental protocol, using eight years as the experimental end-point. No significant reduction in scrapie infectivity was observed over the first nine months of wastewater incubation while PBS incubation for eight years only produced a two logarithmic unit reduction in infectivity. By contrast, the dynamics of PrP{sup Res} persistence was different, disappearing progressively over the first year. The long persistence of prion infectivity observed in this study for two different agents provides supporting evidence of the assumed high stability of these agents in aquatic environments and that environmental processes or conventional wastewater treatments with low retention times would have little impact on prion infectivity. These results could have great repercussions in terms of risk assessment and safety for animals and human populations. - Highlights: • Prion infectivity resists long term incubations in aquatic environments. • Infectivity persistence in wastewater is reduced when compared to PBS. • In this study PrPRes fails as a marker for prion detection. • Mice bioassay is the most powerful tool for assessing prion presence. • Wastewater

  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. Diagnostic and prognostic value of human prion detection in cerebrospinal fluid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foutz, Aaron; Appleby, Brian S; Hamlin, Clive; Liu, Xiaoqin; Yang, Sheng; Cohen, Yvonne; Chen, Wei; Blevins, Janis; Fausett, Cameron; Wang, Han; Gambetti, Pierluigi; Zhang, Shulin; Hughson, Andrew; Tatsuoka, Curtis; Schonberger, Lawrence B; Cohen, Mark L; Caughey, Byron; Safar, Jiri G

    2017-01-01

    Several prion amplification systems have been proposed for detection of prions in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), most recently, the measurements of prion seeding activity with second-generation real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC). The objective of this study was to investigate the diagnostic performance of the RT-QuIC prion test in the broad phenotypic spectrum of prion diseases. We performed CSF RT-QuIC testing in 2,141 patients who had rapidly progressive neurological disorders, determined diagnostic sensitivity and specificity in 272 cases that were autopsied, and evaluated the impact of mutations and polymorphisms in the PRNP gene, and type 1 or type 2 human prions on diagnostic performance. The 98.5% diagnostic specificity and 92% sensitivity of CSF RT-QuIC in a blinded retrospective analysis matched the 100% specificity and 95% sensitivity of a blind prospective study. The CSF RT-QuIC differentiated 94% of cases of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) MM1 from the sCJD MM2 phenotype, and 80% of sCJD VV2 from sCJD VV1. The mixed prion type 1-2 and cases heterozygous for codon 129 generated intermediate CSF RT-QuIC patterns, whereas genetic prion diseases revealed distinct profiles for each PRNP gene mutation. The diagnostic performance of the improved CSF RT-QuIC is superior to surrogate marker tests for prion diseases such as 14-3-3 and tau proteins, and together with PRNP gene sequencing the test allows the major prion subtypes to be differentiated in vivo. This differentiation facilitates prediction of the clinicopathological phenotype and duration of the disease-two important considerations for envisioned therapeutic interventions. ANN NEUROL 2017;81:79-92. © 2016 American Neurological Association.

  12. Reliability of a Retail Food Store Survey and Development of an Accompanying Retail Scoring System to Communicate Survey Findings and Identify Vendors for Healthful Food and Marketing Initiatives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghirardelli, Alyssa; Quinn, Valerie; Sugerman, Sharon

    2011-01-01

    Objective: To develop a retail grocery instrument with weighted scoring to be used as an indicator of the food environment. Participants/Setting: Twenty six retail food stores in low-income areas in California. Intervention: Observational. Main Outcome Measure(s): Inter-rater reliability for grocery store survey instrument. Description of store…

  13. Characterization of Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Prions in Prion Protein-humanized Mice Carrying Distinct Codon 129 Genotypes*

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    To date, all clinical variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) patients are homozygous for methionine at polymorphic codon 129 (129M/M) of the prion protein (PrP) gene. However, the appearance of asymptomatic secondary vCJD infection in individuals with a PRNP codon 129 genotype other than M/M and transmission studies using animal models have raised the concern that all humans might be susceptible to vCJD prions, especially via secondary infection. To reevaluate this possibility and to analyze in detail the transmission properties of vCJD prions to transgenic animals carrying distinct codon 129 genotype, we performed intracerebral inoculation of vCJD prions to humanized knock-in mice carrying all possible codon 129 genotypes (129M/M, 129M/V, or 129V/V). All humanized knock-in mouse lines were susceptible to vCJD infection, although the attack rate gradually decreased from 129M/M to 129M/V and to 129V/V. The amount of PrP deposition including florid/amyloid plaques in the brain also gradually decreased from 129M/M to 129M/V and to 129V/V. The biochemical properties of protease-resistant abnormal PrP in the brain and transmissibility of these humanized mouse-passaged vCJD prions upon subpassage into knock-in mice expressing bovine PrP were not affected by the codon 129 genotype. These results indicate that individuals with the 129V/V genotype may be more susceptible to secondary vCJD infection than expected and may lack the neuropathological characteristics observed in vCJD patients with the 129M/M genotype. Besides the molecular typing of protease-resistant PrP in the brain, transmission studies using knock-in mice carrying bovine PrP may aid the differential diagnosis of secondary vCJD infection, especially in individuals with the 129V/V genotype. PMID:23792955

  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. 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.

  16. Early increase and late decrease of purkinje cell dendritic spine density in prion-infected organotypic mouse cerebellar cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campeau, Jody L; Wu, Gengshu; Bell, John R; Rasmussen, Jay; Sim, Valerie L

    2013-01-01

    Prion diseases are infectious neurodegenerative diseases associated with the accumulation of protease-resistant prion protein, neuronal loss, spongiform change and astrogliosis. In the mouse model, the loss of dendritic spines is one of the earliest pathological changes observed in vivo, occurring 4-5 weeks after the first detection of protease-resistant prion protein in the brain. While there are cell culture models of prion infection, most do not recapitulate the neuropathology seen in vivo. Only the recently developed prion organotypic slice culture assay has been reported to undergo neuronal loss and the development of some aspects of prion pathology, namely small vacuolar degeneration and tubulovesicular bodies. Given the rapid replication of prions in this system, with protease-resistant prion protein detectable by 21 days, we investigated whether the dendritic spine loss and altered dendritic morphology seen in prion disease might also develop within the lifetime of this culture system. Indeed, six weeks after first detection of protease-resistant prion protein in tga20 mouse cerebellar slice cultures infected with RML prion strain, we found a statistically significant loss of Purkinje cell dendritic spines and altered dendritic morphology in infected cultures, analogous to that seen in vivo. In addition, we found a transient but statistically significant increase in Purkinje cell dendritic spine density during infection, at the time when protease-resistant prion protein was first detectable in culture. Our findings support the use of this slice culture system as one which recapitulates prion disease pathology and one which may facilitate study of the earliest stages of prion disease pathogenesis.

  17. Ionic mechanisms of action of prion protein fragment PrP(106-126) in rat basal forebrain neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alier, Kwai; Li, Zongming; Mactavish, David; Westaway, David; Jhamandas, Jack H

    2010-08-01

    Prion diseases are neurodegenerative disorders that are characterized by the presence of the misfolded prion protein (PrP). Neurotoxicity in these diseases may result from prion-induced modulation of ion channel function, changes in neuronal excitability, and consequent disruption of cellular homeostasis. We therefore examined PrP effects on a suite of potassium (K(+)) conductances that govern excitability of basal forebrain neurons. Our study examined the effects of a PrP fragment [PrP(106-126), 50 nM] on rat neurons using the patch clamp technique. In this paradigm, PrP(106-126) peptide, but not the "scrambled" sequence of PrP(106-126), evoked a reduction of whole-cell outward currents in a voltage range between -30 and +30 mV. Reduction of whole-cell outward currents was significantly attenuated in Ca(2+)-free external media and also in the presence of iberiotoxin, a blocker of calcium-activated potassium conductance. PrP(106-126) application also evoked a depression of the delayed rectifier (I(K)) and transient outward (I(A)) potassium currents. By using single cell RT-PCR, we identified the presence of two neuronal chemical phenotypes, GABAergic and cholinergic, in cells from which we recorded. Furthermore, cholinergic and GABAergic neurons were shown to express K(v)4.2 channels. Our data establish that the central region of PrP, defined by the PrP(106-126) peptide used at nanomolar concentrations, induces a reduction of specific K(+) channel conductances in basal forebrain neurons. These findings suggest novel links between PrP signalling partners inferred from genetic experiments, K(+) channels, and PrP-mediated neurotoxicity.

  18. Overexpression of PLK3 Mediates the Degradation of Abnormal Prion Proteins Dependent on Chaperone-Mediated Autophagy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hui; Tian, Chan; Sun, Jing; Chen, Li-Na; Lv, Yan; Yang, Xiao-Dong; Xiao, Kang; Wang, Jing; Chen, Cao; Shi, Qi; Shao, Qi-Xiang; Dong, Xiao-Ping

    2017-08-01

    Polo-like kinase 3 (PLK3) is the main cause of cell cycle reentry-related neuronal apoptosis which has been implicated in the pathogenesis of prion diseases. Previous work also showed the regulatory activity of exogenous PLK3 on the degradation of PrP (prion protein) mutants and pathogenic PrP Sc ; however, the precise mechanisms remain unknown. In this study, we identified that the overexpression of PLK3-mediated degradation of PrP mutant and PrP Sc was repressed by lysosome rather than by proteasomal and macroautophagy inhibitors. Core components of chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) effectors, lysosome-associated membrane protein type 2A (LAMP2a), and heat shock cognate protein 70 (Hsc70) are markedly decreased in the HEK293T cells expressing PrP mutant and scrapie-infected cell line SMB-S15. Meanwhile, PrP mutant showed ability to interact with LAMP2a and Hsc70. Overexpression of PLK3 sufficiently increased the cellular levels of LAMP2a and Hsc70, accompanying with declining the accumulations of PrP mutant and PrP Sc . The kinase domain (KD) of PLK3 was responsible for elevating LAMP2a and Hsc70. Knockdown of endogenous PLK3 enhanced the activity of macroautophagy in the cultured cells. Moreover, time-dependent reductions of LAMP2a and Hsc70 were also observed in the brain tissues of hamster-adapted scrapie agent 263K-infected hamsters, indicating an impairment of CMA during prion infection. Those data indicate that the overexpression of PLK3-mediated degradation of abnormal PrP is largely dependent on CMA pathway.

  19. The DESCARTES-Nantes survey of kidney transplant recipients displaying clinical operational tolerance identifies 35 new tolerant patients and 34 almost tolerant patients

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Massart, Annick; Pallier, Annaïck; Pascual, Julio

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Kidney recipients maintaining a prolonged allograft survival in the absence of immunosuppressive drugs and without evidence of rejection are supposed to be exceptional. The ERA-EDTA-DESCARTES working group together with Nantes University launched a European-wide survey to identify new...

  20. The DESCARTES-Nantes survey of kidney transplant recipients displaying clinical operational tolerance identifies 35 new tolerant patients and 34 almost tolerant patients

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Massart, Annick; Pallier, Annaïck; Pascual, Julio; Viklicky, Ondrej; Budde, Klemens; Spasovski, Goce; Klinger, Marian; Sever, Mehmet Sukru; Sørensen, Søren Schwartz; Hadaya, Karine; Oberbauer, Rainer; Dudley, Christopher; de Fijter, Johan W.; Yussim, Alexander; Hazzan, Marc; Wekerle, Thomas; Berglund, David; de Biase, Consuelo; Pérez-Sáez, María José; Mühlfeld, Anja; Orlando, Giuseppe; Clemente, Katia; Lai, Quirino; Pisani, Francesco; Kandus, Aljosa; Baas, Marije; Bemelman, Frederike; Ponikvar, Jadranka Buturovic; Mazouz, Hakim; Stratta, Piero; Subra, Jean-François; Villemain, Florence; Hoitsma, Andries; Braun, Laura; Cantarell, Maria Carmen; Colak, Hulya; Courtney, Aisling; Frasca, Giovanni Maria; Howse, Matthew; Naesens, Maarten; Reischig, Tomas; Serón, Daniel; Seyahi, Nurhan; Tugmen, Cem; Alonso Hernandez, Angel; Beňa, Luboslav; Biancone, Luigi; Cuna, Vania; Díaz-Corte, Carmen; Dufay, Alexandre; Gaasbeek, André; Garnier, Arnaud; Gatault, Philippe; Gentil Govantes, Miguel Angel; Glowacki, François; Gross, Oliver; Hurault de Ligny, Bruno; Huynh-Do, Uyen; Janbon, Bénédicte; Jiménez del Cerro, Luis Antonio; Keller, Frieder; La Manna, Gaetano; Lauzurica, Ricardo; Le Monies de Sagazan, Hervé; Thaiss, Friedrich; Legendre, Christophe; Martin, Séverine; Moal, Marie-Christine; Noël, Christian; Pillebout, Evangeline; Piredda, Gian Benedetto; Puga, Ana Ramírez; Sulowicz, Wladyslaw; Tuglular, Serhan; Prokopova, Michaela; Chesneau, Mélanie; Le Moine, Alain; Guérif, Pierrick; Soulillou, Jean-Paul; Abramowicz, Marc; Giral, Magali; Racapé, Judith; Maggiore, Umberto; Brouard, Sophie; Abramowicz, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Kidney recipients maintaining a prolonged allograft survival in the absence of immunosuppressive drugs and without evidence of rejection are supposed to be exceptional. The ERA-EDTA-DESCARTES working group together with Nantes University launched a European-wide survey to identify new patients,

  1. The DESCARTES-Nantes survey of kidney transplant recipients displaying clinical operational tolerance identifies 35 new tolerant patients and 34 almost tolerant patients

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Massart, A.; Pallier, A.; Pascual, J.; Viklicky, O.; Budde, K.; Spasovski, G.; Klinger, M.; Sever, M.S.; Sorensen, S.S.; Hadaya, K.; Oberbauer, R.; Dudley, C.; Fijter, J.W. de; Yussim, A.; Hazzan, M.; Wekerle, T.; Berglund, D.; Biase, C. De; Perez-Saez, M.J.; Muhlfeld, A.; Orlando, G.; Clemente, K.; Lai, Q.; Pisani, F.; Kandus, A.; Baas, M.C.; Bemelman, F.; Ponikvar, J.B.; Mazouz, H.; Stratta, P.; Subra, J.F.; Villemain, F.; Hoitsma, A.; Braun, L.; Cantarell, M.C.; Colak, H.; Courtney, A.; Frasca, G.M.; Howse, M.; Naesens, M.; Reischig, T.; Seron, D.; Seyahi, N.; Tugmen, C.; Hernandez, A.; Bena, L.; Biancone, L.; Cuna, V.; Diaz-Corte, C.; Dufay, A.; Gaasbeek, A.; Garnier, A.; Gatault, P.; Gentil Govantes, M.A.; Glowacki, F.; Gross, O.; Hurault de Ligny, B.; Huynh-Do, U.; Janbon, B.; Jimenez Del Cerro, L.A.; Keller, F.; Manna, G. La; Lauzurica, R.; Monies De Sagazan, H. Le; Thaiss, F.; Legendre, C.; Martin, S.; Moal, M.C.; Noel, C.; Pillebout, E.; Piredda, G.B.; Puga, A.R.; Sulowicz, W.; Tuglular, S.; Prokopova, M.; Chesneau, M.; Moine, A. Le; Guerif, P.; Soulillou, J.P.; Abramowicz, M.; Giral, M.; Racape, J.; Maggiore, U.; Brouard, S.; Abramowicz, D.

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Kidney recipients maintaining a prolonged allograft survival in the absence of immunosuppressive drugs and without evidence of rejection are supposed to be exceptional. The ERA-EDTA-DESCARTES working group together with Nantes University launched a European-wide survey to identify new

  2. 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, PrP C , into the abnormally folded, amyloidogenic isoform, PrP Sc , 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 PrP C into PrP Sc 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)/ Prnp 0 / 0 mice, did not show reduced susceptibility to RML scrapie prions, with abundant accumulation of PrP Sc ΔOR in their brains. We show here that Tg(PrPΔOR)/ Prnp 0 / 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 PrP Sc ΔOR was markedly delayed in their brains. These results suggest that the OR region may have a crucial role in the conversion of PrP C into PrP Sc after infection with BSE prions. However, Tg(PrPΔOR)/ Prnp 0 / 0 mice remained susceptible to RML and 22L scrapie prions, developing the disease without elongated incubation times after infection with RML and 22L prions. PrP Sc ΔOR accumulated only slightly less in the brains of RML- or 22L-infected Tg(PrPΔOR)/ Prnp 0 / 0 mice than PrP Sc in control wild-type mice. Taken together, these results indicate that the OR region of PrP C could play a differential role in the pathogenesis of BSE prions and RML or 22L scrapie prions. IMPORTANCE Structure-function relationship studies of PrP C conformational conversion into PrP Sc are worthwhile to understand the mechanism of the conversion of PrP C into PrP Sc We show here that, by inoculating Tg(PrPΔOR)/ Prnp 0 / 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

  3. Screening of intact yeasts and cell extracts to reduce Scrapie prions during biotransformation of food waste.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huyben, David; Boqvist, Sofia; Passoth, Volkmar; Renström, Lena; Allard Bengtsson, Ulrika; Andréoletti, Olivier; Kiessling, Anders; Lundh, Torbjörn; Vågsholm, Ivar

    2018-02-08

    Yeasts can be used to convert organic food wastes to protein-rich animal feed in order to recapture nutrients. However, the reuse of animal-derived waste poses a risk for the transmission of infectious prions that can cause neurodegeneration and fatality in humans and animals. The aim of this study was to investigate the ability of yeasts to reduce prion activity during the biotransformation of waste substrates-thereby becoming a biosafety hurdle in such a circular food system. During pre-screening, 30 yeast isolates were spiked with Classical Scrapie prions and incubated for 72 h in casein substrate, as a waste substitute. Based on reduced Scrapie seeding activity, waste biotransformation and protease activities, intact cells and cell extracts of 10 yeasts were further tested. Prion analysis showed that five yeast species reduced Scrapie seeding activity by approximately 1 log10 or 90%. Cryptococcus laurentii showed the most potential to reduce prion activity since both intact and extracted cells reduced Scrapie by 1 log10 and achieved the highest protease activity. These results show that select forms of yeast can act as a prion hurdle during the biotransformation of waste. However, the limited ability of yeasts to reduce prion activity warrants caution as a sole barrier to transmission as higher log reductions are needed before using waste-cultured yeast in circular food systems.

  4. A prolonged chronological lifespan is an unexpected benefit of the [PSI+] prion in yeast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Kai; Melki, Ronald; Kabani, Mehdi

    2017-01-01

    Self-replicating 'proteinaceous infectious particles' or prions are responsible for complex heritable traits in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Our current understanding of the biology of yeast prions stems from studies mostly done in the context of actively dividing cells in optimal laboratory growth conditions. Evidence suggest that fungal prions exist in the wild where most cells are in a non-dividing quiescent state, because of imperfect growth conditions, scarcity of nutrients and competition. We know little about the faithful transmission of yeast prions in such conditions and their physiological consequences throughout the lifespan of yeast cells. We addressed this issue for the [PSI+] prion that results from the self-assembly of the translation release factor Sup35p into insoluble fibrillar aggregates. [PSI+] leads to increased nonsense suppression and confers phenotypic plasticity in response to environmental fluctuations. Here, we report that while [PSI+] had little to no effect on growth per se, it dramatically improved the survival of yeast cells in stationary phase. Remarkably, prolonged chronological lifespan persisted even after [PSI+] was cured from the cells, suggesting that prions may facilitate the acquisition of complex new traits. Such an important selective advantage may contribute to the evolutionary conservation of the prion-forming ability of Sup35p orthologues in distantly related yeast species.

  5. A prolonged chronological lifespan is an unexpected benefit of the [PSI+] prion in yeast.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kai Wang

    Full Text Available Self-replicating 'proteinaceous infectious particles' or prions are responsible for complex heritable traits in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Our current understanding of the biology of yeast prions stems from studies mostly done in the context of actively dividing cells in optimal laboratory growth conditions. Evidence suggest that fungal prions exist in the wild where most cells are in a non-dividing quiescent state, because of imperfect growth conditions, scarcity of nutrients and competition. We know little about the faithful transmission of yeast prions in such conditions and their physiological consequences throughout the lifespan of yeast cells. We addressed this issue for the [PSI+] prion that results from the self-assembly of the translation release factor Sup35p into insoluble fibrillar aggregates. [PSI+] leads to increased nonsense suppression and confers phenotypic plasticity in response to environmental fluctuations. Here, we report that while [PSI+] had little to no effect on growth per se, it dramatically improved the survival of yeast cells in stationary phase. Remarkably, prolonged chronological lifespan persisted even after [PSI+] was cured from the cells, suggesting that prions may facilitate the acquisition of complex new traits. Such an important selective advantage may contribute to the evolutionary conservation of the prion-forming ability of Sup35p orthologues in distantly related yeast species.

  6. The Prion Protein Preference of Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Subtypes*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klemm, Helen M. J.; Welton, Jeremy M.; Masters, Colin L.; Klug, Genevieve M.; Boyd, Alison; Hill, Andrew F.; Collins, Steven J.; Lawson, Victoria A.

    2012-01-01

    Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is the most prevalent manifestation of the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies or prion diseases affecting humans. The disease encompasses a spectrum of clinical phenotypes that have been correlated with molecular subtypes that are characterized by the molecular mass of the protease-resistant fragment of the disease-related conformation of the prion protein and a polymorphism at codon 129 of the gene encoding the prion protein. A cell-free assay of prion protein misfolding was used to investigate the ability of these sporadic CJD molecular subtypes to propagate using brain-derived sources of the cellular prion protein (PrPC). This study confirmed the presence of three distinct sporadic CJD molecular subtypes with PrPC substrate requirements that reflected their codon 129 associations in vivo. However, the ability of a sporadic CJD molecular subtype to use a specific PrPC substrate was not determined solely by codon 129 as the efficiency of prion propagation was also influenced by the composition of the brain tissue from which the PrPC substrate was sourced, thus indicating that nuances in PrPC or additional factors may determine sporadic CJD subtype. The results of this study will aid in the design of diagnostic assays that can detect prion disease across the diversity of sporadic CJD subtypes. PMID:22930754

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Training cardiovascular outcomes researchers: A survey of mentees and mentors to identify critical training gaps and needs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khazanie, Prateeti; Al-Khatib, Sana M; Wang, Tracy Y; Crowley, Matthew J; Kressin, Nancy R; Krumholz, Harlan M; Kiefe, Catarina I; Wells, Barbara L; O'Brien, Sean M; Peterson, Eric D; Sanders, Gillian D

    2018-02-01

    Many young investigators are interested in cardiovascular (CV) outcomes research; however, the current training experience of early investigators across the United States is uncertain. From April to November 2014, we surveyed mentees and mentors of early-stage CV outcomes investigators across the United States. We contacted successful grantees of government agencies, members of professional organizations, and trainees in CV outcomes training programs. A total of 185 (of 662) mentees and 76 (of 541) mentors completed the survey. Mentees were equally split by sex; most had completed training >3 years before completing the survey and were clinicians. Mentors were more likely women, mostly ≥20 years posttraining, and at an associate/full professor rank. Mentors reported devoting more time currently to clinical work than when they were early in their career and mentoring 2-4 people simultaneously. More than 80% of mentees started training to become academicians and completed training with the same goal. More than 70% of mentees desired at least 50% research time in future jobs. More than 80% of mentors believed that future investigators would need more than 50% time dedicated to research. Most mentees (80%) were satisfied with their relationship with their mentor and reported having had opportunities to develop independently. Mentors more frequently than mentees reported that funding cutbacks had negatively affected mentees' ability to succeed (84% vs 58%). Across funding mechanisms, mentees were more optimistic than mentors about securing funding. Both mentees and mentors reported greatest preparedness for job/career satisfaction (79% for both) and publications (84% vs 92%) and least preparedness for future financial stability (48% vs 46%) and work-life balance (47% vs 42%). Survey findings may stimulate future discourse and research on how best to attract, train, and retain young investigators in CV outcomes research. Insights may help improve existing training

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Improving Measures of Sexual and Gender Identity in English and Spanish to Identify LGBT Older Adults in Surveys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michaels, Stuart; Milesi, Carolina; Stern, Michael; Viox, Melissa Heim; Morrison, Heather; Guerino, Paul; Dragon, Christina N; Haffer, Samuel C

    2017-12-01

    The goal of this research is to advance the study of health disparities faced by older sexual and gender minorities by assessing comprehension of and improving measures of sexual and gender identity in surveys. Cognitive interviews were conducted by expert interviewers with 48 non-lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (non-LGBT) and 9 LGBT older English and Spanish speakers. All respondents were able to answer questions about their sex assigned at birth and current gender identity successfully despite some cisgender respondents' lack of clear understanding of the transgender response option. On the contrary, while the vast majority of English speakers could answer the question about their sexual identity successfully, almost 60% of the non-LGBT Spanish speakers did not select the "heterosexual, that is, not gay (or lesbian)" response category. Qualitative probing of their response process pointed mainly to difficulties understanding the term "heterosexual," leading to their choosing "something else" or saying that they didn't know how to answer. A second round of testing of alternative response categories for the sexual identity question with Spanish speakers found a marked improvement when offered "not gay (or lesbian), that is, heterosexual" instead of beginning with the term "heterosexual." This research adds to our understanding of gender and sexual identity questions appropriate for population surveys with older adults. Inclusion of these measures in surveys is a crucial step in advancing insights into the needs of and disparities faced by LGBT older adults.

  13. [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

  14. 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.

  15. Pros and cons of a prion-like pathogenesis in Parkinson's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brotchie Jonathan M

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Parkinson's disease (PD is a slowly progressive neurodegenerative disorder which affects widespread areas of the brainstem, basal ganglia and cerebral cortex. A number of proteins are known to accumulate in parkinsonian brains including ubiquitin and α-synuclein. Prion diseases are sporadic, genetic or infectious disorders with various clinical and histopathological features caused by prion proteins as infectious proteinaceous particles transmitting a misfolded protein configuration through brain tissue. The most important form is Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease which is associated with a self-propagating pathological precursor form of the prion protein that is physiologically widely distributed in the central nervous system. Discussion It has recently been found that α-synuclein may behave similarly to the prion precursor and propagate between cells. The post-mortem proof of α-synuclein containing Lewy bodies in embryonic dopamine cells transplants in PD patient suggests that the misfolded protein might be transmitted from the diseased host to donor neurons reminiscent of prion behavior. The involvement of the basal ganglia and brainstem in the degenerative process are other congruencies between Parkinson's and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. However, a number of issues advise caution before categorizing Parkinson's disease as a prion disorder, because clinical appearance, brain imaging, cerebrospinal fluid and neuropathological findings exhibit fundamental differences between both disease entities. Most of all, infectiousness, a crucial hallmark of prion diseases, has never been observed in PD so far. Moreover, the cellular propagation of the prion protein has not been clearly defined and it is, therefore, difficult to assess the molecular similarities between the two disease entities. Summary At the current state of knowledge, the molecular pathways of transmissible pathogenic proteins are not yet fully understood. Their exact

  16. Genetic prion disease: no role for the immune system in disease pathogenesis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman-Levi, Yael; Binyamin, Orli; Frid, Kati; Ovadia, Haim; Gabizon, Ruth

    2014-08-01

    Prion diseases, which can manifest by transmissible, sporadic or genetic etiologies, share several common features, such as a fatal neurodegenerative outcome and the aberrant accumulation of proteinase K (PK)-resistant PrP forms in the CNS. In infectious prion diseases, such as scrapie in mice, prions first replicate in immune organs, then invade the CNS via ascending peripheral tracts, finally causing death. Accelerated neuroinvasion and death occurs when activated prion-infected immune cells infiltrate into the CNS, as is the case for scrapie-infected mice induced for experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a CNS inflammatory insult. To establish whether the immune system plays such a central role also in genetic prion diseases, we induced EAE in TgMHu2ME199K mice, a line mimicking for late onset genetic Creutzfeldt Jacob disease (gCJD), a human prion disease. We show here that EAE induction of TgMHu2ME199K mice neither accelerated nor aggravated prion disease manifestation. Concomitantly, we present evidence that PK-resistant PrP forms were absent from CNS immune infiltrates, and most surprisingly also from lymph nodes and spleens of TgMHu2ME199K mice at all ages and stages of disease. These results imply that the mechanism of genetic prion disease differs widely from that of the infectious presentation, and that the conversion of mutant PrPs into PK resistant forms occurs mostly/only in the CNS. If the absence of pathogenic PrP forms form immune organs is also true for gCJD patients, it may suggest their blood is devoid of prion infectivity. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Optimization of Aryl Amides that Extend Survival in Prion-Infected Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giles, Kurt; Berry, David B; Condello, Carlo; Dugger, Brittany N; Li, Zhe; Oehler, Abby; Bhardwaj, Sumita; Elepano, Manuel; Guan, Shenheng; Silber, B Michael; Olson, Steven H; Prusiner, Stanley B

    2016-09-01

    Developing therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) prevalent in the aging population remains a daunting challenge. With the growing understanding that many NDs progress by conformational self-templating of specific proteins, the prototypical prion diseases offer a platform for ND drug discovery. We evaluated high-throughput screening hits with the aryl amide scaffold and explored the structure-activity relationships around three series differing in their N-aryl core: benzoxazole, benzothiazole, and cyano. Potent anti-prion compounds were advanced to pharmacokinetic studies, and the resulting brain-penetrant leads from each series, together with a related N-aryl piperazine lead, were escalated to long-term dosing and efficacy studies. Compounds from each of the four series doubled the survival of mice infected with a mouse-passaged prion strain. Treatment with aryl amides altered prion strain properties, as evidenced by the distinct patterns of neuropathological deposition of prion protein and associated astrocytic gliosis in the brain; however, none of the aryl amide compounds resulted in drug-resistant prion strains, in contrast to previous studies on compounds with the 2-aminothiazole (2-AMT) scaffold. As seen with 2-AMTs and other effective anti-prion compounds reported to date, the novel aryl amides reported here were ineffective in prolonging the survival of transgenic mice infected with human prions. Most encouraging is our discovery that aryl amides show that the development of drug resistance is not an inevitable consequence of efficacious anti-prion therapeutics. Copyright © 2016 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

  18. Cytosolic PrP Can Participate in Prion-Mediated Toxicity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thackray, Alana M.; Zhang, Chang; Arndt, Tina

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Prion diseases are characterized by a conformational change in the normal host protein PrPC. While the majority of mature PrPC is tethered to the plasma membrane by a glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor, topological variants of this protein can arise during its biosynthesis. Here we have generated Drosophila transgenic for cytosolic ovine PrP in order to investigate its toxic potential in flies in the absence or presence of exogenous ovine prions. While cytosolic ovine PrP expressed in Drosophila was predominantly detergent insoluble and showed resistance to low concentrations of proteinase K, it was not overtly detrimental to the flies. However, Drosophila transgenic for cytosolic PrP expression exposed to classical or atypical scrapie prion inocula showed a faster decrease in locomotor activity than similar flies exposed to scrapie-free material. The susceptibility to classical scrapie inocula could be assessed in Drosophila transgenic for panneuronal expression of cytosolic PrP, whereas susceptibility to atypical scrapie required ubiquitous PrP expression. Significantly, the toxic phenotype induced by ovine scrapie in cytosolic PrP transgenic Drosophila was transmissible to recipient PrP transgenic flies. These data show that while cytosolic PrP expression does not adversely affect Drosophila, this topological PrP variant can participate in the generation of transmissible scrapie-induced toxicity. These observations also show that PrP transgenic Drosophila are susceptible to classical and atypical scrapie prion strains and highlight the utility of this invertebrate host as a model of mammalian prion disease. IMPORTANCE During prion diseases, the host protein PrPC converts into an abnormal conformer, PrPSc, a process coupled to the generation of transmissible prions and neurotoxicity. While PrPC is principally a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored membrane protein, the role of topological variants, such as cytosolic PrP, in prion-mediated toxicity and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, William L.; Walter, W. David

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mario Nuvolone

    Full Text Available 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.

  2. 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.

  3. A survey of antiepileptic drug responses identifies drugs with potential efficacy for seizure control in Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Karen S; Markham, Leah M; Twede, Hope; Lortz, Amanda; Olson, Lenora M; Sheng, Xiaoming; Weng, Cindy; Wassman, E Robert; Newcomb, Tara; Wassman, E Robert; Carey, John C; Battaglia, Agatino

    2018-04-01

    Seizures are present in over 90% of infants and children with Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome (WHS). When present, they significantly affect quality of life. The goal of this study was to use caregiver reports to describe the comparative efficacies of commonly used antiepileptic medications in a large population of individuals with WHS. A web-based, confidential caregiver survey was developed to capture seizure semiology and a chronologic record of seizure treatments as well as responses to each treatment. Adverse events for each drug were also cataloged. We received 141 complete survey responses (47% response rate) describing the seizures of individuals ranging in age from 4months to 61years (90 females: 51 males). Using the Early Childhood Epilepsy Severity Scale (E-Chess), WHS-associated seizures are demonstrably severe regardless of deletion size. The best-performing antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) for controlling seizures in this cohort were broad spectrum drugs clobazam, levetiracetam, and lamotrigine; whereas, the three commonly used carboxamide class drugs: carbamazepine, phenytoin, and oxcarbazepine, were reported to have little effect on, or even exacerbate, seizures. The carboxamide class drugs, along with phenobarbital and topiramate, were also associated with the highest rate of intolerance due to cooccurrence of adverse events. Levetiracetam, clobazam, and clonazepam demonstrated higher tolerability and comparatively less severe adverse events (Wilcoxon rank sum comparison between performance of levetiracetam and carboxamide class drugs gives a psyndromes which may have complex seizure etiologies. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Using Survey Data to Identify Opportunities to Reach Women with An Unmet Need for Family Planning: The Example of Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meekers, Dominique; Ratovonanahary, Raseliarison; Andrianantoandro, Tokinirina; Randrianarisoa, Hiangotiana

    2016-01-01

    In several African countries fertility levels have stagnated or increased slightly. However, many women still report an unmet need for family planning. Therefore achieving further fertility declines requires programs that increase demand for family planning, but that also address the existing unmet need. One way to improve contraceptive access in a cost-effective manner might be to integrate family planning services into other existing health services. This paper analyzes secondary data from the 2012-2013 Millennium Development Goals (MDG) survey in Madagascar to estimate the number of women with an unmet need for family planning that might benefit from integrating family planning services into other health services. In Madagascar, one third of the demand for family planning is not met; an estimated 820,000 women have an unmet need for family planning. A substantial portion of these women can be reached by integrating family planning services into existing maternal and child health services. Health providers are uniquely positioned to help address method-related reasons for non-use of family planning, such as concerns about health problems and side-effects. Given the large unmet need for family planning, programs should not exclusively focus on increasing the demand for family planning, but also seek new ways to address the existing unmet need. Our study illustrates that simple analyses of existing health survey data can be an important tool for informing the design of programs to tackle this unmet need.

  5. Reliability of a retail food store survey and development of an accompanying retail scoring system to communicate survey findings and identify vendors for healthful food and marketing initiatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghirardelli, Alyssa; Quinn, Valerie; Sugerman, Sharon

    2011-01-01

    To develop a retail grocery instrument with weighted scoring to be used as an indicator of the food environment. Twenty six retail food stores in low-income areas in California. Observational. Inter-rater reliability for grocery store survey instrument. Description of store scoring methodology weighted to emphasize availability of healthful food. Type A intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC) with absolute agreement definition or a κ test for measures using ranges as categories. Measures of availability and price of fruits and vegetables performed well in reliability testing (κ = 0.681-0.800). Items for vegetable quality were better than for fruit (ICC 0.708 vs 0.528). Kappa scores indicated low to moderate agreement (0.372-0.674) on external store marketing measures and higher scores for internal store marketing. "Next to" the checkout counter was more reliable than "within 6 feet." Health departments using the store scoring system reported it as the most useful communication of neighborhood findings. There was good reliability of the measures among the research pairs. The local store scores can show the need to bring in resources and to provide access to fruits and vegetables and other healthful food. Copyright © 2011 Society for Nutrition Education. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

  7. Comparing the Folds of Prions and Other Pathogenic Amyloids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Miguel Flores-Fernández

    2018-05-01

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

  8. Prion protein β2-α2 loop conformational landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-05

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

  9. 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.

  10. Prion protein inhibits microtubule assembly by inducing tubulin oligomerization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  11. Mutation directional selection sheds light on prion pathogenesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shen, Liang; Ji, Hong-Fang

    2011-01-01

    Highlights: → Most pathogenic mutations possess strong directional selection, i.e., enhancing hydrophobicity or decreasing negative and increasing positive charge. → Mutation-induced changes may strengthen the interactions between PrP and facilitating factors. → The findings also have significant implications for exploring potential regions involved in the conformational transition from PrP C to PrP Sc . -- Abstract: As mutations in the PRNP gene account for human hereditary prion diseases (PrDs), it is crucial to elucidating how these mutations affect the central pathogenic conformational transition of normal cellular prion protein (PrP C ) to abnormal scrapie isoform (PrP Sc ). Many studies proposed that these pathogenic mutations may make PrP more susceptible to conformational change through altering its structure stability. By evaluating the most recent observations regarding pathogenic mutations, it was found that the pathogenic mutations do not exert a uniform effect on the thermodynamic stability of the human PrP's structure. Through analyzing the reported PrDs-related mutations, we found that 25 out of 27 mutations possess strong directional selection, i.e., enhancing hydrophobicity or decreasing negative and increasing positive charge. Based on the triggering role reported by previous studies of facilitating factors in PrP C conversion, e.g., lipid and polyanion, we proposed that the mutation-induced changes may strengthen the interaction between PrP and facilitating factors, which will accelerate PrP conversion and cause PrDs.

  12. Mountain lions prey selectively on prion-infected mule deer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krumm, Caroline E.; Conner, Mary M.; Hobbs, N. Thompson; Hunter, Don O.; Miller, Michael W.

    2010-01-01

    The possibility that predators choose prey selectively based on age or condition has been suggested but rarely tested. We examined whether mountain lions (Puma concolor) selectively prey upon mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) infected with chronic wasting disease, a prion disease. We located kill sites of mountain lions in the northern Front Range of Colorado, USA, and compared disease prevalence among lion-killed adult (≥2 years old) deer with prevalence among sympatric deer taken by hunters in the vicinity of kill sites. Hunter-killed female deer were less likely to be infected than males (odds ratios (OR) = 0.2, 95% confidence intervals (CI) = 0.1–0.6; p = 0.015). However, both female (OR = 8.5, 95% CI = 2.3–30.9) and male deer (OR = 3.2, 95% CI = 1–10) killed by a mountain lion were more likely to be infected than same-sex deer killed in the vicinity by a hunter (p < 0.001), suggesting that mountain lions in this area actively selected prion-infected individuals when targeting adult mule deer as prey items. PMID:19864271

  13. Identifying sexual orientation health disparities in adolescents: analysis of pooled data from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 2005 and 2007.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mustanski, Brian; Van Wagenen, Aimee; Birkett, Michelle; Eyster, Sandra; Corliss, Heather L

    2014-02-01

    We studied sexual orientation disparities in health outcomes among US adolescents by pooling multiple Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) data sets from 2005 and 2007 for 14 jurisdictions. Here we describe the methodology for pooling and analyzing these data sets. Sexual orientation-related items assessed sexual orientation identity, gender of sexual contacts, sexual attractions, and harassment regarding sexual orientation. Wording of items varied across jurisdictions, so we created parallel variables and composite sexual minority variables. We used a variety of statistical approaches to address issues with the analysis of pooled data and to meet the aims of individual articles, which focused on a range of health outcomes and behaviors related to cancer, substance use, sexual health, mental health, violence, and injury.

  14. Identifying Potential Markets for Behind-the-Meter Battery Energy Storage: A Survey of U.S. Demand Charges

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McLaren, Joyce A [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Gagnon, Pieter J [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Mullendore, Seth [Clean Energy Group, Montpelier, Vermont

    2017-08-07

    This paper presents the first publicly available comprehensive survey of the magnitude of demand charges for commercial customers across the United States -- a key predictor of the financial performance of behind-the-meter battery storage systems. Notably, the analysis estimates that there are nearly 5 million commercial customers in the United States who can subscribe to retail electricity tariffs that have demand charges in excess of $15 per kilowatt (kW), over a quarter of the 18 million commercial customers in total in the United States. While the economic viability of installing battery energy storage must be determined on a case-by-case basis, high demand charges are often cited as a critical factor in battery project economics. Increasing use of demand charges in utility tariffs and anticipated future declines in storage costs will only serve to unlock additional markets and strengthen existing ones.

  15. Traffic Accidents Involving Cyclists Identifying Causal Factors Using Questionnaire Survey, Traffic Accident Data, and Real-World Observation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oikawa, Shoko; Hirose, Toshiya; Aomura, Shigeru; Matsui, Yasuhiro

    2016-11-01

    The purpose of this study is to clarify the mechanism of traffic accidents involving cyclists. The focus is on the characteristics of cyclist accidents and scenarios, because the number of traffic accidents involving cyclists in Tokyo is the highest in Japan. First, dangerous situations in traffic incidents were investigated by collecting data from 304 cyclists in one city in Tokyo using a questionnaire survey. The survey indicated that cyclists used their bicycles generally while commuting to work or school in the morning. Second, the study investigated the characteristics of 250 accident situations involving cyclists that happened in the city using real-world bicycle accident data. The results revealed that the traffic accidents occurred at intersections of local streets, where cyclists collided most often with vehicles during commute time in the morning. Third, cyclists' behavior was observed at a local street intersection in the morning in the city using video pictures. In one hour during the morning commute period, 250 bicycles passed through the intersection. The results indicated that one of the reasons for traffic accidents involving cyclists might be the combined effect of low visibility, caused by the presence of box-like building structures close to the intersections, and the cyclists' behavior in terms of their velocity and no confirming safety. It was observed that, on average, bicycle velocity was 3.1 m/s at the initial line of an intersection. The findings from this study could be useful in developing new technologies to improve cyclist safety, such as alert devices for cyclists and vehicle drivers, wireless communication systems between cyclists and vehicle drivers, or advanced vehicles with bicycle detection and collision mitigation systems.

  16. Caring for people with dementia in hospital: findings from a survey to identify barriers and facilitators to implementing best practice dementia care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tropea, Joanne; LoGiudice, Dina; Liew, Danny; Roberts, Carol; Brand, Caroline

    2017-03-01

    Best practice dementia care is not always provided in the hospital setting. Knowledge, attitudes and motivation, practitioner behavior, and external factors can influence uptake of best practice and quality care. The aim of this study was to determine hospital staff perceived barriers and enablers to implementing best practice dementia care. A 17-item survey was administered at two Australian hospitals between July and September 2014. Multidisciplinary staff working in the emergency departments and general medical wards were invited to participate in the survey. The survey collected data about the respondents' current role, work area, and years of experience, their perceived level of confidence and knowledge in dementia care and common symptoms of dementia, barriers and enablers to implementing best practice dementia care, job satisfaction in caring for people with dementia, and to rate the hospital's capacity and available resources to support best practice dementia care. A total of 112 survey responses were received. The environment, inadequate staffing levels and workload, time, and staff knowledge and skills were identified as barriers to implementing best practice dementia care. Most respondents rated their knowledge of dementia care and common symptoms of dementia, and confidence in recognizing whether a person has dementia, as moderate or high dementia. Approximately, half the respondents rated access to training and equipment as low or very low. The survey findings highlighted hospital staff perceived barriers to implementing best practice dementia care that can be used to inform locally tailored improvement interventions.

  17. Consumer participation in quality improvements for chronic disease care: development and evaluation of an interactive patient-centered survey to identify preferred service initiatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fradgley, Elizabeth A; Paul, Christine L; Bryant, Jamie; Roos, Ian A; Henskens, Frans A; Paul, David J

    2014-12-19

    With increasing attention given to the quality of chronic disease care, a measurement approach that empowers consumers to participate in improving quality of care and enables health services to systematically introduce patient-centered initiatives is needed. A Web-based survey with complex adaptive questioning and interactive survey items would allow consumers to easily identify and prioritize detailed service initiatives. The aim was to develop and test a Web-based survey capable of identifying and prioritizing patient-centered initiatives in chronic disease outpatient services. Testing included (1) test-retest reliability, (2) patient-perceived acceptability of the survey content and delivery mode, and (3) average completion time, completion rates, and Flesch-Kincaid reading score. In Phase I, the Web-based Consumer Preferences Survey was developed based on a structured literature review and iterative feedback from expert groups of service providers and consumers. The touchscreen survey contained 23 general initiatives, 110 specific initiatives available through adaptive questioning, and a relative prioritization exercise. In Phase II, a pilot study was conducted within 4 outpatient clinics to evaluate the reliability properties, patient-perceived acceptability, and feasibility of the survey. Eligible participants were approached to complete the survey while waiting for an appointment or receiving intravenous therapy. The age and gender of nonconsenters was estimated to ascertain consent bias. Participants with a subsequent appointment within 14 days were asked to complete the survey for a second time. A total of 741 of 1042 individuals consented to participate (71.11% consent), 529 of 741 completed all survey content (78.9% completion), and 39 of 68 completed the test-retest component. Substantial or moderate reliability (Cohen's kappa>0.4) was reported for 16 of 20 general initiatives with observed percentage agreement ranging from 82.1%-100.0%. The majority of

  18. Consumer Participation in Quality Improvements for Chronic Disease Care: Development and Evaluation of an Interactive Patient-Centered Survey to Identify Preferred Service Initiatives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Christine L; Bryant, Jamie; Roos, Ian A; Henskens, Frans A; Paul, David J

    2014-01-01

    Background With increasing attention given to the quality of chronic disease care, a measurement approach that empowers consumers to participate in improving quality of care and enables health services to systematically introduce patient-centered initiatives is needed. A Web-based survey with complex adaptive questioning and interactive survey items would allow consumers to easily identify and prioritize detailed service initiatives. Objective The aim was to develop and test a Web-based survey capable of identifying and prioritizing patient-centered initiatives in chronic disease outpatient services. Testing included (1) test-retest reliability, (2) patient-perceived acceptability of the survey content and delivery mode, and (3) average completion time, completion rates, and Flesch-Kincaid reading score. Methods In Phase I, the Web-based Consumer Preferences Survey was developed based on a structured literature review and iterative feedback from expert groups of service providers and consumers. The touchscreen survey contained 23 general initiatives, 110 specific initiatives available through adaptive questioning, and a relative prioritization exercise. In Phase II, a pilot study was conducted within 4 outpatient clinics to evaluate the reliability properties, patient-perceived acceptability, and feasibility of the survey. Eligible participants were approached to complete the survey while waiting for an appointment or receiving intravenous therapy. The age and gender of nonconsenters was estimated to ascertain consent bias. Participants with a subsequent appointment within 14 days were asked to complete the survey for a second time. Results A total of 741 of 1042 individuals consented to participate (71.11% consent), 529 of 741 completed all survey content (78.9% completion), and 39 of 68 completed the test-retest component. Substantial or moderate reliability (Cohen’s kappa>0.4) was reported for 16 of 20 general initiatives with observed percentage agreement

  19. Prion-like domains in RNA binding proteins are essential for building subnuclear paraspeckles

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hennig, Sven; Kong, Geraldine; Mannen, Taro; Sadowska, Agata; Kobelke, Simon; Blythe, Amanda; Knott, Gavin J; Iyer, K Swaminathan; Ho, Diwei; Newcombe, Estella A; Hosoki, Kana; Goshima, Naoki; Kawaguchi, Tetsuya; Hatters, Danny; Trinkle-Mulcahy, Laura; Hirose, Tetsuro; Bond, Charles S; Fox, Archa H

    2015-01-01

    Prion-like domains (PLDs) are low complexity sequences found in RNA binding proteins associated with the neurodegenerative disorder amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Recently, PLDs have been implicated in mediating gene regulation via liquid-phase transitions that drive ribonucleoprotein granule

  20. Human prion diseases in The Netherlands : clinico-pathological, genetic and molecular aspects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jansen, C.

    2011-01-01

    Prion diseases, or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), are invariably fatal neurodegenerative disorders that can be sporadic, inherited or acquired by infection. In humans, TSEs comprise three major groups showing a wide phenotypic heterogeneity: Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD),

  1. 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.

  2. Polymorphisms of the prion protein gene Arabi sheep breed in Iran

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Novin

    2011-11-09

    Nov 9, 2011 ... Key words: Prion protein gene (Prnp), polymorphisms, susceptibility, scrapie. INTRODUCTION. Scrapie is an invariably fatal .... consists of a DNA denaturation step (5 min at 95°C), followed by 30 amplification cycles ...

  3. 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 of

  4. 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

  5. A survey of the methods used in shelter and rescue programs to identify feral and frightened pet cats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slater, Margaret R; Miller, Katherine A; Weiss, Emily; Makolinski, Kathleen V; Weisbrot, Lila A M

    2010-08-01

    Despite the lack of validated methods for differentiating feral from frightened socialized cats upon intake to animal welfare agencies, these organizations must make handling and disposition decisions for millions of cats each year based on their presumed socialization status. We conducted a nationwide survey of feline welfare stakeholders to learn about methods used to evaluate and categorize incoming cats, amount of time cats are held before assessment, disposition options available, and the level of cooperation among welfare agencies to minimize euthanasia of ferals. A wide variety of assessment methods were described and only 15% of 555 respondents had written guidelines. Holding periods of 1-3 days were common, and cats deemed feral were often euthanased. About half the shelters transferred ferals to trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs at least occasionally. Results highlight the need for validated assessment methods to facilitate judicious holding and disposition decisions for unowned cats at time of intake. Copyright 2010 ISFM and AAFP. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Surgical site infection prevention: a survey to identify the gap between evidence and practice in University of Toronto teaching hospitals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eskicioglu, Cagla; Gagliardi, Anna R; Fenech, Darlene S; Forbes, Shawn S; McKenzie, Marg; McLeod, Robin S; Nathens, Avery B

    2012-08-01

    A gap exists between the best evidence and practice with regards to surgical site infection (SSI) prevention. Awareness of evidence is the first step in knowledge translation. A web-based survey was distributed to 59 general surgeons and 68 residents at University of Toronto teaching hospitals. Five domains pertaining to SSI prevention with questions addressing knowledge of prevention strategies, efficacy of antibiotics, strategies for changing practice and barriers to implementation of SSI prevention strategies were investigated. Seventy-six individuals (60%) responded. More than 90% of respondents stated there was evidence for antibiotic prophylaxis and perioperative normothermia and reported use of these strategies. There was a discrepancy in the perceived evidence for and the self-reported use of perioperative hyperoxia, omission of hair removal and bowel preparation. Eighty-three percent of respondents felt that consulting published guidelines is important in making decisions regarding antibiotics. There was also a discrepancy between what respondents felt were important strategies to ensure timely administration of antibiotics and what strategies were in place. Checklists, standardized orders, protocols and formal surveillance programs were rated most highly by 75%-90% of respondents, but less than 50% stated that these strategies were in place at their institutions. Broad-reaching initiatives that increase surgeon and trainee awareness and implementation of multifaceted hospital strategies that engage residents and attending surgeons are needed to change practice.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fátima eGasset-Rosa

    2015-04-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Prion strain discrimination based on rapid in vivo amplification and analysis by the cell panel assay.

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    Yervand Eduard Karapetyan

    Full Text Available Prion strain identification has been hitherto achieved using time-consuming incubation time determinations in one or more mouse lines and elaborate neuropathological assessment. In the present work, we make a detailed study of the properties of PrP-overproducing Tga20 mice. We show that in these mice the four prion strains examined are rapidly and faithfully amplified and can subsequently be discriminated by a cell-based procedure, the Cell Panel Assay.

  11. The first report of prion-related protein gene (PRNT) polymorphisms in goat.

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    Kim, Yong-Chan; Jeong, Byung-Hoon

    2017-06-01

    Prion protein is encoded by the prion protein gene (PRNP). Polymorphisms of several members of the prion gene family have shown association with prion diseases in several species. Recent studies on a novel member of the prion gene family in rams have shown that prion-related protein gene (PRNT) has a linkage with codon 26 of prion-like protein (PRND). In a previous study, codon 26 polymorphism of PRND has shown connection with PRNP haplotype which is strongly associated with scrapie vulnerability. In addition, the genotype of a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) at codon 26 of PRND is related to fertilisation capacity. These findings necessitate studies on the SNP of PRNT gene which is connected with PRND. In goat, several polymorphism studies have been performed for PRNP, PRND, and shadow of prion protein gene (SPRN). However, polymorphism on PRNT has not been reported. Hence, the objective of this study was to determine the genotype and allelic distribution of SNPs of PRNT in 238 Korean native goats and compare PRNT DNA sequences between Korean native goats and several ruminant species. A total of five SNPs, including PRNT c.-114G > T, PRNT c.-58A > G in the upstream of PRNT gene, PRNT c.71C > T (p.Ala24Val) and PRNT c.102G > A in the open reading frame (ORF) and c.321C > T in the downstream of PRNT gene, were found in this study. All five SNPs of caprine PRNT gene in Korean native goat are in complete linkage disequilibrium (LD) with a D' value of 1.0. Interestingly, comparative sequence analysis of the PRNT gene revealed five mismatches between DNA sequences of Korean native goats and those of goats deposited in the GenBank. Korean native black goats also showed 5 mismatches in PRNT ORF with cattle. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first genetic research of the PRNT gene in goat.

  12. Identifying models of HIV care and treatment service delivery in Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia using cluster analysis and Delphi survey.

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    Tsui, Sharon; Denison, Julie A; Kennedy, Caitlin E; Chang, Larry W; Koole, Olivier; Torpey, Kwasi; Van Praag, Eric; Farley, Jason; Ford, Nathan; Stuart, Leine; Wabwire-Mangen, Fred

    2017-12-06

    Organization of HIV care and treatment services, including clinic staffing and services, may shape clinical and financial outcomes, yet there has been little attempt to describe different models of HIV care in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Information about the relative benefits and drawbacks of different models could inform the scale-up of antiretroviral therapy (ART) and associated services in resource-limited settings (RLS), especially in light of expanded client populations with country adoption of WHO's test and treat recommendation. We characterized task-shifting/task-sharing practices in 19 diverse ART clinics in Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia and used cluster analysis to identify unique models of service provision. We ran descriptive statistics to explore how the clusters varied by environmental factors and programmatic characteristics. Finally, we employed the Delphi Method to make systematic use of expert opinions to ensure that the cluster variables were meaningful in the context of actual task-shifting of ART services in SSA. The cluster analysis identified three task-shifting/task-sharing models. The main differences across models were the availability of medical doctors, the scope of clinical responsibility assigned to nurses, and the use of lay health care workers. Patterns of healthcare staffing in HIV service delivery were associated with different environmental factors (e.g., health facility levels, urban vs. rural settings) and programme characteristics (e.g., community ART distribution or integrated tuberculosis treatment on-site). Understanding the relative advantages and disadvantages of different models of care can help national programmes adapt to increased client load, select optimal adherence strategies within decentralized models of care, and identify differentiated models of care for clients to meet the growing needs of long-term ART patients who require more complicated treatment management.

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

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

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    Caihong Zhu

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

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

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    Christine R Langlois

    2016-11-01

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

  16. Experimental and Theoretical Insights into the Inhibition Mechanism of Prion Fibrillation by Resveratrol and its Derivatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Lanlan; Zhu, Yongchang; Zhou, Shuangyan; An, Xiaoli; Zhang, Yan; Bai, Qifeng; He, Yong-Xing; Liu, Huanxiang; Yao, Xiaojun

    2017-12-20

    Resveratrol and its derivatives have been shown to display beneficial effects to neurodegenerative diseases. However, the molecular mechanism of resveratrol and its derivatives on prion conformational conversion is poorly understood. In this work, the interaction mechanism between prion and resveratrol as well as its derivatives was investigated using steady