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Sample records for prion protein complexed

  1. 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. PMID:26325658

  2. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-04-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:26218890

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. An insight into the complex prion-prion interaction network in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Du, Zhiqiang; Valtierra, Stephanie; Li, Liming

    2014-01-01

    The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a valuable model system for studying prion-prion interactions as it contains multiple prion proteins. A recent study from our laboratory showed that the existence of Swi1 prion ([SWI(+)]) and overproduction of Swi1 can have strong impacts on the formation of 2 other extensively studied yeast prions, [PSI(+)] and [PIN(+)] ([RNQ(+)]) (Genetics, Vol. 197, 685-700). We showed that a single yeast cell is capable of harboring at least 3 heterologous prion elements and these prions can influence each other's appearance positively and/or negatively. We also showed that during the de novo [PSI(+)] formation process upon Sup35 overproduction, the aggregation patterns of a preexisting inducer ([RNQ(+)] or [SWI(+)]) can undergo significant remodeling from stably transmitted dot-shaped aggregates to aggregates that co-localize with the newly formed Sup35 aggregates that are ring/ribbon/rod- shaped. Such co-localization disappears once the newly formed [PSI(+)] prion stabilizes. Our finding provides strong evidence supporting the "cross-seeding" model for prion-prion interactions and confirms earlier reports that the interactions among different prions and their prion proteins mostly occur at the initiation stages of prionogenesis. Our results also highlight a complex prion interaction network in yeast. We believe that elucidating the mechanism underlying the yeast prion-prion interaction network will not only provide insight into the process of prion de novo generation and propagation in yeast but also shed light on the mechanisms that govern protein misfolding, aggregation, and amyloidogenesis in higher eukaryotes.

  12. Quantum dots and prion proteins

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. Treatment of Prion Disease with Heterologous Prion Proteins.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Electron crystallography of the scrapie prion protein complexed with heavy metals

    PubMed Central

    Wille, Holger; Govaerts, Cédric; Borovinskiy, Alexander; Latawiec, Diane; Downing, Kenneth H.; Cohen, Fred E.; Prusiner, Stanley B.

    2012-01-01

    The insolubility of the disease-causing isoform of the prion protein (PrPSc) has prevented studies of its three-dimensional structure at atomic resolution. Electron crystallography of two-dimensional crystals of N-terminally truncated PrPSc (PrP 27–30) and a miniprion (PrPSc106) provided the first insights at intermediate resolution on the molecular architecture of the prion. Here, we report on the structure of PrP 27–30 and PrPSc106 negatively stained with heavy metals. The interactions of the heavy metals with the crystal lattice were governed by tertiary and quaternary structural elements of the protein as well as the charge and size of the heavy metal salts. Staining with molybdate anions revealed three prominent densities near the center of the trimer that forms the unit cell, coinciding with the location of the β-helix that was proposed for the structure of PrPSc. Differential staining also confirmed the location of the internal deletion of PrPSc106 at or near these densities. PMID:17935686

  16. Prions, protein homeostasis, and phenotypic diversity

    PubMed Central

    Halfmann, Randal; Alberti, Simon; Lindquist, Susan

    2010-01-01

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

  17. The ribosome-associated complex antagonizes prion formation in yeast.

    PubMed

    Amor, Alvaro J; Castanzo, Dominic T; Delany, Sean P; Selechnik, Daniel M; van Ooy, Alex; Cameron, Dale M

    2015-01-01

    The number of known fungal proteins capable of switching between alternative stable conformations is steadily increasing, suggesting that a prion-like mechanism may be broadly utilized as a means to propagate altered cellular states. To gain insight into the mechanisms by which cells regulate prion formation and toxicity we examined the role of the yeast ribosome-associated complex (RAC) in modulating both the formation of the [PSI(+)] prion - an alternative conformer of Sup35 protein - and the toxicity of aggregation-prone polypeptides. The Hsp40 RAC chaperone Zuo1 anchors the RAC to ribosomes and stimulates the ATPase activity of the Hsp70 chaperone Ssb. We found that cells lacking Zuo1 are sensitive to over-expression of some aggregation-prone proteins, including the Sup35 prion domain, suggesting that co-translational protein misfolding increases in Δzuo1 strains. Consistent with this finding, Δzuo1 cells exhibit higher frequencies of spontaneous and induced prion formation. Cells expressing mutant forms of Zuo1 lacking either a C-terminal charged region required for ribosome association, or the J-domain responsible for Ssb ATPase stimulation, exhibit similarly high frequencies of prion formation. Our findings are consistent with a role for the RAC in chaperoning nascent Sup35 to regulate folding of the N-terminal prion domain as it emerges from the ribosome.

  18. Copper binding in the prion protein.

    PubMed

    Millhauser, Glenn L

    2004-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    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 (PrP(C)) into a protease resistant infectious form (PrP(res)). The efficiency of this conversion is predicated upon a number of factors, most notably a strong homology between cellular PrP(C) and PrP(res). 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. Complex folding and misfolding effects of deer-specific amino acid substitutions in the β2-α2 loop of murine prion protein

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  3. Insights into prion protein function from atomistic simulations.

    PubMed

    Hodak, Miroslav; Bernholc, Jerzy

    2010-01-01

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

  4. Insights into prion protein function from atomistic simulations

    PubMed Central

    Hodak, Miroslav

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Paul, Kacy R; Ross, Eric D

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae can harbor a number of distinct prions. Most of the yeast prion proteins contain a glutamine/asparagine (Q/N) rich region that drives prion formation. Prion-like domains, defined as regions with high compositional similarity to yeast prion domains, are common in eukaryotic proteomes, and mutations in various human proteins containing prion-like domains have been linked to degenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Here, we discuss a recent study in which we utilized two strategies to generate prion activity in non-prion Q/N-rich domains. First, we made targeted mutations in four non-prion Q/N-rich domains, replacing predicted prion-inhibiting amino acids with prion-promoting amino acids. All four mutants formed foci when expressed in yeast, and two acquired bona fide prion activity. Prion activity could be generated with as few as two mutations, suggesting that many non-prion Q/N-rich proteins may be just a small number of mutations from acquiring aggregation or prion activity. Second, we created tandem repeats of short prion-prone segments, and observed length-dependent prion activity. These studies demonstrate the considerable progress that has been made in understanding the sequence basis for aggregation of prion and prion-like domains, and suggest possible mechanisms by which new prion domains could evolve. PMID:26555096

  6. 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. PMID:26555096

  7. 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.

  8. [Protein structure: Folding and prions].

    PubMed

    Rey-Gayo, Antonio; Calbo Torrecilla, Francisco

    2002-04-01

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

  9. Production of cattle lacking prion protein

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-24

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

  13. Purified prion proteins and scrapie infectivity copartition into liposomes.

    PubMed Central

    Gabizon, R; McKinley, M P; Prusiner, S B

    1987-01-01

    Considerable evidence indicates that the scrapie prion protein (PrP 27-30) is required for infectivity. Aggregates of PrP 27-30 form insoluble amyloid rods that resist dissociation by nondenaturing detergents. Mixtures of the detergent cholate and phospholipids were found to solubilize purified PrP 27-30 in the form of detergent-lipid-protein complexes. Removal of the cholate by dialysis resulted in the formation of closed liposomes. Both the detergent-lipid-protein complexes and the liposomes often but not always exhibited a 10-fold increase in scrapie infectivity compared to that observed with the rods. No evidence for a prion-associated nucleic acid could be found when the phospholipid vesicles containing PrP 27-30 were digested with nucleases and Zn2+ under conditions that allowed hydrolysis of exogenously added nucleic acids. No filamentous or rod-shaped particles were found amongst prion liposomes by electron microscopy in our search for a putative filamentous "scrapie virus." The partitioning of PrP 27-30 and scrapie infectivity into phospholipid vesicles contends that PrP 27-30 has a central role in scrapie pathogenesis, establishes that the prion amyloid rods are not essential for infectivity, and argues that prions are fundamentally different from viruses. Images PMID:3108886

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

    The recent description of a prion disease (PD) case in a free-ranging bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) prompted us to carry out an extensive search for the disease-associated isoform (PrPSc) of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) in the brain and in a range of lymphoid tissues from 23 striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba), 5 bottlenose dolphins and 2 Risso s dolphins (Grampus griseus) found stranded between 2007 and 2012 along the Italian coastline. Three striped dolphins and one bottlenose dolphin showed microscopic lesions of encephalitis, with no evidence of spongiform brain lesions being detected in any of the 30 free-ranging cetaceans investigated herein. Nevertheless, we could still observe a prominent PrPC immunoreactivity in the brain as well as in lymphoid tissues from these dolphins. Although immunohistochemical and Western blot investigations yielded negative results for PrPSc deposition in all tissues from the dolphins under study, the reported occurrence of a spontaneous PD case in a wild dolphin is an intriguing issue and a matter of concern for both prion biology and intra/inter-species transmissibility, as well as for cetacean conservation medicine. PMID:23034277

  15. Yeast prions: Paramutation at the protein level?

    PubMed

    Tuite, Mick F

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Crowell, Jenna; Hughson, Andrew; Caughey, Byron

    2015-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Frontzek, Karl; Pfammatter, Manuela; Sorce, Silvia; Senatore, Assunta; Schwarz, Petra; Moos, Rita; Frauenknecht, Katrin; Hornemann, Simone; Aguzzi, Adriano

    2016-01-01

    Prions are the infectious agents causing transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE), progressive, inexorably lethal neurological diseases. Antibodies targeting the globular domain (GD) of the cellular prion protein PrPC trigger a neurotoxic syndrome morphologically and molecularly similar to prion disease. This phenomenon raises the question whether such antibodies induce infectious prions de novo. Here we exposed cerebellar organotypic cultured slices (COCS) to the neurotoxic antibody, POM1. We then inoculated COCS homogenates into tga20 mice, which overexpress PrPC and are commonly utilized as sensitive indicators of prion infectivity. None of the mice inoculated with COCS-derived lysates developed any signs of disease, and all mice survived for at least 200 days post-inoculation. In contrast, all mice inoculated with bona fide prions succumbed to TSE after 55–95 days. Post-mortem analyses did not reveal any signs of prion pathology in mice inoculated with POM1-COCS lysates. Also, lysates from POM1-exposed COCS were unable to convert PrP by quaking. Hence, anti-GD antibodies do not catalyze the generation of prion infectivity. These data indicate that prion replication can be separated from prion toxicity, and suggest that anti-GD antibodies exert toxicity by acting downstream of prion replication. PMID:27684562

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. The NatA Acetyltransferase Couples Sup35 Prion Complexes to the [PSI+] Phenotype

    PubMed Central

    Pezza, John A.; Langseth, Sara X.; Raupp Yamamoto, Rochele; Doris, Stephen M.; Ulin, Samuel P.; Salomon, Arthur R.

    2009-01-01

    Protein-only (prion) epigenetic elements confer unique phenotypes by adopting alternate conformations that specify new traits. Given the conformational flexibility of prion proteins, protein-only inheritance requires efficient self-replication of the underlying conformation. To explore the cellular regulation of conformational self-replication and its phenotypic effects, we analyzed genetic interactions between [PSI+], a prion form of the S. cerevisiae Sup35 protein (Sup35[PSI+]), and the three Nα-acetyltransferases, NatA, NatB, and NatC, which collectively modify ∼50% of yeast proteins. Although prion propagation proceeds normally in the absence of NatB or NatC, the [PSI+] phenotype is reversed in strains lacking NatA. Despite this change in phenotype, [PSI+] NatA mutants continue to propagate heritable Sup35[PSI+]. This uncoupling of protein state and phenotype does not arise through a decrease in the number or activity of prion templates (propagons) or through an increase in soluble Sup35. Rather, NatA null strains are specifically impaired in establishing the translation termination defect that normally accompanies Sup35 incorporation into prion complexes. The NatA effect cannot be explained by the modification of known components of the [PSI+] prion cycle including Sup35; thus, novel acetylated cellular factors must act to establish and maintain the tight link between Sup35[PSI+] complexes and their phenotypic effects. PMID:19073888

  4. Prions and protein-folding diseases.

    PubMed

    Norrby, E

    2011-07-01

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

  5. Monitoring prion protein stability by NMR.

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  6. Complex proteinopathy with accumulations of prion protein, hyperphosphorylated tau, α-synuclein and ubiquitin in experimental bovine spongiform encephalopathy of monkeys.

    PubMed

    Piccardo, Pedro; Cervenak, Juraj; Bu, Ming; Miller, Lindsay; Asher, David M

    2014-07-01

    Proteins aggregate in several slowly progressive neurodegenerative diseases called 'proteinopathies'. Studies with cell cultures and transgenic mice overexpressing mutated proteins suggested that aggregates of one protein induced misfolding and aggregation of other proteins as well - a possible common mechanism for some neurodegenerative diseases. However, most proteinopathies are 'sporadic', without gene mutation or overexpression. Thus, proteinopathies in WT animals genetically close to humans might be informative. Squirrel monkeys infected with the classical bovine spongiform encephalopathy agent developed an encephalopathy resembling variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease with accumulations not only of abnormal prion protein (PrP(TSE)), but also three other proteins: hyperphosphorylated tau (p-tau), α-synuclein and ubiquitin; β-amyloid protein (Aβ) did not accumulate. Severity of brain lesions correlated with spongiform degeneration. No amyloid was detected. These results suggested that PrP(TSE) enhanced formation of p-tau and aggregation of α-synuclein and ubiquitin, but not Aβ, providing a new experimental model for neurodegenerative diseases associated with complex proteinopathies.

  7. Understanding the neurospecificity of Prion protein signaling.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Benoit; Pietri, Mathea; Pradines, Elodie; Loubet, Damien; Launay, Jean-Marie; Kellermann, Odile; Mouillet-Richard, Sophie

    2011-01-01

    The cellular prion protein PrP(C) is the normal counterpart of the scrapie prion protein PrP(Sc), the main component of the infectious agent of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). It is a ubiquitous cell-surface glycoprotein, abundantly expressed in neurons, which constitute the targets of TSE pathogenesis. The presence of PrP(C) at the surface of neurons is an absolute requirement for the development of prion diseases and corruption of PrP(C) function(s) within an infectious context emerges as a proximal cause for PrP(Sc)-induced neurodegeneration. Experimental evidence gained over the past decade indicates that PrP(C) has the capacity to mobilize promiscuous signal transduction cascades that, notably, contribute to cell homeostasis. Beyond ubiquitous effectors, much data converge onto a neurospecificity of PrP(C) signaling, which may be the clue to neuronal cell demise in prion disorders. In this article, we highlight the requirement of PrP(C) for TSEs-associated neurodegeneration and review the current knowledge of PrP(C)-dependent signal transduction in neuronal cells and its implications for PrP(Sc)-mediated neurotoxicity.

  8. Interaction networks of prion, prionogenic and prion-like proteins in budding yeast, and their role in gene regulation.

    PubMed

    Harbi, Djamel; Harrison, Paul M

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Oligomers of Amyloid β Prevent Physiological Activation of the Cellular Prion Protein-Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor 5 Complex by Glutamate in Alzheimer Disease.

    PubMed

    Haas, Laura T; Strittmatter, Stephen M

    2016-08-12

    The dysfunction and loss of synapses in Alzheimer disease are central to dementia symptoms. We have recently demonstrated that pathological Amyloid β oligomer (Aβo) regulates the association between intracellular protein mediators and the synaptic receptor complex composed of cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) and metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5). Here we sought to determine whether Aβo alters the physiological signaling of the PrP(C)-mGluR5 complex upon glutamate activation. We provide evidence that acute exposure to Aβo as well as chronic expression of familial Alzheimer disease mutant transgenes in model mice prevents protein-protein interaction changes of the complex induced by the glutamate analog 3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine. We further show that 3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine triggers the phosphorylation and activation of protein-tyrosine kinase 2-β (PTK2B, also referred to as Pyk2) and of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II in wild-type brain slices but not in Alzheimer disease transgenic brain slices or wild-type slices incubated with Aβo. This study further distinguishes two separate Aβo-dependent signaling cascades, one dependent on extracellular Ca(2+) and Fyn kinase activation and the other dependent on the release of Ca(2+) from intracellular stores. Thus, Aβo triggers multiple distinct PrP(C)-mGluR5-dependent events implicated in neurodegeneration and dementia. We propose that targeting the PrP(C)-mGluR5 complex will reverse aberrant Aβo-triggered states of the complex to allow physiological fluctuations of glutamate signaling.

  10. Glycidol degrades scrapie mouse prion protein.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, M; Horiuchi, M; Ishiguro, N; Shinagawa, M; Matsuo, T; Kaneko, K

    2001-09-01

    Agents of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (prion) are known to be extremely resistant to physicochemical inactivation procedures such as heat, radiation, chemical disinfectants such as detergents, alcohols, glutaraldehyde, formalin, and so on. Because of its remarkable resistance, it is difficult to inactivate prion. Chemical inactivation seems to be a practical method because it is applicable to large or fixed surfaces and complicated equipment. Here, three epoxides: beta-propiolactone, propylene oxide, and glycidol (GLD) were examined of their inactivation ability against scrapie-mouse prion protein (PrP(Sc)) under various conditions of chemical concentration, incubation time, and temperature. Among these chemicals, GLD worked most effectively and degraded PrP into small fragments. As a result of the bioassay, treatment with 3% GLD for 5 hr and 5% GLD for 2, 5 hr or 12 hr at room temperature prolonged the mean incubation time by 44, 30, 110 and 73 days, respectively. From dose-incubation time standard curve, the decrease in infectivity titers were estimated as 10(3) or more. Therefore, degradation of PrP(Sc) by GLD decreased the scrapie infectivity. It is also suggested that pH and salt concentrations influence the effect of GLD. Although further study is necessary to determine the optimal condition, GLD may be a potential prion disinfectant.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. A new method to determine the structure of the metal environment in metalloproteins: investigation of the prion protein octapeptide repeat Cu(2+) complex.

    PubMed

    Mentler, Matthias; Weiss, Andreas; Grantner, Klaus; del Pino, Pablo; Deluca, Dominga; Fiori, Stella; Renner, Christian; Klaucke, Wolfram Meyer; Moroder, Luis; Bertsch, Uwe; Kretzschmar, Hans A; Tavan, Paul; Parak, Fritz G

    2005-03-01

    Since high-intensity synchrotron radiation is available, "extended X-ray absorption fine structure" spectroscopy (EXAFS) is used for detailed structural analysis of metal ion environments in proteins. However, the information acquired is often insufficient to obtain an unambiguous picture. ENDOR spectroscopy allows the determination of hydrogen positions around a metal ion. However, again the structural information is limited. In the present study, a method is proposed which combines computations with spectroscopic data from EXAFS, EPR, electron nuclear double resonance (ENDOR) and electron spin echo envelope modulation (ESEEM). From EXAFS a first picture of the nearest coordination shell is derived which has to be compatible with EPR data. Computations are used to select sterically possible structures, from which in turn structures with correct H and N positions are selected by ENDOR and ESEEM measurements. Finally, EXAFS spectra are re-calculated and compared with the experimental data. This procedure was successfully applied for structure determination of the Cu(2+) complex of the octapeptide repeat of the human prion protein. The structure of this octarepeat complex is rather similar to a pentapeptide complex which was determined by X-ray structure analysis. However, the tryptophan residue has a different orientation: the axial water is on the other side of the Cu.

  14. Fungal prion HET-s as a model for structural complexity and self-propagation in prions.

    PubMed

    Wan, William; Stubbs, Gerald

    2014-04-01

    The highly ordered and reproducible structure of the fungal prion HET-s makes it an excellent model system for studying the inherent properties of prions, self-propagating infectious proteins that have been implicated in a number of fatal diseases. In particular, the HET-s prion-forming domain readily folds into a relatively complex two-rung β-solenoid amyloid. The faithful self-propagation of this fold involves a diverse array of inter- and intramolecular structural features. These features include a long flexible loop connecting the two rungs, buried polar residues, salt bridges, and asparagine ladders. We have used site-directed mutagenesis and X-ray fiber diffraction to probe the relative importance of these features for the formation of β-solenoid structure, as well as the cumulative effects of multiple mutations. Using fibrillization kinetics and chemical stability assays, we have determined the biophysical effects of our mutations on the assembly and stability of the prion-forming domain. We have found that a diversity of structural features provides a level of redundancy that allows robust folding and stability even in the face of significant sequence alterations and suboptimal environmental conditions. Our findings provide fundamental insights into the structural interactions necessary for self-propagation. Propagation of prion structure seems to require an obligatory level of complexity that may not be reproducible in short peptide models.

  15. Increased Infectivity of Anchorless Mouse Scrapie Prions in Transgenic Mice Overexpressing Human Prion Protein

    PubMed Central

    Phillips, Katie; Meade-White, Kimberly; Striebel, James; Chesebro, Bruce

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Prion protein (PrP) is found in all mammals, mostly as a glycoprotein anchored to the plasma membrane by a C-terminal glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) linkage. Following prion infection, host protease-sensitive prion protein (PrPsen or PrPC) is converted into an abnormal, disease-associated, protease-resistant form (PrPres). Biochemical characteristics, such as the PrP amino acid sequence, and posttranslational modifications, such as glycosylation and GPI anchoring, can affect the transmissibility of prions as well as the biochemical properties of the PrPres generated. Previous in vivo studies on the effects of GPI anchoring on prion infectivity have not examined cross-species transmission. In this study, we tested the effect of lack of GPI anchoring on a species barrier model using mice expressing human PrP. In this model, anchorless 22L prions derived from tg44 mice were more infectious than 22L prions derived from C57BL/10 mice when tested in tg66 transgenic mice, which expressed wild-type anchored human PrP at 8- to 16-fold above normal. Thus, the lack of the GPI anchor on the PrPres from tg44 mice appeared to reduce the effect of the mouse-human PrP species barrier. In contrast, neither source of prions induced disease in tgRM transgenic mice, which expressed human PrP at 2- to 4-fold above normal. IMPORTANCE Prion protein (PrP) is found in all mammals, usually attached to cells by an anchor molecule called GPI. Following prion infection, PrP is converted into a disease-associated form (PrPres). While most prion diseases are species specific, this finding is not consistent, and species barriers differ in strength. The amino acid sequence of PrP varies among species, and this variability affects prion species barriers. However, other PrP modifications, including glycosylation and GPI anchoring, may also influence cross-species infectivity. We studied the effect of PrP GPI anchoring using a mouse-to-human species barrier model. Experiments showed that

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  1. [Functions of prion protein PrPc].

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Mammalian prions, transmissible agents causing lethal neurodegenerative diseases, are composed of assemblies of misfolded cellular prion protein (PrP) 1. A novel PrP variant, G127V, was under positive evolutionary selection during the epidemic of kuru, an acquired prion disease epidemic of the Fore population in Papua New Guinea, and appeared to provide strong protection against disease in the heterozygous state2. We have now investigated the protective role of this variant and its interaction with the common worldwide M129V PrP polymorphism; V127 was seen exclusively on a M129 PRNP allele. Here we demonstrate that transgenic mice expressing both variant and wild type human PrP are completely resistant to both kuru and classical CJD prions (which are closely similar) but can be infected with variant CJD prions, a human prion strain resulting from exposure to BSE prions to which the Fore were not exposed. Remarkably however, mice expressing only PrP V127 were completely resistant to all prion strains demonstrating a different molecular mechanism to M129V, which provides its relative protection against classical CJD and kuru in the heterozygous state. Indeed this single amino acid substitution (G→V) at a residue invariant in vertebrate evolution is as protective as deletion of the protein. Further study in transgenic mice expressing different ratios of variant and wild type PrP indicates that not only is PrP V127 completely refractory to prion conversion, but acts as a potent dose-dependent inhibitor of wild type prion propagation. PMID:26061765

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-25

    Mammalian prions, transmissible agents causing lethal neurodegenerative diseases, are composed of assemblies of misfolded cellular prion protein (PrP). A novel PrP variant, G127V, was under positive evolutionary selection during the epidemic of kuru--an acquired prion disease epidemic of the Fore population in Papua New Guinea--and appeared to provide strong protection against disease in the heterozygous state. Here we have investigated the protective role of this variant and its interaction with the common, worldwide M129V PrP polymorphism. V127 was seen exclusively on a M129 PRNP allele. We demonstrate that transgenic mice expressing both variant and wild-type human PrP are completely resistant to both kuru and classical Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) prions (which are closely similar) but can be infected with variant CJD prions, a human prion strain resulting from exposure to bovine spongiform encephalopathy prions to which the Fore were not exposed. Notably, mice expressing only PrP V127 were completely resistant to all prion strains, demonstrating a different molecular mechanism to M129V, which provides its relative protection against classical CJD and kuru in the heterozygous state. Indeed, this single amino acid substitution (G→V) at a residue invariant in vertebrate evolution is as protective as deletion of the protein. Further study in transgenic mice expressing different ratios of variant and wild-type PrP indicates that not only is PrP V127 completely refractory to prion conversion but acts as a potent dose-dependent inhibitor of wild-type prion propagation. PMID:26061765

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

    Prions are the infectious agents in the class of fatal neurodegenerative diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, which affect humans, deer, sheep, and cattle. Prion diseases of deer and sheep can be transmitted via environmental routes, and soil is has been implicated in the transmission of these diseases. Interaction with soil particles is expected to govern the transport, bioavailability and persistence of prions in soil environments. A mechanistic understanding of prion interaction with soil components is critical for understanding the behavior of these proteins in the environment. Here, we report results of a study to investigate the interactions of prions with model oxide surfaces (Al2O3, SiO2) using quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring and optical waveguide light mode spectroscopy. The efficiency of prion attachment to Al2O3 and SiO2 depended strongly on pH and ionic strength in a manner consistent with electrostatic forces dominating interaction with these oxides. The 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).

  11. Infectivity of scrapie prion protein (PrPSc) following in vitro digestion with bovine gastrointestinal microbiota.

    PubMed

    Scherbel, C; Pichner, R; Groschup, M H; Mueller-Hellwig, S; Scherer, S; Dietrich, R; Maertlbauer, E; Gareis, M

    2007-01-01

    The influence of a complex microflora residing in the gastrointestinal tract of cattle on the prion protein plays a crucial role with respect to early pathogenesis and the potential infectivity of faeces resulting in contamination of the environment. It is unknown whether infectious prion proteins, considered to be very stable, are inactivated by microbial processes in the gastrointestinal tract of animals during digestion. In our previous study it was shown that the scrapie-associated prion protein was degraded by ruminal and colonic microbiota of cattle, as indicated by a loss of anti-prion antibody 3F4 immunoreactivity in Western blot. Subsequently, in this study hamster bioassays with the pre-treated samples were performed. Although the PrP(Sc) signal was reduced up to immunochemically undetectable levels within 40 h of pre-treatment, significant residual prion infectivity was retained after degradation of infected hamster brain through the gastrointestinal microflora of cattle. The data presented here show that the loss of anti-prion antibody 3F4 immunoreactivity is obviously not correlated with a biological inactivation of PrP(Sc). These results highlight the deficiency of using Western blot in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies inactivation assessment studies and, additionally, point to the possibility of environmental contamination with faeces containing PrP(Sc) following an oral ingestion of prions.

  12. Infectivity of scrapie prion protein (PrPSc) following in vitro digestion with bovine gastrointestinal microbiota.

    PubMed

    Scherbel, C; Pichner, R; Groschup, M H; Mueller-Hellwig, S; Scherer, S; Dietrich, R; Maertlbauer, E; Gareis, M

    2007-01-01

    The influence of a complex microflora residing in the gastrointestinal tract of cattle on the prion protein plays a crucial role with respect to early pathogenesis and the potential infectivity of faeces resulting in contamination of the environment. It is unknown whether infectious prion proteins, considered to be very stable, are inactivated by microbial processes in the gastrointestinal tract of animals during digestion. In our previous study it was shown that the scrapie-associated prion protein was degraded by ruminal and colonic microbiota of cattle, as indicated by a loss of anti-prion antibody 3F4 immunoreactivity in Western blot. Subsequently, in this study hamster bioassays with the pre-treated samples were performed. Although the PrP(Sc) signal was reduced up to immunochemically undetectable levels within 40 h of pre-treatment, significant residual prion infectivity was retained after degradation of infected hamster brain through the gastrointestinal microflora of cattle. The data presented here show that the loss of anti-prion antibody 3F4 immunoreactivity is obviously not correlated with a biological inactivation of PrP(Sc). These results highlight the deficiency of using Western blot in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies inactivation assessment studies and, additionally, point to the possibility of environmental contamination with faeces containing PrP(Sc) following an oral ingestion of prions. PMID:17542960

  13. Sensitive electrical detection of human prion proteins using field effect transistor biosensor with dual-ligand binding amplification.

    PubMed

    Wustoni, Shofarul; Hideshima, Sho; Kuroiwa, Shigeki; Nakanishi, Takuya; Hashimoto, Masahiro; Mori, Yasuro; Osaka, Tetsuya

    2015-05-15

    Simple and accurate detection of prion proteins in biological samples is of utmost importance in recent years. In this study, we developed a label-free electrical detection-based field effect transistor (FET) biosensor using thiamine as a probe molecule for a non-invasive and specific test of human prion protein detection. We found that thiamine-immobilized FETs can be used to observe the prion protein oligomer, and might be a significant test for the early diagnosis of prion-related diseases. The thiamine-immobilized FET was also demonstrated for the detection of prion proteins in blood serum without any complex pre-treatments. Furthermore, we designed a dual-ligand binding approach by the addition of metal ions as a second ligand to bind with the adsorbed prion protein on the thiamine-immobilized surface. When the prion attached to metal ions, the additional positive charge was induced on the gate surface of the FET. This approach was capable of amplifying the magnitude of the FET response and of enhancing the sensitivity of the FET biosensor. Detection of prion proteins has achieved the required concentration for clinical diagnosis in blood serum, which is less than 2 nM. In summary, this FET biosensor was successfully applied to prion detection and proved useful as a simple, fast, sensitive and low-cost method towards a mass-scale and routine blood screening-based test.

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

    PubMed

    Samson, Abraham O; Levitt, Michael

    2011-03-29

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

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

    PubMed

    Leighton, Patricia L A; Allison, W Ted

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Leighton, Patricia L A; Allison, W Ted

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    Nyström, Sofie; Hammarström, Per

    2015-01-01

    Prion diseases are lethal, infectious diseases associated with prion protein (PrP) misfolding. A large number of mammals are susceptible to both sporadic and acquired prion diseases. Although PrP is highly conserved and ubiquitously expressed in all mammals, not all species exhibit prion disease. By employing full length recombinant PrP from five known prion susceptible species (human, cattle, cat, mouse and hamster) and two species considered to be prion resistant (pig and dog) the amyloidogenicity of these PrPs has been delineated. All the mammalian PrPs, even from resistant species, were swiftly converted from the native state to amyloid-like structure when subjected to a native condition conversion assay. The PrPs displayed amyloidotypic tinctorial and ultrastructural hallmarks. Self-seeded conversion of the PrPs displayed significantly decreased lag phases demonstrating that nucleation dependent polymerization is a dominating mechanism in the fibrillation process. Fibrils from Aβ1-40, Aβ1-42, Lysozyme, Insulin and Transthyretin did not accelerate conversion of HuPrP whereas fibrils from HuPrP90-231 and HuPrP121-231 as well as full length PrPs of all PrPs efficiently seeded conversion showing specificity of the assay requiring the C-terminal PrP sequence. Our findings have implications for PrP misfolding and could have ramifications in the context of prion resistant species and silent carriers. PMID:25960067

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Nyström, Sofie; Hammarström, Per

    2015-01-01

    Prion diseases are lethal, infectious diseases associated with prion protein (PrP) misfolding. A large number of mammals are susceptible to both sporadic and acquired prion diseases. Although PrP is highly conserved and ubiquitously expressed in all mammals, not all species exhibit prion disease. By employing full length recombinant PrP from five known prion susceptible species (human, cattle, cat, mouse and hamster) and two species considered to be prion resistant (pig and dog) the amyloidogenicity of these PrPs has been delineated. All the mammalian PrPs, even from resistant species, were swiftly converted from the native state to amyloid-like structure when subjected to a native condition conversion assay. The PrPs displayed amyloidotypic tinctorial and ultrastructural hallmarks. Self-seeded conversion of the PrPs displayed significantly decreased lag phases demonstrating that nucleation dependent polymerization is a dominating mechanism in the fibrillation process. Fibrils from Aβ1-40, Aβ1-42, Lysozyme, Insulin and Transthyretin did not accelerate conversion of HuPrP whereas fibrils from HuPrP90-231 and HuPrP121-231 as well as full length PrPs of all PrPs efficiently seeded conversion showing specificity of the assay requiring the C-terminal PrP sequence. Our findings have implications for PrP misfolding and could have ramifications in the context of prion resistant species and silent carriers. PMID:25960067

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jiapu

    2011-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jiapu

    2011-10-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Prion Protein Protects against Renal Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Unique Properties of the Rabbit Prion Protein Oligomer.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  11. Protease-resistant prions selectively decrease Shadoo protein.

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-01

    The central event in prion diseases is the conformational conversion of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) into PrP(Sc), a partially protease-resistant and infectious conformer. However, the mechanism by which PrP(Sc) causes neuronal dysfunction remains poorly understood. Levels of Shadoo (Sho), a protein that resembles the flexibly disordered N-terminal domain of PrP(C), were found to be reduced in the brains of mice infected with the RML strain of prions [1], implying that Sho levels may reflect the presence of PrP(Sc) in the brain. To test this hypothesis, we examined levels of Sho during prion infection using a variety of experimental systems. Sho protein levels were decreased in the brains of mice, hamsters, voles, and sheep infected with different natural and experimental prion strains. Furthermore, Sho levels were decreased in the brains of prion-infected, transgenic mice overexpressing Sho and in infected neuroblastoma cells. Time-course experiments revealed that Sho levels were inversely proportional to levels of protease-resistant PrP(Sc). Membrane anchoring and the N-terminal domain of PrP both influenced the inverse relationship between Sho and PrP(Sc). Although increased Sho levels had no discernible effect on prion replication in mice, we conclude that Sho is the first non-PrP marker specific for prion disease. Additional studies using this paradigm may provide insight into the cellular pathways and systems subverted by PrP(Sc) during prion disease. PMID:22163178

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-01

    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 (PrP(Sc)), 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 PrP(Sc) propagation in the cell-free, cell culture, and mouse models of prion disease. These results confirm the role of plasminogen in PrP(Sc) 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Propagation of prion strains through specific conformers of the prion protein.

    PubMed Central

    Scott, M R; Groth, D; Tatzelt, J; Torchia, M; Tremblay, P; DeArmond, S J; Prusiner, S B

    1997-01-01

    Two prion strains with identical incubation periods in mice exhibited distinct incubation periods and different neuropathological profiles upon serial transmission to transgenic mice expressing chimeric Syrian hamster/mouse (MH2M) prion protein (PrP) genes [Tg(MH2M) mice] and subsequent transmission to Syrian hamsters. After transmission to Syrian hamsters, the Me7 strain was indistinguishable from the previously established Syrian hamster strain Sc237, despite having been derived from an independent ancestral source. This apparent convergence suggests that prion diversity may be limited. The Me7 mouse strain could also be transmitted directly to Syrian hamsters, but when derived in this way, its properties were distinct from those of Me7 passaged through Tg(MH2M) mice. The Me7 strain did not appear permanently altered in either case, since the original incubation period could be restored by effectively reversing the series of passages. Prion diversity enciphered in the conformation of the scrapie isoform of PrP (PrP(Sc)) (G. C. Telling et al., Science 274:2079-2082, 1996) seems to be limited by the sequence of the PrP substrates serially converted into PrP(Sc), while prions are propagated through interactions between the cellular and scrapie isoforms of PrP. PMID:9371560

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-04-26

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Low Copper and High Manganese Levels in Prion Protein Plaques

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Christopher J.; Gilbert, P.U.P.A.; Abrecht, Mike; Baldwin, Katherine L.; Russell, Robin E.; Pedersen, Joel A.; Aiken, Judd M.; 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. PMID:23435237

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

    PubMed

    Johnson, Christopher J; Gilbert, P U P A; Abrecht, Mike; Baldwin, Katherine L; Russell, Robin E; Pedersen, Joel A; Aiken, Judd M; McKenzie, Debbie

    2013-02-01

    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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Steele, Andrew D

    2008-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Steele, Andrew D

    2008-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Steele, Andrew D

    2008-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hodak, Miroslav; Lu, Wenchang; Bernholc, Jerry

    2008-03-01

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

  15. 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. PMID:25576041

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. The many shades of prion strain adaptation.

    PubMed

    Baskakov, Ilia V

    2014-01-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27102156

  3. 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.

  4. Modulation of proteinase-K resistant prion protein by prion peptide immunization.

    PubMed

    Souan, L; Tal, Y; Felling, Y; Cohen, I R; Taraboulos, A; Mor, F

    2001-08-01

    Prion diseases are caused by conformational alterations in the prion protein (PrP). The immune system has been assumed to be non-responsive to the self-prion protein, therefore, PrP autoimmunity has not been investigated. Here, we immunized various strains of mice with PrP peptides, some selected to fit the MHC class II-peptide binding motif. We found that specific PrP peptides elicited strong immune responses in NOD, C57BL/6 and A/J mice. To test the functional effect of this immunization, we examined the expression of proteinase-K-resistant PrP by a scrapie-infected tumor transplanted to immunized syngeneic A/J mice. PrP peptide vaccination did not affect the growth of the infected tumor transplant, but significantly reduced the level of protease-resistant PrP. Our results demonstrate that self-PrP peptides are immunogenic in mice and suggest that this immune response might affect PrP-scrapie levels in certain conditions.

  5. Pharmacological prion protein silencing accelerates central nervous system autoimmune disease via T cell receptor signalling

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Wei; Nessler, Stefan; Hemmer, Bernhard; Eagar, Todd N.; Kane, Lawrence P.; Leliveld, S. Rutger; Müller-Schiffmann, Andreas; Gocke, Anne R.; Lovett-Racke, Amy; Ben, Li-Hong; Hussain, Rehana Z.; Breil, Andreas; Elliott, Jeffrey L.; Puttaparthi, Krishna; Cravens, Petra D.; Singh, Mahendra P.; Petsch, Benjamin; Stitz, Lothar; Racke, Michael K.

    2010-01-01

    The primary biological function of the endogenous cellular prion protein has remained unclear. We investigated its biological function in the generation of cellular immune responses using cellular prion protein gene-specific small interfering ribonucleic acid in vivo and in vitro. Our results were confirmed by blocking cellular prion protein with monovalent antibodies and by using cellular prion protein-deficient and -transgenic mice. In vivo prion protein gene-small interfering ribonucleic acid treatment effects were of limited duration, restricted to secondary lymphoid organs and resulted in a 70% reduction of cellular prion protein expression in leukocytes. Disruption of cellular prion protein signalling augmented antigen-specific activation and proliferation, and enhanced T cell receptor signalling, resulting in zeta-chain-associated protein-70 phosphorylation and nuclear factor of activated T cells/activator protein 1 transcriptional activity. In vivo prion protein gene-small interfering ribonucleic acid treatment promoted T cell differentiation towards pro-inflammatory phenotypes and increased survival of antigen-specific T cells. Cellular prion protein silencing with small interfering ribonucleic acid also resulted in the worsening of actively induced and adoptively transferred experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Finally, treatment of myelin basic protein1–11 T cell receptor transgenic mice with prion protein gene-small interfering ribonucleic acid resulted in spontaneous experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Thus, central nervous system autoimmune disease was modulated at all stages of disease: the generation of the T cell effector response, the elicitation of T effector function and the perpetuation of cellular immune responses. Our findings indicate that cellular prion protein regulates T cell receptor-mediated T cell activation, differentiation and survival. Defects in autoimmunity are restricted to the immune system and not the central

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1999-01-01

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

  7. Separation and properties of cellular and scrapie prion proteins.

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, R K; McKinley, M P; Bowman, K A; Braunfeld, M B; Barry, R A; Prusiner, S B

    1986-01-01

    Purified preparations of scrapie prions contain a sialoglycoprotein of Mr 27,000-30,000, designated PrP 27-30, which is derived from the scrapie prion protein [Mr, 33,000-35,000 (PrP 33-35Sc)] by limited proteolysis. Under these same conditions of proteolysis, a cellular protein of the same size (PrP 33-35C) is completely degraded. Subcellular fractionation of hamster brain showed that both PrP 33-35Sc and PrP 33-35C were found only in membrane fractions. NaCl, EDTA, and osmotic shock failed to release the prion proteins from microsomal membranes. Electron microscopy of these microsomal fractions showed membrane vesicles but not prion amyloid rods. Detergent treatment of scrapie-infected membranes solubilized PrP 33-35C, while PrP 33-35Sc aggregated into amyloid rods; the concentration of PrP 33-35C was similar to that recovered from analogous fractions prepared from uninfected control brains. The apparent amphipathic character of the PrP 33-35Sc may explain the association of scrapie infectivity with both membranes and amyloid filaments. Images PMID:3085093

  8. Did the Prion protein become vulnerable to misfolding after an evolutionary divide and conquer event?

    PubMed Central

    Richmond, Kacy; Masterson, Patrick; Ortiz, Juan Felipe; Siltberg-Liberles, Jessica

    2013-01-01

    Despite high sequence identity among mammalian prion proteins, mammals have varying rates of susceptibility to prion disease resulting in a so-called species barrier. The species barrier follows no clear pattern, with closely related species or similar sequences being no more likely to infect each other, and remains an unresolved enigma. Variation of the conformationally flexible regions may alter the thermodynamics of the conformational change, commonly referred to as the conformational conversion, that occurs in the pathogenic process of the mammalian prion protein. A conformational ensemble scenario is supported by the species barrier in prion disease and evidence that there are strains of pathogenic prion with different conformations within species. To study how conformational flexibility has evolved in the prion protein, an investigation was undertaken of the evolutionary dynamics of structurally disordered regions in the mammalian prion protein, non-mammalian prion protein that is not vulnerable to prion disease, and remote homologs Doppel and Shadoo. Structural disorder prediction analyzed in an evolutionary context revealed that the occurrence of increased or altered conformational flexibility in mammalian prion proteins coincides with key events among PrP, Doppel, and Shadoo. Comparatively rapid evolutionary dynamics of conformational flexibility in the prion protein suggest that the species barrier is not a static phenomenon. A small number of amino acid substitutions can repopulate the conformational ensemble and have a disproportionately large effect on pathogenesis. PMID:23859022

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Role of the prion protein family in the gonads

    PubMed Central

    Allais-Bonnet, Aurélie; Pailhoux, Eric

    2014-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Superoxide dismutase activity of Cu-bound prion protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hodak, Miroslav; Lu, Wenchang; Bernholc, Jerry

    2009-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Giachin, Gabriele; Mai, Phuong Thao; Tran, Thanh Hoa; Salzano, Giulia; Benetti, Federico; Migliorati, Valentina; Arcovito, Alessandro; Longa, Stefano Della; Mancini, Giordano; D’Angelo, Paola; Legname, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

    The conversion of the prion protein (PrPC) into prions plays a key role in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. Despite the importance for pathogenesis, the mechanism of prion formation has escaped detailed characterization due to the insoluble nature of prions. PrPC interacts with copper through octarepeat and non-octarepeat binding sites. Copper coordination to the non-octarepeat region has garnered interest due to the possibility that this interaction may impact prion conversion. We used X-ray absorption spectroscopy to study copper coordination at pH 5.5 and 7.0 in human PrPC constructs, either wild-type (WT) or carrying pathological mutations. We show that mutations and pH cause modifications of copper coordination in the non-octarepeat region. In the WT at pH 5.5, copper is anchored to His96 and His111, while at pH 7 it is coordinated by His111. Pathological point mutations alter the copper coordination at acidic conditions where the metal is anchored to His111. By using in vitro approaches, cell-based and computational techniques, we propose a model whereby PrPC coordinating copper with one His in the non-octarepeat region converts to prions at acidic condition. Thus, the non-octarepeat region may act as the long-sought-after prion switch, critical for disease onset and propagation. PMID:26482532

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

    PubMed

    Giachin, Gabriele; Mai, Phuong Thao; Tran, Thanh Hoa; Salzano, Giulia; Benetti, Federico; Migliorati, Valentina; Arcovito, Alessandro; Della Longa, Stefano; Mancini, Giordano; D'Angelo, Paola; Legname, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

    The conversion of the prion protein (PrP(C)) 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. PrP(C) 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 PrP(C) 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 PrP(C) 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.

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

    PubMed

    Giachin, Gabriele; Mai, Phuong Thao; Tran, Thanh Hoa; Salzano, Giulia; Benetti, Federico; Migliorati, Valentina; Arcovito, Alessandro; Della Longa, Stefano; Mancini, Giordano; D'Angelo, Paola; Legname, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

    The conversion of the prion protein (PrP(C)) 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. PrP(C) 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 PrP(C) 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 PrP(C) coordinating copper with one His in the non-octarepeat region converts to prions at acidic condition. Thus, the non-octarepeat region may act as the long-sought-after prion switch, critical for disease onset and propagation. PMID:26482532

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-28

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

  1. Differential Toxicity of Antibodies to the Prion Protein.

    PubMed

    Reimann, Regina R; Sonati, Tiziana; 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  4. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1982-12-01

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

  6. Stability and Cu(II) Binding of Prion Protein Variants Related to Inherited Human Prion Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Cereghetti, Grazia M.; Schweiger, Arthur; Glockshuber, Rudi; Van Doorslaer, Sabine

    2003-01-01

    All inherited forms of human prion diseases are linked with mutations in the prion protein (PrP) gene. Here we have investigated the stability and Cu(II) binding properties of three recombinant variants of murine full-length PrP(23–231)-containing destabilizing point mutations that are associated with human Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker disease (F198S), Creutzfeld-Jakob disease (E200K), and fatal familial insomnia (D178N) by electron paramagnetic resonance and circular dichroism spectroscopy. Furthermore, we analyzed the variants H140S, H177S, and H187S of the isolated C-terminal domain of murine PrP, mPrP(121–231), to test a role of the histidine residues in Cu(II) binding. The F198S and E200K variants of PrP(23–231) differed in Cu(II) binding from the wild-type mPrP(23–231). However, circular dichroism spectroscopy indicated that the variants and the wild type did not undergo conformational changes in the presence of Cu(II). The D178N variant showed a high tendency to aggregate at pH 7.4 both with and without Cu(II). At lower pH values, it showed the same Cu(II) binding behavior as the wild type. The analysis allowed for a better location of the Cu(II) binding sites in the C-terminal part of the protein. Our present data indicate that hereditary forms of prion diseases cannot be rationalized on the basis of altered Cu(II) binding or mutation-induced protein destabilization alone. PMID:12609901

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

    PubMed

    Daus, Martin L

    2016-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. Prion Diseases

    MedlinePlus

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Millhauser, Glenn L.

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:17076634

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

    PubMed

    Millhauser, Glenn L

    2007-01-01

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

  12. Intramolecular versus intermolecular disulfide bonds in prion proteins.

    PubMed

    Welker, Ervin; Raymond, Lynne D; Scheraga, Harold A; Caughey, Byron

    2002-09-01

    Prion protein (PrP) is the major component of the partially protease-resistant aggregate that accumulates in mammals with transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. The two cysteines of the scrapie form, PrP(Sc), were found to be in their oxidized (i.e. disulfide) form (Turk, E., Teplow, D. B., Hood, L. E., and Prusiner, S. B. (1988) Eur. J. Biochem. 176, 21-30); however, uncertainty remains as to whether the disulfide bonds are intra- or intermolecular. It is demonstrated here that the monomers of PrP(Sc) are not linked by intermolecular disulfide bonds. Furthermore, evidence is provided that PrP(Sc) can induce the conversion of the oxidized, disulfide-intact form of the monomeric cellular prion protein to its protease-resistant form without the temporary breakage and subsequent re-formation of the disulfide bonds in cell-free reactions.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

    Al-Hilal, Taslim A; Chung, Seung Woo; Choi, Jeong Uk; Alam, Farzana; Park, Jooho; Kim, Seong Who; Kim, Sang Yoon; Ahsan, Fakhrul; Kim, In-San; Byun, Youngro

    2016-04-01

    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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Hsp40 function in yeast prion propagation: Amyloid diversity necessitates chaperone functional complexity.

    PubMed

    Sporn, Zachary A; Hines, Justin K

    2015-01-01

    Yeast prions are heritable protein-based elements, most of which are formed of amyloid aggregates that rely on the action of molecular chaperones for transmission to progeny. Prions can form distinct amyloid structures, known as 'strains' in mammalian systems, that dictate both pathological progression and cross-species infection barriers. In yeast these same amyloid structural polymorphisms, called 'variants', dictate the intensity of prion-associated phenotypes and stability in mitosis. We recently reported that [PSI(+)] prion variants differ in the fundamental domain requirements for one chaperone, the Hsp40/J-protein Sis1, which are mutually exclusive between 2 different yeast prions, demonstrating a functional plurality for Sis1. Here we extend that analysis to incorporate additional data that collectively support the hypothesis that Sis1 has multiple functional roles that can be accomplished by distinct sets of domains. These functions are differentially required by distinct prions and prion variants. We also present new data regarding Hsp104-mediated prion elimination and show that some Sis1 functions, but not all, are conserved in the human homolog Hdj1/DNAJB1. Importantly, of the 10 amyloid-based prions indentified to date in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the chaperone requirements of only 4 are known, leaving a great diversity of amyloid structures, and likely modes of amyloid-chaperone interaction, largely unexplored.

  4. Alzheimer Disease and the Prion Disorders Amyloid β-Protein and Prion Protein Amyloidoses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Price, Donald L.; Borchelt, David R.; Sisodia, Sangram S.

    1993-07-01

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Prions propagate as multiple strains in a wide variety of mammalian species. The detection of all such strains by a single ultrasensitive assay such as Real Time Quaking-induced Conversion (RT-QuIC) would facilitate prion disease diagnosis, surveillance and research. Previous studies have shown that bank voles, and transgenic mice expressing bank vole prion protein, are susceptible to most, if not all, types of prions. Here we show that bacterially expressed recombinant bank vole prion protein (residues 23-230) is an effective substrate for the sensitive RT-QuIC detection of all of the different prion types that we have tested so far – a total of 28 from humans, cattle, sheep, cervids and rodents, including several that have previously been undetectable by RT-QuIC or Protein Misfolding Cyclic Amplification. Furthermore, comparison of the relative abilities of different prions to seed positive RT-QuIC reactions with bank vole and not other recombinant prion proteins allowed discrimination of prion strains such as classical and atypical L-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy, classical and atypical Nor98 scrapie in sheep, and sporadic and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. Comparison of protease-resistant RT-QuIC conversion products also aided strain discrimination and suggested the existence of several distinct classes of prion templates among the many strains tested. PMID:26086786

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Orrú, Christina D; Groveman, Bradley R; Raymond, Lynne D; Hughson, Andrew G; Nonno, Romolo; Zou, Wenquan; Ghetti, Bernardino; Gambetti, Pierluigi; Caughey, Byron

    2015-06-01

    Prions propagate as multiple strains in a wide variety of mammalian species. The detection of all such strains by a single ultrasensitive assay such as Real Time Quaking-induced Conversion (RT-QuIC) would facilitate prion disease diagnosis, surveillance and research. Previous studies have shown that bank voles, and transgenic mice expressing bank vole prion protein, are susceptible to most, if not all, types of prions. Here we show that bacterially expressed recombinant bank vole prion protein (residues 23-230) is an effective substrate for the sensitive RT-QuIC detection of all of the different prion types that we have tested so far--a total of 28 from humans, cattle, sheep, cervids and rodents, including several that have previously been undetectable by RT-QuIC or Protein Misfolding Cyclic Amplification. Furthermore, comparison of the relative abilities of different prions to seed positive RT-QuIC reactions with bank vole and not other recombinant prion proteins allowed discrimination of prion strains such as classical and atypical L-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy, classical and atypical Nor98 scrapie in sheep, and sporadic and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. Comparison of protease-resistant RT-QuIC conversion products also aided strain discrimination and suggested the existence of several distinct classes of prion templates among the many strains tested. PMID:26086786

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

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jiapu; Liu, David D W

    2011-06-01

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

  9. Sialylation of prion protein controls the rate of prion amplification, the cross-species barrier, the ratio of PrPSc glycoform and prion infectivity.

    PubMed

    Katorcha, Elizaveta; Makarava, Natallia; Savtchenko, Regina; D'Azzo, Alessandra; Baskakov, Ilia V

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Miyazawa, Kohtaro; Emmerling, Kaitlin; Manuelidis, Laura

    2011-12-01

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

  12. Prion protein facilitates synaptic vesicle release by enhancing release probability.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Susan W; Nugent, Marie L; Dinsdale, David; Steinert, Joern R

    2014-09-01

    The cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) has been implicated in several neurodegenerative diseases as a result of protein misfolding. In humans, prion disease occurs typically with a sporadic origin where uncharacterized mechanisms induce spontaneous PrP(C) misfolding leading to neurotoxic PrP-scrapie formation (PrP(SC)). The consequences of misfolded PrP(C) signalling are well characterized but little is known about the physiological roles of PrP(C) and its involvement in disease. Here we investigated wild-type PrP(C) signalling in synaptic function as well as the effects of a disease-relevant mutation within PrP(C) (proline-to-leucine mutation at codon 101). Expression of wild-type PrP(C) at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction leads to enhanced synaptic responses as detected in larger miniature synaptic currents which are caused by enlarged presynaptic vesicles. The expression of the mutated PrP(C) leads to reduction of both parameters compared with wild-type PrP(C). Wild-type PrP(C) enhances synaptic release probability and quantal content but reduces the size of the ready-releasable vesicle pool. Partially, these changes are not detectable following expression of the mutant PrP(C). A behavioural test revealed that expression of either protein caused an increase in locomotor activities consistent with enhanced synaptic release and stronger muscle contractions. Both proteins were sensitive to proteinase digestion. These data uncover new functions of wild-type PrP(C) at the synapse with a disease-relevant mutation in PrP(C) leading to diminished functional phenotypes. Thus, our data present essential new information possibly related to prion pathogenesis in which a functional synaptic role of PrP(C) is compromised due to its advanced conversion into PrP(SC) thereby creating a lack-of-function scenario.

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

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Christopher J.; Anantharam, Vellareddy; Martin, Dustin P.; Nicholson, Eric M.; Richt, Jürgen A.; Kanthasamy, Arthi; Kanthasamy, Anumantha G.

    2010-01-01

    Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative diseases resulting from misfolding of normal cellular prion (PrPC) into an abnormal form of scrapie prion (PrPSc). The cellular mechanisms underlying the misfolding of PrPC are not well understood. Since cellular prion proteins harbor divalent metal-binding sites in the N-terminal region, we examined the effect of manganese on PrPC processing in in vitro models of prion disease. Exposure to manganese significantly increased PrPC levels both in cytosolic and in membrane-rich fractions in a time-dependent manner. Manganese-induced PrPC upregulation was independent of messenger RNA transcription or stability. Additionally, manganese treatment did not alter the PrPC degradation by either proteasomal or lysosomal pathways. Interestingly, pulse-chase analysis showed that the PrPC turnover rate was significantly altered with manganese treatment, indicating increased stability of PrPC with the metal exposure. Limited proteolysis studies with proteinase-K further supported that manganese increases the stability of PrPC. Incubation of mouse brain slice cultures with manganese also resulted in increased prion protein levels and higher intracellular manganese accumulation. Furthermore, exposure of manganese to an infectious prion cell model, mouse Rocky Mountain Laboratory–infected CAD5 cells, significantly increased prion protein levels. Collectively, our results demonstrate for the first time that divalent metal manganese can alter the stability of prion proteins and suggest that manganese-induced stabilization of prion protein may play a role in prion protein misfolding and prion disease pathogenesis. PMID:20176619

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

    PubMed Central

    Kellershohn, N; Laurent, M

    1998-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Molecular dynamics studies on the buffalo prion protein.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jiapu; Wang, Feng; Chatterjee, Subhojyoti

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  3. The genetics of prion diseases.

    PubMed

    Mastrianni, James A

    2010-04-01

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

  4. 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. PMID:17438782

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Translocation of cellular prion protein to non-lipid rafts protects human prion-mediated neuronal damage.

    PubMed

    Jeong, Jae-Kyo; Moon, Myung-Hee; Lee, You-Jin; Seol, Jae-Won; Park, Sang-Youel

    2012-03-01

    Prions are the causative agents of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, such as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. Cellular prion proteins (PrPC) connect with cholesterol- and glycosphingolipid-rich lipid rafts through association of their glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor with saturated raft lipids and interaction of their N-terminal regions. Our previous study showed that cellular cholesterol enrichment prevented PrP(106-126)-induced neuronal death. We have now studied the influence of membrane cholesterol in PrP(106-126)-mediated neurotoxicity and identified membrane domains involved in this activity. We found that PrPC is normally distributed in lipid rafts, but high membrane cholesterol levels as a result of cholesterol treatment led to the translocation of PrPC from lipid rafts to non-lipid rafts. Moreover, cholesterol-mediated PrPC translocation protects PrP(106-126)-mediated apoptosis and p-38 activation and caspase-3 activation. In a mitochondrial functional assay including mitochondrial transmembrane potential, cholesterol treatment prevented the loss of mitochondrial potential, translocation of Bax and cytochrome c by prion protein fragment. Our results indicate that modulation of the PrPC location appears to protect against neuronal cell death caused by prion peptides. The results of this study suggest that regulation of membrane cholesterol affects the translocation of PrPC, which in turn regulates PrP(106-126)-induced mitochondrial dysfunction and neurotoxicity.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-09-01

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

  10. Chaperone Proteins Select and Maintain [PIN+] Prion Conformations in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    PubMed Central

    Lancaster, David L.; Dobson, C. Melissa; Rachubinski, Richard A.

    2013-01-01

    Prions are proteins that can adopt different infectious conformations known as “strains” or “variants,” each with a distinct, epigenetically inheritable phenotype. Mechanisms by which prion variants are determined remain unclear. Here we use the Saccharomyces cerevisiae prion Rnq1p/[PIN+] as a model to investigate the effects of chaperone proteins upon prion variant determination. We show that deletion of specific chaperone genes alters [PIN+] variant phenotypes, including [PSI+] induction efficiency, Rnq1p aggregate morphology/size and variant dominance. Mating assays demonstrate that gene deletion-induced phenotypic changes are stably inherited in a non-Mendelian manner even after restoration of the deleted gene, confirming that they are due to a bona fide change in the [PIN+] variant. Together, our results demonstrate a role for chaperones in regulating the prion variant complement of a cell. PMID:23148221

  11. 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

  12. Structure and polymorphism of the mouse prion protein gene.

    PubMed Central

    Westaway, D; Cooper, C; Turner, S; Da Costa, M; Carlson, G A; Prusiner, S B

    1994-01-01

    Missense mutations in the prion protein (PrP) gene, overexpression of the cellular isoform of PrP (PrPC), and infection with prions containing the scrapie isoform of PrP (PrPSc) all cause neurodegenerative disease. To understand better the physiology and expression of PrPC, we retrieved mouse PrP gene (Prn-p) yeast artificial chromosome (YAC), cosmid, phage, and cDNA clones. Physical mapping positions Prn-p approximately 300 kb from ecotropic virus integration site number 4 (Evi-4), compatible with failure to detect recombination between Prn-p and Evi-4 in genetic crosses. The Prn-pa allele encompasses three exons, with exons 1 and 2 encoding the mRNA 5' untranslated region. Exon 2 has no equivalent in the Syrian hamster and human PrP genes. The Prn-pb gene shares this intron/exon structure but harbors an approximately 6-kb deletion within intron 2. While the Prn-pb open reading frame encodes two amino acid substitutions linked to prolonged scrapie incubation periods, a deletion of intron 2 sequences also characterizes inbred strains such as RIII/S and MOLF/Ei with shorter incubation periods, making a relationship between intron 2 size and scrapie pathogenesis unlikely. The promoter regions of a and b Prn-p alleles include consensus Sp1 and AP-1 sites, as well as other conserved motifs which may represent binding sites for as yet unidentified transcription factors. Images PMID:7912827

  13. 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

  14. The pathological prion protein forms ionic conductance in lipid bilayer.

    PubMed

    Paulis, Daniele; Maras, Bruno; Schininà, M Eugenia; di Francesco, Laura; Principe, Serena; Galeno, Roberta; Abdel-Haq, Hanin; Cardone, Franco; Florio, Tullio; Pocchiari, Maurizio; Mazzanti, Michele

    2011-08-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are neurodegenerative pathologies characterized by the accumulation of amyloid fibrils mainly composed of the pathological isoform of the prion protein (PrP(TSE)). PrP(TSE) pre-amyloid fibrils are supposed to induce neurodegenerative lesions possibly through the alteration of membrane permeability. The effect of PrP(TSE) on cellular membranes has been modeled in vitro by synthetic peptides that are, however, only partially representative of PrP(TSE) isoforms found in vivo. In the present work we show that a synthetic membrane exposed to PrP27-30 extracted from TSE-infected hamster brains changes its permeability because of the formation of molecular pores that alter the conductance of the synthetic lipid bilayer. Synthetic membrane challenged with the recombinant prion peptide PrP90-231 shows a much lower conductance. Elevation of calcium ion concentration not only increases the current amplitude due to the action of both PrP27-30 and PrP90-231 on the membrane, but also amplifies the interaction of PrP90-231 with the lipid bilayer.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Detection of typical and atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy and scrapie prion strains by prion protein motif-grafted antibodies.

    PubMed

    Martucci, Francesca; Acutis, Pierluigi; Mazza, Maria; Nodari, Sabrina; Colussi, Silvia; Corona, Cristiano; Barocci, Simone; Gabrielli, Armando; Caramelli, Maria; Casalone, Cristina; Moroncini, Gianluca

    2009-04-01

    To evaluate further the reactivity of prion-specific monoclonal antibodies containing the 89-112 or 136-158 prion protein (PrP) polypeptides, immunoprecipitations were performed on brain extracts from Italian bovines, sheep and goats with transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. No binding of IgG 89-112 or IgG 136-158 to PrP in normal brain extracts was detected. Conversely, both reagents immunoprecipitated PrP from bovine and bovine amyloidotic spongiform encephalopathies, and from typical and atypical scrapie brain extracts. The immunoprecipitated PrP bands mirrored the Western blot (WB) profile of the different prion strains, indicating universal affinity of two independent PrP regions for disease-associated PrP conformers regardless of species source and strain properties. Immunoprecipitation with motif-grafted antibodies increased the sensitivity of conventional detection methods based on centrifugation followed by WB, which was confirmed by assay of diluted samples using both methods. These reagents or derivative molecules may thus find broad applications in prion detection and research.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Structural and Dynamic Properties of the Human Prion Protein

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jiapu; Wang, Feng

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-12-15

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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-07-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

    La Mendola, Diego; Rizzarelli, Enrico

    2014-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Lactoferrin from bovine colostrum regulates prolyl hydroxylase 2 activity and prevents prion protein-mediated neuronal cell damage via cellular prion protein.

    PubMed

    Park, Y-G; Moon, J-H; Park, S-Y

    2014-08-22

    Prion disorders are associated with the conversion of normal cellular prion protein (PrPc) to the abnormal scrapie isoform of prion protein (PrPsc). Recent studies have shown that expression of normal PrPc is regulated by hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha (HIF-1α), and that lactoferrin increases full-length PrPc on the cell surface. Lactoferrin is an 80-kDa iron-binding glycoprotein with various biological activities, including iron-chelating ability. HIF-1α and the associated ubiquitin-proteasome pathway are regulated by HIF prolyl-hydroxylases 2 (PHD2). We hypothesized that lactoferrin regulates PHD2 expression and enzymatic activity, and the PHD2 regulation promotes HIF-1α stability and prevention of neuronal cell death mediated by prion protein (PrP) residues (106-126). Lactoferrin prevented PrP (106-126)-induced neurotoxicity by the induction of PrPc expression via promoting HIF-1α stability in neuronal cells. Our results demonstrated that lactoferrin prevented PrP (106-126)-induced neurotoxicity via the up-regulation of HIF-1α stability determined by PHD2 expression and enzymatic activity. These findings suggest that possible therapies such as PHD2 inhibition, or promotion of lactoferrin secretion, may have clinical benefits in neurodegenerative diseases, including prion disease. PMID:24875174

  12. Scrapie and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease prion proteins share physical properties and antigenic determinants.

    PubMed Central

    Bendheim, P E; Bockman, J M; McKinley, M P; Kingsbury, D T; Prusiner, S B

    1985-01-01

    Scrapie of sheep and goats as well as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) of humans are neurologic disorders caused by slow infectious pathogens. The novel molecular properties of the pathogen causing scrapie have prompted introduction of the term "prion" to denote a small proteinaceous infectious particle that resists inactivation by nucleic acid-modifying procedures. Antiserum to the major hamster scrapie prion protein (PrP 27-30) was found to cross-react with murine CJD proteins. The CJD proteins had molecular weights similar to those observed for scrapie prion proteins as determined by NaDodSO4 gel electrophoresis. In addition, the CJD proteins were resistant to digestion by proteinase K and appear to polymerize into rod-shaped particles. The purification procedure developed for scrapie prions was found to be useful in purifying the CJD agent. Purification of the two infectious pathogens by virtually identical procedures provided further evidence for similarities in their molecular structures. We conclude that the molecular and biologic properties of the CJD agent are sufficiently similar to those of the scrapie prion protein that CJD should be classified as a prion disease. Images PMID:2579394

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-07-22

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Combined EXAFS and DFT structure calculations provide structural insights into the 1:1 multi-histidine complexes of Cu(II) , Cu(I) , and Zn(II) with the tandem octarepeats of the mammalian prion protein.

    PubMed

    Pushie, M Jake; Nienaber, Kurt H; McDonald, Alex; Millhauser, Glenn L; George, Graham N

    2014-07-28

    The metal-coordinating properties of the prion protein (PrP) have been the subject of intense focus and debate since the first reports of its interaction with copper just before the turn of the century. The picture of metal coordination to PrP has been improved and refined over the past decade, but structural details of the various metal coordination modes have not been fully elucidated in some cases. In the present study, we have employed X-ray absorption near-edge spectroscopy as well as extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) spectroscopy to structurally characterize the dominant 1:1 coordination modes for Cu(II) , Cu(I) , and Zn(II) with an N-terminal fragment of PrP. The PrP fragment corresponds to four tandem repeats representative of the mammalian octarepeat domain, designated as OR4 , which is also the most studied PrP fragment for metal interactions, making our findings applicable to a large body of previous work. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations have provided additional structural and thermodynamic data, and candidate structures have been used to inform EXAFS data analysis. The optimized geometries from DFT calculations have been used to identify potential coordination complexes for multi-histidine coordination of Cu(II) , Cu(I) , and Zn(II) in an aqueous medium, modelled using 4-methylimidazole to represent the histidine side chain. Through a combination of in silico coordination chemistry as well as rigorous EXAFS curve-fitting, using full multiple scattering on candidate structures derived from DFT calculations, we have characterized the predominant coordination modes for the 1:1 complexes of Cu(II) , Cu(I) , and Zn(II) with the OR4 peptide at pH 7.4 at atomic resolution, which are best represented as square-planar [Cu(II) (His)4 ](2+) , digonal [Cu(I) (His)2 ](+) , and tetrahedral [Zn(II) (His)3 (OH2 )](2+) , respectively.

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-04-25

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

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

    PubMed

    Sano, Kazunori; Atarashi, Ryuichiro; Nishida, Noriyuki

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Chamachi, Neharika G; Chakrabarty, Suman

    2016-08-01

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

  3. Allosteric function and dysfunction of the prion protein.

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-09-22

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

  6. 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.

  7. COMPARATIVE PROFILING OF HIGHLY ENRICHED 22L AND CHANDLER MOUSE SCRAPIE PRION PROTEIN PREPARATIONS

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) or prion diseases are characterized by the accumulation of an aggregated isoform of the prion protein (PrP). This pathological isoform, termed PrPSc, appears to be the primary component of the TSE infectious agent or prion. However, it is not clear to what extent other protein co-factors may be involved in TSE pathogenesis or whether there are PrPSc-associated proteins which help to determine TSE strain-specific disease phenotypes. We enriched PrPSc from the brains of mice infected with either 22L or Chandler TSE strains and examined the protein content of these samples using nanospray liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. These samples were compared to “mock” PrPSc preparations from uninfected brains. Prion protein was the major component of the infected samples and ferritin was the most abundant impurity. By contrast, mock enrichments contained no detectable prion protein but did contain a significant amount of ferritin. Of the total proteins identified, 32% were found in both mock and infected samples. The similarities between PrPSc samples from 22L and Chandler TSE strains suggest that the non-PrPSc protein components found in standard enrichment protocols are not strain-specific. PMID:20518029

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

    PubMed

    Victoria, Guiliana Soraya; Zurzolo, Chiara

    2015-09-01

    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.

  9. Differential stability of the bovine prion protein upon urea unfolding

    PubMed Central

    Julien, Olivier; Chatterjee, Subhrangsu; Thiessen, Angela; Graether, Steffen P; Sykes, Brian D

    2009-01-01

    Prion diseases, or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, are a group of infectious neurological diseases associated with the structural conversion of an endogenous protein (PrP) in the central nervous system. There are two major forms of this protein: the native and noninfectious cellular form, PrPC; and the misfolded, infectious, and proteinase K-resistant form, PrPSc. The C-terminal domain of PrPC is mainly α-helical in structure, whereas PrPSc in known to aggregate into an assembly of β-sheets, forming amyloid fibrils. To identify the regions of PrPC potentially involved in the initial steps of the conversion to the infectious conformation, we have used high-resolution NMR spectroscopy to characterize the stability and structure of bovine recombinant PrPC (residues 121 to 230) during unfolding with the denaturant urea. Analysis of the 800 MHz 1H NMR spectra reveals region-specific information about the structural changes occurring upon unfolding. Our data suggest that the dissociation of the native β-sheet of PrPC is a primary step in the urea-induced unfolding process, while strong hydrophobic interactions between helices α1 and α3, and between α2 and α3, stabilize these regions even at very high concentrations of urea. PMID:19693935

  10. 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.

  11. Heterologous Gln/Asn-Rich Proteins Impede the Propagation of Yeast Prions by Altering Chaperone Availability

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Zi; Hong, Joo Y.; Derkatch, Irina L.; Liebman, Susan W.

    2013-01-01

    Prions are self-propagating conformations of proteins that can cause heritable phenotypic traits. Most yeast prions contain glutamine (Q)/asparagine (N)-rich domains that facilitate the accumulation of the protein into amyloid-like aggregates. Efficient transmission of these infectious aggregates to daughter cells requires that chaperones, including Hsp104 and Sis1, continually sever the aggregates into smaller “seeds.” We previously identified 11 proteins with Q/N-rich domains that, when overproduced, facilitate the de novo aggregation of the Sup35 protein into the [PSI +] prion state. Here, we show that overexpression of many of the same 11 Q/N-rich proteins can also destabilize pre-existing [PSI+] or [URE3] prions. We explore in detail the events leading to the loss (curing) of [PSI+] by the overexpression of one of these proteins, the Q/N-rich domain of Pin4, which causes Sup35 aggregates to increase in size and decrease in transmissibility to daughter cells. We show that the Pin4 Q/N-rich domain sequesters Hsp104 and Sis1 chaperones away from the diffuse cytoplasmic pool. Thus, a mechanism by which heterologous Q/N-rich proteins impair prion propagation appears to be the loss of cytoplasmic Hsp104 and Sis1 available to sever [PSI+]. PMID:23358669

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-26

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-26

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

  14. Conformational change in hamster scrapie prion protein (PrP27-30) associated with proteinase K resistance and prion infectivity.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Sachiko Y; Takata, Masuhiro; Teruya, Kenta; Shinagawa, Morikazu; Mohri, Shirou; Yokoyama, Takashi

    2008-02-01

    The scrapie prion protein (PrP27-30) is a crucial component of the prion and is responsible for its transmissibility. Structural information on this protein is limited because it is insoluble and shows aggregated properties. In this study, PrP27-30 was effectively dispersed using sonication under the weak alkaline condition. Subsequently, the small PrP27-30 aggregates were subjected to different pH, heat, and denaturing conditions. The loss of proteinase K (PK) resistance of PrP27-30 and prion infectivity were monitored along with spectroscopic changes. Prion inactivation could not be achieved by the loss of PK resistance alone; a significant loss of the PrP27-30 amyloid structure, which was represented by a decrease in thioflavin T fluorescence, was required for the loss of transmissibility.

  15. 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

  16. The contribution of different prion protein types and host polymorphisms to clinicopathological variations in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

    PubMed

    Head, Mark W; Ironside, James W

    2012-07-01

    Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that primarily affects the central nervous system. In this respect, it can be considered alongside the more frequently occurring neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is perhaps the paradigmatic protein misfolding disorder, so comparisons between the mechanisms involved in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and other neurodegenerative diseases associated with protein misfolding (such as the tauopathies and synucleinopathies) may also be informative. Like many of these diseases, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease occurs sporadically or can, more rarely, be associated with mutations. However, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease can also be acquired and is experimentally transmissible. These properties have had profound public health implications and made the disease of interest to virologists, in addition to those interested in protein misfolding disorders and neurodegeneration. The possible causes for the pronounced phenotypic variation among different forms of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease are beginning to become understood, and these appear to depend in large measure on the genetics of the host (specifically the sequence of the prion protein gene, PRNP) and the epigenetic aspects of the agent (thought to be a misfolded and aggregated form of the PRNP gene product, termed a prion). This review will examine whether this model in its present form has sufficient complexity and subtlety to account for the clinicopathological variation evident in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and will outline the ways in which a more complete and informative molecular definition of human prions are currently being sought.

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-10

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Studies to understanding interspecies transmission of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs, prion diseases) are challenging in that they typically rely upon lengthy and costly in vivo animal challenge studies. A number of in vitro assays have been developed to aid in measuring prion species barriers, thereby reducing animal use and providing quicker results than animal bioassays. Here, we present the protocol for a rapid in vitro prion conversion assay called the conversion efficiency ratio (CER) assay. In this assay cellular prion protein (PrPC) from an uninfected host brain is denatured at both pH 7.4 and 3.5 to produce two substrates. When the pH 7.4 substrate is incubated with TSE agent, the amount of PrPC that converts to a proteinase K (PK)-resistant state is modulated by the original host's species barrier to the TSE agent. In contrast, PrPC in the pH 3.5 substrate is misfolded by any TSE agent. By comparing the amount of PK-resistant prion protein in the two substrates, an assessment of the host's species barrier can be made. We show that the CER assay correctly predicts known prion species barriers of laboratory mice and, as an example, show some preliminary results suggesting that bobcats (Lynx rufus) may be susceptible to white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) chronic wasting disease agent. PMID:25867521

  1. Suppression of prion protein in livestock by RNA interference.

    PubMed

    Golding, Michael C; Long, Charles R; Carmell, Michelle A; Hannon, Gregory J; Westhusin, Mark E

    2006-04-01

    Given the difficulty of applying gene knockout technology to species other than mice, we decided to explore the utility of RNA interference (RNAi) in silencing the expression of genes in livestock. Short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) were designed and screened for their ability to suppress the expression of caprine and bovine prion protein (PrP). Lentiviral vectors were used to deliver a transgene expressing GFP and an shRNA targeting PrP into goat fibroblasts. These cells were then used for nuclear transplantation to produce a cloned goat fetus, which was surgically recovered at 81 days of gestation and compared with an age-matched control derived by natural mating. All tissues examined in the cloned fetus expressed GFP, and PCR analysis confirmed the presence of the transgene encoding the PrP shRNA. Most relevant, Western blot analysis performed on brain tissues comparing the transgenic fetus with control demonstrated a significant (>90%) decrease in PrP expression levels. To confirm that similar methodologies could be applied to the bovine, recombinant virus was injected into the perivitelline space of bovine ova. After in vitro fertilization and culture, 76% of the blastocysts exhibited GFP expression, indicative that they expressed shRNAs targeting PrP. Our results provide strong evidence that the approach described here will be useful in producing transgenic livestock conferring potential disease resistance and provide an effective strategy for suppressing gene expression in a variety of large-animal models.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Regulation of Embryonic Cell Adhesion by the Prion Protein

    PubMed Central

    Schrock, Yvonne; Geiss, Corinna; Luncz, Lydia; Thomanetz, Venus; Stuermer, Claudia A. O

    2009-01-01

    Prion proteins (PrPs) are key players in fatal neurodegenerative disorders, yet their physiological functions remain unclear, as PrP knockout mice develop rather normally. We report a strong PrP loss-of-function phenotype in zebrafish embryos, characterized by the loss of embryonic cell adhesion and arrested gastrulation. Zebrafish and mouse PrP mRNAs can partially rescue this knockdown phenotype, indicating conserved PrP functions. Using zebrafish, mouse, and Drosophila cells, we show that PrP: (1) mediates Ca+2-independent homophilic cell adhesion and signaling; and (2) modulates Ca+2-dependent cell adhesion by regulating the delivery of E-cadherin to the plasma membrane. In vivo time-lapse analyses reveal that the arrested gastrulation in PrP knockdown embryos is due to deficient morphogenetic cell movements, which rely on E-cadherin–based adhesion. Cell-transplantation experiments indicate that the regulation of embryonic cell adhesion by PrP is cell-autonomous. Moreover, we find that the local accumulation of PrP at cell contact sites is concomitant with the activation of Src-related kinases, the recruitment of reggie/flotillin microdomains, and the reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton, consistent with a role of PrP in the modulation of cell adhesion via signaling. Altogether, our data uncover evolutionarily conserved roles of PrP in cell communication, which ultimately impinge on the stability of adherens cell junctions during embryonic development. PMID:19278297

  5. Genomic structure of the human prion protein gene.

    PubMed Central

    Puckett, C; Concannon, P; Casey, C; Hood, L

    1991-01-01

    Creutzfeld-Jacob disease and Gerstmann-Sträussler syndrome are rare degenerative disorders of the nervous system which have been genetically linked to the prion protein (PrP) gene. The PrP gene encodes a host glycoprotein of unknown function and is located on the short arm of chromosome 20, a region with few known genes or anonymous markers. The complete structure of the PrP gene in man has not been determined despite considerable interest in its relationship to these unusual disorders. We have determined that the human PrP gene has the same simple genomic structure seen in the hamster gene and consists of two exons and a single intron. In contrast to the hamster PrP gene the human gene appears to have a single major transcriptional start site. The region immediately 5' of the transcriptional start site of the human PrP gene demonstrates the GC-rich features commonly seen in housekeeping genes. Curiously, the genomic clone we have isolated contains a 24-bp deletion that removes one of five octameric peptide repeats predicted to form a B-pleated sheet in this region of the PrP. We have also identified 5' of the PrP gene an RFLP which has a high degree of heterozygosity and which should serve as a useful marker for the pter-12 region of human chromosome 20. Images Figure 3 Figure 5 PMID:1678248

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-15

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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergasa-Caceres, Fernando; Rabitz, Herschel A.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  15. Redox behaviors of the neurotoxic portion in human prion protein, HuPrP(106-126)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamamoto, Norifumi; Kuwata, Kazuo

    2010-09-01

    A peptide fragment of human prion protein, HuPrP(106-126), has been reported to mimic the pathological features underlying prion diseases. Although the actual neurotoxic mechanism of HuPrP(106-126) has not been elucidated, several hypotheses has been proposed based on the role for copper. In this study, to understand the toxic function of HuPrP(106-126) from a viewpoint of electrochemical competence, we investigated redox properties of copper ion complexes with four different binding motifs of a model of HuPrP(106-126) based on density functional theory calculations. We found that the HuPrP(106-126)-derived models exhibited diverse redox activities that depended on copper-binding conformations.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-10-20

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

  17. Structure Prediction of Protein Complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierce, Brian; Weng, Zhiping

    Protein-protein interactions are critical for biological function. They directly and indirectly influence the biological systems of which they are a part. Antibodies bind with antigens to detect and stop viruses and other infectious agents. Cell signaling is performed in many cases through the interactions between proteins. Many diseases involve protein-protein interactions on some level, including cancer and prion diseases.

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

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jiapu; Zhang, Yuanli

    2014-02-01

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

  19. Sequence analysis of the prion protein gene in Mongolian gazelles (Procapra gutturosa).

    PubMed

    Wang, Yiqin; Qin, Zhenkui; Bao, Yonggan; Qiao, Junwen; Yang, Lifeng; Zhao, Deming

    2009-10-01

    Prion diseases are a group of human and animal neurodegenerative conditions, which are caused by the deposition of an abnormal isoform prion protein (PrPSc) encoded by a single copy prion protein gene (Prnp). In sheep, genetic variations of Prnp were found to be associated with the incubation period, susceptibility, and species barrier to the scrapie disease. We investigated the sequence and polymorphisms of the prion protein gene of Mongolian gazelles (gPrnp). gPrnp gene sequence analysis of blood samples from 26 Mongolian gazelles showed high identity within species. The gPrnp gene was closely related to the Prnp genes of Thomson’s gazelle, blackbuck, and cattle with 100, 100, and 98.5% identity, respectively, whereas the gPrnp gene with a deletion was closely related to the Prnp genes of wildebeest, Western roe deer, and sheep with 99.3, 99.3, and 98.9% identity, respectively. Polymorphisms of the open reading frame of Prnp as amino acid substitutions were detected at codons 119(N --> S), 143(S --> G) or 160(Y --> H), 172(V --> A), 182(N --> S) and 221(V --> A). There was also deletion of one octapeptide repeat at the N-terminal octapeptide repeat region. The polymorphisms of gPrnp will assist the study of prion disease pathogenesis, resistance, and cross species transmission. PMID:19579063

  20. Stress-dependent proteolytic processing of the actin assembly protein Lsb1 modulates a yeast prion.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  1. Stress-dependent proteolytic processing of the actin assembly protein Lsb1 modulates a yeast prion.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  3. 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).

  4. Immunohistochemical detection of prion protein in sheep with scrapie.

    PubMed

    Miller, J M; Jenny, A L; Taylor, W D; Marsh, R F; Rubenstein, R; Race, R E

    1993-07-01

    Prion protein (PrP), which is involved in the pathogenesis of scrapie, occurs in 2 forms. The form extracted from scrapie brain is protease resistant (PrP-res), whereas PrP from normal brain is protease sensitive (PrP-sen). This study examined whether PrP-res could be detected in brains of sheep with scrapie by immunohistochemistry (IHC). A suitable IHC procedure was developed using brain tissue from hamsters that had been inoculated with the transmissible mink encephalopathy agent. Tissue samples were fixed in PLP (periodate, lysine, paraformaldehyde) that contained paraformaldehyde at a concentration of 0.125%. Before application of the IHC technique, tissue sections were deparaffinized and treated with formic acid to simultaneously enhance PrP-res immunoreactivity and degrade PrP-sen. Primary antibody was obtained from a rabbit immunized to PrP-res extracted from brains of mice with experimentally induced scrapie. Brain from 21 sheep with histopathologically confirmed scrapie were examined by IHC. In all 21 brains, PrP-res was widely distributed throughout the brain stem. Staining was particularly intense in neuronal cell bodies and around blood vessels. The IHC technique successfully detected PrP-res in brain samples that had been frozen or that were severely autolyzed before fixation in PLP. Brains from 11 scrapie-suspect sheep that were not considered histologically positive were also examined by IHC. PrP-res was found in 4 of these brains. Sections of brains from 14 clinically normal sheep did not have detectable PrP-res. Results of this study indicate that IHC detection of PrP-res is equivalent, and perhaps superior, to histopathology for the diagnosis of scrapie in sheep. Furthermore, IHC is applicable to tissues that have autolytic changes or processing artifacts that prevent satisfactory histopathologic evaluation for lesions of scrapie.

  5. Transport of the pathogenic prion protein through soils.

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

    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 PrP(TSE)) 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. The transport of TSE agent 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 the results of saturated column experiments designed to evaluate PrP(TSE) transport through five soils with relatively high sand or silt contents and low organic carbon content. Protease-treated TSE-infected brain homogenate was used as a model for PrP(TSE) present in decomposing infected tissue. Synthetic rainwater was used as the eluent. All five soils retained PrP(TSE); no detectable PrP(TSE) 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 to soils with low organic carbon content 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. 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. PMID:26991480

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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}.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-17

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  18. 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

  19. Prion Protein Deficiency Causes Diverse Proteome Shifts in Cell Models That Escape Detection in Brain Tissue.

    PubMed

    Mehrabian, Mohadeseh; Brethour, Dylan; Williams, Declan; Wang, Hansen; Arnould, Hélène; Schneider, Benoit; Schmitt-Ulms, Gerold

    2016-01-01

    A popular method for studying the function of a given protein is to generate and characterize a suitable model deficient for its expression. For the prion protein (PrP), best known for its role in several invariably fatal neurodegenerative diseases, a natural choice, therefore, would be to undertake such studies with brain samples. We recently documented the surprising observation that PrP deficiency caused a loss or enhancement of NCAM1 polysialylation, dependent on the cell model used. To identify possible causes for this disparity, we set out to systematically investigate the consequence of PrP deficiency on the global proteome in brain tissue and in four distinct cell models. Here we report that PrP deficiency causes robust but surprisingly divergent changes to the global proteomes of cell models but has no discernible impact on the global brain proteome. Amongst >1,500 proteins whose levels were compared in wild-type and PrP-deficient models, members of the MARCKS protein family exhibited pronounced, yet cell model-dependent changes to their steady-state levels. Follow-up experiments revealed that PrP collaborates with members of the MARCKS protein family in its control of NCAM1 polysialylation. We conclude that the physiological function of PrP may be masked in analyses of complex brain samples but its cell-type specific influence on a lipid raft-based NCAM1-related cell biology comes to the fore in investigations of specific cell types.

  20. Prion Protein Deficiency Causes Diverse Proteome Shifts in Cell Models That Escape Detection in Brain Tissue

    PubMed Central

    Mehrabian, Mohadeseh; Brethour, Dylan; Williams, Declan; Wang, Hansen; Arnould, Hélène; Schneider, Benoit; Schmitt-Ulms, Gerold

    2016-01-01

    A popular method for studying the function of a given protein is to generate and characterize a suitable model deficient for its expression. For the prion protein (PrP), best known for its role in several invariably fatal neurodegenerative diseases, a natural choice, therefore, would be to undertake such studies with brain samples. We recently documented the surprising observation that PrP deficiency caused a loss or enhancement of NCAM1 polysialylation, dependent on the cell model used. To identify possible causes for this disparity, we set out to systematically investigate the consequence of PrP deficiency on the global proteome in brain tissue and in four distinct cell models. Here we report that PrP deficiency causes robust but surprisingly divergent changes to the global proteomes of cell models but has no discernible impact on the global brain proteome. Amongst >1,500 proteins whose levels were compared in wild-type and PrP-deficient models, members of the MARCKS protein family exhibited pronounced, yet cell model-dependent changes to their steady-state levels. Follow-up experiments revealed that PrP collaborates with members of the MARCKS protein family in its control of NCAM1 polysialylation. We conclude that the physiological function of PrP may be masked in analyses of complex brain samples but its cell-type specific influence on a lipid raft-based NCAM1-related cell biology comes to the fore in investigations of specific cell types. PMID:27327609

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Voltage-gated potassium channel (VGKC) complex antibody-mediated encephalitis is a recently recognised entity which has been reported to mimic the clinical presentation of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). Testing for the presence of this neuronal surface autoantibody in patients presenting with subacute encephalopathy is therefore crucial as it may both revoke the bleak diagnosis of prion disease and allow institution of potentially life-saving immunotherapy. Tempering this optimistic view is the rare instance when a positive VGKC complex antibody titre occurs in a definite case of prion disease. We present a pathologically and genetically confirmed case of CJD with elevated serum VGKC complex antibody titres. This case highlights the importance of interpreting the result of a positive VGKC complex antibody with caution and in the context of the overall clinical manifestation. PMID:24903967

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-05

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    Voltage-gated potassium channel (VGKC) complex antibody-mediated encephalitis is a recently recognised entity which has been reported to mimic the clinical presentation of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). Testing for the presence of this neuronal surface autoantibody in patients presenting with subacute encephalopathy is therefore crucial as it may both revoke the bleak diagnosis of prion disease and allow institution of potentially life-saving immunotherapy. Tempering this optimistic view is the rare instance when a positive VGKC complex antibody titre occurs in a definite case of prion disease. We present a pathologically and genetically confirmed case of CJD with elevated serum VGKC complex antibody titres. This case highlights the importance of interpreting the result of a positive VGKC complex antibody with caution and in the context of the overall clinical manifestation. PMID:24903967

  4. 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

  5. Nucleation-dependent conformational conversion of the Y145Stop variant of human prion protein: Structural clues for prion propagation

    PubMed Central

    Kundu, Bishwajit; Maiti, Nilesh R.; Jones, Eric M.; Surewicz, Krystyna A.; Vanik, David L.; Surewicz, Witold K.

    2003-01-01

    One of the most intriguing disease-related mutations in human prion protein (PrP) is the Tyr to Stop codon substitution at position 145. This mutation results in a Gerstmann–Straussler–Scheinker-like disease with extensive PrP amyloid deposits in the brain. Here, we provide evidence for a spontaneous conversion of the recombinant polypeptide corresponding to the Y145Stop variant (huPrP23–144) from a monomeric unordered state to a fibrillar form. This conversion is characterized by a protein concentration-dependent lag phase and has characteristics of a nucleation-dependent polymerization. Atomic force microscopy shows that huPrP23–144 fibrils are characterized by an apparent periodicity along the long axis, with an average period of 20 nm. Fourier-transform infrared spectra indicate that the conversion is associated with formation of β-sheet structure. However, the infrared bands for huPrP23–144 are quite different from those for a synthetic peptide PrP106–126, suggesting conformational non-equivalence of β-structures in the disease-associated Y145Stop variant and a frequently used short model peptide. To identify the region that is critical for the self-seeded assembly of huPrP23–144 amyloid, experiments were performed by using the recombinant polypeptides corresponding to prion protein fragments 23–114, 23–124, 23–134, 23–137, 23–139, and 23–141. Importantly, none of the fragments ending before residue 139 showed a propensity for conformational conversion to amyloid fibrils, indicating that residues within the 138–141 region are essential for this conversion. PMID:14519851

  6. Investigating the interactions of yeast prions: [SWI+], [PSI+], and [PIN+].

    PubMed

    Du, Zhiqiang; Li, Liming

    2014-06-01

    Multiple prion elements, which are transmitted as heritable protein conformations and often linked to distinct phenotypes, have been identified in the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. It has been shown that overproduction of a prion protein Swi1 can promote the de novo conversion of another yeast prion [PSI(+)] when Sup35 is co-overproduced. However, the mechanism underlying this Pin(+) ([PSI(+)] inducible) activity is not clear. Moreover, how the Swi1 prion ([SWI(+)]) interacts with other yeast prions is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that the Pin(+) activity associated with Swi1 overproduction is independent of Rnq1 expression or [PIN(+)] conversion. We also show that [SWI(+)] enhances the appearance of [PSI(+)] and [PIN(+)]. However, [SWI(+)] significantly compromises the Pin(+) activity of [PIN(+)] when they coexist. We further demonstrate that a single yeast cell can harbor three prions, [PSI(+)], [PIN(+)], and [SWI(+)], simultaneously. However, under this condition, [SWI(+)] is significantly destabilized. While the propensity to aggregate underlies prionogenesis, Swi1 and Rnq1 aggregates resulting from overproduction are usually nonheritable. Conversely, prion protein aggregates formed in nonoverexpressing conditions or induced by preexisting prion(s) are more prionogenic. For [PSI(+)] and [PIN(+)] de novo formation, heterologous "facilitators," such as preexisting [SWI(+)] aggregates, colocalize only with the newly formed ring-/rod-shaped Sup35 or Rnq1 aggregates, but not with the dot-shaped mature prion aggregates. Their colocalization frequency is coordinated with their prion inducibility, indicating that prion-prion interactions mainly occur at the early initiation stage. Our results provide supportive evidence for the cross-seeding model of prionogenesis and highlight a complex interaction network among prions in yeast.

  7. 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…

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-12

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

  16. 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.

  17. Prions tunnel between cells.

    PubMed

    Gerdes, Hans-Hermann

    2009-03-01

    Prions are abnormal isoforms of host proteins that are the infectious agents in certain mammalian neurodegenerative diseases. How prions travel from their peripheral entry sites to the brain where they cause disease is poorly understood. A new study finds that tunnelling nanotubes are important for the intercellular transfer of prions during neuroinvasion.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

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

    PubMed

    Sorgato, M Catia; Bertoli, Alessandro

    2009-02-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Structural and mechanistic commonalities of amyloid-β and the prion protein

    PubMed Central

    Da Costa Dias, Bianca; Jovanovic, Katarina; Gonsalves, Danielle

    2011-01-01

    Amyloid beta (Aβ) is a major causative agent of Alzheimer disease (AD). This neurotoxic peptide is generated as a result of the cleavage of the Amyloid-Precursor-Protein (APP) by the action of β-secretase and γ-secretase. The neurotoxicity was previously thought to be the result of aggregation. However, recent studies suggest that the interaction of Aβ with numerous cell surface receptors such as N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA), receptor for advanced glycosylation end products (RAGE), P75 neurotrophin receptor (P75NTR) as well as cell surface proteins such as the cellular prion protein (PrPc) and heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPG) strongly enhances Aβ induced apoptosis and thereby contributes to neurotoxicity. This review focuses on the molecular mechanism resulting in Aβ-shedding as well as Aβ-induced apoptotic processes, genetic risk factors for familial AD and interactions of Aβ with cell surface receptors and proteins, with particular emphasis on the cellular prion protein. Furthermore, comparisons are drawn between AD and prion disorders and the role of laminin, an extracellular matrix protein, glycosaminoglycans and the 37 kDa/67 kDa laminin receptor (LRP/LR) have been highlighted with regards to both neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:21862871

  7. Ab initio Study of Transition metal binding to the Prion Protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cox, Daniel L.; Singh, Rajiv R. P.; Pan, Jianping

    2004-03-01

    Fundamental understanding of the prion protein (PrP) is of critical public health importance in view of mad cow and chronic wasting diseases. In recent years, it has been shown that the normal form (PrP^c) binds copper^1), and the structure of the copper binding domain has been elaborated. Hypotheses about toxicity associated with binding of other metals (notably manganese) have been put forward, Accordingly, using the ab initio SIESTA density functional theory code^2), we calculated the binding energy E_B(M) of M-(PrP) complexes relative to initially uncomplexed M ions, with M=Cu,Ni,Zn,Mn and (PrP)^* the minimal binding domain. The binding energy trend is E_B(Ni)>E_B(Cu)>E_B(Zn)>E_B(Mn), consistent with recent experiments apart from the surprising stability of Ni. We will also present preliminary results for binding of initially complexed M ions. *-Supported by U.S. DOE, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Materials Research 1) G.S. Jackson et al., Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. (USA) 98, 8531 (2001). 2) P. Ordejón, et al., Phys. Rev. B53, R10441 (1996); J.M. Soler et al., J. Phys. Cond. Matt. 14, 2745 (2002).

  8. Circumventing Tolerance to Generate Autologous Monoclonal Antibodies to the Prion Protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williamson, R. Anthony; Peretz, David; Smorodinsky, Nechama; Bastidas, Raiza; Serban, Hana; Mehlhorn, Ingrid; Dearmond, Stephen J.; Prusiner, Stanley B.; Burton, Dennis R.

    1996-07-01

    Prion diseases are disorders of protein conformation and do not provoke an immune response. Raising antibodies to the prion protein (PrP) has been difficult due to conservation of the PrP sequence and to inhibitory activity of α -PrP antibodies toward lymphocytes. To circumvent these problems, we immunized mice in which the PrP gene was ablated (Prnp0/0) and retrieved specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) through phage display libraries. This approach yielded α -PrP mAbs that recognize mouse PrP. Studies with these mAbs suggest that cellular PrP adopts an unusually open structure consistent with the conformational plasticity of this protein.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  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. Dissociation of prion protein amyloid seeding from transmission of a spongiform encephalopathy.

    PubMed

    Piccardo, Pedro; King, Declan; Telling, Glenn; Manson, Jean C; Barron, Rona M

    2013-11-01

    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 (PrP(TSE)) 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 PrP(TSE) 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 PrP(TSE). 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 PrP(TSE) 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 PrP(TSE) 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.

  1. Lipid rafts: linking prion protein to zinc transport and amyloid-β toxicity in Alzheimer's disease

    PubMed Central

    Watt, Nicole T.; Griffiths, Heledd H.; Hooper, Nigel M.

    2014-01-01

    Dysregulation of neuronal zinc homeostasis plays a major role in many processes related to brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). Yet, despite the critical role of zinc in neuronal function, the cellular mechanisms underpinning its homeostatic control are far from clear. We reported that the cellular prion protein (PrPC) is involved in the uptake of zinc into neurons. This PrPC-mediated zinc influx required the metal-binding octapeptide repeats in PrPC and the presence of the zinc permeable AMPA channel with which PrPC directly interacted. Together with the observation that PrPC is evolutionarily related to the ZIP family of zinc transporters, these studies indicate that PrPC plays a key role in neuronal zinc homeostasis. Therefore, PrPC could contribute to cognitive health and protect against age-related zinc dyshomeostasis but PrPC has also been identified as a receptor for amyloid-β oligomers which accumulate in the brains of those with AD. We propose that the different roles that PrPC has are due to its interaction with different ligands and/or co-receptors in lipid raft-based signaling/transport complexes. PMID:25364748

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-02-01

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

  3. Immunoaffinity purification and neutralization of scrapie prion infectivity.

    PubMed Central

    Gabizon, R; McKinley, M P; Groth, D; Prusiner, S B

    1988-01-01

    Prions are unusual infectious pathogens causing scrapie of sheep and goats as well as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease of humans. Biochemical and genetic studies contend that the scrapie isoform of the prion protein (PrPSc) is a major component of the prion. Limited proteinase K digestion of PrPSc produced a protein of 27-30 kDa. After dispersion of brain microsomes isolated from scrapie-infected hamsters into detergent-lipid-protein complexes, copurification of PrPSc and scrapie infectivity was obtained with scrapie prion protein of 27-30 kDa monoclonal antibody-affinity columns. PrPSc was enriched approximately equal to 5700-fold with respect to total brain protein, whereas scrapie prion infectivity was enriched approximately equal to 4000-fold. The ratio of prion titer to PrPSc remained constant throughout purification. Heterologous monoclonal antibody columns failed to bind either PrPSc or scrapie infectivity. Polyclonal rabbit prion protein antiserum raised against NaDodSO4/PAGE-purified scrapie prion protein of 27-30 kDa reduced scrapie infectivity dispersed into detergent-lipid-protein complexes by a factor of 100. These results represent direct immunologic and chromatographic demonstrations of a relationship between PrPSc and prion infectivity as well as providing additional support for the contention that PrPSc is a major component of the infectious scrapie particle. That PrPSc is a host-encoded protein is an important feature distinguishing prions from viruses. Images PMID:3137571

  4. Transmission of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease from humans to transgenic mice expressing chimeric human-mouse prion protein.

    PubMed Central

    Telling, G C; Scott, M; Hsiao, K K; Foster, D; Yang, S L; Torchia, M; Sidle, K C; Collinge, J; DeArmond, S J; Prusiner, S B

    1994-01-01

    Transgenic (Tg) mice were constructed that express a chimeric prion protein (PrP) in which a segment of mouse (Mo) PrP was replaced with the corresponding human (Hu) PrP sequence. The chimeric PrP, designated MHu2MPrP, differs from MoPrP by 9 amino acids between residues 96 and 167. All of the Tg(MHu2M) mice developed neurologic disease approximately 200 days after inoculation with brain homogenates from three patients dying of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). Inoculation of Tg(MHu2M) mice with CJD prions produced MHu2MPrPSc (where PrPSc is the scrapie isoform of PrP); inoculation with Mo prions produced Mo-PrPSc. The patterns of MHu2MPrPSc and MoPrPSc accumulation in the brains of Tg(MHu2M) mice were different. About 10% of Tg(HuPrP) mice expressing HuPrP and non-Tg mice developed neurologic disease > 500 days after inoculation with CJD prions. The different susceptibilities of Tg(HuPrP) and Tg(MHu2M) mice to Hu prions indicate that additional species-specific factors are involved in prion replication. Diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of Hu prion diseases should be facilitated by Tg(MHu2M) mice. Images PMID:7937921

  5. Intranasal Inoculation of White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) with Lyophilized Chronic Wasting Disease Prion Particulate Complexed to Montmorillonite Clay

    PubMed Central

    Nichols, Tracy A.; Spraker, Terry R.; Rigg, Tara D.; Meyerett-Reid, Crystal; Hoover, Clare; Michel, Brady; Bian, Jifeng; Hoover, Edward; Gidlewski, Thomas; Balachandran, Aru; O'Rourke, Katherine; Telling, Glenn C.; Bowen, Richard

    2013-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD), the only known prion disease endemic in wildlife, is a persistent problem in both wild and captive North American cervid populations. This disease continues to spread and cases are found in new areas each year. Indirect transmission can occur via the environment and is thought to occur by the oral and/or intranasal route. Oral transmission has been experimentally demonstrated and although intranasal transmission has been postulated, it has not been tested in a natural host until recently. Prions have been shown to adsorb strongly to clay particles and upon oral inoculation the prion/clay combination exhibits increased infectivity in rodent models. Deer and elk undoubtedly and chronically inhale dust particles routinely while living in the landscape while foraging and rutting. We therefore hypothesized that dust represents a viable vehicle for intranasal CWD prion exposure. To test this hypothesis, CWD-positive brain homogenate was mixed with montmorillonite clay (Mte), lyophilized, pulverized and inoculated intranasally into white-tailed deer once a week for 6 weeks. Deer were euthanized at 95, 105, 120 and 175 days post final inoculation and tissues examined for CWD-associated prion proteins by immunohistochemistry. Our results demonstrate that CWD can be efficiently transmitted utilizing Mte particles as a prion carrier and intranasal exposure. PMID:23671598

  6. 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.

  7. Interactions between the Conserved Hydrophobic Region of the Prion Protein and Dodecylphosphocholine Micelles*

    PubMed Central

    Sauvé, Simon; Buijs, Daniel; Gingras, Geneviève; Aubin, Yves

    2012-01-01

    The three-dimensional structure of PrP110–136, a peptide encompassing the conserved hydrophobic region of the human prion protein, has been determined at high resolution in dodecylphosphocholine micelles by NMR. The results support the conclusion that the CtmPrP, a transmembrane form of the prion protein, adopts a different conformation than the reported structures of the normal prion protein determined in solution. Paramagnetic relaxation enhancement studies with gadolinium-diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid indicated that the conserved hydrophobic region peptide is not inserted symmetrically in the micelle, thus suggesting the presence of a guanidium-phosphate ion pair involving the side chain of the terminal arginine and the detergent headgroup. Titration of dodecylphosphocholine into a solution of PrP110–136 revealed the presence of a surface-bound species. In addition, paramagnetic probes located the surface-bound peptide somewhere below the micelle-water interface when using the inserted helix as a positional reference. This localization of the unknown population would allow a similar ion pair interaction. PMID:22128151

  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. PMID:15084583

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Copper binding to the prion protein: Structural implications of four identical cooperative binding sites

    PubMed Central

    Viles, John H.; Cohen, Fred E.; Prusiner, Stanley B.; Goodin, David B.; Wright, Peter E.; Dyson, H. Jane

    1999-01-01

    Evidence is growing to support a functional role for the prion protein (PrP) in copper metabolism. Copper ions appear to bind to the protein in a highly conserved octapeptide repeat region (sequence PHGGGWGQ) near the N terminus. To delineate the site and mode of binding of Cu(II) to the PrP, the copper-binding properties of peptides of varying lengths corresponding to 2-, 3-, and 4-octarepeat sequences have been probed by using various spectroscopic techniques. A two-octarepeat peptide binds a single Cu(II) ion with Kd ≈ 6 μM whereas a four-octarepeat peptide cooperatively binds four Cu(II) ions. Circular dichroism spectra indicate a distinctive structuring of the octarepeat region on Cu(II) binding. Visible absorption, visible circular dichroism, and electron spin resonance spectra suggest that the coordination sphere of the copper is identical for 2, 3, or 4 octarepeats, consisting of a square-planar geometry with three nitrogen ligands and one oxygen ligand. Consistent with the pH dependence of Cu(II) binding, proton NMR spectroscopy indicates that the histidine residues in each octarepeat are coordinated to the Cu(II) ion. Our working model for the structure of the complex shows the histidine residues in successive octarepeats bridged between two copper ions, with both the Nɛ2 and Nδ1 imidazole nitrogen of each histidine residue coordinated and the remaining coordination sites occupied by a backbone amide nitrogen and a water molecule. This arrangement accounts for the cooperative nature of complex formation and for the apparent evolutionary requirement for four octarepeats in the PrP. PMID:10051591

  14. 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.

  15. Rapid folding of the prion protein captured by pressure-jump

    PubMed Central

    Harvey, Andrew; Sylvester, Ian D.; Geeves, Michael A.; Pinheiro, Teresa J. T.

    2015-01-01

    The conversion of the cellular form of the prion protein (PrPC) to an altered disease state, generally denoted as scrapie isoform (PrPSc), appears to be a crucial molecular event in prion diseases. The details of this conformational transition are not fully understood, but it is perceived that they are associated with misfolding of PrP or its incapacity to maintain the native fold during its cell cycle. Here we present a tryptophan mutant of PrP (F198W), which has enhanced fluorescence sensitivity to unfolding/refolding transitions. Equilibrium folding was studied by circular dichroism and fluorescence. Pressure-jump experiments were successfully applied to reveal rapid submillisecond folding events of PrP at temperatures not accessed before. PMID:19255752

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Wille, H; Prusiner, S B

    1999-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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%.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Scrapie prion proteins accumulate in the cytoplasm of persistently infected cultured cells

    PubMed Central

    1990-01-01

    The cellular prion protein (PrPC) is a sialoglycoprotein anchored to the external surface of cells by a glycosyl phosphatidylinositol moiety. During scrapie, an abnormal PrP isoform designated PrPSc accumulates, and much evidence argues that it is a major and necessary component of the infectious prion. Based on the resistance of native PrPSc to proteolysis and to digestion with phosphatidylinositol- specific phospholipase C as well as the enhancement of PrPSc immunoreactivity after denaturation, we devised in situ immunoassays for the detection of PrPSc in cultured cells. Using these immunoassays, we identified the sites of PrPSc accumulation in scrapie-infected cultured cells. We also used these immunoassays to isolate PrPSc- producing clones from a new hamster brain cell line (HaB) and found an excellent correlation between their PrPSc content and prion infectivity titers. In scrapie-infected HaB cells as well as in scrapie-infected mouse neuroblastoma cells, most PrPSc was found to be intracellular and most localized with ligands of the Golgi marker wheat germ agglutinin. In one scrapie-infected HaB clone, PrPSc also localized extensively with MG-160, a protein resident of the medial-Golgi stack whereas this colocalization was not observed in another subclone of these cells. Whether the sites of intracellular accumulation of PrPSc are limited to a few subcellular organelles or they are highly variable remains to be determined. If the intracellular accumulation of PrPSc is found in the cells of the central nervous system, then it might be responsible for the neuronal dysfunction and degeneration which are cardinal features of prion diseases. PMID:1693623

  3. 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

  4. Prion and prion-like diseases in animals.

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Silencing of PrP C (prion protein) expression does not affect Brucella melitensis infection in human derived microglia cells.

    PubMed

    Erdogan, Suat; Duzguner, Vesile; Kucukgul, Altug; Aslantas, Ozkan

    2013-10-01

    Cellular prion proteins (PrP(C)) are mainly expressed in the central nervous system where they have antioxidant effects and a role in the endocytosis of bacteria within cells. These proteins also have some crucial biological functions including roles in neurotransmission, signal transduction and programmed cell death. However, the role of prion proteins in neuronal Brucella infection, specifically in the interaction of the pathogen and the host cell is controversial. In the present study, the silencing of PrP(C) mRNA by small interfering RNA (siRNA) transfection was investigated in human microglia cells infected with Brucella melitensis. More than 70% of prion proteins were down-regulated in microglia by siRNA transfection and this caused a slight decrease in the cellular viability of the control cells. Silencing of PrP(C) suppressed the antioxidant systems, though it led to an up-regulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-12 and TNF-α as demonstrated by qRT-PCR analysis. B. melitensis infection of prion protein-silenced cells led to increase host viability, but had no effect on bacterial phagocytosis. According to the present study, there is no significant effect of prion proteins on phagocytosis and intracellular killing of B. melitensis in microglia cells.

  7. Clinical Characterization of a Kindred with a Novel Twelve Octapeptide Repeat Insertion in the Prion Protein Gene

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Neeraj; Boeve, Bradley F.; Boot, Brendon P.; Orr, Carolyn F.; Duffy, Joseph; Woodruff, Bryan K.; Nair, Anil K.; Ellison, Jay; Kuntz, Karen; Kantarci, Kejal; Jack, Clifford R.; Westmoreland, Barbara F.; Fields, Julie A.; Baker, Matthew; Rademakers, Rosa; Parisi, Joseph E.; Dickson, Dennis W.

    2012-01-01

    Objective To report the clinical, electroencephalographic, and neuroradiologic findings in a kindred with a novel insertion in the prion protein gene (PRNP). Design Clinical description of a kindred. Setting Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (Rochester). Subjects Two pathologically-confirmed cases and their relatives. Main outcome measures Clinical features, electroencephalographic patterns, magnetic resonance imaging abnormalities, genetic analyses and neuropathological features. Results The proband presented with clinical and neuroimaging features of atypical frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and ataxia. Generalized tonic-clonic seizures developed later in her course, and electroencephalography revealed spike and wave discharges but no periodic sharp wave complexes. Her affected sister and father also exhibited FTD-like features, and both experienced generalized tonic-clonic seizures and gait ataxia late in their course. Genetic analyses in the proband identified a novel defect in PRNP with one mutated allele carrying a 288 base pair insertion (BPI) consisting of 12 octapeptide repeats. Neuropathologic examination of the sister and proband revealed PrP-positive plaques and widespread tau-positive tangles. Conclusion This kindred has a unique combination of clinical and neuropathologic features associated with the largest BPI identified to date in PRNP, and underscores the need to consider familial prion disease in the differential diagnosis of a familial FTD-like syndrome. PMID:21911696

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Technical strategies like amino acid substitution and residue modification have been widely used to characterize the importance of key amino acids and the role that each residue plays in the structural and functional properties of protein molecules. However, there is no systematic approach to assess the impact of the substituted/modified amino acids on the conformational dynamics of proteins. In this investigation to clarify the effects of residue modifications on the structural dynamics of human prion protein (PrP), a comparative molecular dynamics simulation study on the native and the amino acid-substituted analog at position 208 of PrP has been performed. It is believed that Arginine to Histidine mutation at position 208 is responsible for the structural transition of the native form of human prion protein to the pathogenic isoform causing Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). So, three 10 ns molecular dynamics simulations on three model constructs have been performed. Simulation results indicated considerable differences of conformational fluctuations for Alanine substituted construct (PrPALA) and the analog form (PrPSB) comprising the neutralized state of the Arginine residue at position 208 of the human prion protein. According to our data, substitution of the Arginine residue by the uncharged state of this residue induces some reversible structural alterations in the intrinsically flexible loop area including residues 167–171 of PrP. Thus, deprotonation of Arg208 is a weak perturbation to the structural fluctuations of the protein backbone and the resulting construct behaves almost identical as its native form. Otherwise, Alanine substitution at position 208 imposed an irreversible impact on the secondary and tertiary structure of the protein, which leads to conformational instabilities in the remote hot region comprising residues 190–195 of the C–terminal part of helix 2. Based on the results, it could be deduced that the observed conformational

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-12

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

  17. Protein Complexes in Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Caufield, J. Harry; Abreu, Marco; Wimble, Christopher; Uetz, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Large-scale analyses of protein complexes have recently become available for Escherichia coli and Mycoplasma pneumoniae, yielding 443 and 116 heteromultimeric soluble protein complexes, respectively. We have coupled the results of these mass spectrometry-characterized protein complexes with the 285 “gold standard” protein complexes identified by EcoCyc. A comparison with databases of gene orthology, conservation, and essentiality identified proteins conserved or lost in complexes of other species. For instance, of 285 “gold standard” protein complexes in E. coli, less than 10% are fully conserved among a set of 7 distantly-related bacterial “model” species. Complex conservation follows one of three models: well-conserved complexes, complexes with a conserved core, and complexes with partial conservation but no conserved core. Expanding the comparison to 894 distinct bacterial genomes illustrates fractional conservation and the limits of co-conservation among components of protein complexes: just 14 out of 285 model protein complexes are perfectly conserved across 95% of the genomes used, yet we predict more than 180 may be partially conserved across at least half of the genomes. No clear relationship between gene essentiality and protein complex conservation is observed, as even poorly conserved complexes contain a significant number of essential proteins. Finally, we identify 183 complexes containing well-conserved components and uncharacterized proteins which will be interesting targets for future experimental studies. PMID:25723151

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

    PubMed

    Purdey, M

    1996-05-01

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

  19. Disinfectants and Prions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Prions are novel pathogens that are believed to be composed solely of protein. They are capable of converting a normal cellular protein into the infectious isoform and thereby propagating an infection. Prion infections are characterized by a long asymptomatic incubation period followed by a relative...

  20. 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

  1. Role of α7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor in Calcium Signaling Induced by Prion Protein Interaction with Stress-inducible Protein 1*

    PubMed Central

    Beraldo, Flavio H.; Arantes, Camila P.; Santos, Tiago G.; Queiroz, Nicolle G. T.; Young, Kirk; Rylett, R. Jane; Markus, Regina P.; Prado, Marco A. M.; Martins, Vilma R.

    2010-01-01

    The prion protein (PrPC) is a conserved glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored cell surface protein expressed by neurons and other cells. Stress-inducible protein 1 (STI1) binds PrPC extracellularly, and this activated signaling complex promotes neuronal differentiation and neuroprotection via the extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) and cAMP-dependent protein kinase 1 (PKA) pathways. However, the mechanism by which the PrPC-STI1 interaction transduces extracellular signals to the intracellular environment is unknown. We found that in hippocampal neurons, STI1-PrPC engagement induces an increase in intracellular Ca2+ levels. This effect was not detected in PrPC-null neurons or wild-type neurons treated with an STI1 mutant unable to bind PrPC. Using a best candidate approach to test for potential channels involved in Ca2+ influx evoked by STI1-PrPC, we found that α-bungarotoxin, a specific inhibitor for α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR), was able to block PrPC-STI1-mediated signaling, neuroprotection, and neuritogenesis. Importantly, when α7nAChR was transfected into HEK 293 cells, it formed a functional complex with PrPC and allowed reconstitution of signaling by PrPC-STI1 interaction. These results indicate that STI1 can interact with the PrPC·α7nAChR complex to promote signaling and provide a novel potential target for modulation of the effects of prion protein in neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:20837487

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  3. Prion Pathogenesis in the Absence of NLRP3/ASC Inflammasomes

    PubMed Central

    Nuvolone, Mario; Sorce, Silvia; Schwarz, Petra; Aguzzi, Adriano

    2015-01-01

    The accumulation of the scrapie prion protein PrPSc, a misfolded conformer of the cellular prion protein PrPC, is a crucial feature of prion diseases. In the central nervous system, this process is accompanied by conspicuous microglia activation. The NLRP3 inflammasome is a multi-molecular complex which can sense heterogeneous pathogen-associated molecular patterns and culminates in the activation of caspase 1 and release of IL 1β. The NLRP3 inflammasome was reported to be essential for IL 1β release after in vitro exposure to the amyloidogenic peptide PrP106-126 and to recombinant PrP fibrils. We therefore studied the role of the NLRP3 inflammasome in a mouse model of prion infection. Upon intracerebral inoculation with scrapie prions (strain RML), mice lacking NLRP3 (Nlrp3-/-) or the inflammasome adaptor protein ASC (Pycard-/-) succumbed to scrapie with attack rates and incubation times similar to wild-type mice, and developed the classic histologic and biochemical features of prion diseases. Genetic ablation of NLRP3 or ASC did not significantly impact on brain levels of IL 1β at the terminal stage of disease. Our results exclude a significant role for NLRP3 and ASC in prion pathogenesis and invalidate their claimed potential as therapeutic target against prion diseases. PMID:25671600

  4. Conformational Properties of Prion Strains Can Be Transmitted to Recombinant Prion Protein Fibrils in Real-Time Quaking-Induced Conversion

    PubMed Central

    Sano, Kazunori; Ishibashi, Daisuke; Nakagaki, Takehiro; Satoh, Katsuya; Nishida, Noriyuki

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT The phenomenon of prion strains with distinct biological characteristics has been hypothesized to be involved in the structural diversity of abnormal prion protein (PrPSc). However, the molecular basis of the transmission of strain properties remains poorly understood. Real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QUIC) is a cell-free system that uses Escherichia coli-derived recombinant PrP (rPrP) for the sensitive detection of PrPSc. To investigate whether the properties of various prion strains can be transmitted to amyloid fibrils consisting of rPrP (rPrP fibrils) using RT-QUIC, we examined the secondary structure, conformational stability, and infectivity of rPrP fibrils seeded with PrPSc derived from either the Chandler or the 22L strain. In the first round of the reaction, there were differences in the secondary structures, especially in bands attributed to β-sheets, as determined by infrared spectroscopy, and conformational stability between Chandler-seeded (1st-rPrP-fibCh) and 22L-seeded (1st-rPrP-fib22L) rPrP fibrils. Of note, specific identifying characteristics of the two rPrP fibril types seen in the β-sheets resembled those of the original PrPSc. Furthermore, the conformational stability of 1st-rPrP-fibCh was significantly higher than that of 1st-rPrP-fib22L, as with Chandler and 22L PrPSc. The survival periods of mice inoculated with 1st-rPrP-fibCh or 1st-rPrP-fib22L were significantly shorter than those of mice inoculated with mixtures from the mock 1st-round RT-QUIC procedure. In contrast, these biochemical characteristics were no longer evident in subsequent rounds, suggesting that nonspecific uninfected rPrP fibrils became predominant probably because of their high growth rate. Together, these findings show that at least some strain-specific conformational properties can be transmitted to rPrP fibrils and unknown cofactors or environmental conditions may be required for further conservation. IMPORTANCE The phenomenon of prion strains with

  5. Amyloid-β-induced Synapse Damage Is Mediated via Cross-linkage of Cellular Prion Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Bate, Clive; Williams, Alun

    2011-01-01

    The cellular prion protein (PrPC), which is highly expressed at synapses, was identified as a receptor for the amyloid-β (Aβ) oligomers that are associated with dementia in Alzheimer disease. Here, we report that Aβ oligomers secreted by 7PA2 cells caused synapse damage in cultured neurons via a PrPC-dependent process. Exogenous PrPC added to Prnp knock-out(0/0) neurons was targeted to synapses and significantly increased Aβ-induced synapse damage. In contrast, the synapse damage induced by a phospholipase A2-activating peptide was independent of PrPC. In Prnp wild-type(+/+) neurons Aβ oligomers activated synaptic cytoplasmic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2). In these cells, the addition of Aβ oligomers triggered the translocation of cPLA2 in synapses to cholesterol dense membranes (lipid rafts) where it formed a complex also containing Aβ and PrPC. In contrast, the addition of Aβ to Prnp(0/0) neurons did not activate synaptic cPLA2, which remained in the cytoplasm and was not associated with Aβ. Filtration assays and non-denaturing gels demonstrated that Aβ oligomers cross-link PrPC. We propose that it is the cross-linkage of PrPC by Aβ oligomers that triggers abnormal activation of cPLA2 and synapse damage. This hypothesis was supported by our observation that monoclonal antibody mediated cross-linkage of PrPC also activated synaptic cPLA2 and caused synapse damage. PMID:21900234

  6. Limited transcriptional response of ovine microglia to prion accumulation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  7. 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

  8. 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).

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. CRISPR-Cas9-Based Knockout of the Prion Protein and Its Effect on the Proteome

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Effect of charged residues in the N-domain of Sup35 protein on prion [PSI+] stability and propagation.

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

  1. Effect of charged residues in the N-domain of Sup35 protein on prion [PSI+] stability and propagation.

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

  2. Ablation of the cellular prion protein, PrPC, specifically on follicular dendritic cells has no effect on their maturation or function

    PubMed Central

    McCulloch, Laura; Brown, Karen L.; Mabbott, Neil A.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Follicular dendritic cells (FDC) are situated in the primary follicles of lymphoid tissues where they maintain the structural integrity of the B‐lymphocyte follicle, and help to drive immunoglobulin class‐switch recombination, somatic hypermutation and affinity maturation during the germinal centre response. FDC can also provide a reservoir for pathogens that infect germinal centres including HIV and prions. FDC express high levels of the normal cellular form of the prion protein (PrPC), which makes them susceptible to prion infection. The function of PrPC is uncertain and it is not known why FDC require such high levels of expression of a protein that is found mainly on cells of the central nervous system. In this study, the function of FDC was assessed in mice that had PrPC ablated specifically in their FDC. In mice with FDC‐specific PrPC ablation, our analysis revealed no observable deficits in lymphoid follicle microarchitecture and FDC status. No effects on FDC ability to trap immune complexes or drive antigen‐specific antibody responses and affinity maturation in B lymphocytes were observed. These data clearly demonstrate that PrPC expression is dispensable for the functional maturation of FDC and their ability to maintain antigen‐specific antibody responses and affinity maturation. PMID:23121447

  3. Pressure-assisted dissociation and degradation of "proteinase K-resistant" fibrils prepared by seeding with scrapie-infected hamster prion protein.

    PubMed

    Akasaka, Kazuyuki; Maeno, Akihiro; Murayama, Taichi; Tachibana, Hideki; Fujita, Yuzo; Yamanaka, Hitoki; Nishida, Noriyuki; Atarashi, Ryuichiro

    2014-01-01

    The crucial step for the fatal neurodegenerative prion diseases involves the conversion of a normal cellular protein, PrP(C), into a fibrous pathogenic form, PrP(Sc), which has an unusual stability against heat and resistance against proteinase K digestion. A successful challenge to reverse the reaction from PrP(Sc) into PrP(C) is considered valuable, as it would give a key to dissolving the complex molecular events into thermodynamic and kinetic analyses and may also provide a means to prevent the formation of PrP(Sc) from PrP(C) eventually in vivo. Here we show that, by applying pressures at kbar range, the "proteinase K-resistant" fibrils (rHaPrP(res)) prepared from hamster prion protein (rHaPrP [23-231]) by seeding with brain homogenate of scrapie-infected hamster, becomes easily digestible. The result is consistent with the notion that rHaPrP(res) fibrils are dissociated into rHaPrP monomers under pressure and that the formation of PrP(Sc) from PrP(C) is thermodynamically controlled. Moreover, the efficient degradation of prion fibrils under pressure provides a novel means of eliminating infectious PrP(Sc) from various systems of pathogenic concern.

  4. Prion protein "gamma-cleavage": characterizing a novel endoproteolytic processing event.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Victoria; Johanssen, Vanessa A; Crouch, Peter J; Klug, Genevieve M; Hooper, Nigel M; Collins, Steven J

    2016-02-01

    The cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) is a ubiquitously expressed protein of currently unresolved but potentially diverse function. Of putative relevance to normal biological activity, PrP(C) is recognized to undergo both α- and β-endoproteolysis, producing the cleavage fragment pairs N1/C1 and N2/C2, respectively. Experimental evidence suggests the likelihood that these processing events serve differing cellular needs. Through the engineering of a C-terminal c-myc tag onto murine PrP(C), as well as the selective use of a far-C-terminal anti-PrP antibody, we have identified a new PrP(C) fragment, nominally 'C3', and elaborating existing nomenclature, 'γ-cleavage' as the responsible proteolysis. Our studies indicate that this novel γ-cleavage event can occur during transit through the secretory pathway after exiting the endoplasmic reticulum, and after PrP(C) has reached the cell surface, by a matrix metalloprotease. We found that C3 is GPI-anchored like other C-terminal and full length PrP(C) species, though it does not localize primarily at the cell surface, and is preferentially cleaved from an unglycosylated substrate. Importantly, we observed that C3 exists in diverse cell types as well as mouse and human brain tissue, and of possible pathogenic significance, γ-cleavage may increase in human prion diseases. Given the likely relevance of PrP(C) processing to both its normal function, and susceptibility to prion disease, the potential importance of this previously underappreciated and overlooked cleavage event warrants further consideration. PMID:26298290

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  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. The prion protein is an agonistic ligand of the G protein-coupled receptor Adgrg6.

    PubMed

    Küffer, Alexander; Lakkaraju, Asvin K K; Mogha, Amit; Petersen, Sarah C; Airich, Kristina; Doucerain, Cédric; Marpakwar, Rajlakshmi; Bakirci, Pamela; Senatore, Assunta; Monnard, Arnaud; Schiavi, Carmen; Nuvolone, Mario; Grosshans, Bianka; Hornemann, Simone; Bassilana, Frederic; Monk, Kelly R; Aguzzi, Adriano

    2016-08-25

    Ablation of the cellular prion protein PrP(C) leads to a chronic demyelinating polyneuropathy affecting Schwann cells. Neuron-restricted expression of PrP(C) prevents the disease, suggesting that PrP(C) acts in trans through an unidentified Schwann cell receptor. Here we show that the cAMP concentration in sciatic nerves from PrP(C)-deficient mice is reduced, suggesting that PrP(C) acts via a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR). The amino-terminal flexible tail (residues 23-120) of PrP(C) triggered a concentration-dependent increase in cAMP in primary Schwann cells, in the Schwann cell line SW10, and in HEK293T cells overexpressing the GPCR Adgrg6 (also known as Gpr126). By contrast, naive HEK293T cells and HEK293T cells expressing several other GPCRs did not react to the flexible tail, and ablation of Gpr126 from SW10 cells abolished the flexible tail-induced cAMP response. The flexible tail contains a polycationic cluster (KKRPKPG) similar to the GPRGKPG motif of the Gpr126 agonist type-IV collagen. A KKRPKPG-containing PrPC-derived peptide (FT(23-50)) sufficed to induce a Gpr126-dependent cAMP response in cells and mice, and improved myelination in hypomorphic gpr126 mutant zebrafish (Danio rerio). Substitution of the cationic residues with alanines abolished the biological activity of both FT(23-50) and the equivalent type-IV collagen peptide. We conclude that PrP(C) promotes myelin homeostasis through flexible tail-mediated Gpr126 agonism. As well as clarifying the physiological role of PrP(C), these observations are relevant to the pathogenesis of demyelinating polyneuropathies--common debilitating diseases for which there are limited therapeutic options. PMID:27501152

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-05-31

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2005-01-01

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

  13. Nanoimaging for prion related diseases.

    PubMed

    Krasnoslobodtsev, Alexey V; Portillo, Alexander M; Deckert-Gaudig, Tanja; Deckert, Volker; Lyubchenko, Yuri L

    2010-01-01

    Misfolding and aggregation of prion proteins is linked to a number of neurodegenerative disorders such as Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease (CJD) and its variants: Kuru, Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker syndrome and fatal familial insomnia. In prion diseases, infectious particles are proteins that propagate by transmitting a misfolded state of a protein, leading to the formation of aggregates and ultimately to neurodegeneration. Prion phenomenon is not restricted to humans. There are a number of prion-related diseases in a variety of mammals, including bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, also known as "mad cow disease") in cattle. All known prion diseases, collectively called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), are untreatable and fatal. Prion proteins were also found in some fungi where they are responsible for heritable traits. Prion proteins in fungi are easily accessible and provide a powerful model for understanding the general principles of prion phenomenon and molecular mechanisms of mammalian prion diseases. Presently, several fundamental questions related to prions remain unanswered. For example, it is not clear how prions cause the disease. Other unknowns include the nature and structure of infectious agent and how prions replicate. Generally, the phenomenon of misfolding of the prion protein into infectious conformations that have the ability to propagate their properties via aggregation is of significant interest. Despite the crucial importance of misfolding and aggregation, very little is currently known about the molecular mechanisms of these processes. While there is an apparent critical need to study molecular mechanisms underlying misfolding and aggregation, the detailed characterization of these single molecule processes is hindered by the limitation of conventional methods. Although some issues remain unresolved, much progress has been recently made primarily due to the application of nanoimaging tools. The use of nanoimaging methods shows

  14. EPR of Cu2+ Prion Protein Constructs at 2 GHz Using the g⊥ Region to Characterize Nitrogen Ligation

    PubMed Central

    Hyde, James S.; Bennett, Brian; Walter, Eric D.; Millhauser, Glenn L.; Sidabras, Jason W.; Antholine, William E.

    2009-01-01

    Abstract A double octarepeat prion protein construct, which has two histidines, mixed with copper sulfate in a 3:2 molar ratio provides at most three imidazole ligands to each copper ion to form a square-planar Cu2+ complex. This work is concerned with identification of the fourth ligand. A new (to our knowledge) electron paramagnetic resonance method based on analysis of the intense features of the electron paramagnetic resonance spectrum in the g⊥ region at 2 GHz is introduced to distinguish between three and four nitrogen ligands. The methodology was established by studies of a model system consisting of histidine imidazole ligation to Cu2+. In this spectral region at 2 GHz (S-band), g-strain and broadening from the possible rhombic character of the Zeeman interaction are small. The most intense line is identified with the MI = +1/2 extra absorption peak. Spectral simulation demonstrated that this peak is insensitive to cupric Ax and Ay hyperfine interaction. The spectral region to the high-field side of this peak is uncluttered and suitable for analysis of nitrogen superhyperfine couplings to determine the number of nitrogens. The spectral region to the low-field side of the intense extra absorption peak in the g⊥ part of the spectrum is sensitive to the rhombic distortion parameters Ax and Ay. Application of the method to the prion protein system indicates that two species are present and that the dominant species contains four nitrogen ligands. A new loop-gap microwave resonator is described that contains ∼1 mL of frozen sample. PMID:19383478

  15. Temporal resolution of misfolded prion protein transport, accumulation, glial activation, and neuronal death in the retinas of mice inoculated with scrapie

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  16. 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.

  17. Degradation of scrapie associated prion protein (PrPSc) by the gastrointestinal microbiota of cattle.

    PubMed

    Scherbel, Christina; Pichner, Rohtraud; Groschup, Martin H; Mueller-Hellwig, Simone; Scherer, Siegfried; Dietrich, Richard; Maertlbauer, Erwin; Gareis, Manfred

    2006-01-01

    A food-borne origin of the transmission of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) to cattle is commonly assumed. However, the fate of infectious prion protein during polygastric digestion remains unclear. It is unknown at present, whether infectious prion proteins, considered to be very stable, are degraded or inactivated by microbial processes in the gastrointestinal tract of cattle. In this study, rumen and colon contents from healthy cattle, taken immediately after slaughter, were used to assess the ability of these microbial consortia to degrade PrP(Sc). Therefore, the consortia were incubated with brain homogenates of scrapie (strain 263K) infected hamsters under physiological anaerobic conditions at 37 degrees C. Within 20 h, PrP(Sc) was digested both with ruminal and colonic microbiota up to immunochemically undetectable levels. Especially polymyxin resistant (mainly gram-positive) bacteria expressed PrP(Sc) degrading activity. These data demonstrate the ability of bovine gastrointestinal microbiota to degrade PrP(Sc) during digestion. PMID:16820134

  18. β-sheet-like formation during the mechanical unfolding of prion protein.

    PubMed

    Tao, Weiwei; Yoon, Gwonchan; Cao, Penghui; Eom, Kilho; Park, Harold S

    2015-09-28

    Single molecule experiments and simulations have been widely used to characterize the unfolding and folding pathways of different proteins. However, with few exceptions, these tools have not been applied to study prion protein, PrP(C), whose misfolded form PrP(Sc) can induce a group of fatal neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we apply novel atomistic modeling based on potential energy surface exploration to study the constant force unfolding of human PrP at time scales inaccessible with standard molecular dynamics. We demonstrate for forces around 100 pN, prion forms a stable, three-stranded β-sheet-like intermediate configuration containing residues 155-214 with a lifetime exceeding hundreds of nanoseconds. A mutant without the disulfide bridge shows lower stability during the unfolding process but still forms the three-stranded structure. The simulations thus not only show the atomistic details of the mechanically induced structural conversion from the native α-helical structure to the β-rich-like form but also lend support to the structural theory that there is a core of the recombinant PrP amyloid, a misfolded form reported to induce transmissible disease, mapping to C-terminal residues ≈160-220. PMID:26429042

  19. Conformational detection of prion protein with biarsenical labeling and FlAsH fluorescence

    SciTech Connect

    Coleman, Bradley M.; Nisbet, Rebecca M.; Han, Sen; Cappai, Roberto; Hatters, Danny M.; Hill, Andrew F.

    2009-03-13

    Prion diseases are associated with the misfolding of the host-encoded cellular prion protein (PrP{sup C}) into a disease associated form (PrP{sup Sc}). Recombinant PrP can be refolded into either an {alpha}-helical rich conformation ({alpha}-PrP) resembling PrP{sup C} or a {beta}-sheet rich, protease resistant form similar to PrP{sup Sc}. Here, we generated tetracysteine tagged recombinant PrP, folded this into {alpha}- or {beta}-PrP and determined the levels of FlAsH fluorescence. Insertion of the tetracysteine tag at three different sites within the 91-111 epitope readily distinguished {beta}-PrP from {alpha}-PrP upon FlAsH labeling. Labelling of tetracysteine tagged PrP in the {alpha}-helical form showed minimal fluorescence, whereas labeling of tagged PrP in the {beta}-sheet form showed high fluorescence indicating that this region is exposed upon conversion. This highlights a region of PrP that can be implicated in the development of diagnostics and is a novel, protease free mechanism for distinguishing PrP{sup Sc} from PrP{sup C}. This technique may also be applied to any protein that undergoes conformational change and/or misfolding such as those involved in other neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's, Huntington's and Parkinson's diseases.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  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. Domain-Specific Activation of Death-Associated Intracellular Signalling Cascades by the Cellular Prion Protein in Neuroblastoma Cells.

    PubMed

    Vilches, Silvia; Vergara, Cristina; Nicolás, Oriol; Mata, Ágata; Del Río, José A; Gavín, Rosalina

    2016-09-01

    The biological functions of the cellular prion protein remain poorly understood. In fact, numerous studies have aimed to determine specific functions for the different protein domains. Studies of cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) domains through in vivo expression of molecules carrying internal deletions in a mouse Prnp null background have provided helpful data on the implication of the protein in signalling cascades in affected neurons. Nevertheless, understanding of the mechanisms underlying the neurotoxicity induced by these PrP(C) deleted forms is far from complete. To better define the neurotoxic or neuroprotective potential of PrP(C) N-terminal domains, and to overcome the heterogeneity of results due to the lack of a standardized model, we used neuroblastoma cells to analyse the effects of overexpressing PrP(C) deleted forms. Results indicate that PrP(C) N-terminal deleted forms were properly processed through the secretory pathway. However, PrPΔF35 and PrPΔCD mutants led to death by different mechanisms sharing loss of alpha-cleavage and activation of caspase-3. Our data suggest that both gain-of-function and loss-of-function pathogenic mechanisms may be associated with N-terminal domains and may therefore contribute to neurotoxicity in prion disease. Dissecting the molecular response induced by PrPΔF35 may be the key to unravelling the physiological and pathological functions of the prion protein. PMID:26250617

  5. Domain-Specific Activation of Death-Associated Intracellular Signalling Cascades by the Cellular Prion Protein in Neuroblastoma Cells.

    PubMed

    Vilches, Silvia; Vergara, Cristina; Nicolás, Oriol; Mata, Ágata; Del Río, José A; Gavín, Rosalina

    2016-09-01

    The biological functions of the cellular prion protein remain poorly understood. In fact, numerous studies have aimed to determine specific functions for the different protein domains. Studies of cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) domains through in vivo expression of molecules carrying internal deletions in a mouse Prnp null background have provided helpful data on the implication of the protein in signalling cascades in affected neurons. Nevertheless, understanding of the mechanisms underlying the neurotoxicity induced by these PrP(C) deleted forms is far from complete. To better define the neurotoxic or neuroprotective potential of PrP(C) N-terminal domains, and to overcome the heterogeneity of results due to the lack of a standardized model, we used neuroblastoma cells to analyse the effects of overexpressing PrP(C) deleted forms. Results indicate that PrP(C) N-terminal deleted forms were properly processed through the secretory pathway. However, PrPΔF35 and PrPΔCD mutants led to death by different mechanisms sharing loss of alpha-cleavage and activation of caspase-3. Our data suggest that both gain-of-function and loss-of-function pathogenic mechanisms may be associated with N-terminal domains and may therefore contribute to neurotoxicity in prion disease. Dissecting the molecular response induced by PrPΔF35 may be the key to unravelling the physiological and pathological functions of the prion protein.

  6. Cavitation during the protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) method – The trigger for de novo prion generation?

    SciTech Connect

    Haigh, Cathryn L.; Drew, Simon C.

    2015-06-05

    The protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) technique has become a widely-adopted method for amplifying minute amounts of the infectious conformer of the prion protein (PrP). PMCA involves repeated cycles of 20 kHz sonication and incubation, during which the infectious conformer seeds the conversion of normally folded protein by a templating interaction. Recently, it has proved possible to create an infectious PrP conformer without the need for an infectious seed, by including RNA and the phospholipid POPG as essential cofactors during PMCA. The mechanism underpinning this de novo prion formation remains unknown. In this study, we first establish by spin trapping methods that cavitation bubbles formed during PMCA provide a radical-rich environment. Using a substrate preparation comparable to that employed in studies of de novo prion formation, we demonstrate by immuno-spin trapping that PrP- and RNA-centered radicals are generated during sonication, in addition to PrP-RNA cross-links. We further show that serial PMCA produces protease-resistant PrP that is oxidatively modified. We suggest a unique confluence of structural (membrane-mimetic hydrophobic/hydrophilic bubble interface) and chemical (ROS) effects underlie the phenomenon of de novo prion formation by PMCA, and that these effects have meaningful biological counterparts of possible relevance to spontaneous prion formation in vivo. - Highlights: • Sonication during PMCA generates free radicals at the surface of cavitation bubbles. • PrP-centered and RNA-centered radicals are formed in addition to PrP-RNA adducts. • De novo prions may result from ROS and structural constraints during cavitation.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-29

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

  8. 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 cellular prion protein PrPC into the infectious misfolded isoform PrPSc. Increasing evidence supports a specific role of oxidative stress in the onset of pathogenesis. Although the associated molecular mechanisms remain to be elucidated in detail, several studies currently suggest that methionine oxidation already detected in misfolded PrPSc destabilizes the native PrP fold as an early event in the conversion pathway. To obtain more insights about the specific impact of surface-exposed methionine residues on the oxidative-induced conversion of human PrP we designed, produced, and comparatively investigated two new pseudosulfoxidation mutants of human PrP 121–231 that comprises the well-folded C-terminal domain. Applying circular dichroism spectroscopy and dynamic light scattering techniques we showed that pseudosulfoxidation of all surface exposed Met residues formed a monomeric molten globule-like species with striking similarities to misfolding intermediates recently reported by other groups. However, individual pseudosulfoxidation at the polymorphic M129 site did not significantly contribute to the structural destabilization. Further metal-induced oxidation of the partly unfolded pseudosulfoxidation mutant resulted in the formation of an oligomeric state that shares a comparable size and stability with PrP oligomers detected after the application of different other triggers for structural conversion, indicating a generic misfolding pathway of PrP. The obtained results highlight the specific importance of methionine oxidation at surface exposed residues for PrP misfolding, strongly supporting the hypothesis that increased oxidative stress could be one causative event for sporadic prion diseases and other neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:24121542

  9. Conformational Switching and Nanoscale Assembly of Human Prion Protein into Polymorphic Amyloids via Structurally Labile Oligomers.

    PubMed

    Dalal, Vijit; Arya, Shruti; Bhattacharya, Mily; Mukhopadhyay, Samrat

    2015-12-29

    Conformational switching of the prion protein (PrP) from an α-helical normal cellular form (PrP(C)) to an aggregation-prone and self-propagating β-rich scrapie form (PrP(Sc)) underlies the molecular basis of pathogenesis in prion diseases. Anionic lipids play a critical role in the misfolding and conformational conversion of the membrane-anchored PrP into the amyloidogenic pathological form. In this work, we have used a diverse array of techniques to interrogate the early intermediates during amyloid formation from recombinant human PrP in the presence of a membrane mimetic anionic detergent such as sodium dodecyl sulfate. We have been able to detect and characterize two distinct types of interconvertible oligomers. Our results demonstrate that highly ordered large β-oligomers represent benign off-pathway intermediates that lack the ability to mature into amyloid fibrils. On the contrary, structurally labile small oligomers are capable of switching to an ordered amyloid-state that exhibits profound toxicity to mammalian cells. Our fluorescence resonance energy transfer measurements revealed that the partially disordered PrP serves as precursors to small amyloid-competent oligomers. These on-pathway oligomers are eventually sequestered into higher order supramolecular assemblies that conformationally mature into polymorphic amyloids possessing varied nanoscale morphology as evident by the atomic force microscopy imaging. The nanoscale diversity of fibril architecture is attributed to the heterogeneous ensemble of early obligatory oligomers and offers a plausible explanation for the existence of multiple prion strains in vivo. PMID:26645611

  10. Impact of methionine oxidation as an initial event on the pathway of human prion protein conversion.

    PubMed

    Elmallah, Mohammed I Y; Borgmeyer, Uwe; Betzel, Christian; Redecke, Lars

    2013-01-01

    Prion diseases comprise a group of fatal neurodegenerative disorders characterized by the autocatalytic conversion of the cellular prion protein PrP(C) into the infectious misfolded isoform PrP(Sc). Increasing evidence supports a specific role of oxidative stress in the onset of pathogenesis. Although the associated molecular mechanisms remain to be elucidated in detail, several studies currently suggest that methionine oxidation already detected in misfolded PrP(Sc) destabilizes the native PrP fold as an early event in the conversion pathway. To obtain more insights about the specific impact of surface-exposed methionine residues on the oxidative-induced conversion of human PrP we designed, produced, and comparatively investigated two new pseudosulfoxidation mutants of human PrP 121-231 that comprises the well-folded C-terminal domain. Applying circular dichroism spectroscopy and dynamic light scattering techniques we showed that pseudosulfoxidation of all surface exposed Met residues formed a monomeric molten globule-like species with striking similarities to misfolding intermediates recently reported by other groups. However, individual pseudosulfoxidation at the polymorphic M129 site did not significantly contribute to the structural destabilization. Further metal-induced oxidation of the partly unfolded pseudosulfoxidation mutant resulted in the formation of an oligomeric state that shares a comparable size and stability with PrP oligomers detected after the application of different other triggers for structural conversion, indicating a generic misfolding pathway of PrP. The obtained results highlight the specific importance of methionine oxidation at surface exposed residues for PrP misfolding, strongly supporting the hypothesis that increased oxidative stress could be one causative event for sporadic prion diseases and other neurodegenerative disorders.

  11. Impact of methionine oxidation as an initial event on the pathway of human prion protein conversion.

    PubMed

    Elmallah, Mohammed I Y; Borgmeyer, Uwe; Betzel, Christian; Redecke, Lars

    2013-01-01

    Prion diseases comprise a group of fatal neurodegenerative disorders characterized by the autocatalytic conversion of the cellular prion protein PrP(C) into the infectious misfolded isoform PrP(Sc). Increasing evidence supports a specific role of oxidative stress in the onset of pathogenesis. Although the associated molecular mechanisms remain to be elucidated in detail, several studies currently suggest that methionine oxidation already detected in misfolded PrP(Sc) destabilizes the native PrP fold as an early event in the conversion pathway. To obtain more insights about the specific impact of surface-exposed methionine residues on the oxidative-induced conversion of human PrP we designed, produced, and comparatively investigated two new pseudosulfoxidation mutants of human PrP 121-231 that comprises the well-folded C-terminal domain. Applying circular dichroism spectroscopy and dynamic light scattering techniques we showed that pseudosulfoxidation of all surface exposed Met residues formed a monomeric molten globule-like species with striking similarities to misfolding intermediates recently reported by other groups. However, individual pseudosulfoxidation at the polymorphic M129 site did not significantly contribute to the structural destabilization. Further metal-induced oxidation of the partly unfolded pseudosulfoxidation mutant resulted in the formation of an oligomeric state that shares a comparable size and stability with PrP oligomers detected after the application of different other triggers for structural conversion, indicating a generic misfolding pathway of PrP. The obtained results highlight the specific importance of methionine oxidation at surface exposed residues for PrP misfolding, strongly supporting the hypothesis that increased oxidative stress could be one causative event for sporadic prion diseases and other neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:24121542

  12. Establishment of a simple cell-based ELISA for the direct detection of abnormal isoform of prion protein from prion-infected cells without cell lysis and proteinase K treatment.

    PubMed

    Shan, Zhifu; Yamasaki, Takeshi; Suzuki, Akio; Hasebe, Rie; Horiuchi, Motohiro

    2016-07-01

    Prion-infected cells have been used for analyzing the effect of compounds on the formation of abnormal isoform of prion protein (PrP(Sc)). PrP(Sc) is usually detected using anti-prion protein (PrP) antibodies after the removal of the cellular isoform of prion protein (PrP(C)) by proteinase K (PK) treatment. However, it is expected that the PK-sensitive PrP(Sc) (PrP(Sc)-sen), which possesses higher infectivity and conversion activity than the PK-resistant PrP(Sc) (PrP(Sc)-res), is also digested through PK treatment. To overcome this problem, we established a novel cell-based ELISA in which PrP(Sc) can be directly detected from cells persistently infected with prions using anti-PrP monoclonal antibody (mAb) 132 that recognizes epitope consisting of mouse PrP amino acids 119-127. The novel cell-based ELISA could distinguish prion-infected cells from prion-uninfected cells without cell lysis and PK treatment. MAb 132 could detect both PrP(Sc)-sen and PrP(Sc)-res even if all PrP(Sc) molecules were not detected. The analytical dynamic range for PrP(Sc) detection was approximately 1 log. The coefficient of variation and signal-to-background ratio were 7%-11% and 2.5-3.3, respectively, demonstrating the reproducibility of this assay. The addition of a cytotoxicity assay immediately before PrP(Sc) detection did not affect the following PrP(Sc) detection. Thus, all the procedures including cell culture, cytotoxicity assay, and PrP(Sc) detection were completed in the same plate. The simplicity and non-requirement for cell lysis or PK treatment are advantages for the high throughput screening of anti-prion compounds. PMID:27565564

  13. Establishment of a simple cell-based ELISA for the direct detection of abnormal isoform of prion protein from prion-infected cells without cell lysis and proteinase K treatment.

    PubMed

    Shan, Zhifu; Yamasaki, Takeshi; Suzuki, Akio; Hasebe, Rie; Horiuchi, Motohiro

    2016-07-01

    Prion-infected cells have been used for analyzing the effect of compounds on the formation of abnormal isoform of prion protein (PrP(Sc)). PrP(Sc) is usually detected using anti-prion protein (PrP) antibodies after the removal of the cellular isoform of prion protein (PrP(C)) by proteinase K (PK) treatment. However, it is expected that the PK-sensitive PrP(Sc) (PrP(Sc)-sen), which possesses higher infectivity and conversion activity than the PK-resistant PrP(Sc) (PrP(Sc)-res), is also digested through PK treatment. To overcome this problem, we established a novel cell-based ELISA in which PrP(Sc) can be directly detected from cells persistently infected with prions using anti-PrP monoclonal antibody (mAb) 132 that recognizes epitope consisting of mouse PrP amino acids 119-127. The novel cell-based ELISA could distinguish prion-infected cells from prion-uninfected cells without cell lysis and PK treatment. MAb 132 could detect both PrP(Sc)-sen and PrP(Sc)-res even if all PrP(Sc) molecules were not detected. The analytical dynamic range for PrP(Sc) detection was approximately 1 log. The coefficient of variation and signal-to-background ratio were 7%-11% and 2.5-3.3, respectively, demonstrating the reproducibility of this assay. The addition of a cytotoxicity assay immediately before PrP(Sc) detection did not affect the following PrP(Sc) detection. Thus, all the procedures including cell culture, cytotoxicity assay, and PrP(Sc) detection were completed in the same plate. The simplicity and non-requirement for cell lysis or PK treatment are advantages for the high throughput screening of anti-prion compounds.

  14. The prion protein unstructured N-terminal region is a broad-spectrum molecular sensor with diverse and contrasting potential functions.

    PubMed

    Béland, Maxime; Roucou, Xavier

    2012-03-01

    The physiological function of the prion protein (PrP(C) ) and its conversion into its infectious form (PrP(Sc) ) are central issues to understanding the pathogenesis of prion diseases. The N-terminal moiety of PrP(C) (NH(2) -PrP(C) ) is an unstructured region with the characteristic of interacting with a broad range of partners. These interactions endow PrP(C) with multifunctional and sometimes contrasting capabilities, including neuroprotection and neurotoxicity. Recently, binding of β-sheet rich conformers to NH(2) -PrP(C) demonstrated a probable neurotoxic function for PrP(C) in Alzheimer's disease. NH(2) -PrP(C) also enhances the propagation of prions in vivo and is the target of the most potent antiprion compounds. Another level of complexity is provided by endoproteolysis and release of most of NH(2) -PrP(C) into the extracellular space. Further studies will be necessary to understand how NH(2) -PrP(C) regulates the physiological function of PrP(C) and how it is involved in the corruption of its normal function in diseases.

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Pigment-protein complexes

    SciTech Connect

    Siegelman, H W

    1980-01-01

    The photosynthetically-active pigment protein complexes of procaryotes and eucaryotes include chlorophyll proteins, carotenochlorophyll proteins, and biliproteins. They are either integral components or attached to photosynthetic membranes. Detergents are frequently required to solubilize the pigment-protein complexes. The membrane localization and detergent solubilization strongly suggest that the pigment-protein complexes are bound to the membranes by hydrophobic interactions. Hydrophobic interactions of proteins are characterized by an increase in entropy. Their bonding energy is directly related to temperature and ionic strength. Hydrophobic-interaction chromatography, a relatively new separation procedure, can furnish an important method for the purification of pigment-protein complexes. Phycobilisome purification and properties provide an example of the need to maintain hydrophobic interactions to preserve structure and function.

  19. Neuronal low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 binds and endocytoses prion fibrils via receptor cluster 4

    PubMed Central

    Jen, Angela; Parkyn, Celia J.; Mootoosamy, Roy C.; Ford, Melanie J.; Warley, Alice; Liu, Qiang; Bu, Guojun; Baskakov, Ilia V.; Moestrup, Søren; McGuinness, Lindsay; Emptage, Nigel; Morris, Roger J.

    2010-01-01

    For infectious prion protein (designated PrPSc) to act as a template to convert normal cellular protein (PrPC) to its distinctive pathogenic conformation, the two forms of prion protein (PrP) must interact closely. The neuronal receptor that rapidly endocytoses PrPC is the low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 (LRP1). We show here that on sensory neurons LRP1 is also the receptor that binds and rapidly endocytoses smaller oligomeric forms of infectious prion fibrils, and recombinant PrP fibrils. Although LRP1 binds two molecules of most ligands independently to its receptor clusters 2 and 4, PrPC and PrPSc fibrils bind only to receptor cluster 4. PrPSc fibrils out-compete PrPC for internalization. When endocytosed, PrPSc fibrils are routed to lysosomes, rather than recycled to the cell surface with PrPC. Thus, although LRP1 binds both forms of PrP, it traffics them to separate fates within sensory neurons. The binding of both to ligand cluster 4 should enable genetic modification of PrP binding without disrupting other roles of LRP1 essential to neuronal viability and function, thereby enabling in vivo analysis of the role of this interaction in controlling both prion and LRP1 biology. PMID:20048341

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyu, Justin; Andrianarijaona, V. M.

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. Pathological Propagation through Cell-to-Cell Transmission of Non-Prion Protein Aggregates in Neurodegenerative Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Seung-Jae; Desplats, Paula; Sigurdson, Christina; Tsigelny, Igor; Masliah, Eliezer

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, fronto-temporal dementia, Huntington's Disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) are characterized by progressive accumulation of protein aggregates in selected brain regions. Protein misfolding and templated assembly into aggregates might result from an imbalance between protein synthesis, aggregation and clearance. While protein misfolding and aggregation occur in most neurodegenerative disorders, the concept of spreading and infectivity of aggregates in the CNS has been reserved to prion diseases such as CJD and bovine spongiform encephalopathy. Emerging evidence suggests that prion-like spreading may occur in other neurodegenerative disorders, taking place with secreted proteins, such as amyloid-β,) and cytosolic proteins, such as tau, huntingtin and α-synuclein. Underlying molecular mechanisms and therapeutic implications are discussed. PMID:21045796

  4. Prion Protein Modulates Monoaminergic Systems and Depressive-like Behavior in Mice*

    PubMed Central

    Beckman, Danielle; Santos, Luis E.; Americo, Tatiana A.; Ledo, Jose H.; de Mello, Fernando G.; Linden, Rafael

    2015-01-01

    We sought to examine interactions of the prion protein (PrPC) with monoaminergic systems due to: the role of PrPC in both Prion and Alzheimer diseases, which include clinical depression among their symptoms, the implication of monoamines in depression, and the hypothesis that PrPC serves as a scaffold for signaling systems. To that effect we compared both behavior and monoaminergic markers in wild type (WT) and PrPC-null (PrP−/−) mice. PrP−/− mice performed poorly when compared with WT in forced swimming, tail suspension, and novelty suppressed feeding tests, typical of depressive-like behavior, but not in the control open field nor rotarod motor tests; cyclic AMP responses to stimulation of D1 receptors by dopamine was selectively impaired in PrP−/− mice, and responses to serotonin, but not to norepinephrine, also differed between genotypes. Contents of dopamine, tyrosine hydroxylase, and the 5-HT5A serotonin receptor were increased in the cerebral cortex of PrP−/−, as compared with WT mice. Microscopic colocalization, as well as binding in overlay assays were found of PrPC with both the 5HT5A and D1, but not D4 receptors. The data are consistent with the scaffolding of monoaminergic signaling modules by PrPC, and may help understand the pathogenesis of clinical depression and neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:26152722

  5. Separate mechanisms act concurrently to shed and release the prion protein from the cell

    PubMed Central

    Wik, Lotta; Klingeborn, Mikael; Willander, Hanna; Linné, Tommy

    2012-01-01

    The cellular prion protein (PrPC) is attached to the cell membrane via its glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchor and is constitutively shed into the extracellular space. Here, three different mechanisms are presented that concurrently shed PrPC from the cell. The fast α-cleavage released a N-terminal fragment (N1) into the medium and the extreme C-terminal cleavage shed soluble full-length (FL-S) PrP and C-terminally cleaved (C1-S) fragments outside the cell. Also, a slow exosomal release of full-length (FL) and C1-fragment (C1) was demonstrated. The three separate mechanisms acting simultaneously, but with different kinetics, have to be taken into consideration when elucidating functional roles of PrPC and also when processing of PrPC is considered as a target for intervention in prion diseases. Further, in this study it was shown that metalloprotease inhibitors affected the extreme C-terminal cleavage and shedding of PrPC. The metalloprotease inhibitors did not influence the α-cleavage or the exosomal release. Taken together, these results are important for understanding the different mechanisms acting in parallel in the shedding and cleavage of PrPC. PMID:23093798

  6. A MUTANT PRION PROTEIN SENSITIZES NEURONS TO GLUTAMATE-INDUCED EXCITOTOXICITY

    PubMed Central

    Biasini, Emiliano; Unterberger, Ursula; Solomon, Isaac H.; Massignan, Tania; Senatore, Assunta; Bian, Hejiao; Voigtlaender, Till; Bowman, Frederick P.; Bonetto, Valentina; Chiesa, Roberto; Luebke, Jennifer; Toselli, Paul; Harris, David A.

    2013-01-01

    Growing evidence suggests that a physiological activity of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) plays a crucial role in several neurodegenerative disorders, including prion and Alzheimer’s diseases. However, how the functional activity of PrPC is subverted to deliver neurotoxic signals remains uncertain. Transgenic mice expressing PrP with a deletion of residues 105–125 in the central region (referred to as ΔCR PrP) provide important insights into this problem. Tg(ΔCR) mice exhibit neonatal lethality and massive degeneration of cerebellar granule neurons, a phenotype that is dose-dependently suppressed by the presence of wild-type PrP. When expressed in cultured cells, ΔCR PrP induces large, ionic currents that can be detected by patch-clamping techniques. Here, we have tested the hypothesis that abnormal ion channel activity underlies the neuronal death seen in Tg(ΔCR) mice. We find that ΔCR PrP induces abnormal ionic currents in neurons in culture and in cerebellar slices, and that this activity sensitizes the neurons to glutamate-induced, calcium-mediated death. In combination with ultrastructural and biochemical analyses, these results demonstrate a role for glutamate-induced excitotoxicity in PrP-mediated neurodegeneration. A similar mechanism may operate in other neurodegenerative disorders due to toxic, β-rich oligomers that bind to PrPC. PMID:23392670

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hodak, Miroslav; Bernholc, Jerry

    2010-03-01

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

  8. Free energy and hidden barriers of the β-sheet structure of prion protein.

    PubMed

    Paz, S Alexis; Abrams, Cameron F

    2015-10-13

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

  9. Free energy and hidden barriers of the β-sheet structure of prion protein.

    PubMed

    Paz, S Alexis; Abrams, Cameron F

    2015-10-13

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

  10. Detection of cellular prion protein in exosomes derived from ovine plasma.

    PubMed

    Berrone, Elena; Corona, Cristiano; Mazza, Maria; Vallino Costassa, Elena; Faro, Monica Lo; Properzi, Francesca; Guglielmetti, Chiara; Maurella, Cristiana; Caramelli, Maria; Deregibus, Maria Chiara; Camussi, Giovanni; Casalone, Cristina

    2015-12-01

    Prion protein (PrP) is present at extremely low levels in the blood of animals and its detection is complicated by the poor sensitivity of current standard methodologies. Interesting results have been obtained with recent advanced technologies that are able to detect minute amounts of the pathological PrP (PrPSc), but their efficiency is reduced by various factors present in blood. In this study, we were able to extract cellular PrP (PrPC) from plasma-derived exosomes by a simple, fast method without the use of differential ultracentrifugation and to visualize it by Western blotting, reducing the presence of most plasma proteins. This result confirms that blood is capable of releasing PrP in association with exosomes and could be useful to better study its role in the pathogenesis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. PMID:26399471

  11. Cloning and expression analysis of a prion protein encoding gene in guppy ( Poecilia reticulata)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Suihan; Wei, Qiwei; Yang, Guanpin; Wang, Dengqiang; Zou, Guiwei; Chen, Daqing

    2008-11-01

    The full length cDNA of a prion protein (PrP) encoding gene of guppy ( Poecilia reticulata) and the corresponding genomic DNA were cloned. The cDNA was 2245 bp in length and contained an open reading frame (ORF) of 1545 bp encoding a protein of 515 amino acids, which held all typical structural characteristics of the functional PrP. The cloned genomic DNA fragment corresponding to the cDNA was 3720 bp in length, consisting of 2 introns and 2 exons. The 5' untranslated region of cDNA originated from the 2 exons, while the ORF originated from the second exon. Although the gene was transcribed in diverse tissues including brain, eye, liver, intestine, muscle and tail, its transcript was most abundant in the brain. In addition, the transcription of the gene was enhanced by 5 salinity, implying that it was associated with the response of guppy to saline stress.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  13. Cellular prion protein ablation impairs behavior as a function of age.

    PubMed

    Coitinho, Adriana S; Roesler, Rafael; Martins, Vilma R; Brentani, Ricardo R; Izquierdo, Ivan

    2003-07-18

    Cellular prion protein (PrPc) has been associated with some physiological functions in recent reports. Here we investigate behavioral parameters in 3- and 9-month-old mice lacking PrPc protein (Prnp0/0) and in rats after intrahippocampal administration of affinity purified anti-PrPc IgG (0.09 microg/side). No differences were observed between 3-month-old animals. However, 9-month-old Prnp0/0 mice and rats infused with anti-PrPc antibody showed a clear impairment of short- and long-term memory retention of a step-down inhibitory avoidance task. A decreased locomotor activity during exploration of an open field was also observed. These results suggest that systems involved in memory formation become more susceptible to mechanisms that require PrPc between the ages of 3 and 9 months in both mice and rats.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Monoacylated Cellular Prion Proteins Reduce Amyloid-β-Induced Activation of Cytoplasmic Phospholipase A2 and Synapse Damage.

    PubMed

    West, Ewan; Osborne, Craig; Nolan, William; Bate, Clive

    2015-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by the accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ) and the loss of synapses. Aggregation of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) by Aβ oligomers induced synapse damage in cultured neurons. PrPC is attached to membranes via a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor, the composition of which affects protein targeting and cell signaling. Monoacylated PrPC incorporated into neurons bound "natural Aβ", sequestering Aβ outside lipid rafts and preventing its accumulation at synapses. The presence of monoacylated PrPC reduced the Aβ-induced activation of cytoplasmic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2) and Aβ-induced synapse damage. This protective effect was stimulus specific, as treated neurons remained sensitive to α-synuclein, a protein associated with synapse damage in Parkinson's disease. In synaptosomes, the aggregation of PrPC by Aβ oligomers triggered the formation of a signaling complex containing the cPLA2.a process, disrupted by monoacylated PrPC. We propose that monoacylated PrPC acts as a molecular sponge, binding Aβ oligomers at the neuronal perikarya without activating cPLA2 or triggering synapse damage. PMID:26043272

  17. Monoacylated Cellular Prion Proteins Reduce Amyloid-β-Induced Activation of Cytoplasmic Phospholipase A2 and Synapse Damage

    PubMed Central

    West, Ewan; Osborne, Craig; Nolan, William; Bate, Clive

    2015-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by the accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ) and the loss of synapses. Aggregation of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) by Aβ oligomers induced synapse damage in cultured neurons. PrPC is attached to membranes via a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor, the composition of which affects protein targeting and cell signaling. Monoacylated PrPC incorporated into neurons bound “natural Aβ”, sequestering Aβ outside lipid rafts and preventing its accumulation at synapses. The presence of monoacylated PrPC reduced the Aβ-induced activation of cytoplasmic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2) and Aβ-induced synapse damage. This protective effect was stimulus specific, as treated neurons remained sensitive to α-synuclein, a protein associated with synapse damage in Parkinson’s disease. In synaptosomes, the aggregation of PrPC by Aβ oligomers triggered the formation of a signaling complex containing the cPLA2.a process, disrupted by monoacylated PrPC. We propose that monoacylated PrPC acts as a molecular sponge, binding Aβ oligomers at the neuronal perikarya without activating cPLA2 or triggering synapse damage. PMID:26043272

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

    PubMed

    Nyström, Sofie; Hammarström, Per

    2014-01-01

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

  19. The Persistence of Hippocampal-Based Memory Requires Protein Synthesis Mediated by the Prion-like Protein CPEB3.

    PubMed

    Fioriti, Luana; Myers, Cory; Huang, Yan-You; Li, Xiang; Stephan, Joseph S; Trifilieff, Pierre; Colnaghi, Luca; Kosmidis, Stylianos; Drisaldi, Bettina; Pavlopoulos, Elias; Kandel, Eric R

    2015-06-17

    Consolidation of long-term memories depends on de novo protein synthesis. Several translational regulators have been identified, and their contribution to the formation of memory has been assessed in the mouse hippocampus. None of them, however, has been implicated in the persistence of memory. Although persistence is a key feature of long-term memory, how this occurs, despite the rapid turnover of its molecular substrates, is poorly understood. Here we find that both memory storage and its underlying synaptic plasticity are mediated by the increase in level and in the aggregation of the prion-like translational regulator CPEB3 (cytoplasmic polyadenylation element-binding protein). Genetic ablation of CPEB3 impairs the maintenance of both hippocampal long-term potentiation and hippocampus-dependent spatial memory. We propose a model whereby persistence of long-term memory results from the assembly of CPEB3 into aggregates. These aggregates serve as functional prions and regulate local protein synthesis necessary for the maintenance of long-term memory.

  20. Efficient inhibition of infectious prions multiplication and release by targeting the exosomal pathway.

    PubMed

    Vilette, Didier; Laulagnier, Karine; Huor, Alvina; Alais, Sandrine; Simoes, Sabrina; Maryse, Romao; Provansal, Monique; Lehmann, Sylvain; Andreoletti, Olivier; Schaeffer, Laurent; Raposo, Graça; Leblanc, Pascal

    2015-11-01

    Exosomes are secreted membrane vesicles of endosomal origin present in biological fluids. Exosomes may serve as shuttles for amyloidogenic proteins, notably infectious prions, and may participate in their spreading in vivo. To explore the significance of the exosome pathway on prion infectivity and release, we investigated the role of the endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) machinery and the need for ceramide, both involved in exosome biogenesis. Silencing of HRS-ESCRT-0 subunit drastically impairs the formation of cellular infectious prion due to an altered trafficking of cholesterol. Depletion of Tsg101-ESCRT-I subunit or impairment of the production of ceramide significantly strongly decreases infectious prion release. Together, our data reveal that ESCRT-dependent and -independent pathways can concomitantly regulate the exosomal secretion of infectious prion, showing that both pathways operate for the exosomal trafficking of a particular cargo. These data open up a new avenue to regulate prion release and propagation.

  1. The sensitive [SWI (+)] prion: new perspectives on yeast prion diversity.

    PubMed

    Hines, Justin K; Craig, Elizabeth A

    2011-01-01

    Yeast prions are heritable protein-based genetic elements which rely on molecular chaperone proteins for stable transmission to cell progeny. Within the past few years, five new prions have been validated and 18 additional putative prions identified in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The exploration of the physical and biological properties of these "nouveau prions" has begun to reveal the extent of prion diversity in yeast. We recently reported that one such prion, [SWI(+)], differs from the best studied, archetypal prion [PSI(+)] in several significant ways. ( 1) Notably, [SWI(+)] is highly sensitive to alterations in Hsp70 system chaperone activity and is lost upon growth at elevated temperatures. In that report we briefly noted a correlation amongst prions regarding amino acid composition, seed number and sensitivity to the activity of the Hsp70 chaperone system. Here we extend that analysis and put forth the idea that [SWI(+)] may be representative of a class of asparagine-rich yeast prions which also includes [URE3], [MOT3(+)] and [ISP(+)], distinct from the glutamine-rich prions such as [PSI(+)] and [RNQ(+)]. While much work remains, it is apparent that our understanding of the extent of the diversity of prion characteristics is in its infancy.

  2. Age-Dependent Impairment of Eyeblink Conditioning in Prion Protein-Deficient Mice

    PubMed Central

    Kishimoto, Yasushi; Hirono, Moritoshi; Atarashi, Ryuichiro; Sakaguchi, Suehiro; Yoshioka, Tohru; Katamine, Shigeru; Kirino, Yutaka

    2013-01-01

    Mice lacking the prion protein (PrPC) gene (Prnp), Ngsk Prnp0/0 mice, show late-onset cerebellar Purkinje cell (PC) degeneration because of ectopic overexpression of PrPC-like protein (PrPLP/Dpl). Because PrPC is highly expressed in cerebellar neurons (including PCs and granule cells), it may be involved in cerebellar synaptic function and cerebellar cognitive function. However, no studies have been conducted to investigate the possible involvement of PrPC and/or PrPLP/Dpl in cerebellum-dependent discrete motor learning. Therefore, the present cross-sectional study was designed to examine cerebellum-dependent delay eyeblink conditioning in Ngsk Prnp0/0 mice in adulthood (16, 40, and 60 weeks of age). The aims of the present study were two-fold: (1) to examine the role of PrPC and/or PrPLP/Dpl in cerebellum-dependent motor learning and (2) to confirm the age-related deterioration of eyeblink conditioning in Ngsk Prnp0/0 mice as an animal model of progressive cerebellar degeneration. Ngsk Prnp0/0 mice aged 16 weeks exhibited intact acquisition of conditioned eyeblink responses (CRs), although the CR timing was altered. The same result was observed in another line of PrPc-deficient mice, ZrchI PrnP0/0 mice. However, at 40 weeks of age, CR incidence impairment was observed in Ngsk Prnp0/0 mice. Furthermore, Ngsk Prnp0/0 mice aged 60 weeks showed more significantly impaired CR acquisition than Ngsk Prnp0/0 mice aged 40 weeks, indicating the temporal correlation between cerebellar PC degeneration and motor learning deficits. Our findings indicate the importance of the cerebellar cortex in delay eyeblink conditioning and suggest an important physiological role of prion protein in cerebellar motor learning. PMID:23593266

  3. Soluble Prion Protein Binds Isolated Low Molecular Weight Amyloid-β Oligomers Causing Cytotoxicity Inhibition.

    PubMed

    Williams, Thomas L; Choi, Jin-Kyu; Surewicz, Krystyna; Surewicz, Witold K

    2015-12-16

    A growing number of observations indicate that soluble amyloid-β (Aβ) oligomers play a major role in Alzheimer's disease. Recent studies strongly suggest that at least some of the neurotoxic effects of these oligomers are mediated by cellular, membrane-anchored prion protein and that Aβ neurotoxicity can be inhibited by soluble recombinant prion protein (rPrP) and its fragments. However, the mechanism by which rPrP interacts with Aβ oligomers and prevents their toxicity is largely unknown, and studies in this regard are hindered by the large structural heterogeneity of Aβ oligomers. To overcome this difficulty, here we used photoinduced cross-linking of unmodified proteins (PICUP) to isolate well-defined oligomers of Aβ42 and characterize these species with regard to their cytotoxicity and interaction with rPrP, as well the mechanism by which rPrP inhibits Aβ42 cytotoxicity. Our data shows that the addition of rPrP to the assembling Aβ42 results in a shift in oligomer size distribution, decreasing the population of toxic tetramers and higher order oligomers and increasing the population of nontoxic (and possibly neuroprotective) monomers. Isolated oligomeric species of Aβ42 are cytotoxic to primary neurons and cause permeation of model lipid bilayers. These toxic effects, which are oligomer size-dependent, can be inhibited by the addition of rPrP, and our data suggest potential mechanisms of this inhibitory action. This insight should help in current efforts to develop PrP-based therapeutics for Alzheimer's disease. PMID:26466138

  4. Comparison of cattle and sheep colonic permeabilities to horseradish peroxidase and hamster scrapie prion protein in vitro

    PubMed Central

    McKie, A; Zammit, P; Naftalin, R

    1999-01-01

    BACKGROUND—Paracellular permeability to solutes across the descending colon is much higher in cattle than sheep. This is a possible route for transmission of infective materials, such as scrapie prion.
AIMS—To compare the permeabilities of labelled scrapie prion protein and other macromolecules in bovine and ovine descending colons in vitro.
METHODS—Using fresh slaughterhouse material, transepithelial fluxes of macromolecules across colonic mucosae mounted in Ussing chambers were measured by monitoring transport of either enzyme activity or radioactivity.
RESULTS—The comparative bovine to ovine permeability ratio of the probes increased with molecular weight: from 3.1 (0.13) for PEG400 to 10.67 (0.20) (p<0.001) for PEG4000; and from 1.64 (0.17) for microperoxidase to 7.03 (0.20) (p<0.001) for horseradish peroxidase (HRP). The permeability of 125I-labelled inactivated Syrian hamster scrapie prion protein (ShaPrPsc) was 7.02 (0.33)-fold higher in bovine than ovine colon (p<0.0025). In each species, the probe permeabilities decreased according to the formula: P = Po.exp(−K.ra). The "ideal" permeabilities, Po are similar, however, K(ovine) = 2.46 (0.20) cm/h/nm exceeds K(bovine) = 0.85 (0.15) cm/h/nm (p<0.001) indicating that bovine colon has a higher proportion of wide pores than ovine. Image analysis confirmed that HRP permeated through the bovine mucosal layer via a pericryptal paracellular route much more rapidly than in sheep.
CONCLUSIONS—These data may imply that scrapie prion is transmitted in vivo more easily across the low resistance bovine colonic barrier than in other species.


Keywords: cattle; sheep; colon; paracellular permeability; horseradish peroxidase; hamster scrapie prion protein PMID:10562587

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

    PubMed Central

    Pérez, M; Wandosell, F; Colaço, C; Avila, J

    1998-01-01

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

  6. Prions are affected by evolution at two levels.

    PubMed

    Wickner, Reed B; Kelly, Amy C

    2016-03-01

    Prions, infectious proteins, can transmit diseases or be the basis of heritable traits (or both), mostly based on amyloid forms of the prion protein. A single protein sequence can be the basis for many prion strains/variants, with different biological properties based on different amyloid conformations, each rather stably propagating. Prions are unique in that evolution and selection work at both the level of the chromosomal gene encoding the protein, and on the prion itself selecting prion variants. Here, we summarize what is known about the evolution of prion proteins, both the genes and the prions themselves. We contrast the one known functional prion, [Het-s] of Podospora anserina, with the known disease prions, the yeast prions [PSI+] and [URE3] and the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies of mammals. PMID:26713322

  7. Prions are affected by evolution at two levels.

    PubMed

    Wickner, Reed B; Kelly, Amy C

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  9. Mouse Prion Protein Polymorphism Phe-108/Val-189 Affects the Kinetics of Fibril Formation and the Response to Seeding

    PubMed Central

    Cortez, Leonardo M.; Kumar, Jitendra; Renault, Ludovic; Young, Howard S.; Sim, Valerie L.

    2013-01-01

    Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders associated with the polymerization of the cellular form of prion protein (PrPC) into an amyloidogenic β-sheet infectious form (PrPSc). The sequence of host PrP is the major determinant of host prion disease susceptibility. In mice, the presence of allele a (Prnpa, encoding the polymorphism Leu-108/Thr-189) or b (Prnpb, Phe-108/Val-189) is associated with short or long incubation times, respectively, following infection with PrPSc. The molecular bases linking PrP sequence, infection susceptibility, and convertibility of PrPC into PrPSc remain unclear. Here we show that recombinant PrPa and PrPb aggregate and respond to seeding differently in vitro. Our kinetic studies reveal differences during the nucleation phase of the aggregation process, where PrPb exhibits a longer lag phase that cannot be completely eliminated by seeding the reaction with preformed fibrils. Additionally, PrPb is more prone to propagate features of the seeds, as demonstrated by conformational stability and electron microscopy studies of the formed fibrils. We propose a model of polymerization to explain how the polymorphisms at positions 108 and 189 produce the phenotypes seen in vivo. This model also provides insight into phenomena such as species barrier and prion strain generation, two phenomena also influenced by the primary structure of PrP. PMID:23283973

  10. Fiber Diffraction of the Prion-Forming Domain HET-s(218-289) Shows Dehydration-Induced Deformation of a Complex Amyloid Structure

    SciTech Connect

    Wan, William; Stubbs, Gerald

    2014-05-01

    Amyloids are filamentous protein aggregates that can be formed by many different proteins and are associated with both disease and biological functions. The pathogenicities or biological functions of amyloids are determined by their particular molecular structures, making accurate structural models a requirement for understanding their biological effects. One potential factor that can affect amyloid structures is hydration. Previous studies of simple stacked β-sheet amyloids have suggested that dehydration does not impact structure, but other studies indicated dehydration-related structural changes of a putative water-filled nanotube. Our results show that dehydration significantly affects the molecular structure of the fungal prion-forming domain HET-s(218–289), which forms a β-solenoid with no internal solvent-accessible regions. The dehydration-related structural deformation of HET-s(218–289) indicates that water can play a significant role in complex amyloid structures, even when no obvious water-accessible cavities are present.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

    Tauopathies are a family of neurodegenerative diseases in which fibrils of human hyperphosphorylated tau (P-tau) are believed to cause neuropathology. In Alzheimer disease, P-tau associates with A-beta amyloid and contributes to disease pathogenesis. In familial human prion diseases and variant CJD, P-tau often co-associates with prion protein amyloid, and might also accelerate disease progression. To test this latter possibility, here we compared progression of amyloid prion disease in vivo after scrapie infection of mice with and without expression of human tau. The mice used expressed both anchorless prion protein (PrP) and membrane-anchored PrP, that generate disease associated amyloid and non-amyloid PrP (PrPSc) after scrapie infection. Human P-tau induced by scrapie infection was only rarely associated with non-amyloid PrPSc, but abundant human P-tau was detected at extracellular, perivascular and axonal deposits associated with amyloid PrPSc. This pathology was quite similar to that seen in familial prion diseases. However, association of human and mouse P-tau with amyloid PrPSc did not diminish survival time following prion infection in these mice. By analogy, human P-tau may not affect prion disease progression in humans. Alternatively, these results might be due to other factors, including rapidity of disease, blocking effects by mouse tau, or low toxicity of human P-tau in this model. PMID:27463540

  13. Insertion of beta-alanine in model peptides for copper binding to His96 and His111 of the human prion protein.

    PubMed

    Rivillas-Acevedo, Lina; Maciel-Barón, Luis; García, Javier E; Juaristi, Eusebio; Quintanar, Liliana

    2013-09-01

    The prion protein coordinates copper with high affinity in the regions encompassing residues 92-99 (GGGTHSQW) and 106-115 (KTNMKHMAGA). Cu(II) binding to these sites involves the coordination of the His96/His111 imidazole ring and backbone deprotonated amides that precede the His residue. Such a coordination arrangement involves the formation of hexa- and penta-membered cycles that provide further stabilization of the metal-peptide complex. The purpose of the present study is to introduce a methylene group in the peptide backbone, to evaluate the impact of increasing the size of these cycles in Cu(II) binding. Thus, a β-alanine residue was inserted at different positions preceding the His residue in these prion fragments, and their Cu(II) coordination properties were assessed by UV-Visible absorption, circular dichroism, and electron paramagnetic resonance. Spectroscopic data show that the insertion of a methylene group leads to a completely different Cu(II) coordination that involves the His96/His111 imidazole ring and nitrogen or oxygen atoms provided by the peptide backbone towards the C-terminal. This study clearly shows that two main factors determine the nature of Cu(II)-peptide complexes involving an anchoring His residue and deprotonated amides from the backbone chain: i) the stabilization of Cu(II)-peptide complexes due to the formation of cyclic structures (i.e. chelate effect) and ii) the nature of the residues associated to the deprotonated amide groups that participate in metal ion coordination.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

    The conformational change from the cellular prion protein (PrPc) to scrapie prion protein (PrPsc) is a key process in prion diseases. The prion protein has buried water molecules which significantly contribute to the stability of the protein; however, there has been no report investigating the influence on the buried hydration sites by a pathogenic mutation not adjacent to the buried hydration sites. Here, we perform molecular dynamics simulations of wild type (WT) PrPc and pathogenic point mutant T188R to investigate conformational changes and the buried hydration sites. In WT-PrPc, four buried hydration sites are identified by residence time and rotational relaxation analysis. However, there are no stable buried hydration sites in one of T188R simulations, which indicates that T188R sometimes makes the buried hydration sites fragile. We also find that fluctuations of subdomains S1-H1-S2 and H1-H2