Gene expression data from spleen, cervical spinal cord, and thalamic regions of ME7-inoculated mouse
ABSTRACT: An essential and remarkable process of the biochemical and physiological features in prion diseases is the conversion of a host-encoded prion protein (PrPC) into a misfolded isoform (PrPSc). The conversion of PrPC and the replication of prions, in cases of peripheral infection, occur following the uptake and subsequent spread of prions to brain via spinal cord. We investigated the changes of gene expression profiles in the spleen, cervical spinal cord and thalamus following intraperitoneal inoculation of ME7 scrapie prion and the inter-tissue alterations of the differentially expressed genes through Venn diagram to find genes which are commonly influenced by ME7 scrapie prion spread in the three tissues. Overall design: C57BL/6 mice were divided into two experimental groups; C: Control, ME7: intraperitoneally ME7-inoculated. At the terminal stage (270 ± 8 days after the clinical signs are evident) of ME7 scrapie prion disease total RNA was isolated from three tissue regions of two experimental group (2 experimental group × 3 tissue samples of each experimental group × 2 mice = total 12 samples).
Project description:Interspecies transmission of prions is a well-established phenomenon, both experimentally and under field conditions. Upon passage through new hosts, prion strains have proven their capacity to change their properties and this is a source of strain diversity which needs to be considered when assessing the potential risks associated with consumption of prion contaminated protein sources. Rabbits were considered for decades to be a prion resistant species until proven otherwise recently. To determine the extent of rabbit susceptibility to prions and to assess the effects of passage of different prion strains through this species a transgenic mouse model overexpressing rabbit PrPC was developed (TgRab). Intracerebral challenges with prion strains originating from a variety of species including field isolates (ovine SSBP/1 scrapie, Nor98- scrapie; cattle BSE, BSE-L and cervid CWD), experimental murine strains (ME7 and RML) and experimentally obtained ruminant (sheepBSE) and rabbit (de novo NZW) strains were performed. On first passage TgRab were susceptible to the majority of prions (Cattle BSE, SheepBSE, BSE-L, de novo NZW, ME7 and RML) tested with the exception of SSBP/1 scrapie, CWD and Nor98 scrapie. Furthermore, TgRab were capable of propagating strain-specific features such as differences in incubation periods, histological brain lesions, abnormal prion (PrPd) deposition profiles and proteinase-K (PK) resistant western blotting band patterns. Our results confirm previous studies proving that rabbits are not resistant to prion infection and show for the first time that rabbits are susceptible to PrPd originating in a number of other species. This should be taken into account when choosing protein sources to feed rabbits.
Project description:Prion diseases are progressive and fatal, neurodegenerative disorders described in humans and animals. According to the "protein-only" hypothesis, the normal host-encoded prion protein (PrPC) is converted into a pathological and infectious form (PrPSc) in these diseases. Transgenic knockout models have shown that PrPC is a prerequisite for the development of prion disease. In Norwegian dairy goats, a mutation (Ter) in the prion protein gene (PRNP) effectively blocks PrPC synthesis. We inoculated 12 goats (4 PRNP+/+, 4 PRNP+/Ter, and 4 PRNPTer/Ter) intracerebrally with goat scrapie prions. The mean incubation time until clinical signs of prion disease was 601 days post-inoculation (dpi) in PRNP+/+ goats and 773 dpi in PRNP+/Ter goats. PrPSc and vacuolation were similarly distributed in the central nervous system (CNS) of both groups and observed in all brain regions and segments of the spinal cord. Generally, accumulation of PrPSc was limited in peripheral organs, but all PRNP+/+ goats and 1 of 4 PRNP+/Ter goats were positive in head lymph nodes. The four PRNPTer/Ter goats remained healthy, without clinical signs of prion disease, and were euthanized 1260 dpi. As expected, no accumulation of PrPSc was observed in the CNS or peripheral tissues of this group, as assessed by immunohistochemistry, enzyme immunoassay, and real-time quaking-induced conversion. Our study shows for the first time that animals devoid of PrPC due to a natural mutation do not propagate prions and are resistant to scrapie. Clinical onset of disease is delayed in heterozygous goats expressing about 50% of PrPC levels.
Project description:Prion diseases are fatal infectious neurodegenerative disorders in human and animals caused by misfolding of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) into the pathological isoform PrPSc Elucidating the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying prion propagation may help to develop disease interventions. Cell culture systems for prion propagation have greatly advanced molecular insights into prion biology, but translation of in vitro to in vivo findings is often disappointing. A wider range of cell culture systems might help overcome these shortcomings. Here, we describe an immortalized mouse neuronal astrocyte cell line (C8D1A) that can be infected with murine prions. Both PrPC protein and mRNA levels in astrocytes were comparable with those in neuronal and non-neuronal cell lines permitting persistent prion infection. We challenged astrocytes with three mouse-adapted prion strains (22L, RML, and ME7) and cultured them for six passages. Immunoblotting results revealed that the astrocytes propagated 22L prions well over all six passages, whereas ME7 prions did not replicate, and RML prions replicated only very weakly after five passages. Immunofluorescence analysis indicated similar results for PrPSc Interestingly, when we used prion conversion activity as a readout in real-time quaking-induced conversion assays with RML-infected cell lysates, we observed a strong signal over all six passages, comparable with that for 22L-infected cells. These data indicate that the C8D1A cell line is permissive to prion infection. Moreover, the propagated prions differed in conversion and proteinase K-resistance levels in these astrocytes. We propose that the C8D1A cell line could be used to decipher prion strain biology.
Project description:Prion diseases are infectious neurodegenerative disorders linked to the accumulation in the central nervous system of the abnormally folded prion protein (PrP) scrapie (PrPsc), which is thought to be the infectious agent. Once present, PrPsc catalyzes the conversion of naturally occurring cellular PrP (PrPc) to PrPsc. Prion infection is usually initiated in peripheral organs, but the mechanisms involved in infectious spread to the brain are unclear. We found that both PrPc and PrPsc were actively released into the extracellular environment by PrP-expressing cells before and after infection with sheep prions, respectively. Based on Western blot with specific markers, MS, and morphological analysis, our data revealed that PrPc and PrPsc in the medium are associated with exosomes, membranous vesicles that are secreted upon fusion of multivesicular endosomes with the plasma membrane. Furthermore, we found that exosomes bearing PrPsc are infectious. Our data suggest that exosomes may contribute to intercellular membrane exchange and the spread of prions throughout the organism.
Project description:Prion diseases are neurodegenerative disorders associated in most cases with the accumulation in the central nervous system of PrPSc (conformationally altered isoform of cellular prion protein (PrPC); Sc for scrapie), a partially protease-resistant isoform of the PrPC. PrPSc is thought to be the causative agent of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. The mechanisms involved in the intercellular transfer of PrPSc are still enigmatic. Recently, small cellular vesicles of endosomal origin called exosomes have been proposed to contribute to the spread of prions in cell culture models. Retroviruses such as murine leukemia virus (MuLV) or human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) have been shown to assemble and bud into detergent-resistant microdomains and into intracellular compartments such as late endosomes/multivesicular bodies. Here we report that moloney murine leukemia virus (MoMuLV) infection strongly enhances the release of scrapie infectivity in the supernatant of coinfected cells. Under these conditions, we found that PrPC, PrPSc and scrapie infectivity are recruited by both MuLV virions and exosomes. We propose that retroviruses can be important cofactors involved in the spread of the pathological prion agent.
Project description:Prions induce a fatal neurodegenerative disease in infected host brain based on the refolding and aggregation of the host-encoded prion protein PrPC into PrPSc. Structurally distinct PrPSc conformers can give rise to multiple prion strains. Constrained interactions between PrPC and different PrPSc strains can in turn lead to certain PrPSc (sub)populations being selected for cross-species transmission, or even produce mutation-like events. By contrast, prion strains are generally conserved when transmitted within the same species, or to transgenic mice expressing homologous PrPC. Here, we compare the strain properties of a representative sheep scrapie isolate transmitted to a panel of transgenic mouse lines expressing varying levels of homologous PrPC. While breeding true in mice expressing PrPC at near physiological levels, scrapie prions evolve consistently towards different strain components in mice beyond a certain threshold of PrPC overexpression. Our results support the view that PrPC gene dosage can influence prion evolution on homotypic transmission.
Project description:Biological effect of poly-L-arginine (PLR), the linear homopolymer comprised of L-arginine, was investigated to determine the activity of suppressing prions. PLR decreased the level of scrapie prion protein (PrPSc) in cultured cells permanently infected with prions in a concentration-dependent manner. The PrPSc inhibition efficacy of PLR was greater than that of another prion-suppressant poly-L-lysine (PLK) in a molecular mass-dependent fashion. The effective concentration of PLR to inhibit prions was achieved safely below the cytotoxic concentrations, and overall cytotoxicity of PLR was similar to that of PLK. PLR did not alter the cellular prion protein (PrPC) level and was unable to change the states of preformed recombinant PrP aggregates and PrPSc from prion-infected cells. These data eliminate the possibility that the action mechanism of PLR is through removal of PrPC and pre-existing PrPSc. However, PLR formed complexes with plasminogen that stimulates prion propagation via conversion of PrPC to the misfolded isoform, PrPSc. The plasminogen-PLR complex demonstrated the greater positive surface charge values than the similar complex with PLK, raising the possibility that PLR interferes with the role of cofactor for PrPSc generation better than PLK.
Project description:Prions are pathogens formed from abnormal conformers (PrPSc) of the host-encoded cellular prion protein (PrPC). PrPSc conformation to disease phenotype relationships extensively vary among prion strains. In particular, prions exhibit a strain-dependent tropism for lymphoid tissues. Prions can be composed of several substrain components. There is evidence that these substrains can propagate in distinct tissues (e.g. brain and spleen) of a single individual, providing an experimental paradigm to study the cause of prion tissue selectivity. Previously, we showed that PrPC expression levels feature in prion substrain selection in the brain. Transmission of sheep scrapie isolates (termed LAN) to multiple lines of transgenic mice expressing varying levels of ovine PrPC in their brains resulted in the phenotypic expression of the dominant sheep substrain in mice expressing near physiological PrPC levels, whereas a minor substrain replicated preferentially on high expresser mice. Considering that PrPC expression levels are markedly decreased in the spleen compared to the brain, we interrogate whether spleen PrPC dosage could drive prion selectivity. The outcome of the transmission of a large cohort of LAN isolates in the spleen from high expresser mice correlated with the replication rate dependency on PrPC amount. There was a prominent spleen colonization by the substrain preferentially replicating on low expresser mice and a relative incapacity of the substrain with higher-PrPC level need to propagate in the spleen. Early colonization of the spleen after intraperitoneal inoculation allowed neuropathological expression of the lymphoid substrain. In addition, a pair of substrain variants resulting from the adaptation of human prions to ovine high expresser mice, and exhibiting differing brain versus spleen tropism, showed different tropism on transmission to low expresser mice, with the lymphoid substrain colonizing the brain. Overall, these data suggest that PrPC expression levels are instrumental in prion lymphotropism.
Project description:Prions are unusual protein assemblies that propagate their conformationally-encoded information in absence of nucleic acids. The first prion identified, the scrapie isoform (PrPSc) of the cellular prion protein (PrPC), caused epidemic and epizootic episodes . Most aggregates of other misfolding-prone proteins are amyloids, often arranged in a Parallel-In-Register-?-Sheet (PIRIBS)  or ?-solenoid conformations . Similar folding models have also been proposed for PrPSc, although none of these have been confirmed experimentally. Recent cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and X-ray fiber-diffraction studies provided evidence that PrPSc is structured as a 4-rung ?-solenoid (4R?S) [4, 5]. Here, we combined different experimental data and computational techniques to build the first physically-plausible, atomic resolution model of mouse PrPSc, based on the 4R?S architecture. The stability of this new PrPSc model, as assessed by Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations, was found to be comparable to that of the prion forming domain of Het-s, a naturally-occurring ?-solenoid. Importantly, the 4R?S arrangement allowed the first simulation of the sequence of events underlying PrPC conversion into PrPSc. This study provides the most updated, experimentally-driven and physically-coherent model of PrPSc, together with an unprecedented reconstruction of the mechanism underlying the self-catalytic propagation of prions.
Project description:Mammalian prions propagate by template-directed misfolding and aggregation of normal cellular prion related protein PrPC as it converts into disease-associated conformers collectively referred to as PrPSc. Mammalian species may be permissive for prion disease because these hosts have co-evolved specific co-factors that assist PrPC conformational change and prion propagation. We have tested this hypothesis by examining whether faithful prion propagation occurs in the normally PrPC-null invertebrate host Drosophila melanogaster. Ovine PrP transgenic Drosophila exposed at the larval stage to ovine scrapie showed a progressive accumulation of transmissible prions in adult flies. Strikingly, the biological properties of distinct ovine prion strains were maintained during their propagation in Drosophila. Our observations show that the co-factors necessary for strain-specific prion propagation are not unique to mammalian species. Our studies establish Drosophila as a novel host for the study of transmissible mammalian prions.