Central residues in prion protein PrPC are crucial for its conversion into the pathogenic isoformConformational conversion of the cellular prion protein, PrPC, into the amyloidogenic isoform, PrPSc, is a key pathogenic event in prion diseases. However, the conversion mechanism remains to be elucidated. Here, we generated Tg(PrPΔ91-106)-8545/Prnp0/0 mice, which overexpress mouse PrP lacking residues 91-106. We showed that none of the mice became sick after intracerebral inoculation with RML, 22L, and FK-1 prion strains nor accumulated PrPScΔ91-106 in their brains except for a small amount of PrPScΔ91-106 detected in one 22L-inoculated mouse.
Asparagine residue 368 is involved in Alzheimer's disease tau strain–specific aggregationIn tauopathies, tau forms pathogenic fibrils with distinct conformations (termed “tau strains”) and acts as an aggregation “seed” templating the conversion of normal tau into isomorphic fibrils. Previous research showed that the aggregation core of tau fibril covers the C-terminal region (243–406 amino acids (aa)) and differs among the diseases. However, the mechanisms by which distinct fibrous structures are formed and inherited via templated aggregation are still unknown. Here, we sought to identify the key sequences of seed-dependent aggregation.
Native nanodiscs formed by styrene maleic acid copolymer derivatives help recover infectious prion multimers bound to brain-derived lipidsPrions are lipidated proteins that interact with endogenous lipids and metal ions. They also assemble into multimers and propagate into the infectious scrapie form known as PrPSc. The high-resolution structure of the infectious PrPSc state remains unknown, and its analysis largely relies on detergent-based preparations devoid of endogenous ligands. Here we designed polymers that allow isolation of endogenous membrane:protein assemblies in native nanodiscs without exposure to conventional detergents that destabilize protein structures and induce fibrillization.
The GTPase Rab27b regulates the release, autophagic clearance, and toxicity of α-synucleinα-Synuclein (αsyn) is the primary component of proteinaceous aggregates termed Lewy bodies that pathologically define synucleinopathies including Parkinson's disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). αsyn is hypothesized to spread through the brain in a prion-like fashion by misfolded protein forming a template for aggregation of endogenous αsyn. The cell-to-cell release and uptake of αsyn are considered important processes for its prion-like spread. Rab27b is one of several GTPases essential to the endosomal-lysosomal pathway and is implicated in protein secretion and clearance, but its role in αsyn spread has yet to be characterized.
TNF receptor–associated factor 6 interacts with ALS-linked misfolded superoxide dismutase 1 and promotes aggregationAmyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal disease, characterized by the selective loss of motor neurons leading to paralysis. Mutations in the gene encoding superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) are the second most common cause of familial ALS, and considerable evidence suggests that these mutations result in an increase in toxicity due to protein misfolding. We previously demonstrated in the SOD1G93A rat model that misfolded SOD1 exists as distinct conformers and forms deposits on mitochondrial subpopulations.
Pathogenic tau does not drive activation of the unfolded protein responseThe unfolded protein response (UPR) is commonly associated with a range of neurodegenerative diseases, and targeting UPR components has been suggested as a therapeutic strategy. The UPR surveys protein folding within the endoplasmic reticulum. However, many of the misfolded proteins that accumulate in neurodegeneration are localized so that they do not directly cause endoplasmic reticulum triggers that activate this pathway. Here, using a transgenic mouse model and primary cell cultures along with quantitative PCR, immunoblotting, and immunohistochemistry, we tested whether the UPR is induced in in vivo and in vitro murine models of tauopathy that are based on expression of mutant tauP301L.
The molecular tweezer CLR01 inhibits aberrant superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) self-assembly in vitro and in the G93A-SOD1 mouse model of ALSMutations in superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) cause 15–20% of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (fALS) cases. The resulting amino acid substitutions destabilize SOD1's protein structure, leading to its self-assembly into neurotoxic oligomers and aggregates, a process hypothesized to cause the characteristic motor-neuron degeneration in affected individuals. Currently, effective disease-modifying therapy is not available for ALS. Molecular tweezers prevent formation of toxic protein assemblies, yet their protective action has not been tested previously on SOD1 or in the context of ALS.
Blood–brain and blood–cerebrospinal fluid passage of BRICHOS domains from two molecular chaperones in miceTargeting toxicity associated with β-amyloid (Aβ) misfolding and aggregation is a promising therapeutic strategy for preventing or managing Alzheimer's disease. The BRICHOS domains from human prosurfactant protein C (proSP-C) and integral membrane protein 2B (Bri2) efficiently reduce neurotoxicity associated with Aβ42 fibril formation both in vitro and in vivo. In this study, we evaluated the serum half-lives and permeability into the brain and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of recombinant human (rh) proSP-C and Bri2 BRICHOS domains injected intravenously into WT mice.
Application of high-throughput, capillary-based Western analysis to modulated cleavage of the cellular prion proteinThe cellular prion protein (PrPC) is a glycoprotein that is processed through several proteolytic pathways. Modulators of PrPC proteolysis are of interest because full-length PrPC and its cleavage fragments differ in their propensity to misfold, a process that plays a key role in the pathogenesis of prion diseases. PrPC may also act as a receptor for neurotoxic, oligomeric species of other proteins that are linked to neurodegeneration. Importantly, the PrPC C-terminal fragment C1 does not contain the reported binding sites for these oligomers.
Efficient prion disease transmission through common environmental materialsPrion diseases are a group of fatal neurodegenerative diseases associated with a protein-based infectious agent, termed prion. Compelling evidence suggests that natural transmission of prion diseases is mediated by environmental contamination with infectious prions. We hypothesized that several natural and man-made materials, commonly found in the environments of wild and captive animals, can bind prions and may act as vectors for disease transmission. To test our hypothesis, we exposed surfaces composed of various common environmental materials (i.e.
Quantification of the Relative Contributions of Loss-of-function and Gain-of-function Mechanisms in TAR DNA-binding Protein 43 (TDP-43) ProteinopathiesAmyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin positive inclusions (FTLD-U) are two clinically distinct neurodegenerative conditions sharing a similar histopathology characterized by the nuclear clearance of TDP-43 and its associated deposition into cytoplasmic inclusions in different areas of the central nervous system. Given the concomitant occurrence of TDP-43 nuclear depletion and cytoplasmic accumulation, it has been proposed that TDP-43 proteinopathies originate from either a loss-of-function (LOF) mechanism, a gain-of-function (GOF) process, or both.
α-Synuclein Fibrils Exhibit Gain of Toxic Function, Promoting Tau Aggregation and Inhibiting Microtubule Assemblyα-Synuclein is the major component of Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites in Parkinson disease and dementia with Lewy bodies and of glial cytoplasmic inclusions in multiple system atrophy. It has been suggested that α-synuclein fibrils or intermediate protofibrils in the process of fibril formation may have a toxic effect on neuronal cells. In this study, we investigated the ability of soluble monomeric α-synuclein to promote microtubule assembly and the effects of conformational changes of α-synuclein on Tau-promoted microtubule assembly.
Role of Prion Replication in the Strain-dependent Brain Regional Distribution of PrionsOne intriguing feature of prion diseases is their strain variation. Prion strains are differentiated by the clinical consequences they generate in the host, their biochemical properties, and their potential to infect other animal species. The selective targeting of these agents to specific brain structures have been extensively used to characterize prion strains. However, the molecular basis dictating strain-specific neurotropism are still elusive. In this study, isolated brain structures from animals infected with four hamster prion strains (HY, DY, 139H, and SSLOW) were analyzed for their content of protease-resistant PrPSc.
Amyloid Oligomers and Mature Fibrils Prepared from an Innocuous Protein Cause Diverging Cellular Death MechanismsBackground: Although oligomers are considered more important, mature fibrils also show evidence as cytotoxic agents in neurodegenerative diseases.Results: Oligomers and fibrils both kill PC12 cells albeit mechanistically differently. In vivo, only oligomers inhibit hippocampal long term potentiation.Conclusion: Protein aggregates, even those irrelevant to disease, are capable of inducing different toxic actions in neuronal cells.Significance: Understanding these toxic mechanisms is vital in improving amyloidosis therapy.