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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. 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

  3. Molecular cloning and sequence analysis of prion protein gene in Xiji donkey in China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhuming; Wang, Renli; Xu, Lihua; Yuan, Fangzhong; Zhou, Xiangmei; Yang, Lifeng; Yin, Xiaomin; Xu, Binrui; Zhao, Deming

    2013-10-25

    Prion diseases are a group of human and animal neurodegenerative disorders caused by the deposition of an abnormal isoform prion protein (PrP(Sc)) encoded by a single copy prion protein gene (PRNP). Prion disease has been reported in many herbivores but not in Equus and the species barrier might be playing a role in resistance of these species to the disease. Therefore, analysis of genotype of prion protein (PrP) in these species may help understand the transmission of the disease. Xiji donkey is a rare species of Equus not widely reared in Ningxia, China, for service, food and medicine, but its PRNP has not been studied. Based on the reported PrP sequence in GenBank we designed primers and amplified, cloned and sequenced the PRNP of Xiji donkey. The sequence analysis showed that the Xiji donkey PRNP was consisted of an open reading frame of 768 nucleotides encoding 256 amino acids. Amino acid residues unique to donkey as compared with some Equus animals, mink, cow, sheep, human, dog, sika deer, rabbit and hamster were identified. The results showed that the amino acid sequence of Xiji donkey PrP starts with the consensus sequence MVKSH, with almost identical amino acid sequence to the PrP of other Equus species in this study. Amino acid sequence analysis showed high identity within species and close relation to the PRNP of sika deer, sheep, dog, camel, cow, mink, rabbit and hamster with 83.1-99.7% identity. The results provided the PRNP data for an additional Equus species, which should be useful to the study of the prion disease pathogenesis, resistance and cross species transmission. PMID:23954254

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

    2015-04-01

    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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Treatment of Prion Disease with Heterologous Prion Proteins.

    PubMed

    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 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

  11. 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

  12. Generating recombinant C-terminal prion protein fragments of exact native sequence.

    PubMed

    Johanssen, V A; Barnham, K J; Masters, C L; Hill, A F; Collins, S J

    2012-02-01

    Transmissibility and distinctive neuropathology are hallmark features of prion diseases differentiating them from other neurodegenerative disorders, with pathogenesis and transmission appearing closely linked to misfolded conformers (PrP(Sc)) of the ubiquitously expressed cellular form of the prion protein (PrP(C)). Given the apparent pathogenic primacy of misfolded PrP, the utilisation of peptides based on the prion protein has formed an integral approach for providing insights into misfolding pathways and pathogenic mechanisms. In parallel with studies employing prion peptides, similar approaches in other neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer Disease, have demonstrated that differential processing of parent proteins and quite minor variations in the primary sequence of cognate peptides generated from the same constitutive processing (such as Aβ1-40 versus Aβ1-42 produced from γ-secretase activity) can be associated with very different pathogenic consequences. PrP(C) also undergoes constitutive α- or β-cleavage yielding C1 (residues 112-231 human sequence) or C2 (residues 90-231), respectively, with the full cell biological significance of such processing unresolved; however, it is noteworthy that in prion diseases, such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) and murine models, the moderately extended C2 fragment predominates in the brain suggesting that the two cleavage events and the consequent C-terminal fragments may differ in their pathogenic significance. Accordingly, studies characterising biologically relevant peptides like C1 and C2, would be most valid if undertaken using peptides completely free of any inherent non-native sequence that arises as a by-product of commonly employed recombinant production techniques. To achieve this aim and thereby facilitate more representative biophysical and neurotoxicity studies, we adapted the combination of high fidelity Taq TA cloning with a SUMO-Hexa-His tag-type approach, incorporating the SUMO protease step. This technique consistently produced sufficient yields (∼10 mg/L) of high purity peptides (>95%) equating to C1 and C2 of exact native primary sequence in the α-helical conformation suitable for biological and biophysical investigations. PMID:22197912

  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. 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

  15. 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

    2015-11-01

    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

  16. Prion amyloid structure explains templating: how proteins can be genes

    PubMed Central

    Wickner, Reed B.; Shewmaker, Frank; Edskes, Herman; Kryndushkin, Dmitry; Nemecek, Julie; McGlinchey, Ryan; Bateman, David; Winchester, Chia-Lin

    2010-01-01

    The yeast and fungal prions determine heritable and infectious traits, and are thus genes composed of protein. Most prions are inactive forms of a normal protein as it forms a self-propagating filamentous β – sheet - rich polymer structure called amyloid. Remarkably, a single prion protein sequence can form two or more faithfully inherited prion variants, in effect alleles of these genes. What protein structure explains this protein-based inheritance? Using solid-state NMR, we showed that the infectious amyloids of the prion domains of Ure2p, Sup35p and Rnq1p have an in-register parallel architecture. This structure explains how the amyloid filament ends can template the structure of a new protein as it joins the filament. The yeast prions [PSI+] and [URE3] are not found in wild strains, indicating they are a disadvantage to the cell. Moreover, the prion domains of Ure2p and Sup35p have functions unrelated to prion formation, indicating that these domains are not present for the purpose of forming prions. Indeed, prion forming ability is not conserved, even within S. cerevisiae, suggesting that the rare formation of prions is a disease. The prion domain sequences generally vary more rapidly in evolution than does the remainder of the molecule, producing a barrier to prion transmission, perhaps selected in evolution by this protection. PMID:20726897

  17. Prion Neurotoxicity: Insights from Prion Protein Mutants

    PubMed Central

    Solomon, Isaac H.; Schepker, Jessie A.; Harris, David A.

    2016-01-01

    The chemical nature of prions and the mechanism by which they propagate are now reasonably well understood. In contrast, much less is known about the identity of the toxic prion protein (PrP) species that are responsible for neuronal death, and the cellular pathways that these forms activate. In addition, the normal, physiological function of cellular PrP (PrPC) has remained mysterious, hampering efforts to determine whether loss or alteration of this function contributes to the disease phenotype. Considerable evidence now suggests that aggregation, toxicity, and infectivity are distinct properties of PrP that do no necessarily coincide. In this review, we will discuss several mutant forms of PrP that produce spontaneous neurodegeneration in humans and/or transgenic mice without the formation of infectious PrPSc. These include an octapeptide insertional mutation, point mutations that favor synthesis of transmembrane forms of PrP, and deletions encompassing the central domain whose neurotoxicity is antagonized by the presence of wild-type PrP. By isolating the neurotoxic effects of PrP from the formation of infectious prions, these mutants have provided important insights into possible pathogenic mechanisms. These studies suggest that prion neurotoxicity may involve subversion of a cytoprotective activity of PrPC via altered signaling events at the plasma membrane. PMID:19767650

  18. 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

  19. 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...

  20. 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

  1. Prions, protein homeostasis, and phenotypic diversity

    PubMed Central

    Halfmann, Randal; Alberti, Simon; Lindquist, Susan

    2010-01-01

    Prions are fascinating but often misunderstood protein aggregation phenomena. The traditional association of the mammalian prion protein with disease has overshadowed a potentially more interesting attribute of prions - their ability to create protein-based molecular memories. In fungi, prions alter the relationship between genotype and phenotype in a heritable way that diversifies clonal populations. Recent findings in yeast indicate that prions may be much more common than previously realized. Moreover, prion-driven phenotypic diversity increases under stress, and can be amplified by the dynamic maturation of prion-initiating states. We argue that these qualities allow prions to act as bet-hedging devices that facilitate yeast’s adaptation to stressful environments, and may speed the evolution of new traits. PMID:20071174

  2. [Significance of prion protein in transmission of prions and in pathogenesis of spongiform encephalopathies].

    PubMed

    Raeber, A J; Klein, M A; Frigg, R; Brandner, S; Blttler, T; Aguzzi, A

    1998-01-01

    Prion disease or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are caused by novel pathogens termed prions. Unlike classical infectious agents such as viruses or bacteria, prions lack an independent genome and consist largely if not entirely of an abnormal form of the host-encoded prion protein. How prions multiply is not known. A wealth of experimental evidence supports an essential role for the host-encoded prion protein in susceptibility and pathogenesis of prion diseases and in the propagation and spread of prions. In addition, B lymphocytes have been found to play a crucial role in the neuroinvasiveness of prions. PMID:9611346

  3. Physiology of the prion protein.

    PubMed

    Linden, Rafael; Martins, Vilma R; Prado, Marco A M; Cammarota, Martn; Izquierdo, Ivn; Brentani, Ricardo R

    2008-04-01

    Prion diseases are transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), attributed to conformational conversion of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) into an abnormal conformer that accumulates in the brain. Understanding the pathogenesis of TSEs requires the identification of functional properties of PrP(C). Here we examine the physiological functions of PrP(C) at the systemic, cellular, and molecular level. Current data show that both the expression and the engagement of PrP(C) with a variety of ligands modulate the following: 1) functions of the nervous and immune systems, including memory and inflammatory reactions; 2) cell proliferation, differentiation, and sensitivity to programmed cell death both in the nervous and immune systems, as well as in various cell lines; 3) the activity of numerous signal transduction pathways, including cAMP/protein kinase A, mitogen-activated protein kinase, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt pathways, as well as soluble non-receptor tyrosine kinases; and 4) trafficking of PrP(C) both laterally among distinct plasma membrane domains, and along endocytic pathways, on top of continuous, rapid recycling. A unified view of these functional properties indicates that the prion protein is a dynamic cell surface platform for the assembly of signaling modules, based on which selective interactions with many ligands and transmembrane signaling pathways translate into wide-range consequences upon both physiology and behavior. PMID:18391177

  4. 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

  5. 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

    PubMed Central

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

    2000-01-01

    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. PMID:10792029

  6. 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.

  7. 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 be of great importance to identify potential targets for further experimental testing and to try to reach a deeper understanding of prions’ functional and regulatory mechanisms. PMID:23663289

  8. Protein misfolding cyclic amplification of infectious prions

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Prions are proteinaceous infectious agents responsible for the transmission of prion diseases. The lack of a procedure for cultivating prions in the laboratory has been a major limitation to the study of the unorthodox nature of this infectious agent and the molecular mechanism by which the normal prion protein (PrPC) is converted into the abnormal isoform (PrPSc). Protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA ), described in detail in this protocol, is a simple, fast and efficient methodology to mimic prion replication in the test tube. PMCA involves incubating materials containing minute amounts of infectious prions with an excess of PrPC and boosting the conversion by cycles of sonication to fragment the converting units, thereby leading to accelerated prion replication. PMCA is able to detect the equivalent of a single molecule of infectious PrPSc and propagate prions that maintain high infectivity, strain properties and species specificity. A single PMCA assay takes little more than 3 d to replicate a large amount of prions, which could take years in an in vivo situation. Since its invention 10 years ago, PMCA has helped to answer fundamental questions about this intriguing infectious agent and has been broadly applied in research areas that include the food industry, blood bank safety and human and veterinary disease diagnosis. PMID:22743831

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

    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

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

    PubMed Central

    Vasiljevic, Snezana; Ren, Junyuan; Yao, YongXiu; Dalton, Kevin; Adamson, Catherine S; Jones, Ian M

    2006-01-01

    Background The amino terminal half of the cellular prion protein PrPc is implicated in both the binding of copper ions and the conformational changes that lead to disease but has no defined structure. However, as some structure is likely to exist we have investigated the use of an established protein refolding technology, fusion to green fluorescence protein (GFP), as a method to examine the refolding of the amino terminal domain of mouse prion protein. Results Fusion proteins of PrPc and GFP were expressed at high level in E.coli and could be purified to near homogeneity as insoluble inclusion bodies. Following denaturation, proteins were diluted into a refolding buffer whereupon GFP fluorescence recovered with time. Using several truncations of PrPc the rate of refolding was shown to depend on the prion sequence expressed. In a variation of the format, direct observation in E.coli, mutations introduced randomly in the PrPc protein sequence that affected folding could be selected directly by recovery of GFP fluorescence. Conclusion Use of GFP as a measure of refolding of PrPc fusion proteins in vitro and in vivo proved informative. Refolding in vitro suggested a local structure within the amino terminal domain while direct selection via fluorescence showed that as little as one amino acid change could significantly alter folding. These assay formats, not previously used to study PrP folding, may be generally useful for investigating PrPc structure and PrPc-ligand interaction. PMID:16939649

  12. The Unexposed Secrets of Prion Protein Oligomers.

    PubMed

    Wang, Gailing; Wang, Mingcheng; Li, Chuanfeng

    2015-08-01

    According to the "protein-only" hypothesis, the misfolding and conversion of host-derived cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) into pathogenically misfolded PrP are believed to be the key procedure in the pathogenesis of prion diseases. Intermediate, soluble oligomeric prion protein (PrP) aggregates were considered a critical process for prion diseases. Several independent studies on PrP oligomers gained insights into oligomers' formation, biophysical and biochemical characteristics, structure conversion, and neurotoxicity. PrP oligomers are rich in β-sheet structure and slightly resistant to proteinase K digestion. PrP oligomers exhibited more neurotoxicity and induced neuronal apoptosis in vivo and/or in vitro. In this review, we summarized recent studies regarding PrP oligomers and the relationship between misfolded PrP aggregates and neuronal death in the course of prion diseases. PMID:25823438

  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. 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 the present study, we investigated prion diversity in two hosts species that express the same prion protein gene. While prior reports have demonstrated that prion strain properties are stable upon infection of the same host species and prion protein genotype, our findings indicate that certain prion strains can undergo dramatic changes in biological properties that are not dependent on the prion protein. Therefore, host factors independent of the prion protein can affect prion diversity. Understanding how host pathways can modify prion disease phenotypes may provide clues on how to alter prion formation and lead to treatments for prion, and other, human neurodegenerative diseases of protein misfolding. PMID:26246570

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  17. Biochemical insight into the prion protein family

    PubMed Central

    Ciric, Danica; Rezaei, Human

    2015-01-01

    Prion protein family comprises proteins, which share not only similarity in their primary structure, but also similarity in their fold. These two groups of similarity presume a parceling in their respective biological function through the common biochemical properties. In this review, biochemical and structural similarities of PrP and two other proteins, Doppel and Shadoo, are evocated. Some evidence demonstrating respectively similarity between PrP N-terminal and C-terminal domain with respectively Shadoo and Doppel is presented. We extended primary structure similarity analysis to the other PrP subdomain as 166-176 polyNQ domain and compare it to proteins using aggregation as a support for structural information transference and structural epigenetic. Finally, we questioned if prion protein family have conserved the PrP structural bistability, which should be at the origin of Prion phenomenon and if Prion pathology is not, ultimately, an exaptation of the physiological propensity of PrP to undergo a structural switch and polymerize. PMID:25717473

  18. 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

  19. Recombinant human prion protein fragment 90-231, a useful model to study prion neurotoxicity.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE), or prion diseases, are a group of fatal neurodegenerative disorders of animals and humans. Human diseases include Creutzfeldt-Jakob (CJD) and Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker (GSSD) diseases, fatal familial insomnia, and Kuru. Human and animal TSEs share a common histopathology with a pathognomonic triad: spongiform vacuolation of the grey matter, neuronal death, glial proliferation, and, more inconstantly, amyloid deposition. According to the "protein only" hypothesis, TSEs are caused by a unique post-translational conversion of normal, host-encoded, protease-sensitive prion protein (PrP(sen) or PrP(C)) to an abnormal disease-associated isoform (PrP(res) or PrP(Sc)). To investigate the molecular mechanism of neurotoxicity induced by PrP(Sc) we developed a protocol to obtain millimolar amounts of soluble recombinant polypeptide encompassing the amino acid sequence 90-231 of human PrP (hPrP90-231). This protein corresponds to the protease-resistant prion protein fragment that originates after amino-terminal truncation. Importantly, hPrP90-231 has a flexible backbone that, similar to PrP(C), can undergo to structural rearrangement. This peptide, structurally resembling PrP(C), can be converted in a PrP(Sc)-like conformation, and thus represents a valuable model to study prion neurotoxicity. In this article we summarized our experimental evidence on the molecular and structural mechanisms responsible of hPrP90-231 neurotoxicity on neuroectodermal cell line SHSY5Y and the effects of some PrP pathogen mutations identified in familial TSE. PMID:22321015

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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 physiological importance, but a full understanding of this remains to be defined. It may involve maintaining neuronal functions and possibly contributing to the establishment of long-term memory. PMID:21481020

  3. 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

  4. Generation of genetic engineering monoclonal antibodies against prion protein.

    PubMed

    Huang, Yin-Xia; Han, Jun; Dong, Chen-Fang; Sun, Li; Gao, Chen; Wang, Xiao-Fan; Han, Lu; Zhou, Wei; Zhang, Bao-Yun; Jiang, Hui-Ying; Liang, Mi-Fang; Dong, Xiao-Ping

    2007-12-01

    Two strains of Fab monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against prion protein, designated as IV-66 and IV-78, were selected from the phage display libraries. The gene sequences encoding the light kappa chain and heavy Fd chain of IV-78 were inserted into a baculovirus expression cassette vector for mouse IgG expression. Western blot, Dot-ELISA and immunoprecipitation confirmed that these Fab and IgG mAbs reacted well with the recombinant hamster and human PrP proteins expressed in prokaryotic and in mammalian cells and PrP(Sc) from scrapie-infected hamsters. It demonstrates that mAbs against prion protein are successfully generated by phage-display technique. PMID:17486363

  5. Immunohistochemistry for the prion protein: comparison of different monoclonal antibodies in human prion disease subtypes.

    PubMed

    Kovács, Gábor G; Head, Mark W; Hegyi, Ivan; Bunn, Tristan J; Flicker, Helga; Hainfellner, Johannes A; McCardle, Linda; László, Lajos; Jarius, Christa; Ironside, James W; Budka, Herbert

    2002-01-01

    Demonstration of the abnormal form of the prion protein (PrP) in the brain confirms the diagnosis of human prion disease (PrD). Using immunohistochemistry, we have compared ten monoclonal antibodies in PrD subtypes including sporadic and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), fatal familial insomnia, Alzheimer's disease (AD), and control brains. CJD subgroups were determined using Western blot analysis for the protease-resistant PrP type in combination with sequencing to determine the genotype at the methionine/valine polymorphism at codon 129 of the prion protein gene. None of the antibodies labeled given subgroups exclusively, but the intensity of immunoreactivity varied among morphologically distinct types of deposit. Fine granular or synaptic PrP deposits stained weakly or not at all with antibodies against the N-terminus of PrP, and were visible in one case only with 12F10 and SAF54. Coarser and plaque type deposits were immunolabeled with all antibodies. The immunostaining patterns appear characteristic for the disease subgroups. Labeling of certain neurons in all cases irrespective of disease, and staining at the periphery and/or throughout the senile plaques of AD patients were also noted. Antibodies such as 6H4 and 12F10 failed to give this type of labeling and are therefore less likely to recognise non-pathological PrP material in immunohistochemistry. PMID:11770893

  6. Interaction Networks of Prion, Prionogenic and Prion-Like Proteins in Budding Yeast, and Their Role in Gene Regulation

    PubMed Central

    Harbi, Djamel; Harrison, Paul M.

    2014-01-01

    Prions are transmissible, propagating alternative states of proteins. Prions in budding yeast propagate heritable phenotypes and can function in large-scale gene regulation, or in some cases occur as diseases of yeast. Other ‘prionogenic’ proteins are likely prions that have been determined experimentally to form amyloid in vivo, and to have prion-like domains that are able to propagate heritable states. Furthermore, there are over 300 additional ‘prion-like’ yeast proteins that have similar amino-acid composition to prions (primarily a bias for asparagines and glutamines). Here, we examine the protein functional and interaction networks that involve prion, prionogenic and prion-like proteins. Set against a marked overall preference for N/Q-rich prion-like proteins not to interact with each other, we observe a significant tendency of prion/prionogenic proteins to interact with other, N/Q-rich prion-like proteins. This tendency is mostly due to a small number of networks involving the proteins NUP100p, LSM4p and PUB1p. In general, different data analyses of functional and interaction networks converge to indicate a strong linkage of prionogenic and prion-like proteins, to stress-granule assembly and related biological processes. These results further elucidate how prions may impact gene regulation, and reveal a broader horizon for the functional relevance of N/Q-rich prion-like domains. PMID:24972093

  7. The Role of Crowded Physiological Environments in Prion and Prion-like Protein Aggregation

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Qian; Hu, Ji-Ying; Chen, Jie; Liang, Yi

    2013-01-01

    Prion diseases and prion- like protein misfolding diseases are related to the accumulation of abnormal aggregates of the normal host proteins including prion proteins and Tau protein. These proteins possess self-templating and transmissible characteristics. The crowded physiological environments where the aggregation of these amyloidogenic proteins takes place can be imitated in vitro by the addition of macromolecular crowding agents such as inert polysaccharides. In this review, we summarize the aggregation of prion proteins in crowded physiological environments and discuss the role of macromolecular crowding in prion protein aggregation. We also summarize the aggregation of prion- like proteins including human Tau protein, human α-synuclein, and human copper, zinc superoxide dismutase under macromolecular crowding environments and discuss the role of macromolecular crowding in prion- like protein aggregation. The excluded-volume effects caused by macromolecular crowding could accelerate the aggregation of neurodegenerative disease-associated proteins while inhibiting the aggregation of the proteins that are not neurodegenerative disease-associated. PMID:24284393

  8. Prion protein interaction with soil humic substances: environmental implications.

    PubMed

    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

  9. Codon 178 mutation of the human prion protein gene in a German family (Backer family): sequencing data from 72-year-old celloidin-embedded brain tissue.

    PubMed

    Kretzschmar, H A; Neumann, M; Stavrou, D

    1995-01-01

    Familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease was first described in a family from northern Germany in the 1920s (Backer family). PCR amplification of DNA extracted from brain tissue embedded in celloidin 72 years ago shows a GAC to AAC substitution at codon 178 of the prion protein gene. This mutation is associated with fatal familial insomnia and familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in a number of families of diverse ethnic background. PMID:7709737

  10. Structural properties of prion protein protofibrils and fibrils: an experimental assessment of atomic models.

    PubMed

    DeMarco, Mari L; Silveira, Jay; Caughey, Byron; Daggett, Valerie

    2006-12-26

    Decades after the prion protein was implicated in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, the structure of its toxic isoform and its mechanism of toxicity remain unknown. By gathering available experimental data, albeit low resolution, a few pieces of the prion puzzle can be put in place. Currently, there are two fundamentally different models of a prion protofibril. One has its building blocks derived from a molecular dynamics simulation of the prion protein under amyloidogenic conditions, termed the spiral model. The other model was constructed by threading a portion of the prion sequence through a beta-helical structure from the Protein Data Bank. Here we compare and contrast these models with respect to all of the available experimental information, including electron micrographs, symmetries, secondary structure, oligomerization interfaces, enzymatic digestion, epitope exposure, and disaggregation profiles. Much of this information was not available when the two models were introduced. Overall, we find that the spiral model is consistent with all of the experimental results. In contrast, it is difficult to reconcile several of the experimental observables with the beta-helix model. While the experimental constraints are of low resolution, in bringing together the previously disconnected experiments, we have developed a clearer picture of prion aggregates. Both the improved characterization of prion aggregates and the existing atomic models can be used to devise further experiments to better elucidate the misfolding pathway and the structure of prion protofibrils. PMID:17176078

  11. Scrapie-infected cells, isolated prions, and recombinant prion protein: a comparative study.

    PubMed

    Kneipp, J; Miller, L M; Spassov, S; Sokolowski, F; Lasch, P; Beekes, M; Naumann, D

    Fourier -transform infrared microscopic spectra of scrapie-infected nervous tissue measured at high spatial resolution (approximately 6 microm) were compared with those obtained from the purified, partly proteinase K digested scrapie isoform of the prion protein isolated from nervous tissue of hamsters infected with the same scrapie strain (263K) to elucidate similarities/dissimilarities between prion structure investigated in situ and ex vivo. A further comparison is drawn to the recombinant Syrian hamster prion protein SHaPrP(90-232) after in vitro conformational transition from the predominantly alpha-helical isoform to beta-sheet-rich structures. It is shown that prion protein structure can be investigated within tissue and that detectability of regions with elevated beta-sheet content as observed in microspectra of prion-infected tissue strongly depends on spatial resolution of the experiment. PMID:15137116

  12. 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...

  13. Association of prion protein genotype and scrapie prion protein type with cellular prion protein charge isoform profiles in cerebrospinal fluid of humans with sporadic or familial prion diseases.

    PubMed

    Schmitz, Matthias; Lüllmann, Katharina; Zafar, Saima; Ebert, Elisabeth; Wohlhage, Marie; Oikonomou, Panteleimon; Schlomm, Markus; Mitrova, Eva; Beekes, Michael; Zerr, Inga

    2014-05-01

    The present study investigates whether posttranslational modifications of cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of humans with prion diseases are associated with methionine (M) and/or valine (V) polymorphism at codon 129 of the prion protein gene (PRNP), scrapie prion protein (PrP(Sc)) type in sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD), or PRNP mutations in familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (fCJD/E200K), and fatal familial insomnia (FFI). We performed comparative 2-dimensional immunoblotting of PrP(C) charge isoforms in CSF samples from cohorts of diseased and control donors. Mean levels of total PrP(C) were significantly lower in the CSF from fCJD patients than from those with sCJD or FFI. Of the 12 most abundant PrP(C) isoforms in the examined CSF, one (IF12) was relatively decreased in (1) sCJD with VV (vs. MM or MV) at PRNP codon 129; (2) in sCJD with PrP(Sc) type 2 (vs. PrP(Sc) type 1); and (3) in FFI versus sCJD or fCJD. Furthermore, truncated PrP(C) species were detected in sCJD and control samples without discernible differences. Finally, serine 43 of PrP(C) in the CSF and brain tissue from CJD patients showed more pronounced phosphorylation than in control donors. PMID:24360565

  14. Prions, prionoids and pathogenic proteins in Alzheimer disease

    PubMed Central

    Ashe, Karen H.; Aguzzi, Adriano

    2013-01-01

    Like patients with prion disease, Alzheimer patients suffer from a fatal, progressive form of dementia. There is growing evidence that amyloid-β (Aβ) aggregates may be transmissible similar to prions, at least under extreme experimental conditions. However, unlike mice infected with prion protein (PrP) prions, those inoculated with Aβ do not die. The transmission of Aβ and PrP thus differs conspicuously in the neurological effects they induce in their hosts, the difference being no less than a matter of life and death. Far from being a mere academic nuance, this distinction between Aβ and PrP begs the crucial questions of what, exactly, controls prion toxicity and how prion toxicity relates to prion infectivity. PMID:23208281

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

    PubMed

    Ashe, Karen H; Aguzzi, Adriano

    2013-01-01

    Like patients with prion disease, Alzheimer patients suffer from a fatal, progressive form of dementia. There is growing evidence that amyloid-β (Aβ) aggregates may be transmissible similar to prions, at least under extreme experimental conditions. However, unlike mice infected with prion protein (PrP) prions, those inoculated with Aβ do not die. The transmission of Aβ and PrP thus differs conspicuously in the neurological effects they induce in their hosts, the difference being no less than a matter of life and death. Far from being a mere academic nuance, this distinction between Aβ and PrP begs the crucial questions of what, exactly, controls prion toxicity and how prion toxicity relates to prion infectivity. PMID:23208281

  16. 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

  17. [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

  18. Sialylation of Prion Protein Controls the Rate of Prion Amplification, the Cross-Species Barrier, the Ratio of PrPSc Glycoform and Prion Infectivity

    PubMed Central

    Katorcha, Elizaveta; Makarava, Natallia; Savtchenko, Regina; d′Azzo, Alessandra; Baskakov, Ilia V.

    2014-01-01

    The central event underlying prion diseases involves conformational change of the cellular form of the prion protein (PrPC) into the disease-associated, transmissible form (PrPSc). PrPC is a sialoglycoprotein that contains two conserved N-glycosylation sites. Among the key parameters that control prion replication identified over the years are amino acid sequence of host PrPC and the strain-specific structure of PrPSc. The current work highlights the previously unappreciated role of sialylation of PrPC glycans in prion pathogenesis, including its role in controlling prion replication rate, infectivity, cross-species barrier and PrPSc glycoform ratio. The current study demonstrates that undersialylated PrPC is selected during prion amplification in Protein Misfolding Cyclic Amplification (PMCAb) at the expense of oversialylated PrPC. As a result, PMCAb-derived PrPSc was less sialylated than brain-derived PrPSc. A decrease in PrPSc sialylation correlated with a drop in infectivity of PMCAb-derived material. Nevertheless, enzymatic de-sialylation of PrPC using sialidase was found to increase the rate of PrPSc amplification in PMCAb from 10- to 10,000-fold in a strain-dependent manner. Moreover, de-sialylation of PrPC reduced or eliminated a species barrier of for prion amplification in PMCAb. These results suggest that the negative charge of sialic acid controls the energy barrier of homologous and heterologous prion replication. Surprisingly, the sialylation status of PrPC was also found to control PrPSc glycoform ratio. A decrease in PrPC sialylation levels resulted in a higher percentage of the diglycosylated glycoform in PrPSc. 2D analysis of charge distribution revealed that the sialylation status of brain-derived PrPC differed from that of spleen-derived PrPC. Knocking out lysosomal sialidase Neu1 did not change the sialylation status of brain-derived PrPC, suggesting that Neu1 is not responsible for desialylation of PrPC. The current work highlights previously unappreciated role of PrPC sialylation in prion diseases and opens multiple new research directions, including development of new therapeutic approaches. PMID:25211026

  19. 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.

  20. Biochemical fingerprints of prion diseases: scrapie prion protein in human prion diseases that share prion genotype and type.

    PubMed

    Pan, Tao; Li, Ruliang; Kang, Shin-Chung; Pastore, Manuela; Wong, Boon-Seng; Ironside, James; Gambetti, Pierluigi; Sy, Man-Sun

    2005-01-01

    The phenotype of human prion diseases is influenced by the prion protein (PrP) genotype as determined by the methionine (M)/valine (V) polymorphism at codon 129, the scrapie PrP (PrPSc) type and the etiology. To gain further insight into the mechanisms of phenotype determination, we compared two-dimensional immunoblot profiles of detergent insoluble and proteinase K-resistant PrP species in a type of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJDMM2), variant CJD (vCJD) and sporadic fatal insomnia (sFI). Full-length and truncated PrP forms present in the insoluble fractions were also separately analyzed. These three diseases were selected because they have the same M/M PrP genotype at codon 129 and the same type 2 PrPSc, but different etiologies, also sCJDMM2 and sFI are sporadic, whereas vCJD is acquired by infection. We observed minor differences in the PrP detergent-insoluble fractions between sCJDMM2 and vCJD, although both differ in the corresponding fractions from sFI. We detected more substantial heterogeneity between sCJDMM2 and vCJD in the two-dimensional blots of the proteinase K-resistant PrP fraction suggesting that different PrP species are selected for conversion to proteinase K-resistant PrP in sCJDMM2 and vCJD. These differences are mostly, but not exclusively, due to variations in the type of the N-linked glycans. We also show that the over-representation of the highly glycosylated forms distinctive of the proteinase K-resistant PrPSc of vCJD in one-dimensional blots is due to differences in both the amount and the natures of the glycans. Overall, these findings underline the complexity of phenotypic determination in human prion diseases. PMID:15606903

  1. On the kinetics of infection by pathogenic prion protein molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durup, Jean

    1997-03-01

    Literature data on the transmission of spongiform encephalopathies between mammal species point to the importance of methionine residuies in species barriers. This in turn favours the assumption of an oligomerization of identical metastable pathogenic prion protein molecules as the rate-determining step in those diseases. Published experimental data on the analogous case of yeast prion proteins closely agree with the proposed scheme.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Prion Protein Misfolding, Strains, and Neurotoxicity: An Update from Studies on Mammalian Prions

    PubMed Central

    Poggiolini, Ilaria; Parchi, Piero

    2013-01-01

    Prion diseases, also known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), are a group of fatal neurodegenerative disorders affecting humans and other mammalian species. The central event in TSE pathogenesis is the conformational conversion of the cellular prion protein, PrPC, into the aggregate, β-sheet rich, amyloidogenic form, PrPSc. Increasing evidence indicates that distinct PrPSc conformers, forming distinct ordered aggregates, can encipher the phenotypic TSE variants related to prion strains. Prion strains are TSE isolates that, after inoculation into syngenic hosts, cause disease with distinct characteristics, such as incubation period, pattern of PrPSc distribution, and regional severity of histopathological changes in the brain. In analogy with other amyloid forming proteins, PrPSc toxicity is thought to derive from the existence of various intermediate structures prior to the amyloid fiber formation and/or their specific interaction with membranes. The latter appears particularly relevant for the pathogenesis of TSEs associated with GPI-anchored PrPSc, which involves major cellular membrane distortions in neurons. In this review, we update the current knowledge on the molecular mechanisms underlying three fundamental aspects of the basic biology of prions such as the putative mechanism of prion protein conversion to the pathogenic form PrPSc and its propagation, the molecular basis of prion strains, and the mechanism of induced neurotoxicity by PrPSc aggregates. PMID:24454379

  5. 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

  6. Prions: protein only or something more? Overview of potential prion cofactors.

    PubMed

    Fasano, Carlo; Campana, Vincenza; Zurzolo, Chiara

    2006-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) in humans and animals are attributed to protein-only infectious agents, called prions. Prions have been proposed to arise from the conformational conversion of the cellular protein PrP(C) into a misfolded form (e.g., PrP(Sc) for scrapie), which precipitates into aggregates and fibrils. It has been proposed that the conversion process is triggered by the interaction of the infectious form (PrP(Sc)) with the cellular form (PrP(C)) or might result from a mutation in the gene for PrP(C). However, until recently, all efforts to reproduce this process in vitro had failed, suggesting that host factors are necessary for prion replication. In this review we discuss recent findings such as the cellular factors that might be involved in the conformational conversion of prion proteins and the potential mechanisms by which they could operate. PMID:17085779

  7. Prevalent mutations of human prion protein: a molecular modeling and molecular dynamics study.

    PubMed

    Behmard, Esmaeil; Abdolmaleki, Parviz; Asadabadi, Ebrahim Barzegari; Jahandideh, Samad

    2011-10-01

    Point mutations in the human prion protein gene, leading to amino acid substitutions in the human prion protein contribute to conversion of PrPC to PrPSc and amyloid formation, resulting in prion diseases such as familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker disease (GSS), and fatal familial insomnia. We have investigated impressions of prevalent mutations including Q217R, D202N, F198S, on the human prion protein and compared the mutant models with wild types. Structural analyses of models were performed with molecular modeling and molecular dynamics simulation methods. According to our results, frequently occurred mutations are observed in conserved and fully conserved sequences of human prion protein and the most fluctuation values occur in the Helix 1 around residues 144-152 and C-terminal end of the Helix 2. Our analysis of results obtained from MD simulation clearly shows that this long-range effect plays an important role in the conformational fluctuations in mutant structures of human prion protein. Results obtained from molecular modeling such as creation or elimination of some hydrogen bonds, increase or decrease of the accessible surface area and molecular surface, loss or accumulation of negative or positive charges on specific positions, and altering the polarity and pKa values, show that amino acid point mutations, though not urgently change the stability of PrP, might have some local impacts on the protein interactions which are required for oligomerization into fibrillar species. PMID:21875156

  8. In silico analysis of prion protein mutants: a comparative study by molecular dynamics approach.

    PubMed

    Doss, C George Priya; Rajith, B; Rajasekaran, R; Srajan, Jain; Nagasundaram, N; Debajyoti, C

    2013-01-01

    Polymorphisms in the human prion proteins lead to amino acid substitutions by the conversion of PrPC to PrPSc and amyloid formation, resulting in prion diseases such as familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker disease and fatal familial insomnia. Cation-π interaction is a non-covalent binding force that plays a significant role in protein stability. Here, we employ a novel approach by combining various in silico tools along with molecular dynamics simulation to provide structural and functional insight into the effect of mutation on the stability and activity of mutant prion proteins. We have investigated impressions of prevalent mutations including 1E1S, 1E1P, 1E1U, 1E1P, 1FKC and 2K1D on the human prion proteins and compared them with wild type. Structural analyses of the models were performed with the aid of molecular dynamics simulation methods. According to our results, frequently occurred mutations were observed in conserved sequences of human prion proteins and the most fluctuation values appear in the 2K1D mutant model at around helix 4 with residues ranging from 190 to 194. Our observations in this study could help to further understand the structural stability of prion proteins. PMID:23723004

  9. Prion protein as a mediator of synaptic transmission

    PubMed Central

    Steinert, Joern R

    2015-01-01

    Neurodegenerative disorders are characterized by synaptic and neuronal dysfunction which precedes general neuronal loss and subsequent cognitive or behavioral anomalies. Although the exact early cellular signaling mechanisms involved in neurodegenerative diseases are largely unknown, a view is emerging that compromised synaptic function may underlie the initial steps in disease progression. Much recent research has been aimed at understanding these early underlying processes leading to dysfunctional synaptic signaling, as this knowledge could identify putative sites of interventions, which could potentially slow progression and delay onset of disease. We have recently reported that synaptic function in a Drosophila melanogaster model can be modulated by the presence of native mouse prion protein and this modulation is negatively affected by a mutation within the protein which is associated with the Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome, a human form of prion disease. Indeed, wild-type prion protein facilitates synaptic release, whereas the mutated form induced diminished phenotypes. It is believed that together with the gain-of-function of neurotoxic misfolded prion signaling, the lack of prion protein contributes to the pathology in prion diseases. Therefore, our study investigated a potential endogenous role of prion protein in synaptic signaling, the lack of which could resemble a lack-of-function phenotype in prion disease. PMID:26478992

  10. [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

  11. 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

  12. Epitope scanning indicates structural differences in brain-derived monomeric and aggregated mutant prion proteins related to genetic prion diseases.

    PubMed

    Tapella, Laura; Stravalaci, Matteo; Bastone, Antonio; Biasini, Emiliano; Gobbi, Marco; Chiesa, Roberto

    2013-09-15

    Genetic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome, fatal familial insomnia and prion protein cerebral amyloid angiopathy are clinically and neuropathologically distinct neurodegenerative diseases linked to mutations in the PRNP gene encoding the cellular prion protein (PrPC). How sequence variants of PRNP encode the information to specify these disease phenotypes is not known. It is suggested that each mutation produces a misfolded variant of PrPC with specific neurotoxic properties. However, structural studies of recombinant PrP did not detect major differences between wild-type and mutant molecules, pointing to the importance of investigating mutant PrPs from mammalian brains. We used surface plasmon resonance and a slot-blot immunoassay to analyse the antibody-binding profiles of soluble and insoluble PrP molecules extracted from the brains of transgenic mice modelling different prion diseases. By measuring the reactivity of monoclonal antibodies against different PrP epitopes, we obtained evidence of conformational differences between wild-type and mutant PrPs, and among different mutants. We detected structural heterogeneity in both monomeric and aggregated PrP, supporting the hypothesis that the phenotype of genetic prion diseases is encoded by mutant PrP conformation and assembly state. PMID:23808898

  13. Prion strain-dependent differences in conversion of mutant prion proteins in cell culture.

    PubMed

    Atarashi, Ryuichiro; Sim, Valerie L; Nishida, Noriyuki; Caughey, Byron; Katamine, Shigeru

    2006-08-01

    Although the protein-only hypothesis proposes that it is the conformation of abnormal prion protein (PrP(Sc)) that determines strain diversity, the molecular basis of strains remains to be elucidated. In the present study, we generated a series of mutations in the normal prion protein (PrP(C)) in which a single glutamine residue was replaced with a basic amino acid and compared their abilities to convert to PrP(Sc) in cultured neuronal N2a58 cells infected with either the Chandler or 22L mouse-adapted scrapie strain. In mice, these strains generate PrP(Sc) of the same sequence but different conformations, as judged by infrared spectroscopy. Substitutions at codons 97, 167, 171, and 216 generated PrP(C) that resisted conversion and inhibited the conversion of coexpressed wild-type PrP in both Chandler-infected and 22L-infected cells. Interestingly, substitutions at codons 185 and 218 gave strain-dependent effects. The Q185R and Q185K PrP were efficiently converted to PrP(Sc) in Chandler-infected but not 22L-infected cells. Conversely, Q218R and Q218H PrP were converted only in 22L-infected cells. Moreover, the Q218K PrP exerted a potent inhibitory effect on the conversion of coexpressed wild-type PrP in Chandler-infected cells but had little effect on 22L-infected cells. These results show that two strains with the same PrP sequence but different conformations have differing abilities to convert the same mutated PrP(C). PMID:16873242

  14. Prion Strain-Dependent Differences in Conversion of Mutant Prion Proteins in Cell Culture

    PubMed Central

    Atarashi, Ryuichiro; Sim, Valerie L.; Nishida, Noriyuki; Caughey, Byron; Katamine, Shigeru

    2006-01-01

    Although the protein-only hypothesis proposes that it is the conformation of abnormal prion protein (PrPSc) that determines strain diversity, the molecular basis of strains remains to be elucidated. In the present study, we generated a series of mutations in the normal prion protein (PrPC) in which a single glutamine residue was replaced with a basic amino acid and compared their abilities to convert to PrPSc in cultured neuronal N2a58 cells infected with either the Chandler or 22L mouse-adapted scrapie strain. In mice, these strains generate PrPSc of the same sequence but different conformations, as judged by infrared spectroscopy. Substitutions at codons 97, 167, 171, and 216 generated PrPC that resisted conversion and inhibited the conversion of coexpressed wild-type PrP in both Chandler-infected and 22L-infected cells. Interestingly, substitutions at codons 185 and 218 gave strain-dependent effects. The Q185R and Q185K PrP were efficiently converted to PrPSc in Chandler-infected but not 22L-infected cells. Conversely, Q218R and Q218H PrP were converted only in 22L-infected cells. Moreover, the Q218K PrP exerted a potent inhibitory effect on the conversion of coexpressed wild-type PrP in Chandler-infected cells but had little effect on 22L-infected cells. These results show that two strains with the same PrP sequence but different conformations have differing abilities to convert the same mutated PrPC. PMID:16873242

  15. Prions and the Potential Transmissibility of Protein Misfolding Diseases*

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Prions, or infectious proteins, represent a major frontier in the study of infectious agents. The prions responsible for mammalian transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are due primarily to infectious self-propagation of misfolded prion proteins. TSE prion structures remain ill-defined, other than being highly structured, self-propagating, and often fibrillar protein multimers with the capacity to seed, or template, the conversion of their normal monomeric precursors into a pathogenic form. Purified TSE prions usually take the form of amyloid fibrils, which are self-seeding ultrastructures common to many serious protein misfolding diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and Lou Gehrig’s (amytrophic lateral sclerosis). Indeed, recent reports have now provided evidence of prion-like propagation of several misfolded proteins from cell to cell, if not from tissue to tissue or individual to individual. These findings raise concerns that various protein misfolding diseases might have spreading, prion-like etiologies that contribute to pathogenesis or prevalence. PMID:23808331

  16. IMMUNOREACTIVITY OF THE MONOCLONAL ANTIBODY F89/160.1.5 FOR THE HUMAN PRION PROTEIN

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Monoclonal antibodies (Mab) to the prion protein (PrP) are used for diagnosis and pathological characterization of the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies of humans and livestock. Although the target protein (PrP) is highly evolutionary conserved, sequence differences among the species may re...

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. New insights into structural determinants of prion protein folding and stability

    PubMed Central

    Benetti, Federico; Legname, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Prions are the etiological agent of fatal neurodegenerative diseases called prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. These maladies can be sporadic, genetic or infectious disorders. Prions are due to post-translational modifications of the cellular prion protein leading to the formation of a β-sheet enriched conformer with altered biochemical properties. The molecular events causing prion formation in sporadic prion diseases are still elusive. Recently, we published a research elucidating the contribution of major structural determinants and environmental factors in prion protein folding and stability. Our study highlighted the crucial role of octarepeats in stabilizing prion protein; the presence of a highly enthalpically stable intermediate state in prion-susceptible species; and the role of disulfide bridge in preserving native fold thus avoiding the misfolding to a β-sheet enriched isoform. Taking advantage from these findings, in this work we present new insights into structural determinants of prion protein folding and stability. PMID:25746597

  20. New insights into structural determinants of prion protein folding and stability.

    PubMed

    Benetti, Federico; Legname, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

    Prions are the etiological agent of fatal neurodegenerative diseases called prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. These maladies can be sporadic, genetic or infectious disorders. Prions are due to post-translational modifications of the cellular prion protein leading to the formation of a β-sheet enriched conformer with altered biochemical properties. The molecular events causing prion formation in sporadic prion diseases are still elusive. Recently, we published a research elucidating the contribution of major structural determinants and environmental factors in prion protein folding and stability. Our study highlighted the crucial role of octarepeats in stabilizing prion protein; the presence of a highly enthalpically stable intermediate state in prion-susceptible species; and the role of disulfide bridge in preserving native fold thus avoiding the misfolding to a β-sheet enriched isoform. Taking advantage from these findings, in this work we present new insights into structural determinants of prion protein folding and stability. PMID:25746597

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. The suppression of prion propagation using poly-L-lysine by targeting plasminogen that stimulates prion protein conversion

    PubMed Central

    Ryou, Chongsuk; Titlow, William B.; Mays, Charles E.; Bae, Younsoo; Kim, Sehun

    2011-01-01

    Poly-L-lysine (PLL), a homopolymer of amino acid L-lysine (LL), has been frequently used for drug delivery. Here, we report that PLL is an effective agent to inhibit propagation of prions that cause fatal and incurable neurologic disorders in humans and animals, termed prion diseases. In our recent investigation on prion propagation facilitated by conversion of the cellular prion protein (PrP) to the misfolded, disease-associated PrP (PrPSc), we demonstrated that plasminogen stimulates PrP conversion as a cellular cofactor. In the current study, we targeted plasminogen using PLL and assessed its anti-prion efficacy. The results showed that PLL strongly inhibited PrPSc propagation in the cell-free, cell culture, and mouse models of prion disease. These results confirm the role of plasminogen in PrPSc propagation, validates plasminogen as a therapeutic target to combat prion disease, and suggests PLL as a potential anti-prion agent. Therefore, our study represents a proof-of-concept that targeting plasminogen, a cofactor for PrP conversion, using PLL results in suppression of prion propagation, which represents a successful translation of our understanding on details of prion propagation into a potential therapeutic strategy for prion diseases. PMID:21288569

  4. The most infectious prion protein particles

    PubMed Central

    Silveira, Jay R.; Raymond, Gregory J.; Hughson, Andrew G.; Race, Richard E.; Sim, Valerie L.; Caughey, Byron; Hayes, Stanley F.

    2006-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are characterized by abnormal protein deposits, often with large amyloid fibrils. However, questions have arisen as to whether such fibrils or smaller subfibrillar oligomers are the prime causes of disease1,2. Abnormal deposits in TSEs are rich in PrPres, a protease-resistant form of the PrP protein with the ability to convert the normal, protease-sensitive form of the protein (PrPsen) into PrPres (ref. 3). TSEs can be transmitted between organisms by an enigmatic agent (prion) that contains PrPres (refs 4 and 5). To evaluate systematically the relationship between infectivity, converting activity and the size of various PrPres-containing aggregates, PrPres was partially disaggregated, fractionated by size and analysed by light scattering and non-denaturing gel electrophoresis. Our analyses revealed that with respect to PrP content, infectivity and converting activity peaked markedly in 17-27-nm (300-600 kDa) particles, whereas these activities were substantially lower in large fibrils and virtually absent in oligomers of ≤5 PrP molecules. These results suggest that non-fibrillar particles, with masses equivalent to 14-28 PrP molecules, are the most efficient initiators of TSE disease. PMID:16148934

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-07-15

    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. PMID:18754377

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

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

    PubMed Central

    Agostini, Federica; Dotti, Carlos G.; Prez-Caams, 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

  17. 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 ?-helical structure, whereas PrPSc contains a high proportion of ?-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

  18. 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.

  19. Prions Ex Vivo: What Cell Culture Models Tell Us about Infectious Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Krauss, Sybille

    2013-01-01

    Prions are unconventional infectious agents that are composed of misfolded aggregated prion protein. Prions replicate their conformation by template-assisted conversion of the endogenous prion protein PrP. Templated conversion of soluble proteins into protein aggregates is also a hallmark of other neurodegenerative diseases. Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease are not considered infectious diseases, although aggregate pathology appears to progress in a stereotypical fashion reminiscent of the spreading behavior ofmammalian prions. While basic principles of prion formation have been studied extensively, it is still unclear what exactly drives PrP molecules into an infectious, self-templating conformation. In this review, we discuss crucial steps in the life cycle of prions that have been revealed in ex vivo models. Importantly, the persistent propagation of prions in mitotically active cells argues that cellular processes are in place that not only allow recruitment of cellular PrP into growing prion aggregates but also enable the multiplication of infectious seeds that are transmitted to daughter cells. Comparison of prions with other protein aggregates demonstrates that not all the characteristics of prions are equally shared by prion-like aggregates. Future experiments may reveal to which extent aggregation-prone proteins associated with other neurodegenerative diseases can copy the replication strategies of prions. PMID:24282413

  20. COMPUTER SIMULATION STUDY OF AMYLOID FIBRIL FORMATION BY PALINDROMIC SEQUENCES IN PRION PEPTIDES

    PubMed Central

    Wagoner, Victoria; Cheon, Mookyung; Chang, Iksoo; Hall, Carol

    2011-01-01

    We simulate the aggregation of large systems containing palindromic peptides from the Syrian hamster prion protein SHaPrP 113–120 (AGAAAAGA) and the mouse prion protein MoPrP 111–120 (VAGAAAAGAV) and eight sequence variations: GAAAAAAG, (AG)4, A8, GAAAGAAA, A10, V10, GAVAAAAVAG, and VAVAAAAVAV The first two peptides are thought to act as the Velcro that holds the parent prion proteins together in amyloid structures and can form fibrils themselves. Kinetic events along the fibrillization pathway influence the types of structures that occur and variations in the sequence affect aggregation kinetics and fibrillar structure. Discontinuous molecular dynamics simulations using the PRIME20 force field are performed on systems containing 48 peptides starting from a random coil configuration. Depending on the sequence, fibrillar structures form spontaneously over a range of temperatures, below which amorphous aggregates form and above which no aggregation occurs. AGAAAAGA forms well organized fibrillar structures whereas VAGAAAAGAV forms less well organized structures that are partially fibrillar and partially amorphous. The degree of order in the fibrillar structure stems in part from the types of kinetic events leading up to its formation, with AGAAAAGA forming less amorphous structures early in the simulation than VAGAAAAGAV. The ability to form fibrils increases as the chain length and the length of the stretch of hydrophobic residues increase. However as the hydrophobicity of the sequence increases, the ability to form well-ordered structures decreases. Thus, longer hydrophobic sequences form slightly disordered aggregates that are partially fibrillar and partially amorphous. Subtle changes in sequence result in slightly different fibril structures. PMID:21557317

  1. Hot spot of structural ambivalence in prion protein revealed by secondary structure principal component analysis.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Norifumi

    2014-08-21

    The conformational conversion of proteins into an aggregation-prone form is a common feature of various neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's, Huntington's, Parkinson's, and prion diseases. In the early stage of prion diseases, secondary structure conversion in prion protein (PrP) causing ?-sheet expansion facilitates the formation of a pathogenic isoform with a high content of ?-sheets and strong aggregation tendency to form amyloid fibrils. Herein, we propose a straightforward method to extract essential information regarding the secondary structure conversion of proteins from molecular simulations, named secondary structure principal component analysis (SSPCA). The definite existence of a PrP isoform with an increased ?-sheet structure was confirmed in a free-energy landscape constructed by mapping protein structural data into a reduced space according to the principal components determined by the SSPCA. We suggest a "spot" of structural ambivalence in PrP-the C-terminal part of helix 2-that lacks a strong intrinsic secondary structure, thus promoting a partial ?-helix-to-?-sheet conversion. This result is important to understand how the pathogenic conformational conversion of PrP is initiated in prion diseases. The SSPCA has great potential to solve various challenges in studying highly flexible molecular systems, such as intrinsically disordered proteins, structurally ambivalent peptides, and chameleon sequences. PMID:25101991

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Small RNA deep sequencing reveals a distinct miRNA signature released in exosomes from prion-infected neuronal cells

    PubMed Central

    Bellingham, Shayne A.; Coleman, Bradley M.; Hill, Andrew F.

    2012-01-01

    Prion diseases are transmissible neurodegenerative disorders affecting both humans and animals. The cellular prion protein, PrPC, and the abnormal infectious form, PrPSc, are found associated with exosomes, which are small 50–130 nm vesicles released from cells. Exosomes also contain microRNAs (miRNAs), a class of non-coding RNA, and have been utilized to identify miRNA signatures for diagnosis of disease. While some miRNAs are deregulated in prion-infected brain tissue, the role of miRNA in circulating exosomes released during prion disease is unknown. Here, we investigated the miRNA profile in exosomes released from prion-infected neuronal cells. We performed the first small RNA deep sequencing study of exosomes and demonstrated that neuronal exosomes contain a diverse range of RNA species including retroviral RNA repeat regions, messenger RNA fragments, transfer RNA fragments, non-coding RNA, small nuclear RNA, small nucleolar RNA, small cytoplasmic RNA, silencing RNA as well as known and novel candidate miRNA. Significantly, we show that exosomes released by prion-infected neuronal cells have increased let-7b, let-7i, miR-128a, miR-21, miR-222, miR-29b, miR-342-3p and miR-424 levels with decreased miR-146 a levels compared to non-infected exosomes. Overall, these results demonstrate that circulating exosomes released during prion infection have a distinct miRNA signature that can be utilized for diagnosis and understanding pathogenic mechanisms in prion disease. PMID:22965126

  5. Accumulation of prion protein in the peripheral nervous system in human prion diseases.

    PubMed

    Lee, Chin-Cheng M; Kuo, Lu T; Wang, Chwan H; Scaravilli, Francesco; An, Shu F

    2005-08-01

    After the finding that anti-prion antibodies stain sensory and sympathetic ganglia in variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), it was suggested that this localization supported the oral route of entry. However, prion accumulation subsequently also appeared in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) in sporadic cases. This study aims at evaluating the extent of prion protein accumulation in the PNS in all clinicopathologic subgroups of the disorder, with the exception of the familial and sporadic forms of fatal insomnia. Patients included 2 vCJD cases, 2 Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker (GSS), 2 iatrogenic (iCJD), and 16 sporadic CJD (sCJD) cases. Gasserian (17) and spinal (9), celiac (2) and thoracic sympathetic (one) ganglia, spinal cord and medulla of one vCJD, 2 GSS, one iCJD, and 5 sCJD cases were examined. Immunostained sensory ganglia were seen in both vCJD, both iCJD, one GSS, and 10 sCJD cases; the celiac ganglion was positive in one of two sCJD cases, and the spinal dorsal horn and the medullary sensory nuclei were positive in one patient with vCJD, one with iCJD, and 3 with sCJD. Western blot demonstrated presence of PrP in the gasserian ganglion of one patient with sCJD. Accumulation of prion in ganglia (including autonomic) of the PNS, shared by all subgroups of spongiform encephalopathy, and in the dorsal horns and medullary sensory nuclei, shows that the sensory route is involved in the trafficking of this protein. PMID:16106220

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

    PubMed

    Masison, Daniel C; Reidy, Michael

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Doxycycline control of prion protein transgene expression modulates prion disease in mice

    PubMed Central

    Tremblay, Patrick; Meiner, Zeev; Galou, Maria; Heinrich, Cornelia; Petromilli, Chris; Lisse, Thomas; Cayetano, Juliana; Torchia, Marilyn; Mobley, William; Bujard, Hermann; DeArmond, Stephen J.; Prusiner, Stanley B.

    1998-01-01

    Conversion of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) into the pathogenic isoform (PrPSc) is the fundamental event underlying transmission and pathogenesis of prion diseases. To control the expression of PrPC in transgenic (Tg) mice, we used a tetracycline controlled transactivator (tTA) driven by the PrP gene control elements and a tTA-responsive promoter linked to a PrP gene [Gossen, M. and Bujard, H. (1992) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 89, 5547–5551]. Adult Tg mice showed no deleterious effects upon repression of PrPC expression (>90%) by oral doxycycline, but the mice developed progressive ataxia at ≈50 days after inoculation with prions unless maintained on doxycycline. Although Tg mice on doxycycline accumulated low levels of PrPSc, they showed no neurologic dysfunction, indicating that low levels of PrPSc can be tolerated. Use of the tTA system to control PrP expression allowed production of Tg mice with high levels of PrP that otherwise cause many embryonic and neonatal deaths. Measurement of PrPSc clearance in Tg mice should be possible, facilitating the development of pharmacotherapeutics. PMID:9770528

  8. Similar folds with different stabilization mechanisms: the cases of prion and doppel proteins

    PubMed Central

    Colacino, Stefano; Tiana, Guido; Colombo, Giorgio

    2006-01-01

    Background Protein misfolding is the main cause of a group of fatal neurodegenerative diseases in humans and animals. In particular, in Prion-related diseases the normal cellular form of the Prion Protein PrP (PrPC) is converted into the infectious PrPSc through a conformational process during which it acquires a high β-sheet content. Doppel is a protein that shares a similar native fold, but lacks the scrapie isoform. Understanding the molecular determinants of these different behaviours is important both for biomedical and biophysical research. Results In this paper, the dynamical and energetic properties of the two proteins in solution is comparatively analyzed by means of long time scale explicit solvent, all-atom molecular dynamics in different temperature conditions. The trajectories are analyzed by means of a recently introduced energy decomposition approach (Tiana et al, Prot. Sci. 2004) aimed at identifying the key residues for the stabilization and folding of the protein. Our analysis shows that Prion and Doppel have two different cores stabilizing the native state and that the relative contribution of the nucleus to the global stability of the protein for Doppel is sensitively higher than for PrP. Moreover, under misfolding conditions the Doppel core is conserved, while the energy stabilization network of PrP is disrupted. Conclusion These observations suggest that different sequences can share similar native topology with different stabilizing interactions and that the sequences of the Prion and Doppel proteins may have diverged under different evolutionary constraints resulting in different folding and stabilization mechanisms. PMID:16857062

  9. Role of the prion protein family in the gonads

    PubMed Central

    Allais-Bonnet, Aurlie; 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 1652 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Circumventing tolerance to generate autologous monoclonal antibodies to the prion protein.

    PubMed Central

    Williamson, R A; Peretz, D; Smorodinsky, N; Bastidas, R; Serban, H; Mehlhorn, I; DeArmond, S J; Prusiner, S B; Burton, D R

    1996-01-01

    Prion diseases are disorders of protein conformation and do not provoke an immune response. Raising antibodies to the prion protein (PrP) has been difficult due to conservation of the PrP sequence and to inhibitory activity of alpha-PrP antibodies toward lymphocytes. To circumvent these problems, we immunized mice in which the PrP gene was ablated (Prnp 0/0) and retrieved specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) through phage display libraries. This approach yielded alpha-PrP mAbs that recognize mouse PrP. Studies with these mAbs suggest that cellular PrP adopts an unusually open structure consistent with the conformational plasticity of this protein. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 PMID:8692983

  14. 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 important implications for fundamental studies on prions. PMID:24130496

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

    PubMed

    Park, Yang-Gyu; Park, Sang-Youel

    2014-11-01

    Prion diseases are a family of progressive neurodegenerative disorders, which are fatal in the majority of cases and affect both humans and domestic animals. Prion protein (PrP)(106-126) retains the neurotoxic properties of the entire pathological PrPsc and it is generally used as a reasonable model to study the mechanisms responsible for prion diseases. In our previous studies, we demonstrated that hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1? is involved in the gingerol-mediated protection of neuronal cells. HIF mediates cellular adaptations to low oxygen. Prolyl hydroxylase domain-containing protein2 (PHD2) is an oxygen sensor that hydroxylates the HIF-?-subunit, promoting its proteasomal degradation under normoxic conditions. Thus, in the present study we wished to determine whether gingerol inhibits the catalytic activity of PHD2 and prevents HIF-1? protein proteasomal degradation, thereby preventing the occurrence of PrP(106-126)-induced neuronal apoptosis. We used the pharmacological inhibition of PHD2 by dimethyloxalylglycine (DMOG) or deferoxamine (DFO) and the genetic inhibition of HIF-1? by HIF-1? small interfering RNA (siRNA) to block the effects of gingerol against PrP(106-126)-induced neurotoxicity. Our results demonstrated that gingerol prevented PrP(106?126)-induced neuronal apoptosis by upregulating HIF-1? and inhibiting the catalytic activity of PHD2 under normoxic conditions. Moreover, the protective effects of gingerol against PrP(106-126)-induced neuronal apoptosis were associated with the upregulation of the expression of cellular prion protein (PrPc). In conclusion, our results indicate that gingerol has therapeutic potential for use in the treatment or prevention of prion diseases, and its inhibitory effects on the catalytic activity of PHD2 may be of clinical benefit. PMID:25231392

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Chemical chaperones interfere with the formation of scrapie prion protein.

    PubMed

    Tatzelt, J; Prusiner, S B; Welch, W J

    1996-12-01

    The fundamental event in prion diseases involves a conformational change in one or more of the alpha-helices of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) as they are converted into beta-sheets during the formation of the pathogenic isoform (PrP(Sc)). Here, we show that exposure of scrapie-infected mouse neuroblastoma (ScN2a) cells to reagents known to stabilize proteins in their native conformation reduced the rate and extent of PrP(Sc) formation. Such reagents include the cellular osmolytes glycerol and trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) and the organic solvent dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO), which we refer to as 'chemical chaperones' because of their influence on protein folding. Although the chemical chaperones did not appear to affect the existing population of PrP(Sc) molecules in ScN2a cells, they did interfere with the formation of PrP(Sc) from newly synthesized PrP(C). We suggest that the chemical chaperones act to stabilize the alpha-helical conformation of PrP(C) and thereby prevent the protein from undergoing a conformational change to produce PrP(Sc). These observations provide further support for the idea that prions arise due to a change in protein conformation and reveal potential strategies for preventing PrP(Sc) formation. PMID:8978663

  20. 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.

  1. High pressure, a tool to switch between soluble and fibrillar prion protein structures

    PubMed Central

    Lange, Reinhard

    2012-01-01

    The native soluble as well as different aggregated states of recombinant prion proteins are highly sensitive to high pressure. On the one hand, its application to the native α-helical protein induces reversibly a metastable structure that relaxes to amyloid fibrils after prolonged incubation. On the other hand, its application to synthetic prion amyloid fibrils leads to partial disaggregation into native monomers as well as to proto-filaments that have lost several amyloid features. In addition, heat-induced β-sheet prion protein aggregates are dissolved and revert into α-helical monomers by applying high pressure. This profound pressure sensitivity of prion protein structure is explained by large volume differences of the different structural states. Hence, pressure appears as a suitable thermodynamic parameter for exploring the highly complex conformational landscape of prion protein. Its further analysis should help identifying prion protein structural states that are on the pathogenic pathway. PMID:22482006

  2. Conversion of a yeast prion protein to an infectious form in bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Garrity, Sean J.; Sivanathan, Viknesh; Dong, Jijun; Lindquist, Susan; Hochschild, Ann

    2010-01-01

    Prions are infectious, self-propagating protein aggregates that have been identified in evolutionarily divergent members of the eukaryotic domain of life. Nevertheless, it is not yet known whether prokaryotes can support the formation of prion aggregates. Here we demonstrate that the yeast prion protein Sup35 can access an infectious conformation in Escherichia coli cells and that formation of this material is greatly stimulated by the presence of a transplanted [PSI+] inducibility factor, a distinct prion that is required for Sup35 to undergo spontaneous conversion to the prion form in yeast. Our results establish that the bacterial cytoplasm can support the formation of infectious prion aggregates, providing a heterologous system in which to study prion biology. PMID:20484678

  3. Conversion of a yeast prion protein to an infectious form in bacteria.

    PubMed

    Garrity, Sean J; Sivanathan, Viknesh; Dong, Jijun; Lindquist, Susan; Hochschild, Ann

    2010-06-01

    Prions are infectious, self-propagating protein aggregates that have been identified in evolutionarily divergent members of the eukaryotic domain of life. Nevertheless, it is not yet known whether prokaryotes can support the formation of prion aggregates. Here we demonstrate that the yeast prion protein Sup35 can access an infectious conformation in Escherichia coli cells and that formation of this material is greatly stimulated by the presence of a transplanted [PSI(+)] inducibility factor, a distinct prion that is required for Sup35 to undergo spontaneous conversion to the prion form in yeast. Our results establish that the bacterial cytoplasm can support the formation of infectious prion aggregates, providing a heterologous system in which to study prion biology. PMID:20484678

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Conformational propagation with prion-like characteristics in a simple model of protein folding

    PubMed Central

    Harrison, Paul M.; Chan, Hue Sun; Prusiner, Stanley B.; Cohen, Fred E.

    2001-01-01

    Protein refolding/misfolding to an alternative form plays an aetiologic role in many diseases in humans, including Alzheimer's disease, the systemic amyloidoses, and the prion diseases. Here we have discovered that such refolding can occur readily for a simple lattice model of proteins in a propagatable manner without designing for any particular alternative native state. The model uses a simple contact energy function for interactions between residues and does not consider the peculiarities of polypeptide geometry. In this model, under conditions where the normal (N) native state is marginally stable or unstable, two chains refold from the N native state to an alternative multimeric energetic minimum comprising a single refolded conformation that can then propagate itself to other protein chains. The only requirement for efficient propagation is that a two-faced mode of packing must be in the ground state as a dimer (a higher-energy state for this packing leads to less efficient propagation). For random sequences, these ground-state dimeric configurations tend to have more β-sheet-like extended structure than almost any other sort of dimeric ground-state assembly. This implies that propagating states (such as for prions) are β-sheet rich because the only likely propagating forms are β-sheet rich. We examine the details of our simulations to see to what extent the observed properties of prion propagation can be predicted by a simple protein folding model. The formation of the alternative state in the present model shows several distinct features of amyloidogenesis and of prion propagation. For example, an analog of the phenomenon of conformationally distinct strains in prions is observed. We find a parallel between `glassy' behavior in liquids and the formation of a propagatable state in proteins. This is the first report of simulation of conformational propagation using any heteropolymer model. The results imply that some (but not most) small protein sequences must maintain a sequence signal that resists refolding to propagatable alternative native states and that the ability to form such states is not limited to polypeptides (or reliant on regular hydrogen bonding per se) but can occur for other protein-like heteropolymers. PMID:11274473

  9. The neurodegeneration in Alzheimer disease and the prion protein.

    PubMed

    Forloni, Gianluigi; Sclip, Alessandra; Borsello, Tiziana; Balducci, Claudia

    2013-01-01

    The concept of "prion-like" has been proposed to explain the pathogenic mechanism of the principal neurodegenerative disorders associated with protein misfolding, including Alzheimer disease (AD). Other evidence relates prion protein with AD: the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) binds β amyloid oligomers, allegedly responsible for the neurodegeneration in AD, mediating their toxic effects. We and others have confirmed the high-affinity binding between β amyloid oligomers and PrP(C), but we were not able to assess the functional consequences of this interaction using behavioral investigations and in vitro tests. This discrepancy rather than being resolved with the classic explanations, differencies in methodological aspects, has been reinforced by new data from different sources. Here we present data obtained with PrP antibody that not interfere with the neurotoxic activity of β amyloid oligomers. Since the potential role of the PrP(C) in the neuronal dysfunction induced by β amyloid oligomers is an important issue, find reasonable explanation of the inconsistent results is needed. Even more important however is the relevance of this interaction in the context of the disease, so as to develop valid therapeutic strategies. PMID:23324596

  10. 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

  11. Prion protein fragment (106-126) induces prothrombotic state by raising platelet intracellular calcium and microparticle release.

    PubMed

    Mallick, Ram L; Kumari, Sharda; Singh, Nitesh; Sonkar, Vijay K; Dash, Debabrata

    2015-04-01

    Prion diseases are neurodegenerative disorders where infectious prion proteins (PrP) accumulate in brain leading to aggregation of amyloid fibrils and neuronal cell death. The amino acid sequence 106-126 from prion proteins, PrP(106-126), is highly amyloidogenic and implicated in prion-induced pathologies. As PrP is known to be expressed in blood following leakage from brain tissue, we sought to investigate its biological effects on human platelets, which have been widely employed as 'peripheral' model for neurons. Our findings suggested that, PrP(106-126) (20?M) induced dramatic 30-fold rise in intracellular calcium (from 10530 to 3425525nM) in platelets, which was attributable to influx from extracellular fluid with comparatively less contribution from intracellular stores. Calcium mobilization was associated with 8-10-fold stimulation in the activity of thiol protease calpain that led to partial cleavage of cytoskeleton-associated protein talin and extensive shedding of microparticles from platelets, thus transforming platelets to 'activated' phenotype. Both proteolysis of talin and microparticle release were precluded by calpeptin, a specific inhibitor of calpain. As microparticles are endowed with phosphatidylserine-enriched surface and hence are pro-coagulant in nature, exposure to prion favored a thrombogenic state in the organism. PMID:25749016

  12. Yeast prions assembly and propagation

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Yeast prions are self-perpetuating protein aggregates that are at the origin of heritable and transmissible non-Mendelian phenotypic traits. Among these, [PSI+], [URE3] and [PIN+] are the most well documented prions and arise from the assembly of Sup35p, Ure2p and Rnq1p, respectively, into insoluble fibrillar assemblies. Fibril assembly depends on the presence of N- or C-terminal prion domains (PrDs) which are not homologous in sequence but share unusual amino-acid compositions, such as enrichment in polar residues (glutamines and asparagines) or the presence of oligopeptide repeats. Purified PrDs form amyloid fibrils that can convert prion-free cells to the prion state upon transformation. Nonetheless, isolated PrDs and full-length prion proteins have different aggregation, structural and infectious properties. In addition, mutations in the “non-prion” domains (non-PrDs) of Sup35p, Ure2p and Rnq1p were shown to affect their prion properties in vitro and in vivo. Despite these evidences, the implication of the functional non-PrDs in fibril assembly and prion propagation has been mostly overlooked. In this review, we discuss the contribution of non-PrDs to prion assemblies, and the structure-function relationship in prion infectivity in the light of recent findings on Sup35p and Ure2p assembly into infectious fibrils from our laboratory and others. PMID:22052349

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Mutations of the prion protein gene phenotypic spectrum.

    PubMed

    Kovács, Gábor G; Trabattoni, Gianriccardo; Hainfellner, Johannes A; Ironside, James W; Knight, Richard S G; Budka, Herbert

    2002-11-01

    Prion diseases are inherited in 5-15 % of cases. They are classified according to changes in the prion protein gene ( PRNP) or conventionally according to phenotype as Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker disease (GSS), fatal familial insomnia (FFI), or familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (fCJD). Point mutations and insertions within PRNP form the genetic background. We report the results of a systematic analysis of over 500 case reports of patients with PRNP abnormalities. We compare clinical, neuropathological and molecular data in five groups, namely GSS, FFI, fCJD, base pair insertion (BPI), and all cases collectively. Clinical presentation overlaps between mutations, but some have characteristic features (e. g. P105L, D178N-129M, T183A). Some mutations, especially in the lack of sufficient family history, in earlier phases tend to resemble other neurodegenerative disorders like multiple system atrophy, corticobasal degeneration or familial diseases such as late-onset spinocerebellar ataxia, spastic paraparesis, frontotemporal dementia, or Alzheimer's disease. The codon 129 polymorphism has a phenotypic influence in inherited prion diseases, as in non-genetic forms, but additional factors might be considered as background for phenotypic variability. PMID:12420099

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

    PubMed Central

    Srivastava, Saurabh; Baskakov, Ilia V.

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies introduced two experimental protocols for converting full-length recombinant prion protein (rPrP) purified from E.coli into the infectious prion state (PrPSc) with high infectivity titers. Both protocols employed protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) for generating PrPSc de novo, but used two different lipids, 1-palmitoyl-2-oleolyl-sn-glycero-3-phospho(1’-rac-glycerol) (POPG) or phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), as conversion cofactors. The current study compares the effect of POPG and PE on the physical properties of native, α-helical full-length mouse rPrP under the solvent conditions used for converting rPrP into PrPSc. Surprisingly, the effects of POPG and PE on rPrP physical properties, including its conformation, thermodynamic stability, aggregation state and interaction with a lipid, were found to be remarkably different. PE was shown to have minimal, if any, effects on rPrP thermodynamic stability, cooperativity of unfolding, immediate solvent environment or aggregation state. In fact, little evidence indicates that PE interacts with rPrP directly. In contrast, POPG was found to bind to and induce dramatic changes in rPrP structure, including a loss of α-helical conformation and formation of large lipid-protein aggregates that were resistant to partially denaturing conditions. These results suggest that the mechanisms by which lipids assist conversion of rPrP into PrPSc might be fundamentally different for POPG and PE. PMID:26090881

  20. Fungal prions.

    PubMed

    Staniforth, Gemma L; Tuite, Mick F

    2012-01-01

    For both mammalian and fungal prion proteins, conformational templating drives the phenomenon of protein-only infectivity. The conformational conversion of a protein to its transmissible prion state is associated with changes to host cellular physiology. In mammals, this change is synonymous with disease, whereas in fungi no notable detrimental effect on the host is typically observed. Instead, fungal prions can serve as epigenetic regulators of inheritance in the form of partial loss-of-function phenotypes. In the presence of environmental challenges, the prion state [PRION(+)], with its resource for phenotypic plasticity, can be associated with a growth advantage. The growing number of yeast proteins that can switch to a heritable [PRION(+)] form represents diverse and metabolically penetrating cellular functions, suggesting that the [PRION(+)] state in yeast is a functional one, albeit rarely found in nature. In this chapter, we introduce the biochemical and genetic properties of fungal prions, many of which are shared by the mammalian prion protein PrP, and then outline the major contributions that studies on fungal prions have made to prion biology. PMID:22482457

  1. High CJD infectivity remains after prion protein is destroyed.

    PubMed

    Miyazawa, Kohtaro; Emmerling, Kaitlin; Manuelidis, Laura

    2011-12-01

    The hypothesis that host prion protein (PrP) converts into an infectious prion form rests on the observation that infectivity progressively decreases in direct proportion to the decrease of PrP with proteinase K (PK) treatment. PrP that resists limited PK digestion (PrP-res, PrP(sc)) has been assumed to be the infectious form, with speculative types of misfolding encoding the many unique transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) agent strains. Recently, a PK sensitive form of PrP has been proposed as the prion. Thus we re-evaluated total PrP (sensitive and resistant) and used a cell-based assay for titration of infectious particles. A keratinase (NAP) known to effectively digest PrP was compared to PK. Total PrP in FU-CJD infected brain was reduced to ≤0.3% in a 2 h PK digest, yet there was no reduction in titer. Remaining non-PrP proteins were easily visualized with colloidal gold in this highly infectious homogenate. In contrast to PK, NAP digestion left 0.8% residual PrP after 2 h, yet decreased titer by >2.5 log; few residual protein bands remained. FU-CJD infected cells with 10× the infectivity of brain by both animal and cell culture assays were also evaluated. NAP again significantly reduced cell infectivity (>3.5 log). Extreme PK digestions were needed to reduce cell PrP to <0.2%, yet a very high titer of 8 logs survived. Our FU-CJD brain results are in good accord with the only other report on maximal PrP destruction and titer. It is likely that one or more residual non-PrP proteins may protect agent nucleic acids in infectious particles. PMID:21793041

  2. Iatrogenic and sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in 2 sisters without mutation in the prion protein gene.

    PubMed

    Frontzek, Karl; Moos, Rita; Schaper, Elke; Jann, Lukas; Herfs, Gregor; Zimmermann, Dieter R; Aguzzi, Adriano; Budka, Herbert

    2015-11-01

    Human genetic prion diseases have invariably been linked to alterations of the prion protein (PrP) gene PRNP. Two sisters died from probable Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in Switzerland within 14 y. At autopsy, both patients had typical spongiform change in their brains accompanied by punctuate deposits of PrP. Biochemical analyses demonstrated proteinase K-resistant PrP. Sequencing of PRNP showed 2 wild-type alleles in both siblings. Retrospectively, clinical data revealed a history of dural transplantation in the initially deceased sister, compatible with a diagnosis of iatrogenic CJD. Clinical and familial histories provided no evidence for potential horizontal transmission. This observation of 2 siblings suffering from CJD without mutations in the PRNP gene suggests potential involvement of non-PRNP genes in prion disease etiology. PMID:26634863

  3. 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

  4. Parallel In-register Intermolecular β-Sheet Architectures for Prion-seeded Prion Protein (PrP) Amyloids*

    PubMed Central

    Groveman, Bradley R.; Dolan, Michael A.; Taubner, Lara M.; Kraus, Allison; Wickner, Reed B.; Caughey, Byron

    2014-01-01

    Structures of the infectious form of prion protein (e.g. PrPSc or PrP-Scrapie) remain poorly defined. The prevalent structural models of PrPSc retain most of the native α-helices of the normal, noninfectious prion protein, cellular prion protein (PrPC), but evidence is accumulating that these helices are absent in PrPSc amyloid. Moreover, recombinant PrPC can form amyloid fibrils in vitro that have parallel in-register intermolecular β-sheet architectures in the domains originally occupied by helices 2 and 3. Here, we provide solid-state NMR evidence that the latter is also true of initially prion-seeded recombinant PrP amyloids formed in the absence of denaturants. These results, in the context of a primarily β-sheet structure, led us to build detailed models of PrP amyloid based on parallel in-register architectures, fibrillar shapes and dimensions, and other available experimentally derived conformational constraints. Molecular dynamics simulations of PrP(90–231) octameric segments suggested that such linear fibrils, which are consistent with many features of PrPSc fibrils, can have stable parallel in-register β-sheet cores. These simulations revealed that the C-terminal residues ∼124–227 more readily adopt stable tightly packed structures than the N-terminal residues ∼90–123 in the absence of cofactors. Variations in the placement of turns and loops that link the β-sheets could give rise to distinct prion strains capable of faithful template-driven propagation. Moreover, our modeling suggests that single PrP monomers can comprise the entire cross-section of fibrils that have previously been assumed to be pairs of laterally associated protofilaments. Together, these insights provide a new basis for deciphering mammalian prion structures. PMID:25028516

  5. 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

  6. The Hofmeister effect on amyloid formation using yeast prion protein

    PubMed Central

    Yeh, Victor; Broering, James M; Romanyuk, Andrey; Chen, Buxin; Chernoff, Yury O; Bommarius, Andreas S

    2010-01-01

    A variety of proteins are capable of converting from their soluble forms into highly ordered fibrous cross-? aggregates (amyloids). This conversion is associated with certain pathological conditions in mammals, such as Alzheimer disease, and provides a basis for the infectious or hereditary protein isoforms (prions), causing neurodegenerative disorders in mammals and controlling heritable phenotypes in yeast. The N-proximal region of the yeast prion protein Sup35 (Sup35NM) is frequently used as a model system for amyloid conversion studies in vitro. Traditionally, amyloids are recognized by their ability to bind Congo Red dye specific to ?-sheet rich structures. However, methods for quantifying amyloid fibril formation thus far were based on measurements linking Congo Red absorbance to concentration of insulin fibrils and may not be directly applicable to other amyloid-forming proteins. Here, we present a corrected formula for measuring amyloid formation of Sup35NM by Congo Red assay. By utilizing this corrected procedure, we explore the effect of different sodium salts on the lag time and maximum rate of amyloid formation by Sup35NM. We find that increased kosmotropicity promotes amyloid polymerization in accordance with the Hofmeister series. In contrast, chaotropes inhibit polymerization, with the strength of inhibition correlating with the B-viscosity coefficient of the Jones-Dole equation, an increasingly accepted measure for the quantification of the Hofmeister series. PMID:19890987

  7. Prion diseases.

    PubMed

    Takada, Leonel T; Geschwind, Michael D

    2013-09-01

    Prion diseases are a group of diseases caused by abnormally conformed infectious proteins, called prions. They can be sporadic (Jakob-Creutzfeldt disease [JCD]), genetic (genetic JCD, Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker, and familial fatal insomnia), or acquired (kuru, variant JCD, and iatrogenic JCD). The clinical features associated with each form of prion disease, the neuroimaging findings, cerebrospinal fluid markers, and neuropathological findings are reviewed. Sporadic JCD is the most common form of human prion disease, and will be discussed in detail. Genetic prion diseases are caused by mutations in the prion-related protein gene (PRNP), and they are classified based on the mutation, clinical phenotype, and neuropathological features. Acquired prion diseases fortunately are becoming rarer, as awareness of transmission risk has led to implementation of measures to prevent such occurrences, but continued surveillance is necessary to prevent future cases. Treatment and management issues are also discussed. PMID:24234356

  8. 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.

  9. Deletion/insertion polymorphism of the prion protein gene (PRNP) in Polish Holstein-Friesian cattle.

    PubMed

    Czarnik, Urszula; Zabolewicz, Tadeusz; Strychalski, Janusz; Grzybowski, Grzegorz; Bogusz, Marcin; Walawski, Krzysztof

    2007-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to identify the deletion/insertion polymorphism of the bovine prion protein gene (PRNP) within the promoter sequence (23 bp), intron 1 (12 bp) and 3' untranslated region (14 bp). DNA was isolated from blood of 234 randomly tested Polish Holstein-Friesian cows and from semen of 47 sires used for artificial insemination (AI) in 2004. No statistically significant differences were found in the frequency of genotypes and alleles between cows and breeding bulls in the 3 analysed polymorphic sites within the PRNP gene. Only 3 haplotypes were identified in sires and 4 haplotypes in cows. PMID:17272863

  10. Ubiquitin Ligase gp78 Targets Unglycosylated Prion Protein PrP for Ubiquitylation and Degradation

    PubMed Central

    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

  11. 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

  12. Molecular dynamics studies on the buffalo prion protein.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jiapu; Wang, Feng; Chatterjee, Subhojyoti

    2016-04-01

    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 Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics 28(3), 355-361)), (ii) at D178, there is a HB Y169-D178 and a polar contact R164-D178 for BufPrP(C) instead of a polar contact Q168-D178 for bovine PrP(C) (C.J. Cheng, & V. Daggett. (2014). Molecular dynamics simulations capture the misfolding of the bovine prion protein at acidic pH. Biomolecules 4(1), 181-201), (iii) BufPrP(C) owns three 310 helices at 125-127, 152-156, and in the β2-α2 loop, respectively, and (iv) in the β2-α2 loop, there is a strong π-π stacking and a strong π-cation F175-Y169-R164.(N)NH2, has been discovered. PMID:26043781

  13. Prion Protein Protects against Renal Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury

    PubMed Central

    Siedlak, Sandra; Abouelsaad, Mai; Zeng, Liang; Zhou, Xuefeng; O'Toole, John; Das, Alvin S.; Kofskey, Diane; Warren, Miriam; Bian, Zehua; Cui, Yuqi; Tan, Tao; Kresak, Adam; Wyza, Robert E.; Petersen, Robert B.; Wang, Gong-Xian; Kong, Qingzhong; Wang, Xinglong; Sedor, John; Zhu, Xiongwei; Zhu, Hua; Zou, Wen-Quan

    2015-01-01

    The cellular prion protein (PrPC), a protein most noted for its link to prion diseases, has been found to play a protective role in ischemic brain injury. To investigate the role of PrPC in the kidney, an organ highly prone to ischemia/reperfusion (IR) injury, we examined wild-type (WT) and PrPC knockout (KO) mice that were subjected to 30-min of renal ischemia followed by 1, 2, or 3 days of reperfusion. Renal dysfunction and structural damage was more severe in KO than in WT mice. While PrP was undetectable in KO kidneys, Western blotting revealed an increase in PrP in IR-injured WT kidneys compared to sham-treated kidneys. Compared to WT, KO kidneys exhibited increases in oxidative stress markers heme oxygenase-1, nitrotyrosine, and Nε-(carboxymethyl)lysine, and decreases in mitochondrial complexes I and III. Notably, phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (pERK) staining was predominantly observed in tubular cells from KO mice following 2 days of reperfusion, a time at which significant differences in renal dysfunction, histological changes, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial complexes between WT and KO mice were observed. Our study provides the first evidence that PrPC may play a protective role in renal IR injury, likely through its effects on mitochondria and ERK signaling pathways. PMID:26327228

  14. Transport of the pathogenic prion protein through landfill materials.

    PubMed

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

    2009-03-15

    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 RecentTSE outbreaks in domesticated and wild animal populations have created the need for safe and effective disposal of large quantities of potentially infected materials. Here, we report results of a study to evaluate the potential for transport of PrP(TSE) derived from carcasses and associated wastes in municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills. Column experiments were conducted to evaluate PrP(TSE) 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. PrP(TSE) was retained by quartz sand and the fine-textured burial soils, with no detectable PrP(TSE) eluted over more than 40 pore volumes. In contrast, PrP(TSE) was more mobile in MSW and green waste residual. Transport parameters were estimated from the experimental data and used to model PrP(TSE) migration in a MSW landfill. To the extent that the PrP(TSE) used mimics that released from decomposing carcasses and the column experiments adequately simulate prion transport through burial soils, burial of CWD-infected materials at MSW landfills could provide secure containment of PrP(TSE) provided reasonable burial strategies (e.g., encasement in fine-grained soil) are used. PMID:19368208

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

    PubMed

    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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  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. 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

  1. 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 are becoming rarer as awareness of transmission risk has led to implementation of measures to prevent such occurrences. PMID:26633779

  2. Prion-like proteins sequester and suppress the toxicity of huntingtin exon 1

    PubMed Central

    Kayatekin, Can; Matlack, Kent E. S.; Hesse, William R.; Guan, Yinghua; Chakrabortee, Sohini; Russ, Jenny; Wanker, Erich E.; Shah, Jagesh V.; Lindquist, Susan

    2014-01-01

    Expansions of preexisting polyglutamine (polyQ) tracts in at least nine different proteins cause devastating neurodegenerative diseases. There are many unique features to these pathologies, but there must also be unifying mechanisms underlying polyQ toxicity. Using a polyQ-expanded fragment of huntingtin exon-1 (Htt103Q), the causal protein in Huntington disease, we and others have created tractable models for investigating polyQ toxicity in yeast cells. These models recapitulate key pathological features of human diseases and provide access to an unrivalled genetic toolbox. To identify toxicity modifiers, we performed an unbiased overexpression screen of virtually every protein encoded by the yeast genome. Surprisingly, there was no overlap between our modifiers and those from a conceptually identical screen reported recently, a discrepancy we attribute to an artifact of their overexpression plasmid. The suppressors of Htt103Q toxicity recovered in our screen were strongly enriched for glutamine- and asparagine-rich prion-like proteins. Separated from the rest of the protein, the prion-like sequences of these proteins were themselves potent suppressors of polyQ-expanded huntingtin exon-1 toxicity, in both yeast and human cells. Replacing the glutamines in these sequences with asparagines abolished suppression and converted them to enhancers of toxicity. Replacing asparagines with glutamines created stronger suppressors. The suppressors (but not the enhancers) coaggregated with Htt103Q, forming large foci at the insoluble protein deposit in which proteins were highly immobile. Cells possessing foci had fewer (if any) small diffusible oligomers of Htt103Q. Until such foci were lost, cells were protected from death. We discuss the therapeutic implications of these findings. PMID:25092318

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  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 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...

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. The prion protein is neuroprotective against retinal degeneration in vivo.

    PubMed

    Frigg, Rico; Wenzel, Andreas; Samardzija, Marijana; Oesch, Bruno; Wariwoda, Hedwig; Navarini, Alexander A; Seeliger, Mathias W; Tanimoto, Naoyuki; Rem, Charlotte; Grimm, Christian

    2006-12-01

    A common feature of neurodegenerative disorders is acute or progressive loss of neurons due to apoptosis. The pathological isoform of the prion protein is associated with retinal apoptosis and the cellular isoform (PrPc) has been shown to mediate protection from apoptosis in cell culture and in neonatal retinal explants. Using a model of light-induced photoreceptor apoptosis, we show in vivo that the levels of PrPc expression in the retina inversely correlate with the susceptibility of photoreceptors to light damage. Dissection of apoptotic signalling cascades suggests that PrPc acts neuroprotectively downstream of AP-1 induction. Our results reveal PrP as a neuroprotective/anti-apoptotic factor in vivo and suggest that PrPc may function as a guardian of neuronal integrity. PMID:16952355

  11. Interaction between Prion Protein and Aβ Amyloid Fibrils Revisited

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies indicate that the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease may be related to the interaction between prion protein (PrP) and certain oligomeric species of Aβ peptide. However, the mechanism of this interaction remains unclear and controversial. Here we provide direct experimental evidence that, in addition to previously demonstrated binding to Aβ oligomers, PrP also interacts with mature Aβ fibrils. However, contrary to the recent claim that PrP causes fragmentation of Aβ fibrils into oligomeric species, no evidence for such a disassembly could be detected in the present study. In contrast, our data indicate that the addition of PrP to preformed Aβ fibrils results in a lateral association of individual fibrils into larger bundles. These findings have potentially important implications for understanding the mechanism by which PrP might impact Aβ toxicity as well as for the emerging efforts to use PrP-derived compounds as inhibitors of Aβ-induced neurodegeneration. PMID:24669873

  12. 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

  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. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. The unfolded state of the murine prion protein and properties of single-point mutants related to human prion diseases.

    PubMed

    Gerum, Christian; Schlepckow, Kai; Schwalbe, Harald

    2010-08-01

    The prion protein can exist both in a normal cellular isoform and in a pathogenic conformational isoform. The latter is responsible for the development of different neurodegenerative diseases, for example Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease or fatal familial insomnia. To convert the native benign state of the protein into a highly ordered fibrillar aggregate, large-scale rearrangements of the tertiary structure are necessary during the conversion process and intermediates that are at least partially unfolded are present during fibril formation. In addition to the sporadic conversion into the pathogenic isoform, more than 20 familial diseases are known that are caused by single point mutations increasing the probability of aggregation and neurodegeneration. Here, we demonstrate that the chemically denatured states of the mouse and human prion proteins have very similar structural and dynamic characteristics. Initial studies on the single point mutants E196K, F198S, V203I and R208H of the oxidized mouse construct, which are related to human prion diseases, reveal significant differences in the rate of aggregation. Aggregation for mutants V203I and R208H is slower than it is for the wild type, and the constructs E196K and F198S show accelerated aggregation. These differences in aggregation behaviour are not correlated with the thermal stability of the mutants, indicating different mechanisms promoting the conformational conversion process. PMID:20541558

  18. Structural insights into the interaction between prion protein and nucleic acid.

    PubMed

    Lima, Luis Maurício T R; Cordeiro, Yraima; Tinoco, Luzineide W; Marques, Adriana F; Oliveira, Cristiano L P; Sampath, Srisailam; Kodali, Ravindra; Choi, Gildon; Foguel, Débora; Torriani, Iris; Caughey, Byron; Silva, Jerson L

    2006-08-01

    The infectious agent of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) is believed to comprise, at least in part, the prion protein (PrP). Other molecules can modulate the conversion of the normal PrP(C) into the pathological conformer (PrP(Sc)), but the identity and mechanisms of action of the key physiological factors remain unclear. PrP can bind to nucleic acids with relatively high affinity. Here, we report small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy measurements of the tight complex of PrP with an 18 bp DNA sequence. This double-stranded DNA sequence (E2DBS) binds with nanomolar affinity to the full-length recombinant mouse PrP. The SAXS data show that formation of the rPrP-DNA complex leads to larger values of the maximum dimension and radius of gyration. In addition, the SAXS studies reveal that the globular domain of PrP participates importantly in the formation of the complex. The changes in NMR HSQC spectra were clustered in two major regions: one in the disordered portion of the PrP and the other in the globular domain. Although interaction is mediated mainly through the PrP globular domain, the unstructured region is also recruited to the complex. This visualization of the complex provides insight into how oligonucleotides bind to PrP and opens new avenues to the design of compounds against prion diseases. PMID:16866364

  19. 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.

  20. 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 useful for guiding experimentalists in the identification of new candidates for further experimental characterization. PMID:24498877

  1. 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

  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 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Genetic and epigenetic control of the efficiency and fidelity of cross-species prion transmission

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Buxin; Bruce, Kathryn L.; Newnam, Gary P.; Gyoneva, Stefka; Romanyuk, Andrey V.; Chernoff, Yury O.

    2010-01-01

    Summary Self-perpetuating amyloid-based protein isoforms (prions) transmit neurodegenerative diseases in mammals and phenotypic traits in yeast. Although mechanisms that control species-specificity of prion transmission are poorly understood, studies of closely related orthologs of yeast prion protein Sup35 demonstrate that cross-species prion transmission is modulated by both genetic (specific sequence elements) and epigenetic (prion variants, or “strains”) factors. Depending on the prion variant, the species barrier could be controlled at the level of either heterologous coaggregation or conversion of the aggregate-associated heterologous protein into a prion polymer. Sequence divergence influences cross-species transmission of different prion variants in opposing ways. The ability of a heterologous prion domain to either faithfully reproduce or irreversibly switch the variant-specific prion patterns depends on both sequence divergence and the prion variant. Sequence variations within different modules of prion domains contribute to transmission barriers in different cross-species combinations. Individual amino acid substitutions within short amyloidogenic stretches drastically alter patterns of cross-species prion conversion, implicating these stretches as major determinants of species specificity. PMID:20444092

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

    PubMed Central

    Sano, Kazunori; Atarashi, Ryuichiro; Nishida, Noriyuki

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT A major unsolved issue of prion biology is the existence of multiple strains with distinct phenotypes and this strain phenomenon is postulated to be associated with the conformational diversity of the abnormal prion protein (PrPSc). Real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QUIC) assay that uses Escherichia coli-derived recombinant prion protein (rPrP) for the sensitive detection of PrPSc results in the formation of rPrP-fibrils seeded with various strains. We demonstrated that there are differences in the secondary structures, especially in the β-sheets, and conformational stability between 2 rPrP-fibrils seeded with either Chandler or 22L strains in the first round of RT-QUIC. In particular, the differences in conformational properties of these 2 rPrP-fibrils were common to those of the original PrPSc. However, the strain specificities of rPrP-fibrils seen in the first round were lost in subsequent rounds. Instead, our findings suggest that nonspecific fibrils became the major species, probable owing to their selective growth advantage in the RT-QUIC. This study shows that at least some strain-specific conformational properties of the original PrPSc can be transmitted to rPrP-fibrils in vitro, but further conservation appears to require unknown cofactors or environmental conditions or both. PMID:26284507

  7. Detection of Prion Protein in Urine-Derived Injectable Fertility Products by a Targeted Proteomic Approach

    PubMed Central

    Van Dorsselaer, Alain; Carapito, Christine; Delalande, François; Schaeffer-Reiss, Christine; Thierse, Daniele; Diemer, Hélène; McNair, Douglas S.; Krewski, Daniel; Cashman, Neil R.

    2011-01-01

    Background Iatrogenic transmission of human prion disease can occur through medical or surgical procedures, including injection of hormones such as gonadotropins extracted from cadaver pituitaries. Annually, more than 300,000 women in the United States and Canada are prescribed urine-derived gonadotropins for infertility. Although menopausal urine donors are screened for symptomatic neurological disease, incubation of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is impossible to exclude by non-invasive testing. Risk of carrier status of variant CJD (vCJD), a disease associated with decades-long peripheral incubation, is estimated to be on the order of 100 per million population in the United Kingdom. Studies showing infectious prions in the urine of experimental animals with and without renal disease suggest that prions could be present in asymptomatic urine donors. Several human fertility products are derived from donated urine; recently prion protein has been detected in preparations of human menopausal gonadotropin (hMG). Methodology/Principal Findings Using a classical proteomic approach, 33 and 34 non-gonadotropin proteins were identified in urinary human chorionic gonadotropin (u-hCG) and highly-purified urinary human menopausal gonadotropin (hMG-HP) products, respectively. Prion protein was identified as a major contaminant in u-hCG preparations for the first time. An advanced prion protein targeted proteomic approach was subsequently used to conduct a survey of gonadotropin products; this approach detected human prion protein peptides in urine-derived injectable fertility products containing hCG, hMG and hMG-HP, but not in recombinant products. Conclusions/Significance The presence of protease-sensitive prion protein in urinary-derived injectable fertility products containing hCG, hMG, and hMG-HP suggests that prions may co-purify in these products. Intramuscular injection is a relatively efficient route of transmission of human prion disease, and young women exposed to prions can be expected to survive an incubation period associated with a minimal inoculum. The risks of urine-derived fertility products could now outweigh their benefits, particularly considering the availability of recombinant products. PMID:21448279

  8. 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 obtain a more comprehensive picture of rPrP(90-231), dynamics have been studied using amide hydrogen-deuterium exchange and 15N NMR relaxation times (T1 and T2) and 15N{1H} NOE measurements. Comparison of the structure with previous reports suggests sequence-dependent features that may be reflected in a species barrier to prion disease transmission. PMID:10220323

  9. POLYMORPHIC DISTRIBUTION OF THE PRION PROTEIN (PRNP) GENE IN SCRAPIE-INFECTED SHEEP FLOCKS IN WHICH EMBRYO TRANSFER WAS USED TO CIRCUMVENT THE TRANSMISSIONS OF SCRAPIE

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The genetic sequence of the ovine prion protein (PrP) gene between codons 102 and 175, with emphasis on ovine PrP gene codons 136 and 171, was determined in scrapie-exposed Suffolk embryo donors and in offspring from those donors that had been transferred to scrapie-free recipient ewes. The most com...

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-26

    The prion protein (PrP) seems to exert both neuroprotective and neurotoxic activities. The toxic activities are associated with the C-terminal globular parts in the absence of the flexible N terminus, specifically the hydrophobic domain (HD) or the central region (CR). The wild type prion protein (PrP-WT), having an intact flexible part, exhibits neuroprotective qualities by virtue of diminishing many of the cytotoxic effects of these mutant prion proteins (PrPΔHD and PrPΔCR) when coexpressed. The prion protein family member Doppel, which possesses a three-dimensional fold similar to the C-terminal part of PrP, is also harmful to neuronal and other cells in various models, a phenotype that can also be eliminated by the coexpression of PrP-WT. In contrast, another prion protein family member, Shadoo (Sho), a natively disordered protein possessing structural features similar to the flexible N-terminal tail of PrP, exhibits PrP-WT-like protective properties. Here, we report that, contrary to expectations, Sho expression in SH-SY5Y or HEK293 cells induces the same toxic phenotype of drug hypersensitivity as PrPΔCR. This effect is exhibited in a dose-dependent manner and is also counteracted by the coexpression of PrP-WT. The opposing effects of Shadoo in different model systems revealed here may be explored to help discern the relationship of the various toxic activities of mutant PrPs with each other and the neurotoxic effects seen in neurodegenerative diseases, such as transmissible spongiform encephalopathy and Alzheimer disease. PMID:26721882

  17. Ectopic expression of prion protein (PrP) in T lymphocytes or hepatocytes of PrP knockout mice is insufficient to sustain prion replication

    PubMed Central

    Raeber, Alex J.; Sailer, Andreas; Hegyi, Ivan; Klein, Michael A.; Rlicke, Thomas; Fischer, Marek; Brandner, Sebastian; Aguzzi, Adriano; Weissmann, Charles

    1999-01-01

    The cellular form of the Prion protein (PrPC) is necessary for prion replication in mice. To determine whether it is also sufficient, we expressed PrP under the control of various cell- or tissue-specific regulatory elements in PrP knockout mice. The interferon regulatory factor-1 promoter/E? enhancer led to high PrP levels in the spleen and low PrP levels in the brain. Following i.p. scrapie inoculation, high prion titers were found in the spleen but not in the brain at 2 weeks and 6 months, showing that the lymphoreticular system by itself is competent to replicate prions. PrP expression directed by the Lck promoter resulted in high PrP levels on T lymphocytes only but, surprisingly, did not allow prion replication in the thymus, spleen, or brain following i.p. inoculation. A third transgenic line, which expressed PrP in the liver under the control of the albumin promoter/enhanceralbeit at low levelsalso failed to replicate prions. These results show that expression of PrP alone is not sufficient to sustain prion replication and suggest that additional components are needed. PMID:10097150

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Celecoxib Inhibits Prion Protein 90-231-Mediated Pro-inflammatory Responses in Microglial Cells.

    PubMed

    Villa, Valentina; Thellung, Stefano; Corsaro, Alessandro; Novelli, Federica; Tasso, Bruno; Colucci-D'Amato, Luca; Gatta, Elena; Tonelli, Michele; Florio, Tullio

    2016-01-01

    Activation of microglia is a central event in the atypical inflammatory response occurring during prion encephalopathies. We report that the prion protein fragment encompassing amino acids 90-231 (PrP90-231), a model of the neurotoxic activity of the pathogenic prion protein (PrP(Sc)), causes activation of both primary microglia cultures and N9 microglial cells in vitro. This effect was characterized by cell proliferation arrest and induction of a secretory phenotype, releasing prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and nitric oxide (NO). Conditioned medium from PrP90-231-treated microglia induced in vitro cytotoxicity of A1 mesencephalic neurons, supporting the notion that soluble mediators released by activated microglia contributes to the neurodegeneration during prion diseases. The neuroinflammatory role of COX activity, and its potential targeting for anti-prion therapies, was tested measuring the effects of ketoprofen and celecoxib (preferential inhibitors of COX1 and COX2, respectively) on PrP90-231-induced microglial activation. Celecoxib, but not ketoprofen significantly reverted the growth arrest as well as NO and PGE2 secretion induced by PrP90-231, indicating that PrP90-231 pro-inflammatory response in microglia is mainly dependent on COX2 activation. Taken together, these data outline the importance of microglia in the neurotoxicity occurring during prion diseases and highlight the potentiality of COX2-selective inhibitors to revert microglia as adjunctive pharmacological approach to contrast the neuroinflammation-dependent neurotoxicity. PMID:25404089

  1. 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

  2. Glycosaminoglycan Sulphation Affects the Seeded Misfolding of a Mutant Prion Protein

    PubMed Central

    Lawson, Victoria A.; Lumicisi, Brooke; Welton, Jeremy; Machalek, Dorothy; Gouramanis, Katrina; Klemm, Helen M.; Stewart, James D.; Masters, Colin L.; Hoke, David E.; Collins, Steven J.; Hill, Andrew F.

    2010-01-01

    Background The accumulation of protease resistant conformers of the prion protein (PrPres) is a key pathological feature of prion diseases. Polyanions, including RNA and glycosaminoglycans have been identified as factors that contribute to the propagation, transmission and pathogenesis of prion disease. Recent studies have suggested that the contribution of these cofactors to prion propagation may be species specific. Methodology/Principal Finding In this study a cell-free assay was used to investigate the molecular basis of polyanion stimulated PrPres formation using brain tissue or cell line derived murine PrP. Enzymatic depletion of endogenous nucleic acids or heparan sulphate (HS) from the PrPC substrate was found to specifically prevent PrPres formation seeded by mouse derived PrPSc. Modification of the negative charge afforded by the sulphation of glycosaminoglycans increased the ability of a familial PrP mutant to act as a substrate for PrPres formation, while having no effect on PrPres formed by wildtype PrP. This difference may be due to the observed differences in the binding of wild type and mutant PrP for glycosaminoglycans. Conclusions/Significance Cofactor requirements for PrPres formation are host species and prion strain specific and affected by disease associated mutations of the prion protein. This may explain both species and strain dependent propagation characteristics and provide insights into the underlying mechanisms of familial prion disease. It further highlights the challenge of designing effective therapeutics against a disease which effects a range of mammalian species, caused by range of aetiologies and prion strains. PMID:20808809

  3. Prion protein lacks robust cytoprotective activity in cultured cells

    PubMed Central

    Christensen, Heather M; Harris, David A

    2008-01-01

    Background The physiological function of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) remains unknown. However, PrPC has been reported to possess a cytoprotective activity that prevents death of neurons and other cells after a toxic stimulus. To explore this effect further, we attempted to reproduce several of the assays in which a protective activity of PrP had been previously demonstrated in mammalian cells. Results In the first set of experiments, we found that PrP over-expression had a minimal effect on the death of MCF-7 breast carcinoma cells treated with TNF-? and Prn-p0/0 immortalized hippocampal neurons (HpL3-4 cells) subjected to serum deprivation. In the second set of assays, we observed only a small difference in viability between cerebellar granule neurons cultured from PrP-null and control mice in response to activation of endogenous or exogenous Bax. Conclusion Taken together, our results suggest either that cytoprotection is not a physiologically relevant activity of PrPC, or that PrPC-dependent protective pathways operative in vivo are not adequately modeled by these cell culture systems. We suggest that cell systems capable of mimicking the neurotoxic effects produced in transgenic mice by N-terminally deleted forms of PrP or Doppel may represent more useful tools for analyzing the cytoprotective function of PrPC. PMID:18718018

  4. Disruption of the X-loop turn of the prion protein linked to scrapie resistance

    PubMed Central

    Scouras, Alexander D.; Daggett, Valerie

    2012-01-01

    The prion diseases are a class of neurodegenerative diseases caused by the misfolding and aggregation of the prion protein (PrPC) into toxic and infectious oligomers (PrPSc). These oligomers are critical to understanding and combating these diseases. Differences in the sequence of PrP affect disease susceptibility, likely by shifting the tolerance of the protein for adaptation to PrPSc conformations and/or the recognition event between PrPSc and PrPC prior to conversion of the PrPC. We selected two sets of PrPSc-resistant mutant sequences for solvated atomistic molecular dynamics simulation to investigate the structural basis of resistance. The first group involved mutation in the X-loop (residues 164-171) resulting from selective breeding of sheep. The second group included eight mutants in mice identified by random mutagenesis targeting helix C followed by screening in cell cultures. Multiple simulations were performed of 14 different mutant and control constructs under different pH conditions for a total of 3.6 μs of simulation time. The X-loop formed a stable turn at neutral pH in wild-type PrP from both species. PrPSc-resistant mutations disrupted this turn even though only one of the mutants is in the X-loop. The X-loop is compact and buried in our previously described spiral models of PrPSc-like oligomers. On the basis of the findings presented here and in the context of the spiral oligomer model, we propose that expansion of the X-loop disrupts protofibril packing, providing a structural basis for resistance. PMID:22447804

  5. Deposition pattern and subcellular distribution of disease-associated prion protein in cerebellar organotypic slice cultures infected with scrapie

    PubMed Central

    Wolf, Hanna; Hossinger, Andr; Fehlinger, Andrea; Bttner, Sven; Sim, Valerie; McKenzie, Debbie; Vorberg, Ina M.

    2015-01-01

    Organotypic cerebellar slices represent a suitable model for characterizing and manipulating prion replication in complex cell environments. Organotypic slices recapitulate prion pathology and are amenable to drug testing in the absence of a blood-brain-barrier. So far, the cellular and subcellular distribution of disease-specific prion protein in organotypic slices is unclear. Here we report the simultaneous detection of disease-specific prion protein and central nervous system markers in wild-type mouse cerebellar slices infected with mouse-adapted prion strain 22L. The disease-specific prion protein distribution profile in slices closely resembles that in vivo, demonstrating granular spot like deposition predominately in the molecular and Purkinje cell layers. Double immunostaining identified abnormal prion protein in the neuropil and associated with neurons, astrocytes and microglia, but absence in Purkinje cells. The established protocol for the simultaneous immunohistochemical detection of disease-specific prion protein and cellular markers enables detailed analysis of prion replication and drug efficacy in an ex vivo model of the central nervous system. PMID:26581229

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

    PubMed Central

    Black, Stefanie A. G.; Stys, Peter K.; Zamponi, Gerald W.; Tsutsui, Shigeki

    2014-01-01

    Although it is well established that misfolding of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) into the β-sheet-rich, aggregated scrapie conformation (PrPSc) causes a variety of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), the physiological roles of PrPC are still incompletely understood. There is accumulating evidence describing the roles of PrPC in neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation. Recently, we identified a functional regulation of NMDA receptors by PrPC that involves formation of a physical protein complex between these proteins. Excessive NMDA receptor activity during conditions such as ischemia mediates enhanced Ca2+ entry into cells and contributes to excitotoxic neuronal death. In addition, NMDA receptors and/or PrPC play critical roles in neuroinflammation and glial cell toxicity. Inhibition of NMDA receptor activity protects against PrPSc-induced neuronal death. Moreover, in mice lacking PrPC, infarct size is increased after focal cerebral ischemia, and absence of PrPC increases susceptibility of neurons to NMDA receptor-dependent death. Recently, PrPC was found to be a receptor for oligomeric beta-amyloid (Aβ) peptides, suggesting a role for PrPC in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Our recent findings suggest that Aβ peptides enhance NMDA receptor current by perturbing the normal copper- and PrPC-dependent regulation of these receptors. Here, we review evidence highlighting a role for PrPC in preventing NMDA receptor-mediated excitotoxicity and inflammation. There is a need for more detailed molecular characterization of PrPC-mediated regulation of NMDA receptors, such as determining which NMDA receptor subunits mediate pathogenic effects upon loss of PrPC-mediated regulation and identifying PrPC binding site(s) on the receptor. This knowledge will allow development of novel therapeutic interventions for not only TSEs, but also for AD and other neurodegenerative disorders involving dysfunction of PrPC. PMID:25364752

  7. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    Recent evidence suggests that the prion protein (PrP) is a copper binding protein. The N-terminal region of human PrP contains four sequential copies of the highly conserved octarepeat sequence PHGGGWGQ spanning residues 6091. This region selectively binds Cu2+ in vivo. In a previous study using peptide design, EPR, and CD spectroscopy, we showed that the HGGGW segment within each octarepeat comprises the fundamental Cu2+ binding unit [Aronoff-Spencer et al. (2000) Biochemistry 40, 1376013771]. Here we present the first atomic resolution view of the copper binding site within an octarepeat. The crystal structure of HGGGW in a complex with Cu2+ reveals equatorial coordination by the histidine imidazole, two deprotonated glycine amides, and a glycine carbonyl, along with an axial water bridging to the Trp indole. Companion S-band EPR, X-band ESEEM, and HYSCORE experiments performed on a library of 15N-labeled peptides indicate that the structure of the copper binding site in HGGGW and PHGGGWGQ in solution is consistent with that of the crystal structure. Moreover, EPR performed on PrP(2328, 5791) and an 15N-labeled analogue demonstrates that the identified structure is maintained in the full PrP octarepeat domain. It has been shown that copper stimulates PrP endocytosis. The identified GlyCu linkage is unstable below pH ?6.5 and thus suggests a pH-dependent molecular mechanism by which PrP detects Cu2+ in the extracellular matrix or releases PrP-bound Cu2+ within the endosome. The structure also reveals an unusual complementary interaction between copper-structured HGGGW units that may facilitate molecular recognition between prion proteins, thereby suggesting a mechanism for transmembrane signaling and perhaps conversion to the pathogenic form. PMID:11900542

  9. Prion protein NMR structures of elk and of mouse/elk hybrids.

    PubMed

    Gossert, Alvar D; Bonjour, Sophie; Lysek, Dominikus A; Fiorito, Francesco; Wüthrich, Kurt

    2005-01-18

    The NMR structure of the recombinant elk prion protein (ePrP), which represents the cellular isoform (ePrPC) in the healthy organism, is described here. As anticipated from the highly conserved amino acid sequence, ePrPC has the same global fold as other mammalian prion proteins (PrPs), with a flexibly disordered "tail" of residues 23-124 and a globular domain 125-226 with three alpha-helices and a short antiparallel beta-sheet. However, ePrPC shows a striking local structure variation when compared with most other mammalian PrPs, in particular human, bovine, and mouse PrPC. A loop of residues 166-175, which links the beta-sheet with the alpha2-helix and is part of a hypothetical "protein X" epitope, is outstandingly well defined, whereas this loop is disordered in the other species. Based on NMR structure determinations of two mouse PrP variants, mPrP[N174T] and mPrP[S170N,N174T], this study shows that the structured loop in ePrPC relates to these two local amino acid exchanges, so that mPrP[S170N,N174T] exactly mimics ePrPC. These results are evaluated in the context of recent reports on chronic wasting disease (CWD) in captive and free-ranging deer and elk in the U.S. and Canada, and an animal model is proposed for support of future research on CWD. PMID:15647363

  10. 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

  11. Neuroimmunoendocrine Regulation of the Prion Protein in Neutrophils*

    PubMed Central

    Mariante, Rafael M.; Nóbrega, Alberto; Martins, Rodrigo A. P.; Areal, Rômulo B.; Bellio, Maria; Linden, Rafael

    2012-01-01

    The prion protein (PrPC) is a cell surface protein expressed mainly in the nervous system. In addition to the role of its abnormal conformer in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, normal PrPC may be implicated in other degenerative conditions often associated with inflammation. PrPC is also present in cells of hematopoietic origin, including T cells, dendritic cells, and macrophages, and it has been shown to modulate their functions. Here, we investigated the impact of inflammation and stress on the expression and function of PrPC in neutrophils, a cell type critically involved in both acute and chronic inflammation. We found that systemic injection of LPS induced transcription and translation of PrPC in mouse neutrophils. Up-regulation of PrPC was dependent on the serum content of TGF-β and glucocorticoids (GC), which, in turn, are contingent on the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in response to systemic inflammation. GC and TGF-β, either alone or in combination, directly up-regulated PrPC in neutrophils, and accordingly, the blockade of GC receptors in vivo curtailed the LPS-induced increase in the content of PrPC. Moreover, GC also mediated up-regulation of PrPC in neutrophils following noninflammatory restraint stress. Finally, neutrophils with up-regulated PrPC presented enhanced peroxide-dependent cytotoxicity to endothelial cells. The data demonstrate a novel interplay of the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems upon both the expression and function of PrPC in neutrophils, which may have a broad impact upon the physiology and pathology of various organs and systems. PMID:22910907

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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 the same pH environment. In addition, we found an interesting result that the salt bridges such as ASP201-ARG155, ASP177-ARG163 contribute greatly to the structural stability of RaPrP. PMID:24184221

  15. Lack of TAR-DNA binding protein-43 (TDP-43) pathology in human prion diseases

    PubMed Central

    Isaacs, A M; Powell, C; Webb, T E; Linehan, J M; Collinge, J; Brandner, S

    2008-01-01

    Aims TAR-DNA binding protein-43 (TDP-43) is the major ubiquitinated protein in the aggregates in frontotemporal dementia with ubiquitin-positive, tau-negative inclusions and motor neurone disease. Abnormal TDP-43 immunoreactivity has also been described in Alzheimer's disease, Lewy body diseases and Guam parkinsonism–dementia complex. We therefore aimed to determine whether there is TDP-43 pathology in human prion diseases, which are characterised by variable deposition of prion protein (PrP) aggregates in the brain as amyloid plaques or more diffuse deposits. Material and methods TDP-43, ubiquitin and PrP were analysed by immunohistochemistry and double-labelling immunofluorescence, in sporadic, acquired and inherited forms of human prion disease. Results Most PrP plaques contained ubiquitin, while synaptic PrP deposits were not associated with ubiquitin. No abnormal TDP-43 inclusions were identified in any type of prion disease case, and TDP-43 did not co-localize with ubiquitin-positive PrP plaques or with diffuse PrP aggregates. Conclusions These data do not support a role for TDP-43 in prion disease pathogenesis and argue that TDP-43 inclusions define a distinct group of neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:18657254

  16. Familial spongiform encephalopathy associated with a novel prion protein gene mutation.

    PubMed

    Nitrini, R; Rosemberg, S; Passos-Bueno, M R; da Silva, L S; Iughetti, P; Papadopoulos, M; Carrilho, P M; Caramelli, P; Albrecht, S; Zatz, M; LeBlanc, A

    1997-08-01

    Human prion diseases include Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Gerstmann-Stráussler-Scheinker disease, fatal familial insomnia, and kuru. Each of these diseases has a specific clinical presentation while spongiform encephalopathy, neuronal loss, and gliosis are their neuropathological hallmarks. We studied a Brazilian family with an autosomal dominant form of dementia. Nine members of the family were affected by a dementia with frontotemporal clinical features, with a mean age at onset of 44.8 +/- 3.8 years and a mean duration of symptoms of 4.2 +/- 2.4 years. Neuropathological examination of 3 patients showed severe spongiform change and neuronal loss in the deep cortical layers and in the putamen, but minimal gliosis in the most severely affected areas. The putamen and cerebellum, but not other areas of the affected brain, displayed prion protein immunoreactivity. A novel prion protein gene mutation causing a nonconservative substitution at codon 183 was identified in 2 neuropathologically confirmed affected individuals (mother and son). The mutation was transmitted in a mendelian fashion to 12 members of the family. Therefore, we identified a novel prion disease variant characterized by an early onset and long duration of the symptoms, severe spongiform change with minimal gliosis, associated with a prion protein gene mutation at codon 183. PMID:9266722

  17. Stress-dependent Proteolytic Processing of the Actin Assembly Protein Lsb1 Modulates a Yeast Prion*

    PubMed Central

    Ali, Moiez; Chernova, Tatiana A.; Newnam, Gary P.; Yin, Luming; Shanks, John; Karpova, Tatiana S.; Lee, Andrew; Laur, Oskar; Subramanian, Sindhu; Kim, Dami; McNally, James G.; Seyfried, Nicholas T.; Chernoff, Yury O.; Wilkinson, Keith D.

    2014-01-01

    Yeast prions are self-propagating amyloid-like aggregates of Q/N-rich protein that confer heritable traits and provide a model of mammalian amyloidoses. [PSI+] is a prion isoform of the translation termination factor Sup35. Propagation of [PSI+] during cell division under normal conditions and during the recovery from damaging environmental stress depends on cellular chaperones and is influenced by ubiquitin proteolysis and the actin cytoskeleton. The paralogous yeast proteins Lsb1 and Lsb2 bind the actin assembly protein Las17 (a yeast homolog of human Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein) and participate in the endocytic pathway. Lsb2 was shown to modulate maintenance of [PSI+] during and after heat shock. Here, we demonstrate that Lsb1 also regulates maintenance of the Sup35 prion during and after heat shock. These data point to the involvement of Lsb proteins in the partitioning of protein aggregates in stressed cells. Lsb1 abundance and cycling between actin patches, endoplasmic reticulum, and cytosol is regulated by the Guided Entry of Tail-anchored proteins pathway and Rsp5-dependent ubiquitination. Heat shock-induced proteolytic processing of Lsb1 is crucial for prion maintenance during stress. Our findings identify Lsb1 as another component of a tightly regulated pathway controlling protein aggregation in changing environments. PMID:25143386

  18. Distinct Type of Transmission Barrier Revealed by Study of Multiple Prion Determinants of Rnq1

    PubMed Central

    Kadnar, Michele L.; Articov, Gulnara; Derkatch, Irina L.

    2010-01-01

    Prions are self-propagating protein conformations. Transmission of the prion state between non-identical proteins, e.g. between homologous proteins from different species, is frequently inefficient. Transmission barriers are attributed to sequence differences in prion proteins, but their underlying mechanisms are not clear. Here we use a yeast Rnq1/[PIN+]-based experimental system to explore the nature of transmission barriers. [PIN+], the prion form of Rnq1, is common in wild and laboratory yeast strains, where it facilitates the appearance of other prions. Rnq1's prion domain carries four discrete QN-rich regions. We start by showing that Rnq1 encompasses multiple prion determinants that can independently drive amyloid formation in vitro and transmit the [PIN+] prion state in vivo. Subsequent analysis of [PIN+] transmission between Rnq1 fragments with different sets of prion determinants established that (i) one common QN-rich region is required and usually sufficient for the transmission; (ii) despite identical sequences of the common QNs, such transmissions are impeded by barriers of different strength. Existence of transmission barriers in the absence of amino acid mismatches in transmitting regions indicates that in complex prion domains multiple prion determinants act cooperatively to attain the final prion conformation, and reveals transmission barriers determined by this cooperative fold. PMID:20107602

  19. 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

  20. Accumulation of prion protein in muscle fibers of experimental chloroquine myopathy: in vivo model for deposition of prion protein in non-neuronal tissues.

    PubMed

    Furukawa, Hisako; Doh-ura, Katsumi; Sasaki, Kensuke; Iwaki, Toru

    2004-07-01

    Prion protein (PrP) is known to accumulate in some non-neuronal tissues under conditions unrelated to prion diseases. The biochemical and biological nature of such accumulated PrP molecules, however, has not been fully evaluated. In this study, we established experimental myopathy in hamsters by long-term administration of chloroquine, and we examined the nature of the PrP molecules that accumulated. PrP accumulation was immunohistochemically demonstrated in autophagic vacuoles in degenerated muscle fibers, and this was accompanied by the accumulation of other molecules related to the neuropathogenesis of prion diseases such as clathrin, cathepsin B, heparan sulfate, and apolipoprotein J. Accumulated PrP molecules were partially insoluble in detergent solution and were slightly less sensitive to proteinase K digestion than normal cellular PrP. Muscle homogenates containing these PrP molecules did not cause disease in inoculated hamsters. The findings indicate that the PrP molecules that accumulated in muscle fibers have distinct biochemical and biological properties. Therefore, experimental chloroquine myopathy is a novel and useful model to investigate the mechanism of deposition of PrP in non-neuronal tissues and might provide new insights in the pathogenesis of prion diseases. PMID:15122307

  1. 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

  2. Deficiency of prion protein induces impaired autophagic flux in neurons

    PubMed Central

    Shin, Hae-Young; Park, Jeong-Ho; Carp, Richard I.; Choi, Eun-Kyoung; Kim, Yong-Sun

    2014-01-01

    Normal cellular prion protein (PrPC) is highly expressed in the central nervous system. The Zürich I Prnp-deficient mouse strain did not show an abnormal phenotype in initial studies, however, in later studies, deficits in exploratory behavior and short- and long-term memory have been revealed. In the present study, numerous autophagic vacuoles were found in neurons from Zürich I Prnp-deficient mice. The autophagic accumulation in the soma of cortical neurons in Zürich I Prnp-deficient mice was observed as early as 3 months of age, and in the hippocampal neurons at 6 months of age. Specifically, there is accumulation of electron dense pigments associated with autophagy in the neurons of Zürich I Prnp-deficient mice. Furthermore, autophagic accumulations were observed as early as 3 months of age in the CA3 region of hippocampal and cerebral cortical neuropils. The autophagic vacuoles increased with age in the hippocampus of Zürich I Prnp-deficient mice at a faster rate and to a greater extent than in normal C57BL/6J mice, whereas the cortex exhibited high levels that were maintained from 3 months old in Zürich I Prnp-deficient mice. The pigmented autophagic accumulation is due to the incompletely digested material from autophagic vacuoles. Furthermore, a deficiency in PrPC may disrupt the autophagic flux by inhibiting autophagosome-lysosomal fusion. Overall, our results provide insight into the protective role of PrPC in neurons, which may play a role in normal behavior and other brain functions. PMID:25202268

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

    PubMed

    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 (PrP(C)) is incompletely understood. The expression of PrP(C) in hematopoietic stem cells and immune cells suggests a role in the development of these cells, and in PrP(C) 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 PrP(C). Here we report hematological and immunological analyses of homozygous goat kids lacking PrP(C) (PRNP(Ter/Ter) ) compared to heterozygous (PRNP (+/Ter)) and normal (PRNP (+/+)) kids. Levels of cell surface PrP(C) and PRNP mRNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) correlated well and were very low in PRNP (Ter/Ter), intermediate in PRNP (+/Ter) and high in PRNP (+/+) kids. The PRNP (Ter/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 PrP(C) has a role in bone marrow physiology and warrant further studies of PrP(C) in erythroid and immune cell progenitors as well as differentiated effector cells also under stressful conditions. Altogether, this genetically unmanipulated PrP(C)-free animal model represents a unique opportunity to unveil the enigmatic physiology and function of PrP(C). PMID:26217662

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-17

    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. 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 Korea. We present data linking the amino acid variant Q95H in white-tailed deer cellular prion protein (PrPC) to the emergence of a novel CWD strain (H95+). We show that, upon infection, deer expressing H95-PrPC molecules accumulated a mixture of CWD strains that selectively propagated depending on the PRNP genotype of the host in which they were passaged. Our study also demonstrates that mice expressing the deer S96-PRNP allele, previously shown to be resistant to various cervid prions, are susceptible to H95+ CWD prions. The potential for the generation of novel strains raises the possibility of an expanded host range for CWD. PMID:26423950

  7. 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}.

  8. [Protective Activity of Prion Protein Fragments after Immunization of Annimals with Experimentally Induced Alzheimer's Disease].

    PubMed

    Volpina, O M; Volkova, T D; Medvinskaya, N I; Kamynina, A V; Zaporozhskaya, Y V; Aleksandrova, I J; Koroev, D O; Samokhin, A N; Nesterova, I V; Deygin, V I; Bobkova, N V

    2015-01-01

    The prion protein is considered as one of the membrane targets of neurotoxic beta-amyloid during Alzheimer's disease development. We have chosen and synthesized 17-33, 23-33, 95-110 and 101-115 prion fragments involved in beta-amyloid binding. The effect of immunization with the peptides on the features of Alzheimer's disease was investigated in animals with an experimentally induced form of the disease. It was shown that immunization either with peptide 17-33 or with protein conjugates of peptides 23-33 and 101-115 increases the level of brain beta-amyloid and improves morfofunctional state of the brain. PMID:26165121

  9. 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

  10. 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,...

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Baicalein prevents human prion protein-induced neuronal cell death by regulating JNK activation.

    PubMed

    Moon, Ji-Hong; Park, Sang-Youel

    2015-02-01

    Prion diseases are neurodegenerative disorders characterized by the accumulation of an abnormal isoform of the protease-insensitive isoform (PrPSc) of prion protein. Human prion protein fragment 106?126 [PrP (106?126)] contains most of the pathological characteristics associated with PrPSc. Although a number of compounds have been identified to inhibit PrP accumulation or dissolve fibrils and aggregates in vitro, there is currenlty no treatment available for these progressive neurodegenerative diseases. Baicalein, the dried root of Scutellaria baicalensis (S. baicalensis) Georgi (known as Huang-qin in traditional Chinese medicine) has been reported to exert neuroprotective effects on neurodegenerative diseases. In the present study, we investigated the effects of baicalein on the development of prion diseases using SH-SY5Y and SK-N-SH cells in vitro. We found that baicalein protected the cells against PrP?induced neuronal cell death by inhibiting the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and mitochondrial dysfunction using ROS detection assay and MTP assay. We demonstrated that baicalein treatment regulated the phosphorylation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) by using western blot analysis and Annexin V assay. Our data suggest that baicalein has potential for use as a therapeutic drug for the treatment of various neurodegenerative diseases, including prion diseases. PMID:25435015

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Prions are self-templating protein conformers that are naturally transmitted between individuals and promote phenotypic change. In yeast, prion-encoded phenotypes can be beneficial, neutral or deleterious depending upon genetic background and environmental conditions. A distinctive and portable ‘prion domain’ enriched in asparagine, glutamine, tyrosine and glycine residues unifies the majority of yeast prion proteins. Deletion of this domain precludes prionogenesis and appending this domain to reporter proteins can confer prionogenicity. An algorithm designed to detect prion domains has successfully identified 19 domains that can confer prion behavior. Scouring the human genome with this algorithm enriches a select group of RNA-binding proteins harboring a canonical RNA recognition motif (RRM) and a putative prion domain. Indeed, of 210 human RRM-bearing proteins, 29 have a putative prion domain, and 12 of these are in the top 60 prion candidates in the entire genome. Startlingly, these RNA-binding prion candidates are inexorably emerging, one by one, in the pathology and genetics of devastating neurodegenerative disorders, including: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin-positive inclusions (FTLD-U), Alzheimer’s disease and Huntington’s disease. For example, FUS and TDP-43, which rank 1st and 10th among RRM-bearing prion candidates, form cytoplasmic inclusions in the degenerating motor neurons of ALS patients and mutations in TDP-43 and FUS cause familial ALS. Recently, perturbed RNA-binding proteostasis of TAF15, which is the 2nd ranked RRM-bearing prion candidate, has been connected with ALS and FTLD-U. We strongly suspect that we have now merely reached the tip of the iceberg. We predict that additional RNA-binding prion candidates identified by our algorithm will soon surface as genetic modifiers or causes of diverse neurodegenerative conditions. Indeed, simple prion-like transfer mechanisms involving the prion-like domains of RNA-binding proteins could underlie the classical non-cell-autonomous emanation of neurodegenerative pathology from originating epicenters to neighboring portions of the nervous system. PMID:22445064

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

    PubMed Central

    Jackson, Walker S.

    2014-01-01

    The mechanisms underlying the selective targeting of specific brain regions by different neurodegenerative diseases is one of the most intriguing mysteries in medicine. For example, it is known that Alzheimer’s disease primarily affects parts of the brain that play a role in memory, whereas Parkinson’s disease predominantly affects parts of the brain that are involved in body movement. However, the reasons that other brain regions remain unaffected in these diseases are unknown. A better understanding of the phenomenon of selective vulnerability is required for the development of targeted therapeutic approaches that specifically protect affected neurons, thereby altering the disease course and preventing its progression. Prion diseases are a fascinating group of neurodegenerative diseases because they exhibit a wide phenotypic spectrum caused by different sequence perturbations in a single protein. The possible ways that mutations affecting this protein can cause several distinct neurodegenerative diseases are explored in this Review to highlight the complexity underlying selective vulnerability. The premise of this article is that selective vulnerability is determined by the interaction of specific protein conformers and region-specific microenvironments harboring unique combinations of subcellular components such as metals, chaperones and protein translation machinery. Given the abundance of potential contributory factors in the neurodegenerative process, a better understanding of how these factors interact will provide invaluable insight into disease mechanisms to guide therapeutic discovery. PMID:24396151

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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

  4. Peptidylarginine deiminase and protein citrullination in prion diseases: strong evidence of neurodegeneration.

    PubMed

    Jang, Byungki; Ishigami, Akihito; Maruyama, Naoki; Carp, Richard I; Kim, Yong-Sun; Choi, Eun-Kyoung

    2013-01-01

    The post-translational citrullination (deimination) process is mediated by peptidylarginine deiminases (PADs), which convert peptidylarginine into peptidylcitrulline in the presence of high calcium concentrations. Over the past decade, PADs and protein citrullination have been commonly implicated as abnormal pathological features in neurodegeneration and inflammatory responses associated with diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Based on this evidence, we investigated the roles of PADs and citrullination in the pathogenesis of prion diseases. Prion diseases (also known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies) are fatal neurodegenerative diseases that are pathologically well characterized as the accumulation of disease-associated misfolded prion proteins, spongiform changes, glial cell activation and neuronal loss. We previously demonstrated that the upregulation of PAD2, mainly found in reactive astrocytes of infected brains, leads to excessive citrullination, which is correlated with disease progression. Further, we demonstrated that various cytoskeletal and energy metabolism-associated proteins are particularly vulnerable to citrullination. Our recent in vivo and in vitro studies elicited altered functions of enolase as the result of citrullination; these altered functions included reduced enzyme activity, increased protease sensitivity and enhanced plasminogen-binding affinity. These findings suggest that PAD2 and citrullinated proteins may play a key role in the brain pathology of prion diseases. By extension, we believe that abnormal increases in protein citrullination may be strong evidence of neurodegeneration. PMID:23022892

  5. Requirements for Mutant and Wild-Type Prion Protein Misfolding In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Noble, Geoffrey P.; Walsh, Daniel J.; Miller, Michael B.; Jackson, Walker S.; Supattapone, Surachai

    2015-01-01

    Misfolding of the prion protein (PrP) plays a central role in the pathogenesis of infectious, sporadic, and inherited prion diseases. Here we use a chemically defined prion propagation system to study misfolding of the pathogenic PrP mutant D177N in vitro. This mutation causes PrP to misfold spontaneously in the absence of cofactor molecules in a process dependent on time, temperature, pH, and intermittent sonication. Spontaneously misfolded mutant PrP is able to template its unique conformation onto wild-type PrP substrate in a process that requires a phospholipid activity distinct from that required for the propagation of infectious prions. Similar results were obtained with a second pathogenic PrP mutant, E199K, but not with the polymorphic substitution M128V. Moreover, wild-type PrP inhibits mutant PrP misfolding in a dose-dependent manner, and cofactor molecules can antagonize this effect. These studies suggest that interactions between mutant PrP, wild-type PrP, and other cellular factors may control the rate of PrP misfolding in inherited prion diseases. PMID:25584902

  6. The CPEB3 Protein Is a Functional Prion that Interacts with the Actin Cytoskeleton.

    PubMed

    Stephan, Joseph S; Fioriti, Luana; Lamba, Nayan; Colnaghi, Luca; Karl, Kevin; Derkatch, Irina L; Kandel, Eric R

    2015-06-23

    The mouse cytoplasmic polyadenylation element-binding protein 3 (CPEB3) is a translational regulator implicated in long-term memory maintenance. Invertebrate orthologs of CPEB3 in Aplysia and Drosophila are functional prions that are physiologically active in the aggregated state. To determine if this principle applies to the mammalian CPEB3, we expressed it in yeast and found that it forms heritable aggregates that are the hallmark of known prions. In addition, we confirm in the mouse the importance of CPEB3's prion formation for CPEB3 function. Interestingly, deletion analysis of the CPEB3 prion domain uncovered a tripartite organization: two aggregation-promoting domains surround a regulatory module that affects interaction with the actin cytoskeleton. In all, our data provide direct evidence that CPEB3 is a functional prion in the mammalian brain and underline the potential importance of an actin/CPEB3 feedback loop for the synaptic plasticity underlying the persistence of long-term memory. PMID:26074072

  7. 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

  8. 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 intermediate structure that is similar to the Cu2+ form with reduced coordination number. PMID:24102071

  9. 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...

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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

  12. 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…

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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 ...

  16. 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

  17. 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 at ultra-low fields is realized by incorporating the high sensitivities of a dc superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) with the high polarizations attainable through optica11y pumping {sup 129}Xe gas.

  18. Role of Lipid Rafts and GM1 in the Segregation and Processing of Prion Protein

    PubMed Central

    Botto, Laura; Cunati, Diana; Coco, Silvia; Sesana, Silvia; Bulbarelli, Alessandra; Biasini, Emiliano; Colombo, Laura; Negro, Alessandro; Chiesa, Roberto; Masserini, Massimo; Palestini, Paola

    2014-01-01

    The prion protein (PrPC) is highly expressed within the nervous system. Similar to other GPI-anchored proteins, PrPC is found in lipid rafts, membrane domains enriched in cholesterol and sphingolipids. PrPC raft association, together with raft lipid composition, appears essential for the conversion of PrPC into the scrapie isoform PrPSc, and the development of prion disease. Controversial findings were reported on the nature of PrPC-containing rafts, as well as on the distribution of PrPC between rafts and non-raft membranes. We investigated PrPC/ganglioside relationships and their influence on PrPC localization in a neuronal cellular model, cerebellar granule cells. Our findings argue that in these cells at least two PrPC conformations coexist: in lipid rafts PrPC is present in the native folding (α-helical), stabilized by chemico-physical condition, while it is mainly present in other membrane compartments in a PrPSc-like conformation. We verified, by means of antibody reactivity and circular dichroism spectroscopy, that changes in lipid raft-ganglioside content alters PrPC conformation and interaction with lipid bilayers, without modifying PrPC distribution or cleavage. Our data provide new insights into the cellular mechanism of prion conversion and suggest that GM1-prion protein interaction at the cell surface could play a significant role in the mechanism predisposing to pathology. PMID:24859148

  19. Two mutant prion proteins expressed in cultured cells acquire biochemical properties reminiscent of the scrapie isoform.

    PubMed Central

    Lehmann, S; Harris, D A

    1996-01-01

    Prion diseases are a group of fatal neurodegenerative disorders that are unique in being infectious, genetic, and sporadic in origin. Infectious cases are caused by prions, which are composed primarily of PrPSc, a posttranslationally modified isoform of the normal cellular prion protein PrPC. Inherited cases are linked to insertional or point mutations in the host gene encoding PrPC. To investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying inherited prion diseases, we have constructed stably transfected Chinese hamster ovary cells that express mouse PrPs homologous to two human PrPs associated with familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. One mouse PrP molecule carries a Glu-->Lys substitution at codon 199, and the other carries an insertion of six additional octapeptide repeats between codons 51 and 90. We find that both of these mutant PrPs display several biochemical hallmarks of PrPSc when synthesized in cell culture. Unlike wild-type PrP, the mutant proteins are detergent insoluble and are relatively resistant to digestion by proteinase K, yielding an N-terminally truncated core fragment of 27-30 kDa. Pulse-chase labeling experiments demonstrate that these properties are acquired posttranslationally, and are accompanied by increased metabolic stability of the protein. Our results provide the first evidence that a molecule with properties reminiscent of PrPSc can be generated de novo in cultured cells. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 PMID:8643624

  20. N-terminal Domain of Prion Protein Directs Its Oligomeric Association*

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2014-01-01

    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

  1. [Prion disease].

    PubMed

    Mizusawa, Hidehiro

    2010-11-01

    Human prion diseases are classified into 3 categories according to etiologies: idiopathic of unknown cause, acquired of infectious origin, and genetic by PRNP mutation. The surveillance committee have analyzed 2,494 cases and identified 1,402 as prion diseases. Most of them are idiopathic, namely sporadic CJD (77%) with less genetic and acquired prion diseases (17% and 5%, respectively). The number of patients identified by the surveillance committee in these years is about 120 which are less than the number of annual death of prion disease. The difference might be due to partly the fact our surveillance need the consent from patients' family and is not complete. The mean age at onset of prion disease is late 60s while the range is fairly wide. Brain MRIs and increase of CSF 14-3-3 and tau protein levels are very characteristic. Classical sporadic CJD could show completely normal T1WI with patchy high signals in the cerebral cortex and basal ganglia on DWI. In Japan, classical sporadic CJD (MM1) is most popular but there are some rare atypical subtypes. Among them, MM2-thalamic CJD is hardest to diagnose because it shows no high intensity signals on DWI, in addition to frequent absence of CSF and EEG characteristics. In this case, CBF decrease in the thalamus on SPECT is very helpful. Genetic prion diseases in Japan are quite distinct from those in Europe. V180I and M232R mutations are unique to Japan and show sporadic CJD phenotype. Dura graft-associated CJD (dCJD) are composed of 67% of classical sporadic CJD phenotype and 33% of atypical phenotype showing slower progression with amyloid plaques. Trace-back experiments suggested the PrP(sc) of the atypical dCJD was likely to be modified from infection of abnormal VV2 protein. Although there are some atypical forms of prion diseases as mentioned above, almost all prion cases could be diagnosed with EEG, MRI, genetic test, CSF test and SPECT. We also have some incidents in which brain surgery was done before the diagnosis of prion disease and many other patients were operated using the same operating instruments before their sterilization against prion disease had been done. The explanation of possibility of prion disease infection to the patients and their follow-up was started by the incident committee. It is very important for all the nations to cooperate with each other in order to overcome this intractable disease. PMID:21921445

  2. Assessing Proteinase K Resistance of Fish Prion Proteins in a Scrapie-Infected Mouse Neuroblastoma Cell Line

    PubMed Central

    Salta, Evgenia; Kanata, Eirini; Ouzounis, Christos A.; Gilch, Sabine; Schätzl, Hermann; Sklaviadis, Theodoros

    2014-01-01

    The key event in prion pathogenesis is the structural conversion of the normal cellular protein, PrPC, into an aberrant and partially proteinase K resistant isoform, PrPSc. Since the minimum requirement for a prion disease phenotype is the expression of endogenous PrP in the host, species carrying orthologue prion genes, such as fish, could in theory support prion pathogenesis. Our previous work has demonstrated the development of abnormal protein deposition in sea bream brain, following oral challenge of the fish with natural prion infectious material. In this study, we used a prion-infected mouse neuroblastoma cell line for the expression of three different mature fish PrP proteins and the evaluation of the resistance of the exogenously expressed proteins to proteinase K treatment (PK), as an indicator of a possible prion conversion. No evidence of resistance to PK was detected for any of the studied recombinant proteins. Although not indicative of an absolute inability of the fish PrPs to structurally convert to pathogenic isoforms, the absence of PK-resistance may be due to supramolecular and conformational differences between the mammalian and piscine PrPs. PMID:25402173

  3. Idiopathic Brainstem Neuronal Chromatolysis (IBNC): a novel prion protein related disorder of cattle?

    PubMed Central

    Jeffrey, Martin; Perez, Belinda Baquero; Martin, Stuart; Terry, Linda; González, Lorenzo

    2008-01-01

    Background The epidemic form of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) is generally considered to have been caused by a single prion strain but at least two strain variants of cattle prion disorders have recently been recognized. An additional neurodegenerative condition, idiopathic brainstem neuronal chromatolysis and hippocampal sclerosis (IBNC), a rare neurological disease of adult cattle, was also recognised in a sub-set of cattle submitted under the BSE Orders in which lesions of BSE were absent. Between the years of 1988 and 1991 IBNC occurred in Scotland with an incidence of 7 cases per 100,000 beef suckler cows over the age of 6 years. Results When the brains of 15 IBNC cases were each tested by immunohistochemistry, all showed abnormal labelling for prion protein (PrP). Immunohistological labelling for PrP was also present in the retina of a single case available for examination. The pattern of PrP labelling in brain is distinct from that seen in other ruminant prion diseases and is absent from brains with other inflammatory conditions and from normal control brains. Brains of IBNC cattle do not reveal abnormal PrP isoforms when tested by the commercial BioRad or Idexx test kits and do not reveal PrPres when tested by Western blotting using stringent proteinase digestion methods. However, some weakly protease resistant isoforms of PrP may be detected when tissues are examined using mild proteinase digestion techniques. Conclusion The study shows that a distinctive neurological disorder of cattle, which has some clinical similarities to BSE, is associated with abnormal PrP labelling in brain but the pathology and biochemistry of IBNC are distinct from BSE. The study is important either because it raises the possibility of a significant increase in the scope of prion disease or because it demonstrates that widespread and consistent PrP alterations may not be confined to prion diseases. Further studies, including transmission experiments, are needed to establish whether IBNC is a condition in which prion protein is abnormally regulated or it is yet a further example of an infectious cattle prion disease. PMID:18826563

  4. The Neutral Sphingomyelinase Pathway Regulates Packaging of the Prion Protein into Exosomes*

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Belinda B.; Bellingham, Shayne A.; Hill, Andrew F.

    2015-01-01

    Prion diseases are a group of transmissible, fatal neurodegenerative disorders associated with the misfolding of the host-encoded prion protein, PrPC, into a disease-associated form, PrPSc. The transmissible prion agent is principally formed of PrPSc itself and is associated with extracellular vesicles known as exosomes. Exosomes are released from cells both in vitro and in vivo, and have been proposed as a mechanism by which prions spread intercellularly. The biogenesis of exosomes occurs within the endosomal system, through formation of intraluminal vesicles (ILVs), which are subsequently released from cells as exosomes. ILV formation is known to be regulated by the endosomal sorting complexes required for transport (ESCRT) machinery, although an alternative neutral sphingomyelinase (nSMase) pathway has been suggested to also regulate this process. Here, we investigate a role for the nSMase pathway in exosome biogenesis and packaging of PrP into these vesicles. Inhibition of the nSMase pathway using GW4869 revealed a role for the nSMase pathway in both exosome formation and PrP packaging. In agreement, targeted knockdown of nSMase1 and nSMase2 in mouse neurons using lentivirus-mediated RNAi also decreases exosome release, demonstrating the nSMase pathway regulates the biogenesis and release of exosomes. We also demonstrate that PrPC packaging is dependent on nSMase2, whereas the packaging of disease-associated PrPSc into exosomes occurs independently of nSMase2. These findings provide further insight into prion transmission and identify a pathway which directly assists exosome-mediated transmission of prions. PMID:25505180

  5. 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...

  6. Translation of the Prion Protein mRNA Is Robust in Astrocytes but Does Not Amplify during Reactive Astrocytosis in the Mouse Brain

    PubMed Central

    Jackson, Walker S.; Krost, Clemens; Borkowski, Andrew W.; Kaczmarczyk, Lech

    2014-01-01

    Prion diseases induce neurodegeneration in specific brain areas for undetermined reasons. A thorough understanding of the localization of the disease-causing molecule, the prion protein (PrP), could inform on this issue but previous studies have generated conflicting conclusions. One of the more intriguing disagreements is whether PrP is synthesized by astrocytes. We developed a knock-in reporter mouse line in which the coding sequence of the PrP expressing gene (Prnp), was replaced with that for green fluorescent protein (GFP). Native GFP fluorescence intensity varied between and within brain regions. GFP was present in astrocytes but did not increase during reactive gliosis induced by scrapie prion infection. Therefore, reactive gliosis associated with prion diseases does not cause an acceleration of local PrP production. In addition to aiding in Prnp gene activity studies, this reporter mouse line will likely prove useful for analysis of chimeric animals produced by stem cell and tissue transplantation experiments. PMID:24752288

  7. From cell protection to death: may Ca2+ signals explain the chameleonic attributes of the mammalian prion protein?

    PubMed

    Sorgato, M Catia; Bertoli, Alessandro

    2009-02-01

    It is now accepted that a conformational change of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) generates the prion, the infectious agent responsible for lethal neurodegenerative disorders, named transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, or prion diseases. The mechanisms of prion-associated neurodegeneration are still obscure, as is the cell role of PrP(C), although increasing evidence attributes to PrP(C) important functions in cell survival. Such a behavioral dichotomy thus enables the prion protein to switch from a benign role under normal conditions, to the execution of neurons during disease. By reviewing data from models of prion disease and PrP(C)-null paradigms, which suggest a relation between the prion protein and Ca(2+) homeostasis, here we discuss the possibility that Ca(2+) is the factor behind the enigma of the pathophysiology of PrP(C). Ca(2+) features in almost all processes of cell signaling, and may thus tell us much about a protein that pivots between health and disease. PMID:19101513

  8. 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

  9. 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 animal studies, is warranted. The lack of reported TSEs in BHS may be attributable to other host factors or a lack of TSE surveillance in this species.

  10. The HET-s prion protein of the filamentous fungus Podospora anserina aggregates in vitro into amyloid-like fibrils.

    PubMed

    Dos Reis, Suzana; Coulary-Salin, Bénédicte; Forge, Vincent; Lascu, Ioan; Bégueret, Joël; Saupe, Sven J

    2002-02-22

    The HET-s protein of Podospora anserina is a fungal prion. This protein behaves as an infectious cytoplasmic element that is transmitted horizontally from one strain to another. Under the prion form, the HET-s protein forms aggregates in vivo. The specificity of this prion model compared with the yeast prions resides in the fact that under the prion form HET-s causes a growth inhibition and cell death reaction when co-expressed with the HET-S protein from which it differs by 13 residues. Herein we describe the purification and initial characterization of recombinant HET-s protein expressed in Escherichia coli. The HET-s protein self-associates over time into high molecular weight aggregates. These aggregates greatly accelerate precipitation of the soluble form. HET-s aggregates appear as amyloid-like fibrils using electron microscopy. They bind Congo Red and show birefringence under polarized light. In the aggregated form, a HET-s fragment of approximately 7 kDa is resistant to proteinase K digestion. CD and FTIR analyses indicate that upon transition to the aggregated state, the HET-s protein undergoes a structural rearrangement characterized by an increase in antiparallel beta-sheet structure content. These results suggest that the [Het-s] prion element propagates in vivo as an infectious amyloid. PMID:11733532

  11. Chemical induction of misfolded prion protein conformers in cell culture.

    PubMed

    Ghaemmaghami, Sina; Ullman, Julie; Ahn, Misol; St Martin, Susan; Prusiner, Stanley B

    2010-04-01

    Prion-infected cells accumulate a heterogeneous population of aberrantly folded PrP conformers, including the disease-causing isoform (PrP(Sc)). We found that specific chemicals can modulate the levels of various PrP conformers in cultured cells. Positively charged polyamidoamines (dendrimers) eliminated protease-resistant (r) PrP(Sc) from prion-infected cells and induced the formation of insoluble, protease-sensitive PrP aggregates (designated PrP(A)). Larger, positively charged polyamidoamines more efficaciously induced the formation of PrP(A) and cleared rPrP(Sc), whereas negatively charged polyamidoamines neither induced PrP(A) nor cleared rPrP(Sc). Although the biochemical properties of PrP(A) were shown to be similar to protease-sensitive (s) PrP(Sc), bioassays of PrP(A) indicated that it is not infectious. Our studies argue that PrP(A) represents an aggregated PrP species that is off-pathway relative to the formation of rPrP(Sc). It remains to be established whether the formation of PrP(A) inhibits the formation of rPrP(Sc) by sequestering PrP(C) in the form of benign, insoluble aggregates. PMID:19955177

  12. Chemical Induction of Misfolded Prion Protein Conformers in Cell Culture*

    PubMed Central

    Ghaemmaghami, Sina; Ullman, Julie; Ahn, Misol; St. Martin, Susan; Prusiner, Stanley B.

    2010-01-01

    Prion-infected cells accumulate a heterogeneous population of aberrantly folded PrP conformers, including the disease-causing isoform (PrPSc). We found that specific chemicals can modulate the levels of various PrP conformers in cultured cells. Positively charged polyamidoamines (dendrimers) eliminated protease-resistant (r) PrPSc from prion-infected cells and induced the formation of insoluble, protease-sensitive PrP aggregates (designated PrPA). Larger, positively charged polyamidoamines more efficaciously induced the formation of PrPA and cleared rPrPSc, whereas negatively charged polyamidoamines neither induced PrPA nor cleared rPrPSc. Although the biochemical properties of PrPA were shown to be similar to protease-sensitive (s) PrPSc, bioassays of PrPA indicated that it is not infectious. Our studies argue that PrPA represents an aggregated PrP species that is off-pathway relative to the formation of rPrPSc. It remains to be established whether the formation of PrPA inhibits the formation of rPrPSc by sequestering PrPC in the form of benign, insoluble aggregates. PMID:19955177

  13. 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

  14. Characterization of the interaction domains of Ure2p, a prion-like protein of yeast.

    PubMed Central

    Fernandez-Bellot, E; Guillemet, E; Baudin-Baillieu, A; Gaumer, S; Komar, A A; Cullin, C

    1999-01-01

    In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the non-Mendelian inherited genetic element [URE3] behaves as a prion. A hypothesis has been put forward which states that [URE3] arises spontaneously from its cellular isoform Ure2p (the product of the URE2 gene), and propagates through interactions of the N-terminal domain of the protein, thus leading to its aggregation and loss of function. In the present study, various N- and C-terminal deletion mutants of Ure2p were constructed and their cross-interactions were tested in vitro and in vivo using affinity binding and a two-hybrid analysis. We show that the self-interaction of the protein is mediated by at least two domains, corresponding to the first third of the protein (the so-called prion-forming domain) and the C-terminal catalytic domain. PMID:10024516

  15. Prion-like properties of Tau protein: the importance of extracellular Tau as a therapeutic target.

    PubMed

    Holmes, Brandon B; Diamond, Marc I

    2014-07-18

    Work over the past 4 years indicates that multiple proteins associated with neurodegenerative diseases, especially Tau and α-synuclein, can propagate aggregates between cells in a prion-like manner. This means that once an aggregate is formed it can escape the cell of origin, contact a connected cell, enter the cell, and induce further aggregation via templated conformational change. The prion model predicts a key role for extracellular protein aggregates in mediating progression of disease. This suggests new therapeutic approaches based on blocking neuronal uptake of protein aggregates and promoting their clearance. This will likely include therapeutic antibodies or small molecules, both of which can be developed and optimized in vitro prior to preclinical studies. PMID:24860099

  16. Efficient Uptake and Dissemination of Scrapie Prion Protein by Astrocytes and Fibroblasts from Adult Hamster Brain

    PubMed Central

    Hollister, Jason R.; Lee, Kil Sun; Dorward, David W.; Baron, Gerald S.

    2015-01-01

    Prion infections target neurons and lead to neuronal loss. However, the role of non-neuronal cells in the initiation and spread of infection throughout the brain remains unclear despite the fact these cells can also propagate prion infectivity. To evaluate how different brain cells process scrapie prion protein (PrPres) during acute infection, we exposed neuron-enriched and non-neuronal cell cultures from adult hamster brain to fluorescently-labeled purified PrPres and followed the cultures by live cell confocal imaging over time. Non-neuronal cells present in both types of cultures, specifically astrocytes and fibroblasts, internalized PrPres more efficiently than neurons. PrPres was trafficked to late endosomal/lysosomal compartments and rapidly transported throughout the cell bodies and processes of all cell types, including contacts between astrocytes and neurons. These observations suggest that astrocytes and meningeal fibroblasts play an as yet unappreciated role in prion infections via efficient uptake and dissemination of PrPres. PMID:25635871

  17. 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

  18. 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

  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. Proteomics Analyses for the Global Proteins in the Brain Tissues of Different Human Prion Diseases*

    PubMed Central

    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

    2015-01-01

    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

  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. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  6. Spongiform encephalopathy in siblings with no evidence of protease-resistant prion protein or a mutation in the prion protein gene.

    PubMed

    Varges, Daniela; Schulz-Schaeffer, Walter J; Wemheuer, Wiebke M; Damman, Insa; Schmitz, Matthias; Cramm, Maria; Kallenberg, Kai; Shirneshan, Katayoon; Elkenani, Manar; Markwort, Susanne; Faist, Michael; Kohlhase, Jrgen; Windl, Otto; Zerr, Inga

    2013-07-01

    We discuss relevant aspects in two siblings with a neurodegenerative process of unclear aetiology who developed progressive dementia with global aphasia and hyperoral behaviour at the ages of 39 and 46 years and who died 6 and 5 years after disease onset. The cases were reported to the National Reference Center for TSE Surveillance in Gttingen, Germany. Detailed clinical examinations, CSF, blood samples, and copies of the important diagnostic tests (magnetic resonance imaging, electroencephalogram, laboratory tests) were obtained. Further neuropathological and genetic analyses were performed. Cerebral magnetic resonance imaging of both siblings showed prominent changes in signal intensity, especially in the left medial temporal cortex, but also the hippocampal formation. Neuropathological examination revealed spongiform changes, neuronal loss, and astrocytic gliosis, which are typical in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. However, no prion protein deposits were detectable by immunohistochemical analysis, Western blot, or PET blot, though abundant tau protein deposits were observed. A mutation in the coding region of the prion protein genes of both siblings was excluded. A detailed search of the literature revealed no other cases with a similar clinical and neuropathological appearance. While the disease aetiology remains unclear, the findings point to a neurodegenerative process and most likely a genetic disease. PMID:23546304

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  9. Review: membrane-associated misfolded protein propagation in natural transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), synthetic prion diseases and Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Jeffrey, M

    2013-04-01

    Protein misfolding has long been recognized as a primary cause of systemic amyloidosis and, increasingly, template-mediated misfolding of native host proteins is now also considered to be central pathogenetic events in some neurodegenerative diseases. Alzheimer's disease, naturally occurring transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) and experimental disorders caused by misfolded prion protein (PrP) generated in vitro all share an imbalance of protein synthesis, aggregation and clearance that leads to protein aggregation, prompting some to suggest that Alzheimer's disease is caused by a prion-like mechanism. In TSEs, the host-coded, glycosyl-phosphoinositol (GPI) membrane-anchored prion protein (PrP(c) ) is misfolded into disease-associated, putatively infectious aggregates known as prions. In Alzheimer's disease the membrane-spanning Alzheimer's precursor protein (APP) is progressively cleaved within the plasmalemma to form Aβ peptide fragments that can form pathogenic extracellular aggregates while microtubule-associated tau proteins may also aggregate within neurones. Oligomeric Aβ peptides and full-length misfolded PrP show a common potential to convert native protein and aggregate on plasma membranes before subsequent release to form amyloid fibrils in the extracellular space. However, the nature, membrane topography and processing of the precursor and propagated proteins in prion and Alzheimer's disease all differ, and each group of diseases has distinctive spectra of additional pathological changes and clinical signs suggesting that fundamentally different disease mechanisms are involved. PMID:23171056

  10. Dissociation of Prion Protein Amyloid Seeding from Transmission of a Spongiform Encephalopathy

    PubMed Central

    Piccardo, Pedro; King, Declan; Telling, Glenn; Manson, Jean C.

    2013-01-01

    Misfolding and aggregation of proteins are common pathogenic mechanisms of a group of diseases called proteinopathies. The formation and spread of proteinaceous lesions within and between individuals were first described in prion diseases and proposed as the basis of their infectious nature. Recently, a similar “prion-like” mechanism of transmission has been proposed in other neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. We investigated if misfolding and aggregation of corrupted prion protein (PrPTSE) are always associated with horizontal transmission of disease. Knock-in transgenic mice (101LL) expressing mutant PrP (PrP-101L) that are susceptible to disease but do not develop any spontaneous neurological phenotype were inoculated with (i) brain extracts containing PrPTSE from healthy 101LL mice with PrP plaques in the corpus callosum or (ii) brain extracts from mice overexpressing PrP-101L with neurological disease, severe spongiform encephalopathy, and formation of proteinase K-resistant PrPTSE. In all instances, 101LL mice developed PrP plaques in the area of inoculation and vicinity in the absence of clinical disease or spongiform degeneration of the brain. Importantly, 101LL mice did not transmit disease on serial passage, ruling out the presence of subclinical infection. Thus, in both experimental models the formation of PrPTSE is not infectious. These results have implications for the interpretation of tests based on the detection of protein aggregates and suggest that de novo formation of PrPTSE in the host does not always result in a transmissible prion disease. In addition, these results question the validity of assuming that all diseases due to protein misfolding can be transmitted between individuals. PMID:24027305

  11. Molecular dynamics studies on the NMR structures of rabbit prion protein wild type and mutants: surface electrostatic charge distributions.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jiapu; Wang, Feng; Zhang, Yuanli

    2015-01-01

    Prion diseases are invariably fatal and highly infectious neurodegenerative diseases that affect a wide variety of mammalian species such as sheep and goats, cattle, deer and elk, and humans. But for rabbits, studies have shown that they have a low susceptibility to be infected by prion diseases. This paper does molecular dynamics (MD) studies of rabbit NMR structures (of the wild type and its two mutants of two surface residues), in order to understand the specific mechanism of rabbit prion proteins (RaPrP(C)). Protein surface electrostatic charge distributions are specially focused to analyze the MD trajectories. This paper can conclude that surface electrostatic charge distributions indeed contribute to the structural stability of wild-type RaPrP(C); this may be useful for the medicinal treatment of prion diseases. PMID:25105226

  12. Functional Role of Tia1/Pub1 and Sup35 Prion Domains: Directing Protein Synthesis Machinery to the Tubulin Cytoskeleton

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xiang; Rayman, Joseph B.; Kandel, Eric R; Derkatch, Irina L.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Tia1/Pub1 is a stress granule component carrying a Q/N-rich prion domain. We provide direct evidence that Tia1 forms a prion in yeast. Moreover, Tia1/Pub1 acts co-operatively with release factor Sup35/eRF3 to establish a two-protein self-propagating state. This two-protein prion driven by the Q/N-rich prion domains of Sup35 and Tia1/Pub1 can be visualized as distinctive line structures along tubulin cytoskeleton. Furthermore, we find that tubulin-associated complex containing Pub1 and Sup35 oligomers normally exists in yeast, and its assembly depends on prion domains of Pub1 and Sup35. This Sup35/Pub1 complex, which also contains TUB1 mRNA and components of translation machinery, is important for the integrity of the tubulin cytoskeleton: PUB1 disruption and Sup35 depletion from the complex lead to cytoskeletal defects. We propose that the complex is implicated in protein synthesis at the site of microtubule assembly. Thus our study identifies the role for prion domains in the assembly of multi-protein complexes. PMID:24981173

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. The role of the cellular prion protein in the immune system

    PubMed Central

    Isaacs, J D; Jackson, G S; Altmann, D M

    2006-01-01

    Prion protein (PrP) plays a key role in the pathogenesis of prion diseases. However, the normal function of the protein remains unclear. The cellular isoform (PrPC) is expressed widely in the immune system, in haematopoietic stem cells and mature lymphoid and myeloid compartments in addition to cells of the central nervous system. It is up-regulated in T cell activation and may be expressed at higher levels by specialized classes of lymphocyte. Furthermore, antibody cross-linking of surface PrP modulates T cell activation and leads to rearrangements of lipid raft constituents and increased phosphorylation of signalling proteins. These findings appear to indicate an important but, as yet, ill-defined role in T cell function. Although PrP–/– mice have been reported to have only minor alterations in immune function, recent work has suggested that PrP is required for self-renewal of haematopoietic stem cells. Here, we consider the evidence for a distinctive role for PrPC in the immune system and what the effects of anti-prion therapeutics may be on immune function. PMID:16968391

  16. Life cycle of cytosolic prions

    PubMed Central

    Hofmann, Julia; Vorberg, Ina

    2013-01-01

    Prions are self-templating protein aggregates that were originally identified as the causative agent of prion diseases in mammals, but have since been discovered in other kingdoms. Mammalian prions represent a unique class of infectious agents that are composed of misfolded prion protein. Prion proteins usually exist as soluble proteins but can refold and assemble into highly ordered, self-propagating prion polymers. The prion concept is also applicable to a growing number of non-Mendelian elements of inheritance in lower eukaryotes. While prions identified in mammals are clearly pathogens, prions in lower eukaryotes can be either detrimental or beneficial to the host. Prion phenotypes in fungi are transmitted vertically from mother to daughter cells during cell division and horizontally during mating or abortive mating, but extracellular phases have not been reported. Recent findings now demonstrate that in a mammalian cell environment, protein aggregates derived from yeast prion domains exhibit a prion life cycle similar to mammalian prions propagated ex vivo. This life cycle includes a soluble state of the protein, an induction phase by exogenous prion fibrils, stable replication of prion entities, vertical transmission to progeny and natural horizontal transmission to neighboring cells. Our data reveal that mammalian cells contain all co-factors required for cytosolic prion propagation and dissemination. This has important implications for understanding prion-like properties of disease-related protein aggregates. In light of the growing number of identified functional amyloids, cell-to-cell propagation of cytosolic protein conformers might not only be relevant for the spreading of disease-associated proteins, but might also be of more general relevance under non-disease conditions. PMID:24021964

  17. 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.

  18. 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; 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 (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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Intracerebral distribution of the abnormal isoform of the prion protein in sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and fatal insomnia.

    PubMed

    Parchi, P; Capellari, S; Gambetti, P

    2000-07-01

    Molecular genetics and protein chemistry have led to major advances in our understanding of the molecular basis of phenotypic variability of prion diseases. A large body of evidence indicates that a common methionine/valine polymorphism at codon 129 in the prion protein gene (PRNP), alone or in conjunction with PRNP mutations, modulates both disease susceptibility and phenotypic expression of human prion diseases. In addition, there are physicochemical properties of the abnormal isoform of the prion protein (PrP(sc)), such as relative molecular mass and glycosylation, that correlate with distinct phenotypes even in subjects carrying the same PRNP genotype. Different PrP(sc) "type"-PRNP genotype combinations are found associated with pathological phenotypes that differ in the relative severity of lesions among distinct brain regions, the presence and morphology of certain lesions such as amyloid plaques, and the pattern of intracerebral and tissue deposition of PrP(sc). This review summarizes the currently available data on the molecular pathology of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the most common human prion disease, and fatal insomnia, a more recently defined entity that has rapidly become one of the best characterized of the human prion diseases. PMID:10871544

  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. Identification and characterization of a multispecific monoclonal antibody G2 against chicken prion protein

    PubMed Central

    Kamatari, Yuji O; Ohta, Shinri; Inoshima, Yasuo; Oda, Masayuki; Maruno, Takahiro; Kobayashi, Yuji; Ishiguro, Naotaka

    2014-01-01

    We previously generated a monoclonal antibody (mAb), G2, by immunizing mice with Residues 174–247 of the chicken prion protein (ChPrPC). In this study, we found that G2 possessed an extremely unusual characteristic for a mAb; in particular, it could react with at least three proteins other than ChPrPC, the original antigenic protein. We immunoscreened a complementary DNA library from chicken brain DNA and found three proteins (SEPT3, ATP6V1C1, and C6H10orf76) that reacts with G2. There were no regions of amino acid sequence similarity between ChPrPC and SEPT3, ATP6V1C1, or C6H10orf76. We selected ATP6V1C1 as a representative of the three proteins and identified the epitope within ATP6V1C1 that reacts with G2. The amino acid sequence of the G2 epitope within ATP6V1C1 (Pep8) was not related to the G2 epitope within ChPrPC (Pep18mer). However, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, surface plasmon resonance (SPR), and isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) experiments indicated that these two peptides have similar binding affinity for G2. The apparent KD values of Pep18mer and Pep8 obtained from SPR experiments were 2.9 × 10−8 and 1.6 × 10−8 M, respectively. Antibody inhibition test using each peptide indicated that the binding sites of the two different peptides overlapped each other. We observed that these two peptides substantially differed in several binding characteristics. Based on the SPR experiments, the association and dissociation rate constants of Pep18mer were higher than those of Pep8. A clear difference was also observed in ITC experiments. These differences may be explained by G2 adopting different binding conformations and undergoing different binding pathways. PMID:24863561

  4. 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

  5. Ablation of prion protein immunoreactivity by heating in saturated calcium hydroxide

    PubMed Central

    Greenlee, Justin J; Nicholson, Eric M; Hamir, Amir N; Noyes, Gary P; Holtzapple, Mark T; Kehrli, Marcus E

    2008-01-01

    Background Prions, the infectious agents that cause transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), are relatively resistant to destruction by physical, enzymatic, and chemical treatments. Hydrolysis in boiling saturated calcium hydroxide (limewater) utilizes inexpensive chemicals to digest protein components of offal. The purpose of this work was to determine if incubating brain material from scrapie-infected sheep in near-boiling saturated calcium hydroxide solution (Ca(OH)2) would abolish immunoreactivity of the infectious prion (PrPSc) as determined by western blot. Findings After incubating for as few as 10 minutes in saturated calcium hydroxide at 99°C, immunoreactivity of protease resistant bands by western blot analysis is completely lost. Conclusion Boiling in limewater may offer an alternative for disposal of carcasses and enable alternative uses for rendered products from potentially infected carcasses. PMID:18957103

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Molecular heterosis of prion protein beta-oligomers. A potential mechanism of human resistance to disease.

    PubMed

    Tahiri-Alaoui, Abdessamad; Sim, Valerie L; Caughey, Byron; James, William

    2006-11-10

    The gene encoding prion protein is polymorphic in human populations, with over 40% of native Europeans, for example, being heterozygous for the Met-129 and Val-129 alleles. The polymorphism affects both the incidence and the clinical presentation of a range of prion diseases, with heterozygotes generally showing the highest levels of resistance. It has been suggested that an earlier epidemic of prion diseases exerted balancing selection on the two alleles, and we have previously demonstrated that the two encoded proteins have potentially compensating tendencies to form amyloid and soluble beta-oligomers, respectively, in vitro. More strikingly, here we demonstrate that mixed oligomers, composed of both allelic forms, show an extreme sluggishness in converting to amyloid in comparison with oligomers homogenous for either allele. It may be that this example of molecular heterosis in vitro provides the basis for maintenance of the polymorphism in the population and that beta-oligomers represent a form of PrP sequestered from pathogenic amyloid formation in vivo. PMID:16980300

  9. Mapping the Prion Protein Distribution in Marsupials: Insights from Comparing Opossum with Mouse CNS

    PubMed Central

    Poggiolini, Ilaria; Legname, Giuseppe

    2012-01-01

    The cellular form of the prion protein (PrPC) is a sialoglycoprotein widely expressed in the central nervous system (CNS) of mammalian species during neurodevelopment and in adulthood. The location of the protein in the CNS may play a role in the susceptibility of a species to fatal prion diseases, which are also known as the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). To date, little is known about PrPC distribution in marsupial mammals, for which no naturally occurring prion diseases have been reported. To extend our understanding of varying PrPC expression profiles in different mammals we carried out a detailed expression analysis of PrPC distribution along the neurodevelopment of the metatherian South American short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica). We detected lower levels of PrPC in white matter fiber bundles of opossum CNS compared to mouse CNS. This result is consistent with a possible role for PrPC in the distinct neurodevelopment and neurocircuitry found in marsupials compared to other mammalian species. PMID:23209725

  10. 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

  11. Neurotoxicity of Prion Peptides Mimicking the Central Domain of the Cellular Prion Protein

    PubMed Central

    Vilches, Silvia; Vergara, Cristina; Nicolás, Oriol; Sanclimens, Gloria; Merino, Sandra; Varón, Sonia; Acosta, Gerardo A.; Albericio, Fernando; Royo, Miriam; Río, José A. Del; Gavín, Rosalina

    2013-01-01

    The physiological functions of PrPC remain enigmatic, but the central domain, comprising highly conserved regions of the protein may play an important role. Indeed, a large number of studies indicate that synthetic peptides containing residues 106–126 (CR) located in the central domain (CD, 95–133) of PrPC are neurotoxic. The central domain comprises two chemically distinct subdomains, the charge cluster (CC, 95–110) and a hydrophobic region (HR, 112–133). The aim of the present study was to establish the individual cytotoxicity of CC, HR and CD. Our results show that only the CD peptide is neurotoxic. Biochemical, Transmission Electron Microscopy and Atomic Force Microscopy experiments demonstrated that the CD peptide is able to activate caspase-3 and disrupt the cell membrane, leading to cell death. PMID:23940658

  12. Techniques to elucidate the conformation of prions

    PubMed Central

    Daus, Martin L

    2015-01-01

    Proteinaceous infectious particles (prions) are unique pathogens as they are devoid of any coding nucleic acid. Whilst it is assumed that prion disease is transmitted by a misfolded isoform of the cellular prion protein, the structural insight of prions is still vague and research for high resolution structural information of prions is still ongoing. In this review, techniques that may contribute to the clarification of the conformation of prions are presented and discussed. PMID:26322176

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. [Physiopathology of prion diseases].

    PubMed

    Mandujano, Alejandra; Montes, Sara; Guzmn, Ada; Espinosa, Blanca; Rembao, Daniel; Martnez-Cairo, Salvador; Zenteno, Edgar; Guevara, Jorge

    2006-01-01

    Prion diseases are a group of degenerative disorders characterized by being progressive, fast growing, and fatal, they affect humans and animals. Due to their physiopathogeny, these disorders can be sporadic, genetic, or infectious. Prions are cellular proteins that lack nucleic acids; they are not viruses or microorganisms. Prions induce neuronal death, brain spongiosis, which are a hallmark of these diseases, as well as amyloid prion protein plaque aggregates. Although the causes that favor pathogenic prion proteins remain uncertain, it is possible that conformational changes of the prion protein allow them to create copies of themselves to form aggregates and induce neuronal death. Other theories suggest that quantitative and qualitative changes in the glycosylation pattern induce the pathological prion form. The latter allows to explain some of their interactions and to understand better the conformational changes and the physico-chemical properties of the prion protein. We review some of the first biological functions (as a transporter of Cu2+ ions) that have been described to this molecule. The present review focuses on different aspects of prion diseases aimed at understanding better their physiopathogenic characteristics. PMID:17128820

  16. Mouse-Hamster Chimeric Prion Protein (PrP) Devoid of N-Terminal Residues 23-88 Restores Susceptibility to 22L Prions, but Not to RML Prions in PrP-Knockout Mice

    PubMed Central

    Yano, Masashi; Yamaguchi, Yoshitaka; Imamura, Morikazu; Muramatsu, Naomi; Das, Nandita Rani; Chida, Junji; Hara, Hideyuki; Sakaguchi, Suehiro

    2014-01-01

    Prion infection induces conformational conversion of the normal prion protein PrPC, into the pathogenic isoform PrPSc, in prion diseases. It has been shown that PrP-knockout (Prnp0/0) mice transgenically reconstituted with a mouse-hamster chimeric PrP lacking N-terminal residues 23-88, or Tg(MHM2Δ23-88)/Prnp0/0 mice, neither developed the disease nor accumulated MHM2ScΔ23-88 in their brains after inoculation with RML prions. In contrast, RML-inoculated Tg(MHM2Δ23-88)/Prnp0/+ mice developed the disease with abundant accumulation of MHM2ScΔ23-88 in their brains. These results indicate that MHM2Δ23-88 itself might either lose or greatly reduce the converting capacity to MHM2ScΔ23-88, and that the co-expressing wild-type PrPC can stimulate the conversion of MHM2Δ23-88 to MHM2ScΔ23-88 in trans. In the present study, we confirmed that Tg(MHM2Δ23-88)/Prnp0/0 mice remained resistant to RML prions for up to 730 days after inoculation. However, we found that Tg(MHM2Δ23-88)/Prnp0/0 mice were susceptible to 22L prions, developing the disease with prolonged incubation times and accumulating MHM2ScΔ23-88 in their brains. We also found accelerated conversion of MHM2Δ23-88 into MHM2ScΔ23-88 in the brains of RML- and 22L-inoculated Tg(MHM2Δ23-88)/Prnp0/+ mice. However, wild-type PrPSc accumulated less in the brains of these inoculated Tg(MHM2Δ23-88)/Prnp0/+ mice, compared with RML- and 22L-inoculated Prnp0/+ mice. These results show that MHM2Δ23-88 itself can convert into MHM2ScΔ23-88 without the help of the trans-acting PrPC, and that, irrespective of prion strains inoculated, the co-expressing wild-type PrPC stimulates the conversion of MHM2Δ23-88 into MHM2ScΔ23-88, but to the contrary, the co-expressing MHM2Δ23-88 disturbs the conversion of wild-type PrPC into PrPSc. PMID:25330286

  17. Disease associated prion protein may deposit in the peripheral nervous system in human transmissible spongiform encephalopathies.

    PubMed

    Hainfellner, J A; Budka, H

    1999-11-01

    There is increasing evidence indicating involvement of the peripheral nervous system (PNS) in the pathogenesis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). Immunocytochemically detectable deposits of TSE-specific abnormal prion protein (PrP(sc)) are considered as a surrogate marker for infectivity. We used anti-PrP immunocytochemistry to trace PrP(sc) deposition in spinal and enteric ganglia, and peripheral nerve in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker disease (GSS), and fatal familial insomnia. Discrete PrP(sc) deposits were detectable only in a few posterior root nerve fibers in an adaxonal location in one of nine CJD and the one GSS patients examined. Follicular dendritic cells of the gut and enteric nervous system were not labeled. Thus, PrP(sc) may spread to the PNS in different forms of human prion disease. In contrast to our observations in experimental scrapie (Groschup et al., Acta Neuropathol, this issue), the deposits were scant. Possible explanations for this discrepancy comprise strain difference, or centripetal (experimental scrapie) versus centrifugal (sporadic and genetic human prion diseases) spread of PrP(sc), resulting in different patterns and amounts of PrP(sc) accumulation in the PNS. PMID:10541867

  18. Uptake and neuritic transport of scrapie prion protein coincident with infection of neuronal cells.

    PubMed

    Magalhes, Ana Cristina; Baron, Gerald S; Lee, Kil Sun; Steele-Mortimer, Olivia; Dorward, David; Prado, Marco A M; Caughey, Byron

    2005-05-25

    Invasion of the nervous system and neuronal spread of infection are critical, but poorly understood, steps in the pathogenesis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies or prion diseases. To characterize pathways for the uptake and intraneuronal trafficking of infectious, protease-resistant prion protein (PrP-res), fluorescent-labeled PrP-res was used to infect a neuronally derived murine cell line (SN56) and adult hamster cortical neurons in primary culture. Concurrent with the establishment of persistent scrapie infection, SN56 cells internalized PrP-res aggregates into vesicles positive for markers for late endosomes and/or lysosomes but not synaptic, early endocytic, or raft-derived vesicles. Internalized PrP-res was then transported along neurites to points of contact with other cells. Similar trafficking was observed with dextran, Alzheimer's Abeta1-42 fibrils and noninfectious recombinant PrP fibrils, suggesting that PrP-res is internalized by a relatively nonspecific pinocytosis or transcytosis mechanism. Hamster cortical neurons were also capable of internalizing and disseminating exogenous PrP-res. Similar trafficking of exogenous PrP-res by cortical neurons cultured from the brains of PrP knock-out mice showed that uptake and neuritic transport did not require the presence of endogenous cellular PrP. These experiments visualize and characterize the initial steps associated with prion infection and transport within neuronal cells. PMID:15917460

  19. Physiopathologic implications of the structural and functional domains of the prion protein.

    PubMed

    Sorgato, M Catia; Bertoli, Alessandro

    2006-01-01

    Prion diseases are invariably fatal neurodegenerative disorders affecting man and various animal species. A large body of evidence supports the notion that the causative agent of these diseases is the prion, which, devoid of nucleic acids, is composed largely, if not entirely, of a conformationally abnormal isoform (PrP(Sc) of the cellular prion protein (PrPc). PrPc is a highly conserved and ubiquitously expressed sialoglycoprotein, the normal function of which is, however, still ill defined. Several modules have been recognised in PrPc structure. Their extensive analysis by different experimental approaches, including transgenic animal models, has allowed to assigning to several modules a putative role in PrPc physiology. Concurrently, it has underscored the possibility that alteration of specific domains may determine the switching from a beneficial role of PrPc into one that becomes detrimental to neurons, and/or promote the conversion of PrPc into the pathogenic PrP(Sc) conformer. PMID:17274528

  20. Do prion protein gene polymorphisms induce apoptosis in non-mammals?

    PubMed

    Birkan, Tugce; Sahin, Mesut; Oztel, Zubeyde; Balcan, Erdal

    2016-03-01

    Genetic variations such as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in prion protein coding gene, Prnp, greatly affect susceptibility to prion diseases in mammals. Here, the coding region of Prnp was screened for polymorphisms in redeared turtle, Trachemys scripta. Four polymorphisms, L203V, N205I, V225A and M237V, were common in 15 out of 30 turtles; in one sample, three SNPs, L203V, N205I and M237V, and in the remaining 14 samples, only L203V and N205I polymorphisms, were investigated. Besides, C658T, C664T, C670A and C823A SNPs were silent mutations. To elucidate the relationship between the SNPs and apoptosis, TUNEL assays and active caspase-3 immunodetection techniques in brain sections of the polymorphic samples were performed. The results revealed that TUNEL-positive cells and active caspase-3-positive cells in the turtles with four polymorphisms were significantly increased compared with those of the turtles with two polymorphisms (P less than 0.01 and P less than 0.05, respectively). In conclusion, this study provides preliminary information about the possible relationship between SNPs within the Prnp locus and apoptosis in a non-mammalian species, Trachemys scripta, in which prion disease has never been reported. PMID:26949092

  1. Screening of DNA Aptamer Against Mouse Prion Protein by Competitive Selection

    PubMed Central

    Ogasawara, Daisuke; Hasegawa, Hijiri; Kaneko, Kiyotoshi; Sode, Koji

    2007-01-01

    Prion disease is a neurodegenerative disorder, in which the normal prion protein (PrP) changes structurally into an abnormal form and accumulates in the brain. There is a great demand for the development of a viable approach to diagnosis and therapy. Not only has the ligand against PrP been used for diagnosis, but it has also become a promising tool for therapy, as an antibody. Aptamers are a novel type of ligand composed of nucleic acids. DNA aptamers in particular have many advantages over antibodies. Therefore, we tried to isolate the DNA aptamer for mouse PrP. We developed a competitive selection method and tried to screen the DNA aptamer with it. In the fourth round of selection, several clones of the aptamer with an affinity to PrP were enriched, and clone 4–9 showed the highest affinity of all. The investigation by aptamer blotting and Western blotting showed that clone 4–9 was specifically able to recognize both α-PrP and β-PrP. Moreover, it was indicated that clone 4–9 could recognize the flexible region of the N-terminal domain of PrP. These characteristics suggest that clone 4–9 might be a useful tool in prion-disease diagnosis and research. PMID:19164908

  2. Screening of DNA aptamer against mouse prion protein by competitive selection.

    PubMed

    Ogasawara, Daisuke; Hasegawa, Hijiri; Kaneko, Kiyotoshi; Sode, Koji; Ikebukuro, Kazunori

    2007-01-01

    Prion disease is a neurodegenerative disorder, in which the normal prion protein (PrP) changes structurally into an abnormal form and accumulates in the brain. There is a great demand for the development of a viable approach to diagnosis and therapy. Not only has the ligand against PrP been used for diagnosis, but it has also become a promising tool for therapy, as an antibody. Aptamers are a novel type of ligand composed of nucleic acids. DNA aptamers in particular have many advantages over antibodies. Therefore, we tried to isolate the DNA aptamer for mouse PrP. We developed a competitive selection method and tried to screen the DNA aptamer with it. In the fourth round of selection, several clones of the aptamer with an affinity to PrP were enriched, and clone 4-9 showed the highest affinity of all. The investigation by aptamer blotting and Western blotting showed that clone 4-9 was specifically able to recognize both alpha-PrP and beta-PrP. Moreover, it was indicated that clone 4-9 could recognize the flexible region of the N-terminal domain of PrP. These characteristics suggest that clone 4-9 might be a useful tool in prion-disease diagnosis and research. PMID:19164908

  3. Intraepithelial and Interstitial Deposition of Pathological Prion Protein in Kidneys of Scrapie-Affected Sheep

    PubMed Central

    Ligios, Ciriaco; Cancedda, Giovanna Maria; Margalith, Ilan; Santucciu, Cinzia; Madau, Laura; Maestrale, Caterina; Basagni, Massimo; Saba, Mariangela; Heikenwalder, Mathias

    2007-01-01

    Prions have been documented in extra-neuronal and extra-lymphatic tissues of humans and various ruminants affected by Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy (TSE). The presence of prion infectivity detected in cervid and ovine blood tempted us to reason that kidney, the organ filtrating blood derived proteins, may accumulate disease associated PrPSc. We collected and screened kidneys of experimentally, naturally scrapie-affected and control sheep for renal deposition of PrPSc from distinct, geographically separated flocks. By performing Western blot, PET blot analysis and immunohistochemistry we found intraepithelial (cortex, medulla and papilla) and occasional interstitial (papilla) deposition of PrPSc in kidneys of scrapie-affected sheep. Interestingly, glomerula lacked detectable signals indicative of PrPSc. PrPSc was also detected in kidneys of subclinical sheep, but to significantly lower degree. Depending on the stage of the disease the incidence of PrPSc in kidney varied from approximately 27% (subclinical) to 73.6% (clinical) in naturally scrapie-affected sheep. Kidneys from flocks without scrapie outbreak were devoid of PrPSc. Here we demonstrate unexpectedly frequent deposition of high levels of PrPSc in ovine kidneys of various flocks. Renal deposition of PrPSc is likely to be a pre-requisite enabling prionuria, a possible co-factor of horizontal prion-transmission in sheep. PMID:17848990

  4. 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

  5. Conformational instability of human prion protein upon residue modification: a molecular dynamics simulation study.

    PubMed

    Bamdad, Kourosh; Naderi-Manesh, Hossein; Baumgaertner, Artur

    2014-01-01

    Technical strategies like amino acid substitution and residue modification have been widely used to characterize the importance of key amino acids and the role that each residue plays in the structural and functional properties of protein molecules. However, there is no systematic approach to assess the impact of the substituted/modified amino acids on the conformational dynamics of proteins. In this investigation to clarify the effects of residue modifications on the structural dynamics of human prion protein (PrP), a comparative molecular dynamics simulation study on the native and the amino acid-substituted analog at position 208 of PrP has been performed. It is believed that Arginine to Histidine mutation at position 208 is responsible for the structural transition of the native form of human prion protein to the pathogenic isoform causing Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). So, three 10 ns molecular dynamics simulations on three model constructs have been performed. Simulation results indicated considerable differences of conformational fluctuations for Alanine substituted construct (PrPALA) and the analog form (PrPSB) comprising the neutralized state of the Arginine residue at position 208 of the human prion protein. According to our data, substitution of the Arginine residue by the uncharged state of this residue induces some reversible structural alterations in the intrinsically flexible loop area including residues 167-171 of PrP. Thus, deprotonation of Arg(208) is a weak perturbation to the structural fluctuations of the protein backbone and the resulting construct behaves almost identical as its native form. Otherwise, Alanine substitution at position 208 imposed an irreversible impact on the secondary and tertiary structure of the protein, which leads to conformational instabilities in the remote hot region comprising residues 190-195 of the C-terminal part of helix 2. Based on the results, it could be deduced that the observed conformational transitions upon Arg(208) to His point mutation, which is the main reason for CJD, may be mainly related to the structural instabilities due to the induced-conformational changes that caused alterations in local/spatial arrangements of the force distributions in the backbone of the human prion protein. PMID:26417255

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Expression of cellular prion protein (PrP(c)) in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression.

    PubMed

    Weis, Serge; Haybaeck, Johannes; Dulay, Jeannette R; Llenos, Ida C

    2008-05-01

    Cellular prion protein (PrP(c)) is a copper-binding, membrane-attached GPI-anchored glycoprotein characterized by a high degree of amino acid sequence conservation among mammals. PrP(c) expression has been demonstrated in neurons, microglia, lymphocytes, and keratinocytes. Recently, the concept that PrP(c) may be involved in the defense against oxidative stress was advanced. In the present study, we used immunohistochemistry for PrP(c) to investigate 60 brains from the Stanley Neuropathology Consortium (15 controls, 15 patients with schizophrenia, 15 with bipolar disorder, and 15 with major depression). Rating scores as well as the numerical density of PrP(c)-positive and -negative neurons and glial cells were determined in the cingulate gyrus. All four groups showed a very high interindividual variation. PrP(c)-positive glial cells were significantly reduced in the white matter of patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression. A similar result was obtained for the white matter in bipolar patients using rating scales. From the confounding variables, use of medication (i.e. antipsychotics, antidepressants, and mood stabilizers) had a significant effect on the expression of PrP(c) by neurons and glial cells. PrP(c)-immunoreactivities were significantly reduced for white matter glial cells in all examined groups. However, the results are not indicative for the occurrence of oxidative stress in the brains of schizophrenic and bipolar patients. Since the effect of antipsychotic and antidepressant medication as well as of mood stabilizers on the expression of PrP(c) was significant, it needs further clarification in experimental models. PMID:18188498

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. Antigenic mimicry-mediated anti-prion effects induced by bacterial enzyme succinylarginine dihydrolase in mice.

    PubMed

    Ishibashi, Daisuke; Yamanaka, Hitoki; Mori, Tsuyoshi; Yamaguchi, Naohiro; Yamaguchi, Yoshitaka; Nishida, Noriyuki; Sakaguchi, Suehiro

    2011-11-21

    Prions, the causative agents of prion diseases, are immunologically tolerated because their major component, prion protein (PrP), is a host-encoded molecule. Therefore, no effective prion vaccines have been developed. We previously showed that heterologous bovine and sheep PrP immunizations of mice overcame tolerance by an antigenic mimicry mechanism to efficiently induce anti-PrP auto-antibodies (Abs), significantly prolonging incubation times in mice subsequently infected with the mouse-adapted Fukuoka-1 prion. These results prompted us to investigate if non-mammal derived molecules able to antigenically mimic anti-prion epitopes, could act as prion vaccines. We show here that immunization of mice with recombinant succinylarginine dihydrolase, a bacterial enzyme with a peptide sequence similar to an anti-prion epitope, induced anti-PrP auto-Abs with anti-prion activity and significantly retarded survival times of the mice subsequently infected with Fukuoka-1 prions. These results might open a way for development of a new type of antigenic mimicry-based prion vaccine. PMID:22008817

  12. 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 between a non pathogenic ovine recombinant prion protein and a model soil system represented by a manganese oxide in the form of birnessite (δ-MnO2), coated with a polymerized catechol. To better understand the effect of the polymerization process, PrP was added to the birnessite-cathecol system either before or after the polymerization processes. The NMR spectra of the prion protein interacting directly with birnessite revealed disappearance of the signals due to the paramagnetic nature of manganese oxide or abiotic degradation. Conversely, the signal pattern of the protein re-appeared as it is mixed to the soil-like system either during or after the catechol polymerization process. Results suggested that the possible interactions of the prion protein on soil systems can be mediated by natural organic matter. However, deeper studies on more complex real soil systems are needed to definitely confirm such hypothesis.

  13. 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 ...

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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 the local translation of mRNAs. We postulate that the self-perpetuating folding of the prion domain acts as a molecular memory. Thus yeast prions have provided evidence for the surprising possibility that amyloid protein folds can serve as the basis for memory and inheritance.

  17. 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.

  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 (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.

  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 (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.

  20. 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

  1. A comparative analysis of rapid methods for purification and refolding of recombinant bovine prion protein.

    PubMed

    Vrentas, Catherine E; Onstot, Stephanie; Nicholson, Eric M

    2012-04-01

    Bacterially-produced recombinant prion protein (rPrP) is a frequently used model system for the study of the properties of wild-type and mutant prion proteins by biochemical and biophysical approaches. A range of approaches have been developed for the purification and refolding of untagged rPrP expressed as inclusion bodies in Escherichia coli, including refolding by dialysis and simultaneous on-column purification and refolding. In order to perform a higher-throughput analysis of different rPrP proteins, an approach that produces highly pure rPrP with a minimum of purification steps and a high yield per liter of induced bacterial culture is desired. Here, we directly compare purification approaches for untagged bovine rPrP as adapted to rapid, small-scale formats useful for higher-throughput studies. An analysis of protein yield, purity, oxidation, and refolding revealed significant differences between preparative methods as adapted to the small-scale format, and based on these findings we provide recommendations for future purifications. We also describe the utility of a sensitive commercial kit for thiol analysis of these preparations, the pH dependence of dimer formation during refolding of bovine rPrP, and bovine rPrP binding to cobalt affinity resin. PMID:22381461

  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. 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...

  4. Effect of Charged Residues in the N-domain of Sup35 Protein on Prion [PSI+] Stability and Propagation*

    PubMed Central

    Bondarev, Stanislav A.; Shchepachev, Vadim V.; Kajava, Andrey V.; Zhouravleva, Galina A.

    2013-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that Sup35p prion fibrils probably have a parallel in-register β-structure. However, the part(s) of the N-domain critical for fibril formation and maintenance of the [PSI+] phenotype remains unclear. Here we designed a set of five SUP35 mutant alleles (sup35KK) with lysine substitutions in each of five N-domain repeats, and investigated their effect on infectivity and ability of corresponding proteins to aggregate and coaggregate with wild type Sup35p in the [PSI+] strain. Alleles sup35-M1 (Y46K/Q47K) and sup35-M2 (Q61K/Q62K) led to prion loss, whereas sup35-M3 (Q70K/Q71K), sup35-M4 (Q80K/Q81K), and sup35-M5 (Q89K/Q90K) were able to maintain the [PSI+] prion. This suggests that the critical part of the parallel in-register β-structure for the studied [PSI+] prion variant lies in the first 63–69 residues. Our study also reveals an unexpected interplay between the wild type Sup35p and proteins expressed from the sup35KK alleles during prionization. Both Sup35-M1p and Sup35-M2p coaggregated with Sup35p, but only sup35-M2 led to prion loss in a dominant manner. We suggest that in the fibrils, Sup35p can bind to Sup35-M1p in the same conformation, whereas Sup35-M2p only allowed the Sup35p conformation that leads to the non-heritable fold. Mutations sup35-M4 and sup35-M5 influence the structure of the prion forming region to a lesser extent, and can lead to the formation of new prion variants. PMID:23965990

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Zinc modulates copper coordination mode in prion protein octa-repeat subdomains

    PubMed Central

    Stellato, Francesco; Spevacek, Ann; Proux, Olivier; Minicozzi, Velia; Millhauser, Glenn

    2016-01-01

    In this work we present and analyse XAS measurements carried out on various portions of Prion-protein tetra-octa-repeat peptides in complexes with Cu(II) ions, both in the presence and in the absence of Zn(II). Because of the ability of the XAS technique to provide detailed local structural information, we are able to demonstrate that Zn acts by directly interacting with the peptide, in this way competing with Cu for binding with histidine. This finding suggests that metal binding competition can be important in the more general context of metal homeostasis. PMID:21710304

  8. Kinetics of amyloid aggregation: a study of the GNNQQNY prion sequence.

    PubMed

    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 μs 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

    Nucleic acid sequences of the prion gene (PRNP) were examined and genotypes compiled for 76 white-tailed deer from northern Illinois, which previously tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD), and 120 negative animals selected to control for geographic location and age. Nine nucleotide polymorphisms, seven silent and two coding, were found in the sampled population. All observed polymorphisms except two of very low frequency were observed in both negative and positive animals, although five polymorphic loci had significantly different distributions of alleles between infected and non-infected individuals. Nucleotide base changes 60C/T, 285A/C, 286G/A and 555C/T were observed with higher than expected frequencies in CWD negative animals suggesting disease resistance, while 153C/T was observed more than expected in positive animals, suggesting susceptibility. The two coding polymorphisms, 285A/C (Q95H) and 286G/A (G96S), have been described in white-tailed deer populations sampled in Colorado and Wisconsin. Frequency distributions of coding polymorphisms in Wisconsin and Illinois deer populations were different, an unexpected result considering the sampled areas are less than 150 km apart. The total number of polymorphisms per animal, silent or coding, was negatively correlated to disease status. The potential importance of silent polymorphisms (60C/T, 153C/T, 555C/T), either individually or cumulatively, in CWD disease status has not been previously reported. PMID:19164895

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    De Mario, Agnese; Castellani, Angela; Peggion, Caterina; Massimino, Maria Lina; Lim, Dmitry; Hill, Andrew F.; Sorgato, M. Catia; Bertoli, Alessandro

    2015-01-01

    The prion protein (PrPC) is a cell surface glycoprotein mainly expressed in neurons, whose misfolded isoforms generate the prion responsible for incurable neurodegenerative disorders. Whereas PrPC involvement in prion propagation is well established, PrPC physiological function is still enigmatic despite suggestions that it could act in cell signal transduction by modulating phosphorylation cascades and Ca2+ homeostasis. Because PrPC binds neurotoxic protein aggregates with high-affinity, it has also been proposed that PrPC acts as receptor for amyloid-β (Aβ) oligomers associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and that PrPC-Aβ binding mediates AD-related synaptic dysfunctions following activation of the tyrosine kinase Fyn. Here, use of gene-encoded Ca2+ probes targeting different cell domains in primary cerebellar granule neurons (CGN) expressing, or not, PrPC, allowed us to investigate whether PrPC regulates store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE) and the implication of Fyn in this control. Our findings show that PrPC attenuates SOCE, and Ca2+ accumulation in the cytosol and mitochondria, by constitutively restraining Fyn activation and tyrosine phosphorylation of STIM1, a key molecular component of SOCE. This data establishes the existence of a PrPC-Fyn-SOCE triad in neurons. We also demonstrate that treating cerebellar granule and cortical neurons with soluble Aβ(1–42) oligomers abrogates the control of PrPC over Fyn and SOCE, suggesting a PrPC-dependent mechanizm for Aβ-induced neuronal Ca2+ dyshomeostasis. PMID:26578881

  13. The Volumetric Diversity of Misfolded Prion Protein Oligomers Revealed by Pressure Dissociation.

    PubMed

    Torrent, Joan; Lange, Reinhard; Rezaei, Human

    2015-08-14

    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 ?-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

  14. 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 great promise for understanding the molecular mechanisms of prion phenomenon, possibly leading toward early diagnosis and effective treatment of these devastating diseases. This review article summarizes recent reports which advanced our understanding of the prion phenomenon through the use of nanoimaging methods. PMID:20724837

  15. 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.

  16. 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-terminal truncations of CRMP-2 have been recently observed in models for neurodegenerative disorders such as ischemia, traumatic brain injury, and Wallerian degeneration. While the structural identity of CRMP-2-ΔC in those models remains unknown, the present study should provide clues to the molecular pathology of degenerating neurons in prion diseases in connection with other neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:20961402

  17. Shaking Alone Induces De Novo Conversion of Recombinant Prion Proteins to β-Sheet Rich Oligomers and Fibrils

    PubMed Central

    Ladner-Keay, Carol L.; Griffith, Bethany J.; Wishart, David S.

    2014-01-01

    The formation of β-sheet rich prion oligomers and fibrils from native prion protein (PrP) is thought to be a key step in the development of prion diseases. Many methods are available to convert recombinant prion protein into β-sheet rich fibrils using various chemical denaturants (urea, SDS, GdnHCl), high temperature, phospholipids, or mildly acidic conditions (pH 4). Many of these methods also require shaking or another form of agitation to complete the conversion process. We have identified that shaking alone causes the conversion of recombinant PrP to β-sheet rich oligomers and fibrils at near physiological pH (pH 5.5 to pH 6.2) and temperature. This conversion does not require any denaturant, detergent, or any other chemical cofactor. Interestingly, this conversion does not occur when the water-air interface is eliminated in the shaken sample. We have analyzed shaking-induced conversion using circular dichroism, resolution enhanced native acidic gel electrophoresis (RENAGE), electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, thioflavin T fluorescence and proteinase K resistance. Our results show that shaking causes the formation of β-sheet rich oligomers with a population distribution ranging from octamers to dodecamers and that further shaking causes a transition to β-sheet fibrils. In addition, we show that shaking-induced conversion occurs for a wide range of full-length and truncated constructs of mouse, hamster and cervid prion proteins. We propose that this method of conversion provides a robust, reproducible and easily accessible model for scrapie-like amyloid formation, allowing the generation of milligram quantities of physiologically stable β-sheet rich oligomers and fibrils. These results may also have interesting implications regarding our understanding of prion conversion and propagation both within the brain and via techniques such as protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) and quaking induced conversion (QuIC). PMID:24892647

  18. 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...

  19. Proteinase K-sensitive disease-associated ovine prion protein revealed by conformation-dependent immunoassay.

    PubMed

    Thackray, Alana M; Hopkins, Lee; Bujdoso, Raymond

    2007-01-15

    PrPSc [abnormal disease-specific conformation of PrP (prion-related protein)] accumulates in prion-affected individuals in the form of amorphous aggregates. Limited proteolysis of PrPSc results in a protease-resistant core of PrPSc of molecular mass of 27-30 kDa (PrP27-30). Aggregated forms of PrP co-purify with prion infectivity, although infectivity does not always correlate with the presence of PrP27-30. This suggests that discrimination between PrPC (normal cellular PrP) and PrPSc by proteolysis may underestimate the repertoire and quantity of PrPSc subtypes. We have developed a CDI (conformation-dependent immunoassay) utilizing time-resolved fluorescence to study the conformers of disease-associated PrP in natural cases of sheep scrapie, without using PK (proteinase K) treatment to discriminate between PrPC and PrPSc. The capture-detector CDI utilizes N-terminal- and C-terminal-specific anti-PrP monoclonal antibodies that recognize regions of the prion protein differentially buried or exposed depending on the extent of denaturation of the molecule. PrPSc was precipitated from scrapie-infected brain stem and cerebellum tissue following sarkosyl extraction, with or without the use of sodium phosphotungstic acid, and native and denatured PrPSc detected by CDI. PrPSc was detectable in brain tissue from homozygous VRQ (V136 R154 Q171) and ARQ (A136 R154 Q171) scrapie-infected sheep brains. The highest levels of PrPSc were found in homozygous VRQ scrapie-infected brains. The quantity of PrPSc was significantly reduced, up to 90% in some cases, when samples were treated with PK prior to the CDI. Collectively, our results show that the level of PrPSc in brain samples from cases of natural scrapie display genotypic differences and that a significant amount of this material is PK-sensitive. PMID:17018021

  20. 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.

  1. Evolutionary conserved Tyr169 stabilizes the ?2-?2 loop of the prion protein.

    PubMed

    Huang, Danzhi; Caflisch, Amedeo

    2015-03-01

    Experimental evidence indicates that the primary structure of the ?2-?2 loop region (residues 165-175) in mammalian prion proteins (PrP) influences the conversion from the cellular species (PrP(C)) to the ?-sheet-rich aggregate. Here, we captured the transition of the ?2-?2 loop from 310-helical turn to ? turn by unbiased molecular dynamics simulations of the single-point mutant Y169G. Multiple conformations along the spontaneous transition of the mutant were then used as starting point for sampling of the free-energy surface of the wild type and other single-point mutants. Using two different methods for the determination of free energy profiles, we found that the barrier for the 310-helical turn to ? turn transition of the wild type is higher by about 2.5 kcal/mol than for the Y169G mutant, which is due to favorable stacking of the aromatic rings of Y169 and F175, and a stable hydrogen bond between the side chains of Y169 and D178. The transition of the ?2-?2 loop to ? turn increases the solvent-exposure of the hydrophobic stretch 169-YSNQNNF-175. The simulations indicate that the strictly conserved Y169 in mammalian prion proteins stabilizes the 310-helical turn in the ?2-?2 loop, thus hindering the conversion to an aggregation-prone conformation. PMID:25671636

  2. The N-terminal, polybasic region is critical for prion protein neuroprotective activity.

    PubMed

    Turnbaugh, Jessie A; Westergard, Laura; Unterberger, Ursula; Biasini, Emiliano; Harris, David A

    2011-01-01

    Several lines of evidence suggest that the normal form of the prion protein, PrP(C), exerts a neuroprotective activity against cellular stress or toxicity. One of the clearest examples of such activity is the ability of wild-type PrP(C) to suppress the spontaneous neurodegenerative phenotype of transgenic mice expressing a deleted form of PrP (Δ32-134, called F35). To define domains of PrP involved in its neuroprotective activity, we have analyzed the ability of several deletion mutants of PrP (Δ23-31, Δ23-111, and Δ23-134) to rescue the phenotype of Tg(F35) mice. Surprisingly, all of these mutants displayed greatly diminished rescue activity, although Δ23-31 PrP partially suppressed neuronal loss when expressed at very high levels. Our results pinpoint the N-terminal, polybasic domain as a critical determinant of PrP(C) neuroprotective activity, and suggest that identification of molecules interacting with this region will provide important clues regarding the normal function of the protein. Small molecule ligands targeting this region may also represent useful therapeutic agents for treatment of prion diseases. PMID:21980526

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Prion protein misfolding affects calcium homeostasis and sensitizes cells to endoplasmic reticulum stress.

    PubMed

    Torres, Mauricio; Castillo, Karen; Armisén, Ricardo; Stutzin, Andrés; Soto, Claudio; Hetz, Claudio

    2010-01-01

    Prion-related disorders (PrDs) are fatal neurodegenerative disorders characterized by progressive neuronal impairment as well as the accumulation of an abnormally folded and protease resistant form of the cellular prion protein, termed PrP(RES). Altered endoplasmic reticulum (ER) homeostasis is associated with the occurrence of neurodegeneration in sporadic, infectious and familial forms of PrDs. The ER operates as a major intracellular calcium store, playing a crucial role in pathological events related to neuronal dysfunction and death. Here we investigated the possible impact of PrP misfolding on ER calcium homeostasis in infectious and familial models of PrDs. Neuro2A cells chronically infected with scrapie prions showed decreased ER-calcium content that correlated with a stronger upregulation of UPR-inducible chaperones, and a higher sensitivity to ER stress-induced cell death. Overexpression of the calcium pump SERCA stimulated calcium release and increased the neurotoxicity observed after exposure of cells to brain-derived infectious PrP(RES). Furthermore, expression of PrP mutants that cause hereditary Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease or fatal familial insomnia led to accumulation of PrP(RES) and their partial retention at the ER, associated with a drastic decrease of ER calcium content and higher susceptibility to ER stress. Finally, similar results were observed when a transmembrane form of PrP was expressed, which is proposed as a neurotoxic intermediate. Our results suggest that alterations in calcium homeostasis and increased susceptibility to ER stress are common pathological features of both infectious and familial PrD models. PMID:21209925

  8. Processing of the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy-Specific Prion Protein by Dendritic Cells

    PubMed Central

    Rybner-Barnier, Catherine; Jacquemot, Catherine; Cuche, Céline; Doré, Grégory; Majlessi, Laleh; Gabellec, Marie-Madeleine; Moris, Arnaud; Schwartz, Olivier; Di Santo, James; Cumano, Ana; Leclerc, Claude; Lazarini, Françoise

    2006-01-01

    Dendritic cells (DC) are suspected to be involved in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, including bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). We detected the disease-specific, protease-resistant prion protein (PrPbse) in splenic DC purified by magnetic cell sorting 45 days after intraperitoneal inoculation of BSE prions in immunocompetent mice. We showed that bone marrow-derived DC (BMDC) from wild-type or PrP-null mice acquired both PrPbse and prion infectivity within 2 h of in vitro culture with a BSE inoculum. BMDC cleared PrPbse within 2 to 3 days of culture, while BMDC infectivity was only 10-fold diminished between days 1 and 6 of culture, suggesting that the infectious unit in BMDC is not removed at the same rate as PrPbse is removed from these cells. Bone marrow-derived plasmacytoid DC and bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMM) also acquired and degraded PrPbse when incubated with a BSE inoculum, with kinetics very similar to those of BMDC. PrPbse capture is probably specific to antigen-presenting cells since no uptake of PrPbse was observed when splenic B or T lymphocytes were incubated with a BSE inoculum in vitro. Lipopolysaccharide activation of BMDC or BMM prior to BSE infection resulted in an accelerated breakdown of PrPbse. Injected by the intraperitoneal route, BMDC were not infectious for alymphoid recombination-activated gene 20/common cytokine γ chain-deficient mice, suggesting that these cells are not capable of directly propagating BSE infectivity to nerve endings. PMID:16641258

  9. Prion protein-deficient mice exhibit decreased CD4 T and LTi cell numbers and impaired spleen structure.

    PubMed

    Kim, Soochan; Han, Sinsuk; Lee, Ye Eun; Jung, Woong-Jae; Lee, Hyung Soo; Kim, Yong-Sun; Choi, Eun-Kyoung; Kim, Mi-Yeon

    2016-01-01

    The cellular prion protein is expressed in almost all tissues, including the central nervous system and lymphoid tissues. To investigate the effects of the prion protein in lymphoid cells and spleen structure formation, we used prion protein-deficient (Prnp(0/0)) Zürich I mice generated by inactivation of the Prnp gene. Prnp(0/0) mice had decreased lymphocytes, in particular, CD4 T cells and lymphoid tissue inducer (LTi) cells. Decreased CD4 T cells resulted from impaired expression of CCL19 and CCL21 in the spleen rather than altered chemokine receptor CCR7 expression. Importantly, some of the white pulp regions in spleens from Prnp(0/0) mice displayed impaired T zone structure as a result of decreased LTi cell numbers and altered expression of the lymphoid tissue-organizing genes lymphotoxin-α and CXCR5, although expression of the lymphatic marker podoplanin and CXCL13 by stromal cells was not affected. In addition, CD3(-)CD4(+)IL-7Rα(+) LTi cells were rarely detected in impaired white pulp in spleens of these mice. These data suggest that the prion protein is required to form the splenic white pulp structure and for development of normal levels of CD4 T and LTi cells. PMID:26299705

  10. [Prion diseases].

    PubMed

    Stoĭda, N I; Zavalishin, I A

    2012-01-01

    Prion diseases are a family of progressive neurodegenerative disorders caused by prions. There are four human prion diseases: Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker syndrome, fatal insomnia and Kuru. They can arise in three different ways: acquired, familial or sporadic. We review clinical presentations, pathophysiology, morphological picture, diagnostic procedures and available treatment options of prion diseases. PMID:23235426

  11. Free energy and hidden barriers of the ?-sheet structure of prion protein.

    PubMed

    Paz, S Alexis; Abrams, Cameron F

    2015-10-13

    On-the-fly free-energy parametrization is a new collective variable biasing approach akin to metadynamics with one important distinction: rather than acquiring an accelerated distribution via a history-dependent bias potential, sampling on this distribution is achieved from the beginning of the simulation using temperature-accelerated molecular dynamics. In the present work, we compare the performance of both approaches to compute the free-energy profile along a scalar collective variable measuring the H-bond registry of the ?-sheet structure of the mouse Prion protein. Both methods agree on the location of the free-energy minimum, but free-energy profiles from well-tempered metadynamics are subject to a much higher degree of statistical noise due to hidden barriers. The sensitivity of metadynamics to hidden barriers is shown to be a consequence of the history dependence of the bias potential, and we detail the nature of these barriers for the prion ?-sheet. In contrast, on-the-fly parametrization is much less sensitive to these barriers and thus displays improved convergence behavior relative to that of metadynamics. While hidden barriers are a frequent and central issue in free-energy methods, on-the-fly free-energy parametrization appears to be a robust and preferable method to confront this issue. PMID:26574287

  12. Brain transcriptional stability upon prion protein-encoding gene invalidation in zygotic or adult mouse

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The physiological function of the prion protein remains largely elusive while its key role in prion infection has been expansively documented. To potentially assess this conundrum, we performed a comparative transcriptomic analysis of the brain of wild-type mice with that of transgenic mice invalidated at this locus either at the zygotic or at the adult stages. Results Only subtle transcriptomic differences resulting from the Prnp knockout could be evidenced, beside Prnp itself, in the analyzed adult brains following microarray analysis of 24 109 mouse genes and QPCR assessment of some of the putatively marginally modulated loci. When performed at the adult stage, neuronal Prnp disruption appeared to sequentially induce a response to an oxidative stress and a remodeling of the nervous system. However, these events involved only a limited number of genes, expression levels of which were only slightly modified and not always confirmed by RT-qPCR. If not, the qPCR obtained data suggested even less pronounced differences. Conclusions These results suggest that the physiological function of PrP is redundant at the adult stage or important for only a small subset of the brain cell population under classical breeding conditions. Following its early reported embryonic developmental regulation, this lack of response could also imply that PrP has a more detrimental role during mouse embryogenesis and that potential transient compensatory mechanisms have to be searched for at the time this locus becomes transcriptionally activated. PMID:20649983

  13. 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

  14. Prion protein participates in the protection of mice from lipopolysaccharide infection by regulating the inflammatory process.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jin; Zhao, Deming; Liu, Chunfa; Ding, Tianjian; Yang, Lifeng; Yin, Xiaomin; Zhou, Xiangmei

    2015-01-01

    Despite the overwhelming evidence of the involvement of prion protein (PrP) in prion disease pathogenesis, the normal functions of this cell surface glycoprotein remain unclear. Previously, we showed that PrP may have a dual regulatory role by regulating the opposite poles of pro-inflammation and anti-inflammation as well as tissue repair in activated microglia. In the present work, we compared the mRNA expression of inflammation-related cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, NOS2, and IL-10) and IL-4-related alternative activation markers (Arg1 and Mrc1) after lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge in the brain and spleen and examined peripheral leukocyte recovery and LPS-induced mortality in PrP knockout mice (PrP(-/-)) and wild-type (WT) mice. During the acute phase, WT mice exhibited higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the brain and spleen than in PrP(-/-) mice, while PrP(-/-) mice sustained higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and lower levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines, Arg1, and Mrc1 during the later phase. PrP(-/-) mice also exhibited a slower peripheral leukocyte recovery process and higher mortality in response to LPS-induced septic shock. These results suggest that the PrP may participate in the protection of mice from LPS infection by regulating the process of inflammatory response. PMID:24838383

  15. 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.

  16. Mutant prion protein D202N associated with familial prion disease is retained in the endoplasmic reticulum and forms 'curly' intracellular aggregates.

    PubMed

    Gu, Yaping; Verghese, Susamma; Bose, Sharmila; Mohan, Maradumane; Singh, Neena

    2007-01-01

    Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies are fatal neurodegenerative disorders of humans and animals that are familial, sporadic, and infectious in nature. Familial disorders of humans include Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker disease (GSS), familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), and fatal familial insomnia, and result from point mutations in the prion protein gene. Although neurotoxicity in familial cases is believed to result from a spontaneous change in conformation of mutant prion protein (PrP) to the pathogenic PrP-scrapie (PrPSc) form, emerging evidence indicates otherwise. We have investigated the processing and metabolism of mutant PrP D202N (PrP202N) in cell models to elucidate possible mechanisms of cytotoxicity. In this report, we demonstrate that PrP202N expressed in human neuroblastoma cells fails to achieve a mature conformation following synthesis and accumulates in the endoplasmic reticulum as 'curly' aggregates. In addition, PrP202N cells show increased sensitivity to free radicals, indicating that neuronal susceptibility to oxidative damage may account for the neurotoxicity observed in cases of GSS resulting from PrP D202N mutation. PMID:17873292

  17. 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

  18. Is the presence of abnormal prion protein in the renal glomeruli of feline species presenting with FSE authentic?

    PubMed

    Lezmi, Stphane; 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 the PET-Blot method as a sensitive complementary tool in case of doubtful PrP IHC results. PMID:20684771

  19. Is the prevalent human prion protein 129M/V mutation a living fossil from a Paleolithic panzootic superprion pandemic?

    PubMed

    Nyström, Sofie; Hammarström, Per

    2014-01-01

    Prion diseases are consistently associated with prion protein (PrP(C)) misfolding rendering a cascade of auto-catalytic self-perpetuation of misfolded PrP in an afflicted individual. The molecular process is intriguingly similar to all known amyloid diseases both local and systemic. The prion disease is also infectious by the transfer of misfolded PrP from one individual to the next. Transmissibility is surprisingly efficient in prion diseases and given the rapid disease progression following initial symptoms the prionoses stand out from other amyloidoses, which all may be transmissible under certain circumstances. The nature of the infectious prion as well as the genotype of the host is important for transmissibility. For hitherto unexplained reasons the majority of Europeans carry a missense mutation on one or both alleles of the PrP gene (PRNP), and hence express a variant of PrP with a substitution for valine (V) instead of methionine (M) in position 129. In fact the 129M/V variant is very common in all populations except for the Japanese. Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is a disease rarely striking people below the age of 60, where homozygosity especially 129MM is a very strong risk factor. Paradoxically, the 129M/V polymorphism suggestive of heterozygote advantage is one of the most clear cut disease associated traits of the human population, yet prion disease is extraordinarily rare. The genetic basis for how this trait spread with such prevalence within human populations is still target to investigations and deserves attention. This short essay represents a somewhat provocative hypothetical notion of a possible ancient significance of this polymorphism. PMID:24398570

  20. The Protein-disulfide Isomerase ERp57 Regulates the Steady-state Levels of the Prion Protein.

    PubMed

    Torres, Mauricio; Medinas, Danilo B; Matamala, José Manuel; Woehlbier, Ute; Cornejo, Víctor Hugo; Solda, Tatiana; Andreu, Catherine; Rozas, Pablo; Matus, Soledad; Muñoz, Natalia; Vergara, Carmen; Cartier, Luis; Soto, Claudio; Molinari, Maurizio; Hetz, Claudio

    2015-09-25

    Although the accumulation of a misfolded and protease-resistant form of the prion protein (PrP) is a key event in prion pathogenesis, the cellular factors involved in its folding and quality control are poorly understood. PrP is a glycosylated and disulfide-bonded protein synthesized at the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). The ER foldase ERp57 (also known as Grp58) is highly expressed in the brain of sporadic and infectious forms of prion-related disorders. ERp57 is a disulfide isomerase involved in the folding of a subset of glycoproteins in the ER as part of the calnexin/calreticulin cycle. Here, we show that levels of ERp57 increase mainly in neurons of Creutzfeldt-Jacob patients. Using gain- and loss-of-function approaches in cell culture, we demonstrate that ERp57 expression controls the maturation and total levels of wild-type PrP and mutant forms associated with human disease. In addition, we found that PrP physically interacts with ERp57, and also with the closest family member PDIA1, but not ERp72. Furthermore, we generated a conditional knock-out mouse for ERp57 in the nervous system and detected a reduction in the steady-state levels of the mono- and nonglycosylated forms of PrP in the brain. In contrast, ERp57 transgenic mice showed increased levels of endogenous PrP. Unexpectedly, ERp57 expression did not affect the susceptibility of cells to ER stress in vitro and in vivo. This study identifies ERp57 as a new modulator of PrP levels and may help with understanding the consequences of ERp57 up-regulation observed in human disease. PMID:26170458

  1. Cellular prion protein directly interacts with and enhances lactate dehydrogenase expression under hypoxic conditions.

    PubMed

    Ramljak, Sanja; Schmitz, Matthias; Zafar, Saima; Wrede, Arne; Schenkel, Sara; Asif, Abdul R; Carimalo, Julie; Doeppner, Thorsten R; Schulz-Schaeffer, Walter J; Weise, Jens; Zerr, Inga

    2015-09-01

    Although a physiological function of the cellular prion protein (PrP(c)) is still not fully clarified, a PrP(c)-mediated neuroprotection against hypoxic/ischemic insult is intriguing. After ischemic stroke prion protein knockout mice (Prnp(0/0)) display significantly greater lesions as compared to wild-type (WT) mice. Earlier reports suggested an interaction between the glycolytic enzyme lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and PrP(c). Since hypoxic environment enhances LDH expression levels and compels neurons to rely on lactate as an additional oxidative substrate for energy metabolism, we examined possible differences in LDH protein expression in WT and Prnp(0/0) knockout models under normoxic/hypoxic conditions in vitro and in vivo, as well as in a HEK293 cell line. While no differences are observed under normoxic conditions, LDH expression is markedly increased after 60-min and 90-min of hypoxia in WT vs. Prnp(0/0) primary cortical neurons with concurrent less hypoxia-induced damage in the former group. Likewise, cerebral ischemia significantly increases LDH levels in WT vs. Prnp(0/0) mice with accompanying smaller lesions in the WT group. HEK293 cells overexpressing PrP(c) show significantly higher LDH expression/activity following 90-min of hypoxia as compared to control cells. Moreover, a cytoplasmic co-localization of LDH and PrP(c) was recorded under both normoxic and hypoxic conditions. Interestingly, an expression of monocarboxylate transporter 1, responsible for cellular lactate uptake, increases with PrP(c)-overexpression under normoxic conditions. Our data suggest LDH as a direct PrP(c) interactor with possible physiological relevance under low oxygen conditions. PMID:26024859

  2. 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...

  3. Are the interactions between recombinant prion proteins and polymeric surfaces related to the hydrophilic/hydrophobic balance?

    PubMed

    Vrlinic, Tjasa; Debarnot, Dominique; Legeay, Gilbert; Coudreuse, Arnaud; El Moualij, Benaissa; Zorzi, Willy; Perret-Liaudet, Armand; Quadrio, Isabelle; Mozetic, Miran; Poncin-Epaillard, Fabienne

    2012-06-01

    New non-fouling tubes are developed and their influence on the adhesion of neuroproteins is studied. Recombinant prion proteins are considered as a single component representative of hydrophobic proteins. Samples are stored for 24 h at 4 °C in tubes coated with two different coatings: poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) as a hydrophilic surface and a plasma-fluorinated coating as a hydrophobic one. The protein adhesion is monitored by ELISA tests, XPS and confocal microscopy. It appears that the highest recovery of recombinant prion protein in the liquid phase is obtained with the hydrophilic surface while the hydrophobic character of the storage tube induces an important amount of biological loss. However, the recovery is not complete even for tubes coated with poly(N-isopropylacrylamide). PMID:22508476

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

    PubMed Central

    Prez, M; Wandosell, F; Colao, C; Avila, J

    1998-01-01

    Although a number of features distinguish the disease isoform of the prion protein (PrPSc) from its normal cellular counterpart (PrPC) in the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), the neuropathogenesis of these diseases remains an enigma. The amyloid fibrils formed by fragments of human PrP have, however, been shown to be directly neurotoxic in vitro. We show here that sulphated polysaccharides (heparin, keratan and chondroitin) inhibit the neurotoxicity of these amyloid fibrils and this appears to be mediated via inhibition of the polymerization of the PrP peptide into fibrils. This provides a rationale for the therapeutic effects of sulphated polysaccharides and suggests a rapid in vitro functional screen for TSE therapeutics. PMID:9761736

  5. Inhibition of Protease-Resistant Prion Protein Accumulation In Vitro by Curcumin

    PubMed Central

    Caughey, Byron; Raymond, Lynne D.; Raymond, Gregory J.; Maxson, Laura; Silveira, Jay; Baron, Gerald S.

    2003-01-01

    Inhibition of the accumulation of protease-resistant prion protein (PrP-res) is a prime strategy in the development of potential transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) therapeutics. Here we show that curcumin (diferoylmethane), a major component of the spice turmeric, potently inhibits PrP-res accumulation in scrapie agent-infected neuroblastoma cells (50% inhibitory concentration, ∼10 nM) and partially inhibits the cell-free conversion of PrP to PrP-res. In vivo studies showed that dietary administration of curcumin had no significant effect on the onset of scrapie in hamsters. Nonetheless, other studies have shown that curcumin is nontoxic and can penetrate the brain, properties that give curcumin advantages over inhibitors previously identified as potential prophylactic and/or therapeutic anti-TSE compounds. PMID:12692251

  6. The prion protein is critical for DNA repair and cell survival after genotoxic stress

    PubMed Central

    Bravard, Anne; Auvré, Frédéric; Fantini, Damiano; Bernardino-Sgherri, Jacqueline; Sissoëff, Ludmilla; Daynac, Mathieu; Xu, Zhou; Etienne, Olivier; Dehen, Capucine; Comoy, Emmanuel; Boussin, François D.; Tell, Gianluca; Deslys, Jean-Philippe; Radicella, J. Pablo

    2015-01-01

    The prion protein (PrP) is highly conserved and ubiquitously expressed, suggesting that it plays an important physiological function. However, despite decades of investigation, this role remains elusive. Here, by using animal and cellular models, we unveil a key role of PrP in the DNA damage response. Exposure of neurons to a genotoxic stress activates PRNP transcription leading to an increased amount of PrP in the nucleus where it interacts with APE1, the major mammalian endonuclease essential for base excision repair, and stimulates its activity. Preventing the induction of PRNP results in accumulation of abasic sites in DNA and impairs cell survival after genotoxic treatment. Brains from Prnp−/− mice display a reduced APE1 activity and a defect in the repair of induced DNA damage in vivo. Thus, PrP is required to maintain genomic stability in response to genotoxic stresses. PMID:25539913

  7. Polymorphism of the prion protein gene (PRNP) in Polish cattle affected by classical bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

    PubMed

    Gurgul, Artur; Czarnik, Urszula; Urszula, Czarnik; Larska, Magdalena; Polak, Mirosław P; Strychalski, Janusz; Słota, Ewa

    2012-05-01

    Recent attempts to discover genetic factors affecting cattle resistance/susceptibility to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) have led to the identification of two insertion/deletion (indel) polymorphisms, located within the promoter and intron 1 of the prion protein gene PRNP, showing a significant association with the occurrence of classical form of the disease. Because the effect of the polymorphisms was studied only in few populations, in this study we investigated whether previously described association of PRNP indel polymorphisms with BSE susceptibility in cattle is also present in Polish cattle population. We found a significant relation between the investigated PRNP indel polymorphisms (23 and 12 bp indels), and susceptibility of Polish Holstein-Friesian cattle to classical BSE (P < 0.05). The deletion variants of both polymorphisms were related to increased susceptibility, whereas insertion variants were protective against BSE. PMID:22170597

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Characterization of the properties and trafficking of an anchorless form of the prion protein.

    PubMed

    Campana, Vincenza; Caputo, Anna; Sarnataro, Daniela; Paladino, Simona; Tivodar, Simona; Zurzolo, Chiara

    2007-08-01

    Conversion of PrP(C) into PrP(Sc) is the central event in the pathogenesis of transmissible prion diseases. Although the molecular basis of this event and the intracellular compartment where it occurs are not yet understood, the association of PrP with cellular membranes and in particular its presence in detergent-resistant microdomains appears to be of critical importance. In addition it appears that scrapie conversion requires membrane-bound glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-linked PrP. The GPI anchor may affect either the conformation, the intracellular localization, or the association of the prion protein with specific membrane domains. However, how this occurs is not known. To understand the relevance of the GPI anchor for the cellular behavior of PrP, we have studied the biosynthesis and localization of a PrP version which lacks the GPI anchor attachment signal (PrP Delta GPI). We found that PrP Delta GPI is tethered to cell membranes and associates to membrane detergent-resistant microdomains but does not assume a transmembrane topology. Differently to PrP(C), this protein does not localize at the cell surface but is mainly released in the culture media in a fully glycosylated soluble form. The cellular behavior of anchorless PrP explains why PrP Delta GPI Tg mice can be infected but do not show the classical signs of the disorder, thus indicating that the plasma membrane localization of PrP(C) and/or of the converted scrapie form might be necessary for the development of a symptomatic disease. PMID:17556367

  11. Dextran sulfate sodium inhibits amyloid-β oligomer binding to cellular prion protein.

    PubMed

    Aimi, Takahiro; Suzuki, Koichiro; Hoshino, Tatsuya; Mizushima, Tohru

    2015-08-01

    Amyloid-β peptide (Aβ), especially its oligomeric form, is believed to play an important role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). To this end, the binding of Aβ oligomer to cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) plays an important role in synaptic dysfunction in a mouse model of AD. Here, we have screened for compounds that inhibit Aβ oligomer binding to PrP(C) from medicines already used clinically (Mizushima Approved Medicine Library 1), and identified dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) as a candidate. In a cell-free assay, DSS inhibited Aβ oligomer binding to PrP(C) but not to ephrin receptor B2, another endogenous receptor for Aβ oligomers, suggesting that the drug's action is specific to the binding of Aβ oligomer to PrP(C) . Dextran on the other hand did not affect this binding. DSS also suppressed Aβ oligomer binding to cells expressing PrP(C) but not to control cells. Furthermore, while incubation of mouse hippocampal slices with Aβ oligomers inhibited the induction of long-term potentiation, simultaneous treatment with DSS restored the long-term potentiation. As DSS has already been approved for use in patients with hypertriglyceridemia, and its safety in humans has been confirmed, we propose further analysis of this drug as a candidate for AD treatment. Amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) oligomer-binding to cellular prion protein (PrP(C) ) is important in synaptic dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease (AD). We found here that dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) inhibits Aβ oligomer binding to PrP(C) . Simultaneous treatment of hippocampal slices with DSS restored long-term potentiation (LTP) in the presence of Aβ oligomers. Since DSS has already been approved for clinical use, we propose this drug is a candidate drug for AD treatment. PMID:25963375

  12. Both Met(109) and Met(112) Are Utilized For Cu(II) Coordination By The Amyloidogenic Fragment of The Human Prion Protein at Physiological pH

    PubMed Central

    Shearer, Jason; Soh, Pamela; Lentz, Stefanie

    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 CuII ions under physiological conditions; four copper binding sites can be found in the octarepeat domain between residues 61 – 91, while another copper binding site can be found in the unstructured “amyloidogenic” domain between residues 91 – 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 CuII coordination site within PrP(91–126) is found between residues 106–114. It was shown that CuII is contained within a square planar (N/O)3S 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 CuII 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 → Ile “mutations” we show that the CuII coordination environment within PrP(106–114) is actually comprised of a mixture of two major species; one CuII(N/O)3S center with the M(109) thioether coordinated to CuII and another CuII(N/O)3S center with the M(112) thioether coordinated to CuII. Furthermore, deletion of one or more Met residues from the primary sequence of PrP(106–114) both reduces the CuII affinity of the peptide by two to seven fold, and renders the resulting CuII metallopeptides redox inactive. The biological implications of these findings are discussed. PMID:18778855

  13. 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.

  14. Roles of the cellular prion protein in the regulation of cell-cell junctions and barrier function

    PubMed Central

    Petit, Constance S.V.; Besnier, Laura; Morel, Etienne; Rousset, Monique; Thenet, Sophie

    2013-01-01

    The cellular prion protein was historically characterized owing to its misfolding in prion disease. Although its physiological role remains incompletely understood, PrPC has emerged as an evolutionary conserved, multifaceted protein involved in a wide-range of biological processes. PrPC is a GPI-anchored protein targeted to the plasma membrane, in raft microdomains, where its interaction with a repertoire of binding partners, which differ depending on cell models, mediates its functions. Among identified PrPC partners are cell adhesion molecules. This review will focus on the multiple implications of PrPC in cell adhesion processes, mainly the regulation of cell-cell junctions in epithelial and endothelial cells and the consequences on barrier properties. We will show how recent findings argue for a role of PrPC in the recruitment of signaling molecules, which in turn control the targeting or the stability of adhesion complexes at the plasma membrane. PMID:24665391

  15. Complementarity determining regions of an anti-prion protein scFv fragment orchestrate conformation specificity and antiprion activity.

    PubMed

    Müller-Schiffmann, Andreas; Petsch, Benjamin; Leliveld, S Rutger; Muyrers, Janine; Salwierz, Agnieska; Mangels, Christian; Schwarzinger, Stephan; Riesner, Detlev; Stitz, Lothar; Korth, Carsten

    2009-02-01

    The prion protein, PrP, exists in several stable conformations, with the presence of one conformation, PrP(Sc), associated with transmissible neurodegenerative diseases. Targeting PrP by high-affinity ligands has been proven to be an effective way of preventing peripheral prion infections. Here, we have generated bacterially expressed single chain fragments of the variable domains (scFv) of a monoclonal antibody in Escherichia coli, originally raised against purified PrP(Sc) that recognizes both PrP(C) and PrP(Sc). This scFv fragment had a dissociation constant (K(D)) with recombinant PrP of 2 nM and cleared prions in ScN2a cells at 4 nM, as demonstrated by a mouse prion bioassay. A peptide corresponding to the complementarity determining region 3 of the heavy chain (CDR3H) selectively bound PrP(Sc) but had lost antiprion activity. However, synthesis and application of an improved peptide mimicking side chain topology of CDR3H while exhibiting increased protease resistance, a retro-inverso d-peptide of CDR3H, still bound PrP(Sc) and reinstated antiprion activity. We conclude that (1) scFvW226 is so far the smallest polypeptide with bioassay confirmed antiprion activity, and (2) differential conformation specificity and bioactivity can be regulated by orchestrating the participation of different CDRs. PMID:18973947

  16. Zinc Drives a Tertiary Fold in the Prion Protein with Familial Disease Mutation Sites at the Interface

    PubMed Central

    Spevacek, Ann R.; Evans, Eric G. B.; Miller, Jillian L.; Meyer, Heidi C.; Pelton, Jeffrey G.; Millhauser, Glenn L.

    2012-01-01

    The cellular prion protein PrPC consists of two domains – a flexible N-terminal domain, which participates in copper and zinc regulation, and a largely helical C-terminal domain that converts to β-sheet in the course of prion disease. These two domains are thought to be fully independent and non-interacting. Compelling cellular and biophysical studies, however, suggest a higher order structure that is relevant to both PrPC function, as well as misfolding in disease. Here we identify a novel Zn2+ driven N-terminal – C-terminal tertiary interaction in PrPC. The C-terminal surface participating in this interaction carries the majority of the point mutations that confer familial prion disease. Investigation of mutant PrPs finds a systematic relationship between the type of mutation and the apparent strength of this newly identified domain structure. The novel structural features identified here suggest new mechanisms by which physiologic metal ions trigger PrPC trafficking and control prion disease. PMID:23290724

  17. Isolation of a cDNA clone encoding the leader peptide of prion protein and expression of the homologous gene in various tissues.

    PubMed Central

    Robakis, N K; Sawh, P R; Wolfe, G C; Rubenstein, R; Carp, R I; Innis, M A

    1986-01-01

    We have isolated a hamster cDNA clone representing the coding sequences for the entire precursor of prion protein (PrP) 27-30. This clone encodes a protein of 254 residues and contains an in-frame ATG codon 42 bases upstream from the one previously reported. Analysis of the predicted amino acid sequence suggests that the PrP precursor protein contains an amino-terminal signal sequence, and a membrane-spanning domain in the carboxyl terminus. Cleavage of the signal peptide would produce a mature protein of 232 amino acids. Sequences homologous to the hamster PrP cDNA were detected in hamster, mouse, sheep, human, and rabbit genomes. A related 2.5-kilobase transcript was present in the brain of normal and scrapie-infected rodents. Two homologous transcripts, 2.5 and 1.1 kilobases, were detected in the lung and heart of normal animals. No PrP mRNA was detected in spleen stroma, a tissue known to contain high titers of scrapie. Antisera raised to the 27- to 30-kDa polypeptide detected the PrP in both normal and infected brains but failed to detect this protein in either normal or infected spleens. Homologous mRNA species were detected in human, sheep, and rabbit brain, even though the latter is resistant to scrapie infection. Our data suggest that PrP is not a necessary component of the infectious agent. Images PMID:3529083

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Structural facets of disease-linked human prion protein mutants: a molecular dynamic study.

    PubMed

    Rossetti, Giulia; Giachin, Gabriele; Legname, Giuseppe; Carloni, Paolo

    2010-12-01

    Prion propagation in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies involves the conversion of the cellular prion protein, PrPC, into the pathogenic conformer PrPSc. Human familial forms of the disease are linked to specific mutations in the PrP gene, PRNP, and include Gerstmann-Strussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS), familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (fCJD), and fatal familial insomnia. To gain insights into the molecular basis of these disorders, we performed 200 ns of classical molecular dynamic simulations in aqueous solution on wild type (WT) human PrP (HuPrP), and on three HuPrP variants located in the globular HuPrP domain: two pathological mutations, HuPrP(Q212P) and HuPrP(E200K), linked to GSS and to fCJD respectively, and one protective polymorphism, HuPrP(E219K) (total time-scale simulated 800 ns). A comparison between the predicted structural determinants of WT HuPrP and HuPrP(E200K) with their NMR structures established the accuracy of the methods used. Strikingly, the analyzed disease-linked variants produced their major effect on the α2-α3 region and the β2-α2 loop, regardless of the mutation position. The conformational change of the latter might affect the interactions with cellular partners in the fibrillation process. The protocol proposed here represents a powerful approach for reproducing the structural effects of genetic mutations located in the globular domain of HuPrP, such as the GSS-related HuPrP(Q212P) and the protective polymorphism HuPrP(E219K). PMID:20806222

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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-...

  6. Induction of cellular prion protein (PrPc) under hypoxia inhibits apoptosis caused by TRAIL treatment.

    PubMed

    Park, Jin-Young; Jeong, Jae-Kyo; Lee, Ju-Hee; Moon, Ji-Hong; Kim, Sung-Wook; Lee, You-Jin; Park, Sang-Youel

    2015-03-10

    Hypoxia decreases cytotoxic responses to tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) protein. Cellular prion protein (PrPc) is regulated by HIF-1? 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

  7. Models for yeast prions.

    PubMed

    Morgan, B J T; Ridout, M S; Ruddock, L W

    2003-09-01

    The cytoplasmic heritable determinant [PSI+] of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae exhibits prion-like properties. The properties of yeast prions are studied in the hope that this will enhance the understanding of mammalian prions, which cause mad-cow, Creutzfeldt-Jakob, and related neurodegenerative diseases. When host cells divide, the yeast prions distribute themselves without loss over the daughter cells. Experimental data provide information on how the proportion of cells with prions decreases over time when priori replication is inhibited. One feature of scientific interest is the unknown mean number, n0, of prions assumed to be present in the cells at the start of the experiment. We develop several stochastic models and by fitting them to the data, we obtain substantially larger estimates of n0 compared with a previous analysis. An interesting feature of a model with constant cell generation times is that the predicted proportion of cells with prions varies over time as a sequence of linked hyperbolic curves. Avenues for future research are outlined, which relax simplifying assumptions made in the models. We make several recommendations for the design of future experiments. PMID:14601757

  8. Prion Protein-Antibody Complexes Characterized by Chromatography-Coupled Small-Angle X-Ray Scattering.

    PubMed

    Carter, Lester; Kim, Seung Joong; Schneidman-Duhovny, Dina; Stöhr, Jan; Poncet-Montange, Guillaume; Weiss, Thomas M; Tsuruta, Hiro; Prusiner, Stanley B; Sali, Andrej

    2015-08-18

    Aberrant self-assembly, induced by structural misfolding of the prion proteins, leads to a number of neurodegenerative disorders. In particular, misfolding of the mostly α-helical cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) into a β-sheet-rich disease-causing isoform (PrP(Sc)) is the key molecular event in the formation of PrP(Sc) aggregates. The molecular mechanisms underlying the PrP(C)-to-PrP(Sc) conversion and subsequent aggregation remain to be elucidated. However, in persistently prion-infected cell-culture models, it was shown that treatment with monoclonal antibodies against defined regions of the prion protein (PrP) led to the clearing of PrP(Sc) in cultured cells. To gain more insight into this process, we characterized PrP-antibody complexes in solution using a fast protein liquid chromatography coupled with small-angle x-ray scattering (FPLC-SAXS) procedure. High-quality SAXS data were collected for full-length recombinant mouse PrP [denoted recPrP(23-230)] and N-terminally truncated recPrP(89-230), as well as their complexes with each of two Fab fragments (HuM-P and HuM-R1), which recognize N- and C-terminal epitopes of PrP, respectively. In-line measurements by fast protein liquid chromatography coupled with SAXS minimized data artifacts caused by a non-monodispersed sample, allowing structural analysis of PrP alone and in complex with Fab antibodies. The resulting structural models suggest two mechanisms for how these Fabs may prevent the conversion of PrP(C) into PrP(Sc). PMID:26287631

  9. Zebrafish Prion Protein PrP2 Controls Collective Migration Process during Lateral Line Sensory System Development

    PubMed Central

    Huc-Brandt, Sylvaine; Hieu, Nelson; Imberdis, Thibaut; Cubedo, Nicolas; Silhol, Michelle; Leighton, Patricia L. A.; Domaschke, Thomas; Allison, W. Ted; Perrier, Véronique; Rossel, Mireille

    2014-01-01

    Prion protein is involved in severe neurodegenerative disorders but its physiological role is still in debate due to an absence of major developmental defects in knockout mice. Previous reports in zebrafish indicate that the two prion genes, PrP1 and PrP2, are both involved in several steps of embryonic development thus providing a unique route to discover prion protein function. Here we investigate the role of PrP2 during development of a mechano-sensory system, the posterior lateral line, using morpholino knockdown and PrP2 targeted inactivation. We confirm the efficiency of the translation blocking morpholino at the protein level. Development of the posterior lateral line is altered in PrP2 morphants, including nerve axonal outgrowth and primordium migration defects. Reduced neuromast deposition was observed in PrP2 morphants as well as in PrP2−/− mutants. Rosette formation defects were observed in PrP2 morphants, strongly suggesting an abnormal primordium organization and reflecting loss of cell cohesion during migration of the primordium. In addition, the adherens junction proteins, E-cadherin and ß-catenin, were mis-localized after reduction of PrP2 expression and thus contribute to the primordium disorganization. Consequently, hair cell differentiation and number were affected and this resulted in reduced functional neuromasts. At later developmental stages, myelination of the posterior lateral line nerve was altered. Altogether, our study reports an essential role of PrP2 in collective migration process of the primordium and in neuromast formation, further implicating a role for prion protein in cell adhesion. PMID:25436888

  10. Zebrafish prion protein PrP2 controls collective migration process during lateral line sensory system development.

    PubMed

    Huc-Brandt, Sylvaine; Hieu, Nelson; Imberdis, Thibaut; Cubedo, Nicolas; Silhol, Michelle; Leighton, Patricia L A; Domaschke, Thomas; Allison, W Ted; Perrier, Vronique; Rossel, Mireille

    2014-01-01

    Prion protein is involved in severe neurodegenerative disorders but its physiological role is still in debate due to an absence of major developmental defects in knockout mice. Previous reports in zebrafish indicate that the two prion genes, PrP1 and PrP2, are both involved in several steps of embryonic development thus providing a unique route to discover prion protein function. Here we investigate the role of PrP2 during development of a mechano-sensory system, the posterior lateral line, using morpholino knockdown and PrP2 targeted inactivation. We confirm the efficiency of the translation blocking morpholino at the protein level. Development of the posterior lateral line is altered in PrP2 morphants, including nerve axonal outgrowth and primordium migration defects. Reduced neuromast deposition was observed in PrP2 morphants as well as in PrP2-/- mutants. Rosette formation defects were observed in PrP2 morphants, strongly suggesting an abnormal primordium organization and reflecting loss of cell cohesion during migration of the primordium. In addition, the adherens junction proteins, E-cadherin and -catenin, were mis-localized after reduction of PrP2 expression and thus contribute to the primordium disorganization. Consequently, hair cell differentiation and number were affected and this resulted in reduced functional neuromasts. At later developmental stages, myelination of the posterior lateral line nerve was altered. Altogether, our study reports an essential role of PrP2 in collective migration process of the primordium and in neuromast formation, further implicating a role for prion protein in cell adhesion. PMID:25436888

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Molecular conformation and dynamics of the Y145Stop variant of human prion protein in amyloid fibrils

    PubMed Central

    Helmus, Jonathan J.; Surewicz, Krystyna; Nadaud, Philippe S.; Surewicz, Witold K.; Jaroniec, Christopher P.

    2008-01-01

    A C-terminally truncated Y145Stop variant of the human prion protein (huPrP23–144) is associated with a hereditary amyloid disease known as PrP cerebral amyloid angiopathy. Previous studies have shown that recombinant huPrP23–144 can be efficiently converted in vitro to the fibrillar amyloid state, and that residues 138 and 139 play a critical role in the amyloidogenic properties of this protein. Here, we have used magic-angle spinning solid-state NMR spectroscopy to provide high-resolution insight into the protein backbone conformation and dynamics in fibrils formed by 13C,15N-labeled huPrP23–144. Surprisingly, we find that signals from ≈100 residues (i.e., ≈80% of the sequence) are not detected above approximately −20°C in conventional solid-state NMR spectra. Sequential resonance assignments revealed that signals, which are observed, arise exclusively from residues in the region 112–141. These resonances are remarkably narrow, exhibiting average 13C and 15N linewidths of ≈0.6 and 1 ppm, respectively. Altogether, the present findings indicate the existence of a compact, highly ordered core of huPrP23–144 amyloid encompassing residues 112–141. Analysis of 13C secondary chemical shifts identified likely β-strand segments within this core region, including β-strand 130–139 containing critical residues 138 and 139. In contrast to this relatively rigid, β-sheet-rich amyloid core, the remaining residues in huPrP23–144 amyloid fibrils under physiologically relevant conditions are largely unordered, displaying significant conformational dynamics. PMID:18436646

  15. Pyroglutamyl-N-terminal prion protein fragments in sheep brain following the development of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies

    PubMed Central

    Gielbert, Adriana; Thorne, Jemma K.; Hope, James

    2015-01-01

    Protein misfolding, protein aggregation and disruption to cellular proteostasis are key processes in the propagation of disease and, in some progressive neurodegenerative diseases of the central nervous system, the misfolded protein can act as a self-replicating template or prion converting its normal isoform into a misfolded copy of itself. We have investigated the sheep transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, scrapie, and developed a multiple selected reaction monitoring (mSRM) mass spectrometry assay to quantify brain peptides representing the “ragged” N-terminus and the core of ovine prion protein (PrPSc) by using Q-Tof mass spectrometry. This allowed us to identify pyroglutamylated N-terminal fragments of PrPSc at residues 86, 95 and 101, and establish that these fragments were likely to be the result of in vivo processes. We found that the ratios of pyroglutamylated PrPSc fragments were different in sheep of different breeds and geographical origin, and our expanded ovine PrPSc assay was able to determine the ratio and allotypes of PrP accumulating in diseased brain of PrP heterozygous sheep; it also revealed significant differences between N-terminal amino acid profiles (N-TAAPs) in other types of ovine prion disease, CH1641 scrapie and ovine BSE. Variable rates of PrP misfolding, aggregation and degradation are the likely basis for phenotypic (or strain) differences in prion-affected animals and our mass spectrometry-based approach allows the simultaneous investigation of factors such as post-translational modification (pyroglutamyl formation), conformation (by N-TAAP analysis) and amino-acid polymorphisms (allotype ratio) which affect the kinetics of these proteostatic processes. PMID:25988175

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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, including a Lys185–Lys220 cross-link, which is unique to the PrPβ and thus may be indicative of the conformational change involved in the formation of prion protein oligomers. PMID:22438564

  19. 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.

  20. Prion diseases.

    PubMed

    McKintosh, Edward; Tabrizi, Sarah J; Collinge, John

    2003-04-01

    Prion diseases are incurable neurodegenerative conditions affecting both animals and humans. They may be sporadic, infectious, or inherited in origin. Human prion diseases include Creutzfeldt-Jakob desease (CJD), Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker disease, kuru, and fatal familial insomnia. The appearance of variant CJD, and the demonstration that is caused by strains indistinguishable from bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle, has led to the threat of a major epidemic of human prion disease in the UK and other countries where widespread dietary exposure to bovine prions has occurred. This article reviews the history and epidemiology of these diseases, and then focuses on important areas of current research in human prion disorders. PMID:12707849

  1. Prions mediated neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    Prions are unprecedented infectious pathogens that are devoid of nucleic acid and cause a group of rare and invariably fatal neurodegenerative disorders, affecting approximately 1 person per 1 million inhabitants annually worldwide. These disorders include Creutzfeld-Jacob disease (CJD), Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS), kuru, fatal insomnia (FI), and variable protease-sensitive prionopathy (VPSPr), all of which involve a conformational change of the normal cellular prion protein (PrPC) into the abnormal scrapie prion protein (PrPSc) through a posttranslational process during which PrPc acquires high β-sheet content. This structural change is accompanied by profound changes in the physicochemical properties of PrPC, rendering the molecule resistant to proteolysis. The conformational change of PrPC can occur due to either spontaneous conversion, dominant mutations in the prion protein (PRNP) gene encoding PrPC, or infection with pathogenic isoform PrPsc from exogenous sources. There is general agreement that PrPC serves as a substrate for conversion to abnormal PrPSc. This latter multiplies exponentially and aggregates in the brain, forming deposits that are associated with the neurodegenerative changes. Although the understanding of the primary causes of prion-induced neurodegeneration is still limited, propagation of PrPSc and neurotoxic signaling seem to interplay in pathogenic process of prions. Here, we review recent findings that have provided fresh insights into this process, and present an overview of incidence, causes and spectrum of related disorders. PMID:26592824

  2. Phenotypic characterization of cells participating in transport of prion protein aggregates across the intestinal mucosa of sheep

    PubMed Central

    Piercey Åkesson, Caroline; Press, Charles McL.; Tranulis, Michael A.; Jeffrey, Martin; Aleksandersen, Mona; Landsverk, Thor; Espenes, Arild

    2012-01-01

    The oral route is considered to be the main entry site of several transmissible spongiform encephalopathies or prion diseases of animals and man. Following natural and experimental oral exposure to scrapie, sheep first accumulate disease associated prion protein (PrPd) in Peyer’s patch (PP) lymphoid follicles. In this study, recombinant ovine prion protein (rPrP) was inoculated into gut loops of young lambs and the transportation across the intestinal wall studied. In particular, the immunohistochemical phenotypes of cells bearing the inoculated prion protein were investigated. The rPrP was shown to be transported across the villi of the gut, into the lacteals and submucosal lymphatics, mimicking the transport route of PrPd from scrapie brain inoculum observed in a previous intestinal loop experiment. The cells bearing the inoculated rPrP were mainly mononuclear cells, and multicolor immunofluorescence procedures were used to show that the rPrP bearing cells were professional antigen presenting cells expressing Major histocompatibility complex II (MHCII). In addition, the rPrP bearing cells labeled with CD205, CD11b and the macrophage marker CD68, and not with the dendritic cell markers CD11c and CD209. Others have reported that cells expressing CD205 and CD11b in the absence of CD11c have been shown to induce T cell tolerance or regulatory T cells. Based on this association, it was speculated that the rPrP and by extension PrPd and scrapie infective material may exploit the physiological process of macromolecular uptake across the gut, and that this route of entry may have implications for immune surveillance. PMID:22437736

  3. Phenotypic characterization of cells participating in transport of prion protein aggregates across the intestinal mucosa of sheep.

    PubMed

    Piercey Åkesson, Caroline; Press, Charles McL; Tranulis, Michael A; Jeffrey, Martin; Aleksandersen, Mona; Landsverk, Thor; Espenes, Arild

    2012-07-01

    The oral route is considered to be the main entry site of several transmissible spongiform encephalopathies or prion diseases of animals and man. Following natural and experimental oral exposure to scrapie, sheep first accumulate disease associated prion protein (PrP (d) ) in Peyer's patch (PP) lymphoid follicles. In this study, recombinant ovine prion protein (rPrP) was inoculated into gut loops of young lambs and the transportation across the intestinal wall studied. In particular, the immunohistochemical phenotypes of cells bearing the inoculated prion protein were investigated. The rPrP was shown to be transported across the villi of the gut, into the lacteals and submucosal lymphatics, mimicking the transport route of PrP (d) from scrapie brain inoculum observed in a previous intestinal loop experiment. The cells bearing the inoculated rPrP were mainly mononuclear cells, and multicolor immunofluorescence procedures were used to show that the rPrP bearing cells were professional antigen presenting cells expressing Major histocompatibility complex II (MHCII). In addition, the rPrP bearing cells labeled with CD205, CD11b and the macrophage marker CD68, and not with the dendritic cell markers CD11c and CD209. Others have reported that cells expressing CD205 and CD11b in the absence of CD11c have been shown to induce T cell tolerance or regulatory T cells. Based on this association, it was speculated that the rPrP and by extension PrP (d) and scrapie infective material may exploit the physiological process of macromolecular uptake across the gut, and that this route of entry may have implications for immune surveillance. PMID:22437736

  4. Fatal familial insomnia: a second kindred with mutation of prion protein gene at codon 178.

    PubMed

    Medori, R; Montagna, P; Tritschler, H J; LeBlanc, A; Cortelli, P; Tinuper, P; Lugaresi, E; Gambetti, P

    1992-03-01

    Fatal familial insomnia (FFI), a condition characterized by inability to sleep, dysautonomia, motor disturbances, and selective thalamic atrophy is a prion disease linked to a GAC----AAC mutation at codon 178 of the prion gene. These data were obtained from one kindred. We now report a second kindred affected by FFI and carrying the same mutation. The finding of the same disease phenotype and genotype in a second family further validates FFI as a distinct disease entity and a phenotype of the GAC----AAC mutation at codon 178 of the prion gene. PMID:1347910

  5. Evidence that the 127-164 region of prion proteins has two equi-energetic conformations with beta or alpha features.

    PubMed Central

    Derreumaux, P

    2001-01-01

    Prion proteins cause neurodegenerative illnesses in humans and animals. The diseases are associated with a topological change from a predominantly alpha (PrP(C)) to beta-sheet (PrP(Sc)) structure. Many studies have focused on the minimum sequence requirements and key events for developing or transmitting disease. Here, we report on the application of molecular modeling studies to predict the lowest-energy conformations for five fragments in solution at pH 7. We show that PrP(143-158) adopts a helix, the model PrP(106-126), PrP(142-167), and PrP(143-178) peptides have a clear preference for a variety of beta-sheet structures, whereas PrP(127-164) has two iso-energetic conformations with all beta or alphabeta native-like structures. Such a finding for PrP(127-164), which explains a large body of experimental data, including the location of all mutations causing prion diseases, may have important implications for triggering or propagating the topological change. PMID:11509378

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    Prions are unique elements in biology, being able to transmit biological information from one organism to another in the absence of nucleic acids. They have been identified as self-replicating proteinaceous agents responsible for the onset of rare and fatal neurodegenerative disorders-known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, or prion diseases-which affect humans and other animal species. More recently, it has been proposed that other proteins associated with common neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, can self-replicate like prions, thus sustaining the spread of neurotoxic entities throughout the nervous system. Here, we review findings that have contributed to expand the prion concept, and discuss if the involved toxic species can be considered bona fide prions, including the capacity to infect other organisms, or whether these pathogenic aggregates share with prions only the capability to self-replicate. PMID:25437612

  7. Prions and Prion-Like Pathogens in Neurodegenerative Disorders

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Prions are unique elements in biology, being able to transmit biological information from one organism to another in the absence of nucleic acids. They have been identified as self-replicating proteinaceous agents responsible for the onset of rare and fatal neurodegenerative disorders—known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, or prion diseases—which affect humans and other animal species. More recently, it has been proposed that other proteins associated with common neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, can self-replicate like prions, thus sustaining the spread of neurotoxic entities throughout the nervous system. Here, we review findings that have contributed to expand the prion concept, and discuss if the involved toxic species can be considered bona fide prions, including the capacity to infect other organisms, or whether these pathogenic aggregates share with prions only the capability to self-replicate. PMID:25437612

  8. Fractionation of prion protein aggregates by asymmetrical flow field-flow fractionation.

    PubMed

    Silveira, Jay R; Hughson, Andrew G; Caughey, Byron

    2006-01-01

    Achieving the successful separation and analysis of amyloid and other large protein aggregates can be a difficult proposition. Field-flow fractionation (FFF) is a flow-based separation method like chromatography; however, FFF is capable of high-resolution separations in the absence of a stationary matrix. Thus, FFF is a relatively gentle technique and is well suited to the task of separating large macromolecules and macromolecular complexes. Flow field-flow fractionation (FlFFF), one of the techniques in the FFF family, has been used to successfully fractionate a wide size range of prion protein aggregates, allowing their subsequent characterization by several biophysical and biochemical methods. The ability to easily adjust the strength of the field used during separation means that FlFFF could be applied to particles ranging from 1 nm to nearly 100 mum in size. This flexibility, coupled with the ability to produce fast, high-resolution separations, makes FFF a potentially valuable tool in the field of amyloid research. PMID:17046649

  9. Potential involvement of copper and thiol-disulphide interchange in prion proteins' conformational conversion.

    PubMed

    Feughelman, M; Willis, B K

    2002-09-01

    The prion protein PrP(C) in transmissible spongiform encephalopathy converts to the pathogenic isoform PrP(Sc) containing less alpha-helical structure and a greater beta-pleated sheet content. The stability of PrP(C) protein is partly dependent on the disulphide bond between two alpha-helices designated B and C. Further stability could arise from ligand complexes of Cu(II) ions formed with carboxylic acid side chains in PrP(C). Electron spin resonance (E.S.R.) spectra and atomic absorption measurements have shown for alpha-keratin that the formation of ligands by Cu(II) is 10(2) more rapid than interaction of Cu(II) with ionised thiols X-S(-) which form X-S-Cu(+). X-S(-) destabilises disulphide bonds by thiol-disulphide interchange. When insufficient Cu(II) is present to form ligands with all available sites in PrP(C) then unblocked X-S(-) groups could potentially destabilise the disulphide bonds by thiol-disulphide interchange followed by reformation of the disulphide bond in the beta form of PrP(Sc) and the release of X-S(-) to interact with other PrP(C). PMID:12208161

  10. How to control the recombinant prion protein adhesion for successful storage through modification of surface properties.

    PubMed

    Vrlinic, T; Debarnot, D; Legeay, G; Coudreuse, A; El Moualij, B; Zorzi, W; Perret-Liaudet, A; Quadrio, I; Mozetic, M; Poncin-Epaillard, F

    2012-12-01

    Depletion of neuroproteins on the inner walls of storage tubes influences the accuracy of tests used for identification of various neurodegenerative disorders. In this paper, a strategy is described for surface modification of Eppendorf tubes leading to non-adhesive properties towards the recombinant human prion proteins (PrPrec(hum)). Tubes were pre-activated by helium plasma and grafted with three diverse coatings: pure poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM), PNIPAM admixed with either neutral PEG(20)sorbitan monolaurate (PEG(20)) or positively charged cetyl trimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) at varying plasma activation times and polymer to surfactant ratios. New functionalized surfaces were analyzed by goniometry, streaming potential measurement and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, whereas the protein adhesion was monitored by enzyme linked immunosorbent assays and confocal microscopy. The mapping of PrPrec(hum) adhesion associated with surface analyses enabled us to determine that no or negligible depletion of PrPrec(hum) can be obtained by surfaces possessing basic component in the range between 50 and 60 mJ m(-2) and streaming potential ζ(7.4) - -50 mV. PMID:23109107

  11. Subcellular Localization of Disease-Associated Prion Protein in the Human Brain

    PubMed Central

    Kovács, Gábor G.; Preusser, Matthias; Strohschneider, Michaela; Budka, Herbert

    2005-01-01

    Disease-associated prion protein (PrPTSE) deposits in distinct immunostaining patterns in the brain in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, including synaptic, extracellular, and cell-associated localizations. After having developed an appropriate pretreatment protocol to enhance immunostaining for PrPTSE without damaging epitopes of other antigens, we systematically evaluated co-localization patterns of distinct PrPTSE immunodeposits by confocal laser microscopy, including optical serial sectioning. As shown by quantification, the most prominent co-localization of PrPTSE is with synaptophysin, but PrPTSE may also co-deposit with connexin-32, a gap junction-related protein. Furthermore, neuronal cell bodies, dendrites, axons, astrocytes, and microglia harbor granular PrPTSE deposits. Highly aggregated deposits are focally ubiquitinated. We conclude that PrPTSE is not exclusively associated with chemical but also with electric synapses, axonal transport may be a relevant route of PrPTSE spread in the brain, and activated microglia and astrocytes may play a role in PrPTSE processing, degradation, or removal. PMID:15632020

  12. Amyloid-β nanotubes are associated with prion protein-dependent synaptotoxicity

    PubMed Central

    Nicoll, Andrew J.; Panico, Silvia; Freir, Darragh B.; Wright, Daniel; Terry, Cassandra; Risse, Emmanuel; Herron, Caroline E.; O’Malley, Tiernan; Wadsworth, Jonathan D. F.; Farrow, Mark A.; Walsh, Dominic M.; Saibil, Helen R.; Collinge, John

    2013-01-01

    Growing evidence suggests water-soluble, non-fibrillar forms of amyloid-β protein (Aβ) have important roles in Alzheimer’s disease with toxicities mimicked by synthetic Aβ1–42. However, no defined toxic structures acting via specific receptors have been identified and roles of proposed receptors, such as prion protein (PrP), remain controversial. Here we quantify binding to PrP of Aβ1–42 after different durations of aggregation. We show PrP-binding and PrP-dependent inhibition of long-term potentiation (LTP) correlate with the presence of protofibrils. Globular oligomers bind less avidly to PrP and do not inhibit LTP, whereas fibrils inhibit LTP in a PrP-independent manner. That only certain transient Aβ assemblies cause PrP-dependent toxicity explains conflicting reports regarding the involvement of PrP in Aβ-induced impairments. We show that these protofibrils contain a defined nanotubular structure with a previously unidentified triple helical conformation. Blocking the formation of Aβ nanotubes or their interaction with PrP might have a role in treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. PMID:24022506

  13. Prion Protein and Copper Cooperatively Protect Neurons by Modulating NMDA Receptor Through S-nitrosylation

    PubMed Central

    Gasperini, Lisa; Meneghetti, Elisa; Pastore, Beatrice

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Aims: Several neurodegenerative disorders show alterations in glutamatergic synapses and increased susceptibility to excitotoxicity. Mounting evidence suggests a central role for the cellular prion protein (PrPC) in neuroprotection. Therefore, the loss of PrPC function occurring in prion disorders may contribute to the disease progression and neurodegeneration. Indeed, PrPC modulates N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDAR), thus preventing cell death. In this study, we show that PrPC and copper cooperatively inhibit NMDAR through S-nitrosylation, a post-translational modification resulting from the chemical reaction of nitric oxide (NO) with cysteines. Results: Comparing wild-type Prnp (Prnp+/+) and PrPC knockout (Prnp0/0) mouse hippocampi, we found that GluN1 and GluN2A S-nitrosylation decrease in Prnp0/0. Using organotypic hippocampal cultures, we found that copper chelation decreases NMDAR S-nitrosylation in Prnp+/+ but not in Prnp0/0. This suggests that PrPC requires copper to support the chemical reaction between NO and thiols. We explored PrPC-Cu neuroprotective role by evaluating neuron susceptibility to excitotoxicity in Prnp+/+ and Prnp0/0 cultures. We found that (i) PrPC-Cu modulates GluN2A-containing NMDAR, those inhibited by S-nitrosylation; (ii) PrPC and copper are interdependent to protect neurons from insults; (iii) neuronal NO synthase inhibition affects susceptibility in wild-type but not in Prnp0/0, while (iv) the addition of a NO donor enhances Prnp0/0 neurons survival. Innovation and Conclusions: Our results show that PrPC and copper support NMDAR S-nitrosylation and cooperatively exert neuroprotection. In addition to NMDAR, PrPC may also favor the S-nitrosylation of other proteins. Therefore, this mechanism may be investigated in the context of the different cellular processes in which PrPC is involved. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 22, 772–784. PMID:25490055

  14. Exosomal cellular prion protein drives fibrillization of amyloid beta and counteracts amyloid beta-mediated neurotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Falker, Clemens; Hartmann, Alexander; Guett, Inga; Dohler, Frank; Altmeppen, Hermann; Betzel, Christian; Schubert, Robin; Thurm, Dana; Wegwitz, Florian; Joshi, Pooja; Verderio, Claudia; Krasemann, Susanne; Glatzel, Markus

    2016-04-01

    Alzheimer's disease is a common neurodegenerative, progressive, and fatal disorder. Generation and deposition of amyloid beta (Aβ) peptides associate with its pathogenesis and small soluble Aβ oligomers show the most pronounced neurotoxic effects and correlate with disease initiation and progression. Recent findings showed that Aβ oligomers bind to the cellular prion protein (PrP(C) ) eliciting neurotoxic effects. The role of exosomes, small extracellular vesicles of endosomal origin, in Alzheimer's disease is only poorly understood. Besides serving as disease biomarkers they may promote Aβ plaque formation, decrease Aβ-mediated synaptotoxicity, and enhance Aβ clearance. Here, we explore how exosomal PrP(C) connects to protective functions attributed to exosomes in Alzheimer's disease. To achieve this, we generated a mouse neuroblastoma PrP(C) knockout cell line using transcription activator-like effector nucleases. Using these, as well as SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells, we show that PrP(C) is highly enriched on exosomes and that exosomes bind amyloid beta via PrP(C) . Exosomes showed highest binding affinity for dimeric, pentameric, and oligomeric Aβ species. Thioflavin T assays revealed that exosomal PrP(C) accelerates fibrillization of amyloid beta, thereby reducing neurotoxic effects imparted by oligomeric Aβ. Our study provides further evidence for a protective role of exosomes in Aβ-mediated neurodegeneration and highlights the importance of exosomal PrP(C) in molecular mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease. We show that the prion protein (PrP(C) ) on exosomes captures neurotoxic species of amyloid beta (Aβ) promoting its fibrillization. Our study provides evidence for a protective role of exosomes in Alzheimer`s disease and suggests that, depending on its membrane topology, PrP(C) holds a dual function: when expressed at the neuronal surface it acts as receptor for Aβ leading to neurotoxic signaling, whereas it detoxifies Aβ when present on exosomes. This provides further support for key roles of PrP(C) in Alzheimer's disease. Read the Editorial Highlight for this article on page 9. Cover Image for this issue: doi: 10.1111/jnc.13312. PMID:26710111

  15. The [URE3] yeast prion results from protein aggregates that differ from amyloid filaments formed in vitro.

    PubMed

    Ripaud, Leslie; Maillet, Laurent; Immel-Torterotot, Françoise; Durand, Fabien; Cullin, Christophe

    2004-12-01

    The [URE3] yeast prion is a self-propagating inactive form of the Ure2 protein. Ure2p is composed of two domains, residues 1-93, the prion-forming domain, and the remaining C-terminal part of the protein, which forms the functional domain involved in nitrogen catabolite repression. In vitro, Ure2p forms amyloid filaments that have been proposed to be the aggregated prion form found in vivo. Here we showed that the biochemical characteristics of these two species differ. Protease digestions of Ure2p filaments and soluble Ure2p are comparable when analyzed by Coomassie staining as by Western blot. However, this finding does not explain the pattern specifically observed in [URE3] strains. Antibodies raised against the C-terminal part of Ure2p revealed the existence of proteolysis sites efficiently cleaved when [URE3], but not wild-type crude extracts, were submitted to limited proteolysis. The same antibodies lead to an equivalent digestion pattern when recombinant Ure2p (either soluble or amyloid) was analyzed in the same way. These results strongly suggest that aggregated Ure2p in [URE3] yeast cells is different from the amyloid filaments generated in vitro. PMID:15456789

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Dynamically-expressed prion-like proteins form a cuticle in the pharynx of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    George-Raizen, Julia B; Shockley, Keith R; Trojanowski, Nicholas F; Lamb, Annesia L; Raizen, David M

    2014-01-01

    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

  19. 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

  20. Coexpression of wild-type and mutant prion proteins alters their cellular localization and partitioning into detergent-resistant membranes.

    PubMed

    Schiff, Edwin; Campana, Vincenza; Tivodar, Simona; Lebreton, Stéphanie; Gousset, Karine; Zurzolo, Chiara

    2008-07-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are a group of diseases of infectious, sporadic and genetic origin, found in higher organisms and caused by the pathological form of the prion protein. The inheritable subgroup of TSEs is linked to insertional or point mutations in the prion gene prnp, which favour its misfolding and are passed on to offspring in an autosomal-dominant fashion. The large majority of patients with these diseases are heterozygous for the prnp gene, leading to the coexpression of the wild-type (wt) (PrP(C)) and the mutant forms (PrPmut) in the carriers of these mutations. To mimic this situation in vitro, we produced Fischer rat thyroid cells coexpressing PrPwt alongside mutant versions of mouse PrP including A117V, E200K and T182A relevant to the human TSE diseases Gestmann-Sträussler-Scheinker (GSS) disease and familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (fCJD). We found that coexpression of mutant PrP with wt proteins does not affect the glycosylation pattern or the biochemical characteristics of either protein. However, FRET and co-immunoprecipitation experiments suggest an interaction occurring between the wt and mutant proteins. Furthermore, by comparing the intracellular localization and detergent-resistant membrane (DRM) association in single- and double-expressing clones, we found changes in the intracellular/surface ratio and an increased sequestration of both proteins in DRMs, a site believed to be involved in the pathological conversion (or protection thereof) of the prion protein. We, therefore, propose that the mutant forms alter the subcellular localization and the membrane environment of the wt protein in co-transfected cells. These effects may play a role in the development of these diseases. PMID:18410485

  1. 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

  2. [Prion disease and brain amyloidosis].

    PubMed

    Rukosuev, V S; Zhavoronkov, A A

    1999-01-01

    Human prion disorders include Kuru, Creutzfeld-Jakob disease (CJD), Gerstman-Straussler-Scheinkler syndrome (GSS), fatal familial insomnia (FFI) and prion protein cerebral amyloid angiopathy (PrPCAA). Prion diseases manifest as infections, genetic and sporadic disorders. In these diseases an abnormal form of the host's protein, prion protein protease-resistant (PrPres), is essential for pathogenic process. Host protein, prion protein protease-sensitive (PrPsen) in humans is encoded by a single copy gene (PRNP) located in the short arm of chromosome 20. To date, 19 different mutations in PRNP have been found that cause inherited prion disease. In these diseases PrPsen undergoes conformational changes involving a shift from alpha-helix to beta-sheet structures. This conversion is important for PrP-amyloidogenesis which occurs to the highest degree in GSS, while it is less frequently seen in other prion diseases. Pathomorphologically, amyloidogenesis in the brain is characterized by formation of PrPres conglomerates, diffuse homogeneous deposits and pleomorphic fibrillar amyloid plaques. The neurotoxic activity of PrPres and its fragments supports the causal relationship between PrPres deposits and neuropathological events in prion diseases. Congo-red and certain sulfated glycans potently inhibit PrPres formation. This raises the potential of therapeutic strategies for the treatment of these diseases. PMID:10412591

  3. Plasma Soluble Prion Protein, a Potential Biomarker for Sport-Related Concussions: A Pilot Study

    PubMed Central

    Pham, Nam; Akonasu, Hungbo; Shishkin, Rhonda; Taghibiglou, Changiz

    2015-01-01

    Sport-related mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) or concussion is a significant health concern to athletes with potential long-term consequences. The diagnosis of sport concussion and return to sport decision making is one of the greatest challenges facing health care clinicians working in sports. Blood biomarkers have recently demonstrated their potential in assisting the detection of brain injury particularly, in those cases with no obvious physical injury. We have recently discovered plasma soluble cellular prion protein (PrPC) as a potential reliable biomarker for blast induced TBI (bTBI) in a rodent animal model. In order to explore the application of this novel TBI biomarker to sport-related concussion, we conducted a pilot study at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) by recruiting athlete and non-athlete 18 to 30 year-old students. Using a modified quantitative ELISA method, we first established normal values for the plasma soluble PrPC in male and female students. The measured plasma soluble PrPC in confirmed concussion cases demonstrated a significant elevation of this analyte in post-concussion samples. Data collected from our pilot study indicates that the plasma soluble PrPC is a potential biomarker for sport-related concussion, which may be further developed into a clinical diagnostic tool to assist clinicians in the assessment of sport concussion and return-to-play decision making. PMID:25643046

  4. 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

  5. The Cellular Prion Protein Prevents Copper-Induced Inhibition of P2X4 Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Lorca, Ramón A.; Varela-Nallar, Lorena; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C.; Huidobro-Toro, J. Pablo

    2011-01-01

    Although the physiological function of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) remains unknown, several evidences support the notion of its role in copper homeostasis. PrPC binds Cu2+ through a domain composed by four to five repeats of eight amino acids. Previously, we have shown that the perfusion of this domain prevents and reverses the inhibition by Cu2+ of the adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-evoked currents in the P2X4 receptor subtype, highlighting a modulatory role for PrPC in synaptic transmission through regulation of Cu2+ levels. Here, we study the effect of full-length PrPC in Cu2+ inhibition of P2X4 receptor when both are coexpressed. PrPC expression does not significantly change the ATP concentration-response curve in oocytes expressing P2X4 receptors. However, the presence of PrPC reduces the inhibition by Cu2+ of the ATP-elicited currents in these oocytes, confirming our previous observations with the Cu2+ binding domain. Thus, our observations suggest a role for PrPC in modulating synaptic activity through binding of extracellular Cu2+. PMID:22114745

  6. Characterizing antiprion compounds based on their binding properties to prion proteins: Implications as medical chaperones

    PubMed Central

    Kamatari, Yuji O; Hayano, Yosuke; Yamaguchi, Kei-ichi; Hosokawa-Muto, Junji; Kuwata, Kazuo

    2013-01-01

    A variety of antiprion compounds have been reported that are effective in ex vivo and in vivo treatment experiments. However, the molecular mechanisms for most of these compounds remain unknown. Here we classified antiprion mechanisms into four categories: I, specific conformational stabilization; II, nonspecific stabilization; III, aggregation; and IV, interaction with molecules other than PrPC. To characterize antiprion compounds based on this classification, we determined their binding affinities to PrPC using surface plasmon resonance and their binding sites on PrPC using NMR spectroscopy. GN8 and GJP49 bound specifically to the hot spot in PrPC, and acted as “medical chaperones” to stabilize the native conformation. Thus, mechanisms I was predominant. In contrast, quinacrine and epigallocathechin bound to PrPC rather nonspecifically; these may stabilize the PrPC conformation nonspecifically including the interference with the intermolecular interaction following mechanism II. Congo red and pentosan polysulfate bound to PrPC and caused aggregation and precipitation of PrPC, thus reducing the effective concentration of prion protein. Thus, mechanism III was appropriate. Finally, CP-60, an edarabone derivative, did not bind to PrPC. Thus these were classified into mechanism IV. However, their antiprion activities were not confirmed in the GT + FK system, whose details remain to be elucidated. This proposed antiprion mechanisms of diverse antiprion compounds could help to elucidate their antiprion activities and facilitate effective antiprion drug discovery. PMID:23081827

  7. Olfactory behavior and physiology are disrupted in prion protein knockout mice

    PubMed Central

    Le Pichon, Claire E.; Valley, Matthew T.; Polymenidou, Magdalini; Chesler, Alexander T.; Sagdullaev, Botir T.; Aguzzi, Adriano; Firestein, Stuart

    2009-01-01

    The prion protein PrPC is infamous for its role in disease, yet its normal physiological function remains unknown. Here we report a novel behavioral phenotype of PrP−/− mice in an odor-guided task. This phenotype is manifest in three PrP knockout lines on different genetic backgrounds, strong evidence it is specific to the lack of PrPC rather than other genetic factors. PrP−/− mice also display altered behavior in a second olfactory task, suggesting the phenotype is olfactory specific. Furthermore, PrPC deficiency affects oscillatory activity in the deep layers of the main olfactory bulb, as well as dendrodendritic synaptic transmission between olfactory bulb granule and mitral cells. Importantly, both the behavioral and electrophysiological alterations found in PrP−/− mice are rescued by transgenic neuronal-specific expression of PrPC. These data suggest a critical role for PrPC in the normal processing of sensory information by the olfactory system. PMID:19098904

  8. Mild cognitive deficits associated to neocortical microgyria in mice with genetic deletion of cellular prion protein.

    PubMed

    Xikota, Joo C; Rial, Daniel; Ruthes, Daniel; Pereira, Rafael; Figueiredo, Cludia P; Prediger, Rui D S; Walz, Roger

    2008-11-19

    The cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) has been implicated with the modulation of neuronal apoptosis, adhesion, neurite outgrowth and maintenance which are processes involved in the neocortical development. Malformations of cortical development (MCD) are frequently associated with neurological conditions including mental retardation, autism, and epilepsy. Here we investigated the behavioral performance of female adult PrP(C)-null mice (Prnp(0/0)) and their wild-type controls (Prnp(+/+)) presenting unilateral polymicrogyria, a MCD experimentally induced by neonatal freeze-lesion in the right hemisphere. Injured mice from both genotypes presented similar locomotor activity but Prnp(0/0) mice showed a tendency to increase anxiety-related responses when compared to Prnp(+/+) animals. Additionally, injured Prnp(0/0) mice have a poorer performance in the social recognition task than sham-operated and Prnp(+/+) injured ones. Moreover the step-down inhibitory avoidance task was not affected by the procedure or the genotype of the animals. These data suggest that the genetic deletion of PrP(C) confers increased susceptibility to short-term social memory deficits induced by neonatal freezing model of polymicrogyria in mice. PMID:18840415

  9. Cellular prion protein is essential for oligomeric amyloid-β-induced neuronal cell death

    PubMed Central

    Kudo, Wataru; Lee, Hyun-Pil; Zou, Wen-Quan; Wang, Xinglong; Perry, George; Zhu, Xiongwei; Smith, Mark A.; Petersen, Robert B.; Lee, Hyoung-gon

    2012-01-01

    In Alzheimer disease (AD), amyloid-β (Aβ) oligomer is suggested to play a critical role in imitating neurodegeneration, although its pathogenic mechanism remains to be determined. Recently, the cellular prion protein (PrPC) has been reported to be an essential co-factor in mediating the neurotoxic effect of Aβ oligomer. However, these previous studies focused on the synaptic plasticity in either the presence or the absence of PrPC and no study to date has reported whether PrPC is required for the neuronal cell death, the most critical element of neurodegeneration in AD. Here, we show that Prnp−/− mice are resistant to the neurotoxic effect of Aβ oligomer in vivo and in vitro. Furthermore, application of an anti-PrPC antibody or PrPC peptide prevents Aβ oligomer-induced neurotoxicity. These findings are the first to demonstrate that PrPC is required for Aβ oligomer-induced neuronal cell death, the pathology essential to cognitive loss. PMID:22100763

  10. Solution Structure and Dynamics of the I214V Mutant of the Rabbit Prion Protein

    PubMed Central

    Xiong, Minqian; Peng, Yu; Yao, Wenming; Hong, Jing; Lin, Donghai

    2010-01-01

    Background The conformational conversion of the host-derived cellular prion protein (PrPC) into the disease-associated scrapie isoform (PrPSc) is responsible for the pathogenesis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). Various single-point mutations in PrPCs could cause structural changes and thereby distinctly influence the conformational conversion. Elucidation of the differences between the wild-type rabbit PrPC (RaPrPC) and various mutants would be of great help to understand the ability of RaPrPC to be resistant to TSE agents. Methodology/Principal Findings We determined the solution structure of the I214V mutant of RaPrPC(91–228) and detected the backbone dynamics of its structured C-terminal domain (121–228). The I214V mutant displays a visible shift of surface charge distribution that may have a potential effect on the binding specificity and affinity with other chaperones. The number of hydrogen bonds declines dramatically. Urea-induced transition experiments reveal an obvious decrease in the conformational stability. Furthermore, the NMR dynamics analysis discloses a significant increase in the backbone flexibility on the pico- to nanosecond time scale, indicative of lower energy barrier for structural rearrangement. Conclusions/Significance Our results suggest that both the surface charge distribution and the intrinsic backbone flexibility greatly contribute to species barriers for the transmission of TSEs, and thereby provide valuable hints for understanding the inability of the conformational conversion for RaPrPC. PMID:20949107

  11. 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

  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. 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).

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Discriminating scrapie and bovine spongiform encephalopathy isolates by infrared spectroscopy of pathological prion protein.

    PubMed

    Thomzig, Achim; Spassov, Sashko; Friedrich, Manuela; Naumann, Dieter; Beekes, Michael

    2004-08-01

    For the surveillance of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) in animals and humans, the discrimination of different TSE strains causing scrapie, BSE, or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease constitutes a substantial challenge. We addressed this problem by Fourier transform-infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy of pathological prion protein PrP27-30. Different isolates of hamster-adapted scrapie (263K, 22A-H, and ME7-H) and BSE (BSE-H) were passaged in Syrian hamsters. Two of these agents, 22A-H and ME7-H, caused TSEs with indistinguishable clinical symptoms, neuropathological changes, and electrophoretic mobilities and glycosylation patterns of PrP27-30. However, FT-IR spectroscopy revealed that PrP27-30 of all four isolates featured different characteristics in the secondary structure, allowing a clear distinction between the passaged TSE agents. FT-IR analysis showed that phenotypic information is mirrored in beta-sheet and other secondary structure elements of PrP27-30, also in cases where immunobiochemical typing failed to detect structural differences. If the findings of this study hold true for nonexperimental TSEs in animals and humans, FT-IR characterization of PrP27-30 may provide a versatile tool for molecular strain typing without antibodies and without restrictions to specific TSEs or mammalian species. PMID:15155741

  17. Alzheimer's Aβ interacts with cellular prion protein inducing neuronal membrane damage and synaptotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Peters, Christian; Espinoza, María Paz; Gallegos, Scarlet; Opazo, Carlos; Aguayo, Luis G

    2015-03-01

    A major feature of Alzheimer's disease is the accumulation of β-amyloid (Aβ) peptide in the brain. Recent studies have indicated that Aβ oligomers (Aβo) can interact with the cellular prion protein (PrPc). Therefore, this interaction might be driving some of Aβ toxic effects in the synaptic region. In the present study, we report that Aβo binds to PrPc in the neuronal membrane playing a role on toxic effects induced by Aβ. Phospholipase C-enzymatic cleavage of PrPc from the plasma membrane attenuated the association of Aβo to the neurons. Furthermore, an anti-PrP antibody (6D11) decreased the association of Aβo to hippocampal neurons with a concomitant reduction in Aβo and PrPc co-localization. Interestingly, this antibody blocked the increase in membrane conductance and intracellular calcium induced by Aβo. Thus, the data indicate that PrPc plays a role on the membrane perforations produced by Aβo, the increase in calcium ions and the release of synaptic vesicles that subsequently leads to synaptic failure. Future studies blocking Aβo interaction with PrPc could be important for the discovery of new therapeutic strategies for Alzheimer's disease. PMID:25599875

  18. Btn3 is a negative regulator of Btn2-mediated endosomal protein trafficking and prion curing in yeast

    PubMed Central

    Kanneganti, Vydehi; Kama, Rachel; Gerst, Jeffrey E.

    2011-01-01

    Yeast Btn2 facilitates the retrieval of specific proteins from late endosomes (LEs) to the Golgi, a process that may be adversely affected in Batten disease patients. We isolated the putative yeast orthologue of a human complex I deficiency gene, designated here as BTN3, as encoding a Btn2-interacting protein and negative regulator. First, yeast overexpressing BTN3 phenocopy the deletion of BTN2 and mislocalize certain trans-Golgi proteins, like Kex2 and Yif1, to the LE and vacuole, respectively. In contrast, the deletion of BTN3 results in a tighter pattern of protein localization to the Golgi. Second, BTN3 overexpression alters Btn2 localization from the IPOD compartment, which correlates with a sharp reduction in Btn2-mediated [URE3] prion curing. Third, Btn3 and the Snc1 v-SNARE compete for the same binding domain on Btn2, and this competition controls Btn2 localization and function. The inhibitory effects upon protein retrieval and prion curing suggest that Btn3 sequesters Btn2 away from its substrates, thus down-regulating protein trafficking and aggregation. Therefore Btn3 is a novel negative regulator of intracellular protein sorting, which may be of importance in the onset of complex I deficiency and Batten disease in humans. PMID:21441304

  19. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Gabizon, R; Rosenmann, H; Meiner, Z; Kahana, I; Kahana, E; Shugart, Y; Ott, J; Prusiner, S B

    1993-01-01

    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(4) Libyan Jews. A Lys200 substitution segregates with CJD and is reported here to be genetically linked to CJD with a lod score of > 4.8. Some healthy elderly Lys200 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 Met129 or Val129. All Libyan Jewish CJD patients with the Lys200 mutation encode a Met129 on the mutant allele. Homozygosity for Met129 did not correlate with age at disease onset or the duration of illness. The frequency of the Met129 allele was higher in the affected pedigrees than in a control population of Libyan Jews. The frequency of the Met129 and Val129 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 Lys200 mutation suggests frequent intrafamilial marriages, a custom documented by genealogical investigations. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 PMID:8105682

  1. A DRUG-BASED CELLULAR ASSAY (DBCA) FOR STUDYING CYTOTOXIC AND CYTOPROTECTIVE ACTIVITIES OF THE PRION PROTEIN: A PRACTICAL GUIDE

    PubMed Central

    Massignan, Tania; Biasini, Emiliano; Harris, David A.

    2011-01-01

    Although a great deal of progress has been made in elucidating the molecular identity of the infectious agent in prion diseases, the mechanisms by which prions kill neurons, and the role of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) in this process, remain enigmatic. A window into the normal function of PrPC, and how it can be corrupted to produce neurotoxic effects, is provided by a PrP deletion mutant called ΔCR, which produces a lethal phenotype when expressed in transgenic mice. In a previous study, we described the unusual observation that cells expressing ΔCR PrP are hypersensitive to the toxic effects of two cationic antibiotics (G418 and Zeocin) that are typically used for selection of transfected cell lines (1). We have used this drug sensitizing effect to develop a simple Drug-Based Cell Assay (DBCA) that reproduces several features of mutant PrP toxicity observed in vivo, including the rescuing activity of wild-type PrP. In this manuscript, we present a detailed guide for executing the DBCA in several, different experimental settings, including a new slot blot-based format. This assay provides a unique tool for studying PrP cytotoxic and cytoprotective activities in cell culture. PMID:21115124

  2. A Drug-Based Cellular Assay (DBCA) for studying cytotoxic and cytoprotective activities of the prion protein: A practical guide.

    PubMed

    Massignan, Tania; Biasini, Emiliano; Harris, David A

    2011-03-01

    Although a great deal of progress has been made in elucidating the molecular identity of the infectious agent in prion diseases, the mechanisms by which prions kill neurons, and the role of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) in this process, remain enigmatic. A window into the normal function of PrP(C), and how it can be corrupted to produce neurotoxic effects, is provided by a PrP deletion mutant called ΔCR, which produces a lethal phenotype when expressed in transgenic mice. In a previous study, we described the unusual observation that cells expressing ΔCR PrP are hyper-sensitive to the toxic effects of two cationic antibiotics (G418 and Zeocin) that are typically used for selection of transfected cell lines. We have used this drug-sensitizing effect to develop a simple Drug-Based Cell Assay (DBCA) that reproduces several features of mutant PrP toxicity observed in vivo, including the rescuing activity of wild-type PrP. In this paper, we present a detailed guide for executing the DBCA in several, different experimental settings, including a new slot blot-based format. This assay provides a unique tool for studying PrP cytotoxic and cytoprotective activities in cell culture. PMID:21115124

  3. 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.

  4. Differences in proteinase K resistance and neuronal deposition of abnormal prion proteins characterize bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and scrapie strains.

    PubMed

    Kuczius, T; Groschup, M H

    1999-06-01

    Prion diseases are associated with the accumulation of an abnormal isoform of host-encoded prion protein (PrP(Sc)). A number of prion strains can be distinguished by "glycotyping" analysis of the respective deposited PrP(Sc) compound. In this study, the long-term proteinase K resistance, th