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Prion diseases are characterized by the deposition of PrP(Sc), an abnormal form of the cellular prion protein PrP(C), which is encoded by the Prnp gene. PrP(C) is highly expressed on neurons and its function is unknown. Recombinant PrP(C) was claimed to possess superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, and it was hypothesized that abrogation of this function may contribute to neurodegeneration in prion diseases. We tested this hypothesis in vivo by studying copper/zinc and manganese SOD activity in genetically defined crosses of mice lacking the Sod1 gene with mice lacking PrP(C), and with hemizygous or homozygous tga20 transgenic mice overexpressing various levels of PrP(C). We failed to detect any influence of the Prnp genotype and gene dosage on SOD1 or SOD2 activity in heart, spleen, brain, and synaptosome-enriched brain fractions. Control experiments included crosses of mice lacking or overexpressing PrPc with mice overexpressing human Cu2+/Zn2+-superoxide dismutase, and confirmed that SOD enzymatic activity correlated exclusively with the gene dosage of bona fide human or murine SOD. We conclude that PrP(C) in vivo does not discernibly contribute to total SOD activity and does not possess an intrinsic dismutase activity.
|Item Type:||Journal Article, refereed|
|Communities & Collections:||04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of Neuropathology|
|DDC:||570 Life sciences; biology|
610 Medicine & health
|Date:||01 September 2003|
|Deposited On:||11 Feb 2008 13:26|
|Last Modified:||23 Nov 2012 15:29|
|WoS Citation Count:||67|
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