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Arch Virol Suppl. 2000;(16):239-49.

Function of PrP(C) as a copper-binding protein at the synapse.

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Institute of Neuropathology, University of Göttingen, Germany.


The prion protein (PrP(C)) shows cooperative copper binding of the N-terminal octarepeat (PHGGGWGO) x4. In brain homogenates, PrP(C) is found in highest concentration in synaptosomal fractions. Mice devoid of PrP(C) (Prnp0/0 mice) show synaptosomal copper concentrations diminished by 50% as compared to normal mice. PrP(C) in the synaptic cleft may serve as a copper buffer. Alternatively it may play a role in the re-uptake of copper into the presynapse or may be of structural importance for the N-terminus and thus may influence binding of PrP(C) to other proteins.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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