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Sample records for prion protein sequence

  1. What Makes a Protein Sequence a Prion?

    PubMed Central

    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

  2. Sequence-dependent Prion Protein Misfolding and Neurotoxicity*

    PubMed Central

    Fernandez-Funez, Pedro; Zhang, Yan; Casas-Tinto, Sergio; Xiao, Xiangzhu; Zou, Wen-Quan; Rincon-Limas, Diego E.

    2010-01-01

    Prion diseases are neurodegenerative disorders caused by misfolding of the normal prion protein (PrP) into a pathogenic “scrapie” conformation. To better understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern the conformational changes (conversion) of PrP, we compared the dynamics of PrP from mammals susceptible (hamster and mouse) and resistant (rabbit) to prion diseases in transgenic flies. We recently showed that hamster PrP induces spongiform degeneration and accumulates into highly aggregated, scrapie-like conformers in transgenic flies. We show now that rabbit PrP does not induce spongiform degeneration and does not convert into scrapie-like conformers. Surprisingly, mouse PrP induces weak neurodegeneration and accumulates small amounts of scrapie-like conformers. Thus, the expression of three highly conserved mammalian prion proteins in transgenic flies uncovered prominent differences in their conformational dynamics. How these properties are encoded in the amino acid sequence remains to be elucidated. PMID:20817727

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

    PubMed

    Wu, Changde; Pang, Wanyong; Zhao, Deming

    2006-10-01

    Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders in human and animal associated with conformational conversion of a cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) into the pathologic isoform (PrP(Sc)). Various data indicate that the polymorphisms within the open reading frame (ORF) of PrP are associated with the susceptibility and control the species barrier in prion diseases. In the present study, partial Prnp from 25 Amur tigers (tPrnp) were cloned and screened for polymorphisms. Four single nucleotide polymorphisms (T423C, A501G, C511A, A610G) were found; the C511A and A610G nucleotide substitutions resulted in the amino acid changes Lysine171Glutamine and Alanine204Threoine, respectively. The tPrnp amino acid sequence is similar to house cat (Felis catus ) and sheep, but differs significantly from other two cat Prnp sequences that were previously deposited in GenBank. PMID:16780982

  4. Porcine prion protein amyloid

    PubMed Central

    Hammarström, Per; Nyström, Sofie

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Mammalian prions are composed of misfolded aggregated prion protein (PrP) with amyloid-like features. Prions are zoonotic disease agents that infect a wide variety of mammalian species including humans. Mammals and by-products thereof which are frequently encountered in daily life are most important for human health. It is established that bovine prions (BSE) can infect humans while there is no such evidence for any other prion susceptible species in the human food chain (sheep, goat, 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. PMID:26218890

  5. Contributions of the Prion Protein Sequence, Strain, and Environment to the Species Barrier.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Aditi; Bruce, Kathryn L; Chen, Buxin; Gyoneva, Stefka; Behrens, Sven H; Bommarius, Andreas S; Chernoff, Yury O

    2016-01-15

    Amyloid propagation requires high levels of sequence specificity so that only molecules with very high sequence identity can form cross-β-sheet structures of sufficient stringency for incorporation into the amyloid fibril. This sequence specificity presents a barrier to the transmission of prions between two species with divergent sequences, termed a species barrier. Here we study the relative effects of protein sequence, seed conformation, and environment on the species barrier strength and specificity for the yeast prion protein Sup35p from three closely related species of the Saccharomyces sensu stricto group; namely, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Saccharomyces bayanus, and Saccharomyces paradoxus. Through in vivo plasmid shuffle experiments, we show that the major characteristics of the transmission barrier and conformational fidelity are determined by the protein sequence rather than by the cellular environment. In vitro data confirm that the kinetics and structural preferences of aggregation of the S. paradoxus and S. bayanus proteins are influenced by anions in accordance with their positions in the Hofmeister series, as observed previously for S. cerevisiae. However, the specificity of the species barrier is primarily affected by the sequence and the type of anion present during the formation of the initial seed, whereas anions present during the seeded aggregation process typically influence kinetics rather than the specificity of prion conversion. Therefore, our work shows that the protein sequence and the conformation variant (strain) of the prion seed are the primary determinants of cross-species prion specificity both in vivo and in vitro. PMID:26565023

  6. In silico comparative analysis of DNA and amino acid sequences for prion protein gene.

    PubMed

    Kim, Y; Lee, J; Lee, C

    2008-01-01

    Genetic variability might contribute to species specificity of prion diseases in various organisms. In this study, structures of the prion protein gene (PRNP) and its amino acids were compared among species of which sequence data were available. Comparisons of PRNP DNA sequences among 12 species including human, chimpanzee, monkey, bovine, ovine, dog, mouse, rat, wallaby, opossum, chicken and zebrafish allowed us to identify candidate regulatory regions in intron 1 and 3'-untranslated region (UTR) in addition to the coding region. Highly conserved putative binding sites for transcription factors, such as heat shock factor 2 (HSF2) and myocite enhancer factor 2 (MEF2), were discovered in the intron 1. In 3'-UTR, the functional sequence (ATTAAA) for nucleus-specific polyadenylation was found in all the analysed species. The functional sequence (TTTTTAT) for maturation-specific polyadenylation was identically observed only in ovine, and one or two nucleotide mismatches in the other species. A comparison of the amino acid sequences in 53 species revealed a large sequence identity. Especially the octapeptide repeat region was observed in all the species but frog and zebrafish. Functional changes and susceptibility to prion diseases with various isoforms of prion protein could be caused by numeric variability and conformational changes discovered in the repeat sequences. PMID:18397498

  7. Human prion protein sequence elements impede cross-species chronic wasting disease transmission

    PubMed Central

    Kurt, Timothy D.; Jiang, Lin; Fernández-Borges, Natalia; Bett, Cyrus; Liu, Jun; Yang, Tom; Spraker, Terry R.; Castilla, Joaquín; Eisenberg, David; Kong, Qingzhong; Sigurdson, Christina J.

    2015-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal prion disease of North American deer and elk and poses an unclear risk for transmission to humans. Human exposure to CWD occurs through hunting activities and consumption of venison from prion-infected animals. Although the amino acid residues of the prion protein (PrP) that prevent or permit human CWD infection are unknown, NMR-based structural studies suggest that the β2-α2 loop (residues 165–175) may impact species barriers. Here we sought to define PrP sequence determinants that affect CWD transmission to humans. We engineered transgenic mice that express human PrP with four amino acid substitutions that result in expression of PrP with a β2-α2 loop (residues 165–175) that exactly matches that of elk PrP. Compared with transgenic mice expressing unaltered human PrP, mice expressing the human-elk chimeric PrP were highly susceptible to elk and deer CWD prions but were concurrently less susceptible to human Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease prions. A systematic in vitro survey of amino acid differences between humans and cervids identified two additional residues that impacted CWD conversion of human PrP. This work identifies amino acids that constitute a substantial structural barrier for CWD transmission to humans and helps illuminate the molecular requirements for cross-species prion transmission. PMID:25705888

  8. Quantum dots and prion proteins

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    A diagnostics of infectious diseases can be done by the immunologic methods or by the amplification of nucleic acid specific to contagious agent using polymerase chain reaction. However, in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, the infectious agent, prion protein (PrPSc), has the same sequence of nucleic acids as a naturally occurring protein. The other issue with the diagnosing based on the PrPSc detection is that the pathological form of prion protein is abundant only at late stages of the disease in a brain. Therefore, the diagnostics of prion protein caused diseases represent a sort of challenges as that hosts can incubate infectious prion proteins for many months or even years. Therefore, new in vivo assays for detection of prion proteins and for diagnosis of their relation to neurodegenerative diseases are summarized. Their applicability and future prospects in this field are discussed with particular aim at using quantum dots as fluorescent labels. PMID:24055838

  9. Treatment of Prion Disease with Heterologous Prion Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Skinner, Pamela J.; Kim, Hyeon O.; Bryant, Damani; Kinzel, Nikilyn J.; Reilly, Cavan; Priola, Suzette A.; Ward, Anne E.; Goodman, Patricia A.; Olson, Katherine; Seelig, Davis M.

    2015-01-01

    Prion diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans, bovine spongiform encephalopathy in cattle, and scrapie in sheep are fatal neurodegenerative diseases for which there is no effective treatment. The pathology of these diseases involves the conversion of a protease sensitive form of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) into a protease resistant infectious form (PrPsc or PrPres). Both in vitro (cell culture and cell free conversion assays) and in vivo (animal) studies have demonstrated the strong dependence of this conversion process on protein sequence homology between the initial prion inoculum and the host’s own cellular prion protein. The presence of non-homologous (heterologous) proteins is often inhibitory to this conversion process. We hypothesize that the presence of heterologous prion proteins from one species might therefore constitute an effective treatment for prion disease in another species. To test this hypothesis, we infected mice intracerebrally with murine adapted RML-Chandler scrapie and treated them with heterologous prion protein (purified bacterially expressed recombinant hamster prion protein) or vehicle alone. Treated animals demonstrated reduced disease associated pathology, decreased accumulation of protease-resistant disease-associated prion protein, with delayed onset of clinical symptoms and motor deficits. This was concomitant with significantly increased survival times relative to mock-treated animals. These results provide proof of principle that recombinant hamster prion proteins can effectively and safely inhibit prion disease in mice, and suggest that hamster or other non-human prion proteins may be a viable treatment for prion diseases in humans. PMID:26134409

  10. Prions and prion-like proteins.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:24860092

  11. Prions and Prion-like Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Fraser, Paul E.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24860092

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

    PubMed Central

    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 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. PMID:26555096

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    The mammalian prion protein (PrP, encoded by Prnp) is most infamous for its central role in prion diseases, invariably fatal neurodegenerative diseases affecting humans, food animals, and animals in the wild. However, PrP is also hypothesized to be an important receptor for toxic protein conformers in Alzheimer's disease, and is associated with other clinically relevant processes such as cancer and stroke. Thus, key insights into important clinical areas, as well as into understanding PrP functions in normal physiology, can be obtained from studying transgenic mouse models and cell culture systems. However, the Prnp locus is difficult to manipulate by homologous recombination, making modifications of the endogenous locus rarely attempted. Fortunately in recent years genome engineering technologies, like TALENs or CRISPR/Cas9 (CC9), have brought exceptional new possibilities for manipulating Prnp. Herein, we present our observations made during systematic experiments with the CC9 system targeting the endogenous mouse Prnp locus, to either modify sequences or to boost PrP expression using CC9-based synergistic activation mediators (SAMs). It is our hope that this information will aid and encourage researchers to implement gene-targeting techniques into their research program. PMID:27128441

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    The mammalian prion protein (PrP, encoded by Prnp) is most infamous for its central role in prion diseases, invariably fatal neurodegenerative diseases affecting humans, food animals, and animals in the wild. However, PrP is also hypothesized to be an important receptor for toxic protein conformers in Alzheimer's disease, and is associated with other clinically relevant processes such as cancer and stroke. Thus, key insights into important clinical areas, as well as into understanding PrP functions in normal physiology, can be obtained from studying transgenic mouse models and cell culture systems. However, the Prnp locus is difficult to manipulate by homologous recombination, making modifications of the endogenous locus rarely attempted. Fortunately in recent years genome engineering technologies, like TALENs or CRISPR/Cas9 (CC9), have brought exceptional new possibilities for manipulating Prnp. Herein, we present our observations made during systematic experiments with the CC9 system targeting the endogenous mouse Prnp locus, to either modify sequences or to boost PrP expression using CC9-based synergistic activation mediators (SAMs). It is our hope that this information will aid and encourage researchers to implement gene-targeting techniques into their research program. PMID:27128441

  15. Prion proteins leading to neurodegeneration.

    PubMed

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

    2008-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT 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. PMID:26634768

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26634768

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Prions are infectious proteins and over the past few decades, some prions have become renowned for their causative role in several neurodegenerative diseases in animals and humans. Since their discovery, the mechanisms and mode of transmission and molecular structure of prions have begun to be established. There is, however, still much to be elucidated about prion diseases, including the development of potential therapeutic strategies for treatment. The significance of prion disease is discussed here, including the categories of human and animal prion diseases, disease transmission, disease progression and the development of symptoms and potential future strategies for treatment. Furthermore, the structure and function of the normal cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) and its importance in not only in prion disease development, but also in diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer's disease will also be discussed. PMID:26645475

  19. Amyloid Core Formed of Full-Length Recombinant Mouse Prion Protein Involves Sequence 127–143 but Not Sequence 107–126

    PubMed Central

    Chatterjee, Biswanath; Lee, Chung-Yu; Lin, Chen; Chen, Eric H.-L.; Huang, Chao-Li; Yang, Chien-Chih; Chen, Rita P.-Y.

    2013-01-01

    The principal event underlying the development of prion disease is the conversion of soluble cellular prion protein (PrPC) into its disease-causing isoform, PrPSc. This conversion is associated with a marked change in secondary structure from predominantly α-helical to a high β-sheet content, ultimately leading to the formation of aggregates consisting of ordered fibrillar assemblies referred to as amyloid. In vitro, recombinant prion proteins and short prion peptides from various species have been shown to form amyloid under various conditions and it has been proposed that, theoretically, any protein and peptide could form amyloid under appropriate conditions. To identify the peptide segment involved in the amyloid core formed from recombinant full-length mouse prion protein mPrP(23–230), we carried out seed-induced amyloid formation from recombinant prion protein in the presence of seeds generated from the short prion peptides mPrP(107–143), mPrP(107–126), and mPrP(127–143). Our results showed that the amyloid fibrils formed from mPrP(107–143) and mPrP(127–143), but not those formed from mPrP(107–126), were able to seed the amyloidogenesis of mPrP(23–230), showing that the segment residing in sequence 127–143 was used to form the amyloid core in the fibrillization of mPrP(23–230). PMID:23844138

  20. Prions

    PubMed Central

    Prusiner, Stanley B.

    1998-01-01

    Prions are unprecedented infectious pathogens that cause a group of invariably fatal neurodegenerative diseases by an entirely novel mechanism. Prion diseases may present as genetic, infectious, or sporadic disorders, all of which involve modification of the prion protein (PrP). Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), scrapie of sheep, and Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD) of humans are among the most notable prion diseases. Prions are transmissible particles that are devoid of nucleic acid and seem to be composed exclusively of a modified protein (PrPSc). The normal, cellular PrP (PrPC) is converted into PrPSc through a posttranslational process during which it acquires a high β-sheet content. The species of a particular prion is encoded by the sequence of the chromosomal PrP gene of the mammals in which it last replicated. In contrast to pathogens carrying a nucleic acid genome, prions appear to encipher strain-specific properties in the tertiary structure of PrPSc. Transgenetic studies argue that PrPSc acts as a template upon which PrPC is refolded into a nascent PrPSc molecule through a process facilitated by another protein. Miniprions generated in transgenic mice expressing PrP, in which nearly half of the residues were deleted, exhibit unique biological properties and should facilitate structural studies of PrPSc. While knowledge about prions has profound implications for studies of the structural plasticity of proteins, investigations of prion diseases suggest that new strategies for the prevention and treatment of these disorders may also find application in the more common degenerative diseases. PMID:9811807

  1. Prions: Beyond a Single Protein.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:27226089

  2. The prion protein binds thiamine.

    PubMed

    Perez-Pineiro, Rolando; Bjorndahl, Trent C; Berjanskii, Mark V; Hau, David; Li, Li; Huang, Alan; Lee, Rose; Gibbs, Ebrima; Ladner, Carol; Dong, Ying Wei; Abera, Ashenafi; Cashman, Neil R; Wishart, David S

    2011-11-01

    Although highly conserved throughout evolution, the exact biological function of the prion protein is still unclear. In an effort to identify the potential biological functions of the prion protein we conducted a small-molecule screening assay using the Syrian hamster prion protein [shPrP(90-232)]. The screen was performed using a library of 149 water-soluble metabolites that are known to pass through the blood-brain barrier. Using a combination of 1D NMR, fluorescence quenching and surface plasmon resonance we identified thiamine (vitamin B1) as a specific prion ligand with a binding constant of ~60 μM. Subsequent studies showed that this interaction is evolutionarily conserved, with similar binding constants being seen for mouse, hamster and human prions. Various protein construct lengths, both with and without the unstructured N-terminal region in the presence and absence of copper, were examined. This indicates that the N-terminus has no influence on the protein's ability to interact with thiamine. In addition to thiamine, the more biologically abundant forms of vitamin B1 (thiamine monophosphate and thiamine diphosphate) were also found to bind the prion protein with similar affinity. Heteronuclear NMR experiments were used to determine thiamine's interaction site, which is located between helix 1 and the preceding loop. These data, in conjunction with computer-aided docking and molecular dynamics, were used to model the thiamine-binding pharmacophore and a comparison with other thiamine binding proteins was performed to reveal the common features of interaction. PMID:21848803

  3. Prion Diseases: From Protein to Cell Pathology

    PubMed Central

    Kovacs, Gabor G.; Budka, Herbert

    2008-01-01

    Prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are fatal neurodegenerative conditions in humans and animals that originate spontaneously, genetically or by infection. Conformational change of the normal (cellular) form of prion protein (PrPc) to a pathological, disease-associated form (PrPTSE) is considered central to pathogenesis and formation of the infectious agent or prion. Neuronal damage is central to clinical manifestation of prion diseases but poorly understood. In this review, we analyze the major pathogenetic pathways that lead to tissue pathology in different forms of disease. Neuropathogenesis of prion diseases evolves in complex ways on several front lines, most but not all of which exist also in other neurodegenerative as well as infectious diseases. Whereas intracellular accumulation of PrP forms might significantly impair cell function and lead to cytopathology, mere extracellular deposition of PrPTSE is questionable as a direct cytotoxic factor. Tissue damage may result from several parallel, interacting, or subsequent pathways. Future studies should clarify the trigger(s) and sequence of these processes and whether, and which, one is dominating or decisive. PMID:18245809

  4. Prions: The Chemistry of Infectious Proteins

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A prion is pathological protein that causes a set of rare fatal neurological diseases called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE). TSE diseases occur in humans, sheep, goats, deer, elk, mink, cows and other mammals. A prion and the normal cellular prion protein (PrPC) have the same primar...

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Nyström, Sofie; Hammarström, Per

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25960067

  7. Copper binding in the prion protein.

    PubMed

    Millhauser, Glenn L

    2004-02-01

    A conformational change of the prion protein is responsible for a class of neurodegenerative diseases called the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies that include mad cow disease and the human afflictions kuru and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Despite the attention given to these diseases, the normal function of the prion protein in healthy tissue is unknown. Research over the past few years, however, demonstrates that the prion protein is a copper binding protein with high selectivity for Cu(2+). The structural features of the Cu(2+) binding sites have now been characterized and are providing important clues about the normal function of the prion protein and perhaps how metals or loss of protein function play a role in disease. The link between prion protein and copper may provide insight into the general, and recently appreciated, role of metals in neurodegenerative disease. PMID:14967054

  8. Potential approaches for heterologous prion protein treatment of prion diseases

    PubMed Central

    Seelig, Davis M.; Goodman, Patricia A.; Skinner, Pamela J.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Prion diseases, or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are progressive, fatal neurodegenerative diseases with no effective treatment. The pathology of these diseases involves the conversion of a protease sensitive form of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) into a protease resistant infectious form (PrPres). The efficiency of this conversion is predicated upon a number of factors, most notably a strong homology between cellular PrPC and PrPres. In our recently published study, we infected mice with the RML-Chandler strain of scrapie and treated them with heterologous hamster prion proteins. This treatment was seen to reduce clinical signs of prion disease, to delay the onset of clinical symptoms and to prolong survival. In this current article we discuss potential mechanisms of action of treatment with heterologous prion proteins. We also discuss potential extensions of these studies using a heterologous rabbit PrP-based treatment strategy or a peptide based strategy, and improvement of treatment delivery including a lentiviral-based system. PMID:26636482

  9. Epithelial and endothelial expression of the green fluorescent protein reporter gene under the control of bovine prion protein (PrP) gene regulatory sequences in transgenic mice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemaire-Vieille, Catherine; Schulze, Tobias; Podevin-Dimster, Valérie; Follet, Jérome; Bailly, Yannick; Blanquet-Grossard, Françoise; Decavel, Jean-Pierre; Heinen, Ernst; Cesbron, Jean-Yves

    2000-05-01

    The expression of the cellular form of the prion protein (PrPc) gene is required for prion replication and neuroinvasion in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. The identification of the cell types expressing PrPc is necessary to understanding how the agent replicates and spreads from peripheral sites to the central nervous system. To determine the nature of the cell types expressing PrPc, a green fluorescent protein reporter gene was expressed in transgenic mice under the control of 6.9 kb of the bovine PrP gene regulatory sequences. It was shown that the bovine PrP gene is expressed as two populations of mRNA differing by alternative splicing of one 115-bp 5' untranslated exon in 17 different bovine tissues. The analysis of transgenic mice showed reporter gene expression in some cells that have been identified as expressing PrP, such as cerebellar Purkinje cells, lymphocytes, and keratinocytes. In addition, expression of green fluorescent protein was observed in the plexus of the enteric nervous system and in a restricted subset of cells not yet clearly identified as expressing PrP: the epithelial cells of the thymic medullary and the endothelial cells of both the mucosal capillaries of the intestine and the renal capillaries. These data provide valuable information on the distribution of PrPc at the cellular level and argue for roles of the epithelial and endothelial cells in the spread of infection from the periphery to the brain. Moreover, the transgenic mice described in this paper provide a model that will allow for the study of the transcriptional activity of the PrP gene promoter in response to scrapie infection.

  10. COOH-terminal sequence of the cellular prion protein directs subcellular trafficking and controls conversion into the scrapie isoform

    PubMed Central

    Kaneko, Kiyotoshi; Vey, Martin; Scott, Michael; Pilkuhn, Susanne; Cohen, Fred E.; Prusiner, Stanley B.

    1997-01-01

    Efficient formation of scrapie isoform of prion protein (PrPSc) requires targeting PrPSc by glycophosphatidyl inositol (GPI) anchors to caveolae-like domains (CLDs). Redirecting the cellular isoform of prion protein (PrPC) to clathrin-coated pits by creating chimeric PrP molecules with four different COOH-terminal transmembrane domains prevented the formation of PrPSc. To determine if these COOH-terminal transmembrane segments prevented PrPC from refolding into PrPSc by altering the structure of the polypeptide, we fused the 28-aa COOH termini from the Qa protein. Two COOH-terminal Qa segments differing by a single residue direct the transmembrane protein to clathrin-coated pits or the GPI form to CLDs; PrPSc was formed from GPI-anchored PrPC but not from transmembrane PrPC. Our findings argue that PrPSc formation is restricted to a specific subcellular compartment and as such, it is likely to involve auxiliary macromolecules found within CLDs. PMID:9122195

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Prion proteins conform a special class among amyloids due to their ability to transmit aggregative folds. Prions are known to act as infectious agents in neurodegenerative diseases in animals, or as key elements in transcription and translation processes in yeast. It has been suggested that prions contain specific sequential domains with distinctive amino acid composition and physicochemical properties that allow them to control the switch between soluble and β-sheet aggregated states. Those prion-forming domains are low complexity segments enriched in glutamine/asparagine and depleted in charged residues and prolines. Different predictive methods have been developed to discover novel prions by either assessing the compositional bias of these stretches or estimating the propensity of protein sequences to form amyloid aggregates. However, the available algorithms hitherto lack a thorough statistical calibration against large sequence databases, which makes them unable to accurately predict prions without retrieving a large number of false positives. Results Here we present a computational strategy to predict putative prion-forming proteins in complete proteomes using probabilistic representations of prionogenic glutamine/asparagine rich regions. After benchmarking our predictive model against large sets of non-prionic sequences, we were able to filter out known prions with high precision and accuracy, generating prediction sets with few false positives. The algorithm was used to scan all the proteomes annotated in public databases for the presence of putative prion proteins. We analyzed the presence of putative prion proteins in all taxa, from viruses and archaea to plants and higher eukaryotes, and found that most organisms encode evolutionarily unrelated proteins with susceptibility to behave as prions. Conclusions To our knowledge, this is the first wide-ranging study aiming to predict prion domains in complete proteomes. Approaches of this kind could

  12. PrionW: a server to identify proteins containing glutamine/asparagine rich prion-like domains and their amyloid cores

    PubMed Central

    Zambrano, Rafael; Conchillo-Sole, Oscar; Iglesias, Valentin; Illa, Ricard; Rousseau, Frederic; Schymkowitz, Joost; Sabate, Raimon; Daura, Xavier; Ventura, Salvador

    2015-01-01

    Prions are a particular type of amyloids with the ability to self-perpetuate and propagate in vivo. Prion-like conversion underlies important biological processes but is also connected to human disease. Yeast prions are the best understood transmissible amyloids. In these proteins, prion formation from an initially soluble state involves a structural conversion, driven, in many cases, by specific domains enriched in glutamine/asparagine (Q/N) residues. Importantly, domains sharing this compositional bias are also present in the proteomes of higher organisms, thus suggesting that prion-like conversion might be an evolutionary conserved mechanism. We have recently shown that the identification and evaluation of the potency of amyloid nucleating sequences in putative prion domains allows discrimination of genuine prions. PrionW is a web application that exploits this principle to scan sequences in order to identify proteins containing Q/N enriched prion-like domains (PrLDs) in large datasets. When used to scan the complete yeast proteome, PrionW identifies previously experimentally validated prions with high accuracy. Users can analyze up to 10 000 sequences at a time, PrLD-containing proteins are identified and their putative PrLDs and amyloid nucleating cores visualized and scored. The output files can be downloaded for further analysis. PrionW server can be accessed at http://bioinf.uab.cat/prionw/. PMID:25977297

  13. [Protein structure: Folding and prions].

    PubMed

    Rey-Gayo, Antonio; Calbo Torrecilla, Francisco

    2002-04-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies have become a subject of prime social concern in recent years because of its relation to "mad cow disease" and their potential for transmission to humans. Among the most important scientific aspects of these diseases are the peculiar characteristics of the agent involved in their transmission. In this article we briefly describe the outstanding features of prions, the most widely accepted hypothesis for these diseases. We focus on the molecular characteristics of this protein, coded in the genome of the affected host, and describe the conformational alterations in the protein's tertiary structure that have been blamed for its pathologic activity. Our aim is to summarize the state-of-the-art knowledge on prions, the hypotheses proposed to explain mechanisms of disease transmission without agents containing genetic material, and some specific peculiarities of this new infectious agent. The links between this knowledge and possible therapeutic strategies to overcome the disease justify, once again, close interaction among chemistry, molecular biology, and medicine. PMID:11996702

  14. Yeast prion architecture explains how proteins can be genes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wickner, Reed

    2013-03-01

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

  15. Prions

    PubMed Central

    Colby, David W.; Prusiner, Stanley B.

    2011-01-01

    The discovery of infectious proteins, denoted prions, was unexpected. After much debate over the chemical basis of heredity, resolution of this issue began with the discovery that DNA, not protein, from pneumococcus was capable of genetically transforming bacteria (Avery et al. 1944). Four decades later, the discovery that a protein could mimic viral and bacterial pathogens with respect to the transmission of some nervous system diseases (Prusiner 1982) met with great resistance. Overwhelming evidence now shows that Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD) and related disorders are caused by prions. The prion diseases are characterized by neurodegeneration and lethality. In mammals, prions reproduce by recruiting the normal, cellular isoform of the prion protein (PrPC) and stimulating its conversion into the disease-causing isoform (PrPSc). PrPC and PrPSc have distinct conformations: PrPC is rich in α-helical content and has little β-sheet structure, whereas PrPSc has less α-helical content and is rich in β-sheet structure (Pan et al. 1993). The conformational conversion of PrPC to PrPSc is the fundamental event underlying prion diseases. In this article, we provide an introduction to prions and the diseases they cause. PMID:21421910

  16. Production of cattle lacking prion protein.

    PubMed

    Richt, Jürgen A; Kasinathan, Poothappillai; Hamir, Amir N; Castilla, Joaquin; Sathiyaseelan, Thillai; Vargas, Francisco; Sathiyaseelan, Janaki; Wu, Hua; Matsushita, Hiroaki; Koster, Julie; Kato, Shinichiro; Ishida, Isao; Soto, Claudio; Robl, James M; Kuroiwa, Yoshimi

    2007-01-01

    Prion diseases are caused by propagation of misfolded forms of the normal cellular prion protein PrP(C), such as PrP(BSE) in bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle and PrP(CJD) in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans. Disruption of PrP(C) expression in mice, a species that does not naturally contract prion diseases, results in no apparent developmental abnormalities. However, the impact of ablating PrP(C) function in natural host species of prion diseases is unknown. Here we report the generation and characterization of PrP(C)-deficient cattle produced by a sequential gene-targeting system. At over 20 months of age, the cattle are clinically, physiologically, histopathologically, immunologically and reproductively normal. Brain tissue homogenates are resistant to prion propagation in vitro as assessed by protein misfolding cyclic amplification. PrP(C)-deficient cattle may be a useful model for prion research and could provide industrial bovine products free of prion proteins. PMID:17195841

  17. Production of cattle lacking prion protein

    PubMed Central

    Richt, Jürgen A; Kasinathan, Poothappillai; Hamir, Amir N; Castilla, Joaquin; Sathiyaseelan, Thillai; Vargas, Francisco; Sathiyaseelan, Janaki; Wu, Hua; Matsushita, Hiroaki; Koster, Julie; Kato, Shinichiro; Ishida, Isao; Soto, Claudio; Robl, James M; Kuroiwa, Yoshimi

    2010-01-01

    Prion diseases are caused by propagation of misfolded forms of the normal cellular prion protein PrPC, such as PrPBSE in bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle and PrPCJD in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans1. Disruption of PrPC expression in mice, a species that does not naturally contract prion diseases, results in no apparent developmental abnormalities2–5. However, the impact of ablating PrPC function in natural host species of prion diseases is unknown. Here we report the generation and characterization of PrPC-deficient cattle produced by a sequential gene-targeting system6. At over 20 months of age, the cattle are clinically, physiologically, histopathologically, immunologically and reproductively normal. Brain tissue homogenates are resistant to prion propagation in vitro as assessed by protein misfolding cyclic amplification7. PrPC-deficient cattle may be a useful model for prion research and could provide industrial bovine products free of prion proteins. PMID:17195841

  18. Polymorphisms and variants in the prion protein sequence of European moose (Alces alces), reindeer (Rangifer tarandus), roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) and fallow deer (Dama dama) in Scandinavia

    PubMed Central

    Wik, Lotta; Mikko, Sofia; Klingeborn, Mikael; Stéen, Margareta; Simonsson, Magnus; Linné, Tommy

    2012-01-01

    The prion protein (PrP) sequence of European moose, reindeer, roe deer and fallow deer in Scandinavia has high homology to the PrP sequence of North American cervids. Variants in the European moose PrP sequence were found at amino acid position 109 as K or Q. The 109Q variant is unique in the PrP sequence of vertebrates. During the 1980s a wasting syndrome in Swedish moose, Moose Wasting Syndrome (MWS), was described. SNP analysis demonstrated a difference in the observed genotype proportions of the heterozygous Q/K and homozygous Q/Q variants in the MWS animals compared with the healthy animals. In MWS moose the allele frequencies for 109K and 109Q were 0.73 and 0.27, respectively, and for healthy animals 0.69 and 0.31. Both alleles were seen as heterozygotes and homozygotes. In reindeer, PrP sequence variation was demonstrated at codon 176 as D or N and codon 225 as S or Y. The PrP sequences in roe deer and fallow deer were identical with published GenBank sequences. PMID:22441661

  19. Luminidependens (LD) is an Arabidopsis protein with prion behavior.

    PubMed

    Chakrabortee, Sohini; Kayatekin, Can; Newby, Greg A; Mendillo, Marc L; Lancaster, Alex; Lindquist, Susan

    2016-05-24

    Prion proteins provide a unique mode of biochemical memory through self-perpetuating changes in protein conformation and function. They have been studied in fungi and mammals, but not yet identified in plants. Using a computational model, we identified candidate prion domains (PrDs) in nearly 500 plant proteins. Plant flowering is of particular interest with respect to biological memory, because its regulation involves remembering and integrating previously experienced environmental conditions. We investigated the prion-forming capacity of three prion candidates involved in flowering using a yeast model, where prion attributes are well defined and readily tested. In yeast, prions heritably change protein functions by templating monomers into higher-order assemblies. For most yeast prions, the capacity to convert into a prion resides in a distinct prion domain. Thus, new prion-forming domains can be identified by functional complementation of a known prion domain. The prion-like domains (PrDs) of all three of the tested proteins formed higher-order oligomers. Uniquely, the Luminidependens PrD (LDPrD) fully replaced the prion-domain functions of a well-characterized yeast prion, Sup35. Our results suggest that prion-like conformational switches are evolutionarily conserved and might function in a wide variety of normal biological processes. PMID:27114519

  20. Prion search and cellular prion protein expression in stranded dolphins.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:23034277

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

    PubMed Central

    Crowell, Jenna; Hughson, Andrew; Caughey, Byron

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Yeast prions: Paramutation at the protein level?

    PubMed

    Tuite, Mick F

    2015-08-01

    Prions are proteins that have the potential to refold into a novel conformation that templates the conversion of like molecules to the altered infectious form. In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, trans-generational epigenetic inheritance can be mediated by a number of structurally and functionally diverse prions. Prionogenesis can confer both loss-of-function and gain-of-function properties to the prion protein and this in turn can have a major impact on host phenotype, short-term adaptation and evolution of new traits. Prionogenesis shares a number of properties in common with paramutation and can be considered as a mitotically and meiotically heritable change in protein conformation induced by trans-interactions between homologous proteins. PMID:26386407

  3. Sonication Induced Intermediate in Prion Protein Conversion

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In vivo conversion of prion protein (PrPC) to its abnormal pathogenic isoform (PrPSc) is associated with conformational transition of alpha-helices and unstructured regions to beta-sheets. Protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) is thought to mimics this conversion in vitro. PMCA involves son...

  4. Generation of monoclonal antibodies against human prion proteins in PrP0/0 mice.

    PubMed Central

    Krasemann, S.; Groschup, M. H.; Harmeyer, S.; Hunsmann, G.; Bodemer, W.

    1996-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Prion diseases belong to a group of neurodegenerative disorders affecting humans and animals. The human diseases include kuru, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS), and fatal familial insomnia (FFI). The pathogenic mechanisms of the prion diseases are not yet understood. Monoclonal antibodies provide valuable tools in the diagnosis, as well as in the basic research, of several diseases; however, monospecific antisera or monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against human prion proteins were, until now, not available. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We have developed an immunization protocol based on nucleic acid injection into nontolerant PrP0/0 mice. DNA or RNA coding for different human prion proteins including the mutated sequences associated with CJD, GSS, and FFI were injected into muscle tissue. Mice were primarily inoculated with DNA plasmids encoding the prion protein (PRNP) gene and boosted either with DNA, RNA, or recombinant Semliki Forest Virus particles expressing PRNP. Hybridomas were then prepared. RESULTS: Different mAbs against human prion proteins were obtained, and their binding behavior was analyzed by peptide enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, Western blot, immunofluorescence, and immunoprecipitation. Their cross-reactivity with prion protein from other species was also determined. Our mAbs are directed against four different linear epitopes and may also recognize discontinuous regions of the native prion protein. CONCLUSIONS: These antibodies should allow us to address questions concerning the nature of the prion protein as well as the initiation and progression of prion diseases. Moreover, these mAbs can now be used for the diagnosis of prion diseases of humans and animals. Images FIG. 2 FIG. 3 PMID:8972487

  5. Lipopolysaccharide induced conversion of recombinant prion protein

    PubMed Central

    Saleem, Fozia; Bjorndahl, Trent C; Ladner, Carol L; Perez-Pineiro, Rolando; Ametaj, Burim N; Wishart, David S

    2014-01-01

    The conformational conversion of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) to the β-rich infectious isoform PrPSc is considered a critical and central feature in prion pathology. Although PrPSc is the critical component of the infectious agent, as proposed in the “protein-only” prion hypothesis, cellular components have been identified as important cofactors in triggering and enhancing the conversion of PrPC to proteinase K resistant PrPSc. A number of in vitro systems using various chemical and/or physical agents such as guanidine hydrochloride, urea, SDS, high temperature, and low pH, have been developed that cause PrPC conversion, their amplification, and amyloid fibril formation often under non-physiological conditions. In our ongoing efforts to look for endogenous and exogenous chemical mediators that might initiate, influence, or result in the natural conversion of PrPC to PrPSc, we discovered that lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a component of gram-negative bacterial membranes interacts with recombinant prion proteins and induces conversion to an isoform richer in β sheet at near physiological conditions as long as the LPS concentration remains above the critical micelle concentration (CMC). More significant was the LPS mediated conversion that was observed even at sub-molar ratios of LPS to recombinant ShPrP (90–232). PMID:24819168

  6. Role of Prion Protein Aggregation in Neurotoxicity

    PubMed Central

    Corsaro, Alessandro; Thellung, Stefano; Villa, Valentina; Nizzari, Mario; Florio, Tullio

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22942726

  7. Prions and protein-folding diseases.

    PubMed

    Norrby, E

    2011-07-01

    Prions represent a group of proteins with a unique capacity to fold into different conformations. One isoform is rich in beta-pleated sheets and can aggregate into amyloid that may be pathogenic. This abnormal form propagates itself by imposing its confirmation on the homologous normal host cell protein. Pathogenic prions have been shown to cause lethal neurodegenerative diseases in humans and animals. These diseases are sometimes infectious and hence referred to as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. In the present review, the remarkable evolution of the heterodox prion concept is summarized. The origin of this phenomenon is based on information transfer between homologous proteins, without the involvement of nucleic acid-encoded mechanisms. Historically, kuru and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) were the first infectious prion diseases to be identified in man. It was their relationship to scrapie in sheep and experimental rodents that allowed an unravelling of the particular molecular mechanism that underlie the disease process. Transmission between humans has been documented to have occurred in particular contexts, including ritual cannibalism, iatrogenic transmission because of pituitary gland-derived growth hormone or the use in neurosurgical procedures of dura mater from cadavers, and the temporary use of a prion-contaminated protein-rich feed for cows. The latter caused a major outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, which spread to man by human consumption of contaminated meat, causing approximately 200 cases of variant CJD. All these epidemics now appear to be over because of measures taken to curtail further spread of prions. Recent studies have shown that the mechanism of protein aggregation may apply to a wider range of diseases in and possibly also outside the brain, some of which are relatively common such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Furthermore, it has become apparent that the phenomenon of prion aggregation may have a wider

  8. Monitoring prion protein stability by NMR.

    PubMed

    Julien, Olivier; Graether, Steffen P; Sykes, Brian D

    2009-01-01

    Prion diseases, or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE), are a group of fatal neurological diseases that affect both humans and animals. At the end of the 20th century, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), better known as mad cow disease, was shown to be transmissible to humans. This resulted in considerable concern for public health and a number of questions for scientists. The first question answered was the possible source of the disease, which appears to be the prion protein (PrP). There are two major forms of this protein: the native, noninfectious form (PrP(C)), and the misfolded infectious form (PrP(Sc)). PrP(C) is mainly alpha-helical in structure, whereas PrP(Sc) aggregates into an assembly of beta-sheets, forming amyloid fibrils. Since the first solution structure of the noninfectious form of the mouse prion protein, about 30 structures of the globular portion of PrP(C) have been characterized from different organisms. However, only a few minor differences are observed when comparing one PrP(C) structure to another. The key to understanding prion formation may then be not in the structure of PrP(C), but in the mechanism underlying PrP(C) unfolding and then conversion into a misfolded fibril state. To identify the possible region(s) of PrP(C) responsible for initiating the conversion into the amyloid fibril formation, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) was applied to characterize the stability and structure of PrP(C) and intermediate states during the conversion from PrP(C) to PrP(Sc). Subsequently urea was used to induce unfolding, and data analysis revealed region-specific structural stabilities that may bring insights into the mechanisms underlying conversion of protein into an infectious prion. PMID:19697241

  9. Prion Protein Interaction with Soil Humic Substances: Environmental Implications

    PubMed Central

    Giachin, Gabriele; Narkiewicz, Joanna; Scaini, Denis; Ngoc, Ai Tran; Margon, Alja; Sequi, Paolo; Leita, Liviana; Legname, Giuseppe

    2014-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) are fatal neurodegenerative disorders caused by prions. Animal TSE include scrapie in sheep and goats, and chronic wasting disease (CWD) in cervids. Effective management of scrapie in many parts of the world, and of CWD in North American deer population is complicated by the persistence of prions in the environment. After shedding from diseased animals, prions persist in soil, withstanding biotic and abiotic degradation. As soil is a complex, multi-component system of both mineral and organic components, it is important to understand which soil compounds may interact with prions and thus contribute to disease transmission. Several studies have investigated the role of different soil minerals in prion adsorption and infectivity; we focused our attention on the interaction of soil organic components, the humic substances (HS), with recombinant prion protein (recPrP) material. We evaluated the kinetics of recPrP adsorption, providing a structural and biochemical characterization of chemical adducts using different experimental approaches. Here we show that HS act as potent anti-prion agents in prion infected neuronal cells and in the amyloid seeding assays: HS adsorb both recPrP and prions, thus sequestering them from the prion replication process. We interpreted our findings as highly relevant from an environmental point of view, as the adsorption of prions in HS may affect their availability and consequently hinder the environmental transmission of prion diseases in ruminants. PMID:24937266

  10. Knocked-out and still walking: prion protein-deficient cattle are resistant to prion disease

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Background: Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) or prion diseases are caused by the propagation of a misfolded form (PrP**d) of the normal cellular prion protein, PrP**c. Disruption of PrP**c expression in the mouse results in resistance to PrP-propagation and disease. However, the impa...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Mammalian prions are hypothesized to be fibrillar or amyloid forms of prion protein (PrP), but structures observed to date have not been definitively correlated with infectivity and the three-dimensional structure of infectious prions has remained obscure. Recently, we developed novel methods to obtain exceptionally pure preparations of prions from mouse brain and showed that pathogenic PrP in these high-titre preparations is assembled into rod-like assemblies. Here, we have used precise cell culture-based prion infectivity assays to define the physical relationship between the PrP rods and prion infectivity and have used electron tomography to define their architecture. We show that infectious PrP rods isolated from multiple prion strains have a common hierarchical assembly comprising twisted pairs of short fibres with repeating substructure. The architecture of the PrP rods provides a new structural basis for understanding prion infectivity and can explain the inability to systematically generate high-titre synthetic prions from recombinant PrP. PMID:27249641

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

    Mammalian prions are hypothesized to be fibrillar or amyloid forms of prion protein (PrP), but structures observed to date have not been definitively correlated with infectivity and the three-dimensional structure of infectious prions has remained obscure. Recently, we developed novel methods to obtain exceptionally pure preparations of prions from mouse brain and showed that pathogenic PrP in these high-titre preparations is assembled into rod-like assemblies. Here, we have used precise cell culture-based prion infectivity assays to define the physical relationship between the PrP rods and prion infectivity and have used electron tomography to define their architecture. We show that infectious PrP rods isolated from multiple prion strains have a common hierarchical assembly comprising twisted pairs of short fibres with repeating substructure. The architecture of the PrP rods provides a new structural basis for understanding prion infectivity and can explain the inability to systematically generate high-titre synthetic prions from recombinant PrP. PMID:27249641

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

    PubMed Central

    La Mendola, Diego; Rizzarelli, Enrico

    2014-01-01

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

  14. [Functions of prion protein PrPc].

    PubMed

    Cazaubon, Sylvie; Viegas, Pedro; Couraud, Pierre-Olivier

    2007-01-01

    It is now well established that both normal and pathological (or scrapie) isoforms of prion protein, PrPc and PrPsc respectively, are involved in the development and progression of various forms of neurodegenerative diseases, including scrapie in sheep, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (or "mad cow disease") and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in human, collectively known as prion diseases. The protein PrPc is highly expressed in the central nervous system in neurons and glial cells, and also present in non-brain cells, such as immune cells or epithelial and endothelial cells. Identification of the physiological functions of PrPc in these different cell types thus appears crucial for understanding the progression of prion diseases. Recent studies highlighted several major roles for PrPc that may be considered in two major domains : (1) cell survival (protection against oxidative stress and apoptosis) and (2) cell adhesion. In association with cell adhesion, distinct functions of PrPc were observed, depending on cell types : neuronal differentiation, epithelial and endothelial barrier integrity, transendothelial migration of monocytes, T cell activation. These observations suggest that PrPc functions may be particularly relevant to cellular stress, as well as inflammatory or infectious situations. PMID:17875293

  15. α-Cleavage of cellular prion protein

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Jingjing; Kong, Qingzhong

    2012-01-01

    The cellular prion protein (PrPC) is subjected to various processing under physiological and pathological conditions, of which the α-cleavage within the central hydrophobic domain not only disrupts a region critical for both PrP toxicity and PrPC to PrPSc conversion but also produces the N1 fragment that is neuroprotective and the C1 fragment that enhances the pro-apoptotic effect of staurosporine in one report and inhibits prion in another. The proteases responsible for the α-cleavage of PrPC are controversial. The effect of ADAM10, ADAM17, and ADAM9 on N1 secretion clearly indicates their involvement in the α-cleavage of PrPC, but there has been no report of direct PrPC α-cleavage activity with any of the three ADAMs in a purified protein form. We demonstrated that, in muscle cells, ADAM8 is the primary protease for the α-cleavage of PrPC, but another unidentified protease(s) must also play a minor role. We also found that PrPC regulates ADAM8 expression, suggesting that a close examination on the relationships between PrPC and its processing enzymes may reveal novel roles and underlying mechanisms for PrPC in non-prion diseases such as asthma and cancer. PMID:23052041

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

    2015-01-01

    Mammalian prions, transmissible agents causing lethal neurodegenerative diseases, are composed of assemblies of misfolded cellular prion protein (PrP) 1. 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 state2. We have now 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. Here we demonstrate that transgenic mice expressing both variant and wild type human PrP are completely resistant to both kuru and classical CJD prions (which are closely similar) but can be infected with variant CJD prions, a human prion strain resulting from exposure to BSE prions to which the Fore were not exposed. Remarkably however, 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. PMID:26061765

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    According to the protein-only hypothesis, infectious mammalian prions, which exist as distinct strains with discrete biological properties, consist of multichain assemblies of misfolded cellular prion protein (PrP). A critical test would be to produce prion strains synthetically from defined components. Crucially, high-titre ‘synthetic' prions could then be used to determine the structural basis of infectivity and strain diversity at the atomic level. While there have been multiple reports of production of prions from bacterially expressed recombinant PrP using various methods, systematic production of high-titre material in a form suitable for structural analysis remains a key goal. Here, we report a novel high-throughput strategy for exploring a matrix of conditions, additives and potential cofactors that might generate high-titre prions from recombinant mouse PrP, with screening for infectivity using a sensitive automated cell-based bioassay. Overall, approximately 20 000 unique conditions were examined. While some resulted in apparently infected cell cultures, this was transient and not reproducible. We also adapted published methods that reported production of synthetic prions from recombinant hamster PrP, but again did not find evidence of significant infectious titre when using recombinant mouse PrP as substrate. Collectively, our findings are consistent with the formation of prion infectivity from recombinant mouse PrP being a rare stochastic event and we conclude that systematic generation of prions from recombinant PrP may only become possible once the detailed structure of authentic ex vivo prions is solved. PMID:26631378

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    According to the protein-only hypothesis, infectious mammalian prions, which exist as distinct strains with discrete biological properties, consist of multichain assemblies of misfolded cellular prion protein (PrP). A critical test would be to produce prion strains synthetically from defined components. Crucially, high-titre 'synthetic' prions could then be used to determine the structural basis of infectivity and strain diversity at the atomic level. While there have been multiple reports of production of prions from bacterially expressed recombinant PrP using various methods, systematic production of high-titre material in a form suitable for structural analysis remains a key goal. Here, we report a novel high-throughput strategy for exploring a matrix of conditions, additives and potential cofactors that might generate high-titre prions from recombinant mouse PrP, with screening for infectivity using a sensitive automated cell-based bioassay. Overall, approximately 20,000 unique conditions were examined. While some resulted in apparently infected cell cultures, this was transient and not reproducible. We also adapted published methods that reported production of synthetic prions from recombinant hamster PrP, but again did not find evidence of significant infectious titre when using recombinant mouse PrP as substrate. Collectively, our findings are consistent with the formation of prion infectivity from recombinant mouse PrP being a rare stochastic event and we conclude that systematic generation of prions from recombinant PrP may only become possible once the detailed structure of authentic ex vivo prions is solved. PMID:26631378

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26061765

  1. Prion protein induced signaling cascades in monocytes

    SciTech Connect

    Krebs, Bjarne; Dorner-Ciossek, Cornelia; Vassallo, Neville; Herms, Jochen; Kretzschmar, Hans A. . E-mail: Hans.Kretzschmar@med.uni-muenchen.de

    2006-02-03

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

  2. Attachment of Pathogenic Prion Protein to Model Oxide Surfaces

    PubMed Central

    Jacobson, Kurt H.; Kuech, Thomas R.; Pedersen, Joel A.

    2014-01-01

    Prions are the infectious agents in the class of fatal neurodegenerative diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, which affect humans, deer, sheep, and cattle. Prion diseases of deer and sheep can be transmitted via environmental routes, and soil is has been implicated in the transmission of these diseases. Interaction with soil particles is expected to govern the transport, bioavailability and persistence of prions in soil environments. A mechanistic understanding of prion interaction with soil components is critical for understanding the behavior of these proteins in the environment. Here, we report results of a study to investigate the interactions of prions with model oxide surfaces (Al2O3, SiO2) using quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring and optical waveguide light mode spectroscopy. The efficiency of prion attachment to Al2O3 and SiO2 depended strongly on pH and ionic strength in a manner consistent with electrostatic forces dominating interaction with these oxides. The N-terminal portion of the protein appeared to facilitate attachment to Al2O3 under globally electrostatically repulsive conditions. We evaluated the utility of recombinant prion protein as a surrogate for prions in attachment experiments and found that its behavior differed markedly from that of the infectious agent. Our findings suggest that prions preferentially associate with positively charged mineral surfaces in soils (e.g., iron and aluminum oxides). PMID:23611152

  3. [Unfolding chaperone as a prion protein relating molecule].

    PubMed

    Hachiya, Naomi S; Sakasegawa, Yuji; Kaneko, Kiyotoshi

    2003-11-01

    Prion protein exists in two different isoforms, a normal cellular isoform (PrPc) and an abnormal infectious isoform (PrPSc), the latter is a causative agent of prion disease such as mad cow disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Amino acid sequences of PrPc and PrPSc are identical, but their conformations are rather different; PrPc rich in non beta-sheet vs. PrPSc rich in beta-sheet isoform. Since the two isoforms have quite different conformation, this host factor might be a molecular chaperone, which enables to override an energy barrier between PrPc and PrPSc. To examine the protein unfolding activities against collectively folded structure exist or not, we constructed an assay system and purified a novel molecular chaperone. Unfolding, from S. cerevisiae. Unfolding consists of oligomeric ring-like structure with the central cavity and has an ATP-dependent protein Unfoldingg activity with broad specificity in vitro, of which targets included PrP in beta-sheet form, alpha-synuclein, and A beta protein. We have also found that mouse neuroblastoma N2a cells contained the activity. Treatment of this factor with an ATP-hydrolyzing enzyme, apyrase, caused the decrease in its protein Unfoldingg activity. It was suggested that the purified protein probably formed homo-oligomer consisting of 4-5 subunits and its activity was ATP-dependent. PMID:15152473

  4. Normal modes of prion proteins: from native to infectious particle.

    PubMed

    Samson, Abraham O; Levitt, Michael

    2011-03-29

    Prion proteins (PrP) are the infectious agent in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (i.e., mad cow disease). To be infectious, prion proteins must undergo a conformational change involving a decrease in α-helical content along with an increase in β-strand content. This conformational change was evaluated by means of elastic normal modes. Elastic normal modes show a diminution of two α-helices by one and two residues, as well as an extension of two β-strands by three residues each, which could instigate the conformational change. The conformational change occurs in a region that is compatible with immunological studies, and it is observed more frequently in mutant prions that are prone to conversion than in wild-type prions because of differences in their starting structures, which are amplified through normal modes. These findings are valuable for our comprehension of the conversion mechanism associated with the conformational change in prion proteins. PMID:21338080

  5. Normal Modes of Prion Proteins: From Native to Infectious particle◊

    PubMed Central

    Samson, Abraham O.; Levitt, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Prion proteins (PrP) are the infectious agent in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (i.e. mad cow disease). To be infectious, prion proteins must undergo a conformational change involving a decrease of α-helical content along with an increase of β-strand structure. This conformational change was evaluated by means of elastic normal modes. Elastic normal modes show a diminution of two α-helices by one and two residues, as well as an extension of two β-strands by three residues each which could instigate the conformational change. The conformational change occurs in a region that is compatible with immunological studies, and it is observed more frequently in mutant prions which are prone to conversion, than in WT prions due to differences in their starting structures, which are amplified through normal modes. These findings are valuable for our comprehension of the conversion mechanism associated with the conformational change of prion proteins. PMID:21338080

  6. Protein Misfolding in Prion and Prion-Like Diseases: Reconsidering a Required Role for Protein Loss-of-Function.

    PubMed

    Leighton, Patricia L A; Allison, W Ted

    2016-07-01

    Prion disease research has contributed much toward understanding other neurodegenerative diseases, including recent demonstrations that Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other neurodegenerative diseases are prion-like. Prion-like diseases involve the spread of degeneration between individuals and/or among cells or tissues via template directed misfolding, wherein misfolded protein conformers propagate disease by causing normal proteins to misfold. Here we use the premise that AD, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntington's disease, and other similar diseases are prion-like and ask: Can we apply knowledge gained from studies of these prion-like diseases to resolve debates about classical prion diseases? We focus on controversies about what role(s) protein loss-of-function might have in prion diseases because this has therapeutic implications, including for AD. We examine which loss-of-function events are recognizable in prion-like diseases by considering the normal functions of the proteins before their misfolding and aggregation. We then delineate scenarios wherein gain-of-function and/or loss-of-function would be necessary or sufficient for neurodegeneration. We consider roles of PrPC loss-of-function in prion diseases and in AD, and conclude that the conventional wisdom that prion diseases are 'toxic gain-of-function diseases' has limitations. While prion diseases certainly have required gain-of-function components, we propose that disease phenotypes are predominantly caused by deficits in the normal physiology of PrPC and its interaction partners as PrPC converts to PrPSc. In this model, gain-of-function serves mainly to spread disease, and loss-of-function directly mediates neuron dysfunction. We propose experiments and predictions to assess our conclusion. Further study on the normal physiological roles of these key proteins is warranted. PMID:27392869

  7. Prion neuropathology follows the accumulation of alternate prion protein isoforms after infective titre has peaked

    PubMed Central

    Sandberg, Malin K.; Al-Doujaily, Huda; Sharps, Bernadette; De Oliveira, Michael Wiggins; Schmidt, Christian; Richard-Londt, Angela; Lyall, Sarah; Linehan, Jacqueline M.; Brandner, Sebastian; Wadsworth, Jonathan D. F.; Clarke, Anthony R.; Collinge, John

    2014-01-01

    Prions are lethal infectious agents thought to consist of multi-chain forms (PrPSc) of misfolded cellular prion protein (PrPC). Prion propagation proceeds in two distinct mechanistic phases: an exponential phase 1, which rapidly reaches a fixed level of infectivity irrespective of PrPC expression level, and a plateau (phase 2), which continues until clinical onset with duration inversely proportional to PrPC expression level. We hypothesized that neurotoxicity relates to distinct neurotoxic species produced following a pathway switch when prion levels saturate. Here we show a linear increase of proteinase K-sensitive PrP isoforms distinct from classical PrPSc at a rate proportional to PrPC concentration, commencing at the phase transition and rising until clinical onset. The unaltered level of total PrP during phase 1, when prion infectivity increases a million-fold, indicates that prions comprise a small minority of total PrP. This is consistent with PrPC concentration not being rate limiting to exponential prion propagation and neurotoxicity relating to critical concentrations of alternate PrP isoforms whose production is PrPC concentration dependent. PMID:25005024

  8. SSCP analysis and sequencing of the human prion protein gene (PRNP) detects two different 24 bp deletions in an atypical Alzheimer`s disease family

    SciTech Connect

    Perry, R.T.; Go, R.C.P.; Harrell, L.E.; Acton, R.T.

    1995-02-27

    Alzheimer`s disease (AD) is a progressive, degenerative neurological disorder of the central nervous system. AD is the fourth leading cause of death in elderly persons 65 years or older in Western industrialized societies. The etiology of AD is unknown, but clinical, pathological, epidemiological, and molecular investigations suggest it is etiologically heterogeneous. Mutations in the amyloid protein are rare and segregate with the disease in a few early-onset familial AD (FAD) families. Similarities between AD and the unconventional viral (UCV) diseases, and between the amyloid and prion proteins, implicate the human prion protein gene (PRNP) as another candidate gene. Single strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analysis was used to screen for mutations at this locus in 82 AD patients from 54 families (30 FAD), vs. 39 age-matched controls. A 24-bp deletion around codon 68 that codes for one of five Gly-Pro rich octarepeats was identified in two affected sibs and one offspring of one late-onset FAD family. Two other affected sibs, three unaffected sibs, and three offspring from this family, in addition to one sporadic AD patient and three age-matched controls, were heterozygous for another octarepeat deletion located around codon 82. Two of the four affected sibs had features of PD, including one who was autopsy-verified AD and PD. Although these deletions were found infrequently in other AD patients and controls, they appear to be a rare polymorphism that is segregating in this FAD family. It does not appear that mutations at the PRNP locus are frequently associated with AD in this population. 54 refs., 4 figs.

  9. The structural stability of wild-type horse prion protein.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jiapu

    2011-10-01

    Prion diseases (e.g. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), variant CJD (vCJD), Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS), Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI) and Kuru in humans, scrapie in sheep, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or 'mad-cow' disease) and chronic wasting disease (CWD) in cattles) are invariably fatal and highly infectious neurodegenerative diseases affecting humans and animals. However, by now there have not been some effective therapeutic approaches or medications to treat all these prion diseases. Rabbits, dogs, and horses are the only mammalian species reported to be resistant to infection from prion diseases isolated from other species. Recently, the β2-α2 loop has been reported to contribute to their protein structural stabilities. The author has found that rabbit prion protein has a strong salt bridge ASP177-ARG163 (like a taut bow string) keeping this loop linked. This paper confirms that this salt bridge also contributes to the structural stability of horse prion protein. Thus, the region of β2-α2 loop might be a potential drug target region. Besides this very important salt bridge, other four important salt bridges GLU196-ARG156-HIS187, ARG156-ASP202 and GLU211-HIS177 are also found to greatly contribute to the structural stability of horse prion protein. Rich databases of salt bridges, hydrogen bonds and hydrophobic contacts for horse prion protein can be found in this paper. PMID:21875155

  10. Insights into prion protein function from atomistic simulations.

    PubMed

    Hodak, Miroslav; Bernholc, Jerzy

    2010-01-01

    Computer simulations are a powerful tool for studies of biological systems. They have often been used to study prion protein (PrP), a protein responsible for neurodegenerative diseases, which include "mad cow disease" in cattle and Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease in humans. An important aspect of the prion protein is its interaction with copper ion, which is thought to be relevant for PrP's yet undetermined function and also potentially play a role in prion diseases. for studies of copper attachment to the prion protein, computer simulations have often been used to complement experimental data and to obtain binding structures of Cu-PrP complexes. This paper summarizes the results of recent ab initio calculations of copper-prion protein interactions focusing on the recently discovered concentration-dependent binding modes in the octarepeat region of this protein. In addition to determining the binding structures, computer simulations were also used to make predictions about PrP's function and the role of copper in prion diseases. The results demonstrate the predictive power and applicability of ab initio simulations for studies of metal-biomolecular complexes. PMID:20118658

  11. Unique Properties of the Rabbit Prion Protein Oligomer.

    PubMed

    Yu, Ziyao; Huang, Pei; Yu, Yuanhui; Zheng, Zhen; Huang, Zicheng; Guo, Chenyun; Lin, Donghai

    2016-01-01

    Prion diseases, also known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), are a group of fatal neurodegenerative disorders infecting both humans and animals. Recent works have demonstrated that the soluble prion protein oligomer (PrPO), the intermediate of the conformational transformation from the host-derived cellular form (PrPC) to the disease-associated Scrapie form (PrPSc), exerts the major neurotoxicity in vitro and in vivo. Rabbits show strong resistance to TSEs, the underlying mechanism is unclear to date. It is expected that the relative TSEs-resistance of rabbits is closely associated with the unique properties of rabbit prion protein oligomer which remain to be addressed in detail. In the present work, we prepared rabbit prion protein oligomer (recRaPrPO) and human prion protein oligomer (recHuPrPO) under varied conditions, analyzed the effects of pH, NaCl concentration and incubation temperature on the oligomerization, and compared the properties of recRaPrPO and recHuPrPO. We found that several factors facilitated the formation of prion protein oligomers, including low pH, high NaCl concentration, high incubation temperature and low conformational stability of monomeric prion protein. RecRaPrPO was formed more slowly than recHuPrPO at physiological-like conditions (< 57°C, < 150 mM NaCl). Furthermore, recRaPrPO possessed higher susceptibility to proteinase K and lower cytotoxicity in vitro than recHuPrPO. These unique properties of recRaPrPO might substantially contribute to the TSEs-resistance of rabbits. Our work sheds light on the oligomerization of prion proteins and is of benefit to mechanistic understanding of TSEs-resistance of rabbits. PMID:27529173

  12. Unique Properties of the Rabbit Prion Protein Oligomer

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Ziyao; Huang, Pei; Yu, Yuanhui; Zheng, Zhen; Huang, Zicheng; Guo, Chenyun; Lin, Donghai

    2016-01-01

    Prion diseases, also known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), are a group of fatal neurodegenerative disorders infecting both humans and animals. Recent works have demonstrated that the soluble prion protein oligomer (PrPO), the intermediate of the conformational transformation from the host-derived cellular form (PrPC) to the disease-associated Scrapie form (PrPSc), exerts the major neurotoxicity in vitro and in vivo. Rabbits show strong resistance to TSEs, the underlying mechanism is unclear to date. It is expected that the relative TSEs-resistance of rabbits is closely associated with the unique properties of rabbit prion protein oligomer which remain to be addressed in detail. In the present work, we prepared rabbit prion protein oligomer (recRaPrPO) and human prion protein oligomer (recHuPrPO) under varied conditions, analyzed the effects of pH, NaCl concentration and incubation temperature on the oligomerization, and compared the properties of recRaPrPO and recHuPrPO. We found that several factors facilitated the formation of prion protein oligomers, including low pH, high NaCl concentration, high incubation temperature and low conformational stability of monomeric prion protein. RecRaPrPO was formed more slowly than recHuPrPO at physiological-like conditions (< 57°C, < 150 mM NaCl). Furthermore, recRaPrPO possessed higher susceptibility to proteinase K and lower cytotoxicity in vitro than recHuPrPO. These unique properties of recRaPrPO might substantially contribute to the TSEs-resistance of rabbits. Our work sheds light on the oligomerization of prion proteins and is of benefit to mechanistic understanding of TSEs-resistance of rabbits. PMID:27529173

  13. Mammalian prions

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Peroxymonosulfate Rapidly Inactivates the Disease-Associated Prion Protein.

    PubMed

    Chesney, Alexandra R; Booth, Clarissa J; Lietz, Christopher B; Li, Lingjun; Pedersen, Joel A

    2016-07-01

    Prions, the etiological agents in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, exhibit remarkable resistance to most methods of inactivation that are effective against conventional pathogens. Prions are composed of pathogenic conformers of the prion protein (PrP(TSE)). Some prion diseases are transmitted, in part, through environmental routes. The recalcitrance of prions to inactivation may lead to a persistent reservoir of infectivity that contributes to the environmental maintenance of epizootics. At present, few methods exist to remediate prion-contaminated land surfaces. Here we conducted a proof-of-principle study to examine the ability of peroxymonosulfate to degrade PrP(TSE). We find that peroxymonosulfate rapidly degrades PrP(TSE) from two species. Transition-metal-catalyzed decomposition of peroxymonosulfate to produce sulfate radicals appears to enhance degradation. We further demonstrate that exposure to peroxymonosulfate significantly reduced PrP(C) to PrP(TSE) converting ability as measured by protein misfolding cyclic amplification, used as a proxy for infectivity. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry revealed that exposure to peroxymonosulfate results in oxidative modifications to methionine and tryptophan residues. This study indicates that peroxymonosulfate may hold promise for decontamination of prion-contaminated surfaces. PMID:27247993

  15. Protease-resistant prions selectively decrease Shadoo protein.

    PubMed

    Watts, Joel C; Stöhr, Jan; Bhardwaj, Sumita; Wille, Holger; Oehler, Abby; Dearmond, Stephen J; Giles, Kurt; Prusiner, Stanley B

    2011-11-01

    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. PMID:22163178

  16. Most of the structural elements of the globular domain of murine prion protein form fibrils with predominant beta-sheet structure.

    PubMed

    Jamin, Nadège; Coïc, Yves-Marie; Landon, Céline; Ovtracht, Ludmila; Baleux, Françoise; Neumann, Jean-Michel; Sanson, Alain

    2002-10-01

    The conversion of the cellular prion protein into the beta-sheet-rich scrapie prion protein is thought to be the key step in the pathogenesis of prion diseases. To gain insight into this structural conversion, we analyzed the intrinsic structural propensity of the amino acid sequence of the murine prion C-terminal domain. For that purpose, this globular domain was dissected into its secondary structural elements and the structural propensity of the protein fragments was determined. Our results show that all these fragments, excepted that strictly encompassing helix 1, have a very high propensity to form structured aggregates with a dominant content of beta-sheet structures. PMID:12372610

  17. Prions are affected by evolution at two levels.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26713322

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:27288413

  19. Altered behavioral aspects of aged mice lacking the cellular prion protein.

    PubMed

    Massimino, Maria Lina; Redaelli, Marco; Bertoli, Alessandro; Sorgato, Maria Catia; Mucignat-Caretta, Carla

    2013-07-01

    The biological function of the prion protein, which is intimately involved in the onset of prion diseases, remains unclear. To understand whether the prion protein could play a role in animal behavior, a battery of tests was applied to young and aged mice that express, or not, the prion protein. In contrast to the similar results obtained in all young animals, we found that aged mice lacking the prion protein reacted to new and stressful environments differently than their wild-type counterparts. This may suggest that, upon aging, the absence of the prion protein results in altered neural processing at the basis of adaptation to new situations. PMID:23770331

  20. Persistence of Pathogenic Prion Protein during Simulated Wastewater Treatment Processes

    PubMed Central

    Hinckley, Glen T.; Johnson, Christopher J.; Jacobson, Kurt H.; Bartholomay, Christian; McMahon, Katherine D.; McKenzie, Debbie; Aiken, Judd M.; Pedersen, Joel A.

    2009-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs, prion diseases) are a class of fatal neurodegenerative diseases affecting a variety of mammalian species including humans. A misfolded form of the prion protein (PrPTSE) is the major, if not sole, component of the infectious agent. 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., 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 10-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 of the agent would partition to activated sludge solids, survive mesophilic anaerobic digestion, and be present in treated biosolids. PMID:18754377

  1. Persistence of pathogenic prion protein during simulated wastewater treatment processes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hinckley, G.T.; Johnson, C.J.; Jacobson, K.H.; Bartholomay, C.; Mcmahon, K.D.; McKenzie, D.; Aiken, Judd M.; Pedersen, J.A.

    2008-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs, prion diseases) are a class of fatal neurodegenerative diseases affecting a variety of mammalian species including humans. A misfolded form of the prion protein (PrP TSE) is the major, if not sole, component of the infectious agent. Prions are highly resistant to degradation and to many disinfection procedures suggesting that, if prions enter wastewater treatment systems through sewers and/or septic systems (e.g., from slaughterhouses, necropsy laboratories, rural meat processors, private game dressing) or through leachate from landfills that have received TSE-contaminated material, prions could survive conventional wastewater treatment Here, we report the results of experiments examining the partitioning and persistence of PrPTSE during simulated wastewater treatment processes including activated and mesophilic anaerobic sludge digestion. Incubation with activated sludge did not result in significant PrPTSE degradation. PrPTSE and prion infectivity partitioned strongly to activated sludge solids and are expected to enter biosolids treatment processes. A large fraction of PrPTSE survived simulated mesophilic anaerobic sludge digestion. The small reduction in recoverable PrPTSE after 20-d anaerobic sludge digestion appeared attributable to a combination of declining extractability with time and microbial degradation. Our results suggest that if prions were to enter municipal wastewater treatment systems, most would partition to activated sludge solids, survive mesophilic anaerobic digestion, and be present in treated biosolids. ?? 2008 American Chemical Society.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:23637170

  3. Prions on the move

    PubMed Central

    Weissmann, Charles; Li, Jiali; Mahal, Sukhvir P.; Browning, Shawn

    2011-01-01

    Prions consist mainly, if not entirely, of PrPSc, an aggregated conformer of the host protein PrPC. Prions come in different strains, all based on the same PrPC sequence, but differing in their conformations. The efficiency of prion transmission between species is usually low, but increases after serial transmission in the new host, suggesting a process involving mutation and selection. Even within the same species, the transfer of prions between cell types entails a selection of favoured 'substrains', and propagation of prions in the presence of an inhibitory drug can result in the appearance of drug-resistant prion populations. We propose that prion populations are comprised of a variety of conformers, constituting 'quasi-species', from which the one replicating most efficiently in a particular environment is selected. PMID:21997298

  4. Infectious Prion Protein Alters Manganese Transport and Neurotoxicity in a Cell Culture Model of Prion Disease

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Dustin P.; Anantharam, Vellareddy; Jin, Huajun; Witte, Travis; Houk, Robert; Kanthasamy, Arthi; Kanthasamy, Anumantha G.

    2011-01-01

    Protein misfolding and aggregation are considered key features of many neurodegenerative diseases, but biochemical mechanisms underlying protein misfolding and the propagation of protein aggregates are not well understood. Prion disease is a classical neurodegenerative disorder resulting from the misfolding of endogenously expressed normal cellular prion protein (PrPC). Although the exact function of PrPC has not been fully elucidated, studies have suggested that it can function as a metal binding protein. Interestingly, increased brain manganese (Mn) levels have been reported in various prion diseases indicating divalent metals also may play a role in the disease process. Recently, we reported that PrPC protects against Mn-induced cytotoxicity in a neural cell culture model. To further understand the role of Mn in prion diseases, we examined Mn neurotoxicity in an infectious cell culture model of prion disease. Our results show CAD5 scrapie-infected cells were more resistant to Mn neurotoxicity as compared to uninfected cells (EC50 = 428.8 μM for CAD5 infected cells vs. 211.6 μM for uninfected cells). Additionally, treatment with 300 μM Mn in persistently infected CAD5 cells showed a reduction in mitochondrial impairment, caspase-3 activation, and DNA fragmentation when compared to uninfected cells. Scrapie-infected cells also showed significantly reduced Mn uptake as measured by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), and altered expression of metal transporting proteins DMT1 and transferrin. Together, our data indicate that conversion of PrP to the pathogenic isoform enhances its ability to regulate Mn homeostasis, and suggest that understanding the interaction of metals with disease-specific proteins may provide further insight to protein aggregation in neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:21871919

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  6. Sialylation of the prion protein glycans controls prion replication rate and glycoform ratio

    PubMed Central

    Katorcha, Elizaveta; Makarava, Natallia; Savtchenko, Regina; Baskakov, Ilia V.

    2015-01-01

    Prion or PrPSc is a proteinaceous infectious agent that consists of a misfolded and aggregated form of a sialoglycoprotein called prion protein or PrPC. PrPC has two sialylated N-linked carbohydrates. In PrPSc, the glycans are directed outward, with the terminal sialic acid residues creating a negative charge on the surface of prion particles. The current study proposes a new hypothesis that electrostatic repulsion between sialic residues creates structural constraints that control prion replication and PrPSc glycoform ratio. In support of this hypothesis, here we show that diglycosylated PrPC molecules that have more sialic groups per molecule than monoglycosylated PrPC were preferentially excluded from conversion. However, when partially desialylated PrPC was used as a substrate, recruitment of three glycoforms into PrPSc was found to be proportional to their respective populations in the substrate. In addition, hypersialylated molecules were also excluded from conversion in the strains with the strongest structural constraints, a strategy that helped reduce electrostatic repulsion. Moreover, as predicted by the hypothesis, partial desialylation of PrPC significantly increased the replication rate. This study illustrates that sialylation of N-linked glycans creates a prion replication barrier that controls replication rate and glycoform ratios and has broad implications. PMID:26576925

  7. Strain-dependent profile of misfolded prion protein aggregates.

    PubMed

    Morales, Rodrigo; Hu, Ping Ping; Duran-Aniotz, Claudia; Moda, Fabio; Diaz-Espinoza, Rodrigo; Chen, Baian; Bravo-Alegria, Javiera; Makarava, Natallia; Baskakov, Ilia V; Soto, Claudio

    2016-01-01

    Prions are composed of the misfolded prion protein (PrP(Sc)) organized in a variety of aggregates. An important question in the prion field has been to determine the identity of functional PrP(Sc) aggregates. In this study, we used equilibrium sedimentation in sucrose density gradients to separate PrP(Sc) aggregates from three hamster prion strains (Hyper, Drowsy, SSLOW) subjected to minimal manipulations. We show that PrP(Sc) aggregates distribute in a wide range of arrangements and the relative proportion of each species depends on the prion strain. We observed a direct correlation between the density of the predominant PrP(Sc) aggregates and the incubation periods for the strains studied. The relative presence of PrP(Sc) in fractions of different sucrose densities was indicative of the protein deposits present in the brain as analyzed by histology. Interestingly, no association was found between sensitivity to proteolytic degradation and aggregation profiles. Therefore, the organization of PrP molecules in terms of the density of aggregates generated may determine some of the particular strain properties, whereas others are independent from it. Our findings may contribute to understand the mechanisms of strain variation and the role of PrP(Sc) aggregates in prion-induced neurodegeneration. PMID:26877167

  8. Strain-dependent profile of misfolded prion protein aggregates

    PubMed Central

    Morales, Rodrigo; Hu, Ping Ping; Duran-Aniotz, Claudia; Moda, Fabio; Diaz-Espinoza, Rodrigo; Chen, Baian; Bravo-Alegria, Javiera; Makarava, Natallia; Baskakov, Ilia V.; Soto, Claudio

    2016-01-01

    Prions are composed of the misfolded prion protein (PrPSc) organized in a variety of aggregates. An important question in the prion field has been to determine the identity of functional PrPSc aggregates. In this study, we used equilibrium sedimentation in sucrose density gradients to separate PrPSc aggregates from three hamster prion strains (Hyper, Drowsy, SSLOW) subjected to minimal manipulations. We show that PrPSc aggregates distribute in a wide range of arrangements and the relative proportion of each species depends on the prion strain. We observed a direct correlation between the density of the predominant PrPSc aggregates and the incubation periods for the strains studied. The relative presence of PrPSc in fractions of different sucrose densities was indicative of the protein deposits present in the brain as analyzed by histology. Interestingly, no association was found between sensitivity to proteolytic degradation and aggregation profiles. Therefore, the organization of PrP molecules in terms of the density of aggregates generated may determine some of the particular strain properties, whereas others are independent from it. Our findings may contribute to understand the mechanisms of strain variation and the role of PrPSc aggregates in prion-induced neurodegeneration. PMID:26877167

  9. Low copper and high manganese levels in prion protein plaques

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, Christopher J.; Gilbert, P.U.P.A.; Abrecth, Mike; Baldwin, Katherine L.; Russell, Robin E.; Pedersen, Joel A.; McKenzie, Debbie

    2013-01-01

    Accumulation of aggregates rich in an abnormally folded form of the prion protein characterize the neurodegeneration caused by transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). The molecular triggers of plaque formation and neurodegeneration remain unknown, but analyses of TSE-infected brain homogenates and preparations enriched for abnormal prion protein suggest that reduced levels of copper and increased levels of manganese are associated with disease. The objectives of this study were to: (1) assess copper and manganese levels in healthy and TSE-infected Syrian hamster brain homogenates; (2) determine if the distribution of these metals can be mapped in TSE-infected brain tissue using X-ray photoelectron emission microscopy (X-PEEM) with synchrotron radiation; and (3) use X-PEEM to assess the relative amounts of copper and manganese in prion plaques in situ. In agreement with studies of other TSEs and species, we found reduced brain levels of copper and increased levels of manganese associated with disease in our hamster model. We also found that the in situ levels of these metals in brainstem were sufficient to image by X-PEEM. Using immunolabeled prion plaques in directly adjacent tissue sections to identify regions to image by X-PEEM, we found a statistically significant relationship of copper-manganese dysregulation in prion plaques: copper was depleted whereas manganese was enriched. These data provide evidence for prion plaques altering local transition metal distribution in the TSE-infected central nervous system.

  10. Efficacy and Mechanism of a Glycoside Compound Inhibiting Abnormal Prion Protein Formation in Prion-Infected Cells: Implications of Interferon and Phosphodiesterase 4D-Interacting Protein

    PubMed Central

    Nishizawa, Keiko; Oguma, Ayumi; Kawata, Maki; Sakasegawa, Yuji; Teruya, Kenta

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT A new type of antiprion compound, Gly-9, was found to inhibit abnormal prion protein formation in prion-infected neuroblastoma cells, in a prion strain-independent manner, when the cells were treated for more than 1 day. It reduced the intracellular prion protein level and significantly modified mRNA expression levels of genes of two types: interferon-stimulated genes were downregulated after more than 2 days of treatment, and the phosphodiesterase 4D-interacting protein gene, a gene involved in microtubule growth, was upregulated after more than 1 day of treatment. A supplement of interferon given to the cells partly restored the abnormal prion protein level but did not alter the normal prion protein level. This interferon action was independent of the Janus activated kinase-signal transducer and activator of transcription signaling pathway. Therefore, the changes in interferon-stimulated genes might be a secondary effect of Gly-9 treatment. However, gene knockdown of phosphodiesterase 4D-interacting protein restored or increased both the abnormal prion protein level and the normal prion protein level, without transcriptional alteration of the prion protein gene. It also altered the localization of abnormal prion protein accumulation in the cells, indicating that phosphodiesterase 4D-interacting protein might affect prion protein levels by altering the trafficking of prion protein-containing structures. Interferon and phosphodiesterase 4D-interacting protein had no direct mutual link, demonstrating that they regulate abnormal prion protein levels independently. Although the in vivo efficacy of Gly-9 was limited, the findings for Gly-9 provide insights into the regulation of abnormal prion protein in cells and suggest new targets for antiprion compounds. IMPORTANCE This report describes our study of the efficacy and potential mechanism underlying the antiprion action of a new antiprion compound with a glycoside structure in prion-infected cells, as well as

  11. Prion Diseases

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Prion diseases comprise a set of rare fatal neurological diseases found in humans and other mammals. A prion is a protein capable of converting a normal cellular protein (PrPC) into a prion and thereby propagating an infection. A prion and PrPC differ solely in their conformation. There are differen...

  12. Insight into Early-Stage Unfolding of GPI-Anchored Human Prion Protein.

    PubMed

    Wu, Emilia L; Qi, Yifei; Park, Soohyung; Mallajosyula, Sairam S; MacKerell, Alexander D; Klauda, Jeffery B; Im, Wonpil

    2015-11-17

    Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders, which are characterized by the accumulation of misfolded prion protein (PrPSc) converted from a normal host cellular prion protein (PrPC). Experimental studies suggest that PrPC is enriched with α-helical structure, whereas PrPSc contains a high proportion of β-sheet. In this study, we report the impact of N-glycosylation and the membrane on the secondary structure stability utilizing extensive microsecond molecular dynamics simulations. Our results reveal that the HB (residues 173 to 194) C-terminal fragment undergoes conformational changes and helix unfolding in the absence of membrane environments because of the competition between protein backbone intramolecular and protein-water intermolecular hydrogen bonds as well as its intrinsic instability originated from the amino acid sequence. This initiation of the unfolding process of PrPC leads to a subsequent increase in the length of the HB-HC loop (residues 195 to 199) that may trigger larger rigid body motions or further unfolding around this region. Continuous interactions between prion protein and the membrane not only constrain the protein conformation but also decrease the solvent accessibility of the backbone atoms, thereby stabilizing the secondary structure, which is enhanced by N-glycosylation via additional interactions between the N-glycans and the membrane surface. PMID:26588568

  13. Prion Protein Accumulation in Lipid Rafts of Mouse Aging Brain

    PubMed Central

    Agostini, Federica; Dotti, Carlos G.; Pérez-Cañamás, Azucena; Ledesma, Maria Dolores; Benetti, Federico; Legname, Giuseppe

    2013-01-01

    The cellular form of the prion protein (PrPC) is a normal constituent of neuronal cell membranes. The protein misfolding causes rare neurodegenerative disorders known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies or prion diseases. These maladies can be sporadic, genetic or infectious. Sporadic prion diseases are the most common form mainly affecting aging people. In this work, we investigate the biochemical environment in which sporadic prion diseases may develop, focusing our attention on the cell membrane of neurons in the aging brain. It is well established that with aging the ratio between the most abundant lipid components of rafts undergoes a major change: while cholesterol decreases, sphingomyelin content rises. Our results indicate that the aging process modifies the compartmentalization of PrPC. In old mice, this change favors PrPC accumulation in detergent-resistant membranes, particularly in hippocampi. To confirm the relationship between lipid content changes and PrPC translocation into detergent-resistant membranes (DRMs), we looked at PrPC compartmentalization in hippocampi from acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) knockout (KO) mice and synaptosomes enriched in sphingomyelin. In the presence of high sphingomyelin content, we observed a significant increase of PrPC in DRMS. This process is not due to higher levels of total protein and it could, in turn, favor the onset of sporadic prion diseases during aging as it increases the PrP intermolecular contacts into lipid rafts. We observed that lowering sphingomyelin in scrapie-infected cells by using fumonisin B1 led to a 50% decrease in protease-resistant PrP formation. This may suggest an involvement of PrP lipid environment in prion formation and consequently it may play a role in the onset or development of sporadic forms of prion diseases. PMID:24040215

  14. Concentration-dependent Cu(II) binding to prion protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hodak, Miroslav; Lu, Wenchang; Bernholc, Jerry

    2008-03-01

    The prion protein plays a causative role in several neurodegenerative diseases, including mad cow disease in cattle and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. The normal function of the prion protein is unknown, but it has been linked to its ability to bind copper ions. Experimental evidence suggests that copper can be bound in three distinct modes depending on its concentration, but only one of those binding modes has been fully characterized experimentally. Using a newly developed hybrid DFT/DFT method [1], which combines Kohn-Sham DFT with orbital-free DFT, we have examined all the binding modes and obtained their detailed binding geometries and copper ion binding energies. Our results also provide explanation for experiments, which have found that when the copper concentration increases the copper binding mode changes, surprisingly, from a stronger to a weaker one. Overall, our results indicate that prion protein can function as a copper buffer. 1. Hodak, Lu, Bernholc, JCP, in press.

  15. PRIONS: PATHOLOGICAL PROTEINS AT THE INTERFACE OF OIL AND WATER.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A prion is an infectious isoform (PrPSc) of a normal cellular protein (PrPC). PrPC is a globular protein composed of approximately 209 amino acids, depending on species. It has three post-translational modifications (PTM): a disulfide linkage, two large sugar antennae, and a glycosyl phosphatidylino...

  16. X-ray structural and molecular dynamical studies of the globular domains of cow, deer, elk and Syrian hamster prion proteins.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

    Misfolded prion proteins are the cause of neurodegenerative diseases that affect many mammalian species, including humans. Transmission of the prion diseases poses a considerable public-health risk as a specific prion disease such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy can be transferred to humans and other mammalian species upon contaminant exposure. The underlying mechanism of prion propagation and the species barriers that control cross species transmission has been investigated quite extensively. So far a number of prion strains have been characterized and those have been intimately linked to species-specific infectivity and other pathophysiological manifestations. These strains are encoded by a protein-only agent, and have a high degree of sequence identity across mammalian species. The molecular events that lead to strain differentiation remain elusive. In order to contribute to the understanding of strain differentiation, we have determined the crystal structures of the globular, folded domains of four prion proteins (cow, deer, elk and Syrian hamster) bound to the POM1 antibody fragment Fab. Although the overall structural folds of the mammalian prion proteins remains extremely similar, there are several local structural variations observed in the misfolding-initiator motifs. In additional molecular dynamics simulation studies on these several prion proteins reveal differences in the local fluctuations and imply that these differences have possible roles in the unfolding of the globular domains. These local variations in the structured domains perpetuate diverse patterns of prion misfolding and possibly facilitate the strain selection and adaptation. PMID:26320075

  17. Humic substances interfere with detection of pathogenic prion protein

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Immunohistochemical detection and distribution of prion protein in a goat with natural scrapie.

    PubMed

    Valdez, Reginald A; Rock, Matthew J; Anderson, Anne K; O'Rourke, Katherine I

    2003-03-01

    Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections from a 3-year-old female Angora goat suffering from clinical scrapie were immunostained after hydrated autoclaving using a monoclonal antibody (mAb, F99/97.6.1; IgG1) specific for a conserved epitope on the prion protein. Widespread and prominent deposition of the scrapie isoform of the prion protein (PrPSc) was observed in the brain, brainstem, spinal cord, retina, postganglionic neurons associated with parasympathetic ganglia of myenteric and submucosal plexuses, Peyer's patches, peripheral lymph nodes, and pharyngeal and palatine tonsils. The goat was homozygous for PrP alleles encoding 5 octapeptide repeat sequences in the N-terminal region of the prion protein and isoleucine at codon 142, a genotype associated with high susceptibility and short incubation times in goats. The results of this study indicate that mAb F99/97.6.1 is useful for detection of PrPSc deposition, and this is a specific and reliable immunohistochemical adjunct to histopathology for diagnosis of natural caprine scrapie, although precise determination of the diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of the assay as a diagnostic test for scrapie in goats will require examination of a sufficiently large sample size. As with ovine scrapie, prion protein is widely distributed in the central and peripheral nervous systems, gastrointestinal tract, and lymphoid tissues in natural caprine scrapie. PMID:12661726

  19. PRIONS: PATHOLOGICAL PROTEINS AT THE INTERFACE OF OIL AND WATER

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Prions are infectious proteins that cause of a set of rare fatal neurological diseases referred to as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). TSE diseases occur in humans, sheep, goats, deer, elk, mink, cows and other mammals. This presentation will include an historical review of the scie...

  20. Glycosylation differences between the normal and pathogenic prion protein isoforms

    PubMed Central

    Rudd, Pauline M.; Endo, Tama; Colominas, Cristina; Groth, Darlene; Wheeler, Susan F.; Harvey, David J.; Wormald, Mark R.; Serban, Hana; Prusiner, Stanley B.; Kobata, Akira; Dwek, Raymond A.

    1999-01-01

    Prion protein consists of an ensemble of glycosylated variants or glycoforms. The enzymes that direct oligosaccharide processing, and hence control the glycan profile for any given glycoprotein, are often exquisitely sensitive to other events taking place within the cell in which the glycoprotein is expressed. Alterations in the populations of sugars attached to proteins can reflect changes caused, for example, by developmental processes or by disease. Here we report that normal (PrPC) and pathogenic (PrPSc) prion proteins (PrP) from Syrian hamsters contain the same set of at least 52 bi-, tri-, and tetraantennary N-linked oligosaccharides, although the relative proportions of individual glycans differ. This conservation of structure suggests that the conversion of PrPC into PrPSc is not confined to a subset of PrPs that contain specific sugars. Compared with PrPC, PrPSc contains decreased levels of glycans with bisecting GlcNAc residues and increased levels of tri- and tetraantennary sugars. This change is consistent with a decrease in the activity of N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase III (GnTIII) toward PrPC in cells where PrPSc is formed and argues that, in at least some cells forming PrPSc, the glycosylation machinery has been perturbed. The reduction in GnTIII activity is intriguing both with respect to the pathogenesis of the prion disease and the replication pathway for prions. PMID:10557270

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

    PubMed Central

    Masison, Daniel C; Reidy, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Protein chaperones help proteins adopt and maintain native conformations and play vital roles in cellular processes where proteins are partially folded. They comprise a major part of the cellular protein quality control system that protects the integrity of the proteome. Many disorders are caused when proteins misfold despite this protection. Yeast prions are fibrous amyloid aggregates of misfolded proteins. The normal action of chaperones on yeast prions breaks the fibers into pieces, which results in prion replication. Because this process is necessary for propagation of yeast prions, even small differences in activity of many chaperones noticeably affect prion phenotypes. Several other factors involved in protein processing also influence formation, propagation or elimination of prions in yeast. Thus, in much the same way that the dependency of viruses on cellular functions has allowed us to learn much about cell biology, the dependency of yeast prions on chaperones presents a unique and sensitive way to monitor the functions and interactions of many components of the cell's protein quality control system. Our recent work illustrates the utility of this system for identifying and defining chaperone machinery interactions. PMID:26110609

  2. Monoacylated Cellular Prion Protein Modifies Cell Membranes, Inhibits Cell Signaling, and Reduces Prion Formation*

    PubMed Central

    Bate, Clive; Williams, Alun

    2011-01-01

    Prion diseases occur following the conversion of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) into a disease related, protease-resistant isoform (PrPSc). In these studies, a cell painting technique was used to introduce PrPC to prion-infected neuronal cell lines (ScGT1, ScN2a, or SMB cells). The addition of PrPC resulted in increased PrPSc formation that was preceded by an increase in the cholesterol content of cell membranes and increased activation of cytoplasmic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2). In contrast, although PrPC lacking one of the two acyl chains from its glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor (PrPC-G-lyso-PI) bound readily to cells, it did not alter the amount of cholesterol in cell membranes, was not found within detergent-resistant membranes (lipid rafts), and did not activate cPLA2. It remained within cells for longer than PrPC with a conventional GPI anchor and was not converted to PrPSc. Moreover, the addition of high amounts of PrPC-G-lyso-PI displaced cPLA2 from PrPSc-containing lipid rafts, reduced the activation of cPLA2, and reduced PrPSc formation in all three cell lines. In addition, ScGT1 cells treated with PrPC-G-lyso-PI did not transmit infection following intracerebral injection to mice. We propose that that the chemical composition of the GPI anchor attached to PrPC modified the local membrane microenvironments that control cell signaling, the fate of PrPC, and hence PrPSc formation. In addition, our observations raise the possibility that pharmacological modification of GPI anchors might constitute a novel therapeutic approach to prion diseases. PMID:21212283

  3. Kinetics of Ozone Inactivation of Infectious Prion Protein

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Ning; Price, Luke M.; Braithwaite, Shannon L.; Balachandran, Aru; Mitchell, Gordon; Belosevic, Miodrag

    2013-01-01

    The kinetics of ozone inactivation of infectious prion protein (PrPSc, scrapie 263K) was investigated in ozone-demand-free phosphate-buffered saline (PBS). Diluted infectious brain homogenates (IBH) (0.01%) were exposed to a predetermined ozone dose (10.8 ± 2.0 mg/liter) at three pHs (pH 4.4, 6.0, and 8.0) and two temperatures (4°C and 20°C). The inactivation of PrPSc was quantified by determining the in vitro destruction of PrPSc templating properties using the protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) assay and bioassay, which were shown to correlate well. The inactivation kinetics were characterized by both Chick-Watson (CW) and efficiency factor Hom (EFH) models. It was found that the EFH model fit the experimental data more appropriately. The efficacy of ozone inactivation of PrPSc was both pH and temperature dependent. Based on the EFH model, CT (disinfectant concentration multiplied by contact time) values were determined for 2-log10, 3-log10, and 4-log10 inactivation at the conditions under which they were achieved. Our results indicated that ozone is effective for prion inactivation in ozone-demand-free water and may be applied for the inactivation of infectious prion in prion-contaminated water and wastewater. PMID:23416994

  4. Prion protein degradation by lichens of the genus Cladonia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  5. The cellular prion protein and its role in Alzheimer disease

    PubMed Central

    Irujo, A; Cuadrado-Tejedor, M; Paternain, B; Moleres, FJ; Ferrer, V

    2009-01-01

    The cellular prion protein (PrPC) is a membrane-bound glycoprotein especially abundant in the central nervous system (CNS). The scrapie prion protein (PrPSc, also termed prions) is responsible of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE), a group of neurodegenerative diseases which affect humans and other mammal species, although the presence of PrPC is needed for the establishment and further evolution of prions. The present work compares the expression and localization of PrPC between healthy human brains and those suffering from Alzheimer disease (AD). In both situations we have observed a rostrocaudal decrease in the amount of PrPC within the CNS, both by immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry techniques. PrPC is higher expressed in our control brains than in AD cases. There was a neuronal loss and astogliosis in our AD cases. There was a tendency of a lesser expression of PrPC in AD cases than in healthy ones. And in AD cases, the intensity of the expression of the unglycosylated band is higher than the di- and monoglycosylated bands. With regards to amyloid plaques, those present in AD cases were positively labeled for PrPC, a result which is further supported by the presence of PrPC in the amyloid plaques of a transgenic line of mice mimicking AD. The work was done according to Helsinki Declaration of 1975, and approved by the Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Navarre. PMID:19556894

  6. Role of the prion protein family in the gonads

    PubMed Central

    Allais-Bonnet, Aurélie; Pailhoux, Eric

    2014-01-01

    The prion-gene family comprises four members named PRNP (PRPc), PRND (Doppel), PRNT (PRT), and SPRN (Shadoo). According to species, PRND is located 16–52 kb downstream from the PRNP locus, whereas SPRN is located on another chromosome. The fourth prion-family gene, PRNT, belongs to the same genomic cluster as PRNP and PRND in humans and bovidae. PRNT and PRND possibly resulted from a duplication event of PRND and PRNP, respectively, that occurred early during eutherian species divergence. Although most of the studies concerning the prion-family has been done on PRPc and its involvement in transmissible neurodegenerative disorders, different works report some potential roles of these proteins in the reproductive function of both sexes. Among them, a clear role of PRND, that encodes for the Doppel protein, in male fertility has been demonstrated through gene targeting studies in mice. In other species, Doppel seems to play a role in testis and ovary development but its cellular localization is variable according to the gonadal developmental stage and to the mammalian species considered. For the other three genes, their roles in reproductive function appear ill-defined and/or controversial. The present review aimed to synthesize all the available data on these prion-family members and their relations with reproductive processes, mainly in the gonad of both sexes. PMID:25364761

  7. Quaternary Structure of Pathological Prion Protein as a Determining Factor of Strain-Specific Prion Replication Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Chapuis, Jérôme; Sibille, Pierre; Herzog, Laetitia; Reine, Fabienne; Jaumain, Emilie; Laude, Hubert; Rezaei, Human; Béringue, Vincent

    2013-01-01

    Prions are proteinaceous infectious agents responsible for fatal neurodegenerative diseases in animals and humans. They are essentially composed of PrPSc, an aggregated, misfolded conformer of the ubiquitously expressed host-encoded prion protein (PrPC). Stable variations in PrPSc conformation are assumed to encode the phenotypically tangible prion strains diversity. However the direct contribution of PrPSc quaternary structure to the strain biological information remains mostly unknown. Applying a sedimentation velocity fractionation technique to a panel of ovine prion strains, classified as fast and slow according to their incubation time in ovine PrP transgenic mice, has previously led to the observation that the relationship between prion infectivity and PrPSc quaternary structure was not univocal. For the fast strains specifically, infectivity sedimented slowly and segregated from the bulk of proteinase-K resistant PrPSc. To carefully separate the respective contributions of size and density to this hydrodynamic behavior, we performed sedimentation at the equilibrium and varied the solubilization conditions. The density profile of prion infectivity and proteinase-K resistant PrPSc tended to overlap whatever the strain, fast or slow, leaving only size as the main responsible factor for the specific velocity properties of the fast strain most infectious component. We further show that this velocity-isolable population of discrete assemblies perfectly resists limited proteolysis and that its templating activity, as assessed by protein misfolding cyclic amplification outcompetes by several orders of magnitude that of the bulk of larger size PrPSc aggregates. Together, the tight correlation between small size, conversion efficiency and duration of disease establishes PrPSc quaternary structure as a determining factor of prion replication dynamics. For certain strains, a subset of PrP assemblies appears to be the best template for prion replication. This has

  8. Characterization of the genomic region containing the Shadow of Prion Protein (SPRN) gene in sheep

    PubMed Central

    Lampo, Evelyne; Van Poucke, Mario; Hugot, Karine; Hayes, Hélène; Van Zeveren, Alex; Peelman, Luc J

    2007-01-01

    Background TSEs are a group of fatal neurodegenerative diseases occurring in man and animals. They are caused by prions, alternatively folded forms of the endogenous prion protein, encoded by PRNP. Since differences in the sequence of PRNP can not explain all variation in TSE susceptibility, there is growing interest in other genes that might have an influence on this susceptibility. One of these genes is SPRN, a gene coding for a protein showing remarkable similarities with the prion protein. Until now, SPRN has not been described in sheep, a highly relevant species in prion matters. Results In order to characterize the genomic region containing SPRN in sheep, a BAC mini-contig was built, covering approximately 200,000 bp and containing the genes ECHS1, PAOX, MTG1, SPRN, LOC619207, CYP2E1 and at least partially SYCE1. FISH mapping of the two most exterior BAC clones of the contig positioned this contig on Oari22q24. A fragment of 4,544 bp was also sequenced, covering the entire SPRN gene and 1206 bp of the promoter region. In addition, the transcription profile of SPRN in 21 tissues was determined by RT-PCR, showing high levels in cerebrum and cerebellum, and low levels in testis, lymph node, jejunum, ileum, colon and rectum. Conclusion Annotation of a mini-contig including SPRN suggests conserved linkage between Oari22q24 and Hsap10q26. The ovine SPRN sequence, described for the first time, shows a high level of homology with the bovine, and to a lesser extent with the human SPRN sequence. In addition, transcription profiling in sheep reveals main expression of SPRN in brain tissue, as in rat, cow, man and mouse. PMID:17537256

  9. Structural domains and main-chain flexibility in prion proteins.

    PubMed

    Blinov, N; Berjanskii, M; Wishart, D S; Stepanova, M

    2009-02-24

    In this study we describe a novel approach to define structural domains and to characterize the local flexibility in both human and chicken prion proteins. The approach we use is based on a comprehensive theory of collective dynamics in proteins that was recently developed. This method determines the essential collective coordinates, which can be found from molecular dynamics trajectories via principal component analysis. Under this particular framework, we are able to identify the domains where atoms move coherently while at the same time to determine the local main-chain flexibility for each residue. We have verified this approach by comparing our results for the predicted dynamic domain systems with the computed main-chain flexibility profiles and the NMR-derived random coil indexes for human and chicken prion proteins. The three sets of data show excellent agreement. Additionally, we demonstrate that the dynamic domains calculated in this fashion provide a highly sensitive measure of protein collective structure and dynamics. Furthermore, such an analysis is capable of revealing structural and dynamic properties of proteins that are inaccessible to the conventional assessment of secondary structure. Using the collective dynamic simulation approach described here along with a high-temperature simulations of unfolding of human prion protein, we have explored whether locations of relatively low stability could be identified where the unfolding process could potentially be facilitated. According to our analysis, the locations of relatively low stability may be associated with the beta-sheet formed by strands S1 and S2 and the adjacent loops, whereas helix HC appears to be a relatively stable part of the protein. We suggest that this kind of structural analysis may provide a useful background for a more quantitative assessment of potential routes of spontaneous misfolding in prion proteins. PMID:19178154

  10. The non-octarepeat copper binding site of the prion protein is a key regulator of prion conversion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  11. The non-octarepeat copper binding site of the prion protein is a key regulator of prion conversion

    PubMed Central

    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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26482532

  12. Spontaneous generation of rapidly transmissible prions in transgenic mice expressing wild-type bank vole prion protein.

    PubMed

    Watts, Joel C; Giles, Kurt; Stöhr, Jan; Oehler, Abby; Bhardwaj, Sumita; Grillo, Sunny K; Patel, Smita; DeArmond, Stephen J; Prusiner, Stanley B

    2012-02-28

    Currently, there are no animal models of the most common human prion disorder, sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), in which prions are formed spontaneously from wild-type (WT) prion protein (PrP). Interestingly, bank voles (BV) exhibit an unprecedented promiscuity for diverse prion isolates, arguing that bank vole PrP (BVPrP) may be inherently prone to adopting misfolded conformations. Therefore, we constructed transgenic (Tg) mice expressing WT BVPrP. Tg(BVPrP) mice developed spontaneous CNS dysfunction between 108 and 340 d of age and recapitulated the hallmarks of prion disease, including spongiform degeneration, pronounced astrogliosis, and deposition of alternatively folded PrP in the brain. Brain homogenates of ill Tg(BVPrP) mice transmitted disease to Tg(BVPrP) mice in ∼35 d, to Tg mice overexpressing mouse PrP in under 100 d, and to WT mice in ∼185 d. Our studies demonstrate experimentally that WT PrP can spontaneously form infectious prions in vivo. Thus, Tg(BVPrP) mice may be useful for studying the spontaneous formation of prions, and thus may provide insight into the etiology of sporadic CJD. PMID:22331873

  13. Differential Toxicity of Antibodies to the Prion Protein

    PubMed Central

    Hornemann, Simone; Herrmann, Uli S.; Arand, Michael; Hawke, Simon; Aguzzi, Adriano

    2016-01-01

    Antibodies against the prion protein PrPC can antagonize prion replication and neuroinvasion, and therefore hold promise as possible therapeutics against prion diseases. However, the safety profile of such antibodies is controversial. It was originally reported that the monoclonal antibody D13 exhibits strong target-related toxicity, yet a subsequent study contradicted these findings. We have reported that several antibodies against certain epitopes of PrPC, including antibody POM1, are profoundly neurotoxic, yet antibody ICSM18, with an epitope that overlaps with POM1, was reported to be innocuous when injected into mouse brains. In order to clarify this confusing situation, we assessed the neurotoxicity of antibodies D13 and ICSM18 with dose-escalation studies using diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging and various histological techniques. We report that both D13 and ICSM18 induce rapid, dose-dependent, on-target neurotoxicity. We conclude that antibodies directed to this region may not be suitable as therapeutics. No such toxicity was found when antibodies against the flexible tail of PrPC were administered. Any attempt at immunotherapy or immunoprophylaxis of prion diseases should account for these potential untoward effects. PMID:26821311

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

    PubMed

    Daus, Martin L

    2016-01-01

    In 1982, the term "prions" (proteinaceous infectious particles) was coined to specify a new principle of infection. A misfolded isoform of a cellular protein has been described as the causative agent of a fatal neurodegenerative disease. At the beginning of prion research scientists assumed that the infectious agent causing transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) was a virus, but some unconventional properties of these pathogens were difficult to bring in line with the prevailing viral model. The discovery that prions (obviously devoid of any coding nucleic acid) can store and transmit information similarly to DNA was initially even denoted as being "heretical" but is nowadays mainly accepted by the scientific community. This review describes, from a historical point of view, how the "protein-only hypothesis" expands the Central Dogma. Definition of both, the prion principle and the Central Dogma, have been essential steps to understand information storage and transfer within and among cells and organisms. Furthermore, the current understanding of the infectivity of prion-proteins after misfolding is summarized succinctly. Finally, prion-like amyloids and functional amyloids, as found in yeast and bacteria, will be discussed. PMID:26742083

  15. Identification of a Protein that Purifies with the Scrapie Prion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bolton, David C.; McKinley, Michael P.; Prusiner, Stanley B.

    1982-12-01

    Purification of prions from scrapie-infected hamster brain yielded a protein that was not found in a similar fraction from uninfected brain. The protein migrated with an apparent molecular size of 27,000 to 30,000 daltons in sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gels. The resistance of this protein to digestion by proteinase K distinguished it from proteins of similar molecular weight found in normal hamster brain. Initial results suggest that the amount of this protein correlates with the titer of the agent.

  16. Prion Diseases

    MedlinePlus

    ... and sometimes polymerize in neurodegenerative disorders. Credit: NIAID Biology & Genetics Scientists are examining how abnormal prion protein ... the abnormal form. Read more about prion diseases biology and genetics Therapeutic Approaches Although there are no ...

  17. A single amino acid (Asp159) from the dog prion protein suppresses the toxicity of the mouse prion protein in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Sanchez-Garcia, J; Jensen, K; Zhang, Y; Rincon-Limas, D E; Fernandez-Funez, P

    2016-11-01

    Misfolding of the prion protein (PrP) is the key step in the transmission of spongiform pathologies in humans and several animals. Although PrP is highly conserved in mammals, a few changes in the sequence of endogenous PrP are proposed to confer protection to dogs, which were highly exposed to prion during the mad-cow epidemics. D159 is a unique amino acid found in PrP from dogs and other canines that was shown to alter surface charge, but its functional relevance has never been tested in vivo. Here, we show in transgenic Drosophila that introducing the N159D substitution on mouse PrP decreases its turnover. Additionally, mouse PrP-N159D demonstrates no toxicity and accumulates no pathogenic conformations, suggesting that a single D159 substitution is sufficient to prevent PrP conformational change and pathogenesis. Understanding the mechanisms mediating the protective activity of D159 is likely to lessen the burden of prion diseases in humans and domestic animals. PMID:27477054

  18. Prion protein and metal interaction: physiological and pathological implications.

    PubMed

    Singh, Neena; Das, Dola; Singh, Ajay; Mohan, Maradumane L

    2010-01-01

    Metal induced free radicals are important mediators of neurotoxicity in several neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and Huntington's disease. Similar evidence is now emerging for prion diseases, a group of neurodegenerative disorders of humans and animals. The main pathogenic agent in all prion disorders is PrP-scrapie (PrP(Sc)), a beta-sheet rich isoform of a normal cell surface glycoprotein known as the prion protein (PrP(C)). Deposits of PrP(Sc) in the brain parenchyma are believed to induce neurotoxicity through poorly understood mechanisms. Recent reports suggest that imbalance of brain metal homeostasis is a significant cause of PrP(Sc)-associated neurotoxicity, though the underlying mechanisms are difficult to explain based on existing information. Proposed hypotheses include a functional role for PrP(C) in metal metabolism, and loss of this function due to aggregation to the disease associated PrP(Sc) form as the cause of brain metal imbalance. Other views suggest gain of toxic function by PrP(Sc) due to sequestration of PrP(C)-associated metals within the aggregates, resulting in the generation of redox-active PrP(Sc) complexes. The physiological implications of some PrP(C)-metal interactions are known, while others are still unclear. The pathological implications of PrP(C)-metal interaction include metal-induced oxidative damage, and in some instances conversion of PrP(C) to a PrP(Sc)-like form. Despite its significance, only limited information is available on PrP-metal interaction and its implications on prion disease pathogenesis. In this review, we summarize the physiological significance and pathological implications of PrP-metal interaction on prion disease pathogenesis. PMID:19767653

  19. The Role of Functional Prion-Like Proteins in the Persistence of Memory.

    PubMed

    Si, Kausik; Kandel, Eric R

    2016-01-01

    Prions are a self-templating amyloidogenic state of normal cellular proteins, such as prion protein (PrP). They have been identified as the pathogenic agents, contributing to a number of diseases of the nervous system. However, the discovery that the neuronal RNA-binding protein, cytoplasmic polyadenylation element-binding protein (CPEB), has a prion-like state that is involved in the stabilization of memory raised the possibility that prion-like proteins can serve normal physiological functions in the nervous system. Here, we review recent experimental evidence of prion-like properties of neuronal CPEB in various organisms and propose a model of how the prion-like state may stabilize memory. PMID:27037416

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hodak, Miroslav; Bernholc, Jerry

    2012-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Millhauser, Glenn L.

    2007-05-01

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

  2. Copper and the prion protein: methods, structures, function, and disease.

    PubMed

    Millhauser, Glenn L

    2007-01-01

    The transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) arise from conversion of the membrane-bound prion protein from PrP(C) to PrP(Sc). Examples of the TSEs include mad cow disease, chronic wasting disease in deer and elk, scrapie in goats and sheep, and kuru and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. Although the precise function of PrP(C) in healthy tissues is not known, recent research demonstrates that it binds Cu(II) in an unusual and highly conserved region of the protein termed the octarepeat domain. This review describes recent connections between copper and PrP(C), with an emphasis on the electron paramagnetic resonance elucidation of the specific copper-binding sites, insights into PrP(C) function, and emerging connections between copper and prion disease. PMID:17076634

  3. Uptake and dynamics of infectious prion protein in the intestine.

    PubMed

    Ano, Yasuhisa; Sakudo, Akikazu; Nakayama, Hiroyuki; Onodera, Takashi

    2009-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are characterized by the accumulation of a protease-resistant abnormal isoform of the prion protein (PrPSc), which is converted from the cellular isoform of the prion protein (PrPC). In the oral transmission of prion protein, PrPSc can invade a host body through the intestinal tract. There is only limited information available on how the infectious agent passes through one or several biological barriers before it can finally reach the brain. After oral administration, PrPSc withstands the digestive process and may be incorporated by microfold (M) cells or villous columnar epithelial cells in the intestine. After entry into the intestinal epithelium, PrPSc accumulates and is amplified in follicular dendritic cells (FDCs) within Peyer's patches and other isolated lymphoid follicles possibly by an interaction with dendritic cells or macrophages. Following accumulation in gut-associated lymphoid tissues, PrPSc is thought to move to the enteric nervous systems (ENS) by an interaction with FDCs or dendritic cells. As a result of neuroinvasion into the ENS, PrPSc spreads to the central nervous system. In addition, an epidemiological study suggested that most bovine spongiform encephalopathy cases had been exposed to the agent in the first 6 months of life. Developments of the intestinal defense and immune system may be involved in the susceptibility to infection. PMID:19275737

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  5. Octarepeat changes of prion protein in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Wang, Vinchi; Chuang, Tzu-Chao; Soong, Bing-Wen; Shan, Din-E; Kao, Ming-Ching

    2009-01-01

    Polymorphism in prion protein (PrP) is related to different phenotypes of spongiform encephalopathies and some mental illnesses. The octarepeat region of PrP, encompassing the codon 51 through 91, is related to cellular anti-oxidation function and may play a role in genetic contribution of PrP polymorphism to neurodegeneration, such as Parkinson's disease (PD). We analyzed the genomic patterns of PrP gene from 528 subjects and found a predominance of Met/Met variant at codon 129 of PD subjects without significant difference (97.3%, and 96.5% in controls). But among PD subjects there were one with heterozygosity of silent nucleotide substitution (NS) on octarepeats (R1-2-3g-3-4/R1-2-2-3-4) and three with heterozygosity of single copy deletion (CD) on octarepeats (R1-2-3-4/R1-2-2-3-4). Consistent genomic DNA and cDNA sequences were found in a PD subject without any octarepeat changes and the one with NS, but R1-2-3g-3-4/R1-2-2-3-4 of cDNA pattern occurred in the one with genomic CD. This is the first report of the polymorphic PrP octarepeat change among those with parkinsonism. We proposed a hypothesis about an initial secondary hairpin structure of the template strand followed by the transcript "shift backward" due to the high homology of the sequences between R2 and R3 motifs while synthesizing RNA. This phenomenon may be a key step of neurodegeneration resulting from PrP polymorphism and require further studies. PMID:18455951

  6. A cationic tetrapyrrole inhibits toxic activities of the cellular prion protein

    PubMed Central

    Massignan, Tania; Cimini, Sara; Stincardini, Claudia; Cerovic, Milica; Vanni, Ilaria; Elezgarai, Saioa R.; Moreno, Jorge; Stravalaci, Matteo; Negro, Alessandro; Sangiovanni, Valeria; Restelli, Elena; Riccardi, Geraldina; Gobbi, Marco; Castilla, Joaquín; Borsello, Tiziana; Nonno, Romolo; Biasini, Emiliano

    2016-01-01

    Prion diseases are rare neurodegenerative conditions associated with the conformational conversion of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) into PrPSc, a self-replicating isoform (prion) that accumulates in the central nervous system of affected individuals. The structure of PrPSc is poorly defined, and likely to be heterogeneous, as suggested by the existence of different prion strains. The latter represents a relevant problem for therapy in prion diseases, as some potent anti-prion compounds have shown strain-specificity. Designing therapeutics that target PrPC may provide an opportunity to overcome these problems. PrPC ligands may theoretically inhibit the replication of multiple prion strains, by acting on the common substrate of any prion replication reaction. Here, we characterized the properties of a cationic tetrapyrrole [Fe(III)-TMPyP], which was previously shown to bind PrPC, and inhibit the replication of a mouse prion strain. We report that the compound is active against multiple prion strains in vitro and in cells. Interestingly, we also find that Fe(III)-TMPyP inhibits several PrPC-related toxic activities, including the channel-forming ability of a PrP mutant, and the PrPC-dependent synaptotoxicity of amyloid-β (Aβ) oligomers, which are associated with Alzheimer’s Disease. These results demonstrate that molecules binding to PrPC may produce a dual effect of blocking prion replication and inhibiting PrPC-mediated toxicity. PMID:26976106

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

    PubMed Central

    Daus, Martin L.

    2016-01-01

    In 1982, the term “prions” (proteinaceous infectious particles) was coined to specify a new principle of infection. A misfolded isoform of a cellular protein has been described as the causative agent of a fatal neurodegenerative disease. At the beginning of prion research scientists assumed that the infectious agent causing transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) was a virus, but some unconventional properties of these pathogens were difficult to bring in line with the prevailing viral model. The discovery that prions (obviously devoid of any coding nucleic acid) can store and transmit information similarly to DNA was initially even denoted as being “heretical” but is nowadays mainly accepted by the scientific community. This review describes, from a historical point of view, how the “protein-only hypothesis” expands the Central Dogma. Definition of both, the prion principle and the Central Dogma, have been essential steps to understand information storage and transfer within and among cells and organisms. Furthermore, the current understanding of the infectivity of prion-proteins after misfolding is summarized succinctly. Finally, prion-like amyloids and functional amyloids, as found in yeast and bacteria, will be discussed. PMID:26742083

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26086786

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

    PubMed Central

    Raymond, Lynne D.; Hughson, Andrew G.; Nonno, Romolo; Zou, Wenquan; Ghetti, Bernardino; Gambetti, Pierluigi; Caughey, Byron

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26086786

  10. Molecular dynamics studies on the structural stability of wild-type dog prion protein.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jiapu; Liu, David D W

    2011-06-01

    Prion diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob diseases, Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome, Fatal Familial Insomnia, Kuru in humans, scrapie in sheep, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (or 'mad-cow' disease) and chronic wasting disease in cattle are invariably fatal and highly infectious neurodegenerative diseases affecting humans and animals. However, by now there have not been some effective therapeutic approaches to treat all these prion diseases. In 2008, canine mammals including dogs (canis familials) were the first time academically reported to be resistant to prion diseases (Vaccine 26: 2601-2614 (2008)). Thus, it is very worth studying the molecular structures of dog prion protein to obtain insights into the immunity of dogs to prion diseases. This paper studies the molecular structural dynamics of wild-type dog prion protein. The comparison analyses with rabbit prion protein show that the dog prion protein has stable molecular structures whether under neutral or low pH environments. We also find that the salt bridges such as D177-R163 contribute to the structural stability of wild-type rabbit prion protein under neutral pH environment. PMID:21469747

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  12. In Vitro and In Vivo Neurotoxicity of Prion Protein Oligomers

    PubMed Central

    Simoneau, Steve; Rezaei, Human; Salès, Nicole; Kaiser-Schulz, Gunnar; Lefebvre-Roque, Maxime; Vidal, Catherine; Fournier, Jean-Guy; Comte, Julien; Wopfner, Franziska; Grosclaude, Jeanne; Schätzl, Hermann; Lasmézas, Corinne Ida

    2007-01-01

    The mechanisms underlying prion-linked neurodegeneration remain to be elucidated, despite several recent advances in this field. Herein, we show that soluble, low molecular weight oligomers of the full-length prion protein (PrP), which possess characteristics of PrP to PrPsc conversion intermediates such as partial protease resistance, are neurotoxic in vitro on primary cultures of neurons and in vivo after subcortical stereotaxic injection. Monomeric PrP was not toxic. Insoluble, fibrillar forms of PrP exhibited no toxicity in vitro and were less toxic than their oligomeric counterparts in vivo. The toxicity was independent of PrP expression in the neurons both in vitro and in vivo for the PrP oligomers and in vivo for the PrP fibrils. Rescue experiments with antibodies showed that the exposure of the hydrophobic stretch of PrP at the oligomeric surface was necessary for toxicity. This study identifies toxic PrP species in vivo. It shows that PrP-induced neurodegeneration shares common mechanisms with other brain amyloidoses like Alzheimer disease and opens new avenues for neuroprotective intervention strategies of prion diseases targeting PrP oligomers. PMID:17784787

  13. The genetics of prion diseases.

    PubMed

    Mastrianni, James A

    2010-04-01

    Prion diseases are a rare group of fatal neurodegenerative disorders of humans and animals that manifest primarily as progressive dementia and ataxia. Unique to these diseases is the prion, a misfolded isoform of the prion protein that can transmit disease from cell to cell or host to host by associating with, and transforming, normal prion protein into the misfolded isoform (the pathogenic scrapie-inducing form). Although the majority of cases occur on a sporadic basis, and rarely result from exposure to prions, such as mad cow disease, 10-15% are attributable to the presence of an autosomal dominant mutation of the prion protein gene (PRNP). Single base pair changes, or the insertion of one or more multiples of a 24 base pair repeat segment, make up the known sequence alterations of PRNP associated with genetic prion disease. The common polymorphic codon 129 of PRNP also plays an important and complex role in risk and phenotype of sporadic and genetic prion disease. This review will focus on the clinical and histopathologic features of the genetic prion diseases. Selected mutations will be highlighted as a way to illustrate general phenotype-genotype correlations. PMID:20216075

  14. Species barrier in prion diseases: a kinetic interpretation based on the conformational adaptation of the prion protein.

    PubMed Central

    Kellershohn, N; Laurent, M

    1998-01-01

    Prion diseases are thought to result from the conformational change of the normal cellular prion protein to a pathogenic protease-resistant isoform. However, brain extracts not containing the protease-resistant isoform of the prion protein can be infectious following interspecies transmission. The 'protein-only' hypothesis of pathogenesis is extended to provide possible explanations which could be interpreted in terms of a different infectious agent. It is proposed that normal cellular protein (PrPC) may be transformed into a form (PrP*) that is conformationally distinct from the host-specific abnormal isoform (PrPSc). In infection from a heterologous donor, the dimeric forms of heterologous PrPSc, which may catalyse the formation of host PrP* from PrPC, host PrP* and host PrPSc are all considered to be capable of catalysing, to some extent, the conversion of PrPC into PrPSc. However, depending on the species involved, PrP* may, or may not, be pathogenic, and may, or may not, be sensitive to proteolysis. It is shown, by numerical integration of the differential rate equations derived from this model, that a strain may be stabilized after two or three passages through a different species and that transmission might occur in the absence of detectable protease-resistant prion protein. The natural transmission of scrapie to cattle is discussed in relation to the model. PMID:9729459

  15. Fate of prions in soil: trapped conformation of full-length ovine prion protein induced by adsorption on clays.

    PubMed

    Revault, M; Quiquampoix, H; Baron, M H; Noinville, S

    2005-08-01

    Studying the mechanism of retention of ovine prion protein in soils will tackle the environmental aspect of potential dissemination of scrapie infectious agent. We consider the surface-induced conformational changes that the recombinant ovine prion protein (ovPrP) may undergo under different pH conditions when interacting with soil minerals of highly adsorptive capacities such as montmorillonite. The conformational states of the full-length ovine prion protein adsorbed on the electronegative clay surface are compared to its solvated state in deuterated buffer in the pD range 3.5-9, using FTIR spectroscopy. The in vitro pH-induced conversion of the alpha-helical monomer of ovPrP into oligomers of beta-like structure prone to self-aggregation does not occur when the protein is adsorbed on the clay surface. The conformation of the trapped ovPrP molecules on montmorillonite is pH-independent and looks like that of the ovPrP solvated state at pD higher than 7, suggesting the major role of Arg and Lys residues in the electrostatic origin of adsorption. The uneven distribution of positively and negatively charged residues of the ovPrP protein would promote a favored orientation of the protein towards the clay, so that not only the basic residues embedded in the N-terminal flexible part but also external basic residues in the globular part of the protein might participate to the attractive interaction. From these results, it appears unlikely that the interaction of normal prions (PrP(C)) with soil clay surfaces could induce a change of conformation leading to the pathogenic form of prions (PrP(Sc)). PMID:15950385

  16. Fatal Transmissible Amyloid Encephalopathy: A New Type of Prion Disease Associated with Lack of Prion Protein Membrane Anchoring

    PubMed Central

    Chesebro, Bruce; Race, Brent; Meade-White, Kimberly; LaCasse, Rachel; Race, Richard; Klingeborn, Mikael; Striebel, James; Dorward, David; McGovern, Gillian; Jeffrey, Martin

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:20221436

  17. Recombinant Prion Protein Refolded with Lipid and RNA Has the Biochemical Hallmarks of a Prion but Lacks In Vivo Infectivity

    PubMed Central

    Timmes, Andrew G.; Moore, Roger A.; Fischer, Elizabeth R.; Priola, Suzette A.

    2013-01-01

    During prion infection, the normal, protease-sensitive conformation of prion protein (PrPC) is converted via seeded polymerization to an abnormal, infectious conformation with greatly increased protease-resistance (PrPSc). In vitro, protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) uses PrPSc in prion-infected brain homogenates as an initiating seed to convert PrPC and trigger the self-propagation of PrPSc over many cycles of amplification. While PMCA reactions produce high levels of protease-resistant PrP, the infectious titer is often lower than that of brain-derived PrPSc. More recently, PMCA techniques using bacterially derived recombinant PrP (rPrP) in the presence of lipid and RNA but in the absence of any starting PrPSc seed have been used to generate infectious prions that cause disease in wild-type mice with relatively short incubation times. These data suggest that lipid and/or RNA act as cofactors to facilitate the de novo formation of high levels of prion infectivity. Using rPrP purified by two different techniques, we generated a self-propagating protease-resistant rPrP molecule that, regardless of the amount of RNA and lipid used, had a molecular mass, protease resistance and insolubility similar to that of PrPSc. However, we were unable to detect prion infectivity in any of our reactions using either cell-culture or animal bioassays. These results demonstrate that the ability to self-propagate into a protease-resistant insoluble conformer is not unique to infectious PrP molecules. They suggest that the presence of RNA and lipid cofactors may facilitate the spontaneous refolding of PrP into an infectious form while also allowing the de novo formation of self-propagating, but non-infectious, rPrP-res. PMID:23936256

  18. Ubiquitin ligase gp78 targets unglycosylated prion protein PrP for ubiquitylation and degradation.

    PubMed

    Shao, Jia; Choe, Vitnary; Cheng, Haili; Tsai, Yien Che; Weissman, Allan M; Luo, Shiwen; Rao, Hai

    2014-01-01

    Prion protein PrP is a central player in several devastating neurodegenerative disorders, including mad cow disease and Creutzfeltd-Jacob disease. Conformational alteration of PrP into an aggregation-prone infectious form PrPSc can trigger pathogenic events. How levels of PrP are regulated is poorly understood. Human PrP is known to be degraded by the proteasome, but the specific proteolytic pathway responsible for PrP destruction remains elusive. Here, we demonstrate that the ubiquitin ligase gp78, known for its role in protein quality control, is critical for unglycosylated PrP ubiquitylation and degradation. Furthermore, C-terminal sequences of PrP protein are crucial for its ubiquitylation and degradation. Our study reveals the first ubiquitin ligase specifically involved in prion protein PrP degradation and PrP sequences crucial for its turnover. Our data may lead to a new avenue to control PrP level and pathogenesis. PMID:24714645

  19. Prion protein inhibits microtubule assembly by inducing tubulin oligomerization

    SciTech Connect

    Nieznanski, Krzysztof . E-mail: k.nieznanski@nencki.gov.pl; Podlubnaya, Zoya A.; Nieznanska, Hanna

    2006-10-13

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

  20. Molecular dynamics studies on the buffalo prion protein.

    PubMed

    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

  1. Curcumin Reduces Amyloid Fibrillation of Prion Protein and Decreases Reactive Oxidative Stress

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Chi-Fen; Yu, Kun-Hua; Jheng, Cheng-Ping; Chung, Raymond; Lee, Cheng-I

    2013-01-01

    Misfolding and aggregation into amyloids of the prion protein (PrP) is responsible for the development of fatal transmissible neurodegenerative diseases. Various studies on curcumin demonstrate promise for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and inhibition of PrPres accumulation. To evaluate the effect of curcumin on amyloid fibrillation of prion protein, we first investigated the effect of curcumin on mouse prion protein (mPrP) in a cell-free system. Curcumin reduced the prion fibril formation significantly. Furthermore, we monitored the change in apoptosis and reactive oxygen species (ROS) level upon curcumin treatment in mouse neuroblastoma cells (N2a). Curcumin effectively rescues the cells from apoptosis and decreases the ROS level caused by subsequent co-incubation with prion amyloid fibrils. The assays in cell-free mPrP and in N2a cells of this work verified the promising effect of curcumin on the prevention of transmissible neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:25437204

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  3. Proline and lysine residues provide modulatory switches in amyloid formation: Insights from prion protein.

    PubMed

    Kraus, Allison

    2016-01-01

    Amyloidogenic proteins have an increased propensity to reorganize into the highly structured, β sheet rich structures that characterize amyloid. The probability of attaining these highly structured assemblies is influenced by multiple factors, including amino acid composition and environmental conditions. Evolutionary selection for amino acid sequences that prevent amyloid formation could further modulate amyloid-forming propensity. Indeed, we have recently identified specific proline and lysine residues, contained within a highly conserved central region of prion protein (PrP), that impede PrP amyloid formation in vitro. These prolines are mutated in certain forms of the human familial genetic disease, Gerstmann-Straüssler-Schneiker (GSS) syndrome. Here, I discuss the influence of these proline and lysine residues on PrP amyloid formation and how such anti-amyloidogenic primary amino acid sequences might be modulated to influence protein amyloidogenicity. PMID:26864641

  4. Non-amyloid and amyloid prion protein deposits in prion-infected mice differ in blockage of interstitial brain fluid

    PubMed Central

    Rangel, Alejandra; Race, Brent; Striebel, James; Chesebro, Bruce

    2012-01-01

    Aims Prion diseases are characterized by brain deposits of misfolded aggregated protease-resistant prion protein (PrP), termed PrPres. In humans and animals, PrPres is found as either disorganized non-amyloid aggregates or organized amyloid fibrils. Both PrPres forms are found in extracellular spaces of the brain. Thus, both might block drainage of brain interstitial fluid (ISF). The present experiments studied whether ISF blockage occurred during amyloid and/or non-amyloid prion diseases. Methods Various-sized fluorescein-labeled ISF tracers were stereotactically inoculated into the striatum of adult mice. At times from 5 min to 77 hours, uninfected and scrapie-infected mice were compared. C57BL/10 mice expressing wild-type anchored PrP, which develop non-amyloid PrPres similar to humans with sporadic CJD, were compared with Tg44+/+ mice expressing anchorless PrP, which develop amyloid PrPres similar to certain human familial prion diseases. Results In C57BL/10 mice, extensive non-amyloid PrPres aggregate deposition was not associated with abnormal clearance kinetics of tracers. In contrast, scrapie-infected Tg44+/+ mice showed blockage of tracer clearance and co-localization of tracer with perivascular PrPres amyloid. Conclusions Since tracer localization and clearance was normal in infected C57BL/10 mice, ISF blockage was not an important pathogenic mechanism in this model. Therefore, ISF blockage is unlikely to be a problem in non-amyloid human prion diseases such as sporadic CJD. In contrast, partial ISF blockage appeared to be a possible pathogenic mechanism in Tg44+/+ mice. Thus this mechanism might also influence human amyloid prion diseases where expression of anchorless or mutated PrP results in perivascular amyloid PrPres deposition and cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA). PMID:22998478

  5. Computational analysis of candidate prion-like proteins in bacteria and their role

    PubMed Central

    Iglesias, Valentin; de Groot, Natalia S.; Ventura, Salvador

    2015-01-01

    Prion proteins were initially associated with diseases such as Creutzfeldt Jakob and transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. However, deeper research revealed them as versatile tools, exploited by the cells to execute fascinating functions, acting as epigenetic elements or building membrane free compartments in eukaryotes. One of the most intriguing properties of prion proteins is their ability to propagate a conformational assembly, even across species. In this context, it has been observed that bacterial amyloids can trigger the formation of protein aggregates by interacting with host proteins. As our life is closely linked to bacteria, either through a parasitic or symbiotic relationship, prion-like proteins produced by bacterial cells might play a role in this association. Bioinformatics is helping us to understand the factors that determine conformational conversion and infectivity in prion-like proteins. We have used PrionScan to detect prion domains in 839 different bacteria proteomes, detecting 2200 putative prions in these organisms. We studied this set of proteins in order to try to understand their functional role and structural properties. Our results suggest that these bacterial polypeptides are associated to peripheral rearrangement, macromolecular assembly, cell adaptability, and invasion. Overall, these data could reveal new threats and therapeutic targets associated to infectious diseases. PMID:26528269

  6. Inhibition of the FKBP family of peptidyl prolyl isomerases induces abortive translocation and degradation of the cellular prion protein

    PubMed Central

    Stocki, Pawel; Sawicki, Maxime; Mays, Charles E.; Hong, Seo Jung; Chapman, Daniel C.; Westaway, David; Williams, David B.

    2016-01-01

    Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders for which there is no effective treatment. Because the cellular prion protein (PrPC) is required for propagation of the infectious scrapie form of the protein, one therapeutic strategy is to reduce PrPC expression. Recently FK506, an inhibitor of the FKBP family of peptidyl prolyl isomerases, was shown to increase survival in animal models of prion disease, with proposed mechanisms including calcineurin inhibition, induction of autophagy, and reduced PrPC expression. We show that FK506 treatment results in a profound reduction in PrPC expression due to a defect in the translocation of PrPC into the endoplasmic reticulum with subsequent degradation by the proteasome. These phenotypes could be bypassed by replacing the PrPC signal sequence with that of prolactin or osteopontin. In mouse cells, depletion of ER luminal FKBP10 was almost as potent as FK506 in attenuating expression of PrPC. However, this occurred at a later stage, after translocation of PrPC into the ER. Both FK506 treatment and FKBP10 depletion were effective in reducing PrPSc propagation in cell models. These findings show the involvement of FKBP proteins at different stages of PrPC biogenesis and identify FKBP10 as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of prion diseases. PMID:26764098

  7. Inhibition of the FKBP family of peptidyl prolyl isomerases induces abortive translocation and degradation of the cellular prion protein.

    PubMed

    Stocki, Pawel; Sawicki, Maxime; Mays, Charles E; Hong, Seo Jung; Chapman, Daniel C; Westaway, David; Williams, David B

    2016-03-01

    Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders for which there is no effective treatment. Because the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) is required for propagation of the infectious scrapie form of the protein, one therapeutic strategy is to reduce PrP(C) expression. Recently FK506, an inhibitor of the FKBP family of peptidyl prolyl isomerases, was shown to increase survival in animal models of prion disease, with proposed mechanisms including calcineurin inhibition, induction of autophagy, and reduced PrP(C) expression. We show that FK506 treatment results in a profound reduction in PrP(C) expression due to a defect in the translocation of PrP(C) into the endoplasmic reticulum with subsequent degradation by the proteasome. These phenotypes could be bypassed by replacing the PrP(C) signal sequence with that of prolactin or osteopontin. In mouse cells, depletion of ER luminal FKBP10 was almost as potent as FK506 in attenuating expression of PrP(C). However, this occurred at a later stage, after translocation of PrP(C) into the ER. Both FK506 treatment and FKBP10 depletion were effective in reducing PrP(Sc) propagation in cell models. These findings show the involvement of FKBP proteins at different stages of PrP(C) biogenesis and identify FKBP10 as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of prion diseases. PMID:26764098

  8. Selective expression of prion protein in peripheral tissues of the adult mouse.

    PubMed

    Ford, M J; Burton, L J; Morris, R J; Hall, S M

    2002-01-01

    The level of expression of normal cellular prion protein, PrP(c) (cellular prion protein), controls both the rate and the route of neuroinvasive infection, from peripheral entry portal to the CNS. Paradoxically, an overview of the distribution of PrP(c) within tissues outside the CNS is lacking. We have used novel antibodies that recognise cellular prion protein in glutaraldehyde-fixed tissue (in order to optimise immunohistochemical labelling of this conformationally labile protein), in combination with in situ hybridisation, to examine the expression of PrP(c) in peripheral tissues of the adult mouse. We found that although prion protein is expressed in many tissues, it is expressed at high levels only in discrete subpopulations of cells. Prominent amongst these are elements of the "hardwired neuroimmune network" that integrate the body's immune defence and neuroendocrine systems under CNS control. These prion protein-expressing elements include small diameter afferent nerves in the skin and the lamina propria of the aerodigestive tract, sympathetic ganglia and nerves, antigen presenting and processing cells (both follicular and non-follicular dendritic cells) and sub-populations of lymphocytes particularly in skin, gut- and bronchus-associated lymphoid tissues. Prion protein is also expressed in the parasympathetic and enteric nervous systems, in the dispersed neuroendocrine system, and in peripheral nervous system axons and their associated Schwann cells. This selective expression of cellular prion protein provides a variety of alternative routes for the propagation and transport of prion infection entering from peripheral sites, either naturally (via the aerodigestive tract or abraded skin) or experimentally (by intraperitoneal injection) to the brain. Key regulatory cells that express prion protein, and in particular enteroendocrine cells in the mucosal wall of the gut, and dendritic cells that convey pathogens from epithelial layers to secondary lymphoid

  9. Copper-dependent co-internalization of the prion protein and glypican-1.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Fang; Lindqvist, Josefin; Haigh, Cathryn L; Brown, David R; Mani, Katrin

    2006-09-01

    Heparan sulfate chains have been found to be associated with amyloid deposits in a number of diseases including transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. Diverse lines of evidence have linked proteoglycans and their glycosaminoglycan chains, and especially heparan sulfate, to the metabolism of the prion protein isoforms. Glypicans are a family of glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored, heparan sulfate-containing, cell-associated proteoglycans. Cysteines in glypican-1 can become nitrosylated by endogenously produced nitric oxide. When glypican-1 is exposed to a reducing agent, such as ascorbate, nitric oxide is released and autocatalyses deaminative cleavage of heparan sulfate chains. These processes take place while glypican-1 recycles via a non-classical, caveolin-associated pathway. We have previously demonstrated that prion protein provides the Cu2+ ions required to nitrosylate thiol groups in the core protein of glypican-1. By using confocal immunofluorescence microscopy and immunomagnetic techniques, we now show that copper induces co-internalization of prion protein and glypican-1 from the cell surface to perinuclear compartments. We find that prion protein is controlling both the internalization of glypican-1 and its nitric oxide-dependent autoprocessing. Silencing glypican-1 expression has no effect on copper-stimulated prion protein endocytosis, but in cells expressing a prion protein construct lacking the copper binding domain internalization of glypican-1 is much reduced and autoprocessing is abrogated. We also demonstrate that heparan sulfate chains of glypican-1 are poorly degraded in prion null fibroblasts. The addition of either Cu2+ ions, nitric oxide donors, ascorbate or ectopic expression of prion protein restores heparan sulfate degradation. These results indicate that the interaction between glypican-1 and Cu2+-loaded prion protein is required both for co-internalization and glypican-1 self-pruning. PMID:16923158

  10. Generation of prions in vitro and the protein-only hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Diaz-Espinoza, Rodrigo

    2010-01-01

    Prions are self-propagating proteinaceous infectious agents capable of transmitting disease in the absence of nucleic acids. The nature of the infectious agent in prion diseases has been at the center of passionate debate for the past 30 years. However, recent reports on the in vitro generation of prions have settled all doubts that the misfolded prion protein (PrPSc) is the key component in propagating infectivity. However, we still do not understand completely the mechanism of prion replication and whether or not other cellular factors besides PrPSc are required for infectivity. In this article, we discuss these recent reports under the context of the protein-only hypothesis and their implications. PMID:20448454

  11. Shotgun protein sequencing.

    SciTech Connect

    Faulon, Jean-Loup Michel; Heffelfinger, Grant S.

    2009-06-01

    A novel experimental and computational technique based on multiple enzymatic digestion of a protein or protein mixture that reconstructs protein sequences from sequences of overlapping peptides is described in this SAND report. This approach, analogous to shotgun sequencing of DNA, is to be used to sequence alternative spliced proteins, to identify post-translational modifications, and to sequence genetically engineered proteins.

  12. Temporal resolution of misfolded prion protein transport, accumulation, glial activation, and neuronal death in the retinas of mice inoculated with scrapie: relevance to biomarkers of prion disease progression

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  13. Structural Studies of Truncated Forms of the Prion Protein PrP

    PubMed Central

    Wan, William; Wille, Holger; Stöhr, Jan; Kendall, Amy; Bian, Wen; McDonald, Michele; Tiggelaar, Sarah; Watts, Joel C.; Prusiner, Stanley B.; Stubbs, Gerald

    2015-01-01

    Prions are proteins that adopt self-propagating aberrant folds. The self-propagating properties of prions are a direct consequence of their distinct structures, making the understanding of these structures and their biophysical interactions fundamental to understanding prions and their related diseases. The insolubility and inherent disorder of prions have made their structures difficult to study, particularly in the case of the infectious form of the mammalian prion protein PrP. Many investigators have therefore preferred to work with peptide fragments of PrP, suggesting that these peptides might serve as structural and functional models for biologically active prions. We have used x-ray fiber diffraction to compare a series of different-sized fragments of PrP, to determine the structural commonalities among the fragments and the biologically active, self-propagating prions. Although all of the peptides studied adopted amyloid conformations, only the larger fragments demonstrated a degree of structural complexity approaching that of PrP. Even these larger fragments did not adopt the prion structure itself with detailed fidelity, and in some cases their structures were radically different from that of pathogenic PrPSc. PMID:25809267

  14. Characterization of Conformation-dependent Prion Protein Epitopes*

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Hae-Eun; Weng, Chu Chun; Saijo, Eri; Saylor, Vicki; Bian, Jifeng; Kim, Sehun; Ramos, Laylaa; Angers, Rachel; Langenfeld, Katie; Khaychuk, Vadim; Calvi, Carla; Bartz, Jason; Hunter, Nora; Telling, Glenn C.

    2012-01-01

    Whereas prion replication involves structural rearrangement of cellular prion protein (PrPC), the existence of conformational epitopes remains speculative and controversial, and PrP transformation is monitored by immunoblot detection of PrP(27–30), a protease-resistant counterpart of the pathogenic scrapie form (PrPSc) of PrP. We now describe the involvement of specific amino acids in conformational determinants of novel monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) raised against randomly chimeric PrP. Epitope recognition of two mAbs depended on polymorphisms controlling disease susceptibility. Detection by one, referred to as PRC5, required alanine and asparagine at discontinuous mouse PrP residues 132 and 158, which acquire proximity when residues 126–218 form a structured globular domain. The discontinuous epitope of glycosylation-dependent mAb PRC7 also mapped within this domain at residues 154 and 185. In accordance with their conformational dependence, tertiary structure perturbations compromised recognition by PRC5, PRC7, as well as previously characterized mAbs whose epitopes also reside in the globular domain, whereas conformation-independent epitopes proximal or distal to this region were refractory to such destabilizing treatments. Our studies also address the paradox of how conformational epitopes remain functional following denaturing treatments and indicate that cellular PrP and PrP(27–30) both renature to a common structure that reconstitutes the globular domain. PMID:22948149

  15. To develop with or without the prion protein

    PubMed Central

    Halliez, Sophie; Passet, Bruno; Martin-Lannerée, Séverine; Hernandez-Rapp, Julia; Laude, Hubert; Mouillet-Richard, Sophie; Vilotte, Jean-Luc; Béringue, Vincent

    2014-01-01

    The deletion of the cellular form of the prion protein (PrPC) in mouse, goat, and cattle has no drastic phenotypic consequence. This stands in apparent contradiction with PrPC quasi-ubiquitous expression and conserved primary and tertiary structures in mammals, and its pivotal role in neurodegenerative diseases such as prion and Alzheimer's diseases. In zebrafish embryos, depletion of PrP ortholog leads to a severe loss-of-function phenotype. This raises the question of a potential role of PrPC in the development of all vertebrates. This view is further supported by the early expression of the PrPC encoding gene (Prnp) in many tissues of the mouse embryo, the transient disruption of a broad number of cellular pathways in early Prnp−/− mouse embryos, and a growing body of evidence for PrPC involvement in the regulation of cell proliferation and differentiation in various types of mammalian stem cells and progenitors. Finally, several studies in both zebrafish embryos and in mammalian cells and tissues in formation support a role for PrPC in cell adhesion, extra-cellular matrix interactions and cytoskeleton. In this review, we summarize and compare the different models used to decipher PrPC functions at early developmental stages during embryo- and organo-genesis and discuss their relevance. PMID:25364763

  16. Transport of the Pathogenic Prion Protein through Landfill Materials

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  17. CRISPR-Cas9-based knockout of the prion protein and its effect on the proteome.

    PubMed

    Mehrabian, Mohadeseh; Brethour, Dylan; MacIsaac, Sarah; Kim, Jin Kyu; Gunawardana, C Geeth; Wang, Hansen; Schmitt-Ulms, Gerold

    2014-01-01

    The molecular function of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) and the mechanism by which it may contribute to neurotoxicity in prion diseases and Alzheimer's disease are only partially understood. Mouse neuroblastoma Neuro2a cells and, more recently, C2C12 myocytes and myotubes have emerged as popular models for investigating the cellular biology of PrP. Mouse epithelial NMuMG cells might become attractive models for studying the possible involvement of PrP in a morphogenetic program underlying epithelial-to-mesenchymal transitions. Here we describe the generation of PrP knockout clones from these cell lines using CRISPR-Cas9 knockout technology. More specifically, knockout clones were generated with two separate guide RNAs targeting recognition sites on opposite strands within the first hundred nucleotides of the Prnp coding sequence. Several PrP knockout clones were isolated and genomic insertions and deletions near the CRISPR-target sites were characterized. Subsequently, deep quantitative global proteome analyses that recorded the relative abundance of>3000 proteins (data deposited to ProteomeXchange Consortium) were undertaken to begin to characterize the molecular consequences of PrP deficiency. The levels of ∼ 120 proteins were shown to reproducibly correlate with the presence or absence of PrP, with most of these proteins belonging to extracellular components, cell junctions or the cytoskeleton. PMID:25490046

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

    PubMed

    McCulloch, Laura; Brown, Karen L; Bradford, Barry M; Hopkins, John; Bailey, Mick; Rajewsky, Klaus; Manson, Jean C; Mabbott, Neil A

    2011-12-01

    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. PMID:22144895

  19. Cooperative binding modes of Cu(II) in prion protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hodak, Miroslav; Chisnell, Robin; Lu, Wenchang; Bernholc, Jerry

    2007-03-01

    The misfolding of the prion protein, PrP, is responsible for a group of neurodegenerative diseases including mad cow disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. It is known that the PrP can efficiently bind copper ions; four high-affinity binding sites located in the octarepeat region of PrP are now well known. Recent experiments suggest that at low copper concentrations new binding modes, in which one copper ion is shared between two or more binding sites, are possible. Using our hybrid Thomas-Fermi/DFT computational scheme, which is well suited for simulations of biomolecules in solution, we investigate the geometries and energetics of two, three and four binding sites cooperatively binding one copper ion. These geometries are then used as inputs for classical molecular dynamics simulations. We find that copper binding affects the secondary structure of the PrP and that it stabilizes the unstructured (unfolded) part of the protein.

  20. Prion Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Geschwind, Michael D.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose of Review This article presents an update on the clinical aspects of human prion disease, including the wide spectrum of their presentations. Recent Findings Prion diseases, a group of disorders caused by abnormally shaped proteins called prions, occur in sporadic (Jakob-Creutzfeldt disease), genetic (genetic Jakob-Creutzfeldt disease, Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome, and fatal familial insomnia), and acquired (kuru, variant Jakob-Creutzfeldt disease, and iatrogenic Jakob-Creutzfeldt disease) forms. This article presents updated information on the clinical features and diagnostic methods for human prion diseases. New antemortem potential diagnostic tests based on amplifying prions in order to detect them are showing very high specificity. Understanding of the diversity of possible presentations of human prion diseases continues to evolve, with some genetic forms progressing slowly over decades, beginning with dysautonomia and neuropathy and progressing to a frontal-executive dementia with pathology of combined prionopathy and tauopathy. Unfortunately, to date, all human prion disease clinical trials have failed to show survival benefit. A very rare polymorphism in the prion protein gene recently has been identified that appears to protect against prion disease; this finding, in addition to providing greater understanding of the prionlike mechanisms of neurodegenerative disorders, might lead to potential treatments. Summary Sporadic Jakob-Creutzfeldt disease is the most common form of human prion disease. Genetic prion diseases, resulting from mutations in the prion-related protein gene (PRNP), are classified based on the mutation, clinical phenotype, and neuropathologic features and can be difficult to diagnose because of their varied presentations. Perhaps most relevant to this Continuum issue on neuroinfectious diseases, acquired prion diseases are caused by accidental transmission to humans, but fortunately, they are the least common form and

  1. Identification of a prion protein epitope modulating transmission of bovine spongiform encephalopathy prions to transgenic mice

    PubMed Central

    Scott, Michael R.; Safar, Jiri; Telling, Glenn; Nguyen, Oanh; Groth, Darlene; Torchia, Marilyn; Koehler, Ruth; Tremblay, Patrick; Walther, Dirk; Cohen, Fred E.; DeArmond, Stephen J.; Prusiner, Stanley B.

    1997-01-01

    There is considerable concern that bovine prions from cattle with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) may have been passed to humans (Hu), resulting in a new form of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD). We report here the transmission of bovine (Bo) prions to transgenic (Tg) mice expressing BoPrP; one Tg line exhibited incubation times of ≈200 days. Like most cattle with BSE, vacuolation and astrocytic gliosis were confined in the brainstems of these Tg mice. Unexpectedly, mice expressing a chimeric Bo/Mo PrP transgene were resistant to BSE prions whereas mice expressing Hu or Hu/Mo PrP transgenes were susceptible to Hu prions. A comparison of differences in Mo, Bo, and Hu residues within the C terminus of PrP defines an epitope that modulates conversion of PrPC into PrPSc and, as such, controls prion transmission across species. Development of susceptible Tg(BoPrP) mice provides a means of measuring bovine prions that may prove critical in minimizing future human exposure. PMID:9405603

  2. A cationic tetrapyrrole inhibits toxic activities of the cellular prion protein.

    PubMed

    Massignan, Tania; Cimini, Sara; Stincardini, Claudia; Cerovic, Milica; Vanni, Ilaria; Elezgarai, Saioa R; Moreno, Jorge; Stravalaci, Matteo; Negro, Alessandro; Sangiovanni, Valeria; Restelli, Elena; Riccardi, Geraldina; Gobbi, Marco; Castilla, Joaquín; Borsello, Tiziana; Nonno, Romolo; Biasini, Emiliano

    2016-01-01

    Prion diseases are rare neurodegenerative conditions associated with the conformational conversion of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) into PrP(Sc), a self-replicating isoform (prion) that accumulates in the central nervous system of affected individuals. The structure of PrP(Sc) is poorly defined, and likely to be heterogeneous, as suggested by the existence of different prion strains. The latter represents a relevant problem for therapy in prion diseases, as some potent anti-prion compounds have shown strain-specificity. Designing therapeutics that target PrP(C) may provide an opportunity to overcome these problems. PrP(C) ligands may theoretically inhibit the replication of multiple prion strains, by acting on the common substrate of any prion replication reaction. Here, we characterized the properties of a cationic tetrapyrrole [Fe(III)-TMPyP], which was previously shown to bind PrP(C), and inhibit the replication of a mouse prion strain. We report that the compound is active against multiple prion strains in vitro and in cells. Interestingly, we also find that Fe(III)-TMPyP inhibits several PrP(C)-related toxic activities, including the channel-forming ability of a PrP mutant, and the PrP(C)-dependent synaptotoxicity of amyloid-β (Aβ) oligomers, which are associated with Alzheimer's Disease. These results demonstrate that molecules binding to PrP(C) may produce a dual effect of blocking prion replication and inhibiting PrP(C)-mediated toxicity. PMID:26976106

  3. The prion-related protein (testis-specific) gene (PRNT) is highly polymorphic in Portuguese sheep.

    PubMed

    Mesquita, P; Garcia, V; Marques, M R; Santos Silva, F; Oliveira Sousa, M C; Carolino, I; Pimenta, J; Fontes, C M G A; Horta, A E M; Prates, J A M; Pereira, R M

    2016-02-01

    The objective of this study was to search for polymorphisms in the ovine prion-related protein (testis-specific) gene (PRNT). Sampling included 567 sheep from eight Portuguese breeds. The PRNT gene-coding region was analyzed by single-strand conformation polymorphism and sequencing, allowing the identification of the first ovine PRNT polymorphisms, in codons 6, 38, 43 and 48: c.17C>T (p.Ser6Phe, which disrupts a consensus arginine-X-X-serine/threonine motif); c.112G>C (p.Gly38>Arg); c.129T>C and c.144A>G (synonymous) respectively. Polymorphisms in codons 6, 38 and 48 occur simultaneously in 50.6% of the animals, 38.8% presenting as heterozygous. To study the distribution of the polymorphism in codon 43, a restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis was performed. Polymorphic variant c.129C, identified in 89.8% of the animals with 32.8% presented as heterozygous, was considered the wild genotype in Portuguese sheep. Eight different haplotypes which have comparable distribution in all breeds were identified for the PRNT gene. In conclusion, the PRNT coding region is highly polymorphic in sheep, unlike the prion protein 2 dublet gene (PRND), in which we previously found only one synonymous substitution (c.78G>A), in codon 26. The absence or reduced number of PRND heterozygotes (c.78G>A) was significantly associated with three PRNT haplotypes (17C-112G-129T-144A,17CT-112GC-129CT-144AG and 17T-112C-129C-144G), and the only three animals found homozygous at c.78A had the 17C-112G-129C-144A PRNT haplotype. These results constitute evidence of an association between polymorphic variation in PRND and PRNT genes, as has already been observed for PRND and prion protein gene (PRNP). PMID:26538093

  4. A sequencing strategy for identifying variation throughout the prion gene of BSE-affected cattle

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cattle prion gene (PRNP) polymorphisms have been associated with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) susceptibility. We developed a method for sequencing bovine PRNP through all exons, introns and part of the promoter (25.2 kb) that accounts for known variation. The method can be used to detect...

  5. Highly Infectious Prions Generated by a Single Round of Microplate-Based Protein Misfolding Cyclic Amplification

    PubMed Central

    Moudjou, Mohammed; Sibille, Pierre; Fichet, Guillaume; Reine, Fabienne; Chapuis, Jérôme; Herzog, Laetitia; Jaumain, Emilie; Laferrière, Florent; Richard, Charles-Adrien; Laude, Hubert; Andréoletti, Olivier; Rezaei, Human; Béringue, Vincent

    2013-01-01

    ABSTRACT Measurements of the presence of prions in biological tissues or fluids rely more and more on cell-free assays. Although protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) has emerged as a valuable, sensitive tool, it is currently hampered by its lack of robustness and rapidity for high-throughput purposes. Here, we made a number of improvements making it possible to amplify the maximum levels of scrapie prions in a single 48-h round and in a microplate format. The amplification rates and the infectious titer of the PMCA-formed prions appeared similar to those derived from the in vivo laboratory bioassays. This enhanced technique also amplified efficiently prions from different species, including those responsible for human variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. This new format should help in developing ultrasensitive, high-throughput prion assays for cognitive, diagnostic, and therapeutic applications. PMID:24381300

  6. Structural and Dynamic Properties of the Human Prion Protein

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Wei; van der Kamp, Marc W.; Daggett, Valerie

    2014-01-01

    Prion diseases involve the conformational conversion of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) to its misfolded pathogenic form (PrPSc). To better understand the structural mechanism of this conversion, we performed extensive all-atom, explicit-solvent molecular-dynamics simulations for three structures of the wild-type human PrP (huPrP) at different pH values and temperatures. Residue 129 is polymorphic, being either Met or Val. Two of the three structures have Met in position 129 and the other has Val. Lowering the pH or raising the temperature induced large conformational changes of the C-terminal globular domain and increased exposure of its hydrophobic core. In some simulations, HA and its preceding S1-HA loop underwent large displacements. The C-terminus of HB was unstable and sometimes partially unfolded. Two hydrophobic residues, Phe-198 and Met-134, frequently became exposed to solvent. These conformational changes became more dramatic at lower pH or higher temperature. Furthermore, Tyr-169 and the S2-HB loop, or the X-loop, were different in the starting structures but converged to common conformations in the simulations for the Met-129, but not the Val-129, protein. α-Strands and β-strands formed in the initially unstructured N-terminus. α-Strand propensity in the N-terminus was different between the Met-129 and Val129 proteins, but β-strand propensity was similar. This study reveals detailed structural and dynamic properties of huPrP, providing insight into the mechanism of the conversion of PrPC to PrPSc. PMID:24606939

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

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jiapu; Wang, Feng

    2014-01-01

    Prion diseases which are serious neurodegenerative diseases that affect humans and animals occur in various of species. Unlike many other neurodegenerative diseases affected by amyloid, prion diseases can be highly infectious. Prion diseases occur in many species. In humans, prion diseases include the fatal human neurodegenerative diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI), Gerstmann-Strussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS) and Kuru etc. In animals, prion diseases are related to the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or 'mad-cow' disease) in cattle, the chronic wasting disease (CWD) found in deer and elk, and scrapie seen in sheep and goats, etc. More seriously, the fact that transmission of the prion diseases across the species barrier to other species such as humans has caused a major public health concern worldwide. For example, the BSE in Europe, the CWD in North America, and variant CJDs (vCJDs) in young people of UK. Fortunately, it is discovered that the hydrophobic region of prion proteins (PrP) controls the formation of diseased prions (PrP(Sc)), which provide some clues in control of such diseases. This article provides a detailed survey of recent studies with respect to the PrP hydrophobic region of human PrP(110-136) using molecular dynamics studies. PMID:25373387

  8. Application of protein misfolding cyclic amplification to detection of prions in anaerobic digestate.

    PubMed

    Gilroyed, Brandon H; Braithwaite, Shannon L; Price, Luke M; Reuter, Tim; Czub, Stefanie; Graham, Catherine; Balachandran, Arumuga; McAllister, Tim A; Belosevic, Miodrag; Neumann, Norman F

    2015-11-01

    The exceptional physio-chemical resistance of prions to established decontamination procedures poses a challenge to assessing the suitability of applied inactivation methods. Prion detection is limited by the sensitivity level of Western blotting or by the cost and time factors of bioassays. In addition, prion detection assays can be limited by either the unique or complex nature of matrices associated with environmental samples. To investigate anaerobic digestion (AD) as a practical and economical approach for potential conversion of specified risk materials (SRM) into value added products (i.e., renewable energy), challenges associated with detection of prions in a complex matrix need to be overcome to determine potential inactivation. Protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) assay, with subsequent Western blot visualization, was used to detect prions within the AD matrix. Anaerobic digestate initially inhibited the PMCA reaction and/or Western blot detection. However, at concentrations of ≤1% of anaerobic digestate, 263K scrapie prions could be amplified and semi-quantitatively detected. Infectious 263K prions were also proven to be bioavailable in the presence of high concentrations of digestate (10-90%). Development of the PMCA application to digestate provides extremely valuable insight into the potential degradation and/or fate of prions in complex biological matrices without requiring expensive and time-consuming bioassays. PMID:26272376

  9. The Cellular Prion Protein: A Player in Immunological Quiescence

    PubMed Central

    Bakkebø, Maren K.; Mouillet-Richard, Sophie; Espenes, Arild; Goldmann, Wilfred; Tatzelt, Jörg; Tranulis, Michael A.

    2015-01-01

    Despite intensive studies since the 1990s, the physiological role of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) remains elusive. Here, we present a novel concept suggesting that PrPC contributes to immunological quiescence in addition to cell protection. PrPC is highly expressed in diverse organs that by multiple means are particularly protected from inflammation, such as the brain, eye, placenta, pregnant uterus, and testes, while at the same time it is expressed in most cells of the lymphoreticular system. In this paradigm, PrPC serves two principal roles: to modulate the inflammatory potential of immune cells and to protect vulnerable parenchymal cells against noxious insults generated through inflammation. Here, we review studies of PrPC physiology in view of this concept. PMID:26388873

  10. Prion protein detection in serum using micromechanical resonator arrays.

    PubMed

    Varshney, Madhukar; Waggoner, Philip S; Montagna, Richard A; Craighead, Harold G

    2009-12-15

    Prion proteins that have transformed from their normal cellular counterparts (PrP(c)) into infectious form (PrP(res)) are responsible for causing progressive neurodegenerative diseases in numerous species, such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle (also known as mad cow disease), scrapie in sheep, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans. Due to a possible link between BSE and CJD it is highly desirable to develop non-invasive and ante mortem tests for the detection of prion proteins in bovine samples. Such ante mortem tests of all cows prior to slaughter will help to prevent the introduction of PrP(res) into the human food supply. Furthermore, detection of PrP(res) in donated blood will also help to prevent the transmission of CJD among humans through blood transfusion. In this study, we have continued development of a micromechanical resonator array that is capable of detecting PrP(c) in bovine blood serum. The sensitivity of the resonators for the detection of PrP(c) is further enhanced by the use of secondary mass labels. A pair of antibodies is used in a sandwich immunoassay format to immobilize PrP(c) on the surface of resonators and attach nanoparticles as secondary mass labels to PrP(c). Secondary mass labeling is optimized in terms of incubation time to maximize the frequency shifts that correspond to the presence of PrP(c) on the surface of resonators. Our results show that a minimum of 200 pg mL(-1) of PrP(c) in blood serum can be detected using micromechanical resonator arrays. PMID:19836525

  11. Cell-surface prion protein interacts with glycosaminoglycans.

    PubMed Central

    Pan, Tao; Wong, Boon-Seng; Liu, Tong; Li, Ruliang; Petersen, Robert B; Sy, Man-Sun

    2002-01-01

    We used ELISA and flow cytometry to study the binding of prion protein PrP to glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). We found that recombinant human PrP (rPrP) binds GAGs including chondroitin sulphate A, chondroitin sulphate B, hyaluronic acid, and heparin. rPrP binding to GAGs occurs via the N-terminus, a region known to bind divalent cations. Additionally, rPrP binding to GAGs is enhanced in the presence of Cu2+ and Zn2+, but not Ca2+ and Mn2+. rPrP binds heparin strongest, and the binding is inhibited by certain heparin analogues, including heparin disaccharide and sulphate-containing monosaccharides, but not by acetylated heparin. Full-length normal cellular prion protein (PrPC), but not N-terminally truncated PrPC species, from human brain bind GAGs in a similar Cu2+/Zn2+-enhanced fashion. We found that GAGs specifically bind to a synthetic peptide corresponding to amino acid residues 23-35 in the N-terminus of rPrP. We further demonstrated that while both wild-type PrPC and an octapeptide-repeat-deleted mutant PrP produced by transfected cells bound heparin at the cell surface, the PrP N-terminal deletion mutant and non-transfectant control failed to bind heparin. Binding of heparin to wild-type PrPC on the cell surface results in a reduction of the level of cell-surface PrPC. These results provide strong evidence that PrPC is a surface receptor for GAGs. PMID:12186633

  12. Three hamster species with different scrapie incubation times and neuropathological features encode distinct prion proteins.

    PubMed Central

    Lowenstein, D H; Butler, D A; Westaway, D; McKinley, M P; DeArmond, S J; Prusiner, S B

    1990-01-01

    Given the critical role of the prion protein (PrP) in the transmission and pathogenesis of experimental scrapie, we investigated the PrP gene and its protein products in three hamster species, Chinese (CHa), Armenian (AHa), and Syrian (SHa), each of which were found to have distinctive scrapie incubation times. Passaging studies demonstrated that the host species, and not the source of scrapie prions, determined the incubation time for each species, and histochemical studies of hamsters with clinical signs of scrapie revealed characteristic patterns of neuropathology. Northern (RNA) analysis showed the size of PrP mRNA from CHa, AHa, and SHa hamsters to be 2.5, 2.4, and 2.1 kilobases, respectively. Immunoblotting demonstrated that the PrP isoforms were of similar size (33 to 35 kilodaltons); however, the monoclonal antibody 13A5 raised against SHa PrP did not react with the CHa or AHa PrP molecules. Comparison of the three predicted amino acid sequences revealed that each is distinct. Furthermore, differences within the PrP open reading frame that uniquely distinguish the three hamster species are within a hydrophilic segment of 11 amino acids that includes polymorphisms linked to scrapie incubation times in inbred mice and an inherited prion disease of humans. Single polymorphisms in this region correlate with the presence or absence of amyloid plaques for a given hamster species or mouse inbred strain. Our findings demonstrate distinctive molecular, pathological, and clinical characteristics of scrapie in three related species and are consistent with the hypothesis that molecular properties of the host PrP play a pivotal role in determining the incubation time and neuropathological features of scrapie. Images PMID:2406562

  13. Influence of prion strain on prion protein adsorption to soil in a competitive matrix.

    PubMed

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

    2009-07-15

    It is likely that the soil environment serves as a stable reservoir of infectious chronic wasting disease (CWD) and scrapie prions, as well as a potential reservoir of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or "mad cow" disease). Prion adsorption to soil may play an important role in prion mobility, proteolysis, and infectivity. Differences in PrP environmental fate are possible due to the strain- and species-dependent structure of PrP(Sc). Kinetic and isothermal studies of PrP adsorption to sand and two whole soils were conducted using HY and DY TME-infected hamster, uninfected hamster, and CWD-infected elk brain homogenates as competitive PrP sources. The role of the N-terminus in PrP adsorption was also investigated. We report strain and species differences in PrP adsorption to soil over time and as a function of aqueous concentration, indicating that the fate of prions in the environment may vary with the prion strain and species infected. Our data also provide evidence that the N-terminal region of PrP enhances adsorption to clay but may hinder adsorption to sand. PrP adsorption was maximal at an intermediate aqueous concentration, most likely due to the competitive brain homogenate matrix in which it enters the soil environment. PMID:19708348

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Chimeric elk/mouse prion proteins in transgenic mice

    PubMed Central

    Tamgüney, Gültekin; Giles, Kurt; Oehler, Abby; Johnson, Natrina L.; DeArmond, Stephen J.

    2013-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) of deer and elk is a highly communicable neurodegenerative disorder caused by prions. Investigations of CWD are hampered by slow bioassays in transgenic (Tg) mice. Towards the development of Tg mice that will be more susceptible to CWD prions, we created a series of chimeric elk/mouse transgenes that encode the N terminus of elk PrP (ElkPrP) up to residue Y168 and the C terminus of mouse PrP (MoPrP) beyond residue 169 (mouse numbering), designated Elk3M(SNIVVK). Between codons 169 and 219, six residues distinguish ElkPrP from MoPrP: N169S, T173N, V183I, I202V, I214V and R219K. Using chimeric elk/mouse PrP constructs, we generated 12 Tg mouse lines and determined incubation times after intracerebral inoculation with the mouse-passaged RML scrapie or Elk1P CWD prions. Unexpectedly, one Tg mouse line expressing Elk3M(SNIVVK) exhibited incubation times of <70 days when inoculated with RML prions; a second line had incubation times of <90 days. In contrast, mice expressing full-length ElkPrP had incubation periods of >250 days for RML prions. Tg(Elk3M,SNIVVK) mice were less susceptible to CWD prions than Tg(ElkPrP) mice. Changing three C-terminal mouse residues (202, 214 and 219) to those of elk doubled the incubation time for mouse RML prions and rendered the mice resistant to Elk1P CWD prions. Mutating an additional two residues from mouse to elk at codons 169 and 173 increased the incubation times for mouse prions to >300 days, but made the mice susceptible to CWD prions. Our findings highlight the role of C-terminal residues in PrP that control the susceptibility and replication of prions. PMID:23100369

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    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.

  17. Attempts to restore scrapie prion infectivity after exposure to protein denaturants.

    PubMed Central

    Prusiner, S B; Groth, D; Serban, A; Stahl, N; Gabizon, R

    1993-01-01

    A wealth of experimental evidence argues that infectious prions are composed largely, if not entirely, of the scrapie isoform of the prion protein. We attempted to restore scrapie infectivity after exposure to protein denaturants including urea, chaotropic salts, and SDS. None of the procedures restored infectivity. Dialysis to remove slowly chaotropic ions and urea failed to restore scrapie infectivity. Attempts to create monomers of the scrapie isoform of the prion protein under nondenaturing conditions using a wide variety of detergents have been unsuccessful, to date, except for one report claiming that scrapie infectivity could be recovered from 12% polyacrylamide gels after SDS/PAGE [Brown, P., Liberski, P. P., Wolff, A. & Gajdusek, D. C. (1990) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 87, 7240-7244]. We found that < 0.001% of the infectious prion titer could be recovered from the region of a polyacrylamide gel where the denatured proteinase K-resistant core of the scrapie isoform of the prion protein and other 30-kDa proteins migrate. We conclude that under the denaturing conditions used for SDS/PAGE, the scrapie isoform of the prion protein is denatured and little or no renaturation occurs upon injection of fractions eluted from gels into animals for bioassays. Images Fig. 2 PMID:8464892

  18. Nitric oxide induces prion protein via MEK and p38 MAPK signaling.

    PubMed

    Wang, Vinchi; Chuang, Tzu-Chao; Hsu, Yaw-Don; Chou, Wei-Yuan; Kao, Ming-Ching

    2005-07-22

    The prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, such as human Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) and so-called mad cow disease, are attributed to the causative agent, the scrapie variant of prion protein (PrP(Sc)) which causes fatal neurodegeneration. To investigate if stresses such as nitric oxide (NO) induced the cellular isoform of prion protein (PrP(C)), lipopolysaccharide, and sodium nitroprusside were used to treat N2a and NT2 cells, which resulted in elevated levels of the PRNP mRNA and prion protein. The signaling pathway for the NO-induced PrP(C) production involved guanylyl cyclase, MEK, and p38 MAPK as shown by the effect of specific pharmacological inhibitors ODQ, PD98059, and SB203580, respectively. Knowing the PrP induction by the biologically existing stimulus, this study provides useful information about the possible cellular mechanism and strategies for the treatment of CJD. PMID:15936714

  19. Prion Protein-Specific Antibodies-Development, Modes of Action and Therapeutics Application

    PubMed Central

    Rovis, Tihana Lenac; Legname, Giuseppe

    2014-01-01

    Prion diseases or Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs) are lethal neurodegenerative disorders involving the misfolding of the host encoded cellular prion protein, PrPC. This physiological form of the protein is expressed throughout the body, and it reaches the highest levels in the central nervous system where the pathology occurs. The conversion into the pathogenic isoform denoted as prion or PrPSc is the key event in prion disorders. Prominent candidates for the treatment of prion diseases are antibodies and their derivatives. Anti-PrPC antibodies are able to clear PrPSc from cell culture of infected cells. Furthermore, application of anti-PrPC antibodies suppresses prion replication in experimental animal models. Major drawbacks of immunotherapy are immune tolerance, the risks of neurotoxic side effects, limited ability of compounds to cross the blood-brain barrier and their unfavorable pharmacokinetic. The focus of this review is to recapitulate the current understanding of the molecular mechanisms for antibody mediated anti-prion activity. Although relevant for designing immunotherapeutic tools, the characterization of key antibody parameters shaping the molecular mechanism of the PrPC to PrPSc conversion remains elusive. Moreover, this review illustrates the various attempts towards the development of anti-PrP antibody compounds and discusses therapeutic candidates that modulate PrP expression. PMID:25275428

  20. Role of proteolytic activation of protein kinase Cδ in the pathogenesis of prion disease

    PubMed Central

    Harischandra, Dilshan S; Kondru, Naveen; Martin, Dustin P; Kanthasamy, Arthi; Jin, Huajun; Anantharam, Vellareddy; Kanthasamy, Anumantha G

    2014-01-01

    Prion diseases are infectious and inevitably fatal neurodegenerative diseases characterized by prion replication, widespread protein aggregation and spongiform degeneration of major brain regions controlling motor function. Oxidative stress has been implicated in prion-related neuronal degeneration, but the molecular mechanisms underlying prion-induced oxidative damage are not well understood. In this study, we evaluated the role of oxidative stress-sensitive, pro-apoptotic protein kinase Cδ (PKCδ) in prion-induced neuronal cell death using cerebellar organotypic slice cultures (COSC) and mouse models of prion diseases. We found a significant upregulation of PKCδ in RML scrapie-infected COSC, as evidenced by increased levels of both PKCδ protein and its mRNA. We also found an enhanced regulatory phosphorylation of PKCδ at its two regulatory sites, Thr505 in the activation loop and Tyr311 at the caspase-3 cleavage site. The prion infection also induced proteolytic activation of PKCδ in our COSC model. Immunohistochemical analysis of scrapie-infected COSC revealed loss of PKCδ positive Purkinje cells and enhanced astrocyte proliferation. Further examination of PKCδ signaling in the RML scrapie adopted in vivo mouse model showed increased proteolytic cleavage and Tyr 311 phosphorylation of the kinase. Notably, we observed a delayed onset of scrapie-induced motor symptoms in PKCδ knockout (PKCδ−/−) mice as compared with wild-type (PKCδ+/+) mice, further substantiating the role of PKCδ in prion disease. Collectively, these data suggest that PKCδ signaling likely plays a role in the neurodegenerative processes associated with prion diseases. PMID:24576946

  1. 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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. 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.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Prion Protein Promotes Kidney Iron Uptake via Its Ferrireductase Activity*

    PubMed Central

    Haldar, Swati; Tripathi, Ajai; Qian, Juan; Beserra, Amber; Suda, Srinivas; McElwee, Matthew; Turner, Jerrold; Hopfer, Ulrich; Singh, Neena

    2015-01-01

    Brain iron-dyshomeostasis is an important cause of neurotoxicity in prion disorders, a group of neurodegenerative conditions associated with the conversion of prion protein (PrPC) from its normal conformation to an aggregated, PrP-scrapie (PrPSc) isoform. Alteration of iron homeostasis is believed to result from impaired function of PrPC in neuronal iron uptake via its ferrireductase activity. However, unequivocal evidence supporting the ferrireductase activity of PrPC is lacking. Kidney provides a relevant model for this evaluation because PrPC is expressed in the kidney, and ∼370 μg of iron are reabsorbed daily from the glomerular filtrate by kidney proximal tubule cells (PT), requiring ferrireductase activity. Here, we report that PrPC promotes the uptake of transferrin (Tf) and non-Tf-bound iron (NTBI) by the kidney in vivo and mainly NTBI by PT cells in vitro. Thus, uptake of 59Fe administered by gastric gavage, intravenously, or intraperitoneally was significantly lower in PrP-knock-out (PrP−/−) mouse kidney relative to PrP+/+ controls. Selective in vivo radiolabeling of plasma NTBI with 59Fe revealed similar results. Expression of exogenous PrPC in immortalized PT cells showed localization on the plasma membrane and intracellular vesicles and increased transepithelial transport of 59Fe-NTBI and to a smaller extent 59Fe-Tf from the apical to the basolateral domain. Notably, the ferrireductase-deficient mutant of PrP (PrPΔ51–89) lacked this activity. Furthermore, excess NTBI and hemin caused aggregation of PrPC to a detergent-insoluble form, limiting iron uptake. Together, these observations suggest that PrPC promotes retrieval of iron from the glomerular filtrate via its ferrireductase activity and modulates kidney iron metabolism. PMID:25572394

  4. Prion protein promotes kidney iron uptake via its ferrireductase activity.

    PubMed

    Haldar, Swati; Tripathi, Ajai; Qian, Juan; Beserra, Amber; Suda, Srinivas; McElwee, Matthew; Turner, Jerrold; Hopfer, Ulrich; Singh, Neena

    2015-02-27

    Brain iron-dyshomeostasis is an important cause of neurotoxicity in prion disorders, a group of neurodegenerative conditions associated with the conversion of prion protein (PrP(C)) from its normal conformation to an aggregated, PrP-scrapie (PrP(Sc)) isoform. Alteration of iron homeostasis is believed to result from impaired function of PrP(C) in neuronal iron uptake via its ferrireductase activity. However, unequivocal evidence supporting the ferrireductase activity of PrP(C) is lacking. Kidney provides a relevant model for this evaluation because PrP(C) is expressed in the kidney, and ∼370 μg of iron are reabsorbed daily from the glomerular filtrate by kidney proximal tubule cells (PT), requiring ferrireductase activity. Here, we report that PrP(C) promotes the uptake of transferrin (Tf) and non-Tf-bound iron (NTBI) by the kidney in vivo and mainly NTBI by PT cells in vitro. Thus, uptake of (59)Fe administered by gastric gavage, intravenously, or intraperitoneally was significantly lower in PrP-knock-out (PrP(-/-)) mouse kidney relative to PrP(+/+) controls. Selective in vivo radiolabeling of plasma NTBI with (59)Fe revealed similar results. Expression of exogenous PrP(C) in immortalized PT cells showed localization on the plasma membrane and intracellular vesicles and increased transepithelial transport of (59)Fe-NTBI and to a smaller extent (59)Fe-Tf from the apical to the basolateral domain. Notably, the ferrireductase-deficient mutant of PrP (PrP(Δ51-89)) lacked this activity. Furthermore, excess NTBI and hemin caused aggregation of PrP(C) to a detergent-insoluble form, limiting iron uptake. Together, these observations suggest that PrP(C) promotes retrieval of iron from the glomerular filtrate via its ferrireductase activity and modulates kidney iron metabolism. PMID:25572394

  5. Synthesis and trafficking of prion proteins in cultured cells.

    PubMed Central

    Taraboulos, A; Raeber, A J; Borchelt, D R; Serban, D; Prusiner, S B

    1992-01-01

    Scrapie prions are composed largely, if not entirely, of the scrapie prion protein (PrPSc) that is encoded by a chromosomal gene. Scrapie-infected mouse neuroblastoma (ScN2a) and hamster brain (ScHaB) cells synthesize PrPSc from the normal PrP isoform (PrPC) or a precursor through a posttranslational process. In pulse-chase radiolabeling experiments, we found that presence of brefeldin A (BFA) during both the pulse and the chase periods prevented the synthesis of PrPSc. Removal of BFA after the chase permitted synthesis of PrPSc to resume. BFA also blocked the export of nascent PrPC to the cell surface but did not alter the distribution of intracellular deposits of PrPSc. Under the same conditions, BFA caused the redistribution of the Golgi marker MG160 into the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Using monensin as an inhibitor of mid-Golgi glycosylation, we determined that PrP traverses the mid-Golgi stack before acquiring protease resistance. About 1 h after the formation of PrPSc, its N-terminus was removed by a proteolytic process that was inhibited by ammonium chloride, chloroquine, and monensin, arguing that this is a lysosomal event. These results suggest that the ER is not competent for the synthesis of PrPSc and that the synthesis of PrPSc occurs during the transit of PrP between the mid-Golgi stack and lysosomes. Presumably, the endocytic pathway features in the synthesis of PrPSc. Images PMID:1356522

  6. A Structural Overview of the Vertebrate Prion Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Pastore, Annalisa

    2007-01-01

    Among the diseases caused by protein misfolding is the family associated with the prion protein (PrP). This is a small extracellular membrane-anchored molecule of yet unknown function. Understanding how PrP folds both into its cellular and pathological forms is thought to be crucial for explaining protein misfolding in general and the specific role of PrP in disease. Since the first structure determination, an increasing number of structural studies of PrP have become available, showing that the protein is formed by a flexible N-terminal region and a highly conserved globular C-terminal domain. We review here the current knowledge on PrP structure. We focus on vertebrate PrPs and analyse in detail the similarities and the differences among the coordinates of the C-terminal domain of PrP from different species, in search for understanding the mechanism of disease-causing mutations and the molecular bases of species barrier. PMID:19164911

  7. Balancing selection at the prion protein gene consistent with prehistoric kurulike epidemics.

    PubMed

    Mead, Simon; Stumpf, Michael P H; Whitfield, Jerome; Beck, Jonathan A; Poulter, Mark; Campbell, Tracy; Uphill, James B; Goldstein, David; Alpers, Michael; Fisher, Elizabeth M C; Collinge, John

    2003-04-25

    Kuru is an acquired prion disease largely restricted to the Fore linguistic group of the Papua New Guinea Highlands, which was transmitted during endocannibalistic feasts. Heterozygosity for a common polymorphism in the human prion protein gene (PRNP) confers relative resistance to prion diseases. Elderly survivors of the kuru epidemic, who had multiple exposures at mortuary feasts, are, in marked contrast to younger unexposed Fore, predominantly PRNP 129 heterozygotes. Kuru imposed strong balancing selection on the Fore, essentially eliminating PRNP 129 homozygotes. Worldwide PRNP haplotype diversity and coding allele frequencies suggest that strong balancing selection at this locus occurred during the evolution of modern humans. PMID:12690204

  8. Copper-binding peptides from human prion protein and newly designed peroxidative biocatalysts.

    PubMed

    Kagenishi, Tomoko; Yokawa, Ken; Kadono, Takashi; Uezu, Kazuya; Kawano, Tomonori

    2011-01-01

    A previous work suggested that peptides from the histidine-containing copper-binding motifs in human prion protein (PrP) function as peroxidase-like biocatalysts catalyzing the generation of superoxide anion radicals in the presence of neurotransmitters (aromatic monoamines) and phenolics such as tyrosine and tyrosyl residues on proteins. In this study, using various phenolic substrates, the phenol-dependent superoxide-generating activities of PrP-derived peptide sequences were compared. Among the peptides tested, the GGGTH pentapeptide was shown to be the most active catalyst for phenol-dependent reactions. Based on these results, we designed a series of oligoglycyl-histidines as novel peroxidative biocatalysts, and their catalytic performances including kinetics, heat tolerance, and freezing tolerance were analysed. PMID:21630593

  9. Replica Exchange Molecular Dynamics Study of Dimerization in Prion Protein: Multiple Modes of Interaction and Stabilization.

    PubMed

    Chamachi, Neharika G; Chakrabarty, Suman

    2016-08-01

    The pathological forms of prions are known to be a result of misfolding, oligomerization, and aggregation of the cellular prion. While the mechanism of misfolding and aggregation in prions has been widely studied using both experimental and computational tools, the structural and energetic characterization of the dimer form have not garnered as much attention. On one hand dimerization can be the first step toward a nucleation-like pathway to aggregation, whereas on the other hand it may also increase the conformational stability preventing self-aggregation. In this work, we have used extensive all-atom replica exchange molecular dynamics simulations of both monomer and dimer forms of a mouse prion protein to understand the structural, dynamic, and thermodynamic stability of dimeric prion as compared to the monomeric form. We show that prion proteins can dimerize spontaneously being stabilized by hydrophobic interactions as well as intermolecular hydrogen bonding and salt bridge formation. We have computed the conformational free energy landscapes for both monomer and dimer forms to compare the thermodynamic stability and misfolding pathways. We observe large conformational heterogeneity among the various modes of interactions between the monomers and the strong intermolecular interactions may lead to as high as 20% β-content. The hydrophobic regions in helix-2, surrounding coil regions, terminal regions along with the natively present β-sheet region appear to actively participate in prion-prion intermolecular interactions. Dimerization seems to considerably suppress the inherent dynamic instability observed in monomeric prions, particularly because the regions of structural frustration constitute the dimer interface. Further, we demonstrate an interesting reversible coupling between the Q160-G131 interaction (which leads to inhibition of β-sheet extension) and the G131-V161 H-bond formation. PMID:27390876

  10. Solution structure of Syrian hamster prion protein rPrP(90-231).

    PubMed

    Liu, H; Farr-Jones, S; Ulyanov, N B; Llinas, M; Marqusee, S; Groth, D; Cohen, F E; Prusiner, S B; James, T L

    1999-04-27

    NMR has been used to refine the structure of Syrian hamster (SHa) prion protein rPrP(90-231), which is commensurate with the infectious protease-resistant core of the scrapie prion protein PrPSc. The structure of rPrP(90-231), refolded to resemble the normal cellular isoform PrPC spectroscopically and immunologically, has been studied using multidimensional NMR; initial results were published [James et al. (1997) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 94, 10086-10091]. We now report refinement with better definition revealing important structural and dynamic features which can be related to biological observations pertinent to prion diseases. Structure refinement was based on 2778 unambiguously assigned nuclear Overhauser effect (NOE) connectivities, 297 ambiguous NOE restraints, and 63 scalar coupling constants (3JHNHa). The structure is represented by an ensemble of 25 best-scoring structures from 100 structures calculated using ARIA/X-PLOR and further refined with restrained molecular dynamics using the AMBER 4.1 force field with an explicit shell of water molecules. The rPrP(90-231) structure features a core domain (residues 125-228), with a backbone atomic root-mean-square deviation (RMSD) of 0.67 A, consisting of three alpha-helices (residues 144-154, 172-193, and 200-227) and two short antiparallel beta-strands (residues 129-131 and 161-163). The N-terminus (residues 90-119) is largely unstructured despite some sparse and weak medium-range NOEs implying the existence of bends or turns. The transition region between the core domain and flexible N-terminus, i.e., residues 113-128, consists of hydrophobic residues or glycines and does not adopt any regular secondary structure in aqueous solution. There are about 30 medium- and long-range NOEs within this hydrophobic cluster, so it clearly manifests structure. Multiple discrete conformations are evident, implying the possible existence of one or more metastable states, which may feature in conversion of PrPC to PrPSc. To

  11. Allosteric function and dysfunction of the prion protein.

    PubMed

    Linden, Rafael; Cordeiro, Yraima; Lima, Luis Mauricio T R

    2012-04-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are neurodegenerative diseases associated with progressive oligo- and multimerization of the prion protein (PrP(C)), its conformational conversion, aggregation and precipitation. We recently proposed that PrP(C) serves as a cell surface scaffold protein for a variety of signaling modules, the effects of which translate into wide-range functional consequences. Here we review evidence for allosteric functions of PrP(C), which constitute a common property of scaffold proteins. The available data suggest that allosteric effects among PrP(C) and its partners are involved in the assembly of multi-component signaling modules at the cell surface, impose upon both physiological and pathological conformational responses of PrP(C), and that allosteric dysfunction of PrP(C) has the potential to entail progressive signal corruption. These properties may be germane both to physiological roles of PrP(C), as well as to the pathogenesis of the TSEs and other degenerative/non-communicable diseases. PMID:21984610

  12. Expression of Tyrosine Hydroxylase is Negatively Regulated Via Prion Protein.

    PubMed

    da Luz, Marcio Henrique Mello; Glezer, Isaias; Xavier, Andre Machado; da Silva, Marcelo Alberti Paiva; Pino, Jessica Monteiro Volejnik; Zamith, Thiago Panaro; Vieira, Taynara Fernanda; Antonio, Bruno Brito; Antunes, Hanna Karen Moreira; Martins, Vilma Regina; Lee, Kil Sun

    2016-07-01

    Cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) is a glycoprotein of the plasma membrane that plays pleiotropic functions by interacting with multiple signaling complexes at the cell surface. Recently, a number of studies have reported the involvement of PrP(C) in dopamine metabolism and signaling, including its interactions with tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and dopamine receptors. However, the outcomes reported by independent studies are still debatable. Therefore in this study, we investigated the effects of PrP(C) on the TH expression during the differentiation of N2a cells with dibutyryl-cAMP, a well-known cAMP analog that activates TH transcription. Upon differentiation, TH was induced with concomitant reduction of PrP(C) at protein level, but not at mRNA level. shRNA-mediated PrP(C) reduction increased the basal level of TH at both mRNA and protein levels without dibutyryl-cAMP treatment. This phenotype was reversed by re-expression of PrP(C). PrP(C) knockdown also potentiated the effect of dibutyryl-cAMP on TH expression. Our findings suggest that PrP(C) has suppressive effects on TH expression. As a consequence, altered PrP(C) functions may affect the regulation of dopamine metabolism and related neurological disorders. PMID:26975317

  13. Unusual cerebral vascular prion protein amyloid distribution in scrapie-infected transgenic mice expressing anchorless prion protein

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background In some prion diseases, misfolded aggregated protease-resistant prion protein (PrPres) is found in brain as amyloid, which can cause cerebral amyloid angiopathy. Small diffusible precursors of PrPres amyloid might flow with brain interstitial fluid (ISF), possibly accounting for the perivascular and intravascular distribution of PrPres amyloid. We previously reported that PrPres amyloid in scrapie-infected transgenic mice appeared to delay clearance of microinjected brain ISF tracer molecules. Results Here we studied distribution of PrPres amyloid on capillaries, arteries and veins to test whether vascular specificity of PrPres corresponded to distribution of ISF tracer molecules. To distinguish PrPres-positive arteries from veins and capillaries, scrapie-infected mouse brains were studied by immunodetection of alpha smooth muscle actin. ISF was studied using fluorescein-labeled ovalbumin microinjected into brain as a tracer. In infected preclinical or clinical mice, PrPres was found mostly on capillaries (73-78%). Lower levels were found on arteries (11-14%) and veins (11-13%). Compared to PrPres, ISF tracer was found at higher levels on capillaries (96-97%), and the remaining tracer was found at a skewed ratio of 4 to 1 on arteries and veins respectively. Conclusions PrPres association with blood vessels suggested that ISF flow might transport diffusible PrPres precursor molecules to perivascular sites. However, the different vascular specificity of PrPres and ISF tracer indicated that ISF flow did not alone control PrPres dissemination. Possibly blood vessel basement membrane (BM) components, such as glucosaminoglycans, might concentrate small PrPres aggregates and serve as scaffolds for PrP conversion on multiple vessel types. PMID:24252347

  14. Human tonsil-derived follicular dendritic-like cells are refractory to human prion infection in vitro and traffic disease-associated prion protein to lysosomes.

    PubMed

    Krejciova, Zuzana; De Sousa, Paul; Manson, Jean; Ironside, James W; Head, Mark W

    2014-01-01

    The molecular mechanisms involved in human cellular susceptibility to prion infection remain poorly defined. This is due, in part, to the absence of any well characterized and relevant cultured human cells susceptible to infection with human prions, such as those involved in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. In variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, prion replication is thought to occur first in the lymphoreticular system and then spread into the brain. We have, therefore, examined the susceptibility of a human tonsil-derived follicular dendritic cell-like cell line (HK) to prion infection. HK cells were found to display a readily detectable, time-dependent increase in cell-associated abnormal prion protein (PrP(TSE)) when exposed to medium spiked with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease brain homogenate, resulting in a coarse granular perinuclear PrP(TSE) staining pattern. Despite their high level of cellular prion protein expression, HK cells failed to support infection, as judged by longer term maintenance of PrP(TSE) accumulation. Colocalization studies revealed that exposure of HK cells to brain homogenate resulted in increased numbers of detectable lysosomes and that these structures immunostained intensely for PrP(TSE) after exposure to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease brain homogenate. Our data suggest that human follicular dendritic-like cells and perhaps other human cell types are able to avoid prion infection by efficient lysosomal degradation of PrP(TSE). PMID:24183781

  15. Cloning and expression of prion protein encoding gene of flounder ( Paralichthys olivaceus)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Zhiwen; Sun, Xiuqin; Zhang, Jinxing; Zan, Jindong

    2008-02-01

    The prion protein (PrP) encoding gene of flounder ( Paralichthys olivaceus) was cloned. It was not interrupted by an intron. This gene has two promoters in its 5' upstream, indicating that its transcription may be intensive, and should have an important function. It was expressed in all 14 tissues tested, demonstrating that it is a house-keeping gene. Its expression in digestion and reproduction systems implies that the possible prions of fish may transfer horizontally.

  16. Systemic Delivery of siRNA Down Regulates Brain Prion Protein and Ameliorates Neuropathology in Prion Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Resina, Sarah; Brillaud, Elsa; Casanova, Danielle; Vincent, Charles; Hamela, Claire; Poupeau, Sophie; Laffont, Mathieu; Gabelle, Audrey; Delaby, Constance; Belondrade, Maxime; Arnaud, Jacques-Damien; Alvarez, Maria-Teresa; Maurel, Jean-Claude; Maurel, Patrick; Crozet, Carole

    2014-01-01

    One of the main challenges for neurodegenerative disorders that are principally incurable is the development of new therapeutic strategies, which raises important medical, scientific and societal issues. Creutzfeldt-Jakob diseases are rare neurodegenerative fatal disorders which today remain incurable. The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of the down-regulation of the prion protein (PrP) expression using siRNA delivered by, a water-in-oil microemulsion, as a therapeutic candidate in a preclinical study. After 12 days rectal mucosa administration of Aonys/PrP-siRNA in mice, we observed a decrease of about 28% of the brain PrPC level. The effect of Aonys/PrP-siRNA was then evaluated on prion infected mice. Several mice presented a delay in the incubation and survival time compared to the control groups and a significant impact was observed on astrocyte reaction and neuronal survival in the PrP-siRNA treated groups. These results suggest that a new therapeutic scheme based an innovative delivery system of PrP-siRNA can be envisioned in prion disorders. PMID:24551164

  17. Copper attachment to a non-octarepeat site in prion protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hodak, Miroslav; Bernholc, Jerry

    2010-03-01

    Prion protein, PrP, plays a causative role in several neurodegenerative diseases, including mad cow disease in cattle and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. The PrP is known to efficiently bind copper ions and this ability has been linked to its function. PrP contains up to six binding sites, four of which are located in the so-called octarepeat region and are now well known. The binding sites outside this region are still largely undetermined, despite evidence of their relevance to prion diseases. Using a hybrid DFT/DFT, which combines Kohn-Sham DFT with orbital-free DFT to achieve accurate and efficient description of solvent effects in ab initio calculations, we have investigated copper attachment to the sequence GGGTH, which represents the copper binding site located at His96. We have considered both NNNN and NNNO types of copper coordination, as suggested by experiments. Our calculations have determined the geometry of copper attachment site and its energetics. Comparison to the already known binding sites provides insight into the process of copper uptake in PrP.

  18. N-terminal peptides from unprocessed prion proteins enter cells by macropinocytosis

    SciTech Connect

    Magzoub, Mazin; Sandgren, Staffan; Lundberg, Pontus; Oglecka, Kamila; Lilja, Johanna; Wittrup, Anders; Goeran Eriksson, L.E.; Langel, Ulo; Belting, Mattias . E-mail: mattias.belting@med.lu.se; Graeslund, Astrid . E-mail: astrid@dbb.su.se

    2006-09-22

    A peptide derived from the N-terminus of the unprocessed bovine prion protein (bPrPp), incorporating the hydrophobic signal sequence (residues 1-24) and a basic domain (KKRPKP, residues 25-30), internalizes into mammalian cells, even when coupled to a sizeable cargo, and therefore functions as a cell-penetrating peptide (CPP). Confocal microscopy and co-localization studies indicate that the internalization of bPrPp is mainly through macropinocytosis, a fluid-phase endocytosis process, initiated by binding to cell-surface proteoglycans. Electron microscopy studies show internalized bPrPp-DNA-gold complexes residing in endosomal vesicles. bPrPp induces expression of a complexed luciferase-encoding DNA plasmid, demonstrating the peptide's ability to transport the cargo across the endosomal membrane and into the cytosol and nucleus. The novel CPP activity of the unprocessed N-terminal domain of PrP could be important for the retrotranslocation of partly processed PrP and for PrP trafficking inside or between cells, with implications for the infectivity associated with prion diseases.

  19. Polymorphism distribution of prion protein codon 117, 129 and 171 in Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Wang, Kaw-Chen; Wang, Vinchi; Sun, Ming-Chieh; Chiueh, Ti-I; Soong, Bing-Wen; Shan, Din-E

    2007-01-01

    Prion diseases compass transmissible spongiform neurodegenerative diseases from various causes, including the genetic and infectious ones. We investigated the prevalence of codon 117, 129 and 171 polymorphism in prion protein (PrP) in Taiwanese, mainly for the sake of the informative absence of this genetic distribution. Our subjects were 419 aged ones of Han ethic origin. We evaluated the PrP gene (PRNP) polymorphism by restriction fragment length polymorphism, after amplification of their genomic DNAs by polymerase chain reactions with specific primers, digested by restriction enzyme PvuII (for codon 117), NspI (for codon 129), and BbvI (for codon 171), respectively, and confirmed by nucleotide sequencing. All of the subjects were homozygotes at codon 117 (Ala/Ala, gca/gca) and 171 (Asn/Asn, aac/aac). There were no valine homozygotes (Val/Val) in our 419 subjects, and nine subjects (2.1%) showed methionine-valine heterozygosity (Mal/Val, atg/gtg). The methionine homozygotes (Met/Met) comprised the major population (97.9%), and the prevalence of distribution is different to that seen in Caucasians. The almost 100% conservation of the domain from codon 117 to 171 implies the warranty of PrP in cellular functions. The high prevalence of Met/Met alleles in Taiwan did not imply an increased risk of CJD, and the genetic susceptibility of CJD by codon 129 of PrP may be still elusive for the infectivity. PMID:17410475

  20. Hsp70 targets Hsp100 chaperones to substrates for protein disaggregation and prion fragmentation.

    PubMed

    Winkler, Juliane; Tyedmers, Jens; Bukau, Bernd; Mogk, Axel

    2012-08-01

    Hsp100 and Hsp70 chaperones in bacteria, yeast, and plants cooperate to reactivate aggregated proteins. Disaggregation relies on Hsp70 function and on ATP-dependent threading of aggregated polypeptides through the pore of the Hsp100 AAA(+) hexamer. In yeast, both chaperones also promote propagation of prions by fibril fragmentation, but their functional interplay is controversial. Here, we demonstrate that Hsp70 chaperones were essential for species-specific targeting of their Hsp100 partner chaperones ClpB and Hsp104, respectively, to heat-induced protein aggregates in vivo. Hsp70 inactivation in yeast also abrogated Hsp104 targeting to almost all prions tested and reduced fibril mobility, which indicates that fibril fragmentation by Hsp104 requires Hsp70. The Sup35 prion was unique in allowing Hsp70-independent association of Hsp104 via its N-terminal domain, which, however, was nonproductive. Hsp104 overproduction even outcompeted Hsp70 for Sup35 prion binding, which explains why this condition prevented Sup35 fragmentation and caused prion curing. Our findings indicate a conserved mechanism of Hsp70-Hsp100 cooperation at the surface of protein aggregates and prion fibrils. PMID:22869599

  1. Superoxide dismutase activity of Cu-bound prion protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hodak, Miroslav; Lu, Wenchang; Bernholc, Jerry

    2009-03-01

    Misfolding of the prion protein, PrP, has been linked to a group of neurodegenerative diseases, including the mad cow disease in cattle and the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. The normal function of PrP is still unknown, but it was found that the PrP can efficiently bind Cu(II) ions. Early experiments suggested that Cu-PrP complex possesses significant superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, but later experiments failed to confirm it and at present this issue remains unresolved. Using a recently developed hybrid DFT/DFT method, which combines Kohn-Sham DFT for the solute and its first solvation shells with orbital-free DFT for the remainder of the solvent, we have investigated SOD activity of PrP. The PrP is capable of incorporating Cu(II) ions in several binding modes and our calculations find that each mode has a different SOD activity. The highest activity found is comparable to those of well-known SOD proteins, suggesting that the conflicting experimental results may be due to different bindings of Cu(II) in those experiments.

  2. Combined copper/zinc attachment to prion protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hodak, Miroslav; Bernholc, Jerry

    2013-03-01

    Misfolding of prion protein (PrP) is responsible for diseases such as ``mad-cow disease'' in cattle and Creutzfeldt-Jacob in humans. Extensive experimental investigation has established that this protein strongly interacts with copper ions, and this ability has been linked to its still unknown function. Attachment of other metal ions (zinc, iron, manganese) have been demonstrated as well, but none of them could outcompete copper. Recent finding, however, indicates that at intermediate concentrations both copper and zinc ions can attach to the PrP at the octarepeat region, which contains high affinity metal binding sites. Based on this evidence, we have performed density functional theory simulations to investigate the combined Cu/Zn attachment. We consider all previously reported binding modes of copper at the octarepeat region and examine a possibility simultaneous Cu/Zn attachment. We find that this can indeed occur for only one of the known binding sites, when copper changes its coordination mode to allow for attachment of zinc ion. The implications of the simultaneous attachment on neural function remain to be explored.

  3. Origins and Evolution of the HET-s Prion-Forming Protein: Searching for Other Amyloid-Forming Solenoids

    PubMed Central

    Gendoo, Deena M. A.; Harrison, Paul M.

    2011-01-01

    The HET-s prion-forming domain from the filamentous fungus Podospora anserina is gaining considerable interest since it yielded the first well-defined atomic structure of a functional amyloid fibril. This structure has been identified as a left-handed beta solenoid with a triangular hydrophobic core. To delineate the origins of the HET-s prion-forming protein and to discover other amyloid-forming proteins, we searched for all homologs of the HET-s protein in a database of protein domains and fungal genomes, using a combined application of HMM, psi-blast and pGenThreader techniques, and performed a comparative evolutionary analysis of the N-terminal alpha-helical domain and the C-terminal prion-forming domain of HET-s. By assessing the tandem evolution of both domains, we observed that the prion-forming domain is restricted to Sordariomycetes, with a marginal additional sequence homolog in Arthroderma otae as a likely case of horizontal transfer. This suggests innovation and rapid evolution of the solenoid fold in the Sordariomycetes clade. In contrast, the N-terminal domain evolves at a slower rate (in Sordariomycetes) and spans many diverse clades of fungi. We performed a full three-dimensional protein threading analysis on all identified HET-s homologs against the HET-s solenoid fold, and present detailed structural annotations for identified structural homologs to the prion-forming domain. An analysis of the physicochemical characteristics in our set of structural models indicates that the HET-s solenoid shape can be readily adopted in these homologs, but that they are all less optimized for fibril formation than the P. anserina HET-s sequence itself, due chiefly to the presence of fewer asparagine ladders and salt bridges. Our combined structural and evolutionary analysis suggests that the HET-s shape has “limited scope” for amyloidosis across the wider protein universe, compared to the ‘generic’ left-handed beta helix. We discuss the implications of

  4. Normal Cellular Prion Protein Protects against Manganese-induced Oxidative Stress and Apoptotic Cell Death

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Christopher J.; Anantharam, Vellareddy; Saetveit, Nathan J.; Houk, Robert. S.; Kanthasamy, Arthi; Kanthasamy, Anumantha G.

    2012-01-01

    The normal prion protein is abundantly expressed in the CNS, but its biological function remains unclear. The prion protein has octapeptide repeat regions that bind to several divalent metals, suggesting that the prion proteins may alter the toxic effect of environmental neurotoxic metals. In the present study, we systematically examined whether prion protein modifies the neurotoxicity of manganese (Mn) by comparing the effect of Mn on mouse neural cells expressing prion protein (PrPC -cells) and prion-knockout (PrPKO -cells). Exposure to Mn (10 μM-1 mM) for 24 hr produced a dose-dependent cytotoxic response in both PrPC -cells and PrPKO -cells. Interestingly, PrPC -cells (EC50 117.6μM) were more resistant to Mn-induced cytotoxicity, as compared to PrPKO -cells (EC50 59.9μM), suggesting a protective role for PrPC against Mn neurotoxicity. Analysis of intracellular Mn levels showed less Mn accumulation in PrPC -cells as compared to PrPKO -cells. Furthermore, Mn-induced mitochondrial depolarization and ROS generation were significantly attenuated in PrPC -cells as compared to PrPKO -cells. Measurement of antioxidant status revealed similar basal levels of glutathione (GSH) in PrPC -cells and PrPKO -cells; however, Mn treatment caused greater depletion of GSH in PrPKO -cells. Mn-induced mitochondrial depolarization and ROS production were followed by time- and dose-dependent activation of the apoptotic cell death cascade involving caspase-9 and -3. Notably, DNA fragmentation induced by both Mn treatment and oxidative stress-inducer hydrogen peroxide (100μM) was significantly suppressed in PrPC -cells as compared to PrPKO -cells. Together, these results demonstrate that prion protein interferes with divalent metal Mn uptake and protects against Mn-induced oxidative stress and apoptotic cell death. PMID:17483122

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

    PubMed

    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 vitro prion 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. PMID:25867521

  6. Detection of protease-resistant cervid prion protein in water from a CWD-endemic area

    PubMed Central

    Nichols, TA; Pulford, Bruce; Wyckoff, A Christy; Meyerett, Crystal; Michel, Brady; Gertig, Kevin; Hoover, Edward A; Jewell, Jean E; Telling, Glenn C

    2009-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is the only known transmissible spongiform encephalopathy affecting free-ranging wildlife. Although the exact mode of natural transmission remains unknown, substantial evidence suggests that prions can persist in the environment, implicating components thereof as potential prion reservoirs and transmission vehicles.1–4 CWD-positive animals may contribute to environmental prion load via decomposing carcasses and biological materials including saliva, blood, urine and feces.5–7 Sensitivity limitations of conventional assays hamper evaluation of environmental prion loads in soil and water. Here we show the ability of serial protein misfolding cyclic amplification (sPMCA) to amplify a 1.3 × 10−7 dilution of CWD-infected brain homogenate spiked into water samples, equivalent to approximately 5 × 107 protease resistant cervid prion protein (PrPCWD) monomers. We also detected PrPCWD in one of two environmental water samples from a CWD endemic area collected at a time of increased water runoff from melting winter snow pack, as well as in water samples obtained concurrently from the flocculation stage of water processing by the municipal water treatment facility. Bioassays indicated that the PrPCWD detected was below infectious levels. These data demonstrate detection of very low levels of PrPCWD in the environment by sPMCA and suggest persistence and accumulation of prions in the environment that may promote CWD transmission. PMID:19823039

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

    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. PMID:26844828

  8. Targeting prion-like protein doppel selectively suppresses tumor angiogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Al-Hilal, Taslim A.; Chung, Seung Woo; Choi, Jeong Uk; Kim, Seong Who; Kim, Sang Yoon; Ahsan, Fakhrul; Kim, In-San

    2016-01-01

    Controlled and site-specific regulation of growth factor signaling remains a major challenge for current antiangiogenic therapies, as these antiangiogenic agents target normal vasculature as well tumor vasculature. In this article, we identified the prion-like protein doppel as a potential therapeutic target for tumor angiogenesis. We investigated the interactions between doppel and VEGFR2 and evaluated whether blocking the doppel/VEGFR2 axis suppresses the process of angiogenesis. We discovered that tumor endothelial cells (TECs), but not normal ECs, express doppel; tumors from patients and mouse xenografts expressed doppel in their vasculatures. Induced doppel overexpression in ECs enhanced vascularization, whereas doppel constitutively colocalized and complexed with VEGFR2 in TECs. Doppel inhibition depleted VEGFR2 from the cell membrane, subsequently inducing the internalization and degradation of VEGFR2 and thereby attenuating VEGFR2 signaling. We also synthesized an orally active glycosaminoglycan (LHbisD4) that specifically binds with doppel. We determined that LHbisD4 concentrates over the tumor site and that genetic loss of doppel in TECs decreases LHbisD4 binding and targeting both in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, LHbisD4 eliminated VEGFR2 from the cell membrane, prevented VEGF binding in TECs, and suppressed tumor growth. Together, our results demonstrate that blocking doppel can control VEGF signaling in TECs and selectively inhibit tumor angiogenesis. PMID:26950422

  9. The prion protein family: a view from the placenta

    PubMed Central

    Makzhami, Samira; Passet, Bruno; Halliez, Sophie; Castille, Johan; Moazami-Goudarzi, Katayoun; Duchesne, Amandine; Vilotte, Marthe; Laude, Hubert; Mouillet-Richard, Sophie; Béringue, Vincent; Vaiman, Daniel; Vilotte, Jean-Luc

    2014-01-01

    Based on its developmental pattern of expression, early studies suggested the implication of the mammalian Prion protein PrP, a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored ubiquitously expressed and evolutionary conserved glycoprotein encoded by the Prnp gene, in early embryogenesis. However, gene invalidation in several species did not result in obvious developmental abnormalities and it was only recently that it was associated in mice with intra-uterine growth retardation and placental dysfunction. A proposed explanation for this lack of easily detectable developmental-related phenotype is the existence in the genome of one or more gene (s) able to compensate for the absence of PrP. Indeed, two other members of the Prnp gene family have been recently described, Doppel and Shadoo, and the consequences of their invalidation alongside that of PrP tested in mice. No embryonic defect was observed in mice depleted for Doppel and PrP. Interestingly, the co-invalidation of PrP and Shadoo in two independent studies led to apparently conflicting observations, with no apparent consequences in one report and the observation of a developmental defect of the ectoplacental cone that leads to early embryonic lethality in the other. This short review aims at summarizing these recent, apparently conflicting data highlighting the related biological questions and associated implications in terms of animal and human health. PMID:25364742

  10. Use of molecular dynamics simulation to explore structural facets of human prion protein with pathogenic mutations.

    PubMed

    Borgohain, Gargi; Dan, Nirnoy; Paul, Sandip

    2016-06-01

    Prion diseases are caused by mutations at different positions of the prion protein. A large number of pathogenic mutations are reported in the literature. Two of such point mutations T193I and R148H located at two different helical strands (H2 and H1) of the prion protein associated with fCJD (familial Creutzfeld-Jacob disease) are studied. We have used classical molecular dynamics (MD) simulation technique to understand the conformational changes and dynamics of the protein under the effect of mutation and compared with the native prion protein. The results indicate that: both mutated forms are conformationally steadier than the native prion protein; although there are no major conformational transitions, R148H leads to decreased native β-sheet content, H1 helix becomes less fluctuating, two new turn regions appear and conversion of a 310 region to coil form takes place. Mutation T193I leads to a steady H1 helix, a decreased native β-sheet content and a new 310 region appears in H2 helix. Moreover, mutation R148H results in decreased conformational space with a highly compact and nonfluctuating form. PMID:27107654

  11. Flexibility damps macromolecular crowding effects on protein folding dynamics: Application to the murine prion protein (121-231)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergasa-Caceres, Fernando; Rabitz, Herschel A.

    2014-01-01

    A model of protein folding kinetics is applied to study the combined effects of protein flexibility and macromolecular crowding on protein folding rate and stability. It is found that the increase in stability and folding rate promoted by macromolecular crowding is damped for proteins with highly flexible native structures. The model is applied to the folding dynamics of the murine prion protein (121-231). It is found that the high flexibility of the native isoform of the murine prion protein (121-231) reduces the effects of macromolecular crowding on its folding dynamics. The relevance of these findings for the pathogenic mechanism are discussed.

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

    PubMed Central

    Ryder, Stephen J; Dexter, Glenda E; Heasman, Lindsay; Warner, Richard; Moore, S Jo

    2009-01-01

    Background In order to study the sites of uptake and mechanisms of dissemination of scrapie prions in the natural host under controlled conditions, lambs aged 14 days and homozygous for the VRQ allele of the PrP gene were infected by the oral route. Infection occurred in all lambs with a remarkably short and highly consistent incubation period of approximately 6 months. Challenge of lambs at approximately eight months of age resulted in disease in all animals, but with more variable incubation periods averaging significantly longer than those challenged at 14 days. This model provides an excellent system in which to study the disease in the natural host by virtue of the relatively short incubation period and close resemblance to natural infection. Results Multiple sites of prion uptake were identified, of which the most important was the Peyer's patch of the distal ileum. Neuroinvasion was detected initially in the enteric nervous system prior to infection of the central nervous system. At end stage disease prion accumulation was widespread throughout the entire neuraxis, but vacuolar pathology was absent in most animals that developed disease at 6–7 months of age. Conclusion Initial spread of detectable PrP was consistent with drainage in afferent lymph to dependent lymph nodes. Subsequent accumulation of prions in lymphoid tissue not associated with the gut is consistent with haematogenous spread. In addition to macrophages and follicular dendritic cells, prion containing cells consistent with afferent lymph dendritic cells were identified and are suggested as a likely vehicle for carriage of prions from initial site of uptake to the lymphoreticular system, and as potential carriers of prion protein in blood. It is apparent that spongiform change, the characteristic lesion of scrapie and other prion diseases, is not responsible for the clinical signs in sheep, but may develop in an age dependent manner. PMID:19243608

  13. Metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 couples cellular prion protein to intracellular signalling in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Haas, Laura T; Salazar, Santiago V; Kostylev, Mikhail A; Um, Ji Won; Kaufman, Adam C; Strittmatter, Stephen M

    2016-02-01

    Alzheimer's disease-related phenotypes in mice can be rescued by blockade of either cellular prion protein or metabotropic glutamate receptor 5. We sought genetic and biochemical evidence that these proteins function cooperatively as an obligate complex in the brain. We show that cellular prion protein associates via transmembrane metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 with the intracellular protein mediators Homer1b/c, calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, and the Alzheimer's disease risk gene product protein tyrosine kinase 2 beta. Coupling of cellular prion protein to these intracellular proteins is modified by soluble amyloid-β oligomers, by mouse brain Alzheimer's disease transgenes or by human Alzheimer's disease pathology. Amyloid-β oligomer-triggered phosphorylation of intracellular protein mediators and impairment of synaptic plasticity in vitro requires Prnp-Grm5 genetic interaction, being absent in transheterozygous loss-of-function, but present in either single heterozygote. Importantly, genetic coupling between Prnp and Grm5 is also responsible for signalling, for survival and for synapse loss in Alzheimer's disease transgenic model mice. Thus, the interaction between metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 and cellular prion protein has a central role in Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis, and the complex is a potential target for disease-modifying intervention. PMID:26667279

  14. Insights into prion biology

    PubMed Central

    DiSalvo, Susanne

    2011-01-01

    Protein misfolding and assembly into ordered, self-templating aggregates (amyloid) has emerged as a novel mechanism for regulating protein function. For a subclass of amyloidogenic proteins known as prions, this process induces transmissible changes in normal cellular physiology, ranging from neurodegenerative disease in animals and humans to new traits in fungi. The severity and stability of these altered phenotypic states can be attenuated by the conformation or amino-acid sequence of the prion, but in most of these cases, the protein retains the ability to form amyloid in vitro. Thus, our ability to link amyloid formation in vitro with its biological consequences in vivo remains a challenge. In two recent studies, we have begun to address this disconnect by assessing the effects of the cellular environment on traits associated with the misfolding of the yeast prion Sup35. Remarkably, the effects of quality control pathways and of limitations on protein transfer in vivo amplify the effects of even slight differences in the efficiency of Sup35 misfolding, leading to dramatic changes in the associated phenotype. Together, our studies suggest that the interplay between protein misfolding pathways and their cellular context is a crucial contributor to prion biology. PMID:21654204

  15. Local structural plasticity of the prion protein. Analysis of NMR relaxation dynamics.

    PubMed

    Viles, J H; Donne, D; Kroon, G; Prusiner, S B; Cohen, F E; Dyson, H J; Wright, P E

    2001-03-01

    A template-assisted conformational change of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) from a predominantly helical structure to an amyloid-type structure with a higher proportion of beta-sheet is thought to be the causative factor in prion diseases. Since flexibility of the polypeptide is likely to contribute to the ability of PrP(C) to undergo the conformational change that leads to the infective state, we have undertaken a comprehensive examination of the dynamics of two recombinant Syrian hamster PrP fragments, PrP(29-231) and PrP(90-231), using (15)N NMR relaxation measurements. The molecular motions of these PrP fragments have been studied in solution using (15)N longitudinal (T(1)) and transverse relaxation (T(2)) measurements as well as [(1)H]-(15)N nuclear Overhauser effects (NOE). These data have been analyzed using both reduced spectral density mapping and the Lipari-Szabo model free formalism. The relaxation properties of the common regions of PrP(29-231) and PrP(90-231) are very similar; both have a relatively inflexible globular domain (residues 128-227) with a highly flexible and largely unstructured N-terminal domain. Residues 29-89 of PrP(29-231), which include the copper-binding octarepeat sequences, are also highly flexible. Analysis of the spectral densities at each residue indicates that even within the structured core of PrP(C), a markedly diverse range of motions is observed, consistent with the inherent plasticity of the protein. The central portions of helices B and C form a relatively rigid core, which is stabilized by the presence of an interhelix disulfide bond. Of the remainder of the globular domain, the parts that are not in direct contact with the rigid region, including helix A, are more flexible. Most significantly, slow conformational fluctuations on a millisecond to microsecond time scale are observed for the small beta-sheet. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that the infectious, scrapie form of the protein Pr

  16. Dividing roles of prion protein in staurosporine-mediated apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ying; Qin, Kefeng; Wang, Jianwei; Hung, Tao; Zhao, Richard Y

    2006-10-20

    Prion protein (PrPC) is a normal cellular glycoprotein that is expressed in almost all tissues including the central nervous system. Much attention has been focused on this protein because conversion of the normal PrPC to the diseased form (PrPSc) plays an essential role in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies such as mad cow disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. In spite of the extensive effort, the normal physiological function of PrPC remains elusive. Emerging evidence suggests that PrPC plays a protective role against cellular stresses including apoptosis induced by various pro-apoptotic agents such as Bax and staurosporine (STS), however, other reports showed overexpression of PrPC enhances STS-mediated apoptosis. In this study, we took a different approach by depleting endogenous PrPC using specific interfering RNA technique and compared the depleting and overproducing effects of PrPC on STS-induced apoptosis in neuro-2a (N2a) cells. We demonstrate here that down-regulation of PrPC sensitizes N2a cells to STS-induced cytotoxicity and apoptosis. The enhanced apoptosis induced by STS was shown by increased DNA fragmentation, immunoreactivity of Bax, and caspase-3 cleavage. We also showed that overproduction of PrPC had little or no effect on STS-mediated DNA fragmentation in N2a cells but it augments STS-mediated apoptosis in HEK293 cells, suggesting a cell line-specific effect. In addition, the inhibitory effect of PrPC on STS-mediated cellular stress appears to be modulated in part through induction of cell cycle G2 accumulation. Together, our data suggest that physiological level of endogenous PrPC plays a protective role against STS-mediated cellular stress. Loss of this protection could render cells more prone to cellular insults such as STS. PMID:16950206

  17. Copper–zinc cross-modulation in prion protein binding

    PubMed Central

    Stellato, Francesco; Minicozzi, Velia; Millhauser, Glenn L.; Pascucci, Marco; Proux, Olivier; Rossi, Giancarlo C.; Spevacek, Ann

    2016-01-01

    In this paper we report a systematic XAS study of a set of samples in which Cu(II) was progressively added to complexes in which Zn(II) was bound to the tetra-octarepeat portion of the prion protein. This work extends previous EPR and XAS analysis in which, in contrast, the effect of adding Zn(II) to Cu(II)–tetra-octarepeat complexes was investigated. Detailed structural analysis of the XAS spectra taken at both the Cu and Zn K-edge when the two metals are present at different relative concentrations revealed that Zn(II) and Cu(II) ions compete for binding to the tetra-octarepeat peptide by cross-regulating their relative binding modes. We show that the specific metal–peptide coordination mode depends not only, as expected, on the relative metal concentrations, but also on whether Zn(II) or Cu(II) was first bound to the peptide. In particular, it seems that the Zn(II) binding mode in the absence of Cu(II) is able to promote the formation of small peptide clusters in which triplets of tetra-octarepeats are bridged by pairs of Zn ions. When Cu(II) is added, it starts competing with Zn(II) for binding, disrupting the existing peptide cluster arrangement, despite the fact that Cu(II) is unable to completely displace Zn(II). These results may have a bearing on our understanding of peptide-aggregation processes and, with the delicate cross-regulation balancing we have revealed, seem to suggest the existence of an interesting, finely tuned interplay among metal ions affecting protein binding, capable of providing a mechanism for regulation of metal concentration in cells. PMID:25395329

  18. Monitoring prion protein expression in complex biological samples by SERS for diagnostic applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manno, D.; Filippo, E.; Fiore, R.; Serra, A.; Urso, E.; Rizzello, A.; Maffia, M.

    2010-04-01

    Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) allows a new insight into the analysis of cell physiology. In this work, the difficulty of producing suitable substrates that, besides permitting the amplification of the Raman signal, do not interact with the biological material causing alteration, has been overcome by a combined method of hydrothermal green synthesis and thermal annealing. The SERS analysis of the cell membrane has been performed with special attention to the cellular prion protein PrPC. In addition, SERS has also been used to reveal the prion protein-Cu(II) interaction in four different cell models (B104, SH-SY5Y, GN11, HeLa), expressing PrPC at different levels. A significant implication of the current work consists of the intriguing possibility of revealing and quantifying prion protein expression in complex biological samples by a cheap SERS-based method, replacing the expensive and time-consuming immuno-assay systems commonly employed.

  19. Prevalence of the prion protein gene E211K variant in U.S. cattle

    PubMed Central

    Heaton, Michael P; Keele, John W; Harhay, Gregory P; Richt, Jürgen A; Koohmaraie, Mohammad; Wheeler, Tommy L; Shackelford, Steven D; Casas, Eduardo; King, D Andy; Sonstegard, Tad S; Van Tassell, Curtis P; Neibergs, Holly L; Chase, Chad C; Kalbfleisch, Theodore S; Smith, Timothy PL; Clawson, Michael L; Laegreid, William W

    2008-01-01

    Background In 2006, an atypical U.S. case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was discovered in Alabama and later reported to be polymorphic for glutamate (E) and lysine (K) codons at position 211 in the bovine prion protein gene (Prnp) coding sequence. A bovine E211K mutation is important because it is analogous to the most common pathogenic mutation in humans (E200K) which causes hereditary Creutzfeldt – Jakob disease, an autosomal dominant form of prion disease. The present report describes a high-throughput matrix-associated laser desorption/ionization-time-of-flight mass spectrometry assay for scoring the Prnp E211K variant and its use to determine an upper limit for the K211 allele frequency in U.S. cattle. Results The K211 allele was not detected in 6062 cattle, including those from five commercial beef processing plants (3892 carcasses) and 2170 registered cattle from 42 breeds. Multiple nearby polymorphisms in Prnp coding sequence of 1456 diverse purebred cattle (42 breeds) did not interfere with scoring E211 or K211 alleles. Based on these results, the upper bounds for prevalence of the E211K variant was estimated to be extremely low, less than 1 in 2000 cattle (Bayesian analysis based on 95% quantile of the posterior distribution with a uniform prior). Conclusion No groups or breeds of U.S. cattle are presently known to harbor the Prnp K211 allele. Because a carrier was not detected, the number of additional atypical BSE cases with K211 will also be vanishingly low. PMID:18625065

  20. Molecular dynamics studies on the NMR and X-ray structures of rabbit prion proteins.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jiapu; Zhang, Yuanli

    2014-02-01

    Prion diseases, traditionally referred to as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), are invariably fatal and highly infectious neurodegenerative diseases that affect a wide variety of mammalian species, 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. These neurodegenerative diseases are caused by the conversion from a soluble normal cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) into insoluble abnormally folded infectious prions (PrP(Sc)), and the conversion of PrP(C) to PrP(Sc) is believed to involve conformational change from a predominantly α-helical protein to one rich in β-sheet structure. Such a conformational change may be amenable to study by molecular dynamics (MD) techniques. For rabbits, classical studies show that they have a low susceptibility to be infected by PrP(Sc), but recently it was reported that rabbit prions can be generated through saPMCA (serial automated Protein Misfolding Cyclic Amplification) in vitro and the rabbit prion is infectious and transmissible. In this paper, we first do a detailed survey on the research advances of rabbit prion protein (RaPrP) and then we perform MD simulations on the NMR and X-ray molecular structures of rabbit prion protein wild-type and mutants. The survey shows to us that rabbits were not challenged directly in vivo with other known prion strains and the saPMCA result did not pass the test of the known BSE strain of cattle. Thus, we might still look rabbits as a prion resistant species. MD results indicate that the three α-helices of the wild-type are stable under the neutral pH environment (but under low pH environment the three α-helices have been unfolded into β-sheets), and the three α-helices of the mutants (I214V and S173N) are unfolded into rich β-sheet structures under

  1. Investigating the Spreading and Toxicity of Prion-like Proteins Using the Metazoan Model Organism C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Nussbaum-Krammer, Carmen I.; Neto, Mário F.; Brielmann, Renée M.; Pedersen, Jesper S.; Morimoto, Richard I.

    2016-01-01

    Prions are unconventional self-propagating proteinaceous particles, devoid of any coding nucleic acid. These proteinaceous seeds serve as templates for the conversion and replication of their benign cellular isoform. Accumulating evidence suggests that many protein aggregates can act as self-propagating templates and corrupt the folding of cognate proteins. Although aggregates can be functional under certain circumstances, this process often leads to the disruption of the cellular protein homeostasis (proteostasis), eventually leading to devastating diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). The exact mechanisms of prion propagation and cell-to-cell spreading of protein aggregates are still subjects of intense investigation. To further this knowledge, recently a new metazoan model in Caenorhabditis elegans, for expression of the prion domain of the cytosolic yeast prion protein Sup35 has been established. This prion model offers several advantages, as it allows direct monitoring of the fluorescently tagged prion domain in living animals and ease of genetic approaches. Described here are methods to study prion-like behavior of protein aggregates and to identify modifiers of prion-induced toxicity using C. elegans. PMID:25591151

  2. The physiological role of the normal cellular prion protein (PrPC).

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The normal cellular prion protein (PrPC) is a highly conserved protein expressed by the prnp gene. It is an essential substrate for the propagation of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), but its natural function remains uncertain. Mice, genetically engineered to be devoid of the prnp...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    The β2–α2 loop of PrPC is a key modulator of disease-associated prion protein misfolding. Amino acids that differentiate mouse (Ser169, Asn173) and deer (Asn169, Thr173) PrPC appear to confer dramatically different structural properties in this region and it has been suggested that amino acid sequences associated with structural rigidity of the loop also confer susceptibility to prion disease. Using mouse recombinant PrP, we show that mutating residue 173 from Asn to Thr alters protein stability and misfolding only subtly, whilst changing Ser to Asn at codon 169 causes instability in the protein, promotes oligomer formation and dramatically potentiates fibril formation. The doubly mutated protein exhibits more complex folding and misfolding behaviour than either single mutant, suggestive of differential effects of the β2–α2 loop sequence on both protein stability and on specific misfolding pathways. Molecular dynamics simulation of protein structure suggests a key role for the solvent accessibility of Tyr168 in promoting molecular interactions that may lead to prion protein misfolding. Thus, we conclude that ‘rigidity’ in the β2–α2 loop region of the normal conformer of PrP has less effect on misfolding than other sequence-related effects in this region. PMID:26490404

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Prion-like domains (PLDs) are low complexity sequences found in RNA binding proteins associated with the neurodegenerative disorder amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Recently, PLDs have been implicated in mediating gene regulation via liquid-phase transitions that drive ribonucleoprotein granule assembly. In this paper, we report many PLDs in proteins associated with paraspeckles, subnuclear bodies that form around long noncoding RNA. We mapped the interactome network of paraspeckle proteins, finding enrichment of PLDs. We show that one protein, RBM14, connects key paraspeckle subcomplexes via interactions mediated by its PLD. We further show that the RBM14 PLD, as well as the PLD of another essential paraspeckle protein, FUS, is required to rescue paraspeckle formation in cells in which their endogenous counterpart has been knocked down. Similar to FUS, the RBM14 PLD also forms hydrogels with amyloid-like properties. These results suggest a role for PLD-mediated liquid-phase transitions in paraspeckle formation, highlighting this nuclear body as an excellent model system for understanding the perturbation of such processes in neurodegeneration. PMID:26283796

  6. Aptamer-mediated turn-on fluorescence assay for prion protein based on guanine quenched fluophor.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Sai Jin; Hu, Ping Ping; Li, Yuan Fang; Huang, Cheng Zhi; Huang, Tao; Xiao, Geng Fu

    2009-10-15

    An aptamer-participated haprin structure was designed by employing cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) as a model protein, and thus an aptamer-mediated turn-on fluorescence assay for proteins was developed in this contribution. The designed aptamer-participated haprin structure consists of three segments. Namely, an aptamer sequence located in the loop, three guanine bases at 3'-terminal, and a fluophor modified at 5'-terminal. It was found that the guanine bases at the 3'-terminal could quench the fluorescence of the fluophor such as tetramethyl-6-carboxyrhodamine (TAMRA) at the 5'-terminal about 76.6% via electron transfer if the guanine bases are close enough to the fluophor, and the quenched fluorescence could get restored when the target protein is present since the interaction, which could be confirmed by measuring fluorescence lifetime, between TAMRA-aptamer and the target protein forces the guanines away from TAMRA so that TAMRA-modified aptamer changes into turn-on state. A linear relationship was then constructed between the turn-on fluorescence intensity and the concentration of PrP(C) in the range from 1.1 to 44.7 microg/mL with a limit of detection of 0.3 microg/mL (3sigma). PMID:19635360

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-26

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

  8. Deer Prion Proteins Modulate the Emergence and Adaptation of Chronic Wasting Disease Strains

    PubMed Central

    Duque Velásquez, Camilo; Kim, Chiye; Herbst, Allen; Daude, Nathalie; Garza, Maria Carmen; Wille, Holger; Aiken, Judd

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Transmission of chronic wasting disease (CWD) between cervids is influenced by the primary structure of the host cellular prion protein (PrPC). In white-tailed deer, PRNP alleles encode the polymorphisms Q95 G96 (wild type [wt]), Q95 S96 (referred to as the S96 allele), and H95 G96 (referred to as the H95 allele), which differentially impact CWD progression. We hypothesize that the transmission of CWD prions between deer expressing different allotypes of PrPC modifies the contagious agent affecting disease spread. To evaluate the transmission properties of CWD prions derived experimentally from deer of four PRNP genotypes (wt/wt, S96/wt, H95/wt, or H95/S96), transgenic (tg) mice expressing the wt allele (tg33) or S96 allele (tg60) were challenged with these prion agents. Passage of deer CWD prions into tg33 mice resulted in 100% attack rates, with the CWD H95/S96 prions having significantly longer incubation periods. The disease signs and neuropathological and protease-resistant prion protein (PrP-res) profiles in infected tg33 mice were similar between groups, indicating that a prion strain (Wisc-1) common to all CWD inocula was amplified. In contrast, tg60 mice developed prion disease only when inoculated with the H95/wt and H95/S96 CWD allotypes. Serial passage in tg60 mice resulted in adaptation of a novel CWD strain (H95+) with distinct biological properties. Transmission of first-passage tg60CWD-H95+ isolates into tg33 mice, however, elicited two prion disease presentations consistent with a mixture of strains associated with different PrP-res glycotypes. Our data indicate that H95-PRNP heterozygous deer accumulated two CWD strains whose emergence was dictated by the PrPC primary structure of the recipient host. These findings suggest that CWD transmission between cervids expressing distinct PrPC molecules results in the generation of novel CWD strains. IMPORTANCE CWD prions are contagious among wild and captive cervids in North America and in South

  9. A comparative molecular dynamics study on thermostability of human and chicken prion proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Ji, Hong-Fang; Zhang, Hong-Yu . E-mail: zhanghy@sdut.edu.cn

    2007-08-03

    To compare the thermostabilities of human and chicken normal cellular prion proteins (HuPrP{sup C} and CkPrP{sup C}), molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were performed for both proteins at an ensemble level (10 parallel simulations at 400 K and 5 parallel simulations at 300 K as a control). It is found that the thermostability of HuPrP{sup C} is comparable with that of CkPrP{sup C}, which implicates that the non-occurrence of prion diseases in non-mammals cannot be completely attributed to the thermodynamic properties of non-mammalian PrP{sup C}.

  10. Cellular Prion Protein Promotes Brucella Infection into Macrophages

    PubMed Central

    Watarai, Masahisa; Kim, Suk; Erdenebaatar, Janchivdorj; Makino, Sou-ichi; Horiuchi, Motohiro; Shirahata, Toshikazu; Sakaguchi, Suehiro; Katamine, Shigeru

    2003-01-01

    The products of the Brucella abortus virB gene locus, which are highly similar to conjugative DNA transfer system, enable the bacterium to replicate within macrophage vacuoles. The replicative phagosome is thought to be established by the interaction of a substrate of the VirB complex with macrophages, although the substrate and its host cellular target have not yet been identified. We report here that Hsp60, a member of the GroEL family of chaperonins, of B. abortus is capable of interacting directly or indirectly with cellular prion protein (PrPC) on host cells. Aggregation of PrPC tail-like formation was observed during bacterial swimming internalization into macrophages and PrPC was selectively incorporated into macropinosomes containing B. abortus. Hsp60 reacted strongly with serum from human brucellosis patients and was exposed on the bacterial surface via a VirB complex–associated process. Under in vitro and in vivo conditions, Hsp60 of B. abortus bound to PrPC. Hsp60 of B. abortus, expressed on the surface of Lactococcus lactis, promoted the aggregation of PrPC but not PrPC tail formation on macrophages. The PrPC deficiency prevented swimming internalization and intracellular replication of B. abortus, with the result that phagosomes bearing the bacteria were targeted into the endocytic network. These results indicate that signal transduction induced by the interaction between bacterial Hsp60 and PrPC on macrophages contributes to the establishment of B. abortus infection. PMID:12847134

  11. Hematological shift in goat kids naturally devoid of prion protein

    PubMed Central

    Reiten, Malin R.; Bakkebø, Maren K.; Brun-Hansen, Hege; Lewandowska-Sabat, Anna M.; Olsaker, Ingrid; Tranulis, Michael A.; Espenes, Arild; Boysen, Preben

    2015-01-01

    The physiological role of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) is incompletely understood. The expression of PrPC in hematopoietic stem cells and immune cells suggests a role in the development of these cells, and in PrPC knockout animals altered immune cell proliferation and phagocytic function have been observed. Recently, a spontaneous nonsense mutation at codon 32 in the PRNP gene in goats of the Norwegian Dairy breed was discovered, rendering homozygous animals devoid of PrPC. Here we report hematological and immunological analyses of homozygous goat kids lacking PrPC (PRNPTer/Ter) compared to heterozygous (PRNP+/Ter) and normal (PRNP+/+) kids. Levels of cell surface PrPC and PRNP mRNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) correlated well and were very low in PRNPTer/Ter, intermediate in PRNP+/Ter and high in PRNP+/+ kids. The PRNPTer/Ter animals had a shift in blood cell composition with an elevated number of red blood cells (RBCs) and a tendency toward a smaller mean RBC volume (P = 0.08) and an increased number of neutrophils (P = 0.068), all values within the reference ranges. Morphological investigations of blood smears and bone marrow imprints did not reveal irregularities. Studies of relative composition of PBMCs, phagocytic ability of monocytes and T-cell proliferation revealed no significant differences between the genotypes. Our data suggest that PrPC has a role in bone marrow physiology and warrant further studies of PrPC in erythroid and immune cell progenitors as well as differentiated effector cells also under stressful conditions. Altogether, this genetically unmanipulated PrPC-free animal model represents a unique opportunity to unveil the enigmatic physiology and function of PrPC. PMID:26217662

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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,...

  13. A prion-like protein from chicken brain copurifies with an acetylcholine receptor-inducing activity.

    PubMed Central

    Harris, D A; Falls, D L; Johnson, F A; Fischbach, G D

    1991-01-01

    The mammalian prion protein (PrPC) is a cellular protein of unknown function, an altered isoform of which (PrPSc) is a component of the infectious particle (prion) thought to be responsible for spongiform encephalopathies in humans and animals. We report here the isolation of a cDNA that encodes a chicken protein that is homologous to PrPC. This chicken prion-like protein (ch-PrLP) is identical to the mouse PrP at 33% of its amino acid positions, including an uninterrupted stretch of 24 identical residues, and it displays the same structural domains. In addition, ch-PrLP, like its mammalian counterpart, is attached to the cell surface by a glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol anchor. We find that ch-PrLP is the major protein in preparations of an acetylcholine receptor-inducing activity that has been purified greater than 10(6)-fold from brain on the basis of its ability to stimulate synthesis of nicotinic receptors by cultured myotubes. The ch-PrLP gene is expressed in the spinal cord and brain as early as embryonic day 6; and in the spinal cord, the protein appears to be concentrated in motor neurons. Our results therefore raise the possibility that prion proteins serve normally to regulate the chemoreceptor number at the neuromuscular junction and perhaps in the central nervous system as well. Images PMID:1715573

  14. All quiet on the neuronal front: NMDA receptor inhibition by prion protein.

    PubMed

    Steele, Andrew D

    2008-06-01

    The normal function of the prion protein (PrP)--the causative agent of mad cow or prion disease--has long remained out of reach. Deciphering PrP's function may help to unravel the complex chain of events triggered by PrP misfolding during prion disease. In this issue of the JCB, an exciting paper (Khosravani, H., Y. Zhang, S. Tsutsui, S. Hameed, C. Altier, J. Hamid, L. Chen, M. Villemaire, Z. Ali, F.R. Jirik, and G.W. Zamponi. 2008. J. Cell Biol. 181:551-565) connects diverse observations regarding PrP into a coherent framework whereby PrP dampens the activity of an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor (NMDAR) subtype and reduces excitotoxic lesions. The findings of this study suggest that understanding the normal function of proteins associated with neurodegenerative disease may elucidate the molecular pathogenesis. PMID:18504309

  15. All quiet on the neuronal front: NMDA receptor inhibition by prion protein.

    PubMed

    Steele, Andrew D

    2008-05-01

    The normal function of the prion protein (PrP)-the causative agent of mad cow or prion disease-has long remained out of reach. Deciphering PrP's function may help to unravel the complex chain of events triggered by PrP misfolding during prion disease. In this issue of the JCB, an exciting paper (Khosravani, H., Y. Zhang, S. Tsutsui, S. Hameed, C. Altier, J. Hamid, L. Chen, M. Villemaire, Z. Ali, F.R. Jirik, and G.W. Zamponi. 2008. J. Cell Biol. 181:551-565) connects diverse observations regarding PrP into a coherent framework whereby PrP dampens the activity of an N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor (NMDAR) subtype and reduces excitotoxic lesions. The findings of this study suggest that understanding the normal function of proteins associated with neurodegenerative disease may elucidate the molecular pathogenesis. PMID:18443224

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-03-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  18. Pathogenic prion protein is degraded by a manganese oxide mineral found in soils

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Russo, F.; Johnson, C.J.; McKenzie, D.; Aiken, Judd M.; Pedersen, J.A.

    2009-01-01

    Prions, the aetiological agents of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, exhibit extreme resistance to degradation. Soil can retain prion infectivity in the environment for years. Reactive soil components may, however, contribute to the inactivation of prions in soil. Members of the birnessite family of manganese oxides (MnO2) rank among the strongest natural oxidants in soils. Here, we report the abiotic degradation of pathogenic prion protein (PrPTSE) by a synthetic analogue of naturally occurring birnessite minerals. Aqueous MnO2 suspensions degraded the PrPTSE as evidenced by decreased immunoreactivity and diminished ability to seed protein misfolding cyclic amplification reactions. Birnessite-mediated PrPTSE degradation increased as a solution's pH decreased, consistent with the pH-dependence of the redox potential of MnO2. Exposure to 5.6 mg MnO2 ml-1 (PrPTSE:MnO2=1 : 110) decreased PrPTSE levels by ???4 orders of magnitude. Manganese oxides may contribute to prion degradation in soil environments rich in these minerals. ?? 2009 SGM.

  19. Comparative analysis of essential collective dynamics and NMR-derived flexibility profiles in evolutionarily diverse prion proteins.

    PubMed

    Santo, Kolattukudy P; Berjanskii, Mark; Wishart, David S; Stepanova, Maria

    2011-01-01

    Collective motions on ns-μs time scales are known to have a major impact on protein folding, stability, binding and enzymatic efficiency. It is also believed that these motions may have an important role in the early stages of prion protein misfolding and prion disease. In an effort to accurately characterize these motions and their potential influence on the misfolding and prion disease transmissibility we have conducted a combined analysis of molecular dynamic simulations and NMR-derived flexibility measurements over a diverse range of prion proteins. Using a recently developed numerical formalism, we have analyzed the essential collective dynamics (ECD) for prion proteins from 8 different species including human, cow, elk, cat, hamster, chicken, turtle and frog. We also compared the numerical results with flexibility profiles generated by the random coil index (RCI) from NMR chemical shifts. Prion protein backbone flexibility derived from experimental NMR data and from theoretical computations show strong agreement with each other, demonstrating that it is possible to predict the observed RCI profiles employing the numerical ECD formalism. Interestingly, flexibility differences in the loop between second beta strand (S2) and the second alpha helix (HB) appear to distinguish prion proteins from species that are susceptible to prion disease and those that are resistant. Our results show that the different levels of flexibility in the S2-HB loop in various species are predictable via the ECD method, indicating that ECD may be used to identify disease resistant variants of prion proteins, as well as the influence of prion proteins mutations on disease susceptibility or misfolding propensity. PMID:21869604

  20. Divalent metals stabilize cellular prion proteins and alter the rate of proteinase-K dependent limited proteolysis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Background: The key biochemical event in the pathogenesis of prion diseases is the conversion of normal cellular prion proteins (PrP**c) to the proteinase K (PK) resistant, abnormal form (PrP**sc); however, the cellular mechanisms underlying the conversion remain enigmatic. Binding of divalent ca...

  1. MANGANESE UPREGULATES CELLULAR PRION PROTEINS AND INHIBITS THE RATE OF PROTEINASE-K DEPENDENT LIMITED PROTEOLYSIS IN NEURONAL CELLS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The key event in the pathogenesis of prion diseases is the conversion of normal cellular prion proteins (PrP**c) to the proteinase K (PK) resistant, abnormal form (PrP**sc); however, the cellular mechanisms underlying the conversion remain enigmatic. Binding of divalent cations such as copper to th...

  2. Disease-associated prion protein in neural and lymphoid tissues of mink (Mustela vison) inoculated with transmissible mink encephalopathy

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Transmissible mink encephalopathy (TME) is a prion disorder of farmed raised mink. As with the other transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, the disorder is associated with accumulation of the misfolded prion protein in the brain and an invariably fatal outcome. TME outbreaks have been rare but...

  3. Clinical features in prion protein-deficient and wild-type cattle inoculated with transmissible mink encephalopathy (TME)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Background: Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) or prion diseases are caused by the propagation of a misfolded form (PrP**d) of the normal cellular prion protein, PrP**c. Recently, we have reported the generation and characterization of PrP**C-deficient cattle (PrP-/-) produced by a seq...

  4. Amyloid Properties of Asparagine and Glutamine in Prion-like Proteins.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yuan; Man, Viet Hoang; Roland, Christopher; Sagui, Celeste

    2016-05-18

    Sequences rich in glutamine (Q) and asparagine (N) are intrinsically disordered in monomeric form, but can aggregate into highly ordered amyloids, as seen in Q/N-rich prion domains (PrDs). Amyloids are fibrillar protein aggregates rich in β-sheet structures that can self-propagate through protein-conformational chain reactions. Here, we present a comprehensive theoretical study of N/Q-rich peptides, including sequences found in the yeast Sup35 PrD, in parallel and antiparallel β-sheet aggregates, and probe via fully atomistic molecular dynamics simulations all their possible steric-zipper interfaces in order to determine their protofibril structure and their relative stability. Our results show that polyglutamine aggregates are more stable than polyasparagine aggregates. Enthalpic contributions to the free energy favor the formation of polyQ protofibrils, while entropic contributions favor the formation of polyN protofibrils. The considerably larger phase space that disordered polyQ must sample on its way to aggregation probably is at the root of the associated slower kinetics observed experimentally. When other amino acids are present, such as in the Sup35 PrD, their shorter side chains favor steric-zipper formation for N but not Q, as they preclude the in-register association of the long Q side chains. PMID:26911543

  5. Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease With Extremely Low Lymphoreticular Deposition of Prion Protein

    PubMed Central

    Mead, Simon; Wadsworth, Jonathan D. F.; Porter, Marie-Claire; Linehan, Jacqueline M.; Pietkiewicz, Wojciech; Jackson, Graham S.; Brandner, Sebastian; Collinge, John

    2014-01-01

    IMPORTANCE Human transmission of bovine spongiform encephalopathy causes the fatal neurodegenerative condition variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) and, based on recent human prevalence studies, significant subclinical prion infection of the UK population. To date, all clinical cases have been fatal, totaling 228 mostly young adults residing in the United Kingdom. OBSERVATIONS Here we describe the investigation and case history of a patient recently diagnosed as having vCJD in the United Kingdom. Although his presentation, imaging findings, cerebrospinal fluid investigation results, and clinical progression were typical of other cases, tonsillar biopsy and subsequent examination of multiple tissues at autopsy showed minimal deposition of disease-associated prion protein in peripheral lymphoreticular tissue. The result of a blood test for vCJD, the Direct Detection Assay for vCJD, was negative. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE These findings suggest that some patients with vCJD have very low peripheral prion colonization and therefore may not have detectable prion deposition in diagnostic tonsillar biopsy or markers of prion infection in blood. These results have implications for accurate interpretation of diagnostic tests and prevalence studies based on lymphoreticular tissue or blood. PMID:24445428

  6. Cellular prion protein (PrPC) and its role in stress responses

    PubMed Central

    Zeng, Liang; Zou, Wenquan; Wang, Gongxian

    2015-01-01

    Investigation of the physiological function of cellular prion protein (PrPC) has been developed by the generation of transgenic mice, however, the pathological mechanisms related to PrPC in prion diseases such as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are still abstruse. Regardless of some differences, most studies describe the neuroprotective role of PrPC in environmental stresses. In this review, we will update the current knowledge on the responses of PrPC to various stresses, especially those correlated with cell signaling and neural degeneration, including ischemia, oxidative stress, inflammation and autophagy. PMID:26221369

  7. IMMUNOHISTOCHEMICAL DETECTION AND DISTRIBUTION OF PRION PROTEIN IN A GOAT WITH NATURAL SCRAPIE

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections from a 3-year-old female Angora goat suffering from clinical scrapie were immunostained using a monoclonal antibody (mAb, F99/97.6.1; IgG1) specific for a conserved epitope on the prion protein. Widespread and prominent deposition of the scrapie iso...

  8. Detection of the disease associated form of the prion protein in biological samples

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) or prion diseases are neurodegenerative diseases that occur in a variety of mammals. In these diseases, a chromosomally encoded protein (PrP**c) undergoes a conformational change to the disease associated form (PrP**d), and PrP**d is capable inducing ...

  9. Nanoscale insights into full-length prion protein aggregation on model lipid membranes.

    PubMed

    Pan, Yangang; Wang, Bin; Zhang, Tong; Zhang, Yanan; Wang, Hongda; Xu, Bingqian

    2016-06-30

    The aggregates of the full-length human recombinant prion protein (PrP) (23-231) on model membranes were investigated by combining the atomic force microscopy (AFM) measurements and theoretical calculations at pH 5.0, showing the great effect of PrP concentration on its supramolecular assemblies on the lipid bilayer. PMID:27284592

  10. Prion Protein M129V Polymorphism Affects Retrieval-Related Brain Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buchmann, Andreas; Mondadori, Christian R. A.; Hanggi, Jurgen; Aerni, Amanda; Vrticka, Pascal; Luechinger, Roger; Boesiger, Peter; Hock, Christoph; Nitsch, Roger M.; de Quervain, Dominique J.-F.; Papassotiropoulos, Andreas; Henke, Katharina

    2008-01-01

    The prion protein Met129Val polymorphism has recently been related to human long-term memory with carriers of either the 129[superscript MM] or the 129[superscript MV] genotype recalling 17% more words than 129[superscript VV] carriers at 24 h following learning. Here, we sampled genotype differences in retrieval-related brain activity at 30 min…

  11. Enhancement of phagocytotic activity by prion protein in PrP-deficient macrophage cells.

    PubMed

    Uraki, Ryuta; Sakudo, Akikazu; Ando, Saeko; Kitani, Hiroshi; Onodera, Takashi

    2010-10-01

    Macrophages, especially follicular dendritic cells, contribute to the pathogenesis of prion diseases by accumulating an abnormal isoform of prion protein (PrPSc), which is converted from the cellular isoform of prion protein (PrPC). As information on the function of PrPC in macrophages is limited, we have established a prion protein (PrP) gene (Prnp)-deficient macrophage cell line from the bone marrow of ZrchI Prnp-/- mice. These cells expressed macrophage specific proteins (F4/80 and MOMA-2) and displayed phagocytotic properties. The Prnp-/- macrophage cell line (MplZ) showed shorter pseudopodium extension and less phagocytotic activity than a Prnp+/+ macrophage cell line (MWF). In addition, the MplZ cells were more sensitive to serum deprivation than the MWF cells and underwent apoptotic cell death in these conditions. These findings suggest that PrPC enhances the incorporation of materials possibly including PrPSc and decreases the sensitivity of cells to oxidative stress, which may be induced by PrPSc accumulation. PMID:20818492

  12. Prion domain of yeast Ure2 protein adopts a completely disordered structure: a solid-support EPR study.

    PubMed

    Ngo, Sam; Chiang, Vicky; Ho, Elaine; Le, Linh; Guo, Zhefeng

    2012-01-01

    Amyloid fibril formation is associated with a range of neurodegenerative diseases in humans, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and prion diseases. In yeast, amyloid underlies several non-Mendelian phenotypes referred to as yeast prions. Mechanism of amyloid formation is critical for a complete understanding of the yeast prion phenomenon and human amyloid-related diseases. Ure2 protein is the basis of yeast prion [URE3]. The Ure2p prion domain is largely disordered. Residual structures, if any, in the disordered region may play an important role in the aggregation process. Studies of Ure2p prion domain are complicated by its high aggregation propensity, which results in a mixture of monomer and aggregates in solution. Previously we have developed a solid-support electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) approach to address this problem and have identified a structured state for the Alzheimer's amyloid-β monomer. Here we use solid-support EPR to study the structure of Ure2p prion domain. EPR spectra of Ure2p prion domain with spin labels at every fifth residue from position 10 to position 75 show similar residue mobility profile for denaturing and native buffers after accounting for the effect of solution viscosity. These results suggest that Ure2p prion domain adopts a completely disordered structure in the native buffer. A completely disordered Ure2p prion domain implies that the amyloid formation of Ure2p, and likely other Q/N-rich yeast prion proteins, is primarily driven by inter-molecular interactions. PMID:23077577

  13. New Insights into Metal Interactions with the Prion Protein

    PubMed Central

    McDonald, Alex; Pushie, M. Jake; Millhauser, Glenn L.; George, Graham N.

    2013-01-01

    Copper coordination to the prion protein (PrP) has garnered considerable interest for almost 20 years, due in part to the possibility that this interaction may be part of the normal function of PrP. The most characterized form of copper binding to PrP has been Cu2+ interaction with the conserved tandem repeats in the N-terminal domain of PrP, termed the octarepeats, with many studies focusing on single and multiple repeats of PHGGGWGQ. Extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) spectroscopy has been used in several previous instances to characterize the solution structure of Cu2+ binding into the peptide backbone in the HGGG portion of the octarepeats. All previous EXAFS studies, however, have benefitted from crystallographic structure information for [CuII (Ac-HGGGW-NH2)–2H], but have not conclusively demonstrated that the complex EXAFS spectrum represents the same coordination environment for Cu2+ bound to the peptide backbone. Density functional structure calculations as well as full multiple scattering EXAFS curve fitting analysis are brought to bear on the predominant coordination mode for Cu2+ with the Ac-PHGGGWGQ-NH2 peptide at physiological pH, under high Cu2+ occupancy conditions. In addition to the structure calculations, which provide a thermodynamic link to structural information, methods are also presented for extensive deconvolution of the EXAFS spectrum. We demonstrate how the EXAFS data can be analyzed to extract the maximum structural information and arrive at a structural model that is significantly improved over previous EXAFS characterizations. The EXAFS spectrum for the chemically reduced form of copper binding to the Ac-PHGGGWGQ-NH2 peptide is presented, which is best modeled as a linear 2-coordinate species with a single His imidazole ligand and a water molecule. The extent of in situ photoreduction of the copper center during standard data collection is also presented and EXAFS curve fitting of the photoreduced species reveals an

  14. Surface charge of polyoxometalates modulates polymerization of the scrapie prion protein

    PubMed Central

    Wille, Holger; Shanmugam, Maheswaran; Murugesu, Muralee; Ollesch, Julian; Stubbs, Gerald; Long, Jeffrey R.; Safar, Jiri G.; Prusiner, Stanley B.

    2009-01-01

    Prions are composed solely of an alternatively folded isoform of the prion protein (PrP), designated PrPSc. N-terminally truncated PrPSc, denoted PrP 27–30, retains infectivity and polymerizes into rods with the ultrastructural and tinctorial properties of amyloid. We report here that some polyoxometalates (POMs) favor polymerization of PrP 27-30 into prion rods, whereas other POMs promote assembly of the protein into 2D crystals. Antibodies reacting with epitopes in denatured PrP 27-30 also bound to 2D crystals treated with 3 M urea. These same antibodies did not bind to either native PrPSc or untreated 2D crystals. By using small, spherical POMs with Keggin-type structures, the central heteroatom was found to determine whether prion rods or 2D crystals were preferentially formed. An example of a Keggin-type POM with a phosphorous heteroatom is the phosphotungstate anion (PTA). Both PTA and a Keggin-type POM with a silicon heteratom have low-charge densities and favor formation of prion rods. In contrast, POMs with boron or hydrogen heteroatoms exhibiting higher negative charges encouraged 2D crystal formation. The 2D crystals of PrP 27-30 produced by selective precipitation with POMs were larger and more well ordered than those obtained by sucrose gradient centrifugation. Our findings argue that the negative charge of Keggin-type POMs determines the quaternary structure adopted by PrP 27-30. The mechanism by which POMs function in competing prion polymerization pathways—one favoring 2D crystals and the other, amyloid fibrils—remains to be established. PMID:19223590

  15. Theoretical model of prion propagation: a misfolded protein induces misfolding.

    PubMed

    Małolepsza, Edyta; Boniecki, Michal; Kolinski, Andrzej; Piela, Lucjan

    2005-05-31

    There is a hypothesis that dangerous diseases such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, Creutzfeldt-Jakob, Alzheimer's, fatal familial insomnia, and several others are induced by propagation of wrong or misfolded conformations of some vital proteins. If for some reason the misfolded conformations were acquired by many such protein molecules it might lead to a "conformational" disease of the organism. Here, a theoretical model of the molecular mechanism of such a conformational disease is proposed, in which a metastable (or misfolded) form of a protein induces a similar misfolding of another protein molecule (conformational autocatalysis). First, a number of amino acid sequences composed of 32 aa have been designed that fold rapidly into a well defined native-like alpha-helical conformation. From a large number of such sequences a subset of 14 had a specific feature of their energy landscape, a well defined local energy minimum (higher than the global minimum for the alpha-helical fold) corresponding to beta-type structure. Only one of these 14 sequences exhibited a strong autocatalytic tendency to form a beta-sheet dimer capable of further propagation of protofibril-like structure. Simulations were done by using a reduced, although of high resolution, protein model and the replica exchange Monte Carlo sampling procedure. PMID:15911770

  16. Theoretical model of prion propagation: A misfolded protein induces misfolding

    PubMed Central

    Małolepsza, Edyta; Boniecki, Michał; Kolinski, Andrzej; Piela, Lucjan

    2005-01-01

    There is a hypothesis that dangerous diseases such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, Creutzfeldt-Jakob, Alzheimer's, fatal familial insomnia, and several others are induced by propagation of wrong or misfolded conformations of some vital proteins. If for some reason the misfolded conformations were acquired by many such protein molecules it might lead to a “conformational” disease of the organism. Here, a theoretical model of the molecular mechanism of such a conformational disease is proposed, in which a metastable (or misfolded) form of a protein induces a similar misfolding of another protein molecule (conformational autocatalysis). First, a number of amino acid sequences composed of 32 aa have been designed that fold rapidly into a well defined native-like α-helical conformation. From a large number of such sequences a subset of 14 had a specific feature of their energy landscape, a well defined local energy minimum (higher than the global minimum for the α-helical fold) corresponding to β-type structure. Only one of these 14 sequences exhibited a strong autocatalytic tendency to form a β-sheet dimer capable of further propagation of protofibril-like structure. Simulations were done by using a reduced, although of high resolution, protein model and the replica exchange Monte Carlo sampling procedure. PMID:15911770

  17. Protein sequence databases.

    PubMed

    Apweiler, Rolf; Bairoch, Amos; Wu, Cathy H

    2004-02-01

    A variety of protein sequence databases exist, ranging from simple sequence repositories, which store data with little or no manual intervention in the creation of the records, to expertly curated universal databases that cover all species and in which the original sequence data are enhanced by the manual addition of further information in each sequence record. As the focus of researchers moves from the genome to the proteins encoded by it, these databases will play an even more important role as central comprehensive resources of protein information. Several the leading protein sequence databases are discussed here, with special emphasis on the databases now provided by the Universal Protein Knowledgebase (UniProt) consortium. PMID:15036160

  18. Loss of prion protein leads to age-dependent behavioral abnormalities and changes in cytoskeletal protein expression

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cellular prion protein (PrPC) is a multifunctional protein, whose exact physiological role remains elusive. Since previous studies indicated a neuroprotective function of PrPC, we investigated whether Prnp knockout mice(Prnp0/0)display age-dependent behavioral abnormalities. Matched sets of Prnp0/0 ...

  19. A bipolar functionality of Q/N-rich proteins: Lsm4 amyloid causes clearance of yeast prions

    PubMed Central

    Oishi, Keita; Kurahashi, Hiroshi; Pack, Chan-Gi; Sako, Yasushi; Nakamura, Yoshikazu

    2013-01-01

    Prions are epigenetic modifiers that cause partially loss-of-function phenotypes of the proteins in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The molecular chaperone network that supports prion propagation in the cell has seen a great progress in the last decade. However, the cellular machinery to activate or deactivate the prion states remains an enigma, largely due to insufficient knowledge of prion-regulating factors. Here, we report that overexpression of a [PSI+]-inducible Q/N-rich protein, Lsm4, eliminates the three major prions [PSI+], [URE3], and [RNQ+]. Subcloning analysis revealed that the Q/N-rich region of Lsm4 is responsible for the prion loss. Lsm4 formed an amyloid in vivo, which seemed to play a crucial role in the prion elimination. Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy analysis revealed that in the course of the Lsm4-driven [PSI+] elimination, the [PSI+] aggregates undergo a size increase, which ultimately results in the formation of conspicuous foci in otherwise [psi−]-like mother cells. We also found that the antiprion activity is a general property of [PSI+]-inducible factors. These data provoked a novel “unified” model that explains both prion induction and elimination by a single scheme. PMID:23512891

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

    SciTech Connect

    Bitter, Hans-Marcus L.

    2000-07-01

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

  1. N-terminal domain of prion protein directs its oligomeric association.

    PubMed

    Trevitt, Clare R; Hosszu, Laszlo L P; Batchelor, Mark; Panico, Silvia; Terry, Cassandra; Nicoll, Andrew J; Risse, Emmanuel; Taylor, William A; Sandberg, Malin K; Al-Doujaily, Huda; Linehan, Jacqueline M; Saibil, Helen R; Scott, David J; Collinge, John; Waltho, Jonathan P; Clarke, Anthony R

    2014-09-12

    The self-association of prion protein (PrP) is a critical step in the pathology of prion diseases. It is increasingly recognized that small non-fibrillar β-sheet-rich oligomers of PrP may be of crucial importance in the prion disease process. Here, we characterize the structure of a well defined β-sheet-rich oligomer, containing ∼12 PrP molecules, and often enclosing a central cavity, formed using full-length recombinant PrP. The N-terminal region of prion protein (residues 23-90) is required for the formation of this distinct oligomer; a truncated form comprising residues 91-231 forms a broad distribution of aggregated species. No infectivity or toxicity was found using cell and animal model systems. This study demonstrates that examination of the full repertoire of conformers and assembly states that can be accessed by PrP under specific experimental conditions should ideally be done using the full-length protein. PMID:25074940

  2. Human prion strain selection in transgenic mice

    PubMed Central

    Giles, Kurt; Glidden, David V.; Patel, Smita; Korth, Carsten; Groth, Darlene; Lemus, Azucena; DeArmond, Stephen J.; Prusiner, Stanley B.

    2010-01-01

    Transgenic (Tg) mice expressing chimeras of mouse and human prion proteins (PrP) have shorter incubation periods for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) prions than mice expressing full-length human PrP. Increasing the sequence similarity of the chimeric PrP to mouse PrP, by reverting human residues to mouse, resulted in a Tg line, denoted Tg22372, which was susceptible to sporadic (s) CJD prions in ~110 days 1. Reversion of one additional residue (M111V) resulted in a new Tg line, termed Tg1014, susceptible to sCJD prions in ~75 days. Tg1014 mice also has shorter incubation periods for variant (v) CJD prions, providing a more tractable model for studying this prion strain. Transmission of vCJD prions to Tg1014 mice resulted in two different strains, determined by neuropathology and biochemical analysis, which correlated with the length of the incubation time. One strain had the biochemical, neuropathological, and transmission characteristics including longer incubation times of the inoculated vCJD strain; the second strain produced a phenotype resembling that of sCJD prions including relatively shorter incubation periods. Mice with intermediate incubation periods for vCJD prions had a mixture of the two strains. Both strains were serially transmitted in Tg1014 mice, which led to further reduction in incubation periods. Conversion of vCJD-like to sCJD-like strains was favored in Tg1014 mice more than in the Tg22372 line. The single amino acid difference therefore appears to offer selective pressure for propagation of the sCJD-like strain. These two Tg mouse lines provide relatively rapid models to study human prion diseases as well as the evolution of human prion strains. PMID:20695008

  3. Lack of Prion Accumulation in Lymphoid Tissues of Scrapie-affected Sheep with the AA136, QR171 Prion Protein Genotype

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Background: Sheep scrapie is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy which can be transmitted horizontally through the shedding of an infectious conformer (PrP**Sc) of the normal cellular prion protein (PrP**c). Genetics profoundly influence the susceptibility of sheep to scrapie. PrP**c amino-aci...

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

    PubMed Central

    Moudjou, Mohammed; Chapuis, Jérôme; Mekrouti, Mériem; Reine, Fabienne; Herzog, Laetitia; Sibille, Pierre; Laude, Hubert; Vilette, Didier; Andréoletti, Olivier; Rezaei, Human; Dron, Michel; Béringue, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    Prions are formed of misfolded assemblies (PrPSc) of the variably N-glycosylated cellular prion protein (PrPC). In infected species, prions replicate by seeding the conversion and polymerization of host PrPC. Distinct prion strains can be recognized, exhibiting defined PrPSc biochemical properties such as the glycotype and specific biological traits. While strain information is encoded within the conformation of PrPSc assemblies, the storage of the structural information and the molecular requirements for self-perpetuation remain uncertain. Here, we investigated the specific role of PrPC glycosylation status. First, we developed an efficient protein misfolding cyclic amplification method using cells expressing the PrPC species of interest as substrate. Applying the technique to PrPC glycosylation mutants expressing cells revealed that neither PrPC nor PrPSc glycoform stoichiometry was instrumental to PrPSc formation and strainness perpetuation. Our study supports the view that strain properties, including PrPSc glycotype are enciphered within PrPSc structural backbone, not in the attached glycans. PMID:27384922

  5. Identification of misfolded proteins in body fluids for the diagnosis of prion diseases.

    PubMed

    Properzi, Francesca; Pocchiari, Maurizio

    2013-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) or prion diseases are fatal rare neurodegenerative disorders affecting man and animals and caused by a transmissible infectious agent. TSE diseases are characterized by spongiform brain lesions with neuronal loss and the abnormal deposition in the CNS, and to less extent in other tissues, of an insoluble and protease resistant form of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)), named PrP(TSE). In man, TSE diseases affect usually people over 60 years of age with no evident disease-associated risk factors. In some cases, however, TSE diseases are unequivocally linked to infectious episodes related to the use of prion-contaminated medicines, medical devices, or meat products as in the variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). Clinical signs occur months or years after infection, and during this silent period PrP(TSE), the only reliable marker of infection, is not easily measurable in blood or other accessible tissues or body fluids causing public health concerns. To overcome the limit of PrP(TSE) detection, several highly sensitive assays have been developed, but attempts to apply these techniques to blood of infected hosts have been unsuccessful or not yet validated. An update on the latest advances for the detection of misfolded prion protein in body fluids is provided. PMID:24027585

  6. Identification of Misfolded Proteins in Body Fluids for the Diagnosis of Prion Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Pocchiari, Maurizio

    2013-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) or prion diseases are fatal rare neurodegenerative disorders affecting man and animals and caused by a transmissible infectious agent. TSE diseases are characterized by spongiform brain lesions with neuronal loss and the abnormal deposition in the CNS, and to less extent in other tissues, of an insoluble and protease resistant form of the cellular prion protein (PrPC), named PrPTSE. In man, TSE diseases affect usually people over 60 years of age with no evident disease-associated risk factors. In some cases, however, TSE diseases are unequivocally linked to infectious episodes related to the use of prion-contaminated medicines, medical devices, or meat products as in the variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). Clinical signs occur months or years after infection, and during this silent period PrPTSE, the only reliable marker of infection, is not easily measurable in blood or other accessible tissues or body fluids causing public health concerns. To overcome the limit of PrPTSE detection, several highly sensitive assays have been developed, but attempts to apply these techniques to blood of infected hosts have been unsuccessful or not yet validated. An update on the latest advances for the detection of misfolded prion protein in body fluids is provided. PMID:24027585

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

    PubMed

    Moudjou, Mohammed; Chapuis, Jérôme; Mekrouti, Mériem; Reine, Fabienne; Herzog, Laetitia; Sibille, Pierre; Laude, Hubert; Vilette, Didier; Andréoletti, Olivier; Rezaei, Human; Dron, Michel; Béringue, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    Prions are formed of misfolded assemblies (PrP(Sc)) of the variably N-glycosylated cellular prion protein (PrP(C)). In infected species, prions replicate by seeding the conversion and polymerization of host PrP(C). Distinct prion strains can be recognized, exhibiting defined PrP(Sc) biochemical properties such as the glycotype and specific biological traits. While strain information is encoded within the conformation of PrP(Sc) assemblies, the storage of the structural information and the molecular requirements for self-perpetuation remain uncertain. Here, we investigated the specific role of PrP(C) glycosylation status. First, we developed an efficient protein misfolding cyclic amplification method using cells expressing the PrP(C) species of interest as substrate. Applying the technique to PrP(C) glycosylation mutants expressing cells revealed that neither PrP(C) nor PrP(Sc) glycoform stoichiometry was instrumental to PrP(Sc) formation and strainness perpetuation. Our study supports the view that strain properties, including PrP(Sc) glycotype are enciphered within PrP(Sc) structural backbone, not in the attached glycans. PMID:27384922

  8. Lentivector-mediated RNAi efficiently suppresses prion protein and prolongs survival of scrapie-infected mice

    PubMed Central

    Pfeifer, Alexander; Eigenbrod, Sabina; Al-Khadra, Saba; Hofmann, Andreas; Mitteregger, Gerda; Moser, Markus; Bertsch, Uwe; Kretzschmar, Hans

    2006-01-01

    Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative diseases characterized by the accumulation of PrPSc, the infectious and protease-resistant form of the cellular prion protein (PrPC). We generated lentivectors expressing PrPC-specific short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) that efficiently silenced expression of the prion protein gene (Prnp) in primary neuronal cells. Treatment of scrapie-infected neuronal cells with these lentivectors resulted in an efficient and stable suppression of PrPSc accumulation. After intracranial injection, lentiviral shRNA reduced PrPC expression in transgenic mice carrying multiple copies of Prnp. To test the therapeutic potential of lentiviral shRNA, we used what we believe to be a novel approach in which the clinical situation was mimicked. We generated chimeric mice derived from lentivector-transduced embryonic stem cells. Depending on the degree of chimerism, these animals carried the lentiviral shRNAs in a certain percentage of brain cells and expressed reduced levels of PrPC. Importantly, in highly chimeric mice, survival after scrapie infection was significantly extended. Taken together, these data suggest that lentivector-mediated RNA interference could be an approach for the treatment of prion disease. PMID:17143329

  9. Presence of mitochondrial D-loop DNA in scrapie-infected brain preparations enriched for the prion protein.

    PubMed Central

    Aiken, J M; Williamson, J L; Borchardt, L M; Marsh, R F

    1990-01-01

    The prion preparation has, in recent years, been the focal point of scrapie research. The inability to identify agent-specific nucleic acids in this sample has led to the formulation of the infectious protein or prion hypothesis. In this study, we analyzed three different prion protein-enriched preparations and found all to contain significant amounts of mitochondrial nucleic acid. Southern blot analyses indicated that they are enriched for a specific component of the mitochondrial genome, the single-stranded displacement loop fragment. Our results suggest that if mitochondrial nucleic acids are involved in scrapie infection, it is the displacement loop fragment that is specifically responsible. Images PMID:1972202

  10. Zinc significantly changes the aggregation pathway and the conformation of aggregates of human prion protein.

    PubMed

    Pan, Kai; Yi, Chuan-Wei; Chen, Jie; Liang, Yi

    2015-08-01

    Prion diseases are caused by the conformational change of cellular prion protein PrP(C) into pathological prion protein PrP(Sc). Here we study the effect of zinc on the aggregation and conformational change of human prion protein (PrP). As revealed by thioflavin T binding assays, Sarkosyl-soluble SDS-PAGE, and transmission electron microscopy, aggregation of wild-type PrP in the absence of Zn(2+) undergoes four steps: amorphous aggregates, profibrils, mature fibrils, and fragmented fibrils. When the molar ratio of Zn(2+) to PrP was 9:1, however, aggregation of wild-type PrP undergoes another pathway in which wild-type PrP forms oligomers quickly and then forms short-rod aggregates. Unlike wild-type PrP, the octarepeats deletion mutant PrPΔocta forms typical mature fibrils either with or without zinc. As evidenced by isothermal titration calorimetry, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and proteinase K digestion assays, Zn(2+) strongly binds to wild-type PrP monomers with the first binding constant exceeding 10(7)M(-1) under denaturing conditions, and changes the conformation of wild-type PrP aggregates remarkably, but weakly binds to PrPΔocta with binding affinity around 10(4)M(-1) and has no obvious effects on the conformation of PrPΔocta aggregates. Our data demonstrate that zinc significantly changes the aggregation pathway and the conformation of wild-type PrP aggregates mainly via interaction with its octarepeat region. Our findings could explain how zinc modifies pathological PrP conformation associated with prion diseases. PMID:25922234

  11. Molecular basis of barriers for interspecies transmissibility of mammalian prions.

    PubMed

    Vanik, David L; Surewicz, Krystyna A; Surewicz, Witold K

    2004-04-01

    Spongiform encephalopathies are believed to be transmitted by a unique mechanism involving self-propagating conformational conversion of prion protein into a misfolded form. Here we demonstrate that fundamental aspects of mammalian prion propagation, including the species barrier and strain diversity, can be reproduced in vitro in a seeded fibrillization of the recombinant prion protein variant Y145Stop. Our data show that species-specific substitution of a single amino acid in a critical region completely changes the seeding specificity of prion protein fibrils. Furthermore, we demonstrate that sequence-based barriers that prevent cross-seeding between proteins from different species can be bypassed, and new barriers established, by a template-induced adaptation process that leads to the emergence of new strains of prion fibrils. Although the seeding barriers observed in this study do not fully match those seen in animals, the present findings provide fundamental insight into mechanistic principles of these barriers at a molecular level. PMID:15068810

  12. An engineered PrPsc-like molecule from the chimera of mammalian prion protein and yeast Ure2p prion-inducing domain.

    PubMed

    Yin, Shao-Man; Sy, Man-Sun; Po, Tien

    2004-02-01

    Production of the pathogenic prion isoform PrPsc-like molecules is thought to be useful for understanding the mysterious mechanism of conformational conversion process of prion diseases and proving the "protein-only" hypothesis. In this report, an engineered PrPsc-like conformation was produced from a chimera of mammalian bovine prion protein (bPrP) and yeast Ure2p prion-inducing domain (UPrD). Compared with the normal form of bPrP, the engineered recombinant protein, termed bPrP-UPrD, spontaneously aggregated into ordered fibrils under physiological condition, displaying amyloid-like characteristics, such as fibrillar morphology, birefringence upon binding to Congo red and increased fluorescence intensity with Thioflavine T. Limited resistance to protease K digestion and CD spectroscopy experiments suggested that the structure of bPrP-UPrD had been changed, and adopted a new, high content beta-sheet conformation during the fibrils formation. Moreover, bPrP-UPrD amyloid fibrils could recruit more soluble forms into the aggregates. Therefore, the engineered molecules could mimic significant behaviors of PrPsc and will be helpful for further understanding the mechanism of conformational conversion process. PMID:14970909

  13. In vitro prion protein conversion suggests risk of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) to transmissible spongiform encephalopathies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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

  14. Unique structural properties associated with mouse prion Δ105–125 protein

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Avnish; Vasiljevic, Snezana; Jones, Ian M.

    2013-01-01

    Murine prion protein deleted for residues 105–125 is intrinsically neurotoxic and mediates a TSE-like phenotype in transgenic mice. Equivalent and overlapping deletions were expressed in E.coli, purified and analyzed. Among mutants spanning the region 95–135, a construct lacking solely residues 105–125 had distinct properties when compared with the full-length prion protein 23–231 or other deletions. This distinction was also apparent followed expression in eukaryotic cells. Unlike the full-length protein, all deletion mutants failed to bind to synthetic membranes in vitro. These data suggest a novel structure for the 105–125 deleted variant that may relate to its biological properties. PMID:23764837

  15. Subcellular distribution of the prion protein in sickness and in health.

    PubMed

    Godsave, Susan F; Peters, Peter J; Wille, Holger

    2015-09-01

    The cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) is an ubiquitously expressed glycoprotein that is most abundant in the central nervous system. It is thought to play a role in many cellular processes, including neuroprotection, but may also contribute to Alzheimer's disease and some cancers. However, it is best known for its central role in the prion diseases, such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), and scrapie. These protein misfolding diseases can be sporadic, acquired, or genetic and are caused by refolding of endogenous PrP(C) into a beta sheet-rich, pathogenic form, PrP(Sc). Once prions are present in the central nervous system, they increase and spread during a long incubation period that is followed by a relatively short clinical disease phase, ending in death. PrP molecules can be broadly categorized as either 'good' (cellular) PrP(C) or 'bad' (scrapie prion-type) PrP(Sc), but both populations are heterogeneous and different forms of PrP(C) may influence various cellular activities. Both PrP(C) and PrP(Sc) are localized predominantly at the cell surface, with the C-terminus attached to the plasma membrane via a glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor and both can exist in cleaved forms. PrP(C) also has cytosolic and transmembrane forms, and PrP(Sc) is known to exist in a variety of conformations and aggregation states. Here, we discuss the roles of different PrP isoforms in sickness and in health, and show the subcellular distributions of several forms of PrP that are particularly relevant for PrP(C) to PrP(Sc) conversion and prion-induced pathology in the hippocampus. PMID:25683509

  16. Disease-associated Mutations in the Prion Protein Impair Laminin-induced Process Outgrowth and Survival*

    PubMed Central

    Machado, Cleiton F.; Beraldo, Flavio H.; Santos, Tiago G.; Bourgeon, Dominique; Landemberger, Michele C.; Roffé, Martin; Martins, Vilma R.

    2012-01-01

    Prions, the agents of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, require the expression of prion protein (PrPC) to propagate disease. PrPC is converted into an abnormal insoluble form, PrPSc, that gains neurotoxic activity. Conversely, clinical manifestations of prion disease may occur either before or in the absence of PrPSc deposits, but the loss of normal PrPC function contribution for the etiology of these diseases is still debatable. Prion disease-associated mutations in PrPC represent one of the best models to understand the impact of PrPC loss-of-function. PrPC associates with various molecules and, in particular, the interaction of PrPC with laminin (Ln) modulates neuronal plasticity and memory formation. To assess the functional alterations associated with PrPC mutations, wild-type and mutated PrPC proteins were expressed in a neural cell line derived from a PrPC-null mouse. Treatment with the laminin γ1 chain peptide (Ln γ1), which mimics the Ln binding site for PrPC, increased intracellular calcium in cells expressing wild-type PrPC, whereas a significantly lower response was observed in cells expressing mutated PrPC molecules. The Ln γ1 did not promote process outgrowth or protect against staurosporine-induced cell death in cells expressing mutated PrPC molecules in contrast to cells expressing wild-type PrPC. The co-expression of wild-type PrPC with mutated PrPC molecules was able to rescue the Ln protective effects, indicating the lack of negative dominance of PrPC mutated molecules. These results indicate that PrPC mutations impair process outgrowth and survival mediated by Ln γ1 peptide in neural cells, which may contribute to the pathogenesis of genetic prion diseases. PMID:23132868

  17. Strain-Dependent Effect of Macroautophagy on Abnormally Folded Prion Protein Degradation in Infected Neuronal Cells

    PubMed Central

    Ishibashi, Daisuke; Homma, Takujiro; Nakagaki, Takehiro; Fuse, Takayuki; Sano, Kazunori; Takatsuki, Hanae; Atarashi, Ryuichiro; Nishida, Noriyuki

    2015-01-01

    Prion diseases are neurodegenerative disorders caused by the accumulation of abnormal prion protein (PrPSc) in the central nervous system. With the aim of elucidating the mechanism underlying the accumulation and degradation of PrPSc, we investigated the role of autophagy in its degradation, using cultured cells stably infected with distinct prion strains. The effects of pharmacological compounds that inhibit or stimulate the cellular signal transduction pathways that mediate autophagy during PrPSc degradation were evaluated. The accumulation of PrPSc in cells persistently infected with the prion strain Fukuoka-1 (FK), derived from a patient with Gerstmann–Sträussler–Scheinker syndrome, was significantly increased in cultures treated with the macroautophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine (3MA) but substantially reduced in those treated with the macroautophagy inducer rapamycin. The decrease in FK-derived PrPSc levels was mediated, at least in part, by the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/MEK signalling pathway. By contrast, neither rapamycin nor 3MA had any apparently effect on PrPSc from either the 22L or the Chandler strain, indicating that the degradation of PrPSc in host cells might be strain-dependent. PMID:26368533

  18. Prion Protein Prolines 102 and 105 and the Surrounding Lysine Cluster Impede Amyloid Formation.

    PubMed

    Kraus, Allison; Anson, Kelsie J; Raymond, Lynne D; Martens, Craig; Groveman, Bradley R; Dorward, David W; Caughey, Byron

    2015-08-28

    Human prion diseases can have acquired, sporadic, or genetic origins, each of which results in the conversion of prion protein (PrP) to transmissible, pathological forms. The genetic prion disease Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker syndrome can arise from point mutations of prolines 102 or 105. However, the structural effects of these two prolines, and mutations thereof, on PrP misfolding are not well understood. Here, we provide evidence that individual mutations of Pro-102 or Pro-105 to noncyclic aliphatic residues such as the Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker-linked leucines can promote the in vitro formation of PrP amyloid with extended protease-resistant cores reminiscent of infectious prions. This effect was enhanced by additional charge-neutralizing mutations of four nearby lysine residues comprising the so-called central lysine cluster. Substitution of these proline and lysine residues accelerated PrP conversion such that spontaneous amyloid formation was no longer slower than scrapie-seeded amyloid formation. Thus, Pro-102 and Pro-105, as well as the lysines in the central lysine cluster, impede amyloid formation by PrP, implicating these residues as key structural modulators in the conversion of PrP to disease-associated types of amyloid. PMID:26175152

  19. Yeast Prions: Structure, Biology, and Prion-Handling Systems

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY 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. PMID:25631286

  20. The prion protein gene in humans revisited: lessons from a worldwide resequencing study.

    PubMed

    Soldevila, Marta; Andrés, Aida M; Ramírez-Soriano, Anna; Marquès-Bonet, Tomàs; Calafell, Francesc; Navarro, Arcadi; Bertranpetit, Jaume

    2006-02-01

    Ample evidence has accumulated showing that different coding variants of the PRNP gene confer differential susceptibility for prion diseases. Here we evaluate the patterns of nucleotide variation in PRNP exon 2, which includes all the protein-coding sequence, by resequencing a worldwide sample of 174 humans for 2378 bp. In line with previous studies, we found two main haplotypes differentiated by nonsynonymous substitution in codon 129. Our analyses reveal the worldwide pattern of variation at the PRNP gene to be inconsistent with neutral expectations, indicating instead an excess of low-frequency variants, a footprint of the action of either positive or purifying selection. A comparison of neutrality test statistics for PRNP with other human genes indicates that the signal of positive selection on PRNP is stronger than expected from a possible confounding genome-wide background signal of population expansion. Two main conclusions arise from our analysis. First, the existence of an ancient, stable, balanced polymorphism that has been claimed in a previous study and related to cannibalism can be rejected and is shown to be due to ascertainment bias. Second, our results are consistent with a complex history of selection including mainly positive selection, even if short local periods of balancing selection (Kuru-like episodes), or even a weak purifying selection model, are consistent with our data. PMID:16369046

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

    Proteomics changes of brain tissues have been described in different neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. However, the brain proteomics of human prion disease remains less understood. In the study, the proteomics patterns of cortex and cerebellum of brain tissues of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, fatal familial insomnia, and G114V genetic CJD were analyzed with isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation combined with multidimensional liquid chromatography and MS analysis, with the brains from three normal individuals as controls. Global protein profiling, significant pathway, and functional categories were analyzed. In total, 2287 proteins were identified with quantitative information both in cortex and cerebellum regions. Cerebellum tissues appeared to contain more up- and down-regulated proteins (727 proteins) than cortex regions (312 proteins) of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, fatal familial insomnia, and G114V genetic CJD. Viral myocarditis, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, lysosome, oxidative phosphorylation, protein export, and drug metabolism-cytochrome P450 were the most commonly affected pathways of the three kinds of diseases. Almost coincident biological functions were identified in the brain tissues of the three diseases. In all, data here demonstrate that the brain tissues of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, fatal familial insomnia, and G114V genetic CJD have obvious proteomics changes at their terminal stages, which show the similarities not only among human prion diseases but also with other neurodegeneration diseases. This is the first study to provide a reference proteome map for human prion diseases and will be helpful for future studies focused on potential biomarkers for the diagnosis and therapy of human prion diseases. PMID:25616867

  2. Prions: an evolutionary perspective.

    PubMed

    Ogayar, A; Sánchez-Pérez, M

    1998-09-01

    Studies in both prion-due diseases in mammals and some non-Mendelian hereditary processes in yeasts have demonstrated that certain proteins are able to transmit structural information and self-replication. This induces the corresponding conformational changes in other proteins with identical or similar sequences. This ability of proteins may have been very useful during prebiotic chemical evolution, prior to the establishment of the genetic code. During this stage, proteins (proteinoids) must have molded and selected their structural folding units through direct interaction with the environment. The proteinoids that acquired the ability to propagate their conformations (which we refer to as conformons) would have acted as reservoirs and transmitters of a given structural information and hence could have acted as selectors for conformational changes. Despite the great advantage that arose from the establishment of the genetic code, the ability to propagate conformational changes did not necessarily disappear. Depending on the degree of involvement of this capacity in biological evolution, we propose two not mutually exclusive hypotheses: (i) extant prions could be an atavism of ancestral conformons, which would have co-evolved with cells, and (ii) the evolution of conformons would have produced cellular proteins, able to transmit structural information, and, in some cases, participating in certain processes of regulation and epigenesis. Therefore, prions could also be seen as conformons of a conventional infectious agent (or one that co-evolved with it independently) that, after a longer or shorter adaptive period, would have interacted with conformons from the host cells. PMID:10943358

  3. Conformational Stability of Mammalian Prion Protein Amyloid Fibrils Is Dictated by a Packing Polymorphism within the Core Region*

    PubMed Central

    Cobb, Nathan J.; Apostol, Marcin I.; Chen, Shugui; Smirnovas, Vytautas; Surewicz, Witold K.

    2014-01-01

    Mammalian prion strains are believed to arise from the propagation of distinct conformations of the misfolded prion protein PrPSc. One key operational parameter used to define differences between strains has been conformational stability of PrPSc as defined by resistance to thermal and/or chemical denaturation. However, the structural basis of these stability differences is unknown. To bridge this gap, we have generated two strains of recombinant human prion protein amyloid fibrils that show dramatic differences in conformational stability and have characterized them by a number of biophysical methods. Backbone amide hydrogen/deuterium exchange experiments revealed that, in sharp contrast to previously studied strains of infectious amyloid formed from the yeast prion protein Sup35, differences in β-sheet core size do not underlie differences in conformational stability between strains of mammalian prion protein amyloid. Instead, these stability differences appear to be dictated by distinct packing arrangements (i.e. steric zipper interfaces) within the amyloid core, as indicated by distinct x-ray fiber diffraction patterns and large strain-dependent differences in hydrogen/deuterium exchange kinetics for histidine side chains within the core region. Although this study was limited to synthetic prion protein amyloid fibrils, a similar structural basis for strain-dependent conformational stability may apply to brain-derived PrPSc, especially because large strain-specific differences in PrPSc stability are often observed despite a similar size of the PrPSc core region. PMID:24338015

  4. Smart protein biogate as a mediator to regulate competitive host-guest interaction for sensitive ratiometric electrochemical assay of prion

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Peng; Zhang, Xiaohua; Zhou, Jiawan; Xiong, Erhu; Li, Xiaoyu; Chen, Jinhua

    2015-01-01

    A novel competitive host-guest strategy regulated by protein biogate was developed for sensitive and selective analysis of prion protein. The methylene blue (MB)-tagged prion aptamer (MB-Apt) was introduced to the multiwalled carbon nanotubes-β-cyclodextrins (MWCNTs-β-CD) composites-modified glassy carbon (GC) electrode through the host-guest interaction between β-CD and MB. In the absence of prion, MB-Apt could be displaced by ferrocenecarboxylic acid (FCA) due to its stronger binding affinity to β-CD, resulting in a large oxidation peak of FCA. However, in the presence of prion, the specific prion-aptamer interaction drove the formation of protein biogate to seal the cavity of β-CD, which hindered the guest displacement of MB by FCA and resulted in the oxidation peak current of MB (IMB) increased and that of FCA (IFCA) decreased. The developed aptasensor showed good response towards the target (prion protein) with a low detection limit of 160 fM. By changing the specific aptamers, this strategy could be easily extended to detect other proteins, showing promising potential for extensive applications in bioanalysis. PMID:26531259

  5. Smart protein biogate as a mediator to regulate competitive host-guest interaction for sensitive ratiometric electrochemical assay of prion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Peng; Zhang, Xiaohua; Zhou, Jiawan; Xiong, Erhu; Li, Xiaoyu; Chen, Jinhua

    2015-11-01

    A novel competitive host-guest strategy regulated by protein biogate was developed for sensitive and selective analysis of prion protein. The methylene blue (MB)-tagged prion aptamer (MB-Apt) was introduced to the multiwalled carbon nanotubes-β-cyclodextrins (MWCNTs-β-CD) composites-modified glassy carbon (GC) electrode through the host-guest interaction between β-CD and MB. In the absence of prion, MB-Apt could be displaced by ferrocenecarboxylic acid (FCA) due to its stronger binding affinity to β-CD, resulting in a large oxidation peak of FCA. However, in the presence of prion, the specific prion-aptamer interaction drove the formation of protein biogate to seal the cavity of β-CD, which hindered the guest displacement of MB by FCA and resulted in the oxidation peak current of MB (IMB) increased and that of FCA (IFCA) decreased. The developed aptasensor showed good response towards the target (prion protein) with a low detection limit of 160 fM. By changing the specific aptamers, this strategy could be easily extended to detect other proteins, showing promising potential for extensive applications in bioanalysis.

  6. A rapid sequence-based method for comprehensive polymorphism identification within a 25.2-kb region of the bovine prion gene in BSE-affected cattle

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) is a fatal neurological disorder characterized by abnormal deposits of a protease-resistant isoform of the prion protein. Typical and atypical BSEs have been identified in cattle and the relationships of prion gene (PRNP) variation with susceptibility to these...

  7. Prion protein function and the disturbance of early embryonic development in zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Nourizadeh-Lillabadi, Rasoul; Press, Charles McL; Alestrøm, Peter

    2011-01-01

    Transmissible Spongiform Encephal-opathies (TSE) or prion diseases are a threat to food safety and to human and animal health. The molecular mechanisms responsible for prion diseases share similarities with a wider group of neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer disease and Parkinson disease and the central pathological event is a disturbance of protein folding of a normal cellular protein that is eventually accompanied by neuronal cell death and the death of the host. Prion protein (PrP) is a constituent of most normal mammalian cells and its presence is essential in the pathogenesis of TSE. However, the function of this normal cellular protein remains unclear. The prevention of PRNP gene expression in mammalian species has been undramatic, implying a functional redundancy. Yet PrP is conserved from mammals to fish. Recent studies of PrP in zebrafish have yielded novel findings showing that PrP has essential roles in early embryonic development. The amenability of zebrafish to global technologies has generated data indicating the existence of “anchorless” splice variants of PrP in the early embryo. This paper will discuss the possibility that the experimentalist's view of PrP functions might be clearer at a greater phylogenetic distance. PMID:21628994

  8. The POM Monoclonals: A Comprehensive Set of Antibodies to Non-Overlapping Prion Protein Epitopes

    PubMed Central

    Polymenidou, Magdalini; Moos, Rita; Scott, Mike; Sigurdson, Christina; Shi, Yong-zhong; Yajima, Bill; Hafner-Bratkovič, Iva; Jerala, Roman; Hornemann, Simone; Wuthrich, Kurt; Bellon, Anne; Vey, Martin; Garen, Graciela; James, Michael N. G.; Kav, Nat; Aguzzi, Adriano

    2008-01-01

    PrPSc, a misfolded and aggregated form of the cellular prion protein PrPC, is the only defined constituent of the transmissible agent causing prion diseases. Expression of PrPC in the host organism is necessary for prion replication and for prion neurotoxicity. Understanding prion diseases necessitates detailed structural insights into PrPC and PrPSc. Towards this goal, we have developed a comprehensive collection of monoclonal antibodies denoted POM1 to POM19 and directed against many different epitopes of mouse PrPC. Three epitopes are located within the N-terminal octarepeat region, one is situated within the central unstructured region, and four epitopes are discontinuous within the globular C-proximal domain of PrPC. Some of these antibodies recognize epitopes that are resilient to protease digestion in PrPSc. Other antibodies immunoprecipitate PrPC, but not PrPSc. A third group was found to immunoprecipitate both PrP isoforms. Some of the latter antibodies could be blocked with epitope-mimicking peptides, and incubation with an excess of these peptides allowed for immunochromatography of PrPC and PrPSc. Amino-proximal antibodies were found to react with repetitive PrPC epitopes, thereby vastly increasing their avidity. We have also created functional single-chain miniantibodies from selected POMs, which retained the binding characteristics despite their low molecular mass. The POM collection, thus, represents a unique set of reagents allowing for studies with a variety of techniques, including western blotting, ELISA, immunoprecipitation, conformation-dependent immunoassays, and plasmon surface plasmon resonance-based assays. PMID:19060956

  9. Prion protein gene M129V polymorphism and variability in age at migraine onset.

    PubMed

    Palmirotta, Raffaele; Ludovici, Giorgia; Egeo, Gabriella; Ialongo, Cristiano; Aurilia, Cinzia; Fofi, Luisa; De Marchis, Maria Laura; Della-Morte, David; Barbanti, Piero; Guadagni, Fiorella

    2013-03-01

    Prion protein, a sialoglycoprotein with neuroprotective properties on oxidative stress damage, has been related with the mechanisms leading to migraine. In the present case-control study, we investigated the correlation between the common methionine/valine polymorphism at codon 129 within the prion protein gene (PRNP) and migraine. Genotyping of PRNP V129M variant was performed in 384 migraine patients and 185 age-, sex-, and race-ethnicity-matched healthy controls. The frequencies of the PRNP V129M genotype did not differ significantly between migraineurs and controls. The frequencies of 129VV genotype were significantly higher in patients with earlier age at migraine onset. No correlation was found between PRNP 129 genotype and demographics, and other clinical migraine features. Our data suggest that the PRNP 129VV polymorphism is not a direct migraine risk factor but is significantly associated with an earlier onset of the disease. PMID:23405858

  10. Protein Transmission, Seeding and Degradation: Key Steps for α-Synuclein Prion-Like Propagation

    PubMed Central

    Ximerakis, Methodios; Vekrellis, Kostas

    2014-01-01

    Converging lines of evidence suggest that cell-to-cell transmission and the self-propagation of pathogenic amyloidogenic proteins play a central role in the initiation and the progression of several neurodegenerative disorders. This "prion-like" hypothesis has been recently reported for α-synuclein, a presynaptic protein implicated in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD) and related disorders. This review summarizes recent findings on α-synuclein prion-like propagation, focusing on its transmission, seeding and degradation and discusses some key questions that remain to be explored. Understanding how α-synuclein exits cells and propagates from one brain region to another will lead to the development of new therapeutic strategies for the treatment of PD, aiming at slowing or stopping the disease progression. PMID:25548532

  11. Small is not beautiful: antagonizing functions for the prion protein PrP(C) and its homologue Dpl.

    PubMed

    Behrens, Axel; Aguzzi, Adriano

    2002-03-01

    A conformational variant of the normal prion protein PrP(C) is believed to be identical to PrP(Sc), the agent that causes prion diseases. Recently, a novel protein, named Doppel (Dpl), was identified that shares significant biochemical and structural homology with PrP(C). In specific strains of PrP(C)-deficient mouse lines, Dpl is overexpressed and causes a neurological disease. Dpl neurotoxicity is counteracted and prevented by PrP(C), but the mechanism of antagonistic PrP(C)-Dpl interaction remains elusive. In contrast to its homologue PrP(C), initial studies suggest that Dpl is dispensable for prion disease progression and for the generation of PrP(Sc). Although we are only beginning to understand its function, the discovery of Dpl has already provided some answers to long-standing questions and is transforming our understanding of prion biology. PMID:11852147

  12. Immunization with recombinant prion protein leads to partial protection in a murine model of TSEs through a novel mechanism.

    PubMed

    Xanthopoulos, Konstantinos; Lagoudaki, Rosa; Kontana, Anastasia; Kyratsous, Christos; Panagiotidis, Christos; Grigoriadis, Nikolaos; Yiangou, Minas; Sklaviadis, Theodoros

    2013-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are neurodegenerative diseases, which despite fervent research remain incurable. Immunization approaches have shown great potential at providing protection, however tolerance effects hamper active immunization protocols. In this study we evaluated the antigenic potential of various forms of recombinant murine prion protein and estimated their protective efficacy in a mouse model of prion diseases. One of the forms tested provided a significant elongation of survival interval. The elongation was mediated via an acute depletion of mature follicular dendritic cells, which are associated with propagation of the prion infectious agent in the periphery and in part to the development of humoral immunity against prion protein. This unprecedented result could offer new strategies for protection against transmissible encephalopathies as well as other diseases associated with follicular dendritic cells. PMID:23554984

  13. Immunization with Recombinant Prion Protein Leads to Partial Protection in a Murine Model of TSEs through a Novel Mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Xanthopoulos, Konstantinos; Lagoudaki, Rosa; Kontana, Anastasia; Kyratsous, Christos; Panagiotidis, Christos; Grigoriadis, Nikolaos; Yiangou, Minas; Sklaviadis, Theodoros

    2013-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are neurodegenerative diseases, which despite fervent research remain incurable. Immunization approaches have shown great potential at providing protection, however tolerance effects hamper active immunization protocols. In this study we evaluated the antigenic potential of various forms of recombinant murine prion protein and estimated their protective efficacy in a mouse model of prion diseases. One of the forms tested provided a significant elongation of survival interval. The elongation was mediated via an acute depletion of mature follicular dendritic cells, which are associated with propagation of the prion infectious agent in the periphery and in part to the development of humoral immunity against prion protein. This unprecedented result could offer new strategies for protection against transmissible encephalopathies as well as other diseases associated with follicular dendritic cells. PMID:23554984

  14. The protonation state of histidine 111 regulates the aggregation of the evolutionary most conserved region of the human prion protein.

    PubMed

    Fonseca-Ornelas, Luis; Zweckstetter, Markus

    2016-08-01

    In a group of neurodegenerative diseases, collectively termed transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, the prion protein aggregates into β-sheet rich amyloid-like deposits. Because amyloid structure has been connected to different prion strains and cellular toxicity, it is important to obtain insight into the structural properties of prion fibrils. Using a combination of solution NMR spectroscopy, thioflavin-T fluorescence and electron microscopy we here show that within amyloid fibrils of a peptide containing residues 108-143 of the human prion protein [humPrP (108-143)]-the evolutionary most conserved part of the prion protein - residue H111 and S135 are in close spatial proximity and their interaction is critical for fibrillization. We further show that residues H111 and H140 share the same microenvironment in the unfolded, monomeric state of the peptide, but not in the fibrillar form. While protonation of H140 has little influence on fibrillization of humPrP (108-143), a positive charge at position 111 blocks the conformational change, which is necessary for amyloid formation of humPrP (108-143). Our study thus highlights the importance of protonation of histidine residues for protein aggregation and suggests point mutations to probe the structure of infectious prion particles. PMID:27184108

  15. Modulation of Proteinase K-resistant Prion Protein in Cells and Infectious Brain Homogenate by Redox Iron: Implications for Prion Replication and Disease Pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Basu, Subhabrata; Mohan, Maradumane L.; Luo, Xiu; Kundu, Bishwajit; Kong, Qingzhong

    2007-01-01

    The principal infectious and pathogenic agent in all prion disorders is a β-sheet–rich isoform of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) termed PrP-scrapie (PrPSc). Once initiated, PrPSc is self-replicating and toxic to neuronal cells, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. In this report, we demonstrate that PrPC binds iron and transforms to a PrPSc-like form (*PrPSc) when human neuroblastoma cells are exposed to an inorganic source of redox iron. The *PrPSc thus generated is itself redox active, and it induces the transformation of additional PrPC, simulating *PrPSc propagation in the absence of brain-derived PrPSc. Moreover, limited depletion of iron from prion disease-affected human and mouse brain homogenates and scrapie-infected mouse neuroblastoma cells results in 4- to 10-fold reduction in proteinase K (PK)-resistant PrPSc, implicating redox iron in the generation, propagation, and stability of PK-resistant PrPSc. Furthermore, we demonstrate increased redox-active ferrous iron levels in prion disease-affected brains, suggesting that accumulation of PrPSc is modulated by the combined effect of imbalance in brain iron homeostasis and the redox-active nature of PrPSc. These data provide information on the mechanism of replication and toxicity by PrPSc, and they evoke predictable and therapeutically amenable ways of modulating PrPSc load. PMID:17567949

  16. Seeking for binding determinants of the prion protein to human plasminogen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menziani, M. C.; de Benedetti, P. G.; Langella, E.; Barone, V.

    Plasminogen (Pg), a pro-protease implicated in neuronal excitotoxicity, has recently been identified as binding to prion protein (PrP) from several species. Although the precise effect of the binding of PrP to plasminogen in the course of prion-caused diseases has not yet been demonstrated, the implications of this important finding for diagnostic applications are straightforward. In this paper we have investigated the possible modes of interaction of PrP with plasminogen, by means of molecular modelling and computational simulation techniques. To this goal, we first exploited the information available for the mK2Pg/VEK-30 complex in order to identify the PrP residues which satisfy the specific electronic and geometric requirements needed to interact with the kringle lysine binding site, we compared the relevant mK2Pg/VEK-30 and mK2Pg/PrP interactions obtained from the simulated protein-protein complexes and we assessed the docking hypothesis utilized for the mK2Pg/PrP complex by simulating the interaction of PrP with the multi-kringle angiostatin, a more realistic model of the physiological target. The results obtained will be instrumental for planning experiments tailored to clarify the role of the plasminogen activator system in prion-related diseases and, eventually, for mimicking dominant binding determinants through structure-based drug design.

  17. Insights into alternative prion protein topologies induced under high hydrostatic pressure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torrent, Joan; Alvarez-Martinez, Maria Teresa; Heitz, Frédéric; Liautard, Jean-Pierre; Balny, Claude; Lange, Reinhard

    2004-04-01

    The critical step in the pathogenesis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) appears to be a conformational transition of a normal prion protein (PrPC) into a misfolded isoform (PrPSc). To gain insight into the structural conversion of the prion protein we have exploited the use of high hydrostatic pressure combined with various spectroscopic techniques. In vitro transitions of the recombinant PrP to a scrapie-like form have never resulted in an infectious structure. It is our hypothesis that the acquisition of the disease-causing conformation depends on folding pathways which are difficult to attain. We attempt to favour, via specific reaction conditions at high pressure, alternative routes of misfolding leading to a stable infectious amyloidogenic conformer. Our results have demonstrated the potential of high pressure to reveal various prion structural changes, which are inaccessible by conventional methods. Especially, we have characterized a pressure-induced conformer in which the normal agr-helical structure is changed into a highly aggregated bgr-sheet conformation showing markedly increased resistance to proteolysis (key markers of potential infectious agents). Our work may have important implications, not only for ultimately proving the protein-only hypothesis and for understanding the basic mechanism of the disease, but also for developing preventative and therapeutic measures.

  18. Mice deficient for prion protein exhibit normal neuronal excitability and synaptic transmission in the hippocampus.

    PubMed Central

    Lledo, P M; Tremblay, P; DeArmond, S J; Prusiner, S B; Nicoll, R A

    1996-01-01

    We recorded in the CA1 region from hippocampal slices of prion protein (PrP) gene knockout mice to investigate whether the loss of the normal form of prion protein (PrPC) affects neuronal excitability as well as synaptic transmission in the central nervous system. No deficit in synaptic inhibition was found using field potential recordings because (i) responses induced by stimulation in stratum radiatum consisted of a single population spike in PrP gene knockout mice similar to that recorded from control mice and (ii) the plot of field excitatory postsynaptic potential slope versus the population spike amplitude showed no difference between the two groups of mice. Intracellular recordings also failed to detect any difference in cell excitability and the reversal potential for inhibitory postsynaptic potentials. Analysis of the kinetics of inhibitory postsynaptic current revealed no modification. Finally, we examined whether synaptic plasticity was altered and found no difference in long-term potentiation between control and PrP gene knockout mice. On the basis of our findings, we propose that the loss of the normal form of prion protein does not alter the physiology of the CA1 region of the hippocampus. PMID:8637886

  19. Mice Deficient for Prion Protein Exhibit Normal Neuronal Excitability and Synaptic Transmission in the Hippocampus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lledo, Pierre-Marie; Tremblay, Patrick; Dearmond, Stephen J.; Prusiner, Stanley B.; Nicoll, Roger A.

    1996-03-01

    We recorded in the CA1 region from hippocampal slices of prion protein (PrP) gene knockout mice to investigate whether the loss of the normal form of prion protein (PrPC) affects neuronal excitability as well as synaptic transmission in the central nervous system. No deficit in synaptic inhibition was found using field potential recordings because (i) responses induced by stimulation in stratum radiatum consisted of a single population spike in PrP gene knockout mice similar to that recorded from control mice and (ii) the plot of field excitatory postsynaptic potential slope versus the population spike amplitude showed no difference between the two groups of mice. Intracellular recordings also failed to detect any difference in cell excitability and the reversal potential for inhibitory postsynaptic potentials. Analysis of the kinetics of inhibitory postsynaptic current revealed no modification. Finally, we examined whether synaptic plasticity was altered and found no difference in long-term potentiation between control and PrP gene knockout mice. On the basis of our findings, we propose that the loss of the normal form of prion protein does not alter the physiology of the CA1 region of the hippocampus.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  1. The prion protein gene polymorphisms associated with bovine spongiform encephalopathy susceptibility differ significantly between cattle and buffalo.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Hui; Du, Yanli; Chen, Shunmei; Qing, Lili; Wang, Xiaoyan; Huang, Jingfei; Wu, Dongdong; Zhang, Yaping

    2015-12-01

    Prion protein, encoded by the prion protein gene (PRNP), plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). Several polymorphisms within the PRNP are known to be associated with influencing bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) susceptibility in cattle, namely two insertion/deletion (indel) polymorphisms (a 23-bp indel in the putative promoter and a 12-bp indel in intron 1), the number of octapeptide repeats (octarepeats) present in coding sequence (CDS) and amino acid polymorphisms. The domestic buffaloes, Bubalus bubalis, are a ruminant involved in various aspects of agriculture. It is of interest to ask whether the PRNP polymorphisms differ between cattle and buffalo. In this study, we analyzed the previously reported polymorphisms associated with BSE susceptibility in Chinese buffalo breeds, and compared these polymorphisms in cattle with BSE, healthy cattle and buffalo by pooling data from the literature. Our analysis revealed three significant findings in buffalo: 1) extraordinarily low deletion allele frequencies of the 23- and 12-bp indel polymorphisms; 2) significantly low allelic frequencies of six octarepeats in CDS and 3) the presence of S4R, A16V, P54S, G108S, V123M, S154N and F257L substitutions in buffalo CDSs. Sequence alignments comparing the buffalo coding sequence to other species were analyzed using the McDonald-Kreitman test to reveal five groups (Bison bonasus, Bos indicus, Bos gaurus, Boselaphus tragocamelus, Syncerus caffer caffer) with significantly divergent non-synonymous substitutions from buffalo, suggesting potential divergence of buffalo PRNP and others. To the best of our knowledge this is the first study of PRNP polymorphisms associated with BSE susceptibility in Chinese buffalo. Our findings have provided evidence that buffaloes have a unique genetic background in the PRNP gene in comparison with cattle. PMID:26319996

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-09-01

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

  3. The Distribution of Prion Protein Allotypes Differs Between Sporadic and Iatrogenic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Patients

    PubMed Central

    Moore, Roger A.; Head, Mark W.; Ironside, James W.; Ritchie, Diane L.; Zanusso, Gianluigi; Pyo Choi, Young; Priola, Suzette A.

    2016-01-01

    Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) is the most prevalent of the human prion diseases, which are fatal and transmissible neurodegenerative diseases caused by the infectious prion protein (PrPSc). The origin of sCJD is unknown, although the initiating event is thought to be the stochastic misfolding of endogenous prion protein (PrPC) into infectious PrPSc. By contrast, human growth hormone-associated cases of iatrogenic CJD (iCJD) in the United Kingdom (UK) are associated with exposure to an exogenous source of PrPSc. In both forms of CJD, heterozygosity at residue 129 for methionine (M) or valine (V) in the prion protein gene may affect disease phenotype, onset and progression. However, the relative contribution of each PrPC allotype to PrPSc in heterozygous cases of CJD is unknown. Using mass spectrometry, we determined that the relative abundance of PrPSc with M or V at residue 129 in brain specimens from MV cases of sCJD was highly variable. This result is consistent with PrPC containing an M or V at residue 129 having a similar propensity to misfold into PrPSc thus causing sCJD. By contrast, PrPSc with V at residue 129 predominated in the majority of the UK human growth hormone associated iCJD cases, consistent with exposure to infectious PrPSc containing V at residue 129. In both types of CJD, the PrPSc allotype ratio had no correlation with CJD type, age at clinical onset, or disease duration. Therefore, factors other than PrPSc allotype abundance must influence the clinical progression and phenotype of heterozygous cases of CJD. PMID:26840342

  4. The Distribution of Prion Protein Allotypes Differs Between Sporadic and Iatrogenic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Patients.

    PubMed

    Moore, Roger A; Head, Mark W; Ironside, James W; Ritchie, Diane L; Zanusso, Gianluigi; Choi, Young Pyo; Pyo Choi, Young; Priola, Suzette A

    2016-02-01

    Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) is the most prevalent of the human prion diseases, which are fatal and transmissible neurodegenerative diseases caused by the infectious prion protein (PrP(Sc)). The origin of sCJD is unknown, although the initiating event is thought to be the stochastic misfolding of endogenous prion protein (PrP(C)) into infectious PrP(Sc). By contrast, human growth hormone-associated cases of iatrogenic CJD (iCJD) in the United Kingdom (UK) are associated with exposure to an exogenous source of PrP(Sc). In both forms of CJD, heterozygosity at residue 129 for methionine (M) or valine (V) in the prion protein gene may affect disease phenotype, onset and progression. However, the relative contribution of each PrP(C) allotype to PrP(Sc) in heterozygous cases of CJD is unknown. Using mass spectrometry, we determined that the relative abundance of PrP(Sc) with M or V at residue 129 in brain specimens from MV cases of sCJD was highly variable. This result is consistent with PrP(C) containing an M or V at residue 129 having a similar propensity to misfold into PrP(Sc) thus causing sCJD. By contrast, PrP(Sc) with V at residue 129 predominated in the majority of the UK human growth hormone associated iCJD cases, consistent with exposure to infectious PrP(Sc) containing V at residue 129. In both types of CJD, the PrP(Sc) allotype ratio had no correlation with CJD type, age at clinical onset, or disease duration. Therefore, factors other than PrP(Sc) allotype abundance must influence the clinical progression and phenotype of heterozygous cases of CJD. PMID:26840342

  5. Integrity of helix 2-helix 3 domain of the PrP protein is not mandatory for prion replication.

    PubMed

    Salamat, Khalid; Moudjou, Mohammed; Chapuis, Jérôme; Herzog, Laetitia; Jaumain, Emilie; Béringue, Vincent; Rezaei, Human; Pastore, Annalisa; Laude, Hubert; Dron, Michel

    2012-06-01

    The process of prion conversion is not yet well understood at the molecular level. The regions critical for the conformational change of PrP remain mostly debated and the extent of sequence change acceptable for prion conversion is poorly documented. To achieve progress on these issues, we applied a reverse genetic approach using the Rov cell system. This allowed us to test the susceptibility of a number of insertion mutants to conversion into prion in the absence of wild-type PrP molecules. We were able to propagate several prions with 8 to 16 extra amino acids, including a polyglycine stretch and His or FLAG tags, inserted in the middle of the protease-resistant fragment. These results demonstrate the possibility to increase the length of the loop between helices H2 and H3 up to 4-fold, without preventing prion replication. They also indicate that this loop probably remains unstructured in PrP(Sc). We also showed that bona fide prions can be produced following insertion of octapeptides in the two C-terminal turns of H2. These insertions do not interfere with the overall fold of the H2-H3 domain indicating that the highly conserved sequence of the terminal part of H2 is not critical for the conversion. Altogether these data showed that the amplitude of modifications acceptable for prion conversion in the core of the globular domain of PrP is much greater than one might have assumed. These observations should help to refine structural models of PrP(Sc) and elucidate the conformational changes underlying prions generation. PMID:22511770

  6. Prion and prion-like diseases in animals.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:25444937

  7. Transcriptomic Analysis Brings New Insight into the Biological Role of the Prion Protein during Mouse Embryogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Khalifé, Manal; Young, Rachel; Passet, Bruno; Halliez, Sophie; Vilotte, Marthe; Jaffrezic, Florence; Marthey, Sylvain; Béringue, Vincent; Vaiman, Daniel; Le Provost, Fabienne; Laude, Hubert; Vilotte, Jean-Luc

    2011-01-01

    The biological function of the Prion protein remains largely unknown but recent data revealed its implication in early zebrafish and mammalian embryogenesis. To gain further insight into its biological function, comparative transcriptomic analysis between FVB/N and FVB/N Prnp knockout mice was performed at early embryonic stages. RNAseq analysis revealed the differential expression of 73 and 263 genes at E6.5 and E7.5, respectively. The related metabolic pathways identified in this analysis partially overlap with those described in PrP1 and PrP2 knockdown zebrafish embryos and prion-infected mammalian brains and emphasize a potentially important role for the PrP family genes in early developmental processes. PMID:21858045

  8. Electrochemical aptasensor of cellular prion protein based on modified polypyrrole with redox dendrimers.

    PubMed

    Miodek, A; Castillo, G; Hianik, T; Korri-Youssoufi, H

    2014-06-15

    This work consists of the development of an electrochemical aptasensor based on polyprrole modified with redox dendrimers, able to detect human cellular prions PrP(C) with high sensitivity. The gold surface was modified by conductive polypyrrole film coupled to polyamidoamine dendrimers of fourth generation (PAMAM G4) and ferrocenyl group as redox marker. The aptamers were immobilized on the surface via biotin/streptavidin chemistry. Electrochemical signal was detected by ferrocenyl group incorporated between dendrimers and aptamers layers. We demonstrated that the interaction between aptamer and prion protein led to variation in electrochemical signal of the ferrocenyl group. The kinetics parameters (diffusion coefficient D and heterogeneous constant transfer ket) calculated from electrochemical signals demonstrate that the variation in redox signal results from the lower diffusion process of ions during redox reaction after prion interaction due to bulk effect of larger protein. The association of redox dendrimers with conducting polypyrrole leads to high sensitivity of PrP(C) determination with detection limit of 0.8 pM, which is three orders of magnitude lower, compared to flat ferrocene-functionalized polypyrrole. Detection of PrP(C) in spiked blood plasma has been achieved and demonstrated a recovery up to 90%. PMID:24480126

  9. AGGREGATED, WILD-TYPE PRION PROTEIN CAUSES NEUROLOGICAL DYSFUNCTION AND SYNAPTIC ABNORMALITIES

    PubMed Central

    Chiesa, Roberto; Piccardo, Pedro; Biasini, Emiliano; Ghetti, Bernardino; Harris, David A.

    2008-01-01

    The neurotoxic forms of the prion protein (PrP) that cause neurodegeneration in prion diseases remain to be conclusively identified. Considerable evidence points to the importance of non-infectious oligomers of PrP in the pathogenic process. In this study, we describe lines of Tg(WT) transgenic mice that over-express wild-type PrP by either ∼5-fold or ∼10-fold (depending on whether the transgene array is, respectively, hemizygous or homozygous). Homozygous but not hemizygous Tg(WT) mice develop a spontaneous neurodegenerative illness characterized clinically by tremor and paresis. Both kinds of mice accumulate large numbers of punctate PrP deposits in the molecular layer of the cerebellum as well as in several other brain regions, and they display abnormally enlarged synaptic terminals accompanied by a dramatic proliferation of membranous structures. The over-expressed PrP in Tg(WT) mice assembles into an insoluble form that is mildly protease-resistant and is recognizable by aggregation-specific antibodies, but that is not infectious in transmission experiments. Taken together, our results demonstrate that non-infectious aggregates of wild-type PrP are neurotoxic, particularly to synapses, and they suggest common pathogenic mechanisms shared by prion diseases and non-transmissible neurodegenerative disorders associated with protein misfolding. PMID:19052217

  10. Ultrastructural studies on scrapie prion protein crystals obtained from reverse micellar solutions.

    PubMed Central

    Wille, H; Prusiner, S B

    1999-01-01

    The structural transition from the cellular prion protein (PrPC) that is rich in alpha-helices to the pathological form (PrPSc) that has a high beta-sheet content seems to be the fundamental event underlying the prion diseases. Determination of the structure of PrPSc and the N-terminally truncated PrP 27-30 has been complicated by their insolubility. Here we report the solubilization of PrP 27-30 through a system of reverse micelles that yields monomeric and dimeric PrP. Although solubilization of PrP 27-30 was not accompanied by any recognizable change in secondary structure as measured by FTIR spectroscopy, it did result in a loss of prion infectivity. The formation of small two- and three-dimensional crystals upon exposure to uranyl salts argues that soluble PrP 27-30 possesses considerable tertiary structure. The crystals of PrP 27-30 grown from reverse micellar solutions suggest a novel crystallization mechanism that might be applicable for other membrane proteins. A variety of different crystal lattices diffracted up to 1.85 nm by electron microscopy. Despite the lack of measurable biological activity, the structure of PrP 27-30 in these crystals may provide insight into the structural transition that occurs during PrPSc formation. PMID:9916037

  11. Essential role of coiled-coils for aggregation and activity of Q/N-rich prions and polyQ proteins

    PubMed Central

    Fiumara, Ferdinando; Fioriti, Luana

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY The functional switch of glutamine/asparagine (Q/N)-rich prions and the neurotoxicity of polyQ-expanded proteins involve complex aggregation-prone structural transitions, commonly presumed to be forming β-sheets. By analyzing sequences of interaction partners of these proteins, we discovered a recurrent presence of coiled-coil domains both in the partners and in segments that flank or overlap Q/N-rich and polyQ domains. Since coiled-coils can mediate protein interactions and multimerization, we studied their possible involvement in Q/N-rich and polyQ aggregations. Using circular dichroism and chemical cross-linking, we found that Q/N-rich and polyQ peptides form α-helical coiled-coils in vitro and assemble into multimers. Using structure-guided mutagenesis, we found that coiled-coil domains modulate in vivo properties of two Q/N-rich prions and polyQ-expanded huntingtin. Mutations that disrupt coiled-coils impair aggregation and activity, whereas mutations that enhance coiled-coil propensity promote aggregation. These findings support a coiled-coil model for the functional switch of Q/N-rich prions and for the pathogenesis of polyQ-expansion diseases. PMID:21183075

  12. ERp57 as a novel cellular factor controlling prion protein biosynthesis: Therapeutic potential of protein disulfide isomerases.

    PubMed

    Sepulveda, Martin; Rozas, Pablo; Hetz, Claudio; Medinas, Danilo B

    2016-01-01

    Disturbance of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) proteostasis is observed in Prion-related disorders (PrDs). The protein disulfide isomerase ERp57 is a stress-responsive ER chaperone up-regulated in the brain of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease patients. However, the actual role of ERp57 in prion protein (PrP) biogenesis and the ER stress response remained poorly defined. We have recently addressed this question using gain- and loss-of-function approaches in vitro and animal models, observing that ERp57 regulates steady-state levels of PrP. Our results revealed that ERp57 modulates the biosynthesis and maturation of PrP but, surprisingly, does not contribute to the global cellular reaction against ER stress in neurons. Here we discuss the relevance of ERp57 as a possible therapeutic target in PrDs and other protein misfolding disorders. PMID:26864548

  13. Doped diamond-like carbon coatings for surgical instruments reduce protein and prion-amyloid biofouling and improve subsequent cleaning.

    PubMed

    Secker, T J; Hervé, R; Zhao, Q; Borisenko, K B; Abel, E W; Keevil, C W

    2012-01-01

    Doped diamond-like carbon (DLC) coatings offer potential antifouling surfaces against microbial and protein attachment. In particular, stainless steel surgical instruments are subject to tissue protein and resilient prion protein attachment, making decontamination methods used in sterile service departments ineffective, potentially increasing the risk of iatrogenic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease during surgical procedures. This study examined the adsorption of proteins and prion-associated amyloid to doped DLC surfaces and the efficacy of commercial cleaning chemistries applied to these spiked surfaces, compared to titanium nitride coating and stainless steel. Surfaces inoculated with ME7-infected brain homogenate were visualised using SYPRO Ruby/Thioflavin T staining and modified epi-fluorescence microscopy before and after cleaning. Reduced protein and prion amyloid contamination was observed on the modified surfaces and subsequent decontamination efficacy improved. This highlights the potential for a new generation of coatings for surgical instruments to reduce the risk of iatrogenic CJD infection. PMID:22694725

  14. IDENTIFICATION AND REMOVAL OF PROTEINS THAT CO-PURIFY WITH INFECTIOUS PRION PROTEIN IMPROVES THE ANALYSIS OF ITS SECONDARY STRUCTURE

    PubMed Central

    Moore, Roger A.; Timmes, Andrew; Wilmarth, Phillip A.; Safronetz, David; Priola, Suzette A.

    2013-01-01

    Prion diseases are neurodegenerative disorders associated with the accumulation of an abnormal isoform of the mammalian prion protein (PrP). Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) has previously been used to show that the conformation of aggregated, infectious PrP (PrPSc) varies between prion strains and these unique conformations may determine strain-specific disease phenotypes. However, the relative amounts of α-helix, β-sheet and other secondary structures have not always been consistent between studies suggesting that other proteins might be confounding the analysis of PrPSc secondary structure. We have used FTIR and tandem mass spectrometry to analyze enriched PrPSc from mouse and hamster prion strains both before and after the removal of protein contaminants that commonly co-purify with PrPSc. Our data show that non-PrP proteins do contribute to absorbances that have been associated with α-helical, loop, turn, and β-sheet structures attributed to PrPSc. The major contaminant, the α-helical protein ferritin, absorbs strongly at 1652cm−1 in the FTIR spectrum associated with PrPSc. However, even the removal of greater than 99% of the ferritin from PrPSc did not completely abolish absorbance at 1652cm−1. Our results show that contaminating proteins alter the FTIR spectrum attributed to PrPSc and suggest that the α-helical, loop/turn, and β-sheet secondary structure that remains following their removal are derived from PrPSc itself. PMID:21805638

  15. A simple quantitative model of macromolecular crowding effects on protein folding: Application to the murine prion protein(121-231)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergasa-Caceres, Fernando; Rabitz, Herschel A.

    2013-06-01

    A model of protein folding kinetics is applied to study the effects of macromolecular crowding on protein folding rate and stability. Macromolecular crowding is found to promote a decrease of the entropic cost of folding of proteins that produces an increase of both the stability and the folding rate. The acceleration of the folding rate due to macromolecular crowding is shown to be a topology-dependent effect. The model is applied to the folding dynamics of the murine prion protein (121-231). The differential effect of macromolecular crowding as a function of protein topology suffices to make non-native configurations relatively more accessible.

  16. Bovine prion protein as a modulator of protein kinase CK2.

    PubMed

    Meggio, F; Negro, A; Sarno, S; Ruzzene, M; Bertoli, A; Sorgato, M C; Pinna, L A

    2000-11-15

    On the basis of far-Western blot and plasmon resonance (BIAcore) experiments, we show here that recombinant bovine prion protein (bPrP) (25-242) strongly interacts with the catalytic alpha/alpha' subunits of protein kinase CK2 (also termed 'casein kinase 2'). This association leads to increased phosphotransferase activity of CK2alpha, tested on calmodulin or specific peptides as substrate. We also show that bPrP counteracts the inhibition of calmodulin phosphorylation promoted by the regulatory beta subunits of CK2. A truncated form of bPrP encompassing the C-terminal domain (residues 105-242) interacts with CK2 but does not affect its catalytic activity. The opposite is found with the N-terminal fragment of bPrP (residues 25-116), although the stimulation of catalysis is less efficient than with full-size bPrP. These results disclose the potential of the PrP to modulate the activity of CK2, a pleiotropic protein kinase that is particularly abundant in the brain. PMID:11062072

  17. Conditional expression of full-length humanized anti-prion protein antibodies in Chinese hamster ovary cells.

    PubMed

    Mueller, Daniel A; Heinig, Lars; Ramljak, Sanja; Krueger, Astrid; Schulte, Reiner; Wrede, Arne; Stuke, Andreas W

    2010-12-01

    Because of their high antigen specificity and metabolic stability, genetically engineered human monoclonal antibodies are on the way to becoming one of the most promising medical diagnostics and therapeutics. In order to establish an in vitro system capable of producing such biosimilar antibodies, we used human constant chain sequences to design the novel human antibody expressing vector cassette pMAB-ABX. A bidirectional tetracycline (tet)-controllable promotor was used for harmonized expression of immunoglobulin type G (IgG) heavy and light chains. As an example we used anti-prion protein (anti-PrP) IgGs. Therefore, the variable heavy (V(H)) and light chain (V(L)) sequences of anti-PrP antibodies, previously generated in our laboratory by DNA immunization of prion protein knock-out mice, were isolated from murine hybridoma cell lines and inserted into pMAB-ABX vector. After transfection of Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells, a number of stable antibody producing cell clones were selected. One cell line (pMAB-ABX-13F10/3B5) stably expressing the recombinant humanized antibody (rechuAb) 13F10/3B5 was selected for detailed characterization by Western blot, immunofluorescence, and flow cytometric analyses. The full-length recombinant humanized IgG antibody showed a high level of expression in the cytoplasm. In conclusion, the new cell system described here is a suitable tool to produce functional intact full-length humanized IgG antibodies. PMID:21087094

  18. Dopamine induces the accumulation of insoluble prion protein and affects autophagic flux

    PubMed Central

    da Luz, Marcio H. M.; Peres, Italo T.; Santos, Tiago G.; Martins, Vilma R.; Icimoto, Marcelo Y.; Lee, Kil S.

    2015-01-01

    Accumulation of protein aggregates is a histopathological hallmark of several neurodegenerative diseases, but in most cases the aggregation occurs without defined mutations or clinical histories, suggesting that certain endogenous metabolites can promote aggregation of specific proteins. One example that supports this hypothesis is dopamine and its metabolites. Dopamine metabolism generates several oxidative metabolites that induce aggregation of α-synuclein, and represents the main etiology of Parkinson's diseases. Because dopamine and its metabolites are unstable and can be highly reactive, we investigated whether these molecules can also affect other proteins that are prone to aggregate, such as cellular prion protein (PrPC). In this study, we showed that dopamine treatment of neuronal cells reduced the number of viable cells and increased the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) as demonstrated in previous studies. Overall PrPC expression level was not altered by dopamine treatment, but its unglycosylated form was consistently reduced at 100 μM of dopamine. At the same concentration, the level of phosphorylated mTOR and 4EBP1 was also reduced. Moreover, dopamine treatment decreased the solubility of PrPC, and increased its accumulation in autophagosomal compartments with concomitant induction of LC3-II and p62/SQSTM1 levels. In vitro oxidation of dopamine promoted formation of high-order oligomers of recombinant prion protein. These results suggest that dopamine metabolites alter the conformation of PrPC, which in turn is sorted to degradation pathway, causing autophagosome overload and attenuation of protein synthesis. Accumulation of PrPC aggregates is an important feature of prion diseases. Thus, this study brings new insight into the dopamine metabolism as a source of endogenous metabolites capable of altering PrPC solubility and its subcellular localization. PMID:25698927

  19. Differential expression of calcium-related genes in gastric cancer cells transfected with cellular prion protein.

    PubMed

    Liang, Jie; Luo, Guanhong; Ning, Xiaoxuan; Shi, Yongquan; Zhai, Huihong; Sun, Shiren; Jin, Haifeng; Liu, Zhenxiong; Zhang, Faming; Lu, Yuanyuan; Zhao, Yunping; Chen, Xiong; Zhang, Hongbo; Guo, Xuegang; Wu, Kaichun; Fan, Daiming

    2007-06-01

    The prion protein (PrPC) has a primary role in the pathogenesis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, which causes prion disorders partially due to Ca2+ dysregulation. In our previous work, we found that overexpressed PrPC in gastric cancer was involved in apoptosis, cell proliferation, and metastasis of gastric cancer. To better understand how PrPC acts in gastric cancer, a human microarray was performed to select differentially regulated genes that correlate with the biological function of PrPC. The microarray data were analyzed and revealed 3798 genes whose expression increased at least 2-fold in gastric cancer cells transfected with PrPC. These genes encode proteins involved in several aspects of cell biology, among which, we specially detected molecules related to calcium, especially the S100 calcium-binding proteins, and found that PrPC upregulates S100A1, S100A6, S100B, and S100P but downregulates CacyBP in gastric cancer cells. We also found that intracellular Ca2+ levels in cells transfected with PrPC increased, whereas these levels decreased in knockdowns of these cells. Taken together, PrPC might increase intracellular Ca2+, partially through calcium-binding proteins, or PrPC might upregulate the expression of S100 proteins, partially through stimulating the intracellular calcium level in gastric cancer. Though the underlying mechanisms need further exploration, this study provides a new insight into the role of PrPC in gastric cancer and enriches our knowledge of prion protein. PMID:17612632

  20. The UK epidemic of BSE: slow virus or chronic pesticide-initiated modification of the prion protein? Part 1: Mechanisms for a chemically induced pathogenesis/transmissibility.

    PubMed

    Purdey, M

    1996-05-01

    It is proposed that exposure of the bovine embryo to specific high-dose lipophilic formulations of organophosphate insecticide (containing phthalimide) applied exclusively in the UK during the 1980s/early 1990s was the primary trigger that initiated the UK's bovine spongioform encephalopathy epidemic. Multi-site binding organophosphate toxic metabolites penetrate the fetus, covalently binding with, phosphorylating and ageing serine, tyrosine or histidine active sites on fetal central nervous system prion protein. An abnormal negative charge corrupts prion protein molecular surface, which blocks both proteases and chaperones from accessing their cleavage/bonding sites. This impairs normal degradation and folding of prion protein respectively. Once the abnormally phosphorylated abnormal prion protein isoform agent is initiated, any stress event ensuing in adult life induces a nerve growth factor-mediated synthesis of normal cellular prion protein isoform that aggregates to abnormally phosphorylated abnormal prion protein isoform, thereby becoming 'infected'/transformed into the same; due to the vicious circle of positive feedback invoked by the blocking of a prion protein-specific kinase. Prion protein could therefore serve as a hitherto unrecognized critical link in a chain of delayed neuroexcitotoxic proteins that are triggered off by chronic exposure to specific classes of chemical/metal that 'hit and run' during the vulnerable in utero period, producing spongioform encephalopathy disease years later. PMID:8735881

  1. Neuronal death induced by misfolded prion protein is due to NAD+ depletion and can be relieved in vitro and in vivo by NAD+ replenishment

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Minghai; Ottenberg, Gregory; Sferrazza, Gian Franco; Hubbs, Christopher; Fallahi, Mohammad; Rumbaugh, Gavin; Brantley, Alicia F.

    2015-01-01

    The mechanisms of neuronal death in protein misfolding neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and prion diseases are poorly understood. We used a highly toxic misfolded prion protein (TPrP) model to understand neurotoxicity induced by prion protein misfolding. We show that abnormal autophagy activation and neuronal demise is due to severe, neuron-specific, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) depletion. Toxic prion protein-exposed neuronal cells exhibit dramatic reductions of intracellular NAD+ followed by decreased ATP production, and are completely rescued by treatment with NAD+ or its precursor nicotinamide because of restoration of physiological NAD+ levels. Toxic prion protein-induced NAD+ depletion results from PARP1-independent excessive protein ADP-ribosylations. In vivo, toxic prion protein-induced degeneration of hippocampal neurons is prevented dose-dependently by intracerebral injection of NAD+. Intranasal NAD+ treatment of prion-infected sick mice significantly improves activity and delays motor impairment. Our study reveals NAD+ starvation as a novel mechanism of autophagy activation and neurodegeneration induced by a misfolded amyloidogenic protein. We propose the development of NAD+ replenishment strategies for neuroprotection in prion diseases and possibly other protein misfolding neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:25678560

  2. Copper-induced structural conversion templates prion protein oligomerization and neurotoxicity

    PubMed Central

    Yen, Chi-Fu; Harischandra, Dilshan S.; Kanthasamy, Anumantha; Sivasankar, Sanjeevi

    2016-01-01

    Prion protein (PrP) misfolding and oligomerization are key pathogenic events in prion disease. Copper exposure has been linked to prion pathogenesis; however, its mechanistic basis is unknown. We resolve, with single-molecule precision, the molecular mechanism of Cu2+-induced misfolding of PrP under physiological conditions. We also demonstrate that misfolded PrPs serve as seeds for templated formation of aggregates, which mediate inflammation and degeneration of neuronal tissue. Using a single-molecule fluorescence assay, we demonstrate that Cu2+ induces PrP monomers to misfold before oligomer assembly; the disordered amino-terminal region mediates this structural change. Single-molecule force spectroscopy measurements show that the misfolded monomers have a 900-fold higher binding affinity compared to the native isoform, which promotes their oligomerization. Real-time quaking-induced conversion demonstrates that misfolded PrPs serve as seeds that template amyloid formation. Finally, organotypic slice cultures show that misfolded PrPs mediate inflammation and degeneration of neuronal tissue. Our study establishes a direct link, at the molecular level, between copper exposure and PrP neurotoxicity. PMID:27419232

  3. Combined Pharmacological Induction of Hsp70 Suppresses Prion Protein Neurotoxicity in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yan; Casas-Tinto, Sergio; Rincon-Limas, Diego E.; Fernandez-Funez, Pedro

    2014-01-01

    Prion diseases are rare and aggressive neurodegenerative disorders caused by the accumulation of misfolded, toxic conformations of the prion protein (PrP). Therapeutic strategies directed at reducing the levels of PrP offer the best chance of delaying or halting disease progression. The challenge, though, is to define pharmacologic targets that result in reduced PrP levels. We previously reported that expression of wild type hamster PrP in flies induces progressive locomotor dysfunction and accumulation of pathogenic PrP conformations, while co-expression of human Hsp70 delayed these changes. To validate the therapeutic potential of Hsp70, we treated flies with drugs known to induce Hsp70 expression, including the Hsp90 inhibitor 17-DMAG and the glucocorticoid dexamethasone. Although the individual treatment with these compounds produced no significant benefits, their combination significantly increased the level of inducible Hsp70, decreased the level of total PrP, reduced the accumulation of pathogenic PrP conformers, and improved locomotor activity. Thus, the combined action of two pharmacological activators of Hsp70 with distinct targets results in sustained high levels of inducible Hsp70 with improved behavioral output. These findings can have important therapeutic applications for the devastating prion diseases and other related proteinopathies. PMID:24523910

  4. Copper-induced structural conversion templates prion protein oligomerization and neurotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Yen, Chi-Fu; Harischandra, Dilshan S; Kanthasamy, Anumantha; Sivasankar, Sanjeevi

    2016-07-01

    Prion protein (PrP) misfolding and oligomerization are key pathogenic events in prion disease. Copper exposure has been linked to prion pathogenesis; however, its mechanistic basis is unknown. We resolve, with single-molecule precision, the molecular mechanism of Cu(2+)-induced misfolding of PrP under physiological conditions. We also demonstrate that misfolded PrPs serve as seeds for templated formation of aggregates, which mediate inflammation and degeneration of neuronal tissue. Using a single-molecule fluorescence assay, we demonstrate that Cu(2+) induces PrP monomers to misfold before oligomer assembly; the disordered amino-terminal region mediates this structural change. Single-molecule force spectroscopy measurements show that the misfolded monomers have a 900-fold higher binding affinity compared to the native isoform, which promotes their oligomerization. Real-time quaking-induced conversion demonstrates that misfolded PrPs serve as seeds that template amyloid formation. Finally, organotypic slice cultures show that misfolded PrPs mediate inflammation and degeneration of neuronal tissue. Our study establishes a direct link, at the molecular level, between copper exposure and PrP neurotoxicity. PMID:27419232

  5. Toward the molecular basis of inherited prion diseases: NMR structure of the human prion protein with V210I mutation.

    PubMed

    Biljan, Ivana; Ilc, Gregor; Giachin, Gabriele; Raspadori, Andrea; Zhukov, Igor; Plavec, Janez; Legname, Giuseppe

    2011-09-30

    The development of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) is associated with the conversion of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) into a misfolded, pathogenic isoform (PrP(Sc)). Spontaneous generation of PrP(Sc) in inherited forms of disease is caused by mutations in gene coding for PrP (PRNP). In this work, we describe the NMR solution-state structure of the truncated recombinant human PrP (HuPrP) carrying the pathological V210I mutation linked to genetic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The three-dimensional structure of V210I mutant consists of an unstructured N-terminal part (residues 90-124) and a well-defined C-terminal domain (residues 125-228). The C-terminal domain contains three α-helices (residues 144-156, 170-194 and 200-228) and a short antiparallel β-sheet (residues 129-130 and 162-163). Comparison with the structure of the wild-type HuPrP revealed that although two structures share similar global architecture, mutation introduces some local structural differences. The observed variations are mostly clustered in the α(2)-α(3) inter-helical interface and in the β(2)-α(2) loop region. Introduction of bulkier Ile at position 210 induces reorientations of several residues that are part of hydrophobic core, thus influencing α(2)-α(3) inter-helical interactions. Another important structural feature involves the alteration of conformation of the β(2)-α(2) loop region and the subsequent exposure of hydrophobic cluster to solvent, which facilitates intermolecular interactions involved in spontaneous generation of PrP(Sc). The NMR structure of V210I mutant offers new clues about the earliest events of the pathogenic conversion process that could be used for the development of antiprion drugs. PMID:21839748

  6. Amyloid-β Receptors: The Good, the Bad, and the Prion Protein*

    PubMed Central

    Jarosz-Griffiths, Heledd H.; Noble, Elizabeth; Rushworth, Jo V.; Hooper, Nigel M.

    2016-01-01

    Several different receptor proteins have been identified that bind monomeric, oligomeric, or fibrillar forms of amyloid-β (Aβ). “Good” receptors internalize Aβ or promote its transcytosis out of the brain, whereas “bad” receptors bind oligomeric forms of Aβ that are largely responsible for the synapticloss, memory impairments, and neurotoxicity that underlie Alzheimer disease. The prion protein both removes Aβ from the brain and transduces the toxic actions of Aβ. The clustering of distinct receptors in cell surface signaling platforms likely underlies the actions of distinct oligomeric species of Aβ. These Aβ receptor-signaling platforms provide opportunities for therapeutic intervention in Alzheimer disease. PMID:26719327

  7. Amyloid-β Receptors: The Good, the Bad, and the Prion Protein.

    PubMed

    Jarosz-Griffiths, Heledd H; Noble, Elizabeth; Rushworth, Jo V; Hooper, Nigel M

    2016-02-12

    Several different receptor proteins have been identified that bind monomeric, oligomeric, or fibrillar forms of amyloid-β (Aβ). "Good" receptors internalize Aβ or promote its transcytosis out of the brain, whereas "bad" receptors bind oligomeric forms of Aβ that are largely responsible for the synapticloss, memory impairments, and neurotoxicity that underlie Alzheimer disease. The prion protein both removes Aβ from the brain and transduces the toxic actions of Aβ. The clustering of distinct receptors in cell surface signaling platforms likely underlies the actions of distinct oligomeric species of Aβ. These Aβ receptor-signaling platforms provide opportunities for therapeutic intervention in Alzheimer disease. PMID:26719327

  8. Cells and prions: a license to replicate.

    PubMed

    Nuvolone, Mario; Aguzzi, Adriano; Heikenwalder, Mathias

    2009-08-20

    Prion diseases are neurodegenerative, infectious disorders characterized by the aggregation of a misfolded isoform of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)). The infectious agent - termed prion - is mainly composed of misfolded PrP(Sc). In addition to the central nervous system prions can colonize secondary lymphoid organs and inflammatory foci. Follicular dendritic cells are important extraneural sites of prion replication. However, recent data point to a broader range of cell types that can replicate prions. Here, we review the state of the art in regards to peripheral prion replication, neuroinvasion and the determinants of prion replication competence. PMID:19527722

  9. Copper and Zinc Interactions with Cellular Prion Proteins Change Solubility of Full-Length Glycosylated Isoforms and Induce the Occurrence of Heterogeneous Phenotypes

    PubMed Central

    Brim, Svetlana; Groschup, Martin H.; Kuczius, Thorsten

    2016-01-01

    Prion diseases are characterized biochemically by protein aggregation of infectious prion isoforms (PrPSc), which result from the conformational conversion of physiological prion proteins (PrPC). PrPC are variable post-translationally modified glycoproteins, which exist as full length and as aminoterminally truncated glycosylated proteins and which exhibit differential detergent solubility. This implicates the presence of heterogeneous phenotypes, which overlap as protein complexes at the same molecular masses. Although the biological function of PrPC is still enigmatic, evidence reveals that PrPC exhibits metal-binding properties, which result in structural changes and decreased solubility. In this study, we analyzed the yield of PrPC metal binding affiliated with low solubility and changes in protein banding patterns. By implementing a high-speed centrifugation step, the interaction of zinc ions with PrPC was shown to generate large quantities of proteins with low solubility, consisting mainly of full-length glycosylated PrPC; whereas unglycosylated PrPC remained in the supernatants as well as truncated glycosylated proteins which lack of octarepeat sequence necessary for metal binding. This effect was considerably lower when PrPC interacted with copper ions; the presence of other metals tested exhibited no effect under these conditions. The binding of zinc and copper to PrPC demonstrated differentially soluble protein yields within distinct PrPC subtypes. PrPC–Zn2+-interaction may provide a means to differentiate glycosylated and unglycosylated subtypes and offers detailed analysis of metal-bound and metal-free protein conversion assays. PMID:27093554

  10. Disinfectants and Prions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  11. Disease-associated mutations in the prion protein impair laminin-induced process outgrowth and survival.

    PubMed

    Machado, Cleiton F; Beraldo, Flavio H; Santos, Tiago G; Bourgeon, Dominique; Landemberger, Michele C; Roffé, Martin; Martins, Vilma R

    2012-12-21

    Prions, the agents of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, require the expression of prion protein (PrP(C)) to propagate disease. PrP(C) is converted into an abnormal insoluble form, PrP(Sc), that gains neurotoxic activity. Conversely, clinical manifestations of prion disease may occur either before or in the absence of PrP(Sc) deposits, but the loss of normal PrP(C) function contribution for the etiology of these diseases is still debatable. Prion disease-associated mutations in PrP(C) represent one of the best models to understand the impact of PrP(C) loss-of-function. PrP(C) associates with various molecules and, in particular, the interaction of PrP(C) with laminin (Ln) modulates neuronal plasticity and memory formation. To assess the functional alterations associated with PrP(C) mutations, wild-type and mutated PrP(C) proteins were expressed in a neural cell line derived from a PrP(C)-null mouse. Treatment with the laminin γ1 chain peptide (Ln γ1), which mimics the Ln binding site for PrP(C), increased intracellular calcium in cells expressing wild-type PrP(C), whereas a significantly lower response was observed in cells expressing mutated PrP(C) molecules. The Ln γ1 did not promote process outgrowth or protect against staurosporine-induced cell death in cells expressing mutated PrP(C) molecules in contrast to cells expressing wild-type PrP(C). The co-expression of wild-type PrP(C) with mutated PrP(C) molecules was able to rescue the Ln protective effects, indicating the lack of negative dominance of PrP(C) mutated molecules. These results indicate that PrP(C) mutations impair process outgrowth and survival mediated by Ln γ1 peptide in neural cells, which may contribute to the pathogenesis of genetic prion diseases. PMID:23132868

  12. Limited transcriptional response of ovine microglia to prion accumulation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 ...

  13. Structure of the β2-α2 loop and interspecies prion transmission

    PubMed Central

    Bett, Cyrus; Fernández-Borges, Natalia; Kurt, Timothy D.; Lucero, Melanie; Nilsson, K. Peter R.; Castilla, Joaquín; Sigurdson, Christina J.

    2012-01-01

    Prions are misfolded, aggregated conformers of the prion protein that can be transmitted between species. The precise determinants of interspecies transmission remain unclear, although structural similarity between the infectious prion and host prion protein is required for efficient conversion to the misfolded conformer. The β2-α2 loop region of endogenous prion protein, PrPC, has been implicated in barriers to prion transmission. We recently discovered that conversion was efficient when incoming and host prion proteins had similar β2-α2 loop structures; however, the roles of primary vs. secondary structural homology could not be distinguished. Here we uncouple the effect of primary and secondary structural homology of the β2-α2 loop on prion conversion. We inoculated prions from animals having a disordered or an ordered β2-α2 loop into mice having a disordered loop or an ordered loop due to a single residue substitution (D167S). We found that prion conversion was driven by a homologous primary structure and occurred independently of a homologous secondary structure. Similarly, cell-free conversion using PrPC from mice with disordered or ordered loops and prions from 5 species correlated with primary but not secondary structural homology of the loop. Thus, our findings support a model in which efficient interspecies prion conversion is determined by small stretches of the primary sequence rather than the secondary structure of PrP.—Bett, C., Fernández-Borges, N., Kurt, T. D., Lucero, M., Nilsson, K. P. R., Castilla, J., Sigurdson, C. J. Structure of the β2-α2 loop and interspecies prion transmission. PMID:22490928

  14. Interaction between a recombinant prion protein and organo-mineral complexes as evidenced by CPMAS 13C-NMR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Russo, F.; Scotti, R.; Gianfreda, L.; Conte, P.; Rao, M. A.

    2009-04-01

    Prion proteins (PrP) are the main responsible for Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSE). The TSE etiological agent is a misfolded form of the normal cellular prion protein. The amyloidal aggregates accumulated in the brain of infected animals and mainly composed of PrPSc exhibit resistance to protease attack and many conventional inactivating procedures. The prion protein diseases cause an environmental issue because the environment and in particular the soil compartment can be contaminated and then become a potential reservoir and diffuser of TSEs infectivity as a consequence of (i) accidental dispersion from storage plants of meat and bone meal, (ii) incorporation of contaminated material in fertilizers, (iii) possible natural contamination of pasture soils by grazing herds, and (v) burial of carcasses. The environmental problem can be even more relevant because very low amounts of PrPSc are able to propagate the disease. Several studies evidenced that infectious prion protein remains active in soils for years. Contaminated soils result, thus, a possible critical route of TSE transmission in wild animals. Soil can also protect prion protein toward degradation processes due to the presence of humic substances and inorganic components such as clays. Mineral and organic colloids and the more common association between clay minerals and humic substances can contribute to the adsorption/entrapment of molecules and macromolecules. The polymerization of organic monomeric humic precursors occurring in soil in the presence of oxidative enzymes or manganese and iron oxides, is considered one of the most important processes contributing to the formation of humic substances. The process is very fast and produces a population of polymeric products of different molecular structures, sizes, shapes and complexity. Other molecules and possibly biomacromolecules such as proteins may be involved. The aim of the present work was to study by CPMAS 13C-NMR the interactions

  15. Prions, From Structure to Epigenetics and Neuronal Functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindquist, Susan

    2012-02-01

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

  16. Familial prion protein mutants inhibit Hrd1-mediated retrotranslocation of misfolded proteins by depleting misfolded protein sensor BiP.

    PubMed

    Peters, Sarah L; Déry, Marc-André; LeBlanc, Andrea C

    2016-03-01

    Similar to many proteins trafficking through the secretory pathway, cellular prion protein (PrP) partly retrotranslocates from the endoplasmic reticulum to the cytosol through the endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD) pathway in an attempt to alleviate accumulation of cellular misfolded PrP. Surprisingly, familial PrP mutants fail to retrotranslocate and simultaneously block normal cellular PrP retrotranslocation. That impairments in retrotranslocation of misfolded proteins could lead to global disruptions in cellular homeostasis prompted further investigations into PrP mutant retrotranslocation defects. A gain- and loss-of-function approach identified human E3 ubiquitin ligase, Hrd1, as a critical regulator of PrP retrotranslocation in mammalian cells. Expression of familial human PrP mutants, V210I(129V) and M232R(129V), not only abolished PrP retrotranslocation, but also that of Hrd1-dependent ERAD substrates, transthyretin TTR(D18G) and α1-anti-trypsin A1AT(NHK). Mutant PrP expression decreased binding immunoglobulin protein (BiP) levels by 50% and attenuated ER stress-induced BiP by increasing BiP turnover 6-fold. Overexpression of BiP with PrP mutants rescued retrotranslocation of PrP, TTR(D18G) and A1AT(NHK). PrP mutants-induced cell death was also rescued by co-expression of BiP. These results show that PrP mutants highjack the Hrd1-dependent ERAD pathway, an action that would result in misfolded protein accumulation especially in terminally differentiated neurons. This could explain the age-dependent neuronal degeneration in familial prion diseases. PMID:26740554

  17. Behavioral abnormalities in prion protein knockout mice and the potential relevance of PrPc for the cytoskeleton

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The cellular prion protein (PrPC) is a highly conserved protein, which is anchored to the outer surface of the plasma membrane. Even though its physiological function has already been investigated in different cell or mouse models where PrPC expression is either up-regulated or depleted, its exact p...

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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 (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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  2. Loss of N-terminal Acetylation Suppresses A Prion Phenotype By Modulating Global Protein Folding

    PubMed Central

    Holmes, William M.; Mannakee, Brian K.; Gutenkunst, Ryan N.; Serio, Tricia R.

    2014-01-01

    N-terminal acetylation is among the most ubiquitous of protein modifications in eukaryotes. While loss of N-terminal acetylation is associated with many abnormalities, the molecular basis of these effects is known for only a few cases, where acetylation of single factors has been linked to binding avidity or metabolic stability. In contrast, the impact of N-terminal acetylation for the majority of the proteome, and its combinatorial contributions to phenotypes, are unknown. Here, by studying the yeast prion [PSI+], an amyloid of the Sup35 protein, we show that loss of N-terminal acetylation promotes general protein misfolding, a redeployment of chaperones to these substrates, and a corresponding stress response. These proteostasis changes, combined with the decreased stability of unacetylated Sup35 amyloid, reduce the size of prion aggregates and reverse their phenotypic consequences. Thus, loss of N-terminal acetylation, and its previously unanticipated role in protein biogenesis, globally resculpts the proteome to create a unique phenotype. PMID:25023910

  3. Report of outbreaks of classical scrapie in Dorper sheep and associated prion protein gene polymorphisms in affected flocks.

    PubMed

    de Andrade, Caroline Pinto; de Oliveira, Eduardo Conceição; Leal, Juliano Souza; de Almeida, Laura Lopes; de Castro, Luiza Amaral; da Silva, Sergio Ceroni; Driemeier, David

    2015-08-01

    Scrapie is an infectious neurodegenerative disease affecting sheep and goats, related with conformational alteration of an isoform of the prion protein that leads to deposition and aggregation in the host's central nervous system. Occurrence of the natural disease can be influenced by host genetic factors, such as a single nucleotide polymorphism of the prion protein gene. This study reports three scrapie-affected Dorper flocks located on three different farms in Brazil. The objective of this study was to analyze these three flocks using scrapie diagnostics, combining histology, immunohistochemistry, genotyping, and western blot assays. For immunohistochemistry, 192 sheep were selected and 308 sheep blood samples were taken for genotyping. A total of 22 sheep were scrapie positive by immunohistochemistry. Of these, four presented clinical signs and had scrapie immunoreactivity at the obex in western blot assays. The sheep without clinical signs were positive in lymphoid organs, such as the third eyelid and rectal mucosa. The major genotypes found on the flocks were ARQ/ARQ, ARQ/ARR, and ARQ/VRQ for codons 136, 154, and 171. Most of the sheep were considered to be at moderate to high risk, based on risk groups for developing scrapie. Some blood samples were sequenced, and polymorphisms were identified in other codons, such as 127, 142, and 143. Our data demonstrate the importance of preclinical scrapie diagnosis in Brazilian sheep, as most of the affected sheep showed no clinical signs, and emphasize the relevance of genotyping other Dorper sheep to determine the genotypic profile of the breed. PMID:25995150

  4. Kinetics of Amyloid Aggregation: A Study of the GNNQQNY Prion Sequence

    PubMed Central

    Nasica-Labouze, Jessica; Mousseau, Normand

    2012-01-01

    The small amyloid-forming GNNQQNY fragment of the prion sequence has been the subject of extensive experimental and numerical studies over the last few years. Using unbiased molecular dynamics with the OPEP coarse-grained potential, we focus here on the onset of aggregation in a 20-mer system. With a total of 16.9 of simulations at 280 K and 300 K, we show that the GNNQQNY aggregation follows the classical nucleation theory (CNT) in that the number of monomers in the aggregate is a very reliable descriptor of aggregation. We find that the critical nucleus size in this finite-size system is between 4 and 5 monomers at 280 K and 5 and 6 at 300 K, in overall agreement with experiment. The kinetics of growth cannot be fully accounted for by the CNT, however. For example, we observe considerable rearrangements after the nucleus is formed, as the system attempts to optimize its organization. We also clearly identify two large families of structures that are selected at the onset of aggregation demonstrating the presence of well-defined polymorphism, a signature of amyloid growth, already in the 20-mer aggregate. PMID:23209391

  5. Transmission of the BSE agent to mice in the absence of detectable abnormal prion protein.

    PubMed

    Lasmézas, C I; Deslys, J P; Robain, O; Jaegly, A; Beringue, V; Peyrin, J M; Fournier, J G; Hauw, J J; Rossier, J; Dormont, D

    1997-01-17

    The agent responsible for transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) is thought to be a malfolded, protease-resistant version (PrPres) of the normal cellular prion protein (PrP). The interspecies transmission of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) to mice was studied. Although all of the mice injected with homogenate from BSE-infected cattle brain exhibited neurological symptoms and neuronal death, more than 55 percent had no detectable PrPres. During serial passage, PrPres appeared after the agent became adapted to the new host. Thus, PrPres may be involved in species adaptation, but a further unidentified agent may actually transmit BSE. PMID:8994041

  6. Nanoimaging for prion related diseases.

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  7. Prion protein "gamma-cleavage": characterizing a novel endoproteolytic processing event.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Victoria; Johanssen, Vanessa A; Crouch, Peter J; Klug, Genevieve M; Hooper, Nigel M; Collins, Steven J

    2016-02-01

    The cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) is a ubiquitously expressed protein of currently unresolved but potentially diverse function. Of putative relevance to normal biological activity, PrP(C) is recognized to undergo both α- and β-endoproteolysis, producing the cleavage fragment pairs N1/C1 and N2/C2, respectively. Experimental evidence suggests the likelihood that these processing events serve differing cellular needs. Through the engineering of a C-terminal c-myc tag onto murine PrP(C), as well as the selective use of a far-C-terminal anti-PrP antibody, we have identified a new PrP(C) fragment, nominally 'C3', and elaborating existing nomenclature, 'γ-cleavage' as the responsible proteolysis. Our studies indicate that this novel γ-cleavage event can occur during transit through the secretory pathway after exiting the endoplasmic reticulum, and after PrP(C) has reached the cell surface, by a matrix metalloprotease. We found that C3 is GPI-anchored like other C-terminal and full length PrP(C) species, though it does not localize primarily at the cell surface, and is preferentially cleaved from an unglycosylated substrate. Importantly, we observed that C3 exists in diverse cell types as well as mouse and human brain tissue, and of possible pathogenic significance, γ-cleavage may increase in human prion diseases. Given the likely relevance of PrP(C) processing to both its normal function, and susceptibility to prion disease, the potential importance of this previously underappreciated and overlooked cleavage event warrants further consideration. PMID:26298290

  8. Association of the prion protein and its expression with ovarian follicle development in cattle.

    PubMed

    Forde, N; Rogers, M; Canty, M J; Lonergan, P; Smith, G W; Coussens, P M; Ireland, J J; Evans, A C O

    2008-02-01

    The cellular form of the prion protein (PrP(C)) has been detected in many tissues including reproductive tissues. While its function is unclear, it has been suggested to act as a receptor for an unidentified ligand and/or as an antioxidant agent. We tested the hypothesis that PrP(C) is differentially expressed in dominant, growing, compared to subordinate bovine ovarian follicles. Using both microarray analysis and quantitative real-time PCR, the level of prion protein mRNA (Prnp) in both theca and granulosa cells was measured. We found that levels of Prnp were significantly higher in the theca cells of dominant compared to subordinate follicles but similar among granulosa cells from different follicles. This difference was apparent immediately after selection of the dominant follicle and continued to the dominance stage of the follicle wave. Levels of the protein for PrP(C) were also higher (P < 0.05) in theca cells of dominant compared to subordinate follicles. In conclusion, elevated PrP(C) was associated with ovarian follicle growth and development and we suggest that it may play a role in the success of follicle development. PMID:17595008

  9. The Volumetric Diversity of Misfolded Prion Protein Oligomers Revealed by Pressure Dissociation*

    PubMed Central

    Torrent, Joan; Lange, Reinhard; Rezaei, Human

    2015-01-01

    Protein oligomerization has been associated with a wide range of diseases. High pressure approaches offer a powerful tool for deciphering the underlying molecular mechanisms by revealing volume changes associated with the misfolding and assembly reactions. We applied high pressure to induce conformational changes in three distinct β-sheet-rich oligomers of the prion protein PrP, a protein characterized by a variety of infectious quaternary structures that can propagate stably and faithfully and cause diseases with specific phenotypic traits. We show that pressure induces dissociation of the oligomers and leads to a lower volume monomeric PrP state that refolds into the native conformation after pressure release. By measuring the different pressure and temperature sensitivity of the tested PrP oligomers, we demonstrate significantly different void volumes in their quaternary structure. In addition, by focusing on the kinetic and energetic behavior of the pressure-induced dissociation of one specific PrP oligomer, we reveal a large negative activation volume and an increase in both apparent activation enthalpy and entropy. This suggests a transition state ensemble that is less structured and significantly more hydrated than the oligomeric state. Finally, we found that site-specific fluorescent labeling allows monitoring of the transient population of a kinetic intermediate in the dissociation reaction. Our results indicate that defects in atomic packing may deserve consideration as a new factor that influences differences between PrP assemblies and that could be relevant also for explaining the origin of prion strains. PMID:26126829

  10. Identification and structural analysis of C-terminally truncated collapsin response mediator protein-2 in a murine model of prion diseases

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders that accompany an accumulation of the disease-associated form(s) of prion protein (PrPSc) in the central nervous system. The neuropathological changes in the brain begin with focal deposits of PrPSc, followed by pathomorphological abnormalities of axon terminal degeneration, synaptic loss, atrophy of dendritic trees, and eventual neuronal cell death in the lesions. However, the underlying molecular basis for these neuropathogenic abnormalities is not fully understood. Results In a proteomic analysis of soluble proteins in the brains of mice challenged intracerebrally with scrapie prion (Obihiro I strain), we found that the amount of the full-length form of collapsin response mediator protein-2 (CRMP-2; 61 kDa) decreased in the late stages of the disease, while the amount of its truncated form (56 kDa) increased to comparable levels observed for the full-length form. Detailed analysis by liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry showed that the 56-kDa form (named CRMP-2-ΔC) lacked the sequence from serine518 to the C-terminus, including the C-terminal phosphorylation sites important for the regulation of axonal growth and axon-dendrite specification in developing neurons. The invariable size of the mRNA transcript in Northern blot analysis suggested that the truncation was due to post-translational proteolysis. By overexpression of CRMP-2-ΔC in primary cultured neurons, we observed the augmentation of the development of neurite branch tips to the same levels as for CRMP-2T514A/T555A, a non-phosphorylated mimic of the full-length protein. This suggests that the increased level of CRMP-2-ΔC in the brain modulates the integrity of neurons, and may be involved in the pathogenesis of the neuronal abnormalities observed in the late stages of the disease. Conclusions We identified the presence of CRMP-2-ΔC in the brain of a murine model of prion disease. Of note, C

  11. Single-particle tracking of quantum dot-conjugated prion proteins inside yeast cells

    SciTech Connect

    Tsuji, Toshikazu; Kawai-Noma, Shigeko; Pack, Chan-Gi; Terajima, Hideki; Yajima, Junichiro; Nishizaka, Takayuki; Kinjo, Masataka; Taguchi, Hideki

    2011-02-25

    Research highlights: {yields} We develop a method to track a quantum dot-conjugated protein in yeast cells. {yields} We incorporate the conjugated quantum dot proteins into yeast spheroplasts. {yields} We track the motions by conventional or 3D tracking microscopy. -- Abstract: Yeast is a model eukaryote with a variety of biological resources. Here we developed a method to track a quantum dot (QD)-conjugated protein in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We chemically conjugated QDs with the yeast prion Sup35, incorporated them into yeast spheroplasts, and tracked the motions by conventional two-dimensional or three-dimensional tracking microscopy. The method paves the way toward the individual tracking of proteins of interest inside living yeast cells.

  12. The prion protein is an agonistic ligand of the G protein-coupled receptor Adgrg6.

    PubMed

    Küffer, Alexander; Lakkaraju, Asvin K K; Mogha, Amit; Petersen, Sarah C; Airich, Kristina; Doucerain, Cédric; Marpakwar, Rajlakshmi; Bakirci, Pamela; Senatore, Assunta; Monnard, Arnaud; Schiavi, Carmen; Nuvolone, Mario; Grosshans, Bianka; Hornemann, Simone; Bassilana, Frederic; Monk, Kelly R; Aguzzi, Adriano

    2016-08-25

    Ablation of the cellular prion protein PrP(C) leads to a chronic demyelinating polyneuropathy affecting Schwann cells. Neuron-restricted expression of PrP(C) prevents the disease, suggesting that PrP(C) acts in trans through an unidentified Schwann cell receptor. Here we show that the cAMP concentration in sciatic nerves from PrP(C)-deficient mice is reduced, suggesting that PrP(C) acts via a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR). The amino-terminal flexible tail (residues 23-120) of PrP(C) triggered a concentration-dependent increase in cAMP in primary Schwann cells, in the Schwann cell line SW10, and in HEK293T cells overexpressing the GPCR Adgrg6 (also known as Gpr126). By contrast, naive HEK293T cells and HEK293T cells expressing several other GPCRs did not react to the flexible tail, and ablation of Gpr126 from SW10 cells abolished the flexible tail-induced cAMP response. The flexible tail contains a polycationic cluster (KKRPKPG) similar to the GPRGKPG motif of the Gpr126 agonist type-IV collagen. A KKRPKPG-containing PrPC-derived peptide (FT(23-50)) sufficed to induce a Gpr126-dependent cAMP response in cells and mice, and improved myelination in hypomorphic gpr126 mutant zebrafish (Danio rerio). Substitution of the cationic residues with alanines abolished the biological activity of both FT(23-50) and the equivalent type-IV collagen peptide. We conclude that PrP(C) promotes myelin homeostasis through flexible tail-mediated Gpr126 agonism. As well as clarifying the physiological role of PrP(C), these observations are relevant to the pathogenesis of demyelinating polyneuropathies--common debilitating diseases for which there are limited therapeutic options. PMID:27501152

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  14. Comparison of abnormal isoform of prion protein in prion-infected cell lines and primary-cultured neurons by PrPSc-specific immunostaining.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Misaki; Fujiwara, Ai; Suzuki, Akio; Yamasaki, Takeshi; Hasebe, Rie; Masujin, Kentaro; Horiuchi, Motohiro

    2016-08-01

    We established abnormal isoform of prion protein (PrPSc)-specific double immunostaining using mAb 132, which recognizes aa 119-127 of the PrP molecule, and novel PrPSc-specific mAb 8D5, which recognizes the N-terminal region of the PrP molecule. Using the PrPSc-specific double immunostaining, we analysed PrPSc in immortalized neuronal cell lines and primary cerebral-neuronal cultures infected with prions. The PrPSc-specific double immunostaining showed the existence of PrPSc positive for both mAbs 132 and 8D5, as well as those positive only for either mAb 132 or mAb 8D5. This indicated that double immunostaining detects a greater number of PrPSc species than single immunostaining. Double immunostaining revealed cell-type-dependent differences in PrPSc staining patterns. In the 22 L prion strain-infected Neuro2a (N2a)-3 cells, a subclone of N2a neuroblastoma cell line, or GT1-7, a subclone of the GT1 hypothalamic neuronal cell line, granular PrPSc stains were observed at the perinuclear regions and cytoplasm, whereas unique string-like PrPSc stains were predominantly observed on the surface of the 22 L strain-infected primary cerebral neurons. Only 14 % of PrPSc in the 22 L strain-infected N2a-3 cells were positive for mAb 8D5, indicating that most of the PrPSc in N2a-3 lack the N-terminal portion. In contrast, nearly half PrPSc detected in the 22 L strain-infected primary cerebral neurons were positive for mAb 8D5, suggesting the abundance of full-length PrPSc that possesses the N-terminal portion of PrP. Further analysis of prion-infected primary neurons using PrPSc-specific immunostaining will reveal the neuron-specific mechanism for prion propagation. PMID:27267758

  15. Cellular toxicity of yeast prion protein Rnq1 can be modulated by N-terminal wild type huntingtin.

    PubMed

    Sethi, Ratnika; Patel, Vishal; Saleh, Aliabbas A; Roy, Ipsita

    2016-01-15

    Aggregation of the N-terminal human mutant huntingtin and the consequent toxicity in the yeast model of Huntington's disease (HD) requires the presence of Rnq1 protein (Rnq1p) in its prion conformation [RNQ1(+)]. The understanding of interaction of wild-type huntingtin (wt-Htt) with the amyloidogenic prion has some gaps. In this work, we show that N-terminal fragment of wt-Htt (N-wt-Htt) ameliorated the toxic effect of [RNQ1(+)] depending on expression levels of both proteins. When the expression of N-wt-Htt was high, it increased the expression and delayed the aggregation of [RNQ1(+)]. As the expression of N-wt-Htt was reduced, it formed high molecular weight aggregates along with the prion. Even when sequestered by [RNQ1(+)], the beneficial effect of N-wt-Htt on expression of Rnq1p and on cell survival was evident. Huntingtin protein ameliorated toxicity due to the prion protein [RNQ1(+)] in yeast cells in a dose-dependent manner, resulting in increase in cell survival, hinting at its probable role as a component of the proteostasis network of the cell. Taking into account the earlier reports of the beneficial effect of expression of N-wt-Htt on the aggregation of mutant huntingtin, the function of wild-type huntingtin as an inhibitor of protein aggregation in the cell needs to be explored. PMID:26628321

  16. Domain-Specific Activation of Death-Associated Intracellular Signalling Cascades by the Cellular Prion Protein in Neuroblastoma Cells.

    PubMed

    Vilches, Silvia; Vergara, Cristina; Nicolás, Oriol; Mata, Ágata; Del Río, José A; Gavín, Rosalina

    2016-09-01

    The biological functions of the cellular prion protein remain poorly understood. In fact, numerous studies have aimed to determine specific functions for the different protein domains. Studies of cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) domains through in vivo expression of molecules carrying internal deletions in a mouse Prnp null background have provided helpful data on the implication of the protein in signalling cascades in affected neurons. Nevertheless, understanding of the mechanisms underlying the neurotoxicity induced by these PrP(C) deleted forms is far from complete. To better define the neurotoxic or neuroprotective potential of PrP(C) N-terminal domains, and to overcome the heterogeneity of results due to the lack of a standardized model, we used neuroblastoma cells to analyse the effects of overexpressing PrP(C) deleted forms. Results indicate that PrP(C) N-terminal deleted forms were properly processed through the secretory pathway. However, PrPΔF35 and PrPΔCD mutants led to death by different mechanisms sharing loss of alpha-cleavage and activation of caspase-3. Our data suggest that both gain-of-function and loss-of-function pathogenic mechanisms may be associated with N-terminal domains and may therefore contribute to neurotoxicity in prion disease. Dissecting the molecular response induced by PrPΔF35 may be the key to unravelling the physiological and pathological functions of the prion protein. PMID:26250617

  17. Cavitation during the protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) method – The trigger for de novo prion generation?

    SciTech Connect

    Haigh, Cathryn L.; Drew, Simon C.

    2015-06-05

    The protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) technique has become a widely-adopted method for amplifying minute amounts of the infectious conformer of the prion protein (PrP). PMCA involves repeated cycles of 20 kHz sonication and incubation, during which the infectious conformer seeds the conversion of normally folded protein by a templating interaction. Recently, it has proved possible to create an infectious PrP conformer without the need for an infectious seed, by including RNA and the phospholipid POPG as essential cofactors during PMCA. The mechanism underpinning this de novo prion formation remains unknown. In this study, we first establish by spin trapping methods that cavitation bubbles formed during PMCA provide a radical-rich environment. Using a substrate preparation comparable to that employed in studies of de novo prion formation, we demonstrate by immuno-spin trapping that PrP- and RNA-centered radicals are generated during sonication, in addition to PrP-RNA cross-links. We further show that serial PMCA produces protease-resistant PrP that is oxidatively modified. We suggest a unique confluence of structural (membrane-mimetic hydrophobic/hydrophilic bubble interface) and chemical (ROS) effects underlie the phenomenon of de novo prion formation by PMCA, and that these effects have meaningful biological counterparts of possible relevance to spontaneous prion formation in vivo. - Highlights: • Sonication during PMCA generates free radicals at the surface of cavitation bubbles. • PrP-centered and RNA-centered radicals are formed in addition to PrP-RNA adducts. • De novo prions may result from ROS and structural constraints during cavitation.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  19. Conformational detection of prion protein with biarsenical labeling and FlAsH fluorescence

    SciTech Connect

    Coleman, Bradley M.; Nisbet, Rebecca M.; Han, Sen; Cappai, Roberto; Hatters, Danny M.; Hill, Andrew F.

    2009-03-13

    Prion diseases are associated with the misfolding of the host-encoded cellular prion protein (PrP{sup C}) into a disease associated form (PrP{sup Sc}). Recombinant PrP can be refolded into either an {alpha}-helical rich conformation ({alpha}-PrP) resembling PrP{sup C} or a {beta}-sheet rich, protease resistant form similar to PrP{sup Sc}. Here, we generated tetracysteine tagged recombinant PrP, folded this into {alpha}- or {beta}-PrP and determined the levels of FlAsH fluorescence. Insertion of the tetracysteine tag at three different sites within the 91-111 epitope readily distinguished {beta}-PrP from {alpha}-PrP upon FlAsH labeling. Labelling of tetracysteine tagged PrP in the {alpha}-helical form showed minimal fluorescence, whereas labeling of tagged PrP in the {beta}-sheet form showed high fluorescence indicating that this region is exposed upon conversion. This highlights a region of PrP that can be implicated in the development of diagnostics and is a novel, protease free mechanism for distinguishing PrP{sup Sc} from PrP{sup C}. This technique may also be applied to any protein that undergoes conformational change and/or misfolding such as those involved in other neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's, Huntington's and Parkinson's diseases.

  20. Electron crystallography of the scrapie prion protein complexed with heavy metals

    PubMed Central

    Wille, Holger; Govaerts, Cédric; Borovinskiy, Alexander; Latawiec, Diane; Downing, Kenneth H.; Cohen, Fred E.; Prusiner, Stanley B.

    2012-01-01

    The insolubility of the disease-causing isoform of the prion protein (PrPSc) has prevented studies of its three-dimensional structure at atomic resolution. Electron crystallography of two-dimensional crystals of N-terminally truncated PrPSc (PrP 27–30) and a miniprion (PrPSc106) provided the first insights at intermediate resolution on the molecular architecture of the prion. Here, we report on the structure of PrP 27–30 and PrPSc106 negatively stained with heavy metals. The interactions of the heavy metals with the crystal lattice were governed by tertiary and quaternary structural elements of the protein as well as the charge and size of the heavy metal salts. Staining with molybdate anions revealed three prominent densities near the center of the trimer that forms the unit cell, coinciding with the location of the β-helix that was proposed for the structure of PrPSc. Differential staining also confirmed the location of the internal deletion of PrPSc106 at or near these densities. PMID:17935686

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-28

    Single molecule experiments and simulations have been widely used to characterize the unfolding and folding pathways of different proteins. However, with few exceptions, these tools have not been applied to study prion protein, PrP(C), whose misfolded form PrP(Sc) can induce a group of fatal neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we apply novel atomistic modeling based on potential energy surface exploration to study the constant force unfolding of human PrP at time scales inaccessible with standard molecular dynamics. We demonstrate for forces around 100 pN, prion forms a stable, three-stranded β-sheet-like intermediate configuration containing residues 155-214 with a lifetime exceeding hundreds of nanoseconds. A mutant without the disulfide bridge shows lower stability during the unfolding process but still forms the three-stranded structure. The simulations thus not only show the atomistic details of the mechanically induced structural conversion from the native α-helical structure to the β-rich-like form but also lend support to the structural theory that there is a core of the recombinant PrP amyloid, a misfolded form reported to induce transmissible disease, mapping to C-terminal residues ≈160-220. PMID:26429042

  2. The cellular prion protein traps Alzheimer's Aβ in an oligomeric form and disassembles amyloid fibers

    PubMed Central

    Younan, Nadine D.; Sarell, Claire J.; Davies, Paul; Brown, David R.; Viles, John H.

    2013-01-01

    There is now strong evidence to show that the presence of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) mediates amyloid-β (Aβ) neurotoxicity in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Here, we probe the molecular details of the interaction between PrPC and Aβ and discover that substoichiometric amounts of PrPC, as little as 1/20, relative to Aβ will strongly inhibit amyloid fibril formation. This effect is specific to the unstructured N-terminal domain of PrPC. Electron microscopy indicates PrPC is able to trap Aβ in an oligomeric form. Unlike fibers, this oligomeric Aβ contains antiparallel β sheet and binds to a oligomer specific conformational antibody. Our NMR studies show that a specific region of PrPC, notably residues 95–113, binds to Aβ oligomers, but only once Aβ misfolds. The ability of PrPC to trap and concentrate Aβ in an oligomeric form and disassemble mature fibers suggests a mechanism by which PrPC might confer Aβ toxicity in AD, as oligomers are thought to be the toxic form of Aβ. Identification of a specific recognition site on PrPC that traps Aβ in an oligomeric form is potentially a therapeutic target for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.—Younan, N. D., Sarell, C. J., Davies, P., Brown, D. R., Viles, J. H. The cellular prion protein traps Alzheimer's Aβ in an oligomeric form and disassembles amyloid fibers. PMID:23335053

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-09-28

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

  4. Methionine Oxidation Perturbs the Structural Core of the Prion Protein and Suggests a Generic Misfolding Pathway*

    PubMed Central

    Younan, Nadine D.; Nadal, Rebecca C.; Davies, Paul; Brown, David R.; Viles, John H.

    2012-01-01

    Oxidative stress and misfolding of the prion protein (PrPC) are fundamental to prion diseases. We have therefore probed the effect of oxidation on the structure and stability of PrPC. Urea unfolding studies indicate that H2O2 oxidation reduces the thermodynamic stability of PrPC by as much as 9 kJ/mol. 1H-15N NMR studies indicate methionine oxidation perturbs key hydrophobic residues on one face of helix-C as follows: Met-205, Val-209, and Met-212 together with residues Val-160 and Tyr-156. These hydrophobic residues pack together and form the structured core of the protein, stabilizing its ternary structure. Copper-catalyzed oxidation of PrPC causes a more significant alteration of the structure, generating a monomeric molten globule species that retains its native helical content. Further copper-catalyzed oxidation promotes extended β-strand structures that lack a cooperative fold. This transition from the helical molten globule to β-conformation has striking similarities to a misfolding intermediate generated at low pH. PrP may therefore share a generic misfolding pathway to amyloid fibers, irrespective of the conditions promoting misfolding. Our observations support the hypothesis that oxidation of PrP destabilizes the native fold of PrPC, facilitating the transition to PrPSc. This study gives a structural and thermodynamic explanation for the high levels of oxidized methionine in scrapie isolates. PMID:22654104

  5. Conformational Switching and Nanoscale Assembly of Human Prion Protein into Polymorphic Amyloids via Structurally Labile Oligomers.

    PubMed

    Dalal, Vijit; Arya, Shruti; Bhattacharya, Mily; Mukhopadhyay, Samrat

    2015-12-29

    Conformational switching of the prion protein (PrP) from an α-helical normal cellular form (PrP(C)) to an aggregation-prone and self-propagating β-rich scrapie form (PrP(Sc)) underlies the molecular basis of pathogenesis in prion diseases. Anionic lipids play a critical role in the misfolding and conformational conversion of the membrane-anchored PrP into the amyloidogenic pathological form. In this work, we have used a diverse array of techniques to interrogate the early intermediates during amyloid formation from recombinant human PrP in the presence of a membrane mimetic anionic detergent such as sodium dodecyl sulfate. We have been able to detect and characterize two distinct types of interconvertible oligomers. Our results demonstrate that highly ordered large β-oligomers represent benign off-pathway intermediates that lack the ability to mature into amyloid fibrils. On the contrary, structurally labile small oligomers are capable of switching to an ordered amyloid-state that exhibits profound toxicity to mammalian cells. Our fluorescence resonance energy transfer measurements revealed that the partially disordered PrP serves as precursors to small amyloid-competent oligomers. These on-pathway oligomers are eventually sequestered into higher order supramolecular assemblies that conformationally mature into polymorphic amyloids possessing varied nanoscale morphology as evident by the atomic force microscopy imaging. The nanoscale diversity of fibril architecture is attributed to the heterogeneous ensemble of early obligatory oligomers and offers a plausible explanation for the existence of multiple prion strains in vivo. PMID:26645611

  6. Impact of methionine oxidation as an initial event on the pathway of human prion protein conversion.

    PubMed

    Elmallah, Mohammed I Y; Borgmeyer, Uwe; Betzel, Christian; Redecke, Lars

    2013-01-01

    Prion diseases comprise a group of fatal neurodegenerative disorders characterized by the autocatalytic conversion of the cellular prion protein PrP(C) into the infectious misfolded isoform PrP(Sc). Increasing evidence supports a specific role of oxidative stress in the onset of pathogenesis. Although the associated molecular mechanisms remain to be elucidated in detail, several studies currently suggest that methionine oxidation already detected in misfolded PrP(Sc) destabilizes the native PrP fold as an early event in the conversion pathway. To obtain more insights about the specific impact of surface-exposed methionine residues on the oxidative-induced conversion of human PrP we designed, produced, and comparatively investigated two new pseudosulfoxidation mutants of human PrP 121-231 that comprises the well-folded C-terminal domain. Applying circular dichroism spectroscopy and dynamic light scattering techniques we showed that pseudosulfoxidation of all surface exposed Met residues formed a monomeric molten globule-like species with striking similarities to misfolding intermediates recently reported by other groups. However, individual pseudosulfoxidation at the polymorphic M129 site did not significantly contribute to the structural destabilization. Further metal-induced oxidation of the partly unfolded pseudosulfoxidation mutant resulted in the formation of an oligomeric state that shares a comparable size and stability with PrP oligomers detected after the application of different other triggers for structural conversion, indicating a generic misfolding pathway of PrP. The obtained results highlight the specific importance of methionine oxidation at surface exposed residues for PrP misfolding, strongly supporting the hypothesis that increased oxidative stress could be one causative event for sporadic prion diseases and other neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:24121542

  7. Recombinant expression of soluble murine prion protein for C-terminal modification.

    PubMed

    Chu, Nam Ky; Becker, Christian F W

    2013-03-01

    Membrane attachment of prion protein (PrP) via its glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor plays a key role during conversion of cellular PrP(C) into its pathogenic isoform PrP(Sc). Strategies to access homogenous lipidated PrP via expressed protein ligation (EPL) are required to fully decipher the effect of membrane attachment. Such strategies suffer from insoluble expression of PrP-intein fusion constructs and low folding efficiencies that severely limit the available amount of homogeneous lipidated PrP. Here, we describe an alternative method for expression of soluble PrP-intein fusion proteins in Escherichia coli that provides access to natively folded PrP ready to use in EPL. PMID:23337878

  8. The Rich Electrochemistry and Redox Reactions of the Copper Sites in the Cellular Prion Protein

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Feimeng; Millhauser, Glenn L.

    2012-01-01

    This paper reviews recent electrochemical studies of the copper complexes of prion protein (PrP) and its related peptides, and correlates their redox behavior to chemical and biologically relevant reactions. Particular emphasis is placed on the difference in redox properties between copper in the octarepeat (OR) and the non-OR domains of PrP, as well as differences between the high and low copper occupancy states in the OR domain. Several discrepancies in literature concerning these differences are discussed and reconciled. The PrP copper complexes, in comparison to copper complexes of other amyloidogenic proteins/peptides, display a more diverse and richer redox chemistry. The specific protocols and caveats that need to be considered in studying the electrochemistry and redox reactions of copper complexes of PrP, PrP-derived peptides, and other related amyloidogenic proteins are summarized. PMID:23144499

  9. Uptake and Degradation of Protease-Sensitive and -Resistant Forms of Abnormal Human Prion Protein Aggregates by Human Astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Young Pyo; Head, Mark W.; Ironside, James W.; Priola, Suzette A.

    2015-01-01

    Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is the most common of the human prion diseases, a group of rare, transmissible, and fatal neurologic diseases associated with the accumulation of an abnormal form (PrPSc) of the host prion protein. In sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, disease-associated PrPSc is present not only as an aggregated, protease-resistant form but also as an aggregated protease-sensitive form (sPrPSc). Although evidence suggests that sPrPSc may play a role in prion pathogenesis, little is known about how it interacts with cells during prion infection. Here, we show that protease-sensitive abnormal PrP aggregates derived from patients with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease are taken up and degraded by immortalized human astrocytes similarly to abnormal PrP aggregates that are resistant to proteases. Our data suggest that relative proteinase K resistance does not significantly influence the astrocyte's ability to degrade PrPSc. Furthermore, the cell does not appear to distinguish between sPrPSc and protease-resistant PrPSc, suggesting that sPrPSc could contribute to prion infection. PMID:25280631

  10. Prion protein interaction with stress-inducible protein 1 enhances neuronal protein synthesis via mTOR

    PubMed Central

    Roffé, Martín; Beraldo, Flávio Henrique; Bester, Romina; Nunziante, Max; Bach, Christian; Mancini, Gabriel; Gilch, Sabine; Vorberg, Ina; Castilho, Beatriz A.; Martins, Vilma Regina; Hajj, Glaucia Noeli Maroso

    2010-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are fatal neurodegenerative diseases caused by the conversion of prion protein (PrPC) into an infectious isoform (PrPSc). How this event leads to pathology is not fully understood. Here we demonstrate that protein synthesis in neurons is enhanced via PrPC interaction with stress-inducible protein 1 (STI1). We also show that neuroprotection and neuritogenesis mediated by PrPC–STI1 engagement are dependent upon the increased protein synthesis mediated by PI3K-mTOR signaling. Strikingly, the translational stimulation mediated by PrPC–STI1 binding is corrupted in neuronal cell lines persistently infected with PrPSc, as well as in primary cultured hippocampal neurons acutely exposed to PrPSc. Consistent with this, high levels of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2α (eIF2α) phosphorylation were found in PrPSc-infected cells and in neurons acutely exposed to PrPSc. These data indicate that modulation of protein synthesis is critical for PrPC–STI1 neurotrophic functions, and point to the impairment of this process during PrPSc infection as a possible contributor to neurodegeneration. PMID:20615969

  11. Association between genotypes at codon 171 and 136 of the prion protein gene and production traits in market lambs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Scrapie is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy of small ruminants for which infection is genetically controlled by commonly occurring polymorphisms in the gene encoding the normal prion protein precursor gene Prnp. Selection of sheep with the Prnp allele encoding arginine at codon 171 is rema...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyu, Justin; Andrianarijaona, V. M.

    2016-05-01

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

  13. Strain conformation controls the specificity of cross-species prion transmission in the yeast model.

    PubMed

    Grizel, Anastasia V; Rubel, Aleksandr A; Chernoff, Yury O

    2016-07-01

    Transmissible self-assembled fibrous cross-β polymer infectious proteins (prions) cause neurodegenerative diseases in mammals and control non-Mendelian heritable traits in yeast. Cross-species prion transmission is frequently impaired, due to sequence differences in prion-forming proteins. Recent studies of prion species barrier on the model of closely related yeast species show that colocalization of divergent proteins is not sufficient for the cross-species prion transmission, and that an identity of specific amino acid sequences and a type of prion conformational variant (strain) play a major role in the control of transmission specificity. In contrast, chemical compounds primarily influence transmission specificity via favoring certain strain conformations, while the species origin of the host cell has only a relatively minor input. Strain alterations may occur during cross-species prion conversion in some combinations. The model is discussed which suggests that different recipient proteins can acquire different spectra of prion strain conformations, which could be either compatible or incompatible with a particular donor strain. PMID:27565563

  14. Pathological Propagation through Cell-to-Cell Transmission of Non-Prion Protein Aggregates in Neurodegenerative Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Seung-Jae; Desplats, Paula; Sigurdson, Christina; Tsigelny, Igor; Masliah, Eliezer

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, fronto-temporal dementia, Huntington's Disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) are characterized by progressive accumulation of protein aggregates in selected brain regions. Protein misfolding and templated assembly into aggregates might result from an imbalance between protein synthesis, aggregation and clearance. While protein misfolding and aggregation occur in most neurodegenerative disorders, the concept of spreading and infectivity of aggregates in the CNS has been reserved to prion diseases such as CJD and bovine spongiform encephalopathy. Emerging evidence suggests that prion-like spreading may occur in other neurodegenerative disorders, taking place with secreted proteins, such as amyloid-β,) and cytosolic proteins, such as tau, huntingtin and α-synuclein. Underlying molecular mechanisms and therapeutic implications are discussed. PMID:21045796

  15. A MUTANT PRION PROTEIN SENSITIZES NEURONS TO GLUTAMATE-INDUCED EXCITOTOXICITY

    PubMed Central

    Biasini, Emiliano; Unterberger, Ursula; Solomon, Isaac H.; Massignan, Tania; Senatore, Assunta; Bian, Hejiao; Voigtlaender, Till; Bowman, Frederick P.; Bonetto, Valentina; Chiesa, Roberto; Luebke, Jennifer; Toselli, Paul; Harris, David A.

    2013-01-01

    Growing evidence suggests that a physiological activity of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) plays a crucial role in several neurodegenerative disorders, including prion and Alzheimer’s diseases. However, how the functional activity of PrPC is subverted to deliver neurotoxic signals remains uncertain. Transgenic mice expressing PrP with a deletion of residues 105–125 in the central region (referred to as ΔCR PrP) provide important insights into this problem. Tg(ΔCR) mice exhibit neonatal lethality and massive degeneration of cerebellar granule neurons, a phenotype that is dose-dependently suppressed by the presence of wild-type PrP. When expressed in cultured cells, ΔCR PrP induces large, ionic currents that can be detected by patch-clamping techniques. Here, we have tested the hypothesis that abnormal ion channel activity underlies the neuronal death seen in Tg(ΔCR) mice. We find that ΔCR PrP induces abnormal ionic currents in neurons in culture and in cerebellar slices, and that this activity sensitizes the neurons to glutamate-induced, calcium-mediated death. In combination with ultrastructural and biochemical analyses, these results demonstrate a role for glutamate-induced excitotoxicity in PrP-mediated neurodegeneration. A similar mechanism may operate in other neurodegenerative disorders due to toxic, β-rich oligomers that bind to PrPC. PMID:23392670

  16. Prion Protein Modulates Monoaminergic Systems and Depressive-like Behavior in Mice.

    PubMed

    Beckman, Danielle; Santos, Luis E; Americo, Tatiana A; Ledo, Jose H; de Mello, Fernando G; Linden, Rafael

    2015-08-14

    We sought to examine interactions of the prion protein (PrP(C)) with monoaminergic systems due to: the role of PrP(C) in both Prion and Alzheimer diseases, which include clinical depression among their symptoms, the implication of monoamines in depression, and the hypothesis that PrP(C) serves as a scaffold for signaling systems. To that effect we compared both behavior and monoaminergic markers in wild type (WT) and PrP(C)-null (PrP(-/-)) mice. PrP(-/-) mice performed poorly when compared with WT in forced swimming, tail suspension, and novelty suppressed feeding tests, typical of depressive-like behavior, but not in the control open field nor rotarod motor tests; cyclic AMP responses to stimulation of D1 receptors by dopamine was selectively impaired in PrP(-/-) mice, and responses to serotonin, but not to norepinephrine, also differed between genotypes. Contents of dopamine, tyrosine hydroxylase, and the 5-HT5A serotonin receptor were increased in the cerebral cortex of PrP(-/-), as compared with WT mice. Microscopic colocalization, as well as binding in overlay assays were found of PrP(C) with both the 5HT5A and D1, but not D4 receptors. The data are consistent with the scaffolding of monoaminergic signaling modules by PrP(C), and may help understand the pathogenesis of clinical depression and neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:26152722

  17. Expression profiles of prion and doppel proteins and of their receptors in mouse splenocytes.

    PubMed

    Cordier-Dirikoc, Sevda; Zsürger, Nicole; Cazareth, Julie; Ménard, Baptiste; Chabry, Joëlle

    2008-08-01

    Doppel (Dpl) shares common structural features with the prion protein (PrP) whose pathologic isoform is considered as the causative agent of prion diseases. Although their physiological functions in the immune system remain largely unknown, we demonstrated that substantial amounts of PrP and Dpl are expressed by spleen cells notably B lymphocytes, granulocytes and DC, but not T lymphocytes and NK. To characterize trans-interacting partners of PrP and Dpl on mouse splenocytes, fluorescent PrP and Dpl tetramers were produced and used as tracers. Both tetramers specifically bind to B lymphocytes, dendritic cells, macrophages and granulocytes and in a lesser extend to T lymphocytes. No binding was observed on NK, follicular dendritic cells and mesenchymal spleen cells. The activation of intracellular transduction signals (i.e. intracellular calcium concentration and activation of the MAP kinase pathway) suggested that PrP and Dpl tetramers bind to functional receptors on B cells. None of the previously described PrP partners account for the binding sites characterized here. Our study suggests a possible role for PrP and Dpl in the cell-cell interactions in the immune system. PMID:18604867

  18. Role of cellular prion proteins in the function of macrophages and dendritic cells.

    PubMed

    Nitta, Kayako; Sakudo, Akikazu; Masuyama, Jun; Xue, Guangai; Sugiura, Katsuaki; Onodera, Takashi

    2009-01-01

    The cellular isoform of prion proteins (PrPC) is expressed in hematopoietic stem cells, granulocytes, T and B lymphocyte natural killer cells, platelets, monocytes, dendritic cells, and follicular dendritic cells, which may act as carrier cells for the spread of its abnormal isoform (PrPSc) before manifesting transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). In particular, macrophages and dendritic cells seem to be involved in the replication of PrPSc after ingestion. In addition, information on the role of PrPC during phagocytotic activity in these cells has been obtained. A recent study showed that resident macrophages from ZrchI PrP gene (Prnp)-deficient (Prnp-/-) mice show augmented phagocytotic activity compared to Prnp+/+ counterparts. In contrast, our study suggests that Rikn Prnp-/- peritoneal macrophages show pseudopodium extension arrest and up-regulation of phagocytotic activity compared to Prnp+/+ cells. Although reports regarding phagocytotic activity in resident and peritoneal macrophages are inconsistent between ZrchI and Rikn Prnp-/- mice, it seems plausible that PrPC in macrophages could contribute to maintain the immunological environment. This review will introduce the recent progress in understanding the functions of PrPC in macrophages and dendritic cells under physiological conditions and its involvement in the pathogenesis of prion diseases. PMID:19275736

  19. Cloning and expression analysis of a prion protein encoding gene in guppy ( Poecilia reticulata)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Suihan; Wei, Qiwei; Yang, Guanpin; Wang, Dengqiang; Zou, Guiwei; Chen, Daqing

    2008-11-01

    The full length cDNA of a prion protein (PrP) encoding gene of guppy ( Poecilia reticulata) and the corresponding genomic DNA were cloned. The cDNA was 2245 bp in length and contained an open reading frame (ORF) of 1545 bp encoding a protein of 515 amino acids, which held all typical structural characteristics of the functional PrP. The cloned genomic DNA fragment corresponding to the cDNA was 3720 bp in length, consisting of 2 introns and 2 exons. The 5' untranslated region of cDNA originated from the 2 exons, while the ORF originated from the second exon. Although the gene was transcribed in diverse tissues including brain, eye, liver, intestine, muscle and tail, its transcript was most abundant in the brain. In addition, the transcription of the gene was enhanced by 5 salinity, implying that it was associated with the response of guppy to saline stress.

  20. Detection of cellular prion protein in exosomes derived from ovine plasma.

    PubMed

    Berrone, Elena; Corona, Cristiano; Mazza, Maria; Vallino Costassa, Elena; Faro, Monica Lo; Properzi, Francesca; Guglielmetti, Chiara; Maurella, Cristiana; Caramelli, Maria; Deregibus, Maria Chiara; Camussi, Giovanni; Casalone, Cristina

    2015-12-01

    Prion protein (PrP) is present at extremely low levels in the blood of animals and its detection is complicated by the poor sensitivity of current standard methodologies. Interesting results have been obtained with recent advanced technologies that are able to detect minute amounts of the pathological PrP (PrPSc), but their efficiency is reduced by various factors present in blood. In this study, we were able to extract cellular PrP (PrPC) from plasma-derived exosomes by a simple, fast method without the use of differential ultracentrifugation and to visualize it by Western blotting, reducing the presence of most plasma proteins. This result confirms that blood is capable of releasing PrP in association with exosomes and could be useful to better study its role in the pathogenesis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. PMID:26399471

  1. Flexibility of the murine prion protein and its Asp178Asn mutant investigated by molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Gsponer, J; Ferrara, P; Caflisch, A

    2001-01-01

    Inherited forms of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, e.g. familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome and fatal familial insomnia, segregate with specific point mutations of the prion protein. It has been proposed that the pathologically relevant Asp178Asn (D178N) mutation might destabilize the structure of the prion protein because of the loss of the Arg164-Asp178 salt bridge. Molecular dynamics simulations of the structured C-terminal domain of the murine prion protein and the D178N mutant were performed to investigate this hypothesis. The D178N mutant did not deviate from the NMR conformation more than the wild type on the nanosecond time scale of the simulations. In agreement with CD spectroscopy experiments, no major structural rearrangement could be observed for the D178N mutant, apart from the N-terminal elongation of helix 2. The region of structure around the disulfide bridge deviated the least from the NMR conformation and showed the smallest fluctuations in all simulations in agreement with hydrogen exchange data of the wild type prion protein. Large deviations and flexibility were observed in the segments which are ill-defined in the NMR conformation. Moreover, helix 1 showed an increased degree of mobility, especially at its N-terminal region. The dynamic behavior of the D178N mutant and its minor deviation from the folded conformation suggest that the salt bridge between Arg164 and Asp178 might not be crucial for the stability of the prion protein. PMID:11775003

  2. Prion protein as a mediator of neurocardiosympathetic interactions.

    PubMed

    Rubenstein, Richard; Chiu, Allen; Salciccioli, Louis; Kamran, Haroon; Lazar, Jason

    2012-12-01

    A proteomic approach to study cardiovascular disease includes the examination of proteins associated with risk factors such as left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH). PrP(C) is a host-coded membrane-bound glycoprotein found in most cell types, including myocardium, and whose physiological function is uncertain. We have taken a selective proteomic approach and performed mechanistic studies to determine whether PrP(C) levels are related to left ventricular (LV) structure or function. Echocardiograms were performed at baseline in 65 mice comprising three strains of the same C57Bl/6J × 129SV genetic background but expressing different levels of PrP(C) (wild-type mice (WT), PrP(-/-) , and PrP(C) over-expressing transgenic mice (tga20)). There were no significant differences in LV mass or LV ejection fraction between the three groups. Either normal saline (n = 60) or isoproterenol (n = 55) was then administered intraperitoneally (50 mg/kg/day) for 5 days/wk for two consecutive weeks to induce LVH. Body weight decreased significantly in the PrP(-/-) group (18%). On multivariate analysis, higher LV mass index posttreatment was independently associated with the tga20 group (versus PrP(-/-) versus WT, p = 0.002) after adjusting for treatment (isoproterenol versus saline), and weight change (r(2) = 0.13 for model, p = 0.016). Therefore, PrP(C) appears unrelated to LV mass and function in the basal state. Isoproterenol causes transient enhancement of PrP(C) expression in WT mice and a more pronounced increase in tga20 mice at 2 h posttreatment. Overexpression of PrP(C) in the tga20 group may be associated with higher LV mass after a 2 wk regimen of isoproterenol. PMID:23161471

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:24038599

  4. Is the presence of abnormal prion protein in the renal glomeruli of feline species presenting with FSE authentic?

    PubMed

    Lezmi, Stéphane; Baron, Thierry G M; Bencsik, Anna A

    2010-01-01

    In a recent paper written by Hilbe et al (BMC vet res, 2009), the nature and specificity of the prion protein deposition in the kidney of feline species affected with feline spongiform encephalopathy (FSE) were clearly considered doubtful. This article was brought to our attention because we published several years ago an immunodetection of abnormal prion protein in the kidney of a cheetah affected with FSE. At this time we were convinced of its specificity but without having all the possibilities to demonstrate it. As previously published by another group, the presence of abnormal prion protein in some renal glomeruli in domestic cats affected with FSE is indeed generally considered as doubtful mainly because of low intensity detected in this organ and because control kidneys from safe animals present also a weak prion immunolabelling. Here we come back on these studies and thought it would be helpful to relay our last data to the readers of BMC Vet res for future reference on this subject.Here we come back on our material as it is possible to study and demonstrate the specificity of prion immunodetection using the PET-Blot method (Paraffin Embedded Tissue--Blot). It is admitted that this method allows detecting the Proteinase K (PK) resistant form of the abnormal prion protein (PrPres) without any confusion with unspecific immunoreaction. We re-analysed the kidney tissue versus adrenal gland and brain samples from the same cheetah affected with TSE using this PET-Blot method. The PET-Blot analysis revealed specific PrPres detection within the brain, adrenal gland and some glomeruli of the kidney, with a complete identicalness compared to our previous detection using immunohistochemistry. In conclusion, these new data enable us to confirm with assurance the presence of specific abnormal prion protein in the adrenal gland and in the kidney of the cheetah affected with FSE. It also emphasizes the usefulness for the re-examination of any available tissue blocks with

  5. Novel epitopes identified by Anti-PrP monoclonal antibodies produced following immunization of Prnp0/0 Balb/cJ mice with purified scrapie prions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Prions, or infectious proteins, cause a class of uniformly fatal neurodegenerative diseases. Prions are composed solely of an aberrantly folded isoform(PrPSc)of a normal cellular protein (PrPC). Shared sequence identity of PrPSc with PrPC has limited the detection sensitivity of immunochemical assay...

  6. Prion recognition elements govern nucleation, strain specificity and species barriers

    PubMed Central

    Tessier, Peter M.; Lindquist, Susan

    2007-01-01

    Prions are proteins that can switch to self-perpetuating, infectious conformations. The abilities of prions to replicate, form structurally distinct strains, and to establish and overcome transmission barriers between species are poorly understood. We exploit surface-bound peptides to overcome complexities of investigating such problems in solution. For the yeast prion Sup35, we find that the switch to the prion state is controlled with exquisite specificity by small elements of primary sequence. Strikingly, these same sequence elements govern the formation of distinct self-perpetuating conformations (prion strains) and determine species-specific seeding activities. A Sup35 chimera that traverses the transmission barrier between two yeast species possesses the critical sequence elements from both. Using this chimera, we show that the influence of environment and mutations on the formation of species-specific strains is driven by selective recognition of one or the other sequence element. Thus, critical aspects of prion conversion are enciphered by subtle differences between small, highly-specific recognition elements. PMID:17495929

  7. The Persistence of Hippocampal-Based Memory Requires Protein Synthesis Mediated by the Prion-like Protein CPEB3.

    PubMed

    Fioriti, Luana; Myers, Cory; Huang, Yan-You; Li, Xiang; Stephan, Joseph S; Trifilieff, Pierre; Colnaghi, Luca; Kosmidis, Stylianos; Drisaldi, Bettina; Pavlopoulos, Elias; Kandel, Eric R

    2015-06-17

    Consolidation of long-term memories depends on de novo protein synthesis. Several translational regulators have been identified, and their contribution to the formation of memory has been assessed in the mouse hippocampus. None of them, however, has been implicated in the persistence of memory. Although persistence is a key feature of long-term memory, how this occurs, despite the rapid turnover of its molecular substrates, is poorly understood. Here we find that both memory storage and its underlying synaptic plasticity are mediated by the increase in level and in the aggregation of the prion-like translational regulator CPEB3 (cytoplasmic polyadenylation element-binding protein). Genetic ablation of CPEB3 impairs the maintenance of both hippocampal long-term potentiation and hippocampus-dependent spatial memory. We propose a model whereby persistence of long-term memory results from the assembly of CPEB3 into aggregates. These aggregates serve as functional prions and regulate local protein synthesis necessary for the maintenance of long-term memory. PMID:26074003

  8. Sequence repeats and protein structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoang, Trinh X.; Trovato, Antonio; Seno, Flavio; Banavar, Jayanth R.; Maritan, Amos

    2012-11-01

    Repeats are frequently found in known protein sequences. The level of sequence conservation in tandem repeats correlates with their propensities to be intrinsically disordered. We employ a coarse-grained model of a protein with a two-letter amino acid alphabet, hydrophobic (H) and polar (P), to examine the sequence-structure relationship in the realm of repeated sequences. A fraction of repeated sequences comprises a distinct class of bad folders, whose folding temperatures are much lower than those of random sequences. Imperfection in sequence repetition improves the folding properties of the bad folders while deteriorating those of the good folders. Our results may explain why nature has utilized repeated sequences for their versatility and especially to design functional proteins that are intrinsically unstructured at physiological temperatures.

  9. Non-targeted Identification of Prions and Amyloid-forming Proteins from Yeast and Mammalian Cells*

    PubMed Central

    Kryndushkin, Dmitry; Pripuzova, Natalia; Burnett, Barrington G.; Shewmaker, Frank

    2013-01-01

    The formation of amyloid aggregates is implicated both as a primary cause of cellular degeneration in multiple human diseases and as a functional mechanism for providing extraordinary strength to large protein assemblies. The recent identification and characterization of several amyloid proteins from diverse organisms argues that the amyloid phenomenon is widespread in nature. Yet identifying new amyloid-forming proteins usually requires a priori knowledge of specific candidates. Amyloid fibers can resist heat, pressure, proteolysis, and denaturation by reagents such as urea or sodium dodecyl sulfate. Here we show that these properties can be exploited to identify naturally occurring amyloid-forming proteins directly from cell lysates. This proteomic-based approach utilizes a novel purification of amyloid aggregates followed by identification by mass spectrometry without the requirement for special genetic tools. We have validated this technique by blind identification of three amyloid-based yeast prions from laboratory and wild strains and disease-related polyglutamine proteins expressed in both yeast and mammalian cells. Furthermore, we found that polyglutamine aggregates specifically recruit some stress granule components, revealing a possible mechanism of toxicity. Therefore, core amyloid-forming proteins as well as strongly associated proteins can be identified directly from cells of diverse origin. PMID:23926098

  10. Comparison of cattle and sheep colonic permeabilities to horseradish peroxidase and hamster scrapie prion protein in vitro

    PubMed Central

    McKie, A; Zammit, P; Naftalin, R

    1999-01-01

    BACKGROUND—Paracellular permeability to solutes across the descending colon is much higher in cattle than sheep. This is a possible route for transmission of infective materials, such as scrapie prion.
AIMS—To compare the permeabilities of labelled scrapie prion protein and other macromolecules in bovine and ovine descending colons in vitro.
METHODS—Using fresh slaughterhouse material, transepithelial fluxes of macromolecules across colonic mucosae mounted in Ussing chambers were measured by monitoring transport of either enzyme activity or radioactivity.
RESULTS—The comparative bovine to ovine permeability ratio of the probes increased with molecular weight: from 3.1 (0.13) for PEG400 to 10.67 (0.20) (p<0.001) for PEG4000; and from 1.64 (0.17) for microperoxidase to 7.03 (0.20) (p<0.001) for horseradish peroxidase (HRP). The permeability of 125I-labelled inactivated Syrian hamster scrapie prion protein (ShaPrPsc) was 7.02 (0.33)-fold higher in bovine than ovine colon (p<0.0025). In each species, the probe permeabilities decreased according to the formula: P = Po.exp(−K.ra). The "ideal" permeabilities, Po are similar, however, K(ovine) = 2.46 (0.20) cm/h/nm exceeds K(bovine) = 0.85 (0.15) cm/h/nm (p<0.001) indicating that bovine colon has a higher proportion of wide pores than ovine. Image analysis confirmed that HRP permeated through the bovine mucosal layer via a pericryptal paracellular route much more rapidly than in sheep.
CONCLUSIONS—These data may imply that scrapie prion is transmitted in vivo more easily across the low resistance bovine colonic barrier than in other species.


Keywords: cattle; sheep; colon; paracellular permeability; horseradish peroxidase; hamster scrapie prion protein PMID:10562587

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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. 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

    PubMed Central

    Arsac, Jean-Noël; Baron, Thierry

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24797075

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-01-01

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

  16. Alzheimer's amyloid-β oligomers rescue cellular prion protein induced tau reduction via the Fyn pathway.

    PubMed

    Chen, Rong-Jie; Chang, Wei-Wei; Lin, Yu-Chun; Cheng, Pei-Lin; Chen, Yun-Ru

    2013-09-18

    Amyloid-β (Aβ) and tau are the pathogenic hallmarks in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Aβ oligomers are considered the actual toxic entities, and the toxicity relies on the presence of tau. Recently, Aβ oligomers have been shown to specifically interact with cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) where the role of PrP(C) in AD is still not fully understood. To investigate the downstream mechanism of PrP(C) and Aβ oligomer interaction and their possible relationships to tau, we examined tau expression in human neuroblastoma BE(2)-C cells transfected with murine PrP(C) and studied the effect under Aβ oligomer treatment. By Western blotting, we found that PrP(C) overexpression down-regulated tau protein and Aβ oligomer binding alleviated the tau reduction induced by wild type but not M128V PrP(C), the high AD risk polymorphic allele in human prion gene. PrP(C) lacking the Aβ oligomer binding site was incapable of rescuing the level of tau reduction. Quantitative RT-PCR showed the PrP(C) effect was attributed to tau reduction at the transcription level. Treatment with Fyn pathway inhibitors, Fyn kinase inhibitor PP2 and MEK inhibitor U0126, reversed the PrP(C)-induced tau reduction and Aβ oligomer treatment modulated Fyn kinase activity. The results suggested Fyn pathway regulated Aβ-PrP(C)-tau signaling. Overall, our results demonstrated that PrP(C) down-regulated tau via the Fyn pathway and the effect can be regulated by Aβ oligomers. Our study facilitated the understanding of molecular mechanisms among PrP(C), tau, and Aβ oligomers. PMID:23805846

  17. Conversion of alpha-helices into beta-sheets features in the formation of the scrapie prion proteins.

    PubMed Central

    Pan, K M; Baldwin, M; Nguyen, J; Gasset, M; Serban, A; Groth, D; Mehlhorn, I; Huang, Z; Fletterick, R J; Cohen, F E

    1993-01-01

    Prions are composed largely, if not entirely, of prion protein (PrPSc in the case of scrapie). Although the formation of PrPSc from the cellular prion protein (PrPC) is a post-translational process, no candidate chemical modification was identified, suggesting that a conformational change features in PrPSc synthesis. To assess this possibility, we purified both PrPC and PrPSc by using nondenaturing procedures and determined the secondary structure of each. Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy demonstrated that PrPC has a high alpha-helix content (42%) and no beta-sheet (3%), findings that were confirmed by circular dichroism measurements. In contrast, the beta-sheet content of PrPSc was 43% and the alpha-helix 30% as measured by FTIR. As determined in earlier studies, N-terminally truncated PrPSc derived by limited proteolysis, designated PrP 27-30, has an even higher beta-sheet content (54%) and a lower alpha-helix content (21%). Neither PrPC nor PrPSc formed aggregates detectable by electron microscopy, while PrP 27-30 polymerized into rod-shaped amyloids. While the foregoing findings argue that the conversion of alpha-helices into beta-sheets underlies the formation of PrPSc, we cannot eliminate the possibility that an undetected chemical modification of a small fraction of PrPSc initiates this process. Since PrPSc seems to be the only component of the "infectious" prion particle, it is likely that this conformational transition is a fundamental event in the propagation of prions. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 4 PMID:7902575

  18. RNA-binding proteins with prion-like domains in ALS and FTLD-U.

    PubMed

    Gitler, Aaron D; Shorter, James

    2011-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) is a debilitating, and universally fatal, neurodegenerative disease that devastates upper and lower motor neurons. The causes of ALS are poorly understood. A central role for RNA-binding proteins and RNA metabolism in ALS has recently emerged. The RNA-binding proteins, TDP-43 and FUS, are principal components of cytoplasmic inclusions found in motor neurons of ALS patients and mutations in TDP-43 and FUS are linked to familial and sporadic ALS. Pathology and genetics also connect TDP-43 and FUS with frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin-positive inclusions (FTLD-U). It was unknown whether mechanisms of FUS aggregation and toxicity were similar or different to those of TDP-43. To address this issue, we have employed yeast models and pure protein biochemistry to define mechanisms underlying TDP-43 and FUS aggregation and toxicity, and to identify genetic modifiers relevant for human disease. We have identified prion-like domains in FUS and TDP-43 and provide evidence that these domains are required for aggregation. Our studies have defined key similarities as well as important differences between the two proteins. Collectively, however, our findings lead us to suggest that FUS and TDP-43, though similar RNA-binding proteins, likely aggregate and confer disease phenotypes via distinct mechanisms. PMID:21847013

  19. Prion Protein Deficiency Causes Diverse Proteome Shifts in Cell Models That Escape Detection in Brain Tissue

    PubMed Central

    Mehrabian, Mohadeseh; Brethour, Dylan; Williams, Declan; Wang, Hansen; Arnould, Hélène; Schneider, Benoit; Schmitt-Ulms, Gerold

    2016-01-01

    A popular method for studying the function of a given protein is to generate and characterize a suitable model deficient for its expression. For the prion protein (PrP), best known for its role in several invariably fatal neurodegenerative diseases, a natural choice, therefore, would be to undertake such studies with brain samples. We recently documented the surprising observation that PrP deficiency caused a loss or enhancement of NCAM1 polysialylation, dependent on the cell model used. To identify possible causes for this disparity, we set out to systematically investigate the consequence of PrP deficiency on the global proteome in brain tissue and in four distinct cell models. Here we report that PrP deficiency causes robust but surprisingly divergent changes to the global proteomes of cell models but has no discernible impact on the global brain proteome. Amongst >1,500 proteins whose levels were compared in wild-type and PrP-deficient models, members of the MARCKS protein family exhibited pronounced, yet cell model-dependent changes to their steady-state levels. Follow-up experiments revealed that PrP collaborates with members of the MARCKS protein family in its control of NCAM1 polysialylation. We conclude that the physiological function of PrP may be masked in analyses of complex brain samples but its cell-type specific influence on a lipid raft-based NCAM1-related cell biology comes to the fore in investigations of specific cell types. PMID:27327609

  20. Physiological and environmental control of yeast prions

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24236638

  1. Molecular population genetics and evolution of a prion-like protein in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed Central

    Jensen, M A; True, H L; Chernoff, Y O; Lindquist, S

    2001-01-01

    The prion-like behavior of Sup35p, the eRF3 homolog in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, mediates the activity of the cytoplasmic nonsense suppressor known as [PSI(+)]. Sup35p is divided into three regions of distinct function. The N-terminal and middle (M) regions are required for the induction and propagation of [PSI(+)] but are not necessary for translation termination or cell viability. The C-terminal region encompasses the termination function. The existence of the N-terminal region in SUP35 homologs of other fungi has led some to suggest that this region has an adaptive function separate from translation termination. To examine this hypothesis, we sequenced portions of SUP35 in 21 strains of S. cerevisiae, including 13 clinical isolates. We analyzed nucleotide polymorphism within this species and compared it to sequence divergence from a sister species, S. paradoxus. The N domain of Sup35p is highly conserved in amino acid sequence and is highly biased in codon usage toward preferred codons. Amino acid changes are under weak purifying selection based on a quantitative analysis of polymorphism and divergence. We also conclude that the clinical strains of S. cerevisiae are not recently derived and that outcrossing between strains in S. cerevisiae may be relatively rare in nature. PMID:11606530

  2. An N-terminal Fragment of the Prion Protein Binds to Amyloid-β Oligomers and Inhibits Their Neurotoxicity in Vivo*

    PubMed Central

    Fluharty, Brian R.; Biasini, Emiliano; Stravalaci, Matteo; Sclip, Alessandra; Diomede, Luisa; Balducci, Claudia; La Vitola, Pietro; Messa, Massimo; Colombo, Laura; Forloni, Gianluigi; Borsello, Tiziana; Gobbi, Marco; Harris, David A.

    2013-01-01

    A hallmark of Alzheimer disease (AD) is the accumulation of the amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide in the brain. Considerable evidence suggests that soluble Aβ oligomers are responsible for the synaptic dysfunction and cognitive deficit observed in AD. However, the mechanism by which these oligomers exert their neurotoxic effect remains unknown. Recently, it was reported that Aβ oligomers bind to the cellular prion protein with high affinity. Here, we show that N1, the main physiological cleavage fragment of the cellular prion protein, is necessary and sufficient for binding early oligomeric intermediates during Aβ polymerization into amyloid fibrils. The ability of N1 to bind Aβ oligomers is influenced by positively charged residues in two sites (positions 23–31 and 95–105) and is dependent on the length of the sequence between them. Importantly, we also show that N1 strongly suppresses Aβ oligomer toxicity in cultured murine hippocampal neurons, in a Caenorhabditis elegans-based assay, and in vivo in a mouse model of Aβ-induced memory dysfunction. These data suggest that N1, or small peptides derived from it, could be potent inhibitors of Aβ oligomer toxicity and represent an entirely new class of therapeutic agents for AD. PMID:23362282

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

    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. PMID:27463540

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:27293325

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:27293325

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  8. Biochemical typing of pathological prion protein in aging cattle with BSE

    PubMed Central

    Tester, Seraina; Juillerat, Valerie; Doherr, Marcus G; Haase, Bianca; Polak, Miroslaw; Ehrensperger, Felix; Leeb, Tosso; Zurbriggen, Andreas; Seuberlich, Torsten

    2009-01-01

    Background The broad enforcement of active surveillance for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in 2000 led to the discovery of previously unnoticed, atypical BSE phenotypes in aged cattle that differed from classical BSE (C-type) in biochemical properties of the pathological prion protein. Depending on the molecular mass and the degree of glycosylation of its proteinase K resistant core fragment (PrPres), mainly determined in samples derived from the medulla oblongata, these atypical cases are currently classified into low (L)-type or high (H)-type BSE. In the present study we address the question to what extent such atypical BSE cases are part of the BSE epidemic in Switzerland. Results To this end we analyzed the biochemical PrPres type by Western blot in a total of 33 BSE cases in cattle with a minimum age of eight years, targeting up to ten different brain regions. Our work confirmed H-type BSE in a zebu but classified all other cases as C-type BSE; indicating a very low incidence of H- and L-type BSE in Switzerland. It was documented for the first time that the biochemical PrPres type was consistent across different brain regions of aging animals with C-type and H-type BSE, i.e. independent of the neuroanatomical structure investigated. Conclusion Taken together this study provides further characteristics of the BSE epidemic in Switzerland and generates new baseline data for the definition of C- and H-type BSE phenotypes, thereby underpinning the notion that they indeed represent distinct prion disease entities. PMID:19470160

  9. Neutron Reflectometry Studies Define Prion Protein N-terminal Peptide Membrane Binding

    PubMed Central

    Le Brun, Anton P.; Haigh, Cathryn L.; Drew, Simon C.; James, Michael; Boland, Martin P.; Collins, Steven J.

    2014-01-01

    The prion protein (PrP), widely recognized to misfold into the causative agent of the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, has previously been shown to bind to lipid membranes with binding influenced by both membrane composition and pH. Aside from the misfolding events associated with prion pathogenesis, PrP can undergo various posttranslational modifications, including internal cleavage events. Alpha- and beta-cleavage of PrP produces two N-terminal fragments, N1 and N2, respectively, which interact specifically with negatively charged phospholipids at low pH. Our previous work probing N1 and N2 interactions with supported bilayers raised the possibility that the peptides could insert deeply with minimal disruption. In the current study we aimed to refine the binding parameters of these peptides with lipid bilayers. To this end, we used neutron reflectometry to define the structural details of this interaction in combination with quartz crystal microbalance interrogation. Neutron reflectometry confirmed that peptides equivalent to N1 and N2 insert into the interstitial space between the phospholipid headgroups but do not penetrate into the acyl tail region. In accord with our previous studies, interaction was stronger for the N1 fragment than for the N2, with more peptide bound per lipid. Neutron reflectometry analysis also detected lengthening of the lipid acyl tails, with a concurrent decrease in lipid area. This was most evident for the N1 peptide and suggests an induction of increased lipid order in the absence of phase transition. These observations stand in clear contrast to the findings of analogous studies of Ab and α-synuclein and thereby support the possibility of a functional role for such N-terminal fragment-membrane interactions. PMID:25418300

  10. INSIGHTS ON SCRAPIE PRION PROTEIN (PrPSc) STRUCTURE OBTAINED BY LIMITED PROTEOLYSIS AND MASS SPECTROMETRY

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Elucidation of the structure of PrPSc, essential to understand the molecular mechanism of prion transmission, continues to be one of the major challenges in prion research, and is hampered by the insolubility and polymeric character of PrPSc. Limited proteolysis is a useful tool to obtain insight on...

  11. Mass Spectrometric Detection of Attomole Amounts of the Prion Protein by nanoLC-MS-MS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Quantitation of prions in biological samples other than brain or spinal cord is an extremely important and challenging analytical problem. Prions are the cause of several fatal neurodegenerative diseases in animal and humans known as Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs). At present there...

  12. Establishing homologies in protein sequences

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dayhoff, M. O.; Barker, W. C.; Hunt, L. T.

    1983-01-01

    Computer-based statistical techniques used to determine homologies between proteins occurring in different species are reviewed. The technique is based on comparison of two protein sequences, either by relating all segments of a given length in one sequence to all segments of the second or by finding the best alignment of the two sequences. Approaches discussed include selection using printed tabulations, identification of very similar sequences, and computer searches of a database. The use of the SEARCH, RELATE, and ALIGN programs (Dayhoff, 1979) is explained; sample data are presented in graphs, diagrams, and tables and the construction of scoring matrices is considered.

  13. Induction of cellular prion protein (PrPc) under hypoxia inhibits apoptosis caused by TRAIL treatment

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Ju-Hee; Moon, Ji-Hong; Kim, Sung-Wook; Lee, You-Jin; Park, Sang-Youel

    2015-01-01

    Hypoxia decreases cytotoxic responses to tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) protein. Cellular prion protein (PrPc) is regulated by HIF-1α in neurons. We hypothesized that PrPc is involved in hypoxia-mediated resistance to TRAIL-induced apoptosis. We found that hypoxia induced PrPc protein and inhibited TRAIL-induced apoptosis. Thus silencing of PrPc increased TRAIL-induced apoptosis under hypoxia. Overexpression of PrPc protein using an adenoviral vector inhibited TRAIL-induced apoptosis. In xenograft model in vivo, shPrPc transfected cells were more sensitive to TRAIL-induced apoptosis than in shMock transfected cells. Molecular chemo-therapy approaches based on the regulation of PrPc expression need to address anti-tumor function of TRAIL under hypoxia. Molecular chemo-therapy approaches based on the regulation of PrPc expression need to address anti-tumor function of TRAIL under hypoxia. PMID:25742790

  14. Positive 14-3-3 and tau proteins in a sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease case and a brief perspective of prion diseases in Colombia.

    PubMed

    Escandón-Vargas, Kevin; Zorrilla-Vaca, Andrés; Corral-Prado, Raúl Heli

    2016-01-01

    Prion diseases are rare neurodegenerative disorders occurring worldwide and affecting both humans and animals. Herein, we present the case of a patient diagnosed with definite sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in Cali, Colombia. Besides neurological examination, 14-3-3 and tau proteins were valuable tools supporting the diagnosis. We also present a brief perspective of the prion diseases reported in Colombia to date. Although the incidence of prion diseases is unknown in Colombia, our literature review revealed that one case of scrapie in 1981 and 29 human sporadic cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease have been documented and published in our country. PMID:27622622

  15. Evolutionary Descent of Prion Genes from the ZIP Family of Metal Ion Transporters

    PubMed Central

    Schmitt-Ulms, Gerold; Ehsani, Sepehr; Watts, Joel C.; Westaway, David; Wille, Holger

    2009-01-01

    In the more than twenty years since its discovery, both the phylogenetic origin and cellular function of the prion protein (PrP) have remained enigmatic. Insights into a possible function of PrP may be obtained through the characterization of its molecular neighborhood in cells. Quantitative interactome data demonstrated the spatial proximity of two metal ion transporters of the ZIP family, ZIP6 and ZIP10, to mammalian prion proteins in vivo. A subsequent bioinformatic analysis revealed the unexpected presence of a PrP-like amino acid sequence within the N-terminal, extracellular domain of a distinct sub-branch of the ZIP protein family that includes ZIP5, ZIP6 and ZIP10. Additional structural threading and orthologous sequence alignment analyses argued that the prion gene family is phylogenetically derived from a ZIP-like ancestral molecule. The level of sequence homology and the presence of prion protein genes in most chordate species place the split from the ZIP-like ancestor gene at the base of the chordate lineage. This relationship explains structural and functional features found within mammalian prion proteins as elements of an ancient involvement in the transmembrane transport of divalent cations. The phylogenetic and spatial connection to ZIP proteins is expected to open new avenues of research to elucidate the biology of the prion protein in health and disease. PMID:19784368

  16. Mass Spectrometric Approaches to Detecting and Quantifying Prions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Prions are infectious proteins that replicate by converting a normal cellular protein (PrPC)into a prion. Although prions and PrPC are isoforms, they have dramatically different physicochemical properties. Prions are resistant to proteinase K (PK) degradation, while PrPC is completely degraded by PK...

  17. α-Helical to β-Helical Conformation Change in the C-Terminal of the Mammalian Prion Protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Jesse; Whitford, Paul; Hayre, Natha; Cox, Daniel; Onuchic, José.

    2011-03-01

    We employ all-atom structure-based models with mixed basis contact maps to explore whether there are any significant geometric or energetic constraints limiting conjectured conformational transitions between the alpha-helical (α H) and the left handed beta helical (LHBH) conformations for the C-terminal (residues 166-226) of the mammalian prion protein. The LHBH structure has been proposed to describe infectious oligomers and one class of in vitro grown fibrils, as well as possibly self- templating the conversion of normal cellular prion protein to the infectious form. Our results confirm that the kinetics of the conformation change are not strongely limited by large scale geometry modification and there exists an overall preference for the LHBH conformation.

  18. De novo mammalian prion synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Benetti, Federico

    2009-01-01

    Prions are responsible for a heterogeneous group of fatal neurodegenerative diseases. They can be sporadic, genetic, or infectious disorders involving post-translational modifications of the cellular prion protein (PrPC). Prions (PrPSc) are characterized by their infectious property and intrinsic ability to convert the physiological PrPC into the pathological form, acting as a template. The “protein-only” hypothesis, postulated by Stanley B. Prusiner, implies the possibility to generate de novo prions in vivo and in vitro. Here we describe major milestones towards proving this hypothesis, taking into account physiological environment/s, biochemical properties and interactors of the PrPC. PMID:19887900

  19. Mining protein sequences for motifs.

    PubMed

    Narasimhan, Giri; Bu, Changsong; Gao, Yuan; Wang, Xuning; Xu, Ning; Mathee, Kalai

    2002-01-01

    We use methods from Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery to design an algorithm for detecting motifs in protein sequences. The algorithm assumes that a motif is constituted by the presence of a "good" combination of residues in appropriate locations of the motif. The algorithm attempts to compile such good combinations into a "pattern dictionary" by processing an aligned training set of protein sequences. The dictionary is subsequently used to detect motifs in new protein sequences. Statistical significance of the detection results are ensured by statistically determining the various parameters of the algorithm. Based on this approach, we have implemented a program called GYM. The Helix-Turn-Helix motif was used as a model system on which to test our program. The program was also extended to detect Homeodomain motifs. The detection results for the two motifs compare favorably with existing programs. In addition, the GYM program provides a lot of useful information about a given protein sequence. PMID:12487759

  20. Doppel: more rival than double to prion.

    PubMed

    Qin, K; O'Donnell, M; Zhao, R Y

    2006-08-11

    Conversion of normal cellular prion protein to the diseased form plays an essential role in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies such as mad cow disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. However, the normal physiological function of prion protein remains elusive. Doppel, a German synonym of double, was initially identified as a prion-like protein due to its structural and biochemical similarities. However, emerging evidence suggests that function of prion protein is more antagonistic to Doppel than synergistic. In this review, basic biochemical and structural similarities of prion protein and Doppel are introduced; evidence demonstrating antagonistic interaction of prion protein with Doppel is presented; and a potential novel activity of Doppel and prion protein in spermatogenesis, which could stimulate new avenues for research, is discussed. PMID:16781817

  1. Introducing a Rigid Loop Structure from Deer into Mouse Prion Protein Increases Its Propensity for Misfolding In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Kyle, Leah M.; John, Theodore R.; Schätzl, Hermann M.; Lewis, Randolph V.

    2013-01-01

    Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders characterized by misfolding of the cellular prion protein (PrPc) into the disease-associated isoform (PrPSc) 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. PMID:23825561

  2. Investigation of the effect of glycosylation on human prion protein by molecular dynamics.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Linghao; Xie, Jimin

    2009-04-01

    Prion protein conformational isomerization, PrP(C)-->PrP(Sc), has been attributed as the cause of TSE diseases such as mad-cow disease. The mechanism of such isomerization, however, is little known due the experimental difficulties in studying the scrapie form. Among factors that affect PrP isomerization, the role which glycosylation plays remains vague. The number of innumerous glycan species, together with their high flexibility, leads to ineffective structural characterization. In this research, we studied the effect of chitobiose glycosylation on human PrP, in both monomeric (huPrP(mono)) and dimeric (huPrP(dimer)) forms, by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Our results show that this glycosylation has minimal impact on the structure of huPrP(mono). However, it affects the secondary structure of dimeric protein. An additional beta-sheet strand is found while the glycosylation is absent in the huPrP(dimer). Comparatively, when the protein is glycosylated with chitobiose, such beta-sheet addition is not observed. PMID:19236103

  3. Functions of the cellular prion protein, the end of Moore's law, and Ockham's razor theory.

    PubMed

    del Río, José A; Gavín, Rosalina

    2016-01-01

    Since its discovery the cellular prion protein (encoded by the Prnp gene) has been associated with a large number of functions. The proposed functions rank from basic cellular processes such as cell cycle and survival to neural functions such as behavior and neuroprotection, following a pattern similar to that of Moore's law for electronics. In addition, particular interest is increasing in the participation of Prnp in neurodegeneration. However, in recent years a redefinition of these functions has begun, since examples of previously attributed functions were increasingly re-associated with other proteins. Most of these functions are linked to so-called "Prnp-flanking genes" that are close to the genomic locus of Prnp and which are present in the genome of some Prnp mouse models. In addition, their role in neuroprotection against convulsive insults has been confirmed in recent studies. Lastly, in recent years a large number of models indicating the participation of different domains of the protein in apoptosis have been uncovered. However, after more than 10 years of molecular dissection our view is that the simplest mechanistic model in PrP(C)-mediated cell death should be considered, as Ockham's razor theory suggested. PMID:26890218

  4. Functions of the cellular prion protein, the end of Moore's law, and Ockham's razor theory

    PubMed Central

    del Río, José A.; Gavín, Rosalina

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Since its discovery the cellular prion protein (encoded by the Prnp gene) has been associated with a large number of functions. The proposed functions rank from basic cellular processes such as cell cycle and survival to neural functions such as behavior and neuroprotection, following a pattern similar to that of Moore's law for electronics. In addition, particular interest is increasing in the participation of Prnp in neurodegeneration. However, in recent years a redefinition of these functions has begun, since examples of previously attributed functions were increasingly re-associated with other proteins. Most of these functions are linked to so-called “Prnp-flanking genes” that are close to the genomic locus of Prnp and which are present in the genome of some Prnp mouse models. In addition, their role in neuroprotection against convulsive insults has been confirmed in recent studies. Lastly, in recent years a large number of models indicating the participation of different domains of the protein in apoptosis have been uncovered. However, after more than 10 years of molecular dissection our view is that the simplest mechanistic model in PrPC-mediated cell death should be considered, as Ockham's razor theory suggested. PMID:26890218

  5. Knockout of the prion protein (PrP)-like Sprn gene does not produce embryonic lethality in combination with PrP(C)-deficiency.

    PubMed

    Daude, Nathalie; Wohlgemuth, Serene; Brown, Rebecca; Pitstick, Rose; Gapeshina, Hristina; Yang, Jing; Carlson, George A; Westaway, David

    2012-06-01

    The Sprn gene encodes Shadoo (Sho), a glycoprotein with biochemical properties similar to the unstructured region of cellular prion protein (PrP(C)). Sho has been considered a candidate for the hypothetical π protein that supplies a PrP(C)-like function to maintain the viability of Prnp(0/0) mice lacking the PrP(C) protein. To understand these relationships more clearly we probed the cell biology of Sho and created knockout mice. Besides full-length and a "C1" C-terminal fragment, we describe a 6-kDa N-terminal Sho neuropeptide, "N1," which is present in membrane-enriched subcellular fractions of wild-type mice. Sprn null alleles were produced that delete all protein coding sequences yet spare the Mtg1 gene transcription unit that overlaps the Sprn 3' UTR; the resulting mice bred to homozygosity were viable and fertile, although Sprn(0/0) mice maintained in two genetic backgrounds weighed less than wild-type mice. Lack of Sho protein did not affect prion incubation time. Contrasting with lethality reported for knockdown of expression in Prnp(0/0) embryos using lentiviruses targeted against the Sprn 3' UTR, we established that double-knockout mice deficient in both Sho and PrP(C) are fertile and viable up to 690 d of age. Our data reduce the impetus for equating Sho with the notional π protein and are not readily reconciled with hypotheses wherein expression of PrP(C) and Sho are both required for completion of embryogenesis. Alternatively, and in accord with some reports for PrP(C), we infer that Sho's activity will prove germane to the maintenance of neuronal viability in postnatal life. PMID:22619325

  6. Activation of human natural killer cells by the soluble form of cellular prion protein

    SciTech Connect

    Seong, Yeon-Jae; Sung, Pil Soo; Jang, Young-Soon; Choi, Young Joon; Park, Bum-Chan; Park, Su-Hyung; Park, Young Woo; Shin, Eui-Cheol

    2015-08-21

    Cellular prion protein (PrP{sup C}) is widely expressed in various cell types, including cells of the immune system. However, the specific roles of PrP{sup C} in the immune system have not been clearly elucidated. In the present study, we investigated the effects of a soluble form of recombinant PrP{sup C} protein on human natural killer (NK) cells. Recombinant soluble PrP{sup C} protein was generated by fusion of human PrP{sup C} with the Fc portion of human IgG{sub 1} (PrP{sup C}-Fc). PrP{sup C}-Fc binds to the surface of human NK cells, particularly to CD56{sup dim} NK cells. PrP{sup C}-Fc induced the production of cytokines and chemokines and the degranulation of granzyme B from NK cells. In addition, PrP{sup C}-Fc facilitated the IL-15-induced proliferation of NK cells. PrP{sup C}-Fc induced phosphorylation of ERK-1/2 and JNK in NK cells, and inhibitors of the ERK or the JNK pathways abrogated PrP{sup C}-Fc-induced cytokine production in NK cells. In conclusion, the soluble form of recombinant PrP{sup C}-Fc protein activates human NK cells via the ERK and JNK signaling pathways. - Highlights: • Recombinant soluble PrP{sup C} (PrP{sup C}-Fc) was generated by fusion of human PrP{sup C} with IgG1 Fc portion. • PrP{sup C}-Fc protein induces the production of cytokines and degranulation from human NK cells. • PrP{sup C}-Fc protein enhances the IL-15-induced proliferation of human NK cells. • PrP{sup C}-Fc protein activates human NK cells via the ERK and JNK signaling pathways.

  7. Protein sequence comparison and protein evolution

    SciTech Connect

    Pearson, W.R.

    1995-12-31

    This tutorial was one of eight tutorials selected to be presented at the Third International Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology which was held in the United Kingdom from July 16 to 19, 1995. This tutorial examines how the information conserved during the evolution of a protein molecule can be used to infer reliably homology, and thus a shared proteinfold and possibly a shared active site or function. The authors start by reviewing a geological/evolutionary time scale. Next they look at the evolution of several protein families. During the tutorial, these families will be used to demonstrate that homologous protein ancestry can be inferred with confidence. They also examine different modes of protein evolution and consider some hypotheses that have been presented to explain the very earliest events in protein evolution. The next part of the tutorial will examine the technical aspects of protein sequence comparison. Both optimal and heuristic algorithms and their associated parameters that are used to characterize protein sequence similarities are discussed. Perhaps more importantly, they survey the statistics of local similarity scores, and how these statistics can both be used to improve the selectivity of a search and to evaluate the significance of a match. They them examine distantly related members of three protein families, the serine proteases, the glutathione transferases, and the G-protein-coupled receptors (GCRs). Finally, the discuss how sequence similarity can be used to examine internal repeated or mosaic structures in proteins.

  8. Use of Proteinase K Nonspecific Digestion for Selective and Comprehensive Identification of Interpeptide Cross-links: Application to Prion Proteins*

    PubMed Central

    Petrotchenko, Evgeniy V.; Serpa, Jason J.; Hardie, Darryl B.; Berjanskii, Mark; Suriyamongkol, Bow P.; Wishart, David S.; Borchers, Christoph H.

    2012-01-01

    Chemical cross-linking combined with mass spectrometry is a rapidly developing technique for structural proteomics. Cross-linked proteins are usually digested with trypsin to generate cross-linked peptides, which are then analyzed by mass spectrometry. The most informative cross-links, the interpeptide cross-links, are often large in size, because they consist of two peptides that are connected by a cross-linker. In addition, trypsin targets the same residues as amino-reactive cross-linkers, and cleavage will not occur at these cross-linker-modified residues. This produces high molecular weight cross-linked peptides, which complicates their mass spectrometric analysis and identification. In this paper, we examine a nonspecific protease, proteinase K, as an alternative to trypsin for cross-linking studies. Initial tests on a model peptide that was digested by proteinase K resulted in a “family” of related cross-linked peptides, all of which contained the same cross-linking sites, thus providing additional verification of the cross-linking results, as was previously noted for other post-translational modification studies. The procedure was next applied to the native (PrPC) and oligomeric form of prion protein (PrPβ). Using proteinase K, the affinity-purifiable CID-cleavable and isotopically coded cross-linker cyanurbiotindipropionylsuccinimide and MALDI-MS cross-links were found for all of the possible cross-linking sites. After digestion with proteinase K, we obtained a mass distribution of the cross-linked peptides that is very suitable for MALDI-MS analysis. Using this new method, we were able to detect over 60 interpeptide cross-links in the native PrPC and PrPβ prion protein. The set of cross-links for the native form was used as distance constraints in developing a model of the native prion protein structure, which includes the 90–124-amino acid N-terminal portion of the protein. Several cross-links were unique to each form of the prion protein

  9. Use of proteinase K nonspecific digestion for selective and comprehensive identification of interpeptide cross-links: application to prion proteins.

    PubMed

    Petrotchenko, Evgeniy V; Serpa, Jason J; Hardie, Darryl B; Berjanskii, Mark; Suriyamongkol, Bow P; Wishart, David S; Borchers, Christoph H

    2012-07-01

    Chemical cross-linking combined with mass spectrometry is a rapidly developing technique for structural proteomics. Cross-linked proteins are usually digested with trypsin to generate cross-linked peptides, which are then analyzed by mass spectrometry. The most informative cross-links, the interpeptide cross-links, are often large in size, because they consist of two peptides that are connected by a cross-linker. In addition, trypsin targets the same residues as amino-reactive cross-linkers, and cleavage will not occur at these cross-linker-modified residues. This produces high molecular weight cross-linked peptides, which complicates their mass spectrometric analysis and identification. In this paper, we examine a nonspecific protease, proteinase K, as an alternative to trypsin for cross-linking studies. Initial tests on a model peptide that was digested by proteinase K resulted in a "family" of related cross-linked peptides, all of which contained the same cross-linking sites, thus providing additional verification of the cross-linking results, as was previously noted for other post-translational modification studies. The procedure was next applied to the native (PrP(C)) and oligomeric form of prion protein (PrPβ). Using proteinase K, the affinity-purifiable CID-cleavable and isotopically coded cross-linker cyanurbiotindipropionylsuccinimide and MALDI-MS cross-links were found for all of the possible cross-linking sites. After digestion with proteinase K, we obtained a mass distribution of the cross-linked peptides that is very suitable for MALDI-MS analysis. Using this new method, we were able to detect over 60 interpeptide cross-links in the native PrP(C) and PrPβ prion protein. The set of cross-links for the native form was used as distance constraints in developing a model of the native prion protein structure, which includes the 90-124-amino acid N-terminal portion of the protein. Several cross-links were unique to each form of the prion protein, including

  10. Relative quantification of membrane proteins in wild-type and prion protein (PrP)-knockout cerebellar granule neurons.

    PubMed

    Stella, Roberto; Cifani, Paolo; Peggion, Caterina; Hansson, Karin; Lazzari, Cristian; Bendz, Maria; Levander, Fredrik; Sorgato, Maria Catia; Bertoli, Alessandro; James, Peter

    2012-02-01

    Approximately 25% of eukaryotic proteins possessing homology to at least two transmembrane domains are predicted to be embedded in biological membranes. Nevertheless, this group of proteins is not usually well represented in proteome-wide experiments due to their refractory nature. Here we present a quantitative mass spectrometry-based comparison of membrane protein expression in cerebellar granule neurons grown in primary culture that were isolated from wild-type mice and mice lacking the cellular prion protein. This protein is a cell-surface glycoprotein that is mainly expressed in the central nervous system and is involved in several neurodegenerative disorders, though its physiological role is unclear. We used a low specificity enzyme α-chymotrypsin to digest membrane proteins preparations that had been separated by SDS-PAGE. The resulting peptides were labeled with tandem mass tags and analyzed by MS. The differentially expressed proteins identified using this approach were further analyzed by multiple reaction monitoring to confirm the expression level changes. PMID:22023170

  11. Role of the cellular prion protein in the neuron adaptation strategy to copper deficiency.

    PubMed

    Urso, Emanuela; Manno, Daniela; Serra, Antonio; Buccolieri, Alessandro; Rizzello, Antonia; Danieli, Antonio; Acierno, Raffaele; Salvato, Benedetto; Maffia, Michele

    2012-08-01

    Copper transporter 1 (CTR1), cellular prion protein (PrP(C)), natural resistance-associated macrophage protein 2 (NRAMP2) and ATP7A proteins control the cell absorption and efflux of copper (Cu) ions in nervous tissues upon physiological conditions. Little is known about their regulation under reduced Cu availability, a condition underlying the onset of diffused neurodegenerative disorders. In this study, rat neuron-like cells were exposed to Cu starvation for 48 h. The activation of Caspase-3 enzymes and the impairment of Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase (Cu,Zn SOD) activity depicted the initiation of a pro-apoptotic program, preliminary to the appearance of the morphological signs of apoptosis. The transcriptional response related to Cu transport proteins has been investigated. Notably, PrP(C) transcript and protein levels were consistently elevated upon Cu deficiency. The CTR1 protein amount was stable, despite a two-fold increase in the transcript amount, meaning the activation of post-translational regulatory mechanisms. NRAMP2 and ATP7A expressions were unvaried. The up-regulated PrP(C) has been demonstrated to enhance the cell Cu uptake ability by about 50% with respect to the basal transport, and so sustain the Cu delivery to the Cu,Zn SOD cuproenzymes. Conclusively, the study suggests a pivotal role for PrP(C) in the cell adaptation to Cu limitation through a direct activity of ion uptake. In this view, the PrP(C) accumulation observed in several cancer cell lines could be interpreted as a molecular marker of cell Cu deficiency and a potential target of therapeutic interventions against disorders caused by metal imbalances. PMID:22362149

  12. Sialylated and O-glycosidically linked glycans in prion protein deposits in a case of Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker disease.

    PubMed

    Zomosa-Signoret, Viviana; Mayoral, Miguel; Limón, Daniel; Espinosa, Blanca; Calvillo, Minerva; Zenteno, Edgar; Martínez, Victor; Guevara, Jorge

    2011-04-01

    Prion diseases are caused by an abnormal form of the prion protein (PrP(Sc)). We identified, with lectins, post-translational modifications of brain proteins due to glycosylation in a Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker (GSS) patient. The lectin Amaranthus leucocarpus (ALL), specific for mucin type O-glycosylated structures (Galß1,3 GalNAcα1,0 Ser/Thr or GalNAcα1,0 Ser/Thr), and Sambucus nigra agglutinin (SNA), specific for Neu5Acα2,6 Gal/GalNAc, showed positive labeling in all the prion deposits and in the core of the PrP(Sc) deposits, respectively, indicating specific distribution of O-glycosylated and sialylated structures. Lectins from Maackia amurensis (MAA, Neu5Acα2,3), Macrobrachium rosenbergii (MrL, Neu5,9Ac2-specific) and Arachis hypogaea (PNA, Gal-specific) showed low staining of prion deposits. Immunohistochemistry colocalization with prion antibody indicated that all lectins stained prion protein deposits. These results show that specific modifications in the glycosylation pattern are closely related to the hallmark lesions and might be an early event in neuronal degeneration in GSS disease. PMID:20667006

  13. Pharmacological chaperone reshapes the energy landscape for folding and aggregation of the prion protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gupta, Amar Nath; Neupane, Krishna; Rezajooei, Negar; Cortez, Leonardo M.; Sim, Valerie L.; Woodside, Michael T.

    2016-06-01

    The development of small-molecule pharmacological chaperones as therapeutics for protein misfolding diseases has proven challenging, partly because their mechanism of action remains unclear. Here we study Fe-TMPyP, a tetrapyrrole that binds to the prion protein PrP and inhibits misfolding, examining its effects on PrP folding at the single-molecule level with force spectroscopy. Single PrP molecules are unfolded with and without Fe-TMPyP present using optical tweezers. Ligand binding to the native structure increases the unfolding force significantly and alters the transition state for unfolding, making it more brittle and raising the barrier height. Fe-TMPyP also binds the unfolded state, delaying native refolding. Furthermore, Fe-TMPyP binding blocks the formation of a stable misfolded dimer by interfering with intermolecular interactions, acting in a similar manner to some molecular chaperones. The ligand thus promotes native folding by stabilizing the native state while also suppressing interactions driving aggregation.

  14. Prion protein binding to HOP modulates the migration and invasion of colorectal cancer cells.

    PubMed

    de Lacerda, Tonielli Cristina Sousa; Costa-Silva, Bruno; Giudice, Fernanda Salgueiredo; Dias, Marcos Vinicios Salles; de Oliveira, Gabriela Pintar; Teixeira, Bianca Luise; Dos Santos, Tiago Goss; Martins, Vilma Regina

    2016-06-01

    Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most frequently diagnosed malignancies. The generation of conventional treatments has improved, but approximately 50 % of patients with CRC who undergo potentially curative surgery ultimately relapse and die, usually as a consequence of metastatic disease. Our previous findings showed that engagement of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) to its ligand HSP70/90 heat shock organizing protein (HOP) induces proliferation of glioblastomas. In addition, PrP(C) has been described as an important modulator of colorectal tumor growth. Here, we investigated the biological relevance of the PrP(C)-HOP interaction in CRC cells. We demonstrate that HOP induced the migration and invasion of CRC cell lines in a PrP(C)-dependent manner and that phosphorylation of the ERK1/2 pathway is a downstream mediator of these effects. Additionally, we show that a HOP peptide with the ability to bind PrP(C) and abolish the PrP(C)-HOP interaction inhibited the migration and invasion of CRC cells. Together, these data indicate that the disruption of the PrP(C)-HOP complex could be a potential therapeutic target for modulating the migratory and invasive cellular properties that lead to metastatic CRC. PMID:27112151

  15. Clusterin expression in follicular dendritic cells associated with prion protein accumulation.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, K; Doh-ura, K; Ironside, Jw; Mabbott, N; Iwaki, T

    2006-08-01

    Peripheral accumulation of abnormal prion protein (PrP) in variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and some animal models of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) may occur in the lymphoreticular system. Within the lymphoid tissues, abnormal PrP accumulation occurs on follicular dendritic cells (FDCs). Clusterin (apolipoprotein J) has been recognized as one of the molecules associated with PrP in TSEs, and clusterin expression is increased in the central nervous system where abnormal PrP deposition has occurred. We therefore examined peripheral clusterin expression in the context of PrP accumulation on FDCs in a range of human and experimental TSEs. PrP was detected immunohistochemically on tissue sections using a novel highly sensitive method involving detergent autoclaving pretreatment. A dendritic network pattern of clusterin immunoreactivity in lymphoid follicles was observed in association with the abnormal PrP on FDCs. The increased clusterin immunoreactivity appeared to correlate with the extent of PrP deposition, irrespective of the pathogen strains, host mouse strains or various immune modifications. The observed co-localization and correlative expression of these proteins suggested that clusterin might be directly associated with abnormal PrP. Indeed, clusterin immunoreactivity in association with PrP was retained after FDC depletion. Together these data suggest that clusterin may act as a chaperone-like molecule for PrP and play an important role in TSE pathogenesis. PMID:16767691

  16. A Highly Toxic Cellular Prion Protein Induces a Novel, Nonapoptotic Form of Neuronal Death

    PubMed Central

    Christensen, Heather M.; Dikranian, Krikor; Li, Aimin; Baysac, Kathleen C.; Walls, Ken C.; Olney, John W.; Roth, Kevin A.; Harris, David A.

    2010-01-01

    Several different deletions within the N-terminal tail of the prion protein (PrP) induce massive neuronal death when expressed in transgenic mice. This toxicity is dose-dependently suppressed by coexpression of full-length PrP, suggesting that it results from subversion of a normal physiological activity of cellular PrP. We performed a combined biochemical and morphological analysis of Tg(ΔCR) mice, which express PrP carrying a 21-aa deletion (residues 105-125) within a highly conserved region of the protein. Death of cerebellar granule neurons in Tg(ΔCR) mice is not accompanied by activation of either caspase-3 or caspase-8 or by increased levels of the autophagy marker, LC3-II. In electron micrographs, degenerating granule neurons displayed a unique morphology characterized by heterogeneous condensation of the nuclear matrix without formation of discrete chromatin masses typical of neuronal apoptosis. Our data demonstrate that perturbations in PrP functional activity induce a novel, nonapoptotic, nonautophagic form of neuronal death whose morphological features are reminiscent of those associated with excitotoxic stress. PMID:20472884

  17. Pharmacological chaperone reshapes the energy landscape for folding and aggregation of the prion protein

    PubMed Central

    Gupta, Amar Nath; Neupane, Krishna; Rezajooei, Negar; Cortez, Leonardo M.; Sim, Valerie L.; Woodside, Michael T.

    2016-01-01

    The development of small-molecule pharmacological chaperones as therapeutics for protein misfolding diseases has proven challenging, partly because their mechanism of action remains unclear. Here we study Fe-TMPyP, a tetrapyrrole that binds to the prion protein PrP and inhibits misfolding, examining its effects on PrP folding at the single-molecule level with force spectroscopy. Single PrP molecules are unfolded with and without Fe-TMPyP present using optical tweezers. Ligand binding to the native structure increases the unfolding force significantly and alters the transition state for unfolding, making it more brittle and raising the barrier height. Fe-TMPyP also binds the unfolded state, delaying native refolding. Furthermore, Fe-TMPyP binding blocks the formation of a stable misfolded dimer by interfering with intermolecular interactions, acting in a similar manner to some molecular chaperones. The ligand thus promotes native folding by stabilizing the native state while also suppressing interactions driving aggregation. PMID:27346148

  18. Pharmacological chaperone reshapes the energy landscape for folding and aggregation of the prion protein.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Amar Nath; Neupane, Krishna; Rezajooei, Negar; Cortez, Leonardo M; Sim, Valerie L; Woodside, Michael T

    2016-01-01

    The development of small-molecule pharmacological chaperones as therapeutics for protein misfolding diseases has proven challenging, partly because their mechanism of action remains unclear. Here we study Fe-TMPyP, a tetrapyrrole that binds to the prion protein PrP and inhibits misfolding, examining its effects on PrP folding at the single-molecule level with force spectroscopy. Single PrP molecules are unfolded with and without Fe-TMPyP present using optical tweezers. Ligand binding to the native structure increases the unfolding force significantly and alters the transition state for unfolding, making it more brittle and raising the barrier height. Fe-TMPyP also binds the unfolded state, delaying native refolding. Furthermore, Fe-TMPyP binding blocks the formation of a stable misfolded dimer by interfering with intermolecular interactions, acting in a similar manner to some molecular chaperones. The ligand thus promotes native folding by stabilizing the native state while also suppressing interactions driving aggregation. PMID:27346148

  19. Immunologically induced, complement-dependent up-regulation of the prion protein in the mouse spleen: follicular dendritic cells versus capsule and trabeculae.

    PubMed

    Lötscher, Marius; Recher, Mike; Hunziker, Lukas; Klein, Michael A

    2003-06-15

    The expression of the prion protein (PrP) in the follicular dendritic cell network of germinal centers in the spleen is critical for the splenic propagation of the causative agent of prion diseases. However, a physiological role of the prion protein in the periphery remains elusive. To investigate the role and function of PrP expression in the lymphoid system we treated naive mice i.v. with preformed immune complexes or vesicular stomatitis virus. Immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis of the spleen revealed that 8 days after immunization, immune complexes and vesicular stomatitis virus had both induced a strong increase of PrP expression in the follicular dendritic cell network. Remarkably, this up-regulation did not occur in mice that lack an early factor of the complement cascade, C1q, a component which has been shown previously to facilitate early prion pathogenesis. In addition to the variable PrP level in the germinal centers, we detected steady and abundant PrP expression in the splenic capsule and trabeculae, which are structural elements that have not been associated before with PrP localization. The abundant trabeculo-capsular PrP expression was also evident in spleens of Rag-1-deficient mice, which have been shown before to be incapable of prion expansion. We conclude that trabeculocapsular PrP is not sufficient for splenic prion propagation. Furthermore, our observations may provide important clues for a physiological function of the prion protein and allow a new view on the role of complement and PrP in peripheral prion pathogenesis. PMID:12794132

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamamoto, Norifumi; Kuwata, Kazuo

    2010-09-01

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

  1. Double replacement gene targeting for the production of a series of mouse strains with different prion protein gene alterations

    SciTech Connect

    Moore, R.C.; Redhead, N.J.; Selfridge, J.

    1995-09-01

    We have developed a double replacement gene targeting strategy which enables the production of a series of mouse strains bearing different subtle alterations to endogenous genes. This is a two-step process in which a region of the gene of interest is first replaced with a selectable marker to produce an inactivated allele, which is then re-targeted with a second vector to reconstruct the inactivated allele, concomitantly introducing an engineered mutation. Five independent embryonic stem cell lines have been produced bearing different targeted alterations to the prion protein gene, including one which raises the level of expression. We have constructed mice bearing the codon 101 proline to leucine substitution linked to the human familial prion disease, Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker syndrome. We anticipate that this procedure will have applications to the study of human inherited diseases and the development of therapies. 43 refs., 6 figs., 1 tab.

  2. Immunohistochemical characterization of cell types expressing the cellular prion protein in the small intestine of cattle and mice.

    PubMed

    Miyazawa, Kohtaro; Kanaya, Takashi; Tanaka, Sachi; Takakura, Ikuro; Watanabe, Kouichi; Ohwada, Shyuichi; Kitazawa, Haruki; Rose, Michael T; Sakaguchi, Suehiro; Katamine, Shigeru; Yamaguchi, Takahiro; Aso, Hisashi

    2007-03-01

    The gastrointestinal tract is thought to be the main site of entry for the pathological isoform of the prion protein (PrP(Sc)). Prion diseases are believed to result from a conformational change of the cellular prion protein (PrP(c)) to PrP(Sc). Therefore, PrP(c) expression is a prerequisite for the infection and spread of the disease to the central nervous system. However, the distribution of PrP(c) in the gut is still a matter of controversy. We therefore investigated the localization of PrP(c) in the bovine and murine small intestine. In cattle, most PrP(c) positive epithelial cells were detected in the duodenum, while a few positive cells were found in the jejunum. PrP(c) was expressed in serotonin producing cells. In bovine Peyer's patches, PrP(c) was distributed in extrafollicular areas, but not in the germinal centre of the jejunum and ileum. PrP(c) was expressed in myeloid lineage cells such as myeloid dendritic cells and macrophages. In mice, PrP(c) was expressed in some epithelial cells throughout the small intestine as well as in cells such as follicular dendritic cell in the germinal centre of Peyer's patches. In this study, we demonstrate that there are a number of differences in the localization of PrP(c) between the murine and bovine small intestines. PMID:17165097

  3. Annealing prion protein amyloid fibrils at high temperature results in extension of a proteinase K-resistant core.

    PubMed

    Bocharova, Olga V; Makarava, Natallia; Breydo, Leonid; Anderson, Maighdlin; Salnikov, Vadim V; Baskakov, Ilia V

    2006-01-27

    Amyloids are highly ordered, rigid beta-sheet-rich structures that appear to have minimal dynamic flexibility in individual polypeptide chains. Here, we demonstrate that substantial conformational rearrangements occur within mature amyloid fibrils produced from full-length mammalian prion protein. The rearrangement results in a substantial extension of a proteinase K-resistant core and is accompanied by an increase in the beta-sheet-rich conformation. The conformational rearrangement was induced in the presence of low concentrations of Triton X-100 either by brief exposure to 80 degrees C or, with less efficacy, by prolonged incubation at 37 degrees C at pH 7.5 and is referred to here as "annealing." Upon annealing, amyloid fibrils acquired a proteinase K-resistant core identical to that found in bovine spongiform encephalopathy-specific scrapie-associated prion protein. Annealing was also observed when amyloid fibrils were exposed to high temperatures in the absence of detergent but in the presence of brain homogenate. These findings suggest that the amyloid fibrils exist in two conformationally distinct states that are separated by a high energy barrier and that yet unknown cellular cofactors may facilitate transition of the fibrils into thermodynamically more stable state. Our studies provide new insight into the complex behavior of prion polymerization and highlight the annealing process, a previously unknown step in the evolution of amyloid structures. PMID:16314415

  4. Resolution-enhanced native acidic gel electrophoresis: a method for resolving, sizing, and quantifying prion protein oligomers.

    PubMed

    Ladner, Carol L; Wishart, David S

    2012-07-01

    The formation of β-sheet-rich prion protein (PrP(β)) oligomers from native or cellular PrP(c) is thought to be a key step in the development of prion diseases. To assist in this characterization process we have developed a rapid and remarkably high resolution gel electrophoresis technique called RENAGE (resolution-enhanced native acidic gel electrophoresis) for separating, sizing, and quantifying oligomeric PrP(β) complexes. PrP(β) oligomers formed via either urea/salt or acid conversion can be resolved by RENAGE into a clear set of oligomeric bands differing by just one subunit. Calibration of the size of the PrP(β) oligomer bands was made possible with a cross-linked mouse PrP(90-232) ladder (1- to 11-mer) generated using ruthenium bipyridyl-based photoinduced cross-linking of unmodified proteins (PICUP). This PrP PICUP ladder allowed the size and abundance of PrP(β) oligomers formed from urea/salt and acid conversion to be determined. This distribution consists of 7-, 8-, 9-, 10-, and 11-mers, with the most abundant species being the 8-mer. The high-resolution separation afforded by RENAGE has allowed us to investigate distinctive size and population changes in PrP(β) oligomers formed under various conversion conditions, with various construct lengths, from various species or in the presence of anti-prion compounds. PMID:22490465

  5. NLRP3 inflammasome activation in macrophage cell lines by prion protein fibrils as the source of IL-1β and neuronal toxicity

    PubMed Central

    Hafner-Bratkovič, Iva; Benčina, Mojca; Fitzgerald, Katherine A.; Golenbock, Douglas; Jerala, Roman

    2012-01-01

    Prion diseases are fatal transmissible neurodegenerative diseases, characterized by aggregation of the pathological form of prion protein, spongiform degeneration, neuronal loss and activation of astrocytes and microglia. Microglia can clear prion plaques but on the other hand cause neuronal death via release of neurotoxic species. Elevated expression of the proinflammatory cytokine IL-1β has been observed in brains affected by several prion diseases and IL-1R-deficiency significantly prolonged the onset of the neurodegeneration in mice. We show that microglial cells stimulated by prion protein (PrP) fibrils induced neuronal toxicity. Microglia and macrophages release IL-1β upon stimulation by PrP fibrils, which depends on the NLRP3 inflammasome. Activation of NLRP3 inflammasome by PrP fibrils requires depletion of intracellular K+ and requires phagocytosis of PrP fibrils and consecutive lysosome destabilization. Among the well-defined molecular forms of PrP the strongest NLRP3 activation was observed by fibrils, followed by aggregates, while neither native monomeric nor oligomeric PrP were able to activate the NLRP3 inflammasome. Our results together with previous studies on IL-1R-deficient mice suggest the IL-1 signaling pathway as the perspective target for the therapy of prion disease. PMID:22926439

  6. Dynamically-expressed prion-like proteins form a cuticle in the pharynx of Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    George-Raizen, Julia B.; Shockley, Keith R.; Trojanowski, Nicholas F.; Lamb, Annesia L.; Raizen, David M.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT In molting animals, a cuticular extracellular matrix forms the first barrier to infection and other environmental insults. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans there are two types of cuticle: a well-studied collagenous cuticle lines the body, and a poorly-understood chitinous cuticle lines the pharynx. In the posterior end of the pharynx is the grinder, a tooth-like cuticular specialization that crushes food prior to transport to the intestine for digestion. We here show that the grinder increases in size only during the molt. To gain molecular insight into the structure of the grinder and pharyngeal cuticle, we performed a microarray analysis to identify mRNAs increased during the molt. We found strong transcriptional induction during the molt of 12 of 15 previously identified abu genes encoding Prion-like (P) glutamine (Q) and asparagine (N) rich PQN proteins, as well as 15 additional genes encoding closely related PQN proteins. abu/pqn genes, which we name the abu/pqn paralog group (APPG) genes, were expressed in pharyngeal cells and the proteins encoded by two APPG genes we tested localized to the pharyngeal cuticle. Deleting the APPG gene abu-14 caused abnormal pharyngeal cuticular structures and knocking down other APPG genes resulted in abnormal cuticular function. We propose that APPG proteins promote the assembly and function of a unique cuticular structure. The strong developmental regulation of the APPG genes raises the possibility that such genes would be identified in transcriptional profiling experiments in which the animals' developmental stage is not precisely staged. PMID:25361578

  7. Synthetic amyloid-beta oligomers impair long-term memory independently of cellular prion protein.

    PubMed

    Balducci, Claudia; Beeg, Marten; Stravalaci, Matteo; Bastone, Antonio; Sclip, Alessandra; Biasini, Emiliano; Tapella, Laura; Colombo, Laura; Manzoni, Claudia; Borsello, Tiziana; Chiesa, Roberto; Gobbi, Marco; Salmona, Mario; Forloni, Gianluigi

    2010-02-01

    Inability to form new memories is an early clinical sign of Alzheimer's disease (AD). There is ample evidence that the amyloid-beta (Abeta) peptide plays a key role in the pathogenesis of this disorder. Soluble, bio-derived oligomers of Abeta are proposed as the key mediators of synaptic and cognitive dysfunction, but more tractable models of Abeta-mediated cognitive impairment are needed. Here we report that, in mice, acute intracerebroventricular injections of synthetic Abeta(1-42) oligomers impaired consolidation of the long-term recognition memory, whereas mature Abeta(1-42) fibrils and freshly dissolved peptide did not. The deficit induced by oligomers was reversible and was prevented by an anti-Abeta antibody. It has been suggested that the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) mediates the impairment of synaptic plasticity induced by Abeta. We confirmed that Abeta(1-42) oligomers interact with PrP(C), with nanomolar affinity. However, PrP-expressing and PrP knock-out mice were equally susceptible to this impairment. These data suggest that Abeta(1-42) oligomers are responsible for cognitive impairment in AD and that PrP(C) is not required. PMID:20133875

  8. Synthetic amyloid-β oligomers impair long-term memory independently of cellular prion protein

    PubMed Central

    Balducci, Claudia; Beeg, Marten; Stravalaci, Matteo; Bastone, Antonio; Sclip, Alessandra; Biasini, Emiliano; Tapella, Laura; Colombo, Laura; Manzoni, Claudia; Borsello, Tiziana; Chiesa, Roberto; Gobbi, Marco; Salmona, Mario; Forloni, Gianluigi

    2010-01-01

    Inability to form new memories is an early clinical sign of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). There is ample evidence that the amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide plays a key role in the pathogenesis of this disorder. Soluble, bio-derived oligomers of Aβ are proposed as the key mediators of synaptic and cognitive dysfunction, but more tractable models of Aβ−mediated cognitive impairment are needed. Here we report that, in mice, acute intracerebroventricular injections of synthetic Aβ1–42 oligomers impaired consolidation of the long-term recognition memory, whereas mature Aβ1–42 fibrils and freshly dissolved peptide did not. The deficit induced by oligomers was reversible and was prevented by an anti-Aβ antibody. It has been suggested that the cellular prion protein (PrPC) mediates the impairment of synaptic plasticity induced by Aβ. We confirmed that Aβ1–42 oligomers interact with PrPC, with nanomolar affinity. However, PrP-expressing and PrP knock-out mice were equally susceptible to this impairment. These data suggest that Aβ1–42 oligomers are responsible for cognitive impairment in AD and that PrPC is not required. PMID:20133875

  9. Molecular Dynamics Simulations Capture the Misfolding of the Bovine Prion Protein at Acidic pH

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Chin Jung; Daggett, Valerie

    2014-01-01

    Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that is transmissible to humans and that is currently incurable. BSE is caused by the prion protein (PrP), which adopts two conformers; PrPC is the native innocuous form, which is α-helix rich; and PrPSc is the β-sheet rich misfolded form, which is infectious and forms neurotoxic species. Acidic pH induces the conversion of PrPC to PrPSc. We have performed molecular dynamics simulations of bovine PrP at various pH regimes. An acidic pH environment induced conformational changes that were not observed in neutral pH simulations. Putative misfolded structures, with nonnative β-strands formed in the flexible N-terminal domain, were found in acidic pH simulations. Two distinct pathways were observed for the formation of nonnative β-strands: at low pH, hydrophobic contacts with M129 nucleated the nonnative β-strand; at mid-pH, polar contacts involving Q168 and D178 facilitated the formation of a hairpin at the flexible N-terminus. These mid- and low pH simulations capture the process of nonnative β-strand formation, thereby improving our understanding of how PrPC misfolds into the β-sheet rich PrPSc and how pH factors into the process. PMID:24970211

  10. Ab initio Study of Transition metal binding to the Prion Protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cox, Daniel L.; Singh, Rajiv R. P.; Pan, Jianping

    2004-03-01

    Fundamental understanding of the prion protein (PrP) is of critical public health importance in view of mad cow and chronic wasting diseases. In recent years, it has been shown that the normal form (PrP^c) binds copper^1), and the structure of the copper binding domain has been elaborated. Hypotheses about toxicity associated with binding of other metals (notably manganese) have been put forward, Accordingly, using the ab initio SIESTA density functional theory code^2), we calculated the binding energy E_B(M) of M-(PrP) complexes relative to initially uncomplexed M ions, with M=Cu,Ni,Zn,Mn and (PrP)^* the minimal binding domain. The binding energy trend is E_B(Ni)>E_B(Cu)>E_B(Zn)>E_B(Mn), consistent with recent experiments apart from the surprising stability of Ni. We will also present preliminary results for binding of initially complexed M ions. *-Supported by U.S. DOE, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Materials Research 1) G.S. Jackson et al., Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. (USA) 98, 8531 (2001). 2) P. Ordejón, et al., Phys. Rev. B53, R10441 (1996); J.M. Soler et al., J. Phys. Cond. Matt. 14, 2745 (2002).

  11. Copper attachment to prion protein at a non-octarepeat site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hodak, Miroslav; Bernholc, Jerry

    2011-03-01

    Prion protein (PrP) plays a causative role in a group of neurodegenerative diseases, which include ``mad cow disease'' or its human form variant Creutzfeld-Jacob disease. Normal function of PrP remains unknown, but it is now well established that PrP can efficiently bind copper ions and this ability has been linked to its function. The primary binding sites are located in the so-called octarepeat region located between residues 60-91. While these are by now well characterized, the sites located outside these region remain mostly undetermined. In this work, we investigate the properties of Cu binding site located at His 111 using recently developed hybrid Kohn-Sham/orbital-free density functional simulations. Experimental data indicate that copper is coordinated by either four nitrogens or three nitrogens and one oxygen. We investigate both possibilities, comparing their energetics and attachment geometries. Similarities and differences with other binding sites and implications for PrP function will also be discussed.

  12. Conformational diversity in prion protein variants influences intermolecular [beta]-sheet formation

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Seungjoo; Antony, Lizamma; Hartmann, Rune; Knaus, Karen J.; Surewicz, Krystyna; Surewicz, Witold K.; Yee, Vivien C.

    2010-04-19

    A conformational transition of normal cellular prion protein (PrP{sup C}) to its pathogenic form (PrP{sup Sc}) is believed to be a central event in the transmission of the devastating neurological diseases known as spongiform encephalopathies. The common methionine/valine polymorphism at residue 129 in the PrP influences disease susceptibility and phenotype. We report here seven crystal structures of human PrP variants: three of wild-type (WT) PrP containing V129, and four of the familial variants D178N and F198S, containing either M129 or V129. Comparison of these structures with each other and with previously published WT PrP structures containing M129 revealed that only WT PrPs were found to crystallize as domain-swapped dimers or closed monomers; the four mutant PrPs crystallized as non-swapped dimers. Three of the four mutant PrPs aligned to form intermolecular {beta}-sheets. Several regions of structural variability were identified, and analysis of their conformations provides an explanation for the structural features, which can influence the formation and conformation of intermolecular {beta}-sheets involving the M/V129 polymorphic residue.

  13. Molecular dynamics simulations capture the misfolding of the bovine prion protein at acidic pH.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Chin Jung; Daggett, Valerie

    2014-01-01

    Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that is transmissible to humans and that is currently incurable. BSE is caused by the prion protein (PrP), which adopts two conformers; PrPC is the native innocuous form, which is α-helix rich; and PrPSc is the β-sheet rich misfolded form, which is infectious and forms neurotoxic species. Acidic pH induces the conversion of PrPC to PrPSc. We have performed molecular dynamics simulations of bovine PrP at various pH regimes. An acidic pH environment induced conformational changes that were not observed in neutral pH simulations. Putative misfolded structures, with nonnative β-strands formed in the flexible N-terminal domain, were found in acidic pH simulations. Two distinct pathways were observed for the formation of nonnative β-strands: at low pH, hydrophobic contacts with M129 nucleated the nonnative β-strand; at mid-pH, polar contacts involving Q168 and D178 facilitated the formation of a hairpin at the flexible N-terminus. These mid- and low pH simulations capture the process of nonnative β-strand formation, thereby improving our understanding of how PrPC misfolds into the β-sheet rich PrPSc and how pH factors into the process. PMID:24970211

  14. Sialic Acid within the Glycosylphosphatidylinositol Anchor Targets the Cellular Prion Protein to Synapses.

    PubMed

    Bate, Clive; Nolan, William; McHale-Owen, Harriet; Williams, Alun

    2016-08-12

    Although the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) is concentrated at synapses, the factors that target PrP(C) to synapses are not understood. Here we demonstrate that exogenous PrP(C) was rapidly targeted to synapses in recipient neurons derived from Prnp knock-out((0/0)) mice. The targeting of PrP(C) to synapses was dependent upon both neuronal cholesterol concentrations and the lipid and glycan composition of its glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor. Thus, the removal of either an acyl chain or sialic acid from the GPI anchor reduced the targeting of PrP(C) to synapses. Isolated GPIs (derived from PrP(C)) were also targeted to synapses, as was IgG conjugated to these GPIs. The removal of sialic acid from GPIs prevented the targeting of either the isolated GPIs or the IgG-GPI conjugate to synapses. Competition studies showed that pretreatment with sialylated GPIs prevented the targeting of PrP(C) to synapses. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that the sialylated GPI anchor attached to PrP(C) acts as a synapse homing signal. PMID:27325697

  15. The Prion Protein Controls Polysialylation of Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule 1 during Cellular Morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Mehrabian, Mohadeseh; Brethour, Dylan; Wang, Hansen; Xi, Zhengrui; Rogaeva, Ekaterina; Schmitt-Ulms, Gerold

    2015-01-01

    Despite its multi-faceted role in neurodegenerative diseases, the physiological function of the prion protein (PrP) has remained elusive. On the basis of its evolutionary relationship to ZIP metal ion transporters, we considered that PrP may contribute to the morphogenetic reprogramming of cells underlying epithelial-to-mesenchymal transitions (EMT). Consistent with this hypothesis, PrP transcription increased more than tenfold during EMT, and stable PrP-deficient cells failed to complete EMT in a mammalian cell model. A global comparative proteomics analysis identified the neural cell adhesion molecule 1 (NCAM1) as a candidate mediator of this impairment, which led to the observation that PrP-deficient cells fail to undergo NCAM1 polysialylation during EMT. Surprisingly, this defect was caused by a perturbed transcription of the polysialyltransferase ST8SIA2 gene. Proteomics data pointed toward β-catenin as a transcriptional regulator affected in PrP-deficient cells. Indeed, pharmacological blockade or siRNA-based knockdown of β-catenin mimicked PrP-deficiency in regards to NCAM1 polysialylation. Our data established the existence of a PrP-ST8SIA2-NCAM signaling loop, merged two mature fields of investigation and offer a simple model for explaining phenotypes linked to PrP. PMID:26288071

  16. The Prion Protein Controls Polysialylation of Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule 1 during Cellular Morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Mehrabian, Mohadeseh; Brethour, Dylan; Wang, Hansen; Xi, Zhengrui; Rogaeva, Ekaterina; Schmitt-Ulms, Gerold

    2015-01-01

    Despite its multi-faceted role in neurodegenerative diseases, the physiological function of the prion protein (PrP) has remained elusive. On the basis of its evolutionary relationship to ZIP metal ion transporters, we considered that PrP may contribute to the morphogenetic reprogramming of cells underlying epithelial-to-mesenchymal transitions (EMT). Consistent with this hypothesis, PrP transcription increased more than tenfold during EMT, and stable PrP-deficient cells failed to complete EMT in a mammalian cell model. A global comparative proteomics analysis identified the neural cell adhesion molecule 1 (NCAM1) as a candidate mediator of this impairment, which led to the observation that PrP-deficient cells fail to undergo NCAM1 polysialylation during EMT. Surprisingly, this defect was caused by a perturbed transcription of the polysialyltransferase ST8SIA2 gene. Proteomics data pointed toward β-catenin as a transcriptional regulator affected in PrP-deficient cells. Indeed, pharmacological blockade or siRNA-based knockdown of β-catenin mimicked PrP-deficiency in regards to NCAM1 polysialylation. Our data established the existence of a PrP-ST8SIA2-NCAM signaling loop, merged two mature fields of investigation and offer a simple model for explaining phenotypes linked to PrP. PMID:26288071

  17. Early Embryonic Gene Expression Profiling of Zebrafish Prion Protein (Prp2) Morphants

    PubMed Central

    Nourizadeh-Lillabadi, Rasoul; Seilø Torgersen, Jacob; Vestrheim, Olav; König, Melanie; Aleström, Peter; Syed, Mohasina

    2010-01-01

    Background The Prion protein (PRNP/Prp) plays a crucial role in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) like Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), scrapie and mad cow disease. Notwithstanding the importance in human and animal disease, fundamental aspects of PRNP/Prp function and transmission remains unaccounted for. Methodology/Principal Findings The zebrafish (Danio rerio) genome contains three Prp encoding genes assigned prp1, prp2 and prp3. Currently, the second paralogue is believed to be the most similar to the mammalian PRNP gene in structure and function. Functional studies of the PRNP gene ortholog was addressed by prp2 morpholino (MO) knockdown experiments. Investigation of Prp2 depleted embryos revealed high mortality and apoptosis at 24 hours post fertilization (hpf) as well as impaired brain and neuronal development. In order to elucidate the underlying mechanisms, a genome-wide transcriptome analysis was carried out in viable 24 hpf morphants. The resulting changes in gene expression profiles revealed 249 differently expressed genes linked to biological processes like cell death, neurogenesis and embryonic development. Conclusions/Significance The current study contributes to the understanding of basic Prp functions and demonstrates that the zebrafish is an excellent model to address the role of Prp in vertebrates. The gene knockdown of prp2 indicates an essential biological function for the zebrafish ortholog with a morphant phenotype that suggests a neurodegenerative action and gene expression effects which are apoptosis related and effects gene networks controlling neurogenesis and embryo development. PMID:21042590

  18. Stable Kinesin and Dynein Assemblies Drive the Axonal Transport of Mammalian Prion Protein Vesicles

    PubMed Central

    Encalada, Sandra E.; Szpankowski, Lukasz; Xia, Chun-hong; Goldstein, Lawrence S. B.

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY Kinesin and dynein are opposite-polarity microtubule motors that drive the tightly regulated transport of a variety of cargoes. Both motors can bind to cargo but their overall composition on axonal vesicles and whether this composition directly modulates transport activity, is unknown. Here we characterize the intracellular transport and steady state motor subunit composition of mammalian prion protein (PrPC) vesicles. We identify Kinesin-1 and cytoplasmic dynein as major PrPC vesicle motor complexes, and show that their activities are tightly coupled. Regulation of normal retrograde transport by Kinesin-1 is independent of dynein-vesicle attachment, and requires the vesicle association of a complete Kinesin-1 heavy and light chain holoenzyme. Furthermore, motor subunits remain stably associated with stationary as well as with moving vesicles. Our data suggest a coordination model where PrPC vesicles maintain a stable population of associated motors whose activity is modulated by regulatory factors instead of by structural changes to motor-cargo associations. PMID:21335237

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  20. Ovine Reference Materials and Assays for Prion Genetic Testing

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Background: Genetic predisposition to scrapie in sheep is associated with variation in the peptide sequence of the ovine prion protein encoded by Prnp. Codon variants implicated in scrapie susceptibility or disease progression include those at amino acid positions 112, 136, 141, 154, and 171. Nin...

  1. Atypical parkinsonism caused by Pro105Leu mutation of prion protein

    PubMed Central

    Mano, Kagari Koshi; Matsukawa, Takashi; Mitsui, Jun; Ishiura, Hiroyuki; Tokushige, Shin-ichi; Takahashi, Yuji; Sato, Naoko Saito; Nakamoto, Fumiko Kusunoki; Ichikawa, Yaeko; Nagashima, Yu; Terao, Yasuo; Shimizu, Jun; Hamada, Masashi; Uesaka, Yoshikazu; Oyama, Genko; Ogawa, Go; Yoshimura, Jun; Doi, Koichiro; Morishita, Shinichi; Tsuji, Shoji

    2016-01-01

    Objective: To delineate molecular and clinical characteristics of 3 families with PRNP P105L mutation, a variant of Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome whose main motor symptoms were parkinsonism and/or involuntary movements. Methods: The causative mutation was first determined in the affected patients of family 1 using whole-exome sequencing, and then mutational analysis was extended to families 2 and 3. The clinical features of the patients of these 3 families were summarized. Haplotype analysis was performed using high-density single nucleotide polymorphism array. Results: The whole-exome sequencing revealed that the heterozygous mutation c.314C>T (p.P105L) in PRNP was the only known pathogenic mutation shared by the 3 patients of the family with autosomal dominant parkinsonism. We further identified the same mutation in patients of the other 2 families with autosomal dominant parkinsonism and/or involuntary movements. The clinical features of our patients with PRNP P105L mutation included various motor symptoms such as parkinsonism and involuntary movements in addition to progressive dementia. The clinical features in part overlapped with those of other forms of inherited prion diseases, such as fatal familial insomnia and Huntington disease-like type 1. The patients with PRNP P105L mutation shared a haplotype spanning 7.1 Mb around PRNP, raising the possibility that the mutations in the patients originated from a common founder. Conclusion: Most of the patients presented with parkinsonism in addition to progressive dementia. Although spastic paraparesis has been emphasized as the main clinical feature, the clinical spectrum of patients with PRNP P105L is broader than expected. PMID:27066585

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

    SciTech Connect

    Gabizon, R.; Rosenmann, H.; Meiner, Z.; Kahana, I. ); Kahana, E. ); Shugart, Y.; Ott, J. ); Prusiner, S.B. )

    1993-10-01

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

  3. Progressive accumulation of the abnormal conformer of the prion protein and spongiform encephalopathy in the obex of nonsymptomatic and symptomatic Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) with chronic wasting disease

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD), a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, has been reported in captive and free-ranging cervids. An abnormal isoform of a prion protein (PrP-CWD) has been associated with CWD in Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) and this prion protein can be detected with i...

  4. A comparison of classical and H-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy associated with E211K prion protein polymorphism in wild type and EK211 cattle following intracranial inoculation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In 2006, a case of H-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE-H) was diagnosed in a cow that was associated with a heritable polymorphism in the bovine prion protein gene (PRNP) resulting in a lysine for glutamine amino acid substitution at codon 211 (called E211K) of the prion protein. Although t...

  5. Spectral clustering of protein sequences

    PubMed Central

    Paccanaro, Alberto; Casbon, James A.; Saqi, Mansoor A. S.

    2006-01-01

    An important problem in genomics is automatically clustering homologous proteins when only sequence information is available. Most methods for clustering proteins are local, and are based on simply thresholding a measure related to sequence distance. We first show how locality limits the performance of such methods by analysing the distribution of distances between protein sequences. We then present a global method based on spectral clustering and provide theoretical justification of why it will have a remarkable improvement over local methods. We extensively tested our method and compared its performance with other local methods on several subsets of the SCOP (Structural Classification of Proteins) database, a gold standard for protein structure classification. We consistently observed that, the number of clusters that we obtain for a given set of proteins is close to the number of superfamilies in that set; there are fewer singletons; and the method correctly groups most remote homologs. In our experiments, the quality of the clusters as quantified by a measure that combines sensitivity and specificity was consistently better [on average, improvements were 84% over hierarchical clustering, 34% over Connected Component Analysis (CCA) (similar to GeneRAGE) and 72% over another global method, TribeMCL]. PMID:16547200

  6. Comparison of trichloroacetic acid with other protein-precipitating agents in enriching abnormal prion protein for Western blot analysis.

    PubMed

    LeBrun, Matthew; Huang, Hongsheng; He, Runtao; Booth, Stephanie; Balachandran, Aru; Li, Xuguang

    2008-06-01

    Detection of the abnormal or the pathogenic form of prion protein (PrP(Sc)) by Western blot (WB) is challenging, especially, for samples derived from cell cultures that contain low levels of PrP(Sc). A variety of PrP(Sc) concentration methods have been reported with various PrP(Sc) recovery efficiencies. Ultracentrifugation is one of the methods used frequently to enrich the pathogenic form of PrP(Sc) prior to WB analyses. The resulting PrP(Sc) pellet is extremely insoluble and often requires sonication to be dissolved, potentially generating aerosols. We modified the common protein-precipitating protocol using trichloroacetic acid to concentrate PrP(Sc) by slow-speed centrifugation, followed by solubilization of the pellets with 6 mol/L urea prior to sodium dodecyl sulphate -- polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and WB analyses. Comparative studies suggest this simple trichloroacetic acid protocol was more effective in enriching PrP(Sc) presented in cell cultures and brain homogenates than other reported protein-precipitating methods. Furthermore, incorporation of the urea treatment step to dissolve the precipitated PrP(Sc) pellets helped to reduce the infectivity of PrP(Sc). PMID:18535632

  7. Molecular mechanisms for protein-encoded inheritance

    SciTech Connect

    Wiltzius, Jed J.W.; Landau, Meytal; Nelson, Rebecca; Sawaya, Michael R.; Apostol, Marcin I.; Goldschmidt, Lukasz; Soriaga, Angela B.; Cascio, Duilio; Rajashankar, Kanagalaghatta; Eisenberg, David

    2009-12-01

    In prion inheritance and transmission, strains are phenotypic variants encoded by protein 'conformations'. However, it is unclear how a protein conformation can be stable enough to endure transmission between cells or organisms. Here we describe new polymorphic crystal structures of segments of prion and other amyloid proteins, which offer two structural mechanisms for the encoding of prion strains. In packing polymorphism, prion strains are encoded by alternative packing arrangements (polymorphs) of {beta}-sheets formed by the same segment of a protein; in segmental polymorphism, prion strains are encoded by distinct {beta}-sheets built from different segments of a protein. Both forms of polymorphism can produce enduring conformations capable of encoding strains. These molecular mechanisms for transfer of protein-encoded information into prion strains share features with the familiar mechanism for transfer of nucleic acid-encoded information into microbial strains, including sequence specificity and recognition by noncovalent bonds.

  8. Neurodegeneration in humans caused by prions.

    PubMed Central

    Prusiner, S B

    1994-01-01

    Prion diseases include kuru, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker disease, and fatal familial insomnia of humans as well as scrapie and bovine spongiform encephalopathy of animals. For many years, the prion diseases were thought to be caused by viruses despite evidence to the contrary. The unique characteristic common to all of these disorders, whether sporadic, dominantly inherited, or acquired by infection, is that they involve