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The strain-encoded relationship between PrP replication, stability and processing in neurons is predictive of the incubation period of disease


Ayers, J I; Schutt, C R; Shikiya, R A; Aguzzi, A; Kincaid, A E; Bartz, J C (2011). The strain-encoded relationship between PrP replication, stability and processing in neurons is predictive of the incubation period of disease. PLoS Pathogens, 7(3):e1001317.

Abstract

Prion strains are characterized by differences in the outcome of disease, most notably incubation period and neuropathological features. While it is established that the disease specific isoform of the prion protein, PrP(Sc), is an essential component of the infectious agent, the strain-specific relationship between PrP(Sc) properties and the biological features of the resulting disease is not clear. To investigate this relationship, we examined the amplification efficiency and conformational stability of PrP(Sc) from eight hamster-adapted prion strains and compared it to the resulting incubation period of disease and processing of PrP(Sc) in neurons and glia. We found that short incubation period strains were characterized by more efficient PrP(Sc) amplification and higher PrP(Sc) conformational stabilities compared to long incubation period strains. In the CNS, the short incubation period strains were characterized by the accumulation of N-terminally truncated PrP(Sc) in the soma of neurons, astrocytes and microglia in contrast to long incubation period strains where PrP(Sc) did not accumulate to detectable levels in the soma of neurons but was detected in glia similar to short incubation period strains. These results are inconsistent with the hypothesis that a decrease in conformational stability results in a corresponding increase in replication efficiency and suggest that glia mediated neurodegeneration results in longer survival times compared to direct replication of PrP(Sc) in neurons.

Prion strains are characterized by differences in the outcome of disease, most notably incubation period and neuropathological features. While it is established that the disease specific isoform of the prion protein, PrP(Sc), is an essential component of the infectious agent, the strain-specific relationship between PrP(Sc) properties and the biological features of the resulting disease is not clear. To investigate this relationship, we examined the amplification efficiency and conformational stability of PrP(Sc) from eight hamster-adapted prion strains and compared it to the resulting incubation period of disease and processing of PrP(Sc) in neurons and glia. We found that short incubation period strains were characterized by more efficient PrP(Sc) amplification and higher PrP(Sc) conformational stabilities compared to long incubation period strains. In the CNS, the short incubation period strains were characterized by the accumulation of N-terminally truncated PrP(Sc) in the soma of neurons, astrocytes and microglia in contrast to long incubation period strains where PrP(Sc) did not accumulate to detectable levels in the soma of neurons but was detected in glia similar to short incubation period strains. These results are inconsistent with the hypothesis that a decrease in conformational stability results in a corresponding increase in replication efficiency and suggest that glia mediated neurodegeneration results in longer survival times compared to direct replication of PrP(Sc) in neurons.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of Neuropathology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:31 Mar 2011 11:15
Last Modified:11 Jul 2016 07:33
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1553-7366
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:10.1371/journal.ppat.1001317
PubMed ID:21437239
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-47833

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