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Sample records for porcine prion protein

  1. 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

  2. Porcine prion protein amyloid.

    PubMed

    Hammarström, Per; Nyström, Sofie

    2015-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Prion protein in milk.

    PubMed

    Franscini, Nicola; El Gedaily, Ahmed; Matthey, Ulrich; Franitza, Susanne; Sy, Man-Sun; Bürkle, Alexander; Groschup, Martin; Braun, Ueli; Zahn, Ralph

    2006-12-20

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

  6. Prion protein scrapie and the normal cellular prion protein

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT 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 (PrPC) 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

  7. Prion protein and cancers.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xiaowen; Zhang, Yan; Zhang, Lihua; He, Tianlin; Zhang, Jie; Li, Chaoyang

    2014-06-01

    The normal cellular prion protein, PrP(C) is a highly conserved and widely expressed cell surface glycoprotein in all mammals. The expression of PrP is pivotal in the pathogenesis of prion diseases; however, the normal physiological functions of PrP(C) remain incompletely understood. Based on the studies in cell models, a plethora of functions have been attributed to PrP(C). In this paper, we reviewed the potential roles that PrP(C) plays in cell physiology and focused on its contribution to tumorigenesis.

  8. Aptamers against prion proteins and prions.

    PubMed

    Gilch, Sabine; Schätzl, Hermann M

    2009-08-01

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

  9. Prion protein and aging

    PubMed Central

    Gasperini, Lisa; Legname, Giuseppe

    2014-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. The prion protein binds thiamine.

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-01

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

  12. Prions: Beyond a Single Protein

    PubMed Central

    Das, Alvin S.

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Prion proteins leading to neurodegeneration.

    PubMed

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

    2008-12-01

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

  14. Prions: The Chemistry of Infectious Proteins

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  15. Prion protein in ESC regulation.

    PubMed

    Miranda, Alberto; Pericuesta, Eva; Ramírez, Miguel Ángel; Gutiérrez-Adán, Alfonso

    2011-01-01

    A large number of studies have analysed the putative functions of the prion protein (PrP(C)) in mammals. Although its sequence conservation over a wide range of different animals may indicate that this protein could have a key role in prion diseases, an absolutely accepted involvement has not been found so far. We have recently reported that PrP(C) regulates Nanog mRNA expression, the first non-redundant function of PrP(C) in embryonic stem cells (ESC), which translates into control of pluripotency and early differentiation. Contrary to what it is believed, the other two members of the prion protein family, Doppel and Shadoo, cannot replace the absence of PrP(C), causing the appearance of a new embryoid body (EB) population in our in vitro culture. The similarities between EB and an early post-implantation embryo suggest that this might also occur in vivo, enhancing the importance of this finding. On the other hand, our data may support the hypothesis of a relationship between the loss of PrP(C) function and neuronal degeneration in prion diseases. A reduction in brain stem cells pluripotency after PrP(C) is misfolded into the pathological conformation (PrP(Sc)) could lead to a delay or a disappearance of the normal brain damage recovery.

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

    PubMed

    Rigter, Alan; Priem, Jan; Langeveld, Jan P M; Bossers, Alex

    2011-09-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) or prion diseases are unique disorders that are not caused by infectious micro-organisms (bacteria or fungi), viruses or parasites, but rather seem to be the result of an infectious protein. TSEs are comprised of fatal neurodegenerative disorders affecting both human and animals. Prion diseases cause sponge-like degeneration of neuronal tissue and include (among others) Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease in humans, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle and scrapie in sheep. TSEs are characterized by the formation and accumulation of transmissible (infectious) disease-associated protease-resistant prion protein (PrP(Sc)), mainly in tissues of the central nervous system. The exact molecular processes behind the conversion of PrP(C) into PrP(Sc) are not clearly understood. Correlations between prion protein polymorphisms and disease have been found, however in what way these polymorphisms influence the conversion processes remains an enigma; is stabilization or destabilization of the prion protein the basis for a higher conversion propensity? Apart from the disease-associated polymorphisms of the prion protein, the molecular processes underlying conversion are not understood. There are some notions as to which regions of the prion protein are involved in refolding of PrP(C) into PrP(Sc) and where the most drastic structural changes take place. Direct interactions between PrP(C) molecules and/or PrP(Sc) are likely at the basis of conversion, however which specific amino acid domains are involved and to what extent these domains contribute to conversion resistance/sensitivity of the prion protein or the species barrier is still unknown.

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

    PubMed

    Zawada, Zbigniew; Šafařík, Martin; Dvořáková, Eva; Janoušková, Olga; Březinová, Anna; Stibor, Ivan; Holada, Karel; Bouř, Petr; Hlaváček, Jan; Sebestík, Jaroslav

    2013-05-01

    Quinacrine is a drug that is known to heal neuronal cell culture infected with prions, which are the causative agents of neurodegenerative diseases called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. However, the drug fails when it is applied in vivo. In this work, we analyzed the reason for this failure. The drug was suggested to "covalently" modify the prion protein via an acridinyl exchange reaction. To investigate this hypothesis more closely, the acridine moiety of quinacrine was covalently attached to the thiol groups of cysteines belonging to prion-derived peptides and to the full-length prion protein. The labeled compounds were conveniently monitored by fluorescence and absorption spectroscopy in the ultraviolet and visible spectral regions. The acridine moiety demonstrated characteristic UV-vis spectrum, depending on the substituent at the C-9 position of the acridine ring. These results confirm that quinacrine almost exclusively reacts with the thiol groups present in proteins and peptides. The chemical reaction alters the prion properties and increases the concentration of the acridine moiety in the prion protein.

  18. Alzheimer's Disease and Prion Protein

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Jiayi; Liu, Bingqian

    2013-01-01

    Summary Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a devastating neurodegenerative disease with progressive loss of memory and cognitive function, pathologically hallmarked by aggregates of the amyloid-beta (Aβ) peptide and hyperphosphorylated tau in the brain. Aggregation of Aβ under the form of amyloid fibrils has long been considered central to the pathogenesis of AD. However, recent evidence has indicated that soluble Aβ oligomers, rather than insoluble fibrils, are the main neurotoxic species in AD. The cellular prion protein (PrPC) has newly been identified as a cell surface receptor for Aβ oligomers. PrPC is a cell surface glycoprotein that plays a key role in the propagation of prions, proteinaceous infectious agents that replicate by imposing their abnormal conformation to PrPC molecules. In AD, PrPC acts to transduce the neurotoxic signals arising from Aβ oligomers, leading to synaptic failure and cognitive impairment. Interestingly, accumulating evidence has also shown that aggregated Aβ or tau possesses prion-like activity, a property that would allow them to spread throughout the brain. In this article, we review recent findings regarding the function of PrPC and its role in AD, and discuss potential therapeutic implications of PrPC-based approaches in the treatment of AD. PMID:25343100

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Paul, Kacy R; Ross, Eric D

    2015-01-01

    The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae can harbor a number of distinct prions. Most of the yeast prion proteins contain a glutamine/asparagine (Q/N) rich region that drives prion formation. Prion-like domains, defined as regions with high compositional similarity to yeast prion domains, are common in eukaryotic proteomes, and mutations in various human proteins containing prion-like domains have been linked to degenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Here, we discuss a recent study in which we utilized two strategies to generate prion activity in non-prion Q/N-rich domains. First, we made targeted mutations in four non-prion Q/N-rich domains, replacing predicted prion-inhibiting amino acids with prion-promoting amino acids. All four mutants formed foci when expressed in yeast, and two acquired bona fide prion activity. Prion activity could be generated with as few as two mutations, suggesting that many non-prion Q/N-rich proteins may be just a small number of mutations from acquiring aggregation or prion activity. Second, we created tandem repeats of short prion-prone segments, and observed length-dependent prion activity. These studies demonstrate the considerable progress that has been made in understanding the sequence basis for aggregation of prion and prion-like domains, and suggest possible mechanisms by which new prion domains could evolve.

  1. 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

  2. Protein Misfolding Cyclic Amplification of Infectious Prions.

    PubMed

    Moda, Fabio

    2017-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, or prion diseases, are a group of incurable disorders caused by the accumulation of an abnormally folded prion protein (PrP(Sc)) in the brain. According to the "protein-only" hypothesis, PrP(Sc) is the infectious agent able to propagate the disease by acting as a template for the conversion of the correctly folded prion protein (PrP(C)) into the pathological isoform. Recently, the mechanism of PrP(C) conversion has been mimicked in vitro using an innovative technique named protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA). This technology represents a great tool for studying diverse aspects of prion biology in the field of basic research and diagnosis. Moreover, PMCA can be expanded for the study of the misfolding process associated to other neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and frontotemporal lobar degeneration. © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Production of cattle lacking prion protein.

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

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

  4. Atypical scrapie prions from sheep and lack of disease in transgenic mice overexpressing human prion protein.

    PubMed

    Wadsworth, Jonathan D F; Joiner, Susan; Linehan, Jacqueline M; Balkema-Buschmann, Anne; Spiropoulos, John; Simmons, Marion M; Griffiths, Peter C; Groschup, Martin H; Hope, James; Brandner, Sebastian; Asante, Emmanuel A; Collinge, John

    2013-11-01

    Public and animal health controls to limit human exposure to animal prions are focused on bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), but other prion strains in ruminants may also have zoonotic potential. One example is atypical/Nor98 scrapie, which evaded statutory diagnostic methods worldwide until the early 2000s. To investigate whether sheep infected with scrapie prions could be another source of infection, we inoculated transgenic mice that overexpressed human prion protein with brain tissue from sheep with natural field cases of classical and atypical scrapie, sheep with experimental BSE, and cattle with BSE. We found that these mice were susceptible to BSE prions, but disease did not develop after prolonged postinoculation periods when mice were inoculated with classical or atypical scrapie prions. These data are consistent with the conclusion that prion disease is less likely to develop in humans after exposure to naturally occurring prions of sheep than after exposure to epizootic BSE prions of ruminants.

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

    PubMed

    Cascarina, Sean M; Ross, Eric D

    2014-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Di Guardo, G; Cocumelli, C; Meoli, R; Barbaro, K; Terracciano, G; Di Francesco, C E; Mazzariol, S; Eleni, C

    2012-01-01

    The recent description of a prion disease (PD) case in a free-ranging bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) prompted us to carry out an extensive search for the disease-associated isoform (PrPSc) of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) in the brain and in a range of lymphoid tissues from 23 striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba), 5 bottlenose dolphins and 2 Risso s dolphins (Grampus griseus) found stranded between 2007 and 2012 along the Italian coastline. Three striped dolphins and one bottlenose dolphin showed microscopic lesions of encephalitis, with no evidence of spongiform brain lesions being detected in any of the 30 free-ranging cetaceans investigated herein. Nevertheless, we could still observe a prominent PrPC immunoreactivity in the brain as well as in lymphoid tissues from these dolphins. Although immunohistochemical and Western blot investigations yielded negative results for PrPSc deposition in all tissues from the dolphins under study, the reported occurrence of a spontaneous PD case in a wild dolphin is an intriguing issue and a matter of concern for both prion biology and intra/inter-species transmissibility, as well as for cetacean conservation medicine.

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

    PubMed

    Surewicz, Witold K; Apostol, Marcin I

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Prions: Protein assemblies that convey biological information

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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 vs. physiological aggregates will be mutually informative. PMID:26844828

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

    PubMed

    Crowell, Jenna; Hughson, Andrew; Caughey, Byron; Bessen, Richard A

    2015-10-01

    Phenotypic diversity in prion diseases can be specified by prion strains in which biological traits are propagated through an epigenetic mechanism mediated by distinct PrP(Sc) 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 PrP(Sc) polypeptide patterns that were maintained in both hosts, but the solubility and conformational stability of PrP(Sc) differed for the CWD strains in a host-dependent manner. WST CWD produced PrP(Sc) 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, PrP(Sc) 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 PrP(Sc) properties between transgenic mice and SGH. These findings indicate that host-specific pathways that are independent of Prnp can alter the PrP(Sc) conformation of certain prion strains, leading to changes in the biophysical properties of PrP(Sc), neuropathology, and clinical prion disease. 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

  10. Cyclic Amplification of Prion Protein Misfolding

    PubMed Central

    Barria, Marcelo A; Gonzalez-Romero, Dennisse; Soto, Claudio

    2014-01-01

    Protein Misfolfing Cyclic amplification (PMCA) is a technique that take advantage of the nucleation-dependent prion replication process to accelerate the conversion of PrPC into PrPSc in the test tube. PMCA uses ultrasound waves to fragment the PrPSc polymers, increasing the amount of seeds present in the infected sample without affecting their ability to act as conversion nucleus. Over the past 5 years PMCA has became an invaluable technique to study diverse aspects of prions. The PMCA technology has been used by several groups to understand the molecular mechanism of prion replication, the cellular factors involved in prion propagation, the intriguing phenomena of prion strains and species barriers, to detect PrPSc in tissues and biological fluids and to screen for inhibitors against prion replication. In this article we describe a detailed protocol of the PMCA technique, highlighting some of the important technical aspects to obtain a successful and reproducible application of the technology. PMID:22528092

  11. Cellular Prion Protein: From Physiology to Pathology

    PubMed Central

    Yusa, Sei-ichi; Oliveira-Martins, José B.; Sugita-Konishi, Yoshiko; Kikuchi, Yutaka

    2012-01-01

    The human cellular prion protein (PrPC) is a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchored membrane glycoprotein with two N-glycosylation sites at residues 181 and 197. This protein migrates in several bands by Western blot analysis (WB). Interestingly, PNGase F treatment of human brain homogenates prior to the WB, which is known to remove the N-glycosylations, unexpectedly gives rise to two dominant bands, which are now known as C-terminal (C1) and N-terminal (N1) fragments. This resembles the β-amyloid precursor protein (APP) in Alzheimer disease (AD), which can be physiologically processed by α-, β-, and γ-secretases. The processing of APP has been extensively studied, while the identity of the cellular proteases involved in the proteolysis of PrPC and their possible role in prion biology has remained limited and controversial. Nevertheless, there is a strong correlation between the neurotoxicity caused by prion proteins and the blockade of their normal proteolysis. For example, expression of non-cleavable PrPC mutants in transgenic mice generates neurotoxicity, even in the absence of infectious prions, suggesting that PrPC proteolysis is physiologically and pathologically important. As many mouse models of prion diseases have recently been developed and the knowledge about the proteases responsible for the PrPC proteolysis is accumulating, we examine the historical experimental evidence and highlight recent studies that shed new light on this issue. PMID:23202518

  12. 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

  13. Prion protein self-peptides modulate prion interactions and conversion

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Molecular mechanisms underlying prion agent replication, converting host-encoded cellular prion protein (PrPC) into the scrapie associated isoform (PrPSc), are poorly understood. Selective self-interaction between PrP molecules forms a basis underlying the observed differences of the PrPC into PrPSc conversion process (agent replication). The importance of previously peptide-scanning mapped ovine PrP self-interaction domains on this conversion was investigated by studying the ability of six of these ovine PrP based peptides to modulate two processes; PrP self-interaction and conversion. Results Three peptides (octarepeat, binding domain 2 -and C-terminal) were capable of inhibiting self-interaction of PrP in a solid-phase PrP peptide array. Three peptides (N-terminal, binding domain 2, and amyloidogenic motif) modulated prion conversion when added before or after initiation of the prion protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) reaction using brain homogenates. The C-terminal peptides (core region and C-terminal) only affected conversion (increased PrPres formation) when added before mixing PrPC and PrPSc, whereas the octarepeat peptide only affected conversion when added after this mixing. Conclusion This study identified the putative PrP core binding domain that facilitates the PrPC-PrPSc interaction (not conversion), corroborating evidence that the region of PrP containing this domain is important in the species-barrier and/or scrapie susceptibility. The octarepeats can be involved in PrPC-PrPSc stabilization, whereas the N-terminal glycosaminoglycan binding motif and the amyloidogenic motif indirectly affected conversion. Binding domain 2 and the C-terminal domain are directly implicated in PrPC self-interaction during the conversion process and may prove to be prime targets in new therapeutic strategy development, potentially retaining PrPC function. These results emphasize the importance of probable PrPC-PrPC and required Pr

  14. Chronic wasting disease prions are not transmissible to transgenic mice overexpressing human prion protein.

    PubMed

    Sandberg, Malin K; Al-Doujaily, Huda; Sigurdson, Christina J; Glatzel, Markus; O'Malley, Catherine; Powell, Caroline; Asante, Emmanuel A; Linehan, Jacqueline M; Brandner, Sebastian; Wadsworth, Jonathan D F; Collinge, John

    2010-10-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a prion disease that affects free-ranging and captive cervids, including mule deer, white-tailed deer, Rocky Mountain elk and moose. CWD-infected cervids have been reported in 14 USA states, two Canadian provinces and in South Korea. The possibility of a zoonotic transmission of CWD prions via diet is of particular concern in North America where hunting of cervids is a popular sport. To investigate the potential public health risks posed by CWD prions, we have investigated whether intracerebral inoculation of brain and spinal cord from CWD-infected mule deer transmits prion infection to transgenic mice overexpressing human prion protein with methionine or valine at polymorphic residue 129. These transgenic mice have been utilized in extensive transmission studies of human and animal prion disease and are susceptible to BSE and vCJD prions, allowing comparison with CWD. Here, we show that these mice proved entirely resistant to infection with mule deer CWD prions arguing that the transmission barrier associated with this prion strain/host combination is greater than that observed with classical BSE prions. However, it is possible that CWD may be caused by multiple prion strains. Further studies will be required to evaluate the transmission properties of distinct cervid prion strains as they are characterized.

  15. Prion protein facilitates uptake of zinc into neuronal cells

    PubMed Central

    Watt, Nicole T.; Taylor, David R.; Kerrigan, Talitha L.; Griffiths, Heledd H.; Rushworth, Jo V.; Whitehouse, Isobel J.; Hooper, Nigel M.

    2012-01-01

    Zinc is released into the synaptic cleft upon exocytotic stimuli, although the mechanism for its reuptake into neurons is unresolved. Here we show that the cellular prion protein enhances the uptake of zinc into neuronal cells. This prion-protein-mediated zinc influx requires the octapeptide repeats and amino-terminal polybasic region in the prion protein, but not its endocytosis. Selective antagonists of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionate (AMPA) receptors block the prion protein-mediated zinc uptake, and the prion protein co-immunoprecipitates with both GluA1 and GluA2 AMPA receptor subunits. Zinc-sensitive intracellular tyrosine phosphatase activity is decreased in cells expressing prion protein and increased in the brains of prion-protein-null mice, providing evidence of a physiological consequence of this process. Prion protein-mediated zinc uptake is ablated in cells expressing familial associated mutants of the protein and in prion-infected cells. These data suggest that alterations in the cellular prion protein-mediated zinc uptake may contribute to neurodegeneration in prion and other neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:23072804

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Mechanism of Unfolding of Human Prion Protein.

    PubMed

    Singh, Reman K; Chamachi, Neharika G; Chakrabarty, Suman; Mukherjee, Arnab

    2017-01-26

    Misfolding and aggregation of prion proteins are associated with several neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore, understanding the mechanism of the misfolding process is of enormous interest in the scientific community. It has been speculated and widely discussed that the native cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) form needs to undergo substantial unfolding to a more stable PrP(C*) state, which may further oligomerize into the toxic scrapie (PrP(Sc)) form. Here, we have studied the mechanism of the unfolding of the human prion protein (huPrP) using a set of extensive well-tempered metadynamics simulations. Through multiple microsecond-long metadynamics simulations, we find several possible unfolding pathways. We show that each pathway leads to an unfolded state of lower free energy than the native state. Thus, our study may point to the signature of a PrP(C*) form that corresponds to a global minimum on the conformational free-energy landscape. Moreover, we find that these global minima states do not involve an increased β-sheet content, as was assumed to be a signature of PrP(Sc) formation in previous simulation studies. We have further analyzed the origin of metastability of the PrP(C) form through free-energy surfaces of the chopped helical segments to show that the helices, particularly H2 and H3 of the prion protein, have the tendency to form either a random coil or a β-structure. Therefore, the secondary structural elements of the prion protein are only weakly stabilized by tertiary contacts and solvation forces so that relatively weak perturbations induced by temperature, pressure, pH, and so forth can lead to substantial unfolding with characteristics of intrinsically disordered proteins.

  18. Relation between duration of incubation period of prion infections and prion protein conformation.

    PubMed

    Stadnyk, Vitalii; Mayor, Chrystyna; Izyumova, Lyudmyla; Vlizlo, Vasyl

    2011-08-01

    In this paper, we propose the hypothesis that the long incubation period of prion infections is dependent upon a low rate of pathological prion formation and accumulation. Reduced pathological prion formation might be caused by the high content of β-sheets in the molecule. β-Sheet folding appears to proceed more slowly than folding of α-helices; the former are a major component of the prion secondary structure. This hypothesis strongly agrees with the data about folding of the artificial protein l-polylysine. This protein exists in two subforms: a rapidly folding α-helix-enriched form and a β-sheet-rich form having a very slow speed of secondary and tertiary structure formation. According to our hypothesis, the limiting factor for prion infection propagation is the speed of β-sheet folding in molecules of pathological prion but not the speed of migration of this protein through the host organism.

  19. Role of prion protein aggregation in neurotoxicity.

    PubMed

    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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. De novo generation of infectious prions with bacterially expressed recombinant prion protein.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhihong; Zhang, Yi; Wang, Fei; Wang, Xinhe; Xu, Yuanyuan; Yang, Huaiyi; Yu, Guohua; Yuan, Chonggang; Ma, Jiyan

    2013-12-01

    The prion hypothesis is strongly supported by the fact that prion infectivity and the pathogenic conformer of prion protein (PrP) are simultaneously propagated in vitro by the serial protein misfolding cyclic amplification (sPMCA). However, due to sPMCA's enormous amplification power, whether an infectious prion can be formed de novo with bacterially expressed recombinant PrP (rPrP) remains to be satisfactorily resolved. To address this question, we performed unseeded sPMCA with rPrP in a laboratory that has never been exposed to any native prions. Two types of proteinase K (PK)-resistant and self-perpetuating recombinant PrP conformers (rPrP-res) with PK-resistant cores of 17 or 14 kDa were generated. A bioassay revealed that rPrP-res(17kDa) was highly infectious, causing prion disease in wild-type mice with an average survival time of about 172 d. In contrast, rPrP-res(14kDa) completely failed to induce any disease. Our findings reveal that sPMCA is sufficient to initiate various self-perpetuating PK-resistant rPrP conformers, but not all of them possess in vivo infectivity. Moreover, generating an infectious prion in a prion-free environment establishes that an infectious prion can be formed de novo with bacterially expressed rPrP.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Rayman, Joseph B; Kandel, Eric R

    2016-12-21

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

  8. Prion Variants and Species Barriers Among Saccharomyces Ure2 Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Edskes, Herman K.; McCann, Lindsay M.; Hebert, Andrea M.; Wickner, Reed B.

    2009-01-01

    As hamster scrapie cannot infect mice, due to sequence differences in their PrP proteins, we find “species barriers” to transmission of the [URE3] prion in Saccharomyces cerevisiae among Ure2 proteins of S. cerevisiae, paradoxus, bayanus, cariocanus, and mikatae on the basis of differences among their Ure2p prion domain sequences. The rapid variation of the N-terminal Ure2p prion domains results in protection against the detrimental effects of infection by a prion, just as the PrP residue 129 Met/Val polymorphism may have arisen to protect humans from the effects of cannibalism. Just as spread of bovine spongiform encephalopathy prion variant is less impaired by species barriers than is sheep scrapie, we find that some [URE3] prion variants are infectious to another yeast species while other variants (with the identical amino acid sequence) are not. The species barrier is thus prion variant dependent as in mammals. [URE3] prion variant characteristics are maintained even on passage through the Ure2p of another species. Ure2p of Saccharomyces castelli has an N-terminal Q/N-rich “prion domain” but does not form prions (in S. cerevisiae) and is not infected with [URE3] from Ure2p of other Saccharomyces. This implies that conservation of its prion domain is not for the purpose of forming prions. Indeed the Ure2p prion domain has been shown to be important, though not essential, for the nitrogen catabolism regulatory role of the protein. PMID:19124570

  9. Disturbed vesicular trafficking of membrane proteins in prion disease

    PubMed Central

    Uchiyama, Keiji; Miyata, Hironori; Sakaguchi, Suehiro

    2013-01-01

    The pathogenic mechanism of prion diseases remains unknown. We recently reported that prion infection disturbs post-Golgi trafficking of certain types of membrane proteins to the cell surface, resulting in reduced surface expression of membrane proteins and abrogating the signal from the proteins. The surface expression of the membrane proteins was reduced in the brains of mice inoculated with prions, well before abnormal symptoms became evident. Prions or pathogenic prion proteins were mainly detected in endosomal compartments, being particularly abundant in recycling endosomes. Some newly synthesized membrane proteins are delivered to the surface from the Golgi apparatus through recycling endosomes, and some endocytosed membrane proteins are delivered back to the surface through recycling endosomes. These results suggest that prions might cause neuronal dysfunctions and cell loss by disturbing post-Golgi trafficking of membrane proteins via accumulation in recycling endosomes. Interestingly, it was recently shown that delivery of a calcium channel protein to the cell surface was impaired and its function was abrogated in a mouse model of hereditary prion disease. Taken together, these results suggest that impaired delivery of membrane proteins to the cell surface is a common pathogenic event in acquired and hereditary prion diseases. PMID:24335150

  10. Disturbed vesicular trafficking of membrane proteins in prion disease.

    PubMed

    Uchiyama, Keiji; Miyata, Hironori; Sakaguchi, Suehiro

    2013-01-01

    The pathogenic mechanism of prion diseases remains unknown. We recently reported that prion infection disturbs post-Golgi trafficking of certain types of membrane proteins to the cell surface, resulting in reduced surface expression of membrane proteins and abrogating the signal from the proteins. The surface expression of the membrane proteins was reduced in the brains of mice inoculated with prions, well before abnormal symptoms became evident. Prions or pathogenic prion proteins were mainly detected in endosomal compartments, being particularly abundant in recycling endosomes. Some newly synthesized membrane proteins are delivered to the surface from the Golgi apparatus through recycling endosomes, and some endocytosed membrane proteins are delivered back to the surface through recycling endosomes. These results suggest that prions might cause neuronal dysfunctions and cell loss by disturbing post-Golgi trafficking of membrane proteins via accumulation in recycling endosomes. Interestingly, it was recently shown that delivery of a calcium channel protein to the cell surface was impaired and its function was abrogated in a mouse model of hereditary prion disease. Taken together, these results suggest that impaired delivery of membrane proteins to the cell surface is a common pathogenic event in acquired and hereditary prion diseases.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Prion protein induced signaling cascades in monocytes

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-02-03

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

  18. Attachment of pathogenic prion protein to model oxide surfaces.

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-02

    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 presence of the N-terminal portion of the protein appeared to promote 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 would tend to associate with positively charged mineral surfaces in soils (e.g., iron and aluminum oxides).

  19. Engineering the prion protein using chemical synthesis.

    PubMed

    Ball, H L; King, D S; Cohen, F E; Prusiner, S B; Baldwin, M A

    2001-11-01

    In recent years, the technology of solid-phase peptide synthesis (SPPS) has improved to the extent that chemical synthesis of small proteins may be a viable complementary strategy to recombinant expression. We have prepared several modified and wild-type prion protein (PrP) polypeptides, of up to 112 residues, that demonstrate the flexibility of a chemical approach to protein synthesis. The principal event in prion disease is the conformational change of the normal, alpha-helical cellular protein (PrPc) into a beta-sheet-rich pathogenic isoform (PrP(Sc)). The ability to form PrP(Sc) in transgenic mice is retained by a 106 residue 'mini-prion' (PrP106), with the deletions 23-88 and 141-176. Synthetic PrP106 (sPrP106) and a His-tagged analog (sPrP106HT) have been prepared successfully using a highly optimized Fmoc chemical methodology involving DCC/HOBt activation and an efficient capping procedure with N-(2-chlorobenzyloxycarbonyloxy) succinimide. A single reversed-phase purification step gave homogeneous protein, in excellent yield. With respect to its conformational and aggregational properties and its response to proteinase digestion, sPrP106 was indistinguishable from its recombinant analog (rPrP106). Certain sequences that proved to be more difficult to synthesize using the Fmoc approach, such as bovine (Bo) PrP(90-200), were successfully prepared using a combination of the highly activated coupling reagent HATU and t-Boc chemistry. To mimic the glycosylphosphatidyl inositol (GPI) anchor and target sPrP to cholesterol-rich domains on the cell surface, where the conversion of PrPc is believed to occur, a lipophilic group or biotin, was added to an orthogonally side-chain-protected Lys residue at the C-terminus of sPrP sequences. These groups enabled sPrP to be immobilized on either the cell surface or a streptavidin-coated ELISA plate, respectively, in an orientation analogous to that of membrane-bound, GPI-anchored PrPc. The chemical manipulation of such

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Nyström, Sofie; Hammarström, Per

    2015-05-11

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

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

    PubMed

    Leighton, Patricia L A; Allison, W Ted

    2016-07-06

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

  4. Morphine Withdrawal Modifies Prion Protein Expression in Rat Hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Mattei, Vincenzo; Martellucci, Stefano; Santilli, Francesca; Manganelli, Valeria; Garofalo, Tina; Candelise, Niccolò; Caruso, Alessandra; Sorice, Maurizio; Scaccianoce, Sergio

    2017-01-01

    The hippocampus is a vulnerable brain structure susceptible to damage during aging and chronic stress. Repeated exposure to opioids may alter the brain so that it functions normally when the drugs are present, thus, a prolonged withdrawal might lead to homeostatic changes headed for the restoration of the physiological state. Abuse of morphine may lead to Reacting Oxygen Species-induced neurodegeneration and apoptosis. It has been proposed that during morphine withdrawal, stress responses might be responsible, at least in part, for long-term changes of hippocampal plasticity. Since prion protein is involved in both, Reacting Oxygen Species mediated stress responses and synaptic plasticity, in this work we investigate the effect of opiate withdrawal in rats after morphine treatment. We hypothesize that stressful stimuli induced by opiate withdrawal, and the subsequent long-term homeostatic changes in hippocampal plasticity, might modulate the Prion protein expression. Our results indicate that abstinence from the opiate induced a time-dependent and region-specific modification in Prion protein content, indeed during morphine withdrawal a selective unbalance of hippocampal Prion Protein is observable. Moreover, Prion protein overexpression in hippocampal tissue seems to generate a dimeric structure of Prion protein and α-cleavage at the hydrophobic domain. Stress factors or toxic insults can induce cytosolic dimerization of Prion Protein through the hydrophobic domain, which in turn, it stimulates the α-cleavage and the production of neuroprotective Prion protein fragments. We speculate that this might be the mechanism by which stressful stimuli induced by opiate withdrawal and the subsequent long-term homeostatic changes in hippocampal plasticity, modulate the expression and the dynamics of Prion protein. PMID:28081197

  5. 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

  6. Live-cell FRET imaging reveals clustering of the prion protein at the cell surface induced by infectious prions.

    PubMed

    Tavares, Evandro; Macedo, Joana A; Paulo, Pedro M R; Tavares, Catarina; Lopes, Carlos; Melo, Eduardo P

    2014-07-01

    Prion diseases are associated to the conversion of the prion protein into a misfolded pathological isoform. The mechanism of propagation of protein misfolding by protein templating remains largely unknown. Neuroblastoma cells were transfected with constructs of the prion protein fused to both CFP-GPI-anchored and to YFP-GPI-anchored and directed to its cell membrane location. Live-cell FRET imaging between the prion protein fused to CFP or YFP was measured giving consistent values of 10±2%. This result was confirmed by fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy and indicates intermolecular interactions between neighbor prion proteins. In particular, considering that a maximum FRET efficiency of 17±2% was determined from a positive control consisting of a fusion CFP-YFP-GPI-anchored. A stable cell clone expressing the two fusions containing the prion protein was also selected to minimize cell-to-cell variability. In both, stable and transiently transfected cells, the FRET efficiency consistently increased in the presence of infectious prions - from 4±1% to 7±1% in the stable clone and from 10±2% to 16±1% in transiently transfected cells. These results clearly reflect an increased clustering of the prion protein on the membrane in the presence of infectious prions, which was not observed in negative control using constructs without the prion protein and upon addition of non-infected brain. Our data corroborates the recent view that the primary site for prion conversion is the cell membrane. Since our fluorescent cell clone is not susceptible to propagate infectivity, we hypothesize that the initial event of prion infectivity might be the clustering of the GPI-anchored prion protein. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Increased proportions of C1 truncated prion protein protect against cellular M1000 prion infection.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Victoria; Hill, Andrew F; Haigh, Cathryn L; Klug, Genevieve M; Masters, Colin L; Lawson, Victoria A; Collins, Steven J

    2009-10-01

    Prion disease pathogenesis is linked to the cell-associated propagation of misfolded protease-resistant conformers (PrP) of the normal cellular prion protein (PrP). Ongoing PrP expression is the only known absolute requirement for successful prion disease transmission and PrP propagation. Further typifying prion disease is selective neuronal dysfunction and loss, although the precise mechanisms underlying this are undefined. We utilized a single prion strain (M1000) and a range of neuronal and nonneuronal, PrP endogenously expressing and transgenically modified overexpressing cell lines, to evaluate whether PrP glycosylation patterns or constitutive N-terminal cleavage events may be determinants of sustained PrP propagation. Our data demonstrates that relative proportions of full-length and C1 truncated PrP are the most important characteristics influencing susceptibility to sustained M1000 prion infection, supporting PrP alpha-cleavage as a protective event, which may contribute to the selective neuronal vulnerability observed in vivo.

  8. Crucial role for prion protein membrane anchoring in the neuroinvasion and neural spread of prion infection.

    PubMed

    Klingeborn, Mikael; Race, Brent; Meade-White, Kimberly D; Rosenke, Rebecca; Striebel, James F; Chesebro, Bruce

    2011-02-01

    In nature prion diseases are usually transmitted by extracerebral prion infection, but clinical disease results only after invasion of the central nervous system (CNS). Prion protein (PrP), a host-encoded glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored membrane glycoprotein, is necessary for prion infection and disease. Here, we investigated the role of the anchoring of PrP on prion neuroinvasion by studying various inoculation routes in mice expressing either anchored or anchorless PrP. In control mice with anchored PrP, intracerebral or sciatic nerve inoculation resulted in rapid CNS neuroinvasion and clinical disease (154 to 156 days), and after tongue, ocular, intravenous, or intraperitoneal inoculation, CNS neuroinvasion was only slightly slower (193 to 231 days). In contrast, in anchorless PrP mice, these routes resulted in slow and infrequent CNS neuroinvasion. Only intracerebral inoculation caused brain PrPres, a protease-resistant isoform of PrP, and disease in both types of mice. Thus, anchored PrP was an essential component for the rapid neural spread and CNS neuroinvasion of prion infection.

  9. Effects of Solution Chemistry and Aging Time on Prion Protein Adsorption and Replication of Soil-Bound Prions

    PubMed Central

    Saunders, Samuel E.; Yuan, Qi; Bartz, Jason C.; Bartelt-Hunt, Shannon

    2011-01-01

    Prion interactions with soil may play an important role in the transmission of chronic wasting disease (CWD) and scrapie. Prions are known to bind to a wide range of soil surfaces, but the effects of adsorption solution chemistry and long-term soil binding on prion fate and transmission risk are unknown. We investigated HY TME prion protein (PrPSc) adsorption to soil minerals in aqueous solutions of phosphate buffered saline (PBS), sodium chloride, calcium chloride, and deionized water using western blotting. The replication efficiency of bound prions following adsorption in these solutions was also evaluated by protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA). Aging studies investigated PrPSc desorption and replication efficiency up to one year following adsorption in PBS or DI water. Results indicate that adsorption solution chemistry can affect subsequent prion replication or desorption ability, especially after incubation periods of 30 d or longer. Observed effects were minor over the short-term (7 d or less). Results of long-term aging experiments demonstrate that unbound prions or prions bound to a diverse range of soil surfaces can readily replicate after one year. Our results suggest that while prion-soil interactions can vary with solution chemistry, prions bound to soil could remain a risk for transmitting prion diseases after months in the environment. PMID:21526178

  10. Altered prion protein glycosylation in the aging mouse brain.

    PubMed

    Goh, Angeline Xi-Hua; Li, Chaoyang; Sy, Man-Sun; Wong, Boon-Seng

    2007-02-01

    The normal cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) is a glycoprotein with two highly conserved potential N-linked glycosylation sites. All prion diseases, whether inherited, infectious or sporadic, are believed to share the same pathogenic mechanism that is based on the conversion of the normal cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) to the pathogenic scrapie prion protein (PrP(Sc)). However, the clinical and histopathological presentations of prion diseases are heterogeneous, depending not only on the strains of PrP(Sc) but also on the mechanism of diseases, such as age-related sporadic vs. infectious prion diseases. Accumulated evidence suggests that N-linked glycans on PrP(C) are important in disease phenotype. A better understanding of the nature of the N-linked glycans on PrP(C) during the normal aging process may provide new insights into the roles that N-linked glycans play in the pathogenesis of prion diseases. By using a panel of 19 lectins in an antibody-lectin enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), we found that the lectin binding profiles of PrP(C) alter significantly during aging. There is an increasing prevalence of complex oligosaccharides on the aging PrP(C), which are features of PrP(Sc). Taken together, this study suggests a link between the glycosylation patterns on PrP(C) during aging and PrP(Sc).

  11. 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.

  12. Unique Properties of the Rabbit Prion Protein Oligomer

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

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

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-06-01

    diseases are fatal neurodegenerative diseases of mammals and include Creutzfeld-Jacob disease (humans), scrapie (sheep), chronic wasting disease (elk...magnetic resonance; PN, peroxynitrite; PrP, prion protein; PrP90, residues 90-232 of hamster prion protein; PrPC, cellular prion; PrPSc, scrapie prion...cow) in cows, chronic wasting in deer and elk, and scrapie in sheep. Prion diseases belong to the larger category of amyloidoses that also includes

  18. 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.

  19. Analysis of the prion protein gene in multiple system atrophy.

    PubMed

    Chelban, Viorica; Manole, Andreea; Pihlstrøm, Lasse; Schottlaender, Lucia; Efthymiou, Stephanie; OConnor, Emer; Meissner, Wassilios G; Holton, Janice L; Houlden, Henry

    2017-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are a very diverse group of disorders but they share some common mechanisms such as abnormally misfolded proteins with prion-like propagation and aggregation. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is the most prevalent prion disease in humans. In the sporadic form of CJD the only known risk factor is the codon 129 polymorphism. Recent reports suggested that α-synuclein in multiple system atrophy (MSA) has similar pathogenic mechanisms as the prion protein. Here we present 1 Italian family with MSA and prion disease. Also, cases of concurrent MSA and prion pathology in the same individual or family suggest the possibility of molecular interaction between prion protein and α-synuclein in the process of protein accumulation and neurodegeneration, warranting further investigations. We assessed the PRNP gene by whole-exome sequencing in 264 pathologically confirmed MSA cases and 462 healthy controls to determine whether the 2 diseases share similar risk factors. We then analyzed codon 129 polymorphism by Sanger sequencing and compared with previously published results in sporadic CJD. Homozygosity at codon 129 was present in 50% of pathologically confirmed MSA cases and in 58% of normal controls (odds ratio, 0.7 (95% confidence interval of 0.5-0.9)) compared with 88.2% in sporadic CJD. Our data show that the homozygous state of position 129 in the PRNP is not a risk factor for MSA. No other variants in the PRNP gene were associated with increased risk for MSA.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

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

  1. Characterization of Antibody Specific for Disease Associated Prion Protein

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-07-01

    Distribution Unlimited 13. ABSTRACT (Maximum 200 Words) Prion diseases are characterized by the presence of the abnormal scrapie isoform of prion protein...areas of Task 2. Our main research findings have been published recently (Zou W, Zheng J, Gray D, Gambetti P, Chen SG. Antibody to DNA detects scrapie ...chemiluminescence. (B) Immunocapture of PrP by OCD4 following incubation with nuclease and salmon DNA. 2 1 I Scrapie -infected hamster BH (2 pi each) was either

  2. 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

  3. Three scrapie prion isolates exhibit different accumulation patterns of the prion protein scrapie isoform.

    PubMed Central

    DeArmond, S J; Yang, S L; Lee, A; Bowler, R; Taraboulos, A; Groth, D; Prusiner, S B

    1993-01-01

    To investigate the molecular basis of prion diversity, we inoculated transgenic mice expressing the Syrian hamster prion protein (PrP) with three distinct prion isolates. We compared the three isolates designated Sc237, 139H, and Me7H in Tg(SHaPrP)7 mice with clinical signs of scrapie because the incubation times with these mice are considerably shorter than the times found with hamsters. Each prion isolate produced a distinctive pattern of the scrapie isoform of PrP (PrPSc) accumulation, as determined by histoblotting, a technique developed for the regional mapping of PrPSc deposition. The PrPSc pattern with the Me7H isolate was particularly interesting because it appeared to be confined to the hypothalamus and related structures--including the interstitial nucleus of the stria terminalis, the paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus, and periaqueductal grey. Additionally, the regions of PrPSc accumulation remained highly restricted, even though the incubation time for Me7H scrapie was significantly longer than with Sc237 and 139H isolates. Neuropathological changes characterized by neuronal vacuolation and astrocytic gliosis were confined to those regions where PrPSc accumulated. These findings argue that the cell-specific propagation of prion isolates may be responsible for different properties exhibited by each of the isolates. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 PMID:8101989

  4. Targeting cellular prion protein reverses early cognitive deficits and neurophysiological dysfunction in prion-infected mice.

    PubMed

    Mallucci, Giovanna R; White, Melanie D; Farmer, Michael; Dickinson, Andrew; Khatun, Husna; Powell, Andrew D; Brandner, Sebastian; Jefferys, John G R; Collinge, John

    2007-02-01

    Currently, no treatment can prevent the cognitive and motor decline associated with widespread neurodegeneration in prion disease. However, we previously showed that targeting endogenous neuronal prion protein (PrP(C)) (the precursor of its disease-associated isoform, PrP(Sc)) in mice with early prion infection reversed spongiform change and prevented clinical symptoms and neuronal loss. We now show that cognitive and behavioral deficits and impaired neurophysiological function accompany early hippocampal spongiform pathology. Remarkably, these behavioral and synaptic impairments recover when neuronal PrP(C) is depleted, in parallel with reversal of spongiosis. Thus, early functional impairments precede neuronal loss in prion disease and can be rescued. Further, they occur before extensive PrP(Sc) deposits accumulate and recover rapidly after PrP(C) depletion, supporting the concept that they are caused by a transient neurotoxic species, distinct from aggregated PrP(Sc). These data suggest that early intervention in human prion disease may lead to recovery of cognitive and behavioral symptoms.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  6. Cellular prion protein transduces neuroprotective signals

    PubMed Central

    Chiarini, Luciana B.; Freitas, Adriana R.O.; Zanata, Silvio M.; Brentani, Ricardo R.; Martins, Vilma R.; Linden, Rafael

    2002-01-01

    To test for a role for the cellular prion protein (PrPc) in cell death, we used a PrPc-binding peptide. Retinal explants from neonatal rats or mice were kept in vitro for 24 h, and anisomycin (ANI) was used to induce apoptosis. The peptide activated both cAMP/protein kinase A (PKA) and Erk pathways, and partially prevented cell death induced by ANI in explants from wild-type rodents, but not from PrPc-null mice. Neuroprotection was abolished by treatment with phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C, with human peptide 106–126, with certain antibodies to PrPc or with a PKA inhibitor, but not with a MEK/Erk inhibitor. In contrast, antibodies to PrPc that increased cAMP also induced neuroprotection. Thus, engagement of PrPc transduces neuroprotective signals through a cAMP/PKA-dependent pathway. PrPc may function as a trophic receptor, the activation of which leads to a neuroprotective state. PMID:12093733

  7. Endogenous prion protein attenuates experimentally induced colitis.

    PubMed

    Martin, Gary R; Keenan, Catherine M; Sharkey, Keith A; Jirik, Frank R

    2011-11-01

    Although the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) is expressed in the enteric nervous system and lamina propria, its function(s) in the gut is unknown. Because PrP(C) may exert a cytoprotective effect in response to various physiologic stressors, we hypothesized that PrP(C) expression levels might modulate the severity of experimental colitis. We evaluated the course of dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced colitis in hemizygous Tga20 transgenic mice (approximately sevenfold overexpression of PrP(C)), Prnp(-/-) mice, and wild-type mice. On day 7, colon length, disease severity, and histologic activity indices were determined. Unlike DSS-treated wild-type and Prnp(-/-) animals, PrP(C) overexpressing mice were resistant to colitis induction, exhibited much milder histopathologic features, and did not exhibit weight loss or colonic shortening. In keeping with these results, pro-survival molecule expression and/or phosphorylation levels were elevated in DSS-treated Tga20 mice, whereas pro-inflammatory cytokine production and pSTAT3 levels were reduced. In contrast, DSS-treated Prnp(-/-) mice exhibited increased BAD protein expression and a cytokine expression profile predicted to favor inflammation and differentiation. PrP(C) expression from both the endogenous Prnp locus or the Tga20 transgene was increased in the colons of DSS-treated mice. Considered together, these findings demonstrate that PrP(C) has a previously unrecognized cytoprotective and/or anti-inflammatory function within the murine colon.

  8. HEPES inhibits the conversion of prion protein in cell culture.

    PubMed

    Delmouly, Karine; Belondrade, Maxime; Casanova, Danielle; Milhavet, Ollivier; Lehmann, Sylvain

    2011-05-01

    HEPES is a well-known buffering reagent used in cell-culture medium. Interestingly, this compound is also responsible for significant modifications of biological parameters such as uptake of organic molecules, alteration of oxidative stress mechanisms or inhibition of ion channels. While using cell-culture medium supplemented with HEPES on prion-infected cells, it was noticed that there was a significant concentration-dependent inhibition of accumulation of the abnormal isoform of the prion protein (PrP(Sc)). This effect was present only in live cells and was thought to be related to modification of the PrP environment or biology. These results could modify the interpretation of cell-culture assays of prion therapeutic agents, as well as of previous cell biology results obtained in the field using HEPES buffers. This inhibitory effect of HEPES could also be exploited to prevent contamination or propagation of prions in cell culture.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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

    2016-02-15

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

  12. 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

  13. Prion Diseases

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  14. Prion protein in patients with renal failure.

    PubMed

    Starke, R; Mackie, I; Drummond, O; MacGregor, I; Harrison, P; Machin, S

    2006-06-01

    We previously found elevated levels of prion protein (PrP(C)) in the blood plasma of 16 patients with renal failure. We studied a further 20 patients with renal failure, and all had a significantly higher PrP(C) concentration than healthy normal subjects (P < 0.0001). Renal dialysis did not remove plasma PrP(C) in these patients. Because dialysis patients receive heparin during dialysis, which could potentially bind to PrP(C), the concentration of PrP(C) was measured in patients receiving heparin for cardiopulmonary bypass and was found to be similar to normal controls. We also studied several other groups with chronic illnesses and found that patients with thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura and sickle cell anaemia had normal plasma PrP(C) levels, but that those with beta-thalassaemia had slightly elevated levels of plasma PrP(C). This suggests that the observations in renal failure were not just part of a generalized response to chronic illness or acute phase reaction. The mechanism of elevated plasma PrP(C) levels in renal disease is unknown, but this shows that plasma PrP(C) is not a specific marker of neurological disease or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-02-10

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

  16. 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

  17. Discovering DNA encodes heredity and prions are infectious proteins.

    PubMed

    Prusiner, Stanley B; McCarty, Maclyn

    2006-01-01

    The resemblance between the discoveries that DNA is the basis of heredity and that prions are infectious proteins is remarkable. Though four decades separated these two discoveries, the biochemical methodologies and scientific philosophies that were employed are surprisingly similar. In both cases, bioassays available at the time that the projects were initiated proved to be inadequate to support purification studies. Improved bioassays allowed the transforming principle (TP) to be purified from pneumococci and prions from scrapie-infected hamster brains. Publications describing TP as composed of DNA prompted some scientists to contend that undetected proteins must contaminate TP enriched fractions. The simplicity of DNA was thought to prevent it from encoding genetic information. By the time prions were discovered, the genomes of all infectious pathogens including viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites had been shown to be comprised of nucleic acids and so an antithetical refrain became widely echoed: DNA or RNA molecules must be hiding among the proteins of prions. Finding the unexpected and being asked to demonstrate unequivocally the absence of a possible contaminant represent uncanny parallels between the discoveries that DNA encodes the genotype and that prions are infectious proteins.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Inherited prion disease A117V is not simply a proteinopathy but produces prions transmissible to transgenic mice expressing homologous prion protein.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    Prions are infectious agents causing fatal neurodegenerative diseases of humans and animals. In humans, these have sporadic, acquired and inherited aetiologies. The inherited prion diseases are caused by one of over 30 coding mutations in the human prion protein (PrP) gene (PRNP) and many of these generate infectious prions as evidenced by their experimental transmissibility by inoculation to laboratory animals. However, some, and in particular an extensively studied type of Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS) caused by a PRNP A117V mutation, are thought not to generate infectious prions and instead constitute prion proteinopathies with a quite distinct pathogenetic mechanism. Multiple attempts to transmit A117V GSS have been unsuccessful and typical protease-resistant PrP (PrP(Sc)), pathognomonic of prion disease, is not detected in brain. Pathogenesis is instead attributed to production of an aberrant topological form of PrP, C-terminal transmembrane PrP ((Ctm)PrP). Barriers to transmission of prion strains from one species to another appear to relate to structural compatibility of PrP in host and inoculum and we have therefore produced transgenic mice expressing human 117V PrP. We found that brain tissue from GSS A117V patients did transmit disease to these mice and both the neuropathological features of prion disease and presence of PrP(Sc) was demonstrated in the brains of recipient transgenic mice. This PrP(Sc) rapidly degraded during laboratory analysis, suggesting that the difficulty in its detection in patients with GSS A117V could relate to post-mortem proteolysis. We conclude that GSS A117V is indeed a prion disease although the relative contributions of (Ctm)PrP and prion propagation in neurodegeneration and their pathogenetic interaction remains to be established.

  2. Highly neurotoxic monomeric α-helical prion protein

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Minghai; Ottenberg, Gregory; Sferrazza, Gian Franco; Lasmézas, Corinne Ida

    2012-01-01

    Prion diseases are infectious and belong to the group of protein misfolding neurodegenerative diseases. In these diseases, neuronal dysfunction and death are caused by the neuronal toxicity of a particular misfolded form of their cognate protein. The ability to specifically target the toxic protein conformer or the neuronal death pathway would provide powerful therapeutic approaches to these diseases. The neurotoxic forms of the prion protein (PrP) have yet to be defined but there is evidence suggesting that at least some of them differ from infectious PrP (PrPSc). Herein, without making an assumption about size or conformation, we searched for toxic forms of recombinant PrP after dilution refolding, size fractionation, and systematic biological testing of all fractions. We found that the PrP species most neurotoxic in vitro and in vivo (toxic PrP, TPrP) is a monomeric, highly α-helical form of PrP. TPrP caused autophagy, apoptosis, and a molecular signature remarkably similar to that observed in the brains of prion-infected animals. Interestingly, highly α-helical intermediates have been described for other amyloidogenic proteins but their biological significance remains to be established. We provide unique experimental evidence that a monomeric α-helical form of an amyloidogenic protein represents a cytotoxic species. Although toxic PrP has yet to be purified from prion-infected brains, TPrP might be the equivalent of one highly neurotoxic PrP species generated during prion replication. Because TPrP is a misfolded, highly neurotoxic form of PrP reproducing several features of prion-induced neuronal death, it constitutes a useful model to study PrP-induced neurodegenerative mechanisms. PMID:22323583

  3. Vaccination with prion peptide-displaying papillomavirus-like particles induces autoantibodies to normal prion protein that interfere with pathologic prion protein production in infected cells.

    PubMed

    Handisurya, Alessandra; Gilch, Sabine; Winter, Dorian; Shafti-Keramat, Saeed; Maurer, Dieter; Schätzl, Hermann M; Kirnbauer, Reinhard

    2007-04-01

    Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders caused by proteinaceous infectious pathogens termed prions (PrP(Sc)). To date, there is no prophylaxis or therapy available for these transmissible encephalopathies. Passive immunization with monclonal antibodies recognizing the normal host-encoded prion protein (PrP(C)) has been reported to abolish PrP(Sc) infectivity and to delay onset of disease. Because of established immunologic tolerance against the widely expressed PrP(C), active immunization appears to be difficult to achieve. To overcome this limitation, papillomavirus-like particles were generated that display a nine amino acid B-cell epitope, DWEDRYYRE, of the murine/rat prion protein in an immunogenic capsid surface loop, by insertion into the L1 major capsid protein of bovine papillomavirus type 1. The PrP peptide was selected on the basis of its previously suggested central role in prion pathogenesis. Immunization with PrP-virus-like particles induced high-titer antibodies to PrP in rabbit and in rat, without inducing overt adverse effects. As determined by peptide-specific ELISA, rabbit immune sera recognized the inserted murine/rat epitope and also cross-reacted with the homologous rabbit/human epitope differing in one amino acid residue. In contrast, rat immune sera recognized the murine/rat peptide only. Sera of both species reacted with PrP(C) in its native conformation in mouse brain and on rat pheochromocytoma cells, as determined by immunoprecipitation and fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis. Importantly, rabbit anti-PrP serum contained high-affinity antibody that inhibited de novo synthesis of PrP(Sc) in prion-infected cells. If also effective in vivo, PrP-virus-like particle vaccination opens a unique possibility for immunologic prevention of currently fatal and incurable prion-mediated diseases.

  4. (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Porcine Elastase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Porcine Elastase. This enzyme is associated with the degradation of lung tissue in people suffering from emphysema. It is useful in studying causes of this disease. Principal Investigator on STS-26 was Charles Bugg.

  5. Reversible symptoms and clearance of mutant prion protein in an inducible model of a genetic prion disease in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Murali, A; Maue, R A; Dolph, P J

    2014-07-01

    Prion diseases are progressive disorders that affect the central nervous system leading to memory loss, personality changes, ataxia and neurodegeneration. In humans, these disorders include Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, kuru and Gerstmann-Straüssler-Scheinker (GSS) syndrome, the latter being a dominantly inherited prion disease associated with missense mutations in the gene that codes for the prion protein. The exact mechanism by which mutant prion proteins affect the central nervous system and cause neurological disease is not well understood. We have generated an inducible model of GSS disease in Drosophila melanogaster by temporally expressing a misfolded form of the murine prion protein in cholinergic neurons. Flies accumulating this mutant protein develop motor abnormalities which are associated with electrophysiological defects in cholinergic neurons. We find that, upon blocking the expression of the mutant protein, both behavioral and electrophysiological defects can be reversed. This represents the first case of reversibility reported in a model of genetic prion disease. Additionally, we observe that endogenous mechanisms exist within Drosophila that are capable of clearing the accumulated prion protein.

  6. Single-molecule approaches to prion protein misfolding.

    PubMed

    Yu, Hao; Dee, Derek R; Woodside, Michael T

    2013-01-01

    The structural conversion of the prion protein PrP into a transmissible, misfolded form is the central element of prion disease, yet there is little consensus as to how it occurs. Key aspects of conversion into the diseased state remain unsettled, from details about the earliest stages of misfolding such as the involvement of partially- or fully-unfolded intermediates to the structure of the infectious state. Part of the difficulty in understanding the structural conversion arises from the complexity of the underlying energy landscapes. Single molecule methods provide a powerful tool for probing complex folding pathways as in prion misfolding, because they allow rare and transient events to be observed directly. We discuss recent work applying single-molecule probes to study misfolding in prion proteins, and what it has revealed about the folding dynamics of PrP that may underlie its unique behavior. We also discuss single-molecule studies probing the interactions that stabilize non-native structures within aggregates, pointing the way to future work that may help identify the microscopic events triggering pathogenic conversion. Although single-molecule approaches to misfolding are relatively young, they have a promising future in prion science.

  7. 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.

  8. Alpha2-macroglobulin is a potential facilitator of prion protein transformation.

    PubMed

    Adler, Victor; Davidowitz, Eliot; Tamburi, Patricia; Rojas, Pedro; Grossman, Abraham

    2007-03-01

    Cellular prion protein changes conformation during transformation to an infectious scrapie isoform. One measure of transformation is the development of partial resistance to protease treatment. A fraction of human and bovine plasma was identified containing activity that facilitates transformation of cellular prion protein to a protease resistant isoform in the presence of RNA in the absence of seeded scrapie prion protein. Purification of proteins from this fraction led to the identification of alpha2-macroglobulin as an active component suggesting that it may facilitate conformational changes in prion protein in spontaneous forms of prion disease.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-07-01

    CtmPrP [designated Tg(L9R-3AV)], and these mice develop a spontaneous neurological illness similar to scrapie [Stewart et al. 2005]. We are...that CtmPrP is not produced at appreciable levels in scrapie -infected animals. Task 2: Characterization of the CtmPrP-induced neurotoxic pathway in...Caughey, E. Masliah, and M.Oldstone (2005). Anchorless Prion Protein Results in Infectious Amyloid Disease Without Clinical Scrapie . Science 308:1435

  11. 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.

  12. Biological and biochemical characterization of mice expressing prion protein devoid of the octapeptide repeat region after infection with prions.

    PubMed

    Yamaguchi, Yoshitaka; Miyata, Hironori; Uchiyama, Keiji; Ootsuyama, Akira; Inubushi, Sachiko; Mori, Tsuyoshi; Muramatsu, Naomi; Katamine, Shigeru; Sakaguchi, Suehiro

    2012-01-01

    Accumulating lines of evidence indicate that the N-terminal domain of prion protein (PrP) is involved in prion susceptibility in mice. In this study, to investigate the role of the octapeptide repeat (OR) region alone in the N-terminal domain for the susceptibility and pathogenesis of prion disease, we intracerebrally inoculated RML scrapie prions into tg(PrPΔOR)/Prnp(0/0) mice, which express mouse PrP missing only the OR region on the PrP-null background. Incubation times of these mice were not extended. Protease-resistant PrPΔOR, or PrP(Sc)ΔOR, was easily detectable but lower in the brains of these mice, compared to that in control wild-type mice. Consistently, prion titers were slightly lower and astrogliosis was milder in their brains. However, in their spinal cords, PrP(Sc)ΔOR and prion titers were abundant and astrogliosis was as strong as in control wild-type mice. These results indicate that the role of the OR region in prion susceptibility and pathogenesis of the disease is limited. We also found that the PrP(Sc)ΔOR, including the pre-OR residues 23-50, was unusually protease-resistant, indicating that deletion of the OR region could cause structural changes to the pre-OR region upon prion infection, leading to formation of a protease-resistant structure for the pre-OR region.

  13. Prion protein in Alzheimer's pathogenesis: a hot and controversial issue.

    PubMed

    Benilova, Iryna; De Strooper, Bart

    2010-08-01

    The role for cellular prion protein PrP(c) in beta-amyloid (Abeta) oligomer-induced synaptic impairment is a topic of great interest and some controversy. In this issue of EMBO Molecular Medicine Aguzzi and co-workers explore the contribution of PrP(c) to deficient long term potentiation (LTP) and soluble Abeta levels in an Alzheimer's disease mouse model and show that the role of prions in Abeta related toxicity is far from 'black and white' suggesting complex interpretations of the data available thus far.

  14. Melanin or a Melanin-Like Substance Interacts with the N-Terminal Portion of Prion Protein and Inhibits Abnormal Prion Protein Formation in Prion-Infected Cells.

    PubMed

    Hamanaka, Taichi; Nishizawa, Keiko; Sakasegawa, Yuji; Oguma, Ayumi; Teruya, Kenta; Kurahashi, Hiroshi; Hara, Hideyuki; Sakaguchi, Suehiro; Doh-Ura, Katsumi

    2017-03-15

    Prion diseases are progressive fatal neurodegenerative illnesses caused by the accumulation of transmissible abnormal prion protein (PrP). To find treatments for prion diseases, we searched for substances from natural resources that inhibit abnormal PrP formation in prion-infected cells. We found that high-molecular-weight components from insect cuticle extracts reduced abnormal PrP levels. The chemical nature of these components was consistent with that of melanin. In fact, synthetic melanin produced from tyrosine or 3-hydroxy-l-tyrosine inhibited abnormal PrP formation. Melanin did not modify cellular or cell surface PrP levels, nor did it modify lipid raft or cellular cholesterol levels. Neither did it enhance autophagy or lysosomal function. Melanin was capable of interacting with PrP at two N-terminal domains. Specifically, it strongly interacted with the PrP region of amino acids 23 to 50 including a positively charged amino acid cluster and weakly interacted with the PrP octarepeat peptide region of residues 51 to 90. However, the in vitro and in vivo data were inconsistent with those of prion-infected cells. Abnormal PrP formation in protein misfolding cyclic amplification was not inhibited by melanin. Survival after prion infection was not significantly altered in albino mice or exogenously melanin-injected mice compared with that of control mice. These data suggest that melanin, a main determinant of skin color, is not likely to modify prion disease pathogenesis, even though racial differences in the incidence of human prion diseases have been reported. Thus, the findings identify an interaction between melanin and the N terminus of PrP, but the pathophysiological roles of the PrP-melanin interaction remain unclear.IMPORTANCE The N-terminal region of PrP is reportedly important for neuroprotection, neurotoxicity, and abnormal PrP formation, as this region is bound by many factors, such as metal ions, lipids, nucleic acids, antiprion compounds, and several

  15. Human prion protein-induced autophagy flux governs neuron cell damage in primary neuron cells.

    PubMed

    Moon, Ji-Hong; Lee, Ju-Hee; Nazim, Uddin Md; Lee, You-Jin; Seol, Jae-Won; Eo, Seong-Kug; Lee, John-Hwa; Park, Sang-Youel

    2016-05-24

    An unusual molecular structure of the prion protein, PrPsc is found only in mammals with transmissible prion diseases. Prion protein stands for either the infectious pathogen itself or a main component of it. Recent studies suggest that autophagy is one of the major functions that keep cells alive and has a protective effect against the neurodegeneration. In this study, we investigated that the effect of human prion protein on autophagy-lysosomal system of primary neuronal cells. The treatment of human prion protein induced primary neuron cell death and decreased both LC3-II and p62 protein amount indicating autophagy flux activation. Electron microscope pictures confirmed the autophagic flux activation in neuron cells treated with prion protein. Inhibition of autophagy flux using pharmacological and genetic tools prevented neuron cell death induced by human prion protein. Autophagy flux induced by prion protein is more activated in prpc expressing cells than in prpc silencing cells. These data demonstrated that prion protein-induced autophagy flux is involved in neuron cell death in prion disease and suggest that autophagy flux might play a critical role in neurodegenerative diseases including prion disease.

  16. The Antemortem Detection and Conformational Switches of Prion Proteins

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-07-01

    spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) are threats to animals such as cattle , to food safety, and to human that use biomedical products developed from animal...protein determinant of [PSI+], a heritable prion-like factor of S. cerevisiae. Cell 89, 811-819. King C.Y., Tittmann P., Gross H., Gebert R., Aebi M

  17. Prion protein NMR structures of chickens, turtles, and frogs

    PubMed Central

    Calzolai, Luigi; Lysek, Dominikus A.; Pérez, Daniel R.; Güntert, Peter; Wüthrich, Kurt

    2005-01-01

    The NMR structures of the recombinant prion proteins from chicken (Gallus gallus; chPrP), the red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scripta; tPrP), and the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis; xlPrP) are presented. The amino acid sequences of these prion proteins show ≈30% identity with mammalian prion proteins. All three species form the same molecular architecture as mammalian PrPC, with a long, flexibly disordered tail attached to the N-terminal end of a globular domain. The globular domain in chPrP and tPrP contains three α-helices, one short 310-helix, and a short antiparallel β-sheet. In xlPrP, the globular domain includes three α-helices and a somewhat longer β-sheet than in the other species. The spatial arrangement of these regular secondary structures coincides closely with that of the globular domain in mammalian prion proteins. Based on the low sequence identity to mammalian PrPs, comparison of chPrP, tPrP, and xlPrP with mammalian PrPC structures is used to identify a set of essential amino acid positions for the preservation of the same PrPC fold in birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. There are additional conserved residues without apparent structural roles, which are of interest for the ongoing search for physiological functions of PrPC in healthy organisms. PMID:15647366

  18. Vaccination with prion peptide-displaying papillomavirus-like particles induces autoantibodies to normal prion protein that interfere with pathologic prion protein production in infected cells

    PubMed Central

    Handisurya, Alessandra; Gilch, Sabine; Winter, Dorian; Shafti-Keramat, Saeed; Maurer, Dieter; Schätzl, Hermann M.; Kirnbauer, Reinhard

    2013-01-01

    Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders caused by proteinaceous infectious pathogens termed prions (PrPSc). To date, there is no prophylaxis or therapy available for these transmissible encephalopathies. Passive immunization with monclonal antibodies recognizing the normal host-encoded prion protein (PrPC) has been reported to abolish PrPSc infectivity and to delay onset of disease. Because of established immunologic tolerance against the widely expressed PrPC, active immunization appears to be difficult to achieve. To overcome this limitation, papillomavirus-like particles were generated that display a nine amino acid B-cell epitope, DWEDRYYRE, of the murine/rat prion protein in an immunogenic capsid surface loop, by insertion into the L1 major capsid protein of bovine papillomavirus type 1. The PrP peptide was selected on the basis of its previously suggested central role in prion pathogenesis. Immunization with PrP–virus-like particles induced high-titer antibodies to PrP in rabbit and in rat, without inducing overt adverse effects. As determined by peptide-specific ELISA, rabbit immune sera recognized the inserted murine/rat epitope and also cross-reacted with the homologous rabbit/human epitope differing in one amino acid residue. In contrast, rat immune sera recognized the murine/rat peptide only. Sera of both species reacted with PrPC in its native conformation in mouse brain and on rat pheochromocytoma cells, as determined by immunoprecipitation and fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis. Importantly, rabbit anti-PrP serum contained high-affinity antibody that inhibited de novo synthesis of PrPSc in prion-infected cells. If also effective in vivo, PrP–virus-like particle vaccination opens a unique possibility for immunologic prevention of currently fatal and incurable pri-on-mediated diseases. PMID:17313482

  19. Effects of prion protein devoid of the N-terminal residues 25-50 on prion pathogenesis in mice.

    PubMed

    Das, Nandita Rani; Miyata, Hironori; Hara, Hideyuki; Uchiyama, Keiji; Chida, Junji; Yano, Masashi; Watanabe, Hitomi; Kondoh, Gen; Sakaguchi, Suehiro

    2017-07-01

    The N-terminal polybasic region of the normal prion protein, PrP(C), which encompasses residues 23-31, is important for prion pathogenesis by affecting conversion of PrP(C) into the pathogenic isoform, PrP(Sc). We previously reported transgenic mice expressing PrP with residues 25-50 deleted in the PrP-null background, designated as Tg(PrP∆preOR)/Prnp (0/0) mice. Here, we produced two new lines of Tg(PrP∆preOR)/Prnp (0/0) mice, each expressing the mutant protein, PrP∆preOR, 1.1 and 1.6 times more than PrP(C) in wild-type mice, and subsequently intracerebrally inoculated RML and 22L prions into them. The lower expresser showed slightly reduced susceptibility to RML prions but not to 22L prions. The higher expresser exhibited enhanced susceptibility to both prions. No prion transmission barrier was created in Tg(PrP∆preOR)/Prnp (0/0) mice against full-length PrP(Sc). PrP(Sc)∆preOR accumulated in the brains of infected Tg(PrP∆preOR)/Prnp (0/0) mice less than PrP(Sc) in control wild-type mice, although lower in RML-infected Tg(PrP∆preOR)/Prnp (0/0) mice than in 22L-infected mice. Prion infectivity in infected Tg(PrP∆preOR)/Prnp (0/0) mice was also lower than that in wild-type mice. These results indicate that deletion of residues 25-50 only slightly affects prion susceptibility, the conversion of PrP(C) into PrP(Sc), and prion infectivity in a strain-specific way. PrP∆preOR retains residues 23-24 and lacks residues 25-31 in the polybasic region. It is thus conceivable that residues 23-24 rather than 25-31 are important for the polybasic region to support prion pathogenesis. However, other investigators have reported that residues 27-31 not 23-24 are important to support prion pathogenesis. Taken together, the polybasic region might support prion pathogenesis through multiple sites including residues 23-24 and 27-31.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-28

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

  6. 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

  7. Characterization of prion proteins with monospecific antisera to synthetic peptides.

    PubMed

    Barry, R A; Vincent, M T; Kent, S B; Hood, L E; Prusiner, S B

    1988-02-15

    The prion protein (PrP) 27-30 is the major macromolecular component in highly purified preparations of prions derived from scrapie-infected hamster brain. Immunoblotting studies demonstrated that this protein is generated by partial protease digestion of a larger precursor (PrPSc) with an apparent Mr of 33 to 35 kDa, and that a protease-sensitive cellular PrP isoform, designated PrPC, is present in normal hamster brain. To characterize the relationships among these proteins, ELISA and immunoblotting studies were undertaken with rabbit antisera raised against three synthetic PrP peptides. All three antisera were found to specifically react with the prion proteins, and failed to identify other lower or higher m.w. PrP proteins. Our results provide evidence that the primary structures of PrP 27-30, PrPSc, and PrPC are related; this conclusion supports molecular cloning studies indicating that these proteins are encoded by the same chromosomal gene.

  8. Ion channels induced by the prion protein: mediators of neurotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Solomon, Isaac H; Biasini, Emiliano; Harris, David A

    2012-01-01

    Prion diseases comprise a group of rapidly progressive and invariably fatal neurodegenerative disorders for which there are no effective treatments. While conversion of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) to a β-sheet rich isoform (PrP(Sc) ) is known to be a critical event in propagation of infectious prions, the identity of the neurotoxic form of PrP and its mechanism of action remain unclear. Insights into this mechanism have been provided by studying PrP molecules harboring deletions and point mutations in the conserved central region, encompassing residues 105-125. When expressed in transgenic mice, PrP deleted for these residues (Δ105-125) causes a spontaneous neurodegenerative illness that is reversed by co-expression of wild-type PrP. In cultured cells, Δ105-125 PrP confers hypersensitivity to certain cationic antibiotics and induces spontaneous ion channel activity that can be recorded by electrophysiological techniques. We have utilized these drug-hypersensitization and current-inducing activities to identify which PrP domains and subcellular locations are required for toxicity. We present an ion channel model for the toxicity of Δ105-125 PrP and related mutants and speculate how a similar mechanism could mediate PrP(Sc)-associated toxicity. Therapeutic regimens designed to inhibit prion-induced toxicity, as well as formation of PrP(Sc) , may prove to be the most clinically beneficial.

  9. 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

  10. Polymorphism of prion protein gene in Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus).

    PubMed

    Wan, Jiayu; Bai, Xue; Liu, Wensen; Xu, Jing; Xu, Ming; Gao, Hongwei

    2009-07-01

    Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders of humans and certain other mammals. Prion protein gene (Prnp) is associated with susceptibility and species barrier to prion diseases. No natural and experimental prion diseases have been documented to date in Arctic fox. In the present study, coding region of Prnp from 135 Arctic foxes were cloned and screened for polymorphisms. Our results indicated that the Arctic fox Prnp open reading frame (ORF) contains 771 nucleotides encoding 257 amino acids. Four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (G312C, A337G, C541T, and A723G) were identified. SNPs G312C and A723G produced silent mutations, but SNPs A337G and C541T resulted in a M-V change at codon 113 and R-C at codon 181, respectively. The Arctic fox Prnp amino acid sequence was similar to that of the dog (XM 542906). In short, this study provides preliminary information about genotypes of Prnp in Arctic fox.

  11. Functional Diversification of Hsp40: Distinct J-Protein Functional Requirements for Two Prions Allow for Chaperone-Dependent Prion Selection

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Milan J.; Sporn, Zachary A.; Hines, Justin K.

    2014-01-01

    Yeast prions are heritable amyloid aggregates of functional yeast proteins; their propagation to subsequent cell generations is dependent upon fragmentation of prion protein aggregates by molecular chaperone proteins. Mounting evidence indicates the J-protein Sis1 may act as an amyloid specificity factor, recognizing prion and other amyloid aggregates and enabling Ssa and Hsp104 to act in prion fragmentation. Chaperone interactions with prions, however, can be affected by variations in amyloid-core structure resulting in distinct prion variants or ‘strains’. Our genetic analysis revealed that Sis1 domain requirements by distinct variants of [PSI +] are strongly dependent upon overall variant stability. Notably, multiple strong [PSI +] variants can be maintained by a minimal construct of Sis1 consisting of only the J-domain and glycine/phenylalanine-rich (G/F) region that was previously shown to be sufficient for cell viability and [RNQ +] prion propagation. In contrast, weak [PSI +] variants are lost under the same conditions but maintained by the expression of an Sis1 construct that lacks only the G/F region and cannot support [RNQ +] propagation, revealing mutually exclusive requirements for Sis1 function between these two prions. Prion loss is not due to [PSI +]-dependent toxicity or dependent upon a particular yeast genetic background. These observations necessitate that Sis1 must have at least two distinct functional roles that individual prions differentially require for propagation and which are localized to the glycine-rich domains of the Sis1. Based on these distinctions, Sis1 plasmid-shuffling in a [PSI +]/[RNQ +] strain permitted J-protein-dependent prion selection for either prion. We also found that, despite an initial report to the contrary, the human homolog of Sis1, Hdj1, is capable of [PSI +] prion propagation in place of Sis1. This conservation of function is also prion-variant dependent, indicating that only one of the two Sis1-prion

  12. Functional diversification of hsp40: distinct j-protein functional requirements for two prions allow for chaperone-dependent prion selection.

    PubMed

    Harris, Julia M; Nguyen, Phil P; Patel, Milan J; Sporn, Zachary A; Hines, Justin K

    2014-07-01

    Yeast prions are heritable amyloid aggregates of functional yeast proteins; their propagation to subsequent cell generations is dependent upon fragmentation of prion protein aggregates by molecular chaperone proteins. Mounting evidence indicates the J-protein Sis1 may act as an amyloid specificity factor, recognizing prion and other amyloid aggregates and enabling Ssa and Hsp104 to act in prion fragmentation. Chaperone interactions with prions, however, can be affected by variations in amyloid-core structure resulting in distinct prion variants or 'strains'. Our genetic analysis revealed that Sis1 domain requirements by distinct variants of [PSI+] are strongly dependent upon overall variant stability. Notably, multiple strong [PSI+] variants can be maintained by a minimal construct of Sis1 consisting of only the J-domain and glycine/phenylalanine-rich (G/F) region that was previously shown to be sufficient for cell viability and [RNQ+] prion propagation. In contrast, weak [PSI+] variants are lost under the same conditions but maintained by the expression of an Sis1 construct that lacks only the G/F region and cannot support [RNQ+] propagation, revealing mutually exclusive requirements for Sis1 function between these two prions. Prion loss is not due to [PSI+]-dependent toxicity or dependent upon a particular yeast genetic background. These observations necessitate that Sis1 must have at least two distinct functional roles that individual prions differentially require for propagation and which are localized to the glycine-rich domains of the Sis1. Based on these distinctions, Sis1 plasmid-shuffling in a [PSI+]/[RNQ+] strain permitted J-protein-dependent prion selection for either prion. We also found that, despite an initial report to the contrary, the human homolog of Sis1, Hdj1, is capable of [PSI+] prion propagation in place of Sis1. This conservation of function is also prion-variant dependent, indicating that only one of the two Sis1-prion functions may have

  13. Chicken antibody against a restrictive epitope of prion protein distinguishes normal and abnormal prion proteins.

    PubMed

    Miyamoto, Kazuyoshi; Kimura, Sota; Nakamura, Naoto; Yokoyama, Takashi; Horiuchi, Hiroyuki; Furusawa, Shuichi; Matsuda, Haruo

    2007-10-01

    Recently, we reported the application of a recombinant chicken IgY monoclonal antibody, Ab3-15, against mammalian prion protein (PrP), for the diagnosis of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in cattle. In this study, we have characterized a soluble, single-chain variable fragment (scFv) form of this antibody, sphAb3-15 using brain homogenates from mice. This sphAb3-15 antibody recognized denatured forms of both PrP(C) and PrP(Sc), and PrP(Sc) after PK-treatment, on Western blotting. In sandwich ELISAs, on dot blots and by immunoprecipitation, sphAb3-15 efficiently bound to PrP from normal brain homogenates, but weakly bound PrP from scrapie-infected brain homogenates. These results suggest that sphAb3-15 selectively recognizes PrP(C) under native conditions and that the epitope recognized by sphAb3-15 may undergo conformational changes during the conversion of PrP(C) into PrP(Sc).

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-07-01

    experimental scrapie infection, which suggests that CtmPrP may be the ultimate toxic trigger. We have identified mutations in the prion protein sequence...which express CtmPrP [designated Tg(L9R-3AV)], and these mice develop a spontaneous neurological illness similar to scrapie . We are characterizing the...for the presence of CtmPrP in terminally ill scrapie -infected mice, and did not detect any CtmPrP [Stewart and Harris 2003]. We have proposed

  15. Pathogenic mechanisms of prion protein, amyloid-β and α-synuclein misfolding: the prion concept and neurotoxicity of protein oligomers.

    PubMed

    Ugalde, Cathryn L; Finkelstein, David I; Lawson, Victoria A; Hill, Andrew F

    2016-10-01

    Proteinopathies represent a group of diseases characterized by the unregulated misfolding and aggregation of proteins. Accumulation of misfolded protein in the central nervous system (CNS) is associated with neurodegenerative diseases, such as the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (or prion diseases), Alzheimer's disease, and the synucleinopathies (the most common of which is Parkinson's disease). Of these, the pathogenic mechanisms of prion diseases are particularly striking where the transmissible, causative agent of disease is the prion, or proteinaceous infectious particle. Prions are composed almost exclusively of PrP(Sc) ; a misfolded isoform of the normal cellular protein, PrP(C) , which is found accumulated in the CNS in disease. Today, mounting evidence suggests other aggregating proteins, such as amyloid-β (Aβ) and α-synuclein (α-syn), proteins associated with Alzheimer's disease and synucleinopathies, respectively, share similar biophysical and biochemical properties with PrP(Sc) that influences how they misfold, aggregate, and propagate in disease. In this regard, the definition of a 'prion' may ultimately expand to include other pathogenic proteins. Unifying knowledge of folded proteins may also reveal common mechanisms associated with other features of disease that are less understood, such as neurotoxicity. This review discusses the common features Aβ and α-syn share with PrP and neurotoxic mechanisms associated with these misfolded proteins. Several proteins are known to misfold and accumulate in the central nervous system causing a range of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and the prion diseases. Prions are transmissible misfolded conformers of the prion protein, PrP, which seed further generation of infectious proteins. Similar effects have recently been observed in proteins associated with Alzheimer's disease and the synucleinopathies, leading to the proposition that the definition of a 'prion' may

  16. 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.

  17. Sensitive detection of aggregated prion protein via proximity ligation

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    The DNA assisted solid-phase proximity ligation assay (SP-PLA) provides a unique opportunity to specifically detect prion protein (PrP) aggregates by investigating the collocation of 3 or more copies of the specific protein. We have developed an SP-PLA that can detect PrP aggregates in brain homogenates from infected hamsters even after a 107-fold dilution. In contrast, brain homogenate from uninfected animals did not generate a detectable signal at 100-fold higher concentration. Using either of the 2 monoclonal anti-PrP antibodies, 3F4 and 6H4, we successfully detected low concentrations of aggregated PrP. The presented results provide a proof of concept that this method might be an interesting tool in the development of diagnostic approaches of prion diseases. PMID:25482604

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Si, Kausik; Kandel, Eric R

    2016-04-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Silva, Jerson L; Cordeiro, Yraima

    2016-07-22

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Silva, Jerson L.; Cordeiro, Yraima

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Prion protein expression in bovine podocytes and extraglomerular mesangial cells.

    PubMed

    Amselgruber, W M; Steffl, M; Didier, A; Märtlbauer, E; Pfaff, E; Büttner, M

    2006-06-01

    The cellular form of the prion protein (PrP(c)) is thought to be a substrate for an abnormal isoform of the prion protein (PrP(sc)). One emerging hypothesis is that the proposed conversion phenomenon takes place at the site at which the infectious agent meets PrP(c). PrP(c) is abundant in the central nervous system, but little is known about the cell-type-specific distribution of PrP(c) in non-neuronal tissues of cattle. We have studied whether PrP(c), a protein found predominantly in neurons, also exists in bovine podocytes, since neurons and podocytes share a large number of similarities. We have therefore examined the expression of PrP(c) by immunohistochemistry, reverse transcription/polymerase chain reaction and enzyme-linked immunosorbent analysis. Immunostained serial sections and specific antibodies against PrP(c) have revealed that PrP(c) is selectively localized in podocytes and is particularly strongly expressed in extraglomerular mesangial cells but not in endothelial or intraglomerular mesangial cells. The selective expression of PrP(c) in podocytes is of special importance, as it suggests that these cells represent possible targets for peripheral infection with prions and demonstrates that PrP(c) can be added to the list of neuronal factors expressed in mammalian podocytes.

  4. 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.

  5. Polythiophenes Inhibit Prion Propagation by Stabilizing Prion Protein (PrP) Aggregates*

    PubMed Central

    Margalith, Ilan; Suter, Carlo; Ballmer, Boris; Schwarz, Petra; Tiberi, Cinzia; Sonati, Tiziana; Falsig, Jeppe; Nyström, Sofie; Hammarström, Per; Åslund, Andreas; Nilsson, K. Peter R.; Yam, Alice; Whitters, Eric; Hornemann, Simone; Aguzzi, Adriano

    2012-01-01

    Luminescent conjugated polymers (LCPs) interact with ordered protein aggregates and sensitively detect amyloids of many different proteins, suggesting that they may possess antiprion properties. Here, we show that a variety of anionic, cationic, and zwitterionic LCPs reduced the infectivity of prion-containing brain homogenates and of prion-infected cerebellar organotypic cultured slices and decreased the amount of scrapie isoform of PrPC (PrPSc) oligomers that could be captured in an avidity assay. Paradoxically, treatment enhanced the resistance of PrPSc to proteolysis, triggered the compaction, and enhanced the resistance to proteolysis of recombinant mouse PrP(23–231) fibers. These results suggest that LCPs act as antiprion agents by transitioning PrP aggregates into structures with reduced frangibility. Moreover, ELISA on cerebellar organotypic cultured slices and in vitro conversion assays with mouse PrP(23–231) indicated that poly(thiophene-3-acetic acid) may additionally interfere with the generation of PrPSc by stabilizing the conformation of PrPC or of a transition intermediate. Therefore, LCPs represent a novel class of antiprion agents whose mode of action appears to rely on hyperstabilization, rather than destabilization, of PrPSc deposits. PMID:22493452

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  7. Pharmacological chaperone for the structured domain of human prion protein

    PubMed Central

    Nicoll, Andrew J.; Trevitt, Clare R.; Tattum, M. Howard; Risse, Emmanuel; Quarterman, Emma; Ibarra, Amaurys Avila; Wright, Connor; Jackson, Graham S.; Sessions, Richard B.; Farrow, Mark; Waltho, Jonathan P.; Clarke, Anthony R.; Collinge, John

    2010-01-01

    In prion diseases, the misfolded protein aggregates are derived from cellular prion protein (PrPC). Numerous ligands have been reported to bind to human PrPC (huPrP), but none to the structured region with the affinity required for a pharmacological chaperone. Using equilibrium dialysis, we screened molecules previously suggested to interact with PrP to discriminate between those which did not interact with PrP, behaved as nonspecific polyionic aggregates or formed a genuine interaction. Those that bind could potentially act as pharmacological chaperones. Here we report that a cationic tetrapyrrole [Fe(III)-TMPyP], which displays potent antiprion activity, binds to the structured region of huPrP. Using a battery of biophysical techniques, we demonstrate that Fe(III)-TMPyP forms a 1∶1 complex via the structured C terminus of huPrP with a Kd of 4.5 ± 2 μM, which is in the range of its IC50 for curing prion-infected cells of 1.6 ± 0.4 μM and the concentration required to inhibit protein-misfolding cyclic amplification. Therefore, this molecule tests the hypothesis that stabilization of huPrPC, as a principle, could be used in the treatment of human prion disease. The identification of a binding site with a defined 3D structure opens up the possibility of designing small molecules that stabilize huPrP and prevent its conversion into the disease-associated form. PMID:20876144

  8. 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

  9. Cyclodextrins inhibit replication of scrapie prion protein in cell culture.

    PubMed

    Prior, Marguerite; Lehmann, Sylvain; Sy, Man-Sun; Molloy, Brendan; McMahon, Hilary E M

    2007-10-01

    Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders that are caused by the conversion of a normal host-encoded protein, PrP(C), to an abnormal, disease-causing form, PrP(Sc). This paper reports that cyclodextrins have the ability to reduce the pathogenic isoform of the prion protein PrP(Sc) to undetectable levels in scrapie-infected neuroblastoma cells. Beta-cyclodextrin removed PrP(Sc) from the cells at a concentration of 500 microM following 2 weeks of treatment. Structure activity studies revealed that antiprion activity was dependent on the size of the cyclodextrin. The half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC(50)) for beta-cyclodextrin was 75 microM, whereas alpha-cyclodextrin, which possessed less antiprion activity, had an IC(50) of 750 microM. This report presents cyclodextrins as a new class of antiprion compound. For decades, the pharmaceutical industry has successfully used cyclodextrins for their complex-forming ability; this ability is due to the structural orientation of the glucopyranose units, which generate a hydrophobic cavity that can facilitate the encapsulation of hydrophobic moieties. Consequently, cyclodextrins could be ideal candidates for the treatment of prion diseases.

  10. Alzheimer disease and the prion disorders amyloid beta-protein and prion protein amyloidoses.

    PubMed Central

    Price, D L; Borchelt, D R; Sisodia, S S

    1993-01-01

    Alzheimer disease and the prion disorders/spongiform encephalopathies share many common features. These chronic, progressive, sometimes familial diseases of the central nervous system are characterized by the presence of different types of amyloid deposits in the brain. This review provides a perspective on these two types of neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:8101988

  11. Pathogenic Mutations within the Hydrophobic Domain of the Prion Protein Lead to the Formation of Protease-Sensitive Prion Species with Increased Lethality

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Cellular prion protein, a membrane protein, is expressed in all mammals. Prion protein is also found in human blood as an anchorless protein, and this protein form is one of the many potential sources of misfolded prion protein replication during transmission. Many studies have suggested that β-amyloid1–42 oligomer causes neurotoxicity associated with Alzheimer's disease, which is mediated by the prion protein that acts as a receptor and regulates the hippocampal potentiation. The prevention of the binding of these proteins has been proposed as a possible preventative treatment for Alzheimer's disease; therefore, a greater understanding of the binding hot-spots between the two molecules is necessary. In this study, the epitope mapping immunoassay was employed to characterize binding epitopes within the prion protein and complementary epitopes in β-amyloid. Residues 23–39 and 93–119 in the prion protein were involved in binding to β-amyloid1–40 and 1–42, and monomers of this protein interacted with prion protein residues 93–113 and 123–166. Furthermore, β-amyloid antibodies against the C-terminus detected bound β-amyloid1–42 at residues 23–40, 104–122 and 159–175. β-Amyloid epitopes necessary for the interaction with prion protein were not determined. In conclusion, charged clusters and hydrophobic regions of the prion protein were involved in binding to β-amyloid1–40 and 1–42. The 3D structure appears to be necessary for β-amyloid to interact with prion protein. In the future, these binding sites may be utilized for 3D structure modeling, as well as for the pharmaceutical intervention of Alzheimer's disease. PMID:23907583

  14. Prion-like transmission of protein aggregates in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Brundin, Patrik; Melki, Ronald; Kopito, Ron

    2010-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are commonly associated with the accumulation of intracellular or extracellular protein aggregates. Recent studies suggest that these aggregates are capable of crossing cellular membranes and can directly contribute to the propagation of neurodegenerative disease pathogenesis. We propose that, once initiated, neuropathological changes might spread in a ‘prion-like’ manner and that disease progression is associated with the intercellular transfer of pathogenic proteins. The transfer of naked infectious particles between cells could therefore be a target for new disease-modifying therapies. PMID:20308987

  15. Prevention of scrapie pathogenesis by transgenic expression of anti-prion protein antibodies.

    PubMed

    Heppner, F L; Musahl, C; Arrighi, I; Klein, M A; Rülicke, T; Oesch, B; Zinkernagel, R M; Kalinke, U; Aguzzi, A

    2001-10-05

    Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and bovine spongiform encephalopathy are initiated by extracerebral exposure to prions. Although prion transmission from extracerebral sites to the brain represents a potential target for prophylaxis, attempts at vaccination have been limited by the poor immunogenicity of prion proteins. To circumvent this, we expressed an anti-prion protein (anti-PrP) mu chain in Prnp(o/o) mice. Transgenic mice developed sustained anti-PrP titers, which were not suppressed by introduction of Prnp+ alleles. Transgene expression prevented pathogenesis of prions introduced by intraperitoneal injection in the spleen and brain. Expression of endogenous PrP (PrP(C)) in the spleen and brain was unaffected, suggesting that immunity was responsible for protection. This indicates the feasibility of immunological inhibition of prion disease in vivo.

  16. Antiprion properties of prion protein-derived cell-penetrating peptides.

    PubMed

    Löfgren, Kajsa; Wahlström, Anna; Lundberg, Pontus; Langel, Ulo; Gräslund, Astrid; Bedecs, Katarina

    2008-07-01

    In prion diseases, the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) becomes misfolded into the pathogenic scrapie isoform (PrP(Sc)) responsible for prion infectivity. We show here that peptides derived from the prion protein N terminus have potent antiprion effects. These peptides are composed of a hydrophobic sequence followed by a basic segment. They are known to have cell-penetrating ability like regular cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs), short peptides that can penetrate cellular membranes. Healthy (GT1-1) and scrapie-infected (ScGT1-1) mouse neuronal hypothalamic cells were treated with various CPPs, including the prion protein-derived CPPs. Lysates were analyzed for altered protein levels of PrP(C) or PrP(Sc). Treatment with the prion protein-derived CPPs mouse mPrP(1-28) or bovine bPrP(1-30) significantly reduced PrP(Sc) levels in prion-infected cells but had no effect on PrP(C) levels in noninfected cells. Further, presence of prion protein-derived CPPs significantly prolonged the time before infection was manifested when infecting GT1-1 cells with scrapie. Treatment with other CPPs (penetratin, transportan-10, or poly-L-arginine) or prion protein-derived peptides lacking CPP function (mPrP(23-28,) mPrP(19-30,) or mPrP(23-50)) had no effect on PrP(Sc) levels. The results suggest a mechanism by which the signal sequence guides the prion protein-derived CPP into a cellular compartment, where the basic segment binds specifically to PrP(Sc) and disables formation of prions.

  17. Classifying prion and prion-like phenomena.

    PubMed

    Harbi, Djamel; Harrison, Paul M

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-10-06

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

  19. Almost a century of prion protein(s): From pathology to physiology, and back to pathology.

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-19

    Prions are one of the few pathogens whose name is renowned at all population levels, after the dramatic years pervaded by the fear of eating prion-infected food. If now this, somehow irrational, scare of bovine meat inexorably transmitting devastating brain disorders is largely subdued, several prion-related issues are still unsolved, precluding the design of therapeutic approaches that could slow, if not halt, prion diseases. One unsolved issue is, for example, the role of the prion protein (PrP(C)), whole conformational misfolding originates the prion but whose physiologic reason d'etre in neurons, and in cells at large, remains enigmatic. Preceded by a historical outline, the present review will discuss the functional pleiotropicity ascribed to PrP(C), and whether this aspect could fall, at least in part, into a more concise framework. It will also be devoted to radically different perspectives for PrP(C), which have been recently brought to the attention of the scientific world with unexpected force. Finally, it will discuss the possible reasons allowing an evolutionary conserved and benign protein, as PrP(C) is, to turn into a high affinity receptor for pathologic misfolded oligomers, and to transmit their toxic message into neurons.

  20. Molecular interactions between prions as seeds and recombinant prion proteins as substrates resemble the biological interspecies barrier in vitro.

    PubMed

    Panza, Giannantonio; Luers, Lars; Stöhr, Jan; Nagel-Steger, Luitgard; Weiss, Jürgen; Riesner, Detlev; Willbold, Dieter; Birkmann, Eva

    2010-12-09

    Prion diseases like Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans, Scrapie in sheep or bovine spongiform encephalopathy are fatal neurodegenerative diseases, which can be of sporadic, genetic, or infectious origin. Prion diseases are transmissible between different species, however, with a variable species barrier. The key event of prion amplification is the conversion of the cellular isoform of the prion protein (PrP(C)) into the pathogenic isoform (PrP(Sc)). We developed a sodiumdodecylsulfate-based PrP conversion system that induces amyloid fibril formation from soluble α-helical structured recombinant PrP (recPrP). This approach was extended applying pre-purified PrP(Sc) as seeds which accelerate fibrillization of recPrP. In the present study we investigated the interspecies coherence of prion disease. Therefore we used PrP(Sc) from different species like Syrian hamster, cattle, mouse and sheep and seeded fibrillization of recPrP from the same or other species to mimic in vitro the natural species barrier. We could show that the in vitro system of seeded fibrillization is in accordance with what is known from the naturally occurring species barriers.

  1. Use of bovine recombinant prion protein and real-time quaking-induced conversion to detect transmissible mink encephalopathy prions and discriminate classical and atypical L- and H-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Prions are amyloid-forming proteins that cause transmissible spongiform encephalopathies through a process involving conversion from normal cellular prion protein to pathogenic misfolded conformation. This conversion has been used for in vitro assays including serial protein misfolding amplification...

  2. Prion protein and Aβ-related synaptic toxicity impairment

    PubMed Central

    Calella, Anna Maria; Farinelli, Mélissa; Nuvolone, Mario; Mirante, Osvaldo; Moos, Rita; Falsig, Jeppe; Mansuy, Isabelle M; Aguzzi, Adriano

    2010-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common neurodegenerative disorder, goes along with extracellular amyloid-β (Aβ) deposits. The cognitive decline observed during AD progression correlates with damaged spines, dendrites and synapses in hippocampus and cortex. Numerous studies have shown that Aβ oligomers, both synthetic and derived from cultures and AD brains, potently impair synaptic structure and functions. The cellular prion protein (PrPC) was proposed to mediate this effect. We report that ablation or overexpression of PrPC had no effect on the impairment of hippocampal synaptic plasticity in a transgenic model of AD. These findings challenge the role of PrPC as a mediator of Aβ toxicity. PMID:20665634

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Prion protein expression and functional importance in skeletal muscle.

    PubMed

    Smith, Jeffrey D; Moylan, Jennifer S; Hardin, Brian J; Chambers, Melissa A; Estus, Steven; Telling, Glenn C; Reid, Michael B

    2011-11-01

    Skeletal muscle expresses prion protein (PrP) that buffers oxidant activity in neurons. We hypothesize that PrP deficiency would increase oxidant activity in skeletal muscle and alter redox-sensitive functions, including contraction and glucose uptake. We used real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western blot analysis to measure PrP mRNA and protein in human diaphragm, five murine muscles, and muscle-derived C2C12 cells. Effects of PrP deficiency were tested by comparing PrP-deficient mice versus wild-type mice and morpholino-knockdown versus vehicle-treated myotubes. Oxidant activity (dichlorofluorescin oxidation) and specific force were measured in murine diaphragm fiber bundles. PrP content differs among mouse muscles (gastrocnemius>extensor digitorum longus, EDL>tibialis anterior, TA; soleus>diaphragm) as does glycosylation (di-, mono-, nonglycosylated; gastrocnemius, EDL, TA=60%, 30%, 10%; soleus, 30%, 40%, 30%; diaphragm, 30%, 30%, 40%). PrP is predominantly di-glycosylated in human diaphragm. PrP deficiency decreases body weight (15%) and EDL mass (9%); increases cytosolic oxidant activity (fiber bundles, 36%; C2C12 myotubes, 7%); and depresses specific force (12%) in adult (8-12 mos) but not adolescent (2 mos) mice. This study is the first to directly assess a role of prion protein in skeletal muscle function. PrP content varies among murine skeletal muscles and is essential for maintaining normal redox homeostasis, muscle size, and contractile function in adult animals.

  5. 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.

  6. Molecular dynamics studies on the buffalo prion protein.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jiapu; Wang, Feng; Chatterjee, Subhojyoti

    2016-01-01

    It was reported that buffalo is a low susceptibility species resisting to transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) (same as rabbits, horses, and dogs). TSEs, also called prion diseases, are invariably fatal and highly infectious neurodegenerative diseases that affect a wide variety of species (except for rabbits, dogs, horses, and buffalo), manifesting as scrapie in sheep and goats; bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or "mad-cow" disease) in cattle; chronic wasting disease in deer and elk; and Creutzfeldt-Jakob diseases, Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome, fatal familial insomnia, and Kulu in humans etc. In molecular structures, these neurodegenerative diseases are caused by the conversion from a soluble normal cellular prion protein (PrP(C)), predominantly with α-helices, into insoluble abnormally folded infectious prions (PrP(Sc)), rich in β-sheets. In this article, we studied the molecular structure and structural dynamics of buffalo PrP(C) (BufPrP(C)), in order to understand the reason why buffalo is resistant to prion diseases. We first did molecular modeling of a homology structure constructed by one mutation at residue 143 from the NMR structure of bovine and cattle PrP(124-227); immediately we found that for BufPrP(C)(124-227), there are five hydrogen bonds (HBs) at Asn143, but at this position, bovine/cattle do not have such HBs. Same as that of rabbits, dogs, or horses, our molecular dynamics studies also revealed there is a strong salt bridge (SB) ASP178-ARG164 (O-N) keeping the β2-α2 loop linked in buffalo. We also found there is a very strong HB SER170-TYR218 linking this loop with the C-terminal end of α-helix H3. Other information, such as (i) there is a very strong SB HIS187-ARG156 (N-O) linking α-helices H2 and H1 (if mutation H187R is made at position 187, then the hydrophobic core of PrP(C) will be exposed (L.H. Zhong (2010). Exposure of hydrophobic core in human prion protein pathogenic mutant H187R. Journal of

  7. New Structural Approaches to Understanding the Disease Related Forms of the Prion Protein

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-07-01

    amyloidogenic proteins. Prion diseases are different from other amyloid diseases in that pathogenic (also called scrapie or PrPSc) forms of the prion...that some residues in the 89–145 segment are required for the conformational change to the infectious, scrapie form [16]. A ‘mini-prion’ containing

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Prion protein β2-α2 loop conformational landscape.

    PubMed

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

    2017-09-05

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

  12. Adsorption of pathogenic prion protein to quartz sand.

    PubMed

    Ma, Xin; Benson, Craig H; McKenzie, Debbie; Aiken, Judd M; Pedersen, Joel A

    2007-04-01

    Management responses to prion diseases of cattle, deer, and elk create a significant need for safe and effective disposal of infected carcasses and other materials. Furthermore, soil may contribute to the horizontal transmission of sheep scrapie and cervid chronic wasting disease by serving as an environmental reservoirforthe infectious agent. As an initial step toward understanding prion mobility in porous materials such as soil and landfilled waste, the influence of pH and ionic strength (l) on pathogenic prion protein (PrPsc) properties (viz. aggregation state and zeta-potential) and adsorption to quartz sand was investigated. The apparent average isoelectric point of PrPsc aggregates was 4.6. PrPsc aggregate size was largest between pH 4 and 6, and increased with increasing l at pH 7. Adsorption to quartz sand was maximal near the apparent isoelectric point of PrPsc aggregates and decreased as pH either declined or increased. PrPsc adsorption increased as suspension l increased, and reached an apparent plateau at l approximately 0.1 M. While trends with pH and l in PrPsc attachment to quartz surfaces were consistent with predictions based on Born-DLVO theory, non-DLVO forces appeared to contribute to adsorption at pH 7 and 9 (l = 10 mM). Our findings suggest that disposal strategies that elevate pH (e.g., burial in lime or fly ash), may increase PrPsc mobility. Similarly, PrPsc mobility may increase as a landfill ages, due to increases in pH and decreases in l of the leachate.

  13. Prion-like characteristics of the bacterial protein Microcin E492

    PubMed Central

    Shahnawaz, Mohammad; Park, Kyung-Won; Mukherjee, Abhisek; Diaz-Espinoza, Rodrigo; Soto, Claudio

    2017-01-01

    Microcin E492 (Mcc) is a pore-forming bacteriotoxin. Mcc activity is inhibited at the stationary phase by formation of amyloid-like aggregates in the culture. Here we report that, in a similar manner as prions, Mcc naturally exists as two conformers: a β-sheet-rich, protease-resistant, aggregated, inactive form (Mccia), and a soluble, protease-sensitive, active form (Mcca). The exogenous addition of culture medium containing Mccia or purified in vitro-generated Mccia into the culture induces the rapid and efficient conversion of Mcca into Mccia, which is maintained indefinitely after passaging, changing the bacterial phenotype. Mccia prion-like activity is conformation-dependent and could be reduced by immunodepleting Mccia. Interestingly, an internal region of Mcc shares sequence similarity with the central domain of the prion protein, which is key to the formation of mammalian prions. A synthetic peptide spanning this sequence forms amyloid-like fibrils in vitro and is capable of inducing the conversion of Mcca into Mccia in vivo, suggesting that this region corresponds to the prion domain of Mcc. Our findings suggest that Mcc is the first prokaryotic protein with prion properties which harnesses prion-like transmission to regulate protein function, suggesting that propagation of biological information using a prion-based conformational switch is an evolutionary conserved mechanism. PMID:28361921

  14. 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

  15. Nuclear protein extraction from frozen porcine myocardium.

    PubMed

    Kuster, Diederik W D; Merkus, Daphne; Jorna, Huub J J; Dekkers, Dick H W; Duncker, Dirk J; Verhoeven, Adrie J M

    2011-06-01

    Protocols for the extraction of nuclear proteins have been developed for cultured cells and fresh tissue, but sometimes only frozen tissue is available. We have optimized the homogenization procedure and subsequent fractionation protocol for the preparation of nuclear protein extracts from frozen porcine left ventricular (LV) tissue. This method gave a highly reproducible protein yield (6.5±0.7% of total protein; mean±SE, n=9) and a 6-fold enrichment of the nuclear marker protein B23. The nuclear protein extracts were essentially devoid of cytosolic, myofilament, and histone proteins. Compared to nuclear extracts from fresh LV tissue, some loss of nuclear proteins to the cytosolic fraction was observed. Using this method, we studied the distribution of tyrosine phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (PY-STAT3) in LV tissue of animals treated with the β-agonist dobutamine. Upon treatment, PY-STAT3 increased 30.2±8.5-fold in total homogenates, but only 6.9±2.1-fold (n=4, P=0.03) in nuclear protein extracts. Of all PY-STAT3 formed, only a minor fraction appeared in the nuclear fraction. This simple and reproducible protocol yielded nuclear protein extracts that were highly enriched in nuclear proteins with almost complete removal of cytosolic and myofilament proteins. This nuclear protein extraction protocol is therefore well-suited for nuclear proteome analysis of frozen heart tissue collected in biobanks.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-10

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

  17. 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

  18. Cellular prion protein is present in mitochondria of healthy mice

    PubMed Central

    Faris, Robert; Moore, Roger A.; Ward, Anne; Race, Brent; Dorward, David W.; Hollister, Jason R.; Fischer, Elizabeth R.; Priola, Suzette A.

    2017-01-01

    Cellular prion protein (PrPC) is a mammalian glycoprotein which is usually found anchored to the plasma membrane via a glycophosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor. PrPC misfolds to a pathogenic isoform PrPSc, the causative agent of neurodegenerative prion diseases. The precise function of PrPC remains elusive but may depend upon its cellular localization. Here we show that PrPC is present in brain mitochondria from 6–12 week old wild-type and transgenic mice in the absence of disease. Mitochondrial PrPC was fully processed with mature N-linked glycans and did not require the GPI anchor for localization. Protease treatment of purified mitochondria suggested that mitochondrial PrPC exists as a transmembrane isoform with the C-terminus facing the mitochondrial matrix and the N-terminus facing the intermembrane space. Taken together, our data suggest that PrPC can be found in mitochondria in the absence of disease, old age, mutation, or overexpression and that PrPC may affect mitochondrial function. PMID:28148964

  19. Characterization of Conformation-dependent Prion Protein Epitopes*

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Isolation and characterization of a polymerized prion protein.

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Bao-Yuan; Chang, Jui-Yoa

    2002-01-01

    A polymerized form of recombinant mouse prion protein (mPrP) domain 23-231 [mPrP-(23-231)], designated mPrP-z, was generated at acidic pH (pH 2-5) in the presence of selected concentrations of denaturant (2 M guanidinium chloride or 5 M urea). This isoform of mPrP is stable in acidic solution after removal of denaturant. It can be isolated and purified using reversed-phase HPLC or size-exclusion HPLC. mPrP-z bears structural properties that partially resemble those of scrapie prion. Unlike the native mPrP-(23-231) (mPrP-N), mPrP-z exhibits a high content of beta-sheet structure, as shown by CD spectroscopy, and exists as an oligomer with an approximate molecular mass of 340000 Da, as measured by light scattering. However, similarly to mPrP-N, mPrP-z contains the intact disulphide bond and is sensitive to digestion by proteinase K. PMID:11988079

  1. Transport of the Pathogenic Prion Protein through Landfill Materials

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  2. To develop with or without the prion protein

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Molecular Mechanism of the Misfolding and Oligomerization of the Prion Protein: Current Understanding and Its Implications.

    PubMed

    Singh, Jogender; Udgaonkar, Jayant B

    2015-07-28

    Prion diseases, also known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, make up a group of fatal neurodegenerative disorders linked with the misfolding and aggregation of the prion protein (PrP). Although it is not yet understood how the misfolding of PrP induces neurodegeneration, it is widely accepted that the formation of misfolded prion protein (termed PrP(Sc)) is both the triggering event in the disease and the main component of the infectious agent responsible for disease transmission. Despite the clear involvement of PrP(Sc) in prion diseases, the exact composition of PrP(Sc) is not yet well-known. Recent studies show that misfolded oligomers of PrP could, however, be responsible for neurotoxicity and/or infectivity in the prion diseases. Hence, understanding the molecular mechanism of formation of the misfolded oligomers of PrP is critical for developing an understanding about the prion diseases and for developing anti-prion therapeutics. This review discusses recent advances in understanding the molecular mechanism of misfolded oligomer formation by PrP and its implications for the development of anti-prion therapeutics.

  4. 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

  5. Prions in Yeast

    PubMed Central

    Liebman, Susan W.; Chernoff, Yury O.

    2012-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Oxidation of methionine 216 in sheep and elk prion protein is highly dependent upon the amino acid at position 218 but is not important for prion propagation.

    PubMed

    Silva, Christopher J; Dynin, Irina; Erickson, Melissa L; Requena, Jesús R; Balachandran, Aru; Hui, Colleen; Onisko, Bruce C; Carter, John Mark

    2013-03-26

    We employed a sensitive mass spectrometry-based method to deconstruct, confirm, and quantitate the prions present in elk naturally infected with chronic wasting disease and sheep naturally infected with scrapie. We used this approach to study the oxidation of a methionine at position 216 (Met216), because this oxidation (MetSO216) has been implicated in prion formation. Three polymorphisms (Ile218, Val218, and Thr218) of sheep recombinant prion protein were prepared. Our analysis showed the novel result that the proportion of MetSO216 was highly dependent upon the amino acid residue at position 218 (I > V > T), indicating that Ile218 in sheep and elk prion protein (PrP) renders the Met216 intrinsically more susceptible to oxidation than the Val218 or Thr218 analogue. We were able to quantitate the prions in the attomole range. The presence of prions was verified by the detection of two confirmatory peptides: GENFTETDIK (sheep and elk) and ESQAYYQR (sheep) or ESEAYYQR (elk). This approach required much smaller amounts of tissue (600 μg) than traditional methods of detection (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, Western blot, and immunohistochemical analysis) (60 mg). In sheep and elk, a normal cellular prion protein containing MetSO216 is not actively recruited and converted to prions, although we observed that this Met216 is intrinsically more susceptible to oxidation.

  8. New Structural Approaches to Understand the Disease Related Forms of the Prion Protein

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-07-01

    AD Award Number: DAMD17-03-1-0476 TITLE: New Structural Approaches to Understand the Disease Related Forms of the Prion Protein PRINCIPAL...TITLE AND SUBTITLE 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER New Structural Approaches to Understand the Disease Related Forms of the Prion Protein 5b. GRANT NUMBER DAMD17...Understanding these fundamental steps in the processes of initiation and propagation of the disease related state of the protein may lead to new

  9. The formation of bioactive amyloid species by prion proteins in vitro and in cells.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yuanbin; Ritter, Christiane; Riek, Roland; Schubert, David

    2006-10-09

    Amyloid proteins are a group of proteins that can polymerize into cross beta-sheeted amyloid species. We have found that enhancing cellular 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) formazan exocytosis is a common property of bioactive amyloid species formed from all of the amyloid proteins tested to date. In this report, we show that the infectious amyloid species of the prion protein HET-s of the filamentous fungus Podospora anserina, like other amyloidogenic proteins, also enhances MTT formazan exocytosis. More strikingly, cellular MTT formazan exocytosis revealed the formation of bioactive amyloid species in prion-infected mouse N2a neuroblastoma cells. These findings suggest that cellular MTT formazan exocytosis can be useful for studying the roles of bioactive amyloid species in prion infectivity and prion-induced neurodegeneration.

  10. Prion removal capacity of plasma protein manufacturing processes: a data collection from PPTA member companies.

    PubMed

    Cai, Kang; Gröner, Albrecht; Dichtelmüller, Herbert O; Fabbrizzi, Fabrizio; Flechsig, Eckhard; Gajardo, Rodrigo; von Hoegen, Ilka; Jorquera, Juan I; Kempf, Christoph; Kreil, Thomas R; Lee, Douglas C; Moscardini, Mila; Pölsler, Gerhard; Roth, Nathan J

    2013-09-01

    The variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease incidence peaked a decade ago and has since declined. Based on epidemiologic evidence, the causative agent, pathogenic prion, has not constituted a tangible contamination threat to large-scale manufacturing of human plasma-derived proteins. Nonetheless, manufacturers have studied the prion removal capabilities of various manufacturing steps to better understand product safety. Collectively analyzing the results could reveal experimental reproducibility and detect trends and mechanisms driving prion removal. Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association member companies collected more than 200 prion removal studies on plasma protein manufacturing steps, including precipitation, adsorption, chromatography, and filtration, as well as combined steps. The studies used a range of model spiking agents and bench-scale process replicas. The results were grouped based on key manufacturing variables to identify factors impacting removal. The log reduction values of a group are presented for comparison. Overall prion removal capacities evaluated by independent groups were in good agreement. The removal capacity evaluated using biochemical assays was consistent with prion infectivity removal measured by animal bioassays. Similar reduction values were observed for a given step using various spiking agents, except highly purified prion protein in some circumstances. Comparison between combined and single-step studies revealed complementary or overlapping removal mechanisms. Steps with high removal capacities represent the conditions where the physiochemical differences between prions and therapeutic proteins are most significant. The results support the intrinsic ability of certain plasma protein manufacturing steps to remove prions in case of an unlikely contamination, providing a safeguard to products. © 2012 American Association of Blood Banks.

  11. 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.

  12. The prion protein preference of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease subtypes.

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-19

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

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

    PubMed

    Derkatch, Irina L; Liebman, Susan W

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Distribution of Misfolded Prion Protein Seeding Activity Alone Does Not Predict Regions of Neurodegeneration

    PubMed Central

    Alibhai, James; Blanco, Richard A.; Barria, Marcelo A.; Piccardo, Pedro; Caughey, Byron; Perry, V. Hugh; Freeman, Tom C.; Manson, Jean C.

    2016-01-01

    Protein misfolding is common across many neurodegenerative diseases, with misfolded proteins acting as seeds for "prion-like" conversion of normally folded protein to abnormal conformations. A central hypothesis is that misfolded protein accumulation, spread, and distribution are restricted to specific neuronal populations of the central nervous system and thus predict regions of neurodegeneration. We examined this hypothesis using a highly sensitive assay system for detection of misfolded protein seeds in a murine model of prion disease. Misfolded prion protein (PrP) seeds were observed widespread throughout the brain, accumulating in all brain regions examined irrespective of neurodegeneration. Importantly, neither time of exposure nor amount of misfolded protein seeds present determined regions of neurodegeneration. We further demonstrate two distinct microglia responses in prion-infected brains: a novel homeostatic response in all regions and an innate immune response restricted to sites of neurodegeneration. Therefore, accumulation of misfolded prion protein alone does not define targeting of neurodegeneration, which instead results only when misfolded prion protein accompanies a specific innate immune response. PMID:27880767

  15. Prion Protein Expression and Functional Importance in Skeletal Muscle

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Jeffrey D.; Moylan, Jennifer S.; Hardin, Brian J.; Chambers, Melissa A.; Estus, Steven; Telling, Glenn C.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Skeletal muscle expresses prion protein (PrP) that buffers oxidant activity in neurons. Aims We hypothesize that PrP deficiency would increase oxidant activity in skeletal muscle and alter redox-sensitive functions, including contraction and glucose uptake. We used real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western blot analysis to measure PrP mRNA and protein in human diaphragm, five murine muscles, and muscle-derived C2C12 cells. Effects of PrP deficiency were tested by comparing PrP-deficient mice versus wild-type mice and morpholino-knockdown versus vehicle-treated myotubes. Oxidant activity (dichlorofluorescin oxidation) and specific force were measured in murine diaphragm fiber bundles. Results PrP content differs among mouse muscles (gastrocnemius>extensor digitorum longus, EDL>tibialis anterior, TA; soleus>diaphragm) as does glycosylation (di-, mono-, nonglycosylated; gastrocnemius, EDL, TA=60%, 30%, 10%; soleus, 30%, 40%, 30%; diaphragm, 30%, 30%, 40%). PrP is predominantly di-glycosylated in human diaphragm. PrP deficiency decreases body weight (15%) and EDL mass (9%); increases cytosolic oxidant activity (fiber bundles, 36%; C2C12 myotubes, 7%); and depresses specific force (12%) in adult (8–12 mos) but not adolescent (2 mos) mice. Innovation This study is the first to directly assess a role of prion protein in skeletal muscle function. Conclusions PrP content varies among murine skeletal muscles and is essential for maintaining normal redox homeostasis, muscle size, and contractile function in adult animals. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 15, 2465—2475. PMID:21453198

  16. 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.

  17. Prion protein and Abeta-related synaptic toxicity impairment.

    PubMed

    Calella, Anna Maria; Farinelli, Mélissa; Nuvolone, Mario; Mirante, Osvaldo; Moos, Rita; Falsig, Jeppe; Mansuy, Isabelle M; Aguzzi, Adriano

    2010-08-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common neurodegenerative disorder, goes along with extracellular amyloid-beta (Abeta) deposits. The cognitive decline observed during AD progression correlates with damaged spines, dendrites and synapses in hippocampus and cortex. Numerous studies have shown that Abeta oligomers, both synthetic and derived from cultures and AD brains, potently impair synaptic structure and functions. The cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) was proposed to mediate this effect. We report that ablation or overexpression of PrP(C) had no effect on the impairment of hippocampal synaptic plasticity in a transgenic model of AD. These findings challenge the role of PrP(C) as a mediator of Abeta toxicity.

  18. Molecular dynamics simulation of temperature induced unfolding of animal prion protein.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xin; Duan, Danhui; Zhu, Shuyan; Zhang, Jinglai

    2013-10-01

    To elucidate the structural stability and the unfolding dynamics of the animal prion protein, the temperature induced structural evolution of turtle prion protein (tPrPc) and bank vole prion protein (bvPrPc) have been performed with molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. The unfolding behaviors of secondary structures showed that the α-helix was more stable than β-sheet. Extension and disruption of β-sheet commonly appeared in the temperature induced unfolding process. The conversion of α-helix to π-helix occurred more readily at the elevating temperature. Furthermore, it was suggested in this work that the unfolding of prion protein could be regulated by the temperature.

  19. Prion Protein Expression Regulates Embryonic Stem Cell Pluripotency and Differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Miranda, Alberto; Pericuesta, Eva

    2011-01-01

    Cellular prion protein (PRNP) is a glycoprotein involved in the pathogenesis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). Although the physiological function of PRNP is largely unknown, its key role in prion infection has been extensively documented. This study examines the functionality of PRNP during the course of embryoid body (EB) differentiation in mouse Prnp-null (KO) and WT embryonic stem cell (ESC) lines. The first feature observed was a new population of EBs that only appeared in the KO line after 5 days of differentiation. These EBs were characterized by their expression of several primordial germ cell (PGC) markers until Day 13. In a comparative mRNA expression analysis of genes playing an important developmental role during ESC differentiation to EBs, Prnp was found to participate in the transcription of a key pluripotency marker such as Nanog. A clear switching off of this gene on Day 5 was observed in the KO line as opposed to the WT line, in which maximum Prnp and Nanog mRNA levels appeared at this time. Using a specific antibody against PRNP to block PRNP pathways, reduced Nanog expression was confirmed in the WT line. In addition, antibody-mediated inhibition of ITGB5 (integrin αvβ5) in the KO line rescued the low expression of Nanog on Day 5, suggesting the regulation of Nanog transcription by Prnp via this Itgb5. mRNA expression analysis of the PRNP-related proteins PRND (Doppel) and SPRN (Shadoo), whose PRNP function is known to be redundant, revealed their incapacity to compensate for the absence of PRNP during early ESC differentiation. Our findings provide strong evidence for a relationship between Prnp and several key pluripotency genes and attribute Prnp a crucial role in regulating self-renewal/differentiation status of ESC, confirming the participation of PRNP during early embryogenesis. PMID:21483752

  20. 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

  1. Cell-surface prion protein interacts with glycosaminoglycans.

    PubMed

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

    2002-11-15

    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.

  2. Prion protein expression regulates embryonic stem cell pluripotency and differentiation.

    PubMed

    Miranda, Alberto; Pericuesta, Eva; Ramírez, Miguel Ángel; Gutierrez-Adan, Alfonso

    2011-04-04

    Cellular prion protein (PRNP) is a glycoprotein involved in the pathogenesis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). Although the physiological function of PRNP is largely unknown, its key role in prion infection has been extensively documented. This study examines the functionality of PRNP during the course of embryoid body (EB) differentiation in mouse Prnp-null (KO) and WT embryonic stem cell (ESC) lines. The first feature observed was a new population of EBs that only appeared in the KO line after 5 days of differentiation. These EBs were characterized by their expression of several primordial germ cell (PGC) markers until Day 13. In a comparative mRNA expression analysis of genes playing an important developmental role during ESC differentiation to EBs, Prnp was found to participate in the transcription of a key pluripotency marker such as Nanog. A clear switching off of this gene on Day 5 was observed in the KO line as opposed to the WT line, in which maximum Prnp and Nanog mRNA levels appeared at this time. Using a specific antibody against PRNP to block PRNP pathways, reduced Nanog expression was confirmed in the WT line. In addition, antibody-mediated inhibition of ITGB5 (integrin αvβ5) in the KO line rescued the low expression of Nanog on Day 5, suggesting the regulation of Nanog transcription by Prnp via this Itgb5. mRNA expression analysis of the PRNP-related proteins PRND (Doppel) and SPRN (Shadoo), whose PRNP function is known to be redundant, revealed their incapacity to compensate for the absence of PRNP during early ESC differentiation. Our findings provide strong evidence for a relationship between Prnp and several key pluripotency genes and attribute Prnp a crucial role in regulating self-renewal/differentiation status of ESC, confirming the participation of PRNP during early embryogenesis.

  3. Capillary electromigration based techniques in diagnostics of prion protein caused diseases.

    PubMed

    Sobrova, Pavlina; Ryvolova, Marketa; Adam, Vojtech; Kizek, Rene

    2012-12-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are a group of fatal neurodegenerative diseases with long incubation time. This group includes Creutzfeld-Jakob disease, kuru, scrapie, chronic wasting disease, and bovine spongiform encephalopathy. Sensitive and specific detection of abnormal prion protein as "a source agent" of the above-mentioned diseases in blood could provide a diagnostic test or a screening assay for animal and human prion protein diseases diagnostics. Therefore, diagnostic tests for prion protein diseases represent unique challenge requiring development of novel assays exploiting properties of prion protein complex. Presently, diagnostic methods such as protein misfolding cyclic amplification, conformation-dependent immunoassay, dissociation-enhanced lanthanide fluorescent immunoassay, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, and/or flow microbead immunoassay are used for abnormal prion protein (PrP(Sc) ) detection. On the other hand, using of CE for PrP(Sc) detection in body fluids is an attractive alternative; it has been already applied for the blood samples of infected sheep, elk, chimpanzee, as well as humans. In this review, assays for prion protein detection are summarized with special attention to capillary electromigration based techniques, such as CE, CIEF, and/or CGE. The potential of the miniaturized and integrated lab-on-chip devices is highlighted, emphasizing recent advances of this field in the proteomic analysis. © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

  5. Chimeric elk/mouse prion proteins in transgenic mice

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-24

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in codon 129 of the human prion gene, leading to a change from methionine to valine at residue 129 of prion protein (PrP), has been shown to be a determinant in the susceptibility to prion disease. However, the molecular basis of this effect remains unexplained. In the current study, we determined crystal structures of prion segments having either Met or Val at residue 129. These 6-residue segments of PrP centered on residue 129 are “steric zippers,” pairs of interacting β-sheets. Both structures of these “homozygous steric zippers” reveal direct intermolecular interactions between Met or Val in one sheet and the identical residue in the mating sheet. These two structures, plus a structure-based model of the heterozygous Met-Val steric zipper, suggest an explanation for the previously observed effects of this locus on prion disease susceptibility and progression. PMID:20685658

  8. 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.

  9. Prion protein amyloid: separation of scrapie infectivity from PrP polymers.

    PubMed

    Wille, H; Baldwin, M A; Cohen, F E; DeArmond, S J; Prusiner, S B

    1996-01-01

    The prion protein (PrP) undergoes a profound conformational change when the cellular isoform (PrPc) is converted into the scrapie form (PrPSc). Limited proteolysis of PrPSc produces PrP27-30 which readily polymerizes into amyloid. To study the structure of PrP amyloid, we employed organic solvents that perturb protein conformation. 1,1,1,3,3,3-Hexafluoro-2-propanol (HFIP), which promotes alpha-helix formation, modified the ultrastructure of rod-shaped PrP amyloids, producing flattened ribbons with a more regular substructure. As the concentration of HFIP was increased, the beta-sheet content and proteinase K resistance of PrP27-30 as well as prion infectivity diminished. HFIP reversibly decreased the binding of Congo red dye to the rods, whereas inactivation of prion infectivity was irreversible. In contrast to 10% HFIP, 1,1,1-trifluoro-2-propanol (TFIP) did not inactivate prion infectivity but, similarly to HFIP, TFIP did alter the morphology of the rods and abolished Congo red binding. Our studies separate prion infectivity from the amyloid properties of PrP27-30 and underscore the dependence of prion infectivity on PrPSc conformation. Our results also demonstrate that the specific beta-sheet-rich structures required for prion infectivity are different from those needed for amyloid formation.

  10. 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

  11. Identification of the heparan sulfate binding sites in the cellular prion protein.

    PubMed

    Warner, Richard G; Hundt, Christoph; Weiss, Stefan; Turnbull, Jeremy E

    2002-05-24

    Data from cell culture and animal models of prion disease support the separate involvement of both heparan sulfate proteoglycans and copper (II) ions in prion (PrP) metabolism. Though direct interactions between prion protein and heparin have been recorded, little is known of the structural features implicit in this interaction or of the involvement of copper (II) ions. Using biosensor and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay methodology we report direct heparin and heparan sulfate-binding activity in recombinant cellular prion protein (PrP(c)). We also demonstrate that the interaction of recombinant PrP(c) with heparin is weakened in the presence of Cu(II) ions and is particularly sensitive to competition with dextran sulfate. Competitive inhibition experiments with chemically modified heparins also indicate that 2-O-sulfate groups (but not 6-O-sulfate groups) are essential for heparin recognition. We have also identified three regions of the prion protein capable of independent binding to heparin and heparan sulfate: residues 23-52, 53-93, and 110-128. Interestingly, the interaction of an octapeptide-spanning peptide motif amino acids 53-93 with heparin is enhanced by Cu(II) ions. Significantly, a peptide of this sequence is able to inhibit the binding of full-length prion molecule to heparin, suggesting a direct role in heparin recognition within the intact protein. The collective data suggest a complex interaction between prion protein and heparin/heparan sulfate and has implications for the cellular and pathological functions of prion proteins.

  12. Anchorless prion protein results in infectious amyloid disease without clinical scrapie.

    PubMed

    Chesebro, Bruce; Trifilo, Matthew; Race, Richard; Meade-White, Kimberly; Teng, Chao; LaCasse, Rachel; Raymond, Lynne; Favara, Cynthia; Baron, Gerald; Priola, Suzette; Caughey, Byron; Masliah, Eliezer; Oldstone, Michael

    2005-06-03

    In prion and Alzheimer's diseases, the roles played by amyloid versus nonamyloid deposits in brain damage remain unresolved. In scrapie-infected transgenic mice expressing prion protein (PrP) lacking the glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) membrane anchor, abnormal protease-resistant PrPres was deposited as amyloid plaques, rather than the usual nonamyloid form of PrPres. Although PrPres amyloid plaques induced brain damage reminiscent of Alzheimer's disease, clinical manifestations were minimal. In contrast, combined expression of anchorless and wild-type PrP produced accelerated clinical scrapie. Thus, the PrP GPI anchor may play a role in the pathogenesis of prion diseases.

  13. Modulation of prion-dependent polyglutamine aggregation and toxicity by chaperone proteins in the yeast model.

    PubMed

    Gokhale, Kavita C; Newnam, Gary P; Sherman, Michael Y; Chernoff, Yury O

    2005-06-17

    In yeast, aggregation and toxicity of the expanded polyglutamine fragment of human huntingtin strictly depend on the presence of the endogenous self-perpetuating aggregated proteins (prions), which contain glutamine/asparagine-rich domains. Some chaperones of the Hsp100/70/40 complex, modulating propagation of yeast prions, were also reported to influence polyglutamine aggregation in yeast, but it was not clear whether they do it directly or via affecting prions. Our data show that although some chaperone alterations indeed act on polyglutamines via curing endogenous prions, other alterations decrease size and ameliorate toxicity of polyglutamine aggregates without affecting prion propagation. Therefore, the role of yeast chaperones in polyglutamine aggregation and toxicity is not restricted only to their effects on the endogenous prions. Moreover, chaperone interactions with prion and polyglutamine aggregates appear to be of a highly specific nature. One and the same chaperone alteration, substitution A503V in the middle region of the chaperone Hsp104, exhibited opposite effects on one of the endogenous prions ([PSI(+)], the prion form of Sup35) and on polyglutamines, increasing aggregate size and toxicity in the former case and decreasing them in the latter case. On the other hand, different members of a single chaperone family exhibited opposite effects on one and the same type of aggregates: excess of the Hsp40 chaperone Ydj1 increased polyglutamine aggregate size and toxicity, whereas excess of the other Hsp40 chaperone, Sis1, decreased them. As many stress-defense proteins are conserved between yeast and mammals, these data shed light on possible mechanisms modulating polyglutamine aggregation and toxicity in mammalian cells.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Meyerett-Reid, Crystal; Wyckoff, A Christy; Spraker, Terry; Pulford, Bruce; Bender, Heather; Zabel, Mark D

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-05-28

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

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

    PubMed

    Victoria, Guiliana Soraya; Zurzolo, Chiara

    2015-09-02

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

  2. Combined copper/zinc attachment to prion protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hodak, Miroslav; Bernholc, Jerry

    2013-03-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Production of a recombinant full-length prion protein in a soluble form without refolding or detergents.

    PubMed

    Arii, Yasuhiro; Oshiro, Satoshi; Wada, Keita; Fukuoka, Shin-ichi

    2011-01-01

    Recombinant prion protein has been produced in insoluble form and refolded following solubilization with denaturants. It is, however, preferable to use a soluble recombinant protein prepared without artificial solubilization. In this study, a soluble recombinant prion protein was produced in Escherichia coli cells by coexpression of neuregulin I-β1 and purified to high purity.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Assessing Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy Species Barriers with an In Vitro Prion Protein Conversion Assay

    PubMed Central

    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

  8. 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.

  9. Regional heterogeneity of cellular prion protein isoforms in the mouse brain.

    PubMed

    Beringue, Vincent; Mallinson, Gary; Kaisar, Maria; Tayebi, Mourad; Sattar, Zahid; Jackson, Graham; Anstee, David; Collinge, John; Hawke, Simon

    2003-09-01

    Prion diseases are a group of invariably fatal neurodegenerative disorders that include Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans, scrapie in sheep and goats, and bovine spongiform encephalopathy in cattle. The infectious agent or prion is largely composed of an abnormal isoform (PrPSc) of a host encoded normal cellular protein (PrPc). The conversion of PrPc to PrPSc is a dynamic process and, for reasons that are not clear, the distribution of spongiform change and PrPSc deposition varies among prion strains. An obvious explanation for this would be that the transformation efficiency in any given brain region depends on favourable interactions between conformations of PrPc and the prion strain being propagated within it. However, identification of specific PrPc conformations has until now been hampered by a lack of suitable panels of antibodies that discriminate PrPc subspecies under native conditions. In this study, we show that monoclonal antibodies raised against recombinant human prion protein folded into alpha or beta conformations exhibit striking heterogeneity in their specificity for truncations and glycoforms of mouse brain PrPc. We then show that some of these PrPc isoforms are expressed differentially in certain mouse brain regions. This suggests that variation in the expression of PrPc conformations in different brain regions may dictate the pattern of PrPSc deposition and vacuolation, characteristic for different prion strains.

  10. Rapid detection of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and scrapie prion proteins.

    PubMed

    Serban, D; Taraboulos, A; DeArmond, S J; Prusiner, S B

    1990-01-01

    Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) and Gerstmann-Sträussler syndrome (GSS) of humans as well as scrapie of animals are caused by prions. The scrapie prion protein isoform (PrPSc) is the only macromolecule identified to date which is a component of the infectious prion particle. PrPSc is converted to PrP 27-30 by limited proteolysis while the cellular isoform, designated PrPC, is completely digested under the same conditions. ELISA studies demonstrated that native PrP 27-30 bound to plastic surfaces resisted proteolysis and exhibited little or no immunoreactivity but after denaturation with guanidinium thiocyanate (GdnSCN), immunoreactivity was greatly enhanced. PrPSc bound to nitrocellulose also exhibited enhanced immunoreactivity after denaturation. PrPSc was readily detected in brain extracts from scrapie-infected hamsters, mice, and sheep by dot-blot immunoassays using limited proteolysis followed by GdnSCN denaturation. The high sensitivity and specificity of the immunoassay allowed detection of regional differences in PrPSc in sheep brain. CJD prion protein isoform (PrPCJD) was also detected in the brains of all 10 patients tested with neuropathologically confirmed CJD and in 1 patient with GSS. Enhanced immunoreactivity of PrPSc or PrPCJD after denaturation cannot only be used for immunodiagnosis of prion diseases but may also form the basis of new assays in experimental studies directed at the chemical structure of the prion particle.

  11. 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

  12. 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

    2015-03-10

    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.

  13. 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

  14. Characterization of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease prions in prion protein-humanized mice carrying distinct codon 129 genotypes.

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-26

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

  15. Transport of the Pathogenic Prion Protein through Soils

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are progressive neurodegenerative diseases and include bovine spongiform encephalopathy of cattle, chronic wasting disease (CWD) of deer and elk, scrapie in sheep and goats, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. An abnormally folded form of the prion protein (designated PrPTSE) is typically associated with TSE infectivity and may constitute the major, if not sole, component of the infectious agent. Transmission of CWD and scrapie is mediated in part by an environmental reservoir of infectivity. Soil appears to be a plausible candidate for this reservoir. TSE agent transport through soil is expected to influence the accessibility of the pathogen to animals after deposition and must be understood to assess the risks associated with burial of infected carcasses. We report results of saturated column experiments designed to evaluate PrPTSE transport through five soils with relatively high sand or silt contents. Protease-treated TSE-infected brain homogenate was used as a model for PrPTSE present in decomposing infected tissue. Synthetic rainwater was used as the eluent. PrPTSE was retained by all five soils; no detectable PrPTSE was eluted over more than 40 pore volumes of flow. Lower bound apparent attachment coefficients were estimated for each soil. Our results suggest that TSE agent released from decomposing tissues would remain near the site of initial deposition. In the case of infected carcasses deposited on the land surface, this may result in local sources of infectivity to other animals. PMID:20830901

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Y145Stop is sufficient to induce de novo generation prions using protein misfolding cyclic amplification.

    PubMed

    Abdallah, Ahmed; Wang, Ping; Richt, Juergen A; Sreevatsan, Srinand

    2012-01-01

    A point mutation in Prnp that converts tyrosine (Y) at position 145 into a stop codon leading to a truncated prion molecule as found in an inherited transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE), Gertsmann-Sträussler-Scheincker syndrome, suggests that the N-terminus of the molecule (spanning amino acids 23-144) likely plays a critical role in prion misfolding as well as in protein-protein interactions. We hypothesized that Y145Stop molecule represents an unstable part of the prion protein that is prone to spontaneous misfolding. Utilizing protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) we show that the recombinant polypeptide corresponding to the Y145Stop of sheep and deer PRNP can be in vitro converted to PK-resistant PrP (Sc) in presence or absence of preexisting prions. In contrast, recombinant protein full-length PrP (C) did not show a propensity for spontaneous conformational conversion to protease resistant isoforms. Further, we show that seeded or spontaneously misfolded Y145Stop molecules can efficiently convert purified mammalian PrP (C) into protease resistant isoforms. These results establish that the N-terminus of PrP (C) molecule corresponding to residues 23-144 plays a role in seeding and misfolding of mammalian prions.

  19. 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

  20. Potential roles for prions and protein-only inheritance in cancer

    PubMed Central

    Antony, H; Wiegmans, AP; Wei, MQ; Chernoff, YO; Khanna, KK; Munn, AL

    2011-01-01

    Inherited mutations are known to cause familial cancers. However, the cause of sporadic cancers, which likely represent the majority of cancers, is yet to be elucidated. Sporadic cancers contain somatic mutations (including oncogenic mutations), however, the origin of these mutations is unclear. An intriguing possibility is that a stable alteration occurs in somatic cells prior to oncogenic mutations and promotes the subsequent accumulation of oncogenic mutations. This review explores the possible role of prions and protein-only inheritance in cancer. Genetic studies using lower eukaryotes, primarily yeast, have identified a large number of proteins as prions that confer dominant phenotypes with cytoplasmic (non-Mendelian) inheritance. Many of these have mammalian functional homologs. The human prion protein (PrP) is known to cause neurodegenerative diseases and has now been found to be up-regulated in multiple cancers. PrP expression in cancer cells contributes to cancer progression and resistance to various cancer therapies. Epigenetic changes in gene expression and hyper-activation of MAP kinase (MAPK) signalling, processes that in lower eukaryotes are affected by prions, play important roles in oncogenesis in humans. Prion phenomena in yeast appear to be influenced by stresses and there is considerable evidence for association of some amyloids with biologically positive functions. This suggests that if protein-only somatic inheritance exists in mammalian cells, it might contribute to cancer phenotypes. Here we highlight evidence in the literature for an involvement of prion or prion-like mechanisms in cancer and how they may in the future be viewed as diagnostic markers and potential therapeutic targets. PMID:22138778

  1. Protein Folding Activity of the Ribosome is involved in Yeast Prion Propagation

    PubMed Central

    Blondel, Marc; Soubigou, Flavie; Evrard, Justine; Nguyen, Phu hai; Hasin, Naushaba; Chédin, Stéphane; Gillet, Reynald; Contesse, Marie-Astrid; Friocourt, Gaëlle; Stahl, Guillaume; Jones, Gary W.; Voisset, Cécile

    2016-01-01

    6AP and GA are potent inhibitors of yeast and mammalian prions and also specific inhibitors of PFAR, the protein-folding activity borne by domain V of the large rRNA of the large subunit of the ribosome. We therefore explored the link between PFAR and yeast prion [PSI+] using both PFAR-enriched mutants and site-directed methylation. We demonstrate that PFAR is involved in propagation and de novo formation of [PSI+]. PFAR and the yeast heat-shock protein Hsp104 partially compensate each other for [PSI+] propagation. Our data also provide insight into new functions for the ribosome in basal thermotolerance and heat-shocked protein refolding. PFAR is thus an evolutionarily conserved cell component implicated in the prion life cycle, and we propose that it could be a potential therapeutic target for human protein misfolding diseases. PMID:27633137

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Nucleic acid induced unfolding of recombinant prion protein globular fragment is pH dependent.

    PubMed

    Bera, Alakesh; Nandi, Pradip K

    2014-12-01

    Nucleic acid can catalyze the conversion of α-helical cellular prion protein to β-sheet rich Proteinase K resistant prion protein oligomers and amyloid polymers in vitro and in solution. Because unfolding of a protein molecule from its ordered α-helical structure is considered to be a necessary step for the structural conversion to its β-sheet rich isoform, we have studied the unfolding of the α-helical globular 121-231 fragment of mouse recombinant prion protein in the presence of different nucleic acids at neutral and acid pH. Nucleic acids, either single or double stranded, do not have any significant effect on the secondary structure of the protein fragment at neutral pH; however the protein secondary structure is modified by the nucleic acids at pH 5. Nucleic acids do not show any significant effect on the temperature induced unfolding of the globular prion protein domain at neutral pH which, however, undergoes a gross conformational change at pH 5 as evidenced from the lowering of the midpoint of thermal denaturation temperatures, Tm, of the protein. The extent of Tm decrease shows a dependence on the nature of nucleic acid. The interaction of nucleic acid with the nonpolar groups exposed from the protein interior at pH 5 probably contributes substantially to the unfolding process of the protein. © 2014 The Protein Society.

  5. Crystal structure of a human prion protein fragment reveals a motif for oligomer formation.

    PubMed

    Apostol, Marcin I; Perry, Kay; Surewicz, Witold K

    2013-07-17

    The structural transition of the prion protein from α-helical- to β-sheet-rich underlies its conversion into infectious and disease-associated isoforms. Here we describe the crystal structure of a fragment from human prion protein consisting of the disulfide-bond-linked portions of helices 2 and 3. Instead of forming a pair-of-sheets steric zipper structure characteristic of amyloid fibers, this fragment crystallized into a β-sheet-rich assembly of hexameric oligomers. This study reveals a never before observed structural motif for ordered protein aggregates and suggests a possible mechanism for self-propagation of misfolded conformations by such nonamyloid oligomers.

  6. Characterization of Soft Amyloid Cores in Human Prion-Like Proteins.

    PubMed

    Batlle, Cristina; de Groot, Natalia Sanchez; Iglesias, Valentin; Navarro, Susanna; Ventura, Salvador

    2017-09-21

    Prion-like behaviour is attracting much attention due to the growing evidences that amyloid-like self-assembly may reach beyond neurodegeneration and be a conserved functional mechanism. The best characterized functional prions correspond to a subset of yeast proteins involved in translation or transcription. Their conformational promiscuity is encoded in Prion Forming Domains (PFDs), usually long and intrinsically disordered protein segments of low complexity. The compositional bias of these regions seems to be important for the transition between soluble and amyloid-like states. We have proposed that the presence of cryptic soft amyloid cores embedded in yeast PFDs can also be important for their assembly and demonstrated their existence and self-propagating abilities. Here, we used an orthogonal approach in the search of human domains that share yeast PFDs compositional bias and exhibit a predicted nucleating core, identifying 535 prion-like candidates. We selected seven proteins involved in transcriptional or translational regulation and associated to disease to characterize the properties of their amyloid cores. All of them self-assemble spontaneously into amyloid-like structures able to propagate their polymeric state. This provides support for the presence of short sequences able to trigger conformational conversion in prion-like human proteins, potentially regulating their functionality.

  7. Characterization of cell-surface prion protein relative to its recombinant analogue: insights from molecular dynamics simulations of diglycosylated, membrane-bound human prion protein.

    PubMed

    DeMarco, Mari L; Daggett, Valerie

    2009-04-01

    The prion protein (PrP) is responsible for several fatal neurodegenerative diseases via conversion from its normal to disease-related isoform. The recombinant form of the protein is typically studied to investigate the conversion process. This constructs lacks the co- and post-translational modifications present in vivo, there the protein has two N-linked glycans and is bound to the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane via a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor. The inherent flexibility and heterogeneity of the glycans, the plasticity of the GPI anchor, and the localization of the protein in a membrane make experimental structural characterization of biological constructs of cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) challenging. Yet this characterization is central in determining not only the suitability of recombinant (rec)-PrP(C) as a model for biological forms of the protein but also the potential role of co- and post-translational modifications on the disease process. Here, we present molecular dynamics simulations of three human prion protein constructs: (i) a protein-only construct modeling the recombinant form, (ii) a diglycosylated and soluble construct, and (iii) a diglycosylated and GPI-anchored construct bound to a lipid bilayer. We found that glycosylation and membrane anchoring do not significantly alter the structure or dynamics of PrP(C), but they do appreciably modify the accessibility of the polypeptide surface PrP(C). In addition, the simulations of membrane-bound PrP(C) revealed likely recognition domains for the disease-initiating PrP(C):PrP(Sc) (infectious and/or misfolded form of the prion protein) binding event and a potential mechanism for the observed inefficiency of conversion associated with differentially glycosylated PrP species.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergasa-Caceres, Fernando; Rabitz, Herschel A.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  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.

  11. The Prion Concept and Synthetic Prions.

    PubMed

    Legname, Giuseppe; Moda, Fabio

    2017-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies or prion diseases are a group of fatal neurodegenerative diseases caused by unconventional infectious agents, known as prions (PrP(Sc)). Prions derive from a conformational conversion of the normally folded prion protein (PrP(C)), which acquires pathological and infectious features. Moreover, PrP(Sc) is able to transmit the pathological conformation to PrP(C) through a mechanism that is still not well understood. The generation of synthetic prions, which behave like natural prions, is of fundamental importance to study the process of PrP(C) conversion and to assess the efficacy of therapeutic strategies to interfere with this process. Moreover, the ability of synthetic prions to induce pathology in animals confirms that the pathological properties of the prion strains are all enciphered in abnormal conformations, characterizing these infectious agents. © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-23

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

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

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jiapu; Zhang, Yuanli

    2014-02-07

    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

  14. 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.

    2015-01-01

    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

  15. Cellular prion protein protects from inflammatory and neuropathic pain.

    PubMed

    Gadotti, Vinicius M; Zamponi, Gerald W

    2011-08-16

    Cellular prion protein (PrPC) inhibits N-Methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA) receptors. Since NMDA receptors play an important role in the transmission of pain signals in the dorsal horn of spinal cord, we thus wanted to determine if PrPC null mice show a reduced threshold for various pain behaviours.We compared nociceptive thresholds between wild type and PrPC null mice in models of inflammatory and neuropathic pain, in the presence and the absence of a NMDA receptor antagonist. 2-3 months old male PrPC null mice exhibited an MK-801 sensitive decrease in the paw withdrawal threshold in response both mechanical and thermal stimuli. PrPC null mice also exhibited significantly longer licking/biting time during both the first and second phases of formalin-induced inflammation of the paw, which was again prevented by treatment of the mice with MK-801, and responded more strongly to glutamate injection into the paw. Compared to wild type animals, PrPC null mice also exhibited a significantly greater nociceptive response (licking/biting) after intrathecal injection of NMDA. Sciatic nerve ligation resulted in MK-801 sensitive neuropathic pain in wild-type mice, but did not further augment the basal increase in pain behaviour observed in the null mice, suggesting that mice lacking PrPC may already be in a state of tonic central sensitization. Altogether, our data indicate that PrPC exerts a critical role in modulating nociceptive transmission at the spinal cord level, and fit with the concept of NMDA receptor hyperfunction in the absence of PrPC.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

  17. 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).

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-26

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

  19. The copper transport-associated protein Ctr4 can form prion-like epigenetic determinants in Schizosaccharomyces pombe

    PubMed Central

    Sideri, Theodora; Yashiroda, Yoko; Ellis, David A.; Rodríguez-López, María; Yoshida, Minoru; Tuite, Mick F.; Bähler, Jürg

    2017-01-01

    Prions are protein-based infectious entities associated with fatal brain diseases in animals, but also modify a range of host-cell phenotypes in the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Many questions remain about the evolution and biology of prions. Although several functionally distinct prion-forming proteins exist in S. cerevisiae, [HET-s] of Podospora anserina is the only other known fungal prion. Here we investigated prion-like, protein-based epigenetic transmission in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. We show that S. pombe cells can support the formation and maintenance of the prion form of the S. cerevisiae Sup35 translation factor [PSI+], and that the formation and propagation of these Sup35 aggregates is inhibited by guanidine hydrochloride, indicating commonalities in prion propagation machineries in these evolutionary diverged yeasts. A proteome-wide screen identified the Ctr4 copper transporter subunit as a putative prion with a predicted prion-like domain. Overexpression of the ctr4 gene resulted in large Ctr4 protein aggregates that were both detergent and proteinase-K resistant. Cells carrying such [CTR+] aggregates showed increased sensitivity to oxidative stress, and this phenotype could be transmitted to aggregate-free [ctr-] cells by transformation with [CTR+] cell extracts. Moreover, this [CTR+] phenotype was inherited in a non-Mendelian manner following mating with naïve [ctr-] cells, but intriguingly the [CTR+] phenotype was not eliminated by guanidine-hydrochloride treatment. Thus, Ctr4 exhibits multiple features diagnostic of other fungal prions and is the first example of a prion in fission yeast. These findings suggest that transmissible protein-based determinants of traits may be more widespread among fungi. PMID:28191457

  20. [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.

  1. 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}.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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,...

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

    PubMed

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

    1991-09-01

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

  4. The role of the unusual threonine string in the conversion of prion protein

    PubMed Central

    Abskharon, Romany; Wang, Fei; Vander Stel, Kayla J.; Sinniah, Kumar; Ma, Jiyan

    2016-01-01

    The conversion of normal prion protein (PrP) into pathogenic PrP conformers is central to prion disease, but the mechanism remains unclear. The α-helix 2 of PrP contains a string of four threonines, which is unusual due to the high propensity of threonine to form β-sheets. This structural feature was proposed as the basis for initiating PrP conversion, but experimental results have been conflicting. We studied the role of the threonine string on PrP conversion by analyzing mouse Prnpa and Prnpb polymorphism that contains a polymorphic residue at the beginning of the threonine string, and PrP mutants in which threonine 191 was replaced by valine, alanine, or proline. The PMCA (protein misfolding cyclic amplification) assay was able to recapitulate the in vivo transmission barrier between PrPa and PrPb. Relative to PMCA, the amyloid fibril growth assay is less restrictive, but it did reflect certain properties of in vivo prion transmission. Our results suggest a plausible theory explaining the apparently contradictory results in the role of the threonine string in PrP conversion and provide novel insights into the complicated relationship among PrP stability, seeded conformational change, and prion structure, which is critical for understanding the molecular basis of prion infectivity. PMID:27982059

  5. The role of the unusual threonine string in the conversion of prion protein.

    PubMed

    Abskharon, Romany; Wang, Fei; Vander Stel, Kayla J; Sinniah, Kumar; Ma, Jiyan

    2016-12-16

    The conversion of normal prion protein (PrP) into pathogenic PrP conformers is central to prion disease, but the mechanism remains unclear. The α-helix 2 of PrP contains a string of four threonines, which is unusual due to the high propensity of threonine to form β-sheets. This structural feature was proposed as the basis for initiating PrP conversion, but experimental results have been conflicting. We studied the role of the threonine string on PrP conversion by analyzing mouse Prnp(a) and Prnp(b) polymorphism that contains a polymorphic residue at the beginning of the threonine string, and PrP mutants in which threonine 191 was replaced by valine, alanine, or proline. The PMCA (protein misfolding cyclic amplification) assay was able to recapitulate the in vivo transmission barrier between PrP(a) and PrP(b). Relative to PMCA, the amyloid fibril growth assay is less restrictive, but it did reflect certain properties of in vivo prion transmission. Our results suggest a plausible theory explaining the apparently contradictory results in the role of the threonine string in PrP conversion and provide novel insights into the complicated relationship among PrP stability, seeded conformational change, and prion structure, which is critical for understanding the molecular basis of prion infectivity.

  6. Prion protein-coated magnetic beads: synthesis, characterization and development of a new ligands screening method.

    PubMed

    de Moraes, Marcela Cristina; Santos, Juliana Bosco; Dos Anjos, Daniel Meira; Rangel, Luciana Pereira; Vieira, Tuane Cristine Ramos Gonçalves; Moaddel, Ruin; da Silva, Jerson Lima

    2015-01-30

    Prion diseases are characterized by protein aggregation and neurodegeneration. Conversion of the native prion protein (PrP(C)) into the abnormal scrapie PrP isoform (PrP(Sc)), which undergoes aggregation and can eventually form amyloid fibrils, is a critical step leading to the characteristic path morphological hallmark of these diseases. However, the mechanism of conversion remains unclear. It is known that ligands can act as cofactors or inhibitors in the conversion mechanism of PrP(C) into PrP(Sc). Within this context, herein, we describe the immobilization of PrP(C) onto the surface of magnetic beads and the morphological characterization of PrP(C)-coated beads by fluorescence confocal microscopy. PrP(C)-coated magnetic beads were used to identify ligands from a mixture of compounds, which were monitored by UHPLC-ESI-MS/MS. This affinity-based method allowed the isolation of the anti-prion compound quinacrine, an inhibitor of PrP aggregation. The results indicate that this approach can be applied to not only "fish" for anti-prion compounds from complex matrixes, but also to screening for and identify possible cellular cofactors involved in the deflagration of prion diseases. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Prion protein-coated magnetic beads: Synthesis, characterization and development of a new ligands screening method☆

    PubMed Central

    de Moraes, Marcela Cristina; Santos, Juliana Bosco; dos Anjos, Daniel Meira; Rangel, Luciana Pereira; Vieira, Tuane Cristine Ramos Gonçalves; Moaddel, Ruin; da Silva, Jerson Lima

    2016-01-01

    Prion diseases are characterized by protein aggregation and neurodegeneration. Conversion of the native prion protein (PrPC) into the abnormal scrapie PrP isoform (PrPSc), which undergoes aggregation and can eventually form amyloid fibrils, is a critical step leading to the characteristic path morphological hallmark of these diseases. However, the mechanism of conversion remains unclear. It is known that ligands can act as cofactors or inhibitors in the conversion mechanism of PrPC into PrPSc. Within this context, herein, we describe the immobilization of PrPC onto the surface of magnetic beads and the morphological characterization of PrPC-coated beads by fluorescence confocal microscopy. PrPC-coated magnetic beads were used to identify ligands from a mixture of compounds, which were monitored by UHPLC–ESI-MS/MS. This affinity-based method allowed the isolation of the anti-prion compound quinacrine, an inhibitor of PrP aggregation. The results indicate that this approach can be applied to not only “fish” for anti-prion compounds from complex matrixes, but also to screening for and identify possible cellular cofactors involved in the deflagration of prion diseases. PMID:25576041

  8. Comparative syntheses of peptides and peptide thioesters derived from mouse and human prion proteins.

    PubMed

    Sebestík, Jaroslav; Zawada, Zbigniew; Safařík, Martin; Hlaváček, Jan

    2012-09-01

    Prions are suspected as causative agents of several neuropathogenic diseases, even though the mode of their action is still not clear. A combination of chemical and recombinant syntheses can provide suitable probes for explanation of prions role in pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. However, the prions contain several difficult sequences for synthesis by Fmoc/tBu approach. For that reason, the peptide thioesters as the key building blocks for chemical syntheses of proteins by native chemical ligation were employed. A scan of the mouse prion domain 93-231 was carried out in order to discover availability of derived thioesters as the suitable building blocks for a total chemical synthesis of the prion protein based probes. The synthesis on 2-chlorotritylchloride resin was utilized and after a deprotection of the samples for analysis, the peptide segments were purified and characterized. If the problems were detected during the synthesis, the segment was re-synthesized either using the special pseudoproline dipeptides or by splitting its molecule to two or three smaller segments, which were prepared easier. The protected segments, prepared correctly without any deletion and in sufficient amounts, were coupled either with EtSH after DIC/DMAP activation or with p-Ac-NH-Ph-SH using PyBOP activation to yield corresponding thioesters. In some special cases, the other techniques of thioester formation, like sulfonamide-safety catch and/or trimethylaluminium approach were utilized.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. A prion primer

    PubMed Central

    Cashman, N R

    1997-01-01

    By biological and medical criteria, prions are infectious agents; however, many of their properties differ profoundly from those of conventional microbes. Prions are "encoded" by alterations in protein conformation rather than in nucleic acid or amino acid sequence. New epidemic prion diseases (bovine spongiform encephalopathy and new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease) have recently emerged under the active surveillance of the modern world. The risk of contracting prion disease from blood products or other biologicals is now a focus of worldwide concern. Much has been discovered about prions and prion diseases, but much remains to be done. PMID:9371069

  13. Disparate evolution of prion protein domains and the distinct origin of Doppel- and prion-related loci revealed by fish-to-mammal comparisons.

    PubMed

    Rivera-Milla, Eric; Oidtmann, Birgit; Panagiotidis, Cynthia H; Baier, Michael; Sklaviadis, Theodoros; Hoffmann, Rudolf; Zhou, Yi; Solis, Gonzalo P; Stuermer, Claudia A O; Málaga-Trillo, Edward

    2006-02-01

    Prions result from the misfolding and selective accumulation of the host-encoded prion protein (PrP) in the brain. Despite intensive research on mammalian models, basic questions about the biological role of PrP and the evolutionary origin of prion disease remain unanswered. Following our previous identification of novel fish PrP homologues, here we generated new fish PrP sequences and performed genomic analysis to demonstrate the existence of two homologous PrP loci in bony fish, which display extensive molecular variation and are highly expressed in adult and developing fish brains. The fish PrP genomic regions contain PrP-related loci directly downstream of each PrP locus, suggesting an independent origin of prion-related proteins in fish and mammals. Our structural prediction analysis uncovers a conserved molecular "bauplan" for all vertebrate PrPs. The C- and N-terminal protein domains have evolved independently from one another, the former having retained its basic globular structure despite high sequence divergence and the latter having undergone differential expansion-degeneration cycles in its repetitive domains. Our evolutionary analysis redefines fundamental concepts on the functional significance of PrP domains and opens up new possibilities for the experimental analysis of prion misfolding and neurodegeneration in a non-mammalian model like the zebrafish.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  18. Role of Prion Disease-Linked Mutations in the Intrinsically Disordered N-Terminal Domain of the Prion Protein.

    PubMed

    Cong, Xiaojing; Casiraghi, Nicola; Rossetti, Giulia; Mohanty, Sandipan; Giachin, Gabriele; Legname, Giuseppe; Carloni, Paolo

    2013-11-12

    Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders in mammals and other animal species. In humans, about 15% of these maladies are caused by pathogenic mutations (PMs) in the gene encoding for the prion protein (PrP(C)). Seven PMs are located in the naturally unfolded PrP(C) N-terminal domain, which constitutes about half of the protein. Intriguingly and in sharp contrast to other PMs clustered in the folded domain, N-terminal PMs barely affect the conversion to the pathogenic (scrapie, or PrP(Sc)) isoform of PrP(C). Here, we hypothesize that the neurotoxicity of these PMs arises from changes in structural determinants of the N-terminal domain, affecting the protein binding with its cellular partners and/or the cotranslational translocation during the PrP(C) biosynthesis. We test this idea by predicting the conformational ensemble of the wild-type (WT) and mutated mouse PrP(C) N-terminal domain, whose sequence is almost identical to that of the human one and for which the largest number of in vivo data is available. The conformational properties of the WT are consistent with those inferred experimentally. Importantly, the PMs turn out to affect in a subtle manner the intramolecular contacts in the putative N-terminal domain binding sites for Cu(2+) ions, sulphated glycosaminoglycans, and other known PrP(C) cellular partners. The PMs also alter the local structural features of the transmembrane domain and adjacent stop transfer effector, which act together to regulate the protein topology. These results corroborate the hypothesis that N-terminal PMs affect the PrP(C) binding to functional interactors and/or the translocation.

  19. Physical studies of conformational plasticity in a recombinant prion protein.

    PubMed

    Zhang, H; Stockel, J; Mehlhorn, I; Groth, D; Baldwin, M A; Prusiner, S B; James, T L; Cohen, F E

    1997-03-25

    PrP(Sc) is known to be the major, if not the only, component of the infectious prion. Limited proteolysis of PrP(Sc) produces an N-terminally truncated polypeptide of about 142 residues, designated PrP 27-30. Recently, a recombinant protein (rPrP) of 142 residues corresponding to the Syrian hamster PrP 27-30 was expressed in Escherichia coli and purified (Mehlhorn et al., 1996). rPrP has been refolded into both alpha-helical and beta-sheet structures as well as various intermediates in aqueous buffers. The beta-sheet state and two pH-dependent alpha-helical states were characterized by CD and NMR. The alpha-helical conformation occurred only after the formation of an intramolecular disulfide bond, whereas the beta-sheet form was accessible either with or without the disulfide. Of the different alpha-helical forms studied, only those refolded in the pH range 5-8 were substantially soluble at physiological pH, exhibiting similar conformations and monomeric analytical sedimentation profiles throughout the above pH range. Furthermore, refolded alpha-rPrP showed NMR chemical shift dispersion typical of proteins with native conformations, although 2D NMR indicated large segments of conformational flexibility. It displayed a cooperative thermal denaturation transition; at elevated temperatures, it converted rapidly and irreversibly to the thermodynamically more stable beta-sheet form. Unfolding of alpha-rPrP by GdnHCl revealed a two-phase transition with a relatively stable folding intermediate at 2 M GdnHCl. The deltaG values were estimated to be 1.9 +/- 0.4 kcal/mol for the first phase and 6.5 +/- 1.2 kcal/mol for the second, consistent with a folding core surrounded by significant segments of flexible conformation. By NMR, alpha-rPrP(acid) isolated at pH 2 without refolding exhibited heterogeneous line widths, consistent with an acid-denatured molten globular state. We conclude that to the extent that rPrP constitutes a relevant folding domain of PrP(C), the various

  20. 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.

  1. Mammalian prion protein (PrP) forms conformationally different amyloid intracellular aggregates in bacteria.

    PubMed

    Macedo, Bruno; Sant'Anna, Ricardo; Navarro, Susanna; Cordeiro, Yraima; Ventura, Salvador

    2015-11-04

    An increasing number of proteins are being shown to assemble into amyloid structures that lead to pathological states. Among them, mammalian prions outstand due to their ability to transmit the pathogenic conformation, becoming thus infectious. The structural conversion of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)), into its misfolded pathogenic form (PrP(Sc)) is the central event of prion-driven pathologies. The study of the structural properties of intracellular amyloid aggregates in general and of prion-like ones in particular is a challenging task. In this context, the evidence that the inclusion bodies formed by amyloid proteins in bacteria display amyloid-like structural and functional properties make them a privileged system to model intracellular amyloid aggregation. Here we provide the first demonstration that recombinant murine PrP and its C-terminal domain (90-231) attain amyloid conformations inside bacteria. Moreover, the inclusions formed by these two PrP proteins display conformational diversity, since they differ in fibril morphology, binding affinity to amyloid dyes, stability, resistance to proteinase K digestion and neurotoxicity. Overall, our results suggest that modelling PrP amyloid formation in microbial cell factories might open an avenue for a better understanding of the structural features modulating the pathogenic impact of this intriguing protein.

  2. Possible role for Ca2+ in the pathophysiology of the prion protein?

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, or prion diseases, are lethal neurodegenerative disorders caused by the infectious agent named prion, whose main constituent is an aberrant conformational isoform of the cellular prion protein, PrP(C) . The mechanisms of prion-associated neurodegeneration and the physiologic function of PrP(C) are still unclear, although it is now increasingly acknowledged that PrP(C) plays a role in cell differentiation and survival. PrP(C) thus exhibits dichotomic attributes, as it can switch from a benign function under normal conditions to the triggering of neuronal death during disease. By reviewing data from models of prion infection and PrP-knockout paradigms, here we discuss the possibility that Ca(2+) is the hidden factor behind the multifaceted behavior of PrP(C) . By featuring in almost all processes of cell signaling, Ca(2+) might explain diverse aspects of PrP(C) pathophysiology, including the recently proposed one in which PrP(C) acts as a mediator of synaptic degeneration in Alzheimer's disease.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. Heterogeneity of the Abnormal Prion Protein (PrPSc) of the Chandler Scrapie Strain

    PubMed Central

    Kasai, Kazuo; Iwamaru, Yoshifumi; Masujin, Kentaro; Imamura, Morikazu; Mohri, Shirou; Yokoyama, Takashi

    2013-01-01

    The pathological prion protein, PrPSc, displays various sizes of aggregates. In this study, we investigated the conformation, aggregation stability and proteinase K (PK)-sensitivity of small and large PrPSc aggregates of mouse-adapted prion strains. We showed that small PrPSc aggregates, previously thought to be PK-sensitive, are resistant to PK digestion. Furthermore, we showed that small PrPSc aggregates of the Chandler scrapie strain have greater resistance to PK digestion and aggregation-denaturation than large PrPSc aggregates of this strain. We conclude that this strain consists of heterogeneous PrPSc. PMID:25436883

  6. Heparan Sulfate and Heparin Promote Faithful Prion Replication in Vitro by Binding to Normal and Abnormal Prion Proteins in Protein Misfolding Cyclic Amplification.

    PubMed

    Imamura, Morikazu; Tabeta, Naoko; Kato, Nobuko; Matsuura, Yuichi; Iwamaru, Yoshifumi; Yokoyama, Takashi; Murayama, Yuichi

    2016-12-16

    The precise mechanism underlying the conversion of normal prion protein (PrP(C)) into abnormal prion protein (PrP(Sc)) remains unclear. Protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA), an in vitro technique used for amplifying PrP(Sc), results in PrP(Sc) replication that preserves the strain-specific characteristics of the input PrP(Sc); thus, PMCA mimics the process of in vivo PrP(Sc) replication. Previous work has demonstrated that in PMCA, nucleic acids are critical for PrP(Sc) amplification, but little information has been reported on glycosaminoglycan (GAG) participation in PrP(Sc) replication in vitro Here, we investigated whether GAGs play a role in the faithful replication of PrP(Sc) by using a modified PMCA performed with baculovirus-derived recombinant PrP (Bac-PrP) as a substrate. The addition of heparan sulfate (HS) or its analog heparin (HP) restored the conversion efficiency in PMCA that was inhibited through nucleic acid depletion. Moreover, the PMCA products obtained under these conditions were infectious and preserved the properties of the input PrP(Sc) These data suggest that HS and HP play the same role as nucleic acids in facilitating faithful replication of prions in PMCA. Furthermore, we showed that HP binds to both Bac-PrP and Bac-PrP(Sc) through the sulfated groups present on HP and that the N-terminal domain of Bac-PrP(Sc) might potentially not be involved in the binding to HP. These results suggest that the interaction of GAGs such as HS and HP with PrP(C) and/or PrP(Sc) through their sulfate groups is critical for the faithful replication of prions. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Development of mice expressing either ovine (Tg338) or cervid (TgElk) prion protein (PrP) have aided in characterization of scrapie and chronic wasting disease (CWD), respectively. Experimental inoculation of sheep with CWD prions has demonstrated the potential for interspecies transmission but, infection with CWD versus classical scrapie prions may be difficult to differentiate using validated diagnostic platforms. In this study, mouse bioassay in Tg338 and TgElk was utilized to evaluate transmission of CWD versus scrapie prions from small ruminants. Mice (≥5 per homogenate) were inoculated with brain homogenates from clinically affected sheep or goats with naturally acquired classical scrapie, white-tailed deer with naturally acquired CWD (WTD-CWD) or sheep with experimentally acquired CWD derived from elk (sheep-passaged-CWD). Survival time (time to clinical disease) and attack rates (brain accumulation of protease resistant PrP, PrPres) were determined. Inoculation with classical scrapie prions resulted in clinical disease and 100 % attack rates in Tg338, but no clinical disease at endpoint (>300 days post-inoculation, p.i.) and low attack rates (6.8 %) in TgElk. Inoculation with WTD-CWD prions yielded no clinical disease or brain PrPres accumulation in Tg338 at endpoint (>500 days p.i.), but rapid onset of clinical disease (~121 days p.i.) and 100 % attack rate in TgElk. Sheep-passaged-CWD resulted in transmission to both mouse lines with 100 % attack rates at endpoint in Tg338 and an attack rate of ~73 % in TgElk with some culled due to clinical disease. These primary transmission observations demonstrate the potential of bioassay in Tg338 and TgElk to help differentiate possible infection with CWD versus classical scrapie prions in sheep and goats. PMID:27393736

  9. Specific Biarsenical Labeling of Cell Surface Proteins Allows Fluorescent- and Biotin-tagging of Amyloid Precursor Protein and Prion Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Taguchi, Yuzuru; Shi, Zhen-Dan; Ruddy, Brian; Dorward, David W.; Greene, Lois

    2009-01-01

    Fluorescent tagging is a powerful tool for imaging proteins in living cells. However, the steric effects imposed by fluorescent tags impair the behavior of many proteins. Here, we report a novel technique, Instant with DTT, EDT, And Low temperature (IDEAL)-labeling, for rapid and specific FlAsH-labeling of tetracysteine-tagged cell surface proteins by using prion protein (PrP) and amyloid precursor protein (APP) as models. In prion-infected cells, FlAsH-labeled tetracysteine-tagged PrP converted from the normal isoform (PrPsen) to the disease-associated isoform (PrPres), suggesting minimal steric effects of the tag. Pulse-chase analysis of PrP and APP by fluorescent gel imaging demonstrated the utility of IDEAL labeling in investigating protein metabolism by identifying an as-yet-unrecognized C-terminal fragment (C3) of PrPsen and by characterizing the kinetics of PrPres and APP metabolism. C3 generation and N-terminal truncation of PrPres were inhibited by the anti-prion compound E64, a cysteine protease inhibitor. Surprisingly, E64 did not inhibit the synthesis of new PrPres, providing insight into the mechanism by which E64 reduces steady-state PrPres levels in prion-infected cells. To expand the versatility of tetracysteine tagging, we created new Alexa Fluor- and biotin-conjugated tetracysteine-binding molecules that were applied to imaging PrP endocytosis and ultrastructural localization. IDEAL-labeling extends the use of biarsenical derivatives to extracellular proteins and beyond microscopic imaging. PMID:18987338

  10. Uncontrolled SFK-mediated protein trafficking in prion and Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Málaga-Trillo, Edward; Ochs, Katharina

    2016-09-02

    Prions and Amyloid beta (Aβ) peptides induce synaptic damage via complex mechanisms that include the pathological alteration of intracellular signaling cascades. The host-encoded cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) acts as a high-affinity cell surface receptor for both toxic species and it can modulate the endocytic trafficking of the N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor and E-cadherin adhesive complexes via Src family kinases (SFKs). Interestingly, SFK-mediated control of endocytosis is a widespread mechanism used to regulate the activity of important transmembrane proteins, including neuroreceptors for major excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters. Here we discuss our recent work in zebrafish and accumulating evidence suggesting that subversion of this pleiotropic regulatory mechanism by Aβ oligomers and prions explains diverse neurotransmission deficits observed in human patients and mouse models of prion and Alzheimer's neurodegeneration. While Aβ, PrP(C) and SFKs constitute potential therapeutic targets on their own, drug discovery efforts might benefit significantly from aiming at protein-protein interactions that modulate the endocytosis of specific SFK targets.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  13. 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…

  14. Predicted secondary structure and membrane topology of the scrapie prion protein.

    PubMed

    Bazan, J F; Fletterick, R J; McKinley, M P; Prusiner, S B

    1987-01-01

    The integral membrane sialoglycoprotein PrPSc is the only identifiable component of the scrapie prion. Scrapie in animals and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans are transmissible, degenerative neurological diseases caused by prions. Standard predictive strategies have been used to analyze the secondary structure of the prion protein in conjunction with Fourier analysis of the primary sequence hydrophobicities to detect potential amphipathic regions. Several hydrophobic segments, a proline- and glycine-rich repeat region and putative glycosylation sites are incorporated into a model for the integral membrane topology of PrP. The complete amino acid sequences of the hamster, human and mouse prion proteins are compared and the effects of residue substitutions upon the predicted conformation of the polypeptide chain are discussed. While PrP has a unique primary structure, its predicted secondary structure shares some interesting features with the serum amyloid A proteins. These proteins undergo a post-translational modification to yield amyloid A, molecules that share with PrP the ability to polymerize into birefringent filaments. Our analyses may explain some experimental observations on PrP, and suggest further studies on the properties of the scrapie and cellular PrP isoforms.

  15. The interplay of glycosylation and disulfide formation influences fibrillization in a prion protein fragment

    PubMed Central

    Bosques, Carlos J.; Imperiali, Barbara

    2003-01-01

    It is now accepted that the structural transition from cellular prion protein (PrPC) to proteinase K-resistant prion protein scrapie (PrPSc) is the major event leading to transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. Although the mechanism of this transition remains elusive, glycosylation has been proposed to impede the PrPC to PrPSc conversion. To address the role of glycosylation, we have prepared glycosylated and unglycosylated peptides derived from the 175–195 fragment of the human prion protein. Comparison of the structure, aggregation kinetics, fibril formation capabilities, and redox susceptibility of Cys-179 has shown that the N-linked glycan (at Asn-181) significantly reduces the rate of fibrillization by promoting intermolecular disulfide formation via Cys-179. Further-more, the aggressive fibrillization of a C179S mutant of this fragment highlights the significant role of disulfide stability in retarding the rate of fibril formation. The implications of these studies are discussed in the context of fibril formation in the intact prion protein. PMID:12805563

  16. The interplay of glycosylation and disulfide formation influences fibrillization in a prion protein fragment.

    PubMed

    Bosques, Carlos J; Imperiali, Barbara

    2003-06-24

    It is now accepted that the structural transition from cellular prion protein (PrPC) to proteinase K-resistant prion protein scrapie (PrPSc) is the major event leading to transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. Although the mechanism of this transition remains elusive, glycosylation has been proposed to impede the PrPC to PrPSc conversion. To address the role of glycosylation, we have prepared glycosylated and unglycosylated peptides derived from the 175-195 fragment of the human prion protein. Comparison of the structure, aggregation kinetics, fibril formation capabilities, and redox susceptibility of Cys-179 has shown that the N-linked glycan (at Asn-181) significantly reduces the rate of fibrillization by promoting intermolecular disulfide formation via Cys-179. Further-more, the aggressive fibrillization of a C179S mutant of this fragment highlights the significant role of disulfide stability in retarding the rate of fibril formation. The implications of these studies are discussed in the context of fibril formation in the intact prion protein.

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

    PubMed Central

    Reinartz, Elke; Jaeger, Karl-Erich; Langeveld, Jan P. M.; Rohwer, Robert G.; Gregori, Luisa; Terry, Linda A.; Willbold, Dieter; Riesner, Detlev

    2012-01-01

    Prion diseases are transmissible neurodegenerative diseases affecting humans and animals. The agent of the disease is the prion consisting mainly, if not solely, of a misfolded and aggregated isoform of the host-encoded prion protein (PrP). Transmission of prions can occur naturally but also accidentally, e.g. by blood transfusion, which has raised serious concerns about blood product safety and emphasized the need for a reliable diagnostic test. In this report we present a method based on surface-FIDA (fluorescence intensity distribution analysis), that exploits the high state of molecular aggregation of PrP as an unequivocal diagnostic marker of the disease, and show that it can detect infection in blood. To prepare PrP aggregates from blood plasma we introduced a detergent and lipase treatment to separate PrP from blood lipophilic components. Prion protein aggregates were subsequently precipitated by phosphotungstic acid, immobilized on a glass surface by covalently bound capture antibodies, and finally labeled with fluorescent antibody probes. Individual PrP aggregates were visualized by laser scanning microscopy where signal intensity was proportional to aggregate size. After signal processing to remove the background from low fluorescence particles, fluorescence intensities of all remaining PrP particles were summed. We detected PrP aggregates in plasma samples from six out of ten scrapie-positive sheep with no false positives from uninfected sheep. Applying simultaneous intensity and size discrimination, ten out of ten samples from scrapie sheep could be differentiated from uninfected sheep. The implications for ante mortem diagnosis of prion diseases are discussed. PMID:22567169

  18. Partially Unfolded Forms of the Prion Protein Populated under Misfolding-promoting Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Moulick, Roumita; Das, Ranabir; Udgaonkar, Jayant B.

    2015-01-01

    The susceptibility of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) to convert to an alternative misfolded conformation (PrPSc), which is the key event in the pathogenesis of prion diseases, is indicative of a conformationally flexible native (N) state. In the present study, hydrogen-deuterium exchange (HDX) in conjunction with mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy were used for the structural and energetic characterization of the N state of the full-length mouse prion protein, moPrP(23–231), under conditions that favor misfolding. The kinetics of HDX of 34 backbone amide hydrogens in the N state were determined at pH 4. In contrast to the results of previous HDX studies on the human and Syrian hamster prion proteins at a higher pH, various segments of moPrP were found to undergo different extents of subglobal unfolding events at pH 4, a pH at which the protein is known to be primed to misfold to a β-rich conformation. No residual structure around the disulfide bond was observed for the unfolded state at pH 4. The N state of the prion protein was observed to be at equilibrium with at least two partially unfolded forms (PUFs). These PUFs, which are accessed by stochastic fluctuations of the N state, have altered surface area exposure relative to the N state. One of these PUFs resembles a conformation previously implicated to be an initial intermediate in the conversion of monomeric protein into misfolded oligomer at pH 4. PMID:26306043

  19. Role of lipid rafts and GM1 in the segregation and processing of prion protein.

    PubMed

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Bitter, Hans-Marcus L.

    2000-07-01

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

  1. Assessing proteinase K resistance of fish prion proteins in a scrapie-infected mouse neuroblastoma cell line.

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-13

    The key event in prion pathogenesis is the structural conversion of the normal cellular protein, PrP(C), into an aberrant and partially proteinase K resistant isoform, PrP(Sc). 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  3. 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

  4. Development of a bifunctional filter for prion protein and leukoreduction of red blood cell components.

    PubMed

    Yokomizo, Tomo; Kai, Takako; Miura, Morikazu; Ohto, Hitoshi

    2015-02-01

    Leukofiltration of blood components is currently implemented worldwide as a precautionary measure against white blood cell-associated adverse effects and the potential transmission of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD). A newly developed bifunctional filter (Sepacell Prima, Asahi Kasei Medical) was assessed for prion removal, leukoreduction (LR), and whether the filter significantly affected red blood cells (RBCs). Sepacell Prima's postfiltration effects on RBCs, including hemolysis, complement activation, and RBC chemistry, were compared with those of a conventional LR filter (Sepacell Pure RC). Prion removal was measured by Western blot after spiking RBCs with microsomal fractions derived from scrapie-infected hamster brain homogenate. Serially diluted exogenous prion solutions (0.05 mL), with or without filtration, were injected intracerebrally into Golden Syrian hamsters. LR efficiency of 4.44 log with the Sepacell Prima was comparable to 4.11 log with the conventional LR filter. There were no significant differences between the two filters in hemoglobin loss, hemolysis, complement activation, and RBC biomarkers. In vitro reduction of exogenously spiked prions by the filter exceeded 3 log. The titer, 6.63 (log ID50 /mL), of prefiltration infectivity of healthy hamsters was reduced to 2.52 (log ID50 /mL) after filtration. The reduction factor was calculated as 4.20 (log ID50 ). With confirmed removal efficacy for exogenous prion protein, this new bifunctional prion and LR filter should reduce the residual risk of vCJD transmission through blood transfusion without adding complexity to component processing. © 2014 AABB.

  5. The neutral sphingomyelinase pathway regulates packaging of the prion protein into exosomes.

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-06

    Prion diseases are a group of transmissible, fatal neurodegenerative disorders associated with the misfolding of the host-encoded prion protein, PrP(C), into a disease-associated form, PrP(Sc). The transmissible prion agent is principally formed of PrP(Sc) 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 PrP(C) packaging is dependent on nSMase2, whereas the packaging of disease-associated PrP(Sc) 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  7. The 14-3-3 protein forms a molecular complex with heat shock protein Hsp60 and cellular prion protein.

    PubMed

    Satoh, Jun-ichi; Onoue, Hiroyuki; Arima, Kunimasa; Yamamura, Takashi

    2005-10-01

    The 14-3-3 protein family consists of acidic 30-kDa proteins composed of 7 isoforms expressed abundantly in neurons and glial cells of the central nervous system (CNS). The 14-3-3 protein identified in the cerebrospinal fluid provides a surrogate marker for premortem diagnosis of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, although an active involvement of 14-3-3 in the pathogenesis of prion diseases remains unknown. By protein overlay and mass spectrometric analysis of protein extract of NTera2-derived differentiated neurons, we identified heat shock protein Hsp60 as a 14-3-3-interacting protein. The 14-3-3zeta and gamma isoforms interacted with Hsp60, suggesting that the interaction is not isoform-specific. Furthermore, the interaction was identified in SK-N-SH neuroblastoma, U-373MG astrocytoma, and HeLa cervical carcinoma cells. The cellular prion protein (PrPC) along with Hsp60 was coimmunoprecipitated with 14-3-3 in the human brain protein extract. By protein overlay, 14-3-3 interacted with both recombinant human Hsp60 and PrPC produced by Escherichia coli, indicating that the molecular interaction is phosphorylation-independent. The 14-3-3-binding domain was located in the N-terminal half (NTF) of Hsp60 spanning amino acid residues 27-287 and the NTF of PrPC spanning amino acid residues 23-137. By immunostaining, the 14-3-3 protein Hsp60 and PrPC were colocalized chiefly in the mitochondria of human neuronal progenitor cells in culture, and were coexpressed most prominently in neurons and reactive astrocytes in the human brain. These observations indicate that the 14-3-3 protein forms a molecular complex with Hsp60 and PrPC in the human CNS under physiological conditions and suggest that this complex might become disintegrated in the pathologic process of prion diseases.

  8. Yeast prions: evolution of the prion concept.

    PubMed

    Wickner, Reed B; Edskes, Herman K; Shewmaker, Frank; Nakayashiki, Toru; Engel, Abbi; McCann, Linsay; Kryndushkin, Dmitry

    2007-01-01

    Prions (infectious proteins) analogous to the scrapie agent have been identified in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Podospora anserina based on their special genetic characteristics. Each is a protein acting as a gene, much like nucleic acids have been shown to act as enzymes. The [URE3], [PSI(+)], [PIN(+)] and [Het-s] prions are self-propagating amyloids of Ure2p, Sup35p, Rnq1p and the HET-s protein, respectively. The [beta] and [C] prions are enzymes whose precursor activation requires their own active form. [URE3] and [PSI(+)] are clearly diseases, while [Het-s] and [beta] carry out normal cell functions. Surprisingly, the prion domains of Ure2p and Sup35p can be randomized without loss of ability to become a prion. Thus amino acid content and not sequence determine these prions. Shuffleability also suggests amyloids with a parallel in-register beta-sheet structure.

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

    PubMed

    Sorgato, M Catia; Bertoli, Alessandro

    2009-02-06

    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.

  10. Polar substitutions in helix 3 of the prion protein produce transmembrane isoforms that disturb vesicle trafficking

    PubMed Central

    Sanchez-Garcia, Jonatan; Arbelaez, Daniela; Jensen, Kurt; Rincon-Limas, Diego E.; Fernandez-Funez, Pedro

    2013-01-01

    Prion diseases encompass a diverse group of neurodegenerative conditions characterized by the accumulation of misfolded prion protein (PrP) isoforms. Other conformational variants of PrP have also been proposed to contribute to neurotoxicity in prion diseases, including misfolded intermediates as well as cytosolic and transmembrane isoforms. To better understand PrP neurotoxicity, we analyzed the role of two highly conserved methionines in helix 3 on PrP biogenesis, folding and pathogenesis. Expression of the PrP-M205S and -M205,212S mutants in Drosophila led to hyperglycosylation, intracellular accumulation and widespread conformational changes due to failure of oxidative folding. Surprisingly, PrP-M205S and -M205,212S acquired a transmembrane topology (Ctm) previously linked to mutations in the signal peptide (SP) and the transmembrane domain (TMD). PrP-M205,212S also disrupted the accumulation of key neurodevelopmental proteins in lipid rafts, resulting in shortened axonal projections. These results uncover a new role for the hydrophobic domain in promoting oxidative folding and preventing the formation of neurotoxic Ctm PrP, mechanisms that may be relevant in the pathogenesis of both inherited and sporadic prion diseases. PMID:23771030

  11. Polar substitutions in helix 3 of the prion protein produce transmembrane isoforms that disturb vesicle trafficking.

    PubMed

    Sanchez-Garcia, Jonatan; Arbelaez, Daniela; Jensen, Kurt; Rincon-Limas, Diego E; Fernandez-Funez, Pedro

    2013-11-01

    Prion diseases encompass a diverse group of neurodegenerative conditions characterized by the accumulation of misfolded prion protein (PrP) isoforms. Other conformational variants of PrP have also been proposed to contribute to neurotoxicity in prion diseases, including misfolded intermediates as well as cytosolic and transmembrane isoforms. To better understand PrP neurotoxicity, we analyzed the role of two highly conserved methionines in helix 3 on PrP biogenesis, folding and pathogenesis. Expression of the PrP-M205S and -M205,212S mutants in Drosophila led to hyperglycosylation, intracellular accumulation and widespread conformational changes due to failure of oxidative folding. Surprisingly, PrP-M205S and -M205,212S acquired a transmembrane topology (Ctm) previously linked to mutations in the signal peptide (SP) and the transmembrane domain (TMD). PrP-M205,212S also disrupted the accumulation of key neurodevelopmental proteins in lipid rafts, resulting in shortened axonal projections. These results uncover a new role for the hydrophobic domain in promoting oxidative folding and preventing the formation of neurotoxic Ctm PrP, mechanisms that may be relevant in the pathogenesis of both inherited and sporadic prion diseases.

  12. Production and characterization of a panel of monoclonal antibodies against native human cellular prion protein.

    PubMed

    Jones, Michael; McLoughlin, Victoria; Connolly, John G; Farquhar, Christine F; MacGregor, Ian R; Head, Mark W

    2009-02-01

    The human prion diseases, such as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), are characterized by the conversion of the normal cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) into an abnormal disease associated form (PrP(Sc)). Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) that recognize these different PrP isoforms are valuable reagents both in the diagnosis of these diseases and in prion disease research in general but we know of no attempts to raise MAbs against native human PrP(C). We immunized prion protein gene ablated (PrP(-/-)) mice with native human PrP(C) purified from platelets (pHuPrP) generating a predominantly IgG isotype anti-pHuPrP polyclonal antibody response in all mice. Following fusion of splenocytes from the immunized mice with SP2/0 myeloma cells, we were able to identify single cell clone and cryopreserve 14 stable hybridoma cell lines producing MAbs that reacted with pHuPrP. The properties of these MAbs (such as isotype, binding to native/denatured pHuPrP, and HuPrP epitopes recognized) are described. Furthermore, several of these MAbs showed a selectivity in their ability to immunoprecipitate disease associated PrP(Sc) and its corresponding protease resistant core (PrP(res)).

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-07

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

  16. Prion-like transmission of pathogenic protein aggregates in genetic models of neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Pearce, Margaret Mp

    2017-06-01

    A key pathological hallmark of most neurodegenerative diseases is the misfolding of a particular protein, leading to deposition of toxic protein aggregates in brain tissue. Recent data provide compelling evidence that pathogenic protein aggregates have prion-like properties-they self-replicate by templated misfolding of monomeric proteins and spread between individual cells. Studies in genetic model organisms have expanded our understanding of how prion-like pathogenic aggregates propagate in vivo, revealing potential roles for spreading along neural networks and key cellular processes in both neurons and glial cells. These findings and future studies in genetic models will help guide the development of novel therapeutic strategies that directly target the molecular mechanisms underlying these devastating diseases. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Martínez, Ana B; López de Munain, Adolfo; Ferrer, Isidro; Zarranz, Juan J; Atarés, Begoña; Villagra, Nuria T; Arteagoitia, Jose M; Garrido, Joseba M; Juste, Ramón A

    2012-10-11

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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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 (A136R154Q171 genotype). 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 A136R154Q171 genotype 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

  20. Molecular Cross-talk between Misfolded Proteins in Animal Models of Alzheimer’s and Prion Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Morales, Rodrigo; Estrada, Lisbell D.; Diaz-Espinoza, Rodrigo; Morales-Scheihing, Diego; Jara, Maria C.; Castilla, Joaquin; Soto, Claudio

    2010-01-01

    The central event in Protein Misfolding Disorders (PMDs) is the accumulation of a misfolded form of a naturally expressed protein. Despite the diversity of clinical symptoms associated to different PMDs, many similarities in their mechanism suggest that distinct pathologies may cross-talk at the molecular level. The main goal of this study was to analyze the interaction of the protein misfolding processes implicated in Alzheimer’s and prion diseases. For this purpose we inoculated prions in an Alzheimer’s transgenic mouse model that develop typical amyloid plaques and followed the progression of pathological changes over time. Our findings show a dramatic acceleration and exacerbation of both pathologies. The onset of prion disease symptoms in transgenic mice appeared significantly faster with a concomitant increase on the level of misfolded prion protein in the brain. A striking increase in amyloid plaque deposition was observed in prion infected mice compared with their non-inoculated counterparts. Histological and biochemical studies showed the association of the two misfolded proteins in the brain and in vitro experiments showed that protein misfolding can be enhanced by a cross-seeding mechanism. These results suggest a profound interaction between Alzheimer’s and prion pathologies, indicating that one protein misfolding process may be an important risk factor for the development of a second one. Our findings may have important implications to understand the origin and progression of PMDs. PMID:20357103

  1. Monitoring Conformational Landscape of Ovine Prion Protein Monomer Using Ion Mobility Coupled to Mass Spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van der Rest, Guillaume; Rezaei, Human; Halgand, Frédéric

    2017-02-01

    Prion protein is involved in deadly neurodegenerative diseases. Its pathogenicity is linked to its structural conversion (α-helix to β-strand transition). However, recent studies suggest that prion protein can follow a plurality of conversion pathways, which hints towards different conformers that might coexist in solution. To gain insights on the plasticity of the ovine prion protein (PrP) monomer, wild type (A136, R154, Q171), mutants and deletions of ARQ were studied by traveling wave ion mobility experiments coupled to mass spectrometry. In order to perform the analysis of a large body of data sets, we designed and evaluated the performance of a processing pipeline based on Driftscope peak detection and a homemade script for automated peak assignment, annotation, and quantification on specific multiply charged protein data. Using this approach, we showed that in the gas phase, PrPs are represented by at least three conformer families differing in both charge state distribution and collisional cross-section, in agreement with the work of Hilton et al. (2010). We also showed that this plasticity is borne both by the N- and C-terminal domains. Effect of protein concentration, pH and temperature were also assessed, showing that (1) pH does not affect conformer distributions, (2) protein concentration modifies the conformational landscape of one mutant (I208M) only, and (3) heating leads to other unfolded species and to a modification of the conformer intensity ratios.

  2. Monitoring Conformational Landscape of Ovine Prion Protein Monomer Using Ion Mobility Coupled to Mass Spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Van der Rest, Guillaume; Rezaei, Human; Halgand, Frédéric

    2017-02-01

    Prion protein is involved in deadly neurodegenerative diseases. Its pathogenicity is linked to its structural conversion (α-helix to β-strand transition). However, recent studies suggest that prion protein can follow a plurality of conversion pathways, which hints towards different conformers that might coexist in solution. To gain insights on the plasticity of the ovine prion protein (PrP) monomer, wild type (A136, R154, Q171), mutants and deletions of ARQ were studied by traveling wave ion mobility experiments coupled to mass spectrometry. In order to perform the analysis of a large body of data sets, we designed and evaluated the performance of a processing pipeline based on Driftscope peak detection and a homemade script for automated peak assignment, annotation, and quantification on specific multiply charged protein data. Using this approach, we showed that in the gas phase, PrPs are represented by at least three conformer families differing in both charge state distribution and collisional cross-section, in agreement with the work of Hilton et al. (2010). We also showed that this plasticity is borne both by the N- and C-terminal domains. Effect of protein concentration, pH and temperature were also assessed, showing that (1) pH does not affect conformer distributions, (2) protein concentration modifies the conformational landscape of one mutant (I208M) only, and (3) heating leads to other unfolded species and to a modification of the conformer intensity ratios. Graphical Abstract ᅟ.

  3. Use of bovine recombinant prion protein and real-time quaking-induced conversion to detect cattle transmissible mink encephalopathy prions and discriminate classical and atypical L- and H-Type bovine spongiform encephalopathy

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Soyoun; Greenlee, Justin J.

    2017-01-01

    Prions are amyloid-forming proteins that cause transmissible spongiform encephalopathies through a process involving conversion from the normal cellular prion protein to the pathogenic misfolded conformation (PrPSc). This conversion has been used for in vitro assays including serial protein misfolding amplification and real-time quaking induced conversion (RT-QuIC). RT-QuIC can be used for the detection of prions in a variety of biological tissues from humans and animals. Extensive work has been done to demonstrate that RT-QuIC is a rapid, specific, and highly sensitive prion detection assay. RT-QuIC uses recombinant prion protein to detect minute amounts of PrPSc. RT-QuIC has been successfully used to detect PrPSc from different prion diseases with a variety of substrates including hamster, human, sheep, bank vole, bovine and chimeric forms of prion protein. However, recombinant bovine prion protein has not been used to detect transmissible mink encephalopathy (TME) or to differentiate types of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in samples from cattle. We evaluated whether PrPSc from TME and BSE infected cattle can be detected with RT-QuIC using recombinant bovine prion proteins, and optimized the reaction conditions to specifically detect cattle TME and to discriminate between classical and atypical BSE by conversion efficiency. We also found that substrate composed of the disease associated E211K mutant protein can be effective for the detection of TME in cattle and that wild type prion protein appears to be a practical substrate to discriminate between the different types of BSEs. PMID:28225797

  4. Use of bovine recombinant prion protein and real-time quaking-induced conversion to detect cattle transmissible mink encephalopathy prions and discriminate classical and atypical L- and H-Type bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Soyoun; Greenlee, Justin J; Nicholson, Eric M

    2017-01-01

    Prions are amyloid-forming proteins that cause transmissible spongiform encephalopathies through a process involving conversion from the normal cellular prion protein to the pathogenic misfolded conformation (PrPSc). This conversion has been used for in vitro assays including serial protein misfolding amplification and real-time quaking induced conversion (RT-QuIC). RT-QuIC can be used for the detection of prions in a variety of biological tissues from humans and animals. Extensive work has been done to demonstrate that RT-QuIC is a rapid, specific, and highly sensitive prion detection assay. RT-QuIC uses recombinant prion protein to detect minute amounts of PrPSc. RT-QuIC has been successfully used to detect PrPSc from different prion diseases with a variety of substrates including hamster, human, sheep, bank vole, bovine and chimeric forms of prion protein. However, recombinant bovine prion protein has not been used to detect transmissible mink encephalopathy (TME) or to differentiate types of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in samples from cattle. We evaluated whether PrPSc from TME and BSE infected cattle can be detected with RT-QuIC using recombinant bovine prion proteins, and optimized the reaction conditions to specifically detect cattle TME and to discriminate between classical and atypical BSE by conversion efficiency. We also found that substrate composed of the disease associated E211K mutant protein can be effective for the detection of TME in cattle and that wild type prion protein appears to be a practical substrate to discriminate between the different types of BSEs.

  5. Neurotoxic Mutants of the Prion Protein Induce Spontaneous Ionic Currents in Cultured Cells*

    PubMed Central

    Solomon, Isaac H.; Huettner, James E.; Harris, David A.

    2010-01-01

    The mechanisms by which prions kill neurons and the role of the cellular prion protein in this process are enigmatic. Insight into these questions is provided by the neurodegenerative phenotypes of transgenic mice expressing prion protein (PrP) molecules with deletions of conserved amino acids in the central region. We report here that expression in transfected cells of the most toxic of these PrP deletion mutants (Δ105–125) induces large, spontaneous ionic currents that can be detected by patch-clamping techniques. These currents are produced by relatively non-selective, cation-permeable channels or pores in the cell membrane and can be silenced by overexpression of wild-type PrP, as well as by treatment with a sulfated glycosaminoglycan. Similar currents are induced by PrP molecules carrying several different point mutations in the central region that cause familial prion diseases in humans. The ionic currents described here are distinct from those produced in artificial lipid membranes by synthetic peptides derived from the PrP sequence because they are induced by membrane-anchored forms of PrP that are synthesized by cells and that are found in vivo. Our results indicate that the neurotoxicity of some mutant forms of PrP is attributable to enhanced ion channel activity and that wild-type PrP possesses a channel-silencing activity. Drugs that block PrP-associated channels or pores may therefore represent novel therapeutic agents for treatment of patients with prion diseases. PMID:20573963

  6. 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

  7. Efficient uptake and dissemination of scrapie prion protein by astrocytes and fibroblasts from adult hamster brain.

    PubMed

    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.

  8. 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

  9. Yeast prions: structure, biology, and prion-handling systems.

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

    A prion is an infectious protein horizontally transmitting a disease or trait without a required nucleic acid. Yeast and fungal prions are nonchromosomal genes composed of protein, generally an altered form of a protein that catalyzes the same alteration of the protein. Yeast prions are thus transmitted both vertically (as genes composed of protein) and horizontally (as infectious proteins, or prions). Formation of amyloids (linear ordered β-sheet-rich protein aggregates with β-strands perpendicular to the long axis of the filament) underlies most yeast and fungal prions, and a single prion protein can have any of several distinct self-propagating amyloid forms with different biological properties (prion variants). Here we review the mechanism of faithful templating of protein conformation, the biological roles of these prions, and their interactions with cellular chaperones, the Btn2 and Cur1 aggregate-handling systems, and other cellular factors governing prion generation and propagation. Human amyloidoses include the PrP-based prion conditions and many other, more common amyloid-based diseases, several of which show prion-like features. Yeast prions increasingly are serving as models for the understanding and treatment of many mammalian amyloidoses. Patients with different clinical pictures of the same amyloidosis may be the equivalent of yeasts with different prion variants.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. RNA-binding proteins with prion-like domains in health and disease.

    PubMed

    Harrison, Alice Ford; Shorter, James

    2017-04-07

    Approximately 70 human RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) contain a prion-like domain (PrLD). PrLDs are low-complexity domains that possess a similar amino acid composition to prion domains in yeast, which enable several proteins, including Sup35 and Rnq1, to form infectious conformers, termed prions. In humans, PrLDs contribute to RBP function and enable RBPs to undergo liquid-liquid phase transitions that underlie the biogenesis of various membraneless organelles. However, this activity appears to render RBPs prone to misfolding and aggregation connected to neurodegenerative disease. Indeed, numerous RBPs with PrLDs, including TDP-43 (transactivation response element DNA-binding protein 43), FUS (fused in sarcoma), TAF15 (TATA-binding protein-associated factor 15), EWSR1 (Ewing sarcoma breakpoint region 1), and heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins A1 and A2 (hnRNPA1 and hnRNPA2), have now been connected via pathology and genetics to the etiology of several neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, frontotemporal dementia, and multisystem proteinopathy. Here, we review the physiological and pathological roles of the most prominent RBPs with PrLDs. We also highlight the potential of protein disaggregases, including Hsp104, as a therapeutic strategy to combat the aberrant phase transitions of RBPs with PrLDs that likely underpin neurodegeneration.

  12. Expanding the yeast prion world

    PubMed Central

    Suzuki, Genjiro; Tanaka, Motomasa

    2013-01-01

    Mammalian and fungal prion proteins form self-perpetuating β-sheet-rich fibrillar aggregates called amyloid. Prion inheritance is based on propagation of the regularly oriented amyloid structures of the prion proteins. All yeast prion proteins identified thus far contain aggregation-prone glutamine/asparagine (Gln/Asn)-rich domains, although the mammalian prion protein and fungal prion protein HET-s do not contain such sequences. In order to fill this gap, we searched for novel yeast prion proteins lacking Gln/Asn-rich domains via a genome-wide screen based on cross-seeding between two heterologous proteins and identified Mod5, a yeast tRNA isopentenyltransferase, as a novel non-Gln/Asn-rich yeast prion protein. Mod5 formed self-propagating amyloid fibers in vitro and the introduction of Mod5 amyloids into non-prion yeast induced dominantly and cytoplasmically heritable prion state [MOD+], which harbors aggregates of endogenous Mod5. [MOD+] yeast showed an increased level of membrane lipid ergosterol and acquired resistance to antifungal agents. Importantly, enhanced de novo formation of [MOD+] was observed when non-prion yeast was grown under selective pressures from antifungal drugs. Our findings expand the family of yeast prions to non-Gln/Asn-rich proteins and reveal the acquisition of a fitness advantage for cell survival through active prion conversion. PMID:23117914

  13. Conformational stability of mammalian prion protein amyloid fibrils is dictated by a packing polymorphism within the core region.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-31

    Mammalian prion strains are believed to arise from the propagation of distinct conformations of the misfolded prion protein PrP(Sc). One key operational parameter used to define differences between strains has been conformational stability of PrP(Sc) 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 PrP(Sc), especially because large strain-specific differences in PrP(Sc) stability are often observed despite a similar size of the PrP(Sc) core region.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Inactivation of template-directed misfolding of infectious prion protein by ozone.

    PubMed

    Ding, Ning; Neumann, Norman F; Price, Luke M; Braithwaite, Shannon L; Balachandran, Aru; Belosevic, Miodrag; El-Din, Mohamed Gamal

    2012-02-01

    Misfolded prions (PrP(Sc)) are well known for their resistance to conventional decontamination processes. The potential risk of contamination of the water environment, as a result of disposal of specified risk materials (SRM), has raised public concerns. Ozone is commonly utilized in the water industry for inactivation of microbial contaminants and was tested in this study for its ability to inactivate prions (263K hamster scrapie = PrP(Sc)). Treatment variables included initial ozone dose (7.6 to 25.7 mg/liter), contact time (5 s and 5 min), temperature (4°C and 20°C), and pH (pH 4.4, 6.0, and 8.0). Exposure of dilute suspensions of the infected 263K hamster brain homogenates (IBH) (0.01%) to ozone resulted in the in vitro destruction of the templating properties of PrP(Sc), as measured by the protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) assay. The highest levels of prion inactivation (≥4 log(10)) were observed with ozone doses of 13.0 mg/liter, at pH 4.4 and 20°C, resulting in a CT (the product of residual ozone concentration and contact time) value as low as 0.59 mg · liter(-1) min. A comparison of ozone CT requirements among various pathogens suggests that prions are more susceptible to ozone degradation than some model bacteria and protozoa and that ozone treatment may be an effective solution for inactivating prions in water and wastewater.

  17. Inactivation of Template-Directed Misfolding of Infectious Prion Protein by Ozone

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Misfolded prions (PrPSc) are well known for their resistance to conventional decontamination processes. The potential risk of contamination of the water environment, as a result of disposal of specified risk materials (SRM), has raised public concerns. Ozone is commonly utilized in the water industry for inactivation of microbial contaminants and was tested in this study for its ability to inactivate prions (263K hamster scrapie = PrPSc). Treatment variables included initial ozone dose (7.6 to 25.7 mg/liter), contact time (5 s and 5 min), temperature (4°C and 20°C), and pH (pH 4.4, 6.0, and 8.0). Exposure of dilute suspensions of the infected 263K hamster brain homogenates (IBH) (0.01%) to ozone resulted in the in vitro destruction of the templating properties of PrPSc, as measured by the protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) assay. The highest levels of prion inactivation (≥4 log10) were observed with ozone doses of 13.0 mg/liter, at pH 4.4 and 20°C, resulting in a CT (the product of residual ozone concentration and contact time) value as low as 0.59 mg · liter−1 min. A comparison of ozone CT requirements among various pathogens suggests that prions are more susceptible to ozone degradation than some model bacteria and protozoa and that ozone treatment may be an effective solution for inactivating prions in water and wastewater. PMID:22138993

  18. Involvement of Cellular Prion Protein in α-Synuclein Transport in Neurons.

    PubMed

    Urrea, Laura; Segura-Feliu, Miriam; Masuda-Suzukake, Masami; Hervera, Arnau; Pedraz, Lucas; García Aznar, José Manuel; Vila, Miquel; Samitier, Josep; Torrents, Eduard; Ferrer, Isidro; Gavín, Rosalina; Hagesawa, Masato; Del Río, José Antonio

    2017-02-22

    The cellular prion protein, encoded by the gene Prnp, has been reported to be a receptor of β-amyloid. Their interaction is mandatory for neurotoxic effects of β-amyloid oligomers. In this study, we aimed to explore whether the cellular prion protein participates in the spreading of α-synuclein. Results demonstrate that Prnp expression is not mandatory for α-synuclein spreading. However, although the pathological spreading of α-synuclein can take place in the absence of Prnp, α-synuclein expanded faster in PrP(C)-overexpressing mice. In addition, α-synuclein binds strongly on PrP(C)-expressing cells, suggesting a role in modulating the effect of α-synuclein fibrils.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  1. L-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy in genetically susceptible and resistant sheep: changes in prion strain or phenotypic plasticity of the disease-associated prion protein?

    PubMed

    Nicot, Simon; Bencsik, Anna; Migliore, Sergio; Canal, Dominique; Leboidre, Mikael; Agrimi, Umberto; Nonno, Romolo; Baron, Thierry

    2014-03-01

    Sheep with prion protein (PrP) gene polymorphisms QQ171 and RQ171 were shown to be susceptible to the prion causing L-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy (L-BSE), although RQ171 sheep specifically propagated a distinctive prion molecular phenotype in their brains, characterized by a high molecular mass protease-resistant PrP fragment (HMM PrPres), distinct from L-BSE in QQ171 sheep. The resulting infectious and biological properties of QQ171 and RQ171 ovine L-BSE prions were investigated in transgenic mice expressing either bovine or ovine PrP. In both mouse lines, ovine L-BSE transmitted similarly to cattle-derived L-BSE, with respect to survival periods, histopathology, and biochemical features of PrPres in the brain, as well as splenotropism, clearly differing from ovine classic BSE or from scrapie strain CH1641. Nevertheless and unexpectedly, HMM PrPres was found in the spleen of ovine PrP transgenic mice infected with L-BSE from RQ171 sheep at first passage, reminiscent, in lymphoid tissues only, of the distinct PrPres features found in RQ171 sheep brains. The L-BSE agent differs from both ovine classic BSE or CH1641 scrapie maintaining its specific strain properties after passage in sheep, although striking PrPres molecular changes could be found in RQ171 sheep and in the spleen of ovine PrP transgenic mice.

  2. 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.

  3. Ultra-Sensitive Detection of Prion Protein in Blood Using Isothermal Amplification Technology

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-12-01

    to be 100attograms/mL of recombinant prion protein, and detection levels using scrapie infected hamster brain homogenates down to 10-100 infectious...digested scrapie infected hamster brain homogenates at 10 - 100 infectious units (down to 10,000 PrPSc molecules). Because capture antibodies that...biotinylation of the DNA template to increase efficiency of binding to the linker streptavidin molecule. Dilutions of PK- digested Scrapie infected

  4. 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

  5. Observation of intermediate states of the human prion protein by high pressure NMR spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Kachel, Norman; Kremer, Werner; Zahn, Ralph; Kalbitzer, Hans Robert

    2006-01-01

    Background Prions as causative agents of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) in humans and animals are composed of the infectious isomer, PrPSc, of the cellular prion protein, PrPC. The conversion and thus the propensity of PrPC to adopt alternative folds leads to the species-specific propagation of the disease. High pressure is a powerful tool to study the physico-chemical properties of proteins as well as the dynamics and structure of folding intermediates. Results Conformational intermediates of the human prion protein huPrPC were characterized by a combination of hydrostatic pressure (up to 200 MPa) with two-dimensional NMR spectroscopy. All pressure effects showed to be reversible and there is virtually no difference in the overall pressure response between the folded core of the N-terminal truncated huPrPC(121–230) and the full-length huPrPC(23–230). The only significant differences in the pressure response of full-length and truncated PrP suggest that E168, H187, T192, E207, E211 and Y226 are involved in a transient interaction with the unfolded N-terminus. High-pressure NMR spectroscopy indicates that the folded core of the human prion protein occurs in two structural states N1and N2 in solution associated with rather small differences in free enthalpies (3.0 kJ/mol). At atmospheric pressure approximately 29% of the protein are already in the pressure favored conformation N2. There is a second process representing two possible folding intermediates I1 and I2 with corresponding average free enthalpies of 10.8 and 18.6 kJ/mol. They could represent preaggregation states of the protein that coexist at ambient pressure with a very small population of approximately 1.2% and less than 0.1%. Further the pressure response of the N-terminus indicates that four different regions are in a fast equilibrium with non-random structural states whose populations are shifted by pressure. Conclusion We identified pressure stabilized folding intermediates of

  6. 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

  7. Life cycle of cytosolic prions.

    PubMed

    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.

  8. Nonenzymatic glycation at the N terminus of pathogenic prion protein in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies.

    PubMed

    Choi, Yeong-Gon; Kim, Jae-Il; Jeon, Yong-Chul; Park, Seok-Joo; Choi, Eun-Kyoung; Rubenstein, Richard; Kascsak, Richard J; Carp, Richard I; Kim, Yong-Sun

    2004-07-16

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are transmissible neurodegenerative diseases characterized by the accumulation of an abnormally folded prion protein, termed PrPSc, and the development of pathological features of astrogliosis, vacuolation, neuronal cell loss, and in some cases amyloid plaques. Although considerable structural characterization of prion protein has been reported, neither the method of conversion of cellular prion protein, PrPC, into the pathogenic isoform nor the post-translational modification processes involved is known. We report that in animal and human TSEs, one or more lysines at residues 23, 24, and 27 of PrPSc are covalently modified with advanced glycosylation end products (AGEs), which may be carboxymethyl-lysine (CML), one of the structural varieties of AGEs. The arginine residue at position 37 may also be modified with AGE, but not the arginine residue at position 25. This result suggests that nonenzymatic glycation is one of the post-translational modifications of PrP(Sc). Furthermore, immunostaining studies indicate that, at least in clinically affected hamsters, astrocytes are the first site of this glycation process.

  9. SIRPα polymorphisms, but not the prion protein, control phagocytosis of apoptotic cells

    PubMed Central

    Nuvolone, Mario; Kana, Veronika; Hutter, Gregor; Sakata, Daiji; Mortin-Toth, Steven M.; Russo, Giancarlo

    2013-01-01

    Prnp−/− mice lack the prion protein PrPC and are resistant to prion infections, but variable phenotypes have been reported in Prnp−/− mice and the physiological function of PrPC remains poorly understood. Here we examined a cell-autonomous phenotype, inhibition of macrophage phagocytosis of apoptotic cells, previously reported in Prnp−/− mice. Using formal genetic, genomic, and immunological analyses, we found that the regulation of phagocytosis previously ascribed to PrPC is instead controlled by a linked locus encoding the signal regulatory protein α (Sirpa). These findings indicate that control of phagocytosis was previously misattributed to the prion protein and illustrate the requirement for stringent approaches to eliminate confounding effects of flanking genes in studies modeling human disease in gene-targeted mice. The plethora of seemingly unrelated functions attributed to PrPC suggests that additional phenotypes reported in Prnp−/− mice may actually relate to Sirpa or other genetic confounders. PMID:24145514

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1996-03-01

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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Prion and prion-like diseases in animals.

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-02

    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.

  16. The prion protein M129V polymorphism: longevity and cognitive impairment among Polish centenarians.

    PubMed

    Golanska, Ewa; Sieruta, Monika; Corder, Elizabeth; Gresner, Sylwia M; Pfeffer, Anna; Chodakowska-Zebrowska, Malgorzata; Sobow, Tomasz M; Klich, Izabela; Mossakowska, Malgorzata; Szybinska, Aleksandra; Barcikowska, Maria; Liberski, Pawel P

    2013-01-01

    The PRNP gene encodes the cellular isoform of prion protein (PrP (c) ). The M129V polymorphism influences the risk of prion diseases and may modulate the rate of neurodegeneration with age. We present the first study of the polymorphism among Polish centenarians. In the control group (n = 165, ages 18 to 56 years) the observed M129V genotype frequencies agreed with those expected according to the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (MM, MV, VV): 43%, 44%, 13% (HWE p > 0.05). Among centenarians (n = 150, ages 100 to 107) both homozygotes were more common than expected and HWE was rejected: 46%, 37%, 17% (expected 42%, 46%, 13%; HWE p = 0.025). This finding is consistent with a higher mortality rate among heterozygotes. However, the observed allele and genotype frequencies did not differ significantly between the oldest-old and the young controls. The genotypic frequencies were not related to severe cognitive impairment among the centenarians.

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-10-28

    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. After incubating for as few as 10 minutes in saturated calcium hydroxide at 99 degrees C, immunoreactivity of protease resistant bands by western blot analysis is completely lost. Boiling in limewater may offer an alternative for disposal of carcasses and enable alternative uses for rendered products from potentially infected carcasses.

  19. Prion protein (PrP) in human teeth: an unprecedented pointer to PrP's function.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Kurt; Korkmaz, Yüksel; Addicks, Klaus; Lang, Hermann; Raab, Wolfgang H-M

    2007-02-01

    Although prion protein's (PrP) involvement in transmission of degenerative neurological diseases has been subjected to considerable scrutiny, its physiological role is still obscure. The distribution of PrP in dental tissues was investigated using three different methods: immunohistochemistry, cell culture, and scanning electron microscopy. PrP knockout mice were found to have marked anomalies in dentin structure. In human teeth, cementoblasts and odontoblasts showed prominent staining for PrP at levels comparable to those of nerve fibers. Epithelial rests of Malassez, which are remnants of a cell type formerly forming enamel, were also positive. Thus, all PrP-positive cells in human dentition are in some way involved in calcified tissue formation. This suggests a previously undetected function of prion protein in healthy vertebrates as evidenced by an obvious phenotype in PrP knockout mice. Periodontal and pulpal tissue exposed by disease or trauma might represent a clinically relevant entry point for prions incorporated orally and thus a possible mode of infection.

  20. The prion protein family member Shadoo induces spontaneous ionic currents in cultured cells

    PubMed Central

    Nyeste, Antal; Stincardini, Claudia; Bencsura, Petra; Cerovic, Milica; Biasini, Emiliano; Welker, Ervin

    2016-01-01

    Some mutant forms of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) carrying artificial deletions or point mutations associated with familial human prion diseases are capable of inducing spontaneous ionic currents across the cell membrane, conferring hypersensitivity to certain antibiotics to a wide range of cultured cells and primary cerebellar granular neurons (CGNs). These effects are abrogated when the wild type (WT) form is co-expressed, suggesting that they might be related to a physiological activity of PrPC. Interestingly, the prion protein family member Shadoo (Sho) makes cells hypersensitive to the same antibiotics as mutant PrP-s, an effect that is diminished by the co-expression of WT-PrP. Here, we report that Sho engages in another mutant PrP-like activity: it spontaneously induces large ionic currents in cultured SH-SY5Y cells, as detected by whole-cell patch clamping. These currents are also decreased by the co-expression of WT-PrP. Furthermore, deletion of the N-terminal (RXXX)8 motif of Sho, mutation of the eight arginine residues of this motif to glutamines, or replacement of the hydrophobic domain by that of PrP, also diminish Sho-induced ionic currents. Our results suggest that the channel activity that is also characteristic to some pathogenic PrP mutants may be linked to a physiological function of Sho. PMID:27819308

  1. Mapping the prion protein distribution in marsupials: insights from comparing opossum with mouse CNS.

    PubMed

    Poggiolini, Ilaria; Legname, Giuseppe

    2012-01-01

    The cellular form of the prion protein (PrP(C)) 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 PrP(C) distribution in marsupial mammals, for which no naturally occurring prion diseases have been reported. To extend our understanding of varying PrP(C) expression profiles in different mammals we carried out a detailed expression analysis of PrP(C) distribution along the neurodevelopment of the metatherian South American short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica). We detected lower levels of PrP(C) in white matter fiber bundles of opossum CNS compared to mouse CNS. This result is consistent with a possible role for PrP(C) in the distinct neurodevelopment and neurocircuitry found in marsupials compared to other mammalian species.

  2. Caffeine prevents human prion protein-mediated neurotoxicity through the induction of autophagy.

    PubMed

    Moon, Ji-Hong; Lee, Ju-Hee; Park, Jin-Young; Kim, Sung-Wook; Lee, You-Jin; Kang, Seog-Jin; Seol, Jae-Won; Ahn, Dong-Choon; Park, Sang-Youel

    2014-08-01

    The human prion protein (PrP) fragment PrP(106‑126) possesses the majority of the pathogenic properties associated with the infectious scrapie isoform of PrP, known as PrPSc. The accumulation of PrPSc in the brain of humans and animals affects the central nervous system. Recent epidemiological studies have suggested that caffeine, one of the major components of coffee, exerts protective effects against the development of neurodegeneration. However, the protective effects of caffeine against prion disease have not been reported to date. In this study, we therefore investigated the effects of caffeine on PrP-mediated neurotoxicity. The protein expression of the autophagosomal marker, LC3-II, was increased by caffeine in a dose-dependent manner, and the autophagy induced by caffeine protected the neuronal cells against PrP(106‑126)‑induced cell death. On the contrary, the downregulation of LC3-II using the autophagy inhibitors, 3-methyladenine (3-ΜΑ) and wortmannin, prevented the caffeine-mediated neuroprotective effects. To the best of our knowledge, the present study provides the first evidence that treatment with caffeine protects human neuronal cells against prion‑mediated neurotoxicity and these neuroprotective effects are mediated by caffeine-induced autophagy signals. Our data suggest that treatment with caffeine may be a novel therapeutic strategy for prion peptide‑induced apoptosis.

  3. Prion protein is ubiquitinated after developing protease resistance in the brains of scrapie-infected mice.

    PubMed

    Kang, Shin-Chung; Brown, David R; Whiteman, Matthew; Li, Ruliang; Pan, Tao; Perry, George; Wisniewski, Thomas; Sy, Man-Sun; Wong, Boon-Seng

    2004-05-01

    Although the key event in the pathology of prion diseases is thought to be the conversion of cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) to the protease-resistant scrapie species termed PrP(Sc), the factors that contribute to neurodegeneration in scrapie-infected animals are poorly understood. One probable determinant could be when the accumulation of PrP(Sc) in infected brain overwhelms the ubiquitin-proteasome system and triggers the degenerative cascade. In the present study, it was found that in mouse brains infected with the ME7 scrapie strain, the level of ubiquitin protein conjugates increased significantly at approximately 144 days post-infection (pi) when clinical signs first become apparent. This elevation correlated with the detection of protease-resistant PrP(Sc) and a decline in two endopeptidase activities associated with proteasome function. However, ubiquitination of PrP was only detected at the terminal stage, 3 weeks after the development of clinical symptoms (approximately 165 days pi). These results suggest that ubiquitination of PrP is a late event phenomenon and this conjugation occurs after the formation of protease-resistant PrP(Sc). Whether this post-translational modification and the impairment of proteasome function are pivotal events in the pathogenesis of prion diseases remains to be determined.

  4. Heterogeneity of normal prion protein in two- dimensional immunoblot: presence of various glycosylated and truncated forms.

    PubMed

    Pan, Tao; Li, Ruliang; Wong, Boon-Seng; Liu, Tong; Gambetti, Pierluigi; Sy, Man-Sun

    2002-06-01

    The common use of one-dimensional (1-D) immunoblot with a single monoclonal antibody (Mab) engenders the notion that the normal or cellular prion protein (PrP(C) ) comprises few and simple forms. In this study we used two-dimensional (2-D) immunoblot with a panel Mabs to various regions of the prion protein to demonstrate the complexity of the PrP(C) present in human brain. We distinguished over 50 immunoblot spots, each representing a distinct PrP(C) species based on combinations of different molecular weights and isoelectric points (pIs). The PrP(C) heterogeneity is due to the presence of a full-length and two major truncated forms as well as to the diversity of the glycans linked to most of these forms. The two major truncated forms result from distinct cleavage sites located at the N-terminus. In addition, enzymatic removal of sialic acid and lectin binding studies indicate that the glycans linked to the full-length and truncated PrP(C) forms differ in their structure and ratios of the glycoforms. The truncation of PrP(C) and the heterogeneity of the linked glycans may play a role in regulating PrP(C) function. Furthermore, the presence of relatively large quantities of different PrP(C) species may provide additional mechanisms by which the diversity of prion strains could be generated.

  5. 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%. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Hsp70/Hsp90 organising protein (hop): beyond interactions with chaperones and prion proteins.

    PubMed

    Baindur-Hudson, Swati; Edkins, Adrienne L; Blatch, Gregory L

    2015-01-01

    The Hsp70/Hsp90 organising protein (Hop), also known as stress-inducible protein 1 (STI1), has received considerable attention for diverse cellular functions in both healthy and diseased states. There is extensive evidence that intracellular Hop is a co-chaperone of the major chaperones Hsp70 and Hsp90, playing an important role in the productive folding of Hsp90 client proteins. Consequently, Hop is implicated in a number of key signalling pathways, including aberrant pathways leading to cancer. However, Hop is also secreted and it is now well established that Hop also serves as a receptor for the prion protein, PrP(C). The intracellular and extracellular forms of Hop most likely represent two different isoforms, although the molecular determinants of these divergent functions are yet to be identified. There is also a growing body of research that reports the involvement of Hop in cellular activities that appear independent of either chaperones or PrP(C). While Hop has been shown to have various cellular functions, its biological function remains elusive. However, recent knockout studies in mammals suggest that Hop has an important role in embryonic development. This review provides a critical overview of the latest molecular, cellular and biological research on Hop, critically evaluating its function in healthy systems and how this function is adapted in diseases states.

  7. 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

  8. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of prion protein bound to the Fab fragment of the POM1 antibody.

    PubMed

    Baral, Pravas Kumar; Wieland, Barbara; Swayampakula, Mridula; Polymenidou, Magdalini; Aguzzi, Adriano; Kav, Nat N V; James, Michael N G

    2011-10-01

    Prion diseases are neurodegenerative diseases that are characterized by the conversion of the cellular prion protein PrP(c) to the pathogenic isoform PrP(sc). Several antibodies are known to interact with the cellular prion protein and to inhibit this transition. An antibody Fab fragment, Fab POM1, was produced that recognizes a structural motif of the C-terminal domain of mouse prion protein. To study the mechanism by which Fab POM1 recognizes and binds the prion molecule, the complex between Fab POM1 and the C-terminal domain of mouse prion (residues 120-232) was prepared and crystallized. Crystals of this binary complex belonged to the monoclinic space group C2, with unit-cell parameters a = 83.68, b = 106.9, c = 76.25 Å, β = 95.6°. © 2011 International Union of Crystallography. All rights reserved.

  9. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of prion protein bound to the Fab fragment of the POM1 antibody

    PubMed Central

    Baral, Pravas Kumar; Wieland, Barbara; Swayampakula, Mridula; Polymenidou, Magdalini; Aguzzi, Adriano; Kav, Nat N. V.; James, Michael N. G.

    2011-01-01

    Prion diseases are neurodegenerative diseases that are characterized by the con­version of the cellular prion protein PrPc to the pathogenic isoform PrPsc. Several antibodies are known to interact with the cellular prion protein and to inhibit this transition. An antibody Fab fragment, Fab POM1, was produced that recognizes a structural motif of the C-terminal domain of mouse prion protein. To study the mechanism by which Fab POM1 recognizes and binds the prion molecule, the complex between Fab POM1 and the C-terminal domain of mouse prion (residues 120–232) was prepared and crystallized. Crystals of this binary complex belonged to the monoclinic space group C2, with unit-cell parameters a = 83.68, b = 106.9, c = 76.25 Å, β = 95.6°. PMID:22102029

  10. Alteration of NF-κB activity leads to mitochondrial apoptosis after infection with pathological prion protein

    PubMed Central

    Bourteele, Soizic; Oesterle, Katja; Weinzierl, Andreas O; Paxian, Stephan; Riemann, Marc; Schmid, Roland M; Planz, Oliver

    2007-01-01

    Nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) is a key regulator of the immune response, but in almost the same manner it is involved in induction of inflammation, proliferation and regulation of apoptosis. In the central nervous system activated NF-κB plays a neuroprotective role. While in some neurodegenerative disorders the role of NF-κB is well characterized, there is poor knowledge on the role of NF-κB in prion disease. We found binding but no transcriptional activity of the transcription factor in vitro. Characterizing the mechanism of cell death after infection with pathological prion protein increased caspase-9 and caspase-3 activity was detected and the lack of NF-κB activity resulted in the inability to activate target genes that usually play an important role in neuroprotection. Additionally, we investigated the role of NF-κB after prion infection of Nfkb1–/–, Nfkb2–/– and Bcl3–/– mice and central nervous system-specific p65-deleted mice revealing an accelerated prion disease in NF-κB2- and Bcl-3-deficient mice, which is in line with a reduced neuroprotective activity in prion infection. Based on our findings, we propose a model whereby the alteration of NF-κB activity at the early stages of infection with pathological prion protein leads to neuronal cell death mediated by mitochondrial apoptosis. PMID:17573907

  11. 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

  12. 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

    Uchiyama, Keiji; Miyata, Hironori; 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)/Prnp 0/0 mice, neither developed the disease nor accumulated MHM2ScΔ23-88 in their brains after inoculation with RML prions. In contrast, RML-inoculated Tg(MHM2Δ23-88)/Prnp 0/+ 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)/Prnp 0/0 mice remained resistant to RML prions for up to 730 days after inoculation. However, we found that Tg(MHM2Δ23-88)/Prnp 0/0 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)/Prnp 0/+ mice. However, wild-type PrPSc accumulated less in the brains of these inoculated Tg(MHM2Δ23-88)/Prnp 0/+ mice, compared with RML- and 22L-inoculated Prnp 0/+ 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergasa-Caceres, Fernando; Rabitz, Herschel A.

    2013-06-01

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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. The extent of protease resistance of misfolded prion protein is highly dependent on the salt concentration.

    PubMed

    Concha-Marambio, Luis; Diaz-Espinoza, Rodrigo; Soto, Claudio

    2014-01-31

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are neurodegenerative diseases caused by prions in mammals. An aberrantly folded protein (PrP(Sc)) is the main component of these proteinaceous infectious particles. Prions exhibit strong resistance to protease digestion, which is typically exploited for biochemical discrimination from its native cellular form (PrP(C)). This classical feature has been partially challenged by the isolation of sizeable amounts of protease-sensitive PrP(Sc) isoforms that self-propagate in vivo. Here, we report that the degree of PrP(Sc) protease resistance is highly dependent on the concentration of salt in the solution. Similar changes were observed in PrP(Sc) obtained from different strains and species. Strikingly, the effect of salt is reversible and is associated with changes on the size of PrP(Sc) particles, but surprisingly, the more protease-sensitive species consists of a larger size. These findings shed light on the mechanistic aspects of prion proteolysis and should be considered when assessing samples of biomedical relevance.

  19. Two misfolding routes for the prion protein around pH 4.5.

    PubMed

    Garrec, Julian; Tavernelli, Ivano; Rothlisberger, Ursula

    2013-01-01

    Using molecular dynamics simulations, we show that the prion protein (PrP) exhibits a dual behavior, with two possible transition routes, upon protonation of H187 around pH 4.5, which mimics specific conditions encountered in endosomes. Our results suggest a picture in which the protonated imidazole ring of H187 experiences an electrostatic repulsion with the nearby guanidinium group of R136, to which the system responds by pushing either H187 or R136 sidechains away from their native cavities. The regions to which H187 and R136 are linked, namely the C-terminal part of H2 and the loop connecting S1 to H1, respectively, are affected in a different manner depending on which pathway is taken. Specific in vivo or in vitro conditions, such as the presence of molecular chaperones or a particular experimental setup, may favor one transition pathway over the other, which can result in very different [Formula: see text] monomers. This has some possible connections with the observation of various fibril morphologies and the outcome of prion strains. In addition, the finding that the interaction of H187 with R136 is a weak point in mammalian PrP is supported by the absence of the [Formula: see text] residue pair in non-mammalian species that are known to be resistant to prion diseases.

  20. Difference in redox behaviors between copper-binding octarepeat and nonoctarepeat sites in prion protein.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Norifumi; Kuwata, Kazuo

    2009-11-01

    We studied the redox behavior of copper-binding sites in prion protein (PrP) to clarify copper's role in the pathological mechanism underlying prion diseases. We investigated the coordination structures, binding affinities, and redox potentials of copper-binding peptide fragments derived from the N-terminal domain of PrP by density functional theory calculations. We used four models for copper-binding moieties in PrP(60-96): two were derived from the PHGGGWGQ octapeptide repeat region of PrP(60-91), and the others were tripeptide Gly-Thr-His fragments derived from the copper-binding nonoctarepeat site around His96. We found that such PrP-derived copper-binding complexes exhibit conformationally dependent redox behavior; for example, the copper-binding complex derived from the octarepeat region tends to possess high reduction potential for the Cu(II)/Cu(I) couple, exceeding 0 V versus the standard hydrogen electrode, whereas the copper-binding nonoctarepeat model around His96 tends to possess high oxidation potential for the Cu(II)/Cu(III) couple and stabilize the higher-valent Cu(III) state. It is possible that such distinct redox activities of a copper-binding PrP are involved in the mechanism underlying prion diseases.

  1. 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.

  2. In vitro strain adaptation of CWD prions by serial protein misfolding cyclic amplification.

    PubMed

    Meyerett, Crystal; Michel, Brady; Pulford, Bruce; Spraker, Terry R; Nichols, Traci A; Johnson, Theodore; Kurt, Timothy; Hoover, Edward A; Telling, Glenn C; Zabel, Mark D

    2008-12-20

    We used serial protein misfolding cyclic amplification (sPMCA) to amplify the D10 strain of CWD prions in a linear relationship over two logs of D10 dilutions. The resultant PMCA-amplified D10 induced terminal TSE disease in CWD-susceptible Tg(cerPrP)1536 mice with a survival time approximately 80 days shorter than the original D10 inoculum, similar to that produced by in vivo sub-passage of D10 in Tg(cerPrP)1536 mice. Both in vitro-amplified and mouse-passaged D10 produced brain lesion profiles, glycoform ratios and conformational stabilities significantly different than those produced by the original D10 inoculum in Tg(cerPrP)1536 mice. These findings demonstrate that sPMCA can amplify and adapt prion strains in vitro as effectively and much more quickly than in vivo strain adaptation by mouse passage. Thus sPMCA may represent a powerful tool to assess prion strain adaptation and species barriers in vitro.

  3. Combined pharmacological induction of Hsp70 suppresses prion protein neurotoxicity in Drosophila.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. A novel protective prion protein variant that colocalizes with kuru exposure.

    PubMed

    Mead, Simon; Whitfield, Jerome; Poulter, Mark; Shah, Paresh; Uphill, James; Campbell, Tracy; Al-Dujaily, Huda; Hummerich, Holger; Beck, Jon; Mein, Charles A; Verzilli, Claudio; Whittaker, John; Alpers, Michael P; Collinge, John

    2009-11-19

    Kuru is a devastating epidemic prion disease that affected a highly restricted geographic area of the Papua New Guinea highlands; at its peak, it predominantly affected adult women and children of both sexes. Its incidence has steadily declined since the cessation of its route of transmission, endocannibalism. We performed genetic and selected clinical and genealogic assessments of more than 3000 persons from Eastern Highland populations, including 709 who participated in cannibalistic mortuary feasts, 152 of whom subsequently died of kuru. Persons who were exposed to kuru and survived the epidemic in Papua New Guinea are predominantly heterozygotes at the known resistance factor at codon 129 of the prion protein gene (PRNP). We now report a novel PRNP variant--G127V--that was found exclusively in people who lived in the region in which kuru was prevalent and that was present in half of the otherwise susceptible women from the region of highest exposure who were homozygous for methionine at PRNP codon 129. Although this allele is common in the area with the highest incidence of kuru, it is not found in patients with kuru and in unexposed population groups worldwide. Genealogic analysis reveals a significantly lower incidence of kuru in pedigrees that harbor the protective allele than in geographically matched control families. The 127V polymorphism is an acquired prion disease resistance factor selected during the kuru epidemic, rather than a pathogenic mutation that could have triggered the kuru epidemic. Variants at codons 127 and 129 of PRNP demonstrate the population genetic response to an epidemic of prion disease and represent a powerful episode of recent selection in humans. 2009 Massachusetts Medical Society

  6. The Physical Relationship between Infectivity and Prion Protein Aggregates Is Strain-Dependent

    PubMed Central

    Tixador, Philippe; Herzog, Laëtitia; Reine, Fabienne; Jaumain, Emilie; Chapuis, Jérôme; Le Dur, Annick; Laude, Hubert; Béringue, Vincent

    2010-01-01

    Prions are unconventional infectious agents thought to be primarily composed of PrPSc, a multimeric misfolded conformer of the ubiquitously expressed host-encoded prion protein (PrPC). They cause fatal neurodegenerative diseases in both animals and humans. The disease phenotype is not uniform within species, and stable, self-propagating variations in PrPSc conformation could encode this ‘strain’ diversity. However, much remains to be learned about the physical relationship between the infectious agent and PrPSc aggregation state, and how this varies according to the strain. We applied a sedimentation velocity technique to a panel of natural, biologically cloned strains obtained by propagation of classical and atypical sheep scrapie and BSE infectious sources in transgenic mice expressing ovine PrP. Detergent-solubilized, infected brain homogenates were used as starting material. Solubilization conditions were optimized to separate PrPSc aggregates from PrPC. The distribution of PrPSc and infectivity in the gradient was determined by immunoblotting and mouse bioassay, respectively. As a general feature, a major proteinase K-resistant PrPSc peak was observed in the middle part of the gradient. This population approximately corresponds to multimers of 12–30 PrP molecules, if constituted of PrP only. For two strains, infectivity peaked in a markedly different region of the gradient. This most infectious component sedimented very slowly, suggesting small size oligomers and/or low density PrPSc aggregates. Extending this study to hamster prions passaged in hamster PrP transgenic mice revealed that the highly infectious, slowly sedimenting particles could be a feature of strains able to induce a rapidly lethal disease. Our findings suggest that prion infectious particles are subjected to marked strain-dependent variations, which in turn could influence the strain biological phenotype, in particular the replication dynamics. PMID:20419156

  7. The toxicity of antiprion antibodies is mediated by the flexible tail of the prion protein.

    PubMed

    Sonati, Tiziana; Reimann, Regina R; Falsig, Jeppe; Baral, Pravas Kumar; O'Connor, Tracy; Hornemann, Simone; Yaganoglu, Sine; Li, Bei; Herrmann, Uli S; Wieland, Barbara; Swayampakula, Mridula; Rahman, Muhammad Hafizur; Das, Dipankar; Kav, Nat; Riek, Roland; Liberski, Pawel P; James, Michael N G; Aguzzi, Adriano

    2013-09-05

    Prion infections cause lethal neurodegeneration. This process requires the cellular prion protein (PrP(C); ref. 1), which contains a globular domain hinged to a long amino-proximal flexible tail. Here we describe rapid neurotoxicity in mice and cerebellar organotypic cultured slices exposed to ligands targeting the α1 and α3 helices of the PrP(C) globular domain. Ligands included seven distinct monoclonal antibodies, monovalent Fab1 fragments and recombinant single-chain variable fragment miniantibodies. Similar to prion infections, the toxicity of globular domain ligands required neuronal PrP(C), was exacerbated by PrP(C) overexpression, was associated with calpain activation and was antagonized by calpain inhibitors. Neurodegeneration was accompanied by a burst of reactive oxygen species, and was suppressed by antioxidants. Furthermore, genetic ablation of the superoxide-producing enzyme NOX2 (also known as CYBB) protected mice from globular domain ligand toxicity. We also found that neurotoxicity was prevented by deletions of the octapeptide repeats within the flexible tail. These deletions did not appreciably compromise globular domain antibody binding, suggesting that the flexible tail is required to transmit toxic signals that originate from the globular domain and trigger oxidative stress and calpain activation. Supporting this view, various octapeptide ligands were not only innocuous to both cerebellar organotypic cultured slices and mice, but also prevented the toxicity of globular domain ligands while not interfering with their binding. We conclude that PrP(C) consists of two functionally distinct modules, with the globular domain and the flexible tail exerting regulatory and executive functions, respectively. Octapeptide ligands also prolonged the life of mice expressing the toxic PrP(C) mutant, PrP(Δ94-134), indicating that the flexible tail mediates toxicity in two distinct PrP(C)-related conditions. Flexible tail-mediated toxicity may conceivably

  8. 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

  9. 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

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

    2015-04-01

    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.

  10. 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

  11. Disinfectants and Prions

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  12. Lack of germline mutation at codon 211 of the prion protein gene (PRNP) in Korean native cattle - Short communication.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yong-Chan; Jeong, Byung-Hoon

    2017-03-01

    Bovine prion diseases are composed of two types of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), classical BSE and atypical BSE. Recent studies have identified one case of atypical BSE with an E211K mutation. E211K is homologous to the human E200K mutation, which is related to familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), one of the familial forms of human prion diseases. To date, familial forms of prion diseases have not been reported in non-human animals. Because the familial forms of human prion diseases account for more than 10% of all human prion disease cases, the detection of the E211K mutation in healthy cattle is very important for verifying the role of this mutation as a familial form of BSE. To detect putative mutations related to familial BSE, specifically E211K in Korean native cattle (Hanwoo) and Korean dairy cattle (Holstein), we performed direct sequencing targeting codon 211 and the adjacent regions of the bovine prion protein (PRNP) gene in 384 Hanwoo and 152 Holstein cattle. We did not find the E211K mutation in any of the Korean cattle. Although we did not find the E211K mutation in Korean native cattle, E211K is a postulated mutation; therefore, further screening in other countries and larger samples is highly desirable.

  13. Prion Protein and Shadoo Are Involved in Overlapping Embryonic Pathways and Trophoblastic Development

    PubMed Central

    Makhzami, Samira; Vilotte, Marthe; Jaffrezic, Florence; Halliez, Sophie; Bouet, Stéphan; Marthey, Sylvain; Khalifé, Manal; Kanellopoulos-Langevin, Colette; Béringue, Vincent; Le Provost, Fabienne; Laude, Hubert; Vilotte, Jean-Luc

    2012-01-01

    The potential requirement of either the Prion or Shadoo protein for early mouse embryogenesis was recently suggested. However, the current data did not allow to precise the developmental process that was affected in the absence of both proteins and that led to the observed early lethal phenotype. In the present study, using various Prnp transgenic mouse lines and lentiviral vectors expressing shRNAs that target the Shadoo-encoding mRNA, we further demonstrate the specific requirement of at least one of these two PrP-related proteins at early developmental stages. Histological analysis reveals developmental defect of the ectoplacental cone and important hemorrhage surrounding the Prnp-knockout-Sprn-knockdown E7.5 embryos. By restricting the RNA interference to the trophoblastic cell lineages, the observed lethal phenotype could be attributed to the sole role of these proteins in this trophectoderm-derived compartment. RNAseq analysis performed on early embryos of various Prnp and Sprn genotypes indicated that the simultaneous down-regulation of these two proteins affects cell-adhesion and inflammatory pathways as well as the expression of ectoplacental-specific genes. Overall, our data provide biological clues in favor of a crucial and complementary embryonic role of the prion protein family in Eutherians and emphasizes the need to further evaluate its implication in normal and pathological human placenta biology. PMID:22860039

  14. Phosphorylation of native porcine olfactory binding proteins.

    PubMed

    Nagnan-Le Meillour, Patricia; Le Danvic, Chrystelle; Brimau, Fanny; Chemineau, Philippe; Michalski, Jean-Claude

    2009-07-01

    The identification of various isoforms of olfactory binding proteins is of major importance to elucidate their involvement in detection of pheromones and other odors. Here, we report the characterization of the phosphorylation of OBP (odorant binding protein) and Von Ebner's gland protein (VEG) from the pig, Sus scrofa. After labeling with specific antibodies raised against the three types of phosphorylation (Ser, Thr, Tyr), the phosphate-modified residues were mapped by using the beta-elimination followed by Michael addition of dithiothreitol (BEMAD) method. Eleven phosphorylation sites were localized in the pOBP sequence and nine sites in the VEG sequence. OBPs are secreted by Bowman's gland cells in the extracellular mucus lining the nasal cavity. After tracking the secretion pathway in the rough endoplasmic reticulum of these cells, we hypothesize that these proteins may be phosphorylated by ectokinases that remain to be characterized. The existence of such a regulatory mechanism theoretically increases the number of OBP variants, and it suggests a more specific role for OBPs in odorant coding than the one of odorant solubilizer and transporter.

  15. Protein misfolding cyclic amplification induces the conversion of recombinant prion protein to PrP oligomers causing neuronal apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Zhen; Yang, Lifeng; Chen, Baian; Zhu, Ting; Hassan, Mohammad Farooque; Yin, Xiaomin; Zhou, Xiangmei; Zhao, Deming

    2015-06-01

    The formation of neurotoxic prion protein (PrP) oligomers is thought to be a key step in the development of prion diseases. Recently, it was determined that the sonication and shaking of recombinant PrP can convert PrP monomers into β-state oligomers. Herein, we demonstrate that β-state oligomeric PrP can be generated through protein misfolding cyclic amplification from recombinant full-length hamster, human, rabbit, and mutated rabbit PrP, and that these oligomers can be used for subsequent research into the mechanisms of PrP-induced neurotoxicity. We have characterized protein misfolding cyclic amplification-induced monomer-to-oligomer conversion of PrP from three species using western blotting, circular dichroism, size-exclusion chromatography, and resistance to proteinase K (PK) digestion. We have further shown that all of the resulting β-oligomers are toxic to primary mouse cortical neurons independent of the presence of PrP(C) in the neurons, whereas the corresponding monomeric PrP were not toxic. In addition, we found that this toxicity is the result of oligomer-induced apoptosis via regulation of Bcl-2, Bax, and caspase-3 in both wild-type and PrP(-/-) cortical neurons. It is our hope that these results may contribute to our understanding of prion transformation within the brain. We found that β-state oligomeric PrPs can be generated through protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) from recombinant full-length hamster, human, rabbit, and mutated rabbit PrP. β-oligomers are toxic to primary mouse cortical neurons independent of the presence of PrP(C) in the neurons, while the corresponding monomeric PrPs were not toxic. This toxicity is the result of oligomers-induced apoptosis via regulation of Bcl-2, Bax, and caspase-3. These results may contribute to our understanding of prion transformation within the brain. © 2015 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  16. The Biological Function of the Prion Protein: A Cell Surface Scaffold of Signaling Modules

    PubMed Central

    Linden, Rafael

    2017-01-01

    The prion glycoprotein (PrPC) is mostly located at the cell surface, tethered to the plasma membrane through a glycosyl-phosphatydil inositol (GPI) anchor. Misfolding of PrPC is associated with the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), whereas its normal conformer serves as a receptor for oligomers of the β-amyloid peptide, which play a major role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). PrPC is highly expressed in both the nervous and immune systems, as well as in other organs, but its functions are controversial. Extensive experimental work disclosed multiple physiological roles of PrPC at the molecular, cellular and systemic levels, affecting the homeostasis of copper, neuroprotection, stem cell renewal and memory mechanisms, among others. Often each such process has been heralded as the bona fide function of PrPC, despite restricted attention paid to a selected phenotypic trait, associated with either modulation of gene expression or to the engagement of PrPC with a single ligand. In contrast, the GPI-anchored prion protein was shown to bind several extracellular and transmembrane ligands, which are required to endow that protein with the ability to play various roles in transmembrane signal transduction. In addition, differing sets of those ligands are available in cell type- and context-dependent scenarios. To account for such properties, we proposed that PrPC serves as a dynamic platform for the assembly of signaling modules at the cell surface, with widespread consequences for both physiology and behavior. The current review advances the hypothesis that the biological function of the prion protein is that of a cell surface scaffold protein, based on the striking similarities of its functional properties with those of scaffold proteins involved in the organization of intracellular signal transduction pathways. Those properties are: the ability to recruit spatially restricted sets of binding molecules involved in specific signaling

  17. Cyclosporin-A-induced prion protein aggresomes are dynamic quality-control cellular compartments.

    PubMed

    Ben-Gedalya, Tziona; Lyakhovetsky, Roman; Yedidia, Yifat; Bejerano-Sagie, Michal; Kogan, Natalya M; Karpuj, Marcela Viviana; Kaganovich, Daniel; Cohen, Ehud

    2011-06-01

    Despite the activity of cellular quality-control mechanisms, subsets of mature and newly synthesized polypeptides fail to fold properly and form insoluble aggregates. In some cases, protein aggregation leads to the development of human neurodegenerative maladies, including Alzheimer's and prion diseases. Aggregates of misfolded prion protein (PrP), which appear in cells after exposure to the drug cyclosporin A (CsA), and disease-linked PrP mutants have been found to accumulate in juxtanuclear deposition sites termed 'aggresomes'. Recently, it was shown that cells can contain at least two types of deposition sites for misfolded proteins: a dynamic quality-control compartment, which was termed 'JUNQ', and a site for terminally aggregated proteins called 'IPOD'. Here, we show that CsA-induced PrP aggresomes are dynamic structures that form despite intact proteasome activity, recruit chaperones and dynamically exchange PrP molecules with the cytosol. These findings define the CsA-PrP aggresome as a JUNQ-like dynamic quality-control compartment that mediates the refolding or degradation of misfolded proteins. Together, our data suggest that the formation of PrP aggresomes protects cells from proteotoxic stress.

  18. In Absence of the Cellular Prion Protein, Alterations in Copper Metabolism and Copper-Dependent Oxidase Activity Affect Iron Distribution

    PubMed Central

    Gasperini, Lisa; Meneghetti, Elisa; Legname, Giuseppe; Benetti, Federico

    2016-01-01

    Essential elements as copper and iron modulate a wide range of physiological functions. Their metabolism is strictly regulated by cellular pathways, since dysregulation of metal homeostasis is responsible for many detrimental effects. Neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and prion diseases are characterized by alterations of metal ions. These neurodegenerative maladies involve proteins that bind metals and mediate their metabolism through not well-defined mechanisms. Prion protein, for instance, interacts with divalent cations via multiple metal-binding sites and it modulates several metal-dependent physiological functions, such as S-nitrosylation of NMDA receptors. In this work we focused on the effect of prion protein absence on copper and iron metabolism during development and adulthood. In particular, we investigated copper and iron functional values in serum and several organs such as liver, spleen, total brain and isolated hippocampus. Our results show that iron content is diminished in prion protein-null mouse serum, while it accumulates in liver and spleen. Our data suggest that these alterations can be due to impairments in copper-dependent cerulopalsmin activity which is known to affect iron mobilization. In prion protein-null mouse total brain and hippocampus, metal ion content shows a fluctuating trend, suggesting the presence of homeostatic compensatory mechanisms. However, copper and iron functional values are likely altered also in these two organs, as indicated by the modulation of metal-binding protein expression levels. Altogether, these results reveal that the absence of the cellular prion protein impairs copper metabolism and copper-dependent oxidase activity, with ensuing alteration of iron mobilization from cellular storage compartments. PMID:27729845

  19. In Absence of the Cellular Prion Protein, Alterations in Copper Metabolism and Copper-Dependent Oxidase Activity Affect Iron Distribution.

    PubMed

    Gasperini, Lisa; Meneghetti, Elisa; Legname, Giuseppe; Benetti, Federico

    2016-01-01

    Essential elements as copper and iron modulate a wide range of physiological functions. Their metabolism is strictly regulated by cellular pathways, since dysregulation of metal homeostasis is responsible for many detrimental effects. Neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and prion diseases are characterized by alterations of metal ions. These neurodegenerative maladies involve proteins that bind metals and mediate their metabolism through not well-defined mechanisms. Prion protein, for instance, interacts with divalent cations via multiple metal-binding sites and it modulates several metal-dependent physiological functions, such as S-nitrosylation of NMDA receptors. In this work we focused on the effect of prion protein absence on copper and iron metabolism during development and adulthood. In particular, we investigated copper and iron functional values in serum and several organs such as liver, spleen, total brain and isolated hippocampus. Our results show that iron content is diminished in prion protein-null mouse serum, while it accumulates in liver and spleen. Our data suggest that these alterations can be due to impairments in copper-dependent cerulopalsmin activity which is known to affect iron mobilization. In prion protein-null mouse total brain and hippocampus, metal ion content shows a fluctuating trend, suggesting the presence of homeostatic compensatory mechanisms. However, copper and iron functional values are likely altered also in these two organs, as indicated by the modulation of metal-binding protein expression levels. Altogether, these results reveal that the absence of the cellular prion protein impairs copper metabolism and copper-dependent oxidase activity, with ensuing alteration of iron mobilization from cellular storage compartments.

  20. De novo design of synthetic prion domains.

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-24

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

  1. 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

  2. Ophthalmic Surgery in Prion Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Hamaguchi, Tsuyoshi; Noguchi-Shinohara, Moeko; Nakamura, Yosikazu; Sato, Takeshi; Kitamoto, Tetsuyuki; Mizusawa, Hidehiro

    2007-01-01

    Eleven (1.8%) of 597 patients underwent ophthalmic surgery within 1 month before the onset of prion disease or after the onset. All ophthalmologists reused surgical instruments that had been incompletely sterilized to eliminate infectious prion protein. Ophthalmologists should be aware of prion diseases as a possible cause of visual symptoms and use disposable instruments whenever possible. PMID:17370537

  3. An antibody to the aggregated synthetic prion protein peptide (PrP106-126) selectively recognizes disease-associated prion protein (PrP) from human brain specimens.

    PubMed

    Jones, Michael; Wight, Darren; McLoughlin, Victoria; Norrby, Katherine; Ironside, James W; Connolly, John G; Farquhar, Christine F; MacGregor, Ian R; Head, Mark W

    2009-04-01

    Human prion diseases are characterized by the conversion of the normal host cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) into an abnormal misfolded form [disease-associated prion protein (PrP(Sc))]. Antibodies that are capable of distinguishing between PrP(C) and PrP(Sc) may prove to be useful, not only for the diagnosis of these diseases, but also for a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in disease pathogenesis. In an attempt to produce such antibodies, we immunized mice with an aggregated peptide spanning amino acid residues 106 to 126 of human PrP (PrP106-126). We were able to isolate and single cell clone a hybridoma cell line (P1:1) which secreted an IgM isotype antibody [monoclonal antibody (mAb P1:1)] that recognized the aggregated, but not the monomeric form of the immunogen. When used in immunoprecipitation assays, the antibody did not recognize normal PrP(C) from non-prion disease brain specimens, but did selectively immunoprecipitate full-length PrP(Sc) from cases of variant and sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker disease. These results suggest that P1:1 recognizes an epitope formed during the structural rearrangement or aggregation of the PrP that is common to the major PrP(Sc) types found in the most common forms of human prion disease.

  4. Amyloid fibrils of human prion protein are spun and woven from morphologically disordered aggregates

    PubMed Central

    Almstedt, Karin; Nyström, Sofie; Peter, K; Nilsson, R

    2009-01-01

    Propagation and infectivity of prions in human prionopathies are likely associated with conversion of the mainly a-helical human prion protein, HuPrP, into an aggregated form with amyloid-like properties. Previous reports on efficient conversion of recombinant HuPrP have used mild to harsh denaturing conditions to generate amyloid fibrils in vitro. Herein we report on the in vitro conversion of four forms of truncated HuPrP (sequences 90–231 and 121–231 with and without an N-terminal hexa histidine tag) into amyloid-like fibrils within a few hours by using a protocol (phosphate buffered saline solutions at neutral pH with intense agitation) close to physiological conditions. The conversion process monitored by thioflavin T, ThT, revealed a three stage process with lag, growth and equilibrium phases. Seeding with preformed fibrils shortened the lag phase demonstrating the classic nucleated polymerization mechanism for the reaction. Interestingly, comparing thioflavin T kinetics with solubility and turbidity kinetics it was found that the protein initially formed non- thioflavionophilic, morphologically disordered aggregates that over time matured into amyloid fibrils. By transmission electron microscopy and by fluorescence microscopy of aggregates stained with luminescent conjugated polythiophenes (LCPs); we demonstrated that HuPrP undergoes a conformational conversion where spun and woven fibrils protruded from morphologically disordered aggregates. The initial aggregation functioned as a kinetic trap that decelerated nucleation into a fibrillation competent nucleus, but at the same time without aggregation there was no onset of amyloid fibril formation. The agitation, which was necessary for fibril formation to be induced, transiently exposes the protein to the air-water interface suggests a hitherto largely unexplored denaturing environment for prion conversion. PMID:19923901

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-11

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

  6. 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). © 2015 Stichting International Foundation for Animal Genetics.

  7. 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.; Bartz, Jason C.

    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.

  8. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Simulations of membrane-bound diglycosylated human prion protein reveal potential protective mechanisms against misfolding.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Chin Jung; Koldsø, Heidi; Van der Kamp, Marc W; Schiøtt, Birgit; Daggett, Valerie

    2017-07-01

    Prion diseases are associated with the misfolding of the prion protein (PrP) from its normal cellular form (PrP(C) ) to its infectious scrapie form (PrP(S)(c) ). Post-translational modifications in PrP in vivo can play an important role in modulating the process of misfolding. To gain more insight into the effects of post-translational modifications in PrP structure and dynamics and to test the hypothesis that such modifications can interact with the protein, we have performed molecular dynamics simulations of diglycosylated human PrP(C) bound to a lipid bilayer via a glycophosphatidylinositol anchor. Multiple simulations were performed at three different pH ranges to explore pH effects on structure and dynamics. In contrast to simulations of protein-only PrP(C) , no large effects were observed upon lowering the pH of the system. The protein tilted toward the membrane surface in all of the simulations and the putative PrP(S)(c) oligomerization sites became inaccessible, thereby offering a possible protective mechanism against PrP(S)(c) -induced misfolding of PrP(C) . © 2017 International Society for Neurochemistry.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  13. Cooperative binding of dominant-negative prion protein to kringle domains.

    PubMed

    Ryou, Chongsuk; Prusiner, Stanley B; Legname, Giuseppe

    2003-05-30

    Conversion of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) to the pathogenic isoform (PrP(Sc)) is a major biochemical alteration in the progression of prion disease. This conversion process is thought to require interaction between PrP(C) and an as yet unidentified auxiliary factor, provisionally designated protein X. In searching for protein X, we screened a phage display cDNA expression library constructed from prion-infected neuroblastoma (ScN2a) cells and identified a kringle protein domain using full-length recombinant mouse PrP (recMoPrP(23-231), hereafter recMoPrP) expressing a dominant-negative mutation at codon 218 (recMoPrP(Q218K)). In vitro binding analysis using ELISA verified specific interaction of recMoPrP to kringle domains (K(1+2+3)) with higher binding by recMoPrP(Q218K) than by full-length recMoPrP without the mutation. This interaction was confirmed by competitive binding analysis, in which the addition of either a specific anti-kringle antibody or L-lysine abolished the interaction. Biochemical studies of the interactions between K(1+2+3) and various concentrations of both recMoPrP molecules demonstrated binding in a dose-dependent manner. A Hill plot analysis of the data indicates positive cooperative binding of both recMoPrP(Q218K) and recMoPrP to K(1+2+3) with stronger binding by recMoPrP(Q218K). Using full-length and an N-terminally truncated MoPrP(89-231), we demonstrate that N-terminal sequences enable PrP to bind strongly to K(1+2+3). Further characterization with truncated MoPrP(89-231) refolded in different conformations revealed that both alpha-helical and beta-sheet conformations bind to K(1+2+3). Our data demonstrate specific, high-affinity binding of a dominant-negative PrP as well as binding of other PrPs to K(1+2+3). The relevance of such interactions during prion pathogenesis remains to be established.

  14. Amyloid-β induced signaling by cellular prion protein and Fyn kinase in Alzheimer disease.

    PubMed

    Um, Ji Won; Strittmatter, Stephen M

    2013-01-01

    Alzheimer disease (AD) is the most prevalent cause of dementia. Amyloid-β (Aβ) oligomers are potent synaptotoxins thought to mediate AD-related phenotypes. Cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) has been identified as a high-affinity receptor for Aβ oligomers. Herein, we review the functional consequences of Aβ oligomer binding to PrP(C) on the neuronal surface. We highlight recent evidence that Fyn kinase mediates signal transduction downstream of the PrP(C)-Aβ oligomer complex. These studies suggest that PrP(C) has a central role in AD pathogenesis and may provide a target for therapeutic intervention in AD.

  15. Prion-like spread of protein aggregates in neurodegeneration.

    PubMed

    Polymenidou, Magdalini; Cleveland, Don W

    2012-05-07

    Protein misfolding is common to most neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Recent work using animal models with intracellular α-synuclein and tau inclusions adds decisively to a growing body of evidence that misfolded protein aggregates can induce a self-perpetuating process that leads to amplification and spreading of pathological protein assemblies. When coupled with the progressive nature of neurodegeneration, recognition of such cell-to-cell aggregate spread suggests a unifying mechanism underlying the pathogenesis of these disorders.

  16. NMR structure of the human prion protein with the pathological Q212P mutation reveals unique structural features.

    PubMed

    Ilc, Gregor; Giachin, Gabriele; Jaremko, Mariusz; Jaremko, Łukasz; Benetti, Federico; Plavec, Janez; Zhukov, Igor; Legname, Giuseppe

    2010-07-22

    Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders caused by an aberrant accumulation of the misfolded cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) conformer, denoted as infectious scrapie isoform or PrP(Sc). In inherited human prion diseases, mutations in the open reading frame of the PrP gene (PRNP) are hypothesized to favor spontaneous generation of PrP(Sc) in specific brain regions leading to neuronal cell degeneration and death. Here, we describe the NMR solution structure of the truncated recombinant human PrP from residue 90 to 231 carrying the Q212P mutation, which is believed to cause Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker (GSS) syndrome, a familial prion disease. The secondary structure of the Q212P mutant consists of a flexible disordered tail (residues 90-124) and a globular domain (residues 125-231). The substitution of a glutamine by a proline at the position 212 introduces novel structural differences in comparison to the known wild-type PrP structures. The most remarkable differences involve the C-terminal end of the protein and the beta(2)-alpha(2) loop region. This structure might provide new insights into the early events of conformational transition of PrP(C) into PrP(Sc). Indeed, the spontaneous formation of prions in familial cases might be due to the disruptions of the hydrophobic core consisting of beta(2)-alpha(2) loop and alpha(3) helix.

  17. The prion protein constitutively controls neuronal store-operated Ca(2+) entry through Fyn kinase.

    PubMed

    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 (PrP(C)) is a cell surface glycoprotein mainly expressed in neurons, whose misfolded isoforms generate the prion responsible for incurable neurodegenerative disorders. Whereas PrP(C) involvement in prion propagation is well established, PrP(C) physiological function is still enigmatic despite suggestions that it could act in cell signal transduction by modulating phosphorylation cascades and Ca(2+) homeostasis. Because PrP(C) binds neurotoxic protein aggregates with high-affinity, it has also been proposed that PrP(C) acts as receptor for amyloid-β (Aβ) oligomers associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD), and that PrP(C)-Aβ binding mediates AD-related synaptic dysfunctions following activation of the tyrosine kinase Fyn. Here, use of gene-encoded Ca(2+) probes targeting different cell domains in primary cerebellar granule neurons (CGN) expressing, or not, PrP(C), allowed us to investigate whether PrP(C) regulates store-operated Ca(2+) entry (SOCE) and the implication of Fyn in this control. Our findings show that PrP(C) attenuates SOCE, and Ca(2+) 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 PrP(C)-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 PrP(C) over Fyn and SOCE, suggesting a PrP(C)-dependent mechanizm for Aβ-induced neuronal Ca(2+) dyshomeostasis.

  18. Conformational transitions in peptides containing two putative alpha-helices of the prion protein.

    PubMed

    Zhang, H; Kaneko, K; Nguyen, J T; Livshits, T L; Baldwin, M A; Cohen, F E; James, T L; Prusiner, S B

    1995-07-21

    Prions are composed largely, if not entirely, of the scrapie isoform of the prion protein (PrPSc). Conversion of the cellular isoform (PrPC) to PrPSc is accompanied by a diminution in the alpha-helical content and an increase in the beta-sheet structure. To investigate the structural basis of this transition, peptide fragments corresponding to Syrian hamster PrP residues 90 to 145 and 109 to 141, which contain the most conserved residues of the prion protein and the first two putative alpha-helical regions in a PrPC model, were studied using infrared spectroscopy and circular dichroism. The peptides could be induced to form alpha-helical structures in aqueous solutions in the presence of organic solvents, such as trifluoroethanol and hexafluoroisopropanol, or detergents, such as sodium dodecyl sulfate and dodecyl phosphocholine. NaCl at physiological concentration or acetonitrile induced the peptides to acquire substantial beta-sheet. The intermolecular nature of the beta-sheet was evident in the formation of rod-shaped polymers as detected by electron microscopy. Resistance to hydrolysis by proteinase K and epitope mapping argue that the beta-sheet structures were formed by the interaction of residues lying between 109 and 141. A similar range of residues was shown by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to be capable of forming alpha-helices. The alpha-helical structures seem to require a hydrophobic support from either intermolecular interactions or the hydrophobic environment provided by micelles, in agreement with the predicted hydrophobic nature of the packing surface among the four putative helices of PrPC and the outer surfaces of the first two helices. Our results suggest that perturbation of the packing environment of the highly conserved residues is a possible mechanism for triggering the conversion of PrPC to PrPSc where alpha-helices appear to be converted into beta-sheets.

  19. Glypican-1 mediates both prion protein lipid raft association and disease isoform formation.

    PubMed

    Taylor, David R; Whitehouse, Isobel J; Hooper, Nigel M

    2009-11-01

    In prion diseases, the cellular form of the prion protein, PrP(C), undergoes a conformational conversion to the infectious isoform, PrP(Sc). PrP(C) associates with lipid rafts through its glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor and a region in its N-terminal domain which also binds to heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs). We show that heparin displaces PrP(C) from rafts and promotes its endocytosis, suggesting that heparin competes with an endogenous raft-resident HSPG for binding to PrP(C). We then utilised a transmembrane-anchored form of PrP (PrP-TM), which is targeted to rafts solely by its N-terminal domain, to show that both heparin and phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C can inhibit its association with detergent-resistant rafts, implying that a GPI-anchored HSPG targets PrP(C) to rafts. Depletion of the major neuronal GPI-anchored HSPG, glypican-1, significantly reduced the raft association of PrP-TM and displaced PrP(C) from rafts, promoting its endocytosis. Glypican-1 and PrP(C) colocalised on the cell surface and both PrP(C) and PrP(Sc) co-immunoprecipitated with glypican-1. Critically, treatment of scrapie-infected N2a cells with glypican-1 siRNA significantly reduced PrP(Sc) formation. In contrast, depletion of glypican-1 did not alter the inhibitory effect of PrP(C) on the beta-secretase cleavage of the Alzheimer's amyloid precursor protein. These data indicate that glypican-1 is a novel cellular cofactor for prion conversion and we propose that it acts as a scaffold facilitating the interaction of PrP(C) and PrP(Sc) in lipid rafts.

  20. Simple method of monoclonal antibody production against mammalian cellular prion protein.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yong-sheng; Ding, Yao-zhong; Zhang, Jie; Chen, Hao-tai; Zhu, Xiao-ling; Cai, Xue-peng; Liu, Xiang-tao; Xie, Qing-ge

    2010-02-01

    Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against prion protein (PrP) are powerful tools for diagnosis and research in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. Ten MAbs to recombinant/native cellular PrP (PrPc) in mammals were prepared with a simple method and identified in detail. Normal BALB/c mice were immunized with the recombinant bovine mature PrP (rbomPrP) and PrP27-30 (rboPrP27-30) expressed in Escherichia coli. The immunized splenocytes were fused with SP2/0 mouse myeloma cells, and positive hybridomas were selected by indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The characterizations of these MAbs, such as Ig, Ig subclass, titer, affinity index, specificity, epitopes recognized, and binding to recombinant/native PrPc of cattle, sheep, or human beings, were evaluated by Western blotting and indirect or sandwich ELISA. Ten MAbs could be divided into five groups depending on the results of indirect ELISA additivity test and their reaction to E. coli-expressed truncated-PrPs. Isotyping of the MAbs revealed that they belong to IgG1, IgG2a, and IgG2b subclass. Their indirect ELISA titers were between 10(3) and 10(6). Affinity constants were between 10(9) and 10(12) M(-1). Ten MAbs specifically reacted with the rbomPrP, without binding to prion-like protein Doppel and the lysates of E. coli. These MAbs could also respond to the recombinant mature PrP (rmPrP) of sheep and human beings. Also of interest was the ability of the MAbs to bind with dimer of rmPrP and PrP extracted from the brain tissue of cattle or sheep. We conclude that anti-PrP MAbs successfully prepared with a simple method could potentially be useful in mammalian prion research.

  1. Cellular prion protein is expressed in a subset of neuroendocrine cells of the rat gastrointestinal tract.

    PubMed

    Marcos, Zuberoa; Pffeifer, Kristine; Bodegas, María E; Sesma, María P; Guembe, Laura

    2004-10-01

    Prion diseases are believed to develop from the conformational change of normal cellular prion protein (PrPc) to a pathogenic isoform (PrPsc). PrPc is present in both the central nervous system and many peripheral tissues, although protein concentration is significantly lower in non-neuronal tissues. PrPc expression is essential for internalization and replication of the infectious agent. Several works have pointed to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract as the principal site of entry of PrPsc, but how passage through the GI mucosa occurs is not yet known. Here we studied PrPc expression using Western blot, RT-PCR, and immunohistochemistry in rat GI tract. PrPc mRNA and protein were detected in corpus, antrum, duodenum, and colon. Immunoreactivity was found in scattered cells of the GI epithelium. With double immunofluorescence, these cells have been identified as neuroendocrine cells. PrPc immunostaining was found in subsets of histamine, somatostatin (Som), ghrelin, gastrin (G), and serotonin (5HT) cells in stomach. In small and large bowel, PrPc cells co-localized with subpopulations of 5HT-, Som-, G-, and peptide YY-immunolabeled cells. Our results provide evidence for a possible and important role of endocrine cells in the internalization of PrPsc from gut lumen. Copyright The Histochemical Society, Inc.

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

    PubMed Central

    Torrent, Joan; Lange, Reinhard; Rezaei, Human

    2015-01-01

    Protein oligomerization has been associated with a wide range of diseases. High pressure approaches offer a powerful tool for deciphering the underlying molecular mechanisms by revealing volume changes associated with the misfolding and assembly reactions. We applied high pressure to induce conformational changes in three distinct β-sheet-rich oligomers of the prion protein PrP, a protein characterized by a variety of infectious quaternary structures that can propagate stably and faithfully and cause diseases with specific phenotypic traits. We show that pressure induces dissociation of the oligomers and leads to a lower volume monomeric PrP state that refolds into the native conformation after pressure release. By measuring the different pressure and temperature sensitivity of the tested PrP oligomers, we demonstrate significantly different void volumes in their quaternary structure. In addition, by focusing on the kinetic and energetic behavior of the pressure-induced dissociation of one specific PrP oligomer, we reveal a large negative activation volume and an increase in both apparent activation enthalpy and entropy. This suggests a transition state ensemble that is less structured and significantly more hydrated than the oligomeric state. Finally, we found that site-specific fluorescent labeling allows monitoring of the transient population of a kinetic intermediate in the dissociation reaction. Our results indicate that defects in atomic packing may deserve consideration as a new factor that influences differences between PrP assemblies and that could be relevant also for explaining the origin of prion strains. PMID:26126829

  3. Localization of the mRNA for a chicken prion protein by in situ hybridization.

    PubMed

    Harris, D A; Lele, P; Snider, W D

    1993-05-01

    The infectious agent (prion) responsible for transmissible spongiform encephalopathies in humans and animals is composed primarily of a 33- to 35-kDa glycoprotein called PrPSc (scrapie isoform of prion protein), which is a posttranslationally modified form of the normal cell-surface protein PrPC. Little is known about the function of PrPC. Interestingly, chPrP, the chicken homologue of PrPC, copurifies with a factor from brain that stimulates synthesis of acetylcholine receptors on skeletal muscle cells. Using in situ hybridization, we report here that chPrP mRNA is widely distributed in cholinergic and noncholinergic neurons throughout the adult central nervous system, including those in the telencephalic striata, thalamus and hypothalamus, optic tectum, medulla, cerebellum, and spinal cord. The mRNA is present in the brain and spinal cord as early as embryonic day 6 and is also found in dorsal root ganglia, retina, intestine, and heart. Our data suggest that if chPrP serves to regulate acetylcholine receptor number on postsynaptic targets, this is not its only function. It is likely that the protein plays a more widespread role in the central nervous system and perhaps elsewhere, possibly one related to intercellular communication, adhesion, or recognition. The chicken embryo represents an attractive experimental system in which to investigate the normal developmental function of PrPC.

  4. Prions and neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Hope, J

    2000-10-01

    The long-term, progressive decay of the central nervous system typifies prion diseases, a group of rare, transmissible maladies affecting humans, sheep, cattle and some other types of mammal. Little is known about the early molecular events in its pathogenesis but the diverse roles of PrP, the prion protein, in its destructive action have recently been re-emphasised.

  5. Prion diseases: New considerations.

    PubMed

    Annus, Ádám; Csáti, Anett; Vécsei, László

    2016-11-01

    The transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, which include Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, are fatal neurodegenerative disorders caused by the pathological accumulation of abnormal prion protein. The diagnosis of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is complex. The electroencephalogram, magnetic resonance imaging, lumbar puncture and genetic testing findings can help in the differential diagnosis of rapidly progressive dementia. There has recently been considerable debate as to whether proteins involved in the development of neurodegenerative diseases should be regarded as prions or only share prion-like mechanisms. Two recent reports described the detection of abnormal prion protein in the nasal mucosa and urine of patients with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. These findings raise major health concerns regarding the transmissibility of human prion diseases. We set out to address this neurological hot topic and to draw conclusions on the basis of what is known in the literature thus far.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Temporal resolution of misfolded prion protein transport, accumulation, glial activation, and neuronal death in the retinas of mice inoculated with scrapie

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  10. PrionHome: A Database of Prions and Other Sequences Relevant to Prion Phenomena

    PubMed Central

    Harbi, Djamel; Parthiban, Marimuthu; Gendoo, Deena M. A.; Ehsani, Sepehr; Kumar, Manish; Schmitt-Ulms, Gerold; Sowdhamini, Ramanathan; Harrison, Paul M.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Harbi, Djamel; Parthiban, Marimuthu; Gendoo, Deena M A; Ehsani, Sepehr; Kumar, Manish; Schmitt-Ulms, Gerold; Sowdhamini, Ramanathan; Harrison, Paul M

    2012-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. The sequential development of abnormal prion protein accumulation in mice with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

    PubMed Central

    Muramoto, T.; Kitamoto, T.; Tateishi, J.; Goto, I.

    1992-01-01

    The distribution and sequential development of prion protein (PrP) accumulation in the central nervous system (CNS) and non-neuronal organs of mice infected with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) were investigated immunohistochemically using a new pretreatment method that greatly enhanced the immunoreactivity of PrP. Prion protein accumulation in the CNS was first detected at 30 days after inoculation and then developed near the inoculation site or periventricular area, and later spread to the whole cerebrum and then to the pons. Its staining took some characteristic forms. Among non-neuronal organs, PrP accumulated in the follicular dendritic cells (FDCs) in spleen, lymph node, Peyer's patch, and thymus. FDCs staining appeared in spleen, lymph node, and Peyer's patch at 21 or 30 days after inoculation, and in thymus at 90 days. Germinal centers developed in the thymus of some CJD-infected mice. No PrP staining was detected in any examined organs of age-matched control mice. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 PMID:1376559

  14. Inhibition of protease-resistant prion protein formation by porphyrins and phthalocyanines

    PubMed Central

    Caughey, Winslow S.; Raymond, Lynne D.; Horiuchi, Motohiro; Caughey, Byron

    1998-01-01

    A central aspect of pathogenesis in the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies or prion diseases is the conversion of normal protease-sensitive prion protein (PrP-sen) to the abnormal protease-resistant form, PrP-res. Here we identify porphyrins and phthalocyanines as inhibitors of PrP-res accumulation. The most potent of these tetrapyrroles had IC50 values of 0.5–1 μM in scrapie-infected mouse neuroblastoma (ScNB) cell cultures. Inhibition was observed without effects on protein biosynthesis in general or PrP-sen biosynthesis in particular. Tetrapyrroles also inhibited PrP-res formation in a cell-free reaction composed predominantly of hamster PrP-res and PrP-sen. Inhibitors were found among phthalocyanines, deuteroporphyrins IX, and meso-substituted porphines; examples included compounds containing anionic, neutral protic, and cationic peripheral substituents and various metals. We conclude that certain tetrapyrroles specifically inhibit the conversion of PrP-sen to PrP-res without apparent cytotoxic effects. The inhibition observed in the cell-free conversion reaction suggests that the mechanism involved direct interactions of the tetrapyrrole with PrP-res and/or PrP-sen. These findings introduce a new class of inhibitors of PrP-res formation that represents a potential source of therapeutic agents for transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. PMID:9770449

  15. Expression of the prion-like protein Shadoo in the developing mouse embryo.

    PubMed

    Young, Rachel; Bouet, Stéphan; Polyte, Jacqueline; Le Guillou, Sandrine; Passet, Bruno; Vilotte, Marthe; Castille, Johan; Beringue, Vincent; Le Provost, Fabienne; Laude, Hubert; Vilotte, Jean-Luc

    2011-12-09

    The prion-like protein Shadoo has been suggested to compensate for the lack of PrP in Prnp-knockout mice, explaining their lack of extreme phenotype. In adult mice, both PrP and Shadoo have shown overlapping expression patterns and shared functions. Their expression in the mouse embryo has also been suggested to be complementary, as invalidation of both genes results in embryonic lethality. The developmental expression profile of PrP has been described from post-implantation stages up until birth. However the spatial expression pattern of Shadoo in the developing mouse embryo is not known. We previously described the expression profile of the prion-like protein Shadoo in adult mice using Sprn reporter mice (Sprn-GFP and Sprn-LacZ). Here we used these mice to describe the developmental expression of Shadoo between 10.5 and 14.5 dpc. The observed pattern in specific embryonic cell lineages and in extra-embryonic tissues is consistent with the previously reported phenotype resulting from its knockdown.

  16. Involvement of the cellular prion protein in the migration of brain microvascular endothelial cells.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Takuya; Yasutaka, Yuki; Nishioku, Tsuyoshi; Kusakabe, Sae; Futagami, Koujiro; Yamauchi, Atsushi; Kataoka, Yasufumi

    2011-06-01

    The conversion of cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) to its protease-resistant isoform is involved in the pathogenesis of prion disease. Although PrP(C) is a ubiquitous glycoprotein that is present in various cell types, the physiological role of PrP(C) remains obscure. The present study aimed to determine whether PrP(C) mediates migration of brain microvascular endothelial cells. Small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) targeting PrP(C) were transfected into a mouse brain microvascular endothelial cell line (bEND.3 cells). siPrP1, selected among three siRNAs, reduced mRNA and protein levels of PrP(C) in bEND.3 cells. Cellular migration was evaluated with a scratch-wound assay. siPrP1 suppressed migration without significantly affecting cellular proliferation. This study provides the first evidence that PrP(C) may be necessary for brain microvascular endothelial cells to migrate into damaged regions in the brain. This function of PrP(C) in the brain endothelium may be a mechanism by which the neurovascular unit recovers from an injury such as an ischemic insult.

  17. β-sheet-like formation during the mechanical unfolding of prion protein

    SciTech Connect

    Tao, Weiwei; Cao, Penghui; Park, Harold S.; Yoon, Gwonchan; Eom, Kilho

    2015-09-28

    Single molecule experiments and simulations have been widely used to characterize the unfolding and folding pathways of different proteins. However, with few exceptions, these tools have not been applied to study prion protein, PrP{sup C}, whose misfolded form PrP{sup Sc} can induce a group of fatal neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we apply novel atomistic modeling based on potential energy surface exploration to study the constant force unfolding of human PrP at time scales inaccessible with standard molecular dynamics. We demonstrate for forces around 100 pN, prion forms a stable, three-stranded β-sheet-like intermediate configuration containing residues 155-214 with a lifetime exceeding hundreds of nanoseconds. A mutant without the disulfide bridge shows lower stability during the unfolding process but still forms the three-stranded structure. The simulations thus not only show the atomistic details of the mechanically induced structural conversion from the native α-helical structure to the β-rich-like form but also lend support to the structural theory that there is a core of the recombinant PrP amyloid, a misfolded form reported to induce transmissible disease, mapping to C-terminal residues ≈160-220.

  18. β-sheet-like formation during the mechanical unfolding of prion protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tao, Weiwei; Yoon, Gwonchan; Cao, Penghui; Eom, Kilho; Park, Harold S.

    2015-09-01

    Single molecule experiments and simulations have been widely used to characterize the unfolding and folding pathways of different proteins. However, with few exceptions, these tools have not been applied to study prion protein, PrPC, whose misfolded form PrPSc can induce a group of fatal neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we apply novel atomistic modeling based on potential energy surface exploration to study the constant force unfolding of human PrP at time scales inaccessible with standard molecular dynamics. We demonstrate for forces around 100 pN, prion forms a stable, three-stranded β-sheet-like intermediate configuration containing residues 155-214 with a lifetime exceeding hundreds of nanoseconds. A mutant without the disulfide bridge shows lower stability during the unfolding process but still forms the three-stranded structure. The simulations thus not only show the atomistic details of the mechanically induced structural conversion from the native α-helical structure to the β-rich-like form but also lend support to the structural theory that there is a core of the recombinant PrP amyloid, a misfolded form reported to induce transmissible disease, mapping to C-terminal residues ≈160-220.

  19. 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

  20. Proteolysis of abnormal prion protein with a thermostable protease from Thermococcus kodakarensis KOD1.

    PubMed

    Koga, Yuichi; Tanaka, Shun-ichi; Sakudo, Akikazu; Tobiume, Minoru; Aranishi, Mutsuo; Hirata, Azumi; Takano, Kazufumi; Ikuta, Kazuyoshi; Kanaya, Shigenori

    2014-03-01

    The abnormal prion protein (scrapie-associated prion protein, PrP(Sc)) is considered to be included in the group of infectious agents of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. Since PrP(Sc) is highly resistant to normal sterilization procedures, the decontamination of PrP(Sc) is a significant public health issue. In the present study, a hyperthermostable protease, Tk-subtilisin, was used to degrade PrP(Sc). Although PrP(Sc) is known to be resistant toward proteolytic enzymes, Tk-subtilisin was able to degrade PrP(Sc) under extreme conditions. The level of PrP(Sc) in brain homogenates was found to decrease significantly in vitro following Tk-subtilisin treatment at 100 °C, whereas some protease-resistant fractions remain after proteinase K treatment. Rather small amounts of Tk-subtilisin (0.3 U) were required to degrade PrP(Sc) at 100 °C and pH 8.0. In addition, Tk-subtilisin was observed to degrade PrP(Sc) in the presence of sodium dodecyl sulfate or other industrial surfactants. Although several proteases degrading PrP(Sc) have been reported, practical decontamination procedures using enzymes are not available. This report aims to provide basic information for the practical use of a proteolytic enzyme for PrP(Sc) degradation.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Methionine Oxidation Perturbs the Structural Core of the Prion Protein and Suggests a Generic Misfolding Pathway*

    PubMed Central

    Younan, Nadine D.; Nadal, Rebecca C.; Davies, Paul; Brown, David R.; Viles, John H.

    2012-01-01

    Oxidative stress and misfolding of the prion protein (PrPC) are fundamental to prion diseases. We have therefore probed the effect of oxidation on the structure and stability of PrPC. Urea unfolding studies indicate that H2O2 oxidation reduces the thermodynamic stability of PrPC by as much as 9 kJ/mol. 1H-15N NMR studies indicate methionine oxidation perturbs key hydrophobic residues on one face of helix-C as follows: Met-205, Val-209, and Met-212 together with residues Val-160 and Tyr-156. These hydrophobic residues pack together and form the structured core of the protein, stabilizing its ternary structure. Copper-catalyzed oxidation of PrPC causes a more significant alteration of the structure, generating a monomeric molten globule species that retains its native helical content. Further copper-catalyzed oxidation promotes extended β-strand structures that lack a cooperative fold. This transition from the helical molten globule to β-conformation has striking similarities to a misfolding intermediate generated at low pH. PrP may therefore share a generic misfolding pathway to amyloid fibers, irrespective of the conditions promoting misfolding. Our observations support the hypothesis that oxidation of PrP destabilizes the native fold of PrPC, facilitating the transition to PrPSc. This study gives a structural and thermodynamic explanation for the high levels of oxidized methionine in scrapie isolates. PMID:22654104

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Impact of methionine oxidation as an initial event on the pathway of human prion protein conversion

    PubMed Central

    Elmallah, Mohammed IY; Borgmeyer, Uwe; Betzel, Christian; Redecke, Lars

    2013-01-01

    Prion diseases comprise a group of fatal neurodegenerative disorders characterized by the autocatalytic conversion of the c