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Sample records for wasting disease prions

  1. Chronic Wasting Disease Prion Strain Emergence and Host Range Expansion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herbst, Allen; Velásquez, Camilo Duque; Triscott, Elizabeth; Aiken, Judd M; McKenzie, Debbie

    2017-09-01

    Human and mouse prion proteins share a structural motif that regulates resistance to common chronic wasting disease (CWD) prion strains. Successful transmission of an emergent strain of CWD prion, H95(+), into mice resulted in infection. Thus, emergent CWD prion strains may have higher zoonotic potential than common strains.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-22

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-10-01

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

  6. [Prion diseases].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarranz, J J

    2006-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily S Almberg

    Full Text Available Chronic wasting disease (CWD is a fatal disease of deer, elk, and moose transmitted through direct, animal-to-animal contact, and indirectly, via environmental contamination. Considerable attention has been paid to modeling direct transmission, but despite the fact that CWD prions can remain infectious in the environment for years, relatively little information exists about the potential effects of indirect transmission on CWD dynamics. In the present study, we use simulation models to demonstrate how indirect transmission and the duration of environmental prion persistence may affect epidemics of CWD and populations of North American deer. Existing data from Colorado, Wyoming, and Wisconsin's CWD epidemics were used to define plausible short-term outcomes and associated parameter spaces. Resulting long-term outcomes range from relatively low disease prevalence and limited host-population decline to host-population collapse and extinction. Our models suggest that disease prevalence and the severity of population decline is driven by the duration that prions remain infectious in the environment. Despite relatively low epidemic growth rates, the basic reproductive number, R(0, may be much larger than expected under the direct-transmission paradigm because the infectious period can vastly exceed the host's life span. High prion persistence is expected to lead to an increasing environmental pool of prions during the early phases (i.e. approximately during the first 50 years of the epidemic. As a consequence, over this period of time, disease dynamics will become more heavily influenced by indirect transmission, which may explain some of the observed regional differences in age and sex-specific disease patterns. This suggests management interventions, such as culling or vaccination, will become increasingly less effective as CWD epidemics progress.

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

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    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...

  17. 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.

  18. Prion protein polymorphisms affect chronic wasting disease progression.

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    Chad J Johnson

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

  19. Prion protein polymorphisms affect chronic wasting disease progression.

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tracy A Nichols

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-07-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  4. Prion Diseases

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Chad; Johnson, Jody; Vanderloo, Joshua P; Keane, Delwyn; Aiken, Judd M; McKenzie, Debbie

    2006-07-01

    The primary sequence of the prion protein affects susceptibility to transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, or prion diseases, in mice, sheep and humans. The Prnp gene sequence of free-ranging, Wisconsin white-tailed deer was determined and the Prnp genotypes of chronic wasting disease (CWD)-positive and CWD-negative deer were compared. Six amino acid changes were identified, two of which were located in pseudogenes. Two alleles, a Q-->K polymorphism at codon 226 and a single octapeptide repeat insertion into the pseudogene, have not been reported previously. The predominant alleles--wild-type (Q95, G96 and Q226) and a G96S polymorphism--comprised almost 98% of the Prnp alleles in the Wisconsin white-tailed deer population. Comparison of the allelic frequencies in the CWD-positive and CWD-negative deer suggested that G96S and a Q95H polymorphism were linked to a reduced susceptibility to CWD. The G96S allele did not, however, provide complete resistance, as a CWD-positive G96S/G96S deer was identified. The G96S allele was also linked to slower progression of the disease in CWD-positive deer based on the deposition of PrP(CWD) in the obex region of the medulla oblongata. Although the reduced susceptibility of deer with at least one copy of the Q95H or G96S allele is insufficient to serve as a genetic barrier, the presence of these alleles may modulate the impact of CWD on white-tailed deer populations.

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

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    Brandt, Adam L; Kelly, Amy C; Green, Michelle L; Shelton, Paul; Novakofski, Jan; Mateus-Pinilla, Nohra E

    2015-01-01

    The sequence of the prion protein gene (PRNP) affects susceptibility to spongiform encephalopathies, or prion diseases in many species. In white-tailed deer, both coding and non-coding single nucleotide polymorphisms have been identified in this gene that correlate to chronic wasting disease (CWD) susceptibility. Previous studies examined individual nucleotide or amino acid mutations; here we examine all nucleotide polymorphisms and their combined effects on CWD. A 626 bp region of PRNP was examined from 703 free-ranging white-tailed deer. Deer were sampled between 2002 and 2010 by hunter harvest or government culling in Illinois and Wisconsin. Fourteen variable nucleotide positions were identified (4 new and 10 previously reported). We identified 68 diplotypes comprised of 24 predicted haplotypes, with the most common diplotype occurring in 123 individuals. Diplotypes that were found exclusively among positive or negative animals were rare, each occurring in less than 1% of the deer studied. Only one haplotype (C, odds ratio 0.240) and 2 diplotypes (AC and BC, odds ratios of 0.161 and 0.108 respectively) has significant associations with CWD resistance. Each contains mutations (one synonymous nucleotide 555C/T and one nonsynonymous nucleotide 286G/A) at positions reported to be significantly associated with reduced CWD susceptibility. Results suggest that deer populations with higher frequencies of haplotype C or diplotypes AC and BC might have a reduced risk for CWD infection--while populations with lower frequencies may have higher risk for infection. Understanding the genetic basis of CWD has improved our ability to assess herd susceptibility and direct management efforts within CWD infected areas.

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

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. An overview of animal prion diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Imran Muhammad

    2011-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  12. Prion and prion-like diseases in animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-09-01

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

  15. Therapy in prion diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forloni, Gianluigi; Artuso, Vladimiro; Roiter, Ignazio; Morbin, Michela; Tagliavini, Fabrizio

    2013-01-01

    In the last two decades, knowledge of the neurobiology of prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) has significantly advanced, but a successful therapy to stop or delay the progression of these disorders remains one of the most challenging goals of biomedical research. Several obstacles to this achievement are in common with other neurodegenerative disorders: difficulties to move from experimental level to clinical stage; appropriate timing of intervention; correct set up of clinical trial. Also in terms of molecular bases of disease, TSE and the other neurodegenerative disorders associated with protein misfolding such as Alzheimer, Parkinson and Huntington diseases, share a central pathogenic role of soluble small aggregates, named oligomers, considered the culprit of neuronal dysfunction: accordingly, these disorders could by termed oligomeropathies. However, the rapid progression of TSE, together with their clinical and molecular heterogeneity, make the therapeutic approach particularly problematic. The main target of the antiprion strategy has been the pathological form of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) termed PrP(Sc), invariably associated with the diseases. Several compounds have been found to affect PrP(Sc) formation or enhance its clearance in in vitro models, and prolong survival in experimental animals. However, few of them such as quinacrine and pentosan polysulfate have reached the clinical evaluation; more recently, we have conducted a clinical trial with doxycycline in patients with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease without satisfactory results. In experimental conditions, active and passive immunization with antibodies against PrP and mucosal vaccination have shown to protect from peripheral infection. Other studies have proposed new potentially effective molecules targeting PrP oligomers. Furthermore, the possibility to interfere with PrP(C) to PrP(Sc) conversion by an active control of PrP(C) is another interesting approach

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2011-01-01

    ... of environmental prion persistence may affect epidemics of CWD and populations of North American deer. Existing data from Colorado, Wyoming, and Wisconsin's CWD epidemics were used to define plausible short-term outcomes and associated parameter spaces...

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

    In prion diseases the irreversible protein structural transformation process is completed in the brains of mammals within a few months, the uniformly generated infectivity displays extraordinary resistance to inactivation, suggesting that a vital energy source is required for the production of infectious particles. Considering the high oxygen-respiration rate in the brains, prion protein oxidative damage can be the crucial factor. Both theoretical consideration of the nature of protein radical reactions and a large body of previously unraveled feature of scrapie and prion diseases have provided multiple distinct lines of compelling evidence which persuasively support a suggestion that the infectious agents may be prion (free) radicals produced from protein oxidative damage. This paper describes that scrapie prions are most likely formed from prion radicals and oxidative species-mediated sequence-specific cross-linking of benign prion proteins.

  18. [Molecular bases of prion diseases].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pokrovskiĭ, V I; Kiselev, O I

    1998-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Conformational conversion of prion protein in prion diseases

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zheng Zhou; Gengfu Xiao

    2013-01-01

    Prion diseases are a group of infectious fatal neurodegenerative diseases.The conformational conversion of a cellular prion protein (PrPC) into an abnormal misfolded isoform (PrPSc) is the key event in prion diseases pathology.Under normal conditions,the high-energy barrier separates PrPC from PrPsc isoform.However,pathogenic mutations,modifications as well as some cofactors,such as glycosaminoglycans,nucleic acids,and lipids,could modulate the conformationai conversion process.Understanding the mechanism of conformational conversion of prion protein is essential for the biomedical research and the treatment of prion diseases.Particularly,the characterization of cofactors interacting with prion protein might provide new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.

  2. Prion diseases: immunotargets and therapy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burchell, Jennifer T; Panegyres, Peter K

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Genetics Home Reference: prion disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... protein called prion protein (PrP). Although the precise function of this protein is unknown, researchers have proposed roles in several ... promote its transformation into PrP Sc . The abnormal protein builds up in the brain, forming ... have no family history of the disease and no identified mutation in ...

  4. 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

  5. Prions: a model of conformational disease?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morinet, F

    2014-04-01

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

  6. Molecular Pathology of Human Prion Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2009-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-07-01

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

  8. 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....

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Prion疾病%Prion disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    范学工

    1999-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. The structure of prion: is it enough for interpreting the diverse phenotypes of prion diseases?

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chan Tian; Xiaoping Dong

    2013-01-01

    Prion diseases,or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies,are neurodegenerative diseases,which affect human and many species of animals with 100% fatality rate.The most accepted etiology for prion disease is 'prion',which arises from the conversion from cellular PrPC to the pathological PrPsc.This review discussed the characteristic structure of PrP,including PRNP gene,PrPC,PrPSc,PrP amyloid,and prion strains.

  14. Theoretical modeling of prion disease incubation

    OpenAIRE

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

    2001-01-01

    We present a theory for the laboratory and epidemiological data for incubation times in infectious prion diseases. The central feature of our model is that slow growth of misfolded protein-aggregates from small initial seeds controls the `latent' or `lag' phase, whereas aggregate-fissioning and subsequent spreading leads to an exponential growth or doubling phase. Such a general framework can account for many features of prion diseases including the striking reproducibility of incubation time...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-07-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  19. Defining the limits of prion disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ridley, R M

    1994-08-01

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

  20. 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

  1. Prion Disease Induces Alzheimer Disease-Like Neuropathologic Changes

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  4. Can prion disease suspicion be supported earlier?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashe, Karen H; Aguzzi, Adriano

    2013-01-01

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

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-25

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

  9. Human prion diseases in the United States.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert C Holman

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    2009-01-01

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

  11. Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (Prion Diseases)

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  12. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    McKenzie Debbie

    2009-07-01

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

  14. Gastrostomy in patients with prion disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwasaki, Yasushi; Mori, Keiko; Ito, Masumi; Kawai, Yoshinari; Hoshino, Ken-Ichiro; Kawabata, Yuko; Mimuro, Maya; Yoshida, Mari

    2017-05-04

    Patients with prion diseases can live for long periods of time in a state of akinetic mutism given appropriate management of their symptoms. To study symptom support in these cases, we performed gastrostomies on 3 patients with V180I genetic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) who had become akinetic and mute, and compared them to 14 other similar patients being fed by tube. In the 3 gastrostomy cases, there were no direct complications due to the gastrostomy or tube feeding, nor were there episodes of discontinuation of tube feeding or initiation of continuous drip infusion due to severe complications. Antibiotics were administered for mild infections, a complication of CJD, with 0.2% and 8.8% of the total time after gastrostomy being used for intravenous or transluminal administration, respectively. We compared the present patient series with that of our previous report statistically, and found that patients undergoing gastrostomy required significantly fewer discontinuations of tube feeding than those who did not. No significant difference in antibiotic administration was found between groups, however. It is our conclusion that gastrostomy should be allowed for symptom support in akinetic patients with prion disease, but adequate informed consent must be provided to the patient's family.

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collinge, John

    2016-11-10

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

    2017-06-20

    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.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 20 June 2017; doi:10.1038/mp.2017.84.

  19. 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.

  20. Sex effects in mouse prion disease incubation time.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaheen Akhtar

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-04-26

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

  2. Antemortem detection of chronic wasting disease prions in nasal brush collections and rectal biopsies from white-tailed deer by real time quaking-induced conversion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD), a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy of cervids, was first documented nearly fifty years ago in Colorado and Wyoming and has since spread to cervids in 23 states, 2 Canadian provinces, and the Republic of Korea. The increasing expansion of this disease makes the d...

  3. Manganese Upregulates Cellular Prion Protein and Contributes to Altered Stabilization and Proteolysis: Relevance to Role of Metals in Pathogenesis of Prion Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative diseases resulting from misfolding of normal cellular prion (PrP**C) into an abnormal form of scrapie prion (PrP**Sc). The cellular mechanisms underlying the misfolding of PrP**C are not well understood. Since cellular prion proteins harbor divalent metal b...

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    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

    .... Using rodent models, we found that, in addition to changes in PrPC glycosylation and proteolytic processing, net reductions in PrPC occur in a wide range of prion diseases, including sheep scrapie...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. A novel prion disease associated with diarrhea and autonomic neuropathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mead, Simon; Gandhi, Sonia; Beck, Jon; Caine, Diana; Gallujipali, Dillip; Carswell, Christopher; Hyare, Harpreet; Joiner, Susan; Ayling, Hilary; Lashley, Tammaryn; Linehan, Jacqueline M; Al-Doujaily, Huda; Sharps, Bernadette; Revesz, Tamas; Sandberg, Malin K; Reilly, Mary M; Koltzenburg, Martin; Forbes, Alastair; Rudge, Peter; Brandner, Sebastian; Warren, Jason D; Wadsworth, Jonathan D F; Wood, Nicholas W; Holton, Janice L; Collinge, John

    2013-11-14

    Human prion diseases, although variable in clinicopathological phenotype, generally present as neurologic or neuropsychiatric conditions associated with rapid multifocal central nervous system degeneration that is usually dominated by dementia and cerebellar ataxia. Approximately 15% of cases of recognized prion disease are inherited and associated with coding mutations in the gene encoding prion protein (PRNP). The availability of genetic diagnosis has led to a progressive broadening of the recognized spectrum of disease. We used longitudinal clinical assessments over a period of 20 years at one hospital combined with genealogical, neuropsychological, neurophysiological, neuroimaging, pathological, molecular genetic, and biochemical studies, as well as studies of animal transmission, to characterize a novel prion disease in a large British kindred. We studied 6 of 11 affected family members in detail, along with autopsy or biopsy samples obtained from 5 family members. We identified a PRNP Y163X truncation mutation and describe a distinct and consistent phenotype of chronic diarrhea with autonomic failure and a length-dependent axonal, predominantly sensory, peripheral polyneuropathy with an onset in early adulthood. Cognitive decline and seizures occurred when the patients were in their 40s or 50s. The deposition of prion protein amyloid was seen throughout peripheral organs, including the bowel and peripheral nerves. Neuropathological examination during end-stage disease showed the deposition of prion protein in the form of frequent cortical amyloid plaques, cerebral amyloid angiopathy, and tauopathy. A unique pattern of abnormal prion protein fragments was seen in brain tissue. Transmission studies in laboratory mice were negative. Abnormal forms of prion protein that were found in multiple peripheral tissues were associated with diarrhea, autonomic failure, and neuropathy. (Funded by the U.K. Medical Research Council and others.).

  8. 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.

  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. Molecular barriers to zoonotic transmission of prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barria, Marcelo A; Balachandran, Aru; Morita, Masanori; Kitamoto, Tetsuyuki; Barron, Rona; Manson, Jean; Knight, Richard; Ironside, James W; Head, Mark W

    2014-01-01

    The risks posed to human health by individual animal prion diseases cannot be determined a priori and are difficult to address empirically. The fundamental event in prion disease pathogenesis is thought to be the seeded conversion of normal prion protein to its pathologic isoform. We used a rapid molecular conversion assay (protein misfolding cyclic amplification) to test whether brain homogenates from specimens of classical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), atypical BSE (H-type BSE and L-type BSE), classical scrapie, atypical scrapie, and chronic wasting disease can convert normal human prion protein to the abnormal disease-associated form. None of the tested prion isolates from diseased animals were as efficient as classical BSE in converting human prion protein. However, in the case of chronic wasting disease, there was no absolute barrier to conversion of the human prion protein.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hao Yao; Deming Zhao; Sher Hayat Khan; Lifeng Yang

    2013-01-01

    Prion diseases,characterized by spongiform degeneration and the accumulation of misfolded and aggregated PrPSc in the central nervous system,are one of fatal neurodegenerative and infectious disorders of humans and animals.In earlier studies,autophagy vacuoles in neurons were frequently observed in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's,Parkinson's,and Huntington's diseases as well as prion diseases.Autophagy is a highly conserved homeostatic process by which several cytoplasmic components (proteins or organelles) are sequestered in a doublemembrane-bound vesicle termed 'autophagosome' and degraded upon their fusion with lysosome.The pathway of intercellular self-digestion at basal physiological levels is indispensable for maintaining the healthy status of tissues and organs.In case of prion infection,increasing evidence indicates that autophagy has a crucial ability of eliminating pathological PrPSc accumulated within neurons.In contrast,autophagy dysfunction in affected neurons may contribute to the formation of spongiform changes.In this review,we summarized recent findings about the effect of mammalian autophagy in neurodegenerative disorders,particularly in prion diseases.We also summarized the therapeutic potential of some small molecules (such as lithium,rapamycin,Sirtuin 1 and resveratrol) targets to mitigate such diseases on brain function.Furthermore,we discussed the controversial role of autophagy,whether it mediates neuronal toxicity or serves a protective function in neurodegenerative disorders.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  20. Antemortem detection of chronic wasting disease prions in nasal brush collections and rectal biopsies from white-tailed deer by real time quaking-induced conversion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haley, Nicholas J.; Siepker, Chris; Walter, William D.; Thomsen, Bruce V.; Greenlee, Justin J.; Lehmkuhl, Aaron D.; Richt, Jürgen a.

    2016-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD), a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy of cervids, was first documented nearly 50 years ago in Colorado and Wyoming and has since spread to cervids in 23 states, two Canadian provinces, and the Republic of Korea. The expansion of this disease makes the development of sensitive diagnostic assays and antemortem sampling techniques crucial for the mitigation of its spread; this is especially true in cases of relocation/reintroduction of farmed or free-ranging deer and elk or surveillance studies of private or protected herds, where depopulation is contraindicated. This study sought to evaluate the sensitivity of the real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC) assay by using recto-anal mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (RAMALT) biopsy specimens and nasal brush samples collected antemortem from farmed white-tailed deer (n = 409). Antemortem findings were then compared to results from ante- and postmortem samples (RAMALT, brainstem, and medial retropharyngeal lymph nodes) evaluated by using the current gold standard in vitro assay, immunohistochemistry (IHC) analysis. We hypothesized that the sensitivity of RT-QuIC would be comparable to IHC analysis in antemortem tissues and would correlate with both the genotype and the stage of clinical disease. Our results showed that RAMALT testing by RT-QuIC assay had the highest sensitivity (69.8%) compared to that of postmortem testing, with a specificity of >93.9%. These data suggest that RT-QuIC, like IHC analysis, is an effective assay for detection of PrPCWD in rectal biopsy specimens and other antemortem samples and, with further research to identify more sensitive tissues, bodily fluids, or experimental conditions, has potential for large-scale and rapid automated testing for CWD diagnosis.

  1. Salivary prions in sheep and deer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamgüney, Gültekin; Richt, Jürgen A; Hamir, Amir N; Greenlee, Justin J; Miller, Michael W; Wolfe, Lisa L; Sirochman, Tracey M; Young, Alan J; Glidden, David V; Johnson, Natrina L; Giles, Kurt; DeArmond, Stephen J; Prusiner, Stanley B

    2012-01-01

    Scrapie of sheep and chronic wasting disease (CWD) of cervids are transmissible prion diseases. Milk and placenta have been identified as sources of scrapie prions but do not explain horizontal transmission. In contrast, CWD prions have been reported in saliva, urine and feces, which are thought to be responsible for horizontal transmission. While the titers of CWD prions have been measured in feces, levels in saliva or urine are unknown. Because sheep produce ~17 L/day of saliva, and scrapie prions are present in tongue and salivary glands of infected sheep, we asked if scrapie prions are shed in saliva. We inoculated transgenic (Tg) mice expressing ovine prion protein, Tg(OvPrP) mice, with saliva from seven Cheviot sheep with scrapie. Six of seven samples transmitted prions to Tg(OvPrP) mice with titers of -0.5 to 1.7 log ID₅₀ U/ml. Similarly, inoculation of saliva samples from two mule deer with CWD transmitted prions to Tg(ElkPrP) mice with titers of -1.1 to -0.4 log ID₅₀ U/ml. Assuming similar shedding kinetics for salivary prions as those for fecal prions of deer, we estimated the secreted salivary prion dose over a 10-mo period to be as high as 8.4 log ID₅₀ units for sheep and 7.0 log ID₅₀ units for deer. These estimates are similar to 7.9 log ID₅₀ units of fecal CWD prions for deer. Because saliva is mostly swallowed, salivary prions may reinfect tissues of the gastrointestinal tract and contribute to fecal prion shedding. Salivary prions shed into the environment provide an additional mechanism for horizontal prion transmission.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ajay Singh

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    1991-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

    Inherited human prion diseases, such as FFI and familial CJD (fCJD), are associated with autosomal dominant mutations in the human prion protein gene PRNP and accumulation of PrPSc, an abnormal isomer of the normal host protein PrPC, in the brain of affected individuals. PrPSc 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 allo...

  7. Simulations of Oligomeric Intermediates in Prion Diseases

    CERN Document Server

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

    2003-01-01

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

  8. Increased risk of chronic wasting disease in Rocky Mountain elk associated with decreased magnesium and increased manganese in brain tissue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) or prion disease of Rocky Mountain elk in North America. CWD is a fatal neurodegenerative disease in which the prolonged and variable incubation time is controlled in part by the host prion precursor genotype. The mis...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruce Chesebro

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative diseases of humans and animals characterized by gray matter spongiosis and accumulation of aggregated, misfolded, protease-resistant prion protein (PrPres. PrPres can be deposited in brain in an amyloid-form and/or non-amyloid form, and is derived from host-encoded protease-sensitive PrP (PrPsen, a protein normally anchored to the plasma membrane by glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI. Previously, using heterozygous transgenic mice expressing only anchorless PrP, we found that PrP anchoring to the cell membrane was required for typical clinical scrapie. However, in the present experiments, using homozygous transgenic mice expressing two-fold more anchorless PrP, scrapie infection induced a new fatal disease with unique clinical signs and altered neuropathology, compared to non-transgenic mice expressing only anchored PrP. Brain tissue of transgenic mice had high amounts of infectivity, and histopathology showed dense amyloid PrPres plaque deposits without gray matter spongiosis. In contrast, infected non-transgenic mice had diffuse non-amyloid PrPres deposits with significant gray matter spongiosis. Brain graft studies suggested that anchored PrPsen expression was required for gray matter spongiosis during prion infection. Furthermore, electron and light microscopic studies in infected transgenic mice demonstrated several pathogenic processes not seen in typical prion disease, including cerebral amyloid angiopathy and ultrastructural alterations in perivascular neuropil. These findings were similar to certain human familial prion diseases as well as to non-prion human neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease.

  11. Prion Diseases of Yeast: Amyloid Structure and Biology

    OpenAIRE

    Reed B Wickner; Edskes, Herman K.; Kryndushkin, Dmitry; McGlinchey, Ryan; Bateman, David; Kelly, Amy

    2011-01-01

    Prion “variants” or “strains” are prions with the identical protein sequence, but different characteristics of the prion infection: e.g. different incubation period for scrapie strains or different phenotype intensity for yeast prion variants. We have shown that infectious amyloids of the yeast prions [PSI+], [URE3] and [PIN+] each have an in-register parallel β-sheet architecture. Moreover, we have pointed out that this amyloid architecture can explain how one protein can faithfully transmit...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lukasz Kurgan

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiangzhu Xiao

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  15. [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

  16. Fungal prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staniforth, Gemma L; Tuite, Mick F

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Chronic wasting disease in free-ranging Wisconsin White-tailed Deer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joly, Damien O; Ribic, Christine A; Langenberg, Julie A; Beheler, Kerry; Batha, Carl A; Dhuey, Brian J; Rolley, Robert E; Bartelt, Gerald; Van Deelen, Timothy R; Samuel, Michael D

    2003-05-01

    Three White-tailed Deer shot within 5 km during the 2001 hunting season in Wisconsin tested positive for chronic wasting disease, a prion disease of cervids. Subsequent sampling within 18 km showed a 3% prevalence (n=476). This discovery represents an important range extension for chronic wasting disease into the eastern United States.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  19. Lichens: unexpected anti-prion agents?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Lichens: unexpected anti-prion agents?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-04-05

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

  2. Prion disease induced alterations in gene expression in spleen and brain prior to clinical symptoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyeon O Kim

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Hyeon O Kim1, Greg P Snyder1, Tyler M Blazey1, Richard E Race2, Bruce Chesebro2, Pamela J Skinner11Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, University of Minnesota, USA; 2NIH Laboratory of Persistent Viral Diseases, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, Hamilton, Montana, USAAbstract: Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders that affect animals and humans. There is a need to gain understanding of prion disease pathogenesis and to develop diagnostic assays to detect prion diseases prior to the onset of clinical symptoms. The goal of this study was to identify genes that show altered expression early in the disease process in the spleen and brain of prion disease-infected mice. Using Affymetrix microarrays, we identified 67 genes that showed increased expression in the brains of prion disease-infected mice prior to the onset of clinical symptoms. These genes function in many cellular processes including immunity, the endosome/lysosome system, hormone activity, and the cytoskeleton. We confirmed a subset of these gene expression alterations using other methods and determined the time course in which these changes occur. We also identified 14 genes showing altered expression prior to the onset of clinical symptoms in spleens of prion disease infected mice. Interestingly, four genes, Atp1b1, Gh, Anp32a, and Grn, were altered at the very early time of 46 days post-infection. These gene expression alterations provide insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying prion disease pathogenesis and may serve as surrogate markers for the early detection and diagnosis of prion disease.Keywords: prion disease, microarrays, gene expression

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-13

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristi M Green

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Karen L; Mabbott, Neil A

    2014-01-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Song, Zhiqi; Zhao, Deming; Yang, Lifeng

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lars Luers

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    卢韦华琳

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-09-24

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-09-23

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin C. Gough

    2015-11-01

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

  16. Cross-species transmission of CWD prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurt, Timothy D; Sigurdson, Christina J

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    A set of fatal neurological diseases that includes scrapie and chronic wasting disease (CWD) are caused by a pathological protein referred to as a prion (PrPSc). A prion propagates an infection by converting a normal cellular protein (PrPC) into a prion. Unlike viral, bacterial, or fungal pathogens,...

  18. Fate of prions in soil: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vladimir Ermolayev

    2009-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

    60-year prion and scrapie research has led to a dilemma in understanding the unknown aetiology of the infectious neurodegenerative disorders with intriguing features. Current progress and dilemma in prion research are briefly but critically reviewed. Instead of providing a comprehensive coverage of the research history, attentions in this view are drawn toward both the major breakthrough in the advancement of protein-only hypothesis, and the puzzle why this hypothesis has not been fully accepted. In order to resolve the prion enigma in neuroscience, it is suggested that both technical and concept barriers remain to be crossed. Since prion research is a multi-interdisciplinary subject, this view is intended to both facilitate a better understanding of prion phenomenon by more scientists in natural science, and invite scientists outside the fields of molecular genetics and protein science for collaboration.

  2. Genome-wide association study in multiple human prion diseases suggests genetic risk factors additional to PRNP

    OpenAIRE

    Mead, Simon; Uphill, James; Beck, John; Poulter, Mark; Campbell, Tracy; Lowe, Jessica; Adamson, Gary; Hummerich, Holger; Klopp, Norman; Rückert, Ina-Maria; Wichmann, H-Erich; Azazi, Dhoyazan; Plagnol, Vincent; Pako, Wandagi H.; Whitfield, Jerome

    2011-01-01

    Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative diseases of humans and animals caused by the misfolding and aggregation of prion protein (PrP). Mammalian prion diseases are under strong genetic control but few risk factors are known aside from the PrP gene locus (PRNP). No genome-wide association study (GWAS) has been done aside from a small sample of variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD). We conducted GWAS of sporadic CJD (sCJD), variant CJD (vCJD), iatrogenic CJD, inherited prion disease, kuru...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Emwas, Abdul-Hamid M.

    2013-02-24

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-10-01

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

  6. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel E Saunders

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

  8. Interspecies transmission of prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaheen Akhtar

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Peter C Konturek; Karolina Bazela; Vitaliy Kukharskyy; Michael Bauer; Eckhart G Hahn; Detlef Schuppan

    2005-01-01

    AIM: Pathological prion protein (PrPSC) is responsible for the development of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE). While PrPc enters the organism via the oral route, less data is available to know about its uptake and the role of gastrointestinal inflammation on the expression of prion precursor PrPc, which is constitutively expressed in the gastric mucosa.METHODS: We studied PrPc expression in the gastric mucosa of 10 Helicobacter pylori-positive patients before and after successful H pylori eradication compared to non-infected controls using RT-PCR and Western blotting.The effect of central mediators of gastric inflammation,i.e., gastrin, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin 1 beta (IL-1β) on PrPc expression was analyzed in gastric cell lines.RESULTS: PrPc expression was increased in H pyloriinfection compared with non-infected controls and decreased to normal after successful eradication. Gastrin,PGE2, and IL-1β dose-dependently upregulated PrPc in gastric cells, while TNF-α had no effect.CONCLUSION: H pylori infection leads to the upregulation of gastric PrPc expression. This can be linked to H pylori induced hypergastrinemia and increased mucosal PGE2 and IL-1β synthesis.H pylori creates a milieu for enhanced propagation of prions in the gastrointestinal tract.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Direct detection of soil-bound prions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sacha Genovesi

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodemer, W; Kaup, F-J

    2004-02-01

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

  18. A Single Subcutaneous Injection of Cellulose Ethers Administered Long before Infection Confers Sustained Protection against Prion Diseases in Rodents.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kenta Teruya

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Prion diseases are fatal, progressive, neurodegenerative diseases caused by prion accumulation in the brain and lymphoreticular system. Here we report that a single subcutaneous injection of cellulose ethers (CEs, which are commonly used as inactive ingredients in foods and pharmaceuticals, markedly prolonged the lives of mice and hamsters intracerebrally or intraperitoneally infected with the 263K hamster prion. CEs provided sustained protection even when a single injection was given as long as one year before infection. These effects were linked with persistent residues of CEs in various tissues. More effective CEs had less macrophage uptake ratios and hydrophobic modification of CEs abolished the effectiveness. CEs were significantly effective in other prion disease animal models; however, the effects were less remarkable than those observed in the 263K prion-infected animals. The genetic background of the animal model was suggested to influence the effects of CEs. CEs did not modify prion protein expression but inhibited abnormal prion protein formation in vitro and in prion-infected cells. Although the mechanism of CEs in vivo remains to be solved, these findings suggest that they aid in elucidating disease susceptibility and preventing prion diseases.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Zhang, Jiapu

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jae-Kwang Jin

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daisuke Ishibashi

    2016-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hairong Qian; Luning Wang; Xiaokun Qi; Jianwei Liu; Jing Liu; Ling Ye; Hengge Xie; Wei Wang; Feng Qiu

    2009-01-01

    BACKGROUND:Studies addressing the correlation between prion protein gene codon 129 polymorphism,Alzheimer's disease,and cognitive disorders have mainly focused on Caucasians.However,prion protein gene codon 129 polymorphism is thought to also affect the Chinese Han and Wei populations.OBJECTIVE:To analyze the differences of prion protein gene codon 129 distribution among the elderly Chinese Han,East Asian,and Caucasian populations,and to study the correlation between prion protein gene codon 129 distribution and late-onset Alzheimer's disease.DESIGN,TIME AND SETTING:A gene polymorphism analysis was performed in the Institute of Geriatrics,General Hospital of Chinese PLA between January 2006 and January 2007.PARTICIPANTS:A total of 152 elderly Chinese Han people were selected from the Beijing Troop Cadre's Sanitarium.Among them,60 patients with late-onset Alzheimer's disease,with a mean age of (82±7) years (range 67-94 years) and disease course of (5.9±4.4) years,comprising 44 males with a mean age of (83±7) years and 16 females with a mean age of (78±7) years,were selected for the case group.An additional 92 healthy elderly subjects,with a mean of (76±9) years (range 60-94 years),comprising 76 males with a mean age of (77±9) years and 16 females with a mean age of (70±8) years,were selected for the control group.There were no significant differences in age and gender between the two groups (P>0.05).METHODS:DNA was extracted from peripheral blood leukocytes using routine phenol/chloroform methodology.Prion protein gene codon 129 polymorphism and ApoE polymorphism were measured using PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism.The ApoEε allele was considered the standard for analyzing correlations between prion protein gene codon 129 polymorphism and late-onset Alzheimer's disease.MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:Prion protein gene codon 129 distribution;correlation between genotypic frequency and allele frequency of prion protein gene codon 129 with Alzheimer

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neil Andrew Mabbott

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Victoria, Guiliana Soraya; Zurzolo, Chiara

    2015-09-02

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  7. Intensity of human prion disease surveillance predicts observed disease incidence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    G.M. Klug (Genevieve); H. Wand (Handan); M. Simpson (Marion); A. Boyd (Alison); M. Law (Matthew); C. Masters (Colin); R. Mateǰ (Radoslav); R. Howley (Rachel); M. Farrell (Michael); M. Breithaupt; I. Zerr (Inga); C.M. van Duijn (Cock); C.A. Ibrahim-Verbaas (Carla); J. Mackenzie; R.G. Will (Robert); J-P. Brandel (Jean-Philippe); A. Alperovitch (Annick); H. Budka (Herbert); G.G. Kovacs (Gabor); G.H. Jansen (Gerard); M. Coulthard (Michael); S.J. Collins (Steven)

    2013-01-01

    textabstractBackground: Prospective national screening and surveillance programmes serve a range of public health functions. Objectively determining their adequacy and impact on disease may be problematic for rare disorders. We undertook to assess whether objective measures of disease surveillance

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-03

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2004-01-01

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

  10. Diagnosing Prion Diseases: Mass Spectrometry-Based Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  11. [Prion neuroinfections].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tichý, J

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhiqi Song; Deming Zhao; Lifeng Yang

    2013-01-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-21

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcus W. Brazier

    2014-04-01

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘志培; 李忠义; 孟轲音; 杜鹏; 徐静; 万家余; 韩烨

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-09-15

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aroa Relaño-Ginès

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalia Fernández-Borges

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nitrini Ricardo

    2001-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-10-15

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

  7. Molecular genealogy tools for white-tailed deer with chronic wasting disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ernest, Holly B; Hoar, Bruce R; Well, Jay A; O'Rourke, Katherine I

    2010-04-01

    Molecular genetic data provide powerful tools for genealogy reconstruction to reveal mechanisms underlying disease ecology. White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) congregate in matriarchal groups; kin-related close social spacing may be a factor in the spread of infectious diseases. Spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD), a prion disorder of deer and their cervid relatives, is presumed to be associated with direct contact between individuals and by exposure to shared food and water sources contaminated with prions shed by infected deer. Key aspects of disease ecology are yet unknown. DNA tools for pedigree reconstruction were developed to fill knowledge gaps in disease dynamics in prion-infected wild animals. Kinship indices using data from microsatellite loci and sequence haplotypes of mitochondrial DNA were employed to assemble genealogies. Molecular genealogy tools will be useful for landscape-level population genetic research and monitoring, in addition to epidemiologic studies examining transmission of CWD in captive and free-ranging cervids.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rigter, A.; Bossers, A.

    2005-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  10. The Use of Monoclonal Antibodies in Human Prion Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodemer, Walter

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A Christy Wyckoff

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

  13. Viral, parasitic and prion diseases of farmed deer and bison.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haigh, J C; Mackintosh, C; Griffin, F

    2002-08-01

    The most important viral disease of farmed deer and bison is malignant catarrhal fever. The other herpesviruses which have been isolated from these species are briefly described. Other viral agents that are recognised in these animals, including adenovirus, parapox, foot and mouth disease, bluetongue, epizootic haemorrhagic disease, bovine virus diarrhoea, rotavirus and coronavirus, are also discussed. Ectoparasites of importance in this group in various parts of the world include a variety of ticks, as well as lice, keds, Oestridae, mange mites and fire ants. Helminth parasites include liver flukes (Fascioloides and Fasciola), gastrointestinal nematodes of the family Trichostrongylidae, pulmonary lungworms of the genus Dictyocaulus and extra-pulmonary lungworms of the family Protostrongylidae. Chronic wasting disease is principally important in North America, where the disease occurs in wild cervids in a limited area and has been reported in farmed deer in a small number of states in the United States of America and one province in Canada. These diseases are summarised in terms of their classification, epidemiology, clinical signs, pathology, diagnosis, treatment and control.

  14. Genetic population structure and relatedness of Colorado mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) and incidence of chronic wasting disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chronic wasting disease is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy or prion disease of farmed and free ranging mule deer, white tailed deer, Rocky Mountain elk, and moose in some areas of the United States. The disease is enzootic in herds of free ranging mule deer in the Rocky Mountain National ...

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-05-28

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-05

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

  20. Prions in the urine of patients with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-07

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Porcine prion protein amyloid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammarström, Per; Nyström, Sofie

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Techniques to elucidate the conformation of prions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Martin; L; Daus

    2015-01-01

    Proteinaceous infectious particles(prions) are unique pathogens as they are devoid of any coding nucleic acid.Whilst it is assumed that prion disease is transmitted by a misfolded isoform of the cellular prion protein, the structural insight of prions is still vague and research for high resolution structural information of prions is still ongoing. In this review, techniques that may contribute to the clarification of the conformation of prions are presented and discussed.

  4. Molecular genealogy tools for white-tailed deer with chronic wasting disease

    OpenAIRE

    Holly B Ernest; Hoar, Bruce R; Well, Jay A.; O’Rourke, Katherine I

    2010-01-01

    Molecular genetic data provide powerful tools for genealogy reconstruction to reveal mechanisms underlying disease ecology. White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) congregate in matriarchal groups; kin-related close social spacing may be a factor in the spread of infectious diseases. Spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD), a prion disorder of deer and their cervid relatives, is presumed to be associated with direct contact between individuals and by exposure to shared food and water sourc...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-06-01

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    郭燕; 董小平

    2009-01-01

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

  7. Mother to offspring transmission of chronic wasting disease in reeves' muntjac deer.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amy V Nalls

    Full Text Available The horizontal transmission of prion diseases has been well characterized in bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, chronic wasting disease (CWD of deer and elk and scrapie of sheep, and has been regarded as the primary mode of transmission. Few studies have monitored the possibility of vertical transmission occurring within an infected mother during pregnancy. To study the potential for and pathway of vertical transmission of CWD in the native cervid species, we used a small cervid model-the polyestrous breeding, indoor maintainable, Reeves' muntjac deer-and determined that the susceptibility and pathogenesis of CWD in these deer reproduce that in native mule and white-tailed deer. Moreover, we demonstrate here that CWD prions are transmitted from doe to fawn. Maternal CWD infection also appears to result in lower percentage of live birth offspring. In addition, evolving evidence from protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA assays on fetal tissues suggest that covert prion infection occurs in utero. Overall, our findings demonstrate that transmission of prions from mother to offspring can occur, and may be underestimated for all prion diseases.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel E Saunders

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

  9. Limited transcriptional response of ovine microglia to prion accumulation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dealler, Stephen; Rainov, Nikolai G

    2003-05-01

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

  14. Life cycle of cytosolic prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmann, Julia; Vorberg, Ina

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-12-18

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodríguez-Martínez Ana B

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Introduction The coexistence of different molecular types of classical protease-resistant prion protein in the same individual have been described, however, the simultaneous finding of these with the recently described protease-sensitive variant or variably protease-sensitive prionopathy has, to the best of our knowledge, not yet been reported. Case presentation A 74-year-old Caucasian woman showed a sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease clinical phenotype with reactive depression, followed by cognitive impairment, akinetic-rigid Parkinsonism with pseudobulbar syndrome and gait impairment with motor apraxia, visuospatial disorientation, and evident frontal dysfunction features such as grasping, palmomental reflex and brisk perioral reflexes. She died at age 77. Neuropathological findings showed: spongiform change in the patient’s cerebral cortex, striatum, thalamus and molecular layer of the cerebellum with proteinase K-sensitive synaptic-like, dot-like or target-like prion protein deposition in the cortex, thalamus and striatum; proteinase K-resistant prion protein in the same regions; and elongated plaque-like proteinase K-resistant prion protein in the molecular layer of the cerebellum. Molecular analysis of prion protein after proteinase K digestion revealed decreased signal intensity in immunoblot, a ladder-like protein pattern, and a 71% reduction of PrPSc signal relative to non-digested material. Her cerebellum showed a 2A prion protein type largely resistant to proteinase K. Genotype of polymorphism at codon 129 was valine homozygous. Conclusion Molecular typing of prion protein along with clinical and neuropathological data revealed, to the best of our knowledge, the first case of the coexistence of different protease-sensitive prion proteins in the same patient in a rare case that did not fulfill the current clinical diagnostic criteria for either probable or possible sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease. This highlights the

  19. Highly efficient amplification of chronic wasting disease agent by protein misfolding cyclic amplification with beads (PMCAb.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chad J Johnson

    Full Text Available Protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA has emerged as an important technique for detecting low levels of pathogenic prion protein in biological samples. The method exploits the ability of the pathogenic prion protein to convert the normal prion protein to a proteinase K-resistant conformation. Inclusion of Teflon® beads in the PMCA reaction (PMCAb has been previously shown to increase the sensitivity and robustness of detection for the 263 K and SSLOW strains of hamster-adapted prions. Here, we demonstrate that PMCAb with saponin dramatically increases the sensitivity of detection for chronic wasting disease (CWD agent without compromising the specificity of the assay (i.e., no false positive results. Addition of Teflon® beads increased the robustness of the PMCA reaction, resulting in a decrease in the variability of PMCA results. Three rounds of serial PMCAb allowed detection of CWD agent from a 6.7 × 10(-13 dilution of 10% brain homogenate (1.3 fg of source brain. Titration of the same brain homogenate in transgenic mice expressing cervid prion protein (Tg(CerPrP1536(+/- mice allowed detection of CWD agent from the 10(-6 dilution of 10% brain homogenate. PMCAb is, thus, more sensitive than bioassay in transgenic mice by a factor exceeding 10(5. Additionally, we are able to amplify CWD agent from brain tissue and lymph nodes of CWD-positive white-tailed deer having Prnp alleles associated with reduced disease susceptibility.

  20. Highly efficient amplification of chronic wasting disease agent by protein misfolding cyclical amplification with beads (PMCAb)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Chad J.; Aiken, Judd M.; McKenzie, Debbie; Samuel, Michael D.; Pedersen, Joel A.

    2012-01-01

    Protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) has emerged as an important technique for detecting low levels of pathogenic prion protein in biological samples. The method exploits the ability of the pathogenic prion protein to convert the normal prion protein to a proteinase K-resistant conformation. Inclusion of Teflon® beads in the PMCA reaction (PMCAb) has been previously shown to increase the sensitivity and robustness of detection for the 263 K and SSLOW strains of hamster-adapted prions. Here, we demonstrate that PMCAb with saponin dramatically increases the sensitivity of detection for chronic wasting disease (CWD) agent without compromising the specificity of the assay (i.e., no false positive results). Addition of Teflon® beads increased the robustness of the PMCA reaction, resulting in a decrease in the variability of PMCA results. Three rounds of serial PMCAb allowed detection of CWD agent from a 6.7×10−13 dilution of 10% brain homogenate (1.3 fg of source brain). Titration of the same brain homogenate in transgenic mice expressing cervid prion protein (Tg(CerPrP)1536+/−mice) allowed detection of CWD agent from the 10−6 dilution of 10% brain homogenate. PMCAb is, thus, more sensitive than bioassay in transgenic mice by a factor exceeding 105. Additionally, we are able to amplify CWD agent from brain tissue and lymph nodes of CWD-positive white-tailed deer having Prnp alleles associated with reduced disease susceptibility.

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

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    Qi Shi

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

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Rapid Antemortem Detection of CWD Prions in Deer Saliva

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

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    Diego Iacono

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Genes contributing to prion pathogenesis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

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    Aneesha Chauhan

    2015-01-01

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

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

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Keohane, C

    2012-02-03

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

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

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    Abhisek Mukherjee

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

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

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    Julia Grizenkova

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

  12. A BRIEF DISCUSSION REGARDING PRION DISEASES AND SARS

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  13. A BRIEF DISCUSSION REGARDING PRION DISEASES AND SARS

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-16

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

  15. The many shades of prion strain adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baskakov, Ilia V

    2014-01-01

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

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

    CERN Document Server

    Morrison, Douglas Robert Ogston

    1997-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verma, Ashok

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Phosphorylated human tau associates with mouse prion protein amyloid in scrapie-infected mice but does not increase progression of clinical disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Race, Brent; Phillips, Katie; Kraus, Allison; Chesebro, Bruce

    2016-07-03

    Tauopathies are a family of neurodegenerative diseases in which fibrils of human hyperphosphorylated tau (P-tau) are believed to cause neuropathology. In Alzheimer disease, P-tau associates with A-beta amyloid and contributes to disease pathogenesis. In familial human prion diseases and variant CJD, P-tau often co-associates with prion protein amyloid, and might also accelerate disease progression. To test this latter possibility, here we compared progression of amyloid prion disease in vivo after scrapie infection of mice with and without expression of human tau. The mice used expressed both anchorless prion protein (PrP) and membrane-anchored PrP, that generate disease associated amyloid and non-amyloid PrP (PrPSc) after scrapie infection. Human P-tau induced by scrapie infection was only rarely associated with non-amyloid PrPSc, but abundant human P-tau was detected at extracellular, perivascular and axonal deposits associated with amyloid PrPSc. This pathology was quite similar to that seen in familial prion diseases. However, association of human and mouse P-tau with amyloid PrPSc did not diminish survival time following prion infection in these mice. By analogy, human P-tau may not affect prion disease progression in humans. Alternatively, these results might be due to other factors, including rapidity of disease, blocking effects by mouse tau, or low toxicity of human P-tau in this model.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Rui; Weng, Yi

    2009-05-01

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

  4. Bioassays and Inactivation of Prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giles, Kurt; Woerman, Amanda L; Berry, David B; Prusiner, Stanley B

    2017-08-01

    The experimental study of prions requires a model for their propagation. However, because prions lack nucleic acids, the simple techniques used to replicate bacteria and viruses are not applicable. For much of the history of prion research, time-consuming bioassays in animals were the only option for measuring infectivity. Although cell models and other in vitro tools for the propagation of prions have been developed, they all suffer limitations, and animal bioassays remain the gold standard for measuring infectivity. A wealth of recent data argues that both β-amyloid (Aβ) and tau proteins form prions that cause Alzheimer's disease, and α-synuclein forms prions that cause multiple system atrophy and Parkinson's disease. Cell and animal models that recapitulate some of the key features of cell-to-cell spreading and distinct strains of prions can now be measured. Copyright © 2017 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.

  5. De novo design of synthetic prion domains.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-24

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    鲁云; 李滋薇; 杨利峰; 赵德明

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-05-11

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher J Johnson

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jerusa Smid

    2013-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ihssane Bouybayoune

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  16. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Djamel Harbi

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-30

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

  19. Genome-wide association study in multiple human prion diseases suggests genetic risk factors additional to PRNP

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mead, Simon; Uphill, James; Beck, John; Poulter, Mark; Campbell, Tracy; Lowe, Jessica; Adamson, Gary; Hummerich, Holger; Klopp, Norman; Rückert, Ina-Maria; Wichmann, H-Erich; Azazi, Dhoyazan; Plagnol, Vincent; Pako, Wandagi H.; Whitfield, Jerome; Alpers, Michael P.; Whittaker, John; Balding, David J.; Zerr, Inga; Kretzschmar, Hans; Collinge, John

    2012-01-01

    Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative diseases of humans and animals caused by the misfolding and aggregation of prion protein (PrP). Mammalian prion diseases are under strong genetic control but few risk factors are known aside from the PrP gene locus (PRNP). No genome-wide association study (GWAS) has been done aside from a small sample of variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD). We conducted GWAS of sporadic CJD (sCJD), variant CJD (vCJD), iatrogenic CJD, inherited prion disease, kuru and resistance to kuru despite attendance at mortuary feasts. After quality control, we analysed 2000 samples and 6015 control individuals (provided by the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium and KORA-gen) for 491032-511862 SNPs in the European study. Association studies were done in each geographical and aetiological group followed by several combined analyses. The PRNP locus was highly associated with risk in all geographical and aetiological groups. This association was driven by the known coding variation at rs1799990 (PRNP codon 129). No non-PRNP loci achieved genome-wide significance in the meta-analysis of all human prion disease. SNPs at the ZBTB38–RASA2 locus were associated with CJD in the UK (rs295301, P = 3.13 × 10−8; OR, 0.70) but these SNPs showed no replication evidence of association in German sCJD or in Papua New Guinea-based tests. A SNP in the CHN2 gene was associated with vCJD [P = 1.5 × 10−7; odds ratio (OR), 2.36], but not in UK sCJD (P = 0.049; OR, 1.24), in German sCJD or in PNG groups. In the overall meta-analysis of CJD, 14 SNPs were associated (P < 10−5; two at PRNP, three at ZBTB38–RASA2, nine at nine other independent non-PRNP loci), more than would be expected by chance. None of the loci recently identified as genome-wide significant in studies of other neurodegenerative diseases showed any clear evidence of association in prion diseases. Concerning common genetic variation, it is likely that the PRNP locus contains the only

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chuan-Wei Yi; Wen-Chang Xu; Jie Chen; Yi Liang

    2013-01-01

    Prion diseases and prion-like protein misfolding diseases involve the accumulation of abnormally aggregated forms of the normal host proteins,such as prion protein and Tau protein.These proteins are special because of their self-duplicating and transmissible characteristics.Such abnormally aggregated proteins mainly formed in neurons,cause the neurons dysfunction,and finally lead to invariably fatal neurodegenerative diseases.Prion diseases appear not only in animals,such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy in cattle and scrapie in sheep,but also in humans,such as Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease,and even the same prion or prion-like proteins can have many different phenotypes.A lot of biological evidence has suggested that the molecular basis for different strains of prions could be hidden in protein conformations,and the misfolded proteins with conformations different from the normal proteins have been proved to be the main cause for protein aggregation.Crowded physiological environments can be imitated in vitro to study how the misfolding of these proteins leads to the diseases in vivo.In this review,we provide an overview of the existing structural information for prion and prion-like proteins,and discuss the post-translational modifications of prion proteins and the difference between prion and other infectious pathogens.We also discuss what makes a misfolded protein become an infectious agent,and show some examples of prion-like protein aggregation,such as Tau protein aggregation and superoxide dismutase 1 aggregation,as well as some cases of prion-like protein aggregation in crowded physiological environments.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. [A case of Creutzfeldt-Jakob in the Mexican north-east and review of current concepts on prion disease].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calderón-Garcidueñas, A L; Sagastegui-Rodríguez, J A; Canales-Ibarra, C; Farías-García, R

    2001-01-01

    The case reported here is that of a 50-year-old man from Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico, who during the previous 15 months developed a demential syndrome and myoclonia. The brain biopsy led to establish a diagnosis of spongiform encephalopathy. The EEG showed periodic sharp wave complexes over the right hemisphere. A review on about prion diseases is included.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas J Haley

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

  5. Chronic wasting disease in a Wisconsin white-tailed deer farm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keane, Delwyn P; Barr, Daniel J; Bochsler, Philip N; Hall, S Mark; Gidlewski, Thomas; O'Rourke, Katherine I; Spraker, Terry R; Samuel, Michael D

    2008-09-01

    In September 2002, chronic wasting disease (CWD), a prion disorder of captive and wild cervids, was diagnosed in a white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) from a captive farm in Wisconsin. The facility was subsequently quarantined, and in January 2006 the remaining 76 deer were depopulated. Sixty animals (79%) were found to be positive by immunohistochemical staining for the abnormal prion protein (PrP(CWD)) in at least one tissue; the prevalence of positive staining was high even in young deer. Although none of the deer displayed clinical signs suggestive of CWD at depopulation, 49 deer had considerable accumulation of the abnormal prion in the medulla at the level of the obex. Extraneural accumulation of the abnormal protein was observed in 59 deer, with accumulation in the retropharyngeal lymph node in 58 of 59 (98%), in the tonsil in 56 of 59 (95%), and in the rectal mucosal lymphoid tissue in 48 of 58 (83%). The retina was positive in 4 deer, all with marked accumulation of prion in the obex. One deer was considered positive for PrP(CWD) in the brain but not in the extraneural tissue, a novel observation in white-tailed deer. The infection rate in captive deer was 20-fold higher than in wild deer. Although weakly related to infection rates in extraneural tissues, prion genotype was strongly linked to progression of prion accumulation in the obex. Antemortem testing by biopsy of recto-anal mucosal-associated lymphoid tissue (or other peripheral lymphoid tissue) may be a useful adjunct to tonsil biopsy for surveillance in captive herds at risk for CWD infection.

  6. Chronic wasting disease in a Wisconsin white-tailed deer farm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keane, D.P.; Barr, D.J.; Bochsler, P.N.; Hall, S.M.; Gidlewski, T.; O'Rourke, K. I.; Spraker, T.R.; Samuel, M.D.

    2008-01-01

    In September 2002, chronic wasting disease (CWD), a prion disorder of captive and wild cervids, was diagnosed in a white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) from a captive farm in Wisconsin. The facility was subsequently quarantined, and in January 2006 the remaining 76 deer were depopulated. Sixty animals (79%) were found to be positive by immunohistochemical staining for the abnormal prion protein (PrPCWD) in at least one tissue; the prevalence of positive staining was high even in young deer. Although none of the deer displayed clinical signs suggestive of CWD at depopulation, 49 deer had considerable accumulation of the abnormal prion in the medulla at the level of the obex. Extraneural accumulation of the abnormal protein was observed in 59 deer, with accumulation in the retropharyngeal lymph node in 58 of 59 (98%), in the tonsil in 56 of 59 (95%), and in the rectal mucosal lymphoid tissue in 48 of 58 (83%). The retina was positive in 4 deer, all with marked accumulation of prion in the obex. One deer was considered positive for PrPCWD in the brain but not in the extraneural tissue, a novel observation in white-tailed deer. The infection rate in captive deer was 20-fold higher than in wild deer. Although weakly related to infection rates in extraneural tissues, prion genotype was strongly linked to progression of prion accumulation in the obex. Antemortem testing by biopsy of rectoanal mucosal-associated lymphoid tissue (or other peripheral lymphoid tissue) may be a useful adjunct to tonsil biopsy for surveillance in captive herds at risk for CWD infection.

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liberski, Paweł P

    2008-01-01

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

  9. Biology and genetics of prions causing neurodegeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prusiner, Stanley B

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akritidis, N

    2011-03-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Clinical and genetic features of human prion diseases in Catalonia: 1993-2002.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez-Valle, R; Nos, C; Yagüe, J; Graus, F; Domínguez, A; Saiz, A

    2004-10-01

    We describe the clinical and genetic characteristics of the 85 definite or probable human prion diseases cases died between January 1993 and December 2002 in Catalonia (an autonomous community of Spain, 6 million population). Seventy-three (86%) cases were sporadic Creutzfeld-Jakob diseases (sCJD) (49 definite, 24 probable), with a median age at onset of 66 years. The clinical presentation was dementia in 29 cases, ataxia in 14 and visual symptoms in five. The median survival was 3 months. The 14-3-3 assay was positive in 93% cases, 62% presented periodic sharp wave complexes (PSWC) in EEG but only 18% the typical signs on MRI. Forty-eight sCJD were studied for codon 129 PRNP polymorphism: 69% were methionine/methionine (M/M), 14.5% valine/valine (V/V) and 16.5% M/V. Six out of seven V/V cases did not present PSWC and in two survival was longer than 20 months. Eleven cases (13%) were genetic: five familial fatal insomnia and six familial CJD (fCJD). Up to four (67%) fCJD lacked family history of disease, two presented seizures early at onset and one neurosensorial deafness. The only iatrogenic case was related to a dura mater graft. No case of variant CJD was registered. The study confirms in our population the consistent pattern reported worldwide on human prion diseases. Atypical features were seen more frequently in sporadic 129 V/V CJD and fCJD cases.

  14. Experimental Transmission of the Chronic Wasting Disease Agent to Swine after Oral or Intracranial Inoculation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, S Jo; West Greenlee, M Heather; Kondru, Naveen; Manne, Sireesha; Smith, Jodi D; Kunkle, Robert A; Kanthasamy, Anumantha; Greenlee, Justin J

    2017-10-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a naturally occurring, fatal neurodegenerative disease of cervids. The potential for swine to serve as hosts for the agent of CWD is unknown. The purpose of this study was to investigate the susceptibility of swine to the CWD agent following experimental oral or intracranial inoculation. Crossbred piglets were assigned to three groups, intracranially inoculated (n = 20), orally inoculated (n = 19), and noninoculated (n = 9). At approximately the age at which commercial pigs reach market weight, half of the pigs in each group were culled ("market weight" groups). The remaining pigs ("aged" groups) were allowed to incubate for up to 73 months postinoculation (mpi). Tissues collected at necropsy were examined for disease-associated prion protein (PrP(Sc)) by Western blotting (WB), antigen capture enzyme immunoassay (EIA), immunohistochemistry (IHC), and in vitro real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC). Brain samples from selected pigs were also bioassayed in mice expressing porcine prion protein. Four intracranially inoculated aged pigs and one orally inoculated aged pig were positive by EIA, IHC, and/or WB. By RT-QuIC, PrP(Sc) was detected in lymphoid and/or brain tissue from one or more pigs in each inoculated group. The bioassay was positive in four out of five pigs assayed. This study demonstrates that pigs can support low-level amplification of CWD prions, although the species barrier to CWD infection is relatively high. However, detection of infectivity in orally inoculated pigs with a mouse bioassay raises the possibility that naturally exposed pigs could act as a reservoir of CWD infectivity.IMPORTANCE We challenged domestic swine with the chronic wasting disease agent by inoculation directly into the brain (intracranially) or by oral gavage (orally). Disease-associated prion protein (PrP(Sc)) was detected in brain and lymphoid tissues from intracranially and orally inoculated pigs as early as 8 months of age (6 months

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

    OpenAIRE

    Paul, Kacy R.; Ross, Eric D.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Walker S

    2014-01-01

    The mechanisms underlying the selective targeting of specific brain regions by different neurodegenerative diseases is one of the most intriguing mysteries in medicine. For example, it is known that Alzheimer's disease primarily affects parts of the brain that play a role in memory, whereas Parkinson's disease predominantly affects parts of the brain that are involved in body movement. However, the reasons that other brain regions remain unaffected in these diseases are unknown. A better understanding of the phenomenon of selective vulnerability is required for the development of targeted therapeutic approaches that specifically protect affected neurons, thereby altering the disease course and preventing its progression. Prion diseases are a fascinating group of neurodegenerative diseases because they exhibit a wide phenotypic spectrum caused by different sequence perturbations in a single protein. The possible ways that mutations affecting this protein can cause several distinct neurodegenerative diseases are explored in this Review to highlight the complexity underlying selective vulnerability. The premise of this article is that selective vulnerability is determined by the interaction of specific protein conformers and region-specific microenvironments harboring unique combinations of subcellular components such as metals, chaperones and protein translation machinery. Given the abundance of potential contributory factors in the neurodegenerative process, a better understanding of how these factors interact will provide invaluable insight into disease mechanisms to guide therapeutic discovery.

  17. Prions and prion-like pathogens in neurodegenerative disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-18

    Prions are unique elements in biology, being able to transmit biological information from one organism to another in the absence of nucleic acids. They have been identified as self-replicating proteinaceous agents responsible for the onset of rare and fatal neurodegenerative disorders-known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, or prion diseases-which affect humans and other animal species. More recently, it has been proposed that other proteins associated with common neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, can self-replicate like prions, thus sustaining the spread of neurotoxic entities throughout the nervous system. Here, we review findings that have contributed to expand the prion concept, and discuss if the involved toxic species can be considered bona fide prions, including the capacity to infect other organisms, or whether these pathogenic aggregates share with prions only the capability to self-replicate.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-26

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

  19. Soil humic substances hinder the propagation of prions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

    Objective: The transmissible spongiform encephalopaties are characterized by vacuolization, neuronal loss, gliosis and deposition of a misfilded and Proteinase K resistant isoform of the prion protein (PrPSc) in the central nervous system. Methods, materials and patients: Paraffin-embedded tissue...... blot (PET-blot), immunohistochemistry (IHC) and Western blotting (WB) were combined to stydy the morphology and localization of disease related PrP in Danish patients with different subtypes of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, familiar Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and Gertsmann......-Sträussler-Scheinker disease. Results and conclusion: There was a good morphological and anatomical concordance between what was found with PET-blot and IHC in all patients. In some specific cases, the PET-blot was superior to IHC in sensitivity. to our knowledge, this is the first report where PET-blot analysis is applied...

  1. 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.

  2. Functional Prions in the Brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rayman, Joseph B; Kandel, Eric R

    2017-01-03

    Prions are proteins that can adopt self-perpetuating conformations and are traditionally regarded as etiological agents of infectious neurodegenerative diseases in humans, such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, kuru, and transmissible encephalopathies. More recently, a growing consensus has emerged that prion-like, self-templating mechanisms also underlie a variety of neurodegenerative disorders, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, and Huntington's disease. Perhaps most surprising, not all prion-like aggregates are associated with pathological changes. There are now several examples of prion-like proteins in mammals that serve positive biological functions in their aggregated state. In this review, we discuss functional prions in the nervous system, with particular emphasis on the cytoplasmic polyadenylation element-binding protein (CPEB) and the role of its prion-like aggregates in synaptic plasticity and memory. We also mention a more recent example of a functional prion-like protein in the brain, TIA-1, and its role during stress. These studies of functional prion-like proteins have provided a number of generalizable insights on how prion-based protein switches may operate to serve physiological functions in higher eukaryotes.

  3. Prions are affected by evolution at two levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickner, Reed B; Kelly, Amy C

    2016-03-01

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

  4. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Provost, Patrick

    2010-06-18

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  7. The natural history of yeast prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuite, Mick F

    2013-01-01

    Although prions were first discovered through their link to severe brain degenerative diseases in animals, the emergence of prions as regulators of the phenotype of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the filamentous fungus Podospora anserina has revealed a new facet of prion biology. In most cases, fungal prions are carried without apparent detriment to the host cell, representing a novel form of epigenetic inheritance. This raises the question of whether or not yeast prions are beneficial survival factors or actually gives rise to a "disease state" that is selected against in nature. To date, most studies on the impact of fungal prions have focused on laboratory-cultivated "domesticated" strains of S. cerevisiae. At least eight prions have now been described in this species, each with the potential to impact on a wide range of cellular processes. The discovery of prions in nondomesticated strains of S. cerevisiae and P. anserina has confirmed that prions are not simply an artifact of "domestication" of this species. In this review, I describe what we currently know about the phenotypic impact of fungal prions. I then describe how the interplay between host genotype and the prion-mediated changes can generate a wide array of phenotypic diversity. How such prion-generated diversity may be of benefit to the host in survival in a fluctuating, often hazardous environment is then outlined. Prion research has now entered a new phase in which we must now consider their biological function and evolutionary significance in the natural world.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vera Lúcia Gattás

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-07

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Bento-Torres

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matteo Figini

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Physiological and environmental control of yeast prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  17. Upregulation of Connexin 43 Expression Via C-Jun N-Terminal Kinase Signaling in Prion Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Geon-Hwi; Jang, Byungki; Choi, Hong-Seok; Kim, Hee-Jun; Park, Jeong-Ho; Jeon, Yong-Chul; Carp, Richard I; Kim, Yong-Sun; Choi, Eun-Kyoung

    2016-01-01

    Prion infection leads to neuronal cell death, glial cell activation, and the accumulation of misfolded prion proteins. However, the altered cellular environments in animals with prion diseases are poorly understood. In the central nervous system, cells connect the cytoplasm of adjacent cells via connexin (Cx)-assembled gap junction channels to allow the direct exchange of small molecules, including ions, neurotransmitters, and signaling molecules, which regulate the activities of the connected cells. Here, we investigate the role of Cx43 in the pathogenesis of prion diseases. Upregulated Cx43 expression, which was dependent on c-Jun N-Terminal Kinase (JNK)/c-Jun signaling cascades, was found in prion-affected brain tissues and hippocampal neuronal cells. Scrapie infection-induced Cx43 formed aggregated plaques within the cytoplasmic compartments at the cell-cell interfaces. The ethidium bromide (EtBr) uptake assay and scrape-loading dye transfer assay demonstrated that increased Cx43 has functional consequences for the activity of Cx43 hemichannels. Interestingly, blockade of PrPSc accumulation reduced Cx43 expression through the inhibition of JNK signaling, indicating that PrPSc accumulation may be directly involved in JNK activation-mediated Cx43 upregulation. Overall, our findings describe a scrapie infection-mediated novel regulatory signaling pathway of Cx43 expression and may suggest a role for Cx43 in the pathogenesis of prion diseases.

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

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    DeArmond Stephen J

    2010-01-01

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

  19. Prion protein oligomer and its neurotoxicity

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Pei Huang; Fulin Lian; Yi Wen; Chenyun Guo; Donghai Lin

    2013-01-01

    The prion diseases,also known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies,are fatal neurodegenerative disorders.According to the 'protein only' hypothesis,the key molecular event in the pathogenesis of prion disease is the conformational conversion of the host-derived cellular prion protein (PrPC) into a misfolded form (scrapie PrP,prpSc).Increasing evidence has shown that the most infectious factor is the smaller subfibrillar oligomers formed by prion proteins.Both the prion oligomer and PrPSc are rich in β-sheet structure and resistant to the proteolysis of proteinase K.The prion oligomer is soluble in physiologic environments whereas PrPSc is insoluble.Various prion oligomers are formed in different conditions.Prion oligomers exhibited more neurotoxicity both in vitro and in vivo than the fibrillar forms of PrPSc,implying that prion oligomers could be potential drug targets for attacking prion diseases.In this article,we describe recent experimental evidence regarding prion oligomers,with a special focus on prion oligomer formation and its neurotoxicity.

  20. Prions mediated neurodegenerative disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  1. Prions : food and drug safety

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Kitamoto, Tetsuyuki

    2005-01-01

    ... about the safety of therapeutic drugs and medical practices against BSE. As editor, I have compiled this book mainly from papers presented at the meeting of the International Symposium of Prion Diseases for Food and Drug Safety, held October 31-November 2, 2004, in Sendai, Japan. Sendai is a city that is historically associated with the prion hypothesis. The ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cyrus Bett

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bett, Cyrus; Kurt, Tim D; Lucero, Melanie; Trejo, Margarita; Rozemuller, Annemieke J; Kong, Qingzhong; Nilsson, K Peter R; Masliah, Eliezer; Oldstone, Michael B; Sigurdson, Christina J

    2013-01-01

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

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

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    Valerie eVingtdeux

    2012-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cascarina, Sean M; Ross, Eric D

    2014-06-01

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

  6. Protease-sensitive synthetic prions.

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    David W Colby

    2010-01-01

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

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

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    Kurt Giles

    2008-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-11-01

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

  9. Chronic Lymphocytic Inflammation Specifies the Organ Tropism of Prions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-02-01

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

  10. Solid Waste/Disease Relationships, A Literature Survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanks, Thrift G.

    Presented is a comprehensive survey of the literature on the relationships between disease and solid wastes. Diseases are grouped on the basis of waste type or disease vector, such as chemical waste, human fecal waste, animal fecal waste, rodent-borne disease, mosquito-borne disease and miscellaneous communicable disease. The following format is…

  11. The role of genetics in chronic wasting disease of North American cervids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Stacie J.; Samuel, Michael D.; O'Rourke, Katherine; Johnson, Chad J.

    2012-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a major concern for the management of North American cervid populations. This fatal prion disease has led to declines in populations which have high CWD prevalence and areas with both high and low infection rates have experienced economic losses in wildlife recreation and fears of potential spill-over into livestock or humans. Research from human and veterinary medicine has established that the prion protein gene (Prnp) encodes the protein responsible for transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). Polymorphisms in the Prnp gene can lead to different prion forms that moderate individual susceptibility to and progression of TSE infection. Prnp genes have been sequenced in a number of cervid species including those currently infected by CWD (elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, moose) and those for which susceptibility is not yet determined (caribou, fallow deer, sika deer). Over thousands of sequences examined, the Prnp gene is remarkably conserved within the family Cervidae; only 16 amino acid polymorphisms have been reported within the 256 amino acid open reading frame in the third exon of the Prnp gene. Some of these polymorphisms have been associated with lower rates of CWD infection and slower progression of clinical CWD. Here we review the body of research on Prnp genetics of North American cervids. Specifically, we focus on known polymorphisms in the Prnp gene, observed genotypic differences in CWD infection rates and clinical progression, mechanisms for genetic TSE resistance related to both the cervid host and the prion agent and potential for natural selection for CWD-resistance. We also identify gaps in our knowledge that require future research.

  12. Naturally prion resistant mammals: a utopia?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Classifying prion and prion-like phenomena.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harbi, Djamel; Harrison, Paul M

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watts, Joel C; Prusiner, Stanley B

    2014-07-18

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-08-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bilbao Miren J

    2010-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corsaro, Alessandro; Thellung, Stefano; Bucciarelli, Tonino; Scotti, Luca; Chiovitti, Katia; Villa, Valentina; D'Arrigo, Cristina; Aceto, Antonio; Florio, Tullio

    2011-03-01

    Mutations in prion protein are thought to be causative of inherited prion diseases favoring the spontaneous conversion of the normal prion protein into the scrapie-like pathological prion protein. We previously reported that, by controlled thermal denaturation, human prion protein fragment 90-231 acquires neurotoxic properties when transformed in a β-rich conformation, resembling the scrapie-like conformation. In this study we generated prion protein fragment 90-231 bearing mutations identified in familial prion diseases (D202N and E200K), to analyze their role in the induction of a neurotoxic conformation. Prion protein fragment 90-231(wild type) and the D202N mutant were not toxic in native conformation but induced cell death only after thermal denaturation. Conversely, prion protein fragment 90-231(E200K) was highly toxic in its native structure, suggesting that E200K mutation per se favors the acquisition of a peptide neurotoxic conformation. To identify the structural determinants of prion protein fragment 90-231 toxicity, we show that while the wild type peptide is structured in α-helix, hPrP90-231 E200K is spontaneously refolded in a β-structured conformer characterized by increased proteinase K resistance and propensity to generate fibrils. However, the most significant difference induced by E200K mutation in prion protein fragment 90-231 structure in native conformation we observed, was an increase in the exposure of hydrophobic amino-acids on protein surface that was detected in wild type and D202N proteins only after thermal denaturation. In conclusion, we propose that increased hydrophobicity is one of the main determinants of toxicity induced by different mutations in prion protein-derived peptides.

  18. 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.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    詹淑琴; 郭彩凤; 王玉平; 贾建平

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-06-01

    in the brain. The diagnosis of prion diseases relies on the ability to differentiate between normal PrP and its misfolded, infectious form. This is...diseases are fatal neurodegenerative diseases of mammals and include Creutzfeld-Jacob disease (humans), scrapie (sheep), chronic wasting disease (elk...form has a higher β-sheet content than does normal PrP. To differentiate between normal PrP and its misfolded, infectious form and assist in diagnosis

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Surewicz, Witold K; Apostol, Marcin I

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason M Wilham

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

  5. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2006-06-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwasaki, Yasushi; Mori, Keiko; Ito, Masumi

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

    Human prion diseases, including sporadic, familial, and acquired forms such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), are caused by prions in which an abnormal prion protein (PrPSc) derived from its normal cellular isoform (PrPC) is the only known component. The recently-identified variably protease-sensi

  12. Mass Spectrometry of Prions: Approaches to Conformational Distinction

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  16. Biological effects and use of PrPSc- and PrP-specific antibodies generated by immunization with purified full-length native mouse prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petsch, Benjamin; Müller-Schiffmann, Andreas; Lehle, Anna; Zirdum, Elizabeta; Prikulis, Ingrid; Kuhn, Franziska; Raeber, Alex J; Ironside, James W; Korth, Carsten; Stitz, Lothar

    2011-05-01

    The prion agent is the infectious particle causing spongiform encephalopathies in animals and humans and is thought to consist of an altered conformation (PrP(Sc)) of the normal and ubiquitous prion protein PrP(C). The interaction of the prion agent with the immune system, particularly the humoral immune response, has remained unresolved. Here we investigated the immunogenicity of full-length native and infectious prions, as well as the specific biological effects of the resulting monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) on the binding and clearance of prions in cell culture and in in vivo therapy. Immunization of prion knockout (Prnp(0/0)) mice with phosphotungstic acid-purified mouse prions resulted in PrP-specific monoclonal antibodies with binding specificities selective for PrP(Sc) or for both PrP(C) and PrP(Sc). PrP(Sc)-specific MAb W261, of the IgG1 isotype, reacted with prions from mice, sheep with scrapie, deer with chronic wasting disease (CWD), and humans with sporadic and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in assays including a capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) system. This PrP(Sc)-specific antibody was unable to clear prions from mouse neuroblastoma cells (ScN2a) permanently infected with scrapie, whereas the high-affinity MAb W226, recognizing both isoforms, PrP(Sc) and PrP(C), did clear prions from ScN2a cells, as determined by a bioassay. However, an attempt to treat intraperitoneally prion infected mice with full-length W226 or with a recombinant variable-chain fragment (scFv) from W226 could only slightly delay the incubation time. We conclude that (i) native, full-length PrP(Sc) elicits a prion-specific antibody response in PrP knockout mice, (ii) a PrP(Sc)-specific antibody had no prion-clearing effect, and (iii) even a high-affinity MAb that clears prions in vitro (W226) may not necessarily protect against prion infection, contrary to previous reports using different antibodies.

  17. Is there a risk of prion-like disease transmission by Alzheimer- or Parkinson-associated protein particles?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beekes, Michael; Thomzig, Achim; Schulz-Schaeffer, Walter J; Burger, Reinhard

    2014-10-01

    The misfolding and aggregation of endogenous proteins in the central nervous system is a neuropathological hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), as well as prion diseases. A molecular mechanism referred to as "nucleation-dependent aggregation" is thought to underlie this neuropathological phenomenon. According to this concept, disease-associated protein particles act as nuclei, or seeds, that recruit cellular proteins and incorporate them, in a misfolded form, into their growing aggregate structure. Experimental studies have shown that the aggregation of the AD-associated proteins amyloid-β (Aβ) and tau, and of the PD-associated protein α-synuclein, can be stimulated in laboratory animal models by intracerebral (i.c.) injection of inocula containing aggregated species of the respective proteins. This has raised the question of whether AD or PD can be transmitted, like certain human prion diseases, between individuals by self-propagating protein particles potentially present on medical instruments or in blood or blood products. While the i.c. injection of inocula containing AD- or PD-associated protein aggregates was found to cause neuronal damage and clinical abnormalities (e.g., motor impairments) in some animal models, none of the studies published so far provided evidence for a transmission of severe or even fatal disease. In addition, available epidemiological data do not indicate a transmissibility of AD or PD between humans. The findings published so far on the effects of experimentally transmitted AD- or PD-associated protein seeds do not suggest specific precautionary measures in the context of hemotherapy, but call for vigilance in transfusion medicine and other medical areas.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) susceptibility of several North American rodents that are sympatric with cervid CWD epidemics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heisey, D.M.; Mickelsen, N.A.; Schneider, J.R.; Johnson, C.J.; Langenberg, J.A.; Bochsler, P.N.; Keane, D.P.; Barr, D.J.

    2010-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a highly contagious always fatal neurodegenerative disease that is currently known to naturally infect only species of the deer family, Cervidae. CWD epidemics are occurring in free-ranging cervids at several locations in North America, and other wildlife species are certainly being exposed to infectious material. To assess the potential for transmission, we intracerebrally inoculated four species of epidemic-sympatric rodents with CWD. Transmission was efficient in all species; the onset of disease was faster in the two vole species than the two Peromyscus spp. The results for inocula prepared from CWD-positive deer with or without CWD-resistant genotypes were similar. Survival times were substantially shortened upon second passage, demonstrating adaptation. Unlike all other known prion protein sequences for cricetid rodents that possess asparagine at position 170, our red-backed voles expressed serine and refute previous suggestions that a serine in this position substantially reduces susceptibility to CWD. Given the scavenging habits of these rodent species, the apparent persistence of CWD prions in the environment, and the inevitable exposure of these rodents to CWD prions, our intracerebral challenge results indicate that further investigation of the possibility of natural transmission is warranted. Copyright ?? 2010, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvatore Monaco

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

  2. An acoustic prion assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gordon Hayward

    2016-12-01

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

  3. Assessing the susceptibility of transgenic mice overexpressing deer prion protein to bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vickery, Christopher M; Lockey, Richard; Holder, Thomas M; Thorne, Leigh; Beck, Katy E; Wilson, Christina; Denyer, Margaret; Sheehan, John; Marsh, Sarah; Webb, Paul R; Dexter, Ian; Norman, Angela; Popescu, Emma; Schneider, Amanda; Holden, Paul; Griffiths, Peter C; Plater, Jane M; Dagleish, Mark P; Martin, Stuart; Telling, Glenn C; Simmons, Marion M; Spiropoulos, John

    2014-02-01

    Several transgenic mouse models have been developed which facilitate the transmission of chronic wasting disease (CWD) of cervids and allow prion strain discrimination. The present study was designed to assess the susceptibility of the prototypic mouse line, Tg(CerPrP)1536(+/-), to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) prions, which have the ability to overcome species barriers. Tg(CerPrP)1536(+/-) mice challenged with red deer-adapted BSE resulted in 90% to 100% attack rates, and BSE from cattle failed to transmit, indicating agent adaptation in the deer.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    董小平

    2007-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Molecular Dynamics Studies on the Buffalo Prion Protein

    CERN Document Server

    Zhang, Jiapu

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  8. Protein misfolding cyclic amplification of infectious prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-06-28

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

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  11. Healthy goats naturally devoid of prion protein

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benestad Sylvie L

    2012-12-01

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

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

    CERN Document Server

    Zhang, Jiapu

    2014-01-01

    Prion diseases are invariably fatal neurodegenerative diseases that affect humans and animals. Unlike most other amyloid forming neurodegenerative diseases, these can be highly infectious. Prion diseases occur in a variety of species. They include the fatal human neurodegenerative diseases Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI), Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS), Kuru, the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or 'mad-cow' disease) in cattle, the chronic wasting disease (CWD) in deer and elk, and scrapie in sheep and goats, etc. Transmission across the species barrier to humans, especially in the case of BSE in Europe, CWD in North America, and variant CJDs (vCJDs) in young people of UK, is a major public health concern. Fortunately, scientists reported that the (central) hydrophobic region of prion proteins (PrP) controls the formation of diseased prions. This article gives a detailed survey on PrP hydrophobic region and does molecular dynamics studies of human PrP(110-136...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gino Miele

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

  14. A brief history of prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zabel, Mark D; Reid, Crystal

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xinhe Wang

    2015-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeppe Falsig

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

  19. 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.

  20. Prions: Beyond a Single Protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Alvin S; Zou, Wen-Quan

    2016-07-01

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

  1. Evidence for zoonotic potential of ovine scrapie prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-16

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

  2. 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.

  3. Transmission of new bovine prion to mice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Christopher J.; Carlson, Christina M.; Morawski, Aaron R.; Manthei, Alyson; Cashman, Neil R.

    2015-01-01

    Studies to understanding interspecies transmission of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs, prion diseases) are challenging in that they typically rely upon lengthy and costly in vivo animal challenge studies. A number of in vitro assays have been developed to aid in measuring prion species barriers, thereby reducing animal use and providing quicker results than animal bioassays. Here, we present the protocol for a rapid in vitroprion conversion assay called the conversion efficiency ratio (CER) assay. In this assay cellular prion protein (PrPC) from an uninfected host brain is denatured at both pH 7.4 and 3.5 to produce two substrates. When the pH 7.4 substrate is incubated with TSE agent, the amount of PrPC that converts to a proteinase K (PK)-resistant state is modulated by the original host’s species barrier to the TSE agent. In contrast, PrPC in the pH 3.5 substrate is misfolded by any TSE agent. By comparing the amount of PK-resistant prion protein in the two substrates, an assessment of the host’s species barrier can be made. We show that the CER assay correctly predicts known prion species barriers of laboratory mice and, as an example, show some preliminary results suggesting that bobcats (Lynx rufus) may be susceptible to white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) chronic wasting disease agent.

  5. Propagation of prions causing synucleinopathies in cultured cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  6. Kinetic and Stochastic Models of 1D yeast ``prions"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kunes, Kay

    2005-03-01

    Mammalian prion proteins (PrP) are of public health interest because of mad cow and chronic wasting diseases. Yeasts have proteins, which can undergo similar reconformation and aggregation processes to PrP; yeast ``prions" are simpler to experimentally study and model. Recent in vitro studies of the SUP35 protein (1), showed long aggregates and pure exponential growth of the misfolded form. To explain this data, we have extended a previous model of aggregation kinetics along with our own stochastic approach (2). Both models assume reconformation only upon aggregation, and include aggregate fissioning and an initial nucleation barrier. We find for sufficiently small nucleation rates or seeding by small dimer concentrations that we can achieve the requisite exponential growth and long aggregates.

  7. Prion Pathogenesis is Independent of Caspase-12

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steele, Andrew D; Hetz, Claudio; Yi, Caroline H; Jackson, Walker S; Borkowski, Andrew W; Yuan, Junying; Wollmann, Robert H

    2007-01-01

    The pathogenic mechanism(s) underlying neurodegenerative diseases associated with protein misfolding is unclear. Several studies have implicated ER stress pathways in neurodegenerative conditions, including prion disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and many others. The ER stress response and upregulation of ER stress-responsive chaperones is observed in the brains of patients affected with Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease and in mouse models of prion diseases. In particular, the processing of caspase-12, an ER-localized caspase, correlates with neuronal cell death in prion disease. However, the contribution of caspase-12 to neurodegeneration has not been directly addressed in vivo. We confirm that ER stress is induced and that caspase-12 is proteolytically processed in a murine model of infectious prion disease. To address the causality of caspase-12 in mediating infectious prion pathogenesis, we inoculated mice deficient in caspase-12 with prions. The survival, behavior, pathology and accumulation of proteinase K-resistant PrP are indistinguishable between caspase-12 knockout and control mice, suggesting that caspase-12 is not necessary for mediating the neurotoxic effects of prion protein misfolding. PMID:19164919

  8. Association mapping of genetic risk factors for chronic wasting disease in wild deer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomomi Matsumoto,; Samuel, Michael D.; Trent Bollinger,; Margo Pybus,; David W. Coltman,

    2013-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal transmissible spongiform encephalopathy affecting North American cervids. We assessed the feasibility of association mapping CWD genetic risk factors in wild white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) using a panel of bovine microsatellite markers from three homologous deer linkage groups predicted to contain candidate genes. These markers had a low cross-species amplification rate (27.9%) and showed weak linkage disequilibrium (<1 cM). Markers near the prion protein and the neurofibromin 1 (NF1) genes were suggestively associated with CWD status in white-tailed deer (P = 0.006) and mule deer (P = 0.02), respectively. This is the first time an association between the NF1 region and CWD has been reported.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bartholomew J Naughton

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zuzana Šišková

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  12. 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.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    魏静; 高晨

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Viruses and prions of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hawkins Steve AC

    2006-10-01

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

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

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    Kazuo Tsukui

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Proteinase-K resistant prion protein (PrPres has the property to aggregate in TSE-injured animal tissues. We have developed a test method to discriminate scrapie-infected and mock-infected hamsters by detecting the PrPres in plasma. It seemed that aggregation of the PrPres with some heterogeneous molecule(s enabled successful detection by this method. In order to investigate which molecule became the partner in the PrPres aggregates; we examined some molecules that could presumably have this ability. As a result, we found synthetic Poly-A RNA, especially in its denatured form, to be the most effective entity although glycoprotein, sulfated polysaccharide showed less effectiveness. DNA in the denatured form also has a high affinity, although in the presence of protein the effectiveness unsuccessful. On the basis of this result, it is possible that the PrPres aggregate in scrapie-infected hamster plasma is composed of PrPres and RNA.

  18. 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.

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

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    Ye Jing

    2008-10-01

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

  20. CWD prions remain infectious after passage through the digestive system of coyotes (Canis latrans).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, Tracy A; Fischer, Justin W; Spraker, Terry R; Kong, Qingzhong; VerCauteren, Kurt C

    2015-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a geographically expanding prion disease of wild and captive cervids in North America. Disease can be transmitted directly, animal to animal, or indirectly via the environment. CWD contamination can occur residually in the environment via soil, water, and forage following deposition of bodily fluids such as urine, saliva, and feces, or by the decomposition of carcasses. Recent work has indicated that plants may even take up prions into the stems and leaves. When a carcass or gut pile is present in the environment, a large number of avian and mammalian species visit and consume the carrion. Additionally, predators like coyotes, likely select for disease-compromised cervids. Natural cross-species CWD transmission has not been documented, however, passage of infectious prion material has been observed in the feces of crows. In this study we evaluated the ability of CWD-infected brain material to pass through the gastrointestinal tract of coyotes (Canis latrans) following oral ingestion, and be infectious in a cervidized transgenic mouse model. Results from this study indicate that coyotes can pass infectious prions via their feces for at least 3 days post ingestion, demonstrating that mammalian scavengers could contribute to the translocation and contamination of CWD in the environment.

  1. Prions: what are they good for?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Si, Kausik

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Epigenetic dominance of prion conformers.

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    Eri Saijo

    2013-10-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Aguzzi, A; Polymenidou, M

    2004-01-01

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

  5. Prion proteins leading to neurodegeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  7. 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...

  8. Association analysis of PRNP gene region with chronic wasting disease in Rocky Mountain elk

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    Spraker Terry R

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Chronic wasting disease (CWD is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE of cervids including white-tailed (Odocoileus virginianus and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus, Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni, and moose (Alces alces. A leucine variant at position 132 (132L in prion protein of Rocky Mountain elk confers a long incubation time with CWD, but not complete resistance. However, variants in regulatory regions outside the open reading frame of PRNP have been associated with varying degrees of susceptibility to prion disease in other species, and some variants have been observed in similar regions of Rocky Mountain elk PRNP. Thus, additional genetic variants might provide increased protection, either alone or in combination with 132L. Findings This study provided genomic sequence of all exons for PRNP of Rocky Mountain elk. Many functional sites in and around the PRNP gene region were sequenced, and this report approximately doubled (to 75 the number of known variants in this region. A haplotype-tagging approach was used to reduce the number of genetic variants required to survey this variation in the PRNP gene region of 559 Rocky Mountain elk. Eight haplotypes were observed with frequencies over 1.0%, and one haplotype was present at 71.2% frequency, reflecting limited genetic diversity in the PRNP gene region. Conclusions The presence of 132L cut odds of CWD by more than half (Odds Ratio = 0.43; P = 0.0031, which was similar to a previous report. However after accounting for 132L, no association with CWD was found for any additional variants in the PRNP region (P > 0.05.

  9. 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...

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chi Ming Yang

    1999-01-01

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

  11. Molecular Modeling of Prion Transmission to Humans

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    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.

  12. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rayman, Joseph B; Kandel, Eric R

    2016-12-21

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

  18. Photocatalytic degradation of prions using the photo-Fenton reagent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paspaltsis, I; Berberidou, C; Poulios, I; Sklaviadis, T

    2009-02-01

    Prions are proteinaceous infectious agents postulated to be the causative agents of a group of fatal neurodegenerative diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). A known iatrogenic transmission route of TSEs to humans occurs via prion-contaminated surgical instruments or biological materials. Prions, unlike most common pathogens, exhibit an extraordinary resistance to conventional decontamination procedures. We have recently demonstrated that the application of TiO(2)-based heterogeneous photocatalytic oxidation is able to significantly reduce prion infectivity. The present study investigates the potential of a homogeneous photocatalytic method, based on the photo-Fenton reagent, to degrade prion proteins. We show that the photo-Fenton reagent efficiently degrades not only recombinant prion proteins, but also the total protein amount from brain preparations of naturally or experimentally infected species and PrP(Sc) (PrP scrapie) contained in sheep scrapie brain homogenates.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  2. Surveillance to detect chronic wasting disease in white-tailed deer in Wisconsin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joly, Damien O; Samuel, Michael D; Langenberg, Julia A; Rolley, Robert E; Keane, Delwyn P

    2009-10-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD), a prion disease affecting North American cervids, has been discovered in at least 12 states and provinces throughout the continent. Since 2002, a number of states and provinces have initiated surveillance programs to detect CWD in native cervid populations. However, many questions remain about the appropriate methods, geographic scope, and number of samples required for an effective CWD surveillance program. We provide an improved statistical method to calculate the probability of detecting CWD in primary sample units (e.g., county or deer management unit) that also considers deer abundance and the nonrandom distribution of CWD and hunter harvests. We used this method to analyze data from a statewide CWD detection program conducted in Wisconsin during the autumns of 2002 and 2003 to determine the distribution of CWD in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). Deer heads were collected at hunter registration stations, and brainstem (obex) and retropharyngeal lymph nodes were removed for disease testing. Our analysis includes samples from >35,000 deer collected outside the known affected area. The probability of detecting chronic wasting disease at a prevalence of 1% varied from 0.89 to > or =0.99 among the 56 primary sample units. Detection probabilities for 1% CWD prevalence were >0.9 in 55 primary sample units, and >0.99 in 10. Detection probabilities will be higher in areas where CWD prevalence exceeds 1%. CWD-positive deer were detected in eight primary sample units surrounding the known affected area during surveillance activities. Our approach provides a novel statistical technique to accommodate nonrandom sampling in wildlife disease surveillance programs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

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

  5. Chronic Progressive Neurodegeneration in a transgenic mouse model of Prion disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nina Fainstein

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Neurodegenerative diseases present pathologically with progressive structural destruction of neurons and accumulation of mis-folded proteins specific for each condition leading to brain atrophy and functional disability. Many animal models exert deposition of pathogenic protein without accompanying neurodegeneration pattern. The lack of a comprehensive model hinders the efforts to develop treatment. We performed longitudinal quantification of cellular, neuronal and synaptic density, as well as of neurogenesis in brains of mice, mimicking for genetic Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease as compared to age matched wild type mice. Mice exhibited a neurodegenerative process indicated by progressive reduction in cortical neurons and synapses, starting at age of 4-6 months, in accordance with neurologic disability. This was accompanied by significant decrease in subventricular/subependymal zone neurogenesis. Although increased hippocampal neurogenesis was detected in mice, a neurodegenerative process of CA1 and CA3 regions associated with impaired hippocampal-dependent memory function was observed. In conclusion, mice exhibit pathological neurodegeneration concomitant with progressive neurological disease, indicating these mice can serve as a model for neurodegenerative diseases.

  6. The “Jekyll and Hyde” Actions of Nucleic Acids on the Prion-like Aggregation of Proteins*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Jerson L.; Cordeiro, Yraima

    2016-01-01

    Protein misfolding results in devastating degenerative diseases and cancer. Among the culprits involved in these illnesses are prions and prion-like proteins, which can propagate by converting normal proteins to the wrong conformation. For spongiform encephalopathies, a real prion can be transmitted among individuals. In other disorders, the bona fide prion characteristics are still under investigation. Besides inducing misfolding of native proteins, prions bind nucleic acids and other polyanions. Here, we discuss how nucleic acid binding might influence protein misfolding for both disease-related and benign, functional prions and why the line between bad and good amyloids might be more subtle than previously thought. PMID:27288413

  7. What Makes a Protein Sequence a Prion?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabate, Raimon; Rousseau, Frederic; Schymkowitz, Joost; Ventura, Salvador

    2015-01-01

    Typical amyloid diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's were thought to exclusively result from de novo aggregation, but recently it was shown that amyloids formed in one cell can cross-seed aggregation in other cells, following a prion-like mechanism. Despite the large experimental effort devoted to understanding the phenomenon of prion transmissibility, it is still poorly understood how this property is encoded in the primary sequence. In many cases, prion structural conversion is driven by the presence of relatively large glutamine/asparagine (Q/N) enriched segments. Several studies suggest that it is the amino acid composition of these regions rather than their specific sequence that accounts for their priogenicity. However, our analysis indicates that it is instead the presence and potency of specific short amyloid-prone sequences that occur within intrinsically disordered Q/N-rich regions that determine their prion behaviour, modulated by the structural and compositional context. This provides a basis for the accurate identification and evaluation of prion candidate sequences in proteomes in the context of a unified framework for amyloid formation and prion propagation. PMID:25569335

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Ayuso

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  10. Spatial epidemiology of chronic wasting disease in Wisconsin white-tailed deer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joly, Damien O; Samuel, Michael D; Langenberg, Julia A; Blanchong, Julie A; Batha, Carl A; Rolley, Robert E; Keane, Delwyn P; Ribic, Christine A

    2006-07-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal, emerging disease of cervids associated with transmissible protease-resistant prion proteins. The potential for CWD to cause dramatic declines in deer and elk populations and perceived human health risks associated with consuming CWD-contaminated venison have led wildlife agencies to embark on extensive CWD control programs, typically involving culling to reduce deer populations. We characterized the spatial distribution of CWD in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in Wisconsin to facilitate CWD management. We found that CWD prevalence declined with distance from a central location, was locally correlated at a scale of 3.6 km, and was correlated with deer habitat abundance. The latter result is consistent with patterns expected for a positive relationship between density and prevalence of CWD. We recommend management activities focused on culling in geographic areas with high prevalence to have the greatest probability of removing infected individuals. Further research is needed to elucidate the factors involved in CWD spread and infection rates, especially the role of density-dependent transmission.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Disinfectants and Prions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  14. Bayesian Modeling of Prion Disease Dynamics in Mule Deer Using Population Monitoring and Capture-Recapture Data.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chris Geremia

    Full Text Available Epidemics of chronic wasting disease (CWD of North American Cervidae have potential to harm ecosystems and economies. We studied a migratory population of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus affected by CWD for at least three decades using a Bayesian framework to integrate matrix population and disease models with long-term monitoring data and detailed process-level studies. We hypothesized CWD prevalence would be stable or increase between two observation periods during the late 1990s and after 2010, with higher CWD prevalence making deer population decline more likely. The weight of evidence suggested a reduction in the CWD outbreak over time, perhaps in response to intervening harvest-mediated population reductions. Disease effects on deer population growth under current conditions were subtle with a 72% chance that CWD depressed population growth. With CWD, we forecasted a growth rate near one and largely stable deer population. Disease effects appear to be moderated by timing of infection, prolonged disease course, and locally variable infection. Long-term outcomes will depend heavily on whether current conditions hold and high prevalence remains a localized phenomenon.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan Guo

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

  16. Molecular dynamics studies on the buffalo prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jiapu; Wang, Feng; Chatterjee, Subhojyoti

    2016-01-01

    It was reported that buffalo is a low susceptibility species resisting to transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) (same as rabbits, horses, and dogs). TSEs, also called prion diseases, are invariably fatal and highly infectious neurodegenerative diseases that affect a wide variety of species (except for rabbits, dogs, horses, and buffalo), manifesting as scrapie in sheep and goats; bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or "mad-cow" disease) in cattle; chronic wasting disease in deer and elk; and Creutzfeldt-Jakob diseases, Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome, fatal familial insomnia, and Kulu in humans etc. In molecular structures, these neurodegenerative diseases are caused by the conversion from a soluble normal cellular prion protein (PrP(C)), predominantly with α-helices, into insoluble abnormally folded infectious prions (PrP(Sc)), rich in β-sheets. In this article, we studied the molecular structure and structural dynamics of buffalo PrP(C) (BufPrP(C)), in order to understand the reason why buffalo is resistant to prion diseases. We first did molecular modeling of a homology structure constructed by one mutation at residue 143 from the NMR structure of bovine and cattle PrP(124-227); immediately we found that for BufPrP(C)(124-227), there are five hydrogen bonds (HBs) at Asn143, but at this position, bovine/cattle do not have such HBs. Same as that of rabbits, dogs, or horses, our molecular dynamics studies also revealed there is a strong salt bridge (SB) ASP178-ARG164 (O-N) keeping the β2-α2 loop linked in buffalo. We also found there is a very strong HB SER170-TYR218 linking this loop with the C-terminal end of α-helix H3. Other information, such as (i) there is a very strong SB HIS187-ARG156 (N-O) linking α-helices H2 and H1 (if mutation H187R is made at position 187, then the hydrophobic core of PrP(C) will be exposed (L.H. Zhong (2010). Exposure of hydrophobic core in human prion protein pathogenic mutant H187R. Journal of

  17. Demographic patterns and harvest vulnerability of chronic wasting disease infected white-tailed deer in Wisconsin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grear, D.A.; Samuel, M.D.; Langenberg, J.A.; Keane, D.

    2006-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal disease of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) caused by transmissible protease-resistant prions. Since the discovery of CWD in southern Wisconsin in 2001, more than 20,000 deer have been removed from a >2,500-km2 disease eradication zone surrounding the three initial cases. Nearly all deer removed were tested for CWD infection and sex, age, and harvest location were recorded. Our analysis used data from a 310-km2 core study area where disease prevalence was higher than surrounding areas. We found no difference in harvest rates between CWD infected and noninfected deer. Our results show that the probability of infection increased with age and that adult males were more likely to be infected than adult females. Six fawns tested positive for CWD, five fawns from the core study area, including the youngest (5 months) free-ranging cervid to test positive. The increase in male prevalence with age is nearly twice the increase found in females. We concluded that CWD is not randomly distributed among deer and that differential transmission among sex and age classes is likely driving the observed patterns in disease prevalence. We discuss alternative hypotheses for CWD transmission and spread and, in addition, discuss several possible nonlinear relationships between prevalence and age. Understanding CWD transmission in free-ranging cervid populations will be essential to the development of strategies to manage this disease in areas where CWD is found, as well as for surveillance strategies in areas where CWD threatens to spread.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

    blot (PET-blot), immunohistochemistry (IHC) and Western blotting (WB) were combined to study the morphology and localization of disease related PrP in Danish patients with different subtypes of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, familiar Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and Gerstmann......-Straussler-Scheinker disease. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: There was a good morphological and anatomical concordance between what was found with PET-blot and IHC in all patients. In some specific cases, the PET-blot was superior to IHC in sensitivity. To our knowledge, this is the first report where PET-blot analysis is applied...

  19. Synthetic prions and other human neurodegenerative proteinopathies.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-02

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) are a heterogeneous group of neurodegenerative disorders. The common feature of these diseases is the pathological conversion of the normal cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) into a β-structure-rich conformer-termed PrP(Sc). The latter can induce a self-perpetuating process leading to amplification and spreading of pathological protein assemblies. Much evidence suggests that PrP(Sc) itself is able to recruit and misfold PrP(C) into the pathological conformation. Recent data have shown that recombinant PrP(C) can be misfolded in vitro and the resulting synthetic conformers are able to induce the conversion of PrP(C) into PrP(Sc)in vivo. In this review we describe the state-of-the-art of the body of literature in this field. In addition, we describe a cell-based assay to test synthetic prions in cells, providing further evidence that synthetic amyloids are able to template conversion of PrP into prion inclusions. Studying prions might help to understand the pathological mechanisms governing other neurodegenerative diseases. Aggregation and deposition of misfolded proteins is a common feature of several neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other disorders. Although the proteins implicated in each of these diseases differ, they share a common prion mechanism. Recombinant proteins are able to aggregate in vitro into β-rich amyloid fibrils, sharing some features of the aggregates found in the brain. Several studies have reported that intracerebral inoculation of synthetic aggregates lead to unique pathology, which spread progressively to distal brain regions and reduced survival time in animals. Here, we review the prion-like features of different proteins involved in neurodegenerative disorders, such as α-synuclein, superoxide dismutase-1, amyloid-β and tau. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Rapid transepithelial transport of prions following inhalation.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    Prion diseases and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are characterized by protein misfolding, and can lead to dementia. However, prion diseases are infectious and transmissible, while AD is not. The similarities and differences between these diseases have led researchers to perform comparative studies. In the last 2 decades, progress has been made in immunotherapy using anti-prion protein and anti-β-amyloid antibodies. In this study, we review new ideas and strategies for therapeutic antibodies targeting prion diseases and AD through conformation dependence.

  2. 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.

  3. Mutability of prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-10

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

  5. 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.

  6. [Chronic wasting disease guidelines for the National Elk Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This memorandum provides the Regional Refuge Biologist some guidelines on transport of elk to or from chronic wasting disease (CWD) contaminated sites, and...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina D Orrú

    2015-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  9. All Clinically-Relevant Blood Components Transmit Prion Disease following a Single Blood Transfusion: A Sheep Model of vCJD

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Wolf, Christopher; Tan, Boon Chin; Smith, Antony; Groschup, Martin H.; Hunter, Nora; Hornsey, Valerie S.; MacGregor, Ian R.; Prowse, Christopher V.; Turner, Marc; Manson, Jean C.

    2011-01-01

    Variant CJD (vCJD) is an incurable, infectious human disease, likely arising from the consumption of BSE-contaminated meat products. Whilst the epidemic appears to be waning, there is much concern that vCJD infection may be perpetuated in humans by the transfusion of contaminated blood products. Since 2004, several cases of transfusion-associated vCJD transmission have been reported and linked to blood collected from pre-clinically affected donors. Using an animal model in which the disease manifested resembles that of humans affected with vCJD, we examined which blood components used in human medicine are likely to pose the greatest risk of transmitting vCJD via transfusion. We collected two full units of blood from BSE-infected donor animals during the pre-clinical phase of infection. Using methods employed by transfusion services we prepared red cell concentrates, plasma and platelets units (including leucoreduced equivalents). Following transfusion, we showed that all components contain sufficient levels of infectivity to cause disease following only a single transfusion and also that leucoreduction did not prevent disease transmission. These data suggest that all blood components are vectors for prion disease transmission, and highlight the importance of multiple control measures to minimise the risk of human to human transmission of vCJD by blood transfusion. PMID:21858015

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra McCutcheon

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  12. Inactivation of prion infectivity by ionizing rays

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-11-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-04

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

  16. The physical dimensions of amyloid aggregates control their infective potential as prion particles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchante, Ricardo; Beal, David M; Koloteva-Levine, Nadejda; Purton, Tracey J; Tuite, Mick F

    2017-01-01

    Transmissible amyloid particles called prions are associated with infectious prion diseases in mammals and inherited phenotypes in yeast. All amyloid aggregates can give rise to potentially infectious seeds that accelerate their growth. Why some amyloid seeds are highly infectious prion particles while others are less infectious or even inert, is currently not understood. To address this question, we analyzed the suprastructure and dimensions of synthetic amyloid fibrils assembled from the yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) prion protein Sup35NM. We then quantified the ability of these particles to induce the [PSI+] prion phenotype in cells. Our results show a striking relationship between the length distribution of the amyloid fibrils and their ability to induce the heritable [PSI+] prion phenotype. Using a simple particle size threshold model to describe transfection activity, we explain how dimensions of amyloid fibrils are able to modulate their infectious potential as prions. PMID:28880146

  17. Highly Sensitive, Quantitative Cell-Based Assay for Prions Adsorbed to Solid Surfaces

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Julie Ann Edgeworth; Graham S. Jackson; Anthony R. Clarke; Charles Weissmann; John Collinge

    2009-01-01

    Prions are comprised principally of aggregates of a misfolded host protein and cause fatal transmissible neurodegenerative disorders of humans and animals, such as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease...

  18. 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.

  19. Risk behaviors in a rural community with a known point-source exposure to chronic wasting disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weeks Jennifer

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The emergence and continuing spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD in cervids has now reached 14 U.S. states, two Canadian provinces, and South Korea, producing a potential for transmission of CWD prions to humans and other animals globally. In 2005, CWD spread for the first time from the Midwest to more densely populated regions of the East Coast. As a result, a large cohort of individuals attending a wild game feast in upstate New York were exposed to a deer that was subsequently confirmed positive for CWD. Methods Eighty-one participants who ingested or otherwise were exposed to a deer with chronic wasting disease at a local New York State sportsman's feast were recruited for this study. Participants were administered an exposure questionnaire and agreed to follow-up health evaluations longitudinally over the next six years. Results Our results indicate two types of risks for those who attended the feast, a Feast Risk and a General Risk. The larger the number of risk factors, the greater the risk to human health if CWD is transmissible to humans. Long-term surveillance of feast participants exposed to CWD is ongoing. Conclusion The risk data from this study provide a relative scale for cumulative exposure to CWD-infected tissues and surfaces, and those in the upper tiers of cumulative risk may be most at risk if CWD is transmissible to humans.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    黄仲贤; 陆君霞; 王韵华

    2000-01-01

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

  1. Role of lipid in forming an infectious prion?

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Fei Wang; Jiyan Ma

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Man-Sun Sy

    2009-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Chronic wasting disease risk analysis workshop: An integrative approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillette, Shana; Dein, Joshua; Salman, Mo; Richards, Bryan; Duarte, Paulo

    2004-01-01

    Risk analysis tools have been successfully used to determine the potential hazard associated with disease introductions and have facilitated management decisions designed to limit the potential for disease introduction. Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) poses significant challenges for resource managers due to an incomplete understanding of disease etiology and epidemiology and the complexity of management and political jurisdictions. Tools designed specifically to assess the risk of CWD introduction would be of great value to policy makers in areas where CWD has not been detected.

  9. Mitochondrial Respiration Is Impaired during Late-Stage Hamster Prion Infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faris, Robert; Moore, Roger A; Ward, Anne; Sturdevant, Dan E; Priola, Suzette A

    2017-09-15

    Mitochondria are crucial to proper neuronal function and overall brain health. Mitochondrial dysfunction within the brain has been observed in many neurodegenerative diseases, including prion disease. Several markers of decreased mitochondrial activity during prion infection have been reported, yet the bioenergetic respiratory status of mitochondria from prion-infected animals is unknown. Here we show that clinically ill transgenic mice overexpressing hamster prion protein (Tg7) infected with the hamster prion strain 263K suffer from a severe deficit in mitochondrial oxygen consumption in response to the respiratory complex II substrate succinate. Characterization of the mitochondrial proteome of purified brain mitochondria from infected and uninfected Tg7 mice showed significant differences in the relative abundance of key mitochondrial electron transport proteins in 263K-infected animals relative to that in controls. Our results suggest that at clinical stages of prion infection, dysregulation of respiratory chain proteins may lead to impairment of mitochondrial respiration in the brain.IMPORTANCE Mitochondrial dysfunction is present in most major neurodegenerative diseases, and some studies have suggested that mitochondrial processes may be altered during prion disease. Here we show that hamster prion-infected transgenic mice overexpressing the hamster prion protein (Tg7 mice) suffer from mitochondrial respiratory deficits. Tg7 mice infected with the 263K hamster prion strain have little or no signs of mitochondrial dysfunction at the disease midpoint but suffer from a severe deficit in mitochondrial respiration at the clinical phase of disease. A proteomic analysis of the isolated brain mitochondria from clinically affected animals showed that several proteins involved in electron transport, mitochondrial dynamics, and mitochondrial protein synthesis were dysregulated. These results suggest that mitochondrial dysfunction, possibly exacerbated by prion protein

  10. Deer carcass decomposition and potential scavenger exposure to chronic wasting disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennelle, C.S.; Samuel, M.D.; Nolden, C.A.; Berkley, E.A.

    2009-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy afflicting the Cervidae family in North America, causing neurodegeneration and ultimately death. Although there are no reports of natural cross-species transmission of CWD to noncervids, infected deer carcasses pose a potential risk of CWD exposure for other animals. We placed 40 disease-free white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) carcasses and 10 gut piles in the CWD-affected area of Wisconsin (USA) from September to April in 2003 through 2005. We used photos from remotely operated cameras to characterize scavenger visitation and relative activity. To evaluate factors driving the rate of carcass removal (decomposition), we used KaplanMeier survival analysis and a generalized linear mixed model. We recorded 14 species of scavenging mammals (6 visiting species) and 14 species of scavenging birds (8 visiting species). Prominent scavengers included American crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos), raccoons (Procyon lotor), and Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana). We found no evidence that deer consumed conspecific remains, although they visited gut piles more often than carcasses relative to temporal availability in the environment. Domestic dogs, cats, and cows either scavenged or visited carcass sites, which could lead to human exposure to CWD. Deer carcasses persisted for 18 days to 101 days depending on the season and year, whereas gut piles lasted for 3 days. Habitat did not influence carcass decomposition, but mammalian and avian scavenger activity and higher temperatures were positively associated with faster removal. Infected deer carcasses or gut piles can serve as potential sources of CWD prions to a variety of scavengers. In areas where surveillance for CWD exposure is practical, management agencies should consider strategies for testing primary scavengers of deer carcass material.

  11. An autopsy case of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease with a prion protein gene codon 180 mutation presenting with pathological laughing and an exaggerated startle reaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwasaki, Yasushi; Mori, Keiko; Ito, Masumi; Akagi, Akio; Mimuro, Maya; Kitamoto, Tetsuyuki; Yoshida, Mari

    2017-07-13

    A 78-year-old Japanese woman presented with slow progressive disorientation and memory disturbances. Pathological laughing was observed at an early disease stage and continued for several months. Around the same time, the patient began to exhibit an exaggerated startle reaction and mild myoclonus. The pathological laughing and startle reaction disappeared before the patient reached an akinetic mutism state approximately 16 months after symptom onset. MRI showed extensive hyperintensity of the cerebral cortex and striatum on diffusion-weighted images, and swelling in the cerebral cortex on T2-weighted and fluid attenuated inversion recovery images. A prion protein (PrP) gene analysis revealed a V180I mutation with methionine homozygosity at codon 129. Neuropathological examination showed extensive spongiform changes with characteristic various-sized and non-confluent (VaSNoC) vacuoles in the cerebral neocortex and striatum. Gliosis and hypertrophic astrocytosis were generally mild in character. Neurons were relatively preserved in number. We believe that pathological laughing and an exaggerated startle reaction are possible pathognomonic findings of V180I genetic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Based on the pathological findings of the present case, the presence of the VaSNoC-type spongiform changes with relative preservation of the neurons in the cerebral cortex and a lack of apparent brainstem involvement are associated at least in part with the pathological laughing and startle reaction. © 2017 Japanese Society of Neuropathology.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-04-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Christopher J.; Morawski, A.R.; Carlson, C.M.; Chang, H.

    2013-01-01

    Background: Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) affect both domestic sheep (scrapie) and captive and free-ranging cervids (chronic wasting disease; CWD). The geographical range of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis; BHS) overlaps with states or provinces that have contained scrapie-positive sheep or goats and areas with present epizootics of CWD in cervids. No TSEs have been documented in BHS, but the susceptibility of this species to TSEs remains unknown. Results: We acquired a library of BHS tissues and found no evidence of preexisting TSEs in these animals. The prion protein gene (Prnp) in all BHS in our library was identical to scrapie-susceptible domestic sheep (A136R 154Q171). Using an in vitro prion protein conversion assay, which has been previously used to assess TSE species barriers and, in our study appears to recollect known species barriers in mice, we assessed the potential transmissibility of TSEs to BHS. As expected based upon Prnp genotype, we observed BHS prion protein conversion by classical scrapie agent and evidence for a species barrier between transmissible mink encephalopathy (TME) and BHS. Interestingly, our data suggest that the species barrier of BHS to white-tailed deer or wapiti CWD agents is likely low. We also used protein misfolding cyclic amplification to confirm that CWD, but not TME, can template prion protein misfolding in A136R 154Q171genotype sheep. Conclusions: Our results indicate the in vitro conversion assay used in our study does mimic the species barrier of mice to the TSE agents that we tested. Based on Prnp genotype and results from conversion assays, BHS are likely to be susceptible to infection by classical scrapie. Despite mismatches in amino acids thought to modulate prion protein conversion, our data indicate that A136R154Q171 genotype sheep prion protein is misfolded by CWD agent, suggesting that these animals could be susceptible to CWD. Further investigation of TSE transmissibility to BHS, including

  15. Atomic-resolution structures of prion AGAAAAGA amyloid fibrils

    CERN Document Server

    Zhang, Jiapu

    2011-01-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Jerson L; Cordeiro, Yraima

    2016-07-22

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leah M Kyle

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

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Barry, Andrew E

    2011-05-18

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thackray, Alana M; Di, Ying; Zhang, Chang; Wolf,